Something to remember about the kamikazes is that, by late in the war, new Japanese pilots were flying what amounted to suicide missions every time they took off. Japan's pilots earlier in the war had been superb. Most of them had been killed. The corps of surviving veteran flyers was fast dwindling. Japan didn't have enough time or enough fuel to adequately train new ones and, as for equipment, by late 1944 they were hopelessly outclassed by the latest U.S. aircraft. The attrition rate for new pilots was so high that designating them kamikazes simply acknowledged the reality.
One loose end that perhaps someone could pin down would be the relationship between regular pilots and kamikazes. There had been scattered suicide attacks earlier in the war before the kamikaze program got rolling; some of these were pilots with crippled planes trying to make it count, and some were apparently prompted by an excess of bushido. My impression, however, is that for the most part, the kamikazes were mostly new pilots, sketchily trained. From a command perspective, I would think Japan would have tried to conserve its dwindling pool of good pilots and would not have thrown them away on kamikaze runs.
posted on 12/18/2018 4:02:22 AM PST
Actually the latest Jap aircraft were every bit as good as ours but they came too late. KI-84 and N1K2 being the two best examples.
posted on 12/18/2018 1:50:07 PM PST
(I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn)
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