Rain of Ruin: Tokyo, Hiroshima, and the Surrender of Japan (Hardcover)

Rain of Ruin: Tokyo, Hiroshima, and the Surrender of Japan By Richard Overy, Ph.D. Cover Image

Rain of Ruin: Tokyo, Hiroshima, and the Surrender of Japan (Hardcover)

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A leading military historian examines the US incendiary and atomic attacks on Japan’s cities, and their impact on the war’s end.


In 1945, US air attacks in Japan killed 300,000 civilians in three hours of night bombing and two nuclear strikes. The firebombing of Tokyo in March burned almost the entire city, killed some 85,000 residents, and left more than 1 million homeless. The atomic blast in Hiroshima in August killed some 119,000 civilians and 20,000 soldiers. After a second nuclear attack days later in Nagasaki and a declaration of war by the Soviet Union, Japan accepted defeat.


Drawing on his expertise in the war and its bombing campaigns, Richard Overy delivers a precise recounting of these aerial attacks, especially their impact on civilians, and a balanced assessment of how and why they occurred. Astute on Allied decision-making, Overy notably explores the factional infighting within the Japanese leadership and the decisive role played by the emperor, Hirohito. The war’s endgame required both sides to bridge a cultural divide on surrender.



Richard Overy is the author of many outstanding histories of World War II, including Why the Allies Won and Blood and Ruins. His study of Hitler and Stalin, The Dictators, won the Wolfson History Prize. He lives in England and Italy.
Product Details ISBN: 9781324105305
ISBN-10: 1324105305
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: March 4th, 2025
Pages: 240
Language: English