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Gentry360

Kamikazes

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Something I was thinking ab out today.  When a carrier gets sunk the planes are left for the other team to take out and get credit for.  Why not have any planes that are airborne when the carrier gets sunk become a kamikze?  Allow them to cause some damage with impact or fires that the carrier gets credit for.  

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This again? *sigh* No.

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It has been brought up before. Apparently, from my understanding, WG rejects the whole kamikaze ideal. It's the same deal as not putting the swastika on german ships.

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No. The only way you should be able to cause damage or influence the game is by completing an action. Getting damage after being sunk because you already launched torpedoes, fired a volley from your main battery or issued orders to a squadron is fine. That is an active action that you took with the intention of causing damage before you died. Causing damage after being sunk without completing an active action except getting sunk makes no sense and would infuriate the player base.

Edited by Jiggiwatt

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There are a few reasons why WG would never do this:

  1. Historical controversy: WG already gets bad press for various game-related controversies. The last thing it needs is to start dabbling in historical controversy and getting more public and widespread controversy.
  2. Only Japan really implemented such a system deliberately; thus, it wouldn't exactly be fair if only the IJN could do this. In addition, Japan only implemented them because they were losing the war. Such a thing wouldn't be healthy for the game, especially if it gave IJN carriers a cushion for bad positioning.
  3. Historically, they weren't terribly effective against larger ships: no battleships were ever lost to them, only a few fleet carriers at earlier stages of the war, and a random array of destroyers, escort carriers, and perhaps a few cruisers. Also, AA and fighter cover took a terrible toll on their success rates.
  4. Kamikazes were mostly land-based. So far, land-based player-controlled aircraft aren't being implemented anytime soon.
Edited by Avenge_December_7

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Kamikaze pilots may make it into WoWS...right after WG implements tactical nukes for getting 25 kills in a game.

Edited by desmo_2

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31 minutes ago, desmo_2 said:

right after WG implements tactical nukes for getting 25 kills in a game.

Those have been in the game for a while now.

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1 hour ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

a few fleet carriers at earlier stages of the war

Franklin got waffle stomped by Kamikaze attacks, and not in the early stages of the war. The first Kamikaze attacks took place on Oct 25, 1944; again, hardly qualifying as an early stage. 3800 Kamikaze pilots died, and 7000 Allied personnel were either killed in those attacks; not exactly ineffectual. About 19% of their attacks were successful, making them more effective than any Battleship in the war, and to quote a more modern source "In a 2004 book, World War II, the historians Wilmott, Cross and Messenger stated that more than 70 U.S. vessels were "sunk or damaged beyond repair" by kamikazes." Kamikaze attacks were quite successful, and did a significant amount of damage; but by the time Japan implemented this policy USN and Allied strength was such that the ships damaged could be sent off to be repaired without risk of leaving the fleets unprotected or diminishing their combat power.

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4 minutes ago, Umikami said:

Franklin got waffle stomped by Kamikaze attacks, and not in the early stages of the war. The first Kamikaze attacks took place on Oct 25, 1944; again, hardly qualifying as an early stage. 3800 Kamikaze pilots died, and 7000 Allied personnel were either killed in those attacks; not exactly ineffectual. About 19% of their attacks were successful, making them more effective than any Battleship in the war, and to quote a more modern source "In a 2004 book, World War II, the historians Wilmott, Cross and Messenger stated that more than 70 U.S. vessels were "sunk or damaged beyond repair" by kamikazes." Kamikaze attacks were quite successful, and did a significant amount of damage; but by the time Japan implemented this policy USN and Allied strength was such that the ships damaged could be sent off to be repaired without risk of leaving the fleets unprotected or diminishing their combat power.

 

1 hour ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

Historically, they weren't terribly effective against larger ships: no battleships were ever lost to them, only a few fleet carriers at earlier stages of the war, and a random array of destroyers, escort carriers, and perhaps a few cruisers. Also, AA and fighter cover took a terrible toll on their success rates.

Evidently, you misunderstand. I wrote that only a few fleet carriers were lost after having sustained kamikaze attacks at earlier stages of the war. Franklin was around only at the latter years and didn't sink. Most of the damage and losses were the picket ships that were treated as expendable and replaced fairly easily.

As for effectiveness, the best that could be said about them is that their generally undertrained pilots in obsolete aircraft inflicted more damage than they would have trying conventional attacks.

A few notes about kamikaze attacks:

  • For every 1 kamikaze that got through, anywhere from 5-10 were shot down
  • Due to the sheer amount of AA and fighter interference, they tended to go after the first thing they saw, which usually was a picket destroyer. It was rather callous for the navy to basically have these pickets act as kamikaze bait, but it was effective at protecting their bigger ships.
  • The aircraft carriers rarely suffered but there was exceptions. For example, USS Bunker Hill ate two kamikazes in seconds. The kamikazes had to get through serious defenses and many suffered due to poor training or lack of fuel.
  • At Okinawa, for instance, nearly 10k US troops were lost/wounded (about a 50-50 split here), but the US war economy meant that these losses were of no great importance.
  • There were quite a few Japanese commanders that were against the Kamikaze attacks. Sakai, one of Japan's aces, said "Kamikaze is a surprise attack, according to our ancient war tactics. Surprise attacks will be successful the first time, maybe two or three times. But what fool would continue the same attacks for ten months? Emperor Hirohito must have realized it. He should have said 'Stop.'"
  • They had a 100% pilot loss rate for anywhere from 8-16% chance of success (and even lower at hitting a target that actually mattered)
  • They completely failed at breaking Allied resolve: seeing the fanaticism of the Japanese Kamikaze pilots only motivated the Allied forces to continue prosecuting the war to the bitter end, and also motivated the dropping of the atomic bombs to scare Japan into surrendering.

