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Joined: December 2nd, 2017, 11:26 pm

January 12th, 2018, 9:26 pm #401

ChrisPat wrote: 1816 Ju-88 bombers were delivered in 1940.  If a third of those were in the last quarter then about 1300 by Sep 40 taking into account the 69 built in 1939.  It would seem odd not to send the latest and greatest where the fighting was.
http://www.geocities.ws/hjunkers/ju_g60pl.htm#g88pl
Initial production was planned to be 300 a month.  If that was reached in the last quarter, which I very much doubt, there would still have been c 1,000 built before then.
It seems odd, but the websites said it was just entering squadron service in August 1940.  Even in WWII it took time to train aircrews and maintenance personnel to transition to a new, more complicated aircraft.  Just because something has been built doesn't mean it's on the front lines.  There obviously were quite a few JU88s in order to take the losses they took,
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Joined: December 2nd, 2017, 11:26 pm

January 12th, 2018, 10:17 pm #402

ChrisPat wrote:
carailwhale wrote: ChrisPat:


If you go through the tables, they pretty much support my position and refute yours.  They show the Hurricane with eight .303s having a ammo power of 2672 and the P40E with a typical American installation of six .50s with an ammo power of 6476.  That's more than twice as effective.
Not in summer 1940 it isn't, nor throughout 1941.  P40Es entered service in spring 1942.  By then Hurricanes were carrying either 12x.303" or, more often, 4x20mm (ammo power 11,200 or not quite double the P-40E), as were Typhoons, Spitfires 2x20mm and two HMG or two .5" (6,200 with the .303").  Later P-40s often deleted two or even four wing guns for greater performance; it replaced Hurricanes in DAF largely because it performed better, not due to armament.

Duration of fire isn't that important except to a poor gunner who sprays rounds all over the sky.  American aircraft never seemed to have a problem with their ammo supply except in the F4F3 where the ammo capacity was reduced to shoehorn a extra pair of .50s into the aircraft.
You might want to debate that one with several posters on here who are adamant the USN was better off with the four gun Wildcats as fleet fighters; the FAA preference for the Fulmar is as exactly that, a fleet fighter.  We've had a good argument here that the low ammunition storage on A6Ms contributed to the IJN disaster at Midway by requiring near constant flight deck activity to maintain CAP.  Which, incidentally, means you are wrong on the primary armament of the A6M.  If the 20mm were merely "nice to have while the ammunition lasts" the pilots would have stayed aloft and used the remaining 7.7mm ammunition.
The Japanese fighters did stay aloft and use up their 7.7 ammo.  The Japanese carriers were under more or less continuous attacks for several hours and they were cycling their CAP during that time.  If you doubt my opinion on how the Japanese pilots viewed the cannon, read Samurai by Martin Caiden.  It's the story of Saburo Sakai the highest-scoring Japanese Navy ace to survive the war.  He vividly describes how they attacked a B-17 near the Phillippines in 1941 in exactly that manner and how surprised he and his fellows were that the B17 could absorb many point blank hits from both 7.7mm and 20mm with no apparent damage.

If you want another example of how anemic thirty cal machine guns were, read Thunderbolt, also by Martin Caiden.  It's the story of Robert Johnson.  In one instance he was flying a badly damaged P47 when a FW190 came along.  The FW190 was apparently out of cannon rounds because the pilot used the helpless P47 as a target.  He fired all of his 7.92 ammo into the P47 with no effect.  He then saluted Johnson and broke off the attack.  Johnson reported counting well over a hundred thirty cal holes (can't remember the actual number) plus the twenty or so 20mm holes that had disabled his aircraft.  Needless to say the plane was junked and never fled again.

