No surrender: German and Japanese Kamikazes

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by GearZ, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. GearZ

    GearZ Member

    The following is the Military Channel's documentary on both Japanese and German self-sacrifice units. I found it pretty interesting, so am passing it along. Cheers.

  2. joshposh

    joshposh New Member

    I didn't watch the entire documentary that you posted. But this is a subject that a few friends of mine have discussed over a few cold beers.

    Japan stated the Kamikaze runs as the allied forces got closer to Japan. Taking over and controlling island and landing strips as they got closer. This was a last ditched effort to turn the tide of the war. For the most part it the was in my opinion a very good strategic move as it would take out a the control deck or make it impossible for allied planes to take off and land.

    So with that being said, I truly believe if they implemented this type of strategy from the begging of the war, Japan would control the Pacific as US forces wouldn't be able to get their planes off the deck in time.
  3. GearZ

    GearZ Member

    It is a pretty interesting video. I watched it the other day. It goes into some detail into the German activities in that vein which are often glossed over or ignored in some histories.

    Beyond that, you postulate an interesting idea in the employment of Kamikazes earlier in the war. In the grand scheme of things, I can't imagine it would have turned the tide, but it would have made some engagements very bloody indeed.
  4. joshposh

    joshposh New Member

    Japan lost 35 to 50 thousand planes in the war. Most were at sea. Now if it only took 2 or 3 planes to take out a carriers ability to successfully deploy planes, then it would be a turning tide of the war. You figure one plane hits the control room while the other 2 takes out the main platform. There is no way they can steer or have planes take off and land.

    So it very well could turn the tide in the battle in the Pacific.
  5. GearZ

    GearZ Member

    Good points. And it is an interesting possibility. Granted, Allied forces developed strong countermeasures against Kamikaze attack in the closing stages of the war. Off the top of my head, I can't think of an analysis written post-war that explored this possibility, though someone really should. I do know the Center for Naval Analyses in Alexandria produced a piece that analyzed the defense of Kamikaze attacks with a view to its relevance to anti-missile defense in the post-war period. It is interesting, by likely outside the scope of this thread.
  6. joshposh

    joshposh New Member

    I have seen footage when the American fleet approached Japan and as we all know the Kamikazes were formed. But from what I saw, those planes did heavy damage. There were very few Japan planes left and there was no antiaircraft fire back then. Even though they were out gunned, they still go t through and did major damage to US advancing fleet. From a strategic stand point, sending those planes to take out the carriers in the beginning of the war would of been disastrous to the US fleet.

    If it took maybe 10 planes to cripple a ship in the US naval fleet. Japan lost 50k planes in the war. Sound like a better trade off in the end. Mathematically speaking that is.
  7. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    From what I understand, even at the battle for Ryukyu islands, the Japanese kamikaze planes made a mistake. All they targeted were warships. The US navy was losing 1.5 ships per day on average, yet they were so many ships and the battle did not last long enough (only a month or so) to make the US ship reinforcement/production unsustainable. If the Japanese kamikaze had targeted the supply ships instead, it could prove to be difficult for the US to continue the campaign.

    So even with enough kamikaze planes, the strategy is still the key.

    As someone was mentioned earlier about 3 planes to take out a carrier. That was not possible. I checked multiple naval engagement. In most of these cases, Japanese were losing dozens or even hundreds planes without being able to sink a single carrier. The US anti-aircraft firepower and accuracy was way above the Japanese at that point.

    Another thing I have heard is that even though Japanese had used thousands of kamikaze planes, they filled those planes with inexperienced pilots who did not have the time to train. For the experienced pilots, they still wanted them to do one run after another for better results.

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