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The Planes That WON the War in the Pacific

Discussion in 'Air War in the Pacific' started by EagleSquadron12, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. NavyLT

    NavyLT New Member

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    Well, the title of the threat is "Planes that WON the War" but you are spot on to say submarines were so invaluable. The sinking of the IJN Carrier Shokaku by the SS Cavalla was a spectacular engagement! Not to mention the supply lines shut down by the undersea warriors!

    I would say, regarding Boeing bombers being the plane that WON the war would be good if the zeros would not shoot them down. With the exception of "Old 666" most bomber missions would not have shut down Japanese production without American fighters decimating the Japanese fighter force first. This dynamic you suggest was, in fact, how it played out in Europe, but Japan was not producing ships and planes like the Americans even without bombing of the Japanese mainland. There have been that said no matter how long the war went on, America would have outlasted Japan through shear war production.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
  2. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    My idea of an aircraft "peaking", is it's usefulness and overall effectiveness in it's designed and designated role it was built for, which for the P-40, was to be a Fighter, not a dive bomber, or Ground support aircraft. 1942 was when almost every single P-40 squadron, whether it was with the USAAF, the RAF, the RAAF, the RNZAF, were using the P-40 almost entirely to be a fighter. That is why I say 1942 was it's "peak". Sure it was used well after that, but not as a pure fighter like it was supposed to be.
     
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The A6M was hardpressed as a B-29 interceptor - it's performance really fell of at that altitude, the A6M's armament was anemic for a bomber interceptor, and any interception required a good bit of advance warning to climb to altitude and get into position for intercept(this was often lacking even late in the war). The N1K2-J was somewhat better with it's 4 20mm armament, but it still lacked high altitude performance and warning coordination. Further, the Japanese essentially lacked a good night fighter and radar coordination to best utilize such night fighters.

    Old 666 was a photo-reconnaissance B-17...and lingered over their target for half an hour or more...Of course the Japanese fighter are going to come up to intercept it, and have an easy time of making the interception.
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    In the Pacific, CBI, and the Med, the P-40 was most certainly used as a fighter throughout 1943...In fact, it served in China as a fighter well into 1944. It was pressed into ground attack in these theaters mostly because it was available in numbers, whereas dedicated ground attack aircraft were not near as numerous, if available at all. You need to really look at the Why They Were Used as much as the How...
     
  5. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I know why the P-40's were used, as you reiterated many times, they were available in large numbers while all the other USAAF aircraft were being sent to Europe first, or were obsolete by then. The P-40 was absolutely a fantastic and helpful aircraft in the fighter and ground attack role, I am not saying that isn't true, I am saying that in the overall success of the war in the PACIFIC, the P-40 had less to do with victory than many of the Navy models and Heavy Bombers. It still played a role, just not as crucial as others....
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I would disagree...While the P-40 may not have played a "Crucial" role in the Central Pacific thrust, it did play a "crucial" role in the SWPA thrust. Just as the "Navy types" played far less of a role in the SWPA, then they did in the Cemtral Pacific. Now, for victory in the Pacific, the maintenance of these two thrusts simultaneously was the key to victory, as it kept the Japanese off balance, and never allowed the Japanese to concentrate their forces to defeat either thrust. And, of course, the P-40 played a very crucial role in the CBI, where "navy types" did not venture until the war was almost over.
     
  7. green slime

    green slime Member

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    It was never intended to be a "pure" fighter. It was intended to be a "pursuit" aircraft, as per the reasoning when designed that the bomber always got through.

    That said, the P-40, and the attrition of the IJNAF it imposed in the SWPA, and it's continued contributions throughout was as critical in winning the war as any aircraft. It doesn't matter that there were better aircraft later. The better aircraft weren't available when the need was greatest. When the need had subsided, the war was being won, and the job was done.
     
  8. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    .....logistics was a big help....planning/gathering/organizing/loading/etc troops and supplies was ''more'' time consuming than a lot of the battles
    ....it was the whole system --radar-logistics-training-etc --not one or two types of aircraft
     
  9. Class of '42

    Class of '42 Active Member

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    Some have mentioned the C-47 was one of the unsung aircraft that won the war...the constant resupplying was required on a grand scale and needed quickly especially during a campaign...as for my "other" aircraft..I'd pick the B-17...for it's long range and a serious threat to Japanese movements.
     
  10. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    I think the B-24 played a larger part than the 17 in the Pacific...
    Aussie B-24s over Darwin:
    [​IMG]
    Aussie Catalinas in Darwin:
    [​IMG]

    Aussie and American P-40s in Darwin:
    [​IMG]

    And Aussie Beaufighters:

    [​IMG]
    This what a beaufighter does to shipping:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    These four types did more than any other aircraft in the PTO IMO.

    PS: Not a good day for Aussie beaufighters…


    And I found this:
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
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  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Quite correct. @mcoffee recently mentioned that B-17s were entirely phased out in the Pacific by mid-1943. The greater range of the B-24 was the key factor.
     
  12. the_diego

    the_diego Active Member

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    People are so allergic to reading claims that the zero outclassed the F4F. Sorry, but all accounts point to that fact. Before people go back to the Thatch Weave and other measures to counter the zero's superior performance, think what the qualifiers "outclass" and "superior" refer to.
     
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Was the Zero made Of wood? Very ģood to fly but poor in getting hits?
     
  14. the_diego

    the_diego Active Member

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    No. So poor pilot protection and no self-sealing tanks. Was the Wildcat made of lead? Such that you needed two wildcats to act as a tag team for each zero?
     
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  15. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    If the Zero was so superior, then why were Zero kills of F4Fs, very close to F4F kills of Zeroes. The kill to loss ratio shows that the planes were relatively even. Both Aircraft had strengths and weaknesses, the winner was the one best able to exploit his strengths.
     
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  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It's called tactics, and was meant to be flown by 2 or 4 aircraft. You are also forgetting that there would be 3 Zeroes, the Japanese fought in Vics of three. One shooter and 2 wingman.
     
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  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Everyday you learn something new thanx guys!
     
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    IIRC, the kill vs loss ratio was 1 Zero shot down by F4F's to 1.1 or 1.2 F4Fs shot down by Zeroes.

    This, to me, implies that the planes were relatively equal, as well as, the pilots, and that the F4F was far from being outclassed by the Zero. The Zero came into it's own at low speed & low altitude, but if the F4F maintained high speed & medium to high altitude, the F4F had the edge.

    As I said, the trick was to maximize strengths & minimize weaknesses.
     
  19. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    I think that the Zero's weakness is exemplified by the case of the one shot down by a RAAF Wirraway. The Wirraway was a two seat patrol and general purpose air caft converted from NA trainers built under license in Australia. It was an emergency lash up and grossly under armed and powered compared to the Zero
    . A patrolling Wirraway spotted a Zero circling a lagoon and dived on it making one brief firing pass with a pair of standard rifle calibre machine guns. Expecting to be shot down for their temerity the crew were surprised to see the Zero gently dive into the lagoon. Some time later it was recovered and the only combat damage found was a single bullet hole in the back of the pilot's skull. At that time the Zero had no back plate head armour. Allied pilots lacking skill/experience or flying inferior performance aircraft could 'get lucky' and score or at least survive to gain more experience. For rookie Japanese pilots one mistake, lack of attention or even a spot of pure bad luck could be fatal and they weren't around to learn from their mistakes
     
  20. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

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    EB1E2784-4EFC-4658-9F55-A129A4254012.jpeg
     

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