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Books - Lists

The following lists relate to English-language books on Japan's special attack forces.

Most Influential
Best Reference Books on Special Attack Forces
My Favorite Books on Special Attack Forces
Original Publication Year
Books on Specific Type of Special Attack Force
Translated Books Originally Published in Japanese
Translated Books Originally Published in French
Books Translated to Japanese
Fiction Related to Special Attack Forces
Ship Histories

Most Influential

The following list gives the two most influential books based on the frequency of citations in other works, the estimated number of readers, and writing quality.

  1. Inoguchi and Nakajima, The Divine Wind
  2. Kuwahara and Allred, Kamikaze

The Divine Wind is by far the most influential book ever published on the history of Japan's kamikaze operations. Most other books on Japan's kamikazes usually use this book, first published in English in 1958, as one of their key sources. The authors are Captain Inoguchi, who served as senior staff officer to the vice admiral who initiated Japan's kamikaze attacks in October 1944, and Commander Nakajima, who worked as flight operations officer for the air group from which the first kamikaze special attack corps was formed.

Kamikaze by Yasuo Kuwahara had six printings over 25 years. This paperback book has been considered since its publication in 1957 to represent the first detailed autobiographical account in English by a kamikaze pilot. However, the article Ten Historical Discrepancies (October 2006) shows why this book should be considered as fiction rather than Kuwahara's personal narrative of his wartime experiences.


Best Reference Books on Special Attack Forces
  1. O’Neill, Suicide Squads
  2. Warner and Warner, The Sacred Warriors: Japan’s Suicide Legions
  3. Inoguchi and Nakajima, The Divine Wind

Suicide Squads provides details regarding the various types of special attack or suicide weapons developed by Japan. This well-researched study has subheadings, many facts, and well thought-out summaries that facilitate finding specific information regarding special attack forces. 


My Favorite Books on Special Attack Forces
  1. Naito, Thunder Gods
  2. Imamura, Shig: The True Story of an American Kamikaze
  3. Inoguchi and Nakajima, The Divine Wind
  4. Grose, A Very Rude Awakening
  5. Mannock, The Sen-Toku Raid

Original Publication Year

Many books have reprint editions, so the following list gives only the original publication year. Some books were published previously in Japanese or French, but the list below refers to the English-language editions.

