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World War II: all sides go total Kamikaze

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  • World War II: all sides go total Kamikaze

    The Kamikaze motto was "one plane, one warship!". This was a legacy of Japanese military culture and religion. Even today 36,000 Japanese commit suicide per year (the UK is 5000).

    But militarily it makes sense. WI the "kamikaze" mentality was widespread worldwide when it came to military matters ie France, Germany, Italy, Russia, UK, and even the US had bands of death and glory seeking aviators more than willing to plant their 2 ton explosive laden Wellington or Heinkel on any ship, factory or power station.

    Just how would such a war play out?

    With rapidly reducing critical assets and rapidly reducing air fleets, it would either result in a 1 year war and a truce, or something from "The Shape of Things to Come" ie a 30 year war with humanity reduced to near barbarism.



    Last edited by Mifletz; 24 May 14, 20:12.

  • #2
    My question would be why would the US and other nations bother?

    The kamikaze was adopted by Japan for two primary reasons:

    Lack of skilled pilots
    and
    Inability to overcome the layered defenses of US Navy ship formations.

    Japan never developed a carrier controlled intercept system like the US did. By 1945 the CAP had moved up to 100 miles from the carriers and was controlled by destroyer pickets. What this meant was that a Japanese air strike would suffer nearly 100% losses before even sighting their target (the carriers).
    Those that did survive then had to run the gauntlet of AA fire and probably wouldn't get a hit. Kamikaze tripled the number of hits the Japanese were getting by turning their obsolete and obsolescent aircraft into essentially ASM.

    The US and British with better strike options and not facing a similar devastating defensive system could continue to send in aircraft manned by trained crews and get the job done.

    The Germans did adopt several weapons that were in reality suicidal. One of these is the Niger human torpedo.



    It had 100% operational loss of crew.

    But, if the Allies did adopt something Kamikaze-like I could see them going the Japanese route and producing a better version of this:



    A 500 to 600 mph sea skimming piloted anti-ship missile that has a 2000 to 3000 lb warhead that would outright tear a destroyer in half. With a trained pilot it would be virtually unstoppable with WW 2 technology.
    The Allies have the resources to do that right. The Axis doesn't and didn't.

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    • #3
      T.A. ask the only question needed to answer this last ridiculous WI.


      WHY
      "Ask not what your country can do for you"

      Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

      you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mifletz View Post
        The Kamikaze motto was "one plane, one warship!". This was a legacy of Japanese military culture and religion. Even today 36,000 Japanese commit suicide per year (the UK is 5000).

        But militarily it makes sense. WI the "kamikaze" mentality was widespread worldwide when it came to military matters ie France, Germany, Italy, Russia, UK, and even the US had bands of death and glory seeking aviators more than willing to plant their 2 ton explosive laden Wellington or Heinkel on any ship, factory or power station.

        Just how would such a war play out?

        With rapidly reducing critical assets and rapidly reducing air fleets, it would either result in a 1 year war and a truce, or something from "The Shape of Things to Come" ie a 30 year war with humanity reduced to near barbarism.



        The did? Is that a photo of those death seeking pilots? The seconded one.?
        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

        Comment


        • #5
          This is not a viable option on any level.

          Japan had a near-unique view of suicide that made obtaining sufficient suicide bombers possible. No other nation in the conflict would do so.

          And the concept of 'one plane, one ship' was the theory; the practice was that scores of kamikazes were destroyed for every one that hit, and very few that hit took out a ship.

          from wiki

          Although causing some of the heaviest (human) casualties on US carriers in 1945, the IJN had sacrificed 2,525 kamikaze pilots and the IJAAF 1,387—far more than they had lost in 1942 when they sank or crippled three carriers
          Besides the Western aversion to suicide, the simple fact is that the kamikaze program failed. It did not sink a single CV. 4000 pilots throw away (and an equal number of planes) for zero strategic impact.
          Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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          • #6
            Mifletz - Chinese suicide rates are also amongst the highest in the world, so it is likely that in major part culture and society influence such actions there as well as in Japan. China Daily says that more than 287,000 mainland Chinese suicide each year.

