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Drawing from hundreds of interviews with WWII veterans who survived Japan’s terrifying kamikaze strikes, acclaimed author and former U.S. Navy Officer David Sears vividly portrays what it was like to experience this tactic, capturing the real-life dramas behind America’s first confrontation with the psychology and devastating impact of suicide warfare.
In the last days of World War II, a new and baffling weapon terrorized the United States Navy in the Pacific. To the sailors who learned to fear them, the body-crashing warriors of Japan were known as “suiciders”; among the Japanese, they were named for a divine wind that once saved the home islands from invasion: kamikaze.
Told from the perspective of the men who endured this horrifying tactic, At War with the Wind is the first book to recount in nail-biting detail what it was like to experience an attack by Japanese kamikazes. Acclaimed author David Sears draws on personal interviews and unprecedented research to create a narrative of war that is stunning in its vividness and unforgettable in its revelations.
This is the candid story of a war within a war—a relentless series of furious and violent engagements pitting men determined to die against men determined to live. Its echoes resonate hauntingly at a time of global conflict, especially when suicide as a weapon remains a perplexing and terrifying reality. Main Selection of the Military Book Club Featured Alternate of the History Book Club
About the Author
David Sears is an acclaimed author, historian, and former Navy officer. His nonfiction military history books include Pacific Air, Such Men as These, and The Last Epic Naval Battle, and he has written for Aviation History, Military History Quarterly, Naval History, Smithsonian Air & Space, Smithsonian Digital, VFW Magazine, Vietnam,and World War II magazine. A veteran U.S. Navy officer, he served aboard a destroyer and did a tour of duty as an in-country advisor during the Vietnam conflict. He appears as a commentator on the History Channel and has spoken before military and civic groups such as Chicago’s Pritzker Military History Library, New York’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, and New Orleans’s National World War II Museum. He lives in New Jersey and can be found online at AtWarWithTheWind.com.
Praise for AT WAR WITH THE WIND: “[Sears] writes affectingly of the terror the “divine wind” campaign …Sears does a particularly good job of bringing in the various voices of the fast-dwindling corps of American survivors of hellish engagements at Leyte and Okinawa, among other places…of considerable interest to students of the Pacific War.” —Kirkus Reviews "A work of power and passion . . . The finest account of the American reaction to the furious suicide raids that attempted to turn the course of the War in the Pacific." —Donald L. Miller, author of D-Days in the Pacific "A real stunner . . . A superb narrative of life, death, and incredible heroism." —Jim Hartz, former host of "Today" "Thorough and vivid . . . A timely, absorbing book." —John C. McManus, author of Alamo in the Ardennes "Gripping naval combat writing . . . Sears pulls no punches in this powerful account of the sheer terror that was kamikaze warfare."—M. G. Sheftall, author of Blossoms in the Wind "Mesmerizing . . . With history like this, who needs fiction? Simply thrilling."—Kenneth Sewell, author of Red Star Rogue "Powerful . . . David Sears salutes American heroism in the bleakest days of the war."—H. Paul Jeffers, author of Command of Honor "Gripping . . . Sears puts readers beside the heroic American sailors in the bull's eye." —Jerome Preisler, author of All Hands Down "Well-researched . . . a must for World War II book aficionados."—Steve Jackson, author of Lucky Lady