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bob_the_Skull
11-07-2004, 04:53 AM
Here is an article I found on Kamikaze pilots.
Thought you folks might be interetsed.
Mike

http://atimes.com/atimes/Japan/FK06Dh01.html

Banzai! Debunking the kamikaze myth
By Bennett Richardson and Fumiko Hattori

MABALACAT, Philippines - Like many violent acts during wartime, the Japanese kamikaze attacks of World War II have been vilified or conveniently dismissed as a freakish aberration that cannot be understood in rational terms. The self-sacrifice of the young Japanese pilots has been written into popular history as derived from an extreme interpretation of the samurai code and the wartime belief that the Japanese emperor was a living god.

"Banzai!" or "Long Live the Emperor", was their battle cry, or so popular mythology has it.

But the way the pilots who survived the war tell it, their prime motivation was simply desperation to protect the people they loved from coming to harm in a war that was rapidly - and very clearly - deteriorating into defeat. If they could keep the Allies from their shores and loved ones, they would have achieved their purpose.

In interviews conducted in Japan, some of the would-be kamikazes expressed relief, sadness even today that their comrades had died, and even some survivor guilt.

A handful of veteran Japanese pilots and their families gathered here on October 25 to pay tribute to that sentiment, at the spot where the first kamikaze mission took off exactly 60 years ago from a nondescript airfield about 80 kilometers north of Manila.

Local historian and artist Daniel Dizon witnessed the departure of the original kamikaze pilots on their missions when he was a boy of 14. He said most of the pilots "acted like they were going on a picnic". Dizon has been instrumental in creating kamikaze memorials in the area, and last month he helped to unveil a statue of a kamikaze pilot, a memorial largely funded by Filipino admirers in of what they consider the pilots' extraordinary courage.

"How can you forget something like that? They were brave - it's difficult to describe," Dizon told Asia Times Online.

One of the pilots at the memorial, Tsukasa Abe, now 77, said, "I am extremely grateful that the local people have erected this statue for us ... I am grateful that relations haven't been ruined despite what the Japanese did" in the Philippines.

After successive defeats across the Pacific, Japanese commanders had recognized by October 1944 that it was only a matter of time before the United States would invade the main islands of Japan itself. As the number of operational planes diminished and the Allies increasingly focused on the Pacific theater, senior Japanese navy air commanders decided there was no alternative but to create a special-forces unit to crash dive planes, armed with 250-kilogram bombs, into the flight decks of enemy carriers. These aircraft and the men who flew them came to be known as the kamikaze, named after a divine wind that saved Japan from a Mongol invasion in 1274. This legendary wind, probably a typhoon, destroyed Kublai Khan's fleet as it lay at anchor off the southern Japanese island of Kyushu.

The kamikaze name apparently was given to the first group asked to volunteer in the Philippines by senior commanders who ordered the tactic. The moniker was supposed to be something of an honorific for the original unit only, but quickly it came to be applied to other units using the same suicide tactic.

Kamikaze known as 'special forces'
The kamikaze were widely known as "special forces" - the pilots did not call themselves kamikaze - but the word became popularized and has stuck in the Western imagination; it has come to mean anyone who acts recklessly or suicidally. That was far from the case with the pilots, interviews with a number of them in Japan showed. They survived because their missions were aborted, they couldn't find a suitable target, they themselves were shot down and forced to ditch into the water, or they had to turn back because of bad weather or mechanical failure.

"Not one person went because they thought they wanted to die," Toyotaro Nakajima, a former special-forces pilot, said in an interview. He later ended up living and working in the US for many years. "It was an order - help your country, your country being the family that you loved, your brothers and sisters, friends, your home town - to protect these things from the enemy," he told Asia Times Online.

After the kamikaze sinking of the aircraft carrier Saint Lo on October 25, 1944, in Leyte Gulf off the coast of the Philippines proved that the tactic could inflict severe damage, the Japanese navy expanded the special forces during the Battle of Okinawa. According to the US Strategic Bombing Report on the Pacific War, the Japanese flew 2,550 kamikaze missions from October 1944 to the end of the Okinawa campaign in June 1945, the vast majority of the kamikaze missions, though final and definitive figures were not collected by the US after the Okinawa campaign.

They managed a hit rate of about one in five planes; that is, one in five planes managed to hit an enemy ship, sinking some, damaging others. Others had mechanical problems during flight, ran into enemy air cover en route to the front, or were hit by anti-aircraft fire from the ships they were trying to hit.

Other former kamikaze pilots agreed that most special-forces pilots were thinking primarily about their families when they left on their one-way missions.

No one shouted Banzai for the Emperor!
Shigemitsu Saito, now 78, a fighter pilot in campaigns including those in New Guinea and Guadalcanal, said the schoolboy comic-book image of the Emperor-worshipping kamikaze pilot bears little relation to reality. "The Emperor never really came into it - that's just something the newspapers made up. I doubt anyone actually went to his death shouting 'Banzai for the Emperor!'" he laughed.

Though the initial units were directly asked to volunteer for such missions by their superiors, later pilots were asked to fill in a form and state whether they would be willing to go on such missions - most pilots said they would. Then those who had expressed willingness later received a "special-forces order" from central command, and then they had to go. These orders were often posted on notice boards at air bases for all to see. Because pilots knew that their chances of surviving the war were slim to begin with, the prevailing sentiment at the time was that they should seize any chance that their deaths would not be wasted - by keeping the enemy away from Japanese shores.

Hiromi Kawasaki, now 77, was a navy pilot trainee when he saw a recruitment poster for a top-secret project pinned to the notice board at his base. The stand-out attraction for the 18-year-old was that volunteers would have the chance to go to the front after only two or three months of training. Given that it could have taken up to a year to see combat if he had stayed in the regular forces, Kawasaki took little heed of the warning on the poster that the mission had "no guarantee of survival".

He was assigned to the manned-torpedo unit, a variation on the original crash-dive aerial tactic. Kawasaki was trained to pilot a single-man torpedo with a 1.55-ton explosive warhead into enemy ships, using little more than a stopwatch and a periscope for navigation.

He said he had few qualms about volunteering, as the probability of death for an ordinary Japanese navy pilot was already extremely high - Japanese soldiers used to joke that joining the military not only got you a discount on your movie tickets but also on your life span, he laughed. "From the outset, I never really expected to return from the front," he told Asia Times Online.

But since Kawasaki was posted to coastal Shikoku in southern Japan to await the US invasion that never came, he lived to tell the tale.

Kawasaki said that during the war, the manned-torpedo pilots all wanted to take part in an attack and eagerly waited their turn on the attack roster. Missions were assigned according to the order in which pilots had graduated from training, with the first graduates assigned to the first missions. And so if someone botched his mission and had to be reassigned to the next attack, it was always very disappointing for the younger pilots waiting further down the line, he recalled.

They didn't care for money, fame or life
"We thought we didn't need money, or fame, or our lives - that was the mindset," Kawasaki said.

But once the war ended, he realized he would have to find a way to live. Eventually, he ended up working in a flour mill and getting married.

"I've been able to lead an interesting life," he said, adding that if he had the chance to go back in time, he probably wouldn't place himself in harm's way so enthusiastically. "It seems strange that I was a soldier at 18 and now I'm almost 80."

Some of the survivors escaped death when the war fortuitously ended before the day of their scheduled sortie. Former special-forces pilot Tsukasa Abe, interviewed in the Philippines, dodged what would have been his fate by just a few hours - his scheduled mission was for the afternoon of August 15, 1945, but at noon the Emperor of Japan broadcast to the nation that Japan must "endure the unendurable" and accept defeat.

Of those pilots who remain, almost all watched close friends fly off to sacrifice their lives in kamikaze attacks.

"It was very painful to see them off," remembered one special-forces pilot. "They were going first and you were staying behind, so you felt indebted in a way." And yet despite seeing his friends perish in this manner, this pilot, who declined to give his name, was remarkably candid about how it felt to realize that it would not be his fate to die in battle.

"It would be a lie to say that I didn't have at least some feeling that I was glad I wasn't chosen," he said.

