Western Observer Reports

Akuma

Airman 1st Class
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May 26, 2021
Would anyone know of published military and other observers reports on military aviation of the Sino-Japanese conflicts during the 1931-1941 decade?
 

Barrett

Senior Airman
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Feb 9, 2007
Western United States
Would anyone know of published military and other observers reports on military aviation of the Sino-Japanese conflicts during the 1931-1941 decade?
Not entirely relevant but I'll add this sidebar:
I knew one of the Wake Island F4F pilots--remarkable gent. He said that en route, the Enterprise intelligence briefing included silhouettes of known or suspected Japanese aircraft "including one that looked like a Curtiss pusher!"
 

Akuma

Airman 1st Class
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May 26, 2021
Not entirely relevant but I'll add this sidebar:
I knew one of the Wake Island F4F pilots--remarkable gent. He said that en route, the Enterprise intelligence briefing included silhouettes of known or suspected Japanese aircraft "including one that looked like a Curtiss pusher!"
Sounds like the Kyushu J7W Shinden that was a Canard design like the Curtiss Ascender.
 

Shinpachi

Major
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Feb 17, 2008
Osaka
Japanese pushers in the 1930s I can recall.

Aichi AB-4 in 1932
Aichi_AB-4.jpg


Kawanishi E11K in 1937
Kawanishi_E11K.jpg
 

Akuma

Airman 1st Class
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May 26, 2021
The Shinden very likely wasn't even a thought in early 1942, it's first flight was in Aug. 45.
According to Hideyuki Shigete, the Shinden concept designs begin around early 1943 by Masayoshi Tsuruno, IJN Air Research Dept. who was studying the idea of Canard Pusher at or near the start of 1940.
 

buffnut453

1st Lieutenant
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Jul 25, 2007
Utah, USA
Wasn't there a 1941 report by the British stationed in China regarding Japanese aircraft, including information on the newly revealed A6M?

Yes. It was released in March 1942 and a copy exists in the British Library and the performance figures for all Japanese types are actually pretty decent. There are also records from Singapore in November 1941 asking if squadrons at Mingaladon, Burma, had received the latest intelligence reports, with specific mention to the "Navy 0" or "Navy Nought" fighter.

The idea that the Allies didn't have good intelligence on the A6M is another myth that definitely needs bursting. The operational aircrew may not have believed the intelligence...but that's not the fault of the intelligence itself.
 

SaparotRob

Unter Gemeine Geschwader Murmeltier XIII
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Mar 12, 2020
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It had to be posted on the Forum. An official U.S. listing of Japanese types with crude silhouettes and known/estimated performance. It had the numbers for most types. Whatever the A6M was then called, for climb it was listed as "fast".
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
Going by memory, wasn't the British report the one the Chennault tried to get the war department to pay attention to?

I understand that it wasn't until the Akutan Zero was evaluated, that the Navy was able to get a goos idea of what the A6M was about, yet the earlier British report was fairly comprehensive.
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
Actually, the Allied Intelligence folks knew of the Zero, but they didn't know much. I'll try to dig up my copy of the Nove 1941 report and post it here. I particularly liked the observation that P-40s should easily turn inside the Zero!

Cheers,


Dana
The P-40 could, as long as it was a high speed encounter.

The A6M's Achille's heel was high speed engagement. Once the airspeed was bled off, the A6M was in it's element and any adversary was in serious trouble if they tried to fight it.
 

Akuma

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May 26, 2021
The P-40 could, as long as it was a high speed encounter.

The A6M's Achille's heel was high speed engagement. Once the airspeed was bled off, the A6M was in it's element and any adversary was in serious trouble if they tried to fight it.
It might be helpful to bear two points in mind when considering the experience of pilots facing the japanese in combat for the first time: 1) All air combat training was centered on horizontal combat (dog-fighting) and attacking the EA from the rear. Vertical (boom & zoom) and Deflection shooting were frowned upon and except for mavericks like Chennault, not considered an alternative among allied pilots. 2: Before the war it was an article of faith that The japanese were incompetent pilots, aircraft designers, aircraft builders etc. by pretty much everybody.
I've copies of an article from early 1941 saying that the Japan did not have an airforce or civilian air industry to speak of. I would like to read what military observers were saying about japanese aviation and pilots before world war two and what they were writing about the Sino-Japanese conflict between 1931-1941.
 
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MikeMeech

Senior Airman
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Nov 20, 2019
Hi
Andrew Boyd's 'British Naval Intelligence, Through the Twentieth Century' has some useful information in Chapter 27 on IJNAF, extract below:
WW2aswusuk019.jpg

Also the references are of interest for source documents:
WW2aswusuk020.jpg

Chapter 18 is also of interest as it refers to the period 1930-1939.

Mike
 

Akuma

Airman 1st Class
244
140
May 26, 2021
Hi
Andrew Boyd's 'British Naval Intelligence, Through the Twentieth Century' has some useful information in Chapter 27 on IJNAF, extract below:
View attachment 688222
Also the references are of interest for source documents:
View attachment 688223
Chapter 18 is also of interest as it refers to the period 1930-1939.

Mike
Thanks for the reply. Now if I can find things like this in the run up to WWII.
 

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