This Day in History January 5, 1945

By Ruth on January 4, 2012 in history, WWII

I wish I had something cheerier for today’s feature, but it was on this date in 1945 that the Japanese pilots received the first order to become kamikaze or “divine wind” pilots (suicide pilots).  Most of the good pilots were gone, and Japan was losing.  This was an assured way to kill the enemy–the Americans.

These ill-trained suicide bombers flew planes of explosives and crashed them into ships.  On this date, it was Okinawa.  They sank 30 ships and killed almost 5,000 Americans.  And it did nothing to help the Japanese win.  I think they must have known that, but they decided this was a “last-ditch” effort.

I cannot sanction what the Japanese did, nor do I sanction what our country did with the atomic bomb.  I do understand that desperate times do call for desperate measures.  Would anything else have ended the war?  If life was so expendable in the country of Japan, what else would have worked?  My mind cannot conceive of Japan and Germany during WWII, but it cannot conceive of terrorism and mass killing today.

The two sites where I gleaned my information are as follows:


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