Fighting Spirit is essential reading for anyone interested in the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Pacific War. Maj. Horie was one of only four Japanese field grade officers directly associated with the Battle of Iwo Jima who survived. He was the only officer known to have left memoirs. Having served as a liaison officer with the Navy, Major Horie described in detail the respective positions, ideas, and assumptions that both the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy had when executing the Pacific War, the personalities involved, and the challenges they faced. He was a specialist in logistics and headed Lt. Gen. Kuribayashi’s detached headquarters on Chichi Jima, located between Iwo Jima and mainland Japan. He was however intimately involved in planning the battle, and used his experience as a liaison to the Imperial Navy to share information and insights through his contacts. He was also very much aware of the limits to Japan’s strategy.
Fighting Spirit is an annotated translation of the memoirs of Imperial Japanese Army Major Yoshitaka Horie, co-edited by a USMC veteran of the Battle of Iwo Jima and an American academic who is a specialist on U.S.-Japan relations. Maj. Horie’s book was first published in 1965, on the 20th anniversary of the battle. It was his desire to have it published in English, but he passed away in 2003 before seeing his dream realized. In addition to the 19 chapters of Horie’s original work, the book includes an Editors’ Preface, which provides biographical information on Maj. Horie and the context of the book, and two appendices of materials prepared by Maj. Horie shortly after the end of the war.