counter create hit Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor

Availability: Ready to download

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 Japan’s factories, refineries, and dockyards in retaliation for their attack on Pearl Harbor. The raid buoyed America’s morale, and prompted an ill-fated Japanese attempt to seize Midway that turned the 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 Japan’s factories, refineries, and dockyards in retaliation for their attack on Pearl Harbor. The raid buoyed America’s morale, and prompted an ill-fated Japanese attempt to seize Midway that turned the tide of the war. But it came at a horrific cost: an estimated 250,000 Chinese died in retaliation by the Japanese. Deeply researched and brilliantly written, Target Tokyo has been hailed as the definitive account of one of America’s most daring military operations.


Compare
Ads Banner

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 Japan’s factories, refineries, and dockyards in retaliation for their attack on Pearl Harbor. The raid buoyed America’s morale, and prompted an ill-fated Japanese attempt to seize Midway that turned the 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 Japan’s factories, refineries, and dockyards in retaliation for their attack on Pearl Harbor. The raid buoyed America’s morale, and prompted an ill-fated Japanese attempt to seize Midway that turned the tide of the war. But it came at a horrific cost: an estimated 250,000 Chinese died in retaliation by the Japanese. Deeply researched and brilliantly written, Target Tokyo has been hailed as the definitive account of one of America’s most daring military operations.

30 review for Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor

  1. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    On the last night of his life, American airman Billy Farrow wrote a series of letters, the last of which was meant for his girlfriend of two years, Elizabeth Sims. The letter is simple, graceful, and shockingly free of bitterness, considering that Farrow had been sentenced to death by the Japanese military. “You are to me the only girl that would have meant the condition of my life,” he wrote. “I have realized the kind of life being married to you would have meant to me and to both of us, and I On the last night of his life, American airman Billy Farrow wrote a series of letters, the last of which was meant for his girlfriend of two years, Elizabeth Sims. The letter is simple, graceful, and shockingly free of bitterness, considering that Farrow had been sentenced to death by the Japanese military. “You are to me the only girl that would have meant the condition of my life,” he wrote. “I have realized the kind of life being married to you would have meant to me and to both of us, and I know we would have found complete happiness.” And then, in a line that perfectly encapsulates the smallness of human life in the midst of cataclysmic world war, he continues: “It is a pity we were born in this day and age.” Farrow was one of “Doolittle’s Raiders.” He and 79 of his companions, under the command of famed aviator and daredevil Lt. Col. James Doolittle, had launched a surprise bombing raid on Tokyo in retaliation for the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. The raid had been audaciously conceived and recklessly executed. Sixteen Army Air Force B-25 Mitchell bombers, each with a five-man crew and four bombs, took off from the carrier U.S.S. Hornet. The plan (concocted by a naval captain) was for the bombers to take off from a carrier, drop their payloads over Tokyo and other Japanese cities, fly to China where they’d land at emergency airfields in occupied-territory, refuel, and then push further inland. A B-25 bomber struggles off the deck of the USS Hornet on April 18, 1942 Things went awry when Japanese picket boats spotted the American convoy heading towards the mainland, some 200 miles before the launch point. Doolittle went ahead anyway, knowing that his men wouldn’t have the fuel to make it to the Chinese landing strips. The planes all launched successfully from the Hornet, caught the Japanese air defenses by surprise, and got away safely. That is when the real odyssey began. This story, and much more, is the subject of James M. Scott’s magisterial Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid that Avenged Pearl Harbor. I will be very honest in saying that this is a book I almost did not pick up. The title alone is a turn-off, like something from an RKO Pictures film. I feared this would be a Father’s Day kind of book. A simplistic tale of heroism and vengeance and American exceptionalism. I don’t have much interest in rah-rah jingoistic paeans. If I want propaganda, I’ll look at an old war bonds poster. The only thing that caught my attention was the prodigious length: 480 pages of text, exclusive of endnotes and index. Nearly 500 pages on a mission that is a mere footnote in the larger course of World War II? Something had to be going on, I thought. This is the work of an obsessive, and I dig obsessives. The Doolittle Raid has been covered before, most famously by pilot Ted W. Lawson, who lost his leg following the crash landing of his plane, the Ruptured Duck, and wrote the celebrated Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, which later became a pretty good movie. It also featured in Michael Bay’s execrable 2000 film Pearl Harbor, appended as a feel-good tag to a picture otherwise focused on a notable American defeat. I feel comfortable saying that this is the last book that needs be written on the subject. Scott covers this material from every angle and perspective. Target Tokyo is comprehensive, exhaustive, and beautifully written. Scott begins in the shadow of Pearl Harbor. America is reeling from the loss of four battleships (two permanently), nearly 200 planes, and over two thousands men. The Philippines are under attack. Wake Island has been captured. President Roosevelt wants to hit back, if for no other reason than to lift the flagging spirits of his country. Enter Jimmy Doolittle and his Raiders. Famed aviator and Hennessy connoisseur, James Doolittle Scott covers the conceptualization of the raid, as well as the training. His account of the bombing mission itself is insanely detailed. It is literally a bomb-by-bomb account that tells you which plane’s bombs hit which targets, what kind of damage that caused, and how many people died. There are moments when he connects individual Japanese casualties to the bomb from the plane that killed them. This makes for an incredibly intimate description of an otherwise lethally indiscriminate mode of warfare. The bulk of the narrative is spent on the escape of the Raiders. Of the sixteen planes, fifteen crash-landed and one disobeyed orders and flew to Russia. (While allied with the U.S. against Germany, the U.S.S.R. was – at this point – scrupulously maintaining neutrality with Japan). The story of the aircrew interned in Russia makes for pretty good black comedy. It’s Sartre viewed through the prism of Heller. For the other 75 men, it was a vastly different experience. Doolittle Raider Robert Hite is blindfolded and led into captivity Three men died during the crash landings. Most of the rest escaped, aided by Chinese soldiers and civilians, who later paid a heavy price for their efforts. Eight men were captured, and their tale comprises the most fraught sections. At one point, they were taken to the infamous Bridge House jail in Shanghai. The conditions were near unendurable: Prisoners broiled in the summer heat and froze throughout the winter. A starvation diet of watery rice and a few ounces of bread caused fillings to fall out of teeth, and some inmates suffered vision loss. One Chinese prisoner starved to death after going twenty-five days without food. Filth was a constant. There were no baths, no haircuts, no shaves. Prisoners filed down their fingernails by rubbing them against the concrete walls. The Japanese guards refused to provide females with sanitary napkins, leaving them with bloodstained legs and dresses that served as a source of endless amusement for the guards. Fleas, lice, and centipedes swarmed the cells, and rats often tugged at the hair of sleeping captives. Disease was rampant, from dysentery and tuberculosis to leprosy. The communal latrine forced others to witness the horrific and untreated venereal diseases some prisoners suffered. The Doolittle Raiders were mistreated, tortured, and forced to sit through a sham trial that convicted them all of war crimes. Three, including Billy Farrow, were executed by firing squad. The aftermath of the raid, including the plight of the captives, is Scott’s true focus. He devotes space to the propaganda campaigns run by both the Japanese and the United States. He follows the Raiders once they return home, the ex-P.O.W.s suffering from what we’d now recognize as PTSD. He even takes us to the party Doolittle threw in 1947 at a Miami hotel where – according to a memo written by the hotel’s night manager, which Scott helpfully excerpts – there was women, booze, and a swimming pool. This party, promised by Doolittle from the start, grew into a yearly tradition. Doolittle even donated a bottle of 1896 Hennessy cognac (from the year he was born) to be drank by the last two surviving Raiders. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything to say that Scott closes this book with the last three survivors opening up that cognac and drinking their toast. In a typical book, that final gesture would have been the culmination of a theme. The old heroes tossing one back to fallen comrades. This is not a typical book. In its latter half, Target Tokyo forces you to question the necessity of a mission that has become a cherished hallmark in U.S. military history. He takes us back to China, where the Japanese retribution – which the U.S. knew was coming – fell hard on the villages that assisted Doolittle’s men. An estimated 250,000 Chinese men, women, and children were killed, making the Nazi vengeance at Lidice look like a schoolyard game of bombardment. There are times when a number gets so large that it loses meaning. It’s far easier to empathize with the seven named Raiders who perished than with the quarter-million nameless Chinese who represented the collateral damage. Scott isn’t able to identify them, but he gives a searing portrait of the Japanese rampage through their lives. It was, in short, a reprise of the Rape of Nanking. Villages leveled. Mass executions. Biological warfare. All this, for what amounted to a propaganda coup. A raid of no material consequence. Sixteen planes and 64 bombs. Later in the war, LeMay would hurl as many as 500 B-29s at Japanese targets, each with five times the payload of Doolittle’s B-25s. Perhaps the raid goaded Yamamoto into the Midway campaign. Perhaps. But the cost in lives seems disproportionate to its achieved goals. Scott never makes an argument either way. He gives you every scrap of information he’s unearthed and threads it into a narrative that is structured to leave you asking the question yourself. Without being blatant, he overlays an ethical framework over the unrestrained hell of World War II. By the end, Target Tokyo becomes more than a story of a gutsy raid by nerveless airmen; it turns into a deep mediation on the moral choices inherent in war.

