Japanese Army vs Navy

Discussion in 'Polls' started by loomaluftwaffe, Nov 27, 2008.

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Which do you think was a better air force?

  1. IJA (Impreial Japanese Army Air Force)

    8 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. IJN (Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force)

    24 vote(s)
    75.0%
  1. loomaluftwaffe

    loomaluftwaffe Active Member

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    Always wondered why they had separate air services, it just made Japan's industrial capacity more strained cause it had to manufacture and develop so many different types of aircraft and engines for both air services.

    Anyways, which do you think was a more formidable and efficient fighting force? Take into account that the Army had developed heavy energy fighters earlier than the navy did, and had better bombers (better in the sense that it doesn't go down as much as the navy's did)

    But the navy had more resources diverted to it, (11k Zeros were manufactured) and had the edge at the start (the Army was still flying Ki-27s when they attacked Pearl Harbor) and also had carriers as well as land bases. Though they relied on the Zero way more than the Army relied on the Oscar. (it was supplanted by the Tony)

    I'm kinda biased, more in favor of the Army though.
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Why wouldn't they have seperate air services. Most nations do...

    Here are some examples:

    USA
    During WW2:
    US Army Air Corps
    US Navy (Aviation)
    US Marine Corps (Aviation)

    After 1947:
    US Airforce
    US Army (Aviation)
    US Navy (Aviation)
    US Marine Corps (Aviation)

    England
    RAF (Royal Air Force)
    Fleet Air Arm (Royal Navy)

    See what I mean...
     
  3. loomaluftwaffe

    loomaluftwaffe Active Member

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    Because it strains their resources, something they fought over. I mean, there were so many different types for both services, and they would also make companies develop new aircraft for that certain service. For example, the Army had the Ki-84, but the Navy still went on and developed the N1K-J series, both land aircraft, both troublesome. I mean, why not just collaborate and help each other so you can concentrate on that one type of plane and make it less troublesome?

    I don't know that much about their rivalry, but thats partly why I chose to start this poll :p

    The US could afford to do that cause they had the resources to, and I guess Britain also had resources, and backing from the US.

    I'm not sure but what about the other major air forces of the world at that time? I don't think the VVS had a naval counterpart, nor did the Regia Aeronautica, nor did the Luftwaffe.
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Its simple. Both the Navy and the Army have different missions and therefore different requirements.
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    In terms of innovation,, IMO it was unquestionably the Navy that was out in front. At the beginning of the war they had the most advanced carrier aircraft of the world were to first to grasp the advantages of operating as a single multi hulled well trained team (later coined as the Task Force), knew the advantages of attacking with mixed formations of torpedo and divebombers (anvil attacks) understood the advantages of concentration, speed, and surprise. Some of its commanders had already realized that carrier aviation was the nemesis of the battleship, which was years ahead of any of its rivals. It had developed its land based air forces to a very high state of readiness, with the Prince Of Wales and Repulse the product of that readiness. The IJN remains the only land based formation to have sunk battleships incidentally.

    I am not sure about your claims that Japanese bombers were more well protected than the Japanese. They were no better armoured, neither service had introduced armour into their designs in 1941, and the defensive armament was woeful in JAAF aircraft. The Betty's and earlier Nells had a propensity to ignite because they carried large fuel loads in the wings, but given the armour-less liitations of both services, and their failure by both services to introduce fire suppression technologies, this should not be viewed as a failure, but as an advantage. At least the IJN land based air had the ability to reach their targets and complete their mission, whereas the JAAF were largely unable to complete their missions, because they had to severely restrict their bombloads so that they could carry sufficient fuel to reach targets like Chungking.

    IJN Bombers were better protected in the sense that they carried better defensive armament, and had higher performance arcs than their army cousins

    The successor to the Sally Heavy bomber (the Helen) was not considered a success. The final development of the JAAF medium bomber forces (called heavy bombers in the JAAF) was the Peggy. This was a fast, well armed and well protected aircraft but arrived too late. It was matched in the Navy by the Frances, which was also a very advanced design.

