The early part of the 20th century saw the rise of a technological innovation that started an industry for the future; the ability of man to fly. Its infancy was spent in understanding the physics of flight by experimentation. By the time World War I was over, men had figured out how to mount lethal weapons on their airplanes and kill from the sky. At the onset of WWII, better fuels, increased performance, and integrated weaponry improved immensely the killing abilities of the flying machines. Armed with bombs, machine guns, rockets and on certain models, torpedoes, aircraft inflicted severe morale and mechanical damage on armies, navies, and air forces. In rare instances, a situation would arise where a severely injured pilot would take it upon himself, as an act of sacrificial valor, and attempt to crash his aircraft into the enemy’s military machines. This was the inspiration for suicide pilots. After the loss of many strategic aircraft carriers in the battle of Midway, the Japanese lost their aviation advantage. Seeing the threat of the allies advancing on the homeland, the well-disciplined Japanese military sought volunteers to intentionally fly explosive laden aircraft into the enemy’s ships. This tactic scared the hell out of their opponents as the first wave of SMART BOMBS inflicted heavy casualties. The combination of inferior, expendable aircraft flown by inexperienced pilots and the allies use of more numerous antiaircraft guns and fighter interceptors, turned the tide. In the last year of the war, it is estimated that 3800 Japanese pilots died, inflicting 7,000 Allied fatalities, and sinking numerous ships. This suicidal ritual was known as KAMIKAZE. Japan was an ancient culture that revered their emperor and country. America would be hard pressed to find such enthusiasm in their youth. Born of independence, today’s youth would only volunteer to throw 6 KAMIKAZE shots down their throats if someone else was buying these alcoholic stimulants. 

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