Best Pre 1942 Carrier Torpedo Bomber

Discussion in 'Polls' started by syscom3, Apr 8, 2007.

?

Which of the following was the best carrier based torpedo bomber prior to 1942

  1. Nakajima B5N "Kate"

    50.0%
  2. TBD Devastator

    9.4%
  3. Fairey Swordfish

    34.4%
  4. Fieseler Fi 167

    6.3%
  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Heres the four choices.
     
  2. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Interesting u broke it down to pre-1942... Would have liked to seen the comparisons between the generations...
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Les, I figured that 1942 was the year when everyone learned that slow moving torpedo planes were highly vulnerable to AA. Plus as the number of enemy ships decreased, the torpedo bombers had to be able to adapt to new missions.

    For me, the "Kate" was the best as it lugged the larger of the torpedo's and performed its mission well.

    I will post another poll for 1943-45 after we discuss this one.
     
  4. Desert Fox

    Desert Fox Member

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    I'd say the Fairey Swordfish. For a biplane, it did some amazing things in the sky during that time, like sinking the Bismark. That was a big achievement for a supposedly obsolescent aircraft.
     
  5. Typhoon

    Typhoon New Member

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    The Swordfish also sunk the Italian Battleships as well. Being the first carrier attack on Battleships.
     
  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Based on performance and equipment, it's the Kate. Based on accomplishment, I'd go with the Swordfish, but the Kate is close behind - a good poll!
     
  7. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Then why'd u vote for the Devastator then Joe???
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Got to vote for the Kate.

    Who cares about what the Swordfish accomplished. It was not the better of the two aircraft. The Kate was faster, better protected, more maneuverable and able to perform the mission better.

    If you wish to talk about accomplishments it is still the Kate. 2 Words....

    Pearl Harbor.
     
  9. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Agreed Adler. I would of voted for the Swordfish if the Kate hadn't been in the poll but the Swordfish despite what it accomplished was not the best at this time.
     
  10. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I hate to say it but I dont really think it was the best at any point of the war.
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    My mistake! :oops: Corrected accordingly....
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Uhuh just admit it, you thought you could get away with it. You sly little fox!
     
  13. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    The B5N1/2 were no better protected than the Fairey Swordfish, defensive armament on both was a single light machine-gun. The Swordfish had a more diverse weapons collection, the 'Kate' could only carry torpedos and bombs in no greater weight than the Swordfish loading. The Swordfish could carry torpedo, bombs, mines and rockets; the latter two being something the 'Kate' never carried.

    The Swordfish sank more tonnage than the 'Kate'. The Swordfish III was deployed with the Mk.X ASV radar which was superior to that on any 'Kate'. While the 'Kate' spear-headed Pearl Harbour it wasn't alone in the attack, the Swordfish on the other hand went into Taranto on its own.

    The B5N1/2 'Kate' looks more modern but it wasn't any better than the Swordfish.

    *edit* The Swordfish actually carried a larger bomb-load than the B5N2. The B5N2 carried a single 1764-lb torpedo or three 250-lb bombs, the Swordfish Mk.I could carry a single 1,610-lb torpedo or a 1,500-lb mine or 1,500-lb bombs (2 500-lb under fuselage and one 250-lb under each wing, or 1 500-lb under fuselage and 1 500-lb under each wing).
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    The swordfish was a fabric covered biplane...

    That is what I meant by protection.

    The Kate was more maneuverable and had better performance and this thread is about Torpedo Bomber so who cares about mines, bombs and rockets.
     
  15. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    The B5N2 had no defensive armour or self-sealing fuel tanks, it was no more survivable than the Swordfish. Range and speed of the B5N2 were superior to the Swordfish, while the Swordfish was more stable at the slower speeds during the torpedo run.
     
  16. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The purpose of a torpedo bomber is to get out to attack the enemy.

    The Kates superior range and speed meant attacks could be launched further from the carrier.

    In 1942, the USN was at a disadvantage in this regards. Remember that it takes time to launch a full stike force, and the more range you have, the sooner you can get everyone formed up and enroute to your enemy.
     
  17. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    The aircraft was still more protected and more "durrable" than a fabric covered aircraft. There is more to it than dodging bullets.

    You give me a choice between a faster metal mono wing aircraft or a slow fabric covered bi plane I will take the metal mono wing any day.
     
  18. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Same here, as well the Kate had a better combat record...
     
  19. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    The Swordfish was an underdog through out its career but performed well but I think much of its accomplishments were based on its crew's skill and determination.
     
  20. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    I agree best and most successful are 2 different things however while I agree with you that the Kate was a better TB, I disagree with you Joe on the Kate being more successful than the Stringbag. IMO the Med campaign supplies evidence that the Stringbags effectiveness was not bettered.
    I agree Pearl was a huge success for the Kate but it was also an attack with the opponant whether by suprise or poor leadership unprepared, Taranto was an enemy already at war and geared up for defence.
    21 Stringbags as opposed to (I believe) over 400 Japanese aircraft around a 100 of which I think where Kates.
    The tonnage of vessels attributed to Swordfish attacks rose consistantly during the North African campaign although the land based Swordfish claimed an average of 50,000 tonnes per month it is more likely to be a total around 250.000 - 300,000 tonnes of non naval vessels for all stringbags in all campaigns both sea land borne. The total for naval tonnage sunk by torpedo launched attacks is not a figure I have settled on but it does seem to be an amount well in excess of 150,000 tonnes but as I say sorting out the weaponry deployed by the Stringbags for a given action is proving a bit of a devil to find out as it ended up a jack of all trades. Although I can find kills, the details are somewhat more elusive and where a mixed action occured it tends to be hard to define the Coup De Gra aircraft. For ex-sample USS Arizona bombed and torpedoed as opposed to say the 15 Stringbag U boat kills that were solo efforts.(around 18,000 tonnes but again using a mixture of ordanance ) .
    Never the less I will deffinately go with the argument that the Kate was a better TB , but I think not as successful as the Stringbag.

    PS
    (800kg Torpedo for Kate) (730kg for Swordfish) so very close in torpedo payload and although the Japanese plane launched type 91 torpedos were very good so were the 18inch Duplex triggered British models (neither IMO as good as the ship borne Long Lance though).
     
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