Although the use of the kamikaze tactic didn't change the final outcome of the war, there is some evidence that those pilots who flew to their deaths hundreds of kilometers away were indirectly able to protect their families from harm. Because of the threat posed by the kamikaze attacks to Allied forces, more than 2,000 B-29 sorties that were to have attacked civilian and industrial targets in mainland Japanese cities ended up being diverted to striking kamikaze airfields in Kyushu.

Reliable estimates indicate that between 34 and 45 ships were sunk by kamikaze attacks and hundreds more were damaged. Kamikaze pilots were also known to ram enemy planes in midair. In addition, many sailors who witnessed kamikaze attacks suffered psychological trauma due to the shocking nature of the suicide tactic.

US sailors terrified of kamikaze
Bill Obitz, standing just a short distance from where a kamikaze plane hit the USSR Missouri on April 11, 1945, said sailors were scared of kamikaze because "you knew when they came in that that you were either going to shoot them down or they were going to dive into the ship".

While the bomb failed to explode in the attack he witnessed that day, Obitz said the dedication evident as the pilot lined up his single-man plane on the final run toward 45,000 tons of battleship firepower was fearsome. It was awe-inspiring that "you knew that he wouldn't turn back", Obitz said.

Some have suggested that the Japanese kamikaze were an inspiration for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon three years ago, on September 11, 2001, but the surviving pilots unanimously disavowed any comparison to modern terrorists - their aim in World War II was only to hit military targets. Whether the September 11 terrorists ever thought about the Japanese kamikaze attacks will never be known.

"It's a major mistake to say that the September 11 attacks were kamikaze attacks - the special forces were only ever used in a theater of war," said Kawasaki, the former manned torpedo pilot who never got his chance to die. "We never carried out any attacks [against civilians] like the ones on September 11," he said.

The former pilots also said it was a soldier's duty to obey orders and their underlying motivation was different from that of today's suicide bombers. The kamikaze tactic was a defense to keep the Allies at bay, more than an attack.

"Nobody was chasing after death or trying to commit suicide - we did it because we had a duty to protect our country. To me, there's a major difference," said former kamikaze pilot Nakajima.

>>>Bennett Richardson is a Tokyo-based freelance journalist with a special interest in Japanese defense policy, politics and modern history. Fumiko Hattori is an independent researcher and translator specializing in the World War II Pacific theater.

SeaFireLIV
11-07-2004, 05:12 AM
"Some have suggested that the Japanese kamikaze were an inspiration for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon three years ago, on September 11, 2001,"

That`s the silliest thing I`ve ever heard. Even I, being non-Japanese, understand the big difference between 911 attacks and what the Kamikazes were doing.

Even though it seems a crazy act, I am able to see things from the Kamikaze side. I don`t think it was just an act of desperation to defend your Country, but also a particular philosophy spanning thousands of years from the simple warrior Samurai Spirit. It was in many ways an honour and doing what your ancesters would have done. One needs to put their mind into the same frame then it becomes easier to understand. (At least that`s how I see it).

On an easier to understand note, perhaps the Americans should imagine what they might have done if the now defunct Soviet Union had managed to overwhelm all forces and were now steaming along America`s coast about to invade. Imagine you had no nukes, just your remaining troops, equipment and aircraft...

How many American Pilots, I wonder, would gladly have `Kamikazed` a bomb-laden aircraft into a Large Soviet Union Carrier in a desperate attempt to stop the enemy, even if in the end it made little or no difference?

Interesting article, thnx.

Chuck_Older
11-07-2004, 05:45 AM
That article contradicts itself in several ways.

For example:

" "Banzai!" or "Long Live the Emperor", was their battle cry, or so popular mythology has it.

But the way the pilots who survived the war tell it, their prime motivation was simply desperation to protect the people they loved from coming to harm in a war that was rapidly - and very clearly - deteriorating into defeat. If they could keep the Allies from their shores and loved ones, they would have achieved their purpose."

and then later:

"The former pilots also said it was a soldier's duty to obey orders"

I would like to put forth the argument that surviving kamikaze pilots do not and cannot speak for their comrades who succesfully perfromed their attacks

Instead, let the dead kamikazes speak for themselves. They often left behind letters, notes and poems of farewell.

"Banzai!" is as far as I know popular misconception when applied to airmen. I've read many a US Marine's memories about Banzai charges, but I've never heard a reliable source say this applied to kamikazes.

The war machine of Imperial Japan was odd. Junior officers who did not think that superior's actions or orders were aggresive enough could actually get those orders countermanded and changed to be more aggresive in nature. The military in Japan pushed the country and Emperor into War, and now this article says 'hey, hold on, the military mindset wasn't so prevalent in Japan at the time. they just wanted to defend their homeland'

I strongly disagree! Suddenly Japan is a victim of the war?

I'd also like to point out it's bloody unlikely the average Filipino admires an Imperial Japanese soldier unless he or she has been living in a vacuum and never talked to his or her parents or grandparent-if they survived the war. Do the authors of that article have an inkling of what Japanese occupation there was like??!?! Or are they conveniently forgetting? Or has at long last enough time passed that events have been softened by the passage of time?!

Lastly, Mr Kawasaki's take on it is not something I agree with either. Apparently he never heard of Nanking. He also was not the typical Japanese soldier- he didn't undergo a lot of the training, which involved a rather singularly brutal dehumanization process in which conqured peoples were seen as sub-human. Saburo Sakai once recalled being beaten with a stick as punishment. Mr Kawasaki was not given the 'full treatment' and also seems to be subject to post-war propaganda

I'd like to point out also that all this in my post is not political, it's simply historical

VMF223_Smitty
11-07-2004, 06:24 AM
Although I tend to agree with most of the article, there are also revisionist feelings associated with it.

The sentence "No one shouted Banzai to the Emperor" is inaccurate. It is documented in late war Japanese film that following the ritual ceremonies before take off, the Japanese pilots would bow toward the Emperor and shout Banzai - May the Emperor live a thousand years.
The Emperor WAS the Empire and therefor everyone was included under that "umbrella", including family members.

The official Japanese Field Service Code (http://www.warbirdforum.com/bushido.htm) adopted January 8, 1941, reflects the high commands wish for its soldiers, sailors and airmen.

Do not underestimate the reverence and awe that the Japanese had for their Emperor. Yes they loved their families and wanted to protect them at any price. As a matter of fact, if many of us felt that our wives and children were threatened, we would not hesitate to sacrifice ourselves to save them. It happens everyday.

When your God requests that you do something, you do it.

"Japan is the Kokosu (Empire). The Tenno (Emperor) rules over it everlasting in a line unbroken through the ages as the successor in the high and broad cause established by the Imperial Ancestor at the time of the founding of the Empire. Imperial benevolence is extended to all without favour, while the Imperial virtues enlighten the world. The people too, handing down the traditions of loyalty, filial piety, and valour from generation to generation, and enhancing thereby the morality peculiar to the Empire, have assisted the Throne-a perfect national unity under the Throne-which has brought about the present national prosperity.
Soldiers in the field should seek to achieve, with unshakable determination, their mission of defending the Empire by laying to heart the essential character of the national polity.



A kamikaze trains to die
[It's an obscure book and no longer in print, but Ryuji Nagatsuka's I Was a Kamikaze is worth a glance, if only because he's one of the few suicide pilots who lived to tell the tale. Curiously, the book was first published in French, in 1972, then translated into English and published by Macmillan in 1974. From what I know about the Japanese Army Air Force, it seems to be genuine. Nagatsuka was drafted in 1943, sent to army pilot training, and served without particular distinction until his group volunteered (with two exeptions) for kamikaze training. -- Dan Ford]

Crashing bodily into a target is not easy. It causes the enemy great damage. Therefore the enemy will exert every means to avoid a hit.

Suddenly, you may become confused. You are liable to make an error. But hold on to the unshakeable conviction to the last moment that you will sink the enemy ship.

Remember when diving into the enemy to shout at the top of your lungs: "Hissatsu!" ["Sink without fail!"] At that moment, all the cherry blossoms at Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo will smile brightly at you.



