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World War II: all sides go total Kamikaze

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  • Selous
    replied
    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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  • Wooden Wonder
    replied
    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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  • Arnold J Rimmer
    replied
    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.

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  • Half Pint John
    replied
    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.?

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  • Half Pint John
    replied
    T.A. ask the only question needed to answer this last ridiculous WI.


    WHY

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  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mifletz
    started a topic World War II: all sides go total Kamikaze

    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.

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