Title: Suicide Squads: Axis and Allied Special Attack Weapons of World War II : Their Development and Their Missions

Author: O’Neill, Richard

Condition: Very Good +

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 1981

ISBN: 0861010981

Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 296 pages

Comments: During World War II, both Allied and Axis soldiers set off on suicidal or near-suicidal raids. These men’s bravery cannot be overestimated, nor can the resourcefulness and despair that led to the development of their crafts, which were so hazardous as to be properly described as suicide machines. Suicide Squads tells the story of these missions, focusing on the “special attack” operations – a euphemism for suicidal attacks – of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy.

Military historian Richard O’Neill offers a detailed exploration – including the evolution, the types, and the effects – of explosive motorboats (which offered “the prospect of spectacular gain at little cost”), midget submarines (Japanese, Italian, German, and British), and manned aircraft, as well as human torpedoes, human bullets, and kamikaze aircraft. He also describes the actions themselves – the attack on Pearl Harbor, the raid on Sydney Harbor, and Special Forces missions at Guadalcanal, Midway, and Okinawa, among others. And he provides insights into the samurai and bushido codes of conduct that inspired ritual suicide.

The story of these special attack forces remains a testimony to ingenuity, desperation, and courage.