Hell to Pay

By D.M. Giangreco

It’s hard to imagine a book that could be more detailed, citing the strategic plans for the American invasion of Japan and Japan’s plans for its own, would-be decisive battles. Hell To Pay – or, to give it the full title, ‘Operation Downfall and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-1947’ – is a book that builds chronologically as if we’re watching an invasion unfold. As he sets out the story of ‘Operation DOWNFALL’, Giangreco’s work in the archives has us rethinking many revisionist ideas about the A-bomb: he sets out political and military ramifications for bringing the war in the Pacific to a conclusion and does so with empathy for all. Powerful and sobering, the portents of predicted casualties offer a glimpse of the road not taken.

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