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Markov_69GIAP
07-05-2005, 11:42 AM
S!

I'm making a movie about Kamikaze pilots, and I'm wondering if I should include a dogfight en-route to target. Of course the Japanese pilots will be passive, but of course, in order to have a real dogfight, both sides need gun ammunition. I need to know if Kamikaze pilots were given gun ammunition during the battle of Okinawa. Does anyone know? Thanks.

Chuck_Older
07-05-2005, 12:06 PM
I don't know about Okinawa specifically, but it seems to me that I have read Saburo Sakai's description of missions in which he escorted Kamikaze aircraft, so because of the following reasons, I'd have to argue that Kamikazes were not intended to fight other aircraft:

1) fuel was too precious
2) ammuntion was too precious
3) they were trained to do little more than take off and find their target; if no suitable target was found, they were to return instead of wasting their lives for no gain- but they weren't trained to tangle with other aircraft
4) they'd have to jettison the bomb to dogfght- negating their mission entirely
5) battle damge could also negate their mission

Fliegeroffizier
07-05-2005, 12:18 PM
I agree with all of ChuckOlder's points...engaging in battle/dogfights enroute to target ships would not have been logical..nor possible.

I've Never read anything about Kamikaze's which indicated any dogfighting or even any self-defense ability, whatsoever(loaded machine guns...)

Utchoud
07-05-2005, 12:43 PM
S!

I also take for very improbable that kamikazes themselves would fight back if attacked by fighters. However, if you want a dogfight in your mission, give them escorts - the kamikazes were often escorted by regular fighters.

On the other hand, I have read some descriptions of their attacks, in which they would fire their guns at the targetted ship during the final stage of their suicide run. Thus, having ammo for their guns.

I think they were also fully loaded with fuel, as the burning gasoline can cause severe damage to the targets. Fire aboard is one of the worst enemies of a ship.

No "official" info, though. At the moment I have no resources to support my statements.

Utchoud

P.S. Looking forward to your movie!

Utchoud
07-05-2005, 01:11 PM
S! again...

I have two books concerning the final phase of the Pacific War. I don't think you know the books, but they quote a number of good resources, a bit older though. The battles for Iwo Jima and Okinawa are described in detail there, including the kamikaze operations.

If you are interested in basic historical data on some particular event, or operation, just ask, I'll try to find something for you.

Utchoud

F19_Olli72
07-05-2005, 01:29 PM
I dont know specifically about Okinawa, but kamikazes at least initially had escorts. Ryuji Nagatsuka who wrote "I was a kamikaze" flew escorts for kamikazes before he eventually himself became part of the kamikaze group.

Just a little interesting fact: he wrote that because he had seen the kamikaze attacks he gained experience and felt he was better prepared. He wouldnt make the same mistakes as many of the pilots he saw plunge in the sea.

PBNA-Boosher
07-05-2005, 01:31 PM
Kamikaze pilots were escorted by fighters to their targets.

Kamikaze pilots ALSO were allowed to disengage their target if it was not a big enemy ship. For example, it might be worthless to take out a cargo ship rather than a carrier which you know to be in the area but haven't found yet, therefore, you RTB and wait for re-assignment to attack the carrier.

These are people, not mindless killing machines. They have their thoughts for how they want to die and Japan respected that. It would have been a waste of a Kamikaze pilot, they figured as well, to destroy a cargo ship instead of a carrier.

LStarosta
07-05-2005, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by PBNA-Boosher:
Kamikaze pilots were escorted by fighters to their targets.

Kamikaze pilots ALSO were allowed to disengage their target if it was not a big enemy ship. For example, it might be worthless to take out a cargo ship rather than a carrier which you know to be in the area but haven't found yet, therefore, you RTB and wait for re-assignment to attack the carrier.

These are people, not mindless killing machines. They have their thoughts for how they want to die and Japan respected that. It would have been a waste of a Kamikaze pilot, they figured as well, to destroy a cargo ship instead of a carrier.


