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Deaf Smith
03-13-2009, 08:24 PM
Before the war the U.S. laid down six battleships of two classes, the North Carolina class and South Dakota class.

What would have been the effect in WW2 if instead six Yorktown (improved) Class carriers were laid down instead?

After all, the Yourtown class was a 1933 design and the bugs worked out, and the battleships were laid down in 1937 on!

Deaf

Omar Bradley
03-14-2009, 06:17 AM
I think all the carriers would have been moored in Pearl Harbor when the Japs attacked knocking them out of action for at least a year. With no way to counter the Japanese advance in the Pacific the war there would have been lost.

Rising Sun*
03-14-2009, 07:15 AM
I think all the carriers would have been moored in Pearl Harbor when the Japs attacked knocking them out of action for at least a year.

Why would they have been moored at Pearl rather than being somewhere else? Particularly as the existing US Pacific Fleet carriers were not moored at or even anywhere near Pearl when it was attacked. http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq66-9.htm

Anyway, if the construction of carriers took about as long as the construction of the battleships actually built, they would not have entered service until well after Pearl Harbor, somewhere towards mid-1942.

Six extra carriers in the Pacific after Midway would have given the US an enormous capability beyond what it actually had.

However, could the US have supplied sufficient competent pilots to man the planes on those ships by mid-1942? Without the pilots the ships would have been useless.


With no way to counter the Japanese advance in the Pacific the war there would have been lost.

Ummm, even without the extra carriers the US actually defeated Japan.

Omar Bradley
03-14-2009, 07:48 AM
Hey, it was a hypothetical question.

Rising Sun*
03-14-2009, 08:00 AM
Hey, it was a hypothetical question.

Related to the real events of WWII.

Omar Bradley
03-14-2009, 09:42 AM
What if a modern supercarrier passed through a strange vortex and went back in time (www.imdb.com/title/tt0080736/) to a point a few days before the attack on Pearl Harbor and had the opportunity to stop the attack.

Rising Sun*
03-14-2009, 09:45 AM
What if a modern supercarrier went back in time (www.imdb.com/title/tt0080736/) to a point a few days befor the attack on Pearl Harbor and had the opportunity to stop the attack.

What if my sister was my mother and I found out that I was really a Tasmanian which would mean that my brother was my father?

FFS!

navyson
03-14-2009, 09:56 AM
What if a modern supercarrier passed through a strange vortex and went back in time (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080736/) to a point a few days before the attack on Pearl Harbor and had the opportunity to stop the attack.
I remember that movie! Geez...that's been years!:shock: I always liked that move for its "what if" value.

Omar Bradley
03-14-2009, 10:01 AM
If they could do it in 1943 (www.imdb.com/title/tt0087910/) I don't see why it coudn't be done in 1941. Though I think they stopped these experiments from 1976 to 1980 because I don't remember anything like that while I was stationed on the AO-98.

Rising Sun*
03-14-2009, 10:05 AM
If they could do it in 1943 (www.imdb.com/title/tt0087910/) I don't see why it coudn't be done in 1941. Though I think they stopped these experiments from 1976 to 1980 because I don't remember anything like that while I was stationed on the AO-98.

That is probably because they wiped your brain.

Deaf Smith
03-14-2009, 10:49 AM
Come on guys.

Since they would have come online about the same time as the battleships did, would one or two of them be present at Midway? Would we have taken the offence earlier? Keep in mind most of 43 was land battles (New Guinea mainly) because both sides were short of carriers.

Could we have taken Tarawa before the Japanese had time to fortify it (and for that matter alot of the other islands?) Or gone strait to the Philippines a year earlier?

Did we really need those battleshps?

Deaf

Carl Schwamberger
03-16-2009, 07:51 AM
Come on guys.

Since they would have come online about the same time as the battleships did, would one or two of them be present at Midway? Would we have taken the offence earlier? Keep in mind most of 43 was land battles (New Guinea mainly) because both sides were short of carriers.

Could we have taken Tarawa before the Japanese had time to fortify it (and for that matter alot of the other islands?) Or gone strait to the Philippines a year earlier?

Did we really need those battleshps?

Deaf

Where these would make the difference is in the summer and autum of 1942. Instead of trying to fight the Japanese with one or two, or a few times three carriers, there would have been three or four available for those battles. Also the USN could have risked attacking more often.

Pilot experince would be little different. Two or three extra carriers implies the provision of the appropriate number of pilots long before the war. In any case the real training of the USN & US Army pilots came in the desperate battles over the Solomons and New Guinea, where they learned the appropriate tactics for fighting the Japanese. More pilots fighting in those months means more leassons learned sooner.

The down side is that the Japanese depended on night actions to resupply and attack the Allied positions in the Solomons. Specifically on Guadacannal. The most sucessfull US interceptions of those surface forces were with the battleships Washington and South Dakota. The Indiana arrived just a few weeks after the critical battles and might be considered part of this. If the battleships are not available the US is dependant of either using more crusiers to intercept the Japanese surface groups, or on risking the carriers further forward to intercept the Japanese before nightfall. With fewer US battleships avalble in the SW Pacific the Japanese would have the option of leaving theirs in port and using the fuel to sortie their own cariers into the campaign more often.

Overall I see this as a benefit to the US, but it would cause many changes in the fighting in the SW Pacific in 1942.

Rising Sun*
03-16-2009, 08:06 AM
Pilot experince would be little different. Two or three extra carriers implies the provision of the appropriate number of pilots long before the war. In any case the real training of the USN & US Army pilots came in the desperate battles over the Solomons and New Guinea, where they learned the appropriate tactics for fighting the Japanese. More pilots fighting in those months means more leassons learned sooner.

Given the obsession by all nations with the battleship as the king of the ocean, how likely is it that the US would have committed the necessary extra resources to training naval pilots before WWII as well as building carriers?

Particularly with the strictures of the hard economic times which faced the US Government then?

I don't think there was sufficient understanding of the power of air over surface vessels and the might of the carrier in the US, or anywhere else, until at least some early losses to air, such as the Prince of Wales and the Repulse in Malaya in 1941, and more so Coral Sea and especially Midway.

Deaf Smith
03-16-2009, 07:28 PM
Well if they had the money for carriers, then I guess they would have got the pilots. After all, those carriers are not cheep and they knew the only good they would be is if they had the pilots and planes (as the Japanese found, at great cost, in '44.)

But really, they could have built any combination. Say 3 carriers, 3 battleships.

One of the things that saved us was we were building new ships, better ships, even before the start. Lucky for us we had six battle wagons to replace the losses at Pearl. Even better would have been six carriers to replace the losses we had in '42.

Deaf

Dixie Devil
03-17-2009, 07:39 AM
I think RS was right. Hindsight shows that resources would have been better allocated towards building carriers instead of battleships but before the sinking of the Italian Fleet at Taranto in 1940 and Pearl Harbor in 1941 very few people realize the impact carriers would have during World War II. The battleship was still viewed as the queen of the ocean and they were the real power projectors of their time.

Rising Sun*
03-17-2009, 08:17 AM
I think RS was right.

I wouldn't argue with that. ;) :D



Hindsight shows that resources would have been better allocated towards building carriers instead of battleships but before the sinking of the Italian Fleet at Taranto in 1940 and Pearl Harbor in 1941 very few people realize the impact carriers would have during World War II.

I ignored those two events because I was thinking of carriers used in action at sea rather than against moored ships, but you are correct that they both proved the capacity of aircraft and carriers against battleships.

They also proved the often temporary benefit of attacking moored ships in shallow harbours as the targets were often just grounded and later salvaged and returned to service rather than sunk beyond salvage like ships at sea. There is an excuse for the British at Taranto failing to allow for this as there was no precedent, but not for the Japanese at Pearl who modelled their attack on Taranto. Still, if you can take a few major ships out of action for most of a year or more then that might be the difference between winning and losing some later engagement. As it could well have been for the Japanese if things had played out differently in the early Pacific naval battles.


The battleship was still viewed as the queen of the ocean and they were the real power projectors of their time.

Perhaps that had to do with the understandable and accurate belief that an armour belted floating gun platform with guns of great accurate range and immense power was the most powerful single weapon on the planet at the time, which it was. After all, gunboat diplomacy had worked rather well for the major naval nations, notably and ironically by the black ships of Commodore Perry intimidating the Japanese sufficiently to open their medieval nation to the West, so that Japan could rush into the modern world and flog the Russians about 50 years later and the American navy less than 90 years later.

But, on a value for dollar basis measured by tonnage sunk, the submarine rather than the aircraft carrier might have been the best naval vessel to build within a fixed budget. Although perhaps not the most effective weapon tactically as it could not confront or defeat a massed naval surface force in the same way that another massed naval surface force could.

Dixie Devil
03-17-2009, 11:11 AM
I wouldn't argue with that. ;) :D

Ha! I didn't think you would :D

Deaf Smith
03-17-2009, 08:17 PM
Still, if you can take a few major ships out of action for most of a year or more then that might be the difference between winning and losing some later engagement. As it could well have been for the Japanese if things had played out differently in the early Pacific naval battles.

True. In the Coral Sea we took out Shōkaku (by damage) and Zuikaku's air crews. If we had not have done that, at Midway there might have been six carriers, not four.

And the Japanese did us the favor when they converted the Ise and Hyūga. They took them out of commission themselves for a year or so.



But, on a value for dollar basis measured by tonnage sunk, the submarine rather than the aircraft carrier might have been the best naval vessel to build within a fixed budget. Although perhaps not the most effective weapon tactically as it could not confront or defeat a massed naval surface force in the same way that another massed naval surface force could.

I agree so far as battleships tonnage .vs. submarine tonnage, but subs can't torpedo much on land, and the carriers did strke many a base and city with airpower. The carrier's power is more than just to sink ships. Anything inside the aircrafts 200+ mile radius of action was fair game, something a battleship or sub cannot do.

Just like Germany, most countries should have spent their money on subs and carriers (and support ships for those two.) Hindsight really is 20/20.

