Victory at Sea

Season 1 Episode 25

Suicide for Glory

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Aired Sunday 12:00 AM Apr 26, 1953 on NBC
9.2
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Episode Summary

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Suicide for Glory
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The Battle for Okinawa, the last great battle of the war, starts as US forces begin securing islands in Japanese waters. With their own fleets destroyed, the Japanese make a desperate attempt to defend their homeland by sending the last of their aircraft squadrons on suicide missions to sink American ships by crashing into them.moreless
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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (1)

      • Despite the carnage depicted in this episode's footage, the only major US Navy ships lost to suicide attacks were three smaller class escort carriers. However, many capital ships were damaged, including the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, which was hit by five Japanese aircraft during its service.

    • QUOTES (2)

      • Narrator: The attacks are incessant, the damage staggering. To die is to die, but to live is to fight, and the fleet, that came to stay, fights...and lives...and stays.

      • Narrator: One last weapon remains against the kamikazes that break through the combat air patrols: antiaircraft fire, as intense, murderous, and impenetrable as the ships can possibly make it. The battle becomes a duel between gunners who want to live...and pilots who want to die.

    • NOTES (2)

      • Films Related to this Episode:
        Away All Boats (1956)
        Yamato (2005)
        The Pacific (2010)

      • Historical Notes and Numbers:
        Although commonly called Kamikaze, Imperial Japan referred to these suicide missions as Shinpû (both of which roughly translate as "divine wind"). They were officially known as tokubetsu kôgeki tai which translates as "Special Attack Unit."

        Japan expended over 1400 aircraft on suicide missions during the Battle of Okinawa, calling it Operation Kikusui ("floating chrysanthemums"). During the entire war, it is estimated that almost 4000 Japanese pilots died on suicide missions; about 50 US ships were sunk and almost 5000 US sailors died.

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • Divine Wind: the approximate translation for Kamikaze or Shinpû is an allusion to major typhoons that occurred in 1274 and 1281 which destroyed Mongol invasion fleets that were bound for Japan. These fortunate typhoons were thought to be the result of divine interventions.

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