I have read a couple of books by American soldiers about the bloody battle for Okinawa in WWII that many suggest was the catalyst for dropping atomic bombs on Japan to prevent a contracted war of attrition in Japan after invasion. So it was an interesting to get the perspective of a high ranking Japanese officer who was leading the Japanese forces in the battle of Okinawa in The Battle For Okinawa (1995 originally written in Japanese in 1972) by Colonel Hiromichi Yahara with an introduction and commentary by Frank B. Gibney (a former WWII POW interrogator). In many ways the memoir is self-serving, Yahara has an agenda to set two things straight: 1) that he was not a coward for not killing himself and allowing himself to be captured and 2) that he was one of the few commanding officers who rejected the banzai attack offensives and wait for air power approach to save the day strategy. Furthermore, he was correct in thinking that Okinawa would probably be the next target rather than Taiwan as many of his peers thought. The defeat in that the the strategic defensive (attrition warfare) and all-out offensive (direct confrontation) plans constantly collided leaving them without a consistent war plan. Some other trends appear throughout the memoir, the utter disregard for the lives of Okinawans: "For want of antitank weapons, we had to use Okinawan conscripts armed with bamboo spears. They were destroyed in one day." Yahara didn't seem to lose much sleep over civilian causalities or deaths of comfort women and nurses that he witnessed. In fact he mentions that he had studied in America for two years and found the propaganda spread among the Okinawans about the brutal nature of their enemy would result in widespread rape, torture, and death. A policy that hey sometimes enforced with force. He knew it was absurd but did nothing to stop the spread of such nonsense. Here's a sample of the mentality of the high command, when the commanding General Cho wrote his last orders he added this postscript: "Do not suffer shame of being taken prisoner. You will live for eternity." Yahara saw the folly of such an order and muses about this concept and ask serious questions such as: must one hundred soldiers die because of this tradition of avoiding shame? He suggests that their leaders only seemed to care about preservation of their own status, prestige, and honor. All in all a fascinating account of one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific theater in WWII.