The Kamikaze Campaign 1944-45

...Air Campaign 29, from Osprey Publishing

Title: The Kamikaze Campaign 1944-45
Author: Mark Lardas
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4728-4844-4

Air Campaign series number 29, 'Imperial Japan's Last Throw of the Dice'. A 96-page soft-cover book in the usual format and style for the series. There are of course plenty of archive photos, artwork, maps and diagrams throughout the book to illustrate the text, as we expect from these Osprey books.
The Introduction sets the scene rather nicely I thought, before leading into a Chronology of events, a handy reference. These are followed by two sections, setting out the Attacker's and the Defender's Capabilities, which includes such things as the various aircraft types used by the Japanese for their Kamikaze attacks, as well as their declining resources and ever more inexperienced pilots. On the other hand, there were the American aircraft types, the use of the proximity fuze in their anti-aircraft weapons and improved damage control procedures. These are followed by a look at the Japanese Objectives for their campaign, before getting to the largest part of the book, which examines the series of actions that made up the Kamikaze campaign itself, as Japanese servicemen, both Army and Navy, were prepared to sacrifice their lives for their Emperor. Everything is rounded off with a section considering the Aftermath and Analysis, including the limited surviving examples of their aircraft.
The units were Tokkotai, or Tokko, an abbreviation of Tokubetiu Kogeki -Special Attack, but better known by the program name of Kamikaze - Divine Wind. I found this an interesting read, as one of my long time interests has been to try and understand what drives people of the various beliefs around the world to act/behave in the way they did. The idea of willingly giving your life in the way of the Kamikaze, all for your Emperor, is difficult to get your head round, but there were plenty of volunteers. A famous campaign indeed, and for a well priced book, I think this tells the story very well indeed.
Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review copy.

Robin