>On 6/22/02 @ 2:57 PM, Karel Jansens wrote:
>Were not these things "kamikaze"-type things? I remember
>seeing photos of them, and thinking how morbid...
>On 6/23/02 @ 12:57 AM, Mark Bock wrote:
>You're probably thinking of the Japanese variant, which
>was indeed descended from the V1 and intended for kamikaze
>missions. Not many of them were used.
From a Japanese perspective, the use of Kamikaze (or Tokko, Special
Attack) aircraft and submarines/torpedoes made sense. It was the
ultimate sacrifice to save homeland, countrymen, and emperor. Their
"Bushido" or warrior code of honor and duty.
It also made simple manpower sense at the time...one person vice numerous
It is estimated that by the end of the war, 5,000 pilots had died making
As the war progressed, various aircraft were used. However, an Imperial
Japanese Navy officer (Mitsuo Ohta) thought a specialized aircraft would
The result of his concept was the Ohka.
Two models were built. Model 11 and Model 22. A total of 805 of these
models were built, with about 50 seeing action.
There were also some other variants as well.
The model 11 used a 3 barreled Type 4 Model 20 rocket. The model 22 used
a TSU-11 jet engine.
Unfortunately for the Japanese, the first operational use of the Ohkas
was a bust. On 21 March 1945 16 Ohkas and their associated Betty bomber
carriers were lost when they were intercepted by USN Hellcats.
While not a historian myself, a friend who is estimates that the
resulting conflict would have been disastrous had the Navy not been able
to intercept. IIRC, we knew about their surprise attack via a radio
Later in April of that same year, these Ohkas chalked up their first
As far as effectiveness, the water based Kaiten devices were much more
successful. From what I understand, due to their stealthiness, in that
they usually would not be seen during the attack, were more feared by
Naval personnel serving in this theater.
The Japanese Maritime Academy, in the Kure area, has a wonderful museum
with disarmed versions of underwater Kaiten.
Sorry to ramble...but this is an interesting topic.
BTW, on the SR-71, the airflow into the engines is always subsonic --
even while the aircraft is flying at Mach 3+. Designed using a slide
rule, in the late 50's. Pretty darn awesome! :-)
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