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Destroyer110
08-21-2004, 10:14 PM
How could a company like Douglass produce one the best dive bombers of the early war years yet produce one the worst torpedo bombers?

Also, Betty was a working girl and needs to be flyable! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

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Destroyer110
08-21-2004, 10:14 PM
How could a company like Douglass produce one the best dive bombers of the early war years yet produce one the worst torpedo bombers?

Also, Betty was a working girl and needs to be flyable! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

http://home.iprimus.com.au/hastati/condor.jpg

Latico
08-22-2004, 01:23 AM
The Devestator was first delivered for service in the mid 30's and was an aircraft of several first.

First monowing aircraft ordered by the US Navy.
First carrier plane with hydrolic folding wings instead of manual.
First all metal aircraft ordered by the Navy.

It was considered most modern state of the art in it's time. The first time that the Navy realized that the Devestator was going to have problems was after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The US was surprised to find that the Japanese had a fighter that could do a top speed of 325 mph. The Devestators top speed was only 205 mph. The defense Dept. thought that the Japanese was still using older European Aircraft.

The US navy had initially taken delivery of 114 planes with another 15 in 38 or 39 to replace operational losses. The shortcomings of the Devestator discovered in actual combat condition were improved upon in the design of the Avenger.

Also, the Vindicator was the predesessor of the Dauntless and I suspect that it too was a first of it's kind and it's tested performance in actual combat lead to the improvements that were designed into the Dauntless.

IV_JG51_Razor
08-22-2004, 01:50 AM
"The Devestators top speed was only 205 mph."

Yeah, but with a combat load, you couldn't plan on better than 120 mph.

As for Destroyer's question, it's not quite fair to judge Douglas' torpedo bomber by the success of their dive bomber. They were two different planes designed for two different missions. It's also too bad that the Devestator got such a bad rap due to a) an almost completely useless torpedo, and b) poor execution of out dated tactics early on in the war. If you look at the terrible record of the plane in the first two major carrier vs carrier battles of the war, you'll see that her crews were very ineffective, not due to poor airmanship, or problems with the plane, but because they were shooting blanks for all intents and purposes!! They were torn up by the IJN cap and AA, not because the planes were too slow (although a little more speed sure would have helped), but because they were so poorly escorted due to gross ineptitude on the part of the air groups as a whole. Their failure to remain together, and coordinate their attacks was more responsible for the TBD's losses than the plane itself IMHO.

Don't misunderstand me here, I believe the TBD was obsolete by the time the war started, and would never have distinguished herself as the TBF did, had the Navy kept her around. It's just that I feel like the torpedos and poor execution of tactics are what gave her the reputation she has today.

Razor
IV/JG51 11/12 Staffelkapitan
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Texas LongHorn
08-22-2004, 07:30 AM
Razor, as usual an excellent post. I could not have said it better myself Sir, Salute. All the best, LongHorn

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Tater-SW-
08-22-2004, 09:12 AM
Well said, razor. It would be fair to say all TBs were on the way out in the beginning of the war, not just the TBD--on both sides. Online, or offline, a flight of almost any American fighters confronted by an unescorted attack wave of Kates will be limited in how many they kill by how much ammo they have. How many Kates could 4 of us in Brewsters knock down, for example? 30? 40? More? The Jill vs FM-2s and F6Fs would fare no better. How many TBDs could 4 Zeros knock down? About the same. Toughest would be the TBM/F (many more were TBMs than TBFs, btw). Why, just cause they are big beasts, and harder to bring down, they'd still get creamed unescorted, though.

tater

JG7_Rall
08-22-2004, 10:24 AM
Razor should write a book

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IV_JG51_Razor
08-22-2004, 11:48 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JG7_Rall:
Razor should write a book

LOL! I was just paraphrasing one I had just read: "US Navy Dive And Torpedo Bombers of WWII" by Barrett Tillman & Robetr Lawson. A very interesting read.

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_"Son, never ask a man if he is a fighter pilot. If he is, he'll let you know. If he isn't, don't embarrass him."_
Badges!? We don't needs no stinkin' badges!
Flying online as Hutch51
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Razor
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www.jg51.net (http://www.jg51.net)
Forgotten Skies Online War
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"Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from poor judgement"

SkyChimp
08-22-2004, 01:57 PM
The biggest problem for the TBD was it's speed. It was MUCH lower than that of the escorting Wildcat. The Wildcat had to either throttle way back to cruise along, which would cause it to enter into the battle area at too low of a speed. Another method would be to have the slow Devestators leave for a strike first and have the faster Wildcats catch up close to target, which sometimes resulted in the escort not being able to find the torpedo planes. Another method was for the Wildcat to climb and zig-zag along with the Devestators, which caused considerably more fuel useage.

