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A brilliant strategy or despair?

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pampa14 View Drop Down

Joined: 15 Feb 2014
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    Posted: 07 May 2016 at 23:15

During WW2 many air forces tested the concept of motherships carrying combat aircraft. I share with you a spectacular collection of images showing some of the most important projects involving this kind of concept. Agreeing with the title of this post, what do you think? Strategy or Despair? The article and the photos can be viewed by visiting the link below:


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caldrail View Drop Down

Joined: 21 Jan 2014
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2016 at 19:03
Strategy or despair? That's something of a western perspective. For the Japanese, they were seeking a war winning weapon (much the same as the Third Reich did). It's often said that the Japanese were dying for their Emperor - but that wasn't rue. Although allied to patriotic fervour, especially in the context of the highly indoctrinated Japanese society of the thirties, the idea was a medium to allow a logical exchange. To the Japanese, death was inevitable - they understood that and had done since the middle ages, thus they tasked themselves where possible to make death something purposeful or even merely beautiful. Since the re-invention of Busihido prior to WW2, these themese were again prevalent in Japanese culture, and to be fair, their mindset was never far from it despite the popularity of western influence (which the military junta banned)

So... If a pilot has to die, then why shouldn't his death be more than a loss? If that pilot can sink an entire ship and crew with the mere expenditure of his own life, then that pilot has achieved a profitable and useful exchange. To the Japanese, this suicide flying was a simple matter of getting the best deal from a pilot's demise, and in any event, what did the loss of one pilot matter if a thousand enemies go to the bottom of the sea in one hit?

For the Third Reich, the matter was not cultural but political fervour and patriotism. Again, the pilots intended to fly these 'missiles' were from indoctrinated society, but theirs was more of a decision born of necessity. By the late war, many of their skilled pilots had already gone, most of the flying schools had shut to allow instructors to fight on the front line, children and old men were being considered as resources for new aircrew (bearing in mind that the Hitler Youth had been active in defending the Third Reich ever since D-Day with a record for desperate courage) and the political extremity of the Third Reich was getting ever more focused as pressure upon them built up on all sides.

Although a great deal is said about German technology in the late war, much of this was wasted effort, and in fact the actual supported project list, at least with aeroplanes (AFV's were different), was toward quickly produced cheap and cheerful planes built with as little strategic material as possible.

Although in many ways the concept of one man destroying larger and more valuable targets as a simple exchange were similar, the balance was more emotional for the Third Reich that the cool headed consideration of the Japanese.
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