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"About WWII Imperial Japanese Naval Aviation" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse14 Apr 2018 8:06 p.m. PST

"At the begining of World War II, the Imperial Navy had created the finest naval aviation corps in the world. Japanese aircraft were at least the equals of anything then flying in the West, and in some cases (as with the legendary Zero fighter) were substantially better. Japanese aircrews were superbly trained and had been battle tested in the conflict in China during the late 1930's. When war tore across the Pacific in December 1941, the IJNAF was more than a match for any of its opponents. It is not surprsing, then, that Japanese aviators scored victory after stunning victory during the first six months of the war, from the attack on Pearl Harbor, through the sinking of the British men-of-war Prince of Wales and Repulse, to the fearsome raids on northern Australia and the IJN's rampage through the Indian Ocean in April 1942. Only after the defeat at Coral Sea and the debacle at Midway was this force finally able to be engaged on nearly equal terms. Throughout the war, the IJNAF remained a potent weapon, though Japanese equipment was eventually outclassed by newer American models, and relentless attrition began to take its toll on pilot quality. Even in defeat, though, the IJNAF refused to wilt away, finally immolating itself in the form of the Kamikaze air corps.

The following information on the Imperial Navy's air armada has been compiled and presented by Joao Paulo Julião Matsuura, a naval architecture student in Brazil. These pages contains information about almost all Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft used during the World War II period. The pages are organized by aircraft type (carrier fighters, carrier bombers, etc.) with individual pages under them for each aircraft model. Comments should be directed to…"
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ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP04 May 2018 7:46 a.m. PST

The thing that doomed the Japanese Navy's air arm was the lack of trained pilots. Prior to the war, the navy's training system only turned out ONE HUNDRED new pilots a year! They were very well trained, but there weren't very many of them. Incredibly, this policy was maintained until 1943! This meant that the heavy losses in pilots sustained at Coral Sea, Midway, and later battles simply could not be replaced. When the pilot training program was expanded, they cut back the training time drastically, and the new pilots reaching the fleet were just a shadow of the men they had had previously. The Americans, meanwhile were turning out well-trained pilots by the thousands.

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