While I've never seen collected damage reports form the BOB, I'd bet that most of the shot down bombers were destroyed by killing the crews and shooting up cooling systems and unarmored fuel tanks.   A kill is a kill, but thirty calibers were really only good at punching small holes in unarmored targets.  The round is short ranged and lacks the knetic energy of a .50 cal round.  It was obviously the RAF's reasoning as well, since they started equipping Hurricanes with 4 20mms DURING the BOB instead of just repairing their wings and getting them back into service with more .303s. They wer eactually issuing Spitfiires with 2 cannon and 4 .303s during the BOB, but the feed on the cannon was so unreliable that they were withdrawn from service.  A year later, you'd be hard pressed to find a British fighter with nothing but .303s on board.  Here is a excerpt from the Wikki article on the Spitfire: "Even if the eight Brownings worked perfectly, pilots soon discovered that they were not sufficient to destroy larger aircraft. Combat reports showed that an average of 4,500 rounds were needed to shoot down an enemy aircraft. In November 1938, tests against armoured and unarmoured targets had already indicated that the introduction of a weapon with a calibre of at least 20 mm was urgently needed."  4500 rounds, that's a lot of hits.  Admittedly that's an average and many rounds missed, but it shows that the RAF didn't view the .303 as an effective weapon as early as 1938.  From the Mark III on, the Spit carried cannon either 4 or two augmented by 4 .303s to save weight.  Most photos I've seen of Mark Vs and IXs show four cannon wings.
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Joined: December 2nd, 2017, 11:26 pm

January 14th, 2018, 5:15 pm #403

ChrisPat, where are you?  You have defeated your own argument.  Instead of running off and hiding, how about just admitting that you were wrong like an adult?  It's been almost two entire days since I refuted your claims that eight .303s were heavy, or even adequate fighter armament.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 10:19 pm

January 14th, 2018, 8:18 pm #404

I was getting cold in the service of wider society, sorry if that inconvenienced you.
Rad back over your own posts, you've re stated what I said;
The RAF knew 4x20mm would be preferable to 8x.303" just as soon as the cannon could be made reliable.
You've repeated that Hurricanes got 20mm cannon and added that it was four.  Please give a reference as I've never heard this before and it's something I think might have been usefully done, subject to the HS being reliable enough ifi a thick enough wing.
New statements;
Spitfires carried MGs instead of two 20mm to save weight.
I've always read that the "extra" two 20mm could not be heated, same old not enough space in the thin wing.  Therefore high flying Spits carried 2x.5" or 4x.303" instead, which could be heated.  Most photos I've seen show either one long (20mm) barrel fairing and one shorter (.5") one.
4,500rds per kill for .303".
Interesting, again I'd like to read more, please source.
Assuming the same hit rate as the LW, 2%, then about 90 hits to down a twin engined bomber.  Compare with LW figures of 20x20mm or c3x30mm for a four engined.
At, IIRC, about 350rpg a BoB fighter would carry about 2,800 rds meaning each pair might expect to down a bomber; a Fulmar with 8,000 rds would be close to being lethal to two.  That compares well to the lethality of a standard fighter FW-190's ammunition load vs US or RAF heavies.  20x20mm hits at 2% need c1,000rds to be fired, the load for a 4xMG-151 FW was 500rds plus those for the 2x7.92mm or 13mm fuselage guns.  A pair aren't quite as well placed against a bomber.
The Spitfire alternates were 4x.303" with 1,400rds or 2x.5" with 500 rds.  That would need the .5" to be nearly 3 times more effective per hit to be worthwhile; in 1940 the RAF did not rate it so high as that.
"Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, and scorn all other men"

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster himself."

"We take pride in the terminatory service we provide"
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Joined: August 4th, 2008, 5:03 am

January 15th, 2018, 8:44 pm #405

carailwhale wrote: ChrisPat, where are you?  You have defeated your own argument.  Instead of running off and hiding, how about just admitting that you were wrong like an adult?  It's been almost two entire days since I refuted your claims that eight .303s were heavy, or even adequate fighter armament.
You need to study the history of the US .5in BMG and the history of cannon armament in aircraft.  The .5in BMG was under continuous development through WW2 and post 1939 up to 1941 the .5in BMG had a slower RoF and was less reliable than post 1942. This made it a much less formidable weapon than it later became. The early Me109 and A6m2 20mm cannon were low velocity, low RoF weapons with small magazine capacity. These cannon were completely outclassed by the later 20mm Hispano.  In 1940 8 x .303 was a heavy and effective fighter armament, however by 1942 advances in .5in BMGs and 20mm cannon made it relatively less so while advances in engine development allowed Luftwaffe aircraft to carry heavier armour than in 1940.
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Joined: December 29th, 2008, 2:22 pm

