View Full Version : A6M's in China

12-04-2004, 06:44 AM
3rd Kokutai, A6M, Hanoi (07/41 €" 10/41), Reorganized from a bomber group to a pure fighter group in September 1941.

14th Kokutai, Fighter daitai, Hanoi (07/10/40 €" 15/09/41), Mitsubishi A6M (09/40 €" ), Disbanded on 15 September 1941.

13 Sept 1940, A6M2
The first air combat with Chinese fighters was on 13 September, when Zeroes shot down a force of 27 Soviet-built Polikarpov I-15 biplanes and I-16 monoplanes, which were very maneuverable themselves but not as fast. In its first year of combat, the Zero was credited with destroying 44 Chinese aircraft in the air against the loss of only two Zeroes, both of which were destroyed by anti-aircraft fire.

12-04-2004, 07:01 AM
"While the Zero was supremely maneuverable at low speeds, its controls became heavy at high speeds, and it rolled to the left much more easily than it rolled to the right. Also, due to its float-type carburetor design it tended to stall under negative gees, as would be encountered if the Zero were climbing and then had to drop back downward while remaining upright. An American fighter could escape the Zero by bobbing up, diving while the Zero's engine stalled, and then rolling to the right."

12-04-2004, 09:15 AM
The comments about the alleged engine cut out has been discussed at length on these forums.

Hasn't it been pretty well established that the reason for this belief was the incorrect installation of the carburetor on a captured Zero rebuilt in america? I have never read of an engine cut out being mentioned by surviving Japanese pilots.

12-04-2004, 10:24 AM
Exactly. American sources aren't to be trusted for this period.

Plain and simple, the ARMY ran the show in Burma and China in 37 - 40.

Those "Zeros" were in all likelihood Oscars, or even Nates.

12-04-2004, 10:43 AM
I know bnut isnt it amazing you keep reading about it? ..and stiggy, these were A6M2s not Oscars.

12-04-2004, 10:50 AM
Doesn't Sakai himself mention sorties in his Zero while serving in China?
Zeroes did serve in China.

12-04-2004, 12:56 PM
"During the four months from August 1940, until the end of that year, a total of 153 Zero sorties were flown in 22 missions during which 59 Chinese aircraft were shot down and 101 destroyed on the ground without any loss in the Zero force." ....." By this time in 1941 (September) the Chinese Air Force was rendered totally ineffective. This situation fostered the edict made by Japanese Naval Air Headquarters to withdraw its air units from mainland China in the latter half of 1941 to prepare for the Pacific War. ...The Zero, at this point, disappeared from the China skies as this responsibility was shifted to the JAAF."
-Mikesh P39-40

12-04-2004, 01:04 PM
Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbour, the Imperial Japanese Navy did indeed operate in China. With the China war being the only one in progress, they would hardly have sat on the sidelines and let the Imperial Japanese Army have all the fun.

With the entry of Japan into the Second World War, the IJN was fully occupied in the Pacific and left the fighting in China and Burma to the IJA.

12-04-2004, 01:42 PM
That sounds about right. Just as an edjamikated guess, there only about 350 A6M2 in 1941. The A5M4 still out classed anything in China. The Ki-43 at that time still had much design problems but again, the A5M4 still out classed anything in China. With the IJN looking at Pearl, they needed all A6M fighters there, not China. How many A6M2 fighters were on the IJN CVs at Pearl...150?