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

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

Post by Takao » 14 Feb 2010 05:05

Awww Phylo,

I was waiting to spring that one on robdab!

I just waited too long :(

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

Post by Takao » 14 Feb 2010 05:29

robdab continues to create more smoke than fire, yes the pun was intended, with,
robdab wrote: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 !!
Are you really that dense, I hope not...

When and how is Nationalist China going to repay the billions it will owe the US? China will default on the billions in loans it can't pay and, in turn, the Us will be left with this debt. Sounds more like the US will be drowning in debt than living a life of riches because of this foolishness. Not to mention the problem of getting "millions of tons of war supplies" to China.

No competition in the "vast Chinese market", Big Deal! How many cars, refrigerators, etc. are the hundreds of millions of Chinese peasants going to buy?

Tell me robdab, what US transport plane made during 1941 could transport a tank , half track or truck? Not to mention where all these transport aircraft will come from. Because, once the "Burma Road" is cut, very little will be flowing into China.

robdab wrote: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.
So, 66 bombers will single handedly defeat the Japanese and prevent a war between the US and Japan? Let's hear this "good argument."

By attacking the Japanese that can hurt you(the IJA in China) vs. attacking those that can't(Japanese Home islands) will result in a lot less Chinese deaths. It will also prevent the IJA from counter-attacking and forcing you to retreat your planes out of range of Japan.
While your of doing negligible damage to the Japanese mainland, their forces in China are going to be destroying your airfields. Yeah, attacking the home islands is a real "smart" move, Not!

robdab wrote: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.
I note your ignorance on the subject, since those Japanese forces involved had not been engaged in action anywhere else. They had not participated in any of the later Japanese actions. Thus, they would be ready to capture/destroy your Chinese airfields WITHOUT using the forces from other invasions. So, you lose your airfields WITHOUT upsetting the Japanese timetable one iota.

robdab wrote: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 have considered the possibilities and reached the conclusion that your delusional justification is blatantly FALSE and without merit! The Allies found 20 transports and Cam Ranh Bay on December 2, 1941 and did nothing, the next day they found 30 transports and did nothing, finally they found the transports gone and, say it with me, DID NOTHING! The British continued to refrain from implementing "Operation Matador", as the Japanese transports approached the Malayan coast, on December 7, 1941! By December 8, it was too late, because the Japanese troops were already ashore.

So why do you continue to assert that things will change, if the Japanese transports are sighted earlier than December 2, 1941. When the British did nothing even as the transports approached Malaya! Your futile effort to justify early British action fails miserably...
robdab wrote: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 ?
I fail to see how your
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:
is letting the matter drop, but if you wish, it is so.



robdab wrote:Ask Chennault. He was ready to risk the lives and aircraft of his AVGII in firebombing Japanese Home Island cities with that aircraft.
Loosely translated, you have no idea, or you wouldn't be telling me to ask a dead guy.

FYI, General George Custer was ready to risk the lives of his men and horses because he thought it would be a good idea to attack the Indians. Turned out he was wrong. Not all "good ideas" are good ideas, and just because a general is willing to risk the lives of their men does not mean that his idea is a good idea.

robdab wrote:Please let me know when you can better define your "doubtful" opinion. With a source in support.
Doubtful defined! With Sources!
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doubtful
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/doubtful
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/doubtful

Not convinced, need more, look here: http://www.google.com/search?q=doubtful There are lots of "doubtful" definitions.

If you meant sources for my opinion, why should I post them for you? The one of the main sources for my opinion is
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA ... index.html . Which, you never read through and made the off-handed comments
Thanks for the source but I thought it too general to shed much light on the discussion topic of this thread.
and
Thanks for all of your cut and paste efforts but you haven't added anything new to the discussion.
It's one thing to comment on a source after having read through it, Yet you never read the source provided and dismissed it. Show some effort on your part robdab, or are you still stuck using a library computer....


robdab wrote: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.
My my that is a pretty big list, I see your cut and paste ability is even greater than mine. Now, pray tell, how 66 bombers are going to be able to accomplish everything on this list.

There are 7 Tactical items listed, and 66 / 7 = 9 with 3 remaining. So, you can dedicate 9 bombers to each tactical item listed. I must say the number of bombers is rather pitiful for the great tasks it has to do.

I would also draw you attention to Tactical Objective #5 Occasional raids on Japanese industrial establishments in Japan. This hardly seems to be the flammable rain of death and destruction of Japan that you have been making the AVG2 out to be. Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill! It lends more support to my proposition of attacking objectives in China, than it does to your burn the Japanese out of house and home fantasy.

robdab wrote: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.
Odd, the chart here http://www.gaisma.com/en/location/nanjing.html and data found here http://www.sunrisesunset.com/custom_srss_calendar.asp do not support your determination. Even if the Hudson plods along at 150 mph the whole trip, it can cover 1,500 miles in 10 hours which still leaves 2 hours, more or less, of darkness to spare. Of course, the trip home will be faster since its bombs are gone and it has gone through part of its fuel load.

