AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

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Markus Becker
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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by Markus Becker » 09 Feb 2010 20:26

Remember what happened in OTL guys? Operation Ichi-Go happened and gone were the B-29 bases. IIRC the same will happen to the bases of any kind of bomber the Japanese consider a threat.

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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by phylo_roadking » 09 Feb 2010 20:52

Middle of Page One I posted...
2. They'd be vulnerable to the Japanese counter-raiding bases from Chinese mainland fields, a problem the RAF and USAAF never really had to worry about, the LW trying to fly in daylight through the Air defence network of the UK in the second half of the war.
The OP hasn't commented very much at all on the significant advantage the IJA enjoy in any strategic air campaign mounted by the AVG of possessing a counter-force at short range....compared to the long range to Home Islands targets for the AVG.

Just imagine....flying all that way to drop a piddling bombload.....then coming back to a runway full of craters...without fuel in hand for any possible diversion 8O Bomber pilot's worst nightmare. AND those Hudsons aren't going to be much use again after 'flopping in a rice paddy :lol:

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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by robdab » 10 Feb 2010 19:14

.
Markus Becker wrote:Remember what happened in OTL guys? Operation Ichi-Go happened and gone were the B-29 bases. IIRC the same will happen to the bases of any kind of bomber the Japanese consider a threat.
Markus, thanks for joining the discussion ...

Surely after the first, the Japanese Army would be motivated to prevent
further ongoing AVGII bomber firebomb strikes on Japanese Home Island cities. No one is argueing with you on that point. My questions are, how long would that take, how much additional military force would be required and where exactly would those additional muilitary forces have come from ?

Your own Operation Ichi-Go map source at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ichigo_plan.jpg actually comes from the
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA ... inaD-3.jpg website which also has links to
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA ... inaD-1.jpg . That map shows the historical Japanese plans for China as of Dec.3'41.

Since the Chinese airbases mentioned in this discussion as being within Hudson bomber range of several major Japanese Home Island cities are not within the planned combat areas A,B or C shown, it is obvious that more Japanese military resources would need to be sent to the large region between those areas B and C, if those Chinese airfields were to be overun and shutdown. That shifting would also take much time.

Sure, the Japanese could eventually do so BUT, as I have asked previously, what other HISTORICAL operations would have been postponed as unplanned for military forces were diverted against those AVGII used Chinese airfields ? Japanese resources were already streched razor thin historically so an even greater effort in 1941 China would mean that other of their early Pacific War efforts would have to be forgone.

Which ones and to what strategic effect ?

A strategic effect far greater than would normally be expected from the efforts of just 66 medium bombers.

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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by robdab » 10 Feb 2010 21:20

.
To clean up a few of Phylo's points:
There would be little need to bomb that accurately with incendiaries. Certainly not on the first clear sky night raid


Robert - how do they KNOW it's clear??? It's 700 miles away! Even the Luftwaffe had to fly morning and pre-raid very-high altitude weather recce flights over targets in Kent and Sussex in the Battle of Britain to check the weather over targets....and they were only a couple of dozen miles from the coast of France!

I have already indicated that I expect these AVGII flown Hudson bomber mission to begin sometime around Oct.31'41 when a state of war did NOT yet exist between Japan and the United States. As such there were American consular officials (such as the oft mentioned Tokyo based naval attache') who could have cabled home daily waether forcasts (to be forwarded on to the AVGII's pilots) just as Yoshikawa was doing on Oahu, pre-Dec.7'41.

Also, nothing would stop a Cavite based US submarine or two from sending weather reports from well outside Japan's territorial waters, off of the Nagasaki shoreline. Pre-war the IJN didn't have much in the way of sonar sets ...

Neutral merchant vessels could be paid to report the weather ...

Wrt weather, Armstrong's book reports on page #62:

"Indicating the level of thought Morganthau had given to this issue, he then asked about weather-reporting capabilities in China. Both General Mow and Dr.Soong said that the Chinese were getting adequite weather reports"
To say nothing of the possibilities of much better air recon for the British...
That's a complete non sequitor. "Better" air recon would require better aircraft for doing it! And as it was the British simply didn't spot the Japanese fighter fields put into French Indo-China due to the precautions against observation the Japanese took.They saw them....they just didn't "see" them!

Still, with more bombers (carrying cameras instead of bomb loads) in the air, there would have been a better chance of those AVGII aircrews spotting something of interest and reporting same to the Chinese, to the British and to the Americans.

First of all - the Hudsons would have to be shipped to and assembled in China. On completion they'd have to be flight tested. Then their new American crews would have to spend many hours converting to type - for as the Hudson wasn't YET a USAAF type they wouldn't have any flying time on the type in their log books.

The Americans ferried their B-17s to the Philippines via Hawaii etc. so I see no reason to waste much time by using cargo ships to get these Hudsons to China. With the risk of their assembly there being disrupted by less than well trained Chinese assembly workers or Japanese air/ground action. The Chinese could officially take delivery at Clarke Field in the Philippines according to Morgenthau (page # 60 of Armstrong's "Preemptive Strike") or in ... All of that private testing and aircrew familiarization could more speedily and easily be done in the US (or at Clarke Field) since that is where the AVGII aircrews were recruited (by other Americans, not by Chinese nationals) anyway.
I don't require a "firestorm" effect to entirely destroy a Japanese city, say the already mentioned Nagasaki, in November of 1941. All that is needed is significant enough damage to prove to Japan's leadership and people that "the new Chinese Air Force" presented a threat to Japan serious enough that major military resources had to be shifted from the upcoming effort against the DEIs in order to defend against it. That is all.
Again that's a non sequitor. Their reaction is far more likely to attack the AVG's fileds IN CHINA offensively...given that they are within reach of IJA aircraft on the Chinese mainland. That's FAR more in keeping with the Japanese mindset.

I couldn't agree more. And that kind of increased effort in China will certainly draw off military assets historically committed to other early Pacific War Japanese ventures.

Their historical reaction the Doolittle Raid was because it came out of the blue and they never knew when it would be repeated. This would not the case with Chinese-based bombers after the first raid.

How so since the Japanese didn't yet have any radar based air warning network established ?

After the first raid is possibly correct. But it will still take much time for the Japanese to locate the AVGII airfields and then more time to shift resources to points from which they can be attacked ... if the AVGII stays there.

By the way - it's not going to be much of a suprise either. The move of the AVG to China and its preparations were STEEPED in newspaper publicity! These guys were media personalities, splashed all over Time Life for ages before they began operations. And the Japanese can read a contemporary spec sheet for the Hudson was well as we can...

What better cover for the AVGII and it's meduim bombers than for the cargo-ship departure of the AVGI's fighters and pilots to be widely publicized, instead of their own trans-Pacific flights ?

As for the spec. sheets ... I'd imagine that the new A-29 specs would be a military secret since the US government had taken over their production when the Lend-Lease Act was passed in March 1941. The Japanese already had the specs for the MKI Hudson since they already owned several of them but I would expect that the A-29's expanded specs would still have been a surprise to Japan by Oct.31'41.

You say that "there I found that the MkIII Hudson is credited with a 780 mile range with full load and a maximum bombload of 1,600 lbs." and I reminded you to LOOK ABOVE that entry, where you'd find a range WITHOUT bombload of 1,355 miles...

So ? Planes fly further when they are lighter.

1,355 miles x 2 = 2,710 miles right ?

Now, if this was indeed a RADIUS - then the Hudson would have a TOTAL range of something approaching 3,000 miles. Which is patently ridiculous.

I don't believe so. My previuosly listed Profile Publications source gives the A-29 varient of the Hudson MkIII a range of 2,800 miles which matches closely with the 2,710 miles that you suggest above. No problem.

