Defeating Japan without South West Pacific campaign and Douglas MacArthur

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The US was always going to win the war of attrition. It was a question of how soon and at what total cost. Starting the attrition as soon as possible and keeping it going was going to work in the allies favor. If you are fighting a war of attrition you don't give the enemy a chance to rest/refit/rebuild unless you have NO CHOICE.
No one weapon was gong to do it all but the subs war on trade/shipping factors into the attrition by affecting resupply/replacements for the attrition war.
A particular weapon might be the most effective or give the best return on investment but that only goes so far, no one weapon can be 100% effective against ALL enemy forces. Despite what some proponents liked to claim (and are still claiming).
I disagree and it's due to poor political decisions made in USA during 1920s and 1930s.

WWII era USN had essentially no land based air power except for ASW. So medium / long range bomber and fighter aircraft operating from island airfields must be U.S. Army. Unfortunately U.S. Army aviation did not embrace naval attack mission so you can forget anything similar to IJN Betty Bomber or German Ju-88. U.S. Army B-17s and B-24s were willing to attack enemy ships but don't expect many hits. Their real value is for striking area targets such as Japanese airfields.

USN requires at least half a dozen infantry divisions for land combat operations plus numerous garrison units for rear areas. USMC was not allowed to expand enough to meet the requirement. So some of the ground troops must be U.S. Army.

Much of the amphibious transport belonged to U.S. Army.

WWII era U.S. Army hated USN (and vice versa) almost as much as they hated Japan. Major commands didn't share information, which almost proved fatal in Battle off Samar.

You go to war with military forces and command environment created during peacetime. Unfortunately ours wasn't particularly good during December 1941. But numerical and firepower superiority covers up a multitude of problems.
There werent many b-17s sent to the PTO, perhaps < 200, all in 1942. Limited numbers of Liberators were deployed to the TO before 1943. throughout 1943 numbers shot right up, and the japanese had a very hard time dealing with them. Sure, they were used for airfield suppression, but in the anti-shipping role, they easily eclipsed both the Betty and ju88 efforts (combined) by the extensive minbefield operations they were engaged in. Their range and payload capabilities worked a treat in this area. For direct attacks they were less sucessful, but were largely supplanted by RAAF beauforts and cannon armed B-25s, which again eclipsed both the Betty and the Ju88 in the anti-shipping role.
Japanese Navy employed 88 medium bombers (including only 34 torpedo aircraft) to sink two British dreadnoughts of TF Z. Japanese Navy employed a roughly similar number of medium bombers to support Philippine offensive during December 1941.

100 B-17s armed with reliable aerial torpedoes and well trained aircrew would have been a serious maritime weapon during first year of WWII vs Japanese troop transports.
But there werent that many. There were 32 in the PI from memory, greatly feared by the Japanese, and the focus of much attention in the prewar planning
You know, I am just having a bit of trouble picturing the B-17s doing a torpedo attack.


And just what is the speed of a B-17 at sea level? Could it even hit 250mph? Same throttle settings (and fuel consumption) that gave 258mph at 25,000ft gave 214mph at sea level. Drag at 25,000ft is less than 1/2 that sea level so the speed difference is not going to stay constant.
In a sense, the b17 was intended to be an anti shipping weapon, based on the belief that high level bombing was far more effective at sinking moving ships than it actually was.

All a/c have their strengths and weaknesses. The B17s weakness was that it was a level bomber, and for that it paid a price in accuracy. ju88 was a divebomber, and by 1943 divebombing was shown to be a dangerous delivery method with high losses, and had all but been dropped by the Allies. flak expenditures per kill tell it all. Average ammunition expenditure to bring down a b17 over Germany in 1944 was around 16000 shells per kill. To bring down a/c like the Ju88 it was a low as 500 rounds per kill in 1944
ah yes, but less than a year later, B-25s, A-20s and Beauforts were doing great things with low level skip bombing. Similar success was occurring off the coasts of Norway and in the med. Level bombers did eventually get dangerous, but high level bombing was not a very bright way of attacking shipping. nobody had much success with it. For the Germans, they learnt these lessons 1939-40, for the italians it was 1940-41, for the Brits it was 1941-2 and the americans 1942. others learnt at some point
For low level shipping attacks it helps a lot if the planes being used have a fair degree of agility, may not need to be fighter like but 4 engine bombers may leave something to be desired. This is from wiki on the Beaufort so take it as you will.

" A successful torpedo drop required that the approach run to the target needed to be straight and at a speed and height where the torpedo would enter the water smoothly: too high or too low and the torpedo could "porpoise" (skip through the water), dive, or even break up. Height over the water had to be judged without the benefit of a radio altimeter and misjudgement was easy, especially in calm conditions.[34] For the Beauforts using the 18-inch (450-mm) Mk XII aerial torpedo, the average drop-height was 68 ft (21 m) and the average range of release was 670 yd (610 m).[35] During the run-in, the aircraft was vulnerable to defensive anti-aircraft fire, and it took courage to fly through it with no chance of evasive manoeuvres. The Beaufort's optimum torpedo dropping speed was a great deal higher than that of the Vildebeests it was replacing, and it took practice to accurately judge the range to, and speed of, the target ship."

Now do you really want to be flying B-17s at 60-80 feet above the water on attack runs? AND getting within 700 yds of the target ship? Might work great on the unarmed slow transports that are Mr. Benders favorite targets but in order to hit the transports you might have to fly even closer to an escort, even if all it has is a couple of 25mm AA guns.
Might be interesting if a heavy bomber could launch a Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedo.
Sort of like an aquatic cruise missile.

Of course, the Allies had no such torpedo and the Japanese Type 93 had issues of its own.
Still, medium and heavy bombers needed a weapon with better standoff capability.
That would be pointless as aerial torpedoes require only about 1/10th the range of IJN Type 93 torpedo. Consequently aerial torpedoes carry smaller portion of fuel which allows a relatively large warhead.
I think the US forces got them late in the war, with their aircraft-launched, guided anti-ship weapons. I wonder how a guidance kit on a Grand Slam would have changed things. iirc, they could be dropped from B-29s
Didn't RAF/RCAF/US Navy maritime patrol B-24's drop torpedoes?
For the He-177, the inscrutable Wikipedia lists for armament 2 × LT 50 torpedoes under the wing.

The article also mentions the He 177 A-3/R7 Torpedo bomber version abandoned in favor of the He 177 A-5, only three built.
I suspect not many He-177 were employed as torpedo bombers. By the time perfected He-177 A-3 and A-5 entered service Germany had effective MCLOS guided air to surface weapons.

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