Shiden (George) vs F6F, P-51

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
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Ome_Joop
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Post by Ome_Joop » 29 Apr 2006 10:01

Huck wrote:
What kind of documents? I would love to see some speed tests? Can you scan them?
As for Ki-83, with a good high altitude engine, I have no doubts that it could have been brought up to 450-460 mph range. But the Japanese never had good high altitude engines, nor reliable high power engines. There was intensive work done in the last months of war to replace the powerful 18 cyl radial of Ki-84 with the reliable but less powerful 14 cyl radial of Ki-100.
That part about these document belongs to the Ki-83 website and is from http://www.j-aircraft.com/ so i don't know anything about it (unfortunatly)!

BTW That Ki-84 with Ha-112-II engine is a Ki-116 (only one was made from an existing Ki-84 airframe. This engine was substantially lighter than the HA-45 that it replaced, and required that the engine mounts be lengthened in order to maintain the center of gravity. In order to compensate for the additional length, the tail surfaces had to be enlarged)
http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/b ... ki-84.html

This comes from another post from another long time ago forum wich also originated from (i guess) http://www.j-aircraft.com/
:
The Japanese "official" maximum speed (624 kph) isn't really the Type 4 fighter's maximum speed comparable to max speeds published for Allied fighters. It was obtained at 2900 rpm and +150 boost. In this condition the Type 4 fighter could operate for an extended period and is more like a high speed cruise. At 3000 rpm and +200 boost the "max" speed was 650 kph or over 400 mph and this was far from the limit for the Type 4 fighter. We know this not only from captured techinical documents but from POWs. The US tests figures are quite close to the actual "real" max speed obtained by the Japanese.

The question about fuel implies that US (presumably 100 Octane) fuel would have made the Type 4 fighter faster. The Japanese got their performance (equal to that in US tests) using 92 octane fuel and methanol injection. The methanol injection plus type 92 fuel gave the desired anti-knock performance. There was no need to use 100 octane fuel.

Also hidden in the question is the myth that the Japanese did not have 100 octane fuel. They had it and used in captured aircraft that were optimized for its use and sometimes used in Japanese aircraft. The Japanese not only did octane additive research in the Homeland but captured refineries in the NEI capable of producing 1000s of tons of additives per month. In fact some type 92 fuel was produced as natural tops and some produced from lower grade fuels with additives. In addition to type 92 fuel the Japanese sometimes used type 95 fuel in the Type 4 fighter.
:

I have some information on the history of the plane:
There were two Ki-84s captured at Utsunomiya South military airfield at the close of the war. These planes were serial numbered 2366 and 3060 and were shipped on board USS Barnes from Yokosuka to USA on 3 November 1945. They were handed over to the USAAF on 7 December 1945. Once in the US, the Office of Air Force Intelligence gave each a Foreign Evaluation (FE) number. One became FE-301, the other became FE-302.

FE-302 was "restored" at Middletown Air Depot in Pennsylvania. On 16 March 1946 is was flown for the first time after being delivered to the US. On 20 May 1946 it was delivered to Patterson Field, then flown to Wright Field on 27 May 1946. On 3 July 1946 it was flown to Park Ridge to be included in an air museum.

During its flights at Middletown, it was compared to the P-51 and P-47. It compared "favorably." It was criticized for its lack of armor. There were frequent failures of the exhaust stacks due to the use of poor materials. It was further criticized for showing poor welding techniques and poor suspension design.

The plane was scrapped when Park Ridge was reactivated during the Korean War.


