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 » 17 Feb 2010 20:23

robdab wrote: 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.
It does not seem to have been a problem, the US actually gave a lot of older rifles and artillery guns to the PI Army and was in the process of shipping considerable amounts of modern weapons to the PI.

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

Post by robdab » 17 Feb 2010 20:48

.
Markus Becker replied with,

It does not seem to have been a problem, the US actually gave a lot of older rifles and artillery guns to the PI Army and was in the process of shipping considerable amounts of modern weapons to the PI.

Since the Philippines had not yet been granted independence from the US, those transfers were much the same as the US Army transfering weapons to the US Marines. Brother-to-brother rather than a transfer to a completely foreign nation like China.

And with the PIs still not fully defended, sending 2nd line weapons to the Chinese would have deprived their close friends and allies, the Philippino Army.

The modern weaponry transfered there was going to US Army units stationed in the PIs, not to the Philippines Army.

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bf109 emil
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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by bf109 emil » 18 Feb 2010 07:03

I have read about the P-40's etc. that where flown, but in a defensive matter for China. But would not a foreign nation, flying attack missions upon another nation, while claiming or under the guise of being a neutral, somehow be against the rules of warfare or sought by a nation whom nation was being bombed, not construe this as an act of aggression.

What I am trying to say, and perhaps along a different scenario is...let say Germany had in 1940 had Japan pilots flying zero fighters on long range missions escorting Luftwaffe bombers over and beyond over Britain, along or under the same pretenses as US B-17 etc. flying for China with US crews over Japan...would Britain not have scene this as an aggressive act by Japan?

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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 » 18 Feb 2010 16:22

Robert - here's two pieces of SERIOUS advice I gave you once before, during the Panama Canal thread;

1/ if your source is discredited - MOVE ON! Don't try to defend the indefensible.

2/ If you're given an EXPERT reference - consult it!

....or else you're just inviting someone to slap you around the head a SECOND time...

For instance...
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.
It's STILL wrong, a SECOND time! :lol:

Again from THE CHEMICAL WARFARE SERVICE: FROM LABORATORY TO FIELD by Leo P. Brophy, Wyndham D. Miles and Rexmond C. Cochrane...
CHAPTER VIII
Incendiaries

In 1917-18 the Chemical Warfare Service branched out from its research
on toxic agents into other fields, one of which was incendiary mixtures.
Chemists experimented with incendiary fillings for shells, grenades, and
bombs, but did not have time to perfect any of the munitions/ In this
field CWS overlapped the Ordnance Department's work on incendiaries. In
1920 the War Department set up a line of demarcation between the two
services, with the Ordnance Department henceforth to design the muni-
tions and the CWS to provide the filling.

During the 1920's and early 1930's the CWS practically ignored incen-
diaries. In the first place, they had not been very effective in World War
I, and there was no indication that they would be in the fiature. Secondly,
there was a widespread feeling that high explosives were better. An Ord-
nance Department study, written in 1934, stated that "everything that can
be accomplished by an incendiary bomb can in most cases, at least, be
accomplished as well or better by either a smoke bomb loaded with WP
[white phosphorus] or demolition bomb loaded with a high explosive."
Along the same line, Maj. Gen. Amos A. Fries had said in the Report of
the CWS, 1922, "Purely incendiary materials are generally of much less
importance [than smoke]." Thirdly, lack of funds forced the CWS to leave
out of its research programs all but the most vital projects— and, as noted,
incendiaries did not seem important at the time. Finally, the division of
responsibility between the CWS and Ordnance was unfortunate in one
respect— neither service felt as enthusiastic about the development of in-
cendiaries as it would have if given sole authority.

The unrest abroad in the mid-thirties revived interest in incendiary
bombs. In 1935 a reporter on the New York Herald Tribune covering the
Italian invasion of Ethiopia found a partially burned bomb that had been
dropped by an Italian plane. He shipped it back to his newspaper, which
gave it to Professor Joachim E. Zanetti of Columbia University, a CWS
reserve officer. Zanetti passed it on to the CWS, which then analyzed it. In
the summer of 1936 Maj. Gen. Claude E. Brigham sent an officer to Europe
to gather information on incendiary bombs. In December of that year, the
CWS added an incendiary project to its program, and chemists began experi-
ments. These experiments provided them with the experience and data
that were to prove extremely useful when the service began to produce
incendiaries a few years later.

Incendiary Bombs
One-Hundred-Pound Bombs

The earliest American incendiary bomb of World War II was the 100-
pound missile, M47. It began in a roundabout way in 1937 when the GHQ
Air Force asked the Ordnance Department for a chemical bomb. Ord-
nance completed the munition in 1940. At this time the armed forces had
no incendiary bomb
, and as an emergency measure the Ordnance Depart-
ment recommended that the new chemical bomb be pressed into use as
an incendiary, by loading it with gasoline and cotton waste.' While the
idea seemed good, tests conducted by the CWS showed that ordinary gas-
oline was almost useless as a filling. When bombs exploded the gasoline
atomized and burned out so quickly that it scarcely had time to transfer
heat and fire to the target. A material was needed to thicken the gasoline
so as to make it burn slowly.
In other words - NO WWI incendiaries, nothing of ANY sort before the 100lb M47.

Better abandon that source - it's a millstone round your neck.

Shall we move on?
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.
Wrong. http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 4#p1367999
The Prime Minister thought that, in view
of the assurances given in paragraphs 4 and 5,
f instructions could now he given to the Commander-rin-Chief ,
Par East, to put Operation MATADOR into effect, if the
circumstances made this necessary.

