The F4F / FM-2 alone would have won the war in the PTO

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Broncazonk, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. Broncazonk

    Broncazonk Banned

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    After reading several detailed accounts of the carrier battles at Coral Sea, Midway, Eastern Solomons and Santa Cruz, and the air combat over Guadalcanal, I'm becoming convinced that the US navy could have achieved TOTAL air superiority over Japan by 1944 with the F4F Wildcat and certainly with the FM-2 alone (The F6F and F4U were completely unneccessary.) Darn near every time the Japanese attacked anything-anywhere they lost 50% of the strike force from the deadly combination of radar - AA fire - the Wildcat CAP.

    When a Zero shot up a Wildcat, it seems the Wildcat made it home more often than not. When a Wildcat shot up a Zero, it caught on fire and then the wings fell off killing the pilot. The Vals and Kates were just as bad.

    The attrition of the Solomons destroyed Japanese carrier aviation. After Santa Cruz, Japanese naval aviation in both men and machines were a shadow of it's former self and by 1943, it was a ghost of a shadow.


    Bronc
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    And what about the allied air units in New Guinea? Did they do anything?

    What about the allied air forces in Burma? Just drink tea and eat biscuits?
     
  3. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Hi Bronc,

    I'm not sure that the F4F/FM-2 could win the war. Do you mean as a fighter and multi-role? Or just a fighter? Plus, Japan had good planes towards the end of the war that could do some damage.
     
  4. Broncazonk

    Broncazonk Banned

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    The universal utilization of the F4F / FM-2 by all Allied forces in the PTO (regardless of where they were based) would have resulted in complete air superiority by 1944. Hell, I think the P-40 could have done it.

    Bronc
     
  5. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    I personally think u ate too many purple mushroom caps.... This is one of the silliest things Ive seen on this board....
     
  6. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    Wildcats as only carrier fighters would probably not have prevented an Allied victory in the Pacific War, so great was Allied numerical superiority becoming by 1944; but it would have made it a much harder slog, with undoubtedly more carrier losses (note that while CV's operating F4F's at least one CV was seriously hit or sunk in almost every case where carrier TF's came under Japanese air attack, compare that to the F6F period), as well as more losses among escorted attack a/c. The FM-2 handled itself pretty well even against later Japanese fighter types when it met them, in the overall circumstances of combat at that time, but had major deficiencies in speed as interceptor, and in range as offensive fighter, compared to the F6F and F4U, which also meant more risk to carriers.

    For land based fighters, range was an even more important factor since getting closer wasn't just a matter of ramping up risk to a carrier by moving it closer to its target but having to seize more islands and bases and bypass fewer of them, since each new base had to be within land based fighter range of the previous one (moving up the coast of New Guinea, for example, carriers generally not available in that theater).

    P-40's did widely serve until 1945 in China, and also did well enough, real outcomes in the range of 1:1 or even a bit better against even the later Japanese fighter types, and generally had some advantage over the Army Type 1, their main opponent for most of the war. The Japanese were so outnumbered that 1:1 fighter kill ratio, broadly what they could hope for with the Type 1 and Zero against well flown P-40's and F4F's, wasn't anywhere near good enough from their POV. But from Allied POV, the extra advantage of the later fighters was very welcome in pure fighter combat, and as mentioned it had other important implications such as carrier losses with F4F/FM rather than F6F's and having to stage landings supported by land based fighters at closer intervals with P-40 compared to P-38 (or other long range fighters).

    Joe
     
  7. Broncazonk

    Broncazonk Banned

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    In battles of Attrition, the side with the most ALWAYS wins.

    In a hypothetical PTO air campaign lets give the Zero a whopping 50% kill advantage over the
    Wildcat (it wasn't even 1:1, but just for discussion.) Each side starts the campaign with 100 aircraft
    AND on each day of combat the Zeros down 20 Wildcats. The Zeros are NOT replaced, because
    they weren't able to (neither pilot nor machine) but the US is able replace it's loses every day
    (which it did.)

    Day 1 - 100:100 - Zeros down 20 Wildcats and Wildcats down 10 Zeros
    Day 2 - 90:100 - Zeros down 20 Wildcats / Wildcats down 10 Zeros
    Day 3 - 80:100
    Day 4 - 70:100
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    Day 9 - 20:100
    Day 10 - 10:100
    Day 11 - 0:100

    In eleven days Zeros downed twice the number of Wildcats, and the loss of Wildcat pilots and
    aircraft caused a temporary strain on local resources, BUT the Japanese lost ALL their Zeros
    AND the campaign. They won every battle, but lost the campaign.

    When the Wildcat is given a 1:1 kill ratio (which still shorts the Wildcat) the Japanese situation
    becomes a whole lot worse awhole lot quicker.

    Bronc
     
  8. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Bronc, as much as I love the F4F, there's a slim chance we would've won the Pacific campaign with just it. The Japanese were developing more advanced fighters later in the war. Planes such as the George and Tony could outperform the F4F, not the mention the allied countries in the parts of Asia using second-rate fighters.
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Where do you get this 50% superiority ratio?
     
