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Making Sense of Suicide Missions$
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Diego Gambetta

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276998

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276998.001.0001

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Kamikaze, 1943–5

Kamikaze, 1943–5

(p.1) 1 Kamikaze, 1943–5
Making Sense of Suicide Missions

Peter Hill

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the ‘Kamikaze’, which refers to all premeditated suicide missions (SMs) conducted by the Japanese military from October 1944 to August 1945. During this period, over 3,000 Japanese army and navy pilots died attempting to crash their planes into Allied ships. Smaller numbers died manning weapons that were specifically designed for missions which ordered no hope of survival for their operators. Kamikaze precedents, types of SMs, effectiveness of the Kamikaze, demographic data on participants, cultural factors, Japanese traditions of voluntary death, military training, and life in the days before departure are discussed.

Keywords:   Kamikaze, Japanese military, World War II, pilots

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