  2. 4 out of 5

    happy

    Mr. Scott has written a very readable, exhaustively researched look at the U.S.'s first strike on the home islands of the Empire of Japan in World War II. The author tells the story from its genesis in a comment FDR made shortly after Pearl Harbor that he wanted to strike the Japanese home islands to the final release of the raiders that Japan had captured after the war had ended. This book could well be subtitled, “Everything you wanted to know about the Doolittle Raid, but were afraid to ask” Mr. Scott has written a very readable, exhaustively researched look at the U.S.'s first strike on the home islands of the Empire of Japan in World War II. The author tells the story from its genesis in a comment FDR made shortly after Pearl Harbor that he wanted to strike the Japanese home islands to the final release of the raiders that Japan had captured after the war had ended. This book could well be subtitled, “Everything you wanted to know about the Doolittle Raid, but were afraid to ask” to paraphrase a famous title from the '60s. In telling of the raid, Mr. Scott also tells James Doolittle’s story. He looks at where he came from, his qualifications to both lead the raid and decide on the aircraft to be used, what modifications the aircraft needed, select the aircrew to fly on the mission etc. Contrary to common understanding, the people selected to fly the mission were not the best of the best. Almost all of them came from one bomb group, the 17th. That group not elite in any way and just happened to be the only one flying the B-25 at the time. In telling the story the author also includes various tidbits that I found fascinating. For instance when the carriers were discovered by Japanese picket boats, one of the accompanying cruisers, the USS Nashville, was tasked to sink it with naval gunfire. Much to the embarrassment of the Nashville’s skipper it took more than 800 rounds of main gun ammunition to accomplish this task. The author also tells Doolittle’s reaction when he realized that all of the B-25s had been lost on the raid. He felt that he would be court martialed and dismissed from the service – if he was lucky. He was given a pep talk by his crew chief and returned to the U.S. to a promotion to Brigadier General and a Medal of Honor. The author also includes quite a few pages on the Japanese preparations for an air attack and the schism between the Navy and the Army. The leader to the Navy, Adm Yamamoto, was concerned about the possibility and did what he could to prepare in face of the Army’s almost total disregard of the possibility. This included stationing picket boats well into the Pacific. The raid itself occurs about half way through the narrative. The rest tells the story of two crews that fell into Japanese hands and the one crew that diverted to the Soviet Union and the Japanese reaction to the raid. I found the story of the crew the diverted to the USSR really fascinating. To say they weren’t treated as heroes is an understatement. They were interned by the Soviets and kept in deplorable conditions and moved several times. Finally they were moved close enough to the Iranian border, they escaped to Iran in 1943. The author felt that they were allowed to escape to let the USSR off the hook with the US gov’t. The story of the 8 captured crewmen is also told in detail. 3 were eventually executed for war crimes, 1 died in captivity and 4 were eventually released after the war. In some ways their story is the hardest to read. All four of the men who survived had trouble adjusting to a freedom and one of them had such a hard time he returned to the United States in a strait jacket! In telling the story of the prisoners, Mr. Scott also tells the fate of the Japanese commanders who were in charge of them. 4 were prosecuted for war crime and convicted – though there sentences were fairly lite. Finally in telling the story, Mr. Scott also tells of the fate of the Chinese who assisted the Raiders. The Japanese reaction in some ways made the Rape of Nanking look like minor misunderstanding. The Japanese were absolutely ruthless in dealing with the Chinese populations in areas they controlled. They killed an estimated 250,000 Chinese in retaliation. All in all this is an excellent look at the Raid, it’s political beginnings, the actual nuts and bolts on how it was carried out, the effect on morale in both the U.S. and in Japan and finally he takes on the question of "Was it worth it?" considering the Japanese reaction and the lack of military results that were inherent in the such a minor raid - A definite 5 star read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Very enjoyable and informative read about the Doolittle raid on Japan. Growing up and studying history in school I knew about Jimmy Doolittle but after reading this book I learned how little I really knew. In December 1941, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt gathered his senior military staff to plan an ambitious counterstrike against the heart of the Japanese Empire ... Tokyo. “The president was insistent,” Arnold recalled, “that we find ways and means of carrying Very enjoyable and informative read about the Doolittle raid on Japan. Growing up and studying history in school I knew about Jimmy Doolittle but after reading this book I learned how little I really knew. In December 1941, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt gathered his senior military staff to plan an ambitious counterstrike against the heart of the Japanese Empire ... Tokyo. “The president was insistent,” Arnold recalled, “that we find ways and means of carrying home to Japan proper, in the form of a bombing raid, the real meaning of war.” Jimmy Doolittle, son of an Alaskan gold prospector, a former boxer, daredevil pilot, and a graduate from MIT volunteered to lead the mission. The story follows the process on the decision of which bombers to use, how many bombers, the training, and the targets. When they took off from the deck of the USS Hornet it was a one-way mission. They would drop their bombs on Japan and then head for Free China. Maps were poor, as was the weather, and fuel was tight. This isn't just the story of FDR, Jimmy Doolittle, Lieutenant General Joseph “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, and Vice Admiral William “Bull” Halsey. In this story you meet the pilots, navigators, and bombardiers who raised their hands and volunteered for a mission from which few expected to return. Most of the bombers ran out of fuel and crashed. Several of the raiders were captured and suffered torture and starvation in Japan's notorious POW camps. Those who were not captured had to escape across China ... on foot, rickshaw and boat with the Japanese army in pursuit. I have read about the atrocities committed by Japan during the war but was not aware of the impact on the people of China. In a retaliatory campaign the Japanese Army killed some 250,000 people. Women from 10 to 65 were raped. Families were drowned in wells. Entire towns were burned, and communities were devastated by bacteriological warfare. The barbarism of the Japanese Army was unfathomable. It was said that the only barbarism not committed was cannibalism. The raid was a propaganda victory for Roosevelt: "the Roosevelt administration, desperate for positive press, deliberately deceived the American people about the mission’s actual losses" "The Doolittle mission promised a potent tonic to the frustration brought on by Pearl Harbor, Wake, Guam, and now Bataan." As difficult as it was to read about the horrors of war and the suffering I came away with a new admiration of Jimmy Doolittle and the men who volunteered for this mission. And I learned a lot that I hadn't known before. If you enjoyed Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand I believe you would enjoy this book too.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Roger Smitter

    James M. Scott has produced a formidable account of one of the greatest military missions in the US history. The air raid executed by Jimmy Doolittle and his elite squad of pilots and crews in 1942 gave US citizens a reason to believe we could win a war in territory on the other side of the world. It also defined the new role of air power. In WWI, aircraft provided the context for a one-on-one conflicts and dog-fights in the sky. The Doolittle raid on Japan changed the mission for air war—to att James M. Scott has produced a formidable account of one of the greatest military missions in the US history. The air raid executed by Jimmy Doolittle and his elite squad of pilots and crews in 1942 gave US citizens a reason to believe we could win a war in territory on the other side of the world. It also defined the new role of air power. In WWI, aircraft provided the context for a one-on-one conflicts and dog-fights in the sky. The Doolittle raid on Japan changed the mission for air war—to attack the enemy’s resources to limit their ability to make war and to demoralize the population. In 400+ pages of narration, Scott provides a complete account of the raid, including how the Japanese were thinking. We also get an insight into the air corps heroes—especially the pilots. These young recruits were in their twenty’s from all parts of the US. For them, life and death decisions became the norm. While the Jimmy Doolittle narrative dominates the first third of the book, once the bombing run is completed, we get insights into how the other pilots made decisions once they were over enemy territory. The most difficult passages come near the end of the book as we read about the harsh imprisonment in POW camps. The book nicely mixes the broad strategies of the raid on Tokyo with lots of details of the planning, the attacks, and the recovery in China. The details come out thanks in part of the dialogue among the flyers. What’s missing are the profanities that young guys with limitless courage must have used. There continues to be a debate about the impact of the Doolittle raid. Scott addresses this in the end of the book. The loss of all the planes, the malicious treatment of the men captured, and the inconsistent impact of the bombers has to be measured against the surge of patriotism created in the US by the raids. As a young reader in the mid 1950's, I read 30 Seconds Over Tokyo, a first hand account by one of the pilots of the Doolittle warriors. It engaged me fully in the excitement and glamour of war. Now, almost five decades later, I am glad that we have a much more thoughtful understanding of the event.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Totally absorbing account of the Doolittle Raid on Japan, which created our first victory of any type in the Pacific. After Pearl Harbor and the losses one after another in the Pacific Theater the moral in the States was falling and the outcome of the war was starting to look glum. That is why this highly risky raid was put together that the Navy and Army Air Force would risk so much for a propaganda victory that was designed for that sole purpose. James M. Scott gives us an intimate portrait of Totally absorbing account of the Doolittle Raid on Japan, which created our first victory of any type in the Pacific. After Pearl Harbor and the losses one after another in the Pacific Theater the moral in the States was falling and the outcome of the war was starting to look glum. That is why this highly risky raid was put together that the Navy and Army Air Force would risk so much for a propaganda victory that was designed for that sole purpose. James M. Scott gives us an intimate portrait of all of the men involved in the planning and execution of this attack in 1942 on Tokyo and its surrounding suburbs through the planning, the recruitment, the raid itself and the crash landing of many of the 16 B-25s on beaches and in the ocean,s many in Japanese controlled territory. The story carries us through for some their imprisonment and their escapes, and for those who survived their return to America. Strangely my father was stationed at all of the air bases mentioned in the planning and training stages except for Oregon. We were stationed in Newfoundland years after Doolittle made his historic transAtlantic run. We were in Dayton just after the war, and returned there to visit friends in my summer after 3rd grade when my Dad took me up on that catwalk at Wright Patterson in that multi stories hanger and we looked down at a gigantic Super fortress the B-29 which awed me as it was so much larger than the Gooneybirds I'd been flying in as we transferred from base to base...then we headed toward Texas. all of these bases still visable places in my mind. This text covers the retribution against China for becoming the place the Doolittle crews attempted to get to, the kindness of Chinese citizens who helped the Americans avoid the Japanese and capture. The Japanese killed around 250,000 people in retribution polluting waterways and drinking wells, slaughtering the men women and children of entire towns, destroying farm animals and crops then disbursing produced in laboratories bacteriological diseases across water and soil as they retreated. A unique look at the very young men that made up the crews of Doolittle's squadron that was the first offensive action in the Pacific. The battle scenes were so graphic you could feel the tensions in each sortie. An excellent narrative

