Kamikaze in World War II
The World War II most terrifying moment included the Japan’s Kamikaze pilots and their suicide attack on the United States of American warship in the last year of the war. According to Rielly (21), Kamikaze were known to be the Japanese pilots who used to attack allied warships in the Pacific Oceans during the times of World War II. The word Kamikaze according to New York Times is taken to mean the “Divine Wind” and points out a typhoon that destructed the fleet of the enemy during the 13th century. Previously, Japan was known to lose many battles especially after the attack it made to Pearl Harbor in 1941. The Japanese were later moved back to Philippine. The Kamikaze group was located between the Southeast Asia and Japan oil fields (Rielly 23).
Due to the harshness of the battle, the Japanese community was not able to create many ships as soon as possible. They lacked advanced industries like those of the Americans and thus this made them to accept the fact that it was not going to be easy for them to become winners against their enemy with less aircraft and few pilots (Kennedy 112). Therefore, as a result, the emperor of the Japanese had to find means that would enable his country to win the remaining battles. Thus, a unique attack unit was developed and about twenty-four pilots volunteered to take part in the plan. Their main aim in this battle was to run into the allied ships and destroy as many sailors as they could. In 1944, Kamikaze saw its breakthrough, as they were able to attack the Australian navy ship causing a lot of destruction including killing a good number of soldiers (Ivan 267). At first, Kamikaze attacks at the start were doing well. The pilots were put through a serious training that made them to become the Kamikaze.
The planes that were created utilized the old engines to accomplish Kamikaze’s mission in World War II. The pilots could drop their landing gear immediately after taking off to allow the engines to be used by other planes. Through their great and well-planned efforts, the Kamikaze troops became a threat to the allied groups since the allied groups were not able fight back and defend themselves against the Kamikaze. Many of the Japanese pilots had volunteered by the time the war was coming to an end and a good number of the American and allied sailors were killed in the attacks.
The greatest thing with the Kamikaze pilots is that the group consisted only of young people aged between 19 and 25. These young people had their own belief that could push them to volunteer whole heartedly to fight for their country. They believed that sacrificing their lives for Japan and their emperor was the honorable thing to do. According to Kennedy (208), most of these young people of the Kamikaze were still university students who had developed high morale and loyalty to family and country.
Kamikaze battles are considered to have been the last attempts of Japan to try to balance the continuously developing technology and material of the American forces advancing to Japan (Gordon, 2007). These Kamikaze attacks were proposed by the vice-Admiral Onishi, of the Japanese navy on his assignment to allow the air attacks against the large invasion of the America fleet. However, he recognized later that they had fewer weapons to accomplish the mission thus he would require a force multiplier as a way to gain a better significant power from a given force. The Japanese had adopted other means such as the suicide warfare they thought would be beneficial in avoiding defeat. Unfortunately, those tactics led the Japanese army and navy to accept other suicide warfare means and tactics. In most cases in military situations, human beings are always used in guiding a very powerful and explosive weapon through to the targeted area to facilitate the success of the plan desired. The Kamikaze tactics were adopted as a substitute after the Japanese became so disadvantaged and could not even adhere to the simple sacrifices of soldiers because they were considered less (Onishi, 2006).
As the war ended, Kamikazes were able to sink two escort carriers and three destructors. Much destruction took place, a good number of people lost their lives and over 20 carriers were destroyed, and other people were badly wounded due to the attacks. The drop of an atomic bomb by President Harry S. Truman was because of the Kamikaze pilots. This is because they had set aside their planes so that the invasion of the Japanese mainland could be achieved although it failed. Kamikazes and the creed that were linked with the Kamikaze during the World War II in most cases is connected with the Japanese pilots that volunteered to go into America warships so that they could battle with them and defeat them. Great loses were inflicted on the American pacific fleet in particular at Okinawa by the Kamikaze group. The Kamikaze troops had a belief that anyone who volunteered to join the Kamikaze troupe had a guarantee that they had a special place in heaven since they had sacrificed their lives for the emperor. This motivated many young people to volunteer into the Kamikaze and at the end of World War II, an interview was carried out on those who had joined the group and came out alive may be because they were lucky or their turn had not arrived. Throughout the interview, it was obvious that volunteering or sacrificing to fight for the country was very honorable than anything else especially in Japan since it had been in war for many years.
Gordon, Bill. “47 Ships Sunk by Kamikaze Aircraft.” Kamikaze Images. 8 June 2007. Web. 13 July 2011.
Kennedy, Maxwell. Danger’s Hour: The Story of the USS Bunker Hill and the Kamikaze Pilot who crippled her. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 2009. Print.
Morris, Ivan. The Nobility of Failure: Tragic Heroes in the History of Japan. St Louis, MO: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1975. Print.
Onishi, Norimitsu. “The Saturday profile; Shadow Shogun Steps into Light, to Change Japan.” The New York Times. 11 February 2006. Web. 13 July 2011..
Rielly, Robin. Kamikaze Attacks of World War II: A Complete History of Japanese Suicide Strikes on American Ships, by Aircraft and Other Means. New York, NY: McFarland, 2010. Print.