...The Prime Minister summing up the discussion,
suggested that the War Cabinet should take the following
provisional decisions

a) That we could now say to the Dutch that in the
event of attack on them by Japan we should at
once come to their aid0
(b) That instructions should now be given to, our
Commanders to put Operation MATADOR into
effect either as a forestalling measure, if a
Japanese attack on the Kra Isthmus was plainly
imminent
, or if Japan invaded Siam,
(c) That we should give some joint assurance with
the United States to the Government of Siara,
The decisions taken would have to be embodied
in telegrams
(l) To our Ambassador at Washington:
(2) To our Minister at Bangkok,;
(3) To the Commander -in-Chief in the Par East:
(4) To Admiral Phillips, Commander-in-Chief,
Eastern. Fleet,.who.was now.at Manila, tQ
acquaint him with the position.
(5) To the Prime Ministers of the Dominion Governments
acquainting them with the position.
These, telegrams would reauire careful drafting,
- and the drafts should no ouhraitted to him (the Prime.
Minister;.
The War Cabinet agreed to this procedure.
It's QUITE clear the "British" were fully intending to carry out MATADOR whatever the Siamese' opinion! :lol: Brooke-Popham was equally FULLY aware it was a PRE-EMPTIVE measure...
Operation " Matador."
50. The importance of the Southern end of the Kra Isthmus, especially the
neighbourhood of Singora, has already been referred to (see paragraph 12 above).
The possibility of an advance into this Isthmus, in order to hold a position
North of Haad Yai Junction, was considered soon after the formation of General
Headquarters, Far East.(1 3) Detailed plans for carrying out this operation were
prepared, and the code word '' Matador " was eventually given to it. It was
from the start realised that the essential feature of this operation was forestalling
the Japanese on a position near Singora; see, for instance, my telegram
of the 22nd March, 1941, to the Chiefs of Staff through the War Office,j") in
which it is stated : " The success of this plan would depend on rapidity of
execution in order to forestall the Japanese on the Songhla line'' ; also my
telegram of the 21st November, 1941,(15) from which the following is an extract:
" I wish to emphasise the fact that the forestalling of the Japanese in Singora
area is essential to the success of ' Matador.' ''
This necessitated at least twenty-four hours' start before the Japanese
landed, and rapid movement of our force once the order was given. It was
realised all along that, if these conditions could not be fulfillled, then the
Matador operation would be impracticable. The psychological value of
offensive movement at the start of the war and the possibility of thereby upsetting
the Japanese plans were fully realised, but had to be weighed against the fact
that we should be leaving prepared ground with which the troops were familiar,
and that, unless we forestalled the enemy, the fighting would be in the nature
of an encounter battle, quite possibly against superior numbers. Further, the
attitude of the Siamese was uncertain, and questions of secrecy precluded any
attempt to get prior agreement from Bangkok. Orders were issued that, should
Matador be ordered, any opposition from the Siamese was to be overcome at
once,
but we could never be certain in advance how much delay might be caused to
our movements by obstacles, destruction of bridges or active resistance. A margin
of time was necessary.
A total of thirty officers, two or three at a time, were sent over as visitors to
the area in plain clothes in order to collect information, especially on the topography
of the country, and to have some individuals familiar with it.
The preparations were completed before the Autumn of 1941 as far as could
be foreseen, including maps, arrangements for the distribution of rice to the
population, the collection of a quantity of Siamese money, and writing, ready
for translation and printing, pamphlets of three varieties to suit the different
attitudes which might be adopted by the Siamese Government. For reasons of
secrecy, knowledge of the plans was confined to a minimum number of
individuals, and for the same reason certain steps could not be taken in advance.
For instance, it was considered dangerous to translate or print the pamphlets
before the operation was ordered.
51. Up to the 5th December, Matador was not to be carried out without
reference to the War Cabinet, but on that date a telegram(1 6) was sent to the effect
that I could order it without reference to London in either of the followingcontingencies
:—
(a) If I had information that the Japanese expedition was advancing with
the apparent intention of landing on the Kra Isthmus; or
(&).'If the Japanese violated any other part of Thailand (Siam).
A few days earlier it had been impressed on me that carrying out Matador
if the Japanese intended to make a landing in Southern Siam would almost
certainly mean war with Japan,(1 7 ) and in view of this I considered it my duty
to be scrupulously careful in acting on the telegram of the 5th December
Moving on to OTL events -
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.
And on the day...http://www.fepow-community.org.uk/arthu ... lities.htm
Bearing in mind the policy of avoiding war with Japan if possible, Brooke-Popham decided that he would not be justified in ordering MATADOR on the information he had up to date but impressed upon Pulford the vital importance of maintaining contact with the convoys. during the night. As this flying-boat failed to make contact, a second Catalina was sent out early on 7 December and instructed that, if no contact was established, a search was to be made off the west coast of Indo-China in case the convoys had, as anticipated, concentrated in the Koh Rong area. No reports were received from this boat and, from information published in the Japanese press when we were prisoners-of-war, it seems certain that it was shot down.
...the historical decision NOT to action was clearly due to the paucity of information on which to base a go/no-go decision. It had nothing to do with THAILAND, which he had permission up to six months' before from London to occupy if circumstances warranted.