  6. 4 out of 5

    John Frazier

    It's difficult to discuss this chronicle of ace aviator Jimmy Doolittle and his raiders' bombardment of Tokyo without revealing too much of the story, but let me begin by saying that this is a fabulous account of a largely underexamined theater of World War II. As a fan of WWII literature, I'm familiar with some of the conflicts and personal stories emanating from the Pacific theater, including the Battle of the Midway, Admiral Nimitz and the more recent "Unbroken," the riveting story of Louis Za It's difficult to discuss this chronicle of ace aviator Jimmy Doolittle and his raiders' bombardment of Tokyo without revealing too much of the story, but let me begin by saying that this is a fabulous account of a largely underexamined theater of World War II. As a fan of WWII literature, I'm familiar with some of the conflicts and personal stories emanating from the Pacific theater, including the Battle of the Midway, Admiral Nimitz and the more recent "Unbroken," the riveting story of Louis Zamperini penned by Laura Hildenbrand and brought to the screen by Angelina Jolie. But this story is one that's escaped my attention, and I'm probably not alone as such. I'm thankful that author James Scott elected to provide this most recent--and riveting--account. It was immediately after Pearl Harbor when President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his military leaders sought revenge against the Japanese for laying waste to much of the Pacific fleet as it harbored in Hawaii, seemingly oblivious to the attack that would "officially" announce the United States' entry into the war. While much of Dollittle's mission was, in fact, military in nature (they would target military and industrial targets in and around Tokyo), the impetus behind the decision to launch a surprise attack against those who had surprised us was more to demonstrate America's engagement to its citizens, to show them that the U.S. was prepared, involved and willing to defend its soil and its ideas, even if it meant flying to the western edge of the Pacific Ocean to do so. The country's spirit and morale were at stake, and in Doolittle the brass chose a well-known aviator famous for all sorts of flying records to lead the charge (although the very nature of the mission meant that very few people were even aware of it, including those who took part). The target was Tokyo, the capital of Japan. The idea was to bomb it, to send a message that would be heard around the world. The obstacles included getting as near to it as possible undetected, and flying bombers off the deck of a carrier ship when it had never been done. Modifying a fleet of B-25s to carry the requisite munitions was part of it; they also had to be reconfigured to hold enough fuel to fly farther than they'd ever flown. Oh, yeah. Even if they launched and bombed successfully, returning to land a bomber on a carrier was out of the question. So where would they land? And whom, if anybody, could they tell without jeopardizing the entire operation? Enter China, about whose concurrent war with Japan I know too little of to comment articulately. Suffice it to say that China's airfields, some of which had to be covertly modified to accommodate the B-25s, were about the only option for landing and refueling post-bombing. Scott goes into great detail about most of the 80 volunteer airmen who comprised the 16 crews of five each. (Included among his discoveries is no small amount of personal correspondence, impressive not only for the grace and dignity with which these men communicated with one another and their families, but the equanimity and acceptance demonstrated by each in the face of such peril.) That they were asked to risk their lives for a mission which held such low probability of success was no more a surprise than their willingness to do so. They were part of "The Greatest Generation," when few questions were asked and all was given in name of home and country. Their stories, sacrifices, commitment and bravery are no less compelling than those authored by millions in every other theater. The consequences of their raid would be in large part paid by the Chinese, whose seemingly benign and after-the-fact complicity in the raid would end up costing the lives of roughly 250,000 Chinese civilians, a number greater than those Japanese vanquished in the subsequent nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was not only news to me, its details were news to Scott, who describes their often merciless, barbarous and torturous deaths with a gut-wrenching nuance that only serves to remind the reader of how vicious war is and how inhumanely humans can behave toward one another. That the loss of so many innocent Chinese was contemplated and predicted by American leaders is a discussion I wish Scott had spent more time on, especially in light of how few Japanese were actually killed during Doolittle's raid. Surely paying such a huge price for America's retribution was not something China would have willingly agreed to, even if they had known in advance of its cause. Roosevelt and his advisors knew this, and I would love to know more about the debates and discussions that yielded their final decision. While it was but a gut punch compared to the devastation of Pearl Harbor, the effect of the raid on America's psyche cannot be overestimated, and Scott once again does an admirable job of chronicling its reaction. The tide began to turn, eventually cresting more than three years later, a few days after the Enola Gay dropped her payload, when some of Doolittle's men still survived as prisoners of war subjected to only the cruelest of treatment. This is a must-read for any fan of American history in general and World War II specifically. Bravo, Jimmy Doolittle, to you and each of your raiders. And well done, James Scott.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Robert Snow

