Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 11212
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2021/10/24 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2003/11/24-25 [Reference/History/WW2/Japan] UID:11212 Activity:high
11/24   How effective were kamikazi pilots? For example, for each suicide
        committed, how many enemy deaths resulted?
        \_ You shouldn't just count deaths but damage to equipment.  I'd say
           the disabling of a carrier is a very good trade for one life.
           BTW, this is a tactical, not ethical calculus.
           \_ It should be one life plus one plane.  But I agree that it's a
              very good tactical trade.
           \_ Was one plane generally enough to disable a carrier? I suppose
              if they smashed into the bridge, yes?
              \_ It was generally a stripped-down fighter plane which was
                 packed solid with explosives.  They then would try to go
                 straight into the bridge.
                 \_ Why didn't they just drop the explosives, go home and come
                    back with more explosives?
                    \_ By the time they were using kamikaze tactics, the US
                       had way more planes.  Even if they managed to hit the
                       bridge with a bomb (which is hard), they would almost
                       certainly be destroyed by US fighters and AA guns.
                       \_ search for the Marianas Turkey Shoot.  US
                          was dominating towards the end of the war.
                          Kamikaze's were desperation attacks.
        \_ ^kamikaze pilots^Iraqi suicide bombers
        \_ kamikaze (kami: god/spirit/divine; kaze: wind.  from the Divine
           wind that smashed the Mongol Invasion Fleet, thereby saving Japan)
           \_ actually, the storms drove back a few such fleets.
              \_ Mongols were good on horsebacks.  I wonder how they did on
                 water, let alone at sea.
                 \_ They had problems against Japan, and against
                    Sumatra/Java (sea plus tropical rainforest means
                    horses are useless) in present day Indonesia.
                    They were surprisingly good at taking cities
        \_ At the time, the Japanese pilot corps was severely depleted,
           with several experienced pilots shot down/killed already.  The
           pilots who took their place were of lesser experience and training.
           They were not up to dogfighting against more experienced Allied
           pilots (primarily US) but were just fine for ramming into carriers
           just a note.
        \_ No, they were not terribly effective. The numbers are 4,000
           kamikaze pilots killed 15,000 sailors and damaged 300 ships,
           including sinking 2 escort carriers and 3 destroyers. Most of
        \_ No, they were not terribly effective.
           the damage was caused by initial successes (surprise). Once the
           Americans figured out what the Japanese were doing and changed
           tactics they were not nearly as effective.
        \_ not very effective.  Kamikaze's were desperation acts.
           I recommend the History Channel's specials on Kamikaze's
           (Divine Wind)
        \_ japan has severe pilot shortage and severe fuel shortage
           means that they had problem training new pilots.  so they
           decided to do kamikaze.  japan in ww2 is nation gone mad.
           if they had some self control and stopped after capturing
           manchuria, they might have been able to keep it (and
           taiwan and korea) until today, making japan a much bigger
           \_ the issue was that they couldn't completely control Manchuria
              without completely elimate China.  Despite their initial
              success, Japan was having a material shortage, which force
              them invade Indonisia, Maylysia for robber and other raw
              material.  It is a classic example of mission creep gone mad.
              One stragetic mistake they made, in my mind,  was declare war
              on America.  Despite that United States were by no mean
              neutral before the conflict, Japan would of better off without
              bombing Pearl Harbor and invade Philopine.
              \_ Bingo!  We have a winner!  Bombing Pearl Harbor was a huge
                 mistake and some of the Japanese high command knew it at the
                 times.  There was no reason to attack the US at that point.
