View Full Version : Japanese use plane guncam?

03-25-2008, 09:28 PM
Did the Japanese collect gun camera footage from their planes? I have been on youtube and have not found any to speak of. Any links?

03-25-2008, 10:27 PM
Japanese planes didn't have guncams, IIRC.

To save weight, of course.

03-26-2008, 11:04 AM
Yeah, as I saw it on youtube.

03-26-2008, 01:32 PM
balderdash! unless your talking about the zero vs I-16 video? or was it a ki27? or a I-153...alas at the old age of 23...my memory lapses..

03-26-2008, 04:03 PM
Are you kidding me, Japanese away from home without a camera!?

Seriously, yes they did indeed have gun cameras yet not only fixed for firing forward aircraft like fighters, yet they also had some set up for movable gun mounts, the later types even shaped exactly like a lewis gun....Huh? What?...What real purpose does a "gun camera" serve. Aerial surveys with proper equipment better for recon before and after attacks.

From what I "gather"....meaning I don't know only knowing little about it, the Japanese utilized gun camera's for "training". IOW, practice using the camera, then review and improve....Yet once into combat it IS a pretty much worthless bit of weight....So cannot confirmed if so called "guncameras" like you're thinking producing movies were utilized.

ask at www.j-aircraft.com (http://www.j-aircraft.com) , they'll know.


03-26-2008, 05:26 PM
It's too bad they didn't seem to use them for kill confirmation, etc, and not just because they'd be interesting to view. One glaring problem the japanese had was overclaiming. I'm not talking about personal scorecards, but from an intel perspective. Post mission debriefs for the US (and others) were not for pissing match purposes, they were to try and assess enemy strength remaining, etc. The IJN had Sunk 3-4 Lexington Class CVs by Midway as far as they knew. Interesting considering there were only 2, and only 1 was sunk. In planning for Midway they'd have wanted to have the total possible number of CVs available t the USN, for example, and they must have been very confused as to how many remained.

The IJN was certainly not alone, the 5th AF certainly overestimated planes destroyed on the ground, for example, and all pilots tended to up the class of ship 1 notch (attack an escort, claim a DD; attack a DD, claim a CL, etc).

Cameras could only have helped them establish how many were actually going down. It might also have helped them determine weaknesses in our aircraft.

03-26-2008, 06:44 PM
Well, perhaps though I'm of another mind about that. Using New Guinea as an example, IMLTHO, when a plane ran after taking hit in most cases I'd bet the Japanese pilot was simply exhalted the fight was over. Most likely taking on the mindset of "Good, he's running, he's done for".

Now that sounds like foolish thinking yet not really, as from past experience, make hits like they had on a plane it's a gonner, more so if you consider the distance the allies had to travel, then add to that their point of comparison the aircraft they had fought previous both there and elsewhere, yet most of all their own.

In the end, why waste rounds on a "what they'd think to be a dead plane"..........Yet even more so, when it's 10:1 (late 43 on) odds you don't take the time to follow in a kill as you already have 3 more on your 6.

Now do I think guncameras would of helped them determine if they even made hits....Sure, yet in the end it really in retrospect mattered little, as then they would of only been able to conclude that they could not destroy as much as the allies could produce.

Lastly, fear based on good reason makes honest liars of us all. IOW, I'd bet on all sides, in the deep grip of life and death combat pilots often popped off shots not even hitting their target, and one manuever later it has suddenly vanished.....Hence "must of killed it".

Be sure though, not that many planes of any side had gun cameras, otherwise we'd have enough footage to fill youtube for a lifetime....Though much of it I bet looked at then cast aside.


03-26-2008, 08:31 PM
Overclaims are certainly present in all AFs. The japanese seem to have not paid as much attention to really accurate debriefing, or there was a cultural factor of wanting to please, or something. There are exceptions, clearly, but overall, there was a tendency to really grossly overclaim some things, and this was beyond the 2X or more that was really the norm worldwide.

One of the later war attacks on CVs (think it was kamikazes mixed with regular units) claimed ELEVEN CVs sunk. This being late in the war, there were actually more than 11 CVs around, but zero were sunk, and only a couple damaged.

Understandable from the pilots' POV, but rather difficult to plan as the Admiral with such poor information http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


03-26-2008, 11:12 PM
Ummm, I believed that Luftwaffe are so strict on score claiming so do you agree that they rarely overclaiming score?

03-26-2008, 11:50 PM
No. I only believe scores that are absolutely confirmed vs the enemy forces loss records, kill by kill.

Lundstrom's work for the USN vs IJN for the first year of the war in the PTO is an ideal example. He manages to frequently put names of specific pilots shot down by other specific pilots based upon loss records, where/when the planes were in a given area, etc.

Short of that level of confirmation, I think it's fair to divide them all by 2 or more until proved otherwise. I take none at face value.

Units are at least somewhat easier than individuals, X planes flew that day, Y were lost. A certain number of claims were made vs the enemy, but they actually lost a % of the claims.

03-27-2008, 09:01 AM
Actually, documentation captured at Hollandia showed that claims by Japanese IJAFC pilots, and without question "losses" were for the most part accurate. Now as I described there were always minor discrepencies as to shoot downs, (as in seeing a plane fly off on fire or smoking and the pilot still got it back to base and so on....Yet losses were quite accurate.

They had to be frankly, they needed replacements, yet more so we're not talking about some half( ! )'ed gang of thugs. They were a professional army be sure. Part of that at least internally before it gets to the media, "knowing the situation by knowing the facts to the best of your ability".


03-27-2008, 09:14 AM
Originally posted by WereSnowleopard:
Ummm, I believed that Luftwaffe are so strict on score claiming so do you agree that they rarely overclaiming score?

No. Despite their excellent system , the Luftwaffe overclaimed just like everyone else. Do a little research and you can find many verified examples. I'm not knocking them. Everyone did it.