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Kamikaze tactics

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by williamtsherman, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. williamtsherman

    williamtsherman New Member

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    Let's say the Mosquitos fly at a high altitude, where they perform well, until they get above the target and then they quickly dive. That's going to be tough for the Germans to stop in 43/44 without jet fighters.

    How much damage would a singe Mosquito hit cause? Well with around 4000 lb explosive load, the kinetic damage of the airframe and engines, etc, and any fuel in the tanks....that's a potent strike. And I'm thiniking you could have accuracy comparable to modern laser-guided munitions, so you could choose the part of the factory to target. I suppose some types of factories would be more suitable targets than others, and maybe targets other than factories even better. But keep in mind, the alternative strategy is a large B17 raid with hundreds of casualities and maybe a small number of 500lb bombs within the factory footprint.

    The mosquito kamikaze force doesn't have to be perfect...just better than mass, daylight b17 raids, which had a lot of drawbacks themselves. The Shellhus raid certainly demonstrated impressive accuracy with normal tactics, but also lost 4 mosquitos and 2 mustangs. What if instead two kamikaze mosquitos had been sent. If at least one hits, you likely have just as much damage on the target (and you don't hit the catholic school.) Isn't losing two mosquitos better than losing four?
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I think you are vastly overestimating the accuarcy of said attacks. For one thing Kamikazes who didn't bail out before impact didn't get anywhere near that accuracy. You on the otherhand have suggested the pilot bail out before impact. They aren't going to be able to do that very easily in a high speed dive. Then there's the impact on accuracy of them bailing out. It's almost guaranteed to cause the plane to change it's impact point by some considerable margin. A flight profile like that as I've suggested also makes the planes vulnerable to medium caliber point defence weapons. It might also increase their vulnerabillty to heavy caliber AAA weapons near the target as well.

    Then if you look at the energy delivered via cannon shells KE vs CE you will find the CE component is significantly greater. Given the greater speed of cannon shells the KE is likely to be of little import unless the bombs don't go off. I also wouldn't exect them to have a great deal of fuel left on board.

    It's also not clear to me that it will be all that hard for the Germans to intercept them if they are going deep into Germany. They also don't need to intercept in numbers like they do vs B-17s. Furthermore you don't get the damage to the LW that historically developed due to fighter escorts. There's also a question of just how much one could ramp up the production of Mosquitos for this purpose.

    Then there are other defences that the Germans can employ vs such aircraft like barage balloons.
     
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Aircraft are notoriously hard to control in a dive, unless, like divebombers, they are equipped with dive brakes to somewhat control the plane's acceleration in the dive. one of the reasons why the Japanese switched to a low approach, pop up, then dive in from about 1,500 ft - 2,000 ft, was that their pilots would lose control of the aircraft as speed built up.

    The Shelhaus Raid would be poor use of Kamikaze Mosquitos. Most the Dutch prisoners were held on cells in the top floor, exactly where you kamikaze will be entering, thus killing the people you are trying to save. It has been said that the Mosquitos were trying to drop their bombs slightly short to avoid direct damage to the upper floors. Further, given that the prisoners were kept in two wings of the haus. One, the west wing, bore the brunt of the attack, and of the 9 prisoners there, 7 died. The other prisoners, were in the southern wing, either in their cells or under interrogation. This wing was not hit, and only one of the prisoners under interrogation died. The other two bomb hits were in the eastern wing, where no prisoners were being held.

    As it is, you cannot say that any of the Mosquitoes will hit the target, thus requiring more kamikazes to be flown, especially given that their are far fewer targets to intercept. For that matter, one or both Mosquitoes could miss their target leading to an even greater loss of civilian life - provided that they even find their target - this mission took several weeks of planning and special training, hardly ideal for a one-way kamikaze mission. Who is to say what will happen.
     
  4. arminiuss

    arminiuss New Member

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    I think the same results as suicide aircraft could be obtained by the Mistel/Fritz X/HS293 style of attack and no suicide needed. And if the allies had these weapons with their total control of the air, no suicide needed.

    Kamakazi is only worthwhile if it is the only thing saving the Earth from an alien invasion that wants to eliminate all humans.
     
  5. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Perhaps of some small interest, re: Kamikazes, would be this report:

    http://www.cna.org/sites/default/files/research/1007410100.pdf.

    I'd also point out that the USN was not particularly shy about bashing airplanes into targets, they just preferred to accomplish the task without anyone actually flying the plane from its pilots seat when it hits. Project Aphrodite, as mentioned is some of the earlier posts in this thread involved transferring from the USAAF to the USN war-weary bombers, B-17s and B-24s predominantly; packing them with explosives, a TV camera, and some radio control equipment and connections. Get a couple, pilot and co-pilot, brave souls to get the thing in the air, flip the control switch, and then jump. The rest of the flight would be controlled by a chase plane.

    Somewhat simpler in the Pacific. The TDR program was developed with a twin engine plane, the TDR, with a TV camera in the nose and all the radio control equipment already installed during construction. Hang a 2000# bomb on the under the wing roots and you're ready to go. The whole business was controlled by a controller flying nearby in a TBM. Something like 46 or so TDRs were expended in the Pacific with about a 38% hit on target rate.

    See http://www.earlytelevision.org/military_tv.html
     

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