From: Chehalis, WA
I have been searching and am surprised at the death of material on him. What there is tends to be highly laudatory, which is ridiculous; he was probably the most overrated military person of WWII. Anyone who could plan and execute the Midway operation is qualified for nothing but the Rube Goldberg award. And, for a man presumeably so knowledgeable about American, he was remarkably ignorant of what the effects of a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor would be.
But, personal opinions aside, is there just very little published in English on him or am I just looking in the wrong places? Yamamoto is important as the very embodiment of everything that was wrong with the way the Japanese fought the Pacific War.
I would have to disagree with you about Yamamato. He was a very intelligent man but he was also very Japanese. He had no delusions about the results a war with the U.S. would mean and he initially lobbied against it. But when it became obvious Japan was headed for war, he threw his heart and soul into doing the best he could to ensure victory.
He is the man who planned the Pearl Harbor raid... a brilliant and daring feat that few military leaders in the world thought possible. That Japan did not declare war prior to the raid was not of his doing. That was the Japanese government's screw up. Once he learned that the attack had not followed a declaration of war, Yamamato knew that the Americans would not be willing to negotiate a peace settlement. He understood the American psyche far better than most Japanese.
As for Midway, his plan was obtuse and again, very Japanese with all its deceptive elements. Yet, it still had a reasonable chance of success. But American code breaking and the Navy's use of that intelligence provided the tools to defeat Yamamato's plan. It could be reasonable argued that if the U.S. did not have advance intel of the operation, the Japanese most likely have succeeded and inflicted serious damage to the U.S. fleet.
Ret Navy AWCS (1972-1998)
VP-5, Jacksonville, Fl 1973-78
ASW Ops Center, Rota, Spain 1978-81
VP-40, Mt View, Ca 1981-87
Patrol Wing 10, Mt View, CA 1987-90
ASW Ops Center, Adak, Ak 1990-92
NRD Seattle 1992-96
VP-46, Whidbey Isl, Wa 1996-98