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Midway

Discussion in 'Air War in the Pacific' started by GunSlinger86, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Active Member

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    Why was it that the Dauntless dive-bombers were successful but not the torpedo bombers? I know there were certain factors involved, the torpedo planes were obsolete, they didn't have the fighter cover when the Dauntless's came, etc. Why weren't the AA guns on the carriers as effective as they were on the torpedo planes as well?
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I suggest reading Shattered Sword. But the short answer. The AA guns on the carriers weren't all that effective against the Torpedo bombers. Most of them were lost to CAP or the guns of the escorts. Then there is the attack profile Torpedo bombers have to fly, especially early war ones, i.e. low and slow. Add to this that the dive bombers weren't really spotted until they were tipping over and the CAP was all down low taking care of the torpedo bombers.
     
  3. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Active Member

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    Dumb question but what type of gun does CAP stand for? The early US torpedo bombers also had dud bombs right? A lot of them didn't even go off at times, correct?
     
  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    CAP is shorthand for Combat Air Patrol that would fly patterns over or near a valuable asset. In this case it refers to 'Zero' fighters flying over Japanese ships to intercept any attacker. At Midway the numerous attacks by US torpedo planes distracted and in part 'drew off' Japanese fighter cover just as the Dive bombers began to make their attack runs.
     
  5. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Actually, CAP isn't a gun. It stands for Combat Air Patrol. Read a definition here combat air patrol Meaning

    I second the idea of reading Shattered Sword. It will answer a multitude of questions.

    OK belasar. you type faster than I do. :)
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Your thinking of the submarine/destroyer torpedoes, Mark 14 & Mark 15 respectively. The Mark 13 torpedo used by aircraft would explode just fine, provided it hit the target. That being said, the early war Mark 13s needed to be dropped very low & slow(height of 50 feet and a speed of 110 knots or less - Thus the slow speed of the TBD Devastator was slightly mitigated), and even then, erratic runs and non-starting engines were common. As the war progressed, improvements were made to the Mark 13 that improved it's reliability, and greatly raised the drop height and drop airspeed.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Some of the early war Mk 13's exploded on impact with the water from what I recall. That may have been magnetic trigger problems. It's been a while. Navweapons has some pretty good articles on torpedos from what I recall.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The Mark 13 torpedo, AFAIK, never had a magnetic exploder.

    I'm sure that they had their share of prematures and duds, it's the nature of the beast, but I do not see those as the primary reason/s for the Mark 13's failures, which, during the early Pacific War was the tendency to run erratically, and to a lesser extent it's slow speed, which would allow almost any combat vessel to outrun it(and the Japanese warships did - several times).
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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  10. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I think you might be somewhat mixed up. I've done some reading and nowhere do I see the problem of premature explosion upon hitting the water. Maybe another problem?
     
  11. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    He could be thinking of the British torpedoes when they were after the Bismarck.
     
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  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Might be...The did have magnetic firing pistols, and most prematured when dropped on Sheffield.
     
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  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That could be. Or it could have been something to do with an arming circuit. Or I could just be having a senior moment.
     

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