The Imperial Japanese Army: The Invincible Years 1941–42 (General Military) (Hardcover)
The German blitzkrieg stunned the world in 1939-1940, and so too did the Japanese "blitzkrieg" of 1941-1942 in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaya, and Burma. However, the remarkable Japanese land offensive involving operations of equivalent scope and complexity has received only a fraction of the attention. This is the story of that campaign.
One of the few histories that tells the story of the Pacific War from the Japanese side, this is the long-awaited overview of the years when the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) was conducting its seemingly unstoppable ground campaign in the Far East. It includes extensive background and biographical information on Japanese commanders, including Homma and Yamashita.
In just eight weeks following December 7, 1941, the IJA pushed the Americans out of the Philippines, and defeated the British to captured Manila, Hong Kong, the Malay Peninsula, and the great bastion at Singapore--called the "Gibraltar of the East." They also forced the capitulation and occupation of Siam and the occupation of Burma. A month later, the Japanese had added the Netherlands East Indies, with an area and depth of natural resources more than twice that of Japan, to their trophy case.
In The Imperial Japanese Army, author Bill Yenne recounts how the IJA faced and surmounted technical challenges that the Wehrmacht did not have--transportation. Whereas most of the German conquests were reachable by highways or rail lines, all of the IJA operations required ship transport, and most required amphibious landings. For example, in the Malay Peninsula campaign, the IJA famously used bicycles for the drive on Singapore.
Unlike most histories of the Pacific War that focus on the Allied experience, The Imperial Japanese Army examines the year of victory from the Japanese perspective, when the mighty Japanese naval and ground forces swept all before them both throughout the Pacific and on mainland Asia.
About the Author
BILL YENNE is the author of more than two dozen books on military and historical topics. The Wall Street Journal recently called his Indian Wars: The Campaign for the American West "splendid" and went on to say that it "has the rare quality of being both an excellent reference work and a pleasure to read." His other works include The American Aircraft Factory in World War II, Operation Cobra and the Great Offensive: Sixty Days that Changed the Course of World War II, Aces: True Stories of Victory and Valor in the Skies of World War II, Black '41: The West Point Class of 1941 and the American Triumph in World War II, and The History of the US Air Force. He is a member of the American Aviation Historical Society, and is a regular contributor to International Air Power Review. He worked with the legendary US Air Force commander, General Curtis E. LeMay, to produce Superfortress: The B-29 and American Airpower in World War II. He lives in San Francisco.
“In this highly readable acount, Bill Yenne compresses Japan's six-month rampage through southeast Asia into one manageable book...Yenne has produced a volume that serves as a popular introduction to the IJA's heyday.” —World War II Magazine