January 15th, 2018, 9:44 pm #406

Matchbox

Matchbox produced a model of the Hurricane IIC, which was used in North Africa as a fighter-bomber armed with four 20mm cannon from June 1941 onwards. The first Hurricanes armed with the 20mm cannon came out in September 1940 in time for the Battle of Britain, but there were problems with the cannons jamming as the flexing wings caused all sorts of problems. There was the Hurricane IIA, the Hurricane IIA series 2, and Hurricane IIB and the Hurricane IIC, suggesting it took a bit of time to sort things out, by which time the latest German fighters out-performed the Hurricane which was re-located to other theatres for ground support instead - in the case of the matchbox model showing the aircraft in North African colours (extra points in Scrabble).
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 10:19 pm

January 16th, 2018, 12:49 am #407

Not quite.  RAF suffix letters usually relate to armament and usually go something like;
a - .303" MGs, eight to begin with (Spitfire 1a), twelve later (most Hurricane IIa and Typhoon Ia)
b - provision for bombs (Hurricane IIb) but more often 20mm cannon, (Spitfire Ib, Typhoon Ib)
c - 20mm cannon on the Hurricane (IIc)
d - 40mm cannon (operational only on Hurricane IId AFAIK)
e - Universal wing, adaptable to all or most of the above.
So Hurricane IIc did have 4x20mm cannon and came after the IIa and IIb but those weren't less successful cannon variants.
Such suffixes were AIUI only used if there were different fits, so the Tempest and Defiant, for instances, never used them.
"Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, and scorn all other men"

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster himself."

"We take pride in the terminatory service we provide"
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 10:19 pm

January 16th, 2018, 1:03 am #408

WRT Zeros
The sequence of flight deck activity on the IJN carriers at Midway has been posted here; they may have continued to engage with MGs only if there were targets for them when the cannon drums were empty but rearmed if not.
Further points to note from looking at the Zero; when one cowling gun was changed to 13.2mm, long after Midway, the ammunition load was 240 rds.  The 7.7mm MGs had 680 rds.  Rate of fire was 800 rpm for the 13.2mm and 1,000 rpm for the 7.7mm, both figures are unsynchronised so the cowling guns would fire slower but its about 3sec of 13.2mm fire : 7 sec of 7.7mm or a good bit less than half.  By then the cannon had 125 rd belt feeds for a bit over 15 sec of fire.
Totals being 20mm, c15sec, 13.2mm > (due to synchronisation) 18 sec, 7.7mm >  40 sec.
"Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, and scorn all other men"

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster himself."

"We take pride in the terminatory service we provide"
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Joined: December 2nd, 2017, 11:26 pm

