Why Tojo and Adolph never had a chance (OT)

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thaDood

Mountain climber
PortaLedga OnzaKaleefa
May 16, 2011 - 06:33pm PT
Yeah, those Zero's were really tiny. You can check one out that's hanging from the cieling of the San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park. That's if'n yer ever driv'n south an find yerself in Dago...
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
May 16, 2011 - 07:36pm PT
From Wiki:

When it was introduced early in World War II, the Zero was the best carrier-based fighter in the world, combining excellent maneuverability and very long range.[1] In early combat operations, the Zero gained a legendary reputation as a "dogfighter", achieving the outstanding kill ratio of 12 to 1,[2] but by 1942 a combination of new tactics and the introduction of better equipment enabled the Allied pilots to engage the Zero on more equal terms.[3] The IJNAS also frequently used the type as a land-based fighter. By 1943, inherent design weaknesses and the increasing lack of more powerful aircraft engines meant that the Zero became less effective against newer enemy fighters that possessed greater firepower, armor, and speed, and approached the Zero's maneuverability. Although the Mitsubishi A6M was outdated by 1944, it was never totally supplanted by the newer Japanese aircraft types. During the final years of the War in the Pacific, the Zero was used in kamikaze operations.[4] In the course of the war, more Zeros were built than any other Japanese aircraft ...

... With its low-wing cantilever monoplane layout, retractable, wide-set landing gear and enclosed cockpit, the Zero was was one of the most modern aircraft in the world at the time of its introduction. It had a fairly high-lift, low-speed wing with a very low wing loading. This, combined with its light weight, resulted it a very low stalling speed of well below 60 kn (110 km/h; 69 mph). This was the main reason for its phenomenal maneuverability, allowing it to out-turn any Allied fighter of the time....

... The Zero quickly gained a fearsome reputation. Thanks to a combination of excellent maneuverability and firepower, it easily disposed of the motley collection of Allied aircraft sent against it in the Pacific in 1941. It proved a difficult opponent even for the Supermarine Spitfire. Although not as fast as the British fighter, the Mitsubishi fighter could out-turn the Spitfire with ease, could sustain a climb at a very steep angle, and could stay in the air for three times as long.[12]



The Japanese had by FAR the best trained pilots in the world at the beginning of WWII. They had the very best top candidates, and spent several years training them. A Jap pilot would kill dozens of American or British planes in the beginning. But their training was too extensive, and took too long. they couldn't keep up with attrition. American/British/allied pilots might not be as good, but there were a LOT of them.

Regarding Howard Hughes design of the Zero, Wiki only mentions the original design, the H-1 Racer, built about 1935 that "influenced" the zero's design. I have read other books that give him much more credit for the Zero ...


The H-1 Racer featured a number of design "innovations": it had retractable landing gear (as Boeing Monomail had five years before) and all rivets and joints set flush into the body of the aircraft to reduce drag. The H-1 Racer is thought to have influenced the design of a number of World War II fighters such as the Mitsubishi Zero,

they do list a story I never heard about him, that after his famous crash of his experimental fighter in Beverly Hills, he got annoyed and redesigned his hospital bed, and made his engineering staff run up a custom model for him.

However, Hughes was proud that his mind was still working. As he lay in his hospital bed, he decided that he did not like the design of the bed. He called in plant engineers to design a "tailor-made" bed, equipped with hot and cold running water, built in six sections, and operated by 30 electric motors, with push-button adjustments.


A bed with hot and cold running water ... alll-riiight ...



I have read up on this Zero, and there is controversy as to whether or not Hughes actually designed it. Some say so, some not. Some say his H-1 was bought as scrap from the junkyard by the Japanese, others say the plans were simply aquired from the Library of Congress or something where he had made the plane available for public records in a fit of pique for the US Gov't not buying it....