    It is April the 18th 1942… I sit in the co-pilots seat of the first B25 commanded by Colonel Doolittle. I look to my right at the bridge of the Hornet and see the officers on the bridge watching and waiting for the launch of these 16 bombers eager to bomb Japan and avenge December 7th. I feel the engines being brought up to full power the Mitchell bomber is vibrating along with the pitch of the Hornets deck and the wind as it rushes across the bow of the mighty carrier. All at once Colonel Dooli It is April the 18th 1942… I sit in the co-pilots seat of the first B25 commanded by Colonel Doolittle. I look to my right at the bridge of the Hornet and see the officers on the bridge watching and waiting for the launch of these 16 bombers eager to bomb Japan and avenge December 7th. I feel the engines being brought up to full power the Mitchell bomber is vibrating along with the pitch of the Hornets deck and the wind as it rushes across the bow of the mighty carrier. All at once Colonel Doolittle releases the brakes the B25 lurches forward and down the deck of the carrier we go headed for Imperial Japan… That was my imagination run wild thanks to James M. Scott writing, all through this book Mr. Scott put me in situation after situation along with the Raiders… To me this is great writing when I become immersed not only in the story but along with the characters. When the story ended I wanted more so I bought another James Scott book... "The War Below"

  8. 5 out of 5

    Fred Leland

    This book is the best book I have read on the Doolittle Raid. The books gets into the personalities of those flying the mission. It has very descriptive narrative on the individual bombing missions and the after math of the 8 that got taken prisoner in Japan and Siberia. Their letters home to loved ones even as some were sentenced to death by firing squad were both heartbreaking and inspiring! The research involved in the writing of this book was simply outstanding and must have been painstaking This book is the best book I have read on the Doolittle Raid. The books gets into the personalities of those flying the mission. It has very descriptive narrative on the individual bombing missions and the after math of the 8 that got taken prisoner in Japan and Siberia. Their letters home to loved ones even as some were sentenced to death by firing squad were both heartbreaking and inspiring! The research involved in the writing of this book was simply outstanding and must have been painstakingly time consuming. I am very appreciative to the author for writing it. I highly recommend this book as it shows what selfless service and sacrifice are!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Don

    The story of the Doolittle raid is one of the most well known events of World War II. Nevertheless, it has been a while since someone has tackled this subject. James M. Scott had access to historic records that were not available for previous histories so this is sure to become the best book on the subject. Highly readable and highly recommended.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Magin

    Spectacular story, spectacularly told.

  11. 4 out of 5

    victor harris

    After a string of Japanese successes following Pearl Harbor, U.S. morale was at low ebb and sought a morale boost. That mental climate gave birth to the audacious Doolittle Raid. In the meantime, the Japanese were quite smug and never believed that the U.S. would risk its fleet to stage a bombing mission on the Japanese homeland. But of course they did. It was led by James Doolittle who already had established a reputation as a daredevil pilot and an innovator in the aeronautics industry. It wa After a string of Japanese successes following Pearl Harbor, U.S. morale was at low ebb and sought a morale boost. That mental climate gave birth to the audacious Doolittle Raid. In the meantime, the Japanese were quite smug and never believed that the U.S. would risk its fleet to stage a bombing mission on the Japanese homeland. But of course they did. It was led by James Doolittle who already had established a reputation as a daredevil pilot and an innovator in the aeronautics industry. It was one of the truly remarkable feats during WW II and this narrative does justice to it. Taking you from the initial planning stages to the denouement covering the fate of the pilots, it is a gripping account of the events. So well written that even the detailed coverage of the technical aspects of the planning and special aviation features are enjoyable to read. Because the Doolittle group was detected en route, they had to depart from the Hornet carrier much sooner than anticipated which depleted their fuel supply and forced many of them to crash land in China with one crew rerouting to Russia. Although it only did modest damage, the raid did deliver a jolt to the Japanese ego and shattered their myth of invincibility, as well as achieving the desired effect on American morale. A number of the pilots were injured when they crashed in China and they were forced to make a harrowing escape with the Japanese on their heels. Brave Chinese assisted them by providing refuge and tending to them and they would suffer horrible retaliation for their efforts. Meanwhile, the York crew that landed in Russia was held captive by the Russians for an extended duration though they were our allies. The Russian paid no heed to American diplomatic efforts to retrieve the pilots and they would eventually resort to escaping through southern Russia and into Iran. Others were captured by the Japanese and were subject to grisly torture and in violation of international conventions, three were executed. In the post-war, MacArthur would shield many of the culpable parties from justice and they would serve short sentences or escape prosecution entirely. This is a page-turner that reads like a novel and is worthy of more than five stars. I do offer a caveat, the torture descriptions are very gruesome in their description, so if you have reservations about that type of reading, you might wish to pass on this one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Richard Fox