The OP hasn't commented very much at all on the significant advantage the IJA enjoy in any strategic air campaign mounted by the AVG of possessing a counter-force at short range....compared to the long range to Home Islands targets for the AVG.

Sure I have. And I have also pointed out that Japan's military was stretched to the limit historically in the days pre-Dec.7'41. Any enlarged effort in China would have to come at the expense of other of their historical targets.

Armstrong's book deals with the point via the following quote on page #60 which reports a Dec.21'40 meeting in Washington:

"According to his notes, Morgenthau then suggested spreading the large bombers around at diferent airbases so the Japanese would not know where they were. "Chennault said that could be done, as there were two fields near the border of occupied China which were good enough for the Flying Fortresses and four fields good enough for the Lockheed Hudsons... Chennault pointed out that, "China should have about 130 pursuit ships in order to defend the bomber bases."

We have already discussed here that Russia had and still was supplying fighter aircraft to the Chinese.

The meeting continued on with, from page #61:

"When Morgenthau asked if it was a pipe dream to spread these bombers around in various fields and hide them from the Japanese, Chennault responded that it was not sound tactically, but he felt it could be done and that "a terrific amount of damage could be accomplished before the Japanese found them". Soong volunteered that, "it was the only practical thing to do."

Just imagine....flying all that way to drop a piddling bombload.....

I'll stick with Chennault's "good bombload" rather than your "piddling" one, offered with no supporting source at all.

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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by Markus Becker » 11 Feb 2010 23:05

robdab wrote: Since the Chinese airbases mentioned in this discussion as being within Hudson bomber range of several major Japanese Home Island cities are not within the planned combat areas A,B or C shown, it is obvious that more Japanese military resources would need to be sent to the large region between those areas B and C, if those Chinese airfields were to be overun and shutdown. That shifting would also take much time.
A Hudson has a shorter range than a B-29, meaning Hudson-bases would have to be close to Japan and thus easier to counterattack by air and land. And regarding land power, where did the units for Ichi-Go come from? Probably from the Kwantung and China Exped. Army. Compared to the size of these two the land forces send south against the Allies were marginal.

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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by robdab » 12 Feb 2010 00:29

Markus Becker wrote,

A Hudson has a shorter range than a B-29, ...

Shorter than a B-17's range too but so what ?

... meaning Hudson-bases would have to be close to Japan and thus easier to counterattack by air and land.

I have already posted a source that indicates between 500 and 750 miles (one way). The point is that no matter what the distance, if the Japanese are devoting more warplanes than they did historically to attacking Chinese airfields then there are fewer Japanese warplanes than were historically available to attack the Allies defending the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaya etc.

And regarding land power, where did the units for Ichi-Go come from? Probably from the Kwantung and China Exped. Army. Compared to the size of these two the land forces send south against the Allies were marginal.

Some 11 divisions in total IIRC. The remainder were all tied up watching the Russians, the Koreans, Manchuria and other areas of the ongoing conflict in China. Historically here were no combat ready IJA divisions to spare that I know of.

One assumes that historically all those other Japanese divisions still had some assigned tasks to accomplish. I don't imagine that there was even a single Japanese division sitting around doing nothing save working on their sun tans ? Once again, if larger than historical land operations were undertaken by the IJA in China then those Japanese troops had to come from some other mission, possibly from the attacks historically ordered on the Allies. Don't forget that the Chinese still had huge numbers of troops facing the invading Japanese in December of 1941. Neither the Kwantung nor the China Exped. Army could just instantly abandon their China positions and suddenly shift several divisions worth of their troops towards attacking the also defended Chinese airfields in SE China.

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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by Markus Becker » 12 Feb 2010 07:19

robdab wrote:[
I have already posted a source that indicates between 500 and 750 miles (one way). The point is that no matter what the distance, if the Japanese are devoting more warplanes than they did historically to attacking Chinese airfields then there are fewer Japanese warplanes than were historically available to attack the Allies defending the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaya etc.
Let´s see. They had 25 A6M, 68 Ki-43, app. 130 Ki-27, 80 singel and app. 300 twin engine in Indo-China attacking the DEI and Malaya. On Formosa were 90 A6M, 70 Ki-27 and 130 twin engine bombers.

Pretty unimpressive, even more if they had to withdraw considerable numbers of planes from China.

Some 11 divisions in total IIRC. The remainder were all tied up watching the Russians, the Koreans, Manchuria and other areas of the ongoing conflict in China. Historically here were no combat ready IJA divisions to spare that I know of.
I´m not sure the Soviets needed much attention as they were having problems of their own; monumental ones. While the Chinese had numbers, they lacked quality and I´m pretty sure one one division was withdrawn from China on short notice, when the conquest of the PI stalled on Bataaan.

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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by Tim Smith » 12 Feb 2010 10:22

I agree. In late 1941, during Operation Barbarossa, with the Red Army collapsing in the West, Japan can actually afford to leave her border with the USSR almost completely unguarded - the Soviets will do nothing to take advantage, they are too busy shipping troops and equipment to Moscow.

Japan didn't do this historically because she wanted to be in a position to take advantage if the USSR completely collapsed under the German assault - i.e. the Kwantung Army was maintained at high strength in preparation for offensive action, not defensive.

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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by robdab » 12 Feb 2010 16:49

Tim Smith then wrote,

I agree. In late 1941, during Operation Barbarossa, with the Red Army collapsing in the West, Japan can actually afford to leave her border with the USSR almost completely unguarded - the Soviets will do nothing to take advantage, they are too busy shipping troops and equipment to Moscow.

Perfect hindsight from 70 years later.

Considering the short distance to the Japanese Home Islands and the severe drubbing that Russia had just inflicted on Japanese troops in 1938/39, I think this option very unlikely. Historically, considerable Japanese resources were devoted to ensuring that their treaty with Russia was honoured, by both sides.

At the same time there were still hordes of new Russian formations, some still forming up and many more in various stages of training in Siberia, 1/2 way between Vladivostok and Moscow. With only one railway line running east-west, the Japanese weren't going to get far in any case.

Japan didn't do this historically because she wanted to be in a position to take advantage if the USSR completely collapsed under the German assault - i.e. the Kwantung Army was maintained at high strength in preparation for offensive action, not defensive.

You support my point. If those Japanese troops are sent instead to overun AVGII airfields in SE China then they won't be available to seize the Russian resource zone if/when Russia did collapse, would they ?

Also, I must ask, just how quickly do you think that Japan could shift troops from the Russian front to SE China to attack AVGII airfields when almost every cargo ship in their inventory was ALREADY being used in preparation for their historically scheduled operations against the British, Dutch and Americans ? Which of those efforts would have to be deprived on their shipping so that Kwantung Army troops could be shifted to SE China ? Also, just HOW LONG do you think that doing so would take ? If the AVGII starts firebombing Japanese Home Island cities on Nov.1'41, how many such night attacks will be accomplished BEFORE Japanese troops from the Russian frontier can get to and overun those defended SE China airfields ? 5, 10 or 15 raids before Dec.7'41 alone ? What was left of the Chinese railway network in the Japanese captured portions of China certainly wasn't up to accomplishing a speedy transfer of Kwatung Army troops from the Russian frontier down to SE China, in any case.

The Japanese of that time had no radar networks nor nightfighters that could be used to intercept such firebomb raids so there would be intense political pressure on Tojo's government to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to safeguard the Emperor (and His citizens, of course) against more such raids.

Please remember that Chaing Kai-shek had already promised the Americans that he would defend those SE China airfields with several divisions of Chinese troops. Surely one can debate the quality of Chinese troops vs IJA formations but still it must be assumed that MORE than just one (probably un-mechanized) IJA division would have to be sent if SPEEDY progress was to be made against those multiple airfields.

As the firebombing raids continued, night after night.