robdab wrote: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.
Again, your argument is dashed upon the rocks of reality. If the CAF pilots were, as you suppose, capable pilots whose only hindrance was second-rate airplanes, than the were "qualified" pilots, who would need little time to qualify in the P-40. Also, several of the AVG pilots were from the Navy and Marines, services that did not fly the P-40, and would need time to qualify on the P-40.

robdab wrote:Thanks for all of your cut and paste efforts but you haven't added anything new to the discussion.
and your
"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."
Did? Please enlighten me on the "new" information your quote added to these discussion.

robdab wrote: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.
Shame the "OBVIOUS" target was not better defended. If it was so "OBVIOUS", one would think it would have been better defended. The "OBVIOUS" answer would have been to send the AVG to the DEI, lynch pin of Japanese success or failure, and not the backwater that was China. I guess the "OBVIOUS" target was not so "OBVIOUS" after all.

robdab wrote: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 ?
If FDR had really and truly wanted the Chinese bombing Japan, China would have been. Yet, General Marshall's veto of the project was allowed to stand, when FDR had the power to override it, since FDR being the Commander in chief of the military had the power to do so. If FDR wanted the Chinese bombing Japan, than why all the US footdragging on the subject, which FDR could have easily cleared up. All in all, I don't think FDR wanted China bombing Japan as much as you suppose.

robdab wrote: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.
I take it your doubt is raised by your vast experience as a pilot :lol: What is with your fetish for submarine homing beacons, IIRC, it was a bust in your PH What-If too? Can't think of something new and inventive. Not mentioning the fact that the Japanese are just as likely to pick it up the transmissions and come out and investigate.

robdab wrote: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.
Ohhh, that is a lot, yet it is trumped by the B-29's

[/quote]Bomb Capacity: 5,000 pounds of bombs over 1600 mile radius at high altitude.
12,000 pounds of bombs over 1600 mile radius at medium altitude.
20,000 pounds of bombs maximum over short distances at low altitude.

High Explosives (H/E) and incendiary bombs were carried, either exclusively or mixed for effect depending on target & mission.[/quote]

from John M. Campbell's "Boeing B-29 Superfortress", AMERICAN BOMBER AIRCRAFT VOL.II, published by Schiffer Military History Books.

robdab wrote:Sorry that you can't keep up.
Oh, I'm keeping up, but just once, it would be nice to see you actually finish an argument. Alas, I think that is a pipe dream, just like this WI.
robdab wrote:Are you trying to say that there were Chinese air raids on Japan in 1941 or what exactly ?
Since, when do you need to have an real air raid to practice an air raid drill? I was under the impression that drills were to prepare you for the real thing. Also, where is your source for
so I think it unlikely that Japanese cities practised effective night time blackouts.
, or is this just another of your uninformed opinions.

AFAIK, we were not discussing Japanese AA measures , but Japanese air raid drills.

Oh, and if anyone has not yet told you, military intelligence is an oxymoron. ONI(Office of Naval Intelligence) reported the Japanese Yamato as being 35,000 tons and having 16 inch guns. That is rather accurate, wouldn't you agree robdab? Of course, this would not be the first time intelligence reports were wrong.

robdab wrote:That was my intent.
Huh? It was your intention to post utter crap, so that no one takes you seriously. I hoped you had more respect for the forum than that.

robdab wrote:Why would the AVGII pilots be flying anywhere near that high ?
Because Lemay first thought of low level incendiary raids in 1944, well before your 1941 start date, and everyone else thought he was crazy. Even Lemay had doubts until the mission proved successful.

So nix on the low level flying, since I have yet to read of Lemay belonging to the AVG2. Or, do you have a source that proves he was part of the AVG2 and had thought of low level incendiary attacks then and not a few years later. I do so look forward to reading your source that Lemay joined the AVG2 in '41.

robdab wrote: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.
How often and how many? Don't play dumb robdab, you know this is bunk. Yeah, I'm sure squadrons of transport planes were flying at night all over Japan during 1941. Maybe, you MIGHT have a single transport, but Japanese also had a decent rail net, that could reliably transport at night and in all kinds of weather. Still, your claim is far-fetched and improbable to the extreme.

robdab wrote: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 ?
as opposed to your "proof" that squadrons of twin engine planes were constantly flying over the skies of nighttime Japan.

As the old saying goes "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours." :)

robdab wrote:Or for that matter, that there were any single engined Japanese "night fighters" on regular patrol there either ?
There must be, because, robdab, YOU SAID SO YOURSELF with
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.
As robdab knows, robdab is never wrong.... :lol: :lol: :lol:

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

Post by phylo_roadking » 14 Feb 2010 17:47

Time to deal with this..
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.
Well...APART from the fact that Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto, among other Japanese leaders, fretted about the possibility of bombing attacks on the Japanese homeland even before Pearl Harbor (Gordon Prange et al, At Dawn We Slept, p. 17)...

The Chinese Air Force DID raid Japan previously! In 1938!

Admittedly they only dropped leaflets....BUT they did get there and they did rather scare the proverbial out of the Japanese! From Richard Dunn's article on warbirdsforum...
In March 1938 encouraged (or at least not discouraged) by the bombing of Formosa, the CAF began planning an expedition to Japan. The SB-2 was available in considerable numbers but did not have the range to reach Japan. A handful of the longer range DB-3 bombers, which could reach Japan, had been supplied by the Soviet Union but most had been lost or damaged in operations or accidents. The CAF had acquired nine Martin 139WC bombers similar to the U.S. B-10B in 1937. Two of these remained serviceable and were chosen for the mission to Japan.

