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Samurai! Paperback – January 2, 2001
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It's terrible - rife with formatting errors and typos. About 60% of the way through the book I gave up trying to ignore them and started submitting corrections - and I still managed over 35 submissions in what remained.
There are odd line breaks in the middle of a sentence, in places passages are repeated - up to nearly 2 pages of content at a time. Dates are mangled or nonsensical, numbers especially are prone to being rendered in error. Names occasionally change spelling within a paragraph, etc.
All in all it's obvious to create the Kindle edition a physical copy was simply ripped apart and scanned, subjected to OCR and then published with minimal, if any editorial review or correction. Which is a shame, because it provides a constant distraction from the story being told - much as if you were attempting to watch a movie while a fire alarm went off in the room for 1 second every few minutes.
In summary: It's a great book and well worth the purchase, just do yourself a favor and pick up a physical copy instead. I regret having spent my money on the Kindle version of this one, because I feel like I paid to do the the publisher's editing work for them.
A little bit of a spoiler: Sakai was briefly stationed on Iwo Jima during the Marianas campaign in June and July of 1944 when American fast carriers repeatedly attacked Iwo to prevent its use a base for attacks on Adm Turner's invasion fleet. At this point Iwo had little defensive infrastructure and Sakai, along with a few other remnants of the Yokosuka Air Group were withdrawn to the home Islands after the Yokasuka group suffered the loss of all of its aircraft and 80% of its pilots. An invasion of Iwo at this point would have gone virtually unopposed as there were only a few hundred support troops left. Admiral Spruance had suggested invasions of the Bonins and Ryu Kyus at that point, rather than detouring through the Philippines, and had we followed his advice would have been spared significant casualties in both the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns. In fact the Japanese started extending peace feelers when it was clear Okinawa would be lost, so it is possible this course would have shortened the war in the Pacific by as much as a year, even without the Atomic Bombings of the Japanese home land.
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Amazon have now updated this book and a new copy has been downloaded. This must surely be an improved copy but I can't comment on any changes made as that would require reading the book again and it is too soon to do that.
13/12/16. I've now read the updated version and there are still many errors (including the author's name on the cover) although it must surely be an improvement. I repeat my offer of correcting the errors for a small fee. Surely someone somewhere gets paid to check these things, probably for a reasonable salary and with little competence required.
Curiously his survival mirrors almost every other notable survival story by a highly successful WW2 combatant: an injury sufficiently serious to remove him from combat for a period of time, then gradual return to the war via a posting to a training establishment as an instructor.
Sakai was an exceptional pilot by any standards and his flight in a heavily damaged aircraft while badly wounded is still hailed as one of history's notable aviation feats.
Just one complain: the printing quality is very bad, it looks like an old mimeograph, a sort of copy of a copy of a copy, not a modern and clean print. Quite annoying to read.
O livro mostra uma carreira de um piloto de caça (basicamente, o famoso Zero), e é bem interessante ler o que se pensa durante os combates, as estratégias possíveis, as razões pelas quais se usa o poder aéreo, a diferença tecnológica entre os diversos tipos de avião, etc. Durante a narrativa, vamos percebendo que os rápidos e temíveis Zero iam ficando rapidamente obsoletos diante de aviões como os Hellcats da marinha americana, e eram quase que inofensivos diante dos imensos B27 e B52. Com a perda das primeiras levas de aviadores experientes, e com a imensa dificuldade de se conseguir combustível, ferro e aço, nota-se a imensa dificuldade enfrentada por jovens calouros japoneses, mal equipados e mal treinados, contra nuvens de aviões modernos da marinha dos EUA.
Além das questões operacionais e histórias, os toques pessoais da narrativa mostram aspectos da vida de um jovem japonês naquela época, especialmente no que diz respeito ao estudo, ao casamento e a familia. Excelente narrativa.
Apesar de nunca mostrar revolta pelos sacrifícios que suportou o Autor nos faz sentir os horrores da guerra e a falta de sentido da carnificina que ela provoca, além do sofrimento causado à população civil e das privações que duraram muitos anos depois do fim do conflito.
O Autor, embora eloquente e preciso em sua exposição é extremamente econômico ao relatar suas próprias agruras e dificuldades no pós guerra, eu gostaria de um anexo com um relato de sua vida e realizações no pós guerra para melhor entender como um herói de guerra concluiu sua vida.
Esta obra serve para ajudar a entender como um povo, visto numa época histórica importante , entrou em guerra com um inimigo muito mais poderoso por desconhecimento de sua cultura e seus valores.