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View Diary: Kawasaki Ki-100-1b – ‘necessity (who) is the mother of invention’, Plato (44 comments)

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  •  Many thanks, SF. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Otteray Scribe, shortfinals, KenBee

    It's actually a pretty good looking plane for something that was cobbled together from what was on hand, and to have the performance that it did says a lot about wartime Japanese ingenuity.

    I seem to recall something about 'making a silk purse out of a sow's ear' from days past, and I think it applies here.

    •  The Japanese did some pretty amazing things at ... (4+ / 0-)

      ...end. There was a copy of the Me163, a 'near' copy of the Me262, and an amazing pusher fighter, the Kyushu J7W Shinden

      'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

      by shortfinals on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:44:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Flying Them Was the Most Amazing (5+ / 0-)

        By the start of the summer of 1945, the Japanese merchant marine didn't exist, which meant no oil tankers bringing that sweet, sweet crude from the Dutch East Indies.  Of course, the Japanese had started the war to be able to seize that oil source in their effort to establish petroleum autarky for their Empire.

        I recall reading that the Japanese were forcing women and students to go into the hills to dig up the roots from pines and similar conifers so that the roots could be rendered down into a type of oil to used for their air forces.  The sheer inefficiency of this just boggles the mind.  The utter desperation of such a program must have telegraphed to all that the war effort was not going well.

        Even if the Japanese had been able to build more airframes, their inability to fly the planes into combat and their inability to train pilots would have restricted their air defense.  It would seem that their best approach to air defense by the end would have been interceptors designed to climb quickly in order to engage the bombers with a single strike - as in collide with the bombers.  Essentially, make each plane a human-guided SAM.  That way one would not have wasted fuel on dog-fighting with the bombers' protective screen of escort fighters and simply proceeded with business - kamikazes in the sky.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:22:24 PM PST

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        •  Aerial ramming was tried... (4+ / 0-)

          General wiki article here.

          Relevant section:

          Starting in August 1944, several Japanese pilots flying Kawasaki Ki-45 and other fighters engaging B-29 Superfortresses found that ramming the very heavy bomber was a practical tactic.[18] From that experience, in November 1944 a "Special Attack Unit" was formed using Kawasaki Ki-61s that had been stripped of most of their weapons and armor so as to quickly achieve high altitude. Three successful, surviving ramming pilots were the first recipients of the Bukosho, Japan's equivalent to the Victoria Cross or Medal of Honor, an award which had been inaugurated on 7 December 1944 as an Imperial Edict by Emperor Hirohito.[19][20] Membership in the Special Attack Unit was seen as a final assignment; the pilots were expected to perform ramming attacks until death or serious injury stopped their service.
        •  Whenever I think of the Japanese (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shortfinals, Otteray Scribe

          decision to attack the U.S., I wonder what they were thinking. I gather from what I have read that some of their high ranking military leaders had a pretty good grasp of what the eventual outcome would be. But as in our own case on later occasions, the top leaders proved to be overoptimistic.

          Moderation in most things.

          by billmosby on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:56:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yamamoto said that he could give ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            billmosby, Otteray Scribe

            the Japanese High Command 6 months..after that there was no telling what would happen. He was right.

            'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

            by shortfinals on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:20:17 PM PST

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            •  Should Have Re-Examined Their Midway Wargame (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shortfinals, Otteray Scribe, lazybum

              Apparently the Japanese wargamed their attack on Midway, with some rather unfavorable results.  In the wargame, the Strike Force lost two carriers to American air action, which the wargame judges deemed too onerous to be realistic.  So, the re-surfaced the two carriers and continued with the air assault and troop landings  on Midway.  Big success, much back slapping all the way around, and, I'm sure, a few toasts of sake to celebrate the conclusion of the wargame.

              Of course, the Strike Force lost four carriers at Midway.  The American plan actually mirrored the plan the Japanese admiral playing the Americans in the wargame had used - staying just out of range to the north of Midway as the Japanese force approached from the northwest.  The Japanese had learned almost nothing from their wargame about what they should do to avoid a setback.  Yamamoto had actually delivered on his promise and then some.  Without Midway as it happened, the Japanese likely would have had another six months to solidify their position.  With the real Midway, their six months lead was actually weaker than it should have been. Victory disease ran rampant that spring and it cost them dearly.

              "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

              by PrahaPartizan on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:03:45 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Akagi model.... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Otteray Scribe, PrahaPartizan

                The Empire State Aerosciences Museum (visited on 'The Infamous Ice Road Trip') has an incredible, floatable, powered scale model of the Akagi from the film 'Tora, Tora, Tora'. It is 32 long, and was 'piloted' by a small individual from a reclining position!

                'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

                by shortfinals on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:47:36 AM PST

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                •  Great Idea (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  shortfinals

                  I was unaware that they had created an aviation museum up in the Capital Region, since most of the aviation history in NY state is located on Long Island.  Thanks for bringing this site to my attention.  

                  "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

                  by PrahaPartizan on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:59:45 PM PST

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                  •  Since David & I visited with them, I've been in... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    PrahaPartizan

                    contact with the members several times, particularly over the Scimitar. I'll be travelling there, again, when the weather gets better. A GREAT bunch of people - can't speak too highly of them, and their preservation efforts. Much more on their collection later, including the Akagi model, and their HAL Ajeet! (Painted as a Gnat in Red Arrows markings, despite being a single-seater...everything always is, not their fault!)

                    'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

                    by shortfinals on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 09:10:02 PM PST

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