The Kamikaze were suicide attacks by military aviators from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II. Kamikaze aircraft were essentially pilot-guided explosive missiles, purpose-built or converted from conventional aircraft. Pilots would attempt to crash their aircraft into enemy ships in what was called a “Body Attack”. By the end of the war, the IJN had sacrificed 2,525 kamikaze pilots and the IJAAF 1,387, with an result of destroying 47 US warships. About 14% of kamikaze attacks managed to hit a ship.
The tradition of death instead of defeat, capture, and perceived shame was deeply entrenched in Japanese military culture. It was one of the primary traditions in the samurai life and the Bushido code: loyalty and honour until death.
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