    Japanese Army fighters did close the qulality gap with the Navy with their oscars, Tonys Tojos and Franks. Against this the Navy introduced the George and the Jack. The Navy were also in the final stages of the first Jet fighter, the so-called Kikka (no code name given), when the war ended

    The separation of army and air forces was innefficient from a resource management POV, howeve this was not inconsistent with the modus operandi of all the participants, but moreso all of the axis powers. In Japan, the system was run by a military junta consisting of a mixture of army and navy cronies. Neither side was ever going to surrender their power base or influence to the other. It should also be noted that this cronyism extended into the military industrial combines (the zaibatsu) with nakajima generally supporting the army, and Mitsubishi supporting the navy. There was always going to be a division of effort under those circumstances
     
  6. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    While there were fighter/interceptor variants proposed, the initial J9Y "Kikka" was to be an attack aircraft using underwing bombs. (no gun armament) THe performance in tests also seem to be rather modest, with speed only marginally higher than the Mustang or F4U-4, even closer to the P-47N/M (at altitude) and about the same as the P-51H.

    The engines used by the IJN and IJAAF were usually the same, albeit with different designations. The George and Frank had the same engine type, as did the A6M and Ki-43, and the older Ki-27 and A5M. (not to mention the bombers)


    The real confusion and division came with the weapons. Not only did they develop them independently, but they used a great number of different guns individually and used a variety of ammunition.
    For example, both used derivatives of the Vickers machine gun for fixed aircraft mounting, but the IJN used a copy of the .303 British ammo while the Army used their own 7.7x58SR ammo. (they also had a host of flexible guns including the .303 Lewis and copies of the MG 15 using the German 7.92x57mm Mauser cartridge)
    Both developed derivatives of the .50 Browning gun, the Navy with their 13mm type 3 used the 13.2x99mm Hotchkiss ammo (identical to the .50 BMG except for the caliber and ammunition) while the Army used the less powerful 12.7x81SR .5" Vickers export (also used by Italy). The Navy also used a version of the MG 131.
    The Navy used 20mm Oerlikon cannons in their Type 99-1/2 (-1 is the FF, -2 is the FFL) while the Army had their Ho-5 derivative of the Browning as well as the heavy and slow firing Ho-1 and Ho-3 cannon.
    They had 3 different 30mm guns: the Ho-155 (scaled up Browning) while the Navy had their Oerlikon derived Type-2 and indigenous (and powerful) Type-5.
    The Army also used a number of even larger guns with their bulky (closed loop belt fed) 37mm Ho-203, .50 Browning pattern 37mm Ho-204, 40mm caseless Ho-301, and 57mm Ho-401.


    An interesting thing about Japan and the US is neither had independent Air Forces (RAF, Luftwaffe, etc).
     
  7. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    It would be hard to imagine the Kikka not being developed as a fighter, even despite its limited performance, and designated purpose. The Me 262 was at one stage slated for use as a bomber as well.

    Even though its performance was limited, I recall reading somewhere that it was capable of a speed of 470 mph, which is much higher than any of the contemporary Japanese Fighters. On the assumption that it would retain the same good handling characteristics typical of nearly all Jap fighters, I still think it would have been an intersting aircraft to see in action, if it had made it to service.

    I will see if I can find its projected performance figures, and get back to you
     
  8. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    The Kikka only superficially resembled the Me 262, there was another design that was very close to the Me 262 design being developed by Japan, the Ki-201.

    The planned interceptor version of the Kikka was to use the much more powerful Ne-130 or Ne-230 engines. However these versions were considerably larger, much more like the Ki-201 design, while the prototype matched the attack/kamikaze version.
     
  9. loomaluftwaffe

    loomaluftwaffe Active Member

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    Not trying to contradict you in anyways but I just wanna know what exactly were these objectives/requirements? As far as I know, the Navy fought mostly on the Pacific Islands while the Army was based in China. Also, the Army was somewhat like the VVS in the sense that it was there to support the ground effort. (I'm not sure where I heard this from, and I'm not very familiar either with any Japanese close air support aircraft)

    I also heard from another source that the Kikka carried no guns.