I think that the following articles are much more realistic as to the mentality of the warriors who sacrificed their lives.

Dan Ford's "Japan at War" site is an accumulation of well documented and well written articles, essays and books on the subject.
Japan At War 1931-1945 (http://www.warbirdforum.com/japan.htm)

Bobsqueek
11-07-2004, 06:29 AM
Interesting article, but I think that the whole 911 thing was a bit uncalled for and out of context

VMF223_Smitty
11-07-2004, 06:36 AM
Although I am in favor of intelligent discussion of subjects like this, it has been my experience in this and many other forums that they are not "flame"-proof and it won't be long before this one gets ugly. Much like the atomic bomb posts, etal.
The Flame-Trolls will be along shortly http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

Smitty

Chuck_Older
11-07-2004, 06:45 AM
oops, I was referring to pilots shouting "banzai!" as they crashed their planes, not shouting 'banzai' before they took off.

I mean, obviously, it might be hard to know who screamed 'banzai' and who screamed 'o cr@p' at that moment

VMF223_Smitty
11-07-2004, 06:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chuck_Older:
oops, I was referring to pilots shouting "banzai!" as they crashed their planes, not shouting 'banzai' before they took off.

I mean, obviously, it might be hard to know who screamed 'banzai' and who screamed 'o cr@p' at that moment <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

<S!> Chuck - Anyone who has read your posts know that most if not all are well-intentioned and anti-flame. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Freycinet
11-07-2004, 07:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chuck_Older:
That article contradicts itself in several ways.

For example:

" "Banzai!" or "Long Live the Emperor", was their battle cry, or so popular mythology has it.

But the way the pilots who survived the war tell it, their prime motivation was simply desperation to protect the people they loved from coming to harm in a war that was rapidly - and very clearly - deteriorating into defeat. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Chuck, that is exactly what the author says, you have misunderstood the phrase. He says that the popular mythology is that "banzai" was their battle cry, BUT THAT IT WASN'T SO in reality, it was just popular mythology.

Freycinet
11-07-2004, 07:19 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VMF223_Smitty:
The sentence "No one shouted Banzai to the Emperor" is inaccurate. It is documented in late war Japanese film that following the ritual ceremonies before take off, the Japanese pilots would bow toward the Emperor and shout Banzai - May the Emperor live a thousand years. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Smity, I think you have the wrong idea, when you say that the Japanese films were actually "documenting" anything. Those films were propaganda movies, not documentaries. You can be sure that whatever you see in those movies was set up by the director. Off-camera it is very possible, certain I would say, that the procedures were different.

Don't watch propaganda movies from WWII dictatorships, or even democracies, and think that they document the way it really was!

Athosd
11-07-2004, 07:26 AM
So who was it created a new account so as to lay this piece of drive-by-trolling on the forum?

The words "revisionist propaganda" spring to mind.

For those who would take offense at that comment - remember propaganda is always partly true.

VMF223_Smitty
11-07-2004, 07:44 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Freycinet:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VMF223_Smitty:
The sentence "No one shouted Banzai to the Emperor" is inaccurate. It is documented in late war Japanese film that following the ritual ceremonies before take off, the Japanese pilots would bow toward the Emperor and shout Banzai - May the Emperor live a thousand years. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Smity, I think you have the wrong idea, when you say that the Japanese films were actually "documenting" anything. Those films were propaganda movies, not documentaries. You can be sure that whatever you see in those movies was set up by the director. Off-camera it is very possible, certain I would say, that the procedures were different.

Don't watch propaganda movies from WWII dictatorships, or even democracies, and think that they document the way it really was! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So we are to discount everything that is on film from the WWII era on either side ? I think that I have it right. The films also are meant to reinforce what the general public's consensus is. A dictatorship cannot exist without the "support" of the people who are being dictated to.

NegativeGee
11-07-2004, 07:46 AM
Wasn't Banzai! a general purpose battlecry?

VMF223_Smitty
11-07-2004, 07:49 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by NegativeGee:
Wasn't Banzai! a general purpose battlecry? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>



"Banzai" literally means ten thousand years (of life). It is shouted in happy occasions while raising both arms. People shout "banzai" to express their happiness, to celebrate a victory, to hope for longevity and so on. It is commonly done together with the large group of people.

Foreign people seem to confuse "banzai" with a war cry. It is probably because the Japanese soldiers shouted "Tennouheika Banzai" when they were dying during World War II. In this context what they meant was "Long live the Emperor" or "Salute the Emperor".

Nige_Reconman
11-07-2004, 07:49 AM
Well you could argue that Japan should of just surrended, particularly if their concern was home/family/freedom, things which for 5 years they tried to deny other people.

Too bad i see nothing honourable in murder. They wanted war they got it, having family, alive and dead, who fought against the japanese during WW2, i'll hardly shed a tear over regrets at their pilots who died in kamikaze attacks.

While i harbour no grudges against the japanese today and certianly aren't interested in abusing or villifying them in anyway, the seeking of pity for deaths in ww2 is frankly insulting, as intolerant as that may sound, that's how i feel. Move ahead today as my friend, but never ask my forgiveness for your past.

Bikewer
11-07-2004, 09:01 AM
Shouldn't discount the tradition of the Bushido and the Samurai culture either. Under the Bushido (warrior's code), no higher honor could be achieved by a Samurai than to die in the service of his Daimyo. (Liege-lord) Although the Samurai were officially done away with during the Restoration, the culture remained an important part of Japanese life, and the Bushido was of course incorporated into contemporary military training.

Chuck_Older
11-07-2004, 09:10 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Freycinet:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chuck_Older:
That article contradicts itself in several ways.

For example:

" "Banzai!" or "Long Live the Emperor", was their battle cry, or so popular mythology has it.

But the way the pilots who survived the war tell it, their prime motivation was simply desperation to protect the people they loved from coming to harm in a war that was rapidly - and very clearly - deteriorating into defeat. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Chuck, that is exactly what the author says, you have misunderstood the phrase. He says that the popular mythology is that "banzai" was their battle cry, BUT THAT IT WASN'T SO in reality, it was just popular mythology. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>



That is not the contradiction I am commenting on. I am commenting on the standpoint that the Japanese were doing something other than 'just' defending their loved ones by means of the Kamikaze Corps. You chopped off the other half of the contradiction I pointed out in your quote


But in reality, it WAS so. Unless of course the US Marines who in their stories say they heard it during battle are liars. When you refute what someone says, it's sorta up to you to prove the person wrong, not the other way around. I can give you a specific example of a Marine who claims he heard this, but I don't have the burden of proof here, you do

Chuck_Older
11-07-2004, 09:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bikewer:
Shouldn't discount the tradition of the Bushido and the Samurai culture either. Under the Bushido (warrior's code), no higher honor could be achieved by a Samurai than to die in the service of his Daimyo. (Liege-lord) Although the Samurai were officially done away with during the Restoration, the culture remained an important part of Japanese life, and the Bushido was of course incorporated into contemporary military training. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

A very good point here.

Death (ritual suicide) was the strongest and final act a samurai could take in disagreeing with his Daimyo. A nice parallel with the Imperial Japanese custom of disagreeing with orders that were not warlike enough that I touched on before.

This is a quote I often dig up, but the New Samurai ethic had a degree of influence in '30s and '40s Japan:

"Death is as light as a feather; Duty is heavier than a Mountain"

A Samurai could either fail or succeed. Death in service to his Lord was not failure, it was his ultimate service and the reason for his existence. This is an attitude which mirrors the Kamikaze

Dunkelgrun
11-07-2004, 09:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VMF223_Smitty:
Although I tend to agree with most of the article, there are also revisionist feelings associated with it.

The sentence "No one shouted Banzai to the Emperor" is inaccurate. It is documented in late war Japanese film that following the ritual ceremonies before take off, the Japanese pilots would bow toward the Emperor and shout Banzai - May the Emperor live a thousand years.
The Emperor WAS the Empire and therefor everyone was included under that "umbrella", including family members.