Robert, will you please start doing some REAL research before pontificating? :lol:

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

Post by robdab » 18 Feb 2010 16:25

.
bf109 emil asked,

What I am trying to say, and perhaps along a different scenario is...let say Germany had in 1940 had Japan pilots flying zero fighters on long range missions escorting Luftwaffe bombers over and beyond over Britain, along or under the same pretenses as US B-17 etc. flying for China with US crews over Japan...would Britain not have scene this as an aggressive act by Japan?

Quite possibly but such mercenary efforts have been going on for a long, long time. Units of Swiss pikemen hired themselves out to fight for many European nations, without Switzerland as a whole being involved in those lengthy wars.

IIRC many Genoese (or Venetian ?) crossbowmen did the same.

During WW1 many American civilian pilots flew for the French Lafayette Escadrille in air combat against the Germans.

"Volunteer" German pilots flew Spanish warplanes for Franco's forces during the Spanish civil war.

Sure, the Japanese would have seen such American actions as aggressive but technically, the efforts of the historical American Volunteer Group #1's pilots were just (barely) legal under international law. The P-40s were bought by the Chinese government (without compasses, radios or machine guns from the US Curtis factory) and their American (ex-military) civilian pilots were paid by a civilian company that was contracted by the Chinese government. Mercenaries one and all.

Surely, American built Hudson bombers (even with Chinese air force markings) dropping incendiaries on Japanese cities would have fooled no one, espcially the Japanese but FDR would have had deniability of official US involvement.

And Japan would have received a much clearer warning against enlarging the war than FDR historically delivered by his move of the US Pacific Fleet's battleships to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

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

Post by Takao » 18 Feb 2010 18:46

robdab wrote: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.
Well, your partially correct, the Japanese knew China was a source of raw materials. Not to mention the fact that the Chinese, and Koreans, served as cheap labor for the Japanese. However, I have yet to find anything on China being a future market for Japanese goods though.

robdab wrote: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.
And yet, that is exactly how it happened after the Doolittle Raid.

robdab wrote:Good for you. As I have stated here several times, you are certainly entitled to your own opinions.
It's fact and all your bluster will not change that. You asked me to consider the possibilities and I have, what else do you want? I have provided factual evidence to the contrary of your position and now, you expect me to go along with it. Hardly!

robdab wrote:I wasn't at all suggesting any early British actions.
Then why on earth did you bring up
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.
If you were not planning on having the British do anything, then why mention the need for much better air recon by the British, especially, when the Americans had Cam Rahn Bay under surveillance with PBYs?

robdab wrote: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.
robdab's a broken record....Skip....robdab's a broken record....Skip....robdab's a broken record...

But seriously, That's what I have been trying to tell you robdab, the British didn't know, and better air recon won't change their plans and idea's. If the British don't know, and the Americans don't know, I suppose your super-smart Chinese will have it all figured out....

robdab wrote: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.
Again, this hearkens back to my "Defending Wasington D.C from Salt Lake City, Utah" example, it is utter foolishness. Besides, a pre-emptive strike runs contrary to FDR's long-held position of having the enemy appear as the aggressor. By conducting your strike, the Allies and Chinese are the aggressors, and not the Japanese.
robdab wrote: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.
You distinctly told me to "Ask Chennault" But, he's dead Jim! He is no more, he has ceased to be. Bereft of life, he rest in peace. He's kicked the bucket, hopped the twig, bit the dust, snuffed it, breathed his last, he’s expired and gone to meet its maker, etc.
You made no reference to drawing what I will from his writings.

I am fairly certain that Custer would have nothing but positives about attacking the indians, had someone asked him prior the Battle of little Big Horn.
robdab wrote: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.
No, but I think you are, if you expect 66 bombers to accomplish those objectives over the long term.

I don't think months will cut it either, try years or decades. Without the addition of a much larger bomber force your hopes and dreams are crushed. The Americans couldn't even pull it off with B-29s in 1944, a fact that has been very much glossed over in this thread.

robdab wrote: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.

It also, presupposes that the Hundson's will be flying the entire distance at 150mph, which they would not do, given a cruise speed some 50mph faster than 150mph. The time reserve is built into the very low-ball 150mph round trip speed. As I just stated the Hudson's cruise speed was a good 50 mph faster, thus the trip home would be done at, at least 200mph.

Also, robdab, if you encounter headwinds one way, you encounter tailwinds the other.

robdab wrote: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.
Really, http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/sino-japanese.htm says that? Are you REALLY SURE ABOUT THAT!!!!!!!!!!

THEN WHY DOES YOUR OWN SOURCE http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/sino-japanese-1940.htm STATE
1940 was the last year during which Soviet volunteers participated in combat in China.
You don't read you own sources, let alone sources posted by others!

robdab wrote: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.
Your source also fails to mention that Douglas DB-7s were part of this 66 bomber deal as stated here http://www.warbirdforum.com/elusive2.htm
The Currie plan adopted by the Joint Board envisaged getting aircraft and American aircrews to China by October 1941. Late in July 1941 Currie cabled Chennault via Madame Chiang Kai-shek advising him of the approval of 66 Douglas DB-7 and Lockheed Hudson bombers to be delivered by the end of the year with 24 Hudsons to be delivered immediately.
Further two bomber squadrons is 24 planes total, 12 per squadron, So you only have 24 A-29s, not 66....

