The Great P-47 Range Debate on you tube now.

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Nobody knew what they were going to run into in late 1942 and early 1943 and the US Army was not happy with the P-39 and P-40. They were buying and issuing them because they didn't have enough P-38s and P-47s.

They (AAC/AAF) knew by early 1942 that the war is a global one, and that more fuel is needed. A reason why the fuel system from the P-47B was upgraded with the external tank facility for the P-47C and further. My suggestion is that wing racks are added 1st, and the belly rack can be added later.

BTW - a contraption with two 75 or 108 gal tanks in the belly position, like what Malta Spitfires used (but here 2x 44/45 gal types) in 1942 might've been useful until the proper wing tank installation is had. Photos are in the book about Spitfire by Morgan & Shacklady.
 
Here is a quick synopsis from this document:

SCHWEINFURT RAIDS AND THE PAUSE IN DAYLIGHT STRATEGIC BOMBING

A thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree MASTER OF MILITARY ART AND SCIENCE Military History

By GREG A.GRABOW, MAJ, U.S. ARMY

B.S., University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 1990
IMO the following thesis was 'under researched'

IMO

Page 2: "The August 17, 1943 Schweinfurt-Regensburg raid was the first time in which a large American heavy bomber force would strike a target, deep in Germany, unescorted as the P-47s"
Define deep. Hamburg, Keil, Oschersleben, Kassel, Hannover were 'deep' but not quite same distance as Schweinfurt. Those targets were attacked during Blitz Week 2-3 weeks before Schweinfurt/Regensburg - and reprsent the first use of the Republic 200gal Ferry tank to extend Escort past 175mi. Un escorted has meaning when referring to escort provided anywhere near the target . The RAF and VIII FC provided Penetration and Withdrawal escort to and from The German/Belgium border.

Page 3: "The force amassed to attack these targets were 376 B-17s with 268 P-47 sorties and 191 Spitfire sorties flown as escort"
See comment about un-escorted.
Page 4: "Again, once most of the P-47 fighter escorts reached their range limit near the German border and turned back, the Luftwaffe savaged the B-17 formations. The raid ended with the loss of 77 B-17 Flying Fortresses, with 642 crewmen, while German records showed the loss of 32 fighters"
The Schweinfurt mission lost 36 plus 3 scrapped and 118 damaged. The Regensburg mission lost 24 plus 1 scraped and 24 damaged. Several ditched and were rescued - B-17 lost but crew saved.
Page 33: "At the time, the Spitfire's 125 mile radius and the P-47's 225 mile radius offered little to the realm of possibilities concerning the escort range problem for missions into Germany (Ref 1)"

(Ref 1): "The current belly tank available to the P-47 was a huge, unwieldy two-hundred gallon ferrying tank made out of paper mache and lacked pressurization. In response to pleas from the head of the Eighth's technical service section, Colonel Cass Hough, plane manufacturers worked on a pressurized tank. Satisfactory drop tanks did not appear in numbers until early 1944. Source: Richard H. Kohn and Joseph P. Harahan. The Strategic Air War Against Germany and Japan (Washington D.C.: Office of Air Force History United States Air Force, 1983)."
Cass Hough designed the suction capability for the C/L drop tank slaved from engine vacuum system - the major problem for the 200gal Ferry tank was that it would fail to draw above 20-22K altitude.
Page 33: "An early attempt to solve the long range escort problem came by modifying the armament on existing B-17s. In May of 1943, twelve YB-40s (modified B-17s with three more machine guns, an additional ball turret, and twice as much ammunition) made their debut in raids against the submarine pens……………….. But because of the additional weight, the YB-40s could not keep up with the rest of the B-17 formation so the experiment was discontinued."
That project started in 1942 and spawned from Naval destroyer escort fantasy
Page 52: "By late September, large quantities of 75 gallon fuel tanks began arriving in England and the P-47 escorts increased their range to 340 miles or just inside the borders of Germany."
75gal (84 actual) began arriving in June but the B-7 bomb ack kits were installed in last week of August. Operations with the 75gal tank began in early September. The longest combat engagement by 56th FG w/75gal tank was Quackenbruck (276mi from Halesworth) on 10-8. The second Schweinfurt mission 6 days later found the 56th FG in a fight between Ans and Aachen (260mi)
Page 52: "One group of P-47s would provide escort to each of the air divisions while another P-47 group would give withdrawal support and two squadrons of Spitfires would sweep the withdrawal route and escort stragglers."