To summarize, you could only accept kamikazes as successful if you:

  • ignore the complete failure at breaking the morale of the Allied forces
  • consider anything from an 8% to 16% success rate to be good (granted, higher than all other Japanese attacks by that point, but still abysmal)
  • used up much-needed pilots at a horrendous rate
  • led to the atomic bombings of Japan

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3 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

I wrote that only a few fleet carriers were lost after having sustained kamikaze attacks at earlier stages of the war

The first Kamikaze attack was on Oct. 25, 1944; no where near the beginning of the war, or it's early stages.

3 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

For every 1 kamikaze that got through, anywhere from 5-10 were shot down

Kamikazes were 19% successful, that is 1 out of 5; your facts are dead wrong.

3 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

The aircraft carriers rarely suffered

3 escort carriers were sunk, many more damaged. No fleet carriers were sunk by Kamikaze attacks.

3 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

They had a 100% pilot loss rate for anywhere from 8-16% chance of success

Your facts are wrong (again). Kamikaze pilots did not suffer 100% fatality rate, amazingly a few did survive. Their success rate was 19%, just under 1 out of 5, which is an amazing success ratio when compared to battleship, cruiser or torpedo hit percentages.

3 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

led to the atomic bombings of Japan

Nonsense; the US dropped the nukes because of the casualty predictions on an invasion of their home islands, and to show the Russians we had the Bomb.

3 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

To summarize ... 

... your facts are wrong and your conclusions even more so.

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2 hours ago, Umikami said:

The first Kamikaze attack was on Oct. 25, 1944; no where near the beginning of the war, or it's early stages.

Kamikazes were 19% successful, that is 1 out of 5; your facts are dead wrong.

3 escort carriers were sunk, many more damaged. No fleet carriers were sunk by Kamikaze attacks.

Your facts are wrong (again). Kamikaze pilots did not suffer 100% fatality rate, amazingly a few did survive. Their success rate was 19%, just under 1 out of 5, which is an amazing success ratio when compared to battleship, cruiser or torpedo hit percentages.

Nonsense; the US dropped the nukes because of the casualty predictions on an invasion of their home islands, and to show the Russians we had the Bomb.

... your facts are wrong and your conclusions even more so.

  • While the first official Kamikaze wasn't until October 25, 1944, there are instances of crippled Japanese planes crashing into US carriers, like with the attack of USS Hornet CV-8 in 1942 at Santa Cruz, which contributed to its sinking. I'll grant that these aren't officially kamikazes, though.
  • While it is true that Kamikazes had about a 20% success rate at the beginning of their official use in 1944, USN AA and fighter tactics adjusted, and by 1945 it had fallen to the point by which Operation Downfall was predicted to only have a 1/12 success rate, or about 8 1/3 % (and by the last few months of the war, about a 10% success rate). Keep in mind that Downfall was a target saturated zone, aka the best possible target for Kamikazes.
  • Escort carriers are still considered expendable, as their crewmen called their CVEs "combustible, vulnerable, expendable". My statement that none of the bigger, more valuable ships were sunk by Kamikazes still hold true. Of the 151 carriers built by the US during the war, 122 were CVEs, so having 3 of them sunk and some more damaged is hardly more effective than hitting one of the destroyer pickets.
  • Even if not all kamikazes died, there was 0% chance they would be retrieved and thus be able to use what they had learned in future attacks, further exacerbating Japan's lack of skilled pilots. As I've already stated before, the only argument in favor of the Kamikazes is that they were more effective than conventional attacks at that point in the war: 10% success is still higher than <1% success. It matters not whether or not they survive, since Japan isn't getting them back and thus will still have to train new Kamikaze pilots from scratch.
  • The casualty predictions of Downfall was due to the noted fanaticism of the Japanese in defending places like Iwo Jima and Okinawa, in which Kamikazes were used very frequently. Your counter-argument is entirely incorrect, since the use of Kamikazes were part of the fanaticism that made the Allies decide to use the atomic bombs.

I advise you to rethink your arguments before declaring everything I wrote incorrect.

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15 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

While it is true that Kamikazes had about a 20% success rate at the beginning of their official use in 1944, USN AA and fighter tactics adjusted, and by 1945 it had fallen to the point by which Operation Downfall was predicted to only have a 1/12 success rate, or about 8 1/3 % (and by the last few months of the war, about a 10% success rate). Keep in mind that Downfall was a target saturated zone, aka the best possible target for Kamikazes.

Kamikaze attacks enjoyed a 19% success rate through the entire war, so following your logic they must have enjoyed a much higher rate of success early on, as the 19% figure is for total attacks.

18 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

Escort carriers are still considered expendable, as their crewmen called their CVEs "combustible, vulnerable, expendable". My statement that none of the bigger, more valuable ships were sunk by Kamikazes still hold true.

Never said any larger carriers were sunk; in fact if you will re-read the part of my last post that you quoted, you will see that I stated that no fleet carriers were sunk. What point are you arguing?

