From: Mordor Illlinois
ORIGINAL: castor troy
ORIGINAL: castor troy
ORIGINAL: castor troy
ORIGINAL: castor troy
3 B-29 score 16 hits and destroy at lest 3, i think 5-8 fighters (FoW)
40 B-29 will close that AF and destroy 20,30 or more planes.
And that was during Overcast
Here we go again.
It's a shame Japan can't build planes like B-29s. But it's also laughable when Japanese historical purists who decry night bombing fail to recognize that B-29s were optimized for night operations. They had radar bomb sights. They had immense bomb loads. So yes, 40 B-29s at 10,000 feet could close an AF and destroy 20-30 planes. Easy. Trivial really. Don't like it? Don't let the Allies get AFs close enough to do this. Or move your planes and AFs away. But don't try to claim it's borked.
cities? yes. airfields?
please don't screw up strategic bombings with tactical attacks
Could you please read the thread before weighing in with your "helpful" input?
well, was reading until I came to the point when I was reading your helpful input as quoted above and I repeat myself, don't screw up strategic and tactical attacks. Hitting a level 2 or 3 airfield at night using radar guided bombing? Are you serious? If so, no further comment is needed. Glad you posted a serious of "helpful" statements though.
Sorry Castor. The answer is sometimes you can , some times you can't. I've discussed the mechanics of night bombing by RADAR else where in this thread. I can't fight your wealth of knowledge on this subject. All I can rest on is 23 years of experince in doing it.
It all depends on where the airfield is. Like most things in war, geography matters.
Of course sometimes you can and sometimes you can't. Sometimes daylight precision bombings even hit the target within a mile, many times not, overcast may ruin your whole formation's bombing run . So go figure how the hit rate looks like only relying on 44/45 radar guided bombing. Tactical attacks at night with a formation of B-29 doing radar guided bomb runs? Yes, sometimes they may even hit, depending on how many, how often. I can't offer reports that show tactical night attacks on airfields by B-29 formations because they didn't happen but common sense is enough to tell that if they most often weren't able to hit their target in strategic attacks then guess how it looks like hitting a far smaller target that doesn't blow up because you burn everything in a diameter of 20 miles around it and therefore also destroying their target.
I have no problem at all how the game handles strategic night attacks when manpower is targeted (creating fires), when it comes down to tactical night attacks, for me, the game isn't spot on. Others may have a different oppinion, nothing bad at all.
Well, lets take your points one by one. 1st of all , daylight bombing depended upon each planes INDIVIDUAL bombardier. RADAR bombing is a massed "drop on lead" technique. Instead of relying on a bunch of 1st and 2nd LT's , you relied on the most experinced and senior bomardier. Ironically , a couple of times weather forced a group of B-29's to bomb by RADAR and their results were MUCH better then when they hit the target based upon visual rules.
if that was like this, why has there never been anyone in charge smart enough to just say, let's do it with radar and taking out our targets easily with a small percentage of bombers instead of using hundreds of bombers not getting close to what two or three squadrons could do with radar bombing? We all know how the hit percentage of heavy bombers actually looked like and by how far they usually "missed" the target (while still be able to destroy it due to collateral damage)
Now let's talk about targets. Night bombing is AREA bombing. Daylight bombing is generally PRECISION bombing. In precision bombing , you aim for a pinpoint target , like say a factory. Even though it might be a massive building (Like Williow Run in Michigan or the Massive Martin plant in Omaha...of which Japan had nothing approaching in size) its still ONE building (or a collection of buildings closely grouped).
Area bombing is just that. Instead of one building , you hit a neighborhood (or in the case of the RAF , anywhere in, on or near the city). You have admitted the possibility of hitting and severly damaging a city. How big is an air base? Having lived on several I can tell you that they are HUGE. Even a small WW2 size base is still a big area. So lets take my very 1st base , Naval Air Station South Weymouth MA. A world war two Blimp base, one of the smallest of US bases. It certainly was much bigger than a down town city center in actual area.
I don't disagree with you, just one point, most airfields in the game are by far from what you describe, they are rather tiny and a real pin point target, not a huge target. I think the average Japanese airfield was something like level 3 or 4 in the game, with the exception of bigger, well built up bases of course. But the majority surely didn't come close to big targets, just look at all those 70 year old pictures, I was often amazed of how small these bases actually were. Here's a pic of two airstrips at Hollandia, IIRC it took the Japanese halve a year or longer to build them and Hollandia probabyl wasnt't the worst airbase for the Japanese. To me, that doesn't look like an "I can't miss target". While the absolute area of an airbase might not be that small, there is so much area just empty inside the airbase, you have to hit hangars, workshops, aircraft, the runway, not the empty space around it.
