IJN attacks vs defended islands: Ceylon compared to Midway

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by oldcrowcv63, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Tired and Retired
    Location:
    Northeast North Carolina
    #1 oldcrowcv63, Oct 19, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2014
    In early 1942, IJN's Kido Butai attacked and scored substantial aerial victories over two defended island bases: Ceylon and Midway Island. The former much larger land mass, involved two different mass raids on two geographically separated targets with associated air battles between escorting zeroes and defending Hurricanes and Fulmars, while the latter involved one raid on a single target defended by an arguably obsolescent fighter, the F2A-3.

    The Ceylon raid was not accompanied by a great or decisive naval carrier clash as occurred at Midway and so may seem a historically minor event in a warzone backwater.

    The Action over Ceylon is described by Shores, Cull and Izawa in Bloody Shambles, vol. 2

    They describe the bases on Ceylon as being reinforced in the days leading up to the IJN raids somewhat similar to Midway's strengthening.


    On April 5, a strike force launched from 5 Kido Butai carriers (Akagi, Hiryu, Shokaku, Soryu, and Zuikaku) comprised of 53 B5N, 38 D3A and 36 A6M, attacked Columbo on the SW side of the island. The port although without Radar, was on alert due to prior IJN activity in the area and a radio-sighting report by an intrepid RCAF PBY pilot the day before. PBY searches early on the 5th revealed no carriers but major surface combatants. For its defense, launched 30 Hurricane Mark IIBs, 5 Mark Is and 6 Fulmar (II?)were able to launch from Ratmalana and Race Course Airfields which were primary targets with Ratmalana coming under attack as the last 3 Hurricane IIBs took off. The defenders apparently lost 19 of 35 Hurricanes and 4 of the 6 Fulmar IIs launched according to Shores et al. The IJN apparently lost 1 A6M, 6 D3A or 7 lost with 15 suffering damage. Seems like, despite some level of forewarning of the enemy presence, the RAF and FAA assets were caught somewhat flat-footed so that the Hurricane IIB strengths could not be exploited. Apparently 6 Fulmar II were on an extended patrol in the area during the attack but failed to make contact.

    At 0600, April 9, Nagumo's Kido Butai launched a second raid, consisting of 91 B5Ns and 41 A6Ms, on Trincomalee's port and China Bay airfield. Radar detected the raid before 0700. 3 Hurricane's were launched at 0635 and vectored to intercept at 0655. Upon sighting the raiders, the 3 Hurricanes climbed to 22,000 feet to take position above the escorting A6Ms. The defenders splashed 2 A6Ms for the loss of 1 Hurricane and 1 damaged. In the meantime, At 0710 13 more Hurricanes were ultimately scrambled to meet the incoming raid which arrived over head at about 0730. Half the 16 Hurricanes launched were evidently lost for 3 A6Ms and 2 B5Ms lost as well as a three damaged. Based at Trincomalee but not used for its defense were apparently 2 Martlets and 6 Fulmars. These aircraft apparently were held in reserve or due to a lack of proper ammo. In total, there appears to have been 24 fighters potentially available for defense of the port. The RAF Hurricane pilots were apparently relatively inexperienced with a few more seasoned pilots in the mix, similar to the Marines at Midway.

    The performance of the Midway based Marine F2A-3s has been well documented on this site and it (seems to me) that the results are surprisingly similar to those of the RAF. a few more lost with about the same or a few more IJN casualties: The 22 F2A-3s launched in Midway's defense apparently rendered half the Hiryu's VT out of action for the day and outright accounted for about the same number of aircraft as lost by the IJN raiders over Ceylon.

    Just thought the comparison might be interesting.

    Postscript, Later in the day, 8 Fulmars launched from Ratmalana to defend carrier Hermes accounted for 4 D3As with 5 damaged for the loss of 2.
     
  2. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,389
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    #2 RCAFson, Oct 20, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
    At Midway the USMC deployed 18 F2A-3s and 6 F4F-3s against the IJN raid. The USMC fighters had ample radar warning and all 24 attacked with a clear altitude advantage. The IJN force numbered 36 fighters, 36 Kates and 36 Vals. In First Team Lundstrom states that the USMC fighters shot down 3 or 4 IJN aircraft (one or two fighters and two attack aircraft) and 3 or 4 more IJN aircraft were lost to AA, for a total of 7 IJN losses. The USMC lost 13 F2A-3s, and 2 F4F-3s with only two F4Fs flyable after the action.