21 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

Even if not all kamikazes died, there was 0% chance they would be retrieved and thus be able to use what they had learned in future attacks, further exacerbating Japan's lack of skilled pilots. As I've already stated before, the only argument in favor of the Kamikazes is that they were more effective than conventional attacks at that point in the war: 10% success is still higher than <1% success. It matters not whether or not they survive, since Japan isn't getting them back and thus will still have to train new Kamikaze pilots from scratch.

Sorry; you stated that they had a 100% fatality rate for an 8 to 16% chance of success. I only pointed out that both of those percentages were incorrect. I never said anything about training pilots, getting them back, or anything else you're trying to confuse the argument with.

23 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

The casualty predictions of Downfall was due to the noted fanaticism of the Japanese in defending places like Iwo Jima and Okinawa, in which Kamikazes were used very frequently. Your counter-argument is entirely incorrect, since the use of Kamikazes were part of the fanaticism that made the Allies decide to use the atomic bombs.

While the Kamikaze pilots were a part of the Japanese defensive strategy, they were in actuality only a small part. In fact Japanese fanaticism went all the way back to the original "Banzai" charges they used during the Guadalcanal campaign. Factually, you can even say that the Kamikaze attacks had nothing at all to do with the fall of any of the Japanese possessions, as only the ground forces could take an island and aircraft could not. 

Also, your argument around the reasons that Truman decided to use the A-Bomb are also incorrect. Had Truman wished he could simply have blockaded the home islands, and, using B-29s, fire bombed every Japanese city into ash. The fire bombing of Toyko is a perfect example of this, as it destroyed more square miles and killed more Japanese citizens than either of the nukes did. Truman couldn't wait for that to happen because ...

1). Americans wanted the war over at almost any cost ...

2). The Russians were threatening to enter the war, and later did, and Truman had already seen what type of co-operation he was getting from the Russians in Europe and didn't want Japan divided like Germany and Korea were being divided ...

3). He needed to show the Russians who were already running wild across Europe that the US could, and had the willpower to, drop a nuke on an enemy without warning. Read the history of post war Europe, Germany in particular, and you will see a marked decrease in Soviet provocations of Allied forces after we nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

36 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

I advise you to rethink your arguments before declaring everything I wrote incorrect.

I don't have to rethink my arguments; I know my history.

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1 minute ago, Umikami said:

Kamikaze attacks enjoyed a 19% success rate through the entire war, so following your logic they must have enjoyed a much higher rate of success early on, as the 19% figure is for total attacks.

Never said any larger carriers were sunk; in fact if you will re-read the part of my last post that you quoted, you will see that I stated that no fleet carriers were sunk. What point are you arguing?

Sorry; you stated that they had a 100% fatality rate for an 8 to 16% chance of success. I only pointed out that both of those percentages were incorrect. I never said anything about training pilots, getting them back, or anything else you're trying to confuse the argument with.

While the Kamikaze pilots were a part of the Japanese defensive strategy, they were in actuality only a small part. In fact Japanese fanaticism went all the way back to the original "Banzai" charges they used during the Guadalcanal campaign. Factually, you can even say that the Kamikaze attacks had nothing at all to do with the fall of any of the Japanese possessions, as only the ground forces could take an island and aircraft could not. 

Also, your argument around the reasons that Truman decided to use the A-Bomb are also incorrect. Had Truman wished he could simply have blockaded the home islands, and, using B-29s, fire bombed every Japanese city into ash. The fire bombing of Toyko is a perfect example of this, as it destroyed more square miles and killed more Japanese citizens than either of the nukes did. Truman couldn't wait for that to happen because ...

1). Americans wanted the war over at almost any cost ...

2). The Russians were threatening to enter the war, and later did, and Truman had already seen what type of co-operation he was getting from the Russians in Europe and didn't want Japan divided like Germany and Korea were being divided ...

3). He needed to show the Russians who were already running wild across Europe that the US could, and had the willpower to, drop a nuke on an enemy without warning. Read the history of post war Europe, Germany in particular, and you will see a marked decrease in Soviet provocations of Allied forces after we nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I don't have to rethink my arguments; I know my history.

  • Source on your kamikaze success rates? Why not read a little about it here? https://books.google.com/books?id=keUMn-pi5vkC&pg=PA418&lpg=PA418&dq=kamikaze+decreased+success+rates&source=bl&ots=_YzRmyl0wE&sig=YXcw3v1se5zddAFIKOWrjGxzZRI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjJobDl8IbbAhXLhVQKHZkxDosQ6AEIVTAD#v=onepage&q=kamikaze decreased success rates&f=false You will find that kamikaze success rates did decrease as the war went on.
  • The Japanese could not sink enough of the escort carriers or damage the fleet carriers enough to be of much significance; perhaps it would be more accurate to say that kamikaze attacks on aircraft carriers didn't prove to be significant in affecting USN operations
  • I will concede that my point about 100% kamikaze fatality rates is wrong, but that doesn't change the fact that kamikazes are very poor at improving the quality of Japan's pilots (not that such an improvement could have proved decisive in 1944/45)
  • Your suggestion of simply firebombing and starving the Japanese population a) ignores how the US had tried that for months without any indication of Japan surrendering (no, a peace in with no war crime trials and Japan getting to keep some of their imperial conquests does not count) and b) forgets how the Allies wanted to ensure that Japan wouldn't rise again either through a Versailles-like revival or any way in which they could claim a draw/victory. A drawn out war could lead to the US public losing interest in continuing the fight, extend the war by a year or two, and tie up hundreds of thousands of ships and troops. Finally, c, it's a very inhumane plan compared to the atomic bombs.
  • As for the Soviets, there was no conceivable way they could conduct an amphibious landing on Japan in 1945. The best they could do was perhaps grab up more of Korea and some other pieces of land in Asia.
  • I'm afraid Kamikazes very much were a factor in the dropping of the atomic bombs: http://www.pbs.org/perilousfight/psychology/the_kamikaze_threat/https://www.britannica.com/topic/Trumans-decision-to-use-the-bomb-712569, and many more sources, both books and online, will argue this point
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5 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

You will find that kamikaze success rates did decrease as the war went on.

