|About the Book|
Two former officers of the Imperial Japanese Navy tell their version of the history of the kamikaze attacks. Captain Rikihei Inoguchi served as senior staff officer to Vice Admiral Takijiro Ohnishi, who initiated Japans kamikaze attacks againstMoreTwo former officers of the Imperial Japanese Navy tell their version of the history of the kamikaze attacks. Captain Rikihei Inoguchi served as senior staff officer to Vice Admiral Takijiro Ohnishi, who initiated Japans kamikaze attacks against American ships in the Philippines. Commander Tadashi Nakajima was flight operations officer for the 201st Air Group, which organized the first kamikaze special attack corps. Nakajima later served on the staff of the air fleet that launched suicide attacks against the American fleet around Okinawa. These two eyewitnesses to events surrounding the kamikaze operations provide many insights into the motivations and feelings of both the leaders and pilots of the kamikaze units.Inoguchi and Nakajima first published their account in Japanese in 1951 under the title Kamikaze Tokubetsu Kogekitai (Kamikaze Special Attack Forces), and the U.S. Naval Institute published the first English translation in 1953. Roger Pineau, a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and the co-author of several books about the war in the Pacific, reorganized the original text, retranslated some sections, and added footnotes for the version published in 1958. His thorough research, thoughtful editing, and accurate translations produced a book that for several decades has been both popular with a wide audience and valuable to historians. The 1958 version also contains a five-page preface written by Inoguchi and Nakajima in December 1957. Both Bantam (1960) and Ballantine (1968) published paperback versions that were reprinted several times, and the book has been translated to several other languages.The Divine Wind covers the kamikaze operations from October 19, 1944, the date of the formation of the first kamikaze special attack corps, to the end of the war. Inoguchi and Nakajima divide up the chapters between them, so some chapters cover the same events from each authors individual perspective. The books events follow a rough chronological order, with Part One covering the Birth of the Kamikaze in which both authors participated. Parts Two and Three cover the special attack units in the Philippines and Taiwan, respectively. Part Four details the last-ditch efforts of Japans military to launch suicide assaults against the American fleet surrounding Okinawa. The last part gives Inoguchis reflections on the decision to use suicide tactics to wage war against the United States, and the last chapter of this part contains several letters from kamikaze pilots.