Okinawa, the Last Battle
The U.S. Army Center of Military History presents an online book, including tables, charts, maps, and illustrations, detailing the battle of Okinawa.

The B-29 Superfortress
Browse photos, specifications and performance records for the B-29 "Superfortress" courtesy of the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Signals Intelligence, U.S. Invasion Planning, and the A-Bomb Decision
Written by a career CIA analyst for the agency's Center for the Study of Intelligence, this report explores the history of U.S. strategies to end the Pacific war, addressing the role signals intelligence played in military planning. It includes intelligence estimates from 1945 of Japanese troop strength and other important factors.

A History of National Security
Los Alamos National Laboratory produced the world's first atomic weapons during World War II. Access its history pages to learn more about the people who worked there, and what they did.

American Experience: Truman
The American Experience companion site to a presidential biography of Harry Truman presents information on politics and foreign policy, including primary sources relating to the end of World War II.

American Experience: MacArthur
This American Experience Web site profiles Douglas MacArthur, the U.S. commander in the Pacific. It includes a wartime timeline and home movies shot in Japan during the postwar U.S. occupation.

American Experience: Fly Girls
During World War II more than a thousand women signed up to fly with the U.S. military. On this American Experience Web site, read a book excerpt by a woman military test pilot, learn about historic women aviators, and tour a B-29 Superfortress.

American Experience: Bataan Rescue
Several months before the firebombing of Tokyo, American and Filipino commandos pulled off the most daring rescue mission of World War II. Learn more about World War II in the Philippines on this American Experience companion site.

Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness
As Nazi forces swept through Eastern Europe, Chiune Sugihara, Japan's consul to Lithuania, issued visas to help hundreds of Jewish families escape Europe. Learn more about this Japanese diplomat in this documentary companion site.


Main Sources

Bix, Herbert P. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc., 2000.

Drea, Edward J. In the Service of the Emperor. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998.

Frank, Richard B. Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire. New York: Penguin Books, 1999.

Hasegawa, Tsuyoshi. Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005.

Miller, Donald L. The Story of World War II. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001.

Toland, John. The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936-1945. New York: Modern Library Paperback Edition, 2003.

Air War

Crane, Conrad C. Bombs, Cities, and Civilians. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1993.

Kerr, E. Bartlett. Flames Over Tokyo. New York: Donald I. Fine, Inc., 1991.

LeMay, Curtis E. with MacKinlay Kantor. Mission with LeMay. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1965.

Sherry, Michael S. The Rise of American Air Power. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987.

Werrell, Kenneth P. Blankets of Fire. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996.

Atomic Bomb

Alperovitz, Gar. Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam: The Use of the Atomic Bomb and the American Confrontation with Soviet Power. New York: Vintage Books, 1965.

----. The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995.

Feis, Herbert. The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1966.

Hogan, Michael, editor. Hiroshima in History and Memory. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Rhodes, Richard. Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Sherwin, Martin J. A World Destroyed: Hiroshima and Its Legacies. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003.

Stoff, Michael with Jonathan F. Fanton and R. Hal Williams, editor. The Manhattan Project: A Documentary Intro to the Atomic Age. McGraw Hill College, 1990.

Walker, J. Samuel. Prompt & Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of the Atom Bombs against Japan. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Decision Making -- Japan & U.S.

Brooks, Lester. Behind Japan's Surrender. New York: McGraw Hill, 1968.

Butow, Robert. Japan's Decision to Surrender. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1954.

Byrnes, James F. Speaking Frankly. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1947.

Drea, Edward J. MacArthur's ULTRA: Codebreaking and the War Against Japan, 1942-1945. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1992.

Pacific War Research Society. Japan's Longest Day. New York: Kodansha America, Inc., 1968.


Craig, William. The Fall of Japan. New York: Dial Press, 1967.

Dower, John W. Empire and Aftermath. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1979.

----. War without Mercy. New York: Pantheon, 1986.

Dunnigan, James F. and Albert A. Nofi. The Pacific War Encyclopedia. New York: Checkmark Books, 1998.

Grew, Joseph C. Turbulent Era: A Diplomatic Record of Forty Years. Vol. 2. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1952.


Feifer, George. Battle of Okinawa: The Blood and the Bomb. Guilford, Connecticut: The Lyons Press, 2001. (Previously published as Tennozan: The Battle of Okinawa and the Atomic Bomb. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1992.)

Frank, Benis M. Okinawa: Touchstone to Victory. New York: Ballantine Books, Inc., 1969.


Bernstein, Barton J. "Doomsday II." The New York Times Magazine, July 27, 1975.

----. "The Perils and Politics of Surrender." Pacific Historical Review 46, January-February 1995.

----. "Research Notes." Diplomatic History 16, Winter 1992.

----. "Roosevelt, Truman, and the Atomic Bomb, 1941-45: A Reinterpretation."Political Science Quarterly 90, Spring 1975.

----. "Seizing the Contested Terrain of Early Nuclear History." Diplomatic History 17, Winter 1993.

Cook, Haruko Taya. "The Myth of the Saipan Suicides." Military History Quarterly 7.3, Spring 1995.

Crane, Conrad. "Echoes of Okinawa: The Impact of the Okinawa Campaign on U.S. Escalation of the War Against Japan." Unpublished paper presented at U.S.-Japanese Military History Exchange.

----. "LeMay's Launchpad: The Role of the Mariana Islands in the Strategic Bombing of Japan." Unpublished paper presented at Joint U.S.-Japanese Military History Exchanges.

Dower, John W. "The Most Terrible Bomb in the History of the World." In Days of Destiny: Crossroads in American History. Editors: James McPherson and Alan Brinkley, London: DK Publishing, 2001.

Frank, Richard. "Ending the Pacific War: History and Fantasy." Unpublished presentation, University of Montana conference, 2000.

----. "Ketsu Go: Japanese Political and Military Strategy in 1945 and the End of the Pacific War." Unpublished.

----. "President Harry S. Truman's Farewell Address and the Atomic Bomb: The High Price of Secrecy." In Harry's Farewell: Interpreting and Teaching the Truman Presidency. Richard S. Kirkendall, editor. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2004.

McKelway, St. Clair. "A Reporter with the B-29s." The New Yorker. June 16, June 23, and June 30, 1945.

Sherrod, Robert. "The Nature of the Enemy." Time. August 7, 1944.

Stimson, Henry L. "The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb." Harper's Magazine. vol. 194, February 1947.


My American Experience

My American Experience photos

Share Your Story

Were you there for the storming of Normandy beach? The Bombing of Germany? The Victory in the Pacific? Or perhaps your friends and relatives have passed on stories of their own World War II experiences that you would like to share.