Most Overrated Aircraft of WWII...

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by polishshooter, Sep 10, 2006.

Most Over rated plane of WWII...

  1. Fairey Swordfish

    1 vote(s)
  2. JU-87 Stuka

    0 vote(s)
  3. Mitsubishi Betty

    1 vote(s)
  4. Other-please list why

    2 vote(s)
  1. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    OK, which one. (or others) do you think does NOT deserve the "press" ot got?

    Ones that the "General Public" think were MUCH better, or MUCH more important to the war effort on either side, than was the case, either through propaganda, or poor reporting at the time...

    I think it's a toss up between the Stuka and the Swordfish...BOTH proved themselves to be only effective against UNDEFENDED targets, BOTH were obsolete and packed too light a "punch," (Although the 37 and 40mm equipped Stukas DID see a little resurgence as "Tank Hunters" on the Eastern front until they all got shot down and replaced by better ground attack planes...) they had to be pulled pretty QUICKLY from the BOB, and while they WERE a fundamental part of the success of "Blitzkrieg," it was more the importance of the TACTIC of "close support" that no one had tried before, and not anything to do with the PLANE that performed it!

    The Swordfish was MISERABLE against Uboats, was even ordered to NOT attack one on the surface as it was a sitting duck even for it's few 20mms, only became effective late when it got fitted with 5" rockets and could "stand off..."

    It's ONLY successes was a lucky hit on the Bismarck (and contrary to popular belief, the Bismarck had CRAPPY AA defenses, like MANY pre-WWII BBs...) and Taranto, which was a complete surprise...and it WAS against the ITALIANS too don't forget...

    PITY the poor pilots trying to get a hit with that PUNY 18" torpedo while flying low and slow, about 90 knots at best...made our DEVASTATORS llok modern and efficient....

    Instead, pilots had to BRAVELY fly in those ICY open cockpots escorting as best they could (not very well!) the Murmansk/Archangel convoys, was ONE of the reasons the British navy RAN from the Jap fleet in early 42 and let them have their way at Colombo, and was never a threat to the Jap Western Flank, and the Japs knew it....
  2. My vote goes to "Other," specifically the Japanese Mitsubishi Zero fighter. It was very much overrated I think. It was maneuverable to be sure, and relatively fast, but its lack of armor and self-sealing gas tanks doomed it from the outset, yet the Japanese never really tried very hard to replace it until the very end of the war. It was dead meat against either the P-38 or the F4U Corsair, and certainly the Hellcat as well. In fact, it was almost as bad as the M4 tank! :D :p ;)

  3. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

    May 5, 2003
    I'll go with Pistol on the Zero.
  4. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    I strongly agree WRT the A6M. It's early successes were without any opposition, or very little next to nothing, and while their finely trained expert pilots were still alive and available. With any reasonable opposition, they were dead in the air.

    They did a good job for the Japanese but were only good for them because of circumstances, not engineering or planning, mainly for the reasons stated by Pistol.
  5. Ursus

    Ursus Active Member

    I'll go along with Pistol an John. The Zero was the best!...until the P-38 (even maybe the Corsair) got to the fight. After that the zeroes became piece of cake.
  6. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Yeah, the Zero was EVEN a match for the P-40 and the F4F when the Us pilots got smart, but even when they DID dogfight them they found that the Japs LOVED the "head on" pass, and any American Pilot after mid-42 would "take it" in a HEARTBEAT...and USUALLY the Zero LOST, even when BOTH pilotsts scored.

    I didn't include the Zero only because of it's early successes DID justify at least a little the hands of a GOOD pilot it was a tough fight even late oin the war...

    The MAIN problem with the Zero was the fact that fighter pilots in Japan were almost of "Samurai" status, so had a LOT of influence in it's design...and demanded a fast, DOGFIGHTER that could turn, and CLIMB, first and foremost, like ANY fighter jock wants...and the ONLY way Jap designers could get that performance with such a small engine was to make it as LIGHT as possible, with no armor, just thin sheet metal tanks, not even a RADIO.

    The Japs NEVER could get a large engine to work reliably, the 900hp Sakaii enjine of the Zero was about the biggest they ever got to work reliably, and even that one they could only "improve" to about 960hp...this while the Us STARTED the war with 1200 to 1500hp engines, and by 1943 2000hp was STANDARD in fighters....

    But the SAME thing happened with the Betty, only worse...the JAF and JNAF wanted 4000 miles and 4000 lbs of bombs or torpedoes out of it with "high speed," with only TWO of the same engines the Zero again, as light construction as possible, no armor, minimal a time that even the long legged ZERO only could go 1600 miles MAX, so if the Betty ever DID use it's range on a mission, it would be unescorted, and thus dead meat...which it WAS. just a FEW hits from a .50 and it flamed and the wings Yamamoto found out PERSONALLY. And even the EARLY Wildcat could fly with it despite it's 300mph speed, as Butch Ohare found out when he splashed 5 in less than 5 minutes in the Coral Sea...

    The Japs had a GOOD (not GREAT, just "good...") bomber in the Nell that the Betty "replaced"...half the bomb load, half the range, 100mph less speed...that served them WELL in CHina and at the beginning...and sunk the POW and the Repulse! They'd have been better off to keep IT and can the Betty, at least it could take a FEW more hits.

    In fact, the Japs MAY have been better to turn the C-47 that they were building under license before the war into BOMBERS< at least it might have had a CHANCE....
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2006
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