robdab wrote: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.
I am not talking about the Dutch attacking the Japanese, well, at least not until the Dutch declared war on the Japanese. Since the Japanese did not first land on the DEIs until December 17th, the Dutch bombers would have been in a much better position to attack the Japanese invasion heading for them, since they were the "OBVIOUS" target. Had those planes gone to the DEIs instead of China, they would have been in a better able to actually defend the DEIs, rather than your supposed "defending the DEIs from China" dream, which lends nothing to the DEI defense, except the hope of drawing off some of the massive Japanese forces.
robdab wrote:A-29s based on Chinese airfileds, did have the range needed. Obvious.
Obvious, huh? Let's see it is OBVIOUS that it is 2025.16 miles, one way, from Balikpapan, Indonesia to Chuchow, China. It is OBVIOUS that is a 4050.32 mile round trip. It is OBVIOUS that the A-29's maximum unloaded range is 2,800 miles. Thus, it is OBVIOUS that the A-29 is not going to make it. Obviously, robdab just doesn't get it.
robdab wrote:Obviously. Why else did I have to begin this as a "what IF" discussion rather than as just another historical rehash ?
Obviously, your historical knowledge, or lack of it, prevents you from doing anything else.
robdab wrote:AFAIK the off-topic B-29 was not yet flying combat missions in late 1941 so why do you mention it in this discussion ?
your, and I
... 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.
implies that you 66 Hudsons will be dropping more bombs than the B-29s the webpage was written about.
robdab wrote: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.
The fear of attack was real enough for the drills to take place AND your previously mentioned "Victory Disease" had not happened yet.
robdab wrote: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".
The source you provided http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/sino-japanese.htm Seems to have much to say about Japanese bombers flying between 3,500 meters and 5,000 meters. Robdab, don't tell me you are confusing feet with meters????? For your benefit, 3,500 meters is roughly 11,500 feet and 5,000 meters is roughly 16,500 feet. Hardly what one would consider "low altitude."

But, then again you did use this source to confirm your belief that Soviet pilots were doing the majority of the CAF flying in 1941, when the same source said the Soviets finished combat flying for the Chinese in 1940.

robdab wrote:I don't believe so. You are entitled to your own opinions.
Yes, robdab, and you believed that the Americans had incendiary bombs that they didn't, The Soviets were doing the majority of the combat flying for the CAF when they were not, etc. Most of your beliefs in this thread have been proven false. But, you can think what you like.
robdab wrote:I asked for your source, first.
Why? You don't read your own sources, nor other posters, so I don't see what difference it will make.

Anyway, here it goes...

FLASH!

Did you see it or did you miss it.

Your turn.....



Also, thanks for making my point robdab with http://ibiblio.net/hyperwar/////AAF/rep ... eport.html

The B-25 went in at low altitude because the HAD to, not because it was decided upon, the B-25s were stretched to the limit range-wise, and could not afford to waste fuel climbing to altitude.

I also note that April, 1942, is not October, 1941.

I also note an almost complete aversion to total day or night bombing here
Another plan was to take off at crack of dawn, bomb in the early morning and proceed to destination arriving before dark. This plan had the disadvantage of daylight bombing presumably after the Japanese were aware of our coming and the hazards incident to such a daylight attack. The third plan, the plan finally decided on, was to take off just before dark, bomb at night and proceed to destination arriving after daylight in the early morning. In order to make this plan practical one plane was to take off ahead of the others, arrive over Tokyo at dusk and fire the most inflammable part of the city with incendiary bombs. This minimized the overall hazard and assured that the target would be lighted up for following airplanes.
So even Doolittle's "trained" pilots were not fully expected to find to bomb accurately at night, they needed a "pathfinder" aircraft to go in at dusk to start fires for them to find.

I found this OT bit rather interesting
In no case was there any indication that a Japanese pilot might run into one of our planes even though the economics of such a course would appear sound. It would entail trading a $40,000 fighter for a $200,000 bomber and one man, who could probably arrange to collide in such a way as to save himself, against 5 who even though they escaped would be interned and thus lose their military utility.
Intentional ramming, well before the Japanese or germans even considered it, I don't think the British went this far, even during the Battle of Britain. So, I wonder why the Americans are thinking it?

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

Post by robdab » 18 Feb 2010 19:15

.
phylo_roadking replied with,
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.
Again from THE CHEMICAL WARFARE SERVICE: FROM LABORATORY TO FIELD by Leo P. Brophy, Wyndham D. Miles and Rexmond C. Cochrane...

Certainly "Preemptive Strike" quotes Chennault as saying several times that he wished to bomb Japanese cities with incendiary bombs so I must conclude that some were available somewhere, perhaps in the form of a WP smoke bomb instead, as per your source's ...

An Ordnance Department study, written in 1934, stated that "everything that can
be accomplished by an incendiary bomb can in most cases, at least, be
accomplished as well or better by either a smoke bomb loaded with WP
[white phosphorus] ...


The earliest American incendiary bomb of World War II was the 100-pound missile, M47. It began in a roundabout way in 1937 when the GHQ Air Force asked the Ordnance Department for a chemical bomb. Ordnance completed the munition in 1940. At this time the armed forces had no incendiary bomb....

Well, that is annoying. However, all is not yet lost.

Page #12 of http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD ... tTRDoc.pdf indicates that the British had their Mk II version of the 4lb incendiary ready to go early in 1940.