    In terms of success, many would say the Navy performed better due to better quality pilot training. (can somebody please clarify? I hear alot that Army pilots weren't very well trained) But many enemy pilots couldn't clearly tell an Oscar from a Zeke, and both types experienced early successes too IIRC. (don't Oscars have funky camo schemes and Zekes all Greyish-White/Green?)
     
  10. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    My personal view is that there was little between them towards the end of the war. At the start the IJN had a clear advantage over the JAAF but things evened up.
    The Ki44, Ki84, Ki61 and Ki100 were all capable aircraft often hindered by the poor build quality and fuel more than the actual designs themselves.

    Re Pilot training I have no idea but would be suprised if the JAAF were far behind if at all in training compared to the IJN.
     
  11. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Pilot training was similar, as demonstrated by the relative performance of the army and navy units in China and against the Russians. However, JAAF doctrine was pedestrian and unremarkable. In comparison IJN doctrine was at the worlds leading edge in 1941 when it came to carrier based aviation, and land based naval aviation
     
  12. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    There are many reasons whay they had seperate forces. One being that the IJN and IJA distrusted each other very much, and both considered themselves to be the other's superior, especially so with the IJN who considered the Army and it's officers beneath them, especially after the IJA's Rape of Nanking. Both services were arguing for their own power, influence, and money and backing inside the Japanese government, each service wanting the most it could get.
    But I would have to say that I believe the IJN had the more up to date tactics and training with having to coincide with all the changes and advances in naval warfare during WW2. I have always heard that the IJN pilots were the best Japan had to offer at the start of the war.
     
  13. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Tirpitz?

    Marat?

    Just a thought.
     
  14. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    Maybe he meant sunk at sea, in which case it's almost true. The only combat sinking of a capital ship at sea by landbased planes besides Prince of Wales and Repluse was the Roma by German landbased bombers using guided bombs.

    On the general question, the Japanese Navy was way ahead of the Army in strategic application of airpower in the '30's and general air-mindedness. They did most of the long range bombing in China. Then their air arm struck the most devastating blows in the opening phases of the Pacific War.

    As far as fighter effectiveness, prior to the Pacific War Army and Navy fighters never met the same Soviet opposition to make a clear comparison there. For much of early part of the Sino-Japanese War, esp ca. 1938, a lot of nominally Chinese opposition was Soviet piloted but other parts were really Chinese. That was mainly v the JNAF which still achieved generally good results with the Type 96 (later 'Claude'), though suffered in some combats. Later on with the Zero, combat was very one sided in the JNAF's favor but by then the Soviet pilots had been withdrawn on the Chinese side. The Army only saw really heavy fighter combat in that period v the Soviet AF directly, in the Nomonhan incident in 1939, mainly flying the Type 97 (Nate) with earlier types also. Overclaims were vast on both sides but the true result seems to have been somewhat in favor of the Japanese in fighter combat.

    Some of the superior reputation of JNAF fighters in the Pac War is surely based on the 'all Japanese fighters are Zeroes' phenomenon which is still embedded in a lot of popular perception. The Type 1 (aka 'Oscar') wasn't even firmly recognized as a separate type until later on, and even right to the end of the war Allied id's of Japanese fighters in combat were hit or miss, often seen when the Japanese side of the same combat is known, or simply by the frequency of reports of combats including both Zeroes and Army types which in fact rarely flew together. In 41-42 the Type 1 had a similar (high) kill ratio to the Zero v. most Allied fighter units it met, the exception being V. AVG P-40's, which never met Zeroes. The first Allied fighter units to match the Zero, USN/USMC F4F units, didn't meet Type 1's until Army raids on Guadalcanal and over the lower Solomons generally from January 1943. F4F results in those few combats aren't obviously vastly different than against Zeroes in the same period (and were reported as having been against Zeroes).

