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Killing the Rising Sun

How America Vanquished World War II Japan

By Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
13-minute read
Audio available
Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan  by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

Killing the Rising Sun (2016) tells the story of the Pacific War, which took place between 1941 and 1945, and its main belligerents, the United States and Japan. From the attack on Pearl Harbor to bloody invasions of Japan to the development of the world’s first atomic bomb, the book portrays the brutality of World War II from a US perspective, and describes how the war was eventually won.

  • Fans of world history and politics
  • Military enthusiasts
  • Anyone obsessed with or fascinated by the story of World War II

Bill O’Reilly is a journalist and television personality best known for his conservative political commentary show, The O’Reilly Factor, broadcast on Fox News. He is also the author of numerous books, including Killing Kennedy, Killing Reagan and Killing Jesus.

Martin Dugard is an American author and journalist. His books include The Last Voyage of Columbus, Killing Kennedy, Killing Reagan and Killing Jesus.

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Killing the Rising Sun

How America Vanquished World War II Japan

By Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan  by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
Synopsis

Killing the Rising Sun (2016) tells the story of the Pacific War, which took place between 1941 and 1945, and its main belligerents, the United States and Japan. From the attack on Pearl Harbor to bloody invasions of Japan to the development of the world’s first atomic bomb, the book portrays the brutality of World War II from a US perspective, and describes how the war was eventually won.

Key idea 1 of 8

Toward the end of World War II, Japanese soldiers were still fighting tooth and nail against American invaders.

On December 7, 1941, the United States was left without a choice.

The Japanese military had been eager to show their strength and dominance of the Pacific region, so they unleashed a horrific surprise attack on the American naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, killing nearly 2,500 men.

The United States had never experienced an attack like this, so there was little doubt about what would come next: the country declared war on Japan and joined the Allied forces in World War II.

Fast forward to the autumn of 1944, and the Allies were on the verge of winning the war; only the incredibly resilient and fierce Japanese army stood in their way.

General Douglas MacArthur was ready to apply the crushing blow, and he planned to deliver it on October 20, 1944.

It was called A-Day, short for Attack Day, and over 100,000 US Army troops under MacArthur’s command were sent onto the beaches and into the jungles of the Philippines.

Given the proximity of the Philippines to Japan, this invasion was a strategic necessity if they were to have any hope of successfully invading Japan.

MacArthur had reason to be optimistic: intelligence reports had predicted minimal enemy resistance. Yet weeks of bloody combat and fierce resistance followed, and it soon became clear that finishing off the Pacific campaign was going to be anything but easy.

It was the same story approximately 700 miles to the east, on the small island of Peleliu.

The Americans were desperate to secure an airstrip on this little speck in the Pacific Ocean, and once again the intelligence reports gave reason to be optimistic. But the Japanese forces were deeply entrenched and weren’t giving up an inch of land without inflicting horrific casualties on their American invaders.

Little did the US forces know that the Imperial Japanese Army was fighting under the code of Bushido, one of the strongest beliefs of the samurai, which views surrender as an appalling dishonor.

So, a battle that was supposed to last four days stretched on for 12 blood-soaked weeks, resulting in more than 6,500 American casualties before the island of Peleliu finally came under American control.

 

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