Thursday, February 13, 2014


I’ve been watching a documentary about the Kamikazes during World War II.  In the Spring of 1945 a desperate Japan was willing to try anything to delay a planned American invasion of their home islands.  In that atmosphere the Kamikaze strategy came into existence.

Kamikazes were suicide attacks by Japanese pilots, crashing planes laden with explosives into American warships to damage or sink them.  Over 2,000 planes made such attacks.

As I was watching the film I realized that Kamikazes were, in fact, modern era pioneers in the suicide bomber phenomenon that is being implemented on a daily basis today.  Conventional wisdom has held that the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka first used suicide bombers in the 1980’s.

While the weapon technology being used today isn’t the same as it was during World War II, the Japanese can claim the unwanted distinction of being the first suicide bombers.


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