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Waldo.Pepper
09-14-2004, 03:50 PM
Having just reread Saburo Sakai's book I was recently struck by something I had not noticed before.

Inexperienced Japanese formations flew in a a loose gaggle. (It was all they could do really, having had a little more experience than the 9/11 terrorists).

Why do you think that the experienced Japanese formations stuck with the three plane formation (in RAF service the 'Vic') for so long? They seemed to have done this for perhaps as long as the war lasted.

They were smart guys. Lots of experience and all.

So the question really asks;

Was this;

1. A habit?
2. A reflection of distain for radios?
3. They needed two wingmen to look after a single attacker, due to poor odds?
4. A mistaken belief in the superiority of this formation based upon early success?

I'd be interested in hearing your views. Thanks.

Waldo.Pepper
09-14-2004, 03:50 PM
Having just reread Saburo Sakai's book I was recently struck by something I had not noticed before.

Inexperienced Japanese formations flew in a a loose gaggle. (It was all they could do really, having had a little more experience than the 9/11 terrorists).

Why do you think that the experienced Japanese formations stuck with the three plane formation (in RAF service the 'Vic') for so long? They seemed to have done this for perhaps as long as the war lasted.

They were smart guys. Lots of experience and all.

So the question really asks;

Was this;

1. A habit?
2. A reflection of distain for radios?
3. They needed two wingmen to look after a single attacker, due to poor odds?
4. A mistaken belief in the superiority of this formation based upon early success?

I'd be interested in hearing your views. Thanks.

F19_Orheim
09-14-2004, 03:52 PM
I would guess 1 and 4

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Cajun76
09-14-2004, 05:03 PM
Read up on Samurai and the principles of Bushido. To engage an enemy in single combat and defeat him was the objective. The plane became the sword, an extension of the spirit.

Think about why the J insisted on such light and manueverable a/c? Samurai didn't wear a lot of armour, because it made you slower, showed weakness, and almost nothing you can wear is going to stop a samurai's blade. These concepts were fundemental in the design of a/c such as the Zero. The formation reflected this as well.

Just a note: There's a lot more to Bushido then I listed here, and I'm in no way trying to disrespect the principles or Japanese thinking. But I feel it's important to point out that many discussions about Japanese reasons for doing things, especially during the war, are colored by Western standards and judgement.

My 0.02 http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Good hunting,
(56th)*Cajun76
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Jieitai_Tsunami
09-14-2004, 05:24 PM
You should try the other formations. Then you might find out.

I have tried the; line abreast, maybe very good for braking quickly and a flexible formation. But so hard to keep right that all you can do is look at your wingman, nothing else.

Line astern, great for bombing but if a bandit wants he can knock all of you out in one pass http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.

German loose formation, I don't know the real name but I heard that the Germans flew a very lose formation so they could concentrate on looking at the enemy.

British Vics this is done with more aircraft than the Japanese used and has the first problem as the first.

Japanese Vics Shoutai Vics, Done with groups of three aircraft, the Japanese split there ranks up so you would fly with three buddies and work, sleep and eat with them.
The Japanese were very good at flying there aircraft so in this formation and with the great visibility of the Zero. They could each look out and respond to any bandits http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif.

I hope this is moddled in PF..

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VF-3Thunderboy
09-14-2004, 06:02 PM
The Gemans and later Americans flew in 2 sets of 2- 4 plane groups. 2 Shooters 2 wingmen. They might seperate in combat. Germans who lost a wingman were put in the position of wingman, at least in late war.

Although the Japanese flew in groups of 3, they did very individualistic combat. But Im confused also as you wonder what did the wingmen actually do in combat.

Aztek_Eagle
09-14-2004, 06:11 PM
Many did fly in formations of 2 of 4 shooting and wingman, it was up to the comander or captain to order his man to do this, experience pilots from japanese air armadas prefered to fly in grous of 2, but still the oficial formation was grous of 3, it is one of another ww1 tactics that was a mistake to use in ww2?..

Now talking about ww1 tactics, the one where the planes would form a circle and then enemy aircraft atemping to shoot down any of the planes on the circle would be ambush by the guys begine, in 1945 this tactic cost the american 8 hellcats in a single engagement

Giganoni
09-14-2004, 06:56 PM
Yes The Japanese army at least also employed the Finger Four as early as 1943. It may have been largely dependant on the Sentai. The earliest JAAF sentai I have using the rotte was Feb 1943, 59th Sentai based in Java.

http://img74.photobucket.com/albums/v225/giganoni/IL2/giganoni2.jpg

horseback
09-14-2004, 08:49 PM
Another factor in the retention of the 'vic' was the simple fact that Japanese radios through most of the war were very unreliable, making the team tactics of the finger four extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Some Japanese units were known to have used aerobatics to signal each other, in the absence of radio comms, since hand signals inside a cockpit at most distances were hard to see.

cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

ImpStarDuece
09-14-2004, 11:46 PM
Its interesting that while the Japnese culture stresses family and collective unity and group intergration their combat tactics seem to be based very much on individual actions and solo achievemnets.

Similarly while the American and British cultures are highly individualistic and concerned with notions of self (economically, politically and socially) their combat doctrine was primarily focused on team work.

Just something to chew on...

ImpStarDuece,

Flying Bullet Magnet... Catching Lead Since 2002

"There's no such thing as gravity, the earth sucks!"