Deaf

Digger
03-26-2009, 06:37 AM
There were elements of the USN who did not understand the full potential of carrier airpower, but the battleship adherents lost a lot of sway after Pearl Harbour.

While a new urgency to build carriers swept through the USN, the new and modernized battleship construction was very important just for the fact of increased AA firepower the battle wagons provided for the carrier groups.

Even had the carriers been built, the several hundred pilots plus needed to equip them would not have been available until mid to late 1942. This was when American air power began to be felt.

digger

Nighthawke
04-03-2009, 08:01 PM
Adm. Nimitz was one hop ahead of Yamaoto throughout the MIDWAY campaign. Thanks to Cmdr Rochfort and his legendary HYPO team, they had it down to the dates for when the harbormaster was supposed to report.

Six combined fleet carriers? Sure, but if 4 got their bottoms blown out, you think they would have committed the rest if they didn't know where the rest of the US fleet was at? I doubt that. Their nerve would have been broken by then and Yamaoto would have called for a withdrawl instead of committing the rest to what he might have perceived as a meeting engagement.
In such an action, it would have been nothing but a slaughter with more and more assets thrown at it, only to see them get destroyed.

Besides, the Aleutians were invaded and he had to maintain a supply line to them.

Deaf Smith
04-04-2009, 07:18 AM
Adm. Nimitz was one hop ahead of Yamaoto throughout the MIDWAY campaign. Thanks to Cmdr Rochfort and his legendary HYPO team, they had it down to the dates for when the harbormaster was supposed to report.

Yes that is true. Interesting thing about that is in the book, "Combined Fleet Decoded" they pointed out that even if you have the best intelligence, if your fleet cannot act (as it was for the U.S. at the first of the war) then the enemy, Yamaoto, can still have his way as he did at Java, Celebs, Philippines, Guam, Wake (but that was a hard one for the Japanese.)

I am sure if Congress had authorized a few more carriers (say Hornet class) instead of North Carolina or South Dakota class ships, they would have authorized expanding the naval training for more pilots to fill new air groups at the same time.

Now would it not have been interesting if Doolittle had one more carrier with B-25s and instead of scattering the raids as he did, he concentrated some of them on say, the Mitsubishi aircraft plant in Tokyo? 12 of them, on such an unguarded plant, would have put a crimp on A6M production (and they never did produce them at the rate we did ours.)

Deaf

Rising Sun*
04-04-2009, 07:36 AM
Now would it not have been interesting if Doolittle had one more carrier with B-25s and instead of scattering the raids as he did, he concentrated some of them on say, the Mitsubishi aircraft plant in Tokyo? 12 of them, on such an unguarded plant, would have put a crimp on A6M production (and they never did produce them at the rate we did ours.)

Deaf

I'd suggest that in the total picture of WWII that would have been of no more significance than if MacArthur had launched the intended air strike on Taiwan instead of going into a blue funk on the first day of his war. Both bombing raids would have been tactial, strategic, and industrial pin *****s on an elephant at that stage of the war, regardless of whatever propaganda and morale effects they might have had on either side. Neither event would have altered the Japanese advance on land nor the related sea battles, nor the land, sea and air battles which ground Japan into defeat in subsequent years.

The most effective early air strikes would have been on Japan's shipbuilding capacity, because it was Japan's lack of merchant shipping at the outset and its inability to repair and replace merchant and naval ships as the war progressed which deprived it of the ability fully to exploit its land gains. But even the most effective strike with two or ten times Dolittle's force would still have taken years to contribute to Japan's eventual defeat.

One problem for the Allies was that after the naval treaty expired Japan carried on its pre-war shipbuilding in great secrecy, so that the Allies had very limited information on where to attack Japan's ships and shipbuilding capacity for maximum effect.

Then again, the shipping aspect is mostly a hindsight issue, so what we'd think commanders should have done now with our much better information isn't a luxury they had at the time.

Nickdfresh
04-04-2009, 08:44 AM
It is hindsight. No one in the fleets really knew how centric the carriers would be though I suspect some in the navies did, but those were the dissenters. No one should forget the brutal fleet actions that took place during WWII in the Solomons, especially the night ones where carrier aircraft would have been useless. While the major, War-altering fleet actions such as Pearl Harbor, the Coral Sea and Midway did involve carriers; slug-fests, such as the First Battle (off) Guadalcanal, where the Imperial Japanese Navy and the US Navy entered what was referred too as a "bar room brawl" resulting from the incompetent actions of the US commander allowing for a pitched battle in which supreme confusion caused a catastrophic fratricide on the US side, and the riddling of one of Japan's greatest battleships, the Hiei. A major surface ship to be victimized by much smaller enemy cruisers and destroyers, critically, for the Japanese. The battle was a tactical victory for the Japanese, but it did frustrate their plan to use 14-inch and 8-inch guns to obliterate Henderson Field - showing that air power alone could not compensate for nor totally marginalize surface fleet actions. Henderson had been hit before, but mostly harassment fire to draw its fighters and bombers away from the IJN resupply effort for the starving subject-soldiers of the Emperor...

Naval rifles for shore bombardment were still invaluable and much for reliable tactical support for amphibious landings for marines and soldiers on the beach than were air-strikes. Without some of the 8" to 16" guns, the Island Hopping Campaign would have been a bloodbath if possible at all. "Plan Orange" depended on not just carriers, but a large number of ships providing naval guns not just for clashing ships, but for shore bombardment...

Nighthawke
04-04-2009, 03:50 PM
Now would it not have been interesting if Doolittle had one more carrier with B-25s and instead of scattering the raids as he did, he concentrated some of them on say, the Mitsubishi aircraft plant in Tokyo? 12 of them, on such an unguarded plant, would have put a crimp on A6M production (and they never did produce them at the rate we did ours.)
Deaf

The "Do-Nothing" raid was just that, they didn't have the firepower even with one or two more carriers to make al dent in any kind of production or logistical support. It was aimed at their spirits and almost religious belief that they were invulnerable. Doolittle knew it would be the equivalent of a terrorist attack and planned it so.
To break the Japanese on their homeland took the sledgehammer tactics of Gen. Curtis Le May to do that.

The Zero that ditched at an Alaskan island is what made the difference after MIDWAY. A naval A6M was discovered at a preplanned point where the pilots would be picked up in the event they got in trouble. Unfortunately the pilot got his neck broken, but the aircraft was in pristine condition. The US military got their mitts on a fully operational Zero and from that their answers came in the tanklike Grumman Hellcat, the legendary Corsair, and the long-legged Lightning.

Nickdfresh
04-04-2009, 05:17 PM
I wouldn't at all characterize it as the "Do-nothing Raid." The psychological and propaganda impact was huge and the IJ authorities were forced to eat crow relatively early on in the War...

tomo pauk
04-05-2009, 07:43 AM
...

The Zero that ditched at an Alaskan island is what made the difference after MIDWAY. A naval A6M was discovered at a preplanned point where the pilots would be picked up in the event they got in trouble. Unfortunately the pilot got his neck broken, but the aircraft was in pristine condition. The US military got their mitts on a fully operational Zero and from that their answers came in the tanklike Grumman Hellcat, the legendary Corsair, and the long-legged Lightning.

???
Please read something about development & deployment of said US fighters before posting something like that. Lightning and Corsair both flew before Pearl Harbour attack, while Hellcat flew 1st time in june 1942. The "Akutan Zero" was tested in late September 1942.
Saying that particular Zero really changed anything is URBAN MYTH, more so since US pilots figured out the correct tactics against lightweight fighters.

Deaf Smith
04-05-2009, 06:39 PM
The "Do-Nothing" raid was just that, they didn't have the firepower even with one or two more carriers to make al dent in any kind of production or logistical support. It was aimed at their spirits and almost religious belief that they were invulnerable. Doolittle knew it would be the equivalent of a terrorist attack and planned it so.
To break the Japanese on their homeland took the sledgehammer tactics of Gen. Curtis Le May to do that.

Nighthawke,

The Doolitle raid forced Japan to bring back many squadrons of fighters and bombers to protect the homeland. Those planes and pilots would have been Midway and Guadacanal otherwise. Same goes for warships. And for the first time the Japanese people saw the promise of no bombs on Japan to be a lie.

And if Doolittle had taken out the Mitsubishi aircraft or engine factories, considering how ineficcient they were at making aircraft, it would have hurt. No, not like a B-29 strike, but those were years off, not in the first months of the war. And one thing the Japanese did not have was our production capabiltes. Hurting theirs would affect them far more than hurting ours.



The Zero that ditched at an Alaskan island is what made the difference after MIDWAY. A naval A6M was discovered at a preplanned point where the pilots would be picked up in the event they got in trouble. Unfortunately the pilot got his neck broken, but the aircraft was in pristine condition. The US military got their mitts on a fully operational Zero and from that their answers came in the tanklike Grumman Hellcat, the legendary Corsair, and the long-legged Lightning.

Oh, the A6M they found was a HUGE intellegence bonaza. It showed the Japamese fighters were:

a) flimsy
b) unarmored
c) no self sealing gas tanks (and the ones abutting the frame in the wings could blow the wing off if struck.
d) Were not controlable at high speeds.
e) Could not follow an negative G dive.
f) Had a tendancy to rip off wings past 400+ MPS.
g) and lots of other faults.

It was these secrets that showed us how such as F4F and P-40s could still hold their own and later planes as the P-38F, F6F, and F4u could dominate with the right tactics (and if the wrong tactics, like stall fighting, they would DIE.)

Deaf

Nickdfresh
04-05-2009, 07:00 PM
Nighthawke,

The Doolitle raid forced Japan to bring back many squadrons of fighters and bombers to protect the homeland. Those planes and pilots would have been Midway and Guadacanal otherwise. Same goes for warships. And for the first time the Japanese people saw the promise of no bombs on Japan to be a lie.

