The Last Kamikaze: The Story of Admiral Matome Ugaki

The Last Kamikaze: The Story of Admiral Matome Ugaki

The Last Kamikaze: The Story of Admiral Matome Ugaki

The Last Kamikaze: The Story of Admiral Matome Ugaki

Synopsis

This is the story of a man and a navy, and their shared death wish--Vice Admiral Matome Ugaki and the Imperial Japanese Navy. In 1945, both achieved their wish, with enormous cost to the people of Japan.

Excerpt

This is the story of a man and a navy that shared a death wish--Vice Admiral Matome Ugaki and the Imperial Japanese Navy. In the end, which came in 1945, both achieved their wish, with enormous cost to the people of Japan. The Imperial Navy was physically destroyed and its slender remnants disbanded at the demand of the victorious Allies. Admiral Ugaki achieved the death wish he had held since 1941 by killing himself in what he knew was a totally fruitless cause, and against the will of his beloved Emperor Hirohito. After the Emperor announced the Japanese surrender on August 15 and called on all his subjects to "bear the unbearable" and pull together to build a new Japan, Ugaki stripped off his insignia of rank, climbed into a torpedo bomber, and flew to Okinawa, where his intention was to crash into an American ship. In fact, his aircraft and several others filled with ardent young men who had accompanied Ugaki on his last mission were all shot down by American nightfighters without achieving anything at all. Thus they joined the thousands of others, from Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto to the rawest farm boy, who had given their lives in Japan's fruitless drive for conquest.

The two tragedies, that of the navy and that of the man, are linked inseparably. They date back to 1937, the year the . . .

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