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The ineffectiveness of conventional air attacks on U.S. Navy surface ships, particularly heavily defended targets such as carrier task groups, forced the Japanese to reevaluate their tactics in late 1944. The solution they arrived at was simple: crash their aircraft into American ships. This notion of self-sacrifice fit well within the Japanese warrior psyche and proved terrifying to the American sailors subjected to it. These tactics brought immediate results, and proved effective until the end of the war.
This book examines this terrifying new way of waging war, revealing how the U.S. Navy was forced to adapt its tactics and operations and deploy new weapons to counter the threat--analyzing the actual military benefits of the kamikaze mission and assessing whether the damage to American naval strength by the loss of so many pilots and aircraft actually had a material impact.
Mark Stille is a former U.S. Navy commander and has published more than twenty books with Osprey focusing on the Pacific War. He lives in Dunn Loring, Virginia.
Jim Laurier, a native of New England, lives in New Hampshire and works professionally in fine art and illustration. He has been commissioned to paint for the U.S. Air Force and has aviation paintings on permanent display at the Pentagon.