Had FDR asked politely for a steady supply of reversed lend/lease, I'm sure that Churchill would have agreed to sell some to a fledgling AVGII of the Chinese Air Force. Possibly even for free in exchange for a promise of AVGI flown future P-40 fighter protection for British Forces then holding Burma.

also, from page #174 of your CWS source comes:

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

2-^ (1) Bomb, Incendiary, 4-lb, Tl Classified as Substitute Standard for Bomb, Incendiary,
4-lb, AN-M50, Designated Bomb, Incendiary, 4-lb, AN-M54, 28 Jul 41. OCM 17052. (2) CWTC Item 412, Approval of Development Project for Small ( 1 to 2 lb) Incendiary Bomb,
and Military Characteristics, 14 Oct 4l.


Had FDR actualy sent an AVGII group to China earlier, with A-29 Hudson bombers, he certainly could have ordered a speedier development of the above noted American incendiary bombs, with which to more quickly replace the hypothetically British supplied ones.

Better abandon that source - it's a millstone round your neck.

Such is why I enjoy these alternative history discussions so much. There is almost always another source(s) waiting, yet to be discovered and explored.

...the historical decision NOT to action was clearly due to the paucity of information on which to base a go/no-go decision. It had nothing to do with THAILAND, which he had permission up to six months' before from London to occupy if circumstances warranted.

phylo, you entirely miss the on-topic point. In favour of an off-topic Matador one.

Had FDR agreed to send A-29 Hudsons, flown by AVGII pilots to China at the time that Marshall killed the B-17s to China idea, then there would already have been (Allied) bombers based well within range of those Japanese invasion transports gathering in Cam Rhan Bay. The Chinese, who were already at war with Japan, could have ordered the AVGII's pilots to bomb them while still at anchor, with no official link back to either Britain or America. Ditto for Japanese invasion transports gathering at Formosa prior to the Philippines landings. Chang Kai-shek could have just claimed that he was afraid of additional amphibious landings on China's coastlines and/or that he thought that the gathering Japanese might be getting ready for yet another up-river campaign deeper into China.

In addition to the troops killed and shipping sunk/damaged, the Japanese would have clear warning that their Pacific War plans were no longer secret. A much better deterent than FDR historicaly provided.

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

Post by phylo_roadking » 18 Feb 2010 20:01

Had FDR actualy sent an AVGII group to China earlier, with A-29 Hudson bombers, he certainly could have ordered a speedier development of the above noted American incendiary bombs, with which to more quickly replace the hypothetically British supplied ones.
Wrong. Go back and read what was posted - the U.S. would NOT have been able to do this earlier - the U.S. had to develop the steel-cased item BECAUSE it didn't have enough magnesium!!! Did you not wonder where it was going when you read what I posted???....they were shipping it across the Atlantic to the British for THEM to make THEIR 4lb incendiaries! :lol:

In fact - SO much so that it was a really major headache for the British in 1940/41....if they asked the Americans to make 4lb-ers for them - would this restrict the flow of magenesium across the Atlantic to THEIR factories??? I.E. would asking the Americans to help them PRODUCE magnesium inceniaries....not simply result in the SAME amount being made - divided between TWO sides of the Atlantic??? 8O :lol: :lol: :lol:
Certainly "Preemptive Strike" quotes Chennault as saying several times that he wished to bomb Japanese cities with incendiary bombs so I must conclude that some were available somewhere, perhaps in the form of a WP smoke bomb instead, as per your source's ...
Actually, no. IF you go back and re-read the material in Armstrong's book, you can see that Chennault, along with Soong (Chennault was after all the Chinese' "paid lobbyist" by then :wink: ) is actually talking from his understanding of the EUROPEAN situation, and the wartime use of incendiaries in a European context - and could it be mirrored in the Pacific/Far East - NOT from any existing capacity of the USAAF.

But there's an easy way of settling that issue - why don't you produce from Armstong a quote from Chennault about the existing stocks of AMERICAN incendiaries before December 7th?
An Ordnance Department study, written in 1934, stated that "everything that can
be accomplished by an incendiary bomb can in most cases, at least, be
accomplished as well or better by either a smoke bomb loaded with WP
[white phosphorus] ...
Er, actually....no; this is the CWS saying why in a time of straitened finances there was no point in developing incendiaries...because their WWI experience was they were pretty ineffective.
Had FDR asked politely for a steady supply of reversed lend/lease, I'm sure that Churchill would have agreed to sell some to a fledgling AVGII of the Chinese Air Force.
Not a hope. The RAF's bombing campaign against Germany was the ONLY offensive capacity the British had against continental Germany in 1941. Britain came to American because despite their fears of a shortage of magnesium they couldn't get ENOUGH 4lb incendiaries....so they're not going to let the Americans take some AWAY from that precarious supply! 8O :P
Had FDR actualy sent an AVGII group to China earlier, with A-29 Hudson bombers, he certainly could have ordered a speedier development of the above noted American incendiary bombs, with which to more quickly replace the hypothetically British supplied ones.
Development....hmmm - then WHY didn't he do it OTL BEFORE November 1941 when the British had been asking since 1940??? :wink:

Also, it MIGHT be worth you remembering that DEVELOPMENT is only a small part of the problem - I note you haven't mentioned the problems in ACTUALLY PRODUCING THEM! :lol: :P I'll assume...given that you didn't know anything about their history...that you didn't know the Americans only ever produced them in six arsenals during the war - and that you certainly didn't know only ONE was in limited production for the testing etc. at Dugway before the end of December 1941! The aforementioned Edgewood Arsenal...

The others didn't start coming online until well AFTER December 7th! :wink: For example...Huntsville...http://www.redstone.army.mil/history/studies/ii.html
Construction was the first order of business at Huntsville Arsenal but, so fast on its heels did production follow, prodded by the pressure of war, that the two programs overlapped for almost a year.

