From: The Imperial Palace.
In the Air War thread, I posted a couple questions about the L2D2 Tabby, which apparently does not appear in AE until 1944. More precisely, I gather now the Japanese player gets a small -rd factory at game start, but no Tabby transport chutai until 1944. I gather Elf is offline for a while, because he hasn't responded, so I thought I'd reformulate and expand upon my question here, as I've had time to give it more thought.
In the Air War thread, I linked (and posted a picture of) the US Strategic Bombing Survey study of Tabby production during WW2. (See posts 1139-40, page 38 of that thread.) The US Strategic Bombing Survey study on the Tabby plant said that orders for the Tabby were placed by the Navy, and apparently were for military (not civilian) use.
I imagine the AE team would concede that the Tabby was built in significant numbers as early as 1942 -- and that Showa's plant had the capacity to build even more. But I think the team would argue that it can't find evidence that the Tabby was used in organized transport chutai until 1944. E.g., that it was used to ferry generals and admirals around, or to support HQ operations more generally, but not as a cargo- or troop-transport craft in direct support of military ops. It's true that the Topsy, not the Tabby, seems to have been used for paratroop ops early in the war. And it's true that the Tabby did some ferrying of brass. But Tabbies were used in the New Guinea campaign and elsewhere before 1944. And they weren't just used in rear areas. I posted a photo of a Tabby being shot down by American aircraft in 1943, for example.
Unless the AE team is certain that the Tabby would never have been used in a supply- or troop-transport role, isn't it safer to include the aircraft in some form before 1944? Perhaps compromise and make available a couple chutai in 1942, more in 1943? I've tried to research the question, and I have trouble finding English-language sources that answer the question definitively one way or the other. I've come across Japanese sources, but while I can make out kana, my knowledge of kanji is severely limited. Is there someone on the AE team who reads Japanese who has researched this? If not, shouldn't the team err on the side of caution and give the player the chance to make his own choices on how to use Showa's production of several hundred Tabbies before 1944?
After all, if Japan did under-use its 400-plus Tabbies, isn't that more a question of doctrine than capability? Japan, like other powers, underestimated the utility of air transports at the start of the war. Shouldn't the player have the chance to correct that doctrinal error, given that Japan actually did produce the transports but apparently put them to poor use?
EDIT: Changed title from "Bring back the L2D2 Tabby!" to "On the L2D2 Tabby," since the Tabby is in fact in AE -- I didn't meant to imply it wasn't! The only question is when it should appear on the game map.
< Message edited by Grotius -- 3/18/2009 6:58:25 PM >