The Devestator was reasonably effective up until Midway. It was used successfully as level bomber during the first initial strikes on the Marshals and Gilberts in February 1942. It sank ships during the stike on Lae-Salamaua in March 1942. It is credited with sinking the light carrier Shoho during Coral Sea. It helped sink one heavy cruiser and heavily damage another during Midway.

The aerial torpedoes used by the Navy during this time were resonably effective as well. The biggest problem was hitting, not detonating. In fact, I've read very few accounts of this torpedo failing to detonate, but many failing to hit. It was the US Submarine Mk14 torpedo that most problematic. The Mk13 was fairly effective, improving quickly as the war progressed. The Mk15 ship launched torpedo was considered to be very good from the very start of the war.

I don't think the TBF/M ever really made a name for itself as a torpedo bomber. It had successes. But it was used extensively as a bomber. It was a good attack aircraft against land targets. It was more rugged than the Devestator. And it was a good anti-sumbarine plane. But I think the use of the aerial torpedo by the USN was dieing very quickly. It was never as effective as dive and level bombing and by the end of the war, dedicated torpedo bombers were a thing of the past.

Regards,
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Ankanor
08-22-2004, 07:57 PM
and why didn't the Avenger make a name as a TB? Because Devastators did not perform well in Coral Sea and Midway, Divers receiving all the glory for saving the day. add the bad torpedo and the considerably longer time needed to train a good torpedo pilot in comparison to Dive bombers and on the other side of the equation you obtain reluctancy to go for torpedoes. Besides, a TB is a lone wolf. in order to bag properly the ship attacked, the anvil attack should be executed, with TBs breaking formation and going on their own. and a bomber is pretty much done for without the protection of the group. Divers are in one tight pack up till the moment of diving, even in the dive fellow aircraft can help each other fending off the CAP and the time to rejoin after the attack is signifficantly shorter compared to that of the TB.
Dive bombing is sure to deliver hits, even though not always fatal. But with the carrier becoming more important than the battleships, every hit means damage to the flight deck, thus limiting or completely disabling the use of the primary weapon - aircraft. Also, dive bombers are particularly useful in air support during landing operations, being able to attack point targets with good chances of success.

That are just some of the reasons US paid greater attention to their dive bombers, leaving the TBs in shadow. But the avengers also had their finest hour. Against the mighty Battleships of Japan, where the bombs had limited success, torpedoes dropped at point blank range were the way to go.

O, how I want to hold you,
To feel your breath
And hear your laughter in my ears.
To look into your eyes
And see myself in there.
Caress you with my lips.
To hold your hands in mine
And find the hidden smile in your dimple
That makes you irresistible
And stops the breathing in my chest.
To be with you when you are weeping,
To wipe away the tears and take away the sorrow.
To watch you while you are sleeping
Like there is no tomorrow.

And with a tender kiss to wake you up.

Essen,23.02.2004 20:53

SkyChimp
08-22-2004, 08:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ankanor:
and why didn't the Avenger make a name as a TB? Because Devastators did not perform well in Coral Sea and Midway, Divers receiving all the glory for saving the day.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Devestator performed well through the Battle of the Coral Sea. It sank a carrier at Coral Sea. It's didn't achieve any greatness at Midway, but it help lay waste to two heavy cruisers. It didn't survive in front-line service beyond that.



<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
add the bad torpedo
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Any failure on the part of TBs wasn't due to dud torpedoes. It was due to missing with them. By an large, early US aerial torpedoes worked. Later war USN torpedoes, be they aerial, submarine or ship-launched, were second to none.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Dive bombing is sure to deliver hits, even though not always fatal. But with the carrier becoming more important than the battleships, every hit means damage to the flight deck, thus limiting or completely disabling the use of the primary weapon - aircraft. Also, dive bombers are particularly useful in air support during landing operations, being able to attack point targets with good chances of success.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Dive bombing a manuevering ship wasn't easy and there were far more misses than hits when dive bombing ships. Anecdotal accounts are replete with entire groups missing a ship and going home with nothing to show for their efforts. That happened more often than not.

Regards,
http://members.cox.net/us.fighters/signature.jpg

xanty
08-23-2004, 07:51 AM
Hi all:

As far as I have read in several books, and clearly stated in the "in action" series, the MK13 torpedo that was used on the TBs was very unacurate and plagged with technical problems:
- The sunk deeper than they should
- Directional problems
- Some detonation problems

It was so bad, that there was an internal official investigation, and not until late '43 they managed to fix it to a decent result. During '42-43 they added pieces of wood to keep them from sinking too low, and helping other stability problems. In '44, a new design was incorporated on the rudder/tail-fins of the Mk.13 (distinguished by a ring across the 'fins) which solved the problem.

I think the TBD was a good carrier plane (in terms of manuabravility, take-off/landing speed, behaviour, etc), and well geared for the duty. However, it didn't have such good odds on '42 because of it's aged frame and features. I personally like it.

