Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45
Max Hastings. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008. 615 pp. Illus. Notes. Index. $35.
Reviewed by Major William M. Gibson, U.S. Army (Retired)
Retribution is an apt title for this book, which describes perhaps as no other work the brutal nature of the Pacific campaign against Japan. The scenario begins in 1944 with the Japanese Navy, especially its aviation arm, thoroughly broken. The U.S. Navy, however, had become an unstoppable juggernaut. With the strangulation of Japanese merchant shipping by the U.S. submarine fleet, it becomes difficult not to see in hindsight that Japan was doomed, and the outcome was no longer in doubt.