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Reader Reviews

Here are what readers say about Werneth’s books.

Fall of the Japanese Empire

The Fall of the Japanese Empire: Memories of the Air War 1942-45

“Fall of the Japanese Empire, Memories of the Air War 1942-45,” author Ron Werneth has once again compiled the narratives of survivors from the Pacific War and, reinforced by years of meticulous research, organized them into a highly readable account of what it was like to be there.  Following on from his highly-acclaimed first book, “Beyond Pearl Harbor, the Untold Stories of Japan’s Naval Airmen,” this companion volume features first-hand accounts of pilots, aircrews, mechanics and even ground-based troops who served on both sides of the conflict. Told in their own words, gathered from one-on-one interviews as well as letters, diaries and journals that they kept at the time, the stories of these courageous men resonate with truth, faithfully conveying the emotional conditions, as well as the physical side of war, that they had to deal with, daily. Includes more than 230 photographs, most of which are from private family albums and have never been published before.

“The oral histories and the background information on the veterans involved that Werneth presents feels like you are sitting in the same room with them as they tell their stories. It doesn't come any closer than that for the reader.”

Michael Lemish, author and historian

“This is not simply a war text book. It is a collection of raw stories from people who actually lived the war. It is unbiased and not political. As a first-generation Japanese, I appreciate high quality unbiased material like this. This book has also given me an insight into my own culture.”

Koji Ikenaga, a Japanese American reader

“For anyone searching for fresh perspectives, a unique approach to military history, and the best of new material relating to complementary stories of American and Japanese combat veterans, this volume is a wonderful work, well deserving of a space on any bookshelf alongside Ron Werneth’s previous volume, which is also highly recommended.”

J. Michael Wenger, author and historian

"On Saturday nights when I was a kid, we sat around and listened to the first-hand stories told by my family, friends and neighbors about what they did during the war. Reading this book is a return to those times…. except you get pictures and the story from the vets on the other side also. Fascinating interviews and interesting read!”

John Egger, a lifetime Japanese military historian

Beyond Pearl Harbor

Beyond Pearl Harbor: The Untold Stories of Japan’s Naval Airmen

This book is the story of the air war in the Pacific through the eyes of the last surviving Imperial Japanese Naval aviators of World War II, chronicled through never before published first-hand accounts, wartime diaries, and private photographs.  Living in Japan for over half a decade, the author befriended the survivors of Pearl Harbor, Midway, Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima to gather this trove of stories and images. Meticulously translated and painstakingly researched, all of the veterans accounts in this book are supported by both official Japanese and Allied records, together with first-hand narratives of American and British participants in these pivotal, historic battles.

"As a long-time student of the Pacific War, I consider myself privileged to have this book on my shelf. It's beautifully produced and is packed with first-rate interviews that have never been seen in print before, as well as superb photographs. I was delighted to be learning new details on Japanese carrier operations on the very first page I cracked open. Not only will this book remain a treasure trove for researchers for years to come, it powerfully conveys the human element of our opponents during WWII. A "must-have" for students of the Pacific War in general, and aficionados of the Imperial Navy's aviation force in particular.”

Jon Parshall-
Co-Author, Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway

“Thanks to Ron Werneth's unparalleled efforts, which include three years in Japan while collecting oral history interviews, photographs, and multiple layers of documentation, Beyond Pearl Harbor is a treasure trove of information and insight. I consider this groundbreaking work, especially among Western authors. The result is a beautifully produced book filled with rare photographs and the recollections of seventeen Japanese naval aviators. As the title promises, their accounts extend beyond the events at Pearl Harbor. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the Pacific war. It is worth every penny.”

Bruce Gamble, author and historian

“After years of reading Military theme books on a variety of subjects I found Werneth's work to be refreshing and insightful. He shares his intimate personal experience with these truly rare veterans in a first hand, matter of fact approach that could only be accomplished by utilizing the words of the veteran's themselves.”

John Conway, lifelong military historian

"Beyond Pearl Harbor" is clearly an important contribution to the records of the Pacific War. More important, it is about the men who fought in one of history's largest wars--using new technologies and new weapons. These warriors share their emotions and feelings about duty, the battles they prevailed in and survived, and the cost to their nation as they returned in surrender to a totally devastated Japan.

Douglas Shinsato
Translator of For That One Day: The Memoirs of Mitsuo Fuchida, the Commander of the Attack on Pearl Harbor.
Author of 101 Lesser Known Facts Related to the Attack on Pearl Harbor