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History Happy Hour

Episode 78: Japanese Kamikaze Pilots

Our guest is Dan King, author of  Blossoms from the Sky: Firsthand Accounts from Kamikaze Pilots Who Volunteered to Fly the Ohka Baka Bomb.  Here are some other titles to look at:

Kamikaze: Japanese Special Attack Weapons 1944-45, Steven Zaloga – If you want to know some of the technical details of the Shinpu Tokubetsu Kogekitai (Divine Wind Special Attack Units), both the men and their various machines, then this is a very good, easily accessible reference work.

Divine Wind: Japan’s Kamikaze Force in WW2, Rikihei Inoguchi, Tadashi Nakajima, Roger Pineau (translator) – A postwar translation of interviews carried out with senior Japanese officers who had been involved in the creation, training and use of the Special Attack units. Provides a unique, and important, perspective.

Blossoms in the Wind: Human Legacies of the Kamikaze, M.G. Sheftall – Recollections of ordinary Kamikaze who, for one reason or another, neve completed their final mission. Provides some interesting nuggets of the thoughts and aspirations of the young men who carried out the infamous suicide missions.

Kamikaze Attacks of World War 2: A Complete History of the Japanese Suicide Strikes on American Ships, by Aircraft and Other Means, Robin Reilly – A detailed and thorough military history on each of the 400 documented strikes by Special Attack Units on American units during World War 2. Straightforward military history that relies on LOTS of US and Japanese primary source material.

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