How Effective Were The Kamikaze attacks?

by Daniel Russ on January 7, 2014




I wanted to write an article summarizing the damage wrought upon the Allied fleet by Kamikaze during World War II. But that will not happen. That’s because pretty much every single academic or wartime source has a different figure and the figures are all over the place.


The Japanese claim that 3912 Kamikaze pilots died in Kamikaze attacks. They claim to have sunk 81 ships and damaged 195.


According to Wimott, Cross and Messenger in World War II, 70 ships were hit.


According to the US Air Force, “Approximately 2,800 Kamikaze attackers sunk 34 Navy ships, damaged 368 others, killed 4,900 sailors, and wounded over 4,800”


According to PBS: “By war’s end, kamikazes had sunk or damaged more than 300 U.S. ships, with 15,000 casualties.”


According to By the end of the war over 2500 Japanese pilots had sacrificed their lives. About 5000 American and Allied sailors were killed in the attacks


According to “All told, more than 1,321 Japanese aircraft crash-dived their planes into Allied warships during the war….While approximately 3,000 Americans and Brits died…”


According to “From October 25, 1944, to January 25, 1945, Kamikazes managed to sink two escort carriers and three destroyers. They also damaged 23 carriers, five battleships, nine cruisers, 23 destroyers and 27 other ships. America casualties amounted to 738 killed and another 1,300 wounded as the result of those attacks.”

Bill Gordon, an American expert in kamikaze attack, “47 ships known to have been sunk by kamikaze aircraft.”


According to “7,465 Kamikazes flew to their deaths, 120 US ships were sunk, with many more damaged, 3,048 allied sailors were killed and anther 6,025 wounded.”


And according to “Though they sunk 40 U.S. ships in the Pacific and another 16 in the Philippines.”



Sources: all  quoted



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