I don't know what sites stored Japan's two year strategic stockpile of war fuel but imagine the titanic blow to historical Japanese war plans had the AVGII's bombers managed to bomb/burn even a portion of it ?

Chennault's AVGII bombers might have made strategic accomplishments far greater than just 66 warplanes would normally have been expected to.
Last edited by robdab on 12 Feb 2010 17:26, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by Takao » 12 Feb 2010 17:13

robdab wrote:It wasn't intended to. Any such raids would be aimed at shaking the confidence of the Japanese public in their own military defences. Any threat to the Emperor being, of course, totally unacceptable ...

Much as the Doolittle Raid eventually led to the Midway disaster for Japan, I would suggest that apparently Chinese bombing raids with Hudsons on Japan's Home Islands beginning in November of 1941 might have derailed some of her historical invasion plans elsewhere as Japanese fighter aircraft, AA defenses and troops were re-positioned to deal with those bombing raids.

To say nothing of the possibilities of much better air recon for the British and the possible bombing of Japanese troop convoys while they were still gathering at Hainan and in Cam Rhan Bay.
Sounds like your planning to sacrifice China to save the ABDA skins in the Pacific. Nice plan: China bombs Japan, Japan trounces China, and all ABDA properties are, hopefully, safe.

However, it is unlikely that your hypothesis will prove true. While, the Doolittle Raid eventually led to the battle of Midway, you forget that it also led to the deaths of about 250,000 Chinese! About a month after the Doolittle Raid, the Japanese launched a massive invasion to clear out the Chinese and destroy any airbases in its path, this was known as the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign. So, after you first air raid on a Japanese city, your bombers have about a month of life left before being forced to retreat or be destroyed, probably less if you continue to bomb Japanese cities. This also does not take into account any Japanese aerial campaign against your bases.

Now, how did you come to the conclusion that this will give the British better air recon? This is positively LAUGHABLE. The Americans did that for the British! From http://www.ww2pacific.com/countdown.html
Dec 2, Tuesday.
U.S. PBY Catalina report 20 Japanese transports congregating in Cam Ranh Bay.

Dec 3, Wed.
U.S. PBY Catalina report 30 Japanese transports congregating in Cam Ranh Bay. (10 more than yesterday)

Dec 4, Thu.
U.S. PBY Catalina report 30 Japanese transports no longer in Cam Ranh Bay.
The invasion force of Malaya was spotted by the British 2 days after leaving port on December 6, 1941, it was again spotted on December 7, 1941. How much more do you need? Spotting the fleet in port is not going to change any British decisions that were made. If the British chose as they did when the fleet was steaming to Malay, why would they chose differently when the fleet is still in port. Not only do you have no idea what you are talking about, it is also not even an issue, because it had already been done!

robdab wrote:Different authors regularly use the term in different ways.
None that I have read. Although they tend to be more specific, using terms such as "maximum range", "ferry range", or "combat range".

robdab wrote:For instance, let me try and settle the question in a non-microdetail way. Armstrong's book, "Preemptive Strike" which originally kindled my interest in this "what-if", presents on it's page #60, the following portion of a Dec.21'40 Washington meeting:

"Chennault said that: "the Lockheed Hudson had a radius [of action] of 1,000 miles with a good bombload but that it was 1,200 miles to Tokyo, so that the Lockheed [Hudson] would not be able to reach that city. However Nagasaki, Kobe, and Osaka were within the range of the Hudson bomber. When Morgaenthau asked Chennault if the bombing could be conducted at night, Chennault said that would have to be the case, because "pursuit ships did not have sufficient range to defend the bombers in daytime on such a long tour."

I think Chennault in a better position to know the truth of the matter at the time, than you are now.
First, because of the factors involved, figuring the range of an aircraft REQUIRES micro-detail, you can't get around that fact. Second, No, Chennault is not in a better position to know the truth than I, because you are confusing the issue. I am not arguing the fact that the Hudson can or cannot reach Japan, it is plainly evident that it can, with the information at hand. I was arguing your point that a fully loaded Hudson can reach Japan! Sorry, that you train of thought was derailed. Furthermore, a "good bombload" is not a "full bombload." Further, if the maximum range is 2,800 miles, and Tokyo is a 2,400 mile round trip, your "good bombload" is probably not going to be all that much.

For that matter, what is a "good bombload" for a Hudson? Anyone?


robdab wrote:Sure but so far in this discussion I have just been trying to figure out if even my first ATL Hudson mission was possible. AFAIK we haven't even gotten to the point of beginning to discuss the ongoing operations of any Hudsons sent to be flown in China by an AVGII ?
That it is possible is a given, anything is possible. What we are debating is if bombing Japan using the AVG2 is viable and practical. The viability, IMHO, is doubtful. Given the poor conditions in China and the Chinese transportation net. It is possible for 1 or 2 raids, but an extended campaign is out of the question. Is it practical, that is a resounding NO! The bombers of the AVG2 would be put to much better use attacking IJA units and bases of supply in China. Bombing Japan does not offer China any "good return" for its effort, and will produce a drastic retribution on the part of the Japanese. By attacking Japanese supply depots and ground units will put the Japanese on the defensive and give the Chinese a good chance of defeating the Japanese by crippling their lines of supply.

robdab wrote:Chennault seemed to feel that doing so would be a bad idea, as per his quote that I presented earlier in this posting.
Have you gone daft robdab, or did you fail English class? I take it you mean this quote;
When Morgaenthau asked Chennault if the bombing could be conducted at night, Chennault said that would have to be the case, because "pursuit ships did not have sufficient range to defend the bombers in daytime on such a long tour."
Looks to me that Chennault is agreeing with my proposition. Although his reasoning is odd.
"pursuit ships did not have sufficient range to defend the bombers in daytime on such a long tour." Does this mean that the pursuit planes have better ranges at night? I never knew that planes flew further at night than during the day.... :lol:

robdab wrote:Hope springs eternal. Perhaps Chaing Kai-shek, without the benefit of your now perfect hindsight, simply thought that his pilots were doing so poorly against the Japanese because they had to fly second and third string European "cast-off" warplane designs against much more modern Japanese designs ?
Again, with the "HINDSIGHT", your starting to sound like an old broken record...

If your hypothesis were true, which it is not, than Chiang would have asked for just the modern planes. He did not do this, he asked for planes AND pilots!
robdab wrote:Thanks for the source but I thought it too general to shed much light on the discussion topic of this thread. I prefered the August 1941 entry at http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/sino-japanese-1941.htm which confirms my earlier A-29 points of view with:

"On 1 August the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) was activated with Claire Chennault as commander. Under his command were three fighter squadrons.
The AVG began training at Kyedaw airfield, near Toungoo.
The main force of personel arrived to Rangoon, Burma, aboard the Jaegersfontein on 15 Aug.
The 1st AVG was to have been joined by the 2nd AVG in the winter of 1941-42. This was to be a bomber group equipped with A-29s, but the group and its equipment had barely begun the journey across the Pacific when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
In August the 9th and 30th BS re-equipped with the Lockheed A-29 attack bomber."
Shame you don't read much, you really should, you might actually learn something.

Your source adds little to the links I posted back on Page 1. Some excepts;
The exact basis for Currie's assertion to Chennault that 24 Hudsons could be delivered immediately is not known. However, Hudsons were available in large numbers in July 1941. Many were parked at the Lockheed plant at Burbank, California, awaiting delivery to the British. Most likely Currie had worked out a deal similar to the Tomahawk deal where China would get current machines and the British would make up the difference from a later production run.

