Kamikaze: Japanese Special Attack Weapons 1944-45

Kamikaze: Japanese Special Attack Weapons 1944-45


ISBN: 1849083533 | 2011 | EPUB | 48 pages | 6 MB

The destruction of much of the remainder of the Japanese fleet and its air arm in the later half of 1944 left the Japanese Home Islands vulnerable to attack by US naval and air forces. In desperation, the Imperial Japanese Navy proposed using "special attack" formations, a euphemism for suicide attacks. These initially consisted of crude improvisations of conventional aircraft fitted with high-explosive bombs that could be crashed into US warships. Called "Divine Wind" (Kamikaze), the special attack formations first saw action in 1944, and became the scourge of the US fleet in the battles for Iwo Jima and Okinawa in 1945.

In view of the success of these attacks, the Japanese armed forces began to develop an entire range of new special attack weapons. This book begins by examining the initial kamikaze aircraft attacks, but the focus of the book is on the dedicated special attack weapons developed in 1944, including the Ohka, a rocket-powered guided missile and the Kaiten man-guided torpedo submarines. It also covers specialized suicide attack weapons such as anti-tank lunge mines. Much of the information in this book comes from little known US intelligence reports and photos compiled after the war that have never been widely published.

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