    As of today, only three of the original Doolittle Tokyo Raiders are left, all now in their 90s. So, now perhaps more than ever their story should be told as completely as possible. Mr. Scott does so admirably, recounting not only the mission itself and its psychological impact on both America (inspiring) but also Japan (profoundly shocking). The Raiders in their mission, although not terribly damaging, altered Japan's fundament strategy toward America and directly contributed to the U.S. Victory As of today, only three of the original Doolittle Tokyo Raiders are left, all now in their 90s. So, now perhaps more than ever their story should be told as completely as possible. Mr. Scott does so admirably, recounting not only the mission itself and its psychological impact on both America (inspiring) but also Japan (profoundly shocking). The Raiders in their mission, although not terribly damaging, altered Japan's fundament strategy toward America and directly contributed to the U.S. Victory at the Battle of Midway. Beyond the mission, this engrossing book details the aftermath. The Raiders who not only survived their crash landings in China, but also the horrible suffering of the two crews captured by the Japanese - three of those brave airmen were illegally executed and one died from disease. The book most interestingly to me recounts the little known story of the one crew that flew into the Soviet Union instead of China. The story of their internment and remarkable escape is one aspect of this historic mission that was very surprising to me. Finally, this thoroughly researched book also describes the courage and heroism of the Chinese people, who having already suffered horrendously at the hands of the Japanese, still selflessly aided the Raiders and helped them get home, only to suffer even more gruesomely from the retaliation the Japanese inflicted on them for rendering that assistance. Target Tokyo sure to be considered the definitive recounting if this remarkable story of valor, dedication, and profound selflessness. Buy it. Read it. Share it with your children and grandchildren. The men of the Doolittle Raid are shining examples of The Greatest Generation.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Al

    Excellent book. Begins pre-Pearl Harbor, and includes the initial conception of the operation and a more general discussion of the state of war throughout the world. Starts out with mostly "big picture" description: Generals Marshall and "Hap" Arnold, assigning Lt Col Jimmy Doolittle to find a way to do the seemingly impossible task of retaliating against Japan as quickly as possible after the near destruction of the US Pacific fleet. Once events reach the point of selecting the aircraft and crew Excellent book. Begins pre-Pearl Harbor, and includes the initial conception of the operation and a more general discussion of the state of war throughout the world. Starts out with mostly "big picture" description: Generals Marshall and "Hap" Arnold, assigning Lt Col Jimmy Doolittle to find a way to do the seemingly impossible task of retaliating against Japan as quickly as possible after the near destruction of the US Pacific fleet. Once events reach the point of selecting the aircraft and crews, it is told at a much more personal level, focusing on individuals directly involved. How they were all volunteers who could not be told what they were volunteering for until already at sea, and how none backed down (alternate crew members even bidding to trade places with selected crew members). Much of the book is told using the airmen's own words, citing diary entries of those involved. Continues post-mission, with the fate of the crews' crash landing due to low fuel in China (and one B-25 in the USSR). Pays special attention to the single crew captured by the Japanese and their POW ordeal. And satisfying follows the men post war, and their reunions (which ended with the last 4 surviving members, all in their 90s). I highly recommend it to anyone interested in true tales of bravery, stamina, determination, patriotism and character.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eric Ruark

    What can I say. This book is a brilliant, detailed history of the Doolittle Raid from the attack at Pearl Harbor that compelled America to answer Japan's military methodology to the post war treatment of the Japanese who tortured and abused our captured airmen. If you have seen the movie THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO, you know the story... or I should say, you know the story from Ted Lawson's perspective. (Lawson was pilot of The Ruptured Duck and author of THIRTY SECONDS.) What James M. Scott has d What can I say. This book is a brilliant, detailed history of the Doolittle Raid from the attack at Pearl Harbor that compelled America to answer Japan's military methodology to the post war treatment of the Japanese who tortured and abused our captured airmen. If you have seen the movie THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO, you know the story... or I should say, you know the story from Ted Lawson's perspective. (Lawson was pilot of The Ruptured Duck and author of THIRTY SECONDS.) What James M. Scott has done, is put all the pieces of this story together and molded the various perspectives into a story that reads like a novel and not a history book. For history buffs, this is a treasure trove of new material culled from primary sources from around the world. If you are not familiar with the 1953 movie, but have only heard about the Doolittle Raid, this ought to be the "go-to" book for anyone interested in what really happened. Reviewed by Eric B. Ruark, author of MURDER BEYOND THE MILKY WAY.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    An excellent and recommended book for anyone interested in WWII. It is well researched and yes there is much detail. Before reading this book, I knew about Japanese pre Pearl Harbor planning and their attack. I also knew about Roosevelt's desire for a bombing response on Tokyo with Jimmie Doolittle and the Raiders. I didn't know about bomber prep, training, number of bombers, which targets and their outcome trying to reach China. This book covers all of this. In addition it covers targets hit an An excellent and recommended book for anyone interested in WWII. It is well researched and yes there is much detail. Before reading this book, I knew about Japanese pre Pearl Harbor planning and their attack. I also knew about Roosevelt's desire for a bombing response on Tokyo with Jimmie Doolittle and the Raiders. I didn't know about bomber prep, training, number of bombers, which targets and their outcome trying to reach China. This book covers all of this. In addition it covers targets hit and what happened to the bomber planes/ crew. Today, two of the Raiders remain alive and I'm glad I was able to read about their heroic efforts.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Larry

    Scott's book is a highly detailed history of the Tokyo raid's place in history. It's profiles of participants (especially that of Jimmy Doolittle, who, in Hap Arnold's words, was a spectacular person without setting out to be one) are very interesting, and its assessments of the raid's effects (the Japanese reaction to the attack led to a quarter of a million deaths in China) haven't been matched before.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Sankey

    This is a particularly vivid and detailed reconstruction of the Doolittle Raid as a response to Pearl Harbor (including the author's odd quirk of telling us how tall everyone was as a boilerplate part of their background description), but what gets that 4th star is a new effort to look for and include the severe effect of the reprisals on the Chinese people, and the bigger picture of where the raid fit into Japanese and American Grand Strategy.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jane Thompson

    World War 2 Story This is a superb history, one that answers all the reader's questions about the raid. It gives a tremendous amount of infomation along with a great amount of detail. It is a good book and one that is well worth reading.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joe Johnson

