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Jan 17 17 4:55 AM
Jan 17 17 6:04 AM
Jan 17 17 12:39 PM
Jan 17 17 2:06 PM
HK wrote:Without radar, no covering fighter CAP is going to be able to stop a determined dive bombing attack.
Say you have a strong CAP with 20 fighters covering. No radar, so only half get to the DBs in time unmolested by the fighter escort. The rest of the CAP are either distracted or too far. 8 DBs damaged/forced to drop early, 4 shot down, the remaining 24 continue on, landing 5 hits at least. Scratch that carrier.
The defending CAP and AAA may get 5-6 more DBs as they exit, but at the end you've lost your carrier and the attacking force still has 16-20 serviceable DBs for a follow-on strike against much reduced opposition.
Jan 18 17 7:10 AM
Jan 18 17 9:55 AM
Jan 18 17 1:59 PM
Jan 18 17 2:58 PM
ChrisPat wrote:Keeping France in the fight is a bit of a problem.
Not entirely hindsight - just about all WWI scouts carried bombs routinely.
Not 1934 but 1936 and the Hurricane is right there; became a fighter bomber, became a carrier ac. Without later Merlins and CS, or even VP props it will have a lighter weapons load than with but 2 x 250lb bombs and 4 x .303"s is pretty much the same as the Skua.
Certainly there are options between all out attack with your FBs and destroying your enemy's air group with an "all out defence". Sounds odd, that. Trials, games and exercises are there to work those things out. It turned out that fighters were the key to carrier air, as you say the USN carried more and more of them and the RN followed suit. Giving them the ability to bomb to a less than best possible standard means you have the maximum of the capability that really matters and some of the lesser one. As fighters at this time aren't going to carry torpedoes you need some TBs; the requirements for recce and spotting can be met by those along with ASW although nobody is paying that enough attention.
Do please note that while I can't help be be a Brit and see things that way I wasn't talking specifically about the RN, the USN or IJN could opt for FB heavy air groups too. I make the Zero's 320 liters of fuel in the drop tank to weigh about 225lb in itself, Vals carried 250lb bombs.
Early GW weapons for the RAF? Very interesting idea and fits with their later use of the Tallboy and Grand Slam.
Full hindsight radar in all its forms and ASW likewise. Wrt guided weapons Fido and Cutie earlier and British - Rover and Wee Stotter perhaps.
Larce - if VT were easily jammed then why was it not abandoned after the war, long before digital electronics could rescue it? How did Gary Powers get shot down by a CLOS missile, along with all the others?
Specific to the German ASM effort you do know that wire guidance was fitted to Hs-293s? The problem for both Hs-293 and F-X wasn't so much jamming as the strainht line flight required to guide the weapons in which made the ac vulnerable to fighters and...(drum roll) VT fuzed HAA. A problem that persisted with post war missiles like Bullpup and which led to various work arounds like co operative designation for laser guided weapons.
Cost effectiveness of an air defence system is hard to assess. The Japanese 15cm HAA gun system shot down only one ac, a Superfortress, in its entire service life. OTOH after that one loss the US bombers avoided the entire area it covered, which therefore was effectively defended.
Jan 19 17 7:37 AM
Jan 19 17 9:20 AM
Jan 19 17 1:35 PM
don4331 wrote: Much as I love the Hurricane: The 1st production a/c wasn't released to squadron until 25/Dec/'37, which is close enough to '38 for me. It still had the ramp head Merlin which was blowing exhaust valves/ports like crazy along with having fabric outer wing panels and the take off distance with the FP was >1,000' clean; not exactly what we want for a CV FB. (The 640' with the VP prop is much better and 520' with CS is performing http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/hurricane/l2026.html). And I assume you want the 250lbs to be pilot armour/self sealing tanks/folding wings which Zero dispensed with* (I don't think you get required FB quantity without folding wings.)
At this time the FAA was thinking about ordering some interim Sea Gladiators, the last SG were delivered in 1940. Interim Sea Hurricans would be standard MkIs which would mainly fly from land bases like RNAS Hatson (from where SGs flew in the BoB) to get familiar with the new ac, though they could do much the same trials that the RAF did in a hurry in Norway to figure out basic deck landing and take off (RAF didn't do that until later).
Have to screw some dollars out of HMG for VP or, in for a penny in for a pound, CS props direct from the US. There's only about 250 ac spaces on RN carriers at the time, with some not being planned to get right in amoungst it (Argus for a start I would hope) that might mean about the same buy as Sea Gladiators (c90), Skuas (190) or both combined (c280). Biggish but maybe possible, IIRC not all of those ac were in service before war broke out.
Now, give the Hurricane, F4F, etc until '40, with CS prop, 100 octane fuel, Radar and FB becomes possible, but I'm not certain you can plan your CV construction/aircraft factory around that if you might be going to war in '30s.