The official http://www.warbirdforum.com/bushido.htm adopted January 8, 1941, reflects the high commands wish for its soldiers, sailors and airmen.

Do not underestimate the reverence and awe that the Japanese had for their Emperor. Yes they loved their families and wanted to protect them at any price. As a matter of fact, if many of us felt that our wives and children were threatened, we would not hesitate to sacrifice ourselves to save them. It happens everyday.

When your God requests that you do something, you do it.

"Japan is the Kokosu (Empire). The Tenno (Emperor) rules over it everlasting in a line unbroken through the ages as the successor in the high and broad cause established by the Imperial Ancestor at the time of the founding of the Empire. Imperial benevolence is extended to all without favour, while the Imperial virtues enlighten the world. The people too, handing down the traditions of loyalty, filial piety, and valour from generation to generation, and enhancing thereby the morality peculiar to the Empire, have assisted the Throne-a perfect national unity under the Throne-which has brought about the present national prosperity.
Soldiers in the field should seek to achieve, with unshakable determination, their mission of defending the Empire by laying to heart the essential character of the national polity.



A kamikaze trains to die
[It's an obscure book and no longer in print, but Ryuji Nagatsuka's I Was a Kamikaze is worth a glance, if only because he's one of the few suicide pilots who lived to tell the tale. Curiously, the book was first published in French, in 1972, then translated into English and published by Macmillan in 1974. From what I know about the Japanese Army Air Force, it seems to be genuine. Nagatsuka was drafted in 1943, sent to army pilot training, and served without particular distinction until his group volunteered (with two exeptions) for kamikaze training. -- Dan Ford]

Crashing bodily into a target is not easy. It causes the enemy great damage. Therefore the enemy will exert every means to avoid a hit.

Suddenly, you may become confused. You are liable to make an error. But hold on to the unshakeable conviction to the last moment that you will sink the enemy ship.

Remember when diving into the enemy to shout at the top of your lungs: "Hissatsu!" ["Sink without fail!"] At that moment, all the cherry blossoms at Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo will smile brightly at you.



I think that the following articles are much more realistic as to the mentality of the warriors who sacrificed their lives.

Dan Ford's "Japan at War" site is an accumulation of well documented and well written articles, essays and books on the subject.
http://www.warbirdforum.com/japan.htm <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>



Here's the full text referred to above, from http://www.warbirdforum.com/tokko.htm

It's quite scary.

'Crashing bodily into a target is not easy'
[The following appeared in the Guardian newspaper, reprinted from Kamikaze: Japan's Suicide Gods by Albert Axell and Hideaki Kase, published August 2002. I have corrected it to American usage. -- Dan Ford]


'Transcend life and death. When you eliminate all thoughts about life and death, you will be able to totally disregard your earthly life. This will also enable you to concentrate your attention on eradicating the enemy with unwavering determination, meanwhile reinforcing your excellence in flight skills.

Exert the best in yourself. Strike an enemy vessel that is either moored or at sea. Sink the enemy and thus pave the road for our people's victory.

Take a walk around the airfield. When you take this walk, be aware of your surroundings. This airstrip is the key to the success or failure of your mission. Devote all your attention to it. Look at the terrain. What are the characteristics of the ground? What are the length and width of the airstrip? In case you will take off at dusk, or early morning, or after sundown, what are the obstacles to be remembered: an electric pole, a tree, a house, a hill?

How to pilot a fully dressed-up aircraft that you dearly love

Before taking off: You can envision your target firmly in your mind as you bring your plane to a standstill. Breathe deeply three times. Say in your mind: "Yah" [field], "Kyu" [ball], "Joh" [all right] as you breathe deeply. Proceed straight ahead on the airstrip. Otherwise you may damage the landing gears. [Updated: Click here for more about this translation.]

Circle above the airstrip right after take-off. Do so at the minimum height of 200m. Circle at an angle within five degrees and keep your nose pointed downwards.


Principles you should know
Keep your health in the very best condition. If you are not in top physical condition, you will not be able to achieve an ideal hit by tai-atari [body-crashing]. Just as you cannot fight well on an empty stomach, you cannot deftly manipulate the control stick if you are suffering from diarrhea, and cannot exert calm judgment if you are tormented by fever.
Be always pure-hearted and cheerful.

A loyal fighting man is a pure-hearted and filial son.

Attain a high level of spiritual training. In order that you can exert the highest possible capability, you must prepare well your inner self. Some people say that spirit must come first before skill, but they are wrong. Spirit and skill are one. The two elements must be mastered together. Spirit supports skill and skill supports spirit.

Aborting your mission and returning to base
In the event of poor weather conditions when you cannot locate the target, or under other adverse circumstances, you may decide to return to base. Don't be discouraged. Do not waste your life lightly. You should not be possessed by petty emotions. Think how you can best defend the motherland. Remember what the wing commander has told you. You should return to the base jovially and without remorse.
When turning back and landing at the base. Discard the bomb at the area designated by the commanding officer. Fly in circles over the airfield. Observe conditions of the airstrip carefully. If you feel nervous, piss. Next, ascertain the direction of the wind and wind speed. Do you see any holes in the runway? Take three deep breaths.

The attack
Single-plane attack. Upon sighting a target, remove the safety pin. Go full speed ahead towards the target. Dive! Surprise the enemy. Don't let the enemy take time to counter your attack. Charge! Remember: the enemy may change course but be prepared for the enemy's evasive action. Be alert and avoid enemy fighters and flak fire.
Dive attack. This varies depending on the type of the aircraft. If you are approaching the enemy from a height of 6,000m, adjust your speed twice; or from a lower height of 4,000m, adjust speed once.

When you begin your dive, you must harmonise the height at which you commence the final attack with your speed. Beware of over-speeding and a too-steep angle of dive that will make the controls harder to respond to your touch. But an angle of dive that is too small will result in reduced speed and not enough impact on crashing.

Where to crash. Where should you aim? When diving and crashing on to a ship, aim for a point between the bridge tower and the smoke stacks. Entering the stack is also effective.

Avoid hitting the bridge tower or a gun turret. In the case of an aircraft carrier, aim at the elevators. Or if that is difficult, hit the flight deck at the ship's stern.

For a low-altitude horizontal attack, aim at the middle of the vessel, slightly higher than the waterline. If that is difficult, in the case of an aircraft carrier, aim at the entrance to the aircraft hangar, or the bottom of the stack. For other vessels, aim close to the aft engine room.

Just before the crash
Your speed is at maximum. The plane tends to lift. But you can prevent this by pushing the elevator control forward sufficiently to allow for the increase in speed. Do your best. Push forward with all your might.
You have lived for 20 years or more. You must exert your full might for the last time in your life. Exert supernatural strength.

At the very moment of impact: do your best. Every deity and the spirits of your dead comrades are watching you intently. Just before the collision it is essential that you do not shut your eyes for a moment so as not to miss the target. Many have crashed into the targets with wide-open eyes. They will tell you what fun they had.

You are now 30m from the target. You will sense that your speed has suddenly and abruptly increased. You feel that the speed has increased by a few thousand-fold. It is like a long shot in a movie suddenly turning into a close-up, and the scene expands in your face.

The moment of the crash
You are two or three meters from the target. You can see clearly the muzzles of the enemy's guns. You feel that you are suddenly floating in the air. At that moment, you see your mother's face. She is not smiling or crying. It is her usual face.

All the happy memories. You won't precisely remember them but they are like a dream or a fantasy. You are relaxed and a smile creases your face. The sweet atmosphere of your boyhood days returns.

You view all that you experienced in your 20-odd years of life in rapid succession. But these things are not very clear.

In any event, only delightful memories come back to you. You cannot see your own face at that moment. But because of a succession of pleasant memories flashing through your mind, you feel that you smiled at the last moment. You may nod then, or wonder what happened. You may even hear a final sound like the breaking of crystal. Then you are no more.

Points to remember when making your last dive
Crashing bodily into a target is not easy. It causes the enemy great damage. Therefore the enemy will exert every means to avoid a hit.

