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Malta and the Convoy Battles of June 1942
By mid-1942 the Allies were losing the Mediterranean war: Malta was isolated and its civilian population faced starvation. In June 1942 the British Royal Navy made a stupendous effort to break the Axis stranglehold. The British dispatched armed convoys from Gibraltar and Egypt toward Malta. In a complex battle lasting more than a week, Italian and German forces defeated Operation Vigorous, the larger eastern effort, and ravaged the western convoy, Operation Harpoon, in a series of air, submarine, and surface attacks culminating in the Battle of Pantelleria. Just two of seventeen merchant ships that set out for Malta reached their destination. In Passage Perilous presents a detailed description of the operations and assesses the actual impact Malta had on the fight to deny supplies to Rommel's army in North Africa. The book's discussion of the battle's operational aspects highlights the complex relationships between air and naval power and the influence of geography on littoral operations.
A World War II Memoir
Like so many soldiers of his generation, William V. Spanos was not much more than a boy when he went off to fight in World War II. In the chaos of his first battle, what would later become legendary as the Battle of the Bulge, he was separated from his antitank gun crew and taken prisoner in the Ardennes forest. Along with a procession of other prisoners of war, he was marched and conveyed by freight train to Dresden. Surviving the brutal conditions of the labor camps and the Allies’ devastating firebombing of the city, he escaped as the losing German army retreated. For Spanos, this was never a “war story.” It was the singular, irreducible, unnameable, dreadful experience of war. In the face of the American myth of the greatest generation, this renowned literary scholar looks back at that time and crafts a dissident, dissonant remembrance of the “just war.” Retrieving the singularity of the experience of war from the grip of official American cultural memory, Spanos recaptures something of the boy’s life that he lost. His book is an attempt to rescue some semblance of his awakened being—and that of the multitude of young men who fought—from the oblivion to which they have been relegated under the banalizing memorialization of the “sacrifices of our greatest generation.”
A Sociopolitical Analysis
In order to ensure its absolute authority, the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal (1946–1948), the Japanese counterpart of the Nuremberg Trial, adopted a three-tier structure for its interpreting: Japanese nationals interpreted the proceedings, second-generation Japanese-Americans monitored the interpreting, and Caucasian U.S. military officers arbitrated the disputes. The first extensive study on the subject in English, this book explores the historical and political contexts of the trial as well as the social and cultural backgrounds of the linguists through trial transcripts in English and Japanese, archival documents and recordings, and interviews with those who were involved in the interpreting. In addition to a detailed account of the interpreting, the book examines the reasons for the three-tier system, how the interpreting procedures were established over the course of the trial, and the unique difficulties faced by the Japanese-American monitors. This original case study of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal illuminates how complex issues such as trust, power, control and race affect interpreting at international tribunals in times of conflict.
Japanese American Imprisonment during World War II
From Washington to Tokyo, 1922--1945
In this second volume of his history of naval power in the 20th century, H. P. Willmott follows the fortunes of the established seafaring nations of Europe along with two upstarts -- the United States and Japan. Emerging from World War I in command of the seas, Great Britain saw its supremacy weakened through neglect and in the face of more committed rivals. Britain's grand Coronation Review of 1937 marked the apotheosis of a sea power slipping into decline. Meanwhile, Britain's rivals and soon-to-be enemies were embarking on significant naval building programs that would soon change the nature of war at sea in ways that neither they nor their rivals anticipated. By the end of a new world war, the United States had taken command of two oceans, having placed its industrial might behind technologies that further defined the arena of naval power above and below the waves, where stealth and the ability to strike at great distance would soon rewrite the rules of war and of peace. This splendid volume further enhances Willmott's stature as the dean of naval historians.
A Foxhole View of the Epic Battle for Iwo Jima
"Shively has documented in a very readable fashion the transformation of a young Hoosier into a disciplined member of the United States Marine Corps. His book is a detailed and touching tale of one man's experience of the battle of Iwo Jima, and the many excellent photographs and maps enhance the story." -- Major General Fred Haynes, USMC (Ret.)
The 36-day assault on the small volcanic island known as Iwo Jima resulted in more than 26,000 American casualties, including 6,800 dead. Of the 20,000 Japanese defenders, only 1,083 survived. The Marines' efforts secured what would become a vital emergency landing strip for crippled B-29s returning from bombing runs. Twenty-seven Medals of Honor were awarded to Marines and sailors, many posthumously, more than were awarded for any other single operation during the war.
Jim Craig was a platoon commander with the Marines on Iwo Jima. This book presents his story, as told to his nephew, John C. Shively. A particularly vivid and exciting account of some of the most intense fighting of the Pacific War, the immediacy of the story is heightened by the detail that Shively's research has added to Craig's recollections. The result is one of the most realistic depictions of combat ever written.
The 112th Cavalry Regiment in World War II
Thrown into the heart of war with little training--and even less that would apply to the battles in which they were engaged--the units of the 112th Cavalry Regiment faced not only the Japanese enemy, but a rugged environment for which they were ill-prepared. They also grappled with the continuing challenge of learning new military skills and tactics across ever-shifting battlefields. The 112th Cavalry Regiment entered federal service in November 1940 as war clouds gathered thick on the horizon. By July 1942, the 112th was headed for the Pacific theater. As the war neared its end, the regiment again had to shift its focus quickly from an anticipated offensive on the Japanese home islands to becoming part of the occupation force in the land of a conquered enemy. James S. Powell thoroughly mines primary documents and buttresses his story with pertinent secondary accounts as he explores in detail the ways in which this military unit adapted to the changing demands of its tactical and strategic environment. He demonstrates that this learning was not simply a matter of steadily building on experience and honing relevant skills. It also required discovering shortcomings and promptly taking action to improve—often while in direct contact with the enemy.
The World War II Correspondence of a Japanese American Medic
American POWs During World War II
Between 1941 and 1945 more than 110,000 American marines, soldiers, airmen, and sailors were taken prisoner by German, Italian, and Japanese forces. Most who fought overseas during World War II weren’t prepared for capture, or for the life-altering experiences of incarceration, torture, and camaraderie bred of hardship that followed. Their harrowing story—often overlooked in Greatest Generation narratives—is told here by the POWs themselves.Long hours of inactivity followed by moments of sheer terror. Slave labor, death marches, the infamous hell ships. Historian Thomas Saylor pieces together the stories of nearly one hundred World War II POWs to explore what it was like to be the “guest” of the Axis Powers and to reveal how these men managed to survive. Gunner Bob Michelsen bailed out of his wounded B-29 near Tokyo, only to endure days of interrogation and beatings and months as a “special prisoner” in a tiny cell home to seventeen other Americans. Medic Richard Ritchie spent long moments of terror locked with dozens of others in an unmarked boxcar that was repeatedly strafed by Allied forces. In the closing chapter to this moving narrative, the men speak of their difficult transition to life back home, where many sought—not always successfully—to put their experience behind them.
America's First Black Marines
With an executive order from President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941, the United States Marine Corps--the last all-white branch of the U.S. military--was forced to begin recruiting and enlisting African Americans. The first black recruits received basic training at the segregated Camp Montford Point, adjacent to Camp Lejeune, near Jacksonville, North Carolina. Between 1942 and 1949 (when the base was closed as a result of President Truman's 1948 order fully desegregating all military forces) more than 20,000 men trained at Montford Point, most of them going on to serve in the Pacific Theatre in World War II as members of support units. This book, in conjunction with the documentary film of the same name, tells the story of these Marines for the first time.