Kamikaze Attacks of World War II: A Complete History of Japanese Suicide Strikes on American Ships, by Aircraft and Other Means

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Drawing on U.S. government reports, interrogation reports of Japanese officers, ship action reports and secondary sources, this book details more than 400 kamikaze attacks by Japanese aircraft, manned torpedoes, suicide boats and suicide swimmers against U.S. ships during World War II. Part One focuses on the traditions, development and history of the kamikazes, including the origins of the samurai class and its ethos, the development of kamikaze aircraft and watercraft, and the indoctrination of children in the Japanese school system. Part Two details the kamikaze attacks on ships in the waters around the Philippines, Iwo Jima, Taiwan, Okinawa and Japan. Appendices list all of the U.S. ships suffering kamikaze attacks along with casualty figures, outlines and silhouettes of various U.S. ships involved in kamikaze attacks, and silhouettes of Japanese kamikaze aircraft.

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Editorial Reviews

Stone & Stone Second World War Books
a thorough account...a very solid, fact-based synopsis of the Japanese suicide forces...the perfect book for someone who wants an understanding of the development and employment of special attack forces...nicely illustrated...almost certainly the best book on the subject. Highly recommended
National Association of USS LCS Newsletter
in its extensive research, range, depth and detail, historian Rielly's work is the most important book to appear on the suicide attacks of World War II, and deserves to stand at the head of kamikaze literature
Library Journal
the author has brought together every suicide attack he could positively identify...this compendium will undoubtedly be useful to future writers, and is a record one cannot resist reading with horror and regret for the lives wasted in what seem to us now a futile gesture
Library Journal
The author has brought together every suicide attack he could positively identify, including those by surface boats, submarines, and aircraft. He has listed events, circumstances, casualties, and outcomes for each. The casualties were appalling but the kamikaze campaign never seriously affected the progress of the Allied forces. This compendium will undoubtedly be useful to future writers, and is a record one cannot resist reading with horror and regret for the lives wasted in what seems to us now a futile gesture. Chapters on the samurai ethic and kamikaze traditions add to understanding of the origins of the campaign.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786446544
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/2/2010
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin L. Rielly previously taught U.S. history, Asian studies and international relations. He serves as historian for the National Association of USS LCS(L) 1-130 and lives in Manchester, New Jersey.

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Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction 3

Part 1 The Genesis of the Kamikazes, their Organization, and Disposition

1 The Development of the Samurai Class and its Ethos 7

2 Kamikaze Traditions 16

3 Special Attack Aircraft 29

4 Development of the Tokko-tai 42

5 Tactics 54

6 Kamikazes on Land and Sea 73

Part 2 The Kamikaze Chronicles: A Detailed Account of the Attacks

7 Prelude to Mayhem 107

8 The December Kamikazes, 1944 138

9 Lingayen Gulf 154

10 Taiwan, Iwo Jima, and Ulithi 176

11 Okinawa and the Ten go Campaign 187

12 The Invasion of Okinawa, Week One 205

13 The Onslaught Continues 227

14 "…We Cleaned up the Bodies…" 253

15 A Miserable May 273

16 The War Winds Down 288

17 Ketsu Go: Defending the Homeland 301

Appendix I U.S. Navy and Merchant Marine Ships Damaged or Sunk by Kamikaze Attacks, 1942-1945 317

Appendix II Ship Types 325

Appendix III American and Japanese Aircraft 334

Chapter Notes 343

Bibliography 355

Index 369

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