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  • 20 year old Takahiko Nina was prepared to die.

  • It was April 28th, 1945 and he was making the final preparations for his first mission as a pilot in the Japanese army, a mission that was designed to be his last.

  • Once he took off, there would be no turning back.

  • He had been trained to suppress his emotions and convinced to die for the honor of his country.

  • He and his fellow kamikaze pilots had been ordered not to return.

  • Instead, they were embarking on a one way mission that will only end when they had crashed their planes into the side of an American battleship in a suicidal mission that he had been told would bring honor to his family and glory to him.

  • And yet the young student couldn't help but wonder.

  • What if a kamikaze pilots survived?

  • By 1944 after nearly five years of brutal and bloody warfare across Europe, World War two had started to turn to the favor of the allies in the European theater After the D Day invasion.

  • They had repelled the Nazis from France in the west, and with the help of the Russians, the allies were giving them hell on the Eastern front to it seemed like only a matter of time before the Nazis surrendered.

  • But the war was not yet over for the allies, particularly for the U.

  • S.

  • Who had entered the war late and would go on to fight countless battles against the Japanese long after the war in Europe was over, the U.

  • S.

  • Had tried to stay out of the war, but Japan had forced their hand went.

  • On December 7th, 1941 they launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, prompting the US to enter the war in full force.

  • Some of the bloodiest battles of the entire war would take place in the seas and sky of the Pacific Theater in the final years of the war, as the US turned their attention to making Japan pay for Pearl Harbor.

  • Facing the full might of the US military machine, the desperate Japanese needed a new way to fight the Americans, and so the legendary kamikaze was born.

  • The word kamikaze means divine wind, a reference to a fabled moment in ancient Japanese history, when an unexpected typhoon saved Japan from a horde of Mongol invaders in 12 81.

  • The US, though, had another name for these fanatical fighters.

  • They called them Baca.

  • Bombs from the Japanese were Ibaka, which means idiot.

  • Since the kamikaze planes were relatively easy to shoot down as they barrel directly toward the U.

  • S.

  • Ships, the U.

  • S military couldn't wrap their minds around what would drive so many young Japanese men to sacrifice their lives in such a spectacular in final way.

  • Still, the kamikaze were able to inflict some serious damage on the U.

  • S.

  • And her allies.

  • The only about one in five kamikaze pilots managed to hit their targets.

  • They succeeded in sinking 34 ships and damaging hundreds of others over the final years of the war.

  • During the fierce battle of Okinawa alone, kamikaze pilots were responsible for the deaths of 5000 U.

  • S.

  • Navy seaman the greatest loss of life in a single battle in the history of the U.

  • S.

  • Navy.

  • The kamikaze tactics were also an effective form of psychological warfare.

  • Every kamikaze mission was a suicide mission, and none of the thousands of kamikaze pilots who took to the air at the end of World War two were expected to return from their first and final flight.

  • The U.

  • S and her allies could not believe that so many young Japanese men were willing to take such drastic actions to defeat their enemies, and they lived in constant fear of the next desperate kamikaze attack.

  • History remembers the kamikaze as fanatics who were honored to die for their emperor and their country.

  • But those who survived tell us somewhat different story.

  • In writing his 2008 book On the Kamikaze Dangers, our author, Maxwell Taylor Kennedy had expected to find a story of fanaticism and fervent ideology among the kamikaze, but he was surprised by what his research uncovered.

  • He found that the kamikaze were not unlike their American counterparts and their patriotism and self sacrifice, calling them extraordinarily patriotic but at the same time extraordinarily idealistic by design.

  • Kamikaze pilots were not intended to survive their first and only mission.

  • And yet most of what we know about the kamikaze comes from those who survived and lived to tell their stories.

  • So what happened if a kamikaze pilots survived, some, like Hisao Koriyama, never had the chance to fulfill their glorious final mission and lived to share the real story of what drove thousands of kamikaze pilots to undertake their suicidal missions.

  • Koriyama was 21 years old in late 1944 when he was pulled from his artillery battalion to join a new elite force of airman.

  • Japan was losing the war, and the kamikaze were an essential part of their last ditch effort to turn the tide in their favor.

  • Kamikaze missions were flying up until the very minute that the war ended on August 15th, 1945.

  • Young Koriyama was a devoted subject of his emperor, and he relished the opportunity to have his moment of glory in the name of his beloved country.

  • Koriyama had completed his training and was preparing for his final, glorious mission when the news came down that the Japanese had surrendered and the war was over.

  • Though he was grateful that the emperor had ended the war, he was also regretful.

  • I felt bad that I hadn't been able to sacrifice myself for my country, he told reporters in 2015 at the age of 92.

  • My comrades who had died would be remembered in infinite glory, but I had missed my chance to die in the same way.

  • I felt like I'd let everyone down.

  • How were the Japanese able to convince so many young men in their prime, like Koriyama, toe willingly and even enthusiastically give their lives for their country and these suicide missions?

  • In short, they were trained to die.

  • An excerpt from the kamikaze training manual illustrates just how thoroughly these young men were indoctrinated.

  • It reads.

  • When you eliminate all thoughts about life and death, you will be able to totally disregard your earthly life.

  • This will also enable you to concentrate your attention on eradicating the enemy with unwavering determination.

