1944–1945 japanese self-destructive aircraft attacks

kamikazes on 11 May 1945, resulting in 389 personnel dead or missing and 264 wounded.[1]USS Bunker Hill, an aircraft carrier, was hit by twoon 11 May 1945, resulting in 389 personnel dead or missing and 264 wounded. Kamikaze ( 神風, pronounced [ kamiꜜkaze ] ; “ divine scent ” or “ spirit wind ” ), formally Shinpū Tokubetsu Kōgekitai ( 神風特別攻撃隊, “ Divine Wind Special Attack Unit ” ), were a separate of the japanese extra Attack Units of military aviators who flew suicide attacks for the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the close stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, intending to destroy warships more effectively than with conventional air attacks. About 3,800 kamikaze pilots died during the war, and more than 7,000 naval personnel were killed by kamikaze attacks. [ 2 ] Kamikaze aircraft were basically pilot-guided explosive missiles, purpose-built or converted from conventional aircraft. Pilots would attempt to crash their aircraft into enemy ships in what was called a “ soundbox attack ” ( tai-atari ) in aircraft loaded with bombs, torpedoes or other explosives. About 19 % of kamikaze attacks were successful. [ 2 ] The japanese considered the finish of damaging or sinking large numbers of Allied ships to be a just reason for suicide attacks ; kamikaze was more accurate than conventional attacks and much caused more price. Some kamikazes were still able to hit their targets even after their aircraft had been crippled.

The attacks began in October 1944, at a time when the war was looking increasingly bleak for the Japanese. They had lost several crucial battles, many of their best pilots had been killed, their aircraft were becoming outdated, and they had lost command of the air. Japan was losing pilots faster than it could train their replacements, and the state ‘s industrial capacity was diminishing relative to that of the Allies. These factors, along with Japan ‘s unwillingness to surrender, led to the use of kamikaze tactics as Allied forces advanced towards the Japanese home islands. The tradition of death rather of frustration, capture, and shame was profoundly entrenched in japanese military culture ; one of the primary values in the samurai life sentence and the Bushido code was commitment and award until death. [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] In addition to kamikazes, the japanese military besides used or made plans for non-aerial japanese particular Attack Units, including those involving Kairyu ( submarines ), Kaiten human torpedoes, Shinyo speedboats and Fukuryu divers .

definition and beginning [edit ]

The japanese bible kamikaze is normally translated as “ divine wind ” ( kami is the parole for “ god ”, “ emotional state ”, or “ deity ”, and kaze for “ wreathe ” ). The password originated from Makurakotoba of waka poetry modifying “ Ise “ [ 7 ] and has been used since August 1281 to refer to the major typhoons that dispersed Mongol-Koryo fleets who invaded Japan under Kublai Khan in 1274. [ 8 ] [ 9 ] A japanese monoplane that made a record-breaking escape from Tokyo to London in 1937 for the Asahi newspaper group was named Kamikaze. She was a prototype for the Mitsubishi Ki-15 ( “ Babs ” ). [ 10 ] In japanese, the conventional term used for units carrying out suicide attacks during 1944–1945 is tokubetsu kōgekitai ( 特別攻撃隊 ), which literally means “ special attack unit of measurement ”. This is normally abbreviated to tokkōtai ( 特攻隊 ). More specifically, breeze suicide attack units from the Imperial japanese Navy were officially called shinpū tokubetsu kōgeki tai ( 神風特別攻撃隊, “ divine weave special attack units ” ). Shinpū is the on-reading ( on’yomi or Chinese-derived pronunciation ) of the same characters as the kun-reading ( kun’yomi or japanese pronunciation ) kamikaze in japanese. During World War II, the pronunciation kamikaze was used only informally in the japanese press in sexual intercourse to suicide attacks, but after the war, this usage gained acceptance global and was re-imported into Japan. As a result, the particular attack units are sometimes known in Japan as kamikaze tokubetsu kōgeki tai. [ citation needed ]

history [edit ]

background [edit ]