"...war is nothing but the continuation of policy with other means."
- Carl von Clauswitz (1827)

Aztek_Eagle
09-15-2004, 01:03 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ImpStarDuece:
Its interesting that while the Japnese culture stresses family and collective unity and group intergration their combat tactics seem to be based very much on individual actions and solo achievemnets.

Similarly while the American and British cultures are highly individualistic and concerned with notions of self (economically, politically and socially) their combat doctrine was primarily focused on team work.

Just something to chew on...

ImpStarDuece,

Flying Bullet Magnet... Catching Lead Since 2002

"There's no such thing as gravity, the earth sucks!"

for what i have read i belive you are wrong

"...war is nothing but the continuation of policy with other means."
- Carl von Clauswitz (1827)

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Tvrdi
09-15-2004, 11:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ImpStarDuece:
Its interesting that while the Japnese culture stresses family and collective unity and group intergration their combat tactics seem to be based very much on individual actions and solo achievemnets.

Similarly while the American and British cultures are highly individualistic and concerned with notions of self (economically, politically and socially) their combat doctrine was primarily focused on team work.

Just something to chew on...

ImpStarDuece,

Flying Bullet Magnet... Catching Lead Since 2002

"There's no such thing as gravity, the earth sucks!"

"...war is nothing but the continuation of policy with other means."
- Carl von Clauswitz (1827)

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

in Budishm a man is alone..thinkin only about himself and his actions and how theyr reflected on other ppl http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I JG3 Troz
09-15-2004, 02:36 PM
Horseback beat me to the bad radio aspect... i have even read somewhere that some zero pilots would cut away the radio antennae mast that protrudes through the back of the canopy to reduce drag. I presume the idea was a little extra speed was worth more than an unreliable radio.
With no radio, 3 in a V seems perfectly logical to me.
S!

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Aztek_Eagle
09-15-2004, 06:19 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aztek_Eagle:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ImpStarDuece:
Its interesting that while the Japnese culture stresses family and collective unity and group intergration their combat tactics seem to be based very much on individual actions and solo achievemnets.

Similarly while the American and British cultures are highly individualistic and concerned with notions of self (economically, politically and socially) their combat doctrine was primarily focused on team work.

Just something to chew on...

ImpStarDuece,

Flying Bullet Magnet... Catching Lead Since 2002

"There's no such thing as gravity, the earth sucks!"

"...war is nothing but the continuation of policy with other means."
- Carl von Clauswitz (1827)

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

for what i have read i belive you are wrong

berg417448
09-15-2004, 06:29 PM
"Interviewer:

Did the U.S. pilots use more teamwork in combat than the Japanese?

Saburo Sakai:

I am confident that Japanese pilots were superior on a one-on-one basis. But the ability to work as a team both offensively and defensively that the Americans had was very impressive. Perhaps this comes from the team spirit and thinking they developed playing American football. This hit us particularly hard in the air engagements from the middle war onwards (teamwork and search patterns."

BarkhornXX
09-15-2004, 06:52 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aztek_Eagle:
[QUOTE]

for what i have read i belive you are wrong<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You obviously didn't read the right books then. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Ever hear of the "Thatch Weave"? Teamwork = Survival.

Barkhorn.

Tater-SW-
09-15-2004, 08:51 PM
That Sakai quote is good, but "middle war onwards" should probably be read "from June 1942 onwards" since the lessons the navy learned at the Coral Sea were finally beginning to be absorbed.

I think the 1-4 list misses a simpler reason which is that given their 1vs1 style of engagement, a gaggle was fine. I guess that is kind of subsumed in number 4 though.

tater

heywooood
09-15-2004, 10:31 PM
'subsumed' Tater?... thats what Heywoood does to a sandwich...

Seriously - the Japanese pilots had a different method based on their cultural experience. Their disciplines and doctrine in the air were applied more to the aspects of flight than to those of combat.

Their early war combat planes were nimble and light..like a sword. They emphasised aerobatic training over airial combat training. They did not appear to use veteran combat pilots as instructors..you were expected to swim or sink on your own merit - they would teach their men to fly...but fighting was learned 'on the fly' apparently.

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"the real slim shady"

Giganoni
09-16-2004, 01:04 AM
There is ample proof by reading the biographies of many Japanese Aces quite a few of them would go back to Japan to instruct. Those are just the aces, no tellig how many who had seen combat but did not reach ace status also instructed. The JAAF alone had been in almost constant action since 1931. The important instructors would have been those that had experienced the newer american planes. They had such people instruct, but many of those veterans were soon needed(or wanted) to fight as Japan could not replace its pilot losses.

http://img74.photobucket.com/albums/v225/giganoni/IL2/giganoni2.jpg

Tully__
09-16-2004, 07:09 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VF-3Thunderboy:
... Im confused also as you wonder what did the wingmen actually do in combat.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

In true "wingman" tactics there are several sub sets. The pure wingman role was to protect his leader while the leader was concentrating on a specific target. This included engaging the leader's target if it turned out the bad guy was a better pilot/tactitian than the leader http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif.

The "loose deuce" style involved the leader engaging the bandit and the wingman covering intitially, but should circumstances dictate that the wingman found himself with a better shooting solution, the leader would hand off the lead role and take the covering role while the "wingman" took over the lead role.

There are other variations and advantages to fighting in pairs. For some more reading, have a browse through the tactical articals at SimHQ's Air Combat Library. (http://www.simhq.com/_air/acc_library.html)

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