  10. Broncazonk

    Broncazonk Banned

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    Now what are the odds that the Zeros will down 20 Wildcats everyday when their numbers
    are decreasing by 10% plus EVERY day? Actual attrition would look something like this...

    Day 1 - 100:100 - Zeros down 20 Wildcats and Wildcats down 10 Zeros
    Day 2 - 90:100 - Zeros down 18 Wildcats / Wildcats down 10 Zeros
    Day 3 - 80:100 - Zeros down 16 Wildcats / Wilcats down 12 Zeros
    Day 4 - 68:100 - Zeros down 13 Wilcats / Wildcats down 15 Zeros
    Day 5 - 53:100 - Zeros down 10 Wildcats / Wildcats down 20 Zeros
    Day 6 - 33:100 - Zeros down 5 Wildcats / Wildcats down 33 Zeros
    Day 7 - 0:100 -

    And again, the kill ratio DID NOT favor the Zeros by 50%. It was 1:1 or even worse for the Zero.

    Attrition means you have to show up EVERY SINGLE day with men and machines or you lose...PERIOD.

    Bronc
     
  11. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Okay buddy, do you mind posting your facts, via link or text. I'm just not fathoming your data.
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Let's just say, for the sake of the argument, that the U.S. Navy did keep the Wildcat as the backbone of thier fleet. Outliving the A6M by virtue of attrition is a pretty costly decision, both in human lives and material.

    You also need to take into consideration that the Japanese did not operate only the A6M series, but had some extremely deadly aircraft being developed and deployed later in the war. Just for example, the KI-61 and KI-100, were very capable of tearing a Wildcat to shreds, and went head to head with the best the Allies had to offer. Fortunately, they were a bit late and too few in numbers (like many later Axis aircraft) to do any good.

    Had the Wildcat been kept in service in significent numbers late in the war, instead of allowing newer and more powerful aircraft take the lead, there would have been real trouble for the Allies.
     
  13. Broncazonk

    Broncazonk Banned

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    I made it up. (Re-read the post.) It's an absurdly inaccurate number used to prove a point. The Zero
    DID NOT even have a 1:1 kill ratio, much less a 2:1 kill ratio.

    In warfare QUANITY KILLS QUALITY EVERY TIME.

    Mk VI Tiger tank vs. T-34 - Give the Tiger a 20-1 kill ratio.
    (It was more like 10-1) The Russians did not care. They showed
    up with a 50-1 advantage in tank numbers EVERY time.

    Give the Luftwaffe 3000 Me-262's in operation against 15,000 P-51's, P-47's, P-38's,
    Spitfires, Tempests, Typhoons, etc. etc. and it does not matter. The Me-262's are
    cleared from the skies in very short order.

    If you can't show up EVERY SINGLE DAY in equal numbers, YOU LOSE.

    Bronc
     
  14. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Buddy, you still haven't answered my question. And take Grau's statement into consideration.
     
  15. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if the "Meat Grinder" style of warfare is all that effective. It's been used time and again over the ages, but you can produce faster results by besting your opponent by having a superior weapon.

    That's also a fine balancing act, because German equipment was "too superior" but not in enough quantities. On the otherhand, having superior numbers of inferior equipment eats up manpower and resources that could have been better used elsewhere.

    I think that the Wildcat served it's purpose, but the U.S. Navy upgrading it's equipment as it became available, meant that the pilots were better protected and were able to reduce the enemy's numbers while bringing home thier machines. This would be preferable because it's one less aircraft to replace and one less pilot to train...and one less bad guy to worry about.

    That's the main objective, afterall...isn't it?
     
  16. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Yup, the US developed superior aircraft to the F4F, such as the Hellcat and the Corsair. It's better to maximize the enemy losses, and minimize your own. And one of those ways is to develop better aircraft, right?
     
  17. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    Great theory Bronc, but do you want to be the guy who's life gets wasted so your side can win by attrition?

    Kinda silly when your side could just as easily provide you with a better plane and keep you alive to father the kids who post on these forums?
     
  18. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Im still waiting to see these 50% supremecy stats.
     
  19. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    But they did, at least up until 1944. Aircraft production increased steadily between 1941 and 1944. Your theory may work post 44' but how long will it take and how many extra allied lives?

    Dave said it best...

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Broncazonk

    Broncazonk Banned

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    Hey Vassili:

    I'm not sure what you want. There is no text or link to post and I have already shown that
    a 2:1 "quality" advantage is absolutely immaterial when your opponent VASTLY out-paces
    you in the replacement of aircraft and pilots.

    Sure the war in the Pacific would have been longer and bloodier for the Allies with only the
    F4F / FM-2, but the fact remains the outcome would have never been in doubt whatsoever.
    I'm not saying we should have stayed with the Wildcat. I'm just saying we could have.

    The Japanese could have been flying limited numbers of Mig-15's / F-86's and still lost control
    of the air. A 100 Mig-15's against 1000 Wildcats and it's NOT EVEN CLOSE. The Wildcats
    win in a matter of days.

    Bronc
     
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