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Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II (General Military) [Kindle Edition]

Jeffrey Cox

Kindle-Preis: EUR 6,00 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

  • Länge: 504 Seiten
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
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"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


Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese offensive in the Far East seemed unstoppable. Allied forces engaged in a futile attempt to halt their rapid advance, culminating in the massed fleet of American, British, Dutch, and Australian forces (ABDA) clashing with the Japanese at the battle of the Java Sea - the first major sea battle of World War II in the Pacific. But, in a campaign crippled by poor leadership and disastrous decisions, the Allied response was catastrophic, losing their largest warships and their tenuous toe-hold in the south Pacific within the first 72 hours of the battle. This defeat left ground troops cut off from reinforcement and supply, with obsolete equipment, no defense against endless Japanese air attacks, and with no chance of retreat.However, although command decisions were to condemn the Allies to defeat, the Allied goal was never an outright victory, simply a delaying action. Facing a relentless and thoroughly vicious enemy, the combined forces responded not by running or surrendering, but by defiantly holding on in a struggle that was as much a test of character, bravery, and determination as it was a test of arms, ultimately costing the Allies ten vessels and the lives of 2,100 brave sailors. In Rising Sun, Falling Skies, Jeffrey Cox examines the events and evidence surrounding the Java Sea Campaign, reconstructing battles that in hindsight were all but hopeless and revealing where fatal mistakes and missed opportunities condemned the Allied forces in an insightful and compelling study of the largely overlooked clash in the Java Sea.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 11282 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 368 Seiten
  • Verlag: Osprey Publishing (20. März 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00I42QIK2
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #130.143 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  151 Rezensionen
43 von 43 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von Grover Hartt, III - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This worthwhile book is difficult to read. It is difficult to read because it recounts the first three dismal months of the Pacific War. Students of that period know that in the first few months after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese achieved their war aims with murderous ease. However, reading a detailed account of how they rolled over their ill equipped and often poorly lead American, British, Dutch, and Australian, or “ABDA,” opponents is depressing indeed. Jeffery Cox is to be saluted for undertaking this task.

Expecting a more narrowly focused history of the ABDA command and its attempt to save the Dutch East Indies, I was pleasantly surprised with the detailed account of the battle for Malaya, the loss of Prince of Wales and Repulse, and, ultimately, the surrender of Singapore. This information offered an insightful perspective for the book’s primary story. For that reason, I was disappointed that the background provided for the Dutch colonies and French Indochina was not as extensive.

The other feature of this book that made it difficult to read was the recurrent use of peculiar and distracting descriptions. For example, Japanese heavy cruisers are persistently referred to as “luxurious.” The frequency of this description made me wonder about the author’s point. Did he mean they could accommodate an admiral and his staff? Or, did they have some unique furnishings or equipment not found on other Japanese ships? Why were WWI vintage US destroyers described as “octogenarian” in 1942 (p. 325)? The cruisers Houston and Perth were hopelessly outmatched, but why resort to the hyperbole of saying they were opposed by “half of the Imperial Japanese Navy” (p. 340)? And, yes, Bismarck was a very large battleship, but repeatedly calling her a “monster” became tedious. Ernest J. King was not a “Fleet” Admiral until 1945. Finally, the allusions to Greeks, Trojans, and Spartans seemed contrived to me.

Notwithstanding these stylistic complaints and the errors on some of the details already noted by other reviewers, I recommend this book for the information it conveys about a relatively obscure part of the war and for the thoughtful analysis of those events it often provides.
115 von 128 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Opinionated Without Adequate Documentation and Numerous Technical Errors and Incorrect Terms 14. Juni 2014
Von NavyTim - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is definitely an area of the war that needs scholarship by a trained unbiased historian. So I give credit to Cox for making the effort. However, the author slanders Hirohito, MacArthur and Glassford among others without adequate support or in some instances no support.

Cox credits Hirohito as being the mastermind behind all the Japanese plans beginning with China based on one book written in 1971. He accuses Hirohito of planning the Marco Polo Bridge Incident despite that not being stated in numerous studies of the incident by distinguished professional historians . Bix who won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Hirohito makes neither claim. Bix takes the time to understand the culture of Japanese Govt at the time to conclude that the emperor had only extraordinary means to make the govt do as he wished. He did this in 1945 when he forced the Japanese govt to surrender. Hirohito and the Japanese govt in Japan were aware of the Marco Polo Bridge incident only after the Kwantung Army executed the faked Chinese attack.

The author takes to psycho-analyzing MacArthur in the hours after the Pearl Harbor attack when the Far East Air Force was left to be destroyed on the ground. I am not fan of MacArthur but there is no evidence to reach any conclusion as to MacArthur's state of mind.