When the first Commanding Officer of Huntsville Arsenal arrived in August 1941, he immediately set up an organization to expedite construction. The initial organization was simple, consisting of an Engineering Division as its major element, and a number of specialized divisions such as Civilian Personnel, Adjutant, Procurement, and Signal. All reported directly to the Commanding Officer. By January 1942, the transition to the production phase began with the grouping of the major elements for operations, planning, and maintenance under the Chief of the Operations Division. The rest of the functions reported directly to the central coordinating agency, the Executive Office. The Executive Office controlled and coordinated the functions of the various divisions and staff offices in accordance with the directives of the War Department; the Chief, Chemical Warfare Service; the Fourth Service Command; and the Arsenal commander...
http://www.redstone.army.mil/history/studies/iii.html
The M54 thermate incendiary was a 4-pound bomb manufactured at Huntsville Arsenal for less than two months. The main processing building, activated for production on 12 March 1942, burned down on 21 April 1942 and was not rebuilt. Pine Bluff Arsenal and National Fireworks manufactured the munition after that.
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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by phylo_roadking » 18 Feb 2010 20:04

TO continue....
...the historical decision NOT to action was clearly due to the paucity of information on which to base a go/no-go decision. It had nothing to do with THAILAND, which he had permission up to six months' before from London to occupy if circumstances warranted.
phylo, you entirely miss the on-topic point. In favour of an off-topic Matador one.
Er....no. the issue was you were making statements about MATADOR and the British position that were entirely wrong due to a lack of research. Fairly typical in this threat so far.

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

Post by phylo_roadking » 18 Feb 2010 20:07

Better abandon that source - it's a millstone round your neck.
Such is why I enjoy these alternative history discussions so much. There is almost always another source(s) waiting, yet to be discovered and explored
Er....no. They are studies in comparative history, not meant to be pipedreams. There's an obligation to take on board HISTORICAL issues, sticking points, and examples - and not simply wish historical impossiblities away.

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

Post by phylo_roadking » 18 Feb 2010 20:31

By the way...
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.
The "Hudson MkIII" WAS the A29 once homolgated into US service; the very-long range turretless version YOU posited was the AT-18 that wasn't developed until into 1942...

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

Post by Markus Becker » 18 Feb 2010 21:26

robdab wrote: Since the Philippines had not yet been granted independence from the US, those transfers were much the same as the US Army transfering weapons to the US Marines. Brother-to-brother rather than a transfer to a completely foreign nation like China.
Funny, considering the USA actually gave "a completely foreign nation" weapons much more scarce than WW1-vintage artillery and rifles that were sitting in depots all over the US.

The modern weaponry transfered there was going to US Army units stationed in the PIs, not to the Philippines Army.
Yes and no. The new weapons would allow the US Army to hand over the older ones to the Philippine Army, who was also getting a lot of weapons directly from the USA:
His plan of induction had hardly been completed when Mac Arthur began to request from the War Department large amounts of supplies for his Philippine troops. During August alone he called for 84,500 Garand rifles (M1), 330 .30-caliber machine guns, 326 .50-caliber antiaircraft machine guns, 450 37-mm. guns, 217 81-mm. mortars, 288 75-mm. guns with high-speed adapters, and over 8,000 vehicles of all types for the ten Philippine Army divisions he planned to mobilize.

...

Requests for equipment for the Philippine Army, except those for the Ml rifle, had been approved, and uncontrolled items of supply were being shipped as rapidly as they could be assembled and loaded on ships. "Not only will you receive soon all your supporting light artillery [130 75-mm. guns]," Marshall told MacArthur, "but 48 155-mm. howitzers and 24 155-mm. guns for corps and army artillery." Except for certain types of ammunition, the defense reserve for the U.S. Army forces in the Philippines would be completed in April 1942, and for the Philippine Army by July of that year.

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

Post by phylo_roadking » 18 Feb 2010 22:00

Markus, meant to say earlier...

Starting a firestorm was actually a very fine art :wink: and the RAF in Europe failed to ignite one more often than they succeeded! Even in Japan it wasn't JUST a case of dumping incendiaries over the urban landscape and flying away, it depended on a whole range of factors...in no particular order...

1/ removal and continued suppression of the regular firefighting facilities. It's not just a case of dropping HE at the start of a raid, but have to continue to drop HE to stop the locals firefighting.

2/ the amount of combustibles in a given area. Yes, Japanese housing was very combustible, but also of short-duration firing. It doesn't actually take that long to burn up paper and light wood.

3/ WIND! The winds had to be JUST right to pour air (oxygen) into the flame before the cauldron effect can take over and PULL air in at hurricane force at the base of the blaze.

The European context is actually quite specific. First, HE was dropped to rip the tiles off roofs...baring the roofing timbers, and below them the internal lathing of the housing; meanwhile, "cookie" sized large bombs were dropped to disruopt water mains etc. European houses generally (or enough of them! :wink: ) relied on strong outer walls and weak wood-and-lath internal walls. Once the lath and plaster walls were revealed, they would burn easily when the incendiary waves were dropped, as they were tinder dry...

Once the main fire was kindled, European buildings took longer to burn, for the light roofing timbers etc. would burn and collapse burning onto the heavier timber joists of multi-storey buildings - thus it's a TWO-stage fire, with the heavier joists, window frames buried in brickwork etc. THEN catching light.