Before the formation of kamikaze units, pilots had made debate crashes as a last repair when their aircraft had suffered austere damage and they did not want to risk being captured or wanted to do ampere much damage to the foe as possible, since they were crashing anyhow. such situations occurred in both the Axis and Allied air forces. Axell and Kase see these suicides as “ individual, ad lib decisions by men who were mentally fix to die ”. [ 11 ] One model of this may have occurred on 7 December 1941 during the attack on Pearl Harbor. [ 12 ] First Lieutenant Fusata Iida ‘s aircraft had taken a reach and had started leaking fuel when he obviously used it to make a suicide approach on Naval Air Station Kaneohe. Before taking off, he had told his men that if his aircraft were to become ill damaged he would crash it into a “ worthy enemy target ”. [ 13 ] Another possible exemplar occurred at the Battle of Midway when a damaged american bomber flew at the Akagi ‘s bridge but neglect. But in most cases, little evidence exists that such hits represented more than accidental collisions of the kind that sometimes happen in intense sea or air battles. [ citation needed ] The carrier battles in 1942, particularly Midway, inflicted irreparable damage on the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service ( IJNAS ), such that they could no long put together a large count of fleet carriers with well-trained aircrews. [ 14 ] japanese planners had assumed a quick war and lacked comprehensive examination programs to replace the losses of ships, pilots, and sailors ; and Midway ; the Solomon Islands campaign ( 1942–1945 ) and the New Guinea campaign ( 1942–1945 ), notably the Battles of Eastern Solomons ( August 1942 ) ; and Santa Cruz ( October 1942 ), decimated the IJNAS veteran aircrews, and replacing their fight experience proved impossible. [ 15 ] kamikaze attack (early 1945) Model 52c Zeros quick to take part in aattack ( early 1945 ) During 1943–1944, U.S. forces steadily advanced toward Japan. Newer U.S.-made aircraft, specially the Grumman F6F Hellcat and Vought F4U Corsair, outclassed and soon outnumbered Japan ‘s fighters. tropical diseases, angstrom well as shortages of excess parts and fuel, made operations more and more unmanageable for the IJNAS. By the Battle of the Philippine Sea ( June 1944 ), the japanese had to make do with disused aircraft and inexperienced aviators in the fight against better-trained and more experience US Navy airmen who flew radar -directed combat air patrols. The Japanese lost complete 400 carrier-based aircraft and pilots in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, efficaciously putting an end to their carriers ‘ potency. ally aviators called the legal action the “ Great Marianas Turkey Shoot “. On 19 June 1944, aircraft from the carrier Chiyoda approached a US job group. According to some accounts, two made suicide attacks, one of which hit USS Indiana. [ 16 ] The authoritative japanese base of Saipan fell to the Allied forces on 15 July 1944. Its capture provided adequate forward bases that enabled U.S. air forces using the Boeing B-29 Superfortress to strike at the japanese home islands. After the fall of Saipan, the japanese High Command predicted that the Allies would try to capture the Philippines, strategically important to Tokyo because of the islands ‘ location between the oilfields of Southeast Asia and Japan .

Beginnings [edit ]

kamikaze aircraft explodes after crashing into Essex ‘s flight deck amidships 25 November 1944. aircraft explodes after crashing intoflight deck amidships 25 November 1944. Captain Motoharu Okamura, in charge of the Tateyama Base in Tokyo, equally well as the 341st Air Group Home, was, according to some sources, the first policeman to officially propose kamikaze attack tactics. With his superiors, he arranged the first investigations into the plausibility and mechanism of intentional suicide attacks on 15 June 1944. [ 17 ] In August 1944, it was announced by the Domei news means that a flight teacher named Takeo Tagata was training pilots in Taiwan for suicide missions. [ 18 ] One source claims that the first kamikaze mission occurred on 13 September 1944. A group of pilots from the army ‘s 31st Fighter Squadron on Negros Island decided to launch a suicide attack the follow morning. [ 19 ] First Lieutenant Takeshi Kosai and a police sergeant were selected. Two 100 kg ( 220 pound ) bombard were attached to two fighters, and the pilots took off before dawn, planning to crash into carriers. They never returned, but there is no commemorate of a Kamikaze hitting an Allied ship that day. [ 20 ] According to some sources, on 14 October 1944, USS Reno was hit by a intentionally crashed japanese aircraft. [ 21 ] raise Admiral Masafumi Arima, the commander of the 26th Air Flotilla ( share of the 11th Air Fleet ), is sometimes credited with inventing the kamikaze tactic. Arima personally led an attack by about 100 Yokosuka D4Y Suisei ( “ Judy ” ) dive bombers against a large Essex -class aircraft carrier, USS Franklin, near Leyte Gulf, on or about 15 October 1944. Arima was killed and part of an aircraft hit Franklin. The japanese high command and propagandists seized on Arima ‘s exercise. He was promoted posthumously to Vice Admiral and was given official credit for making the first kamikaze attack. It is not clear that this was a plan suicide attack, and official japanese accounts of Arima ‘s attack bore small resemblance to the actual events. [ citation needed ] On 17 October 1944, Allied forces assaulted Suluan Island, beginning the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The imperial japanese Navy ‘s 1st Air Fleet, based at Manila, was assigned the undertaking of assisting the japanese ships that would attempt to destroy Allied forces in Leyte Gulf. That unit had only 41 aircraft : 34 Mitsubishi A6M Zero ( “ Zeke ” ) carrier-based fighters, three Nakajima B6N Tenzan ( “ Jill ” ) torpedo bombers, one Mitsubishi G4M ( “ Betty ” ) and two Yokosuka P1Y Ginga ( “ Frances ” ) land-based bombers, and one extra reconnaissance aircraft. The tax facing the japanese atmosphere forces seemed impossible. The 1st Air Fleet commanding officer, Vice Admiral Takijirō Ōnishi, decided to form a suicide offensive push, the limited Attack Unit. In a meeting on 19 October at Mabalacat Airfield ( known to the U.S. military as Clark Air Base ) near Manila, Onishi told officers of the 201st Flying Group headquarters : “ I do n’t think there would be any other certain direction to carry out the operation [ to hold the Philippines ] than to put a 250 kilogram fail on a Zero and let it crash into a U.S. mailman, in order to disable her for a workweek. ”

