By late 1944 the war in the Pacific had turned decisively against the Japanese, and overwhelming Allied forces began to close in on the home islands. At this point Japan unveiled a terrifying new tactic: the suicide attack, or Kamikaze, named after the ‘Divine Wind’ which had once before, in medieval times, saved Japan from invasion. Intentionally crashing bomb-laden aircraft into Allied warships, these piloted guided missiles at first seemed unstoppable, calling into question the naval strategy on which the whole war effort was based.
Its principal focus is on the experience of those in the Allied fleets on the receiving end of this peculiarly alien and unnerving weapon – how they learnt to endure and eventually counter a threat from WWII 'suicide bombers' whose potential was over-estimated, by both sides. In this respect, it has a very modern resonance