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The Battle For Okinawa Paperback – March 7, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0471180807 ISBN-10: 0471180807 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471180807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471180807
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Critical acclaim for The Battle for Okinawa

"An indispensable account of the fighting and of Okinawa's role in the Japanese defense of the home islands." —The Wall Street Journal

"A fascinating, highly intelligent glance behind the Japanese lines." —Kirkus Reviews

"The most interesting of the 'last battle of the war' books." —The Washington Post.

"A fascinating insider's view of the Japanese command." —Dallas Morning News

COLONEL HIROMICHI YAHARA was the senior staff officer of the 32nd Japanese Army at Okinawa.

A Military Book Club Main Selection

About the Author

FRANK B. GIBNEY is president of the Pacific Basin Institute. He is a former correspondent, writer, and editor for Time, Newsweek, and Life, and the author of numerous books, including Japan: The Fragile Superpower and The Pacific Century.

Customer Reviews

Shimada's report also corroborates and adds information to Yahara's account.
barra
He gives a personality to the Japanese leadership and insight into their decision-making process during the battle.
William S. Grass
It is a must read book for anyone interested in the Pacific war and especially for anyone stationed in Okinawa.
Jeffrey Urbanski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Urbanski on June 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I am stationed on Okinawa with the US Air Force. I was drawn... in by the first few pages and could not put it down. Colonel Yahara is candid in his telling of the Japanese perspective and strategy of the battle and masterfully conveys what he felt as well as what he saw. It is a heartfelt read; despite being an account written by "the enemy" (at the time, anyway), you can empathize with Col Yahara and envy him for his bravery. Col Yahara does an exemplary job illustrating the Japanese dedication to victory. The book comes complete with maps to help illustrate the direction of battle (which I also used to visit battle sites). I do not look at Okinawa the same way. It is a must read book for anyone interested in the Pacific war and especially for anyone stationed in Okinawa.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Stalin Somarriba on March 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read some of the reviews for this book and some were great but others put the book down...I'm a U.S. Marine stationed in Okinawa and I have to say I really enjoyed reading the book...When I get a chance I will read it again...I have to disagree when others put the book down, and this is my reason: Being in Okinawa I visited some of the battle sites and all I could do was remember some parts of the book...I visited that hilltop where General Ushijima stood as the U.S. landed on the beaches, and it was such an unexplainable feeling as i pictured the words in my mind...If you have a chance to visit Okinawa, books like these will have an impressionable impact on you...After reading a few books on the Battle of Okinawa, this is probably my number 1.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Peter Clarke on May 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
There is no doubt that the Japanese have a completely different mindset to their western counterparts. Take the last message from Major General Suzuki "Flowers dying gracefully on Hill 109, Will bloom again amid the Kudan trees". The Japanese not only knew how to fight, but they knew how to die. This book is written from the perspective of a Japanese Staff Officer and gives an excellent overview of the Japanese tactics. When you consider the overwhelming logistic and technological superiority of the American forces it's amazing that the Japanese gave such a good account of themselves. Yahara's account gives an insight into why we must all hope like hell that they're on our side next time. This is a fascinating book, a necessary counterpoint to those of the victors - if you're at all interested in millitary history, this is a must have book
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Mcclary on September 7, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Having never had access to anything but the "western" accounts of the Battle for Okinawa, I found that Yahara presented a splendid account from the other side's point of view.
Chillingly accurate were his predictions and sadly detailed were the final events before the fall of the Japanese 32nd Army. Having spent more than 2 years in the United States, in the 1930's as an exchange officer, Colonel Yahara knew how the American military leaders thought and was privy to some of the strategies and general American military principles. Unfortunately for the Imperial Army, Yahara's expertise and gut hunches were mostly brushed aside and the Samurai mentality of offensive warfare prevailed.
Only after senior commanders, LtGen Ushijima and LtGen Cho realized that they were fighting a hopeless losing battle was Yahara finally given the reins - but it was too late. The 32nd Army had already lost too many troops and too much equipment. Imperial Headquarters in Tokyo, for reasons that are still arguable to this day, offered little more than pats on the back and lips service in the name of the mighty Empire.
Soon after Colonel Yahara was given authority to call the shots, it strikes me that his mission became two-fold: Hold off defeat for as long as possible in order to delay invasion of the homeland (mainland Japan) and, two, on a personal note, how to survive after the fall of Okinawa into American hands. He understood how foolish was the Japanese propaganda telling of how Japanese would be treated if they were taken prisoner.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In this book, Col. Yahara is a senior staff office of the Japanese Army defending Okanawa, and he describes the invasion and assault by the overpowering American forces, as well as his strategy to prevent rapid defeat, which already was a given. This book is quite good, in that: 1) it presents the view of the beseiged Japanese; 2) it is fast moving and gripping; 3) and it presents many of those "little facts" that are missing in history books, such as: how was it in the caves, what did they eat, how did they escape, did they do stupid things, what did they think of the Americans, what was it like to be around so many dead Japanese bodies, what was it like to be captured, were there Japanese POW's and how did they react; did they help the American M.P.'s. - This book is quite good and easy to read, plus has plenty of historical detail and maps. (The maps are hard to read though...) But overall, the book has value to the reader of light material as well as to the student of the Pacific War. - NOTE: the first page of Yahara's account is spellbinding: the Japanese Army hiding in caves up in the mountains, with Yahara looking down and reflecting at the hundreds of gray American Navy ships offshore, and the Marines pouring ashore completely uncontested. It's almost like reading the glorious acceptance of death in Yahara's mind; a strong impression of an inevitable death sentence which the Japanese defenders accepted unhesitatingly and proudly.
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