The availability of aircraft was only part of the puzzle. CAF crews lacked expertise in long-range over water operations. Air-ground radio was in its infancy in China. Communications held the key to navigation, operational command, meteorology, and, base-to-base liaison. The aircraft had to be equipped with direction-finders, short-wave receivers and transmitters. Ground stations had to be equipped with short-wave and other radio equipment. A ground communication line was established: Hankow-Nanchang-Chuchow-Ningpo; with an alternate, Hankow-Changsha-Lishui-Wenchow.

Preparation and training went forward. The mission leader was Capt. Hsu Huan-sheng, squadron leader of the 14th Squadron. Pilot of the second aircraft was 1Lt. Teng Yan-po, vice squadron leader of the 19th Squadron. The 14th Squadron designation had belonged to a squadron of foreign volunteers which disbanded in March 1938 but at this point the squadron had apparently incorporated pilots from the 30th Squadron familiar with the Martin bomber. The 19th Squadron had also flown medium bombers in 1937, in their case the Heinkel He 111A-0. Most likely Hsu and Teng were among the most experienced medium bomber pilots in the CAF.

By May of 1938 the small expeditionary unit was properly equipped and trained. The next problem was weather. Weather on the central China coast was very changeable beginning in May, going from fine to overcast with little warning. As for weather conditions in Japan these could only be surmised from an accumulation of general weather reports from around East Asia.

At 1400 hours on 19 May 1938, Capt. Hsu standing by at Ningpo/Lo-shi airport cabled CAF Headquarters at Hankow that weather at Ningpo was fine. At 1523 hours two Martin bombers took off from Hankow and were ferried via Nanchang and Chuchow to Ningpo arriving at 1755.

At Ningpo the aircraft were readied for the flight to Japan. They were loaded not with bombs but leaflets. The purpose of the mission was to drop leaflets "calling up the" consciousness of the Japanese people. A secondary mission was to conduct a reconnaissance of Japanese ports and airfields.

At 2348 hours Martin bombers Nos. 1403 and 1404 took off from Ningpo, headed for Kyushu. Not long after take off while flying in clouds near Tinhai Island searchlights from Japanese warships tried unsuccessfully to track the bombers by the sound of their engines. By 0042 hours the moon was obscured by clouds and the bombers flew in darkness for nearly two hours.

With the return of moonlight the bombers sighted the coast of Japan at 0240 hours and by 0245 were flying over Nagasaki at 3500 meters (about 11500 feet). The bombers stayed together until 0250 when they separated. The city was not blacked out and the bombers spent several minutes before dropping a flare bomb after which city lights were extinguished. They dropped leaflets and then proceeded to Fukuoka where visibility allowed the identification of land and seaplanes bases, factories and warships. Leaflets were also scattered at Kurume, Saga and other cities. At no time did they encounter interception of anti-aircraft fire.

The bombers rejoined at 0332 and less than half an hour later began their return trip. They soon encountered bad weather and lost contact with one another. At 0452 Changsha began broadcasting followed by Hankow at 0550. The bombers soon began receiving directional signals. At 0615 hours Martin No. 1403 announced sighting the China coast. A few minutes later No. 1404 reported it was flying near the coast. No. 1403 reported difficulty picking up the directional signal due to weak transmission.

At 0712 both bombers were over Sanmen Wan where they were fired upon at long range by Japanese warships at anchor. Neither bomber was hit.

The Chinese warning net was called upon to help pinpoint the bombers. At 0737 they were reported over Linhai. The planes were then directed over Ningpo and then landed at Yushan (No. 1404) at 0848 and Nanchang (No. 1403) at 0932. After refueling they joined over Wuhan and returned to Hankow by midday.

Chinese press reports stated that the planes dropped leaflets over major Japanese cities and that the leaflets contained a message of goodwill to the Japanese people. The leaflets told of Japanese atrocities committed against Chinese civilians and solicited moral solidarity from the Japanese people. According to Japanese press reports only one plane was involved. It was over Kumamoto and Miyazaki but not any major city. In the Japanese version of events, the leaflets were described as violently anti-Japanese in content.
...which is just possibly WHY Yamamoto and others were extremely worried about the chances of air raids on the Home Islands! :lol:

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

Post by Markus Becker » 14 Feb 2010 20:25

Takao wrote:Shame the "OBVIOUS" target was not better defended. If it was so "OBVIOUS", one would think it would have been better defended. The "OBVIOUS" answer would have been to send the AVG to the DEI, lynch pin of Japanese success or failure, and not the backwater that was China. I guess the "OBVIOUS" target was not so "OBVIOUS" after all.
I disagree whit this bit, but just a little bit. The DEI and Malaya were very obvious targets -hence Matador. Both places were not better defended because of a lack of troops and weapons and because the Japanese were severely underestimated by almost everybody on the Allies side. With regard to the USA, FDR did not want to go to war with Japan, he was still hoping he could deter them.

