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Seller Inventory Xn. Roger Pineau. Publisher: Naval Institute Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title A classic and poignant treatment of Japan's struggle between recognition of the kamikaze's futility and the country's pride in having made the attempt to stem the tide of the American advance in , this account, given by two former Kamikaze pilots, testifies to Japanese perspective of the last days of World War II.
From the Back Cover : A poignant treatment of Japan's struggle between recognition of the kamikaze's futility and pride in having made the attempt. About the Author : Capt.
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Until our most recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States military had rarely encountered adversaries that were willing to, according to our culture, commit suicide. This chapter of our military history has receded from view. The World War II generation is nearly gone and our cont Until our most recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States military had rarely encountered adversaries that were willing to, according to our culture, commit suicide.
The World War II generation is nearly gone and our contemporary suicide adversaries now overshadow the remnants of the Japanese Divine Wind. Nevertheless, it is useful to try to understand the root causes of this type of unusual warfare. Equally important, especially for this book, is that the memories of the surviving Japanese who were part of the Divine Wind effort were similarly untainted by the passage of time. Unlike most American published histories of World War II, this book is from the point of view of the enemy.
They served in high-level staff positions during the formative days of the Divine Wind strategy, and later as the effort was implemented, helped train the personnel and pilots who executed the strategy as well as participating in planning operational Kamikaze strikes. We are thus given their point of view about why such a strategy was developed and by all accounts, successfully executed with minimal material resources and with primarily insufficiently trained pilots.
To the Japanese, the Divine Wind made sense. After the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June , the Imperial Japanese Navy, particularly its offensive aircraft carrier arm, was essentially destroyed. Most of the best pilots had been killed. The carrier force was decimated and the naval and military power of the United States was rapidly bearing down on the Japanese home islands.
The Divine Wind was a last ditch effort to make the American advance so costly that a peace favorable to Japan might possibly be secured. The Japanese knew they were going to experience severe losses and felt that the damage inflicted on the Americans in taking those losses should be maximized. The Japanese warrior culture supported such a move, as did loyalty to the Emperor. Particularly early on, an abundance of volunteers provided more than enough Divine Wind pilots. As the possibility of having the attacks affect the outcome of the war diminished, it became harder to recruit pilots, most of whom by this time were very inexperienced.
Nevertheless, up until the end of the war, sufficient pilots and planes existed to maintain a steady number of attacks. Regardless, the Divine Wind failed in its mission. Many brave young men died on both sides, but the outcome of the war was never in doubt. The Divine Wind was driven more by warrior pride than common sense. Off Okinawa, the U. Navy suffered its greatest losses ever, but it still brushed aside the Japanese, Divine Wind and all.
The Japanese sacrificed their young men at a time when there was no hope of victory.
How Japan's youth see the kamikaze pilots of WW2 - BBC News
These men might have played a beneficial role in helping rebuild Japan after the war. Thus, The Divine Wind reinforces the idea that the Kamikaze attacks were and likely are to remain interpreted quite differently by the United States and Japan. For the former, they remain a form of senseless killing. For the latter, they represent the highest form of warrior pride in defense of a divine Emperor and a nation that had not suffered defeat in a thousand years.
Mar 28, Chuck Barton rated it really liked it.
A fascinating book about the kamikaze forces in WWII written by two Japanese officers who were intimately involved in the recruiting and implementation of the admittedly desperation tactic to delay the advance of Allied forces in the Pacific. The tale is well told alternately by the two officers. It is a very human perspective and told at ground level as the events unfold at the airfields where the kamikaze forces are recruited, trained and sent to their certain death.
How Japan's Kamikaze Attacks Went From Last Resort at Pearl Harbor to WWII Strategy
It is a tale of a short te A fascinating book about the kamikaze forces in WWII written by two Japanese officers who were intimately involved in the recruiting and implementation of the admittedly desperation tactic to delay the advance of Allied forces in the Pacific. It is a tale of a short term strategy to achieve a specific purpose evolving into a desperate and deluded effort to delay the inevitable.
The book is interesting and oddly uplifting to a point and then it becomes depressing and the momentum for kamikaze strikes takes on a life of its own. To the books credit, the penultimate chapter goes to a higher level and reveals dissent in the highest ranks of the military about the effectiveness and morality of the kamikaze strikes.
It also reflects on Japanese culture compared with Occidental culture in considering the justification and acceptance of suicide missions as part of military strategy. The final chapter consists of final letters to home from some pilots, further humanizing those who chose to sacrifice themselves for their country and even includes some who clearly had reservations although they had "volunteered.
Jan 17, Mike Glaser rated it really liked it Shelves: japanese-navy. It is interesting to see how desperation drove these tactics and helped to justify their use. Because the story is told from the Japanese point of view, it does lack the balance of describing the Allied reaction to these tactics. Well worth your time. Aug 28, Alexander Curran rated it it was amazing. Though the phrase is now associated primarily with the deadly suicide pilots of the Second World War, its origin is much older.
In fact, the concept of the Divine Wind comes from a 13th Century typhoon that wrecked a Mongolian fleet, saving Japan from an imminent invasion. It was seen at the time as the work of the gods, who had heard and answered the prayers of the Japanese Emperor. A poignant treatment of Japan's struggle between recognition of the kamikaze's futility and pride in having made the attempt. Told by senior officials in the wartime kamikaze effort, this book stands out among English-language translations of Japanese accounts of the Pacific war.
At the outset of the Second World War, Japanese pilots could often receive up to hours of training. On top of this, many of the men already flying by the time war broke out were older and more experienced, with many years in the air already behind them. The Kamikaze pilots, on the other hand, were usually much younger, since older men were needed to train the new recruits. In fact, most of those flying suicide missions were under the age of 24 and, on average, received only 40 to 50 hours of training. Though they were usually escorted to their targets by more experienced pilots, it still seems an incredibly small amount of preparation before such a momentous task.
These interesting facts only scrape the surface of the Kamikaze tradition and tactics. Dying with honour has long been a strong cultural narrative in Japan, and the suicide attacks of the Second World War can be seen as a continuation of that. Feb 22, Tomi rated it liked it Shelves: japan-challenge.