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The Planes That WON the War in the Pacific


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#1 EagleSquadron12

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 07:24 AM

I couldn't decide which of these 2 planes broke the back of the IJN do i decided that they both deserved the credit.

The F6F Hellcat and the SBD Dauntless.
The Hellcat replaced the F4F Wildcat, which was outclassed by the A6M2 Zero, and would go on to decimate the Japanese pilots. The Dauntless dive bombers are on here because of their performance in the Battle of Midway.

Now I know what you're thinking. "The B-29s that dropped the nukes won the war" they ended the war...they didn't exactly dominate the theatre. They came in and forces the Japanese to surrender.

Feel free to let your opinions flow...im all ears

#2 lwd

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 02:33 PM

As per Europe no single plane did it.  Indeed if you are talking the IJN subs and surface ships played a big role as well as planes.  The F4F was hardly outclassed by the A6M2 either.  They were roughly on a par each had their strengths and weaknesses.  As for B-29's they also had a significant impact with regards to mining Japanese harbors and fire raids not just dropping the atomic weapons.



#3 Mussolini

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 05:09 PM

I disagree. I don't think it was the planes, but the tactics employed. They went from engaging in dog-fights where the Zero outclassed them, to 'squad' tactics where they would dive down onto the Japanese but avoid the dogfighting of before. I forget the 2 names used in describing the tactics used, but it was more the adoption of new tactics than the arrival of new aircraft that 'won the pacific'. That, and the loss of Veteran Japanese fighters, being replaced by 'rookies' who often didn't survive their first engagement with the terrible tactics the Japanese started to use in the defense of their Islands. Very hodge-podge and suicidal. 



#4 Poppy

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 09:35 PM

Love the story of Guadalcanal. The Cactus Air Force had only F4's in the beginning (plus a few other types)...The thing was- they had remote guys with radio sets, who would alert the CAF of incoming strikes (usually) in time for the F4's to gain height...The F4's made a good show of it until the island could be resupplied with more capable craft.


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#5 lwd

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 10:15 PM

Love the story of Guadalcanal. The Cactus Air Force had only F4's in the beginning (plus a few other types).........The F4's made a good show of it until the island could be resupplied with more capable craft.

 

What more "capable craft" ?  Looking at:

https://en.wikipedia...Order_of_battle

The only fighters they operated were F4Fs and P-39s although Dauntless may have operated in that role on occasion. As does:

http://www.daveswarb...ctus/cactus.htm



#6 Poppy

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 10:28 PM

Recalling an aircraft carrier sent its arm?..they stayed until weather cleared?

So- F6's were the capable craft.

Ill read Cactus Airforce again, thought there may have been P38's there. ..Where were the 38's dispatched from- that assassinated what's his face in the air


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#7 OpanaPointer

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 10:55 PM

I disagree. I don't think it was the planes, but the tactics employed. They went from engaging in dog-fights where the Zero outclassed them, to 'squad' tactics where they would dive down onto the Japanese but avoid the dogfighting of before. I forget the 2 names used in describing the tactics used, but it was more the adoption of new tactics than the arrival of new aircraft that 'won the pacific'. That, and the loss of Veteran Japanese fighters, being replaced by 'rookies' who often didn't survive their first engagement with the terrible tactics the Japanese started to use in the defense of their Islands. Very hodge-podge and suicidal. 

The Thach Weave was a seriously effective tactic. 


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#8 Mussolini

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 11:18 PM

Yes, that is one...still used today apparently. I still can't recall the other one...I think it was 4 words. 



#9 OpanaPointer

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 11:56 PM

Yes, that is one...still used today apparently. I still can't recall the other one...I think it was 4 words. 


"One of our King Tigers could take five of your Shermans, but you always had six of them."


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#10 Poppy

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 11:57 PM

Cheers to the guys who called in the JAP attacks en route to Guadalcanal... They lived on the edge... If it weren't for those guys- CAF would not have had height (in their F4's) over the JAP on many occasions.


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#11 OpanaPointer

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 12:18 AM

Cheers to the guys who called in the JAP attacks en route to Guadalcanal... They lived on the edge... If it weren't for those guys- CAF would not have had height (in their F4's) over the JAP on many occasions.

The Coast Watchers had big ones, that's for sure. And most of them were Aussies, IIRC, so most of them were crazy to boot. ;)


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"One of our King Tigers could take five of your Shermans, but you always had six of them."


WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
Pearl Harbor Attack Message Board
Veteran: USN, 1969-1989

#12 Gromit801

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 10:15 AM

I agree with tactics.

Early in the war, the Japanese decimated the allies aircraft. Except in China where Chennault's no dogfighting rule helped the AVG give out better than it received. Eventually the allied air and naval forces figured this out, and similar tactics were developed.

The Thatch weave helped considerably.

Eventually the veteran Japanese pilots became fewer and fewer, until only the odd flash of aerial brilliance could be found. By then, the newly introduced F6F, F4U, P-38, and P-51 could pretty much clean up.
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#13 lwd

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 01:45 PM

...
Early in the war, the Japanese decimated the allies aircraft. ....

Rather depends on what you mean by "early war" doesn't it?  They more than decimated the PH aircraft although the US fighters inflicted more losses in the air than they sustained in the air.  Especially when you consider some launched without ammo and some with less than a full load out.

 

At Wake the IJN pilots again more than decimated the defenders inflicting essentially 100% losses but again in the air the US fighters also inflicted significant losses on the Japanese.

 

I'm not sure the Japanese had much of an edge in the various carrier battles or over the "canal" either.   From what I've read the F4F had a slight edge in kill ratio vs the A6M2.



