Guest Review: So Sad to Fall in Battle: an Account of War by Tadamichi Kuribayashi
Guest Posts , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / October 30, 2012

Few people in America knew who Tadamichi Kuribayashi was before Clint Eastwood’s heartrending film, Letters from Iwo Jima. They wouldn’t have known by name that Kuribayashi, ultimately, was the man responsible for one-third of the deaths in the Marine Corps in the Pacific theater of World War II. So Sad to Fall in Battle is available on Kindle, hardcover, and paperback. Letters from an unorthodox general Eastwood’s work (which is based on freelance author Kumiko Kakehashi’s book So Sad to Fall in Battle) makes clear that Kuribayashi was no ordinary soldier. Interviews with widows of long lost soldiers and the very letters and pictures that Kuribayashi penned to his dying day reveal a man unlike any American-held stereotype of a WWII-era Japanese. Far from the suicidal fanatics portrayed in Hollywood (who did, admittedly, exist, though in greater complexity than typically believed), Kuribayashi refused to allow his subordinates to execute banzai charges. Where many superiors in the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy were hyper-sensitive to class distinctions and made their disdain corporally known to all inferiors, Kuribayashi held the view that his men were not expendable. He ate the same rations as his men, drank the same water collected in rainstorms, and walked every inch…

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