Bull. What if the cargo ship was carrying a brand new shipment of battle droids? I think a suicide bombing would be in order!
http://leo.worldonline.es/sahiyanv/fotoswars/Battle%20droids.jpg

Utchoud
07-05-2005, 02:19 PM
Of course, to disable a carrier was the ultimate goal of a kamikaze pilot. However - and this especially goes for Okinawa - it was not always possible for them to reach the carrier task groups.

In the Okinawa battle, US destroyers and patrol craft were detached several dozens of miles from the carriers as radar pickets. They located the incoming raids by radar and vectored CAP fighters to them. Kamikaze pilots, realizing they would not be able to get through the fighter cover, often attacked the detached vessels. This american tactic partially succeeded in protecting the valuable carriers, but the patrol vessels paid a heavy price for it.

While kamikaze attacks on carriers are often in focus of war stories, the role of the destroyer crews, who carried the main load of kamikaze defense and took heavy losses, is sometimes being forgotten, I think. It would be great if you commemorate the hard work of these men in your movie, Markov - just a suggestion.

Waldo.Pepper
07-05-2005, 03:30 PM
Posted Tue July 05 2005 13:19
Of course, to disable a carrier was the ultimate goal of a kamikaze pilot. However - and this especially goes for Okinawa - it was not always possible for them to reach the carrier task groups.


Initially this was quite true. But as the war progressed the Kamikaze targets were deliberately changed to troopships when it became apparent that absolutely nothing could stop the demise of Japan.

The goal shifted to that of achieving a 'pause' in the assault of the Allied onslaught on Japan to allow the Japanese government an opportunity to negotiate a surrender with honor. The shift to the troopships as targets was expected to delay the inevitable far more effectively than an attack on a a carrier.

However, this being said the USN set up a screen of destroyers to protect the higher value targets (i.e. Carriers, Troopships etc) And this screen and other factor (such as the notoriously bad command and control, and poor level of training of hte Japanese fliers) often led to ridiculous numbers of Kamikaze planes attacing these picket destroyers.

Note the attack on the destroyer Laffey.

http://www3.telus.net/public/a5a03316/vickmaster/dd.jpg

The scan and the following paragraph are from Suicide Squads - by Richard O'Neill Page 172.
-----
Self-Defeating Tactics
Again and again during the kikusui offensives, kamikaze were to waste their strength against the radar pickets, often making repeated attacks on ships that were already obviously doomed. It is said that one picket destroyer's crew erected on the stern of their ship an enormous pointing arrow, with the legend: "TO JAP SUICIDERS €" CARRIERS ARE THAT WAY"! Of 33 destroyers deployed on picket duty during the Okinawa campaign, six were sunk and 18 damaged (13 seriously), and of the AA-armed landing vessels supporting them, four were sunk and eight damaged. It was estimated that more than 300 kamikaze attacks (ie, perhaps 15 per cent of all kamikaze sorties at Okinawa) were made during April on Picket Station No 1 alone. The accompanying Diagram details the most spectacular of these attacks, on USS Laffey (DD 724) on 16 April.
But in subjecting the radar pickets to this ordeal the kamikaze were defeating their own ends: the carriers and, even more important at Okinawa, the invasion transports were their essential targets if they were to affect the course of the campaign. This they failed to do.

-----

Also now that the Betty is flyable it could be used as a Kamikaze plane, as well of course could a Val.

In answer to the original question - Kamikaze did carry ammo and full fuel whereever possible.

Read the caption to the scan Val dropped bomb then crashed etc etc etc.

The limiting factor I would think to having the Kamikaze engage in a dogfight to get to the battle would be there incredibly low level of training. They would be, and were almost without exception wiped out in the event of an encounter with Allied planes. In AI terms they would be Novice (below actually).

Utchoud
07-05-2005, 03:49 PM
Yes, the troop transports also were primary targets of Japanese attacks.

To me, it's incredible what kind of damage the small ships, like the Laffey, could stand.