    The 16 RAF Hurricane fighters on April 09 faced longer odds and did comparatively better,
     
  3. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Tired and Retired
    Location:
    Northeast North Carolina
    Getting senile in my old age… I had forgotten about the F4F in the mix.
     
  4. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    Unfortunately, VMF-221 did not engage the Japanese en masse despite the advanced warning. Instead, they flew in obsolete Division formations of 4-5 airframes that were tactically unsound - worse even than the 3-ship vic that was still being used by some inexperienced RAF fighter units. Also, the Divisions were employed piecemeal, allowing each Division to be dealt with in turn as evidenced by the bulk of the losses being incurred by the first two Divisions that engaged the IJNAF attacking force.
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,195
    Likes Received:
    778
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    After action report by William Brooks and break out of each VMF-221 division that fought at Midway.

    I was pilot of F2A-3, Bureau number 01523, Our division under Capt. Armistead was on standby duty at he end of the runway on the morning of June 4, 1942, from 0415 until 0615. At about 0600, the alarm sounded and we took off. My division climbed rapidly, and I was having a hard time keeping up. I discovered afterwards that although my wheels indicator and hydraulic pressure indicator both registered “wheels up”, they were in reality about 1/3 of the way down. We sighted the enemy at about 14,000 feet, I would say that there were 40 to 50 planes. At this time Lt. Sandoval was also dropping back. My radio was at this time putting out no volume, so I could not get the message from Zed. At 17,000 feet, Capt. Armistead led the attack followed closely by Capt. Humberd. They went down the left of the Vee , leaving two planes burning. Lt. Sandoval went down the right side of the formation and I followed. One of us got a plane from the right side of the Vee. At this time, I had completely lost sight of my division. As I started to pull up for another run on the bombers, I was attacked by two fighters. Because my wheels being jammed 1/3 way down, I could not out dive these planes, but managed to dodge them and fire a burst or so into them as they went past me and as I headed for the water. As I circled the island, the anti-aircraft fire drove them away. My tabs, instruments and cockpit were shot up to quite an extent at this time and I was intending to come in for a landing.

    It was at this time that I noticed that a important feature in their fighting. I saw two planes dog-fighting over in the east, and decided to go help my friend if at all possible. My plane was working very poorly, and my climb was slow. As I neared the fight both planes turned on me. It was then that I realized I had been tricked in a sham battle put on by two Japs and I failed to recognize this because of the sun in my eyes. Then I say I was out-numbered, I turned and made a fast retreat for the island, collecting a goodly number of bullets on the way. After one of these planes had been shaken, I managed to get a good burst into another as we passed head-on when I turned into him. I don’t believe this ship could have gotten back to his carrier, because he immediately turned away and started north and down. I again decided to land, but as I circled the island I saw two Japs on a Brewster. Three of my guns were jammed, but I cut across the island, firing as I went with one gun. But I could not get there in time to help the American flier and as soon as the Brewster had gone into the water I came in for a landing at approximately 0715 (estimated).

    VMF-221 was composed of the following aircraft and pilots.

    FIRST DIVISION (F2A-3)

    Plane # Bu.No. Pilot Status

    MF-1 01518 Maj. Floyd B. Parks USMC MIA

    MF-2 01548 2nd Lt. Eugene P. Madole USMCR MIA

    MF-3 01525 Capt. John R. Alvord USMC MIA

    MF-4 01537 2nd Lt. John M. Butler USMCR MIA

    MF-5 01569 2nd Lt. David W. Pinkerton Jr. USMCR MIA

    MF-6 01552 2nd Lt. Charles S. Hughes USMCR, Did not engage, turned back due to Engine problems



    SECOND DIVISION (F2A-3)

    Plane # Bu.No. Pilot Status

    MF-7 01552 Capt. Daniel J. Hennessey USMC MIA

    MF-8 01541 2nd Lt. Ellwood Q. Lindsay USMCR MIA

    MF-9 01524 Capt. Herbert T. Merrill USMC Bailed out WIA

    MF-10 01528 Capt. Herbert T. Merrill USMC MIA

    MF-11 01568 Capt. Phillip R. White USMC Survived

    MF-12 01542 2nd Lt. John D. Lucas USMCR MIA



    THIRD DIVISION (F2A-3)