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beginning whole [edit ]

Shinbu Squadron at 26 May 1945. Corporal Yukio Araki, holding a puppy, with four other pilots of the 72ndSquadron at Bansei Kagoshima. Araki died the following day, at the old age of 17, in a suicide assail on ships near Okinawa. Commander Asaichi Tamai asked a group of 23 talented student pilots, all of whom he had trained, to volunteer for the particular approach force. All of the pilots raised both of their hands, volunteering to join the mathematical process. Later, Tamai asked Lieutenant Yukio Seki to command the special attack push. Seki is said to have closed his eyes, lowered his read/write head, and thought for ten-spot seconds before saying : “ Please do appoint me to the position. ” Seki became the 24th kamikaze pilot to be chosen. He belated said : “ Japan ‘s future is bleak if it is forced to kill one of its best pilots ” and “ I am not going on this mission for the Emperor or for the Empire … I am going because I was ordered to. ” [ 22 ] The names of the four subunits within the Kamikaze Special Attack Force were Unit Shikishima, Unit Yamato, Unit Asahi and Unit Yamazakura. [ 23 ] These names were taken from a patriotic death poem, Shikishima no Yamato-gokoro wo hito towaba, asahi ni niou yamazakura bana by the japanese classical learner, Motoori Norinaga. [ 24 ] The poem reads :

If person asks about the Yamato spirit [ Spirit of Old/True Japan ] of Shikishima [ a poetic diagnose for Japan ] – it is the flowers of yamazakura [ mountain cerise flower ] that are fragrant in the Asahi [ rising sun ] .

A less misprint translation [ 25 ] is :

Asked about the soul of Japan,
I would say
That it is
Like godforsaken cherry blossoms
Glowing in the dawn sun .

Ōnishi, addressing this unit, told them that their nobility of spirit would keep the fatherland from bankrupt even in frustration. [ 26 ]

Leyte Gulf : the first attacks [edit ]

St Lo attacked by kamikazes, 25 October 1944 attacked by, 25 October 1944 Starboard horizontal stabilizer from the tail of a “Judy” on the deck of USS Kitkun Bay. The “Judy” made a run on the ship approaching from dead astern; it was met by effective fire and the aircraft passed over the island and exploded. Parts of the aircraft and the pilot were scattered over the flight deck and the forecastle. several suicide attacks, carried out during the invasion of Leyte by japanese pilots from units other than the special Attack Force, have been described as the first kamikaze attacks. early on 21 October 1944, a japanese aircraft intentionally crashed into the foremast of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia. [ 27 ] This aircraft was possibly either an Aichi D3A dive bomber, from an nameless unit of the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service, [ 27 ] or a Mitsubishi Ki-51 of the 6th Flying Brigade, Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. [ 28 ] The attack killed 30 personnel, including the cruiser ‘s captain, Emile Dechaineux, and wounded 64, including the australian storm commander, Commodore John Collins. [ 27 ] The australian official history of the war claimed that this was the beginning kamikaze approach on an Allied embark. other sources disagree because it was not a planned attack by a member of the special Attack Force and was most probably contract on the pilot ‘s own inaugural. [ 27 ] The dip of the ocean lug USS Sonoma on 24 October is listed in some sources as the first embark lost to a kamikaze rap, but the attack occurred before the first mission of the special Attack Force ( on 25 October ) and the aircraft used, a Mitsubishi G4M, was not flown by the original four special Attack Squadrons. On 25 October 1944, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the Kamikaze Special Attack Force carried out its beginning deputation. Five A6M Zeros, led by Lieutenant Seki, were escorted to the target by leading japanese ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa where they attacked several date carriers. One Zero attempted to hit the bridge of USS Kitkun Bay but rather exploded on the port catwalk and cartwheeled into the sea. Two others dived at USS Fanshaw Bay but were destroyed by anti-aircraft fuel. The last two ran at USS White Plains. One, under heavy fire and trailing smoke, aborted the try on White Plains and rather banked toward USS St. Lo, diving into the flight deck, where its fail caused fires that resulted in the bombard magazine explode, sinking the carrier. [ 29 ] By 26 October day ‘s end, 55 kamikazes from the extra Attack Force had besides damaged three large see carriers : USS Sangamon, Santee, and Suwannee ( which had taken a kamikaze strike forward of its aft elevator the day before ) ; and three smaller escorts : USS White Plains, Kalinin Bay, and Kitkun Bay. In total, seven carriers were hit, a well as 40 other ships ( five dip, 23 heavily damaged and 12 moderately damaged ) .

