Academic journal article Military Review

THE ALLIES AGAINST THE RISING SUN: The United States, the British Nations, and the Defeat of Imperial Japan

Academic journal article Military Review

THE ALLIES AGAINST THE RISING SUN: The United States, the British Nations, and the Defeat of Imperial Japan

Article excerpt

THE ALLIES AGAINST THE RISING SUN: The United States, The British Nations, and the Defeat of Imperial Japan, Nicholas Evan Sarantakes, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, 2009, 458 pages, $39.95.

Nicholas Evan Sarantakes' Allies Against the Rising Sun covers a period in World War II history that has not received much attention. In his book, he explores British and Commonwealth strategies against Japan from the perspectives of the Allies. The author, a U.S. Naval War College professor, has written two previous books about the end of World War II in the Pacific. He extensively researched the subject and has delivered a superb history and analysis.

Sarantakes sets out to answer three questions. Why did the Commonwealth nations wish to contribute forces to the defeat of Japan when their people were tired of war and desired other options? Why did the United Kingdom want to participate in the operation against Japan? And, why did the United States agree to British and Commonwealth participation even though it meant displacing American units that had more firepower? Sarantakes answers these questions with his analysis.

The book's strength lies in the author's portrayal of the principal civilian and military decision makers. He believes "most histories present individuals as 'plastic figures' and wants to present the people as 'human beings' with real lives and emotions, living and working under some of the most trying conditions imaginable." In this aspect, he succeeds brilliantly. The major players come alive in the book as Sarantakes discusses their strengths and weaknesses and how they affected the decision makers. …

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