In the Service of the Emperor: Essays on the Imperial Japanese Army

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Japan’s war in Asia and the Pacific from 1937 to 1945 continues to be a subject of great interest, yet the wartime Japanese army remains little understood outside Japan. Most published accounts rely on English-language works written in the 1950s and 1960s. The Japanese-language sources have remained relatively inaccessible to Western scholars in part because of the difficulty of the language, a difficulty that Edward J. Drea, who reads Japanese, surmounts.

In a series of searching examinations of the structure, ethos, and goals of the Japanese military establishment, Drea offers new material on its tactics, operations, doctrine, and leadership. Based on original military documents, official histories, court diaries, and Emperor Hirohito’s own words, these twelve essays introduce Western readers to fifty years of Japanese scholarship about the war and Japan’s military institutions. In addition, Drea uses recently declassified Allied intelligence documents related to Japan to challenge existing views and conventional wisdom about the war.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Asian Studies
"An excellent analysis of the imperial Japanese army’s behavior, including that of the supreme commander, the emperor, during World War II."—Journal of Asian Studies
Naval War College Review
"Drea’s book should be read by anyone who wishes to understand why the Japanese armed forces and their leaders acted as they did during World War II."—Naval War College Review
Pacific Wreck Database
"For anyone interested in learning more about the truth behind one of the most infamous armies in the history of war, this book is essential reading."—Pacific Wreck Database
Military Heritage
"The collected essays in this excellent and highly recommended anthology dispel many myths and shed much light on the Japanese Army during World War II."—Military Heritage
Great Lakes Bulletin - Lt. Youssef H. Aboul-Enein
"Offers unique insight into the Imperial Japanese Army’s strategic thought. . . . This is an excellent book for lovers of World War II history."—Lt. Youssef H. Aboul-Enein, Great Lakes Bulletin
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803266384
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military Series
  • Edition description: Illustrated
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward J. Drea works in the Historical Office of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He is the author of MacArthur’s ULTRA: Codebreaking and the War against Japan, 1942–1945.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
1 Tradition and Circumstances: The Imperial Japanese Army's Tactical Response to Khalkhin-Gol, 1939 1
2 The Development of Imperial Japanese Army Amphibious Warfare Doctrine 14
3 Imperial Japanese Army Strategy and the Pacific War 1941-1945 26
4 An Allied Interpretation of the Pacific War 42
5 U.S. Army and Imperial Japanese Army Doctrine during World War II 60
6 "Trained in the Hardest School" 75
7 Adachi Hatazo: A Soldier of His Emperor 91
8 A Signals Intercept Site at War 110
9 Leyte: Unanswered Questions 127
10 Japanese Preparations for the Defense of the Homeland 145
11 Intelligence Forecasting for the Invasion of Japan: Previews of Hell 154
12 Chasing a Decisive Victory: Emperor Hirohito and Japan's War with the West 1941-1945 169
Notes 217
List of Personalities and Terms 265
Bibliographic Essay 271
Index 285
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