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

Post by Takao » 16 Feb 2010 00:51

Greetings Marcus,

If you will note, this little debate was begun over the need for accurate incendiary bombing, until robdab decided to go off on one of his tangents and bring the NEI into it. Now, what the NEI has to do with accurate bombing, I have no idea, but, apparently it does for robdab. He had changed his story of the AVG2 being this incredible engine of destruction against Japan to just causing enough damage, sorry, "significant enough damage", so that the Japanese shift their military resources against China.

Here is his switch:
Takao wrote:Really, you don't need to be accurate with incendiaries. So, in your opinion, dropping incendiaries all over the countryside is effective, missing your target by 10 or 20 miles is not considered to be effective. Further, for the incendiaries to create your hoped for destruction, they have to be concentrated in a given area. Scattering them all over will prevent the small fires from growing into one big one. The Americans found this out, to their detriment, when they tried to achieve greater dispersal and therefore greater destruction. However, the expected "firestorm" never materialized, because the fires were to spread out to combine into one giant fire.
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.

My response questions the logic behind robdab's view, since, in robdab's words
robdab wrote: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.
robdab wrote: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.
Now, if the AVG2 is some how intertwined with the defense of the DEIs, then why not send it to the DEIs. Most certainly, the addition of the intended 200+ fighters and 100+ bombers, along with pilots and aircrew would provide an appreciable measure of added defense to the DEIs, if they were actually based in the DEIs, not some 1,600-1,800 miles to the north. It is like saying; We're going to defend Washington D. C. by sending several hundred planes to Salt Lake City, Utah. It makes no sense, especially since robdab has stated how "OBVIOUS" the DEIs were. If the DEIs were the "OBVIOUS" target, then the planes would have gone there and not to China, seeing as the Netherlands was also a part of lend-lease. Hence, my disagreement with robdab over this.

As you have said the NEIs were not better defended because of a lack of troops and weapons. Yet, here are planes and pilots that, as robdab implies are for the defense of the DEIs, going to China.

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

Post by Markus Becker » 16 Feb 2010 18:22

Takao wrote:Greetings Marcus,

If you will note, this little debate was begun over the need for accurate incendiary bombing, until robdab decided to go off on one of his tangents and bring the NEI into it.
Since when has incendiary bombing to be accurate? You just drop a plane load of incendiary bombs anywhere over a city, start fires, which are the aimpoints for the following bombers. Of course you do need to find the city, which was more difficult than expected.

And if detering Japan is the mission, sending the AVG to the Philipines should/would have been the logical choice as the planes, pilots and even the money were all provided by the USA.

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

Post by robdab » 16 Feb 2010 20:43

Gents,
Sorry to have been away for a few days. Between a nasty sinus headcold and a newer long weekend up here in Canada, I took some time off from this forum. I see that you have been busy though ...

phylo discovered that,

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

Certainly an "OOPS" on my part. I had gone to http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/view ... &id=600180 where I read that the US 4lb incendiary was in use in the 40s & 50s. I should have checked it's first "in use" date but, didn't. Oh well.

That same source indicates that America had the MK 1 40lb incendiary from WW1 days so I suppose that "my" A-29s could have used those instead, mixed in with HE bombs as we have previously discussed here. Probably a better weapon mix anyway assuming that "my" Chinese would prefer to bomb military and industrial targets (at least at first) on the Japanese Home Islands rather than engaging in pure terror bombing against civilians, as the Japanese were historically accused of doing against Chinese cities. That 40lber would better penetrate well down into the industrial areas and multi-storey buildings to be found in the downtown cores of the larger Japanese cities.

I have no sources wrt Russian incendiary bombs available in the 1939/1940/1941 timeframe but as the Chinese were receiving large amounts of Russian aircraft etc at the time, perhaps Russia might have supplied some lighter weight incendiaries had the AVGII arrived earlier ?

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

Post by robdab » 16 Feb 2010 21:04

.
Takao replied with,

When and how is Nationalist China going to repay the billions it will owe the US? China will default on the billions in loans it can't pay and, in turn, the Us will be left with this debt. Sounds more like the US will be drowning in debt than living a life of riches because of this foolishness. Not to mention the problem of getting "millions of tons of war supplies" to China.

Yet historically, that is what both FDR and the Russians did. Huge loans were advanced to keep China in the fight against the expanding Japanese Empire.

No competition in the "vast Chinese market", Big Deal! How many cars, refrigerators, etc. are the hundreds of millions of Chinese peasants going to buy?

Historically the Japanese seemed to think of China as both a source of raw materials and as a future market for goods finished in Japanese owned factories.

By attacking the Japanese that can hurt you(the IJA in China) vs. attacking those that can't(Japanese Home islands) will result in a lot less Chinese deaths. It will also prevent the IJA from counter-attacking and forcing you to retreat your planes out of range of Japan.
While your of doing negligible damage to the Japanese mainland, their forces in China are going to be destroying your airfields. Yeah, attacking the home islands is a real "smart" move, Not!


You are certainly entitled to your own opinion.