Source: War Prizes Phil Butler, Midland Counties Publications, page 240

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Michael Emrys
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Post by Michael Emrys » 01 May 2006 12:59

Huck wrote:Do you have the overall claims made by the Japanese? The overall losses (with the cause of loss) are available for both USN and USAAF flying in the area, including for the period you mentioned. If you have the Japanese claims we can compare.
Hi Huck,

I got out my copy of The First Team at Guadalcanal last night and perused it to see what kinds of numbers I could come up with. Unfortunately, he does not give any tabular data on the question we are concerned with, but in the chapter "Conclusion" on page 529, I did come across these statements:
In strictly fighter-versus-fighter combat, the ratio of loss was approximately thirty-one Navy F4Fs (twenty-three pilots killed) to twenty-five Zeros.
and a little further down the page:
In the attacks directed against Guadalcanal between those dates [7 August and 15 November 1942] the Japanese fighter squadrons claimed 392 American aircraft (almost all Grummans) at the cost of 87 Zeros (66 pilots).
I don't find that helps very much since he quotes a figure of 25 Zeros lost in the first passage, and then mentions 87 in the second. And when he gives total Wildcat losses for that period (108) that also includes lost to all causes including those that went down with the Wasp and the Hornet. These would of course not have been included in Japanese claims.

Furthermore, the 108 losses are only those lost by the five Navy squadrons that engaged in battle during that period, both afloat and on Guadalcanal. No USMC squadrons are mentioned and I am not certain at this point if those had begun operating from Cactus, although I think it likely. If so, they would have had losses and claims against them.

So it's hard to know just how to compare those figures, since as so often happens, we have two or more accounting methods operating in the same text. It would probably be possible to come up with more meaningful numbers by re-reading the text with notepad in hand. The author describes every air battle during that period in considerable detail. Although I don't recall that Japanese claims are noted in every case, often they are and when they are, direct comparison to actual American losses would be possible. That however is not a task I am prepared to undertake myself in the foreseeable future. I do recall making the frequent mental note when I read the book a year ago that the 10:1 (or thereabouts) ratio of claims to kills showed up with great regularity.

Michael

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Japanese Combat Claims

Post by roby_doby » 04 May 2006 06:29

I am a neophyte on this site-not a newb (sic-adults do not spell w0rds with numbers) .

Even the most general examination of Japanese combat claims reveals how ridiculously inflated they were. Give me a bit and I can cobble together a series of definitive examples.

But the ratio of 10 to 1 does not seem far fetched at all. An overstatement of only 3:1 over the course of the war seems extremely unlikely. Was it was basic human error, a conscious effort to please superiors or poor methods of compiling this 'empirical data'?

Probably varies from case to case. Possibly a combination of all three?

Virtually any history of any battle in Pacific Conflict will mention specific incidents of outrageous exaggeration. This was true for air to air combat and the destruction of Naval ships. The exaggerations grew perhaps even more ludicrous as the war went on.

I will provide the precise numbers later---but during the Battle of the Phillipine Sea (Marianas Turkey Shoot)---Ozawa was led to believe that US Navy was crippled by his futile attacks--when in fact virtually no damage was inflicted on the US Fleet.

The systematic failure to realize that the damage allegedly inflicted on the US Navy was hopelessly exaggerated proved a great detriment to their cause. It hindered the Japanese ability to formulate a cogent military policy and would have clearly led to an inaccurate appraisal of the threat they faced.

These very real failings of the Japanese military have helped provide false credibility to a cottage industry of counterfactual historians.

Quick question--Who else here is sick of the "history challenged" featuring a bunch of make-believe CG animated machines while failing to mention a single time (even in passing) the George, Frank, Tojo or Hayabusa in 15 years of programming? The FW190 and its transition from radial to inline power and Japanese applying the opposite approach to improving the KI-43 is a heck of lot more interesting than some "moon-man" doomsday device that alledgedly threatened instant Axis victory.

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Tim Smith
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Post by Tim Smith » 04 May 2006 13:39

Does anyone suspect that Japanese pilots made claims on behalf of fallen comrades?

After all, a Japanese pilot's greatest honour was to fall in battle against the enemy. Surely it would be intolerable for a Japanese fighter pilot to die without taking at least one enemy with him?

So especially later in the war, when two thirds of a Japanese fighter squadron would be shot down in one combat quite frequently, would it be so surprising if the survivors claimed that all their comrades each shot down a 'Yankee' before dying themselves? Or maybe the commanding officers of the dead pilots made the claim on their behalf.

