Known throughout Japan as "the unsinkable captain" of World War II, Tameichi Hara was a hero of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Author of its manual on torpedo attack techniques, Captain Hara exemplified the best in Japanese surface commanders: highly ...
skilled (particularly in torpedo warfare and night fighting), hard driving, and aggressive. He led his destroyers into the thick of combat in practically every major naval battle in the Pacific: Pearl Harbor, Coral Sea, Midway, Guadalcanal, Leyte Gulf, and Okinawa. He was also bitterly critical of the Japanese Navy's handling of the war. Here, originally published in 1961, is Hara's classic memoir of the great naval battles of the Pacific War. Not reluctant to criticize himself and his senior commanders, Hara also praised American courage and resourcefulness. He criticized his superiors for using cavalry tactics to fight naval battles; never understanding the implications of air power; dividing their forces in the face of enemy forces of unknown strength; basing tactics on what they thought their enemy would do; and, accepting a war of attrition with a foe more capable of maintaining it. Japanese journalist Fred Saito (b. 1917) translated into English Hara's memoirs; he also expanded it based on hundreds of hours of interviews with Hara. Commander Roger Pineau (USNR) checked the accuracy of the battle accounts and provided notes that authenticate or correct Hara's observations and give the names of U.S. Navy ships and commanders who fought against Hara's forces.