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Japanese Destroyer Captain

Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Midway - The Great Naval Battles Seen Through Japanese Eyes
Narrated by: Brian Nishii
Length: 15 hrs and 20 mins
Categories: History, Military
5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This highly regarded war memoir was a best seller in both Japan and the United States during the 1960s and has long been treasured by historians for its insights into the Japanese side of the surface war in the Pacific. The author was a survivor of more than one hundred sorties against the Allies and was known throughout Japan as the Unsinkable Captain.

A hero to his countrymen, Capt. Hara exemplified the best in Japanese surface commanders: highly skilled, hard driving, and aggressive. Moreover, he maintained a code of honor worthy of his samurai grandfather, and, as readers of this book have come to appreciate, he was as free with praise for American courage and resourcefulness as he was critical of himself and his senior commanders.

©1967 Tameichi Hara (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I think a must for navy buffs

Any additional comments?

I think if you are really into your ships you should get this. If you are only slightly interested in the topic you may be put off as at times this can be dry.
Clearly this was written with a sense of putting the IJN case forward for all time. Therefore its narrative suffers as I feel the author may have held back or included certain stories if it serves his overall purpose of presenting that picture he wants to paint. At times I thought he was being very unreliable despite my best attempts to give him the benefit of the doubt. At other times I felt he had an axe to grind. However despite all its flaws, by the end as the mighty Yamato sinks to the bottom and with it the hopes and dreams of the IJN, and as the narration abruptly ends, I strangely felt myself feel very sorry for captain Hara and the IJN and felt the world is a slightly less fascinating place without the Japanese warships of the IJN and men like Captain Hara. And its this feeling I cant explain that reveals the magic behind novels.

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brilliant

narrator has got a nice voice but the captains story is interesting with lots of detail

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  • S. Morris
  • 18-06-2016

Good Men In A Bad War

I came upon this second world war memoir by chance and immediately purchased
it. I have an interest in memoirs from the second world war and in
particular those from a naval perspective. However, what I find most
interesting are those accounts that come from what we in the west would call
the enemy at the time. There are plenty of war time accounts from those that
served in the Allies but rarer are those from the other side of this
conflict. With such memoirs the reader is able to obtain a fascinating
insight into how battles were fought as well as the internal politics of a
nation fighting to survive which brings some greater degree of balance to
the overall picture of many of the key events of such conflicts. This book
is an excellent and often captivating as well as revealing look through the
eyes of a Japanese naval officer and his participation in several key
battles of the Pacific war.

The author recounts in detail the successes and failures of the Imperial
Japanese navy in terms of its battles and policies and paints a picture of a
thoughtful man who is not afraid to question the higher echelons of command.
In addition, we see a man who belies the often fanatical portrayal of
suicidal Japanese military men that dispels the stereotype of the cruel and
pitiless Japanese fighter. This is a book that doesn't simply tell the story
of his days serving during this conflict but also lets us know the emotional
state of this incredible man too. It is not uncommon for the author to
recount instances of where he has wept over men lost under his command as
well as pay his respects to enemy sailors that perished at his hands.
Reading these memoirs from those that fought on the other side during the
second world war allows one to see that there were good men that fought on
both sides of that war as well as bad ones.

The narrator is clearly of Japanese herritage and does an excellent job with
all the Japanese references with his perfect pronunciation and this is
fitting as a non-Japanese English speaker would have butchered the correct
saying of the numerous Japanese places and names given in this book.

For those of you interested like me in naval memoirs of this time period it
might be of interest to note that this book briefly covers the actions which
sunk the USS Houston and HAMS Perth and so to compliment this memoir there
is a superb book telling the survivors stories of the men of the Houston and
Perth available on Audible entitled "Ship of Ghosts" that I urge those
interested to read.

Japanese Destroyer Captain: Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Midway - The Great Naval Battles Seen Through Japanese Eyes is an utterly fascinating detailed account that really gives the
reader a flavour of what life was like at the time and is a highly thought
provoking read and an absolute must for anyone interested in this subject
matter. For those that might be interested, I can thoroughly recommend two
other naval memoirs that I am afraid are not available on Audible as yet but
are a great read and these are the excellent "Steel Boat, Iron heart" and
"Iron Coffins". Both titles deal with the German U-Boat war from those that
served aboard them and are equally insightful and fascinating.

Highly recommended.

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  • Quincy
  • 27-02-2015

Great account of a remarkable Captain

Any additional comments?

I am disappointed that the book ends rather suddenly after the sinking of Cruiser Yahagi, no mention of the Atomic Bombings of Japan, or her eventual surrender.