Although most people associate the term D-Day with the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944, it is military code for the beginning of any offensive operation. In the Pacific theater during World War II there were more than one hundred D-Days. The largest—and last—was the invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945, which brought together the biggest invasion fleet ever assembled, far larger than that engaged in the Normandy invasion.
D-Days in the Pacific tells the epic story of the campaign waged by American forces to win back the Pacific islands from Japan. Based on eyewitness accounts by the combatants, it covers the entire Pacific struggle from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Pacific war was largely a seaborne offensive fought over immense distances. Many of the amphibious assaults on Japanese-held islands were among the most savagely fought battles in American history: Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, New Guinea, Peleliu, Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, Okinawa.
Generously illustrated with photographs and maps, D-Days in the Pacific is the finest one-volume account of this titanic struggle.
A distinguished historian who revised and updated Henry Steele Commager's History of World War II now focuses on the Pacific War. The theatre emerges as a series of amphibious landings, for which the U.S. had prepared before the war and which almost certainly shortened the war. But as the U.S. fought its way from Guadalcanal to Okinawa and prepared to invade the Japanese home islands, its troops faced skilled and tenacious resistance by the Japanese. Survivors on both sides (Americans include Eugene Sledge, William Manchester and James Jones) emphasize the brutality and the stress of the close-quarters combat that often arose from an amphibious landing. The author also emphasizes the strained relations between MacArthur and Nimitz, which led to a two-front campaign that pushed even American resources to the limit. As he concludes, Miller notes with unusual balance the role that the casualties of Iwo Jima and Okinawa played in the decision to drop the A-bomb, by creating expectations of even bloodier battles in the course of an invasion. The book also includes annotation and a bibliography valuable for further reading and a good selection of 80 b&w illustrations and 10 maps. It lacks only enough background on prewar diplomacy and the Japanese campaign in China to be the perfect introduction to the Pacific War. Agent, Lou Reda.