As soon as the prospect of immediate delivery of bombers appeared, it dissolved. Britain was pressing the United States for transport planes and the suggestion had been made that aircraft from U.S. airlines could be commandeered to meet British needs. This did not go over well with the U.S. airline industry which questioned why the British could not convert some of their backlog of Hudsons into transport planes (the Hudson design was based on the Lockheed Super Electra transport plane). A photograph appeared in a magazine closely associated with the airline industry showing more than 150 Hudsons sitting outside Lockheed's Burbank plant. Within a week all the Hudsons had been moved to Canada! It seems likely that this incident put an end to hopes for "immediate delivery" of bombers to China in the summer of 1941.

The Hudsons allocated to China remained at the back of the production queue. About a dozen had come off the production line by December 7th, 1941. They and others produced later in December and January 1942 were caught in the temporary freeze on aircraft exports after the out break of war. Likewise personnel of the 2nd AVG were halted en route to China in Australia or at the U.S. west coast. After many months most of the Hudsons eventually got into the hands of the CAF but they never bombed Japan and in fact saw little combat action.
and
The 2nd AVG was a bomber group, authorized by President Roosevelt and recruited by Bill Pawley's Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company in the fall of 1941. CAMCO hired 82 pilots and 359 ground crew (almost certainly including air crew) who were duly discharged from the U.S. Army in November. Lockheed outfitted 33 Hudson bombers--really little more than a militarized version of the Lockheed Super Electra transport, complete with the passenger windows--with long-range fuel tanks so they could fly across the Pacific; they were to have been used for "occasional incendiary bombing of Japan". The same number of Douglas Boston light bombers (A-20s in U.S. service) would travel by sea to Africa, and there be assembled for the flight overland through India to China.

A considerable group sailed from California on November 21 aboard Bloemfontein and possibly Noordam, which had earlier carried men of the 1st AVG to Burma. Sergeants Charland, Zimmerman, and Brogden, plus the adaptible "Jimmy" Stewart, must have been among them.

Following the Japanese breakout on December 7/8, the ships were diverted to Australia, where Bloemfontein docked on December 22, and where the army men were eventually taken back into U.S. service. Their Douglas and Lockheed bombers were likewise re-inducted, as were the men who hadn't yet sailed for Asia.
robdab wrote:I don't require a "firestorm" effect to entirely destroy a Japanese city, say the already mentioned Nagasaki, in November of 1941. All that is needed is significant enough damage to prove to Japan's leadership and people that "the new Chinese Air Force" presented a threat to Japan serious enough that major military resources had to be shifted from the upcoming effort against the DEIs in order to defend against it. That is all.
Except, you don't know about the upcoming invasion of the DEI's, or has the "Crystal Ball" be invented by the Allies in this ATL. So, that would be HINDSIGHT would it not? You played that game in your PH thread, and you played it badly. You are allowed hindsight, but no one else is. That's the pot calling the kettle black.

robdab wrote:Also, I'd expect that the AVGII's American navigators would have easily been up to the task of finding even a darkened Japanese city only 500-730 miles away after they had demonstrated much greater skills in getting to China in the first place. In order to get to China more quickly that the historical first AVG did, I'd expect Chennault to have them fly a 2,000+ mile leg from San Francisco to Hawaii and then lesser legs from Hawaii to Wake, Wake to Guam and Guam to the Philippines before the final jaunt to China. Any navigators not up to those long over-water flights and missing a tiny island in mid-Pacific by ten or twenty miles simply wouldn't live to fly AVGII combat missions over China or Japan anyway ...
Not to mention the lost crews or planes of your 66 Hudsons. You also forget that the Americans to great precautions to aid the B-17 crews in their flights. I seem to remember something about a Honolulu radio station playing all night so that the expected B-17s could home in on its signal. Now what night was that, I dunno sometime early December, '41, I think.

Now, are the Japanese going to be so nice as to provide these navigation aids to your pilots. You also seem to forget the trouble the early British bombers and later the B-29s, had in finding their targets at night, without extra aids in navigation.

robdab wrote:So, some posters were drawn up for an Exhibition in 1938. Wow !
I thought that
http://jpimg.digital.archives.go.jp/jpg ... /002_e.env was particularly prophetic ...
Scoff if you wish, but that does not change the fact that the Japanese had been carrying out air raid drills since the late 1920's.

robdab wrote:Another quote to be read at the historical section #13 of your http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/virtua ... 071_e.html source ...

"At first, the targets were military factories and military facilities, but gradually, attacks began indiscriminately targeting civilian populations. With hundreds of bombs raining on cities, their carefully planned air-defense plans became virtually useless. "

... seems to me to tell the true story, since my 66 Hudsons will be dropping some 28,000+ incendiaries per raid, not just the hundreds mentioned.
Oh, Puuuuullllleeeaaassseee tell me more about how your 66 Hudsons pack more bombs than hundreds of B-29s. :lol:
I am just waiting to hear this one :lol:

robdab wrote:Printing some posters for an Exposition several years before hardly guarantees an effective anti-air raid performance from an entire nation. Armstrong's book sheds light on the matter with the following taken from page #64:

"... Report Number 18-41 from the American naval attache' in Tokyo dated February 5, 1941 strongly suggests that he Japanese government, military, and civilin population were experiencing anxiety about the potential of an American bombing initiative. Accoring to the Report, the Japanese Cabinet met on January 10, 1941 to discuss "the imminent danger of air raids, and the total lack of a proper air defense ..." According to the report, the Japanese authorities had investigated the ability of Japanese cities to withstand aerial bombardment. "The authorities, from the Prime Minister down to the common people are scared to death of air raids and know Japan is totally unprepared with AA defenses. The Japanese War Minister, General Hideki Tojo, commented at the Cabinet meeting: "We must take urgent measures to defend our airspace against enemy planes."

and page #65 which provides:

"An investigation by the Japanese Home Office concluded:
The majority of Japanese houses are made of wood and paper ... If a 5 lb bomb is dropped, it is absolutely impossible to extinguish the fire unless five or more people begin pouring on water constantly within the first fire minute. If the fire is not got under control within the minute, then it will spread to the entire structure within the next five minutes, a fact which is proved beyond doubt by recent tests. In large cities in Japan, there is practicaly no space between the houses, with the result that a blaze will quickly spread from house to house and eventually will cause a huge conflaguration.

The naval attache' report concluded with this telling language:

Despite the grandiose plans of Japanese authorities for air defense, their inflammable cities, poor fire-fighting equipment, and lack of both money and materials to alter the case will continue to be the gravest dangers to Japanese life and security. Deep within their hearts the people believe it impossible for "enemy" aircraft to reach the Japanese Islands proper, propaganda and the ever-victoriuos "Wild Eagles" of their armed services having reaped excellent and significant fruit."

But HEY ! You have shown beyond any doubt that the Japanese printed up some air raid posters in 1938.
That is nothing new, but what do these quotes have to do with your
AFAIK there were no Chinese air raids on the Home Islands in 1941 so I think it unlikely that Japanese cities practised effective night time blackouts.
See, robdab your way of thinking always gets you into trouble. You never tackle the issue at hand, but go off on a tangent. Finish with one topic first, than go off on your tangent.

robdab wrote:For the minor amount of effort required to paint red "meatball" insignia on the AVGII's
A-29 Hudsons, I don't think so at all. If even one Japanese fighter pilot or AA gunner held his fire when a searchlight beam revealed those apparently Japanese markings, the painting time would have been well worth that effort. Even if that Japanese pilot "went around for another look" just to make sure that he wasn't firing on a Japaense aircraft, then the Hudson's gunners would have another "free" shot at him.
OMG! I'm having flashbacks of that PH thread.

What happened to you super duper smart Japanese from the PH thread? Have they suddenly become super stupid? You tried to pull this crap on the PH thread, Your side's personnel are total Einsteins while the forces opposing you are total dolts, it didn't work then and it won't work now.

