TheWizard wrote:Between acid in the water and Vikings eating mushrooms, it just makes me wonder what on earth kamikaze pilots inhaled prior to their missions. I, for one, would need to be seriously doped up to purposely fly a plane to my death.
Kamikaze pilots were highly skilled and trained people, who were not supposed to fly to their death "by design", but the general opinion of many Japanese airforce pilots was that if they used up too much fuel to be able to make it back to base, then it was a more honourable death to crash their plane in favour of the mission, then die crashing into the water on the way back. Actually, many Kamikaze pilots returned back after missions just fine.
This was true in the early war. In the end, the Japanese military (driven by desparation) actually designed a few types of planes for one purpose, however: to be used as kamikaze planes. They were designed for quick and unskilled assembly, to be made of inexpensive crude materials such as wood, and shed their wheels right after takeoff so they could be used again with the next planes. The primary design of the plane was to make something that could carry a heavy bomb load and make it to the target without costing much. The planes carried no two-way radios, but rather a crude squawk button that could broadcat to their base that they were beginning their dive, and in some cases, receive patriotic music broadcast from their homeland. No offensive armament was carried, so they were easy meat for ships with aircraft cover.
They also designed a high-speed piloted rocket with an explosive warhead in the nose that would detonate on contact with a ship. The Japanese named it Ohka (cherry blossom); the Americans called it Baka (Japanese word for fool).
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