The late Barry Goldwater, a pilot and recipient of the Howard Hughes silver medallion award in 1985 told the attendees "well... our government was interested in the age H-1 Racer, but oooh the Japs were”. It is common knowledge in aviation history that the Japanese copied the H-1 Racer design to make their Zero fighter aircraft.

http://www.aviatorhowardhughes.com/h1-racer.htm

TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
May 16, 2011 - 07:44pm PT
Thanks Reilly. That was sweet!
TY
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
May 16, 2011 - 07:50pm PT
The Japanese had by FAR the best trained pilots in the world at the beginning of WWII. They had the very best top candidates, and spent several years training them. A Jap pilot would kill dozens of American or British planes in the beginning. But their training was too extensive, and took too long. they couldn't keep up with attrition. American/British/allied pilots might not be as good, but there were a LOT of them.

The 'japs' also (and still do have) had a different culture. It would be lame to compare the two. The japs, like the Nasties, were whipped up into a nationalistic fervor. They had no problem enduring insane missions at insane odds.

The only reason we did the same is because we were attacked and fighting for our lives. They were fighting for motherland glory and pride. We just wanted it over.

And we 'ended it'. Sorry, dudes. Mess with the best, die like the rest.

I have no regrets saying that.
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
May 16, 2011 - 08:04pm PT
You have said nothing to the issue you quoted me on. They had the very best pilots, and they were better trained. The things I read indicated they were insane about only taking the very best, and spending years making them better. Weird things, like climbing to the top of a flag pole and hanging on with one hand for long times, looking at images of fighter aircraft and bombers across a room, the size of a fly, and correctly identifing them. Their pilots made ours look like amateurs for the first couple years.

They just couldn't turn them out fast enough in the end ...


And you certainly CAN compare the two. Look at the kill ratios. THOSE are/were well known.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 16, 2011 - 08:07pm PT
The japs had good pilots because they had already been at war for near 2 years before Hitler invaded Poland.
They were veterans.

That sort of changed in June '42.
We killed hundreds of their best pilots in one day at Midway.


And just so that this thread is not entirely OT;
back in the '60s my mom and her friend Bill Ullman hired a helicopter and buzzed Hughes' private apartment at the Landmark. He was pissed!
Bill's dad was James Ramsey Ullman.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
May 16, 2011 - 08:08pm PT
Weird things, like climbing to the top of a flag pole and hanging on with one hand for long times, looking at images of fighter aircraft and bombers across a room, the size of a fly, and correctly identifing them. **Their pilots made ours look like amateurs for the first couple years.

They just couldn't turn them out fast enough in the end ...**

Yeah, all that Samurai/hardcore bullshit really helped them out. The bottom line is, yes, they were cruel badasses, but we were even more willing to win at all costs. We had red-necks flying planes in insane glory.

And they lost. End of f*#king story...
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Carson city Nev.
May 16, 2011 - 08:43pm PT
Cool Pics Rieley! and Quite the story Ron!!
Pate

Trad climber
May 16, 2011 - 08:53pm PT
nice photos!
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
May 16, 2011 - 09:31pm PT
A few pix from the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor:

Zero.
Zero.
Credit: BooDawg

Who knows what kind of plane this is?
Who knows what kind of plane this is?
Credit: BooDawg

???
???
Credit: BooDawg

B-25?
B-25?
Credit: BooDawg

???
???
Credit: BooDawg

???
???
Credit: BooDawg

USS Missouri where the Japanese signed their unconditional surrender.
USS Missouri where the Japanese signed their unconditional surrender.
Credit: BooDawg

USS Bowfin. The U.S. submarines played havoc on Japanese shipping in t...
USS Bowfin. The U.S. submarines played havoc on Japanese shipping in the Pacific.
Credit: BooDawg

BooDawg on the deck of the USS Bowfin.
BooDawg on the deck of the USS Bowfin.
Credit: BooDawg

Ego-Testicle BooDawg on the Deckgun of the USS Bowfin. These are REAL ...
Ego-Testicle BooDawg on the Deckgun of the USS Bowfin. These are REAL BRASSNUTS!
Credit: BooDawg

And the straw that broke the camel's back in the Pacific War...


















First atomic explosion, Alamagordo, NM 1945
First atomic explosion, Alamagordo, NM 1945
Credit: BooDawg





healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 16, 2011 - 09:48pm PT
They had the very best top candidates, and spent several years training them. A Jap pilot would kill dozens of American or British planes in the beginning.

