Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day of the Kamikaze

Infinity Entertainment Group & Smithsonian Networks
MSRP $24.98

In late 1944 and early 1945, the war in Europe was nearing an end. The German army would make one last-ditch effort to save its homeland as the Allies and Russian armies began to close-in on Berlin. At the same time, the war in the Pacific raged. It had been over two thousand years since a foreign army occupied mainland Japan, but the Allies were threatening to erase history as they scored one victory after another on a small group of islands just off the mainland. As the invasions of Okinawa began, the Japanese became desperate and unleashed a new kind of war that was effective and yet terribly demoralizing.

Day of the Kamikaze gives an in-depth look at how thousands of young Japanese men were persuaded to sacrifice their lives by becoming human bombs against the Allied fleet. This documentary uses archive footage and interviews with both Japanese pilots who managed to escape certain death and U.S. sailors who were subjected to the horror of daily attacks and suffered the resulting psychological effects. The program also creates historic reenactments that show how Japanese pilots trained for their final missions and prepared themselves for facing death. In the end, some nineteen hundred Japanese pilots and more than three hundred and sixty Allied sailors were killed in the attacks.

This film provides a fascinating look into the final days of World War II and the extent at which Japanese pilots were forced to choose between their love of family and the call of duty for their country.


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