It will prove costly—to both sides. This decision to employ suicide bombers against the American fleet at Leyte, an island of the Philippines, was based on the failure of conventional naval and aerial engagements to stop the American offensive. Declared Japanese naval Capt. There will be more than enough volunteers for this chance to save our country. The targets were U. Lo, was struck by a A6M Zero fighter and sunk in less than an hour, killing Americans. More than 5, kamikaze pilots died in the gulf battle-taking down 34 ships. The Baka was a rocket-powered plane that was carried toward its target attached to the belly of a bomber. All told, more than 1, Japanese aircraft crash-dived their planes into Allied warships during the war, desperate efforts to reverse the growing Allied advantage in the Pacific. While approximately 3, Americans and Brits died because of these attacks, the damage done did not prevent the Allied capture of the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
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Kamikaze , any of the Japanese pilots who in World War II made deliberate suicidal crashes into enemy targets, usually ships. The term also denotes the aircraft used in such attacks. The practice was most prevalent from the Battle of Leyte Gulf , October , to the end of the war. Most kamikaze planes were ordinary fighters or light bombers , usually loaded with bombs and extra gasoline tanks before being flown deliberately to crash into their targets. The pilot had no means of getting out once the missile was fastened to the aircraft that would launch it. Dropped usually from an altitude of over 25, feet 7, metres and more than 50 miles 80 km from its target, the missile would glide to about 3 miles 5 km from its target before the pilot turned on its three rocket engines, accelerating the craft to more than miles per hour km per hour in its final dive. The explosive charge built into the nose weighed more than a ton. Kamikaze attacks sank 34 ships and damaged hundreds of others during the war.
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About 3, kamikaze pilots died during the war, and more than 7, naval personnel were killed by kamikaze attacks. Kamikaze aircraft were essentially pilot-guided explosive missiles , purpose-built or converted from conventional aircraft. Pilots would attempt to crash their aircraft into enemy ships in what was called a "body attack" tai-atari in planes loaded with a combination of explosives, bombs, and torpedoes. The goal of crippling or destroying large numbers of Allied ships, particularly aircraft carriers, was considered by the Empire of Japan to be a just reason for sacrificing pilots and aircraft. These attacks, which began in October , followed several critical military defeats for the Japanese.
As American ground forces fought for control of Okinawa in the spring of , Japanese Kamikaze pilots wreaked a grim toll on American naval forces. Are you well? It is now a month since that day. The happy dream is over. Tomorrow I will dive my plane into an enemy ship. I will cross the river into the other world, taking some Yankees with me. When I look back, I see that I was very cold-hearted to you. After I had been cruel to you, I used to regret it. Please forgive me. When I think of your future, and the long life ahead, it tears at my heart.