Again, please don't misquote me, I never said that kamikaze success rates didn't go up, or down, or all around; I said that for the entire war they enjoyed a 19% success rate, total. Nothing about what the percentages were at any particular point in the war.

7 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

The Japanese could not sink enough of the escort carriers or damage the fleet carriers enough to be of much significance; perhaps it would be more accurate to say that kamikaze attacks on aircraft carriers didn't prove to be significant in affecting USN operations

And again, you are arguing a point I never made; I said that they sank 3 escort carriers during the war, and damaged many more; nothing about how significant or insignificant those figures were.

9 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

I will concede that my point about 100% kamikaze fatality rates is wrong, but that doesn't change the fact that kamikazes are very poor at improving the quality of Japan's pilots (not that such an improvement could have proved decisive in 1944/45)

One more time, only said your percentages were wrong, nothing about how well or poorly they were trained. You want to draw me into arguments I have never made; I refuse.

10 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

Your suggestion of simply firebombing and starving the Japanese population a) ignores how the US had tried that for months without any indication of Japan surrendering (no, a peace in with no war crime trials and Japan getting to keep some of their imperial conquests does not count) and b) forgets how the Allies wanted to ensure that Japan wouldn't rise again either through a Versailles-like revival or any way in which they could claim a draw/victory. A drawn out war could lead to the US public losing interest in continuing the fight, extend the war by a year or two, and tie up hundreds of thousands of ships and troops. Finally, c, it's a very inhumane plan compared to the atomic bombs.

Actually, the blockade was only then really beginning to fully take effect. Our BBs were firing on the Japanese home islands at will, our B-29s were fire bombing their cities into ash, and their navy and air forces were in such a sad state they couldn't even fight back effectively. And they had been doing it longer than months; they had been doing it for as long as long range bombers could make the round trip; when they took the Marianas. We took Iwo Jima so as to have an emergency strip for damaged B-29s to land, and for P-51s to fly off of as escorts. The only reason the Japanese didn't surrender earlier was they didn't want their Emperor to be held responsible for the war, which to be absolutely fair he wasn't. The US kept pressuring for an "unconditional" surrender, which in the end they did not get as they Allies agreed to leave the Emperor in place. 

The American public was already losing interest in the war and wanted it ended like the European war was. And the projected number of Allied troops that would have been required to invade wasn't measured in the hundreds of thousands; they projected it at a million plus, though your 2 year time table is spot on. 

And your arguments about the humanity of fire bombing and blockading are humorous, but dead wrong. By this time in the war many Japanese prisoner of war camps had been liberated, including some where prisoners who survived the Bataan Death March, the fall of Singapore, and other early Allied defeats where large numbers of prisoners had been take captive. These released prisoners had been more than happy to relate the treatment they had received at the hands of their Japanese captors. After hearing those stories, the US military didn't give a damn about how they treated the Japanese, military or civilian. Think about it; Truman dropped two atomic bombs on Japan not to make them surrender; the Japanese had endured American fire bombings for quite a while and those casualty rates were far in excess of the two nuclear strikes. Truman dropped two nukes on Japan, the second one AFTER he had the casualty figures and damage assessments from the Hiroshima strike, to prove to the Russians that the US had a really big stick. There were absolutely no humanitarian considerations given the Japanese in 1945. He did it to keep the Soviets out of Japan.

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11 minutes ago, Umikami said:

Again, please don't misquote me, I never said that kamikaze success rates didn't go up, or down, or all around; I said that for the entire war they enjoyed a 19% success rate, total. Nothing about what the percentages were at any particular point in the war.

And again, you are arguing a point I never made; I said that they sank 3 escort carriers during the war, and damaged many more; nothing about how significant or insignificant those figures were.

One more time, only said your percentages were wrong, nothing about how well or poorly they were trained. You want to draw me into arguments I have never made; I refuse.

Actually, the blockade was only then really beginning to fully take effect. Our BBs were firing on the Japanese home islands at will, our B-29s were fire bombing their cities into ash, and their navy and air forces were in such a sad state they couldn't even fight back effectively. And they had been doing it longer than months; they had been doing it for as long as long range bombers could make the round trip; when they took the Marianas. We took Iwo Jima so as to have an emergency strip for damaged B-29s to land, and for P-51s to fly off of as escorts. The only reason the Japanese didn't surrender earlier was they didn't want their Emperor to be held responsible for the war, which to be absolutely fair he wasn't. The US kept pressuring for an "unconditional" surrender, which in the end they did not get as they Allies agreed to leave the Emperor in place. 

The American public was already losing interest in the war and wanted it ended like the European war was. And the projected number of Allied troops that would have been required to invade wasn't measured in the hundreds of thousands; they projected it at a million plus, though your 2 year time table is spot on. 

