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Thunder Gods: The Kamikaze Pilots Tell Their Story-Hatsuho Naito, Mayumi Ichikawa

  • Title: Thunder Gods: The Kamikaze Pilots Tell Their Story
  • Author: Hatsuho Naito, Mayumi Ichikawa
  • Released: 1989-05-01
  • Language:
  • Pages: 16
  • ISBN: 0870119095
  • ISBN13: 978-0870119095
  • ASIN: 0870119095

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From Publishers Weekly The Thunder Gods were a Japanese naval-aviation unit trained for one-way missions in flying bombs called the Okha , which were launched from a mother-plane. Employed mostly in the 1945 Okinawa campaign, they sank one U.S. destroyer at a cost of 438 pilots and crew members. The author, who took part in the wind-tunnel testing of the Okha , describes the flying bomb's conception, development and the training of the pilots. Volunteers were categorized as Compliant, Eager, Very Eager and--if they signed their application in blood--Earnest. Missions are described from the mother-plane crew's point of view or by Okha pilots who were not launched at the target for one reason or another. More fully than in other recent books on kamikazes , Naito explains the spiritual dimension of the kamikaze phenomenon and its complicated effect on individual pilots. Photos. BOMC selection; paperback rights to Dell.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal In the summer of 1944, the Japanese military was short of materiel, and the American Navy was on its way. Reluctantly, the high command decided to institutionalize the ad hoc practice of suicide attacks, and special attack units were formed and trained to crash bomb-laden planes into the American ships. This grimly inexplicable turn of tactics killed about 4500 young Japanese pilots and caused serious damage to the U.S. advance in the Pacific. The approach taken by the author is more compassionate than earlier histories, now at least a decade out of print, and concentrates on the 721st Flying Corps. The poignancy of these sacrifices, and their obvious belief that they would save their nation, make those inconceivable acts more comprehensible, and demonstrate the astonishing breadth of the human experience in battle. Cautiously recommended.
- Mel D. Lane, Sacramento, Cal.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. pdf
 
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