140 Days to Hiroshima (Digital Audiobook)
The Story of Japan’s Last Chance to Avert Armageddon
Publication Date: August 10, 2020
On the seventy-fifth anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki comes this heart-pounding account of the war-room drama inside the cabinets of the United States and Japan that led to Armageddon on August 6, 1945.Here are the secret strategy sessions, fierce debates, looming assassinations, and planned invasions that resulted in history’s first use of nuclear weapons in combat, and the ensuing chaotic days as the Japanese government struggled to respond to the reality of nuclear war.
During the closing months of World War II, as America’s strategic bombing campaign incinerated Japan’s cities, two military giants locked in a death embrace of cultural differences and diplomatic intransigence. The leaders of the United States called for the “unconditional surrender” of the Japanese Empire while developing history’s deadliest weapon and weighing an invasion that would have dwarfed D-Day. Their enemy responded with a last-ditch plan termed Ketsu Go, which called for the suicidal resistance of every able-bodied man and woman in the “Decisive Battle” for the homeland. But had Emperor Hirohito’s generals miscalculated how far the Americans had come in developing the atomic bomb? How close did President Harry Truman come to ordering the invasion of Japan?
Within the Japanese Supreme Council at the Direction of War, a.k.a. the “Big Six,” Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo risked assassination in his crusade to convince his dysfunctional government, dominated by militarist fanatics, to save his country from annihilation.
Despite Allied warnings of Japan’s “prompt and utter destruction” and that the Allies would “brook no delay,” the Big Six remained defiant. They refused to surrender even after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
How did Japanese leaders come to this impasse? The answers lie in this nearly day-by-day account of the struggle to end the most destructive conflict in history.
About the Author
David Dean Barrett is a military historian, specializing in World War II. He has published work in WWII Quarterly magazine, US Military History Review, and Global War Studies. He is the history content consulting producer for Lou Reda Productions’ two-hour documentary on World War II’s US Eighth Air Force, which will air as a prime time global event on National Geographic in late 2020. David has been a frequent guest speaker for more than a decade on the use of the atomic bomb in the final days of WWII and the end of the Pacific War. Mr. Barrett has a master’s degree in history from the University of Colorado, Denver, and owns One With History, Inc. He lives in Littleton, Colorado.