Requiem for Battleship Yamato
This is a very interesting book by a man who was actually on the Yamato when it was attacked and sunk by U.S. planes. His writing style is very good and gives a person a very good idea of just how horrible it was at the time of the attack.
The book also has an introductory section explaining about the kamikaze attacks, and some photos.
At the very beginning, the sailors had no idea where the Yamato was going to go. There was a Nisei serving on the ship, having been drafted while attend college in Japan. He was used to translate American radio intercepts.
Admiral Ito strongly objected to what was planned for the Yamato and the ships that accompanied her. He objected to the fact that there was going to be no air cover for the ships. (By this time, Japan should have realized that air cover was of extreme importance, and ships out on their own were relatively easy pickings.)
He also pointed out that the Japanese force had ten ships; the opposing American force had sixty. He also wanted a night attack (which the Japanese were relatively good at), and not a day attack.
The author also makes a reference to how Japanese officers would routinely hit those under their command if they did something that the officers didn't like. He also writes about the spirit of the crew.
The Yamato and the other ships were to draw off American forces from Okinawa, and to allow the kamikaze air attacks that were taking place to have a better chance of success. The ships had only enough fuel for a one-way trip to Okinawa, the Yamato assigned to destroy enemy ships, beach herself, and use her big guns while she could, then offloading the sailors so they could fight with the Japanese ground forces.
They knew that they would be subject to air attack, and they also realized the danger from American submarines.
His description of the attack is very clear, very realistic.
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