Allies against the Rising Sun
The United States, the British Nations, and the Defeat of Imperial Japan
Nicholas Evan Sarantakes
Honorable Mention: Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Prize in Naval History
In the annals of World War II, the role of America's British allies in the Pacific Theater has been largely ignored. Nicholas Sarantakes now revisits this seldom-studied chapter to depict the delicate dance among uneasy partners in their fight against Japan, offering the most detailed assessment ever published of the U.S. alliance with Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada
“Sarantakes has ably brought an important historical subject alive for the nonspecialist. A fascinating account, well worth reading.”
“A superb analysis of strategic decision making and the interplay of national interests.”
—Military ReviewSee all reviews...
“Brilliantly fills a major void in the literature on the Pacific War. The story that emerges comes alive with a cast of characters as colorful as the new canvas is broad.”
—Richard B. Frank, author of Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire
“An innovative, penetrating, and thoroughly engaging account that casts familiar strategies, episodes, and personalities in dramatically new light.”
—Michael Schaller, author of Douglas MacArthur
“A powerful and immensely readable history that reminds us that the United States was not the only nation involved in the final defeat of Japan.”
—David Day, author of Menzies and Churchill at War
“A masterful study written with wit and verve.”
—Roger Dingman, author of Ghost of War and Deciphering the Rising Sun
“A new interpretation of a key episode in Britains last days as a Great Powerone that strongly challenges much of the received wisdom on the subject.”
—Raymond Callahan, author of Churchill and His Generals
“A welcome and invaluable reassessment of Allied strategic planning for the war against Japan, especially enlightening on the importance of personality and politics in coalition diplomacy.”
—George C. Herring, author of From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776See fewer reviews...
Sarantakes examines Britain's motivations for participating in the invasion of Japan, the roles envisioned by its Commonwealth nations, and the United States' decision to accept their participation. He shows how the interests of all allies were served by maintaining the coalition, even in the face of disputes between nations, between civilian and military leaders, and between individual services-and that allied participation, despite its diplomatic importance, limited the efficiency of final operations against Japan.
Sarantakes describes how Churchill favored British-led operations to revive the colonial empire, while his generals argued that Britain would be further marginalized if it didn't fight alongside the United States in the assault on Japan's home islands. Meanwhile, Commonwealth partners, preoccupied with their own security concerns, saw an opportunity to support the mother country in service of their own separatist ambitions. And even though the United States called the shots, it welcomed allies to share the predicted casualties of an invasion.
Sarantakes takes readers into the halls of both civil and military power in all five nations to show how policies and actions were debated, contested, and resolved. He not only describes the participation of major heads of state but also brings in lesser-known Commonwealth figures, plus a cast of military leaders including General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz on the American side and Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham and Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke on the British. He also paints vivid scenes of battle, including the attack of the British Pacific Fleet on Japan and ground fighting on Okinawa.
Deftly blending diplomatic, political, and military history encompassing naval, air, and land forces, Sarantakes's work reveals behind-the-scenes political factors in warfare alliances and explains why the Anglo-America coalition survived World War II when it had collapsed after World War I.