BTW, any plane in FB+AEP+PF (perhaps with some rare exceptions) can be used as a kamikaze, it needn't be flyable.

Utchoud

Markov_69GIAP
07-05-2005, 04:28 PM
Thanks guys for the information and suggestions. I knew it would be fairly unreasonable for the Kamikaze pilots to dogfight even if they were ace pilots with guns, it would endanger their main objective. Instead, I will give the Kamikaze pilots some escorts.

Choosing planes is another issue. Is it safe to say that a 1944 Zero will make a good Kamikaze aircraft as well as an escort?

F19_Olli72
07-05-2005, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by Markov_69GIAP:
Choosing planes is another issue. Is it safe to say that a 1944 Zero will make a good Kamikaze aircraft as well as an escort?

I'd say anything goes, the japanese used any aircraft available.

Nagatsukas group used Ki-27s and Ki-43s.

MS_Siwarrior
07-05-2005, 05:52 PM
If Kamikazes didn't carry ammo then you could maybe give them an escort and let the escort try to ppotect the kamikaze?

Fox_3
07-05-2005, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Posted Tue July 05 2005 13:19
Of course, to disable a carrier was the ultimate goal of a kamikaze pilot. However - and this especially goes for Okinawa - it was not always possible for them to reach the carrier task groups.


Initially this was quite true. But as the war progressed the Kamikaze targets were deliberately changed to troopships when it became apparent that absolutely nothing could stop the demise of Japan.

The goal shifted to that of achieving a 'pause' in the assault of the Allied onslaught on Japan to allow the Japanese government an opportunity to negotiate a surrender with honor. The shift to the troopships as targets was expected to delay the inevitable far more effectively than an attack on a a carrier.

However, this being said the USN set up a screen of destroyers to protect the higher value targets (i.e. Carriers, Troopships etc) And this screen and other factor (such as the notoriously bad command and control, and poor level of training of hte Japanese fliers) often led to ridiculous numbers of Kamikaze planes attacing these picket destroyers.

Note the attack on the destroyer Laffey.

http://www3.telus.net/public/a5a03316/vickmaster/dd.jpg

The scan and the following paragraph are from Suicide Squads - by Richard O'Neill Page 172.
-----
Self-Defeating Tactics
Again and again during the kikusui offensives, kamikaze were to waste their strength against the radar pickets, often making repeated attacks on ships that were already obviously doomed. It is said that one picket destroyer's crew erected on the stern of their ship an enormous pointing arrow, with the legend: "TO JAP SUICIDERS €" CARRIERS ARE THAT WAY"! Of 33 destroyers deployed on picket duty during the Okinawa campaign, six were sunk and 18 damaged (13 seriously), and of the AA-armed landing vessels supporting them, four were sunk and eight damaged. It was estimated that more than 300 kamikaze attacks (ie, perhaps 15 per cent of all kamikaze sorties at Okinawa) were made during April on Picket Station No 1 alone. The accompanying Diagram details the most spectacular of these attacks, on USS Laffey (DD 724) on 16 April.
But in subjecting the radar pickets to this ordeal the kamikaze were defeating their own ends: the carriers and, even more important at Okinawa, the invasion transports were their essential targets if they were to affect the course of the campaign. This they failed to do.

-----

Also now that the Betty is flyable it could be used as a Kamikaze plane, as well of course could a Val.

In answer to the original question - Kamikaze did carry ammo and full fuel whereever possible.

Read the caption to the scan Val dropped bomb then crashed etc etc etc.

The limiting factor I would think to having the Kamikaze engage in a dogfight to get to the battle would be there incredibly low level of training. They would be, and were almost without exception wiped out in the event of an encounter with Allied planes. In AI terms they would be Novice (below actually). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

How far from the main fleet were the radar picket destroyers deployed?

kameron1974
07-05-2005, 06:55 PM
Hmm full everything. Alot of obsolete aircraft as well. They didn't always get a cup of sake either like the newsreels would have you believe.
Good luck with the flick.