1957    Kuwahara and Allred, Kamikaze
1958    Inoguchi and Nakajima, The Divine Wind
1962    Yokota and Harrington, Kamikaze Submarine
1963    Grant, Attack from the sun
1964    Lott, Brave Ship Brave Men
1966    Aeronautical Staff of Aero Publishers, Kamikaze
1971    Barker, Suicide Weapon
   Millot, Divine Thunder
1973    Hagoromo Society, The Cherry Blossom Squadrons: Born to Die
   Nagatsuka, I Was a Kamikaze
1976    Gray, Tokyo Torpedo
1980    Becton, The Ship That Would Not Die
1981    Cortesi, Valor at Okinawa
   O’Neill, Suicide Squads
   Spurr, A Glorious Way to Die
1982    Warner and Warner, The Sacred Warriors: Japan’s Suicide Legions
1983    Ferry, Raspberry One
   Hoyt, The Kamikazes
1984    Stafford, Little Ship, Big War: The Saga of DE343
1985    Harmon, U.S.S. Cassin Young (DD-793)
   Monsarrat, Angel on the Yardarm
   Yoshida, Requiem for Battleship Yamato
1986    Warner and Seno, The Coffin Boats
1989    Dennis, The Destroyer U.S.S. Flusser DD368: Her Life of Service
   Naito, Thunder Gods
   Samuels, War Patrol of the PCE(R)852
1990    Brown, Kamikaze
   Morris, The Last Kamikaze
   Rooney, Mighty Midget U.S.S. LCS 82
1991    Blanton, Boston——to Jacksonville (41,000 Miles by Sea)
     Eadon, ed., Kamikaze: The Story of the British Pacific Fleet
1992    Burlingame, Advance Force Pearl Harbor
   Duffy, The Wonderful World of John Duffy: An Autobiography
   Freedman, The Seventh Stone
   Jenkins, Hitting Home: The Japanese Attack on Sydney 1942
   Lind, Toku-tai: Japanese Submarine Operations in Australian Waters
1993    Hoyt, The Last Kamikaze
   Meade, The Dignity of Danger
1994    Arnold, Standby Arnold
   Sholin, The Sacrificial Lambs
   Surels, DD 522: Diary of a Destroyer
1995    Burt, Kamikaze Nightmare
1996    Stillwell, Battleship Missouri: An Illustrated History
     Thurman, Picket Ships at Okinawa
   Tillman, Hellcats
1997    Griggs, Preludes to Victory: The Battle of Ormoc Bay in WWII
   Lambert, Bombs, Torpedoes and Kamikazes
   Lamont-Brown, Kamikaze: Japan's Suicide Samurai
   Sholin, Truman's Decision: Kamikazes the Unknown Factor
1998    Dennis, U.S.S. Frustrate: "The Luckiest Ship in the Navy"
   Skeldon, USS Kadashan Bay VC-20
1999    Fowler, The Astrological Diary of God
   Kaga, Riding the East Wind
   Streb, Life and Death Aboard the U.S.S. Essex
2000    Graves, Men of Poseidon: Life at Sea Aboard the USS Rall
   Rice, Kamikazes
   Sholin, The Kamikaze Nightmare: Terror of the Lambs
2001    Fillmore, War History of USS Leutze (DD-481)
   Harper, Too Close for Comfort
   Imamura, Shig: The True Story of an American Kamikaze
   Malott, "If We Save But One"
   Takaki and Sakaida, B-29 Hunters of the JAAF
2002    Axell and Kase, Kamikaze: Japan’s Suicide Gods
   Brown and Anteau, Historical Review: U.S.S. Drexler DD-741
   Ohnuki-Tierney, Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms, and Nationalisms
2003    Jackson, Lucky Lady: The World War II Heroics of the USS Santa Fe and Franklin
   Sakaida and Takaki, Genda's Blade: Japan's Squadron of Aces: 343 Kokutai
   Sakamoto, One Hundred Million Hearts
   Staton, The Fighting Bob: A Wartime History of the USS Robley D. Evans (DD-552)
   Stone, "My Ship!" The U.S.S. Intrepid
2004    Klinkowitz, Pacific Skies: American Flyers in World War II
   Lott and Sumrall, USS Ward—The First Shot (also has title of USS Ward Fires First Shot WWII)
2005    Mannock, The Sen-Toku Raid
   Oberg, Lucky Sweetbrier
2006    Craddock, First Shot: The Untold Story of the Japanese Minisubs that Attacked Pearl Harbor
     Kalosky, Harm's Way—The Book of Destroyer (Tin Can) at Okinawa
     Shibusawa, America's Geisha Ally: Reimagining the Japanese Enemy
     Slade, Kamikaze
2007    Bustin, Humble Heroes: How the USS Nashville CL43 Fought WWII
   Carruthers, Australia Under Siege: Japanese Submarine Raiders 1942
   Crew, Combat Loaded: Across the Pacific on the USS Tate
   Grose, A Very Rude Awakening
   Olson, Tales from a Tin Can
2008    Bonner and Bonner, USS Missouri at War
     Kennedy, Danger's Hour: The Story of the USS Bunker Hill and the Kamikaze Pilot Who Crippled Her
     Mair, Oil, Fire, and Fate: The Sinking of the USS Mississinewa (AO-59) in WWII by Japan's Secret Weapon
   Sears, At War with the Wind: The Epic Struggle with Japan's World War II Suicide Bombers
   White and Gandt, Intrepid: The Epic Story of America's Most Legendary Warship
2009    Garber, Crosswinds
     Ishiguro and Januszewski, Japanese Special Attack Aircraft & Flying Bombs
2010    Samples, Wings over Sakishima
2011    Somma, Midori and the 1000 Stitch Belt
2012    Atkinson, Tommy: A World War II Novel
2014    O'Keefe, A Thousand Stitches
     Smith, Kamikaze: To Die for the Emperor
     Veesenmeyer, Kamikaze Destroyer: USS Hugh W. Hadley (DD774)
2015    Wukovits, Hell from the Heavens: The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II's Greatest Kamikaze Attack

Books on Specific Type of Special Attack Force
Army
Navy
Ohka (piloted glider bomb)
Kaiten (manned torpedo)
Midget Submarine
Aerial Ramming Attacks
Battleship Yamato
Translated Books Originally Published in Japanese

Some of these English-language translations contain supplemental information not in the original works in Japanese. For example, the English-language version of The Cherry Blossom Squadrons: Born to Die has a 75-page Introduction not in the original book.


Translated Books Originally Published in French

Books Translated to Japanese

Fiction Related to Special Attack Forces

The following list ranks my top five recommendations based on characterization, plot development, believability, and historical accuracy.

  1. Kaga, Riding the East Wind
  2. Mannock, The Sen-Toku Raid
  3. Park, When My Name Was Keoko
  4. Freedman, The Seventh Stone
  5. Searls, The Hero Ship

Ship Histories

The following list ranks my top recommendations of histories of ships that experienced kamikaze attacks.

  1. Surels, DD 522: Diary of a Destroyer
  2. Becton, The Ship That Would Not Die
  3. Stillwell, Battleship Missouri: An Illustrated History
  4. Stafford, Little Ship, Big War: The Saga of DE343
  5. Monsarrat, Angel on the Yardarm
  6. Malott, "If We Save But One"
  7. Crew, Combat Loaded: Across the Pacific on the USS Tate
  8. Lott, Brave Ship Brave Men
  9. Kennedy, Danger's Hour: The Story of the USS Bunker Hill and the Kamikaze Pilot Who Crippled Her
  10. Blanton, Boston——to Jacksonville (41,000 Miles by Sea)