    Plane# Bu.No. Pilot Status

    MF-13 01562 Capt. Kirk Armistead USMC Survived

    MF-14 01563 2nd Lt. William B. Sandoval USMCR MIA

    MF-15 01553 Capt. William C. Humberd USMC Survived

    MF-16 01523 2nd Lt. Williams V. Brooks USMCR WIA

    MF-17 01521 2nd Lt. Charles M .Kunz USMCR WIA

    MF-18 01559 2nd Lt. Martin E. Mahannah USMC KIA (his body washed up later)

    23 (F4F-3) 3989 2nd Lt. Walter W. Swansberger USMCR Survived



    FOURTH DIVISION (F2A-3)

    Plane # Bu.No. Pilot Status

    MF-19 01520 Capt. Robert E. Curtin USMC MIA

    MF-20 01550 2nd Lt. Darrell D. Irwin USMCR Survived



    FIFTH DIVISION (F4F-3)



    Plane # Bu.No. Pilot Status

    22 4008 Capt. John F. Carey USMC WIA

    24 4000 Capt. Marion E. Carl USMC Survived

    25 3997 2Lt. Clayton M. Canfield USMCR Survived

    26 4006 Capt. Francis P. McCarthy USMC MIA

    27 2532 2nd Lt. Roy A. Corry USMC Survived

    28 1864 2nd Lt.Hyde Phillips USMCR Did not engage, mechanical problems
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Bacon Bacon x 1
  6. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    Thanks Joe. Didn't have my references with my so was working from my (faulty) memory about the Divisional composition of VMF-221 but tactics and training were certainly not up to the latest (and many of the pilots were newly-arrived at Midway. The USMC air arm was expanding rapidly, splitting squadrons and then backfilling with newly-trained pilots.

    I had the privilege of meeting Bill Brooks, one of the survivors from the Third Division, about 16 years ago - a real gentleman!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Tired and Retired
    Location:
    Northeast North Carolina
    #7 oldcrowcv63, Oct 20, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
    Lundstrom's focus in recounting battle damage focused on the losses suffered by the Hiryu Air Group: 2 VF damaged and three VT splashed, one ditched and 4 inop. due to damage.

    According to Fuchida: 3VT, 1VB and 2 VF were lost over Midway. (one of these possibly lost to AA)
    Prange lists: 3 VT and 2 VF were lost in a-2-a combat. Losses and damage supposedly attributed to a Nagumo post battle summary.
    Damaged: 16 VT, 4 VB and 12 VF although Prange suggests Nagumo's figures are not reliable as he lists no losses to Hiryu VT which was apparently hardest hit. This talley of losses and damage seems fairly consistent with the results over Ceylon.

    VMF-221 launched the following a/c:

    Park's 1st Division consisting of 6 F2A-3 flown by: Madole, Alvord, Butler, Pinkerton, Hughes(DNE-RTB)
    Hennesy's 2nd Division consisting of 6 F2A-3 flown by: Lindsay, Merrill, Benson, White Lucas
    Armistead's 3rd Division consisting of 6 F2A-3 flown by: Sandoval, Humbard, Brooks, Kunz, Mahannah and 1 F4F-3 flown by Sansburger
    Curtin's Fourth Division consisting of 2 F2A-3 flown by: Irwin
    Carey's Fifth Division consisting of 3 F4F-3 flown by: Carl Canfield
    Morning CAP consisting of 2 F4F-3 flown by McCarthy and Correy.

    Bold faced indicates pilot survived the battle, all others were KIA.

    It looks like the total number of fighters launched was 20 F2A-3 and 6 F4F-3 of which 19 F2A-3 and 6 F4f-3 actually engaged IJN a/c.

    Warning time at Midway appears to have been 35 minutes (detection at 0555, launch at about 0605 and bombs drop on Midway at 0630.

    No radar warning was available to the Columbo defenders for the 5 April raid.

    According to Shores et al., RADAR Warning time at Trincomalee, Ceyon on April 9, also appears to have been 35 minutes (detection at 0655, fighter scramble at about 0710 for 6 Hurricanes of A flight 261 squadron, and an additional 6 in B Flight launched at 0715. Bombs drop on China Bay air field at 0730. 3 Hurricanes were aloft on CAP having launched at 0635 and 9 of the 16 Hurricanes launched achieved altitude superiority (21 or 22k') before engaging the IJN VTB a/c at ~12-15K', escorts at 20k'. B Flight launched from an dispersal air field launched (Kokkilai) late and only got to 16k' about 2K' lower then the IJN escorts. 8 RAF a.c were downed with 3 damaged. IJN loses were already tallied.