"May our deaths be as clean and clear as the shattering of crystal. And may we fall from the sky like radiant cherry blossoms"
Anonymous Kamikaze pilot writing home.

blakduk
07-05-2005, 07:15 PM
PBNA-Boosher- "These are people, not mindless killing machines."
This important fact is often overlooked, many kamikaze 'volunteers' were heavily coerced into performing the role of a suicide bomber. Survivors of the campaign, who either crash-landed or were left without an aircraft to die in, tell of the enormous emotional blackmail that was pressed on them. Kamikazes were bludgeoned with propoganda that their families would be shunned, they themselves would be sent to the most horrendous battlefields etc if they didnt 'perform their duty'.
A hardcore of suicide bombers were certainly there but a significant number were given no choice at all.
I think the problem you will have regarding making the campaign is the variety of aircraft that were sent to attack the ships- basically if it could get into the air it was sent, some were armed, some carried bombs, some had explosives packed inside them, some were created specifically as a manned missile. It was a very ugly, untidy campaign that was quite shattering to the morale of the soldiers and sailors who faced it- way beyond the material damage the attacks actually caused.

SeaFireLIV
07-05-2005, 07:56 PM
Hmmm, it`s all very well saying the Japanese were `coerced`, but how many people really know the truth? Except the Japanese themselves. Personally, I`d really respect having a private chat with a real Japanese crewman who truly knew how the men of the time felt? Coerced by propaganda, now in our Westernised point-of-view? Or did the Japanese really go for it because they knew they had to for their people and homeland? And would they do so agin if the situation called for it?

Personally I think it`s a part of a long held way of being - not to kill oneself foolishly, but with honour to an ultimate goal of victory.

Chuck_Older
07-05-2005, 08:06 PM
Well, historically- the Japanese people were gradually taught a bastardised version of Bushido. It makes me angry when I read or hear that they were following Bushido...what a bunch of bull. Dying wasn't the point.

They were taught that if they died defending their country, their spirits lived on and fought spiritually for the Emperor. Ohka pilots in particluar were Deified in effect

All this is one reason so few Japanese were taken prisoner on places such as Iwo Jima. The Japanese there already considered themselves dead. What a waste

There are (or were) kamikaze pilots who survived the war. One wrote a book, if I recall

LStarosta
07-05-2005, 08:24 PM
I can't f*cking believe they went through all the trouble of manuals and bull**** for people to *PROPERLY* fly themselves into HUGE ships like carriers.

JG7_Rall
07-05-2005, 08:25 PM
Originally posted by LStarosta:
I can't f*cking believe they went through all the trouble of manuals and bull**** for people to *PROPERLY* fly themselves into HUGE ships like carriers.

IS HE RIGHT....



OR IS HE RIGHT!?!?!?!

Waldo.Pepper
07-05-2005, 08:31 PM
How far from the main fleet were the radar picket destroyers deployed?

Defensive Formation and Radar Pickets

By December 1944 TF 38 had been regrouped into three Task Groups, rather than four, for better close-in AA defence. A typical Fast Carrier Task Group now comprised 2-3 heavy carriers (CV), 2 light carriers (CVL), 2-3 battleships, 3-5 heavy and light cruisers (CA and CL, and including an AA-cruiser, CLAA; USS San Diego and San Juan had added AA armament for this role), and 18-20 destroyers. In the standard A A defence formation, one heavy carrier steamed at the centre of a circle of 2,000yds (1830m) radius formed by the remaining carriers, with the battleships, cruisers and destroyers in an outer cirlce of c.4,000yds (3660m) radius. Normally, course and speed were set by the central carrier, the ships manoeuvring independently only to avoid such immediate threats as torpedoes. Under kamikaze attack, more flexibility was necessary, although fighting instructions continued to stress that concentration of AA fire and continual fighter cover were more important than maneouver as anti-Kamikaze measures

Destroyers fitted with best available radar and homing equipment were disposed on picket lines up to 60 miles (95km) from the carrier groups, not only to give early warning of the kamikaze's approach but also to direct interceptions. The picket ships had their own guardian fighters: "Jack Patrols", that made low-level sweeps outside the screen; and CAPs controlled by designated "Tom Cat" destroyers. All US carrier aircraft returning from strikes were instructed to circle the "Tom Cats" so that they could be "de-loused" of kamikaze attempting to tag along. Kamikaze might be identified visually or through IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe), an electronic device in Allied aircraft that automatically responded (when switched on; there were numerous instances of pilots who neglected this precaution and were shot down by friendly forces) to a radar pulse from a ship or shore station.