My note: This statement in the thesis pertains to the second Schweinfurt raid 14th October 1943 and here written in black and white is a clear intention to escort the bombers within the range capabilities of the escorts. So if the P-47 really could carry a 200 gallon tank at this time and extend the escort range even further, then why didn't they fit it? Well probably simply because it was not feasible to do so.
There were only two AD's for October 14. Only 7 P-47 FGs and one P-38 FG. The 2nd BD (AD In Fall 1944) was the B-24 division which only flew a diversion - still recovering rom Tidal Wave/Ploesti. ONLY the 75gal tank was used but the Bowater-Lloyd paper tank was being delivered for November operations. The Ford/Brisbane tank was designedfor the four point P-47C thru P-47D-4 attach scheme and culd not be used w/B-7 shackle
Page 67: "The second Schweinfurt raid changed aircraft production priority to fighter production with a focus on the P-38 and the P-47 at the time. Arnold ordered all P-38 and P-47 fighter groups deploying overseas to be sent to Britain but it took time to receive aircraft, train aircrews and emplace the necessary technical support. In the meantime, Major General Ira Eaker sent Eighth Bomber Command out on relatively short missions, within fighter escort range"
Actually the Priority for P-51B was moved to number 1, not the P-47. All P-38 and P-51B deployments were ordered to ETO until January 1944. They were assigned to 8th nd 9th AF but tasked to 8th until end of May. The 8th still went to Bremen, Hamburg, Kiel, Osnabruck, Ludwigshaven - well past P-47 range bit escorted first by P-38, them P-51B in December. and
Page 67-68:" A more successful solution to answer the call for increased fighter escort range came in the form of external auxiliary fuel tanks for fighters. As early as 1942, the Eighth AAF inquired whether jettisonable fuel tanks could be made available for the P-47 but the solution was foolishly delayed by the industrial bureaucracy and the lack of emphasis by the USAAF leadership. Meanwhile, local sources in England were tapped to produce a limited quantity of 75 gallon tanks for both the Spitfire and the P-47. Due to the shortage of wartime material in Britain, these 75 gallon tanks were often made of inferior material and had mechanical issues at higher altitudes. By August of 1943, Army Material Command (AMC) was still experimenting at a slow pace with external tanks but had yet to produce its own model. It took a desperate plea by the Eighth's technical service section chief, Colonel Cass Hough, to get the external fuel tank program kick started. Due to further political pressure applied by the Combined Chiefs, a suitable 150 gallon drop wing tank was quickly developed. In September of 1943, the monthly production of 150 gallon wing tanks for the P-47 was only 300; by December it was 22,000. If the tasking was taken seriously a year earlier, this one innovation could have decreased bomber losses during the fall of 1943 but emphasis arrived too late. As Brigadier General Hume Peabody would put it, the auxiliary tank problem indicated "a lack of forward thinking. 'By early 1944, the 150 gallon wing tanks had a significant impact on the fighter escort solution'."
Wrong partially. The 75gal combat tank was made in US. UK made 108gal paper but also 110gal steel, the US made 108/110gal steel and 150galsteel flat tank as well as the Lockheed 165/150gal tak in use since February 1942. The 52, 60 and 75gal self sealing tanks passed all Mat.Cmd destruct testing by end of May 1943 and contracted them for Production. In October Arnold directed Mat.Cmd to cease testing and start producing.