Historically the Japanese did that anyway. Chang Kai-shek may have wished to give his people a morale boost by returning the favour of terror bombing Japanese cities just as the Japanese were bombing his civilians. Just by delivering the message that such retaliation WAS INDEED now possible, he MIGHT have reduced Japanese bombing raids against Chinese civilians.

I note your ignorance on the subject, since those Japanese forces involved had not been engaged in action anywhere else. They had not participated in any of the later Japanese actions. Thus, they would be ready to capture/destroy your Chinese airfields WITHOUT using the forces from other invasions. So, you lose your airfields WITHOUT upsetting the Japanese timetable one iota.

Sorry but I don't see it happening that way. Even if not actively engaged in combat, the IJA's troops in China were kept busy "holding the line" against both Chang Kai-shek's troops and against the Chinese Communist forces as well.

I have considered the possibilities and reached the conclusion that your delusional justification is blatantly FALSE and without merit!

Good for you. As I have stated here several times, you are certainly entitled to your own opinions.

The Allies found 20 transports and Cam Ranh Bay on December 2, 1941 and did nothing, the next day they found 30 transports and did nothing, finally they found the transports gone and, say it with me, DID NOTHING! The British continued to refrain from implementing "Operation Matador", as the Japanese transports approached the Malayan coast, on December 7, 1941! By December 8, it was too late, because the Japanese troops were already ashore.

IIRC, Operation Matador involved deploying Comonwealth troops inside Thailand, a sovereign nation that had NOT given the British permission to do so. The British decided to not antagonize Thailiand as well.

So why do you continue to assert that things will change, if the Japanese transports are sighted earlier than December 2, 1941. When the British did nothing even as the transports approached Malaya! Your futile effort to justify early British action fails miserably...

I wasn't at all suggesting any early British actions. Just Chinese (appearing) ones by the AVGII's pilots and bombers.

Without the benefit of YOUR crystal clear HINDSIGHT, the British forces of the day didn't know whether or not those Japanese troops were bound for Malaya or if they had been invited into Thailand by the Thai government. Hence, no attacks were made on them historically.

Since both were quite weak, neither the British nor the Americans wished to give the Japanese an easy excuse to begin combat so neither were prepared to take early action against spotted Japanese forces, in peacetime. By having the AVGII, in warplanes sporting Chinese Air Force colours make any such attacks, both the Americans and British could deny responsibility while still hurting Japanese invasion preparations. At the VERY LEAST, an AVGII bombrun or two would have told the Japanese that their invasion preparations were NO LONGER SECRET.

The Japanese might then have modified their invasion/campaign plans.
robdab wrote:Ask Chennault. He was ready to risk the lives and aircraft of his AVGII in firebombing Japanese Home Island cities with that aircraft.
Loosely translated, you have no idea, or you wouldn't be telling me to ask a dead guy.

I was refering to the several Chennault quotes from "Preemptive Strike" that I have already provided here in this discussion. His beliefs at the time are clearly detailed there.

My my that is a pretty big list, I see your cut and paste ability is even greater than mine. Now, pray tell, how 66 bombers are going to be able to accomplish everything on this list.

There are 7 Tactical items listed, and 66 / 7 = 9 with 3 remaining. So, you can dedicate 9 bombers to each tactical item listed. I must say the number of bombers is rather pitiful for the great tasks it has to do.


You must be joking, right ?

It is quite clear in "Preemptive Strike" that both lists are intended as long term objectives, not as missions to all be accomplished in just one day. Months of AVGII effort would be required, on an ongoing basis.

Odd, the chart here http://www.gaisma.com/en/location/nanjing.html and data found here http://www.sunrisesunset.com/custom_srss_calendar.asp do not support your determination. Even if the Hudson plods along at 150 mph the whole trip, it can cover 1,500 miles in 10 hours which still leaves 2 hours, more or less, of darkness to spare.

Thanks for those two sources.

I plugged Shanghai, China and Nov.1'41 into the second one and it tells me that there was just about 10 hours of daylight on that day. Your "thumbnail" calculation suggests a 10 hour round trip bombing flight but I would point out that those 10 hours would not include time for the 66 A-29s to form up, would not include a time margin should headwinds be encountered either coming or going, would not provide search/loiter time over/around the intended Japanese target city if it proved difficult to find and would not provide enough cover of darkness if Japanese fighters did manage to find and scatter some of the AVGII's Chinese Hudson's. Nor a time reserve. As I previoyusly typed, I think it likely that at least some part of a bombuing raid on the Japanese Home Islands would have to be flow in daylaight and, as Chennault requested, with fighter escorts.

Again, your argument is dashed upon the rocks of reality. If the CAF pilots were, as you suppose, capable pilots whose only hindrance was second-rate airplanes, than the were "qualified" pilots, who would need little time to qualify in the P-40. Also, several of the AVG pilots were from the Navy and Marines, services that did not fly the P-40, and would need time to qualify on the P-40.

I found that the detailed air combat reports to be found at http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/sino-japanese.htm were a most interesting read that indicate by late 1941, there were few Chinese pilots left in combat. Russian "volunteer" pilots were carrying much of the load by then, at least until Germany attacked Russia. Chang Kai-shek needed AVG pilots because he didn't have enough of his own trained to fly the last Russian planes that were still being supplied. Let alone more AVG warplanes.
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."