But all countermeasures could not prevent some kamikaze from reaching the carrier groups. During the Lingayen landings of January 1945 (before the introduction of radar pickets), some 80 kamikaze sorties by UN aircraft resulted in the sinking of the escort carrier USS Ommaney Bay, serious damage to two escort carriers and lesser damage to two more. Two large transports and a minesweeper were also sunk and some 20 other warships suffered varying degrees of damage. During the Iwo Jima campaign of February-March 1945 (when fighter sweeps over the kamikaze's airfields in Kyushu were launched from fast carrier groups, and strikes by B-29s were stepped-up), only one escort carrier was lost to suicide attack, USS Bismarck Sea on 21 February. On the same day, the fleet carrier Saratoga took five hits from a wave of six kamikaze Zeros inside three minutes and then, one hour later, one more hit from a group of five, killing 123 of her crew and wounding 192. The veteran carrier went stateside for repair, doing no further combat duty.
-----

I love that delousing bit. That's priceless.

Enforcer572005
07-05-2005, 08:46 PM
has any1 tried how the ai handles the kamikaze misn? my experience is that too many planes assigned to ground attack (fighters that is) abandon thier primary misn to go off chasing bombers of fighters, even when they arent being attacked by them. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

im curious as to the tactics that ai has them us when they are approaching a ship for such an attack.

F19_Olli72
07-05-2005, 08:46 PM
I can tell LStarosta has never read any accounts from japanese pilots about kamikaze missions & tactics. Anyone who believes it was easy just because the ships were big got it all wrong.

Check out these books:

"I was a kamikaze" by Ryuji Nagatsuka,
"Kamikaze" by Yasuo Kuwahara and Gordon T. Allred

Btw not all kamikaze pilots were coerced either, Kuwahara describes these two groups, the 'kichigai' (madmen) who sought honor and immortality by dying and the 'sukebei' (libertines) who did not believe in death for death's sake. The attitudes of some pilots fluctuated between these two beliefs.

LStarosta
07-05-2005, 08:54 PM
Olli, please refrain from getting righteous on me. I was merely commenting in jest.


Yes, I know how difficult it is. It's like dive bombing, except you don't pull up.


That book would have been so much cooler if it was called:

How To Be A Kamikaze...

...And Live To Tell About It.

F19_Olli72
07-05-2005, 09:16 PM
Originally posted by LStarosta:
Olli, please refrain from getting righteous on me. I was merely commenting in jest.


Huh http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif In no way did i place any moral values in my comment. Only fact based. If it was meant as a 'funny', i can only conclude that our sense of humor is very different. Sry.

blakduk
07-05-2005, 09:21 PM
You guys may not have heard of the band 'The Hoodoo Gurus'- they had a song out in the early '80's called 'I was a kamikaze pilot'.
Some of the lyrics were great with classic lines such as
"Got taught how to take-off but dont know how to land,
they say 'it doesnt matter' but i just cannot understand", and
"I was a Kamikaze pilot,
they gave me a plane but i couldnt fly it".

I dont know if those lyrics make much sense because as i'm writing them i have the song blaring in my consciousness. Oh, the memories of being a drug-addled art student....

blakduk
07-05-2005, 09:27 PM
BTW- F19_Olli72, i wasnt suggesting they were ALL coerced, i just wanted to point out that the situation facing the japanese was extremely complex and challenging for them. It has to be remembered that the Japanese regarded themselves as having always been victorious and no-one wanted to be part of the first generation of Japanese to suffer defeat.
The closest they had come prior to this was facing a Chinese armada many centuries earlier- on that occassion they had been saved by a Typhoon that wrecked the fleet, they called it "Kamikaze" (Divine Wind).

