Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

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Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Jun 2021 02:37

This thread reminds me of a proposal many years ago, to secretly establish Japanese airbases on small island off Mexico & as far south as the Galapagos.

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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by OpanaPointer » 14 Jun 2021 02:45

Ah, you've read the Magic documents? S.I.S. and OP-20-G loved that shit.
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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by Rob Stuart » 14 Jun 2021 13:18

Von Schadewald wrote:
13 Jun 2021 22:45
Would an approach south of Hawaii, launching from Cedros Island off Mexico, or even further south, decrease their chance of being detected (Chicago 1800 miles, Washington DC 2300 miles)?
From where would the Japanese task force sail? The distance from Kwajalein to Cedros Island, keeping 500 nm south of Hawaii, is 4700 nm. That's 1500 nm longer than the northern route. At 16 knots it would take 12 days to cover that distance, but as refueling would be done at a lower speed than that you'd be looking at probably 14 days, and another 14 to get back. You then have to add the time it would take to get to Kwajalein, which is 2000 nm and 5-6 days from Japan, and the minimum of one day at Kwajalein refueling. All in all your task force would be gone from Japan for something like 42 days, and it would need a few days cleaning boilers and fixing defects on top of that once it returned. So for something like 45-50 days, you would tie up (and risk the loss of) two of Japan's best carriers, their escorts and several of Japan's largest and fastest oilers, for the sake of a prestige air raid by probably several fewer than 16 aircraft which would entail the loss of all the aircraft and the irreplaceable aircrew.

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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by glenn239 » 14 Jun 2021 14:19

Rob Stuart wrote:
12 Jun 2021 15:43
Glenn, as you are a fellow Canuck, I have to ask, why are you spelling "defences" incorrectly? Were you educated in the US, eh? :D
I find that I tend to spell more the American style on things because Spellcheck is Americanized.

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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by glenn239 » 14 Jun 2021 14:29

Von Schadewald wrote:
13 Jun 2021 22:45
Would an approach south of Hawaii, launching from Cedros Island off Mexico, or even further south, decrease their chance of being detected (Chicago 1800 miles, Washington DC 2300 miles)?
Assuming a raid was authorized, I would assume that the primary consideration would be the safety of the carriers. As such, it would likely be delayed into late 1942, after Midway. And, since the IJN lost at Midway, delay turns to cancellation.
If they painted over their Meatballs and toned down their Mt Fuji green, they would be taken by most to be US Marauders on a training flight. Would painting on fake USAAF white stars have breached Bushido/the Geneva convention ?
The attack on Pearl Harbor in 1942 by 4-engine seaplanes was done at night in order to evade defenses. The choices would be something like a dusk launch, dawn attack. From a purely technical point of view launching west of British Columbia and flying south through the Rocky Mountains would evade air defenses, but I can't think of the IJN or IJA using radar-evading tactics at this time.
Alternatively, was there one single oil depot/refinery/factory/power station/dam/port target in Texas/the Gulf (1200 miles), the destruction/heavy damaging of which in 1942 would have made a real dent in the US war effort?
None that I'm aware of. The operation you propose has no useful objective in terms of inflicting damage. The Japanese will be paying more in fuel, planes, and lives. Any potential usefulness to Japan is as a diversion. The diversion of USAAF and US Navy resources to a strategically useless mission, (the defense of the West Coast), an apparent carrier thrust towards North America when the real objective lay elsewhere. A historical analog might be the Gotha offensive against London in WW1. These raids were totally useless militarily, but did divert gobs of British resources from France.

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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by OpanaPointer » 14 Jun 2021 14:49

glenn239 wrote:
14 Jun 2021 14:19
Rob Stuart wrote:
12 Jun 2021 15:43
Glenn, as you are a fellow Canuck, I have to ask, why are you spelling "defences" incorrectly? Were you educated in the US, eh? :D
I find that I tend to spell more the American style on things because Spellcheck is Americanized.
Set your location to "London" and you'll be good.
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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by Takao » 14 Jun 2021 18:51

Von Schadewald wrote:
13 Jun 2021 22:45
Alternatively, was there one single oil depot/refinery/factory/power station/dam/port target in Texas/the Gulf (1200 miles), the destruction/heavy damaging of which in 1942 would have made a real dent in the US war effort?
Your thinking of the H8K mission to bomb Texas oil fields. Which was discussed in this fantastical What If.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=217669&hilit=H8k2+emily

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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by glenn239 » 14 Jun 2021 20:22

Takao wrote:
14 Jun 2021 18:51
Your thinking of the H8K mission to bomb Texas oil fields. Which was discussed in this fantastical What If.
This what if isn't as fantastical unless somebody can point to technical reasons why the Japanese could not replicate the Doolittle tactic. OTOH, the US air defenses were strong and the attacking forces will probably not achieve anything of note.

