Nemesis : The Battle for Japan, 1944--45, Paperback

Nemesis : The Battle for Japan, 1944--45 Paperback

4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


A companion volume to his bestselling 'Armageddon', Max Hastings' account of the battle for Japan is a masterful military history.

Featuring the most remarkable cast of commanders the world has ever seen, the dramatic battle for Japan of 1944-45 was acted out across the vast stage of Asia: Imphal and Kohima, Leyte Gulf and Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Soviet assault on Manchuria.

In this gripping narrative, Max Hastings weaves together the complex strands of an epic war, exploring the military tactics behind some of the most triumphant and most horrific scenes of the twentieth century.

The result is a masterpiece that balances the story of command decisions, rivalries and follies with the experiences of soldiers, sailors and airmen of all sides as only Max Hastings can.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 704 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Asian history
  • ISBN: 9780007219810



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

A chilling tale of waste, atrocity and sacrifice. Ultimately a story which has few winners. As ever Mr Hastings is adriot at bringing the human perspective to the grand historical narrative, through the judicious deployment of interview and anecdote.

Review by

I did not know a lot about the Second World War in Pacific. Just some basic facts that are almost of a common knowledge: Hiroshima, Japanese atrocities, Pearl Harbor: stuff like that. I bought this book probably for a single purpose: to learn about course of events during this period. At the end this book gave me much more: it gave me scope, perspective, and context of all these events. Mr. Hastings’s book is not a simple description of battles. What gives this book a value is that the author does not afraid to sum up a moral balance of every major action between the parties. Moreover, he puts it straightforwardly, and he supports his every judgment with facts.

Review by

This book is a good read.It gives a general narrative thread for the year leading up to the surrender of Japan, and uses that thread to hang a large number of anecdotes on. Max Hastings tends to be very critical in all he writes and Nemesis is no exception. Very few characters - or nations - come out of this book in a sympathetic fashion, except perhaps Bill Slim. Certainly the Americans come in for a tremendous amount of "stick" although they in fact won, at relatively low cost in (American) human life. Overall, the book is worth reading. It should be read in conjunction with one or two general American histories, with Soldiers of the Sun a Japanese-centric look at the war, and with Defeat into Victory, Slim's war memoirs.

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