This could account for huge overclaiming by Japanese pilots, especially later in the war.
Last edited by Tim Smith on 04 May 2006 14:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Michael Emrys
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Post by Michael Emrys » 04 May 2006 13:49

Tim Smith wrote:Does anyone suspect that Japanese pilots made claims on behalf of fallen comrades?

[snip]

This could account for huge overclaiming by Japanese pilots, especially later in the war.
I never heard of this. Has anyone else? In any event, it could only account for a small part of the overcounting. My own impression is that a Japanese fighter pilot simply assumed that every time he fired at a plane, he scored a hit, and that every time he scored a hit, he scored a kill. This may have been in part due to underestimating the ruggedness of Allied planes compared to their own. But I think it was also due in part to their supreme confidence that they were better than anyone else in the air. To a very large (but not complete, it should be noted) extent, the Japanese were much less given to critical self-scrutiny than the other major combatants, especially early in the war. All services, and especially air forces it seems to me, were prone to inflate and enhance their own invincibility mystique, but the Japanese possibly went farther longer in that direction than anyone else.

Michael

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Post by Zygmunt » 04 May 2006 19:55

Tim Smith wrote:Does anyone suspect that Japanese pilots made claims on behalf of fallen comrades?
I thought the opposite - that a pilot who made a kill might attribute credit for it to fallen comrade - as a way of honouring those who gave their lives in the engagement. I forget where I read/heard that though, sorry.

Zygmunt

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The exaggeration disease?

Post by roby_doby » 04 May 2006 20:13

I do not have the temerity to speak on someone elses behalf-- but Zyg- I believe that you and Tim are on the same page- with only semantics differentiating the two points. I assume that a kill submitted on someones 'behalf' would be attributed to honor the fallen pilot. But that is just how I read it.

I like the direction of Mr. Smith's/zygs point.

It is a logical conclusion- staring one right in the face- that I have never really considered or even read about.

The Japanese placed great emphasis on taking 7 enemies (or more) to their death for every Nipponese lost. This was an expressly declared purpose- constantly reiterated before Banzai charges, grueling defensive campaigns and audacious counterstrokes.


Mr. Smiths point makes a lot of sense- I only considered this about 2 minutes ago and wish I could claim it as my own.
----------
I agree that the ability of US planes to absorb punishment almost certainly played a major role in the Japanese inability to properly assess combat effectiveness.

And this is but a hazarded hypothesis- but I believe that the ability of US planes to dish out punishment also distorted their observations. After all, the Wildcat was not just a PBY absorbing punishment (Catalinas were awarded several air to air kills during the war) - but a fighter that could strike back with serious fangs.

The spectre of Japanese planes exploding dramatically whenever taken under fire would certainly have left a lasting impression on surviving members of a given sentai. I can only imagine that it would be difficult for a Japanese pilot- inculcated with tales of superiority-- to accept that the Zero- seemingly superior to the Wildcat in all areas was actually inferior in the crucial area of armored protection. Certainly they realized it was a rugged customer but it would have been exceedingly difficult for them to fully appreciate the magnitude of the difference between the two planes in durability.

When armored protection is factored in there was a level of parity between the Wildcat and Zero. The air to air combat results- cross referenced by distinguished historians demonstrate this. The Zero had many important advantages and the design had much to recommend for itself. The Wildcat had a number of issues that needed to be rectified. Yet as a total package these planes fought a number of epic battles and the results were darn close to being a draw.

From the cockpit it probably did not seem that way. The Japanese pilots would not have been able to assess how many WIldcats managed to successfully disengage and return the pilot safely to the carrier. A theme in all air to air combat memoirs from this era was the ferocity of the battles and how quickly the tangling air combatants disapeered from view and the skies were cleared.

