Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

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

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1
    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

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,365
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Arizona U.S.A
    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

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,421
    Likes Received:
    1,527
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    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

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,421
    Likes Received:
    1,527
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    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

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,365
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Arizona U.S.A
    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

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,421
    Likes Received:
    1,527
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    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

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,091
    Likes Received:
    543
    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.
     

Share This Page