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What If: Pre-WWII Empire of Japan has a glance into future Allied aviation forces?

Discussion in 'History & Military Discussion' started by HeavyArmor, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. HeavyArmor

    HeavyArmor Trust me, I'm an Engineer

    What if, say in early 1931, Both of the highest ranking officers of the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy were contacted by a mysterious benefactor, that a shipment of gifts to the warriors of the Empire is arriving at the Port of Tokyo soon.

    Under the witness of representatives from the IJA and IJN, the shipment reveals to be the following:

    22 × Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat​
    22 × Douglas A-1J Skyraider
    22 × Hawker Sea Fury FB 11
    100 × 20mm Hispano Mk. V
    50000 rounds of 20×110mm HEI in 200 round belts
    1000 barrels of 150-octane aviation fuel

    In the shipment also includes simplified technical drawings of said aircraft, weapon, and ammunition. Also included are simplified tactical guidebooks, instruction manuals, operator guides and maintenance manual.

    And a stern warning, that they will be facing these machines of war in the future (No one knew that the benefactor is lying or not......)

    All of these vehicles and armaments are from the period of the top of their built quality and reliability in real-life.

    How would these goods affect the development of Empire of Japan's military aviation units?
  2. ussnimitz1968

    ussnimitz1968 Not an Actual Servicemember

    I really don't think anything would happen, really.

    Someone mentioned in another thread that Sakae (or however it's spelled) was a very excellent engine at the time, and that's true. But one of the reasons why Japanese planes were designed the way they were is because, at least according to the common thinking (I could be wrong, this could be influenced by incorrect pre-war assessments) they had difficulty with metallurgy that allowed them engine designs that matched the higher-horsepower engines from British and especially American manufacturers. They're going to look at an American R-2800 radial engine and say, "well this is a super-neat engine I wish we could make this!" and that'd be that.

    The Japanese, like everyone else, were always interested in higher horsepower engines and were tinkering with them before Pearl Harbor, but they've had some trouble due to the issues I described. It was a major reason why their Zero replacement was never able to reach operational service.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. 7734


    Jackshit happens. For starters, there's the metalurgy problems. Japan does not have, nor will it ever have good raw iron deposits. What it has is shit iron that needs to get treated six ways from Sunday after getting blessed by three shrine maidens before you can even think of making it into pig iron- pig iron being the shit you throw into the crucible to get very meh steel. You can't make an engine out of shit, and whoop-de-do, Japanese ironworking and steelworking back then was shit. Even now they're an importer of scrap and recycled metal because it's better than what they're stuck with.

    Second problem here is doctrine. Japanese fighters are built with three targets in mind- good shell-firing armament, light wing-loading, and endurance. The Hispano-Suiza is a derivative of the Oikilerion, same as the Type 99, so that's no net improvment except possibly expanding the minuscule ammo supply. The F8F is no lightweight and clean plane, either- it's heavy, armored, and does everything Japanese planes do NOT. It climbs like a homesick angel, it dives like a stone, it eats lightweight bullets no problem, it hauls bombs or rockets or drop tanks or beer barrels, it folds it's wings when it goes to bed and it can grab a drop tank and go on a long patrol or leave the sippy cup home and knife-fight. Japanese planes are light feathers, designed around light wing loading and snap rolls so they can turn and burn with the best of them versus the fights in the vertical that all the Cat planes practice.

    Play a flight simulator some time- fight like a Zero in anything made by America and you will die horribly, and conversly the same for fighting like an American in a Zero or Reppu. American planes are designed to dogfight until the other guy makes a mistake, so you need to be very patient and wait until you have a chance to turn your potential energy into actual energy or vice-versa and waste the other guy. On the other hand, Japanese planes are duelists, locking in on their enemy and holding onto them through every turn and flip and reversal, throwing a few bullets here and there, watching you slowly run out of power and energy until you die to a 20mm shell turning your controls into mush and you gracefully crash into the ground at top speed.

    Your ROB must love handing out weird gear Christmas presents. Piles of German tanks to make MOAR TANKS MOAR HUGE, Compass Calls to third-world countries that need them when Hell freezes over, and now energy fighters to the kings of turn fighting. Throw the Italian designers at the Japanese- now THAT would make some cool shit.
    • Like Like x 3
  4. ussnimitz1968

    ussnimitz1968 Not an Actual Servicemember

    Fun fact: most of the scrapped cars in the US end up getting shipped to Korea and Japan to be made into cars there. I imagine most of the steel and metal in those countries have probably been imported as well by this point and I have to imagine metal mining in Japan isn't really all that much of a thing anymore.

    It's also been said that mil-spec scrap aluminum is just about as good as gold (it's a real bitch to refine it to spec in the first place, so of course it's always easier to deal with it in already purified form) so I have to imagine it's in real big demand in Japan as well.
  5. 7734


    Aluminum is always a bit bitchy to handle- between getting the ore into a reasonable slurry for processing and then basically burning the slurry to get the aluminum separated from the slag is one thing, but after that you need to spin-bake it and then electrify the shit out of it in a salt bath that hits 980 degrees centigrade.

    There's a reason recycling is good for business, and not just the environment- all that work is expensive. There's a reason Napoleon owned an aluminum dinning set- back then, it was much more valuable than gold!
  6. So I went and looked up who these people are, and they appear to be this guy and this one.

    I think it's worth noting that neither of them was especially influential, except as a target for dislike within their own command. While this was normal for Imperial Japan, these two seem particularly powerless.