#14 Takao

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 05:55 PM

Early in the war, the Japanese decimated the allies aircraft.

To a point, however, you also have a few important factors other than aircraft, pilots, and tactics figuring into the equation.

First and foremost, numbers are important.  The IJNAF & IJAAF had far more aircraft than did the Allied air forces.

 

Logistics would be another one.  The Allied replacement planes, parts, ammunition, and pilots had to come from the UK and US, and, to an extent, from  Australia.  This proved to be an insurmountable hindrance for Allied air forces in the DEI, Philippines, and Malaysia.

 

Setting would be yet another...The US aircraft in the Philippines were mostly destroyed on the ground in the opening hours and days of the war.  They never recovered from this opening debacle.  The Japanese Army troops quickly overran many of the advance air fields in Malaysia and the DEI, greatly restricting where the Allied air forces could operate.

 

Concentrated focus, of which there was none amongst the Allied nations in the early Pacific War.  Britain remained committed to defending Singapore, the Americans focused on the Philippines, and the Dutch were caught in the middle.

 

Later on, things would reverse and it would be the Japanese facing the exact same insurmountable problems that the Allies faced at the start of the Pacific War...And they too would suffer a similar fate.

 

 

I believe it had been pointed out earlier that the Japanese hardly "decimated" the USN's carrier air groups early in the war.

 

Except in China where Chennault's no dogfighting rule helped the AVG give out better than it received.

The AVG was also helped out by the fact that, for the most part, their fighter opposition consisted mostly of obsolete Ki-27 Nates armed with two 7.7mm machineguns, and to a far lesser extent, the more formidable Ki-43 Hayabusa, armed with either two 7.7mm machineguns or one 7.7mm and one 12.7mm machinegun.(IIRC, the Hayabusa was later armed with two 12.7s).

 

Also, IIRC, the no dogfighting rule applied to individual combat as opposed to element(lead & wingman) combat.  As Chennault was a firm believer in the fighter element from early in his career.

 

Further, again IIRC, the Japanese bombers were the primary targets of the AVG - as they were more vulnerable and posed more of a threat to AVG airfields and ground targets the AVG was supposed to protect.



#15 SDP

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 07:38 PM

Has the OP lost interest? Left his post #1 and not been on the site since then!

Personally, like the same question about the ET, no one airplane 'won the War' any more than my Dad did! There were others involved!

#16 lwd

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 07:59 PM

....

I believe it had been pointed out earlier that the Japanese hardly "decimated" the USN's carrier air groups early in the war.

.....

I'm not sure I'd agree with that. For instance at he Battle of the Coral Sea the US lost about half it's aircraft now some of those were destroyed on board the carriers but decimation means loosing 10%.  Likewise at Midway the US lost about 1/3 of it's aircraft so the carrier air groups were likely decimated there as well.  However in both those battles the IJN air groups took even greater losses.  So saying that the USN air groups were decimated can be a bit misleading if you don't look at IJN losses as well.  The pattern continued at the Battle of the Sanata Cruz islands by the way with the US loosing over half of it's force while the Japanese lost almost exactly half of their force although the number of IJN losses was greater.

 

In case it isn't obvious for some reason the misuse of the term "decimate" irritates me.  Not sure why perhaps because it has such a well defined meaning that people choose to ignore.


Edited by lwd, 25 January 2017 - 08:06 PM.


#17 Takao

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 08:40 PM

In case it isn't obvious for some reason the misuse of the term "decimate" irritates me.  Not sure why perhaps because it has such a well defined meaning that people choose to ignore.

Get with the times...You old fart.

https://en.oxforddic...nition/decimate

 

Some would say that it's original meaning is "to tithe."

http://blog.oxforddi...troy-one-tenth/

Then, we are all misusing the word.



#18 EagleSquadron12

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 08:58 PM

I may have jumped the gun on this one...i should've thought about it before I angered the community. Sorry folks

#19 Takao

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 09:02 PM

Who's angry?



#20 EagleSquadron12

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 09:37 PM

Who's angry?



Idk...it just seems like they are but it's cool...its my bad

#21 Poppy

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 09:46 PM

EH21, guessing you have never been married...lol...ww2f will embolden you.

Never be afraid to post, it is not your bad. Chin up, mate.

Good thread.


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#22 lwd

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 09:52 PM

Get with the times...You old fart.

https://en.oxforddic...nition/decimate

 

Some would say that it's original meaning is "to tithe."

http://blog.oxforddi...troy-one-tenth/

Then, we are all misusing the word.

Interesting but the root of the word means tenth to use it when a force looses half it's fighting strength is misleading or at best unclear.



#23 green slime

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 12:20 AM

Interesting but the root of the word means tenth to use it when a force looses half it's fighting strength is misleading or at best unclear.

 

You old traditionalist, you.



#24 Gromit801

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 12:24 AM

Has everyone had a brain fart concerning the PI, Malaya, DEI, Wake, Indonesia, Darwin, etc? Up till Midway really, the Japanese had the distinct edge in the air.
"I love deadlines. I love the 'Whooshing' noise they make when they go by." - Doug Adams

#25 Takao

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 12:38 AM

The Japanese did not have a distinct edge at Coral Sea.

 

The 17 G4M Betty bombers that attacked USS Lexington as she attempted to attack Rabaul were slaughtered.  Only two survived the initial attacks, and one of those would crash land on the way back to base.

 

Of course, when you are facing little opposition, things tend to go your own way...Such as the early American carrier raids.

http://www.ibiblio.o...index.html#CONT


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