Banzai!: General discussion of the Kamikaze and Ramming

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by hurricane55, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. hurricane55

    hurricane55 New Member

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    #1 hurricane55, Aug 4, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
    General Discussion about kamikaze attacks and intentional ramming of all nations of WWII.

    Ramming/Suicide Ramming was pioneered by damaged aircraft in early WWII (and likely before) in which the pilot was unable to return to base due to heavy damage to the aircraft, or otherwise and crashed his aircraft into the a ground target or a ship.

    Aerial ramming, first surfacing in WWI, was when a pilot rammed his aircraft deliberately into another's, usually when they had run out of ammunition, or as a last resort. This and the above are not attributed to a certain nation, as many used the tactic during the war.

    Japan pioneered the true kamikaze (Divine Wind) by sending up planes packed with explosives in 1944 (feel free to prove me wrong, if you can dig up info of suicide planes packed with explosives before this, but if you do so, provide a valid source) on suicide missions with the objective of ramming into Allied warships, thus resulting in the birth of the kamikaze.

    Germany's Sonderkommando Elbe unit was tasked with ramming their aircraft into Allied bombers, attempting to decrease the enemies' pilots' morale, so bombers would be grounded long enough for the Me 262 jet fighter to be mass produced.

    The United States attempted to ram a remote controlled B-24 into a Nazi supergun that could lob shells across the English channel into London from France if put into operation. The result was the bomber exploded in midair over England, killing the pilot who was preping the aircraft for the remote controller. However, shortly after the dismal failure, troops from the D-Day invasion found the gun abandoned for weeks. The project was, in many historians minds, too ambitious, and scrapped after the disaster.

    All of these types, and other Ramming-related aerial WWII instances will be discussed in this thread.
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    The B-24 shouldn't be in the same pile. As stated "attempted to ram a remote controlled B-24 into a Nazi supergun." had this worked, the crew would have been long gone. The only reason why there were pilots flying the aircraft was to get it in the air (drone technology at that time was primitive and a full size drone had to be flown off the ground). Bottom line the crew in this example was never intended to be part of the guidance system,
     
  3. hurricane55

    hurricane55 New Member

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    #3 hurricane55, Aug 4, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
    The thread includes ramming. It's not just discussion of kamikaze attacks, but also aerial and ground ramming by aircraft not intended for the role, except in that unique case, it was prepared for the attack. However, the B-24 was never built for ramming attacks, so it is acceptable in this thread. I will add to the description the pilot bailed out over England before though, good call.
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    There were no pilots in it when it was "ramming." The other aircraft had pilots in them.
     
  5. hurricane55

    hurricane55 New Member

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    Sorry, forgot to add that.
     
  6. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    Uhmmm... I think the RAF would be the first to attack this gun, and very conventionally with some "tallboys".
     
  7. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    Ramming has occurred pretty much since day one in ariel warfare but so far as I know only the Japanese used suicide ramming as a formal tactic. The SonderKommando Elbe lot werre asked to volunteer for a mission with a "10% chance of survival", which might seem a bit optimistic but in fact of the six or seven pilots that got past the USAAF escorts and rammed a bomber at least a couple survived the impact and bailed out. Sure as hell none of the Japanese pilots who put their hands up for Kamikaze missions were under any illusions about how it was going to turn out.
    The SonderKommando Elbe mission made absoulutely no difference to allied bombing of course, but the Kamikaze attacks in the Pacific caused real damage and a lot of concern. At the end of the day however, five hundered pounds of explosives delivered via a diving aeroplane is moving a lot slower than a five hundred pound free-falling bomb, with consequently less damage. This was particularly true for the British aircraft carriers, which had armoured decks and were far less vulnerable to these kinds of atacks than the American ships.
     
  8. cimmex

    cimmex Member

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    Why, please explain. What speed has a free falling bomb?
    cimmex
     
  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    500lbs of explosive packed into a plane is going to do a lot more damage than a 500lb bomb because the 500lb HE bomb may only have around 250-350lbs of explosive in it. Weight of the bomb includes the bomb casing. Damage from the plane also includes what every fuel is left in the tank/s.

    Impact velocity of the bomb depends on the height dropped from, and at lower altitudes the speed of the plane when it was dropped minus the drag plus the remaining altitude to target.

    Armor piercing bombs were usually rated at a minimum height to be dropped from.
     
  10. R Pope

    R Pope Member

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    I saw a TV movie in which the oldest Kennedy brother was the B24 pilot who got killed testing the flying bomb setup. Any truth to this, or is it hype?
     
  11. R Pope

    R Pope Member

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    A bomb is designed to penetrate steel armour, where even a large plane would simply splatter all over the surface of an armoured ship. The Kamikazes did damage American carriers, but for the Brits, it was simply "Man the brooms!" Indeed, the extra fuel in the planes was more of a danger than the explosives, causing fires that seeped below decks.
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    True, and that's where I believe his reference comes from. We have a thread on Joe Kennedy and his mission.
     
  13. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Among that list along with Sonderkommando Elbe for Germany, I would add Sturmstaffel 1. They had swore to an oath that when all else failed, they would ram the enemy. I don't believe any ever did and it really wasn't taken seriously by the pilots. Part of the reason for the "Whites of their Eyes" emblem they wore.
     
  14. hurricane55

    hurricane55 New Member

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    Yes, the oldest Kennedy Brother, Joseph P. Kennedy, was the one killed.
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    If we're talking remote control ramming then the Luftwaffe's "Beethoven Gerat" or Mistel combinations must count.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  16. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Kamikaze pilots were not ordered to join but asked as a volunteer though when they were asked they understood it as order.
    However, believe or not, there were 'outlaw' old conservative pilots who rejected the ask. They were called Fuyo Squadron.

    They were given old D4Ys to repair by themselves if they wanted to die for the nation.
    They constructed a runway and even a house for them by themselves.

    They carried out effective night attacks repeatedly against the allied vessels to survive the war.
    They are regarded as heros now.

    Huyo Sq.JPG
     
  17. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    the us used war weary b 17s and 24s as radio controlled "guided bombs". these were called APHRODITE by the usaac and the navy had a different code name for it but i cant remember it right now. a crew would take then off and then bail out shortly after. the drone would be controled by another heavy remotely. they tried to used them as bunker busters at sub pens in the frisian islands and other heavily fortifided places...they generally werent too successful. and yes...this was the mission joe kenedy was on when he died. he was piloting the drone on which prematurely denotated for some reason.

    as for ramming the russians used this tactic often enough togive it a name ... "taran". the pilots would bail out and hopefully live to do it again. Siergiey Luganski is most famous for this....

    WW II ACE STORIES
     
  18. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    22 June 1941
    At 0425 hours, Senior Lt. I. T. Ivanov of the 46th Fighter Regiment, destroys a He 111 by ramming the bomber over Rovno. Both planes crash and Lt. Ivanov is killed.

    At 0415 hours, Junior Lt. D. W. Kokoryev of the 124th Fighter Regiment knocks the tail off a reconnaissance Do 215 near Sambruv after the guns of his MiG-3 have jammed from attacking a Bf 110.
     
  19. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Good info Shinpachi!
     
  20. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Thanks sys and guys for posting likes!
    Sq. Leader Tadashi Minobe is said wrote his experience and philosophy as a professional serviceman in the postwar.
    If I am successful to find it, I would like to introduce more details in the future.
     
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