The significant 'impacts' to enhance P-47 ranges were incremental B-7 rack, then wing pylons then 150gl flat tank - then add 65gal internal fuel (THE most important added feature)

Page 79-80: "What was the fallout? The heavy bomber losses throughout the fall of 1943 was the fallout from the failure to obtain long range fighter escort earlier for the heavy bombers. Initially, the Eighth AAF adopted a daylight strategic bombing doctrine which did not heed the call for fighter escort once three hundred heavy bombers "punched" through the templated German fighter defenses. Too late, the P-38 was rushed in to fill a role it was not mechanically suited for and Army Material Command's (AMC) sluggish progress on expendable drop tanks was taken off the back burner. A technological impact readily accepted throughout all levels of the USAAF were the effects of additional internal and external fuel tankage on the P-47 which increased its range from an initial 175 miles to 400 miles and put it in range of most targets in western Germany. The P-47 remained the workhorse of the Eighth AAF which laid the groundwork to resume daylight strategic bombing and saved operation POINTBLANK. The P-47 was supplemented by the P-51 Mustang, in numbers by the summer of 1944, which exploited the victory. Also, the USAAF's disinterest in the P-51 Mustang prevented the plane from being in action six months earlier and at a crucial time. Expendable drop tanks and the need for long range escort fighter were requested before the initial Schweinfurt raid but the second Schweinfurt raid was a wake up call to speed up the process."
The P-51 and P-38 saved POINTBLANK and accelerated the pressure with five P-51B and 3 P-38J FGs to perform the Required Target support with P-47s 150 to 300 miles in arrears.
I suppose there is always a risk that those who do not like the conclusions from this document may say that an officer like Greg Grabow has a horse in this race for some reason. However, it's a thesis after all and if what is written here is not historically correct then there would not only be a problem of some isolated individuals attempting to rewrite history, but a huge academic problem.

Why? Well because in that case a masters thesis at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College has passed muster but completely missed the fact that the P-47 actually could escort all the way to Schweinfurt with a 200 gallon tank and that some dog headed Generals sabotaged this opportunity.

Granted, I have not read the whole document page by page, but the pages I have read (I have filtered using "P-47") are well formulated and all important points backed up by references.

And in summary, to me Greg Grabow makes a very strong case in his masters thesis that the P-47 was unable to provide long range escort at the time simply because a suitable drop tank was not available. And in my opinion, the onus lies on those who think this thesis is wrong (about the 200 gallon tank) to provide credible evidence to support that. Not the other way around.
The P-47 that would have eliminated a need for Mustangs was the P-47D-25 (Bubble Top) w/65 extra internal gal of fuel, two wing pylons and a centerline pylon - but not available to perform a complete mission by VIII FC until July/August 1944 - It needed ALL three features to go to Berlin and Munich.
 
A. Your country was sneak attacked.
B. Do you REALLY think the Nazi's were going to be placated?
It was a declaration of war against Japan only. So, that argument doesn't apply. Aside from being a committed pacifist, she also believed that Roosevelt had backed the Japanese into a corner with the oil and scrap metal embargoes.

Hitler declared war first, which helped end any possibility of meaningful opposition to getting involved in Europe.

The argument that we should only fight Japan, or that we shouldn't get involved in Europe until Japan was defeated, wasn't irrational.
 
They (AAC/AAF) knew by early 1942 that the war is a global one, and that more fuel is needed.
You are correct, they knew that the war was global. They also knew the Japanese had deployed very advanced fighters in Dec 1941 and that the British where having trouble with Fw 190s in late 1941. Stuffing Merlin 20s into the P-40 might not be up to the task in Dec 1942.

Turns out the Japanese were rather slow in getting 2 speed superchargers into production ( or building engines bigger than the Sakae ) in 1942.
Also the trouble DN had with the 605 in 1942.
We know how things turned out. In 1942 they didn't know.
 
You are correct, they knew that the war was global. They also knew the Japanese had deployed very advanced fighters in Dec 1941 and that the British where having trouble with Fw 190s in late 1941. Stuffing Merlin 20s into the P-40 might not be up to the task in Dec 1942.

