Japanese Tactics and In Flight Communication

Discussion in 'Communication' started by Negative Creep, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Negative Creep

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I'm only basing this on a few accounts, but information seems limited. I've read that for both the Army and Navy, radios were non existent at the beginning of the war. Communication was carried out via hand signals and wing waggling, with all the obvious limitations. Parachutes were supplied but rarely used over enemy territory as it was tantamount to surrender. My question is was this true for the whole of the war? Did the Japanese develop a better system of communication and if not, how did they manage in the middle of a dogfight?
     
  2. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    6,807
    Likes Received:
    1,006
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    CGI Creator
    Location:
    Osaka
    Hi Negative Creep!
    Please read my previous posts, as translated stories, here -

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/stories/ija-secret-intelligence-team-chofu-13707-8.html#post387726

    How radio communication was operated in actual action -
    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/stories/ija-secret-intelligence-team-chofu-13707-6.html

    Please let me quote some lines for your quick reference -

    "Radio phones of our military aircrafts were little useful" was writen in postwar publications but it was still possible to eliminate most of the noise by attaching 'spark-killers' to the engine and also adopting an independent battery as power supply. By the way, our team's aircrafts were improved so as not to be influenced with the electromagnetic influence.

    The upper echelons of our Japanese military would be making light of the radio as an equipment for the military aircrafts. This was true because they did not even know that YAGI antenna had been invented by a Japanese when it had already been put in practical use in Europe and America.

    Thank you!
     
  3. shiro_amada_jp

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Was it true that the Japanese did not include radios in the Zero because they thought that the additional weight of the radios would interfere with the aircraft's superb turning performance?
     
  4. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    6,807
    Likes Received:
    1,006
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    CGI Creator
    Location:
    Osaka
    Where the anntena was, there was a radio.
    I often see Zeros with no anntena on some photos though:)
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,676
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    Japanese A6Ms from the beginnig of the war were fitted with two types of radio that I know of (one was the KU-1, the other was the Type 1 Model 3) , though some land based units made field modifications to remove the radios so as to improve performance.

    Japanese equipment was not as good as its US counterpart, principally because the designers did not make allowance at design stage to accommodate radio gear. The result was that radios tended to be fitted wherever there was space to do so, which often made reception/transmissioon a problem. Wiring harness was definately very poor, and access for volume frequency and other adjustments was often made difficult by the poor siting of the units within the aircraft cockpit. Reception was hampred by the failure to install as standard ignition lead suppressors to the engine high tension leads, though as Shinpachi says this was done as field mods later.

    The actual sets themselves were, in the early war period comparable to the Allied units, since they were a virtual copy of the US radios. Later quality suffered as productiuon rates went up.

    It would be quite wrong to assume that in the early pacific battles the US enjoyed some sort of advantage through its superior radios. It did not, in fact I believe it was at a decided disavantage. Fighter control in several of the early carrier battles was badly interferred with by the excessive chatter on the part of the Pilots themselves, which made the jobs of the Fighter controllers almost impossible. This problem was not really solved until the latter part of 1943, as better training and experience in the USN began to have its effect


    A good link is provided below if you would like to look into this subject further

    Radio Systems in the Early A6M Zero
     
  6. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    6,807
    Likes Received:
    1,006
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    CGI Creator
    Location:
    Osaka
    Awesome knowledge, parsifal.
     
  7. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,766
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Hi Parsifal,

    >It would be quite wrong to assume that in the early pacific battles the US enjoyed some sort of advantage through its superior radios. It did not, in fact I believe it was at a decided disavantage. Fighter control in several of the early carrier battles was badly interferred with by the excessive chatter on the part of the Pilots themselves, which made the jobs of the Fighter controllers almost impossible.

