Divine Wind: The First Kamikaze Attacks

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Kamikaze, or divine wind, was part of a Japanese Special Attack Unit that specialized in suicidal attacks during World War II in order to damage and cripple the Allied naval forces. These attacks had started during the Pacific Campaign, a battle fought in the Pacific and East Asia, which was targeted towards warships and aircraft carriers. An estimated 3.862 Japanese pilots had died in these Kamikaze attacks. Kamikaze attacks were pilot guided explosive aircraft, furthermore, pilots would aim to crash their aircraft into the enemy's naval forces, in an act which was called a “body attack”, coupled with aircraft composed of explosive devices, bombs, and full fuel tank. Only about 19 percent of kamikaze attacks were successful in their mission. …show more content…

This was during the Battle of Leyte Gulf as an attack against Allied naval forces, which will later prove costly towards both sides. The use of Kamikaze attacks was a last stand against the American offensive, as Japanese Naval Cpt. Motoharu Okamura stated “I firmly believe that the only way to swing the war in our favor is to resort to crash-dive attacks with our planes…. There will be more than enough volunteers for this chance to save our country.” The first Kamikaze mission was composed of 24 volunteer pilots. The target was US escort carriers, and this resulted in about 5000 kamikaze pilots died while only destroying 34 escort carriers. An estimated 1321 Kamikaze planes had dived into Allied naval forces. Even though about 3,000 Americans and Brits had died, the attacks did not damage the naval forces enough to stop the Allied capturing the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and …show more content…

American deaths were estimated to be 738 and another 1.300 wounded as the result of Kamikaze attacks. Several thousand Kamikaze planes had been set aside for an invasion of the Japanese mainland that never happened. On the eve of the Japanese surrender, Takijiro Onishi ended his own life, leaving a note of apology to his dead pilots, “their sacrifice had been in vain.” Even just the hearing of a Kamikaze attack had struck fear into Allied troops and in some cases, even made them go

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