Hell to Pay

Operation DOWNFALL and the Invasion of Japan, 1945–1947

  • Format:
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  • Published:
    November 15, 2020
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  • Product Dimensions:
    9.25 × 6.125 × 1 in
  • Product Weight:
    30 oz
Softcover $30.95
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This new Updated and Expanded Edition of Hell to Pay elaborates on several areas examined in the previous version and includes new chapters on US-Soviet cooperation in the war against Imperial Japan:  

• Projects Milepost and Hula, the secret Lend Lease expansion to prepare Soviet Far East forces for the planned invasion of Manchuria (chapter 11, "To break Japan's Spine").

• US, Soviet, and Japanese plans for the invasion – and defense – of the northernmost Japanese home island of Hokkaido (chapter 17, The Hokkaido Myth).

The Updated and Expanded Edition of Hell to Pay provides a fuller understanding of the depth of US-Soviet cooperation and effectively undercuts the ungrounded opinions of President Truman’s atom bomb decision and endgame in the Pacific put forth by Cold War pundits and more recently by Tsuyoshi Hasegawa in his Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan

Both the evidence, and the analysis, presented by Giangreco effectively refutes any notion of a so called “race” by Truman to drop atomic bombs on Japan before Stalin could enter the Pacific war. “In reality, though,” says Giangreco, “there really was a race of sorts involving the United States and Soviet Union in the Far East.  It was a race by both allies to get Red armies into the war against Japan as quickly as possible.” 

Also new in the Updated and Expanded Edition of Hell to Pay is a detailed account of Operation Blacklist, the three-phase insertion of American occupation forces into Japan (appendix D). 


About the Author

Editorial Reviews

“Giangreco makes a powerful case for the deadly struggle that would have been involved in an invasion of the Home Islands. The updated and expanded edition focuses on the Soviet General Staff's planning for operations in the Far East following the end of the war in Europe and addresses the impact of those operations. This edition deepens Giangreco's contribution to the literature on the end of the war in the Pacific.” —Jacob W. Kipp, Professor Emeritus of the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies, former director of the U.S. Army's Foreign Military Studies Office, and professor of history at the University of Kansas
“Giangreco . . . synthesizes years of research in a definitive analysis of America's motives for using atomic bombs against Japan in 1945. . . . [An] excellent examination.” Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)
“Drawing on solid research in both countries, Giangreco lays out the U.S. planning and the whole scenario of what would have happened: millions of casualties, prolongation of the Pacific War, possibly past 1947, and manpower shortages and war weariness in the United States, with Japanese militarists and their no-surrender policy in control in Japan. Illustrative of just how much the war with Japan was a close-run thing, this is essential reading.” Library Journal (Starred Review)
Hell to Pay: Operation Downfall and the Invasion of Japan 1945-1947 is a major work that renders obsolete much of what has been written before. Its research is deep and broad, its conclusions compelling. . . . Indispensable.” —Robert J Maddox, editor of Hiroshima in History: The Myths of Revisionism and Weapons for Victory: The Hiroshima Decision
“Anyone who wishes to better appreciate the decision-making environment facing the Japanese and Allied leaders going into 1945 and the struggle to come to the correct conclusion on whether or not to use the nuclear option must read this book. Whether one is a critic or supportive of the decision, this work will provide context and information to better help inform the debate positions of each side. Hell to Pay is also an outstanding sourcebook for military logistics professionals, as well as Naval and Airforce operators who wish to improve their understanding of the complexity of an operation of this magnitude. An excellent work and very strongly endorsed.” —The Military Reviewer