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A Reddit user titled this photo "Kamikaze hit on HMS Sussex" and it currently has 5,532 points (96% upvoted).

Here is a cropped version of that photo:

Kamikaze?

Another user cites Wikipedia:

On 26 July 1945 her Task Force was attacked by two attack bombers acting as "Kamikaze" suicide weapons. One made an imprint on the side of the HMS Sussex, from which it could be identified as a Mitsubishi Ki-51 "Sonia".

They also linked to a gif that purports to illustrate how the plane hit.

Does this photo represent the result of a 1945 kamikaze attack on HMS Sussex?

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According to Pacific Wrecks, a non-profit organization devoted to sharing information about the Pacific Theater of World War II and the Korean War, it does. The image description reads as:

HMS Sussex hull impact by kamikaze Ki-51 Sonia

And, is credited to:

Credit: Royal Navy Date: July 26, 1945. B&W

Pacific Wrecks says it owns the copyright of the image and there is an option where you can acquire it, this is the version posted on their website:

enter image description here

Furthermore, two different images were found on FrignateNS's Flickr account of the event:

enter image description here enter image description here

Where he credits one image as:

A Kamikaze hit that did'nt succed[sic], but I bet it gave them one helluva fright!

Lastly, it is being said that:

On 26 July 1945 her Task Force was attacked by two attack bombers acting as "Kamikaze" suicide weapons. One made an imprint on the side of the HMS Sussex, from which it could be identified as a Mitsubishi Ki-51 "Sonia"

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That image is in the Australian War Memorial's collection.

c. 1944. The imprint of a Japanese kamikaze aircraft on the side of HMS Sussex. Incredibly, the aircraft hit the side of the HMS Sussex and fell into the ocean without damaging the ship.

(The image is in the public domain, at least in Australia).

HMS Sussex was a County class heavy cruiser of the Royal Navy. Because of treaty limitations, her armor was quite thin for a heavy cruiser, 1 to 4 inches thick in places, particularly the side (the "belt").

While its armor was weak against naval guns, aircraft are made to be as light as possible. If the plane "fell into the ocean" then it either lacked a bomb, or it was a dud. It may not have been a deliberate kamikaze, but an opportunistic attack, or simply pilot error. The biggest concern would be a fire from the fuel.


In his Service Histories of Royal Navy Warships in World War 2, Lt. Cmdr Geoffrey Mason, RN has for HMS Sussex on July 26th, 1945...

Under KAMIKAZE attacks during which two aircraft were destroyed.. Sustained slight structural damage above waterline by the wreckage of a Japanese aircraft. HM Minesweeper VESTAL was sunk and HMS AMEER was damaged.

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