In the fog of war it is unlikely that the Japanese pilots would have fully grasped that a plane (Wildcat) inferior in combat radius, manueverability and rate of climb would have superceded their craft to such a tremendous degree in the armor protection and pilot survivability. A failure to realize the Wildcats tremendous edge in armored protection was probably magnified by its other saving grace--superior diving ability. When at altitude a Wildcat could escape from a Zero with alacrity.(note: earlier Wildcats did not have the self-sealing fuel tanks- and the armor was a more ad hoc affair)

Not being too concise here. Often the Zero pilots were assuming the aggressive and dealing telling blows to the slower Wildcat. Yet when a Wildcat was able to bring its guns to bear on a Zero the result was catastrophic. The ephermal nature of air combat in WWII hindered the Japanese pilots ability to accurately assess the damage inflicted on the various Allied Planes engaged. This was accentuated by the Wildcats ability to dive out of danger.

It was only natural to project the damage inflicted on allied planes through the prism of their own planes frailties. The durability of US Planes and corresponding vulnerability of Japanese planes led the pilots to view the results of air combat through a seemingly logical but false paradigm.

1. A failure to properly appreciate the durability of US Planes lead the Japanese to inflate their kills numbers. 2. The vulnerability of the Zero to the concentrated fire of the Wildcat led them to overestimate the killing power of their own comparable (seemingly superior) weapons platform. 3. The Japanese desire to give ones life in order annihilate 'X' number of enemy may have led to awarding a fallen comrad with unwarranted 'kills'. It is common for combatants in air to air warfare to overstate 'kills' even without the three constructs proposed above. A combination of these factors could partially explain the highly inflated Japanese claims.

Taken as a whole, it appears that the tendancy to overstate the damage inflicted on Allied Forces increased as the war progressed. After a magnificent victory at Savo Island the Japanese overestimated the damage inflicted-- but this was well within reason. By the time of the Marianas Turkey Shoot they appeared to simply be 'making stuff up'. Of course the former was a night naval action and the latter a carrier action- which makes such a comparison somewhat iffy. But what is clear is that when the Japanese forces were accomplishing great things- these events were reported and much of the embellishment that occurred was the result of the 'fog of war'.

But when the Japanese were on the retreat-- defeated at every turn--- the tales of their victories became ever more fantastic and implausible. This information was disseminated not just to the citizens through the controlled press but to the men responsible for actually formulating a viable defensive posture. Were the pilots and soldiers encouraged to embellish their accomplishments? Was it simple human error-inexperience? Were the pilots just telling their superiors what they wanted to hear?

Whether it was a series of systematic exaggeration or compounded human error- this pattern of exaggeration hindered the Japanese military.

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Post by Pips » 04 May 2006 22:57

It's interesting to note that the whole disciussion of kill claims by Japanese pilots is being argued from a 'westerners' point of view. Which is a fallacy in itself.

Unlike most countries the Japanese do not put the the individual on a pedestal. This especially applied to pilots and aces. Of the combatants in WWII the Germans, Americans and Russians made hero's out of aces, and the scores of those individual's was closely monitored by both that individual and the respective air foce 'organistaion'.

The Japanese did not officially recognise the 'ace'. Yes there are some pilots who kept a count in diaries, after all it's a perfectly natural thing for a highly competitive man to do -and all fighter pilots of all countries were competitive. It's the nature of the beast. But the JAAF and the JNAF did not recognise the ace concept, even unofficially until late in the war when propaganda value outweighed officialdom. All claims when lodged were not attributed to the individual pilot, but the Sental/Kokutai unit as a group claim only. Group claims were recorded for Intelligence purposes only, so the HQ could develop a picture of how the battle was progressing in terms of the enemies ability to continue to wage war.

Even Saburo Sakai, perhaps the most celebrated of Japanese aces in Western eyes, is on record as having stated he had no idea of the total number of victories he achieved during the War. On the publication of his autobiography by Martin Caidin he was so disappointed by the claims made in the book that it was years before he would even consider to discuss the matter. Indeed it was Caidin who somehow came up with the magical figure of 64, which as been attributed to Sakai ever since.

Studies by historians has sjhown that up until early 1943 Japanese claims run atba similar overstatement as most other belligerients. From approximately August 1943 onwards, when losses started to mount alarmingly, overclaiming increased, to a point reached from mid 1944 onwards that they bear little resemblence to what acutallu occurred.