January 16th, 2018, 7:38 pm #409

Andy01 wrote:
carailwhale wrote: ChrisPat, where are you?  You have defeated your own argument.  Instead of running off and hiding, how about just admitting that you were wrong like an adult?  It's been almost two entire days since I refuted your claims that eight .303s were heavy, or even adequate fighter armament.
You need to study the history of the US .5in BMG and the history of cannon armament in aircraft.  The .5in BMG was under continuous development through WW2 and post 1939 up to 1941 the .5in BMG had a slower RoF and was less reliable than post 1942. This made it a much less formidable weapon than it later became. The early Me109 and A6m2 20mm cannon were low velocity, low RoF weapons with small magazine capacity. These cannon were completely outclassed by the later 20mm Hispano.  In 1940 8 x .303 was a heavy and effective fighter armament, however by 1942 advances in .5in BMGs and 20mm cannon made it relatively less so while advances in engine development allowed Luftwaffe aircraft to carry heavier armour than in 1940.
According to the RAF's own peacetime tests in 1938 it took 4500 HITS for a .303 armed aircraft to destroy a modern aircraft.  That's not an effective armament.  The Spitfire I and II carried 300 rounds per gun, that's a total of 2400 rounds TOTAL, or about half the average number the RAF decided it took to kill a modern aircraft.  That's like killing a man with a sewing needle.  Yes the Fulmar carried more ammo, but at 265 mph at 7500 feet, it was too slow to catch the slowest Luftwaffe level bomber the He111 at 271 MPH, or the Italian  SM79 at 270 MPH or the slightly later Mitsubishi J4M Betty at 271 MPH.  A Fulmar could catch a Ju87 at 193 MPH or a Japanese Mitsubishi J3M Nell at 233 MPH.  The Fulmar was a pleasant to fly aircraft that was slow in flight, slow to climb and couldn't maneuver with any fighter aircraft that it was likely to run into.  In reality, Fairey took a failed light bomber and tried to pass it off as a naval fighter.  Failed doctrine or no, the Fulmar was a deathtrap if there was any fighter opposition. At best it could manage ONE pass at attacking bomber formations before being left behind, or destroyed by escorting fighters.  It might have been a slightly useful interceptor IF the carriers had been able to operate outside the range of land-based fighter escorts, but the ME110's longer range denied the RN that luxury as did the development and deployment of drop tanks on other German fighters. 
Last edited by carailwhale on January 16th, 2018, 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: April 25th, 2007, 7:40 pm

January 16th, 2018, 8:07 pm #410

carailwhale wrote:
Andy01 wrote:
carailwhale wrote: ChrisPat, where are you?  You have defeated your own argument.  Instead of running off and hiding, how about just admitting that you were wrong like an adult?  It's been almost two entire days since I refuted your claims that eight .303s were heavy, or even adequate fighter armament.
You need to study the history of the US .5in BMG and the history of cannon armament in aircraft.  The .5in BMG was under continuous development through WW2 and post 1939 up to 1941 the .5in BMG had a slower RoF and was less reliable than post 1942. This made it a much less formidable weapon than it later became. The early Me109 and A6m2 20mm cannon were low velocity, low RoF weapons with small magazine capacity. These cannon were completely outclassed by the later 20mm Hispano.  In 1940 8 x .303 was a heavy and effective fighter armament, however by 1942 advances in .5in BMGs and 20mm cannon made it relatively less so while advances in engine development allowed Luftwaffe aircraft to carry heavier armour than in 1940.
According to the RAF's own peacetime tests in 1938 it took 4500 HITS for a .303 armed aircraft to destroy a modern aircraft.  That's not an effective armament.  The Spitfire I and II carried 300 rounds per gun, that's a total of 2400 rounds TOTAL, or about half the average number the RAF decided it took to kill a modern aircraft.  That's like killing a man with a sewing needle.  Yes the Fulmar carried more ammo, but at 265 mph at 7500 feet, it was too slow to catch the slowest Luftwaffe level bomber the He111 at 271 MPH, or the Italian  SM79 at 270 MPH or the slightly later Mitsubishi J4M Betty at 271 MPH.  A Fulmar could catch a Ju87 at 193 MPH or a Japanese Mitsubishi J3M Nell at 233 MPH.  The Fulmar was a pleasant to fly aircraft that was slow in flight, slow to climb and couldn't maneuver with any fighter aircraft that it was likely to run into.  In reality, Fairey took a failed light bomber and tried to pass it off as a naval fighter.  Failed doctrine or no, the Fulmar was a deathtrap if there was any fighter opposition. At best it could manage ONE pass at attacking bomber formations.
Yet reality didn't play out that way did it ? Strange that the Fulmar performed well and was effective at disrupting attacks.

Also by 1943 6x 50cal was like 8x .303 in 1940. Inadequate incredibly so by the F80 and F86 in Korea. Yet the US could not produce an effective 20mm in WW2.
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