Today’s military strategists are able to protect troops and civilians more than those of the past. Unlike World War I and World War II, today’s strategists don’t rely on poison gas or biological weapons to kill others due to international treaties ratified in the aftermath of the use of such weapons. Further, today’s strategists go to great pains to avoid the inadvertent death of civilians, as was witnessed in Kosovo. However, such “ethical” consideration of military personnel and civilians is a far cry from strategies during World War II wherein military strategists on both sides of the conflict regularly and deliberately targeted civilians, from the Dresden bombing to the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the following four books, we are provided with a firsthand account of such treatment of soldiers and civilians and its impact: 1) Rikihei Inoguchi’s (1994) The Divine Wind; 2) Johann Voss’ (2002) Black Edelweiss; 3) Ernie Pyle’s (2002) Brave Men; and, 4) Gerald F. Linderman’s (1999) The World Within War.
In Rikihei Inoguchi’s (1994) The Divine Wind, we are provided with the firsthand accounts via letters of Japanese kamikaze fighters in World War II. In The Divine Wind, we see that the suicide bombings of Muslim pilots on September 11, 2001, represented a similar strategy used by the Japanese during World War II. In the book Inoguchi (1994) relives his experiences as