And if Doolittle had taken out the Mitsubishi aircraft or engine factories, considering how ineficcient they were at making aircraft, it would have hurt. No, not like a B-29 strike, but those were years off, not in the first months of the war. And one thing the Japanese did not have was our production capabiltes. Hurting theirs would affect them far more than hurting ours.



Oh, the A6M they found was a HUGE intellegence bonaza. It showed the Japamese fighters were:

a) flimsy
b) unarmored
c) no self sealing gas tanks (and the ones abutting the frame in the wings could blow the wing off if struck.
d) Were not controlable at high speeds.
e) Could not follow an negative G dive.
f) Had a tendancy to rip off wings past 400+ MPS.
g) and lots of other faults.

It was these secrets that showed us how such as F4F and P-40s could still hold their own and later planes as the P-38F, F6F, and F4u could dominate with the right tactics (and if the wrong tactics, like stall fighting, they would DIE.)

Deaf

Meh. It wasn't rocket science and everything stated above was observable without actually capturing an intact Zero. P-40s were "holding their own" in China in the hands of the American Volunteer Group (aka Flying Tigers) even before the US entered the War...

Rising Sun*
04-05-2009, 08:56 PM
The Doolitle raid forced Japan to bring back many squadrons of fighters and bombers to protect the homeland. Those planes and pilots would have been Midway and Guadacanal otherwise. Same goes for warships. And for the first time the Japanese people saw the promise of no bombs on Japan to be a lie.


Of greater significance for the course of the war was that the Doolittle raid came at a time when elements of the Japanese leadership were still in the grip of the 'victory disease' and still considering whether to extend operations to Australia and India, although that had been put on the backburner at combined IJA/IJN leadership level after the March 1942 compromise in Operation FS to advance to Fiji, Samoa etc.

The realisation that Japan was not immune from attack caused a rethink about the wisdom of expanding further in preference to consolidating what it had already gained, in part to provide a buffer for the home islands. The Dolittle raid made a major contribution to stemming Japan's expansion.

The practical significance of the Doolittle raid was negligible, but its impact on both Allied and Japanese morale was great, and at a strategic level as outlined above it was much greater on the Japanese leadership.

Deaf Smith
04-05-2009, 09:46 PM
Meh. It wasn't rocket science and everything stated above was observable without actually capturing an intact Zero. P-40s were "holding their own" in China in the hands of the American Volunteer Group (aka Flying Tigers) even before the US entered the War...

Alot of pilots DIED finding out they could not dogfight the A6M. Even on Midway the Brewster Buffalos and F4Fs still tried that. The question was not if one should dog fight them or not, but how to beat them. The only way to find out was to get in a fight and hope you were lucky and found out a flaw. Takes alot of pilots shot down to find a flaw that way.

It's either that or capture a flyable specimen and find out without being shot at.

And Nick, it's real hard to learn these things when bullets are flying cause dead pilots tell no tales. You only get one mistake, and that one counts.

Deaf

Nickdfresh
04-06-2009, 07:08 AM
Alot of pilots DIED finding out they could not dogfight the A6M. Even on Midway the Brewster Buffalos and F4Fs still tried that. The question was not if one should dog fight them or not, but how to beat them. The only way to find out was to get in a fight and hope you were lucky and found out a flaw. Takes alot of pilots shot down to find a flaw that way.

It's either that or capture a flyable specimen and find out without being shot at.

And Nick, it's real hard to learn these things when bullets are flying cause dead pilots tell no tales. You only get one mistake, and that one counts.

Deaf

A lot of pilots died because their commanders failed to heed the lessons of the AVG in China, as they had been not dogfighting the Zeros for some time and favored head-on strafing tactics and ambushes of unaware Japanese pilots over trying to turn with the Zero. Secondly, how many pilots actually died? Do you have some sort of statistics showing the comparative loss rates between US and Japanese pilots in 1942?

Also, the Battle of Midway was really the beginning of the end of the elite corp of Japanese warrior-pilots that were irreplaceable - the Guadalcanal Campaign finished off much of the pre-War corp of naval aviators and in that campaign, US pilots flying F4Fs, P-39/400s, and later the P-38, were able to at least hold their own against the Zero and won many of the contests over Henderson Field. The American pilots were getting better, and the ones that were lost were relatively easily replaced with the US training system that was far superior to the IJN one...

I should also point out as well that few US Naval and Marine aviators thought they should dogfight with Zeros and were aware early on the of the advantages and disadvantages of both the Zeke and their Wildcats. Dead pilots tell no tales, but the US had it's share of living aces that somehow managed to shoot down Zeros and realized that a relatively short burst of .50 cal. would tear the airframe apart due to the lack of self-sealing tanks...

The loss rates of both Zeros and Wildcats were relatively even. And the Brewster Buffalo was about as effective in modern air-combat as the Wright Flyer at that time! Many of the pilots lost at Midway (Island) were trying to attack the Vals and Kates, and that's why they were easier marks for the Zeros as they were trying to protect their airfield, not conduct a fighter sweep against enemy fighters, and I believe they were heavily outnumbered IIRC...

Rising Sun*
04-06-2009, 09:24 AM
Also, the Battle of Midway was really the beginning of the end of the elite corp of Japanese warrior-pilots that were irreplaceable - the Guadalcanal Campaign finished off much of the pre-War corp of naval aviators and in that campaign, US pilots flying F4Fs, P-39/400s, and later the P-38, were able to at least hold their own against the Zero and won many of the contests over Henderson Field. The American pilots were getting better, and the ones that were lost were relatively easily replaced with the US training system that was far superior to the IJN one...

Which was also a matter of speed of training.

America used training systems to produce 'battle adequate' pilots relatively quickly and in greater numbers compared with Japan, which continued with a longer training system which was incapable of producing 'battle adequate' pilots at the rate the excellent pilots with which Japan started the war were lost.

Rising Sun*
04-06-2009, 10:15 AM
Amplifying my last post:


Then came Midway.

The Imperial Japanese Navy lost over 300 pilots and four of its largest aircraft carriers in a battle which lasted only two days. It was a catastrophe from which the IJNAF never entirely recovered. In addition, the prospect for a short war was gone. It was becoming clear that the Americans, roused to fury by the Pearl Harbor attack, would not seek any type of negotiations with the Japanese government, short of accepting an unconditional surrender. This had been apparent to the organizer of the Pearl Harbor attack, Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto, even before the attack had been launched. So there was no realistic prospect for a short war. Equally bad, Japan had no plans for a long war. A number of new or experimental aircraft types were made operational as the war progressed, but most of the operational types with which the IJNAF began the war in December, 1941, were still first line equipment when the war ended in August, 1945. In the USAAF, the U.S. Navy and the RAF, new types replaced older ones. By contrast, in the IJNAF the new aircraft types, at best, supplemented the older types.

During 1942, the Japanese Navy concentrated on production of existing types and introduced just three new aircraft types--the Nakajima J1N1-C recon plane("Irving"), the Type 2 Flying Boat("Emily") and the Aichi D4Y1-C carrier recon plane("Judy") were introduced.
At no point in the war had the Gross National Product--the net value of all goods and services produced in the Japanese Empire--ever exceeded 10% of the American GNP. America's fundamental ability to produce advanced war goods--especially combat airplanes--was always much greater than Japan's. Japan's wartime aircraft were produced using machine tools imported from the United States and often had flight instruments imported from this country, as well.

During the latter part of 1942 and early 1943, continuing battles for Guadalcanal and the other islands in and around the Solomons slowly ground up the IJNAF's supplies of aircraft, experienced pilots and mechanics. The Japanese slowly lost territory in the South West Pacific and elsewhere, but the losses of men and materiel were at least equally serious.


Flight and Combat Training


At an early stage in the Pacific War, the IJNAF had made a decision about the conduct of the war which was to have far reaching consequences. Training of new pilots was cut back. This put all of its aerial strength "up front" and enabled it to compete with the Americans and their allies on more even basis. The U.S. embargo on petroleum had been the most immediate cause of the war for the Japanese and they remained short of it for the rest of the war--even after the capture of Dutch oilfields in Indonesia. (The gasoline was not where it was needed. American submarine captains understood this situation and deliberately sought out oil tankers as high-priority targets.)

The Americans, by contrast, chose exactly the opposite strategy after the war was just a few months old. After a short period of trying to put their own stength "up front", they deliberately retained their best pilots as flight instructors for future waves of candidate pilots. They invested large quantities of gasoline in the training of new pilots. They built large numbers of training aircraft and retained increasing numbers of less capable combat planes in the continental U.S. for training purposes as more advanced types became available. To be sure, this meant that during the first year or so of the war, that the U.S. Navy and USAAF would have fewer men and fewer planes "up front".

On the other hand, once this much larger system began to deliver newly trained pilots and new aircraft to the theaters of war, the IJNAF would have no hope of fighting them off. From being sworn in, put through boot camp, put into primary flight training and then into advanced flight training, it took about one year for the U.S. Navy or USAAF to train a pilot and assign him to an operational unit. Significantly, a little over a year after the start of the Pacific War, the pilots of the Imperial Navy began to find themselves outnumbered. It seemed to the front line pilots as if the Americans had inexhaustible sources of warplanes and pilots. And this was somewhat before the Americans were able to introduce newer aircraft types.

Alleged American racial superiority was dangerous nonsense in the life and death situations of aerial combat, but there was an area in which the USA did have a human or manpower advantage. The USA, at that time, had a population of about 150 million, versus Japan's population of about 90 million. However, the age composition of the American population favored young men, so the actual pool of them was substantially larger than the comparable Japanese pool. Of course, the output of American pilots would have to be divided between the Pacific War (South Pacific Theater, South West Pacific Theater), the CBI Theater and the European Theater of Operations (the ETO).

Bad as this situation might have seemed to be from the Japanese side, it was actually worse.

To be sure, this didn't quite make them qualified aviation mechanics or pilots, but most young American men of that generation had driven or maintained an automobile and many of them had also handled guns. In pre-war Japan, individually owned automobiles were a rarity and so were private firearms. In training aviation mechanics and pilots, American instructors could take many things for granted.

