The Ohka (CHERRY BLOSSOM) was a Japanese suicide plane powered by three solid propellant rocket motors with 8 to 10 seconds firing endurance. It carried a 2646 pound high explosive warhead in the nose. It was actually a flying torpedo. Used mostly against American ships invading Okinawa, it was extremely effective. It was carried to the target beneath a mother aircraft such as the " BETTY" bomber. When released the suicide pilot would glide it at 220 mph toward the target, and at the proper time he would fire the rocket motors which would propel the craft at nearly 600mph, to crash into the target. At that speed it was nearly impossible to shoot down. The OHKA pilot considered it an honor to die for the Emperor. The OHKA was also used over Japan to crash into the B-29s. We are fortunate that the war ended before the Japanese were able to perfect and produce this weapon in large numbers. About 750 were actually built.

OHKA SUICIDE ROCKET - Ctsy. Wayland Mayo

The Japanese were extremely effective in developing ways to kill their enemy. The SHINYO was a fast motorboat driven by one man. These suicide boats were produced in great number, 6,200 for the NAVY and 3000 for the ARMY. Loaded with explosives in the bow, it was difficult to hit as it approached at high speed toward the American ships.

SHINYO SUICIDE BOAT - Ctsy. Navy Archives

THE KAITEN, a suicide human guided torpedo, was extremely effective against landing craft, freighters, and other American vessels. This Kamikaze weapon carried a 3,400 pound TNT warhead. Launched by a submarine, this 48 foot craft guided by one man was almost impossible to defend against.

FUKURYU - Japanese swimmers became a human mine when explosives were strapped to them and they swam to the target ship to destroy themselves and the ship.

NIKAKU - The suicide soldier had explosives strapped to his body. He would then crawl under a tank or other vehicle and blow it up.

Other suicide methods were used, some not fully developed before the wars end. A Ki-67 Kai (PEGGY) twin engine bomber with all guns and interior removed had a 6,400 thermite bomb installed. Under development in 1945 only two are known to have been built with no reported success.

KAIRYU - A small midget submarine first used at Pearl Harbor. All five were destroyed. Some 300 were built which carried special warheads fof crashing into ships same as the KAITEN.

KORYU - Five hundred 5 man submarines were under construction at the end of the war. 115 were already completed, thought to be used in the coming invasion by the U.S.


Index - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8 - Part 9
Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Photos A - Photos B - Photos C

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