    But as mentioned, in Dec '41 most JAAF fighter units still flew the Type 97 whereas only a few of the similar Type 96's were still in frontline service in the Navy. So the Navy's fighter arm was definitely the more effective at that time, for that reason alone. However even the Type 97 more or less held its own against Allied fighters in 41-mid 42, again except the AVG.

    Japan's problem wasn't that it had two air services, as mentioned the US had 3 and Allies altogether a bunch. The problem was the general lack of coordination between the Army and Navy in all kinds of operations, R&D and production allocation, generally at the bare minimum, often below.

    Going the other way and food for thought, a number of Japanese accounts rated USN fighters as superior to USAAF, at various stages of the war and I've never heard of any Japanese opinion the other way around.

    Joe
     
  15. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Parsifal,

    >Japanese Army fighters did close the qulality gap with the Navy with their oscars, Tonys Tojos and Franks. Against this the Navy introduced the George and the Jack.

    Hm, my impression is that the Army actually was more innovative when it came to fighter designs than the Navy, and quicker to adapt to the realities of war.

    At the beginning of the war the Navy was a bit farther ahead of the Army in terms of actual deployment, having replaced the A5M with the A6M while the Army still had the Ki-27 in service, but if you look at the path fighter development took from there, the Army was more innovative than the Navy.

    The Ki-43 was about equivalent to the A6M, actually having an inferior armament due to the lack of cannon, but it was fitted with pilot armour which according to China veteran 'Ax' Hiltgen was even superior to the contemporary Mustang's. The Ki-44 was an entirely new concept, abandoning the idea of extreme manoeuvrability in order to gain optimum performance, with the AVG devising a preventive strike at a Ki-44 base to eliminate the danger it posed, and 'Ax' Hiltgen even pointing out that it was the one Japanese fighter that came close to the P-51 in terms of speed, ceiling and flying characteristics.

    The Army's twin-engined Ki-45 was another innovative design that tried to copy the semi-successful German "destroyer" formula, being only semi-successful itself. Dan Brown on his website points out that the Japanese Army did not only copy the aircraft concept, but also modern German air combat tactics, including the basic "Rotte" formation. Their conclusion seems to have been that the performance of the Ki-45 was not sufficiently close to that of the US single-engined aircraft to make it work even with the aid of mutual support tactics, but even this semi-failure shows that they were boldly taking new paths.

    Then there is the Ki-61, a liquid-cooled V-engined fighter designed along European lines of thinking, with the only compromise being an enlarged high aspect-ratio wing to ensure that the range demands of the Pacific theatre were met, and the Ki-84 which (according to a Japanese enthusiast over on Aces High forum) was the first Nakajima design developed for high-speed combat, with the control forces tuned so that the aircraft could not (easily) be overstressed during high-speed dives, a problem that had plagued the Ki-43 due to it being intended for extreme low-speed manoeuvrability.

    The Japanese Navy on the other kept the A6M in service until the capitulation, and only began to add armour very late in the war. Noteworthy fighters introduced during the war were the J2M, which had fairly mediocre performance though the concept of a heavily-armed interceptor could be seen as innovative, and the N1K, which was developed more by accident then by any kind of innovative thinking and still fell short of the performance of the Ki-84 (as far as it's possible to make such a statement from the confusing reports).

    So my conclusion is that the Japanese Army was ahead of the Navy in most respects when it came to fighter design ... of course, I'm not an expert on Japanese aircraft, so other opinions are welcome! :)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  16. blkstne

    blkstne New Member

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    Naval pilots had to deal with carrier landings and navigation(flying across large stetches of ocean to find the enemy and than relocate the home carrier after the battle). Most Naval pilots had to be above average flying skills just to handle flying onto a moving carrier deck. Both land and Naval had their select group of Ace flyers but I feel the Naval units had better Average pilots overall.

    Call me biased because of my time served on a flattop.
     
  17. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Just because a Naval Pilot flies from a carrier it doesn't mean that they are better pilots. It means that they have had additional training, but not that they were better pilots.
    Some examples are the squadron of RAF Hurricanes that landed on the Glorious off Norway, no training, no arrester hook, no accidents, just sand bags in the tail. Also there is the Spitfire that landed on the Wasp when its drop tank didn't work, no training, no tail hook and no sandbags.
    In the 70's RN Phantoms were often flown by ordinary RAF pilots after an extra course.
     
