Rising Sun, Falling Skies

Rising Sun, Falling Skies

The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II

General Military
  • Author: Jeffrey Cox
  • Short code: GNM
  • Publication Date: 20 Mar 2014
  • Number of Pages: 504
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Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese offensive in the Far East seemed unstoppable. Allied forces engaged in a futile attempt to halt their rapid advance, culminating in the massed fleet of American, British, Dutch, and Australian forces (ABDA) clashing with the Japanese at the battle of the Java Sea - the first major sea battle of World War II in the Pacific. But, in a campaign crippled by poor leadership and disastrous decisions, the Allied response was catastrophic, losing their largest warships and their tenuous toe-hold in the south Pacific within the first 72 hours of the battle. This defeat left ground troops cut off from reinforcement and supply, with obsolete equipment, no defense against endless Japanese air attacks, and with no chance of retreat.
However, although command decisions were to condemn the Allies to defeat, the Allied goal was never an outright victory, simply a delaying action. Facing a relentless and thoroughly vicious enemy, the combined forces responded not by running or surrendering, but by defiantly holding on in a struggle that was as much a test of character, bravery, and determination as it was a test of arms, ultimately costing the Allies ten vessels and the lives of 2,100 brave sailors.
In Rising Sun, Falling Skies, Jeffrey Cox examines the events and evidence surrounding the Java Sea Campaign, reconstructing battles that in hindsight were all but hopeless and revealing where fatal mistakes and missed opportunities condemned the Allied forces in an insightful and compelling study of the largely overlooked clash in the Java Sea.

Biographical Note

Jeffrey R. Cox is a litigation attorney and an independent military historian specializing in World War II, ancient Greece, and ancient Rome. His first interest was in the Pacific War, which he has studied for more than 30 years. A student of history, international affairs, and defense policy for most of his life, Cox holds a degree in National Security Policy Studies from The Ohio State University and a doctorate of jurisprudence from Indiana University School of Law. He is a contributor to Military History Online (www.militaryhistoryonline.com). He resides in Indianapolis, IN.


Prologue Chapter 1. On the Day Before Chapter 2. Just a Little More Time Chapter 3. Breakdown Chapter 4. Finding Trouble Chapter 5. Shooting at Venus Chapter 6. Slapped Together Chapter 7. Luck - The Battle of Balikpapan Chapter 8. Bloody Shambles Chapter 9. Can't Catch a Break - The Battle of the Flores Sea Chapter 10. A Thousand Cuts Chapter 11. Too Clever by Half - The Battle of Badoeng Strait Chapter 12. No Breath to Catch - Preliminaries to the Battle of the Java Sea Chapter 13. Nerk Nerk Nerk - The Sinking of the Langley Chapter 14. One Shell - Day Action of the Battle of the Java Sea Chapter 15. A Turn Too Far - The Second Part of the Battle of the Java Sea Chapter 16. A Hopeless Plan - The Escape from Java Chapter 17. Dancing in the Dark - The Battle of Soenda Strait Chapter 18. Nowhere to Run - The Second Battle of the Java Sea Chapter 19. To the Winds - Escape Attempts from Java Chapter 20. Aftermath - Not Quite Vanquished Notes Bibliography Index

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