There was no 'very advanced fighters' by Japanese in Dec 1941, and, if anything, Allies were a tad underestimating Japanese gear, not over-estimating. By the time P-47 flew, they (Americans) also knew that it was the fastest thing in the skies, and three factories were contracted with making them, thus adding quantity to quality.
There was no threat to the US mainland by the enemy bombers - since US was unable to cover even half of Atlantic or Pacific with their bombers, expecting that Axis does it to the USA was as far-fetched as it goes.
If the Merlin 20 in the P-40 will not cut it, stuff it in the XP-51 and see how that goes.

Turns out the Japanese were rather slow in getting 2 speed superchargers into production ( or building engines bigger than the Sakae ) in 1942.
Also the trouble DN had with the 605 in 1942.
We know how things turned out. In 1942 they didn't know.

Japanese (especially IJN) were slow in installing the big radials on their fighters, despite manufacturing them.

I'm not suggesting that P-47 is so modified that makes 600 mph in 1943, with 3000 mile range, just that the drop tank installation is centered around the wing racks, not around the belly rack. Let's not make a mountain out of the ant hill.
 
There was no 'very advanced fighters' by Japanese in Dec 1941, and, if anything, Allies were a tad underestimating Japanese gear, not over-estimating.
In Dec 1941 the Allies were caught by surprise, The Japanese had more advanced aircraft than the Allies suspected. They also didn't know that the Japanese fighters were using single speed superchargers.
By the time P-47 flew, they (Americans) also knew that it was the fastest thing in the skies, and three factories were contracted with making them, thus adding quantity to quality.
The XP-47B flew in May 6th 1941,
There are 1583 on order on Oct 14th 1941
1st P-47B comes of the line Dec 21st 1941......but changes are needed
Jan 1942, 1050 P-47Ds are ordered from Evansville and 354 are ordered from Curtiss. 2987 are on order.
March 1942 5 P-47s are completed, production stopped to switch to metal ailerons.
June 1942 (Midway) The 56th fighter group receives a few P-47Bs. They lose one in flames. They run into compressibility problems. they have several fatal accidents.
Sept 14th 1942, 5 weeks after Guadalcanal starts, first P-47C-1 completed at Farmington.
Sept 19th, 1942, 1st P-47D completed at Evansville.
Oct 1942, Curtiss completes first P-47G. which is not quite the same as actual production?
Oct 1942, 3 P-47C-1s are sent to Eglin Field for comparison tests against the P-38F, P-39D, P-40F and Allison Mustang Oct 27th to Nov 26th.
Nov 1942, 56th fighter group is declared operational. The Allies have invaded NA in operation Torch.
Dec 20th 1942, First P-47Cs show up in Liverpool as deck cargo.
Dec 31st 1942. 532 P-47s have been completed, 10 of them by Evansville and 6 by Curtiss.
The quantity was taking a while to show up. In Feb 1943 Gen Kenney is told no more P-38s, He requests P-47s. It is not until May that he is told he will get them. They show up June 1943.


There was no threat to the US mainland by the enemy bombers - since US was unable to cover even half of Atlantic or Pacific with their bombers, expecting that Axis does it to the USA was as far-fetched as it goes.
No threat to the mainland but threats to non mainland areas was pretty significant.
If the Merlin 20 in the P-40 will not cut it, stuff it in the XP-51 and see how that goes.
Why?
The US doesn't order any Mustangs of their own (except the two evaluation planes) until April of 1942 (A-36s). The Contract for the P-51A (1200 planes) with Allison engines is not signed until June 23rd 1942. The last Mustang I (British) comes off the line in July, Production switches to the Mustang II but the US swipes 57 of them. July 25th 1942 NA is given a contract to convert 2 of the lend lease P-51s (Mustang IIs) to Packard Merlins with 2 stage supercharges. It is Sept when the first A-36 (US owned Mustang) comes off the Production line. How fast are you going to get a Merlin 20 powered Mustang? Any and all Merlin 20 powered Mustangs built in 1942 and early 1943 will take engines from P-40F and L aircraft. Probably P-40Ls by the time testing and production can be set up and such work may be at the cost of the two stage Merlin program since they have the Prototype flying in at the end of Nov. 1942.
Japanese (especially IJN) were slow in installing the big radials on their fighters, despite manufacturing them.
Very true but while we know that now, what did we know then?
The Ki-44 underwent combat trials in SE Asia in Dec 1941. The Allies did not know how long it would take to get them into production. The Allies in 1942 did not know how long it would take for the IJA to put a two speed supercharger into the Ki-43.
 
