The Kamikazes

Kamikaze was a type of Japanese pilot who flew suicide missions during the last months of World War II (1939-1945). The kamikazes were trained to dive airplanes loaded with the explosives into certain targets, usually American naval vessels. They were much like a human bullet. The suicide planes were also called kamikazes. Japan was desperate when it launched the kamikaze missions. Its military leaders viewed the kamikazes as the last hope of stopping the powerful Allied advance. But the plan didnt work. The first kamikaze attacks occurred in October 1944, when the Allies invaded the Japanese-held Philippines. More than a thousand kamikazes took part in the defense of Okinawa in 1945. Kamikaze pilots, sacrificing their lives in a last-ditch effort to stop the American advance, sank about 30-40 ships and damaged more than 350 others. They thought the Allied forces would have some trouble because they were losing so many warships. America wouldve been long time ago. In those days naval vessels were so abundant that the U.S. were having trouble finding enough sailors to man the ship. But the kamikazes failed to sink any large aircraft carriers-their main targets-and in time proved to be a costly failure. They became more important for the kind of resistance they symbolized than for the damage they caused. The word kamikaze means divine wind. During the summer of 1281 the Emperor assigned an enormous army of 140,000 troops to the conquest of the Japanese islands. An armada of four thousands ships sailed, once again bound for Hakata Bay to fight the Mongols. Kublai Khans forces landed. The battle was fought again, and once more the Mongols turned back to the beach. The Japanese fought valiantly, but with the enormous resources of the Mongols breached the defenses. Then, one night almost without warning, a powerful typhoon blew through most of their battle equipment and horses, and drowned thousands o…

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