LStarosta
07-05-2005, 09:32 PM
Originally posted by F19_Olli72:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by LStarosta:
Olli, please refrain from getting righteous on me. I was merely commenting in jest.


Huh http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif In no way did i place any moral values in my comment. Only fact based. If it was meant as a 'funny', i can only conclude that our sense of humor is very different. Sry. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Indeed, that may be a fair assumption.

Utchoud
07-06-2005, 04:33 AM
Originally posted by Markov_69GIAP:
Choosing planes is another issue. Is it safe to say that a 1944 Zero will make a good Kamikaze aircraft as well as an escort?

As stated before, Japanese used almost every available aircraft for that purpose. I'd only recommend not to use the most modern Japanese fighters in the game - N1K1-J and J2M3 - as kamikazes. Modern planes were quite precious for Japan. But I think the N1K1-J could serve well as an escort. The A6M, of course, too. Not the J2M3, it was more an interceptor than an escort fighter.

For kamikaze, you can use all versions of the A6M plus D3A, B5N and G4M. The M4Y7 carried by G4M bombers was not very frequent, but you can put it in if you want to make the movie more interesting.

Utchoud

SithSpeeder
07-06-2005, 01:13 PM
On a related note, I just read that the last sortie of the Yamato (the biggest battleship ever built) and her escorts (one cruiser and 8 destroyers) was also a kamikaze mission. Their goal was to get close to the "invasion" fleet at Okinawa and pound away until they could pound no more. They were only given enough fuel to go forth, not return. They were also not given any air cover. Unluckily for them, Allied aerial scouts found them first and they were sunk by navy aircraft before being able to bring their guns to bear.

2500 of the Yamato's crew were lost with less than 300 survivors.

I think the Americans lost 12 airmen and 10 aircraft.

War is truly hell.

* _54th_Speeder *

p1ngu666
07-06-2005, 01:29 PM
varied.
some had guns, some didnt, some had bombs, some didnt, some where packed with explosives and or bombs, some wherent. probably all types where used.

some where forced, some really wanted todo it, as they thought they would die anyway in the attack if it was a normal attack.

seafire, if i can find my kamikaze book ill lend it to u, its very good http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

p1ngu666
07-06-2005, 01:29 PM
+ yamamoto battle ship took a huge amount to sink http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

ytareh
07-06-2005, 05:58 PM
According to a documentary on The History Channel this afternoon the kamikazes often flew in a standard formation of 3 suicide bombers to 2 "escorts"(also served to report back on damage)

Utchoud
07-07-2005, 03:25 AM
Originally posted by p1ngu666:
+ yamamoto battle ship took a huge amount to sink http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

10 torpedoes, 5 bombs. All torpedoes hit the port side, the ship capsized and her ammunition chambers exploded. 269 survivors out of approx. 2,500 officers & crewmen. Yahagi light cruiser and 4 destroyers also sunk. The Americans lost 10 aircraft.

Earlier, in the Sibuyan Sea on 24th October 1944, the Musashi sank after 17 bomb and 20 torpedo hits.

Markov_69GIAP
07-07-2005, 09:55 AM
According to Wikipedia, the Yamato was given more than enough fuel to return home, saying that the one way trip fuel load-out is a rumor.

Utchoud
07-07-2005, 10:52 AM
It's possible that it is a rumor. My sources state that only the destroyers had full fuel tanks, while the tanks of the Yamato and the Yahagi were only half-filled.

Difficult to judge.

bolillo_loco
07-07-2005, 02:24 PM
if you kill a kamikazi pilot you have just helped him fullfill his mission

Markov_69GIAP
07-07-2005, 06:14 PM
No, a Kamikaze pilot must bring about his own death, to be killed by someone else would be a failure.