And your arguments about the humanity of fire bombing and blockading are humorous, but dead wrong. By this time in the war many Japanese prisoner of war camps had been liberated, including some where prisoners who survived the Bataan Death March, the fall of Singapore, and other early Allied defeats where large numbers of prisoners had been take captive. These released prisoners had been more than happy to relate the treatment they had received at the hands of their Japanese captors. After hearing those stories, the US military didn't give a damn about how they treated the Japanese, military or civilian. Think about it; Truman dropped two atomic bombs on Japan not to make them surrender; the Japanese had endured American fire bombings for quite a while and those casualty rates were far in excess of the two nuclear strikes. Truman dropped two nukes on Japan, the second one AFTER he had the casualty figures and damage assessments from the Hiroshima strike, to prove to the Russians that the US had a really big stick. There were absolutely no humanitarian considerations given the Japanese in 1945. He did it to keep the Soviets out of Japan.

  • From the start of the Kamikazes in 1944 until the last one in August 1945, there were 7465 such attacks on US forces, of which 368 were damaged and 34 sunk. Considering how that totals out to a grand total of 14% success rate when including damaged ships and only 4% success rate when only counting sunken ships, such a rate is quite a bit lower than 19%, and would most likely have gotten lower as the war went on (report from the Office of Naval Research, this particular bit by Dr. Richard P. Hallion, “Precision Weapons, Power-Projection, and the Revolution in Military Affairs”)
  • Again, I will say that it doesn't matter. I'm not arguing that 3 escort carriers were sunk and some more damaged by Kamikazes: I'm arguing that such successes are hardly indicative of overall success against the Allied forces.
  • My argument here is that kamikazes were a quite wasteful use of Japan's pilots in a time when they desperately needed all the pilots they could get, a point against their supposed effectiveness. We can argue about their relative effectiveness compared to conventional attacks, but at least pilots who survived conventional attacks could potentially pass on what they learn to newer recruits, unlike kamikaze survivors who were usually fished out as POWs or outright shot.
  • I'm well aware that studies showed that had the blockade continued on, Japan would have experienced a massive famine. However, nothing about this indicates that Japan would have surrendered. For the love of Roosevelt, they were training schoolgirls to impale US troops with bamboo sticks or jump under US tanks with antitank mines: I doubt something as simple as hunger would have driven them to surrender, not when they had already suffered hundreds of thousands of firebombing casualties and had no meaningful way to resist militarily that would somehow force the US to agree to a settlement. Any rational nation would have surrendered when it became obvious that an invasion which they could not defeat was imminent, but Imperial Japan wasn't such a nation.
  • The Potsdam declaration made no mention of the status of the emperor, only demanding the elimination "for all time [of] the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest"; thus it is highly misleading to argue that Japan forced the Allies to keep the Emperor in his position and thus did not unconditionally surrender. It is more accurate to state that the Allies found the Emperor more useful as a puppet for the Allied occupation government than as a defendant on a war crimes trial. It's sort of like a mafia trial: the prosecution could sentence a hitman to the electric chair, but they decided instead to use him as a witness against other members of the mob and/or act as a mole. Make no mistake: if the Allies had decided that Hirohito would hang, he would hang.
  • I only stated that solely implementing a starvation blockade would've taken hundreds and thousands of troops and ships. Obviously, an invasion Downfall-style would have required a lot more of everything.
  • Yes, I'm well aware that the Japanese well-being was not at all a concern of the wartime US government and/or military. I'm simply stating that history would judge them more harshly if they had not used the bombs, but I agree that this argument is quite irrelevant and weak for this discussion.
  • A more accurate argument regarding Russia would be that Truman wanted to deter them from making further land grabs in Asia and other pokes at the western Allies in Europe. Russia had no capability to invade Japan in 1945, and even 1946 and onwards would most likely require US assistance and possibly training in order to successfully conduct such a landing. Barring some disaster that causes the war to drag on into mid-1946 and later, Japan was never going to be divided like Korea and Europe. And to relate that point to kamikazes, you will find that kamikazes did very much contribute to the decision to nuke Japan, something you failed to address.
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3 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

From the start of the Kamikazes in 1944 until the last one in August 1945, there were 7465 such attacks on US forces, of which 368 were damaged and 34 sunk. Considering how that totals out to a grand total of 14% success rate when including damaged ships and only 4% success rate when only counting sunken ships, such a rate is quite a bit lower than 19%, and would most likely have gotten lower as the war went on (report from the Office of Naval Research, this particular bit by Dr. Richard P. Hallion, “Precision Weapons, Power-Projection, and the Revolution in Military Affairs”)

"Accuracy was much better than a conventional attack, and the payload and explosion larger; about 19% of kamikaze attacks were successful." Zaloga, Steve. Kamikaze: Japanese Special Attack Weapons 1944-45. p. 12.

5 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

Again, I will say that it doesn't matter. I'm not arguing that 3 escort carriers were sunk and some more damaged by Kamikazes: I'm arguing that such successes are hardly indicative of overall success against the Allied forces.

And i'm saying that I don't care, because I never argued that point.

6 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

My argument here is that kamikazes were a quite wasteful use of Japan's pilots in a time when they desperately needed all the pilots they could get, a point against their supposed effectiveness. We can argue about their relative effectiveness compared to conventional attacks, but at least pilots who survived conventional attacks could potentially pass on what they learn to newer recruits, unlike kamikaze survivors who were usually fished out as POWs or outright shot.