True, but the FB heavy air wing can be applied to any of the four carrier navies regardless of their decisions on carriers, two of them at least did change their air groups with experience and developing technology. Taking the RN in 1938; they know about radar direction in its ADGB guise, which is essentially the old WWI AD given efficient detection and comms, the skeleton was already there. They have a possible ac in the form of the Hurricane, it could have been built in metal wing form sooner if someone had succeeded in putting the right size rocket in the right Hawker orifice. How so? The RAF sees the same light wrt fighter bombers and presses for a Hurribomber with metal wing too. Consider any Battle squadron in the BoF with Hurribombers. Less bombs on target per ac that gets to the target but far more do, especially as the days go by. After the fall of France a few more fighters in the BoB.
Taking the IJN; why would they load a Zero fighter bomber with any more armour than a Val? I did forget that the wing guns aren't light and in the FB role I'd imagine either none or MGs but still able to fit cannon. Much as I'd like a Sea Hurricane to be able to fit various gun armaments even though in FB guise it would be fairly lightly armed, perhaps 4 MGs same as the Skua.
Trials, games and exercises are good, but sometimes they just give you the answer you want (or the results are so bad they are buried along with participants). e.g Submerged submarine is easily detected by ASDIC, attacked and declared sunk. AEveryone patted themselves on back.
It would seem far to much so. The U boat that sank Courageous - on ASW patrol of all things - was submerged. Rigorous trials / exercises would have turned up a ratio of Asdic traces vs periscope photos of carriers for various numbers of escorts. I suspect two escorts would get far too many photos, from the surface sailors PoV.
So, they didn't try detecting submarine with deck barely awash (of course not you can see the conning tower when you look for it). But on dark night, that conning tower was hard to see with Mk. I eyeball, and ASDIC was searching too deep...scratch one CV.
AFAIK the RN carriers sunk by U boats were Courageous, Ark Royal and Eagle and all of them the U boat was fully submerged, as well as Barham. FWIW RN and USN subs also hit large warships from submerged but not, AFAIK, awash attacks. It was merchant convoys where searching underwater didn't find U boats that weren't there.
If the results were known of the RAF bombing performance versus arranged a/c; Bomber Command would have had a dramatic shake up. (Which might help in the anti-shipping performance).
It seems that the culture of the time accepted theory without real trials, certainly not the sort of trials that happen today. My call for RAF BCs anti shipping role would be to increase what they did work out and execute well which was mining. If guided weapons could be introduced so much the better.
Also, USAAF & LW FB performance on bombing were less than successful. Fighter pilots wanted more to be involved in air 2 air combat versus bombing. For Bf.109E-4/Bs - any sight of RAF aircraft and the bombs were gone.
A case of either educating fighter jocks or giving the FBs to the bomber boys. The FAA equivalent is the Skua, their crews seemed to be able to remember what they were supposed to be doing on any given mission. If as above the RAF has FB Hurricanes in 1940 the lead squadrons would be replacing Battles with them not Hurricane fighters. If your crystal ball is that good that all Hurricanes built for service are FBs then you need to apply discipline to your pilots; the UK and US air services do seem to have been able to restrain their fighter pilots' thirst for glory in favour of teamwork a bit better than the LW and IJN. The RN / FAA was defending Malta convoys with very few ac and not that many kills of either attacking ac of, crucially, defended ships at pretty much exactly the same time that the IJN was defending four carriers with rather more and in the general estimation better fighters and getting a lot more kills of attacking ac. They did lose all four carriers to air attack while they were at it.
P-38 'droopsnoots' leading other P-38J/L or P-47Ds didn't do any better, 1st round of flak close by and pilots were loosening the formation and the effect of attack was dispersed to point it wasn't effective.
Suspect that would be true of most light bombers too; that or they press on and get results like the Battles did at the Meuse crossings. Hurricanes probably wouldn't do much better, just take a few less losses, if that. If the RAF had taken your idea and been able to send, say, Whitleys, from UK with escort / flak suppression by Hurricanes (F & FB) and attack with something like AZON...well, something like that worked in Korea. Could be a disaster if the co oordination fails but.
Something like a proto Tallboy and SABS might also fit the bill, 617 and IX dropped enough bridges and viaducts. Might have to be only what, 4,000lbs or so?
F4F-3 to F4F-4 weight gain for folding wings/self sealing tanks/armour(and extra pair of 0.5") is ~600lbs.
Suggests a bomber version of the -3 model might carry a 500lb bomb with the same fixed wing, armament and protection. Drop the armament to two HMGs for the bomber role, keeping the ability to mount four and there ya go. Basically a -3 with the existing ability to carry little bombs upped to big ones.
Jan 19 17 3:11 PM
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Jan 22 17 7:52 PM
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Jan 23 17 5:10 AM
ChrisPat wrote:Again, I'm not restricting the idea to UK forces. If a Wildcat could add 600lb of guns, SS tanks, folding wings etc it could add 460lb to the bombs it could already carry; likewise a Zero could carry a bomb rather than a drop tank, obviously for a shorter distance. For a' o' that why wouldn't a bomber baron think restricting tactical types to fighters that can bomb would be a worse idea than diverting heavy bomber resources into light bombers? Two Hurribombers instead of two Battles free the non pilot crew for a Wellington with one spare and he the most trained.
Jan 23 17 3:20 PM
Jan 23 17 3:58 PM
Jan 23 17 5:33 PM
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