In the pre-war years, the IJNAF had chosen to train a very small number of pilots to a very high degree. The modern air force which most closely follows this path is the Israeli Air Force. Note how seriously the Israelis were affected by the loss of about 100 aircraft and pilots in the Yom Kippur war of 1973. The Japanese were at least equally vulnerable to attrition prior to the Pacific War. How could the Japanese have compensated for the loss of 300 pilots at Midway by pre-war standards? If they had had no further losses at all, it would have taken them two or three years to train that many pilots at pre-war rates.

By the middle of 1943, the IJNAF was frantically attempting to overcome all of these disadvantages with tools wholly inadequate to the purpose. The training of pilots was pushed as high as it could be, but there were serious problems. Instructor pilots were still scarce and many potential flight instructors had died at the Battle of Midway, in the Solomon Islands or elsewhere. In the United States, comparable experienced pilots were alive and instructing other pilots. Shortening the amount of training was tried and, by the last year of the war, Japanese pilots were being pushed into combat missions with as little as 100 hours of flight time. (By contrast, American pilots at that stage of the war[1944] would have had more than 300 hours of flight time.) When these pilots entered combat they were terrified novices, easy marks for American pilots. Even rookie American pilots were better off than this. As for experienced Japanese pilots, those who were still alive were also gradually being killed off in combat. Nor did a Japanese student pilot have to die in combat--many of them died in flying accidents, particularly when they were pushed into the cockpits of fast, unforgiving fighters. Flying accidents and training fatalities were common enough in the continental United States, but anecdotes give the impression that they were much more common in Japan. My bold http://www.combinedfleet.com/ijnaf.htm

Deaf Smith
04-06-2009, 06:27 PM
A lot of pilots died because their commanders failed to heed the lessons of the AVG in China, as they had been not dogfighting the Zeros for some time and favored head-on strafing tactics and ambushes of unaware Japanese pilots over trying to turn with the Zero. Secondly, how many pilots actually died? Do you have some sort of statistics showing the comparative loss rates between US and Japanese pilots in 1942?...


And when did the AVG start battle with the Japanese? And what enemy aircraft did they fight?

Answers:

Dec. 1941 was when they had their first clash with Japenese.

The aircraft they fought. K1-27 and Ki-43. They didn't fight the A6M.

It takes time to get feedback from those who are on the front and survive the fighting. And even then, their words will be rather mixed up.

At Miday, the few surviving pilots of the Brewster F2A Buffalo fighter and F4F Wildcats said the A6M's they met were going 400 MPH. And Midway was not at the first of the war.

It's real hard to get accurate combat data. It takes time and lots of deaths. The lucky few, if they had their eyes open, might give a tip or two. But it was the Zero they found is what finaly gave all the secrets needed.

Deaf

Nickdfresh
04-06-2009, 07:37 PM
And when did the AVG start battle with the Japanese? And what enemy aircraft did they fight?

Answers:

Dec. 1941 was when they had their first clash with Japenese.

The aircraft they fought. K1-27 and Ki-43. They didn't fight the A6M.

Which were aircraft similar to the A6M in performance and still more maneuverable than the P-40 Tomahawk...


AVG Tactics
...

by Erik Shilling

When combat was imminent, you immediately went to either METO or Max power if necessary. At times when one's life was in danger you used as much power as you could get. At METO power the P-40B's speed would be above 300 mph, and at these speeds, unless the enemy had an altitude advantage, he could not even catch you.
...

Tactics:

First and foremost is a fact often overlook by many, which was the Flying Tigers only attacked IF they had the advantage. (Altitude or speed.)

...
To show a couple examples of attacking enemy fighters: If you attack head on, which the enemy was reluctant to do, because our guns outranged their fighters, they would normally pull up. (If he started turning away, he would already be at a disadvantage.) You started firing at Max range, and then dive away, under these conditions we didn't turn and tangle with a Jap fighters.

Attacking the enemy from a 3 to 6 o'clock position.

Why roll rate was important, is that one must remember that all maneuvers, except for a loop, started with a roll. The slower the roll rate the longer it took before the turn began.

1. If he turned away, he set you up on his six. A most undesirable position for him, because he would be a dead duck.

2. The enemy invariably turned toward you which was normal and anticipated. With his slower roll rate, you could beat him into the turn, get a deflection shot at him, and when you slowed down to where he started gaining on you in the circle, you rolled and dove away before you were in his sights. If you haven't tried it don't knock it.

This is where roll rate came into the picture. As far as Japanese fighters were concerned, their inferior roll rate was at all speeds. Above 240, it would take the Zero 3 second before he attained bank angle for max turn. (And the airplane doesn't start turning until bank angle is established.)

Since you could see him starting to bank, which you would have anticipated, you could easily bank more quickly and establish max bank angle within 1 second, and pull whatever "Gs" necessary to establish lead.

At this speed, and with your lead already established, you could maintain lead for some time before speed bled off to where the Zero could turn inside, you got the hell out. (Don't forget same speed and same "G" equal same radius of turn. Above 220 IAS [indicated air speed in miles per hour] the radius of the circle was determined by pilots ability to withstand "Gs" [gravitational forces]. You could turn with the Zero as long as the speed was above 220 IAS.

If his reaction was only to pull. At these speed the "G" factor still applies; besides, the Zero could not take 6 "Gs," and the P-40 could pull over 9 "Gs." Most fighter pilots could "momentarily" withstand 9 "G's" or more without blacking out.

If the situation was reversed and the Zero was attacking you. Your roll rate would save your *** by allowing you to roll to max turning bank, using 6 "Gs" or more, then continue rolling to inverted and dive. Rolling 180 degrees to dive would take less than 2 seconds, the Zero took 6. The Zero would never get a shot. He couldn't get lead, and by the time he was inverted you would already be out of range, gaining speed much more rapidly than the Zero.

As can be seen from the above illustration, that in the beginning roll rate was the primary factor in starting any maneuver except the loop. [And therefore the Immelmann turn, much favored by Japanese pilots.] After bank angle was established then speed was the primary factor. To escape from a Zero, roll rate again became the primary factor, then speed.

Anyone who disagrees with the above has never been in combat, and as far as I know, few books if any bring this out.

Link (http://www.warbirdforum.com/shilling.htm)



It takes time to get feedback from those who are on the front and survive the fighting. And even then, their words will be rather mixed up.

At Miday, the few surviving pilots of the Brewster F2A Buffalo fighter and F4F Wildcats said the A6M's they met were going 400 MPH. And Midway was not at the first of the war.

It's real hard to get accurate combat data. It takes time and lots of deaths. The lucky few, if they had their eyes open, might give a tip or two. But it was the Zero they found is what finaly gave all the secrets needed.

Deaf


Um, they needn't have discovered the crashed Zero to formulate tactics, just as Japanese pilots found out that the Wildcat could be almost invulnerable to their fire; and as stated, the Hellcat and Corsair were already on the drawing board, and the P-38 Lightening was more than a match for the Zero, especially after Charles Lindbergh tweaked the fuel delivery system increasing its range and power...the Zero, while more agile than Allied types, also was vulnerable. Incidentally, the max speed of the A6M Zero was 331 mph at the typical combat altitude.


The Japanese ace Saburo Sakai described how the resilience of early Allied aircraft was a factor in preventing the Zeros from attaining total domination:

“I had full confidence in my ability to destroy the Grumman and decided to finish off the enemy fighter with only my 7.7 mm machine guns. I turned the 20mm. cannon switch to the 'off' position, and closed in. For some strange reason, even after I had poured about five or six hundred rounds of ammunition directly into the Grumman, the airplane did not fall, but kept on flying. I thought this very odd—it had never happened before—and closed the distance between the two airplanes until I could almost reach out and touch the Grumman. To my surprise, the Grumman's rudder and tail were torn to shreds, looking like an old torn piece of rag. With his plane in such condition, no wonder the pilot was unable to continue fighting! A Zero which had taken that many bullets would have been a ball of fire by now.[7]”

Designed for attack, the Zero gave precedence to long range, maneuverability,and firepower at the expense of protection—most had no self-sealing tanks or armor plate—thus many Zeros and their pilots were too easily lost in combat...

With the extreme agility of the Zero, the Allied pilots found that the appropriate combat tactic against Zeros was to remain out of range and fight on the dive and climb. By using speed and resisting the deadly error of trying to out-turn the Zero, eventually cannon or heavy machine guns (.50 caliber) could be brought to bear and a single burst of fire was usually enough to down the Zero. Such "boom-and-zoom" tactics were successful in the China Burma India Theater (CBI) against similarly maneuverable Japanese Army aircraft such as the Nakajima Ki-27 and Ki-43 by the "Flying Tigers" (American Volunteer Group). AVG pilots were trained to exploit the advantages of their P-40s; very sturdy, heavily armed, generally faster in a dive and in level flight at low altitude, with a good rate of roll.

Another important maneuver was then-Lt Cdr John S. "Jimmy" Thach's "Thach Weave", in which two fighters would fly about 200 ft (60 m) apart. When a Zero latched onto the tail of one of the fighters, the two planes would turn toward each other. If the Zero followed its original target through the turn, it would come into a position to be fired on by his target's wingman. This tactic was used to good effect at the Battle of the Coral Sea, at the Battle of Midway and over the Solomon Islands.

...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A6M_Zero

Even well before the A6M was discovered in the Aleutians, the US Naval and Army aviators had already devised tactics to deal with it...

Deaf Smith
04-06-2009, 08:28 PM
Which were aircraft similar to the A6M in performance and still more maneuverable than the P-40 Tomahawk...

Nick,

We did not know that. We knew they had different planes but not the capabilities, and that’s why the Buffalo pilots felt the A6Ms were going 400 MPH. Actually the Claude had much less performance, as well as armament, then the Ki-43 or A6M series.

We did not know at all they used carburetors (like early Spitfires) and thus a negative G maneuver would cause their engines to conk out. We did not know they could not maneuver at high speeds. Nor roll at high speeds, nor their dive limits.

