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Rnd 3 Grp CD - Grumman F4F Wildcat (USA) vs Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" (Japan)

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  • Rnd 3 Grp CD - Grumman F4F Wildcat (USA) vs Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" (Japan)

    Round 3, Group CD: Grumman F4F Wildcat (USA) vs Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" (Japan)


    Grumman F4F Wildcat
    The F4F Wildcat commenced service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy during 1940. Naturally enough being at war already, the British were the first to use the Wildcat (which, at this time, they referred to as the "Martlet") in combat. Thus, the F4F scored its first combat victory on Christmas Day 1940 when a land-based Martlet destroyed a Junkers Ju 88 bomber over the Scapa Flow naval base. It should also be noted that this was the first combat victory by a US-built fighter in British service in World War 2. Meanwhile, the F4F was steadily replacing the Brewster Buffalo in US Navy service and from December 1941, when the USA actively entered the war until some time into 1943 the Wildcat was the only effective fighter available to the United States Navy in the Pacific Theater. And effective it most certainly was! In terms of speed, maneuverability and range the Wildcat was clearly outperformed by the Mitsubishi A6M "Zero". Nevertheless, the sheer ruggedness of the Grumman fighter in conjunction with revised American tactics that tended to nullify the Zero's strengths, helped through 1942 and 1943 to ensure that the overall kill/loss ratio did not favour the Japanese; far from it, in fact. Lessons learned with the Wildcat were used, further refined and even more successfully applied after the arrival of its successor, the F6F Hellcat; but it was the pilots of the Wildcats who had paved the way. Perhaps one of the best tributes to the F4F Wildcat came from the British test pilot Eric "Winkle" Brown: "I would still assess the Wildcat as the outstanding naval fighter of the early years of World War II ... I can vouch as a matter of personal experience, this Grumman fighter was one of the finest shipboard aeroplanes ever created."

    Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen ("Zero")
    With almost 11,000 produced, the A6M "Zero" was built in considerably greater numbers than any other Japanese fighter in WW2. It is one of the most well known fighters of any nation, to emerge from that conflict and the Zero has become iconic. Indeed, for most people at least, it's the only WW2 Japanese fighter they've heard of. When it was introduced early in World War II, the A6M was considered the most capable carrier-based fighter in the World. It combined good general performance with exceptional maneuverability, fairly good armament and outstanding range. For a while, it gained a fearsome reputation but its perceived "near invincibility" would fade away once Allied pilots got the measure of it, understood its weaknesses and were themselves eventually provided with better and more potent fighters. The Japanese were able to upgrade the Zero to a small extent but not enough to really compete with later Allied aircraft. This situation deteriorated further for the Japanese as Allied pilots on average became more skilled, while the skill base of Japanese pilots began to decline overall, especially in the final stages of the war. As the war continued, the Japanese produced newer, more potent fighters but it was pretty much a case of "too little, too late".


    Will your vote go to the solid and trusty Wildcat or to the nimble and renowned Zero?

    Only one of these two candidates will make it to the next round!


    Which of them is the more significant and/or influential?




    Candidate #60 - Grumman F4F Wildcat (USA)

    Full Service From (approx) – 1940
    Quantity produced - 7,808
    User Nations - USA, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Greece

    For further info & some technical details, you can start with Wiki here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumman_F4F_Wildcat


    F4F (built by Grumman)



    FM-2 (built by General Motors)






    Candidate #61 - Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" (Japan)

    Full Service From (approx) – 1940
    Quantity produced - 10,964
    User Nations - Japan, China, Indonesia, Thailand

    For further info & some technical details, you can start with Wiki here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_A6M_Zero











    Consider the criteria with care! You decide!
    88
    Grumman F4F Wildcat (USA)
    31.82%
    28
    Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" (Japan)
    68.18%
    60

    The poll is expired.

    Last edited by panther3485; 04 Apr 15, 03:05.
    "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

  • #2
    I voted for the Zero in this one. The F4F was deemed inadequate to properly combat it, and the mighty Hellcat was designed explicitly to defeat it. Until the arrival of the F6F and the Corsair, the Zero proved to be more than a match for all comers, including the Supermarine Spitfire. It was both highly impactful, and extremely influential for future aircraft design.

    A6M Zero.

    Comment


    • #3
      The Zero was more influential. I feel the Wildcat was the product f evolutionary design back into the biplane era, Not so the Zero!

