Japanese Zero vs Spitfire vs FW 190

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Chiron, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. Chiron

    Chiron Member

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    How good was Zero against famous Spitfire or German FW 190?

    Can a Zero beat them any chance at all?
     
  2. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    the spit's got the zero beat.........
     
  3. Chiron

    Chiron Member

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    "the spit's got the zero beat........."

    I believed Zero actually outclassed Spitfire in early Pacific war, due to its superior dog fight and its unbelieved long range capability.

    "The British fared no better than the Americans did. The RAF squadrons stationed in Malaya were flying the American Brewster Buffalo; a short barrel shaped fighter that was outmoded before it reached the front. Aware of its lack of performance the British had banished the fighter to Burma, away from combat with the superior German Bf-109. The general impression was that the Japanese had nothing but outdated biplanes that would not be a match for the Brewster fighter. When the British Buffaloes came in contact with the A6M they were sliced to ribbons.

    To reduce their losses the RAF decided to replace the outmatched Buffalo with the more formidable Hawker Hurricane, famed for its decisive role in the Battle of Britain. Unfortunately, its pilots also found that fighting a Zeke on its terms was practically hara-kiri. Finally, the British threw their best at the Japanese, the fabled Supermarine Spitfire. To the Allies dismay, this fighter also could not compare with the incredibly nimble Zero. In only two engagements, Zeros downed 17 of 27 while losing 2 of their own.

    It seemed the A6M was an unstoppable juggernaut. It soon gained the reputation of being invincible. Everywhere it was encountered, the Zero vanquished its enemies."

    -http://www.chuckhawks.com/p-40_vs_zero.htm
     
  4. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    The Fw-190 would B&Z a Zero to death, and so would faster Spit's such as the IX. However going into a Dogfight with the Zero was stupid, especially below 300 mph where it could be called suicide.
     
  5. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    I have to agree. See your adversary first, zoom the Zeke pilot and he won't have a chance. Not a competition with equal piloting skills.
     
  6. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Off course, the heavy armament of the FW can make a flyng torh of ANY cero version.

    And eve if it took some hits from the jap craf, his superior armour woud protect it very well.
     
  7. Chiron

    Chiron Member

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    "However going into a Dogfight with the Zero was stupid,"

    Ya, I have to agree on that, Zero was a superior dogfighter, probably the best dogfither. I also want to point out that Zero was a very capable plane which was designed as long range and carrier based plane. It unsurpassed range gave it upperhand in the conflict of Spitfire in Pacific.
     
  8. Chiron

    Chiron Member

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    "Off course, the heavy armament of the FW can make a flyng torh of ANY cero version."

    Not too sure about that, as I post evidence earlier, Spitfires proven itself inferior to Zero in Pacific war. So, if a Zero can deal easier with Spitfire, it probably had good chance against with FW.
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ IP/Mech THE GREAT GAZOO
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    Tactics had alot to do with the dismal performance of the Spit against the zero. The Brits were still flying tight finger 3 formations (most figured out not to do that after the battle of britian) and attempted to dogfight the zero in the horizontal. Until the zero was taken on in pairs And the fight was done in the "vertical," the zero couldn't be beat.
     
  10. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Sorry my awful spell, I mean "Flying torch"

    Seems that yesterday I forgot to take my medication. :oops:
     
  11. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    and the spit did fine against the zero...........
     
  12. Wawny

    Wawny New Member

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    #12 Wawny, Apr 20, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
    Check this link - Supermarine Spitfire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The top article is by my Dad who flew the Spitfire in the Australian test against a Zero. The tail of the Spitfire was bent 9 degrees in the manouvering. Both machines are pretty awesome in their own right. I still like the Spitty though.
    Cheers
    Clive Wawn (jr)
     
  13. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    There is no doubt that in the early combats between the Spit and the Zero the Spit was hammered, but its wrong to assume that this was the natural situation.
    They went against the Zero and tried dogfighting and we know the result was. It was a natural mistake seeing how the Spits excelled at dogfighting everywhere else.
    However once the lesson was learnt the Spits were able to gain the upper hand.

