A panel of experts answered your questions on the end of the war in the Pacific, including battles and other events during 1944-45, the decision to drop the bomb, Truman's administration and wartime strategies, Japanese strategies, and more, in this online forum.

The forum was live from May 2 through 6, 2005, and is now over. The questions and replies are posted here permanently for you to read.

Forum Participants

Herbert P. Bix

Herbert P. Bix, historian
Herbert Bix is a professor at the State University of New York at Binghamton, and the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan (HarperCollins Publishers, 2000). A Japan historian and student of the political, military, and social history of 19th and 20th century Japan, his current research centers on the Asia-Pacific War and its aftermath, war crimes and international law, and Japanese constitutional thought.


Edward Drea

Edward Drea, historian
Ed Drea is a graduate of Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. After military service in Japan and Vietnam, he received his MA in international relations from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, and his Ph.D. in Modern Japanese History from the University of Kansas. He has taught at the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, and was Chief, Research and Analysis Division at the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C. His published works include MacArthur's ULTRA: Codebreaking and the War Against Japan, 1942-1945 and In the Service of the Emperor: Essays on the Imperial Japanese Army.


Richard Frank

Richard Frank, author
Richard Frank is the author of Guadalcanal (1990), which won the General William Greene Award from the Marine Corps, and Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire (1999), recipient of The Harry S. Truman Book Award. Both books were offered as Main Selections of the History Book Club. His contribution to the Pacific War Companion (Osprey Publishing, July 2005) reexamines one of the most controversial aspects of that war -  the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Austin Hoyt

Austin Hoyt, filmmaker
Acclaimed documentary producer Austin Hoyt produced Victory in the Pacific in 2004-2005. Other documentaries by Hoyt that have aired on American Experience include ReaganMacArthur, and Chicago: City of the Century. He won an Emmy for his work on the landmark PBS series, Vietnam: A Documentary History.


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.