While America was preoccupied with the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, an even greater tragedy was unfolding across Southeast Asia. From Wake Island to Burma, the Empire of Japan opened the largest front in the history of warfare: an aircraft-driven invasion of colonial possessions throughout the Far East that crumbled the entire Western imperial legacy of the nineteenth-century. Events during the first two weeks of battle set the stage for the greatest military defeats America and Great Britain would suffer during any conflict.This book offers the first comprehensive overview of the collapse of Allied air forces during the period between December 8 and 24, 1941. Written for a wide audience, it gives readers both a cockpit view of the desperate actions that took place and an understanding of why such heavy losses occurred. The narrative account includes enough detail and analysis to hold the interest of serious students of Pacific War aviation and enough exciting descriptions of air combat to attract those with little knowledge of the subject.Explaining how and why the Japanese were able to win a quick victory, John Burton points to U.S. failures in the concepts for employment of airpower and a significant underestimation of Japanese "e;air-mindedness"e; and aviation capabilities, failures that resulted in the loss or surrender of more than 200,000 troops at Bataan and Singapore.