9 best books about the Pacific War

World War II is sometimes thought of as primarily a fight against Nazi Germany, with the war in the Pacific as an after-thought. Fortunately, there is no shortage of worthwhile books about the Pacific War.

8. "Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-1945," by Max Hastings

By the summer of 1944, it was clear that Japan would be defeated. The only question was how long it would take and how many lives would be lost.  British military historian Max Hastings’s Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-1945 (Knopf, 2007) summarizes the multi-faceted land, air, and sea engagements of the war’s last year and the death and devastation that ensued. A single fire-bombing of Tokyo in March 1945, for example, killed around 100,000 people and destroyed 16 square miles of the city. Hastings reviews the still controversial decision to drop the atomic bombs and argues in forceful and compelling fashion that doing so ultimately saved lives. 

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