Suddenly, you may become confused. You are liable to make an error. But hold on to the unshakeable conviction to the last moment that you will sink the enemy ship.

Remember when diving into the enemy to shout at the top of your lungs: "Hissatsu!" ["Sink without fail!"] At that moment, all the cherry blossoms at Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo will smile brightly at you. '

[Copyright 2002 by Albert Axell, the Guardian newspaper, and Daniel Ford]

DuxCorvan
11-07-2004, 09:59 AM
Santiagoooooo! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/icon_twisted.gif
http://www.meteoburgos.com/cid.ht2.gif

O cr@p!!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

Aaron_GT
11-07-2004, 10:12 AM
"So we are to discount everything that is on film from the WWII era on either side ?"

No, but you have to take things with some context. There was propoganda on all sides in WW2 aimed at producing various effects. Some film makers made more objective accounts than others, and the Allied side tended to be more objective than the Axis. You can take these films as part of the totality of evidence about what things were like, but you need to read accounts that are not proganda (Mass Observation is an interesting source in the UK) to give the films context. The films give a fascinating insight into the way Allied and Axis states worked, though, and what they felt was justified in terms of keeping up morale.

"They wanted war they got it,"

Some of Japan's leaders wanted it, notably the military junta that came to power a few months before Pearl Harbour and was in power until May 1945. I am sure some of the Japanese people wanted war too, just as some probably did not. You can't ascribe the intentions of leaders or a minority to an entire country, though. It doesn't mean that bombing that country is not a valid military tactic, though (it is valid). I suppose one of the biggest lessons to learn from WW2 is to guard against dictatorships getting hold of a country and sufficiently convincing one part of the population and/or cowing the other such that it makes prosecuting a war possible. Whilst not necessarily a fan of preemptive action you do have to wonder what might have happened if the Allied powers had taken action earlier. Could millions of lives have been spared? Impossible to know, of course. With hindsight, if it could have been done, I wish it had have been.

NegativeGee
11-07-2004, 11:29 AM
Thank you for the background on Banzai Smitty.

I have an observation on this thread:

http://www.lostinspacetv.com/ART/home/robotanim.gif

Danger! Will Robinson! Danger!

bob_the_Skull
11-07-2004, 12:55 PM
Hi,
Sorry for starting up a stink storm.
History is a messy business.
I'd lock this thread before it gets out of hand.
If you want to peruse the subject this web page has several good books reviews on the subject.

http://wgordon.web.wesleyan.edu/kamikaze/index.htm

And this is from a survior of these type of attacks

http://www.airgroup4.com/kamikaze.htm

mike

VMF223_Smitty
11-08-2004, 04:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dunkelgrun:
[Copyright 2002 by Albert Axell, the Guardian newspaper, and Daniel Ford] <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks Dunkel - Didn't want to post too much because of copyright.

Smitty

VMF223_Smitty
11-08-2004, 05:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
"So we are to discount everything that is on film from the WWII era on either side ?"

No, but you have to take things with some context. There was propoganda on all sides in WW2 aimed at producing various effects. Some film makers made more objective accounts than others, and the Allied side tended to be more objective than the Axis. You can take these films as part of the totality of evidence about what things were like, but you need to read accounts that are not proganda (Mass Observation is an interesting source in the UK) to give the films context. The films give a fascinating insight into the way Allied and Axis states worked, though, and what they felt was justified in terms of keeping up morale.

"They wanted war they got it,"

Some of Japan's leaders wanted it, notably the military junta that came to power a few months before Pearl Harbour and was in power until May 1945. I am sure some of the Japanese people wanted war too, just as some probably did not. You can't ascribe the intentions of leaders or a minority to an entire country, though. It doesn't mean that bombing that country is not a valid military tactic, though (it is valid). I suppose one of the biggest lessons to learn from WW2 is to guard against dictatorships getting hold of a country and sufficiently convincing one part of the population and/or cowing the other such that it makes prosecuting a war possible. Whilst not necessarily a fan of preemptive action you do have to wonder what might have happened if the Allied powers had taken action earlier. Could millions of lives have been spared? Impossible to know, of course. With hindsight, if it could have been done, I wish it had have been. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Aaron - Believe me when I say that your warning that I need to "take some things with some context" advice is really not needed.
As a veteran US Marine of the Viet-Nam War, I was a target of propaganda and know full well its effect.
I was actually called a "baby-killer" at LA International Airport in 1969. This no doubt was the end product of some anti-war activists attempting to villify all US servicemen. Propaganda if you will. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

"I am sure some of the Japanese people wanted war too........."

If you for one moment think that the majority or Japanese, German, British, American or any other belligerent during WW2 did not support their respective country, propaganda or not, you are being very naive.

Giganoni
11-08-2004, 05:27 AM
Well, you can try to pin Kamikaze on Bushido, or service to the Emperor. Bushido was an idolized concept brought back in the military and popular culture during the war years. Really though comparing kamikaze to ritual suicide is wrong because suicide comes from defeat and shame. Japanese were taught since kids to revere the Emperor in school. I think the idea to save your family, your loved ones from a gruesome death still overrides all of that.

Your also forgeting Confucian philosophy (or religion). Confucianism was and still is prevelant in Japanese culture. Remember Japan has been influenced heavily by its Asian neighbors. The duty to family above state. The idea that you owe a debt to the family I think would strongly influence a young man (especially if the eldest son) in giving his life to protect them.

They exhibited courage not fanaticism. US marines during WWII went out under fire to recover the corpses of their fellow men. Thats seen as courage in the US, yet kamikaze is seen as fanaticism probably because those pilots simply fought for the other side.

Chuck_Older
11-08-2004, 07:03 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Giganoni:


They exhibited courage not fanaticism. US marines during WWII went out under fire to recover the corpses of their fellow men. Thats seen as courage in the US, yet kamikaze is seen as fanaticism probably because those pilots simply fought for the other side. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, call it courage then, I have no problem with that

But about the example of the Marines...their goal was to recover their fallen comrade, not to die next to the bodies of their comrades...they were coming back, the kamikazes goal was to not come back. Many felt ashamed if they returned. The Marine who went out to get the body of another Marine who died was planning on a round trip http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

huggy87
11-08-2004, 09:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bob_the_Skull:

I'd lock this thread before it gets out of hand.

mike <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah. God forbid a bunch of adults on a WW2 aviation forum discuss an integral part of the air war in the pacific. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

joeap
11-08-2004, 09:41 AM
Intereesting thread and good points, you know I think one can admire the courage of those who fought for the Axis even if one (as I do) disagrees with their cause. Tables often tunr, and there is a lesson to be learnt. Anyway this quote:

"One of the pilots at the memorial, Tsukasa Abe, now 77, said, 'I am extremely grateful that the local people have erected this statue for us ... I am grateful that relations haven't been ruined despite what the Japanese did' in the Philippines."
doesn't sound to me to be revisionist. The gentlemen acknowledges the suffering inflicted on the Fillipino people by the Japanese military. I mean, France and Germany settled their bitter differences in Europe.

Think of it as the first cruise missiles. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

VMF223_Smitty
11-08-2004, 12:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by joeap:
Interesting thread and good points, you know I think one can admire the courage of those who fought for the Axis even if one (as I do) disagrees with their cause. Tables often turn, and there is a lesson to be learned. Anyway this quote:

"One of the pilots at the memorial, Tsukasa Abe, now 77, said, 'I am extremely grateful that the local people have erected this statue for us ... I am grateful that relations haven't been ruined despite what the Japanese did' in the Philippines."
doesn't sound to me to be revisionist. The gentlemen acknowledges the suffering inflicted on the Fillipino people by the Japanese military. I mean, France and Germany settled their bitter differences in Europe.

Think of it as the first cruise missiles. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

joeap - Exactly. Nothing revisionist about the man's statement at all. I would call that regret for things that he thought were right at the time and looking for penance.
We have all been there. We all have hopped on a bandwagon for a cause or issue that we thought was right at that particular point in time. Then we look back and say to ourselves; "What was I thinking ?"
It's called maturity, a part of which is the ability and forbearance to understand that not everyone in this world is going to have the same set of values as his neighbor.
There is no doubt that the Axis powers had their share of courageous men. The sorrow comes in when it is spent on an infamous cause. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

And no - I don't think that this thread needs to be locked if maturity reigns here. Personally, I like a discussion that shares ideas and viewpoints. This is exactly what can help prevent the horror of war.

