Quotes - Defeat

Although defeat itself was the expected conclusion, it was certainly a shock. So during the next few years, I really tried hard to adapt to civilian life, but I didn't fit in very well.

But a thought struck me one day. What am I worrying about? If Japan had won the war, I would 've stayed a serviceman all my life. But we lost and I could no longer stay in the Navy. That's why I'm starting from day one as a civilian. The defeat, then, is letting me do what my son would be doing. I'm living two generations in one. This is great! I have to thank my parents to have born me in this age.! Ever since I had reached such enlightment, my future seemed bright and I had new hopes.

Saburo Sakai
Gekitsuio tono Taiwa , Saburo Sakai & Hajime Takatsuki, ISBN4-7698-2048-8

We started hearing about the defeat at Midway from the carrier pilots. The more I heard their stories, the angrier I was. Not towards the enemy, but towards Vice Admiral Nagumo and his staff who took command. Their panic stricken and errornous decisions after finding the US carriers, failure to recover from damages, and most of all, to the fact that they got on board a destroyer and left the Akagi while the crew were desparately fighting the raging fire.

Their rationale for leaving the ship was that if they were killed, there would be nobody to take command of the fleet. However, a dive bomber pilot spoke for all of us in heavy downtown Tokyo accent, "What command? All we could do then was pack up and go home. Anyone can do that!".

One of us floatplane pilots remarked "Gee, I'm starting to feel down, being lead into battle by guys like that.", and the dive bomber crew snapped back. "We've been sick and tired of them for a long time".

Hiroshi Yasunaga, E13A and C6N pilot
Shito No Suiteitai, Hiroshi Yasunaga, ISBN4-257-17281-9

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