Only after flying it did we find just what it's speed at different altitudes, acceleration rates, climb rates, it's exact range, it's armor (or lack of it), and many other vulnerabilities that we did use against them.

One of the new tactics that was used by the P-38, among others, was the shallow high speed climb. The A6M could not follow the P-38 when it did that (the Zero had a different best climbing angle and thus a pilot that knew that could get away from one in a climb.)

We also found out the A6M, at high speeds, could not turn to the right at all, and thus a fast turn to the right, followed by a negative G dive OR a shallow high speed climb could get you away from a Zero. This is a tactic learned from learning the flaws of the Zero they flew.



Um, they needn't have discovered the crashed Zero to formulate tactics, just as Japanese pilots found out that the Wildcat could be almost invulnerable to their fire; and as stated, the Hellcat and Corsair were already on the drawing board, and the P-38 Lightening was more than a match for the Zero, especially after Charles Lindbergh tweaked the fuel delivery system increasing its range and power...the Zero, while more agile than Allied types, also was vulnerable. Incidentally, the max speed of the A6M Zero was 331 mph at the typical combat altitude.

That's just one of the few things they learned from actual combat. We learned one or two tactics, but those tactics didn't always work as combat is situational and not set piece. And Nic, Lindy’s suggestion came way after the Aleutian Zero. And the P-38 did not even get to the Pacific till the end of 42 as did the rest of them. The P38, P47, and P51 along with the F4U did not use the same tactics as used by the Flying Tigers (they did a power dive at an ‘advantageous altitude’.) The later aircraft use BZ tactics along with the admonishment to not go below 300 kts, which nullified the A6M and Ki-43s maneuverability as above 250 kts the controls started freezing up.





Even well before the A6M was discovered in the Aleutians, the US Naval and Army aviators had already devised tactics to deal with it...

Oh, no doubt. But like I said, the tactic of just diving through or the 'thatch weave' will not cover all situations. And BTW, the 'Thatch Weave' was invented on the presumption the enemy's planes were faster than ours! The FATU Intelligence Bureau of 22 September 1941 gave the Zero a top speed of between 345 and 380mph, and that was wrong. And Thatch got his information from the Flying Tigers, and only put it in practice at Midway. And it only worked if you had two planes. To be alone was to be shot down.

The knowledge of just what the other aircraft can do .vs. yours at any altitude and any speed is a much more solid advantage.

Notice that when Tommy McGuire wrote his pamphlet on combat tactics to defeat the Japanese he emphasized not going low, slow, or heavy (and he violated those very rules and got killed.) And he wrote that much later while in the 475th.

I'm not saying the tactics they invented during battle were worthless, but that much more was learned from the A6M they recovered. It was all valuable knowledge.

Deaf

Nickdfresh
04-07-2009, 08:57 AM
Nick,

We did not know that. We knew they had different planes but not the capabilities, and that’s why the Buffalo pilots felt the A6Ms were going 400 MPH. Actually the Claude had much less performance, as well as armament, then the Ki-43 or A6M series.

We did not know at all they used carburetors (like early Spitfires) and thus a negative G maneuver would cause their engines to conk out. We did not know they could not maneuver at high speeds. Nor roll at high speeds, nor their dive limits.

Only after flying it did we find just what it's speed at different altitudes, acceleration rates, climb rates, it's exact range, it's armor (or lack of it), and many other vulnerabilities that we did use against them.

One of the new tactics that was used by the P-38, among others, was the shallow high speed climb. The A6M could not follow the P-38 when it did that (the Zero had a different best climbing angle and thus a pilot that knew that could get away from one in a climb.)

We also found out the A6M, at high speeds, could not turn to the right at all, and thus a fast turn to the right, followed by a negative G dive OR a shallow high speed climb could get you away from a Zero. This is a tactic learned from learning the flaws of the Zero they flew.



That's just one of the few things they learned from actual combat. We learned one or two tactics, but those tactics didn't always work as combat is situational and not set piece. And Nic, Lindy’s suggestion came way after the Aleutian Zero. And the P-38 did not even get to the Pacific till the end of 42 as did the rest of them. The P38, P47, and P51 along with the F4U did not use the same tactics as used by the Flying Tigers (they did a power dive at an ‘advantageous altitude’.) The later aircraft use BZ tactics along with the admonishment to not go below 300 kts, which nullified the A6M and Ki-43s maneuverability as above 250 kts the controls started freezing up.





Oh, no doubt. But like I said, the tactic of just diving through or the 'thatch weave' will not cover all situations. And BTW, the 'Thatch Weave' was invented on the presumption the enemy's planes were faster than ours! The FATU Intelligence Bureau of 22 September 1941 gave the Zero a top speed of between 345 and 380mph, and that was wrong. And Thatch got his information from the Flying Tigers, and only put it in practice at Midway. And it only worked if you had two planes. To be alone was to be shot down.

The knowledge of just what the other aircraft can do .vs. yours at any altitude and any speed is a much more solid advantage.

Notice that when Tommy McGuire wrote his pamphlet on combat tactics to defeat the Japanese he emphasized not going low, slow, or heavy (and he violated those very rules and got killed.) And he wrote that much later while in the 475th.

I'm not saying the tactics they invented during battle were worthless, but that much more was learned from the A6M they recovered. It was all valuable knowledge.

Deaf

All irrelevant as the US aviators were still beating the A6M pilots even before they knew specifics on the Zero. I'm not saying recovering a usable Zero didn't help and certainly benefited pilot training; but you're making statements such as basically US pilots were being shot out of the air left and right prior to the recovery, which are patently false and contrary to the very battle you cited, Midway, and not supported by actual facts. And they are silly frankly and counter to this websites' charter...

Your original comments are were exaggerations and you really don't know what you are talking about. And you are borderline argument trolling, as you ignore points you cannot answer, such as:

-tactics to counter the flying abilities of the Zero existed before the US acquired a downed Zero in good condition, of which you back peddled a bit

-the Hellcat and Corsair flew before extensive air combat between the US and Japan and the Hellcat received few updates after it became operational

-there was no slaughter of US pilots prior the acquisition of the Zero and they were able to win key battles and hold their own despite flying against a more maneuverable machine

-US pilots shot down were more likely to survive in a Wildcat than Japanese ones were in their unarmored Zeros

-the Japanese are the ones that lost over 400 or so irreplaceable, elite pilots by the end of the Guadalcanal Campaign despite the advantages of the Zero, so it was the Japanese pilots that were taking the beating

I am not aware of hard numbers in air to air combat, but it would seem that aerial losses in dogfights between US and Japanese pilots were about even. I would also add that the USN had a far superior air-sea rescue and recovery program than did the IJNAF...

Deaf Smith
04-07-2009, 08:46 PM
All irrelevant as the US aviators were still beating the A6M pilots even before they knew specifics on the Zero. I'm not saying recovering a usable Zero didn't help and certainly benefited pilot training; but you're making statements such as basically US pilots were being shot out of the air left and right prior to the recovery, which are patently false and contrary to the very battle you cited, Midway, and not supported by actual facts. And they are silly frankly and counter to this websites' charter...

Were they beating them at Clark in the Philippines in '42? Were they beating them at Java in '42. New Guinea? Wake?



-tactics to counter the flying abilities of the Zero existed before the US acquired a downed Zero in good condition, of which you back peddled a bit

Nick, the tactic to get above and dive through a formation requires you to first get above and dive... That was very much not to be counted on. And the Thatch Weave was purely defensive and required two planes to work. We had some tactics that could would under certian circumstances, but they were not a universal cure to the Japanese fighters.



-the Hellcat and Corsair flew before extensive air combat between the US and Japan and the Hellcat received few updates after it became operational

Depends on what you mean flew. This link goes to a very good website on the subject of what flew when and flight characteristics of many of the planes, including the Zero and Ki-43.

http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/

and on the F6F in particular:

http://www.aviation-history.com/grumman/f6f.html

The first operational assignments for the F6F started in January 16, 1943. The full evaluation of the Aleutian Zero was published in December 1942.

http://www.warbirdforum.com/diego.pdf

But that's published. The Zero's performace was checked against the F6F in development and the F6F modified in a few areas as a result.

The F4U didn't even get out of development till '43.

So you see the lessons learned from the Aleutian Zero were used by these two aircraft.



-there was no slaughter of US pilots prior the acquisition of the Zero and they were able to win key battles and hold their own despite flying against a more maneuverable machine

Nick, the first several months of the war we were losing pilots left and right. Do you know how many pilots we lost at Midway? Java,, New Guinea, Wake? True in many cases they were flying P-39s, F2A, P-400s, and the like. But you fight with what you have, not with what you want.



-US pilots shot down were more likely to survive in a Wildcat than Japanese ones were in their unarmored Zeros

Don't dispute that! Until the Ki-61 had a crude self sealing tank the Japanese didn't have any way to stop a fire, even in their G4M was called the 'flying cigar'.



-the Japanese are the ones that lost over 400 or so irreplaceable, elite pilots by the end of the Guadalcanal Campaign despite the advantages of the Zero, so it was the Japanese pilots that were taking the beating

The Japanese at Guadalcanal were based on Bouganville. At the very far end of the reach of the A6M fighters range. They could not stay more than a few minutes over Henderson field. Their position was simular to the Germans at the Battle of Britian. Any damaged aircraft had a slim chance of making it back to base. And since the Japanese pilots mostly eschewed wearing parachutes not to mention little air-sea rescue, well a downed aircraft ment death.



I am not aware of hard numbers in air to air combat, but it would seem that aerial losses in dogfights between US and Japanese pilots were about even. I would also add that the USN had a far superior air-sea rescue and recovery program than did the IJNAF...

Do a google on such as "pilot losses Japan Guadalcanal", "pilot losses American Guadalcanal", and such. The facts are out there.

Deaf

Nickdfresh
04-08-2009, 04:10 AM
Were they beating them at Clark in the Philippines in '42? Were they beating them at Java in '42. New Guinea? Wake?

