Reading and learning are two of my passions and it is my pleasure to share these books with you.I have read them all and have found them to be both insightful and engaging. I encourage your feedback and I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did.
Maj Chris Buckham
Wednesday, 22 July 2015
Why the Japanese Lost - Bryan Perrett
This review has been submitted to Sabretache Magazine for publication.
Why the Japanese Lost
Pen and Sword
author has undertaken a very ambitious goal of outlining and explaining what it
was that caused the Japanese Empire to fail in their World War 2 ambitions. The
causes are legion and it is necessary to cover a very wide spectrum of facets
and influences in order to even begin to scratch the surface. There are,
admittedly, some very obvious items: economic limitations, a lack of material
depth, doctrinal shortfalls and operational errors; however, there are also a
number of aspects that were just as influential but are, at best, difficult to
quantify. These include martial ardour, religious philosophy, societal
influences and historical context to name a few.
has focussed his narrative on the naval aspects of the Pacific War with only
very cursory mentions of China, Burma and Russia. I felt that this book was
somewhat misleading in so far as it, to a great extent, only re-examined
aspects of the war that have been studied in numerous other venues. His
iterations on the Pacific conflict do provide a good overview of the naval war
as it progressed; highlighting various battles such as Midway, Leyte Gulf,
Solomon Islands and the Java Sea. It is interesting to note the degree to which
the Japanese retained offensive capability even after the crushing defeat of
I was anticipating a more in-depth study of the less well known aspects of
Japanese fighting doctrine and goals. A more detailed analysis of internal
political-military relations, the concept of gekokujo or ‘rule from below’,
command oversight challenges, logistics and the role of the Emperor all were
given short shrift.
provide some historical context with a brief study of the introduction of Japan
into the modern community of nations and the influence that the Royal Navy had
on their early years, Additionally, he devotes two chapters to the war between
Russia and Japan that marked not only the emergence of Japan onto the world
stage but also the Japanese navy as a force to be reckoned with.
The production value of the book is good with many high-quality
photographs. I would recommend this book as a start point for the reader
interested in Japanese martial history but, with its emphasis upon naval
operations and a relatively cursory bibliography, there are more encompassing