Even if they could see a little red spot on the wing of a plane flying at 15-20 some thousand feet. You still have a bomber flying at night, when no Japanese bomber would. Further, you have the Japanese fighters, who would know the basic principle of night aircraft recognition: one engine = friendly and two engines or more = target. Since, as you well know, the Japanese didn't have two engine night fighters that early in the war.


You keep setting them up, robdab, and I'll keep knocking them down.

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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by phylo_roadking » 12 Feb 2010 19:29

I can't believe this is so easy...
I have already indicated that I expect these AVGII flown Hudson bomber mission to begin sometime around Oct.31'41 when a state of war did NOT yet exist between Japan and the United States. As such there were American consular officials (such as the oft mentioned Tokyo based naval attache') who could have cabled home daily waether forcasts (to be forwarded on to the AVGII's pilots) just as Yoshikawa was doing on Oahu, pre-Dec.7'41.

Also, nothing would stop a Cavite based US submarine or two from sending weather reports from well outside Japan's territorial waters, off of the Nagasaki shoreline. Pre-war the IJN didn't have much in the way of sonar sets ...

Neutral merchant vessels could be paid to report the weather ...
The SAME issue on real-time intelligence or the lack of it arose in the Panama WI....so, you have consular officials coding weather reports, transmitting them home to State, them being DECODED, for warded to the Pentagon, re-encrypted after evaluation THEN sent on to China...etc., etc. :lol: As with Akiyama's reports from inside the Canal Zone - it will take HOURS to reach the AVG if not DAYS by that route and be hopelessly out of date.
Wrt weather, Armstrong's book reports on page #62:
"Indicating the level of thought Morganthau had given to this issue, he then asked about weather-reporting capabilities in China. Both General Mow and Dr.Soong said that the Chinese were getting adequite weather reports"
Yes....and do you know HOW??? :wink: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Still, with more bombers (carrying cameras instead of bomb loads) in the air, there would have been a better chance of those AVGII aircrews spotting something of interest and reporting same to the Chinese, to the British and to the Americans.
So NOW...with BOTH a tactical bombing role AND a strategic one to perform - you expect the AVG to have time and aircraft to carry out THIS role??? I.E. to overfly the territory of a "neutral" and possibly cause a war all on their own??? 8O

(The reason "period" airforces used camera-carrying FIGHTERS is the speed and altitude vs.interception/spotting You could be in and out beofre being spotted/defenders climbed to your altitsue and identified you. Um....how shall we phrase this - "Hudsons would not enjoy this speed advantage" :P
The Americans ferried their B-17s to the Philippines via Hawaii etc. so I see no reason to waste much time by using cargo ships to get these Hudsons to China.
A Hudson has a shorter range than a B-29, ...
Shorter than a B-17's range too but so what ?
THIS is what...

Max range of a Hudson MkIII 1,355 miles
Ferry distance of a B-17C/D 3,400 miles
(Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998)

In other words - they'll be on a boat :wink:
With the risk of their assembly there being disrupted by less than well trained Chinese assembly workers
You DO know the assembly and repair capabilites of CAMCO, don't you??? 8O
All of that private testing and aircrew familiarization could more speedily and easily be done in the US (or at Clarke Field) since that is where the AVGII aircrews were recruited (by other Americans, not by Chinese nationals) anyway.
On what??? THAT'S my point - the USAAF...or any resigned officers...weren't flying Hudsons yet! Even MORE would have to be leeched from the British orders - and how easy do you think Washington will find THAT??? :lol: PRE-December 11th...

Answer - they couldn't/didn't historically, they're not going to be able to free up aircraft for training IN ADVANCE of the aircraft being purchased out of the British Purchasing Commission order.
Their historical reaction the Doolittle Raid was because it came out of the blue and they never knew when it would be repeated. This would not the case with Chinese-based bombers after the first raid.
How so since the Japanese didn't yet have any radar based air warning network established ?
It doesn't need RADAR! :lol: The Americans did it on both sides of Panama WITH TUNA BOATS...for example. A couple of dozen small pickets between China and Japan and they have several hundred miles' "depth of field". They just have to HEAR and report aircraft flying at night, the IJA have a list of all aircraft flying...and once they pass the japanese coast anyway you have ground-based listening /observation to track them. EXACTLY the same as the British in the BoB BEHIND Chain Home...which only gave OUTWARD radar detection. The hinterland over Kent and Sussex was done by traditional methods.
After the first raid is possibly correct. But it will still take much time for the Japanese to locate the AVGII airfields and then more time to shift resources to points from which they can be attacked
I severely doubt THAT! From what I've read of the air war in China, the Japanese very much had their thumb on what fields were where! 8O
So ? Planes fly further when they are lighter.

1,355 miles x 2 = 2,710 miles right ?

Now, if this was indeed a RADIUS - then the Hudson would have a TOTAL range of something approaching 3,000 miles. Which is patently ridiculous.

I don't believe so. My previuosly listed Profile Publications source gives the A-29 varient of the Hudson MkIII a range of 2,800 miles which matches closely with the 2,710 miles that you suggest above. No problem.
No problem - JUST WRONG.
The OP hasn't commented very much at all on the significant advantage the IJA enjoy in any strategic air campaign mounted by the AVG of possessing a counter-force at short range....compared to the long range to Home Islands targets for the AVG.
Sure I have. And I have also pointed out that Japan's military was stretched to the limit historically in the days pre-Dec.7'41. Any enlarged effort in China would have to come at the expense of other of their historical targets.

Armstrong's book deals with the point via the following quote on page #60 which reports a Dec.21'40 meeting in Washington:

"According to his notes, Morgenthau then suggested spreading the large bombers around at diferent airbases so the Japanese would not know where they were. "Chennault said that could be done, as there were two fields near the border of occupied China which were good enough for the Flying Fortresses and four fields good enough for the Lockheed Hudsons... Chennault pointed out that, "China should have about 130 pursuit ships in order to defend the bomber bases."
In other words - Chennault PLANNED to base his bomber aircraft within range of the IJA IN China...and to tie up a huge percentage of the CAF and AVG's fighter capability defending them.

There's genius at work...
The meeting continued on with, from page #61:

"When Morgenthau asked if it was a pipe dream to spread these bombers around in various fields and hide them from the Japanese, Chennault responded that it was not sound tactically, but he felt it could be done and that "a terrific amount of damage could be accomplished before the Japanese found them".
Exactly...
Soong volunteered that, "it was the only practical thing to do."
"Only practical" doesn't necessarily mean - safe...
Just imagine....flying all that way to drop a piddling bombload
I'll stick with Chennault's "good bombload" rather than your "piddling" one, .....offered with no supporting source at all.
Strange, I DO believe I noted that my figures were from wwiivehicles.com, of if you prefer Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998, where for the Hudson MkIII we can see
Range with max load 780 miles
So IF you want all 1600lbs....you fall in the sea a few miles after leaving the Japanese coast on the way home. IF you want the 1355miles max range...you carry a minimum bombload.
Some 11 divisions in total IIRC. The remainder were all tied up watching the Russians, the Koreans, Manchuria and other areas of the ongoing conflict in China. Historically here were no combat ready IJA divisions to spare that I know of.

I´m not sure the Soviets needed much attention as they were having problems of their own; monumental ones
I agree. In late 1941, during Operation Barbarossa, with the Red Army collapsing in the West, Japan can actually afford to leave her border with the USSR almost completely unguarded - the Soviets will do nothing to take advantage, they are too busy shipping troops and equipment to Moscow.
Perfect hindsight from 70 years later.