Atomic_Marten
11-08-2004, 12:29 PM
VMF223_Smitty , I have rarely seen so good post like your previos two. I absolutely agree.

When people are once faced with *all* facts leading to the conflict, then I doubt they will be so eager to fight. But unfortunately, that part comes usually *after* war, when all sides suffered (heavy) losses.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>We have all been there. We all have hopped on a bandwagon for a cause or issue that we thought was right at that particular point in time. Then we look back and say to ourselves; "What was I thinking ?"
It's called maturity, a part of which is the ability and forbearance to understand that not everyone in this world is going to have the same set of values as his neighbor. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

VMF223_Smitty
11-08-2004, 12:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Atomic_Marten:
_VMF223_Smitty _, I have rarely seen so good post like your previos two. I absolutely agree.

When all people are once faced with *all* facts leading to the confilct, then I doubt they will be so eager to fight. But unfortunately, that part comes usually *after* war, when all sides suffered (heavy) losses.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>We have all been there. We all have hopped on a bandwagon for a cause or issue that we thought was right at that particular point in time. Then we look back and say to ourselves; "What was I thinking ?"
It's called maturity, a part of which is the ability and forbearance to understand that not everyone in this world is going to have the same set of values as his neighbor. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thank you Atomic_Marten

Having seen first hand the death and destruction of war it tends to:
(a) Mature one rather quickly
(b) Make one appreciate life, love and children more. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Aaron_GT
11-08-2004, 12:42 PM
"If you for one moment think that the majority or Japanese, German, British, American or any other belligerent during WW2 did not support their respective country, propaganda or not, you are being very naive."

I suspect the majority did, but it is clear that not all did (else there would not have been a resistance movement in Germany, for example). And as has been noted, in the case of Japan and Germany the state manipulated patriotism for evil ends, witholding true intentions from the people in an undemocratic state.

Aaron_GT
11-08-2004, 12:43 PM
"(b) Make one appreciate life, love and children more."

It's my heartfelt wish that people the world over can learn this without having to go what you went through in Vietnam, Smitty.

AcesHigh_AVG
11-08-2004, 02:03 PM
They were fanatics and at the time crazy! If you have planes that work and explosives too, doesn't it make more sense to at least try to bring some of the aircraft and pilots back so they can attempt to bomb again? The japanese have a great history of ceremonial suicide and this was just one of its incarnations. Other Japanese people threw themselves off of cliffs beause they had been told that the Americans would eat their babies! Hitler told the German pilots to kamakazi into key bridges in Germany to slow the American and British advance, but the German pilots never followed orders. The western and eastern mindsets are much different. Maybe you can say they were fighting for their country and family etc, but there isn't much you can do for them by flying into ships. It would have made more sense if they had just gone back to Japan and made ready for the "final assault". The banzi charges into lines of allied machinegun nests are another incarnation of the stupid "samauri code". Call it bravery or whatever you want, but running with bayonets into enemy machineguns is ******ed especially when you already tried it once before.

sapre
11-08-2004, 02:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AcesHigh_AVG:
They were fanatics and at the time crazy! If you have planes that work and explosives too, doesn't it make more sense to at least try to bring some of the aircraft and pilots back so they can attempt to bomb again? The japanese have a great history of ceremonial suicide and this was just one of its incarnations. Other Japanese people threw themselves off of cliffs beause they had been told that the Americans would eat their babies! Hitler told the German pilots to kamakazi into key bridges in Germany to slow the American and British advance, but the German pilots never followed orders. The western and eastern mindsets are much different. Maybe you can say they were fighting for their country and family etc, but there isn't much you can do for them by flying into ships. It would have made more sense if they had just gone back to Japan and made ready for the "final assault". The banzi charges into lines of allied machinegun nests are another incarnation of the stupid "samauri code". Call it bravery or whatever you want, but running with bayonets into enemy machineguns is ******ed especially when you already tried it once before. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Ahh, so typical.

Chuck_Older
11-08-2004, 03:10 PM
Typical? Maybe

But that doesn't discount what AcesHigh posted.

If you consider the points he brings up, they are valid, especially the one about the eastern and western mindsets. To the westerner, the first reaction to the Kamikaze ideal is indeed "they were crazy". It's very hard to understand that outlook.



This is one of the best threads I've read in some time http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Giganoni
11-08-2004, 04:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AcesHigh_AVG:
They were fanatics and at the time crazy! If you have planes that work and explosives too, doesn't it make more sense to at least try to bring some of the aircraft and pilots back so they can attempt to bomb again? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Except the Japanese lacked the skilled pilots to bomb the ships. What skilled pilots they had were trying to escort them. Also many times the kamikaze planes were obsolete. The flak would also make it very difficult. You can say the Japanese were of a utiltarianism mindset, but not crazy. Simply believing in the greatest good for the greatest number. One life to sink or incapacitate one ship (ideally) seems logical to me.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
The japanese have a great history of ceremonial suicide and this was just one of its incarnations. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ritual suicide based on defeat and shame. This was simply sacrifice for others not suicide.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Maybe you can say they were fighting for their country and family etc, but there isn't much you can do for them by flying into ships. It would have made more sense if they had just gone back to Japan and made ready for the "final assault". <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And just how is this "final assault" supposed to happen if the kamikaze pilots did manage that quota of one plane for one ship? What about supply ships? If a kamikaze sinks a ship laden with fuel or supplies for B-29 unit he may prevent his family from being firebombed for a day or week. Also did anyone stop to wonder that if the kamikaze did heavy damage to the Allied fleet that it might prevent the "final assault", or I'll call it Operation Olympus and Coronet, long enough for peace to be brokered? Would not some if not all of those pilots hope to end the war one way or another by their actions?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
The banzi charges into lines of allied machinegun nests are another incarnation of the stupid "samauri code". Call it bravery or whatever you want, but running with bayonets into enemy machineguns is ******ed especially when you already tried it once before. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Which is why they largely stopped doing that. Of course in Guadalcanal the Japanese grossly underestimated the American strength there.

I see US marines risking their lives for a body as stupid as well, but stupidity and bravery are often the same thing.

Chuck_Older
11-08-2004, 04:37 PM
Well, also, the damage caused by the Kamikazes was real, and not inconsiderable. If the weapon is working, there's good reason to use it. I don't understand the mindset behind that, but it's irrelevant that I don't.

For instance, the Japanese didn't believe the US had the Bomb. How could they, really? So if the Kamikazes really could make the US afraid of the death toll that landing on the home Islands would cause, or better yet, deplete their Navy to the point that a negotiated peace could be worked out (as much tunnel-vision as that might be), all the better. As it was, the invasion of the Home Isalnds was avoided by two weapons dropped from the air, a strange mirror of the Japanese who made final plunges from the sky seeking to avoid that very thing

Giganoni
11-08-2004, 04:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>

As it was, the invasion of the Home Isalnds was avoided by two weapons dropped from the air, a strange mirror of the Japanese who made final plunges from the sky seeking to avoid that very thing <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

One weapon actually, it was already decided upon to surrender before Nagasaki happened, but it wasn't soon enough to prevent Nagasaki (which was ahead of schedule anyway) so such is life.

Lets also not forget ramming units though, weren't the Russians also using such tactics at one point?

Chuck_Older
11-08-2004, 04:48 PM
Yes, the famous Taran attacks

I think they had a slim hope at surviving though. Most of them http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

When I think about the situation Japan found itself in in the spring of '45, I always think about what else they could have done that had a hope of working. It was a desperate time. The people seemed able to cope with desperate times like most peoples can, but the method is so alien as to make the actuality of it hard to be objective about

VF-3Thunderboy
11-08-2004, 06:37 PM
but the word became popularized and has stuck in the Western imagination; it has come to mean anyone who acts recklessly or suicidally. That was far from the case with the pilots, interviews with a number of them in Japan showed

Lets see, flying an airplane INTO a warship, is NOT reckless or Suicidal?

