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Japanese and Allied Air Forces in the Far East Please use this forum to discuss the Air War in the Far East.

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  #81  
Old 14th October 2017, 02:38
Luftwaffle8 Luftwaffle8 is offline
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Re: Saburo Sakai

To cap the Japanese "aces" myth:

We Americans are a merit-based society which stresses individuality and showing the initiative...with incentives, reward, and recognition for achievement. We put heroes on pedestals and publicize their individual achievements (number of aerial victories), and give them the title of "ace." Thus, a score keeping system was necessary.

Japan is a group-oriented society which stress conformity and abhors individuality. The needs of the group outweighed the needs of the individual. There had to be self-sacrifice for the good of the group.

If you want to understand Japanese group psychology under war conditions, just watch the movie LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA.

I was lucky to have interviewed many veteran Japanese pilots before they passed away. Our concept of "aces" was unknown to them. They talked about "great veteran pilots" but never about pilots who claimed X victories.
Scores were meaningless.

So if the veteran pilots say that "aces" did not exist, then believe it.
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  #82  
Old 14th October 2017, 04:57
NickM NickM is offline
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Re: Saburo Sakai

we must be clear when we talk about losses we aren't talking about planes lost to ground fire, or bad weather, accidents or plain bad luck.
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  #83  
Old 15th October 2017, 00:47
R Leonard R Leonard is offline
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Re: Saburo Sakai

The USN reported a total of 907 aircraft lost to enemy aircraft in WWII, the vast majority, 897, in the Pacific. Other losses noted, Pacific theaters only, were 1,948 to AAA fire and 1,336 operational. (Naval Aviation Combat Statistics – WWII)

The USAAF reported a total of 1,444 aircraft lost to enemy aircraft in WWII in the Pacific theaters, including China Burma India and Alaska. Other losses noted were 942 to AAA fire and 1,650 to “other” causes. (USAAF Statistical Digest)
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  #84  
Old 15th October 2017, 03:52
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knusel knusel is offline
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Re: Saburo Sakai

Good evening Leonard,

thanks for the interesting figures which imply that the Japanese scores should be lower than the US scores in that theater (although the Japanese scores did also include USMC and Commonwealth aircraft).

Michael
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  #85  
Old 15th October 2017, 18:05
R Leonard R Leonard is offline
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Re: Saburo Sakai

Sorry . . . revised to include the USMC in above totals . . . Pacific Theaters of operations:
Lost to enemy A/C = 1,222
Lost to enemy AAA = 2,180
Lost Operationally = 1,535
Lost Other Flights (not combat related) = 3,619
Lost on ground or aboard ship = 1,419

Last edited by R Leonard; 16th October 2017 at 03:45. Reason: Re-checked the numbers
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  #86  
Old 16th October 2017, 10:38
Stig1207 Stig1207 is offline
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Re: Saburo Sakai

This link gives loss figures for both USN and USMC:

907 to A/C
1982 A/A
1345 operational
3045 other flights
1313 ship/ ground

https://www.history.navy.mil/content...raphs/nasc.pdf
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  #87  
Old 16th October 2017, 15:58
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knusel knusel is offline
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Re: Saburo Sakai

Quote:
Originally Posted by R Leonard View Post
Sorry . . . revised to include the USMC in above totals . . . Pacific Theaters of operations:
Lost to enemy A/C = 1,222
Lost to enemy AAA = 2,180
Lost Operationally = 1,535
Lost Other Flights (not combat related) = 3,619
Lost on ground or aboard ship = 1,419
Hello Leonard,

that makes 2.666 US planes lost in aerial combat against the Japanese.

Another naive fallacy:
  • The Americans scored ~14.000 kills against the Japanese.
  • That makes a kill-loss-ratio of the Americans against the Japanese of ~5:1.
  • Thus, if we ignore the shot-down Commonwealth planes we might expect that the scores of the American top aces were five times higher than the scores of the Japanese top aces.
  • Thus, the Sakai score of 6 suggested by Luftwaffle8 indeed seems more realistic than a score of 64.
Michael
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  #88  
Old 18th October 2017, 17:36
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Saburo Sakai

You are comparing real US losses with US claims. US pilots did not overclaim as much as Japanese, but still did overclaim.

As for using the overall figures to guess the top aces score, it seems false to me. Thousand of US kills were claimed against Japanese rookie pilots, especially kamikazes in the last year of the war, while Japanese aces were always facing US pilots with a good amount of training. Probable result will be that most American pilots in a given unit may score kills or claims while on the Japanese side a few trained survivors will do most of the claims while the badly trained replacements will often be quickly lost without scoring.
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  #89  
Old 18th October 2017, 20:36
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Re: Saburo Sakai

Good evening Laurent,

yes, that's why I called it naive fallacy. I found that word in a vocabulary, the German term for that is "milk maid's bill".
I wanted to gain an impression about the magnitude level of Japanese scores.
By the way, did you know that the Japanese overclaimed by the factor 6 in the Nomonhan conflict ?

Have a nice evening,

Michael
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  #90  
Old 26th October 2017, 11:29
betthethao betthethao is offline
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Re: Saburo Sakai

focusfocus, it is obviously that kill was officially assigned to all Japanese pilots who participated in this combat regardless, French airforce in WWII had a similar policy, a shot down would be assigned to all pilots participated in the mission, sometimes assigned to entire squadron, regardless whether individual pilots fired a shot at that down enemy aircraft, a "kill" would be an achievement for a unit, not individual, hence the difference between unit record and the pilot log book
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