    I wouldn't make a comparison of a/c in these two battles and certainly would conclude that I'd rather be flying a Hurricane IIB or even a HI than a F2A-3. I think the number of defenders in both cases was insufficient to the size of the raid and the tactics employed by both the RAF/FAA and USMC/USN in defense were flawed at this stage of the war.

    What I found particularly interesting and what may have made a major difference in limiting the RAF Hurricane score was that apparently the IJN escorting VF arrived over China Bay BEFORE the VTB a/c arrived and it seems the RAF might have had only a brief(er?) pass at the IJN bombers. I also wonder whether more damage might have been inflicted by the F2A-3's 4x 0.50s than did the Hurricane's 8x.303s but that seems unlikely to be a factor, considering the un or lightly armored opposition.
     
  8. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Tired and Retired
    Location:
    Northeast North Carolina
    Sorry Joe, I didn't see your post before posting my own with duplicate info on the USMC defenders.
     
  9. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    107
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Well, Finnish B-239's managed to shoot down a Soviet Hawker Hurricane :rolleyes:
     
  10. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Helsinki
    several Hurricanes!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Tired and Retired
    Location:
    Northeast North Carolina
    Armistead landed his F2A-3 with a damaged aileron, hydraulics and brake.
    Carl landed his F4F-3 with minor damage.
    Humbard land his F2A-3 with significant damage to his hydraulics and airframe (multiple holes in fuselage, wing and hood).
    White landed his F2A-3 after rearming launched again and finally landed unharmed.
    Canfield landed his F4F-3 with damage to his fuselage, wing and landing gear which collapsed on touchdown.
    Corry landed his F4F-3 with small caliber wing tank and probable fuselage damage.
    Hughes RTB in his F2A-3 due to engine power loss and placed it in the protected revetment before the attack. Presumably undamaged in the attack with the engine repairable with some maintenance.
    Phillip's F4F-3 was in maintenance and presumably in a revetment during the attack. Some maintenance presumably required.
    Brooks (WIA) landed his F2A-3 with significant cockpit and landing gear and probable fuselage damage (72 bullet cannon holes).
    Kunz (WIA), landed his F2A-3 with damaged radio hydraulic system. Many holes.
    Irwin landed his F2A-3 with significant wing fuselage damage including a non-fatal cannon hit to the wing tank.

    My guess is that Carl's F4F-3 and White's F2A-3 remained serviceable with probably some of the other a/c fairly quickly repairable including Hughes F2A-3 and Phillips F4F-3.
     
  12. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Tired and Retired
    Location:
    Northeast North Carolina
    #12 oldcrowcv63, Oct 20, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
    gjs, I didn't say I'd pick a Hurricane over an F2A-1 although I might. I said I'd pick a Hurricane IIB (and maybe an HI) over an F2A-3.. The two Brewsters were, in my opinion, VERY different airplanes. From what I've read, at least some USN USMC pilots would choose an F2A-2 over either Hurricane, or any F4F.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,029
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The Hurricanes probably fared better against the fighters than anything the Marines had. Against the Zeros, forget about it. This account on Midway is pretty much my understanding on that stage in the war. This is from Lord, Incredible Victory (1967), p102:

    "But it wasn't deception, skill or even numbers that made the big difference. As the Marine fighters fluttered down to the sea, or staggered back toward Midway, it was clear that the greatest Japanese advantage lay in the Zero itself. The Marine pilots were astonished. Like most Americans, they had been taught to think of the Japanese as an imitative people who couldn't do much on their own. Now here was a fighter that could outclimb, outrun, outmaneuver any plane the U.S. had. If it was also highly vulnerable, they rarely had a good enough shot at it to find out. Even the F4Fs were completely outclassed, and the ancient Buffaloes--as Lieutenant Charles Hughes sadly remarked--"looked like they were tied to a string while the Zeros made passes at them."
     
