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Old 4th October 2022, 16:37
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: "Balls of Fire" attacks against B-29s over Japan

There are many reports of aircrew seeing not what was really there, but what they expected to see. Use of the Me163 as a night fighter, as a very close equivalent. "Long nose" Fw.190s is combat over Italy months before the first Fw.190D entered service. He.113s in the Battle of Britain. It would be reasonable for B-29 gunners to be expecting to see jet or rocket fighters over Japan. The actual realities of the engineering and production challenges for Japanese faced with such technologies are quite another matter (as described above) particularly in the timescales claimed.

One point: The Kikka was in no way a Japanese Me.262, but an independent design with much the same layout. It was considerably smaller, simpler, lighter armed, and less powerful, designed as a dedicated light bomber. The Japanese equivalent of the Me.262 was the Ki.201 Karyu.
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