(lit. "divine wind"). The typhoon that destroyed Kublai Khan’s fleet, foiling his invasion of Japan in 1281. In World War II the term was used for a Japanese suicide air force composed of fliers who crashed their bomb-laden planes into their targets, usually ships. The kamikaze was first used extensively at Leyte Gulf and was especially active at Okinawa. (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright © 2001-05 Columbia University Press)
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