940.53-940.54: World War II in the Pacific (2023)

The following list contains books, published in the last 5 years, that discuss the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II. Works in this list will feature battles, campaigns, and personal narratives set in eastern Asia, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and Oceania between 1941 and 1945.

Updated June 9, 2023
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140 days to Hiroshima : the story of Japan's last chance to avert armageddon
Barrett, David Dean
On the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki comes this heart-pounding account of the war-room drama inside the cabinets of the United States and Japan that led to Armageddon on August 6, 1945. Here are the secret strategy sessions, fierce debates, looming...


Air Apaches : the true story of the 345th Bomb Group and its low, fast, and deadly missions in World War II
Stout, Jay A.
The American 345th Bomb Group--the Air Apaches--was legendary in the war against Japan. The first fully trained and fully equipped group sent to the South Pacific, the 345th racked up a devastating score against the enemy. Armed to the teeth with machine guns and fragmentation bombs, and flying...


Black snow : Curtis LeMay, the firebombing of Tokyo, and the road to the atomic bomb
Scott, James
Seven minutes past midnight on March 10, 1945, nearly 300 American B-29s thundered into the skies over Tokyo. Their payloads of incendiaries ignited a firestorm that reached up to 2,800 degrees, liquefying asphalt and vaporizing thousands; sixteen square miles of the city were flattened and more...


The Bomber Mafia : a dream, a temptation, and the longest night of the second World War
Gladwell, Malcolm
Dive into this "truly compelling" (Good Morning America) New York Times bestseller that explores how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war--from the creator and host of the podcast Revisionist History. In The Bomber Mafia, Malcolm...


Bridge to the sun : the secret role of the Japanese Americans who fought in the Pacific in World War II
Henderson, Bruce B.
One of the last, great untold stories of World War II-kept hidden for decades-even after most of the World War II records were declassified in 1972, many of the files remained untouched in various archives-a gripping true tale of courage and adventure from Bruce Henderson, master storyteller,...


Devil dogs : King Company, third battalion, 5th Marines : from Guadalcanal to the shores of Japan
David, Saul
Award-winning historian Saul David reveals the searing experience of the Devil Dogs of World War II and does for the U.S. Marines what Band of Brothers did for the 101st Airborne. The "Devil Dogs" of King Company, Third Battalion, 5th Marines--part...


Dogfight over Tokyo : the final air battle of the Pacific and the last four men to die in World War II
Wukovits, John F.
From an expert in the Pacific theater of World War II comes the tragic story of the pilots who fought the last fight of the war during the first hour of peace When Billy Hobbs and his fellow Hellcat aviators from Air Group 88 lifted off from the venerable Navy...


Eve of a hundred midnights : the star-crossed love story of two WWII correspondents and their epic escape across the Pacific
Lascher, Bill
The unforgettable true story of two married journalists on an island-hopping run for their lives across the Pacific after the Fall of Manila during World War II--a saga of love, adventure, and danger. On New Year's Eve, 1941, just three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese...


Facing the mountain : a true story of Japanese American heroes in World War II
Brown, Daniel James
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER One of NPR's "Books We Love" of 2021 Longlisted for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography  Winner of the Christopher Award    "Masterly. An epic story of four Japanese-American families and their...


Fire and fortitude : the US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943
McManus, John C.
John C. McManus, one of the most highly acclaimed historians of World War II, takes readers from Pearl Harbor - a rude awakening for a ragtag militia woefully unprepared for war - to Makin, a sliver of coral reef where the Army was tested against the increasingly desperate Japanese. In between were...


Fragile cargo : the World War II race to save the treasures of China's Forbidden City
Brookes, Adam (Journalist)
The gripping true story of the bold and determined museum curators who saved the priceless treasures of China's Forbidden City in the years leading up to World War II and beyond. Spring 1933: The silent courtyards and palaces of Peking's Forbidden City, for centuries the home of...


Implacable foes : war in the Pacific, 1944-1945
Heinrichs, Waldo H
By the time of the dropping of the atom bomb in August 1945, the United States military situation in the Pacific was in disarray. As an Army staff officer stated simply, "The capitulation of Hirohito saved our necks."In 1944, a year earlier, success seemed near, but squabbling in the military...


Island infernos : the US Army's Pacific War odyssey, 1944
McManus, John C.
In Fire and Fortitude-winner of the Gilder Lehrman Prize for Military History-John C. McManus presented a riveting account of the US Army's fledgling fight in the Pacific following Pearl Harbor. Now, in Island Infernos, he explores the Army's dogged pursuit of Japanese forces,...