    Even if they could come up with a response to this, I'm not sure they could implement it.

    Note also that both of them are gone by 1932.

    Given who Japan viewed as a threat at this time, they probably aren't going to believe that China is capable of this.
  7. Aaron Fox

    Aaron Fox Personally, why not?

    Actually, even in the 1930s, the IJN and some elements of the IJA were really afraid of the US coming in and wrecking their shit like no tomorrow, and no it wasn't only Yamamoto. The US's 'Open China' policy was incredibly grating on Japan and their shenanigans in China more or less got them railroaded into conflict with the US.
  8. Darthtabby


    Could you elaborate on this?

    Its my understanding the Italians got behind in terms of developing fighter engines and weaponry (kind of like the Japanese) but produced some pretty impressive airframes. The Germans were apparently interested in producing the Fiat G.55 themselves but ended up passing on it because the design wasn't well optimized for mass production (which was kind of an important consideration).
    • Like Like x 2
  9. 7734


    The Itallians had a lot of problems with their air force, but they built amazing manuvere airplanes. From the Schiendler Trophy to the skies over Italy, the Italian planes displayed a flair for dancing with clean lines and beautiful handling at all altitudes combined with amazing turn, roll, and yaw rates. However, they constantly suffered from heinously underpowered engines and undergunned planes, which meant that in any serious fighting they would get shredded by their adversaries walls of .50 Brownings or 20mm Hispano-Suizas due to the light construction which gave their planes such amazing preformance.

    As an example, the Macchi C.202 was the last Italian fighter of the war. Their absolute best. Engine horsepower? 1,175hp, which is pathetic compared to the 1,075 engine mounted on the P-40 family that is near nine years their junior! Armament? Two 12.5mm guns in the cowling and two 7.7 in the wings, again a joke next to the Mustang's six .50 Brownings or worse, a Me 109 Gustav's 20mm cannon and six 7.7 machine guns.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Ivan the Not-so-Terrible

    Ivan the Not-so-Terrible AH MEW CHEEKI BREEKI I V DAMKE

    But the Serie 5 planes existed? All three had comparable if not better armament (2 or 3x 20mm and 2x 12.7mm vs 2x 13.2mm and 1x 20mm) and performance to the 109G-6 which entered service at roughly the same time. Italy mainly suffered from its lack of production capacity and poor design choices in the early war (2x low-power 12.7s is not a proper aircraft armament, and the CR.42 was a mistake).
    • Like Like x 1
  11. 7734


    I can't find any Serie 5 plane in my refrence book, so I can't verify its quality. What I can find is awesome If it was fighting in the antebellum period though.
  12. Ivan the Not-so-Terrible

    Ivan the Not-so-Terrible AH MEW CHEEKI BREEKI I V DAMKE

    Serie 5 were the C.205, G.55, and Re.2005. All were developed during the war, using license-built copies of the DB 605 (hence the name).
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Well, not exactly. First, as Ivan pointed out, the Serie 5 fighters existed. Second, one must remember that "late war design" for WWII Italy means late 1942/early 1943, not 1944/1945. And the that the Serie 5 designed in 1943 were considered excellent by the Germans, and that the Serie 6 fighters, which were reaching the prototype stage, were even better.

    ...this isn't really supported by what I've read, tough. While Italian planes often had problem inflicting serious damage on enemy fighters (because of the lackluster armament already mentioned) they generally held their own, and were pretty sturdy even under enemy fire. Heck, didn't British reports state that even the humble CR. 42 had an "immensely strong" airframe?

    To be fair, one of the reasons behind the 12.7s was fighting endurance - those Bredas could fire a lot of shots, and, at least in theory, they didn't exactly lack punch (though opinions on the Tracer/incendiary/HE rounds they could fire are mixed) - the reasoning was probably to marginally reduce hitting power in exchange for better sustained firepower, which is not a bad trade per se, rather it becomes a bad trade once you face armored (or just heavy) planes which favor boom and zoom tactics.

    It must be noted that 20mm armed versions of the Re 2001 existed, IIRC.

    In the end the mistake was, perhaps, placing too much enphasis on maneuverability at the cost of everything else.
  14. The entire Japanese war strategy and policy was a mix of their army generals believing in the glorious samurai spirit and the sane members of their military looking for a hail marry that might net them a victory. The deluded ones stay deluded, the sane ones get more desperate, and ultimately no meaningful changes come out of it.
  15. ussnimitz1968

    ussnimitz1968 Not an Actual Servicemember

    I don't know if you're talking about Code Geass or maybe if you accidentally posted here when you mean one of the threads referring to the Imperial Japanese Navy/Army in the War Room.

    I suppose that might even be the point.

    EDIT: Nevermind it was me who had lost track of what thread I was in :p
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  16. Spectre


    New york
    There's also the issue is that those designs were ass backwards compared all the theory's on air combat. Back in the early thirty's everything was about light nimble turning fighters as that was what had one the last war. If you notice all the high energy fighters either started out as turning fighters and shifted roles after it was found they weren't good enough to do so or were designed during the war.

    Also They IJN would be gutted as only two carriers will actually be able to launch them at the start of the war (Shoukaku and Zuikaku) all the others are either to slow or to small to do so.

    third, this isn't going to change things anyways, most of the IJA and IJN's veteran pilots were killed either on their carriers or by flak and after that well, no matter how good their aircraft are, shit pilots are shit pilots. At the end of the day battles like the Mariana's and Midway won't seriously change because the issues with doctrine training will still be there.
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