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Nemesis: The Battle for Japan, 1944--45

Nemesis: The Battle for Japan, 1944--45 [Kindle Edition]

Max Hastings
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Reviews for ‘Warriors’:

‘With this collection, Hastings is back on home territory, where he can bring his unique blend of skills as war reporter, and social as well as military historian to bear…This is one of the best and most diverting of his shorter pieces.’ Evening Standard

‘All (of the stories) are corking…opinions are stated firmly and with big bold swings of the pendulum. His virtues are clarity and decisiveness – greatly to be admired when it comes to making clear, for the lay reader, roughly what is going on in the fiendishly complex and bloody engagements he describes.’ Spectator

‘A wonderfully eclectic selection…Hastings has written a marvellous book. Wry, perceptive and engaging, it lays bare the curious mix of character traits – good and bad – that a successful warrior requires.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘His brisk prose has the qualities of his warriors: clear, decisive, forceful… “Warriors” will enthral everyone.’ Daily Telegraph

Sunday Times

'Nemesis is a triumph.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1211 KB
  • Print Length: 707 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0007219814
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (17 Sep 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9OVO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,028 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Sir Max Hastings is the author of twenty-five books, many of them about war. He was educated at Charterhouse and University College, Oxford, which he quit after a year to become a journalist. Thereafter he reported for newspapers and BBC TV from sixty-four countries and eleven conflicts, notably the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Vietnam and the 1982 Battle for the Falklands. Between 1986 and 2002 he was editor-in-chief of The Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and for his books, most recently the 2012 Chicago Pritzker Library's $100,000 literary award for his contribution to military history, and the RUSI's Westminster Medal for his international best-seller 'All Hell Let Loose'.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
185 of 199 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive view of the collapse of Japan 4 Oct 2007
Most accounts of the fall of Japan follow, understandably, the progress of the US across the Pacific, culminating in the invasions of the Philippines, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and finally the cataclysmic events of August 1945. Hastings paints a much broader picture, following events in Burma, where the British Empire forces were engaged in a stunningly successful but ultimately pointless, in terms of the final destruction of Japan, campaign, to Borneo where the Australians where relegated to fighting in a backwater, losing much of their stature gained in the Western Desert 3 years before, and being hampered by in-fighting. Macarthur's arrogance - megalomania even - in the Philippines is described with the savage battle for Manila. The necessity for the battle for Iwo is seriously questioned with the normal answer "it saved allied aircrews" being doubted. Some of what he describes is well-known - the fire bombing of Japan's cities, the battle for Okinawa are covered well but less-known aspects are handled well: the China war (which had been going on for far longer that WW2), the Soviet invasion of Manchuria (Stalin's race to grab land before the war ended - the battles there continued for some days after the "official" surrender) and the choking of Japan's logistical supplies by the relatively small (compared with the U-Boats a couple of years earlier) US submarine force. Hastings makes the point that the sinking of Japan's merchant navy dwindled back in late '44 and early 45 for the very simple reason: there was pretty well nothing more to sink. He criticises the USAAF (a la Bomber Command) for not diverting more resources into the mining of the Inland Sea. When this did happen, the results almost crippled Japan's inter-island traffic. Read more ›
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Overview 26 Nov 2007
Max Hastings describes how and why Japan was finally brought low in 1945 - the politics and the military grand strategy - and what it was like for the ordinary people swept up by these events. And in his descriptions of action on the ground in China, Burma, the Philippines and across the Pacific, he succeeds in conveying the horror of total warfare by allowing participants to speak for themselves. The book does not, however, provide a detailed operational analysis of the campaigns involved, and the absence of a bibliography which is dismissed as an author's `peacock display', is therefore a disappointment. A good bibliography is a resource and the literature of this subject is little better known than its detail, so the absence of one, or at least of a bibliographic essay, is a pity - hence only 4 stars. This is all the more apparent given Hastings's clear exposition of Japanese as well as American strategic imperatives; he shows why this war degenerated into a slugfest.