Kangaroo squadron : American courage in the darkest days of World War II
Gamble, Bruce
In early 1942, while the American military was still in disarray from the devastating attacks on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines, a single U.S. Army squadron advanced to the far side of the world to face America's new enemy. Based in Australia with inadequate supplies and no...


Killing the rising sun how America vanquished World War II Japan
O'Reilly, Bill
#1 New York Times Bestselling AuthorsFrom the bloody battlefields of the Pacific to New Mexico, where Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer's team prepares to test the deadliest weapon known to mankind; from Washington, DC, as FDR dies and Harry Truman ascends to the presidency to Tokyo, where Emperor Hirohito...


Last mission to Tokyo : the extraordinary story of the Doolittle Raiders and their final fight for justice
Paradis, Michel (Lawyer)
"Superb...[Paradis] writes history with ease and authority." --The Wall Street Journal "[An] engrossing procedural...Richly researched." --The New York Times Book Review A thrilling narrative that introduces a key but underreported...


Lucky 666 : the impossible mission
Drury, Bob
From the authors of the New York Times bestselling The Heart of Everything That Is and Halsey's Typhoon comes the dramatic, untold story of a daredevil bomber pilot and his misfit crew who fly their lone B-17 into the teeth of the Japanese Empire in 1943, engage in the longest...


Midnight in the Pacific : Guadalcanal : the World War II battle that turned the tide of war
Wheelan, Joseph
A sweeping narrative history -- the first in over twenty years -- of America's first major offensive of World War II, the brutal, no-quarter-given campaign to take Japanese-occupied Guadalcanal From early August until mid-November of 1942, US Marines, sailors, and pilots...


The mosquito bowl : a game of life and death in World War II
Bissinger, Buzz
Instant New York Times Bestseller · Winner of the General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation "Buzz Bissinger's Friday Night Lights is an American classic. With The Mosquito Bowl, he is back with a true story even...


Operation Vengeance : the astonishing aerial ambush that changed World War II
Hampton, Dan
"Operation Vengeance is colorful, intimate, eye-popping history, delivered at a breakneck pace. I loved it." -Lynn Vincent The New York Times bestselling author of Viper Pilot delivers an electrifying narrative account of the top-secret U.S. mission to...


Rampage : MacArthur, Yamashita, and the battle of Manila
Scott, James
By early 1945, the war against Japan was at its height and General Douglas MacArthur began to fulfil his vow of liberating the Philippines. He was already planning his own victory parade down Dewey Boulevard in Manila, a city he loved dearly. But the Japanese had other ideas. While their command...


The silver waterfall : how America won the war in the Pacific at Midway
Simms, Brendan
Eighty years after the stunning and decisive battle, a revelatory new history of Midway The Battle of Midway was, on paper, an improbable victory for the smaller, less experienced American navy and air force, so much so that it was quickly described as "a miracle...


The storm on our shores : one island, two soldiers, and the forgotten battle of World War II
Obmascik, Mark
NATIONAL BESTSELLER "Mark Obmascik has deftly rescued an important story from the margins of our history--and from our country's most forbidding frontier. Deeply researched and feelingly told, The Storm on Our Shores is a heartbreaking tale of tragedy and...


Tower of skulls : a history of the Asia-Pacific war, July 1937-May 1942
Frank, Richard B
In 1937 the swath of the globe from India to Japan contained half the world's population, but only two nations with real sovereignty (Japan and Thailand) and two with compromised sovereignty (China and Mongolia). All other peoples in the region endured under some form of colonialism. Today the...


Twilight of the Gods : War in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945
Toll, Ian W.
New York Times Bestseller The final volume of the magisterial Pacific War Trilogy from acclaimed historian Ian W. Toll, "one of the great storytellers of War" (Evan Thomas). In June 1944, the United States launched a crushing assault on the Japanese navy in the...


Unsinkable : five men and the indomitable run of the USS Plunkett
Sullivan, James
In the bestselling tradition of Indianapolis and In Harm's Way comes a "captivating...gripping" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) account of the USS Plunkett--a US Navy destroyer that sustained the most harrowing attack on any Navy ship by the Germans during World War...


The women with silver wings : the inspiring true story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II
Landdeck, Katherine Sharp
"With the fate of the free world hanging in the balance, women pilots went aloft to serve their nation. . . . A soaring tale in which, at long last, these daring World War II pilots gain the credit they deserve."--Liza Mundy, New York Times bestselling author of Code...


World War II at sea : a global history
Symonds, Craig L
Author of Lincoln and His Admirals (winner of the Lincoln Prize), The Battle of Midway (Best Book of the Year, Military History Quarterly), and Operation Neptune, (winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature), Craig L. Symonds has established himself as one of the finest naval...

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