That jibes with my understanding from my father's stories around the high death rate in our flight training programs - they were high volume affairs assembled with great speed and geared around keeping the funnel full, really pushing pilots out the other end as quickly as possible. My dad and his buddy were radio guys tapped for early British radar training and then picked up for flight training. Not bad choices as they both turned out to be exceedingly comfortable flying and both became test pilots.
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
May 16, 2011 - 10:10pm PT
In my opinion, it wasn't our superior skill that defeated the Japs and the Nazis. Because we were NOT better at war then them. Not individually. The Blitzkrieg was INCREDIBLE to the generals at the time, and the Japs were incredible soldiers.

It was our factories. They couldn't bomb our factories, and we were free to just out produce them.



Germany and Japan were TINY places. Every time they conquered a new piece of land, they would both take over the local mines and factories and begin using them to produce war materials. They spent as much effort trying to keep the foreign railroads running as building the tanks and such, because they NEEDED the materials, in the case of the Japanese, and the FACTORIES in the case of the Germans. This meant they had to put administrators and engineers all over the place in captured factories in hostile nations and then use slave labor to run those camps and factories. And of course, then they had to have trusted guards and spend needed troop resources to watch over the work camps, hold the cities the factories were in, and all that.



In America, we just would open up a new mine, a new factory, whatever and ship the production to England in massive convoys. Even with the Germans having 10 times the number of submarines of anybody else, they couldn't stop our manufacturing material 24 hours a day, way the hell over here.



The slave labor stuff was about the worst problem they ever brought on themselves. It was MISERABLE, and I don't mean the slaves, although they were certainly miserable. What was MISERABLE from the Germans and Japs point of view was the slave couldn't be counted on. They would sabotage production, work as slow as possible and f*#k stuff up bad in general...












I had a friend, whose Dad was a prisoner of War in the Netherlands, I think. They had really messed him up, with a rifle butt to his skull. He occasionally told some stories, the like I have never heard or read about.

Seems he was on a forced labor team that designed German Submarines and built them for the Germans. So they thought about what they could do to destroy the usefulness of the subs without being caught. They came up with an answer I never have heard of in the history books.













He said they undersized the rivets in the hulls by a TINY amount. Just enough that a German sub at depth would pop rivets all over the ship. If a depth charge got close, the undersized rivets would just tear away in long rips. They couldn't hold the water out under combat stress. Under ordinary testing, everything seemed just FINE.

And that was one of the reasons that the Germans lost about half their sub fleet EACH YEAR. He said they never figured out what the engineers had done, either.

Talk about your unsung heroes of the war...


And at every factory/mine and farm manned by captured labor, they were doing the same things. Destroying more V-1 and V-2's on the launching pad than the British ever shot down ... screwing with the diesel fuel to make injectors gum up. All kinds of Hogan's Heroes bullshit from within the factories.


THAT really killed the troops on the fronts as much as the bullets and cannon fire. Their nations were just too tiny. No natural resources for the Japanese at all, really. Few mines, few farms, few ranches, few forests and little of all the things we produce in America in HUGE quantities, and from WITHIN our own protected borders.

The Japanese had to get everything from the conquered lands, then ship the stuff by ship and rail back home to fuel the material needs of their war machines.

They both shipped entire factories, right down to the electric light fixtures and the bulbs in the ceilings. And they just couldn't protect or guarantee those supply lines once they got the factories going.


Thats what ended the wars, as much as anything.

Logistics.

And Pissy Workers.
AJB

climber
May 16, 2011 - 10:28pm PT
Much has been written about the experiences of the Allies. For some perspective from the other side of the Pacific air war check out Samurai!, a book about Saburo Sakai's experience as Japan's fourth leading ace.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 16, 2011 - 11:01pm PT
Boodawg..

Pic 2 and 3. Curtis P40 warhawk

Pic 4 looks like a B 25 mitchell

Pic 5 and 6. Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber.