Why not point out Pearl Harbor, which was another surprise attack? Although, when planes actually got aloft, they inflicted roughly a 1:1 kill ratio. Each instance above, the Japanese caught the US/Dutch on the ground, flying older aircraft, and completely cut off from any hope of relief...

I could also point to how members of the Filipino Air Force actually shot down Japanese aircraft using the primitive of mono wing fighters such as the "Peashooter"...


Nick, the tactic to get above and dive through a formation requires you to first get above and dive... That was very much not to be counted on. And the Thatch Weave was purely defensive and required two planes to work. We had some tactics that could would under certian circumstances, but they were not a universal cure to the Japanese fighters.

They're tactics. Are we now quibbling over the definition of "tactics?" Neither were the only tactics used by Allied pilots...incidentally, the "Thatch Weave" continued use throughout the War even with the arrival of superior US aircraft...


Depends on what you mean flew. This link goes to a very good website on the subject of what flew when and flight characteristics of many of the planes, including the Zero and Ki-43.

http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/

and on the F6F in particular:

http://www.aviation-history.com/grumman/f6f.html

The first operational assignments for the F6F started in January 16, 1943. The full evaluation of the Aleutian Zero was published in December 1942.

http://www.warbirdforum.com/diego.pdf

But that's published. The Zero's performace was checked against the F6F in development and the F6F modified in a few areas as a result.

The F4U didn't even get out of development till '43.

So you see the lessons learned from the Aleutian Zero were used by these two aircraft.


What exactly do the above links prove other than desperate "Google-phu?" The Hellcats weren't operation until the beginning of 1943, but what does that have to do with when they first flew and when the first A6M Zero came into US hands? It was the air battles that revealed the superior maneuverability of Japanese aircraft, not the crashed Zero. The Hellcat already was earmarked to receive the upgraded, 2000 BHP, Pratt and Whitney engine before the Zero technical spec's were published and it was flown seven (June 1942, and was ordered a year prior) months before the Hellcat was deployed. The "lessons" were learned in battles throughout the Pacific, and the newer spec'd engine had 300 more horsepower than the original variant, which wouldn't account for the superiority of the Hellcat airframe. Crashed Zero or not, the Hellcat was still to be a superior aircraft in the hands of good pilots against the fading competence of the IJNAF aviators. The air war was one of a battle of attrition...


Nick, the first several months of the war we were losing pilots left and right. Do you know how many pilots we lost at Midway? Java,, New Guinea, Wake? True in many cases they were flying P-39s, F2A, P-400s, and the like. But you fight with what you have, not with what you want.

How many pilots did we lose at Midway? How many aircraft and pilots did the Japanese lose?

Um, and Wake was surrounded by a superior force and cut off. What exactly does that "prove?"

Which units flew at Java? And I wasn't talking about the P-39 since it had notoriously poor high level performance, but was actually a good match for any aircraft at low level, but the Japanese chose not to fight down to their oppositions' ceiling relegating the P-39/400s to support of USN and USMC fighters and ground attack -at which they excelled.

The P-40 was also a match for the Zero when used correctly in the hands of US and Australian pilots...

And there were only 12 Wildcats at Wake, so I guess we lost about 12 pilots killed or captured sadly. They did put up a notable fight though...



Don't dispute that! Until the Ki-61 had a crude self sealing tank the Japanese didn't have any way to stop a fire, even in their G4M was called the 'flying cigar'.

The Japanese at Guadalcanal were based on Bouganville. At the very far end of the reach of the A6M fighters range.

They could not stay more than a few minutes over Henderson field. Their position was simular to the Germans at the Battle of Britian. Any damaged aircraft had a slim chance of making it back to base. And since the Japanese pilots mostly eschewed wearing parachutes not to mention little air-sea rescue, well a downed aircraft ment death.

They began to receive "long range" Zeros and I believe began operations from a base that was closer to the Solomons that became operational later in the battle (on Rabul? I'll check later). The Zeros also tended to outnumber the Cactus Air Force and the defender also had the disadvantage of having to attack the ground attack sorties of the Vals, Kates, and G4Ms --while attempting to avoid fighters...


Do a google on such as "pilot losses Japan Guadalcanal", "pilot losses American Guadalcanal", and such. The facts are out there.

Deaf

Why don't you "Google" it? I'm reading about Guadalcanal right now, and the loss rates of fighter aircraft seem to be about even, with the total losses by the Japanese to be higher, especially the loss of critical pilots...

Nickdfresh
04-08-2009, 04:33 AM
As an example, as for the Battle of Wake Island, four F4F Wildcats of the Marine Squadron VMA-211 shot down 7-8 Japanese aircraft and damaged 20 --plus sank the IJN destroyer Kisaragi-- for the loss of 12 Wildcats total, seven or eight of which were destroyed on the ground in the initial attack....

Not a bad trade off...

The total number of pilots lost was 13 killed or captured...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Wake_Island

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VMF-211

The Zero was superior to the Wildcat in most respects, but it was hardly overwhelmingly dominant, and the Japanese failed to achieve any sort of air superiority with it early in the War against somewhat inferior US machines...

Nickdfresh
04-08-2009, 04:31 PM
...

They began to receive "long range" Zeros and I believe began operations from a base that was closer to the Solomons that became operational later in the battle (on Rabul? I'll check later). The Zeros also tended to outnumber the Cactus Air Force and the defender also had the disadvantage of having to attack the ground attack sorties of the Vals, Kates, and G4Ms --while attempting to avoid fighters...
...


Using "Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle" by Richard B. Frank as a source, I now realize that the main Japanese base was indeed located at Rabul, which did cause difficulties and fatigue of Japanese pilots. A base was constructed closer to Guadalcanal, located on Buin, but difficulties in terrain frustrated construction for three critical months until November of 1942. The IJN was able to deploy "Long-range Zeros" (A6M Model 21s) and they had an adequate loiter time over Henderson Field than the Model 32s, which had better performance at higher altitudes but at the cost of range and maneuverability.

It should be noted that the Catus Air Force also suffered from fatigue in poor living conditions, chronic shortages, and occasional shelling from the IJN...

Deaf Smith
04-09-2009, 09:45 PM
Nick,

When you say the kill ratio was 1:1, that means an even swap. That's not exactly being on top or being able to ‘deal with’ them. The F6F, F4U, and others had way higher kill ratios.

And that's the whole point. By that time we understood the Japanese fighters and how to defeat them reliably. The only scenarios left where the Japanese fighters (with exceptions of the George, Jack, Tony, and the few others that had better performance than the A6M or Ki-43) could reliably win were low altitude low speed encounters (which made it difficult for an American fighter to escape), and zoom climbs at low speed.

By then we understood all the weakness and how to exploit them under most encounters.

Deaf

Nickdfresh
04-11-2009, 08:23 AM
Nick,

When you say the kill ratio was 1:1, that means an even swap. That's not exactly being on top or being able to ‘deal with’ them. The F6F, F4U, and others had way higher kill ratios.

And that's the whole point. By that time we understood the Japanese fighters and how to defeat them reliably. The only scenarios left where the Japanese fighters (with exceptions of the George, Jack, Tony, and the few others that had better performance than the A6M or Ki-43) could reliably win were low altitude low speed encounters (which made it difficult for an American fighter to escape), and zoom climbs at low speed.

By then we understood all the weakness and how to exploit them under most encounters.

Deaf

Um, what's your point or argument is here? I never said it was anything better than an even swap. It was you that was implying that US pilots were having their asses handed to them by the Zero A6M (as well as the Ki-43 Oscar, which was pretty much the IJA version for all practical purposes) and were being shot down left and right that was only rectified by the finding of a intact crashed Zero. The truth is that US pilots held their own against what were often better trained and seasoned pilots until they got better, and a new generation of fighters arrived to tip the balance of attrition into the US' favor. And while the Japanese fighters had superior aeronautical trim characteristics, they were inferior in armament and were fragile allowing the Americans some measure of edge..

Few encounters took place at low level, and US fighters only had to dive to escape. Incidentally, the 1:1 was just a rough guess, and it may well have been a bit more in the US aviator's favor, I don't know. But even at that even ratio, the advantage still went to the US as fighter losses would become just a blip on the production and US pilots would be replaced far more readily...

Rising Sun*
04-11-2009, 09:10 AM
It has been touched on in various posts above but not condensed into one post as I will try to do here.

Whatever the relative advantages and disadvantages of the Japanese and Allied aircraft, factors of equal or greater contribution to Allied victory flowed from (a) a different concept of the worth of the life of the pilot, in many senses, and (b) how he should be trained.

(a) The worth of the life of the pilot was less in Japanese than Allied thinking, with the result that, for example, less protection was provided for the pilot in armour and less survivability of the plane he was in with self-sealing tanks. Admittedly, the Allies, then being Britain allied with itself and its dominions, were equally deficient in pilot protection against Germany early in WII by not providing armour protection for the pilot, but at least they learned that lesson early and corrected it where the Japanese largely didn’t.

(b) Japanese training was fairly lengthy compared with American training and aimed to imbue the pilot with a warrior spirit linked to past myths, not unlike some Nazi training of German forces. Allied training just worked on a fairly pragmatic basis of training pilots in the mechanics of flying and instructing them in relevant tactics etc, which produced adequate pilots more quickly than the Japanese approach.

When those two aspects are combined with the relative populations of Japan and America, the latter being the primary Allied combatant against Japanese air forces, and with the relative industrial and training capacities of both nations it was inevitable that Japan would start to run out of pilots sooner or later and that America would produce pilots in greater numbers than Japan could.

As the Battle of Britain showed, when Britain’s declining pilot numbers put it at risk while it had a relatively ample supply of planes, it doesn’t matter how many or how good a nation’s planes are if it doesn’t have the pilots to fly them effectively in combat. Which, a bare six months into its Pacific War, began not to be the case for Japan and which just got steadily worse from there on, for the reasons outlined at (a) and (b) which have nothing to do with the technical abilities of the opposing aircraft.