My problem with that, which again i never argued, is that at that point in the war the life expectancy of ANY Japanese pilot was hopeless, simply getting in a Japanese plane ad getting near a USN formation almost guaranteed death. In 1945 most Japanese pilots had only a few hours of training, and even less in actual flight operations. The survival rates between regular and Kamikaze pilots could not have been very different.

10 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

I'm well aware that studies showed that had the blockade continued on, Japan would have experienced a massive famine. However, nothing about this indicates that Japan would have surrendered. For the love of Roosevelt, they were training schoolgirls to impale US troops with bamboo sticks or jump under US tanks with antitank mines: I doubt something as simple as hunger would have driven them to surrender, not when they had already suffered hundreds of thousands of firebombing casualties and had no meaningful way to resist militarily that would somehow force the US to agree to a settlement. Any rational nation would have surrendered when it became obvious that an invasion which they could not defeat was imminent, but Imperial Japan wasn't such a nation.

First of all, hunger is a very unique weapon. People can endure a lot of abuse, do without many things, but when they get hungry, they are hungry right now! Some very impressive studies have been done on what a great weapon hunger is. I agree, Japanese were training children to use sharp sticks, and even a battle hardened Marine might hesitate to shoot a child. But only once; ask vets from the war in Southeast Asia, after a while it really doesn't matter anymore. Plus you have to gauge what kind of effect child warriors would have against combat infantry who had seen comrades die at the hands of other children.

Also, with the fire bombings and the lack of any imports, Japan would have suffered tremendous shortages of food. What little there would have been would have been grabbed and allocated for use by the Army/Navy officer corps, and then their troops. I doubt any at all would have been left over for civilian use.

I think you're dead wrong about hunger.

17 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

The Potsdam declaration made no mention of the status of the emperor, only demanding the elimination "for all time [of] the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest"; thus it is highly misleading to argue that Japan forced the Allies to keep the Emperor in his position and thus did not unconditionally surrender. It is more accurate to state that the Allies found the Emperor more useful as a puppet for the Allied occupation government than as a defendant on a war crimes trial. It's sort of like a mafia trial: the prosecution could sentence a hitman to the electric chair, but they decided instead to use him as a witness against other members of the mob and/or act as a mole. Make no mistake: if the Allies had decided that Hirohito would hang, he would hang.

The Allies made no secret of their demands for an unconditional surrender; Japan would not accept any surrender without a guarantee their Emperor would not be tried and hung. That was their condition, not an Allied one; the Allies wanted them to surrender with no conditions at all. Potsdam declarations have nothing to do with it. The first thing MacArthur did when he got to Japan was visit Hirohito and assure him he wouldn't swing.

1 hour ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

As for the Soviets, there was no conceivable way they could conduct an amphibious landing on Japan in 1945. The best they could do was perhaps grab up more of Korea and some other pieces of land in Asia.

All they would have had to do is sail into any Japanese port and unload under an American air umbrella, which we would have been obligated to provide for an ally. Japan had nothing left to stop them. Russia did declare war on Japan, and Russia was a signatory to the surrender document signed in 1945.

25 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

I only stated that solely implementing a starvation blockade would've taken hundreds and thousands of troops and ships. Obviously, an invasion Downfall-style would have required a lot more of everything.

We already had a starvation blockade in place, courtesy of the "Silent Service", the USN submarines, who had been doing it for a couple of years by that point.

27 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

Yes, I'm well aware that the Japanese well-being was not at all a concern of the wartime US government and/or military. I'm simply stating that history would judge them more harshly if they had not used the bombs, but I agree that this argument is quite irrelevant and weak for this discussion.

Nobody gave a tinkers damn about the judgements of History in 1945.

28 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

A more accurate argument regarding Russia would be that Truman wanted to deter them from making further land grabs in Asia and other pokes at the western Allies in Europe. Russia had no capability to invade Japan in 1945, and even 1946 and onwards would most likely require US assistance and possibly training in order to successfully conduct such a landing. Barring some disaster that causes the war to drag on into mid-1946 and later, Japan was never going to be divided like Korea and Europe. And to relate that point to kamikazes, you will find that kamikazes did very much contribute to the decision to nuke Japan, something you failed to address.

Again, Russia didn't need to have any amphibious capability to invade Japan in August of 1945; all they would have needed to do was sail into any harbor and unload troops. Had they met any resistance, the US, as an ally, would have supplied them with air cover, naval support, and probably landing craft if it meant fewer casualties had the Japanese not surrendered. Kamikaze attacks had no more influence on Truman's decision to drop the bomb than did the price of beans in Utah. And had the Soviets had a part of any Japanese invasion, they would have most certainly wanted to keep part of the spoils. If you don't believe that, then you should read about how Soviet forces stripped eastern Germany of anything they could lay their hands on in the name of reparations. They took railroad and street cars, despite the fact that they could not use them because the width of the tracks is different. You are seriously underestimating Soviet greed after fighting a 5 year war in which they watched millions die.

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4 minutes ago, Umikami said:

"Accuracy was much better than a conventional attack, and the payload and explosion larger; about 19% of kamikaze attacks were successful." Zaloga, Steve. Kamikaze: Japanese Special Attack Weapons 1944-45. p. 12.

And i'm saying that I don't care, because I never argued that point.

My problem with that, which again i never argued, is that at that point in the war the life expectancy of ANY Japanese pilot was hopeless, simply getting in a Japanese plane ad getting near a USN formation almost guaranteed death. In 1945 most Japanese pilots had only a few hours of training, and even less in actual flight operations. The survival rates between regular and Kamikaze pilots could not have been very different.

