August 27, 2010
Normally, it's the Western Powers who are remembered for developing some of the most innovative and conceptual weapons of the Second World War. But when it came to experimental military technologies, Japan suffered from no shortage of ideas. Here are 11 you should know about.
Illustration: MXY-7 Okha Suicide Attacker, by Fiddlers Green
Japan emerged as a world power in 1905 after its humiliating defeat of Russia. Though allied with the Entente during the First World War, Imperial Japan shifted its allegiances after being snubbed at Versailles. Starting in the 1930s, and allied with Nazi Germany, the empire began a series of aggressive campaigns at it worked to assert itself in the Pacific region. Its actions would eventually bring it into conflict with the United States, a development that proved to be its undoing.
Shōwa Japan, knowing it was up against a superior enemy, both in terms of industrial strength and technological sophistication, accelerated its efforts to keep pace. To that end, the Japanese Imperial Army was equipped with advanced conventional weapons, specialized suicide attack weapons, and even weapons to conduct biological and chemical warfare. Indeed, Japanese military planners did not care much for the Geneva Protocol. And in fact, they assumed that banned weapons were particularly effective.
The Japanese developed dozens, if not hundreds, of highly conceptual weapons during the war, including some that actually made it to the battlefield. Here are 11 you need to know about.
http://io9.com/11-secret-weapons-develo ... 1669775923
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