This has been attributed on the whole to the massive loss of skilled pilots in both the JAAF and the JNAF. Inexperienced pilots, especially those on a side suffering losses and reverses, have been found by all nations to make wild claims. The Japanese spent the last 18 months of the war fighting with very inexperienced pilots.

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Post by Michael Emrys » 05 May 2006 08:42

Pips wrote:All claims when lodged were not attributed to the individual pilot, but the Sental/Kokutai unit as a group claim only. Group claims were recorded for Intelligence purposes only, so the HQ could develop a picture of how the battle was progressing in terms of the enemies ability to continue to wage war.
If I understand you correctly then, it would be possible—perhaps even likely—that ten pilots reporting one Grumman shot down would go into the records as ten Grummans shot down.
Studies by historians has sjhown that up until early 1943 Japanese claims run atba similar overstatement as most other belligerients.
Which historians are these? I have already cited John Lundstrom who made a most careful study of available records of both sides for the period covering the first year of the war.

Michael

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Post by Pips » 06 May 2006 05:04

Michael Emrys wrote:
If I understand you correctly then, it would be possible—perhaps even likely—that ten pilots reporting one Grumman shot down would go into the records as ten Grummans shot down.
Michael
In the early part of the war not necessairly, as every effort was made to make accurate claims. Location, time, individual markings or distinguishing features were all explored to avoid overclaiming; although as found in any air force that still occurred.
Michael Emrys wrote:
Which historians are these? I have already cited John Lundstrom who made a most careful study of available records of both sides for the period covering the first year of the war.

Michael
There have been two studies conducted by the historians at Australian War Memorial into overclaiming in the Pacific Theatre. And there is a reference in the Studies to a similar study conducted by the Imperial War Museum.

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Post by Mike R » 06 May 2006 06:10

A single division from VMF-311 and a single division from VMF-224 operating out of Chimu fighter strip on Okinawa encountered a "tremendous group" estimated at 40-80 N1K2-J Georges of the 343 Air group over Kyushu on July 2, 1945. The two divisions destroyed eight Georges (don't know how many were actually claimed) as confirmed by Henry Sakaida after the war. No mention is made if any American planes were shot down, or what claims were filed by the Japanese, beyond one whose pilot bailed out over his airstrip after flying back to Okinawa.

The full account can be found in "Aces Against Japan" by Eric Hammel, pages 327-331.

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Post by Pips » 06 May 2006 10:36

Hammel tends to exaggerate somewhat. A more balamced account can be found in Henry Sakaida's "Genda's Blade". Perhaps Henry has done some more rigorous research?

According to that account 16 F4U-1D's (water injection) from VMF-224 ( led by Capt. J. Lynch) and 13 F4U-1C's (4 x 20mm cannon) from VMF 311 (led by Maj. M. Yunck) took off on that day. One VMF-311 aircraft crashed shortly afterwards and another eight aborted.

Over Kyushu Yunck spotted approx. 20 fighters flying in two groups, one of seven and one of 13 about 3,000ft below. In fact there were two groups of Shiden-Kai, one of seven (led by Lt. Ryoichi Yamada) and the other of consisting of 17 led by Lt. Naoshi Kanno.

Using their height advantage out of the sun both VMF units attacked. Yunck's Division took on the smaller group and claimed four shot down. Lynch's squadron of 16 attacked the larger group and also claimed four destroyed.

The Japanese claimed two victories. Capt. Lynch's aircraft was badly damaged and, although he mad eit back to base (quite a feat) he bailed out over base as a landing was too dangerous.

The Japanese lost four pilots and aircraft, they being CPO Shojiro Ishii and PO1/c Ichimaru Naruse from S407 (Lt. Yamada's group); and CPO's Takumi Sugitaki and Takashi Sakuma of S701 (Lt. Kanno's group).

