8th Dec 1941, USAAF: you are in charge

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    What should you do (or do better), as a newly appointed commander of the AAF, from the end of 1941 until the end of the ww2? What airplanes, engines, armament other projects and modifications would receive more attention resources, what projects would've never started? Who should produce what? Would the deployment policies remain the same? What strategies need to be employed?

    You don't run the USN 'air force', that remains as-is, so there is no production for the AAF that would 'steal' from USN.
     
  2. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    I would get as many P38, P51 and F4U's as possible and take the fight to the Japanese Air Force wherever and whenever possible.
    These aircraft have the legs and firepower to engage Japanes bombers and fighters - given sensible tactics!
    For offensive operations - B17s with P38 escort - depending on distance to targets maybe P51 as well.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Create P-51 fighter aircraft by installing Packard built Merlin engine in Mustang airframe. All the pieces already exist so the aircraft will enter mass production by mid 1942. This aircraft will be produced ILO P-47 and late war versions of P-38.

    Order B-24 bomber to be produced with R2600 engines.

    Create program to produce a proper CAS aircraft. Includes proper bomb sight for ground attack rather then using air to air gun sight.

    Work with ground pounders to develop effective procedures for employment of CAS aircraft.

    Flame fuel has been used in flame throwers since WWI. Put it in a bomb casing for CAS use (i.e. napalm).

    Produce a 20mm cannon that works. Other nations can do it so we won't accept excuses. Fire or demote as many incompetent ordnance officers as necessary to get the job done quickly. This will become our standard fighter aircraft weapon.

    Develop portable radar systems, light AA weapons and control procedures suitable for use on forward area airfields.

    Produce an improved version of Norden bomb sight that is easier to use under combat conditions.

    Start license production of Mosquito aircraft. It will become USAAC standard for night fighter and long range recon missions.

    Create effective bomb sights and operational procedures for maritime attack. Fire, demote or shoot as many people as necessary to get the job done. It's a national scandal that USAAC B-17s cannot sink anchored Japanese cargo ships and troop transports.
     
  4. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    with the benefit of hindsight....like was said put the merlin in the 51 and give it a fuse tank and drop tanks so you have a long range escort right off the bat and avoid the disaster of oct 43.
     
  5. bob44

    bob44 Member

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    Knowing what we know now, starting with fighters. Choosing the P51B and later D, as the air superiority fighter with the merlin. Get it into mass production, train crews, and into front line units. Stop development on all other fighters, except maybe the P47. Use existing fighters to hold the line until the 51s arrive.
    Strategic bombers, put all development into the B29. Cancel the B24, B32, B36 and others. Continue producing and using the B17 until the 29 is available in numbers.
    For transports, continue with the C47. Cancel the C46. For heavier use, use existing passenger aircraft such as the DC4.
    Have not decided on light/medium bombers and attack aircraft yet.
     
  6. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #6 oldcrowcv63, Feb 3, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
    Prior to December 1941, I'd ignore RAF demands for the 6-gun export or separate production lines to give them what they most want and the USAAF what it most needs. Pulling two of the HMGs (and ammo) from the P-40E translates to emphasizing production of P-40Ds, possessing a little higher ceiling and slightly better climb rate and a little longer range. In the PI, institute Standing Airfield CAP over the major airbases of 1/4 to 1/3rd squadron strength aloft at any one time instead of 100% squadron scrambles. So, 1/4 would be 'off duty', 1/4 refueling and rearming and 1/4 on ready alert for immediate takeoff. Historically, the various squadrons didn't play zone defense over their own High Value Targets (RADAR site airfield) as described above, instead 100% of airborne planes were short on fuel from a prior scramble and those were deployed across the PI countryside responding to the rapidly varying, very inaccurate and quickly saturated comm that provided erroneous reports of the enemy's changing location and the conflicting instructions as to what to defend.

    Shooting in the dark without an ounce of knowledge of the subject's histories: Emphasize production and distribution of the P-38 and P-51 and do the unthinkable: develop the F4U in a USAAF variant. Try to establish a more balanced production priority for tactical bombers (medium bombers and A-series A/C: attack types) against strategic bombing needs. It seems to me these latter measures, if implemented in late 1941, are too late to change much but instituting them earlier might have an impact.
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Micro managing Philippine air operations from CONUS is the wrong approach. Appoint a competent general to command FEAF and they will do just fine during December 1941.
     
  8. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    First thing I would do is go to the UK and court martial those idiots that assisted the Japanese to develop the aircraft and the ships and the bombs and the method of delivering those bombs and torpedoes that were used on Dec. 7Th, 1941. Then turkey slap Churchill for not doing anything about it!

    Then go from there.
     
  9. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    How can you court martial civilians of another country?

    Which people helped the Japanese, specifically?
     
  10. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Look at improving the CAS aircraft. Perhaps a Syraider type aircraft? Cannon armed Tank busters perhaps with specialised training for the pilots. Stop kidding around so much with rockets.

    Look at a better alternative than the painfully slow development of the P-61. Probably the best bet is a two seat version of the P-38.

    Make a decision one way or the other....F6f or F4U, but not both.

    Look at a cheaper alternative to the B-29 that can get into service earlier. Reduce defensive armament if that gets better speed.

    Examine British area bombing methods to maximise damage from so-called "precision attacks"

    Forget the Japanese, they are going nowhere anyway, concentrate early efforts on taking the fight more effectively against the Germans.
     
  11. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #11 oldcrowcv63, Feb 3, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
    Actually my impression is that FEAF briefly had a pretty competent general in Lewis Brereton who was only on board for about 2 months. The pursuit leader was Col. Harold George whose reputation and knowledge was reputed to be unparalleled in the service. His nickname was 'Pursuit George' and his men apparently idolized him and keenly felt his untimely death in Australia in late April '42.