In Dec 1941 the Allies were caught by surprise, The Japanese had more advanced aircraft than the Allies suspected. They also didn't know that the Japanese fighters were using single speed superchargers.

Please, don't move the goal posts. "More advanced aircraft than the Allies suspected" is a whole another ball game when compared with
They also knew the Japanese had deployed very advanced fighters in Dec 1941

Adding the low gear to the Sakae 11 or 12 still means zilch difference above 3000 ft, not only because the Sakaes used 1-stage S/Cs all the time - a huge deficit vs. what US was gearing for in 1941-42, let alone in 1943.

No threat to the mainland but threats to non mainland areas was pretty significant.

Making the fighters with the real long range capabilities even more important.

If the Merlin 20 in the P-40 will not cut it, stuff it in the XP-51 and see how that goes.

To test the waters 1st, and then to have a much better fighter than it was the P-40 with the same engine, while also meaning something in battles of 1943 (unlike the P-51s with the 2-stage Merlin).

How fast are you going to get a Merlin 20 powered Mustang?

A tad faster than the P-51A, ie. 400+ mph. Beats any P-40 with ease, too.

Any and all Merlin 20 powered Mustangs built in 1942 and early 1943 will take engines from P-40F and L aircraft. Probably P-40Ls by the time testing and production can be set up and such work may be at the cost of the two stage Merlin program since they have the Prototype flying in at the end of Nov. 1942.
Install all and any V-1650-1 that can be gotten on the Mustangs, revert the P-40s to the V-1710s as a trade off.
There will be no cost wrt. the historical 2-stage Merlin for Mustangs, especially since these will do nothing of note in the war before 1944. In the meantime, P-47s with wing drop tanks and the P-51s with V-1650-1 will be hurting the LW and the Japanese even more than it was the case with non-Merlin Mustangs and historical P-47s.

Very true but while we know that now, what did we know then?
The Ki-44 underwent combat trials in SE Asia in Dec 1941. The Allies did not know how long it would take to get them into production. The Allies in 1942 did not know how long it would take for the IJA to put a two speed supercharger into the Ki-43.

Let's worry about the possible 350 mph Ki-43 once it receives the upgraded engine, since we're making a 420 mph fighter?
 
He is working on a video which will cover the sources he referenced. If you think he made a few mistakes, pass it along to him. I'm sure he will clarify. Such errors in a live debate aren't unusual.

The technical issues were a headache for everyone, but it did seem like you got the brunt of it.

I think you should consider taking him up on his offer to do a video about your dad. I would love to see that story told live.
we're discussing a second (non live) discussion, much more source oriented, to get closure on several open questions.

Recall that Greg stated that the Kearby Wewak MOH mission was flown to Weak from Moresby. John Brunning corroberates my assertion to/from Lae - a 200mi radius difference an was not an escort mission in which an hour would be devoted to being tethered to bombers. The FIGHTER mission combat radius is generally at least 100mi farther than Escort mission. Sources Attached below

Recall that Greg asserted that Arnold sent Kenney 'P-39 drop tanks' which Kenney did not state on pg 264 pf Kenney Reports. That aid, ANY tank sent would have standard 14" OC lugs which would not fit the P-47C until B-7 racls were sent out late August 1943. Ref. Attached below.

When I asserted that the 200gal Republic drop tank was not capable of pressurization above 22000 feet, he asserted that it was - then went on a tangent that compared modern airliners with no difficulty operating above 30,000 feet - I was cut off from my reply - namely that drop tanks needed either suction from vacuum pump or imbedded pressure pump and that high octane fuels were prone to vapor lock on suction based system. Modern airliners are generally using low volatile kerosene with immersed pressure pumps. Sources attached below - credit to MiTsol.