  • Meanwhile, reinforcing your excellence in flight skills honor is an extremely important part of Japanese culture and kamikaze training focused on reinforcing this ideology and convincing these young men that their sacrifice would bring glory to them in the afterlife and honor to their families who they were leaving behind.

  • Most believed that Emperor Hirohito and the Nation of Japan were one and the same, and they were conditioned to be willing to die for him.

  • They were trained to suppress all emotions and made to believe that they had been specially chosen for this sacrifice a great honor in Japanese culture.

  • In some cases, Emperor Hirohito himself would visit the kamikaze training school, attending their graduation ceremonies on a symbolic white horse and personally requesting their services as kamikaze pilots.

  • During their training, the pilots would practice the daring moves that would be required to complete their missions, repeatedly flying their planes almost vertically toward the ground to simulate crashing into an enemy target before sharply reversing course just before crashing.

  • These exercises prepared them for the day when they would follow through on their dive and plummet to glory and certain death.

  • Their intense training was incredibly effective in convincing thousands of young Japanese men to sacrifice their lives for their country and die for a worthy costs.

  • By the end of World War Two, at least 2500 pilots had given their lives in kamikaze missions.

  • Many history books put the number closer to 4000.

  • At the end of their training, kamikaze pilots were given a slip of paper with three options on it.

  • They could either volunteer passionately, simply agree to volunteer, or they could refuse.

  • In theory anyway.

  • Many survivors claim that those who refused were simply told to try again and to pick the right answer next time.

  • By the end of the war, the Japanese were desperate for troops.

  • Up until that point, university students had been exempt from military service.

  • But by 1944 many young scholars like Takahiko Gina found themselves drafted into Japan's new elite force of kamikaze pilots.

  • 20 year old Tina had been studying economics at the prestigious Waseda University when he was pulled from school and thrust into kamikaze training.

  • Japanese culture places a high value on the firstborn sons, and thus they were exempted from the ranks of Kamikaze to protect their family lines in A as a younger son certainly had his reservations about his kamikaze mission.

  • But he welcomed the opportunity to bring honor to his family on a level uncommon for younger sons.

  • In a completed, his training volunteered to give his life first country and prepared to die.

  • But fate had other plans for him.

  • By the late stages of the war, the depleted Japanese were not only lacking troops, but we're using out of date and damaged aircraft that had been stripped down and adapted for kamikaze missions.

  • These aging planes would turn out to be in a salvation.

  • On his first attempt, his plane failed to take off and in a suicide mission was over before it had even begun his second attempt to make it off the ground.

  • But engine troubles forced him to make an emergency landing before he got anywhere close to his target.

  • During his third and final attempt, Mawr engine troubles forced him to land in the sea, and Dana and his two crew members had to swim to a nearby island, where they were stranded for 2.5 months.

  • By the time they were rescued, the war was over, and Anna would never again have to prepare for certain death, though the kamikaze trained to die.

  • Not all of them did.

  • Those who returned fell into one of two groups.

  • Those who were forced to abort their missions due to mechanical troubles, whether or failure to locate targets and those who were unable to go through with their mission out of fear.

  • The two groups were treated very differently by their superiors.

  • Those Lykina who were able to prove that they had returned for reasons beyond their control were not punished.

  • The Japanese could not afford to lose any pilots, so these kamikaze simply prepared to try again.

  • Those who had backed out, though, were shamed and punished physically and mentally.

  • Still, the depleted Japanese could not afford to lose even these reticent pilots, and the punishment was limited to ensure that the pilot could make another attempt.

  • Even under these extraordinary circumstances, though, the Japanese military's tolerance had its limits.

  • Surviving kamikaze pilots recalled the fate of one pilot who returned from a total of nine final flights each time unable to go through with his mission after his ninth attempt, he was finally executed for cowardice.

  • To combat this natural tendency to pull out at the last minute, the Japanese implemented a number of strategies designed to encourage pilots to go through with their deadly mission.

  • Pilots flew in the squadron in the hopes that peer pressure would ensure pilots follow through with our mission and kamikaze were even given some liquid courage prior to take off to help them ease their doubts.

  • Some say that the planes were loaded with Onley enough fuel for a one way trip to ensure there was no hope of returning, and each pilot was made to compose a will and a letter to their families.

  • Prior to their last flight, the Japanese kamikaze pilots of World War Two went down in history as the fanatical and deranged samurai of the skies, committed to dying for the honor of their emperor and country and willing to give their lives for glory.

  • In reality, though, they were not given any riel choice in the matter, with most agreeing to volunteer at the risk of dishonoring their families and being sent to die in dishonor.

  • Anyways, on the front lines of battle.

  • In a desperate last ditch bid to turn the war back in their favor, the Japanese sent thousands of young men in their prime to die on suicidal kamikaze missions.

  • Despite this, few kamikaze did return from their missions and lived to tell their stories.

  • Thanks to them, we know that the kamikaze we're not all fanatical or deranged but instead were desperate and afraid of dishonoring their families.

  • If a kamikaze survived.

  • If you thought this video was fascinating, be sure to check out our other videos like this one called the Horrors of Unit 7 31 toe learn.

  • Maura about Japan's role in World war two.

  • Or perhaps you like this other video instead.

  • As always.

  • Thanks for watching.

  • And don't forget the like share and subscribe.

  • See you next time.

20 year old Takahiko Nina was prepared to die.

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What if Kamikaze Pilot Survived?

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/15
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