The Last Mission

The Last Mission


14 August 1945. As Emperor Hirohito recorded a message of surrender for the Japanese people, rebel troops commanded by high-ranking officers from War Minister Anami¹s staff burst into the Imperial palace. Their intention was to stage a coup, destroy the recording and issue forged orders for Japan to continue the war. Had they succeeded, there would have been massive kamikaze attacks on allied forces, causing carnage and possibly provoking America to drop a third atomic bomb on an already devastated Japan...

But on that fateful night, in the skies approaching Tokyo, a stream of B-29B 'Superfortress' bombers were heading towards Japan's last functioning oil refinery. Fearing that the approaching planes could be carrying another atom bomb, Japanese air defences ordered a total black out of the city and the Imperial palace and in so doing completely disrupted the rebels' plans, enabling soldiers loyal to the Emperor to sieze back control. At midday on 15 August 1945, the Imperial message of surrender was broadcast throughout Japan. The Second World War was finally over.

THE LAST MISSION is gripping work of speculative investigation into one of the least known yet profoundly significant episodes of World War II.


  • 'Fascinating...a breathtaking blend of memoir, investigative research and imagination'
    Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking

About the authors

Jim Smith

Learn More

Malcolm McConnell

Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more