A military historian offers a play-by-play of one of the bloodiest battles of the second world war, contributing to the U.S. military's decision to drop the atomic bomb rather than invade the rest of Japan.
The author conveys how Japanese leaders hoped the resulting casualties would wear down U.S. troops and a war-weary American public, forcing the U.S. to negotiate rather than imposing unconditional surrender ... Wheelan's detailed, mainstream account of the Battle of Okinawa and its significance in World War II history will especially appeal to fans of military history interested in the Pacific Theater.
... a balanced and well-written account of not only the ground combat, but the offshore kamikaze campaign against the US Navy and the terrible toll on the island’s civilian population ... Using numerous Japanese sources, Joseph Whe[e]lan does an excellent job of presenting the view 'over the hill' at the Japanese preparations and strategy for the campaign ... Whe[e]lan does a deft job of blending ground and naval actions with the Japanese accounts of the battle, writing a gripping and timely account in time for the 75th anniversary of the last campaign of the Pacific War.
... a comprehensive overview of the Battle of Okinawa, released in time for its 75th anniversary ... Wheelan provides a firm background to both sides and manages to keep track of disparate units and commanders without overwhelming readers. His use of first-hand accounts from the Americans, the Japanese and Okinawan civilians caught in between gives life to broader descriptions of unit actions. Still, the many formation movements and officer names make Bloody Okinawa more of interest to military history buffs than to general readers. For those already keen on the subject, Wheelan's book makes for grim yet fascinating reading.