Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II
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Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II

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by Jeffrey Cox
     
 

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A fresh look at the disastrous Java Sea Campaign of 1941–42 which heralded a wave of Japanese naval victories in the Pacific but which eventually sowed the seeds of their eventual change in fortunes.

In the immediate aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese juggernaut quickly racked up victory after victory. Desperate to secure resource-rich regions in the

Overview

A fresh look at the disastrous Java Sea Campaign of 1941–42 which heralded a wave of Japanese naval victories in the Pacific but which eventually sowed the seeds of their eventual change in fortunes.

In the immediate aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese juggernaut quickly racked up victory after victory. Desperate to secure resource-rich regions in the Pacific and ensure their continued dominance of South East Asia, Japanese forces were determined in their efforts to conquer Malaya, Singapore and the oil-rich islands around Java Sea - Borneo, Sumatra and Java itself.  In the face of this seemingly unstoppable tide stood a small Allied force - American, Australian, British and Dutch. Thrown together by circumstance; cut off from reinforcements or in many cases retreat; operating with old, obsolete equipment and dwindling supplies, there was little hope of victory. Indeed, the month-long Java Sea Campaign, as it subsequently became known, quickly evolved from a traditional test of arms into a test of character. In the face of a relentless enemy and outnumbered, outgunned and alone, they defiantly held on, attempting to buy weeks, days, even hours until a better line of defense - and offense - could be established.  These were the men of the US Asiatic Feet, the British Far Eastern Fleet, the Royal Netherlands Navy's East Indies Squadron and the Royal Australian Navy. And their supporting units like Patrol Wing Ten, the Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service, the US Army Air Force's 17th Pursuit Squadron and submarines of all these fine nations. A campaign that has been too often either ignored by historians or criticised for poor command decisions, this is the story of the sailors and the airmen at the sharp end, and how they fought and endured the first months of the War in the Pacific.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In the Pacific War’s first months, elements of four navies, Dutch, British, American, and Australian, fought a delaying action against superior Japanese forces as heroic as it was hopeless. Cox brings an attorney’s incisiveness, a historian’s comprehension, and a storyteller’s passion to this compelling account of the Java Sea campaign. Rising Sun, Falling Skies commemorates not a defense but a defiance: a forgotten epic of character and honor." Dennis Showalter

"As Japanese forces were hitting Pearl Harbor, countrymen undertook to maul the Allies in the Java Sea. That 1941-1942 onslaught, which cost the Royal Navy the dreadnoughts Repulse and Prince of Wales, inflicted a string of defeats unjustifiably accorded short shrift in many histories. Here they receive an informed airing."—World War II Magazine

“A seminal work about a long neglected part of World War II in the Pacific… richly detailed with accounts from the men on both sides of the conflict who fought desperate struggles in 1942 either as conquerors or defenders." –Mike Walling, author of Forgotten Sacrifice and Bloodstained Sea

Library Journal
04/01/2014
Cox, a freelance military historian, focuses on the first three months of World War II in the Southeast Pacific, which culminated in the February 1942 Battle of the Java Sea, in which the Allied Dutch, British, American, and Australian naval forces fell to the Japanese. Cox integrates his strategic and tactical analyses with the narratives of those involved in the Pacific Theater. He is very critical of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Dutch Admiral Conrad Helfrich, whose personal failures so damaged Allied work in the Southeast Pacific. Cox points out that these united armies fought with different strategic goals, dramatically weakening the overall effort. With no experience in joint operations, they even fumbled basic cooperative moves, with fundamental deficiencies in communications, logistics, and air power. These, along with unfortunate accidents, severely handicapped the endeavor. The author expressly honors the bravery of those who were wounded or died in this failed attempt to defend Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines, and Australia. Cox, who is also an attorney, ably documents his pointed conclusions, citing U.S., British, Dutch, and Japanese sources. VERDICT This book will appeal to all readers interested in military affairs, especially in relation to World War II.—Mark Jones, Mercantile Lib., Cincinnati

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781780967264
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
03/25/2014
Series:
General Military Series
Pages:
504
Sales rank:
254,363
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey R. Cox is a litigation attorney and an independent military historian specializing in World War II, ancient Greece, and ancient Rome, as well as a contributor to Military History Online (www.militaryhistoryonline.com). He holds a bachelor's degree in National Security Policy Studies from the Ohio State University and has studied the Pacific War since 1981. The author lives in Indianapolis, IN.

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Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
BillCA More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I have read about WW ll in the Pacific. Extremely well written. If there is really a "can't put it down" book, this is it. Jeffrey Cox puts the reader in the middle of the action. If you like action at sea, this is the book to read. Very highly recommended. The book also provides excellent detail on the struggles that existed in the multi nation command structure that existed in the western pacific. Very interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(Name: -_-) (Gender: Female) (Age: 10 moons) (Crush/Mate/Kits: Nope) (Apperance: Pure white with hazel eyes) That is it.