In the summer of 1944, the Japanese military was short of materiel, and the American Navy was on its way. Reluctantly, the high command decided to institutionalize the ad hoc practice of suicide attacks, and special attack units were formed and trained to crash bomb-laden planes into the American ships. This grimly inexplicable turn of tactics killed about 4500 young Japanese pilots and caused serious damage to the U.S. advance in the Pacific. The approach taken by the author is more compassionate than earlier histories, now at least a decade out of print, and concentrates on the 721st Flying Corps. The poignancy of these sacrifices, and their obvious belief that they would save their nation, make those inconceivable acts more comprehensible, and demonstrate the astonishing breadth of the human experience in battle. Cautiously recommended.-- Mel D. Lane, Sacramento, Cal.