Japanese Army of World War II (Men-at-Arms) Paperback – 15 Dec 1973
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About the Author
Philip Warner left Cambridge in 1939 and joined the Army at the outbreak of war. He served until 1945, mainly in the Far East. Subsequently, he became Assistant-Principal in H.M. Treasury, lectured for the British Council in Spain, and is now a Senior Lecturer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He is well known as a military historian and among his published works are 'Sieges of the Medieval Ages', 'The Medieval Castle' and 'The S.A.S. 1941-71'. He is also author of all the titles in Osprey's 'British Battlefields' series. Michael Youens is a skilful artist who has illustrated a number of titles in the Men-at-Arms series . His work includes Men-at-Arms 37: 'The Army of Northern Virginia', Men-at-Arms 31: '30th Punjabis' and Men-at-Arms 28: 'The Russian Army of the Napoleonic Wars'.
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These victories gave the Japanese control over enormous amounts of raw materials, of which Japan had little or none in the mainland. Half of the world's tin and a third of the world's rubber now lay with the Imperial Japanese Army's grasp. Next up was Java with it's oil, then Sumatra and other islands of the Dutch East Indies, where they captured British, Dutch and American war materials. Finally, New Guinea was invaded, and they threatened the Australian mainland. The British surrendered at Hong Kong next, and in January 1942, they swept into Burma. This was another valuable asset for the Japanese, as its oil and rice was another much needed source of booty. The Army now believed that China was cut off from the Allies, and that the invasion of Britains jewel of the east, India, could soon be commenced at their leasure. The author describes how they were first stopped on the Kokoda Track in New Guinea by the Australians in 1942, and how they recieved their first real large scale setback at Arakan in January 1943. Here the combined efforts of the British and Indians pressed a vigorous attempt to recapture the area from the Japanese. We then find out about the great ivasion of India, which commenced on 15.3.44, and was an extraordinarily hard battle of three months, in which the Japanese had to be almost killed to a man before they drew back.
Now that the Allies huge superiority in almost everything was beginning to tell, and as the tide of the war turned against Japan, the Army switched to the defensive, even though that was completely contrary to their philosophy. In this, as with most things the Army turned its hand to, they defended very well, and with great effect, however, the weight of the Allies was too much to repel. Mr Warner describes the great Pacific island hopping campaign of the US Marines and the brutal and stubborn, but ultimately futile, defence put up by the Japanese Army. The ferocity of this defence, especially at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, was a portent of what the Allies would have to endure with an invasion of the mainland. Fortunately for the Allies, the dropping of the two atomic bombs on Hiroshima on 6.8.45, and on Nagasaki on 9.8.45 put an end to hostilities before the most certain gigantic bloodbath of an invasion of Japan took place. Although the Japanese Army displayed high levels of courage and resource, these admiral traits were far overshadowed by its brutal and barbaric treatment of prisoners, nurses and doctors, local populations of occupied territory, most especially in China. The Japanese Army is not readily remembered as a worthy foe like the German Army is, they are more remembered for their treatment of conquered military personnel and civilians. As with all Osprey titles, the photos are great, and the colour plates are first class, Michael Youens doing a tremendous job here with the art. This is a great book for the casual and dedicated reader.
A top read!
This one has been recently made available again in a facsimile edition. Although some twenty plus years old it is still useful.
According to the other listings on this site a whole new edition is coming out covering the period from the conquest of Manchuria to 1945. As the original author was a mature man and a serving soldier in the war, if he is not deceased he is certainly retired by now.
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