Well, this is the last post of this series, and I have succeeded in keeping slightly ahead of myself for the whole Challenge!
This last post is about aircrafts and engineering, and bravery.
The “Zero” was one of the finest fighters of WWII. It was the Mitsubishi A6M (Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter) in service in the Japanese Imperial Navy from 1940 to 1944. In the early operations of the Pacific War it was considered as the most capable carrier-based fighter in the world, and gained a legendary reputation as a dogfighter, achieving a kill ratio of 12 to 1. After 1942 US industrial might and engineering skills more than offset this advantage, with more powerful engines, better weaponry and manoeuvrability approaching the Zero. War accelerates everything, technical progress, and the destruction of man.
Often we talked about them. What it takes to commit, to the certain death, the annihilation. You think they were like those ancient knights, confronted by treacherous archery: brave and hopeless, lost, doomed to be massacred. I feel different about the Kamikaze: they anticipated our age, of suicide bombers, of human beings willing to sacrifice everything to a cause we do not understand, or refuse to understand. They were not behind, but ahead of their time, not only ready to die, but also, while they lived, a poignant proof of the absurdity of war.