Please enlighten me on the "new" information your quote added to these discussion.

Proof that the Chinese Air Force were already flying the A-29 attack varient of the Mk III Hudson by August of 1941 and that the AVGII was also to have been equipped with the longer ranged A-29, not the shorter ranged Mk III as phylo keeps insisting.

Shame the "OBVIOUS" target was not better defended. If it was so "OBVIOUS", one would think it would have been better defended. The "OBVIOUS" answer would have been to send the AVG to the DEI, lynch pin of Japanese success or failure, and not the backwater that was China. I guess the "OBVIOUS" target was not so "OBVIOUS" after all.

China was already well at war with Japan and could thus attack her. Had the Dutch of the DEIs attacked the Japanese early then they would have just presented the Japanese with the perfect excuse to invade the DEIs all that much sooner. Hudson A-29s based in the DEIs did not have the range needed to hit Japanese Home Island cities, factories or oil storage tanks.

A-29s based on Chinese airfileds, did have the range needed. Obvious.

If FDR had really and truly wanted the Chinese bombing Japan, China would have been. Yet, General Marshall's veto of the project was allowed to stand, when FDR had the power to override it, since FDR being the Commander in chief of the military had the power to do so. If FDR wanted the Chinese bombing Japan, than why all the US footdragging on the subject, which FDR could have easily cleared up. All in all, I don't think FDR wanted China bombing Japan as much as you suppose.

Obviously. Why else did I have to begin this as a "what IF" discussion rather than as just another historical rehash ?

from John M. Campbell's "Boeing B-29 Superfortress", AMERICAN BOMBER AIRCRAFT VOL.II, published by Schiffer Military History Books.

AFAIK the off-topic B-29 was not yet flying combat missions in late 1941 so why do you mention it in this discussion ?

Since, when do you need to have an real air raid to practice an air raid drill? I was under the impression that drills were to prepare you for the real thing.

In theory but unless the fear of attack is real I would doubt that the Japanese civilian population would take it very seriously. This was the nation that soon infected itself with "Victory Disease" and as mentioned in the quotes that I have previously pasted here, it's military was very good at providing widespread propaganda to reassure the populace. Hence the public shockwave caused by Doolittle's historical raid.

Also, where is your source for so I think it unlikely that Japanese cities practised effective night time blackouts., or is this just another of your uninformed opinions.

Mine is based on those Tokyo US naval attache' quotes already provided.
robdab wrote:Why would the AVGII pilots be flying anywhere near that high ?
Because Lemay first thought of low level incendiary raids in 1944, well before your 1941 start date, and everyone else thought he was crazy. Even Lemay had doubts until the mission proved successful. So nix on the low level flying, since I have yet to read of Lemay belonging to the AVG2. Or, do you have a source that proves he was part of the AVG2 and had thought of low level incendiary attacks then and not a few years later. I do so look forward to reading your source that Lemay joined the AVG2 in '41.

Say what ? What has LeMay got to do with an AVGII in China in November of 1941 ? If you would care to acquaint yourself with the realities of the Sino-Japanese air war of 1937-1942 please take a good long look at the source that I have provided just above in this post. There you will find that both sides had been doing low level straffing and bombing runs for years on ground targets. Neither side needed LeMay's 1944 "brainstorm".

Yeah, I'm sure squadrons of transport planes were flying at night all over Japan during 1941. Maybe, you MIGHT have a single transport, but Japanese also had a decent rail net, that could reliably transport at night and in all kinds of weather. Still, your claim is far-fetched and improbable to the extreme.

I don't believe so. You are entitled to your own opinions.

As the old saying goes "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours."

I asked for your source, first.

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

Post by robdab » 16 Feb 2010 21:18

.
phylo posted,

The Chinese Air Force DID raid Japan previously! In 1938!

I know. I posted that information here on Feb.9'10.

Admittedly they only dropped leaflets....BUT they did get there and they did rather scare the proverbial out of the Japanese! From Richard Dunn's article on warbirdsforum...

...which is just possibly WHY Yamamoto and others were extremely worried about the chances of air raids on the Home Islands!


Being worried is not the same thing as having the money, the wisdom and the political strength to even admit that your nation is vulnerable. We just had the example of the X-mas bomber in Detroit. After $billions being spent on two wars and endless airport security, the only reason that the airliner (and it's passengers) wasn't blown out of the sky was that the terrorist's own fuses failed to work ...

My 1940 Tokyo US naval attache' reports posted here indicate that practically speaking, even 2 years later, the Japanese had done little to boost the resistance of their cities against firebomb raids.

Other than producing lots more flammable paper posters of course.

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

Post by robdab » 16 Feb 2010 21:21

Markus Becker provided,

And if detering Japan is the mission, sending the AVG to the Philipines should/would have been the logical choice as the planes, pilots and even the money were all provided by the USA.

And historically, that was mostly what happened. We now know the long term result.

Japan was NOT at all detered from attacking the Philippines. In fact, the presence of all of those American long ranged bombers and submarines close to the future SLOC between Japan and the DEIs more or less guaranteed that Japanese military forces would invade the Philippines. So much for FDR's historical deterence.

