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A Main Selection of the Military Book Cluband a Featured Alternate of the History Book Club In the last days of World War II, a new and baffling weapon terrorized the United States Navy in the Pacific. To the sailors who learned to fear them, the body-crashing warriors of Japan were known as suiciders; among the Japanese, they were named for a divine wind that once saved the home islands from invasion: kamikaze. Told from the perspective of the men who endured this horrifying tactic, At War with the Wind is the first book to recount in nail-biting detail what it was like to experience an attack by Japanese kamikazes. David Sears, acclaimed author of The Last Epic Naval Battle, draws on personal interviews and unprecedented research to create a narrative of war that is stunning in its vivid re-creations. Born of desperation in the face of overwhelming material superiority, suicide attacks--by aircraft, submarines, small boats, and even manned rocket-boosted gliders--were capable of inflicting catastrophic damage, testing the resolve of officers and sailors as never before. Sears''s gripping account focuses on the vessels whose crews experienced the full range of the kamikaze nightmare. From carrier USS St. Lo, the first U. S. Navy vessel sunk by an orchestrated kamikaze attack, to USS Henrico, a transport ship that survived the landings at Normandy only to be sent to the Pacific and struck by suicide planes off Okinawa, and USS Mannert L. Abele, the only vessel sunk by a rocket-boosted piloted glider during the war, these unforgettable stories reveal, as never before, one of the most horrifying and misunderstood chapters of World War II. This is the candid story of a war within a war--a relentless series of furious and violent engagements pitting men determined to die against men determined to live. Its echoes resonate hauntingly at a time of global conflict, when suicide as a weapon remains a perplexing and terrifying reality. November 1, 1945--Leyte Gulf The destroyer Killen (DD-593) was besieged, shooting down four planes, but taking a bomb hit from a fifth. Pharmacist mate Ray Cloud, watching from the fantail, saw the plane--a sleek twin-engine Frances fighter-bomber--swoop in low across the port side. As its pilot released his bomb, Cloud said to himself, He dropped it too soon, and then watched as the plane roared by--pursued and chewed up by fire from Killen''s 40- and 20-mm guns. The bomb hit the water, skipped once and then penetrated Killen''s port side hull forward, exploding between the #2 and #3 magazines. The blast tore a gaping hole in Killen''s side and water poured in. By the time Donice Copeland, eighteen, a radar petty officer, emerged on deck from the radar shack, the ship''s bow was practically submerged and the ship itself was nearly dead in the water. Practically all the casualties were awash below decks. Two unwounded sailors, trapped below in the ship''s emergency generator room, soon drowned. The final tally of dead eventually climbed to fifteen. The experts praise At War With The Wind A work of power and passion . . . The finest account of the American reaction to the furious suicide raids that attempted to turn the course of the War in the Pacific. --Donald L. Miller, author of D-Days in the Pacific A real stunner . . . A superb narrative of life, death, and incredible heroism. --Jim Hartz, former host of Today Thorough and vivid . . . A timely, absorbing book. --John C. McManus, author of Alamo in the Ardennes Gripping naval combat writing . . . Sears pulls no punches in this powerful account of the sheer terror that was kamikaze warfare. --M. G. Sheftall, author of Blossoms in the Wind Mesmerizing . . . With history like this, who needs fiction? Simply thrilling. --Kenneth Sewell, author of Red Star Rogue Powerful . . . David Sears salutes American heroism in the bleakest days of the war. --H. Paul Jeffers, author of Command of Honor Gripping . . . Sears puts readers beside the heroic American sailors in the bull''s eye. --Jerome Preisl...
Sears, who has personal experience of sea duty aboard a destroyer and has written several books on naval history, offers this account of the adventures of naval aviators during World War II. This engaging historical narrative of air efforts against the Japanese discusses details of both US and Japanese naval airplanes. Twenty two pages of historic WWII black and white photographs are presented along with a glossary, a bibliography that includes oral histories and interviews, and an appendix listing US Navy pilots and crews, their squadron, confirmed kills and status if killed or missing in action. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
In 1951, James Michener went to Korea to report on a little known aspect of America's stalemated war: navy aviators. His research inspired novel about these pilots became an overnight bestseller and, perhaps, the most widely read book ever written about aerial combat. Using Michener's notes, author David Sears tracked down the actual pilots to tell their riveting, true-life stories. From the icy, windswept decks of aircraft carriers, they penetrated treacherous mountain terrain to strike heavily defended dams, bridges, and tunnels, where well entrenched Communist anti-aircraft gunners waited to shoot them down. Many of these men became air combat legends, and one, Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut to walk on the moon. Such Men As Thesebrims with action-packed accounts of combat and unforgettable portraits of the pilots whose skill and sacrifice made epic history.
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