Japanese

Japan’s Road to War

By Eric Hammel

Japan’s road to World War II was a long one. Throughout the late 19th century, the island nation broke out of its feudal past on a path to modernity with a ruthlessness and singlemindedness that would have scared Western nations had they been paying attention. Read more

Japanese

Target: America’s West Coast

By Steven D. Lutz

It seemed like just another ordinary day at sea. Early on December 7, 1941, a U.S. Army-chartered cargo vessel, the 250-foot SS Cynthia Olson, under the command of a civilian skipper, Berthel Carlsen, was plying the Pacific waters about 1,200 miles northeast of Diamond Head, Oahu, Hawaii, and over 1,000 miles west of the Tacoma, Washington, port from which she had sailed on December 1. Read more

Japanese

National Museum of the Pacific War

By Mason B. Webb

The small (population 12,000), central-Texas town of Fredericksburg, about an hour’s drive west of Austin and a little more than that northwest of San Antonio, may seem an odd location for the National Museum of the Pacific War until one realizes that Fredericksburg is the hometown of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz––the Eisenhower of the Pacific Theater. Read more

Japanese

The Winds Message Controversy: The Intelligence That Predicted Pearl Harbor?

By Peter Kross

The Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941—a “Day of Infamy,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt described it—left the American Pacific Fleet in almost total ruin, plunged the United States into World War II, and set off a controversy regarding the events that led up to the attack that is still being hotly debated. Read more

Lieutenant General Omar Bradley greets Marshall in Normandy in June 1944.

Japanese

George C. Marshall: The Indispensable Man

By Eric Hammel

George Catlett Marshall was the greatest American military man of his age. If the United States Army had kicked off the 20th century with the specific intent of constructing a chief of staff to lead it to victory in World War II, it could not have done a better job than what chance provided in the triumphs and travails over the 40 years that molded George Marshall. Read more

Troops of the U.S. Army’s 306th Regimental Combat Team, 77th Infantry Division, come ashore at tiny Geruma Shima, one of the Kerama Retto group of islands near Okinawa, during Operation Iceberg, March 26, 1945.

Japanese

Kerama Retto: Key to Victory at Okinawa

 By Pierre V. Comtois

Close to the northern end of the island of Tokashiki, the largest member of a tiny group of islands called Kerama Retto, located 15 miles west of Okinawa and hardly 400 miles from the Japanese home islands, Corporal Alexander Roberts and the rest of the 306th Regimental Combat Team rested for the night beneath the starry skies of the northern Pacific. Read more

Japanese

USS Seawolf at the Battle of Christmas Island

By John Domagalski

The early months of 1942 were dark days for the United States Asiatic Fleet. Much smaller than the Pacific Fleet, and equipped with mostly outdated surface ships, the fleet was in no way capable of winning a serious confrontation with the Imperial Japanese Navy. Read more

Japanese

Demise of the Japanese Navy

By Christopher Miskimon

The Japanese superbattleship Musashi was steaming east along with a fleet of other battleships, cruisers, and destroyers on their way toward what was expected to be a climactic battle at Leyte Gulf. Read more