The fantastical 'what if' scenario wouldn't be sending an H8K against Texas. Rather, it would be sending Kido Butai into the Atlantic to go after the Essex Class right on the slipways at Newport News. Now that's a fantastical what if.

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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by OpanaPointer » 14 Jun 2021 20:49

Given that Mexico was firmly in the Allied camp the Japanese would have to deal with them as well as us.
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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by Richard Anderson » 15 Jun 2021 00:37

glenn239 wrote:
14 Jun 2021 20:22

The fantastical 'what if' scenario wouldn't be sending an H8K against Texas. Rather, it would be sending Kido Butai into the Atlantic to go after the Essex Class right on the slipways at Newport News. Now that's a fantastical what if.
I'm sure you will enlighten us to those possibilities.
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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by Rob Stuart » 15 Jun 2021 15:10

glenn239 wrote:
14 Jun 2021 20:22
Takao wrote:
14 Jun 2021 18:51
Your thinking of the H8K mission to bomb Texas oil fields. Which was discussed in this fantastical What If.
This what if isn't as fantastical unless somebody can point to technical reasons why the Japanese could not replicate the Doolittle tactic.
There is a technical reason:

The stalling speed of the G4M1 was apparently in the order of 65 knots (75 mph), but it's not clear if this is for a fully loaded aircraft. If we assume that it is, then we can say that with three 500 kg bombs and the full fuel load required to reach DC from the Pacific, each carrier-launched G4M1 would have to reach a speed through the air of more than 65 knots to get airborne. If the carrier was steaming at 28 knots and the wind was only about 2 knots, then the aircraft would have to be able to accelerate to 35 knots on its own in whatever length of flight deck was in front of it.

I can find only one source (https://wiki.warthunder.com/G4M1#Flight_performance) giving the G4M1's take-off run, and it puts it at 314 metres, which is 1030 feet. This figure is almost certainly for a still air take-off, and is probably also for a take-off at full load. I do not know how much this figure would have been reduced if there was a 30 knot head wind straight down the runway, but if we assume that it would have cut the take-off run in half, which I think is pretty optimistic, then it is still 515 feet.

Kaga's flight deck was 814 feet in length. This would mean that Kaga could carry only as many G4M1s as could fit on the after 301 feet of its flight deck. Since the G4M1 was 65 feet and 6 inches in length, that only four of them could be carried, if parked nose-to-to nose. (This may mean that a maximum of six might be carried if parked herring-bone style, assuming the width of the G4M1 allowed for this.)

I am unsure of the above data and estimates, but the technical issue of take-off run lengths, based on take-off speed and acceleration, would almost certainly reduce the number of aircraft which could be carried and launched to far fewer than 16, and possibly to 0.

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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by glenn239 » 15 Jun 2021 17:24

Richard Anderson wrote:
15 Jun 2021 00:37
I'm sure you will enlighten us to those possibilities.
Let's see. Barely technically feasible, entirely outside IJN doctrine or Japanese mindset, a hypothetical attack on US soil unlike anything seen in the real war, and a mission objective that if somehow against the odds was successful could seriously have curtailed the USN counteroffensive in the Pacific. Does that sound like a constructive discussion to you? :^)

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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by glenn239 » 15 Jun 2021 17:37

Rob Stuart wrote:
15 Jun 2021 15:10
The stalling speed of the G4M1 was apparently in the order of 65 knots (75 mph), but it's not clear if this is for a fully loaded aircraft. If we assume that it is, then we can say that with three 500 kg bombs and the full fuel load required to reach DC from the Pacific, each carrier-launched G4M1 would have to reach a speed through the air of more than 65 knots to get airborne. If the carrier was steaming at 28 knots and the wind was only about 2 knots, then the aircraft would have to be able to accelerate to 35 knots on its own in whatever length of flight deck was in front of it.
I ran it past my brother, (he's rated for twin engine and has about a ga-zillion flight hours on single). He said,

The Betty was really light, I'm 99% sure take off distance could be handled so that with a reasonable fuel and bomb load and a good wind over deck they could get it off in the distance needed.