2021/10/24 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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In November 1943 Nimitzs island-hopping campaign began with his assaults on Betio in the Tarawa Atoll and at Makin a hundred miles north. Elements of the Armys 27th Infantry Division secured Makin with relative ease, but at Betio the 2d Marine Division encountered stubborn and deadly resistance. Naval gunfire and air attacks had failed to eliminate the deeply dug-in defenders, and landing craft grounded on reefs offshore, where they were destroyed by Japanese artillery. As costly as it was, the lessons learned there proved useful in future amphibious operations. Like MacArthur, Nimitz determined to bypass strongly held islands and strike at the enemys weak points. During January 1944 landings were made in the Marshalls at Kwajalein and Eniwetok followed by Guam and Saipan in the Marianas during June and July. Because the Marianas were only 1,500 miles from Tokyo, the remaining Japanese carriers came out to fight. The resulting Battle of the Philippine Sea was a disaster for the Japanese. In what United States Navy pilots called the great Marianas turkey shoot, Japanese carrier power was effectively eliminated. Almost as soon as the Marianas were cleared, the air forces began to prepare airfields to receive new heavy bombers, the B-29s. With a range exceeding 3,000 miles, B-29s could reach most Japanese cities, including Tokyo. In November 1944 the Twentieth Air Force began a strategic bombing campaign against Japan, which indirectly led to one of the bitterest island fights of the war. Tiny Iwo Jima, lying 750 miles southeast of Tokyo, was needed both as an auxiliary base for crippled B-29s returning from their bombing raids over Japan and as a base for long-range escort fighters. The fight for the five-mile-long island lasted five weeks, during February and March 1945 , and cost more than 25,000 dead - almost 6,000 Americans of the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and 20,000 Japanese. While Nimitz crossed the central Pacific, MacArthur pushed along the New Guinea coast, preparing for his return to the Philippines. Without carriers, his progress was slower but less costly than Nimitzs. After clearing the Buna area in January 1943, MacArthur spent the next year conquering northeastern New Guinea and the eight months that followed moving across the northern coast of Netherlands New Guinea to the island of Morotai. Because he had to cover his landings with land-based planes, he was limited to bounds of 200 miles or less on a line of advance almost 2,000 miles long. By October 1944 MacArthur was ready for a leap to the Philippines, but this objective was beyond the range of his planes. Halseys heavy carriers, and, on 20 October 1944, MacArthurs Sixth Army landed on Leyte Island in the central Philippines. For the first time in the war they employed Kamikaze attacks, suicide missions flown by young, half-trained pilots. And they used their last carriers as decoys to draw Halseys carriers away from the beachheads. With Halsey out of the battle and the landing forces without air cover, the Japanese planned to use conventional warships to brush aside the remaining American warships and destroy the support vessels anchored off the beaches. In the naval Battle of Leyte Gulf, the big guns of the big ships, not carrier planes, decided the battle. As violent as they were, most island fights involved small units and were mercifully short. However, the last two major campaigns of the Pacific war - Luzon and Okinawa - took on some of the character of the war in Europe. They were long fights on larger land masses, with entire armies in sustained combat over the course of several months. Tomoyuki Yamashita, perhaps the best field commander in the Japanese Army. Yamashita refused an open battle, knowing that superior firepower and command of the air would favor the Americans. Instead, he prepared defensive positions where his forces could deny the Americans strategic points like roads and airfields. He wanted to force the Americans to attack Japanese positions in a new battle of attrition. Walter Krueger landed on Luzon on 9 January 1945 and began the Armys longest land campaign in the Pacific. MacArthurs forces fought for almost seven months and took nearly 40,000 casualties before finally subduing the Japanese. The largest landings of Nimitzs central Pacific drive were carried out on Okinawa, only 300 miles from Japan, on 1 April 1945. Before the fight was over three months later, the entire Tenth Field Army - four Army infantry divisions and two Marine divisions - had been deployed there. Like his counterpart on Luzon, the Japanese commander on Okinawa, Lt. Mitsuru Ushijima, refused to fight on the beaches and instead withdrew into the rocky hills to force a battle of attrition. United States casualties were staggering, the largest of the Pacific war. Over 12,000 American soldiers, sailors, and marines died during the struggle. At Okinawa the Japanese launched the greatest Kamikaze raids of the war, and the results were frightening - 26 ships sunk and 168 damaged. Almost 40 percent of the American dead were sailors lost to Kamikaze attacks. When the Luzon and Okinawa battles ended in July, the invasion of the southernmost Japanese island of Kyushu had already been ordered by the Joint Chiefs. Kyushu would furnish air and naval bases to intensify the air bombardment and strengthen the naval blockade around Honshu, the main island of Japan. A massive invasion in the Tokyo area was scheduled for 1 March 1946 if Japanese resistance continued. With the Okinawa experience fresh in their minds, many planners feared that the invasion of Japan would produce a bloodbath.