Wwii Kamikaze Pilots Essay

1703 WordsMay 7, 20137 Pages
Kamikaze Pilots During World War Two Stone Shiley Pd 1 Kamikaze, which means "Divine Wind" in Japanese, was Japan's last attempt to balance the ever increasing technological and material advantage of the American forces advancing to Japan. The Kamikaze tactic was suggested on October 19, 1944, by vice-Admiral Onishi of the Japanese Navy, when he was assigned to command the air attacks against the huge American invasion fleet off the Philippines, and then realized that he had less than 100 operational aircraft for this task. There was no way to sink or even severely damage the American fleet in any conventional tactic, so the Admiral needed a force multiplier, a way to get a significantly greater striking power. Guided weapons provided dramatically greater accuracy and lethality than unguided weapons, producing much greater damage per weapon unit and per sortie. Such weapons already existed and were operational for over a year then, but not in Japan. The German Air Force successfully used large radio-guided Fritz-X bombs against battleships and cruisers since September 1943, but Japan had no such weapon, and therefore Admiral Onishi suggested that volunteer pilots will guide their bomb-carrying aircraft all the way to an explosive suicide collision with their American warship targets, acting as a living guidance system, literally becoming "smart bombs". The new tactic was adopted immediately. Large numbers of pilots, initially qualified and experienced pilots and later air cadets with minimal training who were asked to volunteer, were assigned to "Special Attack" air wings, the official name of the Kamikaze units. Their goal and motto was "One man, one ship". To increase the Kamikaze pilots chance of successful penetration of the American Navy's dense perimeter defense of fighters and anti-aircraft ships, and reach the main ships in the center, most

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