"Deeply researched and carefully nuanced . . . Barrett shrewdly integrates essential military realities with the potent domestic cross currents affecting leaders on both sides of the Pacific."
--Richard B. Frank, author of Downfall
Here are the secret strategy sessions, fierce debates, looming assassinations, and planned invasions that resulted in history's first use of nuclear weapons in combat, and the ensuing chaos as the Japanese government struggled to respond to the reality of nuclear war.
As World War II neared its end and America's strategic bombing campaign incinerated Japan's cities, two military giants locked in a death embrace of cultural differences and diplomatic intransigence. United States leaders called for the "unconditional surrender" of the Japanese Empire while weighing an invasion, Downfall, that would have dwarfed D-Day. Their enemy responded with a last-ditch plan: Ketsu-Go
, calling for the suicidal resistance of every able-bodied citizen in "The Decisive Battle" for the homeland. But had Emperor Hirohito's generals miscalculated how far the Americans had come in developing the atomic bomb, history's deadliest weapon? How close did President Harry Truman come to ordering the invasion of Japan?
Within the Japanese Supreme Council at the Direction of War, a.k.a. "The Big Six," Foreign Minister Shigenori Tōgō risked assassination to save his country from annihilation. But the Big Six remained defiant. They refused to surrender even after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
How did Japanese leaders come to this impasse? The answers lie in this nearly day-by-day account of the struggle to end the most destructive conflict in history. "Reads like a Tom Clancy thriller . . . a gripping, day-by-day account."
-- Flint Whitlock, editor of WWII Quarterly magazine and coauthor of The Depths of Courage
About the Author
David Dean Barrett is a military historian, specializing in World War II. He has published work in WWII Quarterly magazine, U.S. Military History Review, and Global War Studies. He is the history content consulting producer for Lou Reda Productions' two-hour documentary on "Heroes of the Sky: The Real Mighty Eighth," which will air as a primetime global event on National Geographic in May of 2020. David has been a frequent guest speaker for more than a decade on the use of the atomic bomb in the final days of WWII and the end of the Pacific War. Mr. Barrett began his career as a professional historian late in life, after spending nearly thirty years in Information Technology. David was awarded his master's degree in history from the University of Colorado, Denver, in the summer of 2006. Six years later, in 2012, he officially entered his new profession, opening the doors of One with History, Inc. Mr. Barrett lives in Littleton, Colorado.