Meanwhile...you had to KEEP dropping HE to suppress the firefighting activities below...

All the while, there had to be strong, ground-level winds blowing to feed the flames from below - until the heart of the "firestorm" developed, a fire-consumed vacuum where the heat of the flames had been fed by and used up all the air; and as "nature abhors a vacuum", hurricane-force winds are sucked into the heart of the fire to feed it, thus the fire becomes a self-generating event.

In the absence of a cascade of non-existent 4lb incendiaries tumbling out of not-yet-developed cluster adapters - EVEN flying all 24 Hudsons...as illustrated earlier, the rest were to be DB-7s...means only 380 or so individual bombs.

Given that a percentage of these can't help but drop on open spaces, streets, carp ponds, factory roofs etc.....

Given that to suppress the firefighting capabilities of the locals a percentage of the tonnage carried has to be HE...

Even IF all 66 aircraft WERE Hudsons it's still just over 1,000 individual POSSIBLE points of impact, whether 100lb HE or 100lb Incendiaries...

With all the random factors it's just not enough to start a fire big enough to generate a self-sustaining firestorm. And that's the WWII experience.
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Re: AVG II - What IF US Bombers were based in China ?

Post by robdab » 18 Feb 2010 22:03

.
Takao forges on ahead with,
robdab wrote: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.


And yet, that is exactly how it happened after the Doolittle Raid.

Yes indeed, well after April 18/42 when most of Japan's other overseas invasions were either long over or were winding down and the Japanese were no longer stretched so thin everywhere else.

I have provided factual evidence to the contrary of your position and now, you expect me to go along with it.

Hardly ! I long ago realized that your opposition to any of my ideas has become a personnal vendetta for you. Even if I was 100% right (and how can anyone be right or wrong wrt any Alternative History scenario anyway ?), you wouldn't agree just because it was my idea.

All that I want here is a polite discussion. With sources, so that further facts can be drawn out "into the light of day".
robdab wrote:I wasn't at all suggesting any early British actions.
Then why on earth did you bring up
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.

If you were not planning on having the British do anything, then why mention the need for much better air recon by the British, especially, when the Americans had Cam Rahn Bay under surveillance with PBYs?

I believe that I typed "for the British" rather than "by the British" in order to indicate that the AVGII's A-29s had a much longer recon range and thus could keep all of the Allies of the ABCD alliance much better informed on the subject of Japan's future intentions. As I have typed several times already, A-29s in the hands of the Chinese Air Force could have provided a potent strike force that could also deliver a strong deterent message along with it's bombloads.

But seriously, That's what I have been trying to tell you robdab, the British didn't know, and better air recon won't change their plans and idea's. If the British don't know, and the Americans don't know, I suppose your super-smart Chinese will have it all figured out....

Perhaps, if my ATH British and ATH Americans did know, via better AVGII flown A-29 recon flights, then the Japanese might have seen different choises made by the Allies ? Certainly bombs dropped by the AVGII pilots could have clearly told the Japanese that their Pacific War invasion plans were no longer secret.

Again, this hearkens back to my "Defending Wasington D.C from Salt Lake City, Utah" example, it is utter foolishness. Besides, a pre-emptive strike runs contrary to FDR's long-held position of having the enemy appear as the aggressor.By conducting your strike, the Allies and Chinese are the aggressors, and not the Japanese.

China had been at war with Japan for some years already and considering the amount of Chinese territory occupied by Japan at that point in time, no one was going to mistake China as the aggressor.

Chinese Air Force marked warplanes would make the strikes so how could America be seen as the aggressor ?

You distinctly told me to "Ask Chennault" But, he's dead Jim! He is no more, he has ceased to be. Bereft of life, he rest in peace. He's kicked the bucket, hopped the twig, bit the dust, snuffed it, breathed his last, he’s expired and gone to meet its maker, etc. You made no reference to drawing what I will from his writings.

Neither did I reference a "Norwegian Blue" parrot. Get over it, please.

No, but I think you are, if you expect 66 bombers to accomplish those objectives over the long term. I don't think months will cut it either, try years or decades. Without the addition of a much larger bomber force your hopes and dreams are crushed.

They aren't "my hopes and dreams", just a simple "what IF" scenario that might have come to pass had Marshall not objected so strongly, put up for discussion here.

IIRC the earlier postings in this thread indicated that the Chinese were initially asking for some 350+ warplanes, so it was recognized that many more than 66 bombers would be required. You have to start somewhere ...

It also, presupposes that the Hundson's will be flying the entire distance at 150mph, which they would not do, given a cruise speed some 50mph faster than 150mph. The time reserve is built into the very low-ball 150mph round trip speed. As I just stated the Hudson's cruise speed was a good 50 mph faster, thus the trip home would be done at, at least 200mph.

Once again, I thought that we had agreed that until a Hudson pilot's manual of the A-29 variety is obtained, there is little point in discussing range, bombload, fuelload, altitude or airspeeds further since all are inter-related and variable ?

Also, robdab, if you encounter headwinds one way, you encounter tailwinds the other.

Over a 10 hour+ mission duration, head/tail winds can strengthen, reverse direction and/or weaken. Winds can be blowing in different directions at different altitudes ...
robdab wrote: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.
Really, http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/sino-japanese.htm says that? Are you REALLY SURE ABOUT THAT!!!!!!!!!!

THEN WHY DOES YOUR OWN SOURCE http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/sino-japanese-1940.htm STATE
1940 was the last year during which Soviet volunteers participated in combat in China.
Uhm, maybe I just made a typo ? At least I provided the source so that you could check it !