Not perfect hindsight. Markus is quite right - the Japanese in China weren't worried about the Russians....the Russians were woried about THEM invading! :D OTL, as soon as the Soviets found out there were no plans for a Japanese offensive, they were moving the Far Eastern divisions west faster than sh1t through a goose. It was one of THE major preoocupations of Soviet intelligence in the Far East for the middle months of 1941...
Please remember that Chaing Kai-shek had already promised the Americans that he would defend those SE China airfields with several divisions of Chinese troops. Surely one can debate the quality of Chinese troops vs IJA formations but still it must be assumed that MORE than just one (probably un-mechanized) IJA division would have to be sent if SPEEDY progress was to be made against those multiple airfields.
Not one single Chinese footsoldier was ever going to be able to intercept attacking Japanese bombers intent on catching Chinese/AVG aircraft on the ground or cratering runways.
As the firebombing raids continued, night after night
Niether the USAAF, the LW nor the RAF with their thousands of aircraft...EVERR managed that!
Last edited by phylo_roadking on 13 Feb 2010 02:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by robdab » 12 Feb 2010 20:29

.
Takao makes a OVERLONG reply with:

Sounds like your planning to sacrifice China to save the ABDA skins in the Pacific. Nice plan: China bombs Japan, Japan trounces China, and all ABDA properties are, hopefully, safe.

What better outcome could there be for FDR ? No American troop intervention needed so no full bodybags come back to upset the US voters, millions of tons of war supplies are sent to China under lend-lease (paid for by re-payable LOANS to China by America) thus providing JOBS, JOBS, JOBS to American workers still suffering from the economic disaster of the Great Depression AND Japanese aggression gets checked since the Chinese are now equipped with much better quality weapons/supplies and are able to fight back on their own. AND to top it all off, America gains "no competition" access to the vast Chinese market, at a profit. Chang Kai-shek, a stauch anti-communist, is strenghtened as well.

Priceless.

Capitalism at it's finest !

Chang Kai-shek gets a new and better weapons supplier than the Russians who now have their hands full holding off the Germans AND even better, he can borrow endles streams of money from the Yanks to pay for it all too !!

However, it is unlikely that your hypothesis will prove true. While, the Doolittle Raid eventually led to the battle of Midway, you forget that it also led to the deaths of about 250,000 Chinese!

Had FDR sent the AVGII to China in time to begin the strategic bombing of Japan by Oct.31'41 there is a good arguement that there would have been NO need for a Doolittle raid, thus no Midway. Chinese citizens did and were going to die fighting the Japanese no matter what, anyway.

About a month after the Doolittle Raid, the Japanese launched a massive invasion to clear out the Chinese and destroy any airbases in its path, this was known as the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign. So, after you first air raid on a Japanese city, your bombers have about a month of life left before being forced to retreat or be destroyed, probably less if you continue to bomb Japanese cities. This also does not take into account any Japanese aerial campaign against your bases.

I note that all events that you just mentioned occured well AFTER the Japanese had historically run amok over the Allied defenders all around the Pacific. By that time there were ample military forces available for expanded operations against Chinese airfields. My scenario would have occurred instead just BEFORE the Japanese launched their 6 months of nearly endless victories and as such the month long campaign against those SE Chinese airfields that you suggest, would have been MUCH HARDER, if not impossible to accomplish, since their troops were fully committed elsewhere.

Now, how did you come to the conclusion that this will give the British better air recon? This is positively LAUGHABLE. The Americans did that for the British! From http://www.ww2pacific.com/countdown.html
The invasion force of Malaya was spotted by the British 2 days after leaving port on December 6, 1941, it was again spotted on December 7, 1941. How much more do you need? Spotting the fleet in port is not going to change any British decisions that were made. If the British chose as they did when the fleet was steaming to Malay, why would they chose differently when the fleet is still in port.


Thanks for the source but consider the possibilities if the AVGII's pilots were flying Chinese Air Force marked Hudsons from Chinese bases by Oct.31'41. More frequent recon might have identified massing Japanese transports even sooner, and in Hainan's ports as well. Had Chang Kai-shek felt that such massing of Japanese naval transport might be a threat to his ONLY remaining Burma Road supply line, then he might have ordered bombing attacks on that massed shipping LONG BEFORE the still at peace British and Americans could do so. He was ALREADY at WAR with the Japanese afterall. The historical initial Japanese landings at Kota Bharu and on the Philippine Islands might not have gone so well for the Nipponese as a result.

I am not arguing the fact that the Hudson can or cannot reach Japan, it is plainly evident that it can, with the information at hand. I was arguing your point that a fully loaded Hudson can reach Japan! Sorry, that you train of thought was derailed. Furthermore, a "good bombload" is not a "full bombload."

My Feb.3/10 posting here included: "http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/hudson/tech.html lists a top speed of 246 mph, a range of 1960 miles and a 1,600 lb bombload. Obviously those figures will change depending on the details of the bombing mission profile ... " which indicates that I acknowledged the interrelationship between the range, speed, altitude and possible payloads of bomber aircraft.

We have already agreed on the need for an A-29 Hudson pilot's manual to finally settle the question, so why do you continue to waste bandwidth on this issue ?

Further, if the maximum range is 2,800 miles, and Tokyo is a 2,400 mile round trip, your "good bombload" is probably not going to be all that much.

Please let me know when you can better define your "probably" opinion. With a source in support.

Neither I nor Chennault have ever claimed that Tokyo was a Hudson target. Nagasaki, Kure, Hiroshima and Osaka were in range, according to Chennault.

For that matter, what is a "good bombload" for a Hudson? Anyone?

Ask Chennault. He was ready to risk the lives and aircraft of his AVGII in firebombing Japanese Home Island cities with that aircraft.

That it is possible is a given, anything is possible. What we are debating is if bombing Japan using the AVG2 is viable and practical. The viability, IMHO, is doubtful.

Please let me know when you can better define your "doubtful" opinion. With a source in support.

Given the poor conditions in China and the Chinese transportation net. It is possible for 1 or 2 raids, but an extended campaign is out of the question. Is it practical, that is a resounding NO! The bombers of the AVG2 would be put to much better use attacking IJA units and bases of supply in China. Bombing Japan does not offer China any "good return" for its effort, and will produce a drastic retribution on the part of the Japanese. By attacking Japanese supply depots and ground units will put the Japanese on the defensive and give the Chinese a good chance of defeating the Japanese by crippling their lines of supply.

Armstrong's book presents May 1'41 lists of Currie's suggested tactical and strategic objectives for the AVGII on his pages #108/9 as follows:

Tactical Objectives:

1.) Defense of all establishments in Yunnan Province.

2.) Attack Japanese airbases in Indo-China and on Hainan Island.

3.)Attack Japanese supply dumps inIndo-China and on Hainan Island.

4.)Attack Japanese supply vessels, transports, tankers and small naval vessels in harbors of Indo-China and Hainan Island and at sea between those places.

5.)Occassional raids on Japanese industrial establishments in Japan.

6.)Attack Japanese supply vesels on the yangtze River.

7.)Support of offensive operations of Chinese armies

Strategic Objectives:

1.)Force diversion of considerable portion of available Japanese air force to defense of Japanese establishment on South China Coast and in Japan and to counteroffensive operations in interior of China.

2.)Enable Chinese armies to assume offensive operations which will make necessary heavy reinforcement of Japanese troops in China.

3.)Destruction of Japanese supplies and supply ships in order to handicap operations of an expeditionary force to the south of Indo-China.

4.)Destruction of Japanese factories in order to cripple production of munitions and essential articles for maintenance of economic structure in Japan.

Looks to me that Chennault is agreeing with my proposition. Although his reasoning is odd.
"pursuit ships did not have sufficient range to defend the bombers in daytime on such a long tour." Does this mean that the pursuit planes have better ranges at night? I never knew that planes flew further at night than during the day....


