Skip Bombing Training

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
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Juha Tompuri
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Re: Skip Bombing Training

Postby Juha Tompuri » 16 Nov 2012 08:24

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
Juha Tompuri wrote:Sinking the German AA-Cruiser Niobe: viewtopic.php?f=61&t=65762

Regards, Juha

The descriptions there show some clear similarities to the USAAF attack techniques used against ships in the South Pacific. Aside from the extreme low altitude strike against the Niobe, using the 'skip bombing' technique there is the series of preliminary attacks from high and medium altitude. All those were made in less than a hour & in some cases minutes before the direct strike on the Niobe. These other attacks seem to have been aimed at the antiaircraft gun batteries & lesser ship i the harbor. This is again similar to the USAAF technique of combining high & low altitude strike at the same time on a close group of targets.
Yes, AFAIK Soviet side learned from the USAAF success, and started using that tactic in 1944.

Carl Schwamberger wrote:I am guessing this attack on the Niobe & the harbor was not the first & the Soviet aviators were not trying these techniques for the first time. Any other examples like this from earlier date would confirm my guess.
From the Soviet sources I found the first skip-bombing usage being in spring-44 at Black Sea.

June -44 Baltic Sea AF tried the same against the River Svir Dam, and a day before the Niobe sinking two Soviet Bostons + fighter escort, attacked against a Finnish convoy off Kotka.
Book Suomen Laivasto 1918-1968 vol II (Finnish Navy...) mentions the following: 15th June -44 two Bostons attacked the convoy, the another dropped a torpedo (missed the targets) and the another tried to bomb the SS Suomen Neito at a low level run.
The bombs hit water before the ship, bounced over it and exploded at sea without damaging the ship.
One of the escorting fighters is mentioned to have been shot down.

That event according to escort vessel Tursas war diary (in finnish):

Regards, Juha

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Re: Skip Bombing Training

Postby Mil-tech Bard » 18 Nov 2012 17:26

There is a fair amount about skip bombing used by the 14th Air Force in this document.

USAF Historical Studies No 132

Air Interdiction in China in World War II ... 29-042.pdf

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Skip Bombing Training

Postby Carl Schwamberger » 18 Nov 2012 19:06

Thanks. I had the impression this was not a unsusual technique, even if not universal. I've seen some third hand remarks about the RAF or Fleet Air Arm using the technique in 1939-40. I need to pin down that and any other German or Italian use of low level techniques. ..but those latter are for another forum.

Also need more digging on the amount of training required to master this technique. I suspect there was a lot more to it than whats turned up so far.

Thanks again to everyone.

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