Customer Reviews for

Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan, 1942-1945

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted May 3, 2011

    Excellent Strategic and Combat History

    Just when it appears we're nearing the end of World War II history, somebody turns up an original subject. So it is with Barrett Tillman's Whirlwind, the first one-volume account of all allied air operations over Japan. The subtitle can be misleading: The Air War Against Japan 1942-1945. It would more accurately specify the air was over Japan, but the distinction is relatively minor. While dozens of books have addressed the Boeing B-29 Superfortress and those who flew them, and others touch upon naval aviation operations over Japan, none has combined them into the near-seamless narrative of Whirlwind. Tillman expertly covers operations by the Army Air Forces from China, the Marianas, and elsewhere, plus U.S. Navy and Marine Corps land- and carrier-based aircraft, plus the British Pacific Fleet. He also gives overdue tribute to engineers who created massive airfields out of practically nothing. Therein lies the strength of Whirlwind. A few reviewers fail to grasp that it is not a B-29 book but rather an expert, literate study of an entire campaign, including the Japanese perspective. Tillman's revelations about Tokyo's criminally negligent preparations for massive attacks are eye-openers: soaring arrogance, severe interservice rivalry, and indifference to civilian suffering on an industrial scale. The A-bombs still resonate sixty-fve years later, but Tillman's vivid descriptions of B-29 fire raids are searing and quite memorable. The American side also receives criticism. Tillman faults President Roosevelt for failing to appoint a Pacific "supremo," as he had in Europe, resulting in Army-Navy clashes and duplication of effort. In the current era of military "jointness," the 1945 air campaign used tremendous assets from all services but often failed to assign suitable targets, especially to the Navy. Carrier aircraft gained air superiority over Japan, and inflicted some damage on industrial targets, but the flying admirals were obsessed with the rusting, idle remnants of the Imperial Navy when they should have focused on enemy coastal shipping traffic. Destruction of Hokkaido's crucial coal ferries was a superb example that Tillman properly notes. Among Tillman's previous books was the first posthumous biography of General Curtis LeMay. The author clearly admires the dour bomber strategist, who arguably saved not only General Hap Arnold's reputation amid the premature commitment of the B-29 to China, but perhaps the post-war independent Air Force. Whatever his faults, LeMay became the indispensable personality in defeating Japan short of the potentially most horrific invasion in history. As Tillman observes, air power has never cracked enemy morale, but it did convince the one man who needed convincing: Emperor Hirohito. Whirlwind is the second Pacific campaign history that Tillman has penned recently. Clash of the Carriers (Caliber, 2005) may remain the definitive treatment of "The Marianas Turkey Shoot," especially since veterans are dying in their thousands every week. Historian Henry Sakaida lauded Clash for "balance and fairness, something lacking in past histories." If anything, Whirlwind has been even better received. The Wall Street Journal and Leatherneck Magazine acclaimed Tillman as "superb" and "a master story teller." We eagerly await his next book, a history of USS Enterprise (CV-6). For more military history book reviews, visit the Pacifica Military History Blog.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 8, 2010

    Visiting the Past

    My father was a Navigator on B-29's in the Pacific and I wanted to get a perspective of that air war. The book was very enlightening and an easy read. Its amazing what the cost of the war was and I wonder what the current media would have to say about "acceptable" losses.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1