Let's take an actual WW2 Pacific base that both the USN and Japan used , and I'm really familar with as I lived near it. Orote Field , Apra Harbor Guam. It's been abandoned since the early 50's , has no buildings , facilities , it hasn't even had the grass cut in fourty years. Yet C-130 Aircrews regularly used to to practice night cargo sled drops. The C-130 doesn't have bombing RADAR. At at the time I used to watch them, night vision was fairly rare, very expensive and not all that good. Essentially they were finding a hole in the jungle. But I never witnessed a miss. Why? Well for one thing , an airfield, even a WW2 small fighter strip was comparatively huge. And if one highly skilled , pathfinder qualified RADAR bombardier can find it , and a formation drops on him, well I'm guessing what Henderson field under went by Battleship bombardment was probably considerably less. What is the weight of bombardment a BB puts down? And how much can 1-200 B-29s carry?
And big bomber raids didn't occur in a vaccum. along with pre raid reconnasiance , you had pre-raid weather flights , and just before the groups went in you had "Pathfinder" aircraft mark the way with flares and "markers". Plus if near the ocean , you had lifeguard subs that could contribute to the intell picture. It was possible to use surface ships doing picket duty to give bearings and contribute to the "intel pot".
And another question about why in Europe they had trouble hitting cities but can hit Pacific airfields. One answer is again geography. How many axis targets were on the ocean? Not many. They were generally a very long way inland. That tremedously complicates any navigation , especially RADAR navigation. You no longer have coast lines. You might have a river. LOTS and lots of rivers. And I'd imagine that a tired aircrew, having already fought it's way across hundreds of miles of hostile airspace defended by what was then the finest night air defense system in the world is probably going to start thing one river looks pretty much like another.
One thing about Japan that impressed me is that you really have to work hard to get a long way from the ocean. And the easiest thing to RADAR navigate on is a coast line.
And again I have to ask, if it would have all been that easy using radar and the one experience lead flight to drop the load actually on the target and not somewhere else I wonder why noone ever would have thought about that, instead they kept risking thousands of aircrews, it was a huge effort to build the bases for hundreds of heavy bombers, let alone maintain and supply them. 10% maximum would have been enough if they would have used night attacks, only going in with radar. As to Europe, well, of course in Europe it wasn't like everything was on the coast but also there, enough was near or at the coast or near huge rivers. And still, targets were often missed by miles. If radar bombing would have been so great, all those people in charge never had the idea to just send two dozen heavy bombers following a radar equipped, high experienced crew to take out all those targets at will, risking only 200 men instead of 2000 on each mission?
I have been looking for evidence both yesterday and today that it would be an Allied Wunderwaffe for nearly a whole day but I couldn't find anything real that would support saying it was so exceptionally great, let alone finding a reason when it was so great why it wasn't done that way then. Don't get me wrong, I haven't got any intend to start a fight or get into one of those forum battles which seem to be pretty much the norm lately, I've just tried to find something that actually supports what you say but I couldn't read anything that came close to making it so easy for heavy bombers actually hitting something, let alone during the night.
Castor today I unfortunately don't have time for a detailed answer or post (which I reserve for the next time I have free time) but I think I can answer your question about using bombers for tactical reasons more. (I know your phrasing was much more detailed and definative , but I'm really pressed for time). The answer is that using bombers for anything other than strategic bombing was "sacrilege" to any supporter of "Mitchelism" , or today what is called "the Bomber Mafia". Using a heavy bomber for anything other than direct bombing of the enemy homeland strategic center was at best a "diversion" , and at worst a waste of resources.
Arnold, Spatz, Lemay, Harris ,and Bereton were all adherants of the "Billy Mitchell" school who's belief in strategic bombing was almost religious in nature. Even support of D-day was not seen as reason to divert from their mission (requiring IKE to go way to the tops- George Marshall- to secure the heavies for tactical use). Lemay resisted mining of the Japanese harbors , and B-24's for Naval anti submarine patrols were fought against tooth and nail untill the USAAF had a surplus of B-24's.
I really belive it was a "mind set" , rather than abilites , that kept B-29's from being used as you ask. You won't find your answer in tech manuals , but you will find it in the biographies of the men in command of the USAAF. Start with Billy Mitchell (and His "Winged Defense") and finish with the last adherent , Curtis Lemay (read "Mission with Lemay"). It becomes real easy to imagine these men screaming "HERESY"!
VP-92 sig banner