I think the issue would be fitting it on the boat. IIRC the B-25s didn't leave a lot of room between the left main gear and the right wing tip smacking the Hornet island. The Betty is considerably wider and I don't think there is any more width to a Japanese flat top. CV-8 shows 85 ft wide and Akagi shows 100 ft wide but I don't know if that gives you any more width for the take off run. Drawings show it probably does some but don't know if it is enough.

Betty/B-25 and Betty/Kate comparison model photos attached for reference.

Just realized you speced Shokaku etc. Shokaku is shown as 95 ft wide so 5 less feet......



Typical pilot. He picked up on the bridge clearance issue instantly. :^)

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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by Rob Stuart » 15 Jun 2021 18:28

glenn239 wrote:
15 Jun 2021 17:37
Rob Stuart wrote:
15 Jun 2021 15:10
The stalling speed of the G4M1 was apparently in the order of 65 knots (75 mph), but it's not clear if this is for a fully loaded aircraft. If we assume that it is, then we can say that with three 500 kg bombs and the full fuel load required to reach DC from the Pacific, each carrier-launched G4M1 would have to reach a speed through the air of more than 65 knots to get airborne. If the carrier was steaming at 28 knots and the wind was only about 2 knots, then the aircraft would have to be able to accelerate to 35 knots on its own in whatever length of flight deck was in front of it.
I ran it past my brother, (he's rated for twin engine and has about a ga-zillion flight hours on single). He said,

The Betty was really light, I'm 99% sure take off distance could be handled so that with a reasonable fuel and bomb load and a good wind over deck they could get it off in the distance needed.

I think the issue would be fitting it on the boat. IIRC the B-25s didn't leave a lot of room between the left main gear and the right wing tip smacking the Hornet island. The Betty is considerably wider and I don't think there is any more width to a Japanese flat top. CV-8 shows 85 ft wide and Akagi shows 100 ft wide but I don't know if that gives you any more width for the take off run. Drawings show it probably does some but don't know if it is enough.

Betty/B-25 and Betty/Kate comparison model photos attached for reference.

Just realized you speced Shokaku etc. Shokaku is shown as 95 ft wide so 5 less feet......



Typical pilot. He picked up on the bridge clearance issue instantly. :^)
What is your brother talking about when he says that "the Betty was really light"? Is he talking about its empty weight? (Francillon puts the empty weight of the G4M1 at 6800 kg (about 15,000 lb). Osamu Tagaya puts it at 7000 kg.)

Also, the question is not whether or not a G4M1 could take off from a carrier with "a reasonable fuel and bomb load". The "what if" proposes that each G4M1 would carry a full load of fuel and bombs, and Francillon puts its loaded weight at 9500 kg (about 21,000 lb). The G4M1 could not be lightened by removing armour, since it had none, so probably the only way to lighten it would be to remove some or all of the defensive armament plus the associated gunners and ammo.

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Re: Japanese carry out their own Doolittle Raid & bomb Washington DC

Post by Rob Stuart » 15 Jun 2021 19:03

glenn239 wrote:
14 Jun 2021 20:22
Takao wrote:
14 Jun 2021 18:51
Your thinking of the H8K mission to bomb Texas oil fields. Which was discussed in this fantastical What If.
This what if isn't as fantastical unless somebody can point to technical reasons why the Japanese could not replicate the Doolittle tactic.
Technical reason #2:

The original post in this thread says that the range of the G4M1 was "up to 3000 miles". According to Osamu Tagaya's "Mitsubishi Type 1 Rikko 'BETTY' Units of World War 2", pp. 10 and 12, the G4M1's maximum range of 3,000 nm (3453 statute miles) was achievable only without payload. In "combat overload condition", which presumably means a full load of fuel and bombs, it could fly 2315 nm (2644 statute miles). And if the figure of 2315 nm is based on a mission profile where the bombs are dropped some 1150 nm from base and the aircraft flies the 1150 nm back to base with no payload, then during any mission when the aircraft doesn't drop its bombs until its fuel is nearly exhausted, then it will run out of fuel substantially short of 2315 nm / 2644 miles from its point of take off.

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