It isn't easy trying to keep one step ahead of both you and phylo, afterall.
robdab wrote: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.
Your source also fails to mention that Douglas DB-7s were part of this 66 bomber deal as stated here http://www.warbirdforum.com/elusive2.htm
The Currie plan adopted by the Joint Board envisaged getting aircraft and American aircrews to China by October 1941. Late in July 1941 Currie cabled Chennault via Madame Chiang Kai-shek advising him of the approval of 66 Douglas DB-7 and Lockheed Hudson bombers to be delivered by the end of the year with 24 Hudsons to be delivered immediately.
Further two bomber squadrons is 24 planes total, 12 per squadron, So you only have 24 A-29s, not 66....

For the OTL supplied Chinese Hudsons (without AVG pilots), yes, just 24 AFAIK.

Historically all quite true but please remember that we are discussing my own "what IF" Alternative History scenario here, not the OTL history. Since I knew that I neeeded the longer range of the A-29 Hudson, why would I specify some of the much shorter ranged DB-7 for my scenario ?

Five AVGII squadrons of 12 each, with 10% spares totals 66.

I am not talking about the Dutch attacking the Japanese, well, at least not until the Dutch declared war on the Japanese.Since the Japanese did not first land on the DEIs until December 17th, the Dutch bombers would have been in a much better position to attack the Japanese invasion heading for them, since they were the "OBVIOUS" target.

True enough but your plan negates any possibility of the Hudsons exerting any deterent effect on the Japanese while in Chinese hands. You are certainly entitled to your own opinion on that score but that is not a part of the scenario that I posted for discussion here.

Obvious, huh? Let's see it is OBVIOUS that it is 2025.16 miles, one way, from Balikpapan, Indonesia to Chuchow, China. It is OBVIOUS that is a 4050.32 mile round trip. It is OBVIOUS that the A-29's maximum unloaded range is 2,800 miles. Thus, it is OBVIOUS that the A-29 is not going to make it. Obviously, robdab just doesn't get it.

You are quite right, I don't have any idea what you are talking about with the above ramble. Never have I suggested that a Hudson of any type would be flying between Chuchow and Balikpapan.
robdab wrote: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.
The fear of attack was real enough for the drills to take place AND your previously mentioned "Victory Disease" had not happened yet.

So ?
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".
The source you provided http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/sino-japanese.htm Seems to have much to say about Japanese bombers flying between 3,500 meters and 5,000 meters. Robdab, don't tell me you are confusing feet with meters????? For your benefit, 3,500 meters is roughly 11,500 feet and 5,000 meters is roughly 16,500 feet. Hardly what one would consider "low altitude."

I was refering to:
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.
Also, thanks for making my point robdab with http://ibiblio.net/hyperwar/////AAF/rep ... eport.html

Oh, so you did find it.

The B-25 went in at low altitude because the HAD to, not because it was decided upon, the B-25s were stretched to the limit range-wise, and could not afford to waste fuel climbing to altitude.

So ? They were still ultra-low altitude incendiary bomb drops that were totally uninspired by LeMay.

I also note that April, 1942, is not October, 1941.

So ? Low altitude bomb drops had been done since mankind started using airplanes for war.

I also note an almost complete aversion to total day or night bombing here{/b]
Another plan was to take off at crack of dawn, bomb in the early morning and proceed to destination arriving before dark. This plan had the disadvantage of daylight bombing presumably after the Japanese were aware of our coming and the hazards incident to such a daylight attack. The third plan, the plan finally decided on, was to take off just before dark, bomb at night and proceed to destination arriving after daylight in the early morning. In order to make this plan practical one plane was to take off ahead of the others, arrive over Tokyo at dusk and fire the most inflammable part of the city with incendiary bombs. This minimized the overall hazard and assured that the target would be lighted up for following airplanes.


So even Doolittle's "trained" pilots were not fully expected to find to bomb accurately at night, they needed a "pathfinder" aircraft to go in at dusk to start fires for them to find.

So why could not the AVGII's pilots have used the same pathfinder tactic ?

I found this OT bit rather interesting

In no case was there any indication that a Japanese pilot might run into one of our planes even though the economics of such a course would appear sound. It would entail trading a $40,000 fighter for a $200,000 bomber and one man, who could probably arrange to collide in such a way as to save himself, against 5 who even though they escaped would be interned and thus lose their military utility.


Intentional ramming, well before the Japanese or germans even considered it, I don't think the British went this far, even during the Battle of Britain. So, I wonder why the Americans are thinking it?

Because the accounts of air warfare from that Sino-Japanese source that I posted mention that both Chinese and Japanese pilots fighting over China were known to intentionally ram enemy aircraft. Since Chennault was there for several years before 1940/1 he at least would have familiar with those accounts.

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

Post by Markus Becker » 18 Feb 2010 22:51

phylo_roadking wrote:Markus, meant to say earlier...

Starting a firestorm was actually a very fine art :wink: and the RAF in Europe failed to ignite one more often than they succeeded!
Firestorms? Me? I´m either getting old or you got me mixed up.

Zeros in the Battle of Britain:

By that time Japan had a few pre-production planes and as we know their production rate was very low by western standards. It would be highly unlikely for a Japanese AVG to participate in the BoB. They might decide to ship some planes to Europe for evaluation but that would mean realizing an air war against western nations could be different from one against China. Kinda obvious but the Japanese still did not get it.

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