Most kamikazes died in vain. About 19% of kamikaze attacks were successful during WW2.
Kamikaze, was a part of the Japanese Special Attack Units of military aviators who flew suicide attacks for the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, intending to destroy warships more effectively than with conventional air attacks. About 3,800 kamikaze pilots died during the war, and more than 7,000 naval personnel were killed by kamikaze attacks.
Kamikaze aircraft were essentially pilot-guided explosive missiles, purpose-built or converted from conventional aircraft. Pilots would attempt to crash their aircraft into enemy ships in what was called a "body attack" (tai-atari) in planes loaded with bombs, torpedoes, or other explosives. About 19% of kamikaze attacks were successful. Kamikaze attacks were more accurate than conventional attacks and often caused more damage. Some kamikazes were able to hit their targets even after their aircraft was crippled.
The Japanese considered the goal of damaging or sinking large numbers of Allied ships to be a just reason for suicide attacks.
The attacks began in October 1944, at a time when the war was looking increasingly bleak for the Japanese. They had lost several important battles, many of their best pilots had been killed, their aircraft were becoming outdated,[dubious – discuss] and they had lost command of the air. Japan was losing pilots faster than it could train their replacements, and the nation's industrial capacity was diminishing relative to that of the Allies. These factors, along with Japan's unwillingness to surrender, led to the use of kamikaze tactics as Allied forces advanced towards the Japanese home islands.