OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

By the end of 1944, many of the Japanese High Command had realized that the Allied attacks, especially the thrusts of the US forces, lead by Admiral Chester W Nimitz, USN from the Central Pacific and the Allied Forces under General Douglas MacArthur, USA, from the South West Pacific Area, could not be stopped by conventional means.

Strangely, the Japanese Army in China and Manchuria, the Kwantung Army, had suffered no major setbacks and was undefeated, and there were those on the Army Council who believed that a stalemate leading to a negotiated peace was still possible. The way that this was to be achieved was by unconventional means. During war, there sometimes occur individual actions (amongst the armed forces of all nations) that verge on the suicidal. For example, the attack by the Fairey Battles of No 12 Squadron, RAF, of the Advanced Air Striking Force of the British Expeditionary Force, on the Maastricht Bridges over the Albert Canal in Belgium in May 1940, with 5 out of 6 bombers lost to a ‘wall’ of German flak and fighters, stands out (two Victoria Crosses – both posthumous - were awarded in this action). The Japanese response was different; young men were asked to volunteer for ’Special Attack Units’ (Army, Navy and Air Force) which would lead to certain death in battle. They were supposed to lay down their lives for their Emperor, and inflict the maximum damage on the enemies of Japan at the same time, by this act. Whole formations volunteered. As well as the well-known Kamikaze aviation units, there were ‘Kaiten’ (Heaven Shaker) one-man submarines (virtually an enlarged torpedo), ‘Fukuryu’ (Crouching Dragon) suicide scuba divers laden with explosives, and ‘Shinyo’ (Sea Quake) suicide boat units, which were supposed to be piloted at night from hidden caves, to attack naval targets close inshore.

Here we see one of these crudely finished Special Attack craft, on display at the PT Boat Museum at Battleship Cove, Fall River, Massachusetts; the craft, which was discovered in Kerama Retto, Okinawa, was donated to Battleship Cove by J M ‘Boats’ Newberry, the founder of P.T. Boats Inc., of Memphis, Tennessee. There were two-seat versions, as well as the single-seat craft. Provision was made for carriage of two standard 260lb Japanese depth charges, or, in some cases, a large amount of explosive in the bow of the boat, which could be triggered by ramming it against the chosen target. Getting up to a high ramming speed was difficult, as these craft were invariably underpowered (they could rarely exceed 20 knots), as they used surplus motors of any available type, usually in the 60/80 hp range. Navigation would have been extremely difficult, with the only view being from a small glazed ‘box’, placed amidships.

This was a weapon of last resort, born out of stark necessity, and driven by a national mindset which was alien to most Western cultures. It was the existence of weapons such as these, which caused projected American losses for the planned invasion of Japan – Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet, jointly known as Operation Downfall – to be set at a very high level. Projected estimates of US fatalities ranged from 267,000 (US Joint Chiefs of Staff) to 500,000 (General Lauris Norstad). It was these numbers (and their likely effect on a war-weary American public) which swayed the argument towards use of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

http://peoplesmosquito.org.uk

http://shortfinals.wordpress.com

Extended (Optional)

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.