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History October 19, 1944

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Martin Rohmann, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. Martin Rohmann A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    Shimpū Tokkōtai



    On October 19, 1944, Vice Admiral Ōnishi Takijirō ...

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    ... founded a new fighter unit:

    It's name "Shimpū Tokkōtai" means "special attack force". The members of this unit - mostly volunteers (but also "persuaded"!) between 17 and 19 years of age are supposed to inflict as much damage as possible on the enemy through self-sacrificing attacks!


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    The corresponding characters of the standard designation - "神 風" - are incorrectly translated as "Kamikaze" in the USA; the term "Kamikaze" (= "divine wind") is used all over the world today - just not in Japan!

    In 1944, the Japanese Empire was militarily with its back to the wall - the fleet in particular was hopelessly inferior to the units of the USA, Great Britain and their allies!

    Contrary to prevailing opinion in Western society, the hastily trained pilots were mostly not nationalist fanatics who were ready to die, but soldiers who knew that conventional missions were hopeless, but also students and graduates of high schools who did their part to avert defeat wanted to contribute.

    On the other hand, there were also those who were simply ordered to do so. An intermediate position was taken by those who were not internally convinced, but submitted to the group.

    The first self-sacrifice, flown by volunteers from Naval Aviation Squadron 201 ...

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    ... took place on October 25, 1944 on the escort carrier association 77.4.3 ("Taffy 3") off Leyte. This resulted in the sinking of the CVE-63 “St. Lo ”as well as the damage to four other escort carriers.

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    According to the American Navy, a total of 36 ships of the US Pacific Fleet were sunk (including the USS "St. Lo" (October 25, 1944, 163 dead), later "Ommaney Bay" (January 4, 1945, 95 dead)...

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    and USS "Bismarck Sea" (February 21, 1945, 318 dead)...:

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    368 ships were damaged.

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    Although each of the large fleet carriers was hit at least once, only the USS "Bunker Hill" and the USS "Enterprise" were hit so badly that they were canceled for the rest of the war.

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    The main victims were destroyers of the early warning chain and support ships ...

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    On August 15, 1945, the creator and commander of the Tokkō-tai, Vice Admiral Ōnishi Takijirō, asked the families of the sacrificed pilots for forgiveness and then committed seppuku (i.e., he cut his stomach with a dagger and killed himself).
    Airkid likes this.
  2. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Martin

    Another interesting day in history young lives lost in a aweful way

    Thanks for sharing

    Nap
    Martin Rohmann likes this.
  3. Airkid Active Member

    Country:
    England
    Hello Martin
    Another fine piece of work . Being also an aircraft modeller, I have a keen interest in the Japanese Army and Navy air arms and have studied the Pacific War at some length. Some of your photos are new to me.
    On the subject of the Special Attack Corps, I am always inclined to smile when any photo of a Japanese airman is almost automatically captioned "Kamikaze Pilot" even when it is obvious (to me anyway) that an airman wearing a life jacket and full parachute harness is unlikely to be planning a one-way trip. Thanks for the excellent post(y)

    Phil
  4. akaryu PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Belgium
    Years ago there was a bust of Vice-Admiral Ōnishi, made by a Russian sculptor who went by the name Fex.

    P1000780.jpg P1000782.jpg

    Pierre
    Airkid likes this.
  5. Airkid Active Member

    Country:
    England
    I think I remember that one Pierre. Didn't "take off" in the UK (if you will pardon the pun!)

    Cheers

    Phil
    akaryu likes this.

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