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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. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    It is also funny how different nations react to negotiations. The Serbs laughed at the peaceful contacts but when the US forces informed they would blow the Serb tank forces to Kingdom come next they replied like 'Great news. We will retreat immediately!' The UN is quite toothless in such occasions.
     
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  2. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

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    Shooting down thousands of planes, sinking hundreds of ships, and softening up landing grounds, however, does win stuff. The phrase "necessary but not sufficient" comes to mind. How do you capture Iwo, or Okinawa, or the Marianas, or [fill in this blank] anywhere in the Pacific without airpower?

    Specifics would be nice.
     
  3. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Look theres no doubt that Navy and Air power were critical to the success...Take PNG as an example of what im saying...the US and Australians defeated the Japanese on land...we couldn't have done it without the US Navy cutting off the troops not allowing fresh troops in or ammo or food...it was critical to our success...but without Diggers on the ground shooting and stabbing their way through the Japanese ranks, the Japanese would still bloody be there!
    So it can be said that the Navy and Air force Facilitated the successful routing of the Japanese on the ground...they didn't take out the Japanese forces (which would be the WIN) the ground forces did.
     
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  4. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

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    That is exactly why I wrote my post #93. Without air covering and providing support for multiple amphibious assaults, I don't think you see those assaults happening.

    Without air patrolling the open expanses of ocean, I don't think you have enough intel to discern enemy movements in detail.

    There's a reason why the islands we chose to take had airfields. It's because they had airfields, and would help the next conquest.

    Again, air was necessary, but not sufficient.
     
  5. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    yes, the UN
    UN is a paper tiger...many examples of that
     
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  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I think I recall a Benny Hill joke here. In a military situation the two countries end up negotiations that 'nothing can be done' and the situation is taken to the UN who in the end announce that 'nothing can be done.'
     
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Actually, was the US advance called 'island hopping' or something like that. So the idea was to get through in the middle which demanded strict co-operation between all forces. Once the planes had enough short range ( Iwo Jima?) It was much simpler to bomb targets in Japan itself. Personally about the plane question if the Japanese pilots were ready for suicide missions you might not have the advantage with your plane if the enemy pilots would gladly fly against your plane and die taking you with them. Quite cruel tactics.
     
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  8. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    They wouldn’t (rarely) just decide to commit a suicide flight...the kamikaze is for bigger targets...now, deliberately ramming is another story...
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Mostly because of the Security Council and the Big 5s Veto power. However, when all 5 agree, it can be quite potent. However, those times are few and far between.
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Island hopping was used in both the SWPA drive & Central Pacific drive. This two pronged assault kept the Japanese off balance and unable to focus their defensive efforts on one area. In the SWPA, the abundance of islands capable of maintaining air field, led to land-based air power reigning supreme. While in the Central Pacific, the distance between Island chains led to carrier-based air power being supreme.

    By taking the Marianas put the B-29 in range of Japan, while taking Iwo put fighters & B-24s in range of Japan.

    Deliberately crashing a Japanese fighter into an American aircraft was only done if the plane was damaged or out of ammunition. However, it also happened unintentionally with undertrained Japanese rookie pilots at the stick. The better trained pilots would roll one wing up and use it as a blade to slice into an American wing or fuselage - this increased their chances of surviving the collision.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2021
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  11. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Cheers Takao,

    I recall Hajo Herrman, a German ace, suggested slicing the B-17 tail with the fighter's wing. Would this be more effective than going for the bomber's wing or is the end result just the same?
     
  12. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    The German ramming fighter had reinforced wing leading edges...the tail section was relatively thin so gave the best chance of survival...although a few pilots had to bail 10+ times...and get right back in another aircraft...this was when the Reich was being bombed at will and things got desperate. Any significant damage to the tail, and your gone.
     
  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I believe his idea was to hit the vertical stabilizer & rudder with the wing, as opposed to ramming the wing into the rear fuselage and taking the tail clean off...but it has been awhile since I read his book.

    Slicing into the wing would not necessarily result in the destruction of the bomber, and the fighter pilot would also have to contend with one or two whirling propellers. While taking out the vertical stabilizer almost certainly(but not always) result in a crash.
     
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  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Hajo was almost psychotic. He suggested to Hitler that the fighter planes could make even kamikaze attacks against the bombers.
     
  15. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

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    Island-hopping (at least in the Solomons) was adopted precisely in order to put the next assault within range of friendly airpower without requiring the use of CVs. That airpower was also used to starve on the vine those enemy-held islands which weren't attacked.
     
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  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Just curious. Was the island-hpping theory already described in the twenties as I have a slight recall reading about it??
     
  17. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

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    I don't think it was described as such, but I do know that the USMC anticipated it in general (in terms of seeing amphibious assault being their raison d'etre in the 1920s). IIRC, they saw that as a justification in a time of severe budget problems and the questioning of their mission.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2021
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  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    For the most part, that is correct. But, CVs were needed on occasion when land-based air power was unable to hit a target.

    The Navy also played a large part in intersecting Japanese naval traffic. As it did not take the Japanese long to figure out that they needed to run their shipping at night, when the risk of US air attack was negligible.
     
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  19. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

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    Sure, CVs were needed and used in the Solomons -- Rabaul comes to mind. Largely, though, their role wasn't commerce interdiction, but rather, the neutralization of those CenPac islands that you are alluding to -- Wake, Truk, Iwo, and so on.

    Commerce disruption was assigned to the subs, because air night ops weren't really a strong point in American doctrine, while subs could take advantage of darkness to up speed and assume attack profiles. That's why SG and later SJ radar was so important.
     
  20. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Island hopping as in the Solomons, no not really.

    Island hopping as in the Central Pacific...Yes.

    But, it was more of capturing an island chain to turn it into an advance supply base for the US Navy. In the 1920s, aircraft lacked the range, bomb capacity, and numbers to make a meaningful contribution. This would change in the 1930s, as bombers became the big ticket item, and near about all patrol aircraft received a bomber designation.
     
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