Book Review: Allies Against the Rising Sun: The United States, the British Nations, and the Defeat of Imperial Japan


by Nicholas Evan Sarantakes

Lawrence, Ks.: University Press of Kansas, 2009. Pp. xxi, 458. Illus., maps, notes, biblio., index. $39.95. ISBN: 9780700616695

Allies Against the Rising Sun is a study of the politicians, soldiers, sailors, and airmen who shaped Anglo-American war-time policies and strategy at the very highest levels in the final phase of the Pacific War, and their role in shaping what might have been the final act of that conflict, the invasion of the Japanese Home Islands. 

Prof. Sarantakes (Naval War College), author of Keystone: The American Occupation of Okinawa and U.S.-Japanese Relations (2000) and editor of Seven Stars: The Okinawa Battle Diaries of Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., and Joseph Stillwell (2004) focuses on the question of why Britain and the Commonwealth nations, despite war weariness at home after having paid a horrendous price during nearly six years of war, were willing to take part in the ultimate bloodletting, and why the United States was willing to have them.  He argues convincingly that these both sides were looking to the need to preserve the "special relationship" in the post-war world. In this work he gives the reader numerous word-portraits of the principal military and political leaders involved, and addresses the many thorny issues that had to ironed out, such as logistics and shipping allocations, basing, manpower availability, and inter-operability.  In the process, Sarantakes underscores the seriousness of the proposal to invade Japan and the importance of the atomic bomb in bringing an end to the war. 

A necessary read for anyone interested in high strategy, the question of the use of the atomic bomb, and the shaping of the post-war world.


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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