The long road to Tokyo: Japanese aggression in China, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific, with special attention to books about the Rape of Nanking, Japanese fighter planes and pilots, the Burma campaign, and the Hiroshima bomb

Flying Tigers


JAPAN AT WAR, 1931-1945

In the years following its surrender in August 1945 — abetted by breast-beaters in the West — Japan did a brilliant job of portraying itself as one of the war's primary victims because of the atomic bombs that ended it. (And saved the lives of several hundred thousand Japanese, not to mention the American, British, Chinese, and other lives that would have been lost if the war had continued.) So now, every August, we have the twin spectacles in which Japan first parades its anti-nuke bona fides, then ties itself into knots trying to make an adequate apology for having started the war in the first place. It's particularly amusing this year, on the 70th anniversary of Little Boy and Fat Man on August 6/9, and the Showa emperor's broadcast on August 15.

Even in 1945, the emperor carefully refrained from admitting any war guilt, or even to admit that he was surrendering. ("The war situation," he said in one of history's greatest understatements, "has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage.") Since then it has only gotten worse, to the point where historians joke that most people know only two things about the Pacific War: that the Americans dropped and atomic bomb on Hiroshima, so the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

Prime Minster Abe even now is writing his apology, about which we know that it will anger Japanese nationalists while at the same time failing to satisfy any of Japan's neighbors. In South Korea, 98 percent of the population doesn't think previous apologies have gone far enough; in China, 78 percent think so. Elsewhere in Asia, the nay votes are under 50 percent, but only in Japan does a plurality (48 percent to 28 percent) think the country has apologized enough. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

Flying Tigers

Japan's long war:

Nomonhan (Japan v. Russia, 1939)
Russian aircraft losses at Nomonhan
Elusive target: Bombing Japan from China (Richard Dunn)
Did U.S. leaders know that war was coming?
A guest of the Japanese in the Dutch Indies (Arie Biemond)
"New Guinea was my introduction to war" (anonymous)
Ketsu-go (waiting for the Americans, summer 1945)
Olympic vs. Ketsu-go (the invasion that didn't happen)
Japan's Longest Day: how Japan surrendered
The U.S. Navy arrives in Tokyo Bay, August 1945
Did Japanese soldiers fight for the Vietminh?

The Hiroshima files:

Why Truman dropped the bomb (Richard Frank)
Why Truman dropped the bomb II (Wilson Miscamble)
Little Boy vs Operation Olympic (an internet debate)
How many died at Hiroshima?--counting the uncountable
What was the yield of the Hiroshima bomb?
Was there a third bomb? What was its target?
Been down that lonely road: NASM confronts Enola Gay
Hiroshima and the end of the war--a reading list

The Japanese Army Air Force files:

Notes on the Japanese Army Air Force
The decision to move south (Japan v. the West, 1941)
Mr. Suzuki recalls the Flying Tigers (December 1941)
Lucky Sevens? life and death of the 77th Sentai (Richard Dunn)
JAAF deployments against Rangoon, December-March (maps)
Japanese army aircraft met by the AVG
Joe Baugher's Hayabusa files
Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa ("Oscar") armament (Richard Dunn)
About those Nakajima Ki-43 machineguns
Regimental song of the 64th Sentai (video)
Japanese army aces and their victory claims
JAAF fighter pilots lost in China-Burma area, 1941-42
Ki-45 Toryu (Dragon Slayer, aka Nick)

Flying Tigers

Why's a Zero?

Why's a Zero? and a primer on the Japanese calendar
Japanese warplane names and designations (Osamu Tagaya)
Allied code-names in perspective (Richard Dunn)
Sussing out the 'Chengdu Zero'
Zeros over China, 1941-1942 (Ben Schapiro)
Unraveling the Zero's performance data (Richard Dunn)
'Never dog fight the Zero' (the San Diego evaluations)
A conversation with Saburo Sakai and a scrap of his scarf
'Winged Samurai': rethinking the Sakai myths
An interview with another Zero pilot

Kamikaze, cannibals, & other mysteries:

Bushido: the Japanese Field Service Code, 1941
'Be as one already dead' (Ruth Benedict)
The soldier who cut up living prisoners (London Times)
The butchered bodies of New Guinea (graphic photos)
The Rape of Nanking: Japan in denial
Meet Colonel Tsuji, genius and cannibal
Outram Road Prison, Singapore
Done to death: the prisoners of Rabaul
The man who didn't shoot down Pappy Boyington
Why the kamikaze volunteered (Yasuho Izawa)
A Japanese army pilot trains to die
'Crashing bodily into a target is not easy' (the how-to manual)
'I will be waiting for you at Yasukuni Shrine'
'Annihilate them all' (the order to murder PWs)

Books & stuff:

Japan at War--book reviews on this site
The webmaster's picks: 10 books worth reading
Books about Japanese aircraft and aces

Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

Poland's Daughter

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Posted August 13, 2015. Websites ©1997-2015 Daniel Ford. All rights reserved.