The real kamikazes were not terrorists. Japanese pilots of the Second World War voluntarily gave their lives for their homeland.
October 19, 1944. Luzon Island, the main base of the Japanese aviation in the Philippines. The meeting of the commanders of the fighter units is held by Vice Admiral Onisi ...
Two days in the new post was enough for the vice admiral to understand that neither he nor his subordinates would be able to perform the functions that are assigned to them. What Onisi took command over was magnificently called the First Air fleet - but in reality it was only three dozen battered battles
Zero fighters and several Betty bombers. In order to prevent the US invasion of the Philippines, a huge Japanese fleet was concentrated here, including two superlinkers - Yamato and Musashi. Onishi aircraft were supposed to cover this fleet from the air, but the enemy’s multiple superiority in the air force made this impossible.
Onishi told his subordinates what they understood without him - the Japanese fleet is on the verge of a catastrophe, the best ships in a few days will be brought to the bottom by torpedo bombers and dive bombers from American aircraft carriers. It is impossible to sink aircraft carriers with the help of fighter aircraft, even if armed with bombs. On the "Zero" no sights for bombing, and their pilots - the necessary skills. However, there was one way out which was suicidal in the full sense of the word - fighters equipped with bombs would crash into enemy ships! Onishi subordinates agreed with Vice-Admiral - they have no other way to do away with American aircraft carriers. A few days later, the “Squadron of Special Attacks of the Divine Wind” - “Kamikaze Tokubetsu Kogekity” was created.
Self-sacrifice as a tactic
Now the word "kamikaze" has become a common noun, as any suicide bombers are called, and in a figurative sense - just people who do not care about their own safety. But the real kamikazes were not terrorists, but soldiers - Japanese pilots of the Second World War, who voluntarily decided to give their lives for their homeland. Of course, in war, anyone risks his life, and some even consciously sacrifice it. Often, the commanders give orders, the performers who have no chance to stay alive. But kamikaze is the only one stories humanity is an example when suicide bombers were singled out in a special branch of the military and were specially trained to fulfill their mission When the headquarters developed tactics for them, and in the design bureaus they designed special equipment ...
After the idea of using the kamikaze was made by Vice-Admiral Onishi, self-sacrifice ceased to be an initiative of individual pilots and received the status of an official military doctrine. Meanwhile, Onishi just figured out how to more effectively use the tactics of fighting the American ships, which the de facto Japanese pilots have already used. By 1944, the state of aviation of the Land of the Rising Sun was deplorable. There was a shortage of aircraft, gasoline, but above all - skilled pilots. While schools in the United States prepared hundreds and hundreds of new pilots, in Japan there was no effective reserve training system. If an American who succeeded in air battles was immediately withdrawn from the front and appointed an instructor (therefore, by the way, the American aces do not shine with a large number of downed aircraft), then the Japanese, as a rule, fought until their death. Therefore, after a couple of years, there was almost nothing left from the personnel pilots who started the war. A vicious circle - inexperienced pilots acted less effectively and died faster and faster. The prophecy of Admiral Yamamoto who died by that time came true: back in 1941, one of the organizers of the attack on Pearl Harbor warned that his country was not ready for a long war.
Under these conditions, the first examples of how poorly trained Japanese pilots, who could not get a bomb into an American ship, simply crashed into the enemy appeared. An airplane diving on the deck is difficult to stop - even if the anti-aircraft guns inflict a lot of damage to it, it will reach its goal.
Admiral Onishi decided that such a “initiative” could be legitimized officially. Moreover, the combat effectiveness of an aircraft crashing into the deck will be much higher if it is stuffed with explosives ...
The first massive kamikaze attacks took place in the Philippines 25 October 1944 year. Several ships were damaged, and the escort aircraft carrier "Saint-Lo", in which the only "Zero" got, was sunk. The success of the first kamikaze led to the fact that they decided to widely disseminate the experience.
Light and durable design "Zero" made it possible to fill the plane with additional cargo - explosives
Death is not an end in itself
Soon, four air connections were formed - Asahi, Sikishima, Yamadzakura and Yamato. Only volunteers were taken there, because the death in the air departure for the pilots was an indispensable condition for the successful completion of the combat mission. And by the time Japan surrendered, almost half of the naval pilots remaining in the ranks had been transferred to kamikaze detachments.
It is well known that the word “kamikaze” means “Divine wind” - a hurricane that destroyed the enemy fleet in the 13th century. It would seem, what have the Middle Ages? However, unlike the technology, with the "ideological support" the Japanese military was all right. The “divine wind” was believed to be sent by the goddess Amaterasu, the patroness of Japan’s security. I sent at that moment when nothing could prevent the conquest of her country by the 300-thousand-strong Mongol-Chinese army of Khan Kubilai. And now, when the war approached the very borders of the empire, the country had to be saved by the “Divine Wind” - this time embodied not in a natural phenomenon, but in young guys who want to give their lives to their fatherland. The kamikaze saw the only force capable of stopping the American offensive literally on the outskirts of the Japanese islands.
Kamikaze connections might seem elite in terms of the external attributes of their activities, but not in terms of training. The combat pilot who joined the squadron did not need additional training. A newcomer kamikaze cooked even worse than ordinary pilots. They were not taught bombing or firing, which made it possible to drastically reduce the preparation time. According to the army leadership of Japan, only mass training of kamikazes could stop the American offensive.
