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Special attack force

Discussion in 'Air War in the Pacific' started by harolds, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Basically...Yes. They did what they did, with what was available to them.



    Tactic - The Japanese worked to adjust their Kamikaze tactics to suit the situation. However, given the multitude of Japanese aircraft types, both IJA & IJN, involved, this was only accomplished in a very general way.

    Training - How can you adjust training, when neither time nor fuel permitted very much training?

    Psychological preparation - Goes part and parcel with training...There was not a lot of time for it.



    Yes, a massed Kamikaze attack...Which the Japanese did use on occasion...And got slaughtered.

    Also, which I pointed out, the Japanese could not continuously sustain these kinds of attacks in numbers.

    Thus, I can only say that your "possible alternative" has little basis in the historical reality of 1945.



    Reading...Things called "books". I can recommend a few.

    As I pointed out, the Japanese were evolving their tactics...But, so were the Americans, both tactically and technologically. The Japanese had neither the time(by 1943), nor the fuel(by late 1944) to effectively train their pilots. Nor, did the Japanese possess an overwhelming superiority of numbers necessary to inflict crippling losses on the Americans. Also, the Japanese are facing an impending invasion of their home islands, as such, after Okinawa, they do not devote the men and material necessary for you "alternative scenario" in any of their Kamikaze attempts. Choosing, instead to husband their resources to fight off said invasion.
     
  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    This is analogous??? How so?

    The Soviets have the advantage of numerical superiority...The Japanese don't. The Soviets can replace their troop losses...The Japanese can't. The Soviets will have survivors that learn the hard lessons of combat and become better fighters...The Japanese won't.

    I'm sorry. but I don't see the analogy here.



    In a way this is analogous to the Japanese war situation at the time. Both nations had, by that point, already lost the war, but were to stubborn to admit defeat. Not that that has anything to do with the Kamikaze.

    But, anyway.

    Japan had no time to devote to training her pilots, she was losing them to quickly, and on many fronts. Her aviation fuel supplies were also running low at this point. Still...she was fighting a war in China, fighting a war in the Southwest Pacific/Philippines, she was fighting a war in the Central Pacific, and she was fighting a war in Burma/India, and she was defending the Home Islands against B-29 attacks.

    As to "picking her battles", concerning the Kamikaze. Japan did. As I had pointed out previously, there were many Kamikaze attacks during the liberation of the Philippines, few during the first TF58 carrier raid on Japan & during the battle of Iwo Jima, and many Kamikaze attacks during the battle of Okinawa, before dropping off again as Japan prepared for the impending American invasion of the Home Islands. So, it would appear that Japan was "picking her battles" when it came to the Kamikaze.



    That is hardly considered an advantage against a numerically superior foe.

    But, then again, the Japanese also concluded that if they could make the battles costly enough, the Americans would agree to a peace agreement favorable to Japan.



    They were trying to find ways to limit the defense's capabilities by changing Kamikaze tactics and through the use of radar & radar jamming.

    A "little extra flight time" just ain't happening no matter how you slice it. The Japanese war situation was just to desperate...After all if it was not so desperate as it had become, the Japanese never would have used the Kamikaze in the first place.

    "Used judiciously"...The Japanese did use the kamikazes judiciously, there simply were not enough of them.



    How? How do you expect the Japanese to build up pilot numbers this late in the game? They were already using Kamikaze pilots that had zero flying experience and only some ground school/classroom work. The only way Japan can build up her pilot numbers faster, is to take an "average joe", with no flight training or ground school, off the street, call him a "pilot", and send him on his merry way into the side of an American ship.
     
  3. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    as the article I posted stated, the US forces were improving their defense against the SAF....how could you ''limit'' the defense?? the US were continuously improving their defense....


    '''To increase the Kamikaze pilots chance of successful penetration of the American Navy's dense perimeter defense of fighters and anti-aircraft ships, and reach the main ships in the center, most desirably the aircraft carriers, the Japanese concentrated most of the Kamikaze pilots attacks during the battle of Okinawa in ten large attack waves of mixed Kamikaze and conventional attack aircraft, in an attempt to saturate the American defenses. These large attack waves, nicknamed Kikosui (floating Chrysanthemum), were also coordinated with the Japanese naval and ground operations of the battle of Okinawa, the war's last great battle.
    In the first of these Kamikaze attack waves, 355 Kamikaze pilots attacked the American fleet off Okinawa, together with 341 conventional attack aircraft, and in coordination with a naval attack which included the super-battleship Yamato. The result of this massive air strike was six sunk ships and ten severely damaged.'''

    remember, the US had a massive fleet! massive resources.... with the CAP, AAA, etc, even if they had skilled pilots, it appears they did not have the resources to stop the US, or even stop a landing force
     
  4. harolds

    harolds Member

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    My dear fellows:

    I never said that the SAFs could stop the American forces! I just postulated that they could have done BETTER. There were many things they could have tried: decoys, feints, etc. which worked well in Europe, as well as groups coming in from different angles and altitudes at the same time, perhaps using weather fronts to hide behind. However, stopping the Americans from doing anything was a pipe dream.