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Re: Shiden (George) vs F6F, P-51

Post by mariandavid » 16 Oct 2012 15:55

I was reading this series from long (!) ago and noted that these assumptions on overclaiming by one side or another need updating in view of later research. The most extreme cases I have found of late are from the engagements between the IJAAF and the RAF/AVG over southern Burma in late 1941/early 1942. Relying strictly on Shores (if only because he is almost unique in giving equal balance to the two sides) it seems that overclaiming was equally prone - that its rate was a function of the number of aricraft involved not nationality.

Though with one caveat - some elements of the AVG were especially prone to this - but this is hardly surprising since they had been (were still being?) paid for each enemy plane claimed shot down. This too though is not unusual - in WW1 authorities noted the tendency of fighter pilots to be 'over-optimistic' in claiming their fifth kill which would entitle them to the exotic title of 'ace'. Sorry - cannot recollect my source for the latter but it related to the Royal Flying Corps.

And apologies for re-entering an ancient thread - was simply fascinated by the debate.

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Re: Shiden (George) vs F6F, P-51

Post by Stravinsky444 » 20 Nov 2022 18:12

A careful study of actual air to air kill-losses for the F4U Corsair against the A6M (in Osprey's A6M vs F4U), limiting the study to actual air combat, not ground kills, found that when a specific tally from both sides could be made for a specific action, for the entire first year of the Corsair's introduction, the F4U against the A6M kill ratio averaged 1:1... Overall the F4U was stated as 11:1, but that likely included ground kills and certainly all bombers/non-fighters.

It goes to show the Japanese fighters were not that easy when they were actually in the sky... The biggest failure of the Zero had nothing to do with its flammability, but more with its radios, and especially its slow-firing cannon, which gained muzzle velocity but got an even slower rate of fire in later models. The Oscar was similarly hampered by a slow rate from its excellent 900 rpm 0.5 copies, slowed to 500 rpm by the propeller because of the Browning design.

Even with 4 X 20 mm Type 99s on the N1K1 and N1K2, whether early or later high velocity cannons (early 550, late 480 rpm), Japanese pilots endlessly complained about their "put-put-put" rate of fire ruining kills, even with four cannons firing outside the propeller... The Japanese Army's up-sized 20 mm Brownings were excellent however, IF mounted on the wings (a big IF): 900 rpm with 20 mm at 750 m/s! But only the Ki-84 and Ki-44 had these guns mounted outside the propeller. If in the prop, things would be back down to 500 rpm...

The slow rate of fire I think had a very deleterious effect when combined with tough US aircrafts: The effect was exponential because it took a combination of hits to really have an effect. Every extra 50 rpm made a huge difference... Hellcats would often be out-maneuvered by N1K1s and N1K2s, and yet despite this, US pilots would report poor effects of the Japanese armament despite an advantageous position... That is just shocking...

In the Air Force boardgame I redesigned into "Advanced Air Force", https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/9710 ... -air-force , I rate the Japanese Type-99-2 20 mm cannon as no better than equivalent to a single .50 caliber M2! Note that the Oscar boosted its 13 mm guns with highly effective explosive rounds (derived from an Italian design), to the point I wonder if, despite a propeller slowing it down to a similar 500 rpm, it was not more effective than the Navy's wing-mounted 20 mm!

I insist on this because people endlessly talk of unreliability on late war Japanese types (much overstated, except maybe for the N1K1 telescopic gear, and even then most of these were destroyed on the ground, as happens when you have 1% of US fuel output, Germany having 2%), poor fuels (untrue, they kept 92 octane for fighters, and boosted that with a unique constant flow MW-50, which boosted their power with remarkable efficiency).

But having damaged US fighters make it home meant those pilots would come back with more experience... That was the real failure of Japanese fighters, and much of it was down to the Navy's Type 99, and synchronizing Browning copies to fire through the prop. In actual air to air combat, that firepower's low rate of fire issue far outweighed most of what is always said about Japanese fighter effectiveness. The rate of fire has an exponential effect, and should never, ever have been compromised in the way they did.

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Re: Shiden (George) vs F6F, P-51

Post by Pips » 21 Nov 2022 08:12

Excellent points you make Strav.

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