    I was suggesting the USAAF adopt an air defense doctrine similar to that practiced by the USN. Defense of a fleet HVT is in essence the role of a CAP. There is no question of assigning defending fighters to any mission but that and escort unless there is a beachhead involved. The way the air battle unfolded on December, 8 '41 indicated the USAAF didn't really have much of a Point Defense doctrine. My guess is that the RAF was past master of point defense and every BoB pilot probably had a good idea of which raid's target he was defending before he left the ground. Can anyone confirm that?
     
  12. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps court marshal was a bad term, at least bring them to trial for their treasons.

    If you can find "Churchill's Traitors" I suggest viewing it. It was eye opening.
    The Japanese were given plans to planes, helped in the construction of their New carrier fleet, trained in taking off and landing on said carriers by the most experienced RN carrier pilot, were given access to plans for Big Bombs for Small Planes, on and on, and WC halted the prosecution of the perpetrator. They were even given a Transcript of the secret meeting between Churchill and Pres Roosevelt. And it was common knowledge there were spies at Pearl Harbor.

    It's documented. I am not making this up to start a riot in the forum. It was a big surprise to me. I am certain it was not known among the US military or administration at the time of the beginning of the war, and Dec. 7th.
     
  13. bob44

    bob44 Member

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    I have read somethings about this.

    But we still do not know everything that happened. Probably never will.
     
  14. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    You, being in charge of the USAAF, have no jurisdiction over those individuals. You cannot try them for anything. It is far beyond your authority.

    Some of those things - such as helping the Japanese build ships, teaching them to land planes on carriers - happened in the 1920s, when Japan was an ally of the UK.
     
  15. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    See "Churchill's Traitors". Then you can make a decision if it was because they were an Ally.
    It was an offense TO DISTRIBUTE SECRET DOCUMENTS. These guys transmitted this information in a cloke and dagger manner. Knowing full well what they were doing.
     
  16. raumatibeach

    raumatibeach Banned

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    Start a program for a 50 cal electric gatling gun for the nose of b 25s or possibly an early ac47 to rip apart Japanese banzai charges , troop barges and vehicles . If it is small enough for the nose of a p38 that would be a bonus.
     
  17. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    #17 wuzak, Feb 4, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
    Still, as the head of the USAAF you have no jurisdiction or authority over these people.

    They weren't even traitors to your own country - by definition they cannot be, since they are foreign citizens. If they were operating on your soil you could get them for espionage, but that is still not the role of the head of the USAAF.

    Also, are you going to get the heads of Pratt Whitney, since they also sold information to Germany and Japan, in the form of licences to produce their engines?
     
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    These things have a habit of coming back to bite you in the arse.

    Pakistani officers are trained by the British and Sandhurst. These Pakistani officers then train the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Taliban now have commanders thoroughly briefed and aware of British tactics and operational methods.

    Sh*t happens.

    Steve
     
  19. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Ive not read thjis book, but there was an Aussie equivalent. Didnt menzies basically resign from office as Prime minister for selling pig iron to the japanese. He was certainly lampooned over it. he had a nickname...."Pig Iron Bob".

    I confess my skepticism.....sounds like that book that came out that "proved" the Sydney was actually sunk by a Japanese I-Boat.


    But I need to read the book before making any judgement, I admit
     
  20. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Really big bomber: at least 3 prototypes, one with R-2800, other with R-3350, yet another with V-3420; construction must allow for this. Initial deployment n Australia, vs. Sumatran oil fields.
    B-17/-24: do as they were, a more powerful R-1830 or R-2000 for B-24 when available.
    B-25: go for stronger HMG weaponry.
    B-26: install proper flaps, along with bigger wing ASAP. Keep the number of defensive guns at moderate quantity. Or go for speed: a pair of defensive HMGs, stay at small wing.
    A-20: install additional fuel tanks, plus wing drop tank facility (akin to P-38). Maybe try it out with turbo V-1710, should get better mileage vs. R-2600, but will provide less TO power. Better speed above 15000 ft, too.
    A-26: more attention funding into this one, produce it with 2-stage R-2800, or turbo. Or, go for (X)B-28, Douglas building the A-20 with uprated R-2600s and more fuel instead.
    As an alternative for existing twins, a twin engined pusher a-la Mixmaster.
    Forget about A-24, A-25 and like.

    P-38: get the second source of those, so the number supplied can be a decent one by early 1943, in all theaters, plus the Allies can get it. It will allow for modifications (dive flaps, better inter coolers, ADI, better propellers, generators on both engines, cabin heaters) to be introduced earlier without damaging the production too much.
    to-be-P-51: try and get V-1650-1 installed. Field it in 1943. Dallas factory will need to build those, too.
    P-47: drop tanks. Get Curtiss to do their job about the P-47G.
    P-39: delete the wing MGs, maybe install some fuel instead.
    P-40: as is, the Packard Merlin models built in small numbers only. Maybe do the 'A-40', dive bombing version.
    P-63: Bell builds P-51 with 2-stage V-1710 instead?
    Night fighters: A-20 with turbo V-1710, or P-38 with new central gondola, maybe the to-be-P-51 twin.

    Radars: essential force multiplier, as much of those (both static, movable and airborne) need to be produced used.

    Engines:
    Allison: go for fuel injection (should solve the backfiring other fuel related issues), two stage engine is the way. ADI (anti-detonant injection), for turbo models too. The V-3420 might get installed into a really big bomber.
    P&W: ADI.
    Wright: the R-2600 need to go grow in power earlier, ADI for all models.
    US Merlin: try to get another producer, or another line in Packard.

    Armament: neck-up the .50 BMG into 18-20 mm cannon. Let Colt, Browning or other competent firm do the belt fed Hispano.
     
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