    Target Tokyo tells the story of the Doolittle Raid on Japan in April 1942. There have been many books on this subject, but this one is different in that it does not focus solely on the raid and the 80 men who flew the B-25s. The story begins with Pearl Harbor, and the beginning of the idea of the raid as a way to strike back at Japan. We also learn about the fears of some of the high ranking Japanese generals and admirals that Japan was not well protected against an air attack. And from here the Target Tokyo tells the story of the Doolittle Raid on Japan in April 1942. There have been many books on this subject, but this one is different in that it does not focus solely on the raid and the 80 men who flew the B-25s. The story begins with Pearl Harbor, and the beginning of the idea of the raid as a way to strike back at Japan. We also learn about the fears of some of the high ranking Japanese generals and admirals that Japan was not well protected against an air attack. And from here the story unfolds with the selection of the aircraft and the training of the flight crews to be able to take off from an aircraft carrier and fly their bombers to Japan and then on to the unoccupied regions of China. One of the very interesting things to me, was that during the narrative of the actual bombing mission, we learned not only what the flight crews did, but also where their bombs landed and what damage was caused by the raid, including civilian deaths and injuries. There is much more to the book: the aftermath of the raid for the 15 crews that made it to China and the one the landed in the Soviet Union, the public relations battle between Tokyo and Washington over the raid, which was complicated by the American authorities not getting prompt notification of the success of the raid, even though all of the planes were lost. And there are stories of the raiders who died in China and those who were captured by the Japanese, some of whom were liberated at the end of the war. But the most heartbreaking part of the book is the story of the Japanese offensive into those areas of China were the raiders landed. The Chinese civilian casualties were enormous. It is a compelling story, and the author has made the most of some new primary sources of information and so is able to paint a more complete picture of the raid and the aftermath. I recommend this book very highly; if you are interested in the complete story of the Doolittle Raid, this is the book for you.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bob Stockton

    Target Tokyo is a gripping, suspenseful, gut wrenching account of Jimmy Doolittle's April 1942 bombing of Tokyo and the fate of his air crews that either crashed in China or diverted to Russia after the bombing. Four months after the December 7, 1941 sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the war in the Pacific was going badly for America. The U.S. Navy was all but destroyed in the attack, the Japanese campaign in the Philippines had captured Manila, taking thousands of Americans and Filipinos captive, S Target Tokyo is a gripping, suspenseful, gut wrenching account of Jimmy Doolittle's April 1942 bombing of Tokyo and the fate of his air crews that either crashed in China or diverted to Russia after the bombing. Four months after the December 7, 1941 sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the war in the Pacific was going badly for America. The U.S. Navy was all but destroyed in the attack, the Japanese campaign in the Philippines had captured Manila, taking thousands of Americans and Filipinos captive, Singapore had fallen, the Japanese had taken the oil fields in the Dutch East Indies and were menacing Australia and had their eye on Hawaii. Americans at home on the west coast were demoralized and fearful of an air attack. President Roosevelt was searching for something to revitalize the American spirit when famed air racer and pilot Jimmy Doolitte, then a lieutenant colonel who was raised in a hard-scrabble Alaskan town, proposed a bold attack on the Japanese capitol with B-25 bombers launched from the aircraft carrier Hornet. Scott gives us a thorough account of the military aspects of the raid while acquainting the reader with the personalities of the raiders, their subsequent fate after the raid and the unspeakable horror surrounding their fate. Three of the crewmen were executed after capture. Scott's description of the men awaiting execution is heart-rendering. Target Tokyo is a masterfully written book, a "can't-put-it-down" tale of American exceptionalism and bravery. I heartily recommend this book to today's reading audience, especially to those that are too young to recall the era.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    The U.S. was shocked by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in much the same way it was on September 11. In both cases, there was a furious reaction to what was viewed as a cowardly assault and an immediate desire for immediate retribution. Presidents, in such circumstances, are faced with an urgent desire for a politically positive response while recognizing that the country is facing a long slog through a painful war. Franklin Roosevelt pressured his military for an attack on Tokyo early in the The U.S. was shocked by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in much the same way it was on September 11. In both cases, there was a furious reaction to what was viewed as a cowardly assault and an immediate desire for immediate retribution. Presidents, in such circumstances, are faced with an urgent desire for a politically positive response while recognizing that the country is facing a long slog through a painful war. Franklin Roosevelt pressured his military for an attack on Tokyo early in the war even though there was no obvious practical means to execute it, nor would such an attack be strategically definitive. The impact was to be psychological. Enter Jimmy Doolittle, a famed aerialist. He conceived an approach to bombing Tokyo that was technologically advanced and unproven, as well as extremely dangerous. This is that story. What makes this story compelling is that it isn't just a glorification of military heroism. It is a comprehensive description of all the led up to and followed the attack. Much of happened isn't pleasant at all. In fact, many section describe horrific suffering. An while the attack certainly achieved its emotional intention, most of what resulted was devastating to the Chinese and many of the fliers. Quite a tale.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mick Pletcher