I ave asked Greg for a source for the Republic 200gal steel tank - as well as a plausible explanation why they were not contracted for fabrication and shipment in lieu of the paper tank.
 

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It was a declaration of war against Japan only. So, that argument doesn't apply. Aside from being a committed pacifist, she also believed that Roosevelt had backed the Japanese into a corner with the oil and scrap metal embargoes.

Hitler declared war first, which helped end any possibility of meaningful opposition to getting involved in Europe.

The argument that we should only fight Japan, or that we shouldn't get involved in Europe until Japan was defeated, wasn't irrational.
Fair points but what's the reason Roosevelt was laying down embargoes, Japanese depredations in China.

The "only fighting Japan" did have a large following for sure, no denying that, but again, she could vote not to go to war after Pearl Harbor?

Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany were evil empires that needed to be eradicated, grandstanding a pacifist vote doesn't impress me. However, I suppose she at least stayed true to her ideals.
 
So are you saying the name Brisbane Tank was never used at the time or that there was no drop tank at all at that time that corresponds with what some now refer to as the Brisbane Tank?
To clarify, I am saying that the name "Brisbane tank" is a fiction, having never been used during the war years. There were numerous Australian companies manufacturing internal and external fuel tanks then for the US and Australian Air Forces. General Motors Holden were manufacturing 300-gallon tanks, while the Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Co., was producing self-sealing tanks. Ford (Australia) for example was also manufacturing both external belly tanks, and self-sealing wing and fuselage tanks for P-47s, in both Victoria (Geelong), Queensland (Eagle Farm), and New South Wales (Granville and Forbes). The USAFIA first approached Ford Australia in late August 1942, with an order for 600 x 150-gallon belly tanks. It was a year later when Ford appears to have received its first order for 4,500 x 200-gallon (Contract No. US.1413), and 20,400 155-gallon belly tanks. By November 1943 Ford Australia's total belly tank output was up to 2,000 units per month. These ranged in capacity from 30 gallons (Spitfire) to 260 gallons. Nothing has been found to date to indicate that 200 gallon tanks were ever manufactured by Ford in Brisbane. Although negotiations to this end commenced in late 1943, contract settlement negotiations had commenced by February 1944 at which time, interest appears to have switched to the new 260-gallon belly tank.

As the accompanying primary source documents reveal, US forces in the Pacific were far more interested in the 155-gallon belly tank (than the 200-gallon tank). Again, this probably will not sit well with those invested in sustaining the Brisbane tank myth.

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re the 200 USgal steel 'flat' DT manufactured in Australia

I think there may be a misunderstanding going on re the place of manufacture of these drop tanks.

During the 1930s and 1940s Ford Motor Company of Australia had a manufacturing plant located in Eagle Farm (as you mention above), which is a suburb of Brisbane. Before WWII the Eagle Farm plant was dedicated to car/truck body manufacturing (ie sheet metal work) among the other areas involved in automobile manufacture. This plant is where the 200 USgal DTs were supposed to have been detail designed and built. Whether the DTs were made at the Eagle Farm facility in their entirety or only partly, or if only the final assembly from parts made by sub-contractors took place there, I cannot say.

Whether it was ever called a 'Brisbane' tank during the war not I do not know, but I do not think anyone on the forum is particularly wedded to the idea. :)
 
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PS Is there a particular reason you believe that the 260 gallon tank you mention above is an external belly tank? The reason I ask is that the only 260 USgal DT I have run across is the jettisonable 260 USgal bomb bay tank for the B-26 Marauder. I believe that there were some of this type made by Goodyear of Australia.
 
