Reporting straight from Peter’s brain;
April 6th is the 65th anniversary of the sinking of the Yamato, the most famous Japanese battleship of World War II. Growing desperation had caused the Japanese to organize the first kamikaze air units around October 1944 — in Japanese they were called tokkou (toh-KOH), which means “special attack forces — but despite an amazing 2,525 suicide attacks made by Japanese pilots, the Allied forces continued their advance. By the start of the Battle of Okinawa in April 1945, the Japanese fleet was only a shadow of its former self as war planners decided to send the Yamato and eight support ships on a “special attack” mission despite the lack of fuel or air support, which predictably ended with the sinking of the ship and loss of 90% of her crew. My wife has an uncle who fought in World War II, stationed on the battleship Ise, which would have been sent off with the Yamato’s squadron if it hadn’t been too damaged. Whenever I get the chance I take my son to hear the fascinating tales he can tell us.