    Of the three assuming that we are talking about the Spit V then its
    1) FW190
    2) Spit V
    3) Zero
     
  14. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I think you nailed it Glider. In a turning angles fight below 275 mph the Zero had no peers. The Spitfire pilots could not use the the same tactics used against the BF109. However a Zero with an expert pilot flying it could be tough to handle unless you surprised him.
     
  15. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    Is it true that all Japanese planes did not carry a radio? I think I recall reading this, and anyone who has done military flying can attest that that is a SERIOUS handicap. Aerial combat is based upon tactics - not the sexy spreadsheet figures that we try to break a plane down into. Granted, superior performance gives advantages, but different A/C had strengths and weaknesses. It's the tactics and training that set apart the pathetic force that Japanese aviation degenerated into vice the juggernauts they butt up against.
     
  16. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    I recall Zeros having their radios uninstalled to save weight for long range missions. So that would have meant that they did have them.
    I know that the Japanese radios in general were very bad.

    Just a thought but perhaps only the commander had a speaker while the others had only receivers, like with Russian tanks?

    Kris
     
  17. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I seem to have found that Japanese zeros had a acute shortage of radios about midway through '42...

    Anybody with anything else on this? Sorry, I know this is slightly off topic. But, not having radio tranceivers in the A/C is a major deficiency. SA starts to diminish very rapidly. At that point, so much for coordinated actions. Sure, you can use hand signals from the cockpit, but that really only works well in a parade or modified parade position... which you don't use in combat.
     
  18. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    The general idea that page gives is somewhat correct, though the summary is a little misleading IMO:

    -Landbased Spitfires met A6M2's in only one period, during 1943 in defence of Darwin, Australia. The results per each side's loss records were very heavily in favor of the Zeroes. They downed around 28 Spitfire V's v. 3 A6M's and 1 Japanese Army Oscar (they flew one of the raids). It was over a number of escorted bombing raids and fighter sweeps by the Japanese, not just two. The Spit losses *do not* include heavy operational (fuel and engine failure) losses they suffered, *in addition*. See Price "Spitfire V Aces" for one account of this. The Allied claims at the time made the situation appear less unfavorable (and naturally, the Japanese claims made it look even more favorable to them). Many accounts using only Allied claims say the Spits adjusted their tactics and turned the situation around: the records of Japanese losses don't support that.

    -Hurricane/Buffalo's in 1942 were mainly facing Japanese Army fighters, Oscars and the earlier Nates (Type 97 Ki-27). They did poorly. Hurricanes did meet Japanese Navy fighters (Zeroes) on a couple of occasions in Malaya/DEI, and over Ceylon; they were completely routed.

    -Spits including later models operated in Burma with eventual reasonable success, but again that was the Japanese Army, never met A6M's there.

    -FAA Seafires had one documented real fighter combat where they claimed 'Zeroes', in August 1945. They claimed several for IIRC zero or one loss, but the Japanese side of the combat, and even the actual Japanese types involved, is not known. Seafires shot down kamikazes and bombers too, but that was the only real fighter combat AFAIK.

    In the one prolonged contest between Spit V's and Zeroes in 1943, the Spits did not do well. In other circumstances they may have done better (the Spit seemed more sensitive to rough tropical operating conditions than other types). But that campaign of quite a few combats, not one or two flukes, should give pause IMO to statements the Spit was 'far superior' to the Zero. As far as A6M2 v Spit V; late mark Spit could be a different story.

    Joe
     
  19. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I often hear about the heavy losses sufferred by the Spitfires against the Zero's but cannot find anything to back it up one way or the other. Ones that I can find on the web are unclear.

    Can I ask where these stats come from. I have an appointment at the Imperial War Museaum reading room and will be able to look into it if you can tell me where to look.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    David
     
  20. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    This is the best that I can come up with but doesn't cover types. If you could comment I would appreciate it

    A rough check shows that 1 Spitfire Wing was credited with 74 confirmed, 22 probables and 52 damaged in 1943, broken down as:

    457 Squadron 28-9-20
    54 Squadron 22 plus one shared, 6-20
    452 Squadron 15-7-11
    Wg Cdr Caldwell 7 plus one shared
    Grp Capt Walters 1
     
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