Although Japanese aircraft generally were lighter than Western counterparts and not so much in need of paved strips, occupying enemy airfields was never easy. The runway continued to be soft and slippery during rains. When the Japanese navy flew its first nine fighters into the Philippine airport of Legaspi in December 1941, two of them were totally wrecked upon landing. This narrow view lead to a neglect of logistics and other crucial elements. (Tagaya: p. 179-180) Add in the USAAC (US Army Air Corps) & the US Navy Pilots and something really interesting happens. Also the attack on Pearl Harbor and the following half year the IJN basically marked the start of domination of aircraft carriers in naval warfare. Yet by early April 1942, naval air units had no extras and were below their authorized operating strength. This article focuses on Chinese aerial resistance to Japan. PLEASE NOTE: Posts and pages contain amazon affiliate links. They worked at night to avoid Allied air attacks, only to fall victim to the malaria mosquito, which was most active at night. Real problems developed, however, when those units reached undeveloped territories. Since the Japanese Army Air Force was mostly developed for tactical support of a land war against Soviet Union, it lacked capabilities for naval navigation and long-range capabilities, something that was crucial for their use in South East Asia and especially the islands of the Pacific. The Japanese Navy and Japanese Army each had their own air force. Although there had always been shortages of trained mechanics, commanders showed little interest in sending their men to the ordnance school in Japan. They were hidden underneath houses, rice mills, shacks and public buildings. In terms of aircraft the Zero outmatched all it counterparts and sometimes even land-based aircraft. “We were told to rush men through,” Sakai said, “to forget the fine points, just teach them how to fly and shoot.”. This lead to two different strategies that were competing with each other for resources, manpower and equipment. Furthermore, in aircraft components and subsystems, like radios Japan was still very dependent on Western imports. The main roles for the Army Air Force lay in recon and air combat, whereas bombing missions received only limited attention. “They hated each other,” Lt. Cmdr. This resulted in an ineffective air force, which had almost no other option but to resort to Kamikaze attacks due to insufficient training and equipment. In defense of the Japanese, we need to take into account that even the Western Allies that focused on strategic warfare early on didn’t focus on the German supplies in their bombing campaigns, it took them until May 1944 to focus at fuel production, which severely limited the mobility and combat effectiveness of all German forces. The Japanese failed to construct ferry sites and auxiliary airfields between Rabaul and Guadalcanal, 675 miles away, when they had the time. Amazingly, the Japanese tolerated those losses. Mounts to hold guns, cannons and rocket launchers varied between the two services. It was only after the Battle of Midway [June 1942] that the Japane… This is reflected in the slow build-up of its bomber squadrons in the 1920ies. Japan’s prewar military budgets had gone to warships, infantry divisions and aircraft, not to construction equipment. World War II in the Pacific was a fight to seize and defend airfields. These units sank the Royal Navy’s battleships the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse early on in the War. Because service personnel arrived late or were too few, maintenance — and even the building of quarters and other facilities — fell to the aircrews themselves. COUNTRIES. The Army for a large part saw as their main enemy in Russia and later the Soviet Union, while the Navy determined the United States of America as their principal foe. This prevented to a large degree that they could fully exploit their initial advantages in training and equipment. The navy general staff had been equally shortsighted in planning for mutually supporting air bases. Like after the defeat of the Allied cruisers at the battle of the Savo Island, where the transport ships were left unharmed. Atlantic Wall – Example of a Coastal Defense Position (Atlantikwall), [Debunked] Viking Warfare – Myths and Realities. The Japanese made gaining and maintaining control of the air as much a requirement in their basic war strategy as they did the destruction of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Units were at full strength in aircraft and crews. In fact, the aircraft carrier balance was to decide the fate of the conflict. B. auf Trainingsflügen) Cygnus One und Cygnus Two. As a result Japanese airfields were usually congested with planes that were parked closely to each other on several occasions this lead to severe losses when those air fields were attacked. When aviation gasoline became scarce, army trainees flew gliders during the first month of training to save fuel. Men who had been rejected for pilot training over the previous two years were now accepted. (Tagaya: p. 189-190). Although, the enormous amounts of resources put into building the Yamato and Musashi super-battleships are to a certain degree understandable, because before the war in the pacific, it was not clear how important carriers would be, but the reluctance to change the naval organization was major flaw. These attacks also inflicted significant damage and chaos on the logistical side. Heavy rains delayed construction, and even significant additions to the construction troops did not help much. This is due to the fact the modern Navies usually have a more open attitude towards technology and innovation. The better a unit is at fixing things, however, the harder it may be to get where it needs to go. Military History Visualized – Offical Homepage for the YouTube Channel. This lead to a shortage of officers with proper experience during the rapid expansion. Yet, in the conflicts in China and with the Soviet Union the Army Air Force mainly contributed on a tactical level. (Tagaya: p. 182-185) The Japanese focus on battle and combat units was the determining factor throughout the war and the lack of unified strategy between the Navy and Army showed a lack of foresight and strategic perspective.