Kamikaze

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The kamikazes included not only standard aircraft but also specially designed, rocket-powered guided missiles (''ohka'') and -- on the ocean -- specially designed piloted torpedoes (''kaiten'').  Neither of these specialized suicide vehicles were particularly effective due to the vulnerability of the bombers and submarines that the weapons required to deliver them to within range of their targets.  However, whenever they were able to make a successful attack, the results were spectacular.   
 
The kamikazes included not only standard aircraft but also specially designed, rocket-powered guided missiles (''ohka'') and -- on the ocean -- specially designed piloted torpedoes (''kaiten'').  Neither of these specialized suicide vehicles were particularly effective due to the vulnerability of the bombers and submarines that the weapons required to deliver them to within range of their targets.  However, whenever they were able to make a successful attack, the results were spectacular.   
  
Such attacks were not just limited to the Japanese as there was at least one [[Nazi Germany|German]] Operation, the ''Sonderkommando Elbe'', where 180 Bf 109 fighters (first attack of the 2000 strong force) took part in a ramming attack on the US Eighth Airforce's bombers on 7 April 1945.  This attack had only very limited effectiveness so all future ''Sonderkommando Elbe'' missions were cancelled.  Only 13 successful attacks were performed that day with those only downing 12 American bombers and damaging 3 others forcing them to retreat.  Unlike the Japanese kamikaze attacks these were not intended as suicide attacks the pilots being told to try to bail out once they had completed a successful ramming attack.  Of the 13 pilots, only 5 survived.
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Such attacks were not just limited to the Japanese as there was at least one [[Nazi Germany|German]] Operation, the ''Sonderkommando Elbe'', where 180 Bf 109 fighters (first attack of the 2000 strong force) took part in a ramming attack on the [[United States Air Force|US Eighth Airforce's]] [[bomber]]s on 7 April 1945.  This attack had only very limited effectiveness so all future ''Sonderkommando Elbe'' missions were cancelled.  Only 13 successful attacks were performed that day with those only downing 12 American bombers and damaging 3 others forcing them to retreat.  Unlike the Japanese kamikaze attacks these were not intended as suicide attacks the pilots being told to try to bail out once they had completed a successful ramming attack.  Of the 13 pilots, only 5 survived.
  
 
== Kamikaze attacks in Science Fiction ==
 
== Kamikaze attacks in Science Fiction ==

Latest revision as of 16:12, 4 April 2013

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