One of the most fascinating aspects of World War II was Japan´s use of suicide pilots known around the globe as kamikazes, though the Japanese referred to them as Tokubetsu kōgekitai (´´Special Attack Units´´). Translated as ´´God Wind´´, ´´Divine Wind´´, and ´´God Spirit´´, kamikazes would sink 47 Allied vessels and damage over 300 by the end of the war, but the rise in the use of kamikaze attacks was evidence of the loss of Japan´s air superiority and its waning industrial might. This method of fighting would become more common by the time Iwo Jima was fought over in early 1945, and it was especially prevalent during the invasion of Okinawa in April 1945. The ´´privilege´´ of being selected as a kamikaze pilot played directly into the deep-seated Japanese mindset of ´´death before defeat´´. The pilot training manual assured each kamikaze candidate that when they eliminated all thoughts of life and death, fear of losing the earthly life can be easily overcome. Still, not all cases of those chosen to be kamikazes were equally noble. Recruits were trained with torturous regimens or corporal punishment, and stories of mental impairment caused by drugs or saki abound. Some were described as ´´tottering´´ and dazed, being carried to their planes by maintenance officers, and forcibly pushed in if they backed down. Pilots who could not find their targets were told to turn around and spare their own lives for another day, but if a pilot returned nine times, he was to be shot. At the moment of collision, he was instructed to keep his eyes open at all times, and to shout ´´Hissatsu´´ (´´clear kill´´). The Kamikazes chronicles the history of Japan´s famous suicide pilots and explains when, why, and how Japan resorted to their use near the end of war. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Stan Chandler. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/034713/bk_acx0_034713_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The thrilling story behind the American pilots who were secretly recruited to defend the nation’s desperate Chinese allies before Pearl Harbor and ended up on the front lines of the war against the Japanese in the Pacific.Sam Kleiner’s The Flying Tigers uncovers the hidden story of the group of young American men and women who crossed the Pacific before Pearl Harbor to risk their lives defending China. Led by legendary army pilot Claire Chennault, these men left behind an America still at peace in the summer of 1941 using false identities to travel across the Pacific to a run-down airbase in the jungles of Burma. In the wake of the disaster at Pearl Harbor, this motley crew was the first group of Americans to take on the Japanese in combat, shooting down hundreds of Japanese aircraft in the skies over Burma, Thailand, and China. At a time when the Allies were being defeated across the globe, the Flying Tigers’ exploits gave hope to Americans and Chinese alike.Kleiner takes listeners into the cockpits of their iconic shark-nosed P-40 planes - one of the most familiar images of the war - as the Tigers perform nail-biting missions against the Japanese. He profiles the outsize personalities involved in the operation, including Chennault, whose aggressive tactics went against the prevailing wisdom of military strategy; Greg ´´Pappy” Boyington, the man who would become the nation’s most beloved pilot until he was shot down and became a POW; Emma Foster, one of the nurses in the unit who had a passionate romance with a pilot named John Petach; and Madame Chiang Kai-shek herself, who first brought Chennault to China and who would come to visit these young Americans. A dramatic story of a covert operation whose very existence would have scandalized an isolationist United States, The Flying Tigers is the unforgettable account of a group of Americans whose heroism changed the world, and who cemented an alliance between t 1. Language: English. Narrator: Stephen Graybill. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/peng/003969/bk_peng_003969_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Told from both Japanese and American perspectives, this thrilling account of the final weeks of World War II in the Pacific has been heralded by the New York Times Book Review as ´´virtually faultless´´. By midsummer 1945, Japan had long since lost the war in the Pacific. The people were not told the truth, and neither was the emperor. Japanese generals, admirals, and statesmen knew, but only a handful of leaders were willing to accept defeat. Most were bent on fighting the Allies until the last Japanese soldier died and the last city burned to the ground. Exhaustively researched and vividly told, The Fall of Japan masterfully chronicles the dramatic events that brought an end to the Pacific War and forced a once-mighty military nation to surrender unconditionally. From the ferocious fighting on Okinawa to the all-but-impossible mission to drop the second atom bomb, and from Franklin D. Roosevelt´s White House to the Tokyo bunker where tearful Japanese leaders first told the emperor the truth, William Craig captures the pivotal events of the war with spellbinding authority. The Fall of Japan brings to life both celebrated and lesser-known historical figures, including Admiral Takijiro Onishi, the brash commander who drew up the Yamamoto plan for the attack on Pearl Harbor and inspired the death cult of kamikaze pilots. This astonishing account ranks alongside Cornelius Ryan´s The Longest Day and John Toland´s The Rising Sun as a masterpiece of World War II history. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Mark Ashby. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/023294/bk_adbl_023294_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.