The dramatic account of one of America's most celebrated" and controversial" military campaigns: the Doolittle Raid. In December 1941, as American forces tallied the dead at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt gathered with his senior military counselors to plan an ambitious counterstrike against the heart of the Japanese Empire: Tokyo. Four months later, on April 18, 1942, sixteen U.S. Army bombers under the command of daredevil pilot Jimmy Doolittle lifted off from the deck of the USS Hornet on a one-way mission to pummel the enemy's factories, refineries, and dockyards and then escape to Free China. For Roosevelt, the raid was a propaganda victory, a potent salve to heal a wounded nation. In Japan, outraged over the deaths of innocent civilians" including children" military leaders launched an ill-fated attempt to seize Midway that would turn the tide of the war. But it was the Chinese who suffered the worst, victims of a retaliatory campaign by the Japanese Army that claimed an estimated 250,000 lives and saw families drowned in wells, entire towns burned, and communities devastated by bacteriological warfare. At the center of this incredible story is Doolittle, the son of an Alaskan gold prospector, a former boxer, and brilliant engineer who earned his doctorate from MIT. Other fascinating characters populate this gripping narrative, including Chiang Kai-shek, Lieutenant General Joseph " Vinegar Joe" Stilwell, and the feisty Vice Admiral William " Bull" Halsey Jr. Here, too, are indelible portraits of the young pilots, navigators, and bombardiers, many of them little more than teenagers, who raised their hands to volunteer for a mission from which few expected to return. Most of the bombers ran out of fuel and crashed. Captured raiders suffered torture and starvation in Japan's notorious POW camps. Others faced a harrowing escape across China" via boat, rickshaw, and foot" with the Japanese Army in pursuit. Based on scores of never-before-published records drawn from archives across four continents as well as new interviews with survivors, Target Tokyo is World War II history of the highest order: a harrowing adventure story that also serves as a pivotal reexamination of one of America's most daring military operations. 16 pages of illustrations
In Target Tokyo James M. Scott offers a vivid account of Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle’s raid that guided 16 planes and 80 well-trained pilots on a mission of retaliation and, more importantly, an uncompromising message to Japan’s wartime regime. Doolittle led the successful raid on April 18, 1942, just four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a daring feat that healed the nation and set the stage for the ultimate defeat of Japan.
With the help of sources never accessed before in Japan, Russia and China, Scott provides compelling insights into America’s first attack on Japan in World War II.
A former Nieman Fellow at Harvard, James M. Scott is the author of Target Tokyo, which was a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist and was named one of the best books of the year byKirkus, The Christian Science Monitor and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. His other works include The War Below and The Attack on the Liberty, which won the Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison Award.
Scott is a recipient of the McClatchy Company President’s Award and was named the 2003 Journalist of the Year by the South Carolina Press Association. Wofford College honored Scott as its 2005 Young Alumnus of the Year.
He is at work on a fourth book on the February 1945 Battle for Manila. Scott lives with his wife and two children in Mount Pleasant, S.C.
“In Target Tokyo, James M. Scott, an accomplished naval historian, vividly narrates the saga of Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle's audacious raid, undoubtedly one of the greatest exploits of World War II…the story has been covered many times before, but never so fully as here.”
“Marvelous…undoubtedly the most comprehensive account yet…. [A] page-turner.”
“The Doolittle raid and its effects need to be remembered; Target Tokyo will make them hard to forget.”