Main wave of attacks [edit ]

early successes – such as the slump of USS St. Lo – were followed by an immediate expansion of the broadcast, and over the future few months over 2,000 aircraft made such attacks. When Japan began to suffer intense strategic bombing by Boeing B-29 Superfortresses, the japanese military attempted to use suicide attacks against this menace. During the northern hemisphere winter of 1944–45, the IJAAF formed the 47th Air Regiment, besides known as the Shinten Special Unit ( Shinten Seiku Tai ) at Narimasu Airfield, Nerima, Tokyo, to defend the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. The unit was equipped with Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki ( “ Tojo ” ) fighters, whose pilots were instructed to collide with United States Army Air Forces ( USAAF ) B-29s approaching Japan. Targeting the aircraft proved to be a lot less successful and practical than attacks against warships, as the bombers made for a lot faster, more maneuverable and smaller targets. The B-29 besides had formidable defensive weaponry, so suicide attacks against B-29s demanded considerable navigate skill to be successful, which worked against the identical function of using expendable pilots. even encouraging able pilots to bail out before impingement was ineffective because vital personnel were much lost when they mistimed their exits and were killed as a resultant role. On 11 March, the U.S. carrier USS Randolph was hit and moderately damaged at Ulithi Atoll, in the Caroline Islands, by a kamikaze that had flown about 4,000 km ( 2,500 nautical mile ) from Japan, in a mission called Operation Tan No. 2. On 20 March, the submarine USS Devilfish survived a shoot from an aircraft fair off Japan. purpose-built kamikazes, opposed to converted fighters and dive-bombers, were besides being constructed. Ensign Mitsuo Ohta had suggested that piloted glider bombs, carried within stove of targets by a mother aircraft, should be developed. The first Naval Air Technical Bureau ( Kugisho ) in Yokosuka refined Ohta ‘s mind. Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka rocket-powered aircraft, launched from bombers, were first deployed in kamikaze attacks from March 1945. U.S. personnel gave them the derisive nickname “ Baka Bombs ” ( baka is japanese for “ idiot ” or “ unintelligent ” ). The Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi was a bare, well built propeller aircraft with a wooden airframe that used engines from existing stocks. Its non-retractable land gear was jettisoned soon after takeoff for a suicide deputation, recovered and reused. During 1945, the japanese military began stockpiling Tsurugi, Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka, other aircraft and suicide boats for consumption against Allied forces expected to invade Japan. The invasion never happened, and few were always used. [ 30 ]

Allied defensive tactics [edit ]

In early 1945, U.S. Navy aviator Commander John Thach, already celebrated for developing effective forward pass tactics against the japanese such as the Thach Weave, developed a defensive strategy against kamikazes called the “ big blue blanket “ to establish Allied publicize domination well away from the carrier force. This recommended fight vent patrols ( CAP ) that were larger and operated further from the carriers than earlier, a line of picket destroyers and destroyer escorts at least 80 kilometer ( 50 nautical mile ) from the main body of the fleet to provide earlier radar interception and improved coordination between combatant direction officers on carriers. This plan besides called for around-the-clock combatant patrols over Allied fleets. A final element included intensifier fighter sweeps over japanese airfields, and bombing japanese runways, using delayed-action bombs making repairs more unmanageable. [ 31 ] late in 1944, the british Pacific Fleet ( BPF ) used the high-level operation of its Supermarine Seafires ( the naval version of the Spitfire ) on battle air out patrol duties. Seafires were involved in countering the kamikaze attacks during the Iwo Jima landings and beyond. The Seafires ‘ best day was 15 August 1945, shooting down eight attacking aircraft with a individual loss .
An A6M5 “ Zero ” dive towards American ships in the Philippines in early 1945 Allied pilots were more experience, better trained and in instruction of victor aircraft, making the ailing trained kamikaze pilots easy targets. The U.S. Fast Carrier Task Force alone could bring over 1,000 fighter aircraft into dally. Allied pilots became ace at destroying foe aircraft before they struck ships. allied gunners had begun to develop techniques to negate kamikaze attacks. clean rapid-fire anti-aircraft weapons such as the 20 millimeter Oerlikon autocannons were placid utilitarian though the 40 millimeter Bofors was preferred, and though their senior high school rate of fire and promptly train remained advantageous, they lacked the punch to take down a kamikaze bearing down on the ship they defended. [ 32 ] It was found that heavy anti-aircraft guns such as the 5 ” /38 bore gunman ( 127 millimeter ) were the most effective as they had sufficient firepower to destroy aircraft at a dependable image from the transport, which was preferable since even a heavily damaged kamikaze could reach its target. [ 32 ] [ 33 ] The rapid Ohkas presented a identical unmanageable trouble for anti-aircraft burn, since their speed made fire control highly difficult. By 1945, big numbers of anti-aircraft shells with radiofrequency proximity fuzes, on average seven times more effective than regular shells, became available, and the U.S. Navy recommended their practice against kamikaze attacks .

final phase [edit ]

The peak time period of kamikaze attack frequency came during April–June 1945 at the Battle of Okinawa. On 6 April 1945, waves of aircraft made hundreds of attacks in Operation Kikusui ( “ floating chrysanthemums ” ). [ 34 ] At Okinawa, kamikaze attacks focused at foremost on Allied destroyers on picket duty, and then on the carriers in the middle of the fleet. Suicide attacks by aircraft or boats at Okinawa sank or put out of action at least 30 U.S. warships [ 35 ] and at least three U.S. merchant ships, [ 36 ] along with some from early Allied forces. The attacks expended 1,465 aircraft. many warships of all classes were damaged, some sternly, but no aircraft carriers, battleships or cruisers were sunk by kamikaze at Okinawa. Most of the ships lost were destroyers or smaller vessels, particularly those on picket duty. [ 35 ] The destroyer USS Laffey earned the nickname “ The ship That Would not Die ” after surviving six kamikaze attacks and four bombard hits during this battle. [ 37 ] U.S. carriers, with their wooden fledge decks, appeared to suffer more damage from kamikaze hits than the armoured-decked carriers from the british Pacific Fleet. U.S. carriers besides suffered well heavier casualties from kamikaze strikes ; for case, 389 men were killed in one attack on USS Bunker Hill, greater than the combined issue of fatalities suffered on all six Royal Navy armoured carriers from all forms of fire during the stallion war. Bunker Hill and Franklin were both hit ( in Franklin’s case, although by a dive bomber and not a kamikaze ) while conducting operations with in full fueled and armed aircraft spotted on deck for takeoff, an extremely vulnerable country for any carrier. Eight kamikaze hits on five british carriers resulted in only 20 deaths while a compound total of 15 fail hits, most of 500 kg ( 1,100 pound ) slant or greater, and one bomber hit on four carriers caused 193 black casualties earlier in the war – striking proof of the protective value of the armored flight pack of cards. [ 38 ] [ 39 ]

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kamikaze off the kamikaze made a dent 3 metres (9.8 ft) long and 0.6 metres (2 ft 0 in) wide and deep in the armored flight deck. Eight crew members were killed, forty-seven were wounded, and 11 aircraft were destroyed. Aircraft carrier HMS Formidable after being struck by aoff the Sakishima Islands. Themade a incision 3 metres ( 9.8 foot ) long and 0.6 metres ( 2 foot 0 in ) wide and thick in the armored fledge deck. Eight crew members were killed, forty-seven were wounded, and 11 aircraft were destroyed.

The resilience of well-armoured vessels was shown on 4 May, fair after 11:30, when there was a wave of suicide attacks against the british Pacific Fleet. One japanese aircraft made a steep dive from “ a great altitude ” at the carrier HMS Formidable and was engaged by anti-aircraft guns. [ 40 ] Although the kamikaze was hit by gunfire, it managed to drop a fail that detonated on the flight deck, making a crater 3 m ( 9.8 foot ) farseeing, 0.6 thousand ( 2 foot ) wide and 0.6 molarity ( 2 foot ) deep. A long sword secede speared down through the airdock deck and the independent boiler room ( where it ruptured a steam course ) before coming to rest in a fuel tank car near the aircraft park, where it started a major fire. Eight personnel were killed and 47 were wounded. One Corsair and 10 Grumman Avengers were destroyed. The fires were gradually brought under command, and the volcanic crater in the deck was repaired with concrete and steel plate. By 17:00, Corsairs were able to land. On 9 May, Formidable was again damaged by a kamikaze, as were the carrier wave HMS Victorious and the battleship HMS Howe. The british were able to clear the flight deck and resume flight operations in just hours, while their american counterparts took a few days or even months, as observed by a U.S. Navy liaison military officer on HMS Indefatigable who commented : “ When a kamikaze hits a U.S. carrier it means six months of rectify at Pearl Harbor. When a kamikaze hits a Limey carrier it ‘s merely a casing of ‘Sweepers, man your brooms ‘. ” Twin-engine aircraft were occasionally used in plan kamikaze attacks. For example, Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryū ( “ Peggy ” ) medium bombers, based on Formosa, undertake kamikaze attacks on Allied forces off Okinawa, while a couple of Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu ( “ Nick ” ) dense fighters caused adequate damage for USS Dickerson ( DD-157 ) to be scuttled. Vice Admiral Matome Ugaki, the commander of the IJN 5th Air Fleet based in Kyushu, participated in one of the final kamikaze attacks on american ships on 15 August 1945, hours after Japan ‘s announce surrender. [ 41 ]

Effects [edit ]

kamikaze strikes, 15 August 1945 Ugaki, soon before taking off in a Yokosuka D4Y 3 to participate in one of the finalstrikes, 15 August 1945 As the end of the war approached, the Allies did not suffer more unplayful significant losses, despite having far more ships and facing a greater intensity of kamikaze attacks. Although causing some of the heaviest casualties on U.S. carriers in 1945 ( peculiarly as Bunker Hill was doomed to get hit with fuel and armed aircraft on deck ), the IJN had sacrificed 2,525 kamikaze pilots and the IJAAF 1,387 – without successfully sinking any fleet carriers, cruisers, nor battleships. This was far more than the IJN had lost in 1942 when it sank or crippled three U.S. fleet carriers ( albeit without inflicting significant casualties ). In 1942, when U.S. Navy vessels were scarce, the irregular absence of key warships from the battle zone would tie up functional initiatives. By 1945, however, the U.S. Navy was boastfully enough that damaged ships could be detached back home plate for rectify without importantly hampering the fleet ‘s operational capability. The only U.S. surface losses were escort carriers, destroyers and smaller ships, all of which lacked the armor protection and/or capability to sustain intemperate damage. overall, the kamikazes were unable to turn the tide of the war and stop the Allied invasion. In the contiguous aftermath of kamikaze strikes, british flit carriers with their armored escape decks recovered more promptly compared to their US counterparts. Post-war analysis showed that some british carriers such as HMS Formidable suffered morphologic damage that led to them being scrapped, as being beyond economic compensate. Britain ‘s post-war economic situation played a character in the decision to not repair damaged carriers, while even seriously damaged american carriers such as USS Bunker Hill were repaired, although they were then mothballed or sold off as excess after World War II without re-enter service .
kamikaze aircraft dive at A crewman in an AA gun aboard the battleship New Jersey watches aaircraft dive at Intrepid 25 November 1944. Over 75 men were killed or missing and 100 wounded. The demand number of ships sink is a count of debate. According to a wartime japanese propaganda announcement, the missions sank 81 ships and damaged 195, and according to a japanese reckoning, kamikaze attacks accounted for up to 80 % of the U.S. losses in the final examination phase of the war in the Pacific. In a 2004 book, World War II, the historians Willmott, Cross and Messenger stated that more than 70 U.S. vessels were “ bury or damaged beyond animate ” by kamikazes. [ 42 ] According to a U.S. Air Force web page :

approximately 2,800 Kamikaze attackers sank 34 Navy ships, damaged 368 others, killed 4,900 sailors, and wounded over 4,800. Despite radar detection and prompt, airborne interception, attrition, and massive anti-aircraft barrages, 14 per cent of Kamikazes survived to score a hit on a ship ; about 8.5 per penny of all ships hit by Kamikazes sink. [ 43 ]

australian journalists Denis and Peggy Warner, in a 1982 script with japanese naval historian Sadao Seno ( The Sacred Warriors: Japan’s Suicide Legions ), arrived at a total of 57 ships sunk by kamikazes. Bill Gordon, an american english Japanologist who specializes in kamikazes, lists in a 2007 article 47 ships known to have been sunk by kamikaze aircraft. Gordon says that the Warners and Seno included ten-spot ships that did not sink. He lists :

recruitment [edit ]

kamikaze aircraft used towards the end of the war. The U.S. called them Baka Bombs (“idiot bombs”). japanese Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka ( “ cherry blossom ” ), a particularly built rocket-poweredaircraft used towards the end of the war. The U.S. called them ( “ idiot bombs ” ). It was claimed by the japanese forces at the prison term that there were many volunteers for the self-destructive forces. Captain Motoharu Okamura commented that “ there were so many volunteers for suicide missions that he referred to them as a swarm of bees ”, explaining : “ Bees die after they have stung. ” [ 44 ] Okamura is credited with being the first to propose the kamikaze attacks. He had expressed his hope to lead a volunteer group of suicide attacks some four months before Admiral Takijiro Ohnishi, commander of the japanese naval vent forces in the Philippines, presented the idea to his staff. While Vice-Admiral Shigeru Fukudome, commanding officer of the second air fleet, was inspecting the 341st Air Group, Captain Okamura took the opportunity to express his ideas on crash-dive tactics :

In our salute situation, I securely believe that the only manner to swing the war in our favor is to resort to crash-dive attacks with our aircraft. There is no early way. There will be more than enough volunteers for this probability to save our nation, and I would like to command such an operation. Provide me with 300 aircraft and I will turn the tide of war. [ 45 ]

When the volunteers arrived for duty in the corps, there were doubly adenine many persons as aircraft available. “ After the war, some commanders would express repent for allowing excess crews to accompany sorties, sometimes squeezing themselves aboard bombers and fighters so as to encourage the suicide pilots and, it seems, join in the exultation of sinking a large enemy vessel. ” many of the kamikaze pilots believed their death would pay the debt they owed and show the sleep together they had for their families, friends and emperor butterfly. “ so tidal bore were many minimally train pilots to take part in suicide missions that when their sorties were delayed or aborted, the pilots became profoundly despondent. many of those who were selected for a body crashing mission were described as being inordinately blissful immediately before their final sortie. ” [ 46 ] As time tire on, modern critics questioned the nationalist depiction of kamikaze pilots as baronial soldiers volition to sacrifice their lives for the nation. In 2006, Tsuneo Watanabe, editor-in-chief of the Yomiuri Shimbun, criticized japanese nationalists ‘ glorification of kamikaze attacks : [ 47 ] [ 48 ] [ 49 ]

It ‘s all a lie that they left filled with courage and joy, cry, “ hanker live the emperor butterfly ! ” They were sheep at a abattoir. Everybody was looking down and tottering. Some were unable to stand up and were carried and pushed into their aircraft by care soldiers .

coach [edit ]

When you eliminate all thoughts about liveliness and death, you will be able to wholly disregard your earthly life. This will besides enable you to concentrate your attention on eradicating the enemy with level determination, meanwhile reinforcing your excellence in flight skills .Excerpt from a kamikaze pilots’ manual, [50]

Tokkōtai pilot burner educate, as described by Takeo Kasuga, [ 51 ] broadly “ consisted of fabulously strenuous train, coupled with barbarous and agonizing bodied punishment as a day by day routine ”. The educate, in theory, lasted for thirty days, but because of american raids and deficit of fuel it could last up to two months. Daikichi Irokawa, who trained at Tsuchiura Naval Air Base, recalled that he “ was struck on the face so hard and frequently that [ his ] front was no longer recognizable ”. He besides wrote : “ I was hit so hard that I could no longer see and fell on the floor. The minute I got up, I was hit again by a club so that I would confess. ” This brutal “ train ” was justified by the theme that it would instil a “ soldier ‘s contend spirit ”, but day by day beatings and bodied punishment eliminated patriotism among many pilots. [ 52 ]

We tried to live with 120 per cent saturation, quite than waiting for death. We read and read, trying to understand why we had to die in our early twenties. We felt the clock ticking away towards our death, every sound of the clock shortening our lives .

Irokawa Daikichi, Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers
Pilots were given a manual that detailed how they were supposed to think, prepare and attack. From this manual, pilots were told to “ attain a high level of spiritual aim ”, and to “ keep [ their ] health in the very best condition ”. These instructions, among others, were meant to make pilots mentally quick to die. [ 50 ] The tokkōtai original ‘s manual besides explained how a navigate may turn back if he could not locate a target, and that a pilot “ should not waste [ his ] life lightly ”. One pilot, a alumnus from Waseda University, who continually came back to basis was shot after his ninth refund. [ 53 ] The manual was very detailed in how a original should attack. A fender would dive towards his prey and “ aim for a point between the bridge tower and the smokestacks ”. Entering a smokestack was besides said to be “ effective ”. Pilots were told not to aim at a carrier ‘s bridge tugboat but rather to target the elevators or the flight deck. For horizontal attacks, the fender was to “ aim at the center of the vessel, slightly higher than the waterline ” or to “ aim at the entrance to the aircraft airdock, or the bottom of the stack ” if the early was besides difficult. [ 50 ] The tokkōtai pilot ‘s manual of arms told pilots to never close their eyes, as this would lower the chances of hitting their targets. In the final moments before the crash, the original was to yell “ hissatsu “ ( 必殺 ) at the top of his lungs, which translates to “ certain kill ” or “ dip without fail ”. [ 50 ]

cultural background [edit ]