  18. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Neither were under way at the time they were damaged. Neither were solely or completly sunk by land based air. In the case of Tirpitz she had already been partially disabled by midget subs and carrier based airpower. In the case of the Marat she was damaged 23-09-41, by stukas from SG-2, but not sunk. The damage was inflicted whilst she was in Kronstadt harbour, the forward part of the hull as far back as the forefunnel was submerged , but the aft part of the hull was undamaged, and th ship continued to serve as a floating battery . She remained commissioned as an "artillery ship" after the war.

    "October Revolution" was as extensively damaged as the Marat 21-09-41, but was repaired and returned to service to take part in the counteroffensives of 1944

    None of these ships were underway at the time they were hit, and none of them were solely damaged by land based air.

    There is of course the Roma, sunk by the Germans as she attempted to escape to the safety of the allies in 1943. However at that stage she was not an adversary to the Germans (although I concede this is tending to stretch the definition)

    So I should clarify, modify and amend what I said to be that the IJN lan based air units are the only land based air force to independantly sink underway battleships that are also at war.

    I still think the record is worth noting
     
  19. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Hi HoHun

    Agree substantially with your appraisal. But would make the following observations

    The armouring of the Oscar did not occur, AFAIK until later, with the "Mark III" (I think), and its lack of armament was a major constraint to effectiveness. The Tony, Tojo Ki-45 and Ki-84s were all superior designs (in their own way, but did not have the same impact on the war as the Zeke, which was revolutionary for it time, and for a time dominated the skies in the Pacific. None of these later types (except the Oscar, and then only in a limited way) could make such a claim as can be made for the Zeke (ie that they achieved air superiority to such a high degree)
     
  20. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    I believe it was the Ki-43-II that first got (limited) armor and (modest) self-sealing fuel tanks. This wasn't operational until the end of 1942. The Ki-43 also had an even lighter structure than the early Zero, being more easily damaged. (the later model Zeros -A6M5- got somewhat tougher structures, I'm not sure the Ki-43-II or III had structural changes other than the cowling and wing tips)



    The IJAAF may have had more dramatic improvements than the Navy, but they had a lot further to go. (particularly in terms of thinking)

    The pre-war acheivements of the manufactures were largely hampered by the Army's obsession with maneuverability, something the Navy had already been compromising for better performance with their A5M while the Army stayed with their Ki-10 biplanes and refused a Mitsubishi's fighter.

    The Navy later got their A6M which focused on speed and range, it's main advantage over China was its speed, actually being less manueverable than many of its opponents. (the reason for the light structure and lack of protection was in search of greater range, not maneuverability, plus the US hadn't been puting armor and self-sealing tanks on their a/c yet either) The adoption of cannon, as with the Bf 109E was quite inovative as well.


    The Army OTOH had been consitantly turning down comptitve designs (not for lack of the companies trying) due to their obsesion with maneuverability. As a replacement for their Ki-10 biplane they wanted improved performance with equal or better maneuverability!

    They turned down the Ki-18 (equivelent to the A5M) in favor of the Ki-10 biplane. (in part due to the connection with the Navy as well)

    Later they chose the Ki-27 over the Ki-33 (development of the A5M) at just under 300 mph, and the realatively advanced, sleek Kawasaki Ki-28 with over 300 mph (with fixed gear) and the Kawasaki Ha-9 liquid cooled V12.
    The same engine type as Kawasaki's earlier Ki-10, a somewhat dated engine (developed from the BMW IX I believe), though still offering decent performance and reliability -unlike the DB copies-, more power than the competititors' radials.

    Kawasaki seems to put quite a bit of development into inline engined designs. (with their own inline engine) With their Ki-10 and Ki-28, as well as their Ki-32 bomber (seeing large scale production). Their work with the Ki-28 no doubt led to their debsequent developments of the Ki-60 and Ki-61.
     
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