    Actually Takao, the Japanese war situation was desperate after the Guadalcanal was captured but they didn't realize it.
     
  5. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    if they were to really come in from different directions, one group would have to use more fuel and time.......of course, the US radar would usually know where most groups were coming in from....as stated before, it takes great coordination to time the attacks at different altitudes and directions to be significantly worth it......so, you are saying, they should've made it so CAP was spread out so much, they couldn't cover everyone?....
    isn't it hard to time a weather front to be where you want it to be?? or go where you want it to go?
    why didn't the Japanese leaders think of the things you mention?

    ''' Initially, 24 Ginga twin-engine bombers took off from Minami Daito Shima headed for the US Task Force at Ulithi—a distance of some 800 miles. Due to fuel shortage, navigation errors, and other problems, only two of the original 24 reached their target. The other planes were lost at sea.'''

    '''The famed Japanese ace, Saburo Sakai, claimed after the war that many of the inexperienced pilots dove too steeply and were unable to avoid an uncontrolled plunge into the ocean.'''
     
  6. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Actually Bronk, your last post makes a good case for that little bit more training that I was talking about. Some of it wouldn't even have to be in the air. It would mean a little longer wait to have an op, but it probably be worth it. Of course I'm supposing that the Japanese High Command would have sat down with the aviators and thought these things through. Of course they didn't did they?

    "why didn't the Japanese leader think of the things you mention?" I'm not sure but I have to say here that I've never been exactly in awe of Japanese military thinking during this period.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    My understanding is that the Japanese plans for use of "special attack" forces in the case of invasion would likely have been much more successful. For one thing they had shifted the targeting from warships to the transports which were going to be closer to shore and the fields that they would be launching from. Futhermore the hills behind the beaches couldlimit the reaction time by hidig the airborne attackers from radar. The inclusion of surface and subsurface systems to these attacks would have complicated things even more. The US would have reacted but the change and additional variants would likely have resulted in a higher percentage of successful attacks.
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    A little more training and they don't influence Okinawa though. And again some of the first such attacks were by well trained personel. Were they any more successful?
     
  9. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    This man, Paul Saneaki Nakamura, gives a little bit of insight into how the kamikazi pilots, like himself were trained:

    “What was provided us was a glider,” with trainees forced to use their imagination for the instruments on a plane, he said.
    So the training focused solely on austere self-discipline, not on practical technique. After all, no skills were required except for flying straight, he said.
    “We were taught that since we were such a small island nation and because we were one country fighting against many, great sacrifices were required,” he said. If one kamikaze pilot could blow up a vessel carrying hundreds of sailors, he would be a hero, and more importantly, Japan could win the war, he said.
    “It was this conviction that many young men were willing and desiring to serve their country,” he said.

    http://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/priest-tells-of-kamikaze-pilot-training-during-wwii-1.325764
     
  10. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    let's try to imagine the pilots and their ''time''........they would usually be flying over the ocean.....the engine very loud....haven't had much time training to fly, so this adds to their ''discomfort''??...not long ago they were like the American boys, sitting at home with ma and pa..no cares in the world.....
    trying to stay with the formation ..maybe a little buffetting to add to the dis''comfort''/fear? then they see the ships.....and the AAA....much AAA...where are the US fighters???? they know they are deadly birds of prey---killers!...now---now--- they must do the anti-human, anti survival act....they will try to kill themselves!...by slamming the plane into a ship.....AAA, loud engine, CAP killers around, not good at flying, etc ...kill myself....kill myself????? ..how insane!!! what kind of world am I in?????
     
  11. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Looking at Smiley 2.0's quote, I have to wonder if any of those who were about to die wondered why the leaders of his "small island nation" took it into their heads to take a bite out of a much larger and much, much more powerful nation thus making it necessary for him to kill himself!

    Bronk, I'm sure we have no idea what motivated those young men. Their culture was so totally different. When their soldiers went off to war they were told to expect to die.
     
  12. Triton

    Triton New Member

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    The IJN overestimated the losses inflicted by the Kamikazes by what? 10:1? I always wondered how they get to the immense numbers of destroyed carriers when next time, there are even more of them.
     
  13. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    weren't they ''indoctrinated'' that becoming a prisoner was shameful...and the emperor was 'god' like?? so they were dying for their country and the emperor....and they were more disciplined to take orders without question....
    also, if not off subject, they were ''propagandized'' that the US was ''evil''.....just as all countries do today...but back then the government controlled the media much more easily, so they could ''brainwash'' the people more easily...
     
  14. harolds

    harolds Member

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    True, their society prized conformity much more than ours. Any thinking that was not in line with what their military government thought was rigorously suppressed. However, I was responding to your post as to what the individual attack pilot was thinking at the last few moments of life.
     

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