Thank you, Mostlyharmless for that recommendation and link. Apparently, it's not an easy read, according to the link, but it's a valuable perspective - a more "ground-level" look, not necessarily from a higher vantage point. What I found fascinating is precisely what I said in my first post: how did the Japanese perspective on the war change over time - and in the link, the Vice Admiral seems shockingly oblivious to the strategic realities:
"He writes of his strong disagreement with the Japanese government's peace initiatives. Despite Japan's continuing military defeats, the Allied fleet approaching the home islands, and the dropping of two atomic bombs, Ugaki never reveals any thoughts of surrender in his diary. On August 11, 1945, he writes (p. 659):
Even though it becomes impossible for us to continue organized resistance after expending our strength, we must continue guerrilla warfare under the emperor and never give up the war. When this resolution is brought home, we can't be defeated. Instead, we can make the enemy finally give up the war after making it taste the bitterness of a prolonged conflict."
I mean, it explains a lot! Here is someone at a fairly high level in the military - Vice Admiral - who ought to be well aware of the realities of the balance of forces, and yet, he somehow thinks that after the U.S. has gone through the tremendous sacrifice in lives and materiel to get to this point, somehow they'd be put off by stragglers in a guerilla fight that could not last more than a few months at most, given that the Japanese island would soon be starving! I mean, that's mind boggling.
What in the world! He was representative of a big portion of the Japanese military (and society!) that not only was absolutely clueless about the relative strengths of the adversaries in a long-term conflict. No wonder they decided that attacking the U.S. was somehow a viable long term idea. And parathentically this reality puts a lie to the proposition you hear sometimes that the U.S. should have just demonstrated the atomic explosions for the Japanese brass and they'd fold, so no need to actually drop the bombs - NO! Many had no intention of folding even *after* Hiroshima, which necessitated Nagasaki - and some (like Ugaki!) not even after Nagasaki. Those bombs were an absolute necessity.
Furthermore, Ugaki's conviction that the U.S. would give up in the face of determined opposition has been a source of miscalculation for generations now - it underpinned the whole Japanse idea of confronting WWII - the constant conviction that the U.S. would just give up, because they "can't take it" cant take casualties etc. It led to the start of the war, and to the terrible prolongation of it.
In fact it's such a persitent myth, that it's actually extremely dangerous as it tempts aggressors to attack convinced the U.S. will give up - the latest is the quote from another naval officer, this time Chinese just a few days ago:
https://www.news.com.au/technology/inno ... 791aa26e0f
"“What the United States fears the most is taking casualties,” Admiral Lou declared.
He said the loss of one super carrier would cost the US the lives of 5000 service men and women. Sinking two would double that toll.
“We’ll see how frightened America is.”
That is a super dangerous myth. It leads to miscalculations in starting wars that get out of hand - exactly as what happened to Japan during WWII - they attacked, because they thought the U.S. would not be able to take casualties.
This is a recipe for WWIII.
I can only hope that cooler heads prevail - which did not in Japan. Will China learn from history, or are we all doomed to another war - perhaps last on this planet that can support a civilization?
Anyhow, thanks for the recommendation, and I'm still open for recommendations as outlined in my initial post here. Thanks in advance!