According to the
book description of Japanese Destroyer Captain: Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Midway - The Great Naval Battles As
Seen Through Japanese Eyes, “The Naval Institute Press is pleased to make available for the first time
this cloth edition of a now-classic war memoir that was a best seller in both Japan and the United States during the 1960s.
Originally published as a paperback in 1961, it has long been treasured by World War II buffs and professional historians
for its insights into the Japanese side of the surface war in the Pacific. The book has been credited with correcting errors
in U.S. accounts of various battles and with revealing details of high-level Imperial Japanese Navy strategy meetings.
The author, Captain
Tameichi Hara, was a survivor of more than one hundred sorties against the Allies and was known throughout Japan as the Unsinkable
Captain. Called the workhorses of the navy, Japanese destroyers shouldered the heaviest burden of the surface war and took
part in scores of intense sea battles, many of which Captain Hara describes here. In the early days of the war victories were
common, but by 1943, the lack of proper maintenance of the destroyers and sufficient supplies, along with Allied development
of scientific equipment and superior aircraft, took its toll. On April 7, 1945, during the Japanese navy s last sortie, Captain
Hara managed to survive the sinking of his own ship only to witness the demise of the famed Japanese battleship Yamato off
Okinawa. A hero to his countrymen, Captain Hara exemplified the best in Japanese surface commanders: highly skilled (he wrote
the manual on torpedo warfare), hard driving, and aggressive. Moreover, he maintained a code of honor worthy of his samurai
grandfather, and, as readers of this book have come to appreciate, he was as free with praise for American courage and resourcefulness
as he was critical of himself and his senior commanders.
The book s popularity over the past forty-six years testifies to the author s
success at writing an objective account of what happened that provides not only a fascinating eyewitness record of the war,
but also an honest and dispassionate assessment of Japan s high command. Captain Hara s sage advice on leadership is as applicable
today as it was when written. For readers new to this book and for those who have read and re-read their paperback editions
until they have fallen apart, this new hardcover edition assures them a permanent source of reference and enjoyment.”
Captain Roger Pineau,
USNR (ret.), served in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II. After the war, he became a member of the U.S. Strategic
Bombing Survey in Japan and later assisted Adm. Samuel Eliot Morison in preparing the authoritative History of the United
States Naval Operations in World War II. Roger Pineau is a co-author of “And I Was There”: Pearl Harbor
And Midway Breaking the Secret; Japanese Destroyer Captain: Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Midway - The Great Naval Battles As
Seen Through Japanese Eyes; The Divine Wind: Japan's Kamikaze Force in World War II; Midway - The Battle That Doomed Japan.
Roger Pineau is also the editor of The Personal Journal of Commodore Matthew C. Perry : The Japan Expedition
1852 – 1854.
The Library Journal said of “And I Was There”: Pearl Harbor And Midway
Breaking the Secrets, “According to Admiral Layton, the Japanese succeeded at Pearl Harbor because of
audacious planning plus a dramatic breakdown in our intelligence service. This failure was caused by feuding among high-level
officers for control of the intelligence and radio intercept divisions. Six months after Pearl Harbor, self-serving petty
jealousy at naval headquarters almost caused us to lose the decisive battle of Midway. Layton reveals the full details of
this deplorable situation and vigorously defends Admiral H.E. Kimmel, naval commander at Pearl Harbor, who was blamed for
the disasters. Layton accuses instead some high-ranking naval officers in Washington who failed to pass along the latest intelligence
intercepts. There is much new information here. Primarily for specialists with some knowledge of cryptography and intelligence
operations, this is essential for comprehensive World War II collections.”