from the other guy’s side of it.
Now I am an American male of almost 65 years of age. I walked on the shoulders of giants in that my mentors almost to a man served during WW2.
I heard a fair share of war stories from all theaters and from people that served all over the world. Not all of the interesting stories involved fighting. I had an uncle that worked for the OSS training high speed radio operators. Many of my father’s stories were about being a teacher after a tour with the Mighty Eighth flying out of England.
Of course, the stories I heard were from the American side.
I have started reading the stories of the Japanese side recently and I have to say that in order to do this properly one has to mentally move to someplace like Switzerland or Outer Slobovia.
History is often written by the victor and it is seldom that there is a lot written by the losing side. When you get something like that it is generally well written and a real jewel.
I am finishing up ‘Japanese Destroyer Captain’ right now and the interesting thing I see is that the vanquished look at things the same way the victors do. Captain Hara was nothing more or less than a professional naval officer serving his country.
He pointed out the victories and blunders made by both sides and expressed his frustrations at higher leadership and lack of supplies. He is really not a whole lot different than his American counterpart.
I like looking at history from the side of former enemies. It tends to put things in a better perspective. It also clears up a lot of the Hollywood type crap that tends to show up either on the big screen or even in books written by the winning side.
One thing that I liked about the book is that Captain Hara had Fred Saito do the actual writing/translation. It is in idiomatic English and that makes it easier to read than some kind of literal translation that would be a bit clumsier.
Still, for what it’s worth, reading the other side of the story is a pretty good learning experience.
To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY