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Author Topic: Kamikaze Pilots
IrateDwarf
Asparagus Spears


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Does anyone know alot about the Japenese Kamikaze pilots during WWII? I'm doing a small History report on them, and I know the basic stuff from the textbook, but I couldn't find many informative websites about them. Can anyone help me?
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Big J
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by 99 bottles of IrateDwarf onthe wall:
Does anyone know alot about the Japenese Kamikaze pilots during WWII? I'm doing a small History report on them, and I know the basic stuff from the textbook, but I couldn't find many informative websites about them. Can anyone help me?


Well, I can give you a little bit of help...contrary to movies, they weren't that big.

Let me know what you need, and I'll see what I can do to help...like I said, I do know a little bit...

Oh, and as a thought, you might want to compare the differences between a Japanese pilot doing a Kamikazi mission and a US GI going on a suicide mission. (It's amazing how one side is fanatic and the other side is patriotic {sarcastic laugh})

Big "Empire of the Rising Sun" J


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IrateDwarf
Asparagus Spears


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quote:
Originally posted by Big J:

Well, I can give you a little bit of help...contrary to movies, they weren't that big.

Let me know what you need, and I'll see what I can do to help...like I said, I do know a little bit...

Oh, and as a thought, you might want to compare the differences between a Japanese pilot doing a Kamikazi mission and a US GI going on a suicide mission. (It's amazing how one side is fanatic and the other side is patriotic {sarcastic laugh})

Big "Empire of the Rising Sun" J



ANY help would be apprieciated. I just need enough to fill a 3-5 page typed repot, double spaces, size 12 font. And could you please elaborate more with the Japanese/ GI suicide mission comment, or was that just a joke?


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Big J
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by 99 bottles of IrateDwarf onthe wall:

ANY help would be apprieciated. I just need enough to fill a 3-5 page typed repot, double spaces, size 12 font. And could you please elaborate more with the Japanese/ GI suicide mission comment, or was that just a joke?

No...it wasn't a joke. Basically, it is propaganda, running something along the lines of "look at these sub-human Japs...they will kill themselves for the emperor." Meanwhile, GIs would have no problem volunteering for a mission which would have a high casualty rate (Iwo Jimo springs to mind).

Furthermore, the Japanese had indoctrinated their people with the idea that we were monsters who would torture them, eat them, etc. The usual war time rhetoric. So, rather than surrender, the Japanese would kill themselves (thus giving "evidence" to the suicidal Japanese). I know that's not 100% what you are looking for, but that is the basic idea.

It is the idea (pretty universal) that to give one's life for the country is the greates honor. You might try incorporating propaganda as a tool, compare "suicide squads" on both sides maybe...just a suggestion.

Hope that helps.
BTW, feel free to e-mail me at barillar@pacbell.net if you would like.

Big "been in school too long" J


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Fallom, Ruler of the Dead
The Red and the Green Stamps


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The reason they wore helmets was so that they could survive to get to their target.

-Fallom "I like the colors"


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chinpira
The "Was on Sale" Song


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http://furball.dogfighter.com/wbarticles/wba008.html


"Since the time of feudalism, especially during the Tokugawa period, a warrior must follow the Bushido. This Code, and a culture which viewed suicide and the death of young people as beautiful were factors contributing to the mass suicides"


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0b1knob
Deck the Malls


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One interesting point about the suicide bombers is that they were given near lethal doses of methamphetamine before taking off. It gave them a sense of invulnerability.

Methamphetamine pill (black bennies) were also issued to US Soldiers to eliminate their fear and keep them awake for long periods. Their use was particularly widespread during the Battle of the Bulge.


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Baikal
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Big J:

Well, I can give you a little bit of help...contrary to movies, they weren't that big.

Indeed. The Kamikazes were more effective as psychological weapons than as weapons of war. In fact, the loss of the aircraft and their pilots is barely even compensated by the total tonnage of allied shipping destroyed...although the latter is low anyway (aside from Pearl Harbor, the United States lost what? 2 major carriers, I think...and a handful of cruisers. No other major ships--no battleships were sunk after Pearl Harbor, and the only carriers other than the Yorktown and one other (?) that I cannot remember at present were escort carriers and not fleet ships). They suffered such a high loss rate that they were impractical--what I mean by this, of course, is not that the casualties were overly high (~100%) but that the number of aircraft shot down before they reached their targets is very high. It's a safe bet that of all the kamikaze aircraft launched, perhaps half reached their target. And from there, maybe only 5% of the remaining aircraft actually contacted with an enemy ship--if that. They did claim a few ships, but the most prominent (if I am not mistaken) would be either a cruiser or an escort carrier--torpedoing was much more effective.
No, like the German zeppelin raids of WWI or Doolittle's raid, they were much publicized events which did little or nothing in a strictly military sense.
-Baikal

--------------------
I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town.


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Anthony
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Baikal:
(aside from Pearl Harbor, the United States lost what? 2 major carriers, I think...and a handful of cruisers. No other major ships--no battleships were sunk after Pearl Harbor, and the only carriers other than the Yorktown and one other (?) that I cannot remember at present were escort carriers and not fleet ships).

Actually, of the 8 pre-war carriers
five were sunk. http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/ships/carriers/cv-list1.html

Enterprise, Ranger, and Saratoga survived the war.

The Langley (which was no longer a carrier at the time) was sunk soon after Pearl Harbor.

Lexington was sunk at Coral Sea and Yorktown at Midway.

Horet and Wasp where sunk in some of the battles around Guadalcanal (hence the area around the Island became know as "Iron Bottom Sound").

While no Essex class carrier was sunk in enemy action, the Franklin was extremely heavily damaged by suicide attacks that it is incredible it did not sink.

The Princeton, a non-Essex class ship which was a "light" fleet carrier was sunk, although apparently not by kamakazies.

There were other excort carriers that were sunk during the war.


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Finite Fourier Alchemy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Is it true that the landing gear for the zeroes (?) the kamikaze pilots flew were made to fall off immediately after takeoff?

Makes sense to me - improve the aerodynamics, and it's not like the gear will be needed later on.

Alchemy "They wear helmets for the same reason skydivers wear helmets"

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Thinking about New England / missing old Japan


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Anthony
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Alchemy:
Is it true that the landing gear for the zeroes (?) the kamikaze pilots flew were made to fall off immediately after takeoff?

Makes sense to me - improve the aerodynamics, and it's not like the gear will be needed later on.

Alchemy "They wear helmets for the same reason skydivers wear helmets"


Many years ago I read an interview with a surviving kamikaze pilot. (He never got the chance to attack a ship). They were told to return to base if a suitable target was not found.

Now, the Japanese did have a rocket powered kamikaze (called a Baka bomb by the Allies) but they were lauched from the air carried aloft by bomber.


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Mr. XXXX
The Red and the Green Stamps


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As far as I know, the kamikaze pilot's planes were FILLED TO THE TOP with explosives, so there was NO chance of survival for the pilot - it wasn't intended. I saw films recorded on a US carrier in some TV-s where they showed as the board gunner shot down an Ohka (the name of the kamikaze plane, try feeding it into a search engine if you want info) and the thing made a *BIG* fireball and it exploded into very small pieces. Even as it had a STEEL ARMOR against the US board gunners.
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Baikal
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Anthony:
Actually, of the 8 pre-war carriers
five were sunk.

I stand corrected. Thank you.
-Baikal

--------------------
I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town.


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Big J
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Baikal:
Indeed. The Kamikazes were more effective as psychological weapons than as weapons of war. -Baikal

{by the way, that is me being spanked}

My bad. What I intended to say was that contrary to movies (where every Japanese pilot seems to be a Kamikhazi), there were relatively few of them (comparatively speaking). You hit the nail on the head that they were very useful as propaganda tools.

Big "Divine Wind" J


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Anthony
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. XXXX:
As far as I know, the kamikaze pilot's planes were FILLED TO THE TOP with explosives, so there was NO chance of survival for the pilot - it wasn't intended. I saw films recorded on a US carrier in some TV-s where they showed as the board gunner shot down an Ohka (the name of the kamikaze plane, try feeding it into a search engine if you want info) and the thing made a *BIG* fireball and it exploded into very small pieces. Even as it had a STEEL ARMOR against the US board gunners.

I know. But the surviving pilot whose interview I read never got the chance to attack a ship. IIRC, he went aloft a few times, but never found a target, so he returned to base.


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glendwr
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Baikal:
No, like the German zeppelin raids of WWI or Doolittle's raid, they were much publicized events which did little or nothing in a strictly military sense.
-Baikal


One might add the Scud missle attacks on Israel during the Gulf War. A whole lot of publicity, but it was a weapon of no real military value.

Jon Benignus


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Psihala
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Not specifically about Kamakaze, but here's a good (but brief) description of the Ohka (Cherry Blossom).
http://www.aviation-history.com/garber/vg-bldg/kugisho_Okha-1_f.html

Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine had done a feature on it a few years ago. I'd have to dig through them to give the exact issue.

~Psihala

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StealthPost™


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