Well first, its RECKLESS when the airplane explodes, killing and maiming hundreds of US sailors, and possible sinking a very expensive warship.

Its Suicidal because the pilot, when hitting such a large object as a ENEMY warship with a bomb laden airplane at high speed and an obtuse angle, will tend to put high levels of G-force on said pilot, smashing him into mashed potato consistency, and then the avgas/bomb explosion will bake whats left, IE: The Kamakazi DIES.

A great topic, showing that Political correctness,and mental ******ation, are really the same thing!!

My bad? No I think not!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

As for 911, as Terrorists have no known "nation" only a known religion, the goal/ effect was simmilar. Japanese strafed civilians at Pearl harbour also...Very simmilar in psycology.

Suicide is generally not considered in Western Society, unless all hope is exausted right then and there. It is not a planned military strategy... See western Europe /History... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

VMF223_Smitty
11-08-2004, 06:54 PM
This IS a great thread and the sharing and intelligent conversation that arises from communication like this (the theme of ideas, values, morals, and lifestyles) brings great hope to a rather dark and frightening world.

Chuck_Older: Your ability to look around corners and see the obtuse angles is eveident in many of your posts. I'm sure that we would be friends if we ever met.
The same holds true with everyone that has contributed to this thread.
And this reinforces exactly what I said earlier. Sharing philosophies instead of forcing yours upon another fellow human is how we learn. If we learn we understand, if we understand we cease to fear those who think differently then us. The end result is Peace. Sounds easy, but we have been struggling with that concept since the first weapon was made. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

But I want to thank all of you for sharing in an intelligent and enlightening conversation.
And I wish you peace.

Smitty

Philipscdrw
11-08-2004, 07:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Lets see, flying an airplane INTO a warship, is NOT reckless or Suicidal?

Well first, its RECKLESS when the airplane explodes, killing and maiming hundreds of US sailors, and possible sinking a very expensive warship. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Is reckless the right word? I think that 'effective' is the right word. What relevance is it that they were 'US' sailors? Are USN personnel somehow more valuable than the rest of the human race? Your tone suggests that it is unreasonable for the Japanese to sink American warships by any means possible.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>A great topic, showing that Political correctness,and mental ******ation, are really the same thing!! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Extreme PC may be ******ed, but I don't think those articles are.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Japanese strafed civilians at Pearl harbour also... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

As for killing civilians, you are American and I am British. Pot, kettle, black.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Suicide is generally not considered in Western Society, unless all hope is exausted right then and there. It is not a planned military strategy... See western Europe /History... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, what other hope did the Japanese have in 1944?

I think that the kamikaze pilots were brave and devoted patriots, like all soldiers and front-line military personnelle.

BaldieJr
11-08-2004, 07:42 PM
Kamakaze = dumb

If you are going to kill yourself because you might not win, I'll smack-talk like Muhamed-Ali and let you do yourself in.

I can't believe that there are people in the world dumb enough to believe that surviving for your cause isn't the right way to win.

I wish someone would erect a statue depicting some random act of common sense.

Chuck_Older
11-08-2004, 07:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VMF223_Smitty:


Chuck_Older: Your ability to look around corners and see the obtuse angles is eveident in many of your posts. I'm sure that we would be friends if we ever met. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

ah, you just caught me on a good day http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Atomic_Marten
11-08-2004, 07:48 PM
Nice one. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Philipscdrw
11-08-2004, 07:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BaldieJr:
Kamakaze = dumb

If you are going to kill yourself because you might not win, I'll smack-talk like Muhamed-Ali and let you do yourself in. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> The Kamikaze killed themselves to cause massive damage to the USN, not because they might not win the war.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I can't believe that there are people in the world dumb enough to believe that surviving for your cause isn't the right way to win. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> If the allied navies reached Japan, then the Japanese cause (and a lot of Japanese civilians) would not survive. Therefore, they had to stop the navies by any means possible.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I wish someone would erect a statue depicting some random act of common sense. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, it's been done. They are called traffic lights and they are found all over cities worldwide. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

VMF223_Smitty
11-08-2004, 09:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Philipscdrw:
Yes, it's been done. They are called traffic lights and they are found all over cities worldwide. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

LMAO

sapre
11-08-2004, 09:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Japanese strafed civilians at Pearl harbour also...Very simmilar in psycology <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Another victim of "Pearl Harbor" film http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif
I also would love to hear yoru comment about American P51's strafing Japanese civillians, including women and children and sometimes even school http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

Philipscdrw
11-08-2004, 09:34 PM
Or the time we all got together to firebomb Dresden, in Febuary 1945, when there was very little credible threat anywhere in Germany and certainly not in Dresden. How many tens of thousands died? Between 35,000 and 100,000 defenseless civilians. For what military purpose? Um...

Pot, kettle, black. USA and UK have no right to complain about other nation's atrocities against civilians.

rodion_zero
11-08-2004, 10:02 PM
Some people are merely open to new concepts or outlooks in life--others are not. Period.

-RODION
"My grandmother used to cook food using pots made from aluminum from downed planes--both American and Japanese aircraft...they were all over the place, she said." -Rodion, Filipino.

Philipscdrw
11-08-2004, 10:57 PM
True.

Levethane
11-08-2004, 11:45 PM
Wish a Kamikazi attacks actually did damage in PF, crashing a loaded dive bomber into a carrier doesn't leave a scratchhttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

BaldieJr
11-09-2004, 12:41 AM
And I'm just saying that is pretty dumb to commit suicide and even dumber to idolize those that do.

I appreciate your attempt to turn my post into something more than it is, but youre wrong. No big deal, it happens.

rodion_zero
11-09-2004, 12:56 AM
If a Person A grew up only caring about himself and things that concern HIM alone, I guess Person B committing suicide FOR of ANOTHER person or group is indeed strange to Person A. Again, it's all about culture. Heck in our culture it's ok to eat dogs like you guys eat chicken. But then we cannot tolerate you guys entering a house with your shoes on. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

-RODION

BaldieJr
11-09-2004, 01:30 AM
Thats nice.

Personally I care enough about my family to know that I need to survive so that I can protect them, if from no other threat than the pain of loosing me.

Is it selfish to want to keep fighting? On one or two levels, perhaps. But its also an act of selflesness.

I've made a promise to my wife and I intend to live up to that promise. I can't do that if I'm dead.

As for my love of my country: I'll fight with everything I have to defend her from all threats. I will not die for my country but will instead promise to be the last jerk standing, if thats what it takes, to carry on her ways.

Thats honor. Suicide is not.

NegativeGee
11-09-2004, 04:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BaldieJr:
Thats nice.

Personally I care enough about my family to know that I need to survive so that I can protect them, if from no other threat than the pain of loosing me.

Is it selfish to want to keep fighting? On one or two levels, perhaps. But its also an act of selflesness.

I've made a promise to my wife and I intend to live up to that promise. I can't do that if I'm dead.

As for my love of my country: I'll fight with everything I have to defend her from all threats. I will not die for my country but will instead promise to be the last jerk standing, if thats what it takes, to carry on her ways.

Thats honor. Suicide is not. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, that is a perception of honour, one that many of us here can relate too.

But as for kamikaze why is it dishonourable? The tactic was born out of a desperation to achieve results against a very strong enemy. Conventional methods of attack were not getting the required results and losses in those attacks were very high. If its got to the point where most aircraft committed to an attack do not return anyway, then why not take steps to ensure these losses have a better chance of achieving results? Even the Luftwaffe briefly tried large scale ramming attacks against bombers in the daylight raids (although these were designed to give the pilot a chance of escape, abeit slim).

As someone else has already pointed out, the Japanese leaders were unaware of the A-bomb, so were expecting to face a conventional invasion from the Allies. Given the fact the leadership would not surrender under these circumstances its not surprising the military resorted to increasingly desperate measures to try stem the tide of the Allied advance.

