Battle for Okinawa

Overview

Critical acclaim for The Battle for Okinawa

"An indispensable account of the fighting and of Okinawa's role in the Japanese defense of the home islands." ?The Wall Street Journal

"A fascinating, highly intelligent glance behind the Japanese lines." ?Kirkus Reviews

"The most interesting of the 'last battle of the war' books." ?The Washington Post.

"A fascinating insider's view of the Japanese command." ?Dallas Morning News

COLONEL HIROMICHI ...

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The Battle for Okinawa

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Overview

Critical acclaim for The Battle for Okinawa

"An indispensable account of the fighting and of Okinawa's role in the Japanese defense of the home islands." —The Wall Street Journal

"A fascinating, highly intelligent glance behind the Japanese lines." —Kirkus Reviews

"The most interesting of the 'last battle of the war' books." —The Washington Post.

"A fascinating insider's view of the Japanese command." —Dallas Morning News

COLONEL HIROMICHI YAHARA was the senior staff officer of the 32nd Japanese Army at Okinawa.

A Military Book Club Main Selection

A first-hand account of one of the bloodiest encounters in the war of the Pacific, written by the Japanese strategist who designed and carried out the campaign. Editor Frank Gibney's unique perspective of having been an officer in Okinawa, who interrogated Yahara following his capture, adds a fascinating dimesion to the account. Photos. Maps.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
First published in Japan in 1973, this personal account of the last great battle of WWII is from the viewpoint of the Japanese Army officer in charge of plans and operations. Yahara reveals how his battle plan, based on a strategy of attrition, was overruled by Gen. Mitsuru Ushijima in favor of a wasteful offensive policy (``absurd suicide tactics''). He describes how orders for retreat-and-attack forays were developed and issued and explains how the site of the spectacular last stand was chosen. When defeat by the Americans was perceived as inevitable, Ushijima ordered a final charge, delivered a formal speech and submitted to the expected ritual beheading. All this is vividly described by the observant Yahara. Disinclined toward suicide himself, he evaded capture for a while by mingling with refugees but was eventually arrested by the Americans. His independence of mind illuminates this interesting narrative; his interpretive comments on the workings of the high command in a series of underground headquarters will be of interest to students of the military art. Gibney, president of the Pacific Basin Institute, was one of the intelligence officers who interrogated Yahara after his capture. Illustrations. Doubleday Military Book Club main selection. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Translated from Yahara's 1973 memoir, Okinawa Kessen, this book offers the Japanese perspective on the Pacific war's greatest land, air, and naval battle, the Battle for Okinawa, April-July 1945. Yahara was the senior staff officer of the Japanese 32nd Army defending Okinawa and the only senior officer to survive the battle. He was the operational architect of the Japanese battle of attrition, which ultimately cost a quarter-million Japanese, Okinawan, and American casualties in World War II's last great battle. Written 28 years after the war, this book provides penetrating insight into the Japanese high command's strategy and decision-making process in its final, futile defense of the home islands. Most riveting is Yahara's account of his survival and escape attempts and his disgrace for not committing the customary suicide at the battle's end. Recommended for public libraries.-William D. Bushnell, U.S. Marine Corp., ret., Sebascodegan Island, Me.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471180807
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 3/7/1997
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 651,339
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

FRANK B. GIBNEY is president of the Pacific Basin Institute. He is a former correspondent, writer, and editor for Time, Newsweek, and Life, and the author of numerous books, including Japan: The Fragile Superpower and The Pacific Century.
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Table of Contents

Partial table of contents:

PREPARATIONS FOR BATTLE.

Plans for 32nd Army: Yahara Versus Imperial Headquarters.

THE AMERICAN ASSAULT.

The Grand Strategy Unfolds.

Challenge and Response.

RETREAT UNDER FIRE.

Counteroffensive Halted.

The Headquarters Cave.

Choosing a Last-Stand Location.

Retreat and Attack.

Farewell to Shuri.

Civilians at the Last Stand.

Kiyan Peninsula.

The Last Battle.

Cave Fantasies.

EXODUS.

Gushichan Cave.

Coolie on a New Battlefield.

Reversal of Fortune.

The Colonel's Postcript.

Epilogue: The Battle Ended--Capture and Return.

Prisoner of War Interrogation Reports.

Index.

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