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ElAurens
08-23-2004, 08:13 AM
One must remember that when it was introduced the Devastator was by far the best torpedo bomber on the planet. It just had the misfortune to be developed during a period of very rapid technological advances in aeronautics. The F2A, P36, F4F and even the A6M and Ki43 all fall into this same catagory. They were all very quickly obsoleted by newer, faster, better types. (Except the Japanese were too smitten by their early success to realize it.)

_____________________________

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Ankanor
08-23-2004, 08:20 AM
sorry, had no connection(do not go for wireless http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/51.gif, lots of problems http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/53.gif and nervousness http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/crazy.gifhttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/53.gif http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/35.gif, advantages--&gt;0

AFAIK, the Shoho was already doomed by the rain of bombs the Dauntlesses had dropped on her. and the torpedos were more of a nailing the coffin.

during the battle off Midway, the 7 surviving TBDs were a part of the strike that attacked the alreday damaged Mogami and Mikuma(they had collided with each other). But the 7 had precise orders from Spruance not to attack unless there were no guns firing from the ships(I have no connection to the Enterprise site at the time being, so I'm not quoting the exact words). And the TBDs just watched from a safe distance.

the bad torpedo, I mean not a dud. It was the limits of the torpedo(no more than 115 mph speed of the aircraft, not sure about the alt). And really, I never heard of japanese torpedos failing. US torpedos, I have http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/mockface.gif

dive bombing was supposed to be more accurate than torpedoes. that's why I said "sure to make hits. And nobody is saying that dive-bombing is easy, I'm just pointing out that torpedoing is more difficult.

O, how I want to hold you,
To feel your breath
And hear your laughter in my ears.
To look into your eyes
And see myself in there.
Caress you with my lips.
To hold your hands in mine
And find the hidden smile in your dimple
That makes you irresistible
And stops the breathing in my chest.
To be with you when you are weeping,
To wipe away the tears and take away the sorrow.
To watch you while you are sleeping
Like there is no tomorrow.

And with a tender kiss to wake you up.

Essen,23.02.2004 20:53

Ferpo
08-23-2004, 10:18 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ankanor:
"... Besides, a TB is a lone wolf. in order to bag properly the ship attacked, the anvil attack should be executed, with TBs breaking formation and going on their own. ..."

Forgive me but, for all the reasons you gave, Torpedo planes were not lone wolf. For the hammer/anvil attack the squadron broke into two formations.

Ankanor
08-23-2004, 11:41 AM
Yes, the classic anvil/scissors attack requires the squadron(or survivors from the warm meeting with the CAP) to break in two formations, one attacking from the portside, the other from starboard. However, in the last and most important minutes before the drop, those formations break up, so the TBs attack from different angles to cover more area and reduce the risk of the target escaping. They do that break to one other reason - AAA dispersion. All that said, the TBs are too far away for mutual support against some hot blooded fighter pilot crazy enough to enter the AAA area. That is what I mean by saying a TB is a lone wolf. In the moment of truth, You are on your own to dodge the flak, fend off fighters, aim and drop.

On a sidenote, I read somewhere that the time a bomber pilot was most afraid was before the bomb drop. Flak bursts around you, fighters downing you fellows. And the time when a TB pilot got frightened was after the torpedo drop. Before that, he was too concentrated to aim his tinfish and jink to spoil the AA gunners' aim. he has no time to see the AA fire

O, how I want to hold you,
To feel your breath
And hear your laughter in my ears.
To look into your eyes
And see myself in there.
Caress you with my lips.
To hold your hands in mine
And find the hidden smile in your dimple
That makes you irresistible
And stops the breathing in my chest.
To be with you when you are weeping,
To wipe away the tears and take away the sorrow.
To watch you while you are sleeping
Like there is no tomorrow.

And with a tender kiss to wake you up.

Essen,23.02.2004 20:53

MoritzJGOne
08-23-2004, 12:51 PM
I believe that Jack Northrup had a part in the Dauntless and the A-20 prior to going off and setting up his next shop.

The Dauntless has it roots with a early pre-war Northrup dive bomber

Sakai9745
08-23-2004, 01:45 PM
In all fairness to the TBD, technology played a lesser role in it's disaster at Midway as opposed to tactics. A US torpedo bomber properly executing a torpedo run followed the training addage 'low. slow, straight at the target' - without any kind of support, it begs to be shot down. Without other elements coordinating their attacks - hence providing some distraction to draw some of the heat off - or providing protection, it's an invitation to disaster. Even the far more superior TBF, when it fought under the same handicap of no fighter escort, suffered attrociously in it's first engagement.

Al - SF, Calif

"Defense Dept regrets to inform you that your sons are dead cause they were stupid."