Its not about "idolizing" the Kamikaze but about appreciating the circumstances that led to it happening. In the same light, its not about "demonizing" then either.

Stuntie
11-09-2004, 04:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Philipscdrw:
Or the time we all got together to firebomb Dresden, in Febuary 1945, when there was very little credible threat anywhere in Germany and certainly not in Dresden. How many tens of thousands died? Between 35,000 and 100,000 defenseless civilians. For what military purpose? Um...

Pot, kettle, black. USA and UK have no right to complain about other nation's atrocities against civilians. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Very good point.

Same with the 'heroic' USN Submariners risking their lives to sink Japanese boats whilst the 'vile' UBoat crews were murdering our brave merchantmen.
Japanese fighting to the death is senseless fanaticism. US Marines at Wake or in the Phillipenes fighting to the last is heroism.

Context is everything. What we do is justified, but when others do it then it's a act of barabarity.

Kamikazies were effective. You can sink or damage a carrier with them, so they are a viable military option. All you need is the will to use them.

The Japanese had that will. They had a group orientated culture, where sacrifice for the good of the whole was an important ideal.
The extreme form of this being prepared to kill and die for the common good.

The miltarization of Japan in the 20's and 30's was accompanied by inceasingly brutal training methods that dehumanised the soldiers sailors and airmen. When you are prepared to viciously beat your own men for even minor misdemeanors then brutallity to the enemey and his people becomes a non-issue to the people involved. They have become so insensitised that the emotional barriers that prevent such cruelty have been lost.

Add in a history of heros killing themselves rather than being dishonoured, and troops fighting to the last man, and the weight of tradition is there to steady the nevrous and provide the bulwark for the pep talks and propoganda.

What the allies saw as stupid and senseless was the logical conculsion to a brutalised military where death was a tradition.

How to get volunteers for such a task. Just ask.
You would be surprised how many people would volunteer for suicide missions. When the chips are down those who see then selves as heroes in waiting, and the fatalists that see themselves as dead already, will step forwards, as will many others. Human's are irrational at best, and inclined to the stupidly heroic.

Later when the volunters dry up you can use the group ethos to get your men. You can ask the group and then say any who don't want to can step back. 'I would rather die than be shown to be a coward' is a powerful motive. By making refusal an act of cowardice you essential force the men into volunterring.

Is it right or wrong?
An irrelevant question for those who carry out the attacks.
To them the question is 'is is justifiable given the current context'.

Stuntie
11-09-2004, 04:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VF-3Thunderboy:
Are USN Sailors more valued that (say) Japanese sailors during WW2? Is this a morality question? The answer is _YES_ they are. DOY! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif Not even a rational question!! Is it?
: <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ideally all people would be valued the same.
As humans I see USN and Japanese sailors on a par.

However USN Sailors were more valued by the USN during the war. They would go to great lengths the protect and resuce the common Sailor.

I know which Navy I would rather have served with.

NIGHTBARON
11-09-2004, 10:25 AM
Ok, For the original Issue of the threat regarding a "Banzai" warcry, Well... Its more commonly shouted by the ground troops while charging forward.

And... About the "Yellow monkeys" & "yankees", Guys do lay off the racist stuff, Since Theres no such thing as the "good" side in war, Every side do bad things...Japan invade everywhere... And so does the brits & dutch.
Oh, And for any of slang slinggin teenie here who probably heard those remarks from some movies they watch... Hei, Its a game and its all just about the aircrafts..lets concentrate on that instead, Shall we?
Besides... Theres no way any of you actually know somebody/Participated in WW2, nor Not even Your dad.

BSS_Goat
11-09-2004, 10:53 AM
Just remember one thing.... " IN WAR THE WINNER WRITES THE HISTORY BOOKS "

flemsha
11-09-2004, 03:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chuck_Older:
I'm not too sure we need to fight the Pacific War all over again here. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was thinking the exact same thing http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Atomic_Marten
11-09-2004, 03:51 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flemsha:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chuck_Older:
I'm not too sure we need to fight the Pacific War all over again here. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was thinking the exact same thing http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Chuck_Older
11-09-2004, 03:58 PM
Well, if we have to, do it, OK. But I pick Spain as my country.

Dux knows why. Nobody expects the...oh, d@mn!

Gato__Loco
11-09-2004, 04:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BaldieJr:

I'll fight with everything I have to defend her from all threats. I will not die for my country but will instead promise to be the last jerk standing, if thats what it takes, to carry on her ways.

Thats honor. Suicide is not. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't get it. So fighting when there is no hope and dying is honor. But a kamikaze crashing on a ship is not? I don't see much difference, to be honest. If you know for sure you will die unless you surrender, and then decide to keep on fighting, how is that different to commiting suicide?

beepboop
11-09-2004, 07:53 PM
Typical revisionist drivel. By the end of the article, it has been made plain that the author believes in the Seven standard platitudes of revisionism, namely:

1) The populace of the Axis states was entirely innocent, and played no part in taking the country to war.

2) The soldiers of the Axis states were a) not militaristic machines, b) had to obey orders, c) were more noble than the soldiers of the Allied States.

3) The states occupied by the Axis powers did not suffer any particular hardship, and really rather admired the martial virtues of their conquerors.

4) The veterans of the allied nations are either biased and nationalistic boors, or "live-in-the-past" relics of a bygone age.

5) The veterans of the Axis powers are noble warriors who were merely obeying orders which they didn't like, and have clear, unclouded memories of their wartime experiences.

6) So much time has passed now that it is time to forget any notions of "blame" for the atrocities committed by the Axis nations.

7) We should respect the multi-cultural diverse life-choices of our erstwhile enemies, and come to have a bland, non-moral view of all past conflicts.


I'd say that this article ticks all the boxes to become another classic of the revisionist school. Reminds me of the Air and Space Museum when it tried to set up an Atom Bomb exhibit in which we practically apologised for dropping it. **** hippies.

Snootles
11-09-2004, 08:12 PM
IBTL

USAF_pilot
11-09-2004, 08:31 PM
USAF_pilot

I deleted your post once, only to have it reappear. This time it is being edited. Please refrain from posting it again.

Atomic_Marten
11-09-2004, 08:35 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by beepboop:
Typical revisionist drivel. By the end of the article, it has been made plain that the author believes in the Seven standard platitudes of revisionism, namely:

1) The populace of the Axis states was entirely innocent, and played no part in taking the country to war.

2) The soldiers of the Axis states were a) not militaristic machines, b) had to obey orders, c) were more noble than the soldiers of the Allied States.

3) The states occupied by the Axis powers did not suffer any particular hardship, and really rather admired the martial virtues of their conquerors.

4) The veterans of the allied nations are either biased and nationalistic boors, or "live-in-the-past" relics of a bygone age.

5) The veterans of the Axis powers are noble warriors who were merely obeying orders which they didn't like, and have clear, unclouded memories of their wartime experiences.

6) So much time has passed now that it is time to forget any notions of "blame" for the atrocities committed by the Axis nations.

7) We should respect the multi-cultural diverse life-choices of our erstwhile enemies, and come to have a bland, non-moral view of all past conflicts.


I'd say that this article ticks all the boxes to become another classic of the revisionist school. Reminds me of the Air and Space Museum when it tried to set up an Atom Bomb exhibit in which we practically apologised for dropping it. **** hippies. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Axis? You're right. They are all blood thirsty murderers and should be wiped out. I don't get it why that was not done in the first place (after WW2).

Is this better? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

rodion_zero
11-09-2004, 08:39 PM
My favorite Schwalbe skin is an unknown one. It belongs to Edward Schallm√¬∂ser, who was assigned once or twice to be Galland's wingman in some of Jv44's sorties against B17's/B24's. Schallm√¬∂ser had a nickname--JETRAMMER, because he was known to have deliberately tried to ram his Me262 at a bomber after failing to shoot it down with his cannons. According to the book I had, Schallm√¬∂ser attempted this two or three times, but miraculously, he survived all three attempts. But I do believe he had every intention of dying with his aircraft when he did this...he just got lucky I guess.

-RODION