Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A one way ticket

DPP_0005 I was fascinated by the size of this Japanese kamikaze plane in the Museum of Science and Industry.

This tiny aircraft was designed to be catapulted from an aircraft carrier.  Once it the air it flew to its target using a rocket engine. The unused fuel was the bomb.  Obviously there was no need for an undercarriage because it was not intended to land in the conventional manner.

Most interesting was the fact that pilots either volunteered or were chosen for these missions.  Dave and I did wonder, what the criteria might be for being chosen.

1 comment:

Bill said...

A former colleague was 'chosen', although not quite 16 and still at school, because near the end of the war the situation was becoming desperate in Japan and both the quite old and rather young were being conscripted.

In the event he did not fly his mission, something he never wanted to do anyway although he would have had no option as refusal would have been treated as treason, because the first nuclear device was dropped on Hiroshima just hours before. He was naturally very happy at this turn of events; the downside unfortunately was that most of his family lived in that city.

On balance I think the dropping of the two devices was necessary to bring the conflict to a speedy end and probably killed fewer than would have perished in the bloody pitched battles that would undoubtedly have happened as the country would have been defended to the bitter end.