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A Glorious Way to Die: The Kamikaze Mission of the Battleship Yamato, April 1945 Paperback – International Edition, June 14, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Newmarket Press; New edition edition (June 14, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557042489
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557042484
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,103,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A Glorious Way To Die: The Kamikaze Mission Of The Battleship Yamato, April 1945 dramatizes the final mission of the biggest battleship every built in the history of naval warfare. Russell Spurr tells the day-by-day historic, tragic, violent events surround the final days of the battleship Yamato from both the Japanese an Allied points of view. A Glorious Way To Die is fascinating naval history and "must" reading for all World War II military studies collections. -- Midwest Book Review

First-rate military history with an unusual human dimension. -- Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Russell Spurr was based in Hong Kong for more than 20 years as the China and Far East correspondent for the London Daily Express and ABC Radio Network, and the chief correspondent and deputy editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. He was one of the first Western correspondents to report from Peking after the establishment in 1949 of the People's Republic of China. During World War II Spurr was in the Royal Indian Navy, and served in motor gunboats through most of the Burma campaign. After the Japanese surrender, he was assigned to Kure, Japan, where he first viewed the vacant dock built for the Yamato and began to pursue the story of its demise. Spurr is also the author of the highly acclaimed Enter the Dragon: China's Undeclared War Against the U.S. in Korea.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Yamato eiko Banzai!
EdM
Now if only Spielberg would read this book and think movie.... could you imagine a full, professionally modeled Yamato on the big screen!
K. Smith
The story was told well and the author made good use of first hand accounts by the participants on both sides.
Aussie Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Richard P. Mayhew on August 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
At the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington D.C. Southeast among the captured war booty and static displays you will find one rather odd looking display, a giant twisted and tortured looking piece of iron that looks like a modern art sculpture. This section of metal is not an artwork, it is a piece of armor plate taken after the war from the shipyard in Japan that built the warship Yamato, the largest battleship to ever to roam the seas. It is distorted because the Navy wanted to see what US Navy 16" guns would do to the armor plate which was used to protect the Yamato and her two sister ships Musashi and Shinano. Like many countries in the 30's and early 40's in Japan the Imperial Navy was the dominant military force, as such the Imperial Navy wanted to deploy the most powerful ships in the world, at that time the battleship was still viewed as the king of the seas. Three ships were taken under construction in the Kure naval yard, they were to be the most heavily armed and defended battleships ever, larger by far than the German Bismark, British Prince of Wales and Hood and even larger than any battleship ever built by the United States, these warships were to sport giant 18" guns that could devastate any opponent that they should face. Very quickly after the start of hostilities it became clear that the role of the battleship would have to be re-thought, the destruction of the Prince of Wales, The Bismark, the Italian fleet at Taranto and several American battleships at Pearl Harbor by (or at least largely in part due to) airpower and the advent of the submarine force made these once unapproachable ships vunerable. After the Battle Of Coral Sea construction of the last of these three giant ships was halted and changed in mid-stream...Read more ›
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
This account certainly deserves five stars, no question about it. Spurr presents an excellent and very readable account of the last sailing of the Yamato on it's suicide mission to Okinawa. The author switches back and forth between the American side and the Japanese side, and, because of this, presents two sides of the same event. And, when reading both sides, the reader gets the impression that the author has done one heck of a job of research. The American characters, and especially the Japanese characters, come alive as real people, in real situations, in real action. Spurr has done an excellent job in both research and presentation; the book is exciting and hard to put down once you start reading. I was also impressed with the clarity of maps and diagrams, which, in most books of this period, are so small and blurry they are impossible to read. A great battleship. A great story.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Thompson on December 2, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Other reviews have eloquently praised this wonderful book, so I'll restrict my remarks to related material.
If this subject interest you, try Yoshida Mitsuru's book: "Requiem for the Battleship Yamato". This is a first-person account of Yamato's final mission, and is one of the greatest literary accomplishments of World War II.
And to the reviewer who wanted Spielberg to make a movie of this story, please know that several films about the Yamato's final voyage have already been made in Japan. At least one film was made in the fifties, another version, "Rengo Kantai" (the Grand Fleet) was released in 1981, and a film called the "Battleship Yamato" was released a few years ago. None of these are available in the United States. Hopefully, someone will see fit to import at least one of the recent films (both reportedly lavish productions), as any of these would be preferable to a U.S. production.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ned Middleton TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 29, 2012
Format: Unknown Binding
HIJMS Yamato was - and will now forever be, the largest Battleship ever built. It will also forever remain a supreme curiosity that Japan - the one country which had the foresight to recognise how air power and aircraft carriers were the sea-going naval might of the future, should insist on building 2 Yamato class Battleships when their construction almost bankrupted the nation to the extent that their building even deprived the country's fishermen of their nets.

Nevertheless this magnificent vessel of death, doom and destruction went into service at a time when the Imperial Japanese Navy could do no wrong. Prior to WW2 Japan broke the terms of the peace treaties by preparing for their eventual complete domination of the Pacific region. The building of Truk Lagoon being one example. Then, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbour those plans were put into effect with devastating results. In June 1942, however, they failed to take Midway Atoll and from then on it was all downhill. Three years later, the largest Battleship ever to have been built was sent on a final mission from which she never returned.

In "A Glorious Way to Die" Russell Spurr gives an account of this great ship from beginning to tragic end. It is a complete account - as befits one of the world's greatest ships.

Perhaps the Yamato will prove to be the last great ship to be discovered by the great Bob Ballard.

NM
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30 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Dewey F. Ray Jr. on August 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In the passage describing the part played by Torpedo Squadron 84 the attack on the Yamato contains egregious errors in the names of 12 of the 14 pilots of VT-84. The only two that are correct are squadron skipper, Lt.Cdr. Chandler Swanson, and Lt.jg Richard Walsh. This leads me to question the validity of other portions of the account that may be made up. My name is Dewey Ray. An Owen Ray appears in Russell Spurr's account . I was one of the pilots on the attack. There was no Owen Ray in our squadron and the names of the other pilots on the attack are similarly mangled or completely ficticious.
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