Military history

Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45

Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45

By the summer of 1944 it was clear that Japan's defeat was inevitable, but how the drive to victory would be achieved remained unclear. The ensuing drama—that ended in Japan's utter devastation—was acted out across the vast theater of Asia in massive clashes between army, air, and naval forces.


Chapter One: Dilemmas and Decisions

1. War in the East

2. Summit on Oahu

Chapter Two: Japan: Defying Gravity

1. Yamato Spirit

2. Warriors

Chapter Three: The British in Burma

1. Imphal and Kohima

2. “The Forgotten Army”

Chater Four: Titans at Sea

1. Men and Ships

2. Flyboys

Chapter Five: America’s Return to the Philippines

1. Peleliu

2. Leyte: The Landing

Chapter Six: “Flowers of Death”: Leyte Gulf

1. Shogo

2. The Ordeal of Taffy 3

3. Kamikaze

Chapter Seven: Ashore: Battle for the Mountains

Chapter Eight: China: Dragon by the Tail

1. The Generalissimo + Photo Insert One

2. Barefoot Soldiers

3. The Fall of Stilwell

Chapter Nine: MacArthur on Luzon

1. “He Is Insane on This Subject!”: Manila

2. Yamashita’s Defiance

Chapter Ten: Bloody Miniature: Iwo Jima

Chapter Eleven: Blockade: War Underwater

Chapter Twelve: Burning a Nation: LeMay

1. Superfortresses

2. Fire-Raising

Chapter Thirteen: The Road past Mandalay

Chapter Fourteen: Australians: “Bludging” and “Mopping Up”

Chapter Fifteen: Captivity and Slavery

1. Inhuman Rites

2. Hell Ships

Chapter Sixteen: Okinawa

1. Love Day

2. At Sea + Photo Insert Two

Chapter Seventeen: Mao’s War

1. Yan’an

2. With the Soviets

Chapter Eighteen: Eclipse of Empires

Chapter Nineteen: The Bombs

1. Fantasy in Tokyo

2. Reality at Hiroshima

Chapter Twenty: Manchuria: The Bear’s Claws

Chapter Twenty-One: The Last Act

1. “God’s Gifts”

2. Despair and Deliverance

Chapter Twenty-Two: Legacies

A Brief Chronology of the Japanese War

Notes and Sources