You can read a lot of strange information about kamikaze - for example, that they were not taught landing. Meanwhile, it is absolutely clear that if a pilot is not taught landing, then the first and the last for him will be by no means a combat, but the first training flight! Contrary to popular belief, quite rare on kamikaze planes were landing chassis that were dropped after take-off, which prevented landing. Most often, the suicide pilots were provided with the usual worn-out Zero fighter, or even a dive bomber or a bomber loaded with explosives — and nobody was engaged in reworking the chassis. If the pilot did not find a worthy goal during the flight, he should have returned to the military base and waited for the next leadership task. Therefore, several kamikazes who made combat missions have survived to this day ...
The first kamikaze raids produced the effect they were designed for - the crews of the American ships were very scared. However, it quickly became clear that crashing into an enemy ship was not so easy - at least for a low-skilled pilot. But it was not even able to dodge American kamikaze fighters. Therefore, seeing the low combat effectiveness of suicide bombers, the Americans calmed down somewhat, and the Japanese command, on the contrary, was puzzled. Meanwhile, a kamikaze had already invented such a plane, which, according to the plan of its creators, it would be difficult to shoot down fighters. Moreover, the author of the idea Mitsuo Ota “punched” the project even before the first suicide pilots were created (which again shows that the idea of a kamikaze was in the air at that moment). What was built on this project at the firm "Yokosuka", was rather not an airplane, but the only one of a kind man-controlled bomb ...
At the beginning of the war "Zero" terrified American fighter pilots, and then became formidable weapons kamikaze
Cruise missile with a pilot
The tiny MXY-7 “Oka” (translated from Japanese as “Cherry Blossom”) resembled a German planning bomb designed at the end of the war. However, it was a completely original design. The planning bomb was controlled by radio from an aircraft carrier, and the jet engines installed on it made it possible for the bomb to maneuver and keep up with the aircraft that launched it. The Oka was controlled by the kamikaze sitting in it, and the jet accelerators served to accelerate the plane-bomb to a speed of almost 1000 km / h on the approach to the target. It was believed that at this speed, the Oka would be invulnerable to both anti-aircraft fire and fighters.
It is characteristic that during this period headquarters conducted research on the use of kamikaze tactics in other areas. For example, man-made torpedoes were created, as well as submarines, which first had to launch a torpedo into an enemy ship, and then crash into it themselves. The suicide bombers were planned to be used for ram attacks by the American Flying Fortresses and the Liberators, who bombarded Japanese cities. Later there were ... land kamikazes pushing a cart with explosives in front of them. Such weapons in the Kwantung army tried to cope with the Soviet tanks in 1945.
But, of course, the main purpose of the kamikaze were American aircraft carriers. A guided cruise missile carrying a ton of explosives should, if not sink, an aircraft carrier, then at least severely damage it
and permanently disable. The Oka was suspended under a twin-engine Betty bomber, which was supposed to get as close as possible to the American squadron. At a distance of no more than 30 km, the kamikaze was transferred from the bomber to the Oka, the guided bomb was separated from the carrier and slowly began to plan in the right direction. Three solid-propellant rocket boosters worked for only ten seconds, so they had to be turned on in the immediate vicinity of the target.
Kamikaze differed from other Japanese pilots in silk overalls and white headbands with the image of the rising sun.
The very first combat use of bombs became a real battle. But the victims were not the crews of American ships, but Japanese pilots. The need to fly up to the goal pretty close
made the carrier bombers very vulnerable - they entered the zone of carrier-carrier fighter aircraft and immediately stumbled. And the advanced radars that the Americans had at that time made it possible to detect an approaching enemy compound, be it a kamikaze group, carriers of bombers, ordinary bombers, or torpedo bombers. In addition, as it turned out, the cruise missile that had accelerated under the action of accelerators did not maneuver badly and was not very accurately aimed at the target.
Thus, kamikazes could not save Japan from defeat in the war — and yet volunteers who wanted to enroll in special-purpose aviation units were sufficient until the moment of surrender. And it was not only about exalted youngsters who did not smell powder, but also about the pilots who had managed to make war. First, the Japanese sea pilot somehow got used to the idea of his own death. In the American naval aviation, an effective search system for downed pilots at sea using seaplanes and submarines (this was saved, in particular, by the side gunner of the Evenger torpedo bomber, George W. Bush, the future president of the United States). And a downed Japanese pilot most often sank into the sea with his plane ...
Secondly, Shintoism that prevailed in Japan engendered a special attitude towards death. This religious and philosophical system gave the suicide pilots hope after completing the assignment to join the host of numerous deities. Thirdly, the further, the defeat of Japan seemed all the more inevitable, and the Japanese military traditions did not recognize the surrender.
Of course, any fanaticism is terrible. Nevertheless, the kamikaze pilots were participants in the war and acted against the enemy army. This is their fundamental difference from modern suicide bombers, who are called this word without any reason.
And those who led the Japanese kamikazes were not cynics who coolly dispose of other people's lives, not wanting to sacrifice their own. Vice-Admiral Takijiro Onishi, after the surrender of Japan, chose a way out for himself, whose name does not need to be translated from Japanese - hara-kiri.