Deaf Smith
04-11-2009, 04:29 PM
Um, what's your point or argument is here? I never said it was anything better than an even swap. It was you that was implying that US pilots were having their asses handed to them by the Zero A6M (as well as the Ki-43 Oscar, which was pretty much the IJA version for all practical purposes) and were being shot down left and right that was only rectified by the finding of a intact crashed Zero. The truth is that US pilots held their own against what were often better trained and seasoned pilots until they got better, and a new generation of fighters arrived to tip the balance of attrition into the US' favor. And while the Japanese fighters had superior aeronautical trim characteristics, they were inferior in armament and were fragile allowing the Americans some measure of edge..

Few encounters took place at low level, and US fighters only had to dive to escape. Incidentally, the 1:1 was just a rough guess, and it may well have been a bit more in the US aviator's favor, I don't know. But even at that even ratio, the advantage still went to the US as fighter losses would become just a blip on the production and US pilots would be replaced far more readily...

Nick,

At the first of the war the only aircraft we had to fight them with consisted of the P-36, P-39, P-40, F2A, F4F, as well as CA-13 Boomerang (Australian) and a few Hurricanes and Spitfires. We did try the tactics you have mentioned. They were not appliable to all the fighters used. Many of our pilots did die and our 'clocks' were cleaned.

Notice what happened to teh F2A pilots at Midway.

http://www.warbirdforum.com/midway.htm

The P-39 and P-400 faired badly at Guadalcanal and Port Moresby. Saburo Sakai considered the P-39 easy meat.

It helped but the best we got was 1:1 ratio. It was only after we captured the A6M Alutian fighter and unlocked it's 'secrets' did we start getting much higher kill ratios. That is the point. Even if everyone had of headed Chennault's warnings (and it turned out we actually did have the A6M's characteristcs as one of our radio code breakers before the war went to a Japanese airshow and sure enough the A6M was on display along with a chart showing it's speed, max range, max ceiling, and wingspan, length, horsepower, and other specs.)

One or two advantagious manuvers does not make a winning combination. It takes an understanding of the aircrafts strong/weak points .vs. your aircraft.

Deaf

Nickdfresh
04-11-2009, 05:31 PM
Nick,

At the first of the war the only aircraft we had to fight them with consisted of the P-36, P-39, P-40, F2A, F4F, as well as CA-13 Boomerang (Australian) and a few Hurricanes and Spitfires. We did try the tactics you have mentioned. They were not appliable to all the fighters used. Many of our pilots did die and our 'clocks' were cleaned.

Notice what happened to teh F2A pilots at Midway.

I'm not sure if the P-36 ever saw active service with the US in WWII, and don't foprget the P-38 which was sent to the Pacific just after Midway I believe...

And what of Midway? Over 400 Japanese pilots were killed and according to Wiki, the US lost 98 aircraft and the Japanese lost 248...is that having "our clocks cleaned?" Really?

And if you are talking about the singular bombing raid on the Midway Atoll installation, I think you should be aware that the defenders were at a disadvantage because they detected the Japanese late and were unable to get their aircraft to a proper interception altitude. They also had Brewster Buffaloes which was a shoddy, miserable aircraft --unless one was Finnish-- as they solved many of its flaws and apparently loved it as much as the Red Air Force loved the Aerocobra...


http://www.warbirdforum.com/midway.htm

The P-39 and P-400 faired badly at Guadalcanal and Port Moresby. Saburo Sakai considered the P-39 easy meat.

Didn't I already mention this like three times now?

Yes, the P-39/400 was a poor performer at higher combat ceilings and nearly useless as an interceptor. But it was made somewhat more effective when used in tandem with Marine and Navy Wildcats as the latter fighters could cover the higher altitudes while the Army pilots would try to draw the Japanese fighters down - again, tactics...


It helped but the best we got was 1:1 ratio.

So, how is a 1:1 kill ration "getting our clocks cleaned?" And I haven't counted, but in the excellent, but very long & extraneous, book I'm taking forever to read on Guadalcanal now (by Richard B. Frank), I would say that in fact the Japanese lost more Zeros than the US did Wildcats and Aerocobras. The P-38 Lightenings came later and increase the effectiveness of fighter interception still more...


It was only after we captured the A6M Alutian fighter and unlocked it's 'secrets' did we start getting much higher kill ratios. That is the point. Even if everyone had of headed Chennault's warnings (and it turned out we actually did have the A6M's characteristcs as one of our radio code breakers before the war went to a Japanese airshow and sure enough the A6M was on display along with a chart showing it's speed, max range, max ceiling, and wingspan, length, horsepower, and other specs.)

Oh please, stop with the dramatic "secrets" stuff. The recover certainly helped training and tactics, but it wasn't all that big of a factor and had little overall impact. The US still would have deployed the same Hellcats and Corsairs, optimized P-38s (the fuel system was tweaked, and the Lightening shot down more Japanese aircraft that anything else) after the end of 1942...


One or two advantagious manuvers does not make a winning combination. It takes an understanding of the aircrafts strong/weak points .vs. your aircraft.

Deaf

If does if it wins one battles and turned the tide of the War at Midway...

Deaf Smith
04-11-2009, 08:23 PM
I'm not sure if the P-36 ever saw active service with the US in WWII, and don't foprget the P-38 which was sent to the Pacific just after Midway I believe......

And four Curtiss P-36 Hawks were able to get airborne in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and shot down two Japanese Nakajima B5N bombers. We didn't use many but we did use some.



And what of Midway? Over 400 Japanese pilots were killed and according to Wiki, the US lost 98 aircraft and the Japanese lost 248...is that having "our clocks cleaned?" Really?...

Were all the 400 pilots killed at Midway shot down? Were even 1/4th of them shot down?



And if you are talking about the singular bombing raid on the Midway Atoll installation, I think you should be aware that the defenders were at a disadvantage because they detected the Japanese late and were unable to get their aircraft to a proper interception altitude. They also had Brewster Buffaloes which was a shoddy, miserable aircraft --unless one was Finnish-- as they solved many of its flaws and apparently loved it as much as the Red Air Force loved the Aerocobra......

And the fact we were at disadvantages on Midway Atol and with the P-39/P-400 is the what I mean by air combat is situational. You don't always have an altitude advantage, or speed. But by understanding the enemys aircraft's strength and weeknesses you can exploite then in many more ways that just one or two tactics.



Didn't I already mention this like three times now?...

BUT THAT IS WHAT WE HAD! And yes, they had their clocks cleaned. The only two aircraft that could hold their own was the F4F and P-40, and only in certian circumstances. The other aircraft could not and paid the price. Dead pilots are dead pilots reguradless if it's a P-400 or P40.




Yes, the P-39/400 was a poor performer at higher combat ceilings and nearly useless as an interceptor. But it was made somewhat more effective when used in tandem with Marine and Navy Wildcats as the latter fighters could cover the higher altitudes while the Army pilots would try to draw the Japanese fighters down - again, tactics......

That happend only when we had the right circumstances. Many times we could not cover and we sure didn't at the first of the war.



So, how is a 1:1 kill ration "getting our clocks cleaned?" And I haven't counted, but in the excellent, but very long & extraneous, book I'm taking forever to read on Guadalcanal now (by Richard B. Frank), I would say that in fact the Japanese lost more Zeros than the US did Wildcats and Aerocobras. The P-38 Lightenings came later and increase the effectiveness of fighter interception still more......

Nick, what about other planes lost? It was not fighter .vs. fighter combat.



Oh please, stop with the dramatic "secrets" stuff. The recover certainly helped training and tactics, but it wasn't all that big of a factor and had little overall impact. The US still would have deployed the same Hellcats and Corsairs, optimized P-38s (the fuel system was tweaked, and the Lightening shot down more Japanese aircraft that anything else) after the end of 1942...
...

Considering we were producting 10 times as much as Japan, P-40s and F4Fs would have sufficed. And the P-38s fuel system was not tweaked. All they did was put the mixture to lean, high manfold pressure, low RPM. Nothing was done to the engines on ANY of our planes (and all were improved by Charles Lindenburg's techinque. But even Amelia Earhart learned that from Lindy back in 1937. Pitty Roosevelt kicked Lindy out of the service. We could have used it before WW2.)



If does if it wins one battles and turned the tide of the War at Midway...

SDB's turned the tide at Midway, not any fighter Nick.

Deaf

Nickdfresh
04-11-2009, 10:25 PM
And four Curtiss P-36 Hawks were able to get airborne in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and shot down two Japanese Nakajima B5N bombers. We didn't use many but we did use some.

Correct. Only, Wiki claims five got aloft they shot down two Zeros, not bombers, in exchange for one P-36 shot down - for what it is worth and Wiki might or might not be correct on this...


Were all the 400 pilots killed at Midway shot down? Were even 1/4th of them shot down?

I don't know. Many obviously died on the carriers, but then, does it matter? Did the US pilots "get their clocks cleaned" then?


And the fact we were at disadvantages on Midway Atol and with the P-39/P-400 is the what I mean by air combat is situational. You don't always have an altitude advantage, or speed. But by understanding the enemys aircraft's strength and weeknesses you can exploite then in many more ways that just one or two tactics.

Um, there were were no AAF units flying P-39s at Midway Atoll...it was mostly Buffaloes with some Wildcats...


BUT THAT IS WHAT WE HAD! And yes, they had their clocks cleaned. The only two aircraft that could hold their own was the F4F and P-40, and only in certian circumstances. The other aircraft could not and paid the price. Dead pilots are dead pilots reguradless if it's a P-400 or P40.

Um, the Wildcat and Tomahawk were the main USAAF and USN fighters, and you're forgetting about the P-38, which was a pre-War design that again shot down the most Japanese aircraft by a fairily wide margin. The rest relegated to secondary combat duty of ground attack, such as on Guadalcanal, in which the Aerocobra excelled...

BTW, do you have any conclusive facts showing how the Zero so dominated US fighters that it actually altered the outcome of any major battle? I certainly can't. There was The Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal, and in every case US fighter pilots held their own and the IJN never had air superiority...