To clarify, I am saying that the name "Brisbane tank" is a fiction, having never been used during the war years. There were numerous Australian companies manufacturing internal and external fuel tanks then for the US and Australian Air Forces. General Motors Holden were manufacturing 300-gallon tanks, while the Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Co., was producing self-sealing tanks. Ford (Australia) for example was also manufacturing both external belly tanks, and self-sealing wing and fuselage tanks for P-47s, in both Victoria (Geelong), Queensland (Eagle Farm), and New South Wales (Granville and Forbes). The USAFIA first approached Ford Australia in late August 1942, with an order for 600 x 150-gallon belly tanks. It was a year later when Ford appears to have received its first order for 4,500 x 200-gallon (Contract No. US.1413), and 20,400 155-gallon belly tanks. By November 1943 Ford Australia's total belly tank output was up to 2,000 units per month. These ranged in capacity from 30 gallons (Spitfire) to 260 gallons. Nothing has been found to date to indicate that 200 gallon tanks were ever manufactured by Ford in Brisbane. Although negotiations to this end commenced in late 1943, contract settlement negotiations had commenced by February 1944 at which time, interest appears to have switched to the new 260-gallon belly tank.

As the accompanying primary source documents reveal, US forces in the Pacific were far more interested in the 155-gallon belly tank (than the 200-gallon tank). Again, this probably will not sit well with those invested in sustaining the Brisbane tank myth.

View attachment 780092
Excellent source. Do you have images of the 155gal belly tank? Based on the order size I suspect that it is designed with same lug spacing as US built belly tanks.. and would work With P-47D-2 and D-4 retrofitted wih B-7 racks.
 
There was no 'very advanced fighters' by Japanese in Dec 1941, and, if anything, Allies were a tad underestimating Japanese gear, not over-estimating.

In Dec 1941 the Allies were caught by surprise, The Japanese had more advanced aircraft than the Allies suspected. They also didn't know that the Japanese fighters were using single speed superchargers.

Please, don't move the goal posts. "More advanced aircraft than the Allies suspected" is a whole another ball game when compared with
Not trying to move the goal post. Trying to clarify the situation and not doing well. We have the advantage of hindsight. The Planners at the time did not. There were some warnings coming out of China in 1940-41 but they were rather ignored by most western planners. The men in the Philippines may have thought the Japanese had advanced aircraft compared to the P-35s, P-36s and early P-40s they had. They had a few P-40es but not enough. If the British thought the Japanese had better planes they may have provided at least a few squadrons of Hurricanes instead of Buffaloes? The Allies knew they were getting beat, They knew they didn't have the "best" planes in the theater. It was going to be months or a year before better planes (or much better planes) showed up and could they expect the Japanese to make little or no progress?
Americans had recovered wrecks at Pearl Harbor but the "secret" of the Zero wasn't broken until Sept 1942. The British had obtained Faber's Fw 190 in late June 1942. The Aleutian Zero crashed in early June but was not spotted until July and recovered, Transported to the US and repaired and first flown Sept 20th 1942. Opinions differ as to how important this was. With a flying example the actual performance envelope could be explored and handling problems found. However this Zero was out of date. The A6M3 with the Sakae 21 engine was already showing up in late spring/early summer. Fortunately for the Allies the A6M3 was not a huge improvement over the A6M2.
Let's worry about the possible 350 mph Ki-43 once it receives the upgraded engine, since we're making a 420 mph fighter?
Trouble is we didn't know what the Japanese were planning. They could have built Ki-43 IIs over 6 months earlier than they did (Navy was fooling around with a prototype Zero using the two speed engine before Pearl Harbor). The Japanese army might have built more Ki-44 IIs in late 1942 or even a few hundred Ki-44 I in early 1942. The design and prototypes existed, production capacity and Army desire did not but that was unknown to the Western allies.

The Western allies had been shocked out of their own complacency during Dec 1941 and the first 6 months of 1942 while the Japanese had been lulled by their early successes.
The Allies did not know when the 350mph Ki-43 ( or successor or major engine change) was going to show up. Same for the Zero successor.
The Allies did not want to introduce a 350mph F4F-Z when the Japanese introduced a 375mph A7M (not real A7M).

We know from history that the Japanese were slow to come up with higher powered engines but that was not known at the time at the Allied planners could not count on it.
1942 was a very turbulent year.
 
