Matome Ugaki was chief of staff of the Combined Fleet under admiral Isoroku Yamamoto until both were shot down over Bougainville on April 18, 1943, resulting in Yamamoto's death. Following his recovery from injuries sustained in the incident, Ugaki commanded a battleship division and later directed the kamikaze attacks against U.S. forces off Okinawa. His diary, augmented by clarifying editorial commentary, is historically invaluable because it provides intimate day-to-day glimpses of the Imperial Navy at war, along with then-admiral Ugaki's running appraisal of the fighting. The journal ends abruptly on August 15, 1945, when Ugaki, staggered by news of Japan's surrender, departed on an airborne suicide attack against the Americans and was lost at sea. Goldstein and Dillon coauthored with Gordon Prange At Dawn We Slept . Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Ugaki served as Admiral Yamamoto's chief of staff (he was wounded in the air attack that killed Yamamoto), and commanded major naval and air units. His diary provides useful insight into Japanese strategy and tactics, and into the mind of a military leader who always maintained his belief in his emperor and in victory--he died leading a kamikaze attack the day Japan surrendered. The introduction by the late Gordon W. Prange and the editors' comments provide important contextual information, correct damage reports, and identify Allied forces; the editors and Prange wrote At Dawn We Slept ( LJ 11/1/81), Miracle at Midway ( LJ 11/1/82), and December 7, 1941 ( LJ 10/15/87). Highly recommended.-- Kenneth W. Berger, Duke Univ. Lib., Durham, N.C.
Ugaki was a major naval figures. One marvels at the voluminous diary (15 volumes unedited) he was able to assemble while conducting or assisting in pivotal engagements. His observations on the Battle of Midway provide the best Japanese view of their first decisive reversal. The work details tactics, strategy, planning, combat operations, military thinking, and domestic politics--the whole enlivened by a forceful personality. Every decent history collection must have Fading victory. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)