In 1944–45, US military leaders invented the term “ State Shinto “ as part of the Shinto Directive to differentiate the japanese state ‘s ideology from traditional Shinto practices. As time went on, Americans claimed, Shinto was used increasingly in the promotion of nationalist sentiment. In 1890, the Imperial Rescript on Education was passed, under which students were required to ceremonially recite its oath to offer themselves “ bravely to the submit “ a well as protect the Imperial family. The ultimate offer was to give up one ‘s life. It was an honor to die for Japan and the Emperor. Axell and Kase pointed out : “ The fact is that countless soldiers, sailors and pilots were determined to die, to become eirei, that is ‘guardian spirits ‘ of the state. … many japanese felt that to be enshrined at Yasukuni was a special honor because the Emperor visited the enshrine to pay court twice a class. Yasukuni is the alone enshrine deifying common men which the Emperor would visit to pay his respects. ” [ 44 ] Young japanese people were indoctrinated from an early age with these ideals .
First recruits for japanese Kamikaze suicide pilots in 1944 Following the beginning of the kamikaze tactic, newspapers and books ran advertisements, articles and stories regarding the suicide bombers to aid in recruit and support. In October 1944, the Nippon Times quoted Lieutenant Sekio Nishina : “ The spirit of the special Attack Corps is the bang-up spirit that runs in the blood of every japanese … The crashing action which simultaneously kills the enemy and oneself without fail is called the limited attack … Every japanese is able of becoming a member of the limited Attack Corps. ” [ 54 ] Publishers besides played up the mind that the kamikaze were enshrined at Yasukuni and ran overdo stories of kamikaze fearlessness – there were even fagot tales for fiddling children that promoted the kamikaze. A Foreign Office official named Toshikazu Kase said : “ It was customary for GHQ [ in Tokyo ] to make faithlessly announcements of victory in utter disregard of facts, and for the elated and complacent public to believe them. ” [ 55 ] While many stories were falsified, some were true, such as that of Kiyu Ishikawa, who saved a japanese ship when he crashed his aircraft into a bomber that an american submarine had launched. The sergeant-major was posthumously promoted to second lieutenant by the emperor and was enshrined at Yasukuni. [ 56 ] Stories like these, which showed the kind of praise and honor death produced, encouraged young japanese to volunteer for the limited Attack Corps and instilled a desire in the youth to die as a kamikaze. Ceremonies were carried out before kamikaze pilots departed on their final examination deputation. The kamikaze shared ceremonial cups of sake or water known as “ mizu no sakazuki ”. many kamikaze Army officers took their swords along, while the Navy pilots ( as a general principle ) did not. The kamikaze, along with all japanese aviators flying over unfriendly territory, were issued ( or purchased, if they were officers ) a Nambu pistol with which to end their lives if they risked being captured. Like all Army and Navy servicemen, the kamikaze would wear their senninbari, a “ belt of a thousand sew ” given to them by their mothers. [ 57 ] They besides composed and read a death poem, a tradition stemming from the samurai, who did so before committing seppuku. Pilots carried prayers from their families and were given military decorations. The kamikaze were escorted by other pilots whose function was to protect them en path to their finish and report on the results. Some of these escort pilots, such as Zero pilot Toshimitsu Imaizumi, were late sent out on their own kamikaze missions. [ 57 ] kamikaze pilot in a Hayabusa. Chiran high school girls wave farewell with cherry flower branches to departingpilot in a Nakajima Ki-43 -IIIa While it is normally perceived that volunteers signed up in droves for kamikaze missions, it has besides been contended that there was extensive compulsion and peer pressure involved in recruiting soldiers for the sacrifice. Their motivations in “ volunteering ” were complex and not merely about patriotism or bringing honour to their families. Firsthand interviews with surviving kamikaze and date pilots has revealed that they were motivated by a desire to protect their families from perceived atrocities and possible extinction at the hands of the Allies. They viewed themselves as the last defense. [ 57 ] At least one of these pilots was a conscript korean with a japanese list, adopted under the pre-war Soshi-kaimei ordinance that compelled Koreans to take japanese personal names. [ 58 ] Eleven of the 1,036 IJA kamikaze pilots who died in sorties from Chiran and other japanese air travel bases during the Battle of Okinawa were Koreans. It is said that young pilots on kamikaze missions often flew southwest from Japan over the 922 thousand ( 3,025 foot ) Mount Kaimon. The batch is besides called “Satsuma Fuji” ( meaning a mountain like Mount Fuji but located in the Satsuma Province area ). Suicide-mission pilots looked over their shoulders to see the batch, the southernmost on the japanese mainland, said farewell to their nation and saluted the mountain. Residents on Kikaishima Island, east of Amami Ōshima, say that pilots from suicide-mission units dropped flowers from the air travel as they departed on their final missions. Kamikaze pilots who were ineffective to complete their missions ( because of mechanical failure, interception, etc. ) were stigmatized in the years following the war. This stigma began to diminish some 50 years after the war as scholars and publishers began to distribute the survivors ‘ stories. [ 59 ] Some japanese military personnel were critical of the policy. Officers such as Minoru Genda, Tadashi Minobe and Yoshio Shiga, refused to obey the policy. They said that the commanding officer of a kamikaze attack should engage in the tax first. [ 60 ] [ 61 ] Some persons who obeyed the policy, such as Kiyokuma Okajima, Saburo Shindo and Iyozo Fujita, were besides critical of the policy. [ 62 ] [ 63 ] Saburō Sakai said : “ We never dared to question orders, to doubt authority, to do anything but immediately carry out all the commands of our superiors. We were automatons who obeyed without think. ” [ 64 ] Tetsuzō Iwamoto refused to engage in a kamikaze attack because he thought the job of fighter pilots was to shoot down aircraft. [ 65 ]

film [edit ]

See besides [edit ]

References [edit ]

Notes [edit ]

bibliography [edit ]

far read [edit ]

  • Ohnuki-Tierney, Emiko (2002). Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms, and Nationalisms: The Militarization of Aesthetics in Japanese History. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-62091-6.
  • Rielly, Robin L. (2010). Kamikaze Attacks of World War II: A Complete History of Japanese Suicide Strikes on American Ships, by Aircraft and Other Means. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-4654-4.
  • Stern, Robert (2010). Fire from the Sky: Surviving the Kamikaze Threat. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-267-6.
  • Wragg, David. The Pacific Naval Wars 1941-1945. chapter 10
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