First of all, hunger is a very unique weapon. People can endure a lot of abuse, do without many things, but when they get hungry, they are hungry right now! Some very impressive studies have been done on what a great weapon hunger is. I agree, Japanese were training children to use sharp sticks, and even a battle hardened Marine might hesitate to shoot a child. But only once; ask vets from the war in Southeast Asia, after a while it really doesn't matter anymore. Plus you have to gauge what kind of effect child warriors would have against combat infantry who had seen comrades die at the hands of other children.

Also, with the fire bombings and the lack of any imports, Japan would have suffered tremendous shortages of food. What little there would have been would have been grabbed and allocated for use by the Army/Navy officer corps, and then their troops. I doubt any at all would have been left over for civilian use.

I think you're dead wrong about hunger.

The Allies made no secret of their demands for an unconditional surrender; Japan would not accept any surrender without a guarantee their Emperor would not be tried and hung. That was their condition, not an Allied one; the Allies wanted them to surrender with no conditions at all. Potsdam declarations have nothing to do with it. The first thing MacArthur did when he got to Japan was visit Hirohito and assure him he wouldn't swing.

All they would have had to do is sail into any Japanese port and unload under an American air umbrella, which we would have been obligated to provide for an ally. Japan had nothing left to stop them. Russia did declare war on Japan, and Russia was a signatory to the surrender document signed in 1945.

We already had a starvation blockade in place, courtesy of the "Silent Service", the USN submarines, who had been doing it for a couple of years by that point.

Nobody gave a tinkers damn about the judgements of History in 1945.

Again, Russia didn't need to have any amphibious capability to invade Japan in August of 1945; all they would have needed to do was sail into any harbor and unload troops. Had they met any resistance, the US, as an ally, would have supplied them with air cover, naval support, and probably landing craft if it meant fewer casualties had the Japanese not surrendered. Kamikaze attacks had no more influence on Truman's decision to drop the bomb than did the price of beans in Utah. And had the Soviets had a part of any Japanese invasion, they would have most certainly wanted to keep part of the spoils. If you don't believe that, then you should read about how Soviet forces stripped eastern Germany of anything they could lay their hands on in the name of reparations. They took railroad and street cars, despite the fact that they could not use them because the width of the tracks is different. You are seriously underestimating Soviet greed after fighting a 5 year war in which they watched millions die.

  • Are we seriously going to start debating sources? Because I'm willing to bet that a report from the US Department of the Navy is a bit more credible than a regular historian, even Steve Zaloga.
  • In that case, I think that's a point against kamikaze's effectiveness
  • True that the survival rates weren't much different, but that alone still doesn't prove that kamikazes were as effective as you claim. They might have been effective in comparison to other forms of attack, but that isn't really saying much. It's like saying V2 rockets were effective because they succeeded in bombing Britain at the point in the war when conventional German bombers really couldn't attack London anymore.
  • You don't need to educate me about the blockade and its effects. Starvation would no doubt have crippled Japanese defenses, but I don't believe outright surrender was on the table. Note that it took two atomic bombs, the Russian invasion of Manchuria, and a failed coup for Japan to finally surrender. Their willingness to fight on was that strong. What the A-bombs, loss of Manchuria, and failed coup did was finally force Japan to face reality through a series of unexpected and stunning events that locked out all other choices. Considering starvation was already beginning to take hold by 1945 and before the A-bombs dropped without any respite in Japanese resistance, I don't think Operation Starvation alone, while severely weakening Japanese resistance and possibly increasing the chances of a surrender, would have forced the Japanese to surrender right until an actual invasion came along.
  • Again, I will state that the Allies had a choice on whether or not to spare the Emperor. Japan in the final accounting had little say in what would happen. To disregard the Potsdam Declaration is to completely ignore why the Allies gave themselves the option to spare Hirohito: never was the emperor specifically mentioned in the terms. If a person gets arrested for a felony, for instance, but manages to plea bargain to probation in front of a judge and prosecutor, that doesn't change who has the power in such an arrangement. If the Allies had decided that Hirohito was worth more dead even if Japanese public opinion objected, he would most likely have shared the fate of Goering and Ribbentrop. Your argument basically states that, in my analogy, that because the defendant was able to plea bargain his way out of a jail sentence that he thus holds superior bargaining power over the judge and the prosecutor
  • You realize that an amphibious assault requires things other than air cover, right? Like the availability of landing craft and other logistical elements, things the Russians did not have. Pretty much no historian argues that the USSR could invade Japan in 1945, and to argue otherwise would be incredibly contrarian.
  • Fair enough, though I'm quite certain successfully initiating and maintaining Operation Downfall would have required a lot more men and machinery. In any case, this point of argument is meaningless.
  •  The Soviets frankly had neither the naval infrastructure nor air support to conduct the size of amphibious landings that were bing called for. The small landings they did manage were done with minimal support afloat; basically they ran a few old destroyers ashore and hoped port facilities could be captured before the landing force were all killed or starved. If you think this would allow the Soviets to invade Japan proper, I must question whether you really know your history. You're basically arguing the Soviet equivalent of Sea Lion.
  • Soviet motivations and willpower are meaningless: they had not the capabilities to invade Japan in 1945, even if they had the motivation. Thus, any talk about their greed, the implications of their invading Japan, or their actions in Eastern Europe is pointless. Even with US assistance, it would still be a very touch-and-go affair and far more prone to failure than US operations.
  • Frankly, your idea that kamikazes had little influence on the decision to drop the A-bomb is contradicted by just about every reputable historian out there. I'm going to leave it at that.