Not at all. As best I can determine, considering the economical cruising speed of the Hudson bomber and at that time of year, there are NOT enough hours of darkness for a Hudson bombing raid on the Japanese Home Islands to be conducted ENTIRELY IN THE DARK, as you seem to be. Some portion of that trip, either coming or going, will have to be flown IN DAYLIGHT, with the consequent possible attentions of Japanese fighter aircraft based on captured Chinese mainland territory. This is why Chennault wanted BOTH night attacks by his bombers AND fighter cover for his bombers.

If your hypothesis were true, which it is not, than Chiang would have asked for just the modern planes. He did not do this, he asked for planes AND pilots!

Surely he did. One cannot just dump an unqualified pilot into a brand new fighterplane or bomber and then just expect him to make the most of it's performance. If Chang Kai-shek wanted his new AVGII flown bombers to be in action (at to survive that first action) by Oct.31'41 then he needed ALREADY TRAINED and QUALIFIED pilots at their controls. There wouldn't be time to re-train existing CAF pilots to do so and besides that, he still had the last of his Russian warplanes being assembled that were also in need of pilots etc.
Thanks for the source but I thought it too general to shed much light on the discussion topic of this thread. I prefered the August 1941 entry at http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/sino-japanese-1941.htm which confirms my earlier A-29 points of view with:
Shame you don't read much, you really should, you might actually learn something.

Thanks for all of your cut and paste efforts but you haven't added anything new to the discussion. By the time that Currie got involved in the AVGII issue it was already far too late for there ever to be Hudsons bombing by Oct.31'41. The Point of Divergence (PoD) necessary for that date to have been met would have to have occured earlier when Morgenthau was still heavily involved, around the time when Marshall killed any idea of B-17s being sent to China.

Except, you don't know about the upcoming invasion of the DEI's, or has the "Crystal Ball" be invented by the Allies in this ATL. So, that would be HINDSIGHT would it not? You played that game in your PH thread, and you played it badly. You are allowed hindsight, but no one else is. That's the pot calling the kettle black.

Hardly. Japan had been aggressively lobbying the DEI's for oil sales for MONTHS prior to the outbreak of the Pacific War. Just as the ABCD embargo of petroleum supplies to Japan was NO secret, the reason for it's imposition was ALSO well known world wide. Japan had almost no petroleum sources of her own. The DEIs were the closest such supply and thus the OBVIOUS target of any Japanese attempt to capture by force a future petroleum supply for it's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Not to mention the lost crews or planes of your 66 Hudsons. You also forget that the Americans to great precautions to aid the B-17 crews in their flights. I seem to remember something about a Honolulu radio station playing all night so that the expected B-17s could home in on its signal. Now what night was that, I dunno sometime early December, '41, I think.

So why would the Americans not take the very same measures when China's Hudsons were being ferried over ? IIRC some 35 historical B-17s were successfully ferried to the Philippines using those technicques so why wouldn't Hudsons crossing at about the same time receive that same aid. Please remember that FDR WANTED the Chinese to be bombing Japan so why wouldn't he have ordered all measures to help them in that endeavour ?

Now, are the Japanese going to be so nice as to provide these navigation aids to your pilots. You also seem to forget the trouble the early British bombers and later the B-29s, had in finding their targets at night, without extra aids in navigation.

If actually needed (which I doubt for only 750 mile flights vs 2,000 mile flights) why couldn't an American submarine have surfaced at a set time at night in order to provide a radio homing beacon navigation signal ? Remembering of course that FDR wanted the Chinese to be bombing Japan. Submarine assistance would give him deniability.

Scoff if you wish, but that does not change the fact that the Japanese had been carrying out air raid drills since the late 1920's.

So had the American defenders of Pearl Harbor. Their experience didn't actually help them much when they were surprised on Dec.7'41, did it ?
... seems to me to tell the true story, since my 66 Hudsons will be dropping some 28,000+ incendiaries per raid, not just the hundreds mentioned.
Oh, Puuuuullllleeeaaassseee tell me more about how your 66 Hudsons pack more bombs than hundreds of B-29s. I am just waiting to hear this one :lol:

A simple typo on my part. 66 Hudsons, each with a 1,600 bombload (of 400 x 4lb incendiaries each) gives 26,400 incendiaries (not 28,000) per raid, assuming that all of the 66 reach their targets.

That is nothing new, but what do these quotes have to do with your "AFAIK there were no Chinese air raids on the Home Islands in 1941 so I think it unlikely that Japanese cities practised effective night time blackouts."
See, robdab your way of thinking always gets you into trouble. You never tackle the issue at hand, but go off on a tangent. Finish with one topic first, than go off on your tangent.


Sorry that you can't keep up.

Are you trying to say that there were Chinese air raids on Japan in 1941 or what exactly ? If so, a source please as I wasn't able to find any record of same. Do you have evidence of an operational and effective late 1941 Japanese air defense system actually being established nation wide ? Or just a record of 1938 posters ? That pesky Tokyo US naval attache' seems to be saying that there wasn't an effective one operating in 1940.

OMG! I'm having flashbacks of that PH thread.

That was my intent.

What happened to you super duper smart Japanese from the PH thread? Have they suddenly become super stupid? You tried to pull this crap on the PH thread, Your side's personnel are total Einsteins while the forces opposing you are total dolts, it didn't work then and it won't work now. Even if they could see a little red spot on the wing of a plane flying at 15-20 some thousand feet.

Why would the AVGII pilots be flying anywhere near that high ?

You still have a bomber flying at night, when no Japanese bomber would.

The Japanese owned version of the Hudson was used as a transport plane, not as a bomber AFAIK. Transport planes often fly at night if the cargo is needed badly enough at it's destination.

Further, you have the Japanese fighters, who would know the basic principle of night aircraft recognition: one engine = friendly and two engines or more = target. Since, as you well know, the Japanese didn't have two engine night fighters that early in the war.

Yet the Japanese did historically have MANY other types of twin engined aircraft, both civilian and military, any one of which might have been flying a night cargo delivery, a passenger flight, a night time transfer of military or diplomatic officials or just doing night flight training. Do you have any proof at all that Japan's 1941 night time skies were totally devoid of all friendly (to them) twin engined aircraft ?

Or for that matter, that there were any single engined Japanese "night fighters" on regular patrol there either ?

You keep setting them up, robdab, and I'll keep knocking them down.

Do you really think that you have been doing so ? I don't.

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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by phylo_roadking » 12 Feb 2010 22:15

Robert, a serious question now....

Exactly WHY do you think that the "Chinese" attack on the Home Islands with Hudsons would come a suprise?
That is nothing new, but what do these quotes have to do with your "AFAIK there were no Chinese air raids on the Home Islands in 1941 so I think it unlikely that Japanese cities practised effective night time blackouts."
See, robdab your way of thinking always gets you into trouble. You never tackle the issue at hand, but go off on a tangent. Finish with one topic first, than go off on your tangent
.

Sorry that you can't keep up.

Are you trying to say that there were Chinese air raids on Japan in 1941 or what exactly ? If so, a source please as I wasn't able to find any record of same.
Is THAT all??? Remember how many times THAT logic let you down in the Panama Canal thread...
I have already indicated that I expect these AVGII flown Hudson bomber mission to begin sometime around Oct.31'41 when a state of war did NOT yet exist between Japan and the United States.
Are you sure you want to go with that? Really sure? Really really sure?

:wink:

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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by phylo_roadking » 14 Feb 2010 00:46

I have already indicated that I expect these AVGII flown Hudson bomber mission to begin sometime around Oct.31'41 when a state of war did NOT yet exist between Japan and the United States.
Are you sure you want to go with that? Really sure? Really really sure?
Sometimes it is possible to tie another person's shoelaces together. But not often do they actually hand you a big stick to beat them with...