      Pruitt
      Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

      Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

      by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

      Comment


      • #4
        The Wildcat should be the easy winner here. It gave the US air superiority in the PTO against more veteran pilots in their zero's. The loss of experienced pilots meant that the Japanese were never able to wrest control of the skies back in WW2. No other WW2 fighter can make that claim. No other fighter in any other theatre gave their side air superiority against superior quality pilots.
        How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
        Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
          The Wildcat should be the easy winner here. It gave the US air superiority in the PTO against more veteran pilots in their zero's. The loss of experienced pilots meant that the Japanese were never able to wrest control of the skies back in WW2. No other WW2 fighter can make that claim. No other fighter in any other theatre gave their side air superiority against superior quality pilots.
          While I agree that the Wildcat is an extremely worthy aircraft, it had less of an impact compared to the Hellcat (and the Zero). Even under the very best of circumstances (Guadalcanal), it was barely able to achieve a 1:1 kill ratio.

          While the Wildcat helped the US win Guadalcanal and the Solomons Campaign, it didn't give them air superiority. It was up to the Hellcat to do that. Up until the widespread introduction of the F6F, the Allies found themselves outclassed in the air against Japan.

          The Wildcat was an important stopgap measure for the time being, but its significance and impact were less than both the Hellcat and the Zero.

          Comment


          • #6
            The Zero represents for the Pacific War the most important Japanese fighter in use from 1940 to the end of the war. It was the plane for the Allies to beat. It's significance is such that tactics, and aircraft design were made to counter it.

            The rather pedestrian F4F could hold its own versus a Zero but could never clearly best it. As such, it was replaced along with most other pre-war US fighters to give pilots planes that could best the Zero.

            Comment


            • #7
              Has to be the Zero, which forced the Allies to revolutionize their own fighters in response.
              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

              Comment


              • #8
                Two innovations the A6M brought in:

                The first was a new aluminum alloy developed by Mitsubishi. Today, that equates to the ASM 7600 series used in modern aircraft manufacturing.

                The second was a massive attempt at weight saving. For example, the wing spars form part of the skin of the aircraft rather than being skinned over as was / is normal practice. Every bit of weight that could be saved was.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                  The Zero represents for the Pacific War the most important Japanese fighter in use from 1940 to the end of the war. It was the plane for the Allies to beat. It's significance is such that tactics, and aircraft design were made to counter it.

                  The rather pedestrian F4F could hold its own versus a Zero but could never clearly best it. As such, it was replaced along with most other pre-war US fighters to give pilots planes that could best the Zero.
                  The Wildcat did beat it, and drove the Zero from the sky.

                  I don't care about paper statistics, hence my opinion on what was the best ww2 tank, I care about results. The Wildcat won against veteran opposition, when the US pilots were usually green in comparison.

                  The Wildcat allowed for pilot error. and had attributes that were significantly better than its oppostion.

                  The Wildcat gave the US airsuperiority in WW2 in the PTO.
                  How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                  Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                    The Wildcat did beat it, and drove the Zero from the sky.
                    Losses through the end of 1942 are almost exactly 1 to 1 F4F versus A6M. The Japanese simply couldn't replace the pilots, even as they replaced the aircraft losses.

                    I don't care about paper statistics, hence my opinion on what was the best ww2 tank, I care about results. The Wildcat won against veteran opposition, when the US pilots were usually green in comparison.
                    Actually, that is a myth. USN and USMC pilots through mid to late 1942 were primarily, if not entirely, pre-war long term service ones who had as much flying time or more than any Japanese pilot.
                    USN and USMC pilots were also uniquely trained in deflection shooting as part of their curriculum. It is a complete myth that Japanese pilots were superior in terms of training or flying time.

                    The Wildcat allowed for pilot error. and had attributes that were significantly better than its oppostion.

                    The Wildcat gave the US airsuperiority in WW2 in the PTO.
                    The F4F prevented the Japanese from dominating areas where the USN or USMC operated. It did not give the US air superiority. That took the F6F in 1943 which blew away the Japanese opposition.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Almost the same plane was still doing real combat missions at the end of the war. the GM FM-2, while the Zero was just useful as a Kamikaze

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm totally with Nick. From the F-4 came the F-6 Zero eater. What other country tried to follow the Zero's design. How many followed the HellCat, child of the F4?
                        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                          The Wildcat gave the US airsuperiority in WW2 in the PTO.
                          My appraisal would be that while the F4F didn't actually give the US air superiority as such, it did stop the Japanese from having air superiority; and that was certainly of critical importance otherwise things would have been much worse. However, as others have said, swinging the pendulum still further in the direction of clear air superiority for the US seems mainly to have been the work of later fighters.
                          "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                            " ... It is a complete myth that Japanese pilots were superior in terms of training or flying time. ... "
                            What about combat experience?
                            "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My vote for the Wildcat is a to those who fought in the early part of the war in the Pacific, when the odds were against the Allies there. Its possibly my favorite part of the war. The courage in the face of the odds.
                              "A foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse." Ulysses S. Grant

                              Comment

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