Kamikaze: Ever had a chance of success?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by gjs238, May 20, 2013.

  1. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    The historical use of Kamikaze seems to have been another example of a day late and a dollar short.
    If employed earlier or differently, could this tactic have been successful?
     
  2. altsym

    altsym Member

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    #2 altsym, May 20, 2013
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
    Seems to me every kamikaze completion was a success. Unless you mean to win the Pacific war, then imo not a snowballs chance in hell. The US won the Pacific War the very moment the Japanese attacked pearl, there was NO other outcome that did not end in complete US victory.
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Please refrain from using the term "JAPS" on this forum. Thanks!
     
  4. frogg

    frogg New Member

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    At the highest levels the Japanese didn't believe the use of kamikazes would bring them victory (well, except perhaps for Admiral Onishi). What they wanted was A victory, something that would allow them to get a face-saving, negotiated peace.

    I don't think that goal was achievable. There was a learning curve in the use of the tactic; even if the Japanese had started using kamikazes during the Philippine Sea battle (so that the most effective tactics were understood earlier) they just didn't have enough aircraft available in theater to defeat the invasions of Leyte, Mindoro, or Luzon.

    The ten kikusui attacks during the Okinawa campaign caused massive (5000+) casualties on Allied ships and though it gave the Allies pause it still wasn't enough to defeat the invasion of that island and give them the wanted victory. To my mind the Japanese High Command seriously underestimated the Allies' will to prosecute the war to the desired conclusion despite the casualties suffered. I don't think there's anything the Japanese could have done earlier, or differently, to change that.
     
  5. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #5 tyrodtom, May 20, 2013
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
    The Japanese hoped that the use of Kamakaze would prove to the allies that the invasion of the homeland would be extremely difficult. That we'd suffer very high causalties, and it did exactly that.
    It may have been a major influence on our decision to use the nukes.

    A Kamakaze attack, to be fully successful, needed skilled pilots. That in itself, makes it a self defeating tactic.
     
  6. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    I tend to agree. I see the kamikazes as a part of the overall strategy of making the Allies pay as dearly as possible, even though the outcome was a forgone conclusion. If they had been a little earlier with the peace proposals it might have worked, but the atomic bombs eliminated any wriggle room they created.
     
  7. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    #7 bobbysocks, May 20, 2013
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
    i dont know...look how costly the taking oki was to the us navy. had they employed the same tactics to other battles prior to when they did and had them stationed on islands to meet and greet the us strike forces...the pacific would have been even a bigger blood bath than it was. landing at some islands were unopposed until the invasion force was already miles inland. had they positioned 30 to 50 kamakazie who could strike the troop carriers...you sink a ship or 2 with 400-500 troops on it....just glad it didnt happen that way.
     
  8. cherry blossom

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    I have a slight interest in the Kugisho or Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka as might be guessed from my name. The problem with the Ohka was that the carriers were vulnerable and that they had to come within range of American radar coverage and risk interception whilst still carrying the Ohka.

    There was consideration of using a liquid fuelled rocket which would have given significantly longer range. However, the designers were worried that Japanese industry could not supply the fuel used by the Germans for the Me 163 and chose to use the available solid fuelled RATO rockets. It is possible that a longer ranged Ohka would have been hard to intercept and might have had much greater success.

    The Model 33 was later designed with a single Ne-20 jet and would certainly have been a serious threat but needed the Nakajima G8N1 Renzan as carrier.

    There was a clever feature of the Ohka that pilots could train in a version with a water “warhead”. When they wanted to land, the water could be released and the Ohka landed quite well as a glider.
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Cost of aircraft plus cost of trained pilot adds up to a very expensive smart bomb.

    Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    IMO MXY-7 (Ohka) was the right idea but it should have been wire guided. In any case Japan needs a lot more then historical 852 MXY-7 and limited number of carrier aircraft to make a dent in massive USN Pacific Fleet of 1945.
     
  10. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    If it had been wire guided, the guiding aircraft would have had to get even closer to the target than the mother ship arrangement that they used.
    Even more likely to get shot down by the CAP.
     
  11. nincomp

    nincomp Member

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    I have seen comments here and in other places that one of the reasons for the Kamikaze was to drive the Allied forces in to negotiated peace. The US insisted in unconditional surrender. Was the desire for a negotiated peace due to the fear that the US might subjugate or exterminate the population, or was it really just "saving face."

    To put this more into context, the US had been bombing civilian areas already, so the killing of civilians was not considered to be a forbidden act. I am sure that this was not lost on the leaders of Japan.
     
  12. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    But what about earlier?
    Doesn't need to be MXY-7 (Ohka), can be conventional aircraft.
     
  13. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Most of Japan's population live on the coast, most of the industry is on the coast, they're not separate.
    Just like any other part of the world before personal transportation became affordable, people lived close to where they worked.
    If you bombed the industry, you bombed the population.
     
  14. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand, they did use pilots with good flying skills, and those were the ones who got through. The rest were there primarily to provide distraction for those pilots.
     
  15. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    That could be true, but there's no way to prove it.
    Poor record keeping on the Japanese side, and no attempt on the allied side to recover plaques or other ways to Id the successfully crashed aircraft. And live witnesses from the Japanese side are rare.
    That makes it almost impossible to know who crashed where.
     
  16. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    No, no way of proving those were the ones who got through. Just a likelihood, really, if we accept there were pilots with better flying skills.
     
  17. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    You don't conduct Kamikaze attacks unless you are desperate. Japan wasn't desperate prior to 1945.

    MCLOS guided air to surface weapons available during 1943 (i.e. same time as Germany) would probably make a significant difference in the Pacific naval war. It appears Japan didn't develop the technology and Germany didn't share what they knew.
     
  18. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The main problem with the Okha was the carrying aircraft had to get within about 20 miles of the target, most were detected and shot down before they got in range.
    What chanch would a MCLOS carrying aircraft have, that had to get to about 1/4 of that distant, and then keep a steady perspective for the missle guidance operator to guide the missle onto the target ?
    In other words, the MCLOS carrying aircraft had to approach from about the same altitude as the traditional Kamakaze, fly a steady course, within easy intercept range of the CAP, and at the drop, within easy AA range, then fly a steady course until the missile impacted.

    It might have worked over the Roma, with NO aircover, and little AA. But I doubt it'd work very well over a US Navy fleet.
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Hs.293 carried 12km of guidance wire specifically to keep the carrier aircraft outside effective AA range.

    Enemy fighter aircraft are a different story. Carrier aircraft must have adequate fighter escort just like any other bomber.
     
  20. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like that ingredient in gumbo. Actually, FWIW, the Navy boys referred it as "Baka."
     
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