A Glorious Way to Dieby Russell Spurr
In April 1945, the Japanese battleship Yamato, the pride of the Japanese navy and the largest battleship ever built, left Japan on a deliberate suicide attack upon Allied forces engaged in the Battle of Okinawa, with only eight other Japanese warships, no overhead air cover, and enough fuel for only one day. The Japanese force was attacked, stopped, and almost completely destroyed by U.S. carrier-borne aircraft before reaching Okinawa. Yamato and five other Japanese warships were sunk. The Yamato lost 3,062 men; only 269 were saved. In this critically acclaimed retelling of the Yamato's final days, from March 28 to April 8, 1945, author Russell Spurr documents and dramatizes, from both the American and the Japanese points of view, the events surrounding the tragic mission, and portrays the reactions of the fighting men, from top admirals to junior ships' gunners. The battle not only demonstrated U.S. air supremacy in the Pacific, but also made clear Japan's willingness to sacrifice large numbers of men in attempts to slow the Allies, which, in many historians' opinions, probably influenced President Truman's decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the atom bomb four months after the Yamato sank.
- Bantam Books
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