Last to Die: A Defeated Empire, a Forgotten Mission, and the Last American Killed in World War II

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Author Stephen Harding, a seasoned military journalist, touches a raw nerve in this feature story about the last American killed in action in World War II. Initially, the unfolding background about Tony Marchione and all the engineering jargon about the long-forgotten, trouble-plagued, super-bomber, the B-32 Dominator, sets the reader up for one great big yawn. Push through the drudgery of nearly a dozen disappointing test missions to find your reward of remarkable “behind the Japanese screen” insight waiting for you at chapter three. Suddenly you find yourself transported into the chaos of a government paralyzed by two atomic bombs, and the sheer panic of realizing their imminent extinction. Nevertheless, the Supreme Council was deadlocked with generals steeped in the ancient “Bushido way of the samurai” that made surrender beyond illegal.

Harding brings out the depth of the mutiny within the Japanese Empire and the bloody coup attempt. Better than any argument in print on the pros and cons of America’s decision to annihilate the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, these newly disclosed facts reveal that even that massive loss was almost not enough to stimulate surrender. Unfortunately, it took one last life to decide.


Reviewed By:

Author Stephen Harding
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Da Capo Press
Publish Date 2015-Jul-14
ISBN 9780306823381
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2015
Category History
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