    This book is definitely worth reading. It tells of the horrors Japan committed in WWII that were never talked about throughout the numerous history classes I took throughout high school and college. It gives an entirely different perspective of WWII in the Pacific. It is a very long book at 672 pages. The atrocities committed were on par as bad or even worse than the Nazis, except with smaller numbers. Unit 731 is discussed about the experiments, chemical and biological weapons, and just downrigh This book is definitely worth reading. It tells of the horrors Japan committed in WWII that were never talked about throughout the numerous history classes I took throughout high school and college. It gives an entirely different perspective of WWII in the Pacific. It is a very long book at 672 pages. The atrocities committed were on par as bad or even worse than the Nazis, except with smaller numbers. Unit 731 is discussed about the experiments, chemical and biological weapons, and just downright torture. Japanese soldiers raped an estimated 1,000 women per night in China, while also killing every living thing in sight, whether it was men, women, children, babies, or animals. As one soldier was quoted, "When they raped the Chinese women, they were human, but afterward, they were pigs," at which point they killed them. The water systems were contaminated with infectious diseases to kill ones they may have missed.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    First off, I have to say it's a very good history of the Doolittle raid. Great place to start if you know nothing about the subject. I like how Scott includes what happened to the Chinese after the raid and found documents in Japan that actually described the damage done by the raiders. The sections covering Jimmy Doolittle himself are well done and extensively researched. The parts I didn't like: maybe because I just finished a very good WWII book that challenged some long held assumptions, the First off, I have to say it's a very good history of the Doolittle raid. Great place to start if you know nothing about the subject. I like how Scott includes what happened to the Chinese after the raid and found documents in Japan that actually described the damage done by the raiders. The sections covering Jimmy Doolittle himself are well done and extensively researched. The parts I didn't like: maybe because I just finished a very good WWII book that challenged some long held assumptions, there really wasn't anything new in Target Tokyo and that disappointed me. I wish Scott would have included a crew list for each plane as an appendix, along with the job of each individual, and more pictures (of the raid, the damages, the planes, the raiders - not just the same portraits of Halsey and King that we've seen a million times) would have been nice.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    An amazing, true life adventure and heroic tale. I read this book in conjunction with a wargame I'm playing on the topic, and watched the film Thirty Seconds over Tokyo (itself based on another book). I like that it provided ample bookends to the raid itself, with much about the preparation, the aftermath in China (and the Soviet Union). The specific outcomes of each bomber's actions over Japan were detailed (in which we hear how little physical damage was done). Also detailed were the actions o An amazing, true life adventure and heroic tale. I read this book in conjunction with a wargame I'm playing on the topic, and watched the film Thirty Seconds over Tokyo (itself based on another book). I like that it provided ample bookends to the raid itself, with much about the preparation, the aftermath in China (and the Soviet Union). The specific outcomes of each bomber's actions over Japan were detailed (in which we hear how little physical damage was done). Also detailed were the actions of the Japanese in response, such as their propaganda and treatment of POWs. Even the post-war judgments against them.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell Thompson

    Outstanding capture of the Doolittle Raider story told from both The US and Japanese perspectives. This book is so thoroughly researched and eloquently told that at times I almost felt as if I was among the Raiders in solitary confinement. A greater story of forgiveness weaved throughout has been so beautifully captured by Mr. Scott, even highlighting the manner in which the leader of the attack on Pearl Harbor came to Christ. The gang of 80 men who launched off of the deck of the USS Hornet wer Outstanding capture of the Doolittle Raider story told from both The US and Japanese perspectives. This book is so thoroughly researched and eloquently told that at times I almost felt as if I was among the Raiders in solitary confinement. A greater story of forgiveness weaved throughout has been so beautifully captured by Mr. Scott, even highlighting the manner in which the leader of the attack on Pearl Harbor came to Christ. The gang of 80 men who launched off of the deck of the USS Hornet were and remain to be truly inspirational. May they Rest In Peace.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paul J. Petersen

    Amazingly accurate account of this historic mission I learned of this book at a lecture by James Scott while on Kiawah Island. When I was a young man growing up in the 1950's_1960's I read 30 Seconds Over Tokyo along with a number of other WWII stories. And now nearly sixty years later I still enjoy reading military history and I find myself reading another account of this significant military event. This is amazingly detailed account of the Doolittle raid from the very beginning through to the u Amazingly accurate account of this historic mission I learned of this book at a lecture by James Scott while on Kiawah Island. When I was a young man growing up in the 1950's_1960's I read 30 Seconds Over Tokyo along with a number of other WWII stories. And now nearly sixty years later I still enjoy reading military history and I find myself reading another account of this significant military event. This is amazingly detailed account of the Doolittle raid from the very beginning through to the ultimate end. What more could you possibly ask for? This is a great book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    As Christensen

    Super Fabulous!! My father flew B-29 in WWII Pacific so I was interested in reading this book. This book has the best primary sources and details. Very well written and researched. There are not many books written on the Pacific theatre during WWII. Most of them are written on Europe during WWII. This book goes into details of the Doolittle flyers and follows them through to the end of the war. Fascinating historical reading!! I could not put it down! Even better, it is written in 2015 so there Super Fabulous!! My father flew B-29 in WWII Pacific so I was interested in reading this book. This book has the best primary sources and details. Very well written and researched. There are not many books written on the Pacific theatre during WWII. Most of them are written on Europe during WWII. This book goes into details of the Doolittle flyers and follows them through to the end of the war. Fascinating historical reading!! I could not put it down! Even better, it is written in 2015 so there are a lot of details and records that were not released until recently.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tommy Barlow

    This is a great book if you are entertained by ww2. Having been interested in the pacific theater of ww2 since I was a little kid, I was excited to read about one of the earliest attacks carried out by the US during the war. This is the story about Jimmy Doolittle and the raid he led in April of 1942. It was carried out by several B-25 Mitchells that carried out a bombing raid on Tokyo. The story was written in a very concise and informative. This is definitely a great way to get into US ww2 his This is a great book if you are entertained by ww2. Having been interested in the pacific theater of ww2 since I was a little kid, I was excited to read about one of the earliest attacks carried out by the US during the war. This is the story about Jimmy Doolittle and the raid he led in April of 1942. It was carried out by several B-25 Mitchells that carried out a bombing raid on Tokyo. The story was written in a very concise and informative. This is definitely a great way to get into US ww2 history.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Very interesting read about the Doolittle raid. All I had heard about it was we bombed Tokyo, but I never read more than that before now. This book showed the planning and, more importantly, the outcome of that raid and I learned a lot from it. Well recommended if you want to learn more about the raid. I did find the book a bit slow to read at times, as it goes into a bit of detail, but overall fascinating and educational.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Absorbing, meticulously researched retelling of the Doolittle Raid...America's 1st strike against the Japanese Homeland...from planning, training, execution and fallout, a definitive analysis...it importantly shows the major effects on morale on both sides, the strategic implications, particularly dealing with the Japanese disaster at Midway and the disastrous revenge extracted upon the Chinese...Good Stuff!!!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.