Banzai Charges

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by jackbytor, Sep 18, 2004.

  1. jackbytor

    jackbytor Junior Member

    How frequently did the Japanese use banzai charges in WW2. Seems like I heard that it wasn't that often. Are they over glorified?
     
  2. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    The Japanese used them in pretty much when the situation was in extremis...the only other option being to surrender or wage a futile defensive fight. Dying charging had better appeal to that culture than being shot while hunkered down or surrendering, as we saw.

    I don't have statistics on how often they were used.
     
  3. No.9

    No.9 Senior Member

    During the Japanese concerted 36 hour attempt to take Hill 170 near Kangaw, Burma, from No.1 Commando, one attack was heard being prepared in the thicket below the hill. A Japanese voice in rallying style was interspersed with unified mass cheers - an officer prepping his men. When it stopped, a Japanese officer stepped out, waived his sword and ordered the charge. Guess the first person all the Commandos fired at?

    No.9
     
  4. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by No.9@Oct 2 2004, 01:24 PM
    During the Japanese concerted 36 hour attempt to take Hill 170 near Kangaw, Burma, from No.1 Commando, one attack was heard being prepared in the thicket below the hill. A Japanese voice in rallying style was interspersed with unified mass cheers - an officer prepping his men. When it stopped, a Japanese officer stepped out, waived his sword and ordered the charge. Guess the first person all the Commandos fired at?

    No.9
    [post=28538]Quoted post[/post]


    Japanese officers were expected to lead by example and from the front, brandishing those samurai swords. They obviously had a high casualty rate.
     
  5. harribobs

    harribobs Member

    Japanese officers were expected to lead by example and from the front, brandishing those samurai swords. They obviously had a high casualty rate.
    [post=28670]Quoted post[/post]

    Quite true, every effective officer becomes a prime target

    another point though is that NCO's also wore swords

    chris
     
  6. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by harribobs@Jan 25 2005, 09:37 PM
    another point though is that NCO's also wore swords
    [post=30890]Quoted post[/post]

    I know that Japanese Warrant Officers did, but did this apply to other NCO ranks as well?
     
  7. harribobs

    harribobs Member

    I know that Japanese Warrant Officers did, but did this apply to other NCO ranks as well?
    [post=30897]Quoted post[/post]

    I don't know enough about the japanese ranking system to comment really (did they have warrant officers? i didn't know that)

    the NCO sword was cheaper copy of the standard 1937 officer sword (shin gun to) made with a metal handle and a poor quality blade

    chris
     
  8. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by angie999+Jan 26 2005, 06:22 AM-->(angie999 @ Jan 26 2005, 06:22 AM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-harribobs@Jan 25 2005, 09:37 PM
    another point though is that NCO's also wore swords
    [post=30890]Quoted post[/post]

    I know that Japanese Warrant Officers did, but did this apply to other NCO ranks as well?
    [post=30897]Quoted post[/post]
    [/b]Yes, the Japanese NCOs carried shorter swords. The Japanese rifle was not the best such weapon of the war, and with bayonet it was often taller than the Japanese soldiers who carried them. Japanese tactics emphasized the bayonet and ferocity, even in the age of machine-gun fire and mortars. In the first 100 days, when the Japanese swept south, their combination of air and artillery superiority, along with poor British and American leadership, tactics, and logistics, enabled that ferocity to take Malaya and the Philippines, even though the defenders outnumbered the Japanese hugely. Had Malaya been defended by the 1944 British 14th Army, replete with air supply, the defense of Singapore would have been like Kohima and Imphal...the Japanese dying by bushels in futile charges.
     
  9. harribobs

    harribobs Member

    Yes, the Japanese NCOs carried shorter swords

    hmm not really shorter, the NCO swords were copies of the standard officers sword, some officers did take family swords, some longer some shorter

    The Japanese rifle was not the best such weapon of the war, and with bayonet it was often taller than the Japanese soldiers who carried them

    surely expecting the japanese to be all 5 foot high with glasses is the mistake the British made before the fall of singapore?

    chris
     
  10. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by harribobs@Jan 26 2005, 07:30 PM


    The Japanese rifle was not the best such weapon of the war, and with bayonet it was often taller than the Japanese soldiers who carried them

    surely expecting the japanese to be all 5 foot high with glasses is the mistake the British made before the fall of singapore?

    chris
    [post=30930]Quoted post[/post]
    Yes, and the fact that the rifle was taller than the soldier was one of the reasons the British and Americans laughed at the Japanese. However, the Arisaka had tremendous range and fired smokeless powder, which were two tremendous advantages.
     

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  11. harribobs

    harribobs Member

    Originally posted by Kiwiwriter@Jan 27 2005, 04:21 PM

    Yes, and the fact that the rifle was taller than the soldier was one of the reasons the British and Americans laughed at the Japanese. However, the Arisaka had tremendous range and fired smokeless powder, which were two tremendous advantages.
    [post=30942]Quoted post[/post]

    I suppose it would depend on whether you mean the regular or short version of the Arisaka, with a 20" bayonet attached you are looking at around 5' 6" worth of the standard weapon

    I still maintain that it's an error to stereotype japanese people as small (ever seen sumo wrestlers? :D )

    chris
     
  12. Ryuujin

    Ryuujin Member

    yeah... I think the Banzai charges were only done in emergancy, but remember that ferocity was still used with conventional infantry and mobile vehical (bycikyles) tactics. And remember that the japanese army was French trained and their officers were German trained (General Yamashita and General Motou practically copied the german Blitzkrieg in their campaign in the southeast). Japanese leadership was pretty high quality during the war it was their inability to quickly replace losses and to protect their merchant shippinjg (3rd highest in the world) from submarines that led to their defeat. It wasn't the battlefield that beat them it was their lack of factories and war material. Its almost sad they took their war soooo seriously even sacrificing the ceremonial bells from their temples, schools collecting donations to buy planes for the navy, every metal post, fence and bench scrapped to build battlehips... all to help the war effort and they lost everything anyways. I wonder if things would've been different if they had occupied pearl harbour and made use of the shipyards and oil stocks for themselves.
     
  13. harribobs

    harribobs Member

    Originally posted by Ryuujin@Feb 10 2005, 10:11 PM
    every metal post, fence and bench scrapped to build battlehips...
    [post=31396]Quoted post[/post]


    that happened in the UK as well, even down to aluminium pansand park fences being collected, although i heard that a lot of it was just for properganda purposes to make the civilian population feel they were contributing
     

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