He does the worst hatchet job on Admiral Glassford. Glassford is a guy that before this book was so obscure I had never heard his name. For some reason the author really has it out for Glassford. He takes a couple instances of documented negative reference to him by US sailors to turn him into a scapegoat. Anybody who has served in the Navy knows you can find derogatory comments that dont reference specific actions or inaction about any commander by his sailors. The author never documented an action or inaction by Glassford that had negative consequence. He mentions an instance where he held Marblehead back as a reformation point for destroyers who were going to conduct a torpedo attack which had no negative consequences. The author implies cowardice. It was common tactics for destroyers to retreat under the guns of heavier ships after a torpedo attack since they no longer had their primary offensive weapon.

He constantly refers to Japanese incompetence without saying how the action is incompetent. Example he talks about lack of Japanese hits shooting torpedoes and guns at ranges over 25K yards. Low hit rates at those ranges are normal. Same criticism applies to uncoordinated air attacks on Pecos by carrier planes. It is not easy to hit a moving ship. He constantly refers to Japanese heavy cruisers as luxurious. There were no swimming pools or shuffle board. I don't understand how they were luxurious. Japanese warships were far more Spartan than US warships.

Also the author claims that the campaign may have saved the region from years of occupation. The implication being the occupation would have extended past 1945? Once the American air force was destroyed on the ground the prudent and correct tactical move was to withdraw all US Naval surface forces. The lives lost aboard USS Houston and all the other ships were murder as far as I am concerned. The actions did not delay the Japanese timetable, inflict significant losses or cause them to reduce their offensive plans. On the contrary the easy success resulted in Japan deciding to expand its perimeter. The author thinks that the US Navy has such high regard for Asiatic Fleet Commander Admiral Hart that they rewarded him by heading the Pearl Harbor Commission. What fleet combat commander does not want another fleet command? Hart was unjustifiably placed on the shelf and the author's claim as otherwise is laughable.

If the author would have had someone who had seen sea duty with the US Navy in any time period of which there are millions to choose from that are walking around including yours truly he could have had his land lubber terms nauticalized. Examples are he refers, to floors and walls instead of bulkheads and decks. He thinks destroyers are armored and he refers to the oiler Pecos as a tanker. There is no confusing an oiler and a tanker by anybody who knows one thing about the sea service. He refers to a boiler being on line as boiling. I can imagine the laughter if I had called up to the bridge and told them #1 boiler is boiling. The correct phrases could be fires lit, boiler prepared to go online or boiler is on line but never boiler is boiling.

The author also incorrectly credits British destroyers with 5 inch guns instead of 4.7 inch. If I am writing this book I would have images of all the ships involved along with specifications in front of me so that I could model what occurred. The author is preoccupied with the placement of main battery guns in the Tone Class because he apparently does not understand that a surface battle properly managed means you bring your ship broadside to unmask all guns. Unmasking a main battery is not that complicated particularly if the ships have a speed advantage. The British designed Nelson and Rodney with their main battery forward so as to simplify and improve armor on a treaty limited displacement. The origination of the Tones design goes back to London Naval Arms Limitation Conference of 1930. The US was interested in creating a new class of aircraft cruiser to get additional aviation to the fleet. Although the type was not created within treaty language and tonnage allocated at the conference the US went as far as designing ships but never built any. Japan was just responding to the US initiative. It actually makes sense to remove a carrier battle group's reconnaissance/search capability from the carrier so as to free the deck up for attack and fighter aircraft. The Japanese must have liked the design because the Tone's were primarily assigned to operate with the carriers and the Mogami was give a similar set up when rebuilt after its damage from air attacks and collision with Mogami.

The author also criticizes the ABDA powers for not being better prepared when the Washington and London Naval Treaties prevented Japanese or American fortification in the region. Without proper bases the US Navy was never going to be forward based in the PI or even allow large numbers of the best ships to be based there. A proper editor could have fixed these problems. The author obviously has a lot of opinions and is very nationalistic. Unfortunately he is a poor historian and now numerous people are going to take the untruths mixed in with some fact to believe as true this author's opinions. It will be difficult for someone not well versed in this material to filter the garbage from the fact.
57 von 63 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Best book ever written on the Java Sea Campaign in WW II 5. April 2014
Von Sea Dog (retired) - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Mr. Cox has done a superb history and analysis on the Java Sea campaign to defend Dutch Java (now Indonesia). Drawing widely on a variety of sources, this exceptionally well researched book gives a clear picture of the doomed efforts of the ABDA (American British Dutch Austrailain) to hold the Malay Barrier and buy time in the first three months of the war in the Pacific. Despite the knowledge that there was no help on the way in the near future, the allies fought to the end, and sustained high losses: HMS Prince of Wales, Repulse, and Exeter; USS Houston and Langely; HMAS Perth, and almost the entire Dutch Navy were among the ships lost, weighed against meagre losses on the Japanese side.

