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

Norton. Apr. 2015. 640p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780393089622. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780393246766. HIST
The story of the Doolittle Raid is well known and thoroughly documented. Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the American military to plan a retaliatory strike against Japan. In April 1942, 16 B-25 bombers and 80 airmen led by James Doolittle were launched from the carrier Hornet. The bombers reached their target cities and inflicted minimal damage on the Japanese Home Islands. Low on fuel, most of the bombers crashed in China and one landed in the Soviet Union. The results of the effort were mixed. All the planes were lost and the military damage inflicted was slight. The Japanese responded severely against China, killing as many as 250,000 Chinese citizens. The raid did boost American morale while damaging Japanese confidence, which was important as the Japanese had experienced a string of major victories since Pearl Harbor. Scott (The War Below) alternates his narrative between the larger picture of the raid and the individual stories of the five-man crews.
VERDICT This popular history will appeal to fans of Laura Hillebrand's Unbroken and is comparable to other histories of the Tokyo Raid including Craig Nelson's The First Heroes and Carroll V. Glines's The Doolittle Raid.
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