Final Storm opens a new front in Jeff Shaara’s gripping chronicle
of World War II as soldiers, sailors, and marines sacrifice all
for one final push toward decisive victory in the fierce maelstrom
of the Pacific theater.
As the war in Europe winds down in the wake of the Normandy invasion,
the United States has turned its vast military resources toward
an all-out effort against the Japanese. In the spring of 1945, Japan’s
empire has been pressed slowly back toward its home islands, and
the Americans mount a furious assault on the last great stepping-stone
to Japan itself—the heavily fortified island of Okinawa. The three-month
battle will feature some of the most vicious combat of the entire
war, as American troops confront an enemy that would rather be slaughtered
than experience the shame of surrender.
With a narrative dexterity befitting his status as a master storyteller,
Shaara relates the story of the struggle for Okinawa through the
eyes of combatants on both sides: Private Clay Adams, a young marine
whose brother Jesse has already earned his share of glory as a paratrooper
with the 82nd Airborne in Europe; Admiral Chester Nimitz, who must
unite rival army and marine commanders into a cooperative effort;
General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., the American ground commander
trying to live up to the legacy of his father, who led Confederate
troops during the Civil War; and General Mitsura Ushijima, the Japanese
general in charge of defending the island, who understands what
Tokyo will not believe: that his own fight to the death will only
delay the inevitable—as the Americans continue their advance toward
the home islands and ultimate victory.
With the fights raging across the Pacific, a different kind of
campaign is being waged in extraordinary secrecy: the development
of a weapon so powerful, not even the scientists who build it know
just what they are about to unleash. Colonel Paul Tibbets, one of
the finest bomber pilots in the U.S. Army Air Corps, is selected
to lead the mission to drop the horrific new weapon on a Japanese
city. As the new president, Harry S Truman, mulls his options, and
a Japanese physician named Okiro Hamishita cares for patients at
a clinic near the city of Hiroshima, citizens on the home front
await the day of reckoning that everyone knows is coming.
A fitting conclusion to one of the most riveting sagas in military
fiction, The Final Storm illuminates the heroism and sacrifice that
defined the war in the Pacific, bringing the conflict to life as
only Jeff Shaara can.
Hardback, 448 pages, 6x9, 2011, $28.00.