That happend only when we had the right circumstances. Many times we could not cover and we sure didn't at the first of the war.

Um, WTF are you talking about? Right circumstances? It happened when pilots did it!


Nick, what about other planes lost? It was not fighter .vs. fighter combat.

Um, please read the book, then form you opinion, most were fighter vs. fighter. Some were AAA fire, and some were mechanical failure...the latter two circumstances mitigates nothing, since the Wildcats and P-39s were usually outnumbered by Zeroes...


Considering we were producting 10 times as much as Japan, P-40s and F4Fs would have sufficed.

But I thought they were so inferior? In any case, the development of newer aircraft was started even before the War...


And the P-38s fuel system was not tweaked. All they did was put the mixture to lean, high manfold pressure, low RPM. Nothing was done to the engines on ANY of our planes (and all were improved by Charles Lindenburg's techinque. But even Amelia Earhart learned that from Lindy back in 1937. Pitty Roosevelt kicked Lindy out of the service. We could have used it before WW2.)

Um, the "manifold" regulates the air-fuel mixture making it part of the fuel system. Nice Google-phu though...I didn't say "engines"...


SDB's turned the tide at Midway, not any fighter Nick.

Deaf

Just like the Vals and the Kates mostly turned the tide at Pearl Harbor...

But the Zeroes failed to stop them...

BTW, I'm beginning to get sick of you repeating yourself and quibbling at every point, which sort of seems like trolling...

Rising Sun*
04-12-2009, 06:21 AM
Going back to my earlier post about the relative numbers of pilots and the speed of training being at least as, or perhaps even more important than, the technical aspects of planes:


Were all the 400 pilots killed at Midway shot down? Were even 1/4th of them shot down?

Does it matter how they died? After all


Dead pilots are dead pilots reguradless if it's a P-400 or P40.

Or whether they're sunk on carrier, or all die of the pox. The result is the same for the air capability of the relevant nation.

Rising Sun*
04-12-2009, 06:30 AM
BTW, I'm beginning to get sick of you repeating yourself and quibbling at every point, which sort of seems like trolling...

Nick, Mate, as an independent observer of this thread I don't see it that way.

I see you and Deaf Smith as both making fair and sensible points in an interesting and vigorous debate on a very worthwhile topic.

As an independent observer, I think the difficulty is that the points of difference you each place emphasis on are points which the other doesn't see as equally or even particularly significant, e.g. the importance or lack thereof of the captured Japanese plane, so you're not always talking at the same level about the same thing.

Nickdfresh
04-12-2009, 08:58 AM
I think we're just spinning our wheels with the same points...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teMlv3ripSM

The problem being that on a historical website with just a smidgen of pretension on accuracy, then statements such as "getting their clocks cleaned" despite a good amount of accuracy to the contrary seems a bit dodgy...

Rising Sun*
04-12-2009, 09:12 AM
I think we're just spinning our wheels with the same points...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teMlv3ripSM




What is required is rigourous interrogation, with Deaf Smith put upon the rack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gldlyTjXk9A

Nickdfresh
04-12-2009, 10:43 AM
What is required is rigourous interrogation, with Deaf Smith put upon the rack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gldlyTjXk9A

Yes yes! He wouldn't expect it! Because NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!!!

Rising Sun*
04-12-2009, 10:46 AM
Yes yes! He wouldn't expect it! Because NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!!!

Exactly! :mrgreen:

Rising Sun*
04-12-2009, 11:17 AM
Yes yes! He wouldn't expect it! Because NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!!!

True, but getting back to the topic the fact remains that the British were much more flexible in their training than the rigid Japanese.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol5Dfs7jqFI

Nickdfresh
04-12-2009, 12:36 PM
Yes. Their flexible, unconventional means spawned men of valour and gallantry...

This is their story (beginning at 2:26)...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWWPk9jrvqk&feature=related

Then of course, we shall see the intricate, brilliantly executed Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMqSmiC_xHg

Rising Sun*
04-12-2009, 02:18 PM
Then of course, we shall see the intricate, brilliantly executed Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor...


Brilliantly executed by men such as these.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh_shsRfXqk

Deaf Smith
04-12-2009, 06:41 PM
Put me on the rack?

Hmmmm. 5th dan TKD, Krav Maga, IDPA expert and above in all classifications, IPSC class 'A'. Ok. Just try it guys.....

Rising Sun,

The mention of 400 killed has to do with weither we had a full handle on the Japanese fighters (kill ratio that is.) Most of our pilots did die in either combat or aircraft accidents (we, and the Japanese had ALOT of accidents.)

The Japanese, according to the book, "Combined Fleet Decoded", it said that the Japanese lost more planes and pilots to accidents in the pacfic than n combat. And those lost on the carriers certinaly didn't die in their aircraft (well actully, I bet some were sitting in it when the SDBs dropped their eggs.)

Anyway, let's just say as the war progressed and we learned more and more about the enemy, we did better and the Japanse did alot worse.

Deaf

Digger
04-13-2009, 03:43 AM
The one thing certain after Midway is that the flaws in their pilot training programme ensured they would never again sufficiently train pilots to a standard as high as Japan's enemies. Pilot quality declined after Midway, though there were still good, experienced pilots around they would succumb to better trained pilots, more modern aircraft of the Allies.

This was also true of the Japanese war industry, incapable of replacing losses, especially with warships.

digger

Rising Sun*
04-13-2009, 08:47 AM
Put me on the rack?

Hmmmm. 5th dan TKD, Krav Maga, IDPA expert and above in all classifications, IPSC class 'A'. Ok. Just try it guys.....

I don't think you need any of that to defeat the rack in the Spanish Inquistion video. ;)

I assume that TKD is Tae Kwon Do, but what's the other stuff?


Anyway, let's just say as the war progressed and we learned more and more about the enemy, we did better and the Japanse did alot worse.
Deaf

That about sums it up.

Leaving aside the stuff you and Nick have been discussing which apply at the micro level of individual combat, I think the reasons were more to do with factors at the macro level related to national attitudes and resources, notably industrial capacity, which were what made it virtually inevitable that America would defeat Japan.

Of course, if Midway had gone Japan's way it would have taken America longer to win, but the result of the contest was never in doubt as long as America maintained its will to win as Japan could never defeat America on the American continent or even launch a half-way serious invasion, regardless of the fears of the American public at the time.

Deaf Smith
04-13-2009, 06:46 PM
I don't think you need any of that to defeat the rack in the Spanish Inquistion video. ;)

I assume that TKD is Tae Kwon Do, but what's the other stuff?

Israel Martial Arts. Krav Maga is what the IDF uses. No fancy kicks but lots of elbows, knees, punches, head butts, and low kicks. Grappling to. We had a lady come watch the class. We were on the floor with pads punching and elbowing the pads. She had this look of horror on her face. I suspect she thought the class was going to be like what the 'karate kid' took.

IDPA stands for International Defense Pistol Association. We compete using carry guns conceled and more-or-less combat tactics (lots of debate on what is the 'best' tactics.) My carry gun is a Glock 27 .40, and IDPA gun is a Glock 26 9mm. The 9mm is cheeper to shoot but looks and feels exactly like the 27.

IPSC stands for International Practical Shooting Confederation. It's pure game and we shoot alot of ammo. I still use a Glock in it though. Granged a Glock 17 9mm. Bigger than my 26 but that's just the barrel being longer grip frame longer. Still feels pretty much the same as the smaller Glocks.

If you ever go to the board, 'Glock Talk', you will find a 'Deaf Smith'. I love to shoot and I love to fight. But when I was in junior high I was a WW2 buff and I read all kinds of books on the subject. Even today I have a fair library on in. Even several books signed by Aces.



Of course, if Midway had gone Japan's way it would have taken America longer to win, but the result of the contest was never in doubt as long as America maintained its will to win as Japan could never defeat America on the American continent or even launch a half-way serious invasion, regardless of the fears of the American public at the time.

I totaly agree. The Japanese lost the war on day one. I've even seen articles that said even if they had got some carriers at Perl Harbor we still would have just built more and it would have ended the same.

Deaf

Carl Schwamberger
04-19-2009, 06:29 PM
Even had the carriers been built, the several hundred pilots plus needed to equip them would not have been available until mid to late 1942. This was when American air power began to be felt.

digger

A way late post, and perhaps a unwanted return to topic....

The USN had a reserve pilot training program in the 1930s. It brought in several thousand young men, gave them a year or so of pilot and naval officer training, then training complete released to reserve status. When the Emergency War Powers Act of 1940 triggered the mobilization of late 1940 this large pool of pilots were brough back into active naval service. Some were infact present in combat from the start in 1941. The remainder represented a large pool of naval aviators which would have been available to fill out the aircrews of the extra carriers.

Rising Sun*
04-19-2009, 06:44 PM
A way late post, and perhaps a unwanted return to topic....

The USN had a reserve pilot training program in the 1930s. It brought in several thousand young men, gave them a year or so of pilot and naval officer training, then training complete released to reserve status. When the Emergency War Powers Act of 1940 triggered the mobilization of late 1940 this large pool of pilots were brough back into active naval service. Some were infact present in combat from the start in 1941. The remainder represented a large pool of naval aviators which would have been available to fill out the aircrews of the extra carriers.

Interesting.

I wonder if Japan had anything similar?

I've read quite a number of memoirs by Japanese soldiers, many of whom were called up for service in China pre-war, released, and then called up again during the war. I can't recall if this applied to the IJN.

I suspect it wouldn't apply to IJN pilots as the nature and length of their training put them in a special class, and also because the IJN didn't play any air war role in China as far as I'm aware, or if it did it was probably pretty minor.

Still, did the IJN have any reserve of pilots?

R Leonard
04-20-2009, 08:49 PM
USN - New Aviators Designated
1938 - 543
1939 - 450
1940 - 708
1941 - 3112
1942 - 10868
1943 - 20843
1944 - 21067
1945 - 8880

Rich