  14. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    Lord raises a valid point about the ethnic bias applied against Japanese technology in the late-30s and through until late-41. However, simply blaming the aircraft is a naiively simplistic. Poor tactics coupled with a large number of pilots fresh out of training and a squadron organization that was just rebuilding after having been split to form VMF-222...hardly the makings of a robust defensive force. I'm not saying the F2A-3 was a good aircraft - it was too heavy, with manouverability sacrificed for long range (at the USN's behest, I must add) - but just blaming the tool is a workman's cop out.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    107
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    From Wiki:

    The poor performance of the Buffalo at Midway later prompted Finnish Air Force ace Hans Wind to develop new combat tactics for the FAF Brewster, which were later used with remarkable success in 1942 and 1943 against the Soviet Air Force during the Continuation War.[47] Wind's combat tactics, which emphasized diving speed and zoom climbs, were much the same as Claire Chennault's advice for employing the Curtiss P-40B against the A6M Zero in Burma and China.[47] Chennault's report on the Zero and air combat reached Washington in 1941, where it was disseminated to aviation forces of the U.S. Army and Navy.[48] This information, along with the development of two-plane mutual defensive formations and tactics, were incorporated into U.S. and Marine Corps air combat training doctrine by some prescient U.S. commanders, including Lieutenant Commander "Jimmy" Thach. The Thach Weave was developed for use by Wildcat pilots against the Zero, and was later adopted by other Wildcat squadrons in the Pacific.[48]
     
  16. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,029
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    If he was "simply blaming the aircraft," or "just blaming the tool," I think I'd be inclined to agree with you.
     
  17. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Tired and Retired
    Location:
    Northeast North Carolina
    #17 oldcrowcv63, Oct 20, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
    This is surprising to me. I had not heard of this influence half a world away, but I have to add, looking at the B-239 pre-Midway success, Wind's tactical modifications appear to be merely gilding the lily:

    From the start of the continuation war in June of 1941 to the end of 1941, B-239s assigned to LeLv 24 rolled up a score (admittedly against mainly inferior opposition) of 67.5:1.

    In the first 5 months of 1942, B-239s destroyed about: 23 Mig-1 -3, 2 LAGG-3 and 20 Hurricanes, for a kill ratio of ~69:1

    These numbers appear on Dan Ford's site but I don't know whether they are claims or confirmed.

    http://www.warbirdforum.com/scores.htm
     
  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,760
    Likes Received:
    791
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    Do you have a source for this?

    while max capacity did change the normal fuel capacity did not. The old wing tanks contained in the box spar held 160 gallons and could not be made self sealing to the standard the USN wanted. The right tank had two outlets, the higher one was the 'normal' outlet and when used left about 25 gallons in the tank which was accessed by switching to the 'reserve' setting on the fuel tank selector. The left tank had one fuel for the full capacity of the tank. 3 new protected tanks totaling 80 gallons were added. The left tank filler was sealed off and stenciled " Not to be filled except on the special authority of Commanding Officer". Right tank with it's reserve capacity was kept for a 'normal' fuel capacity that stayed the same. Since the box spar and ribs provided the walls, top and bottom of the wing tanks the only weight saving in getting rid of them would have been the fuel filler/s, outlets and drains, and fuel piping to the fuel selector valve. The F2A-3 could be fitted with a CO2 system to purge the wing tanks of gas fumes after the fuel was used for less of a fire hazard.

    The prototype XF2A-1 and XF2A-2 (same airframe) held only 110 gallons so the US Navy certainly did ask for more fuel/range in the production versions. Reasons for the increase from 160 to 240 gallons are a bit more confused.

    Weight tables in 'AHT' show 660lbs (110 gal) as 'normal' fuel load and 1080lbs (180 gal) as overload, which doesn't quite add up. 240 gallons would be 1440lbs of fuel
     
  19. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    #19 buffnut453, Oct 21, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
    I don't think the performance of the Buffalo at Midway had any impact on Finnish tactics. The cited link makes no such claim, merely observing that Soviet pilots used poor tactics and that the Finns used three-dimensional tactics that successfully countered the flat circles adopted by their adversary. How would the Finns get any knowledge of the tactics employed by the USMC pilots at Midway? The combat reports would be classified and I just don't see that data being shared. Even if it was, the Finns were flying the lighter, more manoeuverable F2A-1 which offered more tactical options than the sluggish -3 used by the USMC. 'Fraid this is a case of Wiki barking up completely the wrong tree.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    I believe the extra fuel was for long-range CAPs but that role disappeared with the advent of ship-borne radar. The fundamental problem with the F2A is that the wing was appropriately-sized for the original, unarmoured -1 variants. With each increase in weight, the wing loading increased thus impacting manoeuverability. By the time of the -3, weight had increased considerably with armour plate, the extra 3 self-sealing fuel tanks and their piping, and the extended fuselage which required longer structural support for the engine. I'll accept my glib statement was an oversimplification but the net result was the same and manouverability did suffer.
     
Loading...

Share This Page