There are excellent pen pictures of leading characters, and the failings of senior commanders are rigorously examined: General Douglas MacArthur, for example, was a paranoid megalomaniac obsessed with his personal mission to liberate the Philippines, and ignored any intelligence that didn't suit him. In describing systematic Japanese brutality towards both Allied prisoners and fellow Asians, Hastings is also careful to shade the coin, showing that not all Japanese were sadists. But if today some Japanese suggest such inhumanity was no worse than Allied bombing, he notes that having started the war, they `waged it with such savagery towards the innocent and impotent that it is easy to understand the rage which filled Allied hearts in 1945'.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece 12 Jan 2008
By P. H. Cartwright VINE VOICE
There can be few, even knowledgeable, students of the Second World War who will not learn much from this really impressive book. Max Hastings has already contributed some masterly WW2 histories but this must be his finest. It is one of the best histories of the War that I have ever read.

What impresses most is the scope and breadth of this book. All the major campaigns are covered and their relative importance made clear. The British campaign in Burma was never much more than a side-show, no matter how that fact must pain the dogged combatants under Bill Slim who drove the Japanese out. The relatively little known but hugely successful American submarine war against Japan's shipping is given its proper due.

None of the combatants fought a very clean war (if there can be such a thing). The Americans slaughtered many Japanese civilians and prisoners and their campaign seems to have been fuelled by a hatred of Japanese that they did not feel towards the Germans. However, upon reading of the many and hideous atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese - many denied or overlooked by Japan even today - the hatred of them by their opponents seems all too understandable. The last-minute declaration of war against Japan by Stalin, that cynical opportunist, unleashed the Red Army upon Manchuria, in the full plunder and rape mode that made them dreaded for decades to come.

Even today the dropping of atomic bombs by the United States upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki remains perhaps the most controversial act of the War and some think the greatest atrocity. Hastings gives much of the detail of the attacks themselves and the thinking behind them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Nemesis By Max Hastings
Max Hastings clearly knows his stuff. Anyone who has read any of his books can tell this from the wealth of detail that he reels off and the confidence of his writing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Neil Lennon
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read.
Have read quite a few of Max Hasting's books, and I always enjoy his writing. A very interesting book on a rather grim subject. Recommended.
Published 2 months ago by DBWM
5.0 out of 5 stars CLEAR OVERVIEW
What I know about the war with Japan is mostly from old Hollywood movies - America winning the war. I bought this to get a chronological overview of the full effert. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jean S H Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
Published 5 months ago by liverpool
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent book
A serious and thorough account of an under-appreciated part of the Second World War. Much in this book is not part of the public's knowledge of the conflict, but deserves to be.
Published 6 months ago by IPD
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic read
This author knows how to write and make a complicated subject a very straightforward read. Having read all of his other books re: the WWII conflict this has filled in the gaps re:... Read more
Published 7 months ago by traveller
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative
Would really recommend this as a starting point if you want to learn about World War II in the East.
Published 8 months ago by Dave Irving
1.0 out of 5 stars Nemesis
I hate it because it is a terrible story of depravity and tells of so much unnecessary deaths due to man's woeful pleasure in slaughter. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Patrick.Lennard Payne
4.0 out of 5 stars Research is always spot on with all Mr Hastings books, this one is no...
A monumental task to take on, which he acquits with his usual élan. As reader of military books for over sixty years
Published 9 months ago by Mr. M. J. Cornell
4.0 out of 5 stars an interesting perspective
By concentrating on the pacific war's final 12 months, Max Hastings succeeds in bringing some interesting perspectives on the wider conflict and the participants histories. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
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Until 8 August 1945, Soviet neutrality in the east was so scrupulously preserved that American B-29s which forced-landed on Russian territory had to stay there, not least to enable their hosts to copy the design. &quote;
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he observed that while Japan’s commanders were physically brave men, many were also moral cowards. &quote;
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protecting the survivors of the Imperial Japanese Army from the fury of its own people. &quote;
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