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At War With The Wind

At War With The Wind

4.8 5
by David Sears

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A Main Selection of the Military Book Club and a Featured Alternate of the History Book Club

In the last days of World War II, a new and baffling weapon terrorized the United States Navy in the Pacific. To the sailors who learned to fear them, the body-crashing warriors of Japan were known as "suiciders"; among the Japanese, they were named for a divine


A Main Selection of the Military Book Club and a Featured Alternate of the History Book Club

In the last days of World War II, a new and baffling weapon terrorized the United States Navy in the Pacific. To the sailors who learned to fear them, the body-crashing warriors of Japan were known as "suiciders"; among the Japanese, they were named for a divine wind that once saved the home islands from invasion: kamikaze.

Told from the perspective of the men who endured this horrifying tactic, At War with the Wind is the first book to recount in nail-biting detail what it was like to experience an attack by Japanese kamikazes. David Sears, acclaimed author of The Last Epic Naval Battle, draws on personal interviews and unprecedented research to create a narrative of war that is stunning in its vivid re-creations. Born of desperation in the face of overwhelming material superiority, suicide attacks--by aircraft, submarines, small boats, and even manned rocket-boosted gliders--were capable of inflicting catastrophic damage, testing the resolve of officers and sailors as never before. Sears's gripping account focuses on the vessels whose crews experienced the full range of the kamikaze nightmare. From carrier USS St. Lo, the first U.S. Navy vessel sunk by an orchestrated kamikaze attack, to USS Henrico, a transport ship that survived the landings at Normandy only to be sent to the Pacific and struck by suicide planes off Okinawa, and USS Mannert L. Abele, the only vessel sunk by a rocket-boosted piloted glider during the war, these unforgettable stories reveal, as never before, one of the most horrifying and misunderstood chapters of World War II.

This is the candid story of a war within a war--a relentless series of furious and violent engagements pitting men determined to die against men determined to live. Its echoes resonate hauntingly at a time of global conflict, when suicide as a weapon remains a perplexing and terrifying reality.

November 1, 1945--Leyte Gulf

The destroyer Killen (DD-593) was besieged, shooting down four planes, but taking a bomb hit from a fifth. Pharmacist mate Ray Cloud, watching from the fantail, saw the plane--a sleek twin-engine Frances fighter-bomber--swoop in low across the port side. As its pilot released his bomb, Cloud said to himself, "He dropped it too soon," and then watched as the plane roared by--pursued and chewed up by fire from Killen's 40- and 20-mm guns.

The bomb hit the water, skipped once and then penetrated Killen's port side hull forward, exploding between the #2 and #3 magazines. The blast tore a gaping hole in Killen's side and water poured in. By the time Donice Copeland, eighteen, a radar petty officer, emerged on deck from the radar shack, the ship's bow was practically submerged and the ship itself was nearly dead in the water.

Practically all the casualties were awash below decks. Two unwounded sailors, trapped below in the ship's emergency generator room, soon drowned. The final tally of dead eventually climbed to fifteen.

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Penguin Random House Publisher Services
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1 MB

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At War with the Wind: The Epic Struggle with Japan's World War II Suicide Bombers 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
gulfwarssg More than 1 year ago
David Sears has taken the time and effort to thoroughly
research this book. Not only through other books and Naval
records, but by contacting the men and who lived through the
actual events and their families. This first hand reporting
puts you on the decks of these great ships, side by side with
the men who fought so bravely during some of the most horrific
fighting of World War II.
This book should be required reading for all our young people.
I think it may open their eyes to the kinds of sacrifices our
military made then, and continue to make, to preserve the freedom
we all too often take for granted.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this titled book to be researched to a great extent, particularly with personal interviews with surviving veterans of the Pacific war against Japan. The casualties inflicted on the U.S. Navy,specifically by the kamikazes , is told with precise attention to detail. It makes the reader fully appreciate the sacrifices made by those seaman, for the most part young boys not even old enough to vote during that time period.
TonyB More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading David Sears latest book At War With The Wind in which he so aptly chronicles the WWII Naval battle of the South Pacific. Mr. Sears has done a masterful job of weaving together a vast amount of detail with hundreds of personal, eye-witness accounts of how those heroic sailors and marines fought one of the most bloody naval battles of modern warfare. David¿s writing style is very interesting and easy to read, yet this is a compelling account of the war. He has helped me to come to a much greater appreciation of what our fighting men and women have given for the freedom we enjoy today. It is a must read for anyone interested gaining insight into the history of our country.
donsdaughter More than 1 year ago
At War with the Wind is an excellent look at the men of the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theatre and their battles with the Japanese, especially Kamikaze attacks. While historical, it tells of these battles from the men who were there. Many books have been written about World War II, but not many from the viewpoint of the flightdeck or the radio room from those who manned those posts and who watched friends' acts of true bravery and sacrifice. A nice photo section accompanies the book with personal photos of some of the sailors mentioned in the book.

The author truly cares about these men and portrays their heroism (though the men don't think of it that way) as humble as well as noble. A great read for those who want to understand history from those who made it.
AvonJohn More than 1 year ago
One of the best books on the subject. The author talked to many sailors who lived through this horror. Should be required reading for any WWII buff.