Those would be my guesses.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2011 - 11:22pm PT
Dirt Claud's comments about Hitler's decision to make the ME 262 a bomber are spot on.

Comments about the Japanese having better pilot candidates are not. Potential pilots
were exhaustively vetted physically, mentally, and psychologically. As Ron
noted the Japs' early successes were due to their extensive combat experience and
our initial inability to realize a P-40 or an F-4 Wildcat could
not turn with the Zero. When Chenault's boys figured that out they did just
fine against the Zero with the inferior Warhawk. Citizen soldiers are always
going to figure out a way to 'get the job done.'

There also seemed to be a comment alluding to the Japs' willingness to
sacrifice all. I suggest reading up on the US torpedo bombers at the
Battle of Midway. They knew they were going to die but they kept coming.
I think one or two survived.

Further comments about more extensive flight training are completely off-base (sic).
The washout rate was high because the standards were so high. Our guys had
many more hours under their belts before they saw combat than their counterparts.
Sure, we had a better supply but we didn't cut any corners in giving them the
best training conceivable. If you weren't considered fighter jock stock then
you went to bombers. The difference was often very negligible.

In June '42 a Zero crash-landed in the Aleutians and we were able to get it
flyable and wrung it out. When the fruits of that endeavor were disseminated
even a low-timer knew what to do against the Zero. By Feb '43 the first of
the Navy's new F6F Hellcats joined the fleet and it was time for the fat lady
to sing "Sayonara Zero-san!" The Hellcat "outclassed the Zero almost completely."

If you want to read about how exhaustive our flight training was I strongly recommend:

The Wild Blue : The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944–45, by Stephen Ambrose

It is mostly the story of George McGovern's flying career but as with any
Stephen Ambrose book it is a gem.

If you want to read about the making of a fighter pilot then the go-to read is:
Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds

I know, fighter pilots are born, not made.




edit:
An old stud walked up to me at the air show and asked me if I wanted to buy
his book. I told him it would be an honor. He was a Jug jock. It was hard
to talk with that damn F-15 overhead! HaHaHa! Turns out his book is a novel
but it is clearly totally autobiographical even down to the skirt-chasing scenes!
It is feckin' great! It is also extremely thorough in describing his flight training.
I'm halfway through but I guess I'm not gonna complete the mission tonight. Damn.

Bolts of Thunder by James Vincent Powers

The back cover says another of his books was made into a movie in Germany!
"The American version was sold to the National Geographic Channel,
and was first aired Dec 17, 2008" Gotta check that out!

"Mr Powers served as a fighter pilot in WWII, with 47 combat missions in Europe.
He is also an engineer, and helped design the F-111 fighter plane.
He has two children and one grandson, and lives an active life in
California playing golf, bowling, tap dancing, and writing."

It takes a stud to tap dance and he looked pretty damn nimble still.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 17, 2011 - 06:48am PT
Yeah, Reilly, Midway is a fascinating battle.

I recommend Victor Davis Hanson's account in Carnage And Culture.

I believe at one point 15 torpedo bombers sacrificed themselves drawing the fighter cover down so that the dive bombers could succeed.
Of the 15 two man crews only Ensign George Gay survived, bobbing in the water as the jap carriers slid by.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
May 17, 2011 - 07:33am PT
Citizen soldiers are always
going to figure out a way to 'get the job done.'


Ron beat me to it with the VDH recommendation.

"Carnage and Culture" is an excellent read.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
SoCal
May 17, 2011 - 07:43am PT
Thanks! Great photography. Super sharp photos of fast moving objects. You are good!
eKat

climber
BITD3
May 17, 2011 - 07:49am PT
WOW. . . this is a cool thread. My dad was a USAF Pilot and a member of The Ancient and Sacred Order of Quiet Birdmen. I was raised with all this stuff. Makes me think of the Captain! (not the rock, my dad.)

eKat
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
May 17, 2011 - 08:40am PT
Yeah we had a few planes back then, March AFB in Riverside (actually MoVal, but back then there was no MoVal)

Historic photo from March Field
Historic photo from March Field
Credit: Elcapinyoazz
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