Asian Armageddon, 1944–45

Peter Harmsen

This book describes how a US-led coalition of nations battled Japan into submission through a series of cataclysmic encounters that touched every corner of the Asia Pacific.
Date Published :
September 2021
Publisher :
Series :
War in the Far East
Illustration :
30 b/w photographs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612006277
Pages : 248
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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A gripping account of the final period of the war in the Asia Pacific during WWII.

The last installment of the War in the Far East trilogy, Asian Armageddon 1944-1945, continues and completes the narrative of the first two volumes, describing how a US-led coalition of nations battled Japan into submission through a series of cataclysmic encounters. Leyte Gulf, the biggest naval battle ever, was testimony to the paramount importance of controlling the ocean, as was the fact that the US Navy carried out the only successful submarine campaign in history, reducing Japan’s military and merchant navies to shadows of the former selves. Meanwhile, fighting continued in disparate geographic conditions on land, with the chaos of Imphal, the inferno of Manila, and the carnage of Iwo Jima forming some of the milestones on the bloody road to peace, sealed in Tokyo Bay in September 1945. The nuclear blasts at the end of the war made one observer feel as if he was ‘present at the creation.' Indeed, the participants in the events in the Asia Pacific in the mid-1940s were present at the creation of a new and dangerous world. It was a world where the stage was set for the Cold War and for international rivalries that last to this day, and a new constellation of powers emerged, with the outlines, just over the horizon, of a rising China.

War in the Far East is a trilogy of books comprising a general history of World War II in the Asia Pacific. Unlike other histories on the conflict it goes into its deep origins, beginning long before Pearl Harbor, and encompasses a far wider group of actors to produce the most complete account yet written on the subject and the first truly international treatment of this epic conflict. Author Peter Harmsen weaves together complex events into a revealing and entertaining narrative, including facets of the war that may be unknown even to avid readers of World War II history, from the mass starvation that cost the lives of millions across China, Indochina, and India to the war in sub-arctic conditions in the Aleutians. Harmsen pieces together the full range of perspectives, reflecting what war was like both at the top and on the ground.

About The Author

Peter Harmsen is the author of New York Times bestseller Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze and Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City, as well as the War in the Far East trilogy. He studied history at National Taiwan University and has been a foreign correspondent in East Asia for more than two decades. He has focused mainly on the Chinese-speaking societies but has reported from nearly every corner of the region, including Mongolia and North Korea. His books have been translated into Chinese, Danish and Romanian.


Chapter 1 The beginning of the end
Chapter 2 Closing in on the Philippines
Chapter 3 MacArthur Returns
Chapter 4 Japan’s Last Offensives
Chapter 5 On Japan’s Doorstep
Chapter 6 Apocalypse
Chapter 7 Postwar Asia


"With the final volume, Harmsen ably brings the trilogy to a close. Well researched for its size and scope, Asian Armageddon shows what can be done with disciplined writing and a fresh look at a subject. Our only regret is that each volume was not double in size. Asian Armageddon punches intellectually far above its size and deserves your serious consideration."

- ARMOR Magazine

"Harmsen uses just enough personal accounts of the individual soldiers and civilians engaged in the fighting to offer the reader a sense of just how desperate and brutal the fighting was in the Pacific Theater. '

- Strategic Studies Quarterly

"...concludes the series by effectively showing how wide-ranging the war truly was, involving more than just the Americans and Japanese. The book also covers the actions of various allies and the war's effects on civilian populations. The maps are well done, and the photograph insert contains many iconic and dramatic images."

- WWII History Magazine

"...[Harmsen] demonstrates a keen eye for detail and an impressive interpretative approach to historical events."

- Asian Review of Books

"Harmsen provides a refreshing perspective to the controversial question how long the war in the Asia Pacific lasted. Harmsen stimulates any reader interested in WWII to contextualize the Japanese-American war of 1941 to 1945 within the much larger narrative stretching from the civil wars of China of the 1920s all the way until the evacuation of Saigon in 1975."

- Yan Xu, Chair of History, Spelman College, author of "The Soldier Image and State-Building in Modern China, 1924-1945"

"It is ground-breaking. The book creates clarity and brings new information, even for a military historian who has studied these campaigns and operations on and above the sea for decades. The author deserves thanks for this incredible effort."

- Michael Clemmesen, Ret. Army Brigadier General and Historian

"Darting from Pacific theatre to theatre in the global conflagration that was World War II, Harmsen combines meticulous narrative with a vast array of personal recollections from combattants in the battles that led to Japan's defeat.  The result is an informed narrative but also a memorable accounting of ultimate struggle, triumph and catastrophe."

- Robert A. Kapp, Former President, US-China Business Council

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