|The Real Thing - A6M3 Model 22, flown |
by Japanese Ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa.
|Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa, who flew his aircraft|
into the USS Bunker Hill
during a Kamikaze mission on 11 May 1945.
These attacks, which began in October 1944, followed several critical military defeats for the Japanese. They had long lost aerial dominance due to outdated aircraft and the loss of experienced pilots. On a macroeconomic scale, Japan experienced a decreasing capacity to wage war, and a rapidly declining industrial capacity relative to the United States. The Japanese government expressed its reluctance to surrender. In combination, these factors led to the use of kamikaze tactics as Allied forces advanced towards the Japanese home islands.
While the term "kamikaze" usually refers to the aerial strikes, the term has sometimes been applied to various other intentional suicide attacks. The Japanese military also used or made plans for Japanese Special Attack Units, including those involving submarines, human torpedoes, speedboats and divers. Nazi Germany formed its own group of suicide aircraft pilots called the Leonidas Squadron, but the German commanders were more reluctant to use them. The tradition of death instead of defeat, capture, and perceived shame was deeply entrenched in Japanese military culture. It was one of the primary traditions in the samurai life and the Bushido code: loyalty and honour until death. - Wikipedia
|Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero wreck abandoned - 1943|
|Lt Yoshinori Yamaguchi's Yokosuka |
D4Y3 (Type 33 Suisei) "Judy" in a suicide dive against USS Essex.
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