OTOH, had the Chinese defense been allowed to collapse without American weapons, pilots and supplies being Lend/Leased over there, just think how many more IJA soldiers would have been released for combat in other theatres ?? IIRC there were something like 50 more Japanese divisions tied up in their China War. Obviously some would have had to stay in order to garrison a defeated China but imagine the damage that another 30 or so Japanese divisions could have done to the Allies had they not been pinned in China for the duration of the Pacific War ?

My "what IF" scenario is intended to suggest that just a slightly greater (and earlier) American effort in China (by the AVGII) might have drawn off even more of the historical Japanese forces that so trounced the Allies for the first 6 months of that Pacific War.

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

Post by Markus Becker » 16 Feb 2010 21:46

robdab wrote: Japan was NOT at all detered from attacking the Philippines. In fact, the presence of all of those American long ranged bombers and submarines close to the future SLOC between Japan and the DEIs more or less guaranteed that Japanese military forces would invade the Philippines. So much for FDR's historical deterence.
The Japanese had to invade the PI anyway, as the PI was sitting on top of the SLOC. Subs and planes could have been send there any time.

OTOH, had the Chinese defense been allowed to collapse without American weapons, pilots and supplies being Lend/Leased over there, just think how many more IJA soldiers would have been released for combat in other theatres ??
It´s getting OT but I´m not proposing to stop sending LL to China, just not to send scarce warplanes that are badly needed elsewhere. The IJA was light on heavy weapons but they were still ahead of the NRA, so in the meantime some M1897 guns, M1918 AA and 3inch mortars could have kept Chiang happy.

My "what IF" scenario is intended to suggest that just a slightly greater (and earlier) American effort in China (by the AVGII) might have drawn off even more of the historical Japanese forces that so trounced the Allies for the first 6 months of that Pacific War.
We already adressed that. At the end of ´41 the IJA had lot´s of divisions doing nothing because the Soviets were not a threat any more.

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

Post by robdab » 17 Feb 2010 17:40

.
takeo[/b, in further response to your:

Because Lemay first thought of low level incendiary raids in 1944, well before your 1941 start date, and everyone else thought he was crazy. Even Lemay had doubts until the mission proved successful.

Please see http://ibiblio.net/hyperwar/////AAF/rep ... eport.html which details the events of the April 18/42 Doolittle bombing raid on the Japanese Home Islands. Various bombing altitudes between 75' and 1,500' were used for both 500lb demolition bombs and 500lb incendiary cluster bombs, beating LeMay to the punch by at least a couple of years.

I found it interesting to note that Doolittle's flyers dropped several of the M54 incendiary cluster bombs which each contained some 128 x 4lb incendiary bomblets. It seems that my initial choise of incendiary munition wasn't that far off the mark, calendar wise. Now 128x4=512lbs plus the added weight of the cluster casing but if we assume the real weight of each of these 500lb cluster bombs to total out to 525lbs actual, it would seem that an A-29 model Hudson could carry 3x525=1,575lbs of such cluster bombs within it's 1,600lb maximum payload. Perfect. Instead of 400 incendiaries per A-29 bomber, I would deliver 3x128=384 instead. Since 25 lbs of the maximun payload remains unused, perhaps a airgunner might enjoy tossing another 6 of the 4 lb incendiaries out of his aircraft at just the right time, bringing the total delivered by each Hudson up to 384+6=390. Just short of 400 per warplane.

My initial A-29 raids on the Japanese Home Islands would not have been able to use the 4lb incendiaries but it seems that by mid-April of 1942, they would have been available for an ongoing Hudson night bombing campaign on Japan.
Last edited by robdab on 17 Feb 2010 18:49, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by robdab » 17 Feb 2010 18:43

.
Markus Becker wrote,

The Japanese had to invade the PI anyway, as the PI was sitting on top of the SLOC. Subs and planes could have been send there any time.

Not once Guam and Jolo Islands were taken by Japan since airbases on both could be used by Japanese land based air flotillas to isolate the P.I.s from effective air or naval reinforcement.

The capture of Guam means a break in the air bridge chain between the Philippines and Hawaii/San Francisco.

Just as happened historically at Cavite, once Japanese air could bomb the submarine docks at will, the Americans had to evacuate those areas. The fragile submarine and seaplane tenders had to leave, headed for safer waters to the south. No tenders means no functioning, ongoing submarine base could exist there. Bombing the US torpedo (not that many of the faulty Mk13s would have actually worked anyway) warehouse just speeded up the evacuation.

It´s getting OT but I´m not proposing to stop sending LL to China, just not to send scarce warplanes that are badly needed elsewhere. The IJA was light on heavy weapons but they were still ahead of the NRA, so in the meantime some M1897 guns, M1918 AA and 3inch mortars could have kept Chiang happy.

I don't believe that to be the case. Without the efforts of the historical AVG's P-40 fighters the Burma Road might have been closed for good, much earlier. Sending an earlier than historical AVGII bomber force to aid Chang Kai-shek might have thrown a proverbial wrench into the historical Japanese war plans.

