Kamikaze

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File:Kamikaze damage USS Saratoga.jpg|The USS ''Saratoga'' after surviving a ''kamikaze'' attack.
 
File:Kamikaze damage USS Saratoga.jpg|The USS ''Saratoga'' after surviving a ''kamikaze'' attack.
 
File:Cv6-explosion-wide.jpg|Not even the mighty "Big E" was immune from attack.  This hit was so violent that it blasted the entire forward elevator higher then the ship itself was long.
 
File:Cv6-explosion-wide.jpg|Not even the mighty "Big E" was immune from attack.  This hit was so violent that it blasted the entire forward elevator higher then the ship itself was long.
File:Princeton exploding.jpg|USS 'Princeton' after taking a ''kamikaze'' attack.  The ship was the most damaged Allied vessel to survive one such attack.
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File:Princeton exploding.jpg|USS ''Princeton'' after taking a ''kamikaze'' attack.  The ship was the most damaged Allied vessel to survive one such attack.
File:AO-59 Mississinewa-kaiten1.gif|The USS 'Mississinewa', a fleet oiler after taking a successful ''kaiten'' attack.
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File:AO-59 Mississinewa-kaiten1.gif|The USS ''Mississinewa'', a fleet oiler after taking a successful ''kaiten'' attack.
 
File:Kaiten.jpg|A ''kaiten'' on display at a museum.  
 
File:Kaiten.jpg|A ''kaiten'' on display at a museum.  
 
File:Kaitennj2.jpg|A Japanese submarine carrying several ''kaiten'' preparing to sail.  
 
File:Kaitennj2.jpg|A Japanese submarine carrying several ''kaiten'' preparing to sail.  

Revision as of 21:35, 3 April 2013

Kamikaze (Japanese for "Divine Wind") refers to a kind of attack in which a pilot crashes the vehicle he is operating at high speed into an enemy ship or position. Kamikaze attacks were used by the Empire of Japan during the last phase of the Second World War as a desperation move against the numerically superior United States Navy and Royal Australian Navy forces, and they were essentially the first guided missiles. While these attacks were somewhat successful in destroying ships, it was not enough to stop allied efforts.

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.

Kamikaze attacks in Science Fiction

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