    Hm, I think this point of view maybe reflects that of the fighter controllers at the expense of the fighter pilots. Radio was not only used to direct the fighter force in combat, but also between section leader and wingman to coordinate their moves. In fact, intensive use of the radio for immediate tactical purposes might have made the fighter controller's job more difficult, even if it was immediately effective in air-to-air combat. (Of course, poor radio discipline might have played a role in that too, as well as lack of specialized fighter controller training. Not Pacific, and I'm not sure where I read about that, but the British had fighter controller schools where students would try to make radio-equipped tricyclists intercept each other on a football field for practice :)

    And with regard to early Japanese radios being copies of American-made ones: My impression is that they still were inferior in operations due to the lack of shielding Shinpachi and you have already hinted at (though with slightly different terminology, so I hope my comment is not redundant :) The lack of shielding seems to have been a problem that was never fixed in WW2, at least if I correctly remember what I read on Japanese radios in one of the links provided by Micdrow.

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  8. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,676
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    Hi henning

    The problem was the excessive chatter . The flight controllers could not be heard over the unecessary commentaries being produced by the pilots, a clear indication that they were over-excited and not listening to either their immediate commanders, or the flight controllers. The flight controllers job was to vector forces to newly developing threats at the right altitude and in the best possible numbers and dispositions. It was the section leaders responsiblities to take charge of the tactical handling of a given combat. It was the individual pilots responsibility to report in their position and status, when asked, or in exceptional circumstances, when they believed they had been overlooked. Chatter concerning the progress of a particular battle, other than its result, or the need to pour more resources into that sector, was completely unhelpful. Even the act of being shot down was not that helpful because the controller, was not in a position to provide immediate assistance.

    It was all a matter of discipline, as it remains today. Having served on the flight control station of a carrier, I can tell you unequivocally that its all about discipline....knowing when to speak and when to keep silent. A well run CAP has very little chatter, as the section leaders report in their status, and their requests, and the flight controllers do their best to respond. Behind them are the PWOs, deciding the best way to counter the threat. It may be, for example, better to use AAWs rather than a/c to counter the threat. Certainly a decision as to whether the incoming requires the carrier to go into lockdown is a matter requiring high priority.

    There was a decided lack of co-ordination on the part of the Americans in this regard in the early part of the war. so too the Japanese, though this was not due to radio chatter....it was due to a lack of radar.

    The Japanese never fully solved their radio reception issue, because of a number of factors, most importantly the poor positioning of the sets, and the poor wiring harness that went ionto them. Later the shortages of strategic materials and poor quality control in the sets had an effect as well. The Japanese did get around to fitting suppressors to the high tension leads (these are simply diodes on the spark plug leads, not a big technical issue), but by then other issues were probably at work as well , so overall, the Japanese were saddled with an inferior RDF system. In that respect I agree fully with your assessment. I think this may have been a marginal tactical disadvantage for them.....for example they would not have been able to vector CAP in the same way and at the same ranges (out to 60 miles in 1944) as the US could . I am more critical of the US not because they were worse than the Japanese (they werent) but because they could have been much better if pilots and flight controllers were better trained.

    I agree that British flight controllers were far more disciplined at this stage of the war, though they are not without criticism either.....eg the near loss of the Illustrious in 1941 was partly due to the flight controller allowing the CAP being led off on a wild goose chase. I would have court martialled him for that error
     
  9. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,766
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Hi Parsifal,

    >The problem was the excessive chatter . The flight controllers could not be heard over the unecessary commentaries being produced by the pilots, a clear indication that they were over-excited and not listening to either their immediate commanders, or the flight controllers.

    You're only seeing the ship-to-fighter side of it - that the fighters monopolized the frequency does not mean that the fighter-to-fighter communication wasn't successful and tactically valuable in air combat.

    I certainly don't disagree that lack of radio discipline would be a problem, but I don't think that "excessive chatter" prevented all useful communication - in fact, I think it's more likely a case of "excessive communicaton" between the fighters at the expense of the controller.

    (From what I've read, a serious disdvantage for the fighter controllers was the lack of IFF equipment on most carrier aircraft, which required a great number of interceptions to verify that the incoming aircraft detected by radar were returning friendlies and not attacking hostiles. Still beats having no radar at all, of course.)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  10. Negative Creep

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Excellent, thanks for your help
     
Loading...

Share This Page