We already adressed that. At the end of ´41 the IJA had lot´s of divisions doing nothing because the Soviets were not a threat any more.

You have not, however, responded to my questions of just how, and how quickly, Japanese troops in multi-division strength might have been shifted, in winter, from the Russian/Japanese front to SE China inn order to attack the AVGII's airbases there ?

Having worked in Khabarosk in Oct., Nov., Dec. and Jan., I can assure you that the rivers there are already well frozen by early Nov. Even daytime temperatures are already at bare survival levels. Any long distance movement by a non-mechanized Japanese infantry division and their supply horses would have been very slow & difficult, if not impossible.

With cross China railway networks already disrupted by Sino/Japanese combat, the only way to move large numbers of Japanese troops between the Russian front and SE China would have been by sea, at a time when historically, the Japanese military was already using just about everything that would float to carry it's planned invasion forces sothward. Where, at that critical time, would you find any unused shipping that you need to shift several divisions worth of those IJA troops from the Russian frontier to SE China ?

How long would it be before those shifted troops were actually ready for combat and exactly how long would it take them to capture all of the AVGII's airbases that were within Hudson bombing range of the Home Islands ? How much Chinese resistance would there be ? How effective would those AVGI and AVGII pilots be in blunting your thrusts against their airfields ? Not a China cakewalk this time for your troops, I'm afraid.

Gordon Prange's "At Dawn We Slept" recounts on page #235 that:
"Then too, the possibility of fighting the Soviet Union motivated Japan's military planners. Because operations in Siberia would be possible again after the spring thaw, the top strategists insisted that the Southern Operation be completed by the end of March 1942. In as much as Japan's schedule called the conquest of the southern areas within 120 days after the outbreak of hostilities, the war had to begin not much later than December 1, 1941."

So, you now face the requirement of ALSO transfering those same (now combat weary) troops BACK from SE China to the Russian frontier so that they could be used against the Soviets by springtime. Same questions, where do you find the transport required to do so ? Can you do so BEFORE spring arrives ? Will those moving troops get the time that they need to rest and re-organize before they enter combat against Soviet formations that so badly abused them in combat back in 1938/9 ? Where will the IJA troops come from that will stay behind to garrison these newly conquored SE China airfield areas ?

Or, how will YOU explain to the Emperor that it was your orders that resulted in his Empire NOT being able to easily take the rich Russian natural resource areas before the Soviets were able to reinforce ?

Not a pleasant conversation for you, nor for your heirs, I'd bet.

Nowhere have I read that the Russians entirely stripped their Far Eastern Forces to send west of the Urals, against the Germans. Several divisions remainded and many more were forming/training in (relatively) nearby Siberia. The proof being that historically, the IJA did not relocate those divisions assigned to watch over that Russian border.

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

Post by Markus Becker » 17 Feb 2010 19:34

robdab wrote:.

Not once Guam and Jolo Islands were taken by Japan since airbases on both could be used by Japanese land based air flotillas to isolate the P.I.s from effective air or naval reinforcement.

The capture of Guam means a break in the air bridge chain between the Philippines and Hawaii/San Francisco.
It also means Japan is at war with the USA, as Guam is US territorry.

I don't believe that to be the case. Without the efforts of the historical AVG's P-40 fighters the Burma Road might have been closed for good, much earlier. Sending an earlier than historical AVGII bomber force to aid Chang Kai-shek might have thrown a proverbial wrench into the historical Japanese war plans.
Burma did fall rapidly because of the low number and quality of the ground forces, the few operational P-40 helped ... a bit. But how many WW1-vintage weapons could have been to China in the time it took to deploy the AVG?

You have not, however, responded to my questions of just how, and how quickly, Japanese troops in multi-division strength might have been shifted, in winter, from the Russian/Japanese front to SE China inn order to attack the AVGII's airbases there ?
[/quote]

Given the very limited offensive capabilities of 66 medium bombers -not all of which will be operational- my guess is "soon enough". But that has also been adressed before.


And last but not least, you want to throw a proverbial wrench into the historical Japanese war plans, China is simply the wrong place. The Japanese were after the DEI because that was where the resources were they needed to fight a longer war. There fairly small changes on the allied side could have had a severe impact on the Japanese fortunes.

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

Post by robdab » 17 Feb 2010 20:02

.
Markus Becker replied with,

It also means Japan is at war with the USA, as Guam is US territorry.

Yes, historically it was one of the first to be invaded by the Japanese. Jolo Island was also a part of the US owned P.I.s.
What was your point ?

Burma did fall rapidly because of the low number and quality of the ground forces, the few operational P-40 helped ... a bit. But how many WW1-vintage weapons could have been to China in the time it took to deploy the AVG?

Sadly the American Army was still using much WW1 weaponry as it's own in 1941. Especially in artillery. If they gave it away before new production had replaced it, they wouldn't have been able to fight effectively themselves.

And last but not least, you want to throw a proverbial wrench into the historical Japanese war plans, China is simply the wrong place. The Japanese were after the DEI because that was where the resources were they needed to fight a longer war. There fairly small changes on the allied side could have had a severe impact on the Japanese fortunes.

Possibly but this "bombers in China" scenario idea has the advantage of having actually being considered at the time.

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