You may have some good points, but they're mixed in with quite a few points that are, quite simply, contradicted by every credible historian out there.

Here are some facts that the vast majority of historians agree upon:

  • kamikazes were an incredibly costly tool that was only proven to be less useless than conventional air attacks, with diminishing returns as the war dragged on
  • any invasion of Japan by the Soviets in 1945 is the equivalent of the so-often-talked-about Sea Lion
  • the fanaticism of the kamikazes contributed to Truman's decision to drop the atomic bombs

I'm going to end this debate right here, not only because our argument has thoroughly derailed this thread, but also because if you cannot accept these three points made by just about every credible historian out there, there is no further point in trying to argue against you.

Good day.

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6 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

Because I'm willing to bet that a report from the US Department of the Navy is a bit more credible than a regular historian, even Steve Zaloga.

Would you like a history of things the NAVY got wrong? That list would take up more space than this argument. Plus it does not take into account the ALLIED losses from kamakaze attacks.

6 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

In that case, I think that's a point against kamikaze's effectiveness

And since I never argued that point, I say "Who Freakin' Cares?"

6 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

True that the survival rates weren't much different, but that alone still doesn't prove that kamikazes were as effective as you claim. They might have been effective in comparison to other forms of attack, but that isn't really saying much. It's like saying V2 rockets were effective because they succeeded in bombing Britain at the point in the war when conventional German bombers really couldn't attack London anymore.

Any NAVY weapon that hit it's target 1 out of 5 times in 1945 was a very effective weapon.

7 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

Considering starvation was already beginning to take hold by 1945 and before the A-bombs dropped without any respite in Japanese resistance, I don't think Operation Starvation alone, while severely weakening Japanese resistance and possibly increasing the chances of a surrender, would have forced the Japanese to surrender right until an actual invasion came along.

Starvation combined with an overwhelming fire bombing campaign would certainly degraded the Japanese ability to respond to a point where is was negligible, just as the German resistance at the end was both weak and ineffective. Certainly individual units might have remained cohesive and combat capable, but overall you are looking at a complete collapse of defensive capabilities.

7 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

Again, I will state that the Allies had a choice on whether or not to spare the Emperor

State anything you'd like; the Japanese surrender was contingent on the Emperor remaining the Emperor.

7 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

You realize that an amphibious assault requires things other than air cover, right? Like the availability of landing craft and other logistical elements, things the Russians did not have. Pretty much no historian argues that the USSR could invade Japan in 1945, and to argue otherwise would be incredibly contrarian.

With the ever increasing casualty rates among combat troops on both Iwo Jima and Okinawa, America would have been glad to have provided any material support the Russians required if the decision to not drop the bombs and invade had gone the other way. After all, we had been giving them material supplies since 1941. And i'm not saying the Russians would have invaded alone, but most likely inn conjunction with other invasions by the rest of the Allies. It isn't like Japan was capable of opposing any landings of any type in August of 45.

7 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

The Soviets frankly had neither the naval infrastructure nor air support to conduct the size of amphibious landings that were bing called for. The small landings they did manage were done with minimal support afloat; basically they ran a few old destroyers ashore and hoped port facilities could be captured before the landing force were all killed or starved. If you think this would allow the Soviets to invade Japan proper, I must question whether you really know your history. You're basically arguing the Soviet equivalent of Sea Lion.

And you're arguing that the Russians would have invaded solo; they would not, they would have asked for, and received, support.

7 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

Frankly, your idea that kamikazes had little influence on the decision to drop the A-bomb is contradicted by just about every reputable historian out there. I'm going to leave it at that.

Only two factors decided the bombs would be dropped; countering the increasing beligerency of the Soviet government and their continued demands in Europe, and casualty estimates for an invasion of the Japanese home islands. While ALL forms of combat were considered when preparing the estimate, no specific type of enemy activity had any influence on that decision, rather more of a consideration of the whole picture. America had already endured the brunt of Kamakaze activity, Japan had no planes left worth considering, and certainly no more trained pilots, so the entire idea that this was some game changing issue is ludicrous.

7 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

I'm going to end this debate right here, not only because our argument has thoroughly derailed this thread, but also because if you cannot accept these three points made by just about every credible historian out there, there is no further point in trying to argue against you.

Historians change their minds more than women change clothes; every time some new fact is uncovered everyone has a new theory. Here is an answer to your three "facts":

1). Kamakaze attacks were an incredibly costly tool which was quite effective and had Japan had enough pilots  and planes it could have extended or even altered the war.

2). A joint invasion of Japan by both Allied and Soviet forces was not only totally possible but actually planned out, as Allied casualties were mounting to the point that the civilian population was becoming concerned. Your insistance that the Soviets would have invaded alone is hilarious; when did the Soviets do anything alone in WW2 when they could get the Allies to finance it for them?

3). Kamakaze attacks had no bearing what-so-ever on Truman's decision to nuke Japan; that was based solely on casualty estimates and demonstrating to the Russians just how big the American stick was. You yourself stated earlier that Kamakaze effectiveness degraded as the war went on,  and Japan ran out of resources, and the USN became better at shooting them down; by August of 1945 they were a toothless lion as far as any credible air power was concerned.

7 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

no further point in trying to argue against you.

Only because I'm right.

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the USN have sooo scary that WG ADD kamikases, make most damage than bomb AP.

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