Over the last four pages Robert has posted...
I cannot help but think that just 66 AVGII Hudson bombers making a first time surprise night time air raid on say, downtown Nagasaki, with 1,600/4 = 400 incendiary bombs each (for a total of 66x400 = 26,400 firebombs) would have caught the attention of even General Tojo's bound for war government ?
Granted though that supplying that many 4lb incendiaries, the bomber's fuel & spares and properly trained effective fighter escorts would have made the task much more difficult than I have made it seem to be here.
...never a truer word, Robert...
So we're back to 1,600 lb bombloads of some 400 incendiaries per Hudson.
... seems to me to tell the true story, since my 66 Hudsons will be dropping some 28,000+ incendiaries per raid, not just the hundreds mentioned.
A simple typo on my part. 66 Hudsons, each with a 1,600 bombload (of 400 x 4lb incendiaries each) gives 26,400 incendiaries (not 28,000) per raid, assuming that all of the 66 reach their targets.
Just for a few moments I'll take the time to enlighten you with a little factoid, Robert....the Americans didn't drop 4lb incendiaries INDIVIDUALLY - if a plane COULD carry a bombload of 1600lbs, they didn't hang 400 individual bomblets in the bombbay and drop them all!....

No, they, like most other airforces in WWII, used "adapters" as the USAAF called them - they CLUSTERED incendiaries.

AND THE ADAPTERS WEIGHED TOO! How much? Here's a late 1941 example. Perhaps Robert might remember - fresh from the Oahu Invasion thread, it's THE CHEMICAL WARFARE SERVICE: FROM LABORATORY TO FIELD by Leo P. Brophy, Wyndham D. Miles and Rexmond C. Cochrane...
Aimable cluster Ml7 consisted of an adapter, MlO, and 110 4-pound bombs. The total weight was 490 pounds
...which means, even if for the sake of duscussion a Hudson MkIII could carry 1600lbs....it can only carry THREE of those cluster bombs, or 330 bomblets.

There, in one fell swoop, you've lost 17% of your bombload.

EXCEPT...that's not the REAL problem with Robert's plan to cram Hudsons with 4lb incediaries...

Remember...I said it was a LATE 1941 example...

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phylo_roadking
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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by phylo_roadking » 14 Feb 2010 01:19

I have already indicated that I expect these AVGII flown Hudson bomber mission to begin sometime around Oct.31'41 when a state of war did NOT yet exist between Japan and the United States
You see....."sometime around Oct.31'41"....

America didn't HAVE any 4lb incendiaries....America didn't even MAKE any 4lb incendiaries yet!!! 8O

Again from THE CHEMICAL WARFARE SERVICE: FROM LABORATORY TO FIELD by Leo P. Brophy, Wyndham D. Miles and Rexmond C. Cochrane...
Four-Pound Magnesium Bombs

Surprising as it may seem, the first great incendiary raids of World War II were not carried out with large bombs, but with small missiles weighing only a few pounds. In September 1940 the Germans showered London with 1-kg. magnesium alloy bombs, starting innumerable fires, damaging considerable property, and injuring many people. Any doubt concerning the effectiveness of small incendiaries was gone forever. A few months later the Joint Aircraft Committee, established to allocate American materiel between the United States and Great Britain, recommended that the Ordnance Department produce a 4-pound magnesium bomb suitable for the Army, the Navy, and the British. Ordnance thereupon modified the British Mark II/A 4-pound incendiary and standardized it as the American AN-M50 (A standing for Army, N for Navy).

During the preliminary work it became apparent that the old demarcation between the CWS and Ordnance Department which gave the former responsibility for the filling and the latter jurisidiction over the casing would not be an efficient way of manufacturing magnesium bombs. One organization should have charge of the entire operation, planners agreed. Ordnance, busy with other munitions and not enthusiastic about incendiaries, dropped out, leaving the CWS in full charge of the AN-M50 and related bombs.

Initial investigations at Edgewood improved the fuze, found substitutes for critical materials (such as a metal plug for a cork plug in the vent), and modified the filling. The completed bomb, AN-M50A1 (Al signifying the first alteration in the standard munition), was approximately twenty- two inches long, hexagonal in cross section, and about three inches thick. The cast magnesium body held a thermite-type mixture known as therm-8, or thermate. The filling would burn for 1 to 2 minutes, the case for 6 to 7 minutes longer.

Factories began to turn out magnesium bombs in the spring of 1942, slowly at first but soon in tremendous quantities. Most of the bombs went to Great Britain on lend-lease and were dropped in air raids over Europe. The early 4-pound bomb had flaws, as might be expected in a new munition. Fuzes sometimes broke when the bombs struck, first fire mixtures failed to heat fillings to the ignition point, and metal plugs stuck in vents, causing heated air to build up pressure and blow the bombs apart. Furthermore, the British dropped the bombs from higher altitude than the CWS had designed them for, and many of the bombs broke on impact.

Engineers at CWS strengthened the fuze to withstand harder impacts, replaced metal vent plugs with cork, and developed a better first fire mix- ture. The improved bomb, AN-M50A2, slightly lighter and thinner than its predecessor, functioned well. As fast as the new munitions came from plants they were shipped to Europe and used. The earlier model remained in reserve until 1944 when it was discarded.

Aircraft dropped more 4-pound magnesium bombs than all other incendiary bombs put together. Almost thirty million fell on Europe, and almost ten million on Japan, causing damage that ran into astronomical figures.

Four-Pound Steel-Cased Bombs

The chief obstacle blocking American production of magnesium bombs in 1941 was the scarcity of magnesium. Since the metal had little commercial use before World War II, America did not have a large magnesium industry. During the emergency period firms sent most of the metal to aircraft plants, leaving little available for other purposes. Despite the fact that industry expanded its facilities as rapidly as possible, for a time there was simply not enough ot the metal for the armed forces.

The Ordnance Department was aware of these facts when it began development of 4-pound magnesium bombs. It planned a substitute bomb having the same dimensions and incendiary filling as the M50, but with a steel case in place of magnesium. It sent the plans and models of the substitute bomb, called the M54, to the CWS when that service took over responsibility for incendiaries, and the bomb was completed by the technical staff at Edgewood.

The CWS let out contracts, through its procurement districts, for enough metal parts and thermate filling to fabricate twenty million M54 bombs. Contracts were signed in November 1941, and so effectively did industry co-operate that the first missiles were ready for testing at Aberdeen Proving Ground in December, several months before the magnesium bombs came from production lines. Each month millions of bombs were fabricated, filled, and stored in CWS depots to await the call of the Air Forces.

Not all of the bombs, however, remained in storage. On 24 February 1942, the Eastern Chemical Warfare Depot at Edgewood Arsenal received orders to ship forty-eight 500-pound clusters of AN-M54 bombs to Benicia Arsenal, California, for reissue to Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle. The men who filled the order and handled the clusters had no idea of their ultimate destination. Shortly after noon on April 18 a B-25 bomber commanded by Doolittle roared over Tokyo and unloaded some of these clusters on the city. Plane after plane followed, bombing factory areas and military installations, while other aircraft struck at Kobe, Yokohama, and Nagoya.

Doolittle's raid, the first American airstrike against the Japanese home- land, was one of the few times during the war when M54 bombs were used. After increasing supplies of magnesium enabled the CWS to procure large quantities of M50 bombs, the service finally halted production of the substitute bomb altogether. Thirteen million M54 bombs lay in warehouses while millions of M50's passed by on their way to air bases. In 1945 when there was no possible chance of M54 bombs being pressed into service again, the CWS declared the model obsolete.

The fact that the Air Forces almost never employed M54's during the war made the production of steel-cased bombs, in one sense, a loss. On the other hand, these bombs were a reserve for a possible emergency. The contractors had the tools, men, and experience, moreover, to switch to the production of magnesium bombs when magnesium became available. Under the circumstances the loss was more apparent than real.
Oh dear. There goes your bombload - in a puff of (magnesium) smoke...

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