Not trying to move the goal post. Trying to clarify the situation and not doing well. We have the advantage of hindsight. The Planners at the time did not. There were some warnings coming out of China in 1940-41 but they were rather ignored by most western planners. The men in the Philippines may have thought the Japanese had advanced aircraft compared to the P-35s, P-36s and early P-40s they had. They had a few P-40es but not enough. If the British thought the Japanese had better planes they may have provided at least a few squadrons of Hurricanes instead of Buffaloes? The Allies knew they were getting beat, They knew they didn't have the "best" planes in the theater. It was going to be months or a year before better planes (or much better planes) showed up and could they expect the Japanese to make little or no progress?
Thank you.

Americans knew their capabilities. These capabilities were centered around their industry, raw materials, energy (includes oil fuel), wealth and manpower. Industry was tasked with making P-47s in 3 factories, P-38 in another one, plus one factory making P-40s and another one making P-39s. NAA was making the 5th design for the British, that were also getting the P-40s. They might've judged the Japanese fighters making 360 mph when these were making 330, or perhaps 370 mph, but what was more important was that they knew that their war production is dwarfing that of Japan by factor of 3-5-7?, depending on the item.
Americans also knew that the main push against Japan will happen once there was a good number of the aircraft carriers (USAAF was either aware of this, or they were blind), and these will not be available until well into 1943, giving even more time to the USA to churn out machines and trained manpower. We also have the declaration of 'Germany 1st', and there is also a thing that USN fighters are to be made at 3+1+1= five factories - again, all in order to crush the Japanese from some time of 1943 on.

Expecting that Japanese will made the better fighters was a prudent thing. So was expecting that their production will be far smaller than what Americans will be getting. Even when accounting to what is being send to the British (that ended up without P-38s and almost without any P-47), as well as what is being earmarked for US forces in Europe/N.A.(mostly P-40s and P-38s in 1942).

The Western allies had been shocked out of their own complacency during Dec 1941 and the first 6 months of 1942 while the Japanese had been lulled by their early successes.
The Allies did not know when the 350mph Ki-43 ( or successor or major engine change) was going to show up. Same for the Zero successor.
The Allies did not want to introduce a 350mph F4F-Z when the Japanese introduced a 375mph A7M (not real A7M).
I'm not sure why the F-4F-Z will be needed, since Americans have the 400 mph F4U in pipeline, as well as the F6F.
 
From Boyd " The Royal Navy in Eastern Waters" p229

"British military leaders have attracted harsh criticism for their lack of knowledge of Japanese aircraft performance. Although surviving records are patchy, accurate performance tables for all Japanese aircraft in use at the outbreak of war had been circulated across the British intelligence community by mid-1941. [An Air Ministry document with this information was dated 20 May 1941. Much of the information contained therein was recirculated in Sept to Brooke-Popham and again after the outbreak of war with Japan.]. The exceptional range of many Japanese naval aircraft, including the new Zero fighter, was identified in these tables. British intelligence also had a reasonably accurate picture of IJNAF aircraft armament. The main types of bomb carried were known, as were details of the Type 91 aerial torpedo."
 
The "only fighting Japan" did have a large following for sure, no denying that, but again, she could vote not to go to war after Pearl Harbor?
I only brought that up because it's a logical flaw to argue that she should have voted for the declaration because of Hitle.
Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany were evil empires that needed to be eradicated, grandstanding a pacifist vote doesn't impress me. However, I suppose she at least stayed true to her ideals.
Grandstanding is about gaining popularity or votes. Opposing the war only hurt her. Regardless of my disagreement with her, she voted purely out of principle.
 
From Boyd " The Royal Navy in Eastern Waters" p229

"British military leaders have attracted harsh criticism for their lack of knowledge of Japanese aircraft performance. Although surviving records are patchy, accurate performance tables for all Japanese aircraft in use at the outbreak of war had been circulated across the British intelligence community by mid-1941."
When I read the book, I was really surprised that they don't seem to have passed on any of this information to the U.S.
 

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