            When I was a kid living in Hong Kong I noticed there was a surge in suicides there around New Year - often down to economic issues and a feeling of loss of face and hopelessness.

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            • #7
              Only the German army (and for all I know the Red) got anywhere approaching the Japanese approach Kamikaze via Nihlistic fatalism whilst on the Eastern Front regards- culture of war - and then it was still a long way off. It's an interesting technical what-if and could even be number-crunched, but only because (unlike others) it ignores the moral, cultural and emotional forces which go into warfare and only examines the sheer numbers. Thus it is of questionable use to military and strategic history.
              ------
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              • #8
                You have to admit that the most advanced guidance system for an aircraft of the time was the, ahem, "biological computer." Therefore using this "Organic Master Guidance*" systems would obviously be of an advantage to the side that used them effectively.

                Now, given that the US only had officer pilots ...



                *OMG for short.
                Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
                Hyperwar, Whats New
                World War II Resources
                The best place in the world to "work".

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                • #9
                  How effective would Japanese use of Kamikazes have been if they had already made dosed use of them in 1941-42 when Allied AA was weak, and how would they have reacted?

                  Would even the Japanese mindset have been amenable to Kamikaze tactics at that early non-desperate stage of the war?
                  Last edited by Mifletz; 25 May 14, 09:44.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mifletz View Post
                    The Kamikaze motto was "one plane, one warship!".



                    But militarily it makes sense.
                    It might have made sense if it had been true. I suggest looking for the actual success rates of kamikaze missions, where by "success" I don't mean sinking a ship, but just merely hitting a ship. It wasn't 100%.
                    Michele

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Michele View Post
                      It might have made sense if it had been true. I suggest looking for the actual success rates of kamikaze missions, where by "success" I don't mean sinking a ship, but just merely hitting a ship. It wasn't 100%.
                      And the observers just made it worse by assuming that the pilots had found an aircraft carrier, aimed at it, avoided being pulped before they reached it, actually hit it, and caused enough damage to sink it. That's quite a leap from seeing a column of smoke in the distance. The reports back to the kikusui units were highly encouraging and totally bogus.
                      Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
                      Hyperwar, Whats New
                      World War II Resources
                      The best place in the world to "work".

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                      • #12
                        I can yet see an expanded Sonderkommando Elbe
                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonderkommando_Elbe
                        in action, especially if the pilots were personally driven fanatische by D-IX and a personal address from Hitler or Goebbels!
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqWlD-FVX5s



                        If ramtaktik it had been implemented in Galland's 1944 "Gross Schlaeg", 400 Luftwaffe fighters would have expanded their ammunition and then rammed their aircraft, with 600 US bombers being lost in one day, the US daylight bombing campaign would have been halted for 1-2 months month?
                        Last edited by Mifletz; 04 Jun 14, 14:21.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mifletz View Post
                          How effective would Japanese use of Kamikazes have been if they had already made dosed use of them in 1941-42 when Allied AA was weak, and how would they have reacted?

                          Would even the Japanese mindset have been amenable to Kamikaze tactics at that early non-desperate stage of the war?
                          Less than their actual attack aircraft. The Kamikaze record versus ships is that they score about three times the hits but almost never sink the ship they attack. Almost all ships attacked are repaired and returned to service too.
                          This means they do more damage but do far less fatal damage.

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                          • #14
                            They couldn't sink Laffey!

                            USS Laffey (DD-724)
                            Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
                            Hyperwar, Whats New
                            World War II Resources
                            The best place in the world to "work".

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                              They couldn't sink Laffey!

                              USS Laffey (DD-724)
                              But they did mess her up pretty good. Also don't forget the four "Mighty Midget" LCI(G) that were with her...



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