Rain of Steel: Mitscher’s Task Force 58, Ugaki’s Thunder Gods, and the Kamikaze War off Okinawa by Stephen L. Moore
English | 2020 |Non-Fiction > History| ePUB | 3.7 MB
The last Pacific campaign of World War II was the most violent on record. Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher’s Task Force 58 carriers had conducted air strikes on mainland Japan and supported the Iwo Jima landings, but his aviators were sorely tested once the Okinawa campaign commenced on 1 April 1945.
Rain of Steel follows Navy and Marine carrier aviators in the desperate air battles to control the kamikazes directed by Vice Admiral Matome Ugaki. The latter would unleash ten different Kikusui aerial suicide operations, one including a naval force built around the world’s most powerful battleship, the 71,000-ton Yamato. These battles are related largely through the words and experiences of some of the last living U.S. fighter aces of World War II.
More than 1,900 kamikaze sorties—and thousands more traditional attack aircraft—would be launched against the U.S. Navy’s warships, radar picket ships, and amphibious vessels during the Okinawa campaign. In this time, Navy, Marine, and Army Air Force pilots would claim some 2,326 aerial victories. The most successful four-man fighter division in U.S. Navy history would be crowned during the fight against Ugaki’s kamikazes. The Japanese named the campaign tetsu no ame (“rain of steel”), often referred to in English as “typhoon of steel.”