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1942: A Novel Kindle Edition
The Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was a resounding success–except for one detail: a second bombing mission, to destroy crucial oil storage facilities, was aborted that day. Now, in this gripping and stunning work of alternate history, Robert Conroy reimagines December 7, 1941, to include the attack the Japanese didn’t launch, and what follows is a thrilling tale of war, resistance, sacrifice, and courage. For when Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto sees how badly the United States has been ravaged in a two-pronged strike, he devises another, more daring proposal: an all-out invasion of Hawaii to put a stranglehold on the American Pacific Fleet.
Yamamoto’s strategy works brilliantly–at first. But a handful of American soldiers and a determined civilian resistance fight back in the face of cruelty unknown in Western warfare. Stateside, a counterassault is planned–and the pioneering MIT-trained aviator Colonel Jimmy Doolittle is given a near-impossible mission with a fleet of seaplanes jury-rigged into bombers. From spies to ordinary heroes and those caught between two cultures at war, this is the epic saga of the Battle of Hawaii–the way it very nearly was. . . .
“Engaging . . . Fans of Tom Clancy and Agent Jack Bauer should find a lot to like here.”
“A high-explosive what-if, with full-blooded characters.”
–John Birmingham, author of Without Warning
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Robert Conroy is the author a run of hugely popular alternate history novels, including Himmlers War and Rising Sun. His 1942, which is set within a Japanese conquest of Hawaii, won the prestigious Sidewise Award for alternate histories. Conroy has written for Military History magazine and has traveled extensively in Europe where hes taken a special interest in battlefields, historical collections and castles. After a first career in business, Conroy has turned his lifelong passion for writing and military history into an immensely satisfying new occupation. He is married, lives in southeastern Michigan, and, when not writing, teaches business and economic history at a local college.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B001NLKTEC
- Publisher : Ballantine Books; Original edition (February 10, 2009)
- Publication date : February 10, 2009
- Language : English
- File size : 3008 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 369 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #310,515 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Within the field of alternate history two men have proven to be the most prolific recent practitioners. Harry Turtledove (1949-), who holds a PhD in Byzantine history, is the best known of the lot. Alternate history abounds among the scores of historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy novels he has written. Unfortunately, I’ve found his writing so crammed with clichés that it’s unreadable. The sixteen alternate history novels by the late Robert Conroy (1938-2014) won’t win any literary awards, either. The writing style is pallid, even deadly dull at times. But his seven alternate histories of World War II display a deep knowledge of the men and machinery who drove the war and a masterful command of plotting. And he brings that skill to bear with great effectiveness in 1942, in which he speculates about what might have happened had Japan finished the job in its attack at Pearl Harbor.
The attack at Pearl Harbor was a failure
Most historical accounts of the sneak Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, refer to it as a catastrophe for the United States. Unquestionably, it was the most devastating defeat by the US Navy in its history. 2,335 American officers and men were killed and another 1,143 wounded. Of the eight US battleships in the harbor, four were sunk and the other four heavily damaged. The US also lost 188 aircraft, with another 159 damaged. But, from a strategic standpoint, the attack was a failure for the Japanese Empire, and Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (1884-1943), the man who’d planned it, was well aware of the fact.
What didn’t happen at Pearl Harbor
What didn’t happen at Pearl Harbor was at least equally important as what did. The three American aircraft carriers stationed there had long since left for destinations elsewhere in the Pacific, far beyond the reach of the Japanese Navy. The torpedo storage, maintenance, and dry dock facilities were unharmed. And, by far most significant, the oil storage tanks located inland on the island of Oahu lay untouched. The 4.5 million gallons of fuel they held was more valuable than any ship in the Navy, and it would take months to replenish it. The loss of that fuel could have kept the US Navy out of the Central Pacific for a year or more—and allowed the Japanese to occupy the Hawaiian Islands.
In fact, the commanders of the Japanese carriers that had launched the two waves of the attack on the harbor were ready to send out a third precisely in order to take out the oil storage tanks. But Admiral Chūichi Nagumo (1887-1944), who was in charge, refused to allow it, despite his staff’s recommendations. And that is the hinge on which Robert Conroy bases his tale in 1942.
A sprawling cast of characters, both historic and fictional
This novel abounds with figures out of history, both Japanese and American. Admirals Yamamoto and Nagumo, Nagumo’s key staff members, and Prime Minister Hideki Togo (1884-1948) all enter the stage. So do Admirals Chester Nimitz (1885-1966), Raymond Spruance (1886-1969), and Ernest King (1878-1956), among others, as do General George C. Marshall (1880-1959) and President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945). Also figuring in the story is Captain Joseph Rochefort, the US Navy cryptanalyst whose discovery of Japanese plans led to the American victory at Midway.
But Conroy’s tale hangs on the actions of a handful of fictional characters. In various ways, they’re involved in the American response to the Japanese occupation that follows the third wave of attacks on Oahu. Among them are a captain in military intelligence based at Pearl Harbor, the young widow of a naval officer who died in the water in the Japanese attack, a crooked American supply sergeant, a naval pilot, the Japanese-American businessman who is the unelected leader of the island’s sizable Japanese community, and his son, a wounded veteran of Japan’s war in China. On the side of the occupiers we meet the admiral in command and the two sadistic leaders of the Kenpetai, the vicious Japanese military police dispatched to the islands to manage security.
It is realistic? Maybe
I’m not sufficiently familiar with military tactics to understand the feasibility of the American campaign Conroy describes to retake the Hawaiian Islands. But it seems plausible, and his portrayal of the historical figures comports with what I know of them through my reading of history. It’s possible that a combat veteran experienced in planning battle tactics might dismiss Conroy’s portrayal of the action. In the end, the rapidity of the American action and its success may seem far-fetched to a skeptical reader. But no matter. The story is exciting, and it brings home once again how foolish we are to assume that history had to happen the way it did.
About the author
Robert Conroy (1938-2014) wrote sixteen alternate history novels published between 1995 and 2018. With an MBA degree, he had taught business and economic history at Macomb Community College in Michigan. He turned to alternate history after his early retirement.
To be authentic, the author must know a massive amount of detailed information.
Robert Conroy did a masterful job in this book.
An earlier review complains about the author making the Japanese "insultingly one-dimensional". I can only assume that that reviewer has not read extensively about Japan's actions throughout Asia in the first half of the 20th Century.
Sometimes the shoe just fits.
During WW2 alone, roughly 90% of POWs held by the not so benevolent Germans survived the war. Less than 10% of Japanese held POWs survived. Nuff said.
It's a great book.
Top reviews from other countries
I could not put it down I highly recommend you go out and get a copy of this novel
Far better then the recent Turtledove books on a similar theme