Mr. Cox is excellent at presenting facts that have heretofore not been uncovered. For instance, the Dutch admiral who commanded the ABDA fleet task forces in battles against the invading Japanese in February 1942 was Rear Admiral Karel Doorman, who in English language sources has often been characterized as lacking in courage (despite the fact that when his flagship De Ruyter was torpedoed, on fire and sinking, his last message to the undamaged cruisers Houston and Perth was to order them to leave the scene without picking up survivors, including Doorman). Cox provides sufficient details of Doormans actions and earlier career to essentially demolish the characerization, beginning with Doormans earlier duty as a flight instructor in the fledgling Dutch naval air forces. In that capacity, while training student aviators, he survived not one but thirty three aircraft crashes. Cox dryly notes that "Doorman's wartime decisions, for which his courage has often been questioned, should be read in this context. A person who became a pilot at the dawn of aviation has shown courage in abundance. A person who managed to crash land an aircraft even once, let alone 33 times, has demonstrated a cool head in crisis...Admiral Doorman in the HNMS De Ruyter returned to attack time after time in a literal obedience to the signal 'you must continue attacked until enemy is destroyed.'"

On the other hand, he also points out that Doorman's superior, Admiral Helfrich, was "an accomplished hydrographer and had a theoretical knowledge from his days as an instructor at the command school, but he had never commanded a ship." As an aside, this reviewer will note that RADM Doorman drowned with his men in the Java Sea, while ADM Helfrich ("arrogant, conniving, bullying, unreasonable,aggressive to the point of recklessness, often seeming to care little for the lives of those under his command, but he was no villian" and "not to blame for the desperate straits the ABDA countires were in") fled Java by plane on March 3, 1942, along with the widow and son of Admiral Doorman.

Insights of this nature characterize this book, and it for the student of naval history it is not to be missed. I write this review with the perspective of a former US naval officer who has read extensively on the early, dark days of World War II in the Pacific. My father was on an American merchantman, SS SEA WITCH, that escaped from Java three days before ADM Helfrich, and the book reinforces much that I had been told while opening a far wider and broader horizon than that one young officer could know or comprehend at the time. If you only read one book about this time and place, THIS IS THAT BOOK!!!
Sea Dog
CAPT, US Navy (Retired)
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Destruction Of Allied Sea Power Early In The War 24. April 2014
Von Jeffrey T. Munson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces in the western Pacific began attacks against the Philippines, Guam, Wake, and Malaya. These lightning attacks by the Japanese completely overwhelmed the Allies, especially in the Philippines, where General Douglas MacArthur's aircraft were caught on the ground despite having knowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack. The great British base at Singapore was captured by a Japanese force only 1/3 the size of the British defenders. The British ships Prince of Wales and Repulse were destroyed by Japanese carrier aircraft. But Malaya, with it's rich reserves of oil and other resources, was also high on the Japanese list, and in this area lies the Java Sea, where a major but futile effort was put forth by the combined American, British, Dutch, and Australian forces.

From the beginning, the Java Sea campaign was highlighted by massive problems on the ABDA side. Language and communications were at the forefront. After Admiral Hart, commander of the U.S. Asiatic fleet, was relieved, command shifted to Dutch Admiral Helfrich. The language barrier was a problem throughout the campaign, as the Dutch and the English-speaking members of ABDA struggled to find common ground. Command of the naval forces was also an issue, as many Americans struggled with having the Dutch in command of their ships. The Dutch commanders were also seen as timid and inept by their ABDA allies.

Meanwhile, the Japanese continued to maul the Allied surface forces. With the loss of MacArthur's air force so early in the campaign, the Japanese enjoyed complete aerial supremacy. The Japanese navy, with its deadly torpedoes and excellent use of their float planes, completely outclassed anything ABDA had. In the span of three months, the Japanese had conquered Malaya and the Java Sea, leaving many Allied ships on the bottom. To the Allies' credit, they never ran from the Japanese. They fought toe-to-toe against overwhelming odds and displayed incredible bravery and heroism in the face of almost certain death.

I found "Rising Sun, Falling Skies" to be an interesting and informative read. Author Jeffrey Cox has written a well-researched book that describes the dark early days of the Pacific War. My favorite section is the thoroughly interesting discussion regarding the destruction of British Force Z (Repulse and Prince of Wales). The narrative about the loss of MacArthur's air force and his utter incompetence after learning of the Pearl Harbor attack is interesting as well.

I highly recommend this fine book. It does a good job of describing all aspects of one of the lesser-known battles of the early Pacific War.
39 von 48 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen a bad time in our history 2. April 2014
Von S. Gibbs - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I want to be careful in this review. The book is well written and widely sourced. The story Mr Cox tells is of the dreadful time suffered by our military in the far Pacific in 1941 and early 1942. From the error of the forward basing of the Pacific Fleet from California to Hawaii to the worse error by MacArthur to restrain from hitting the Japanese airbases in Formosa after hostilities started to the worse yet error of trying to hold Dutch Indonesia after it was clearly lost the tale is of the Calvary imposed on the US Navy Asiatic fleet and their British, Australian and Dutch allies. Dozens of warships and thousands of young men lost in action or murdered by their Japanese captors. A story of wise commanders overruled by inept higher commanders and courageous and skilled ship captains trying their best for their ships and crews. A story of ships armed with non working torpedoes and dud rounds. A story of our not having one fighter aircraft capable of dealing with the Japanese aircraft. As we draw down and downsize our military people should think of the price there is to pay if things go wrong.
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