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 Post subject: Special Operations
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 14:02 pm
Posts: 2417
Location: Republic of Cornwall
Real Name: Ryan Thomas
Group: WW2 JRA
Listed below are some of the machines and methods the Japanese used ina desperate attempt to hold off the allies.

Ohka ''Cherry Blossom''

The Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka ("cherry blossom") was a purpose-built kamikaze aircraft employed by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service towards the end of World War II. The US gave the aircraft the Japanese name Baka ("fool").

It was a small flying bomb that was carried underneath a Mitsubishi G4M "Betty", Yokosuka P1Y Ginga "Frances" (guided Type 22) or planned Heavy Nakajima G8N Renzan "Rita" (transport type 43A/B) bomber to within range of its target; on release, the pilot would first glide towards the target and when close enough he would fire the Ohka's engine(s) and dive against the ship to destroy. That final approach was almost unstoppable (especially for Type 11) because the aircraft gained tremendous speed. Later versions were designed to be launched from coastal air bases and caves, and even from submarines equipped with aircraft catapults, although none were actually used this way.

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Shinyo

These fast motorboats were driven by one man, to speeds of around 30 knots. They were typically equipped with two depth charges as explosives or a bow mounted explosive charge. The ones equipped with depth charges were not actually suicide boats as the idea was to drop the depth charges and then turn around before the explosion. However, the wave from the explosion would probably have killed the crew, or at least have swamped the boat.

Around 6,200 Shinyo were produced for the Imperial Japanese Navy and 3,000 Maru-ni for the Imperial Japanese Army. Around 400 were transported to Okinawa and Formosa, and the rest were stored on the coast of Japan for the ultimate defense against the invasion of the Home islands.

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Kairyu "Sea Dragon"

The Kairyu ("Sea Dragon") was a class of Kamikaze midget submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy, designed in 1943-1944, and produced from the beginning of 1945. These submarines were meant to meet the invading American Naval forces upon their anticipated approach of Tokyo.

These submarines had a two-man crew and were fitted with an internal warhead for suicide missions. Over 760 of these submarines were planned, and by August 1945, 200 had been manufactured, most of them at the Yokosuka shipyard.

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Kaiten ''returning to the heavens''

The Kaiten was a torpedo modified as a suicide weapon, and used by the Imperial Japanese Navy in the final stages of the Second World War. Kaiten means returning to the heavens.

Early designs allowed for the pilot to escape after the final acceleration towards the target, although whether this could have been done successfully is doubtful. There is no record of any pilot attempting to escape or intending to do so, and this provision was dropped from later production kaitens.

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Fukuryu "Crouching dragons"

Suicide divers (Fukuryu "Crouching dragons") were a part of the Special Attack Units prepared to resist the invasion of the Home islands by Allied forces. They were armed with a mine containing 15 kilograms of explosive, fitted to a 5 meter bamboo pole. They would dive and stick the pole into the hull of an enemy ship, destroying themselves in the process. They were equipped with a diving jacket and trousers, diving shoes, and a diving helmet fixed by four bolts. They were typically weighed down with 9 kg of lead, and had two bottles of compressed air at 150 bars. They were expected to be able to walk at a depth of 5 to 7 meters, for about 6 hours.

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Anit tank squads

Perhaps the oddest of these antitank charges is the so-called "Lunge Mine" encountered on Leyte Island. This weapon—an armor-piercing charge on the end of a pole—derives its name from the way in which it must be thrust against the side of a tank in order to detonate.

The mine is an explosive-filled, sheet-steel cone, about 12 inches long and 8 inches in diameter at the base. As in all hollow charges, the cavity in the bottom of the cone tends to guide the force of the explosion out from the bottom of the cone and against the armor plate of the target. A metal sleeve extends from the top, or point end, of the cone and houses the simple firing device—a nail on the end of the broomstick-like handle which fits into the sleeve. The detonator is little more than an ordinary blasting cap set into the top of the cone, where the nail will strike the cap if the handle is jammed down in the sleeve. During transport, however, the handle is held immobile in the sleeve by a simple safety pin inserted through the sleeve and handle. A further safety feature is a thin holding pin, or shear wire, similarly installed through sleeve and handle. Three legs, 5 1/4 inches long, are attached to the bottom of the cone; the Japanese claim that these legs increase the penetrating power of the weapon. The penetrating effect of the charge is greater when the explosion occurs a few inches away from the armor.

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Snipers

Although not a suicide defence by design the chances of survivng this posting were next to none. A typical Japanese sniper would usually climb high up into the canopy of the trees and here he would tie himself on, allowing him much greater use of his hands. Japanese snipers would usually wait until the allies were very close before starting to fire and were usually very hard to spot, the Japanese being the experts on Jungle camoflage. But once they had been spotted there was only going to be one outcome, the allies usually using a high concentration of fire on the tree tops to literally blast it apart. The sight of a Japanese sniper hanging from a tree top dead became a common sight for the soldiers following the main advance.

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