Robbie, Douglass

WWII Research Hunt

How did the difference of aircraft technology between Japan and the U.S. impact WWII?

Despite Japan's initial advantage in aircraft at the start of the war, the U.S. was able to advance at a faster rate due to their immense resources.
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Some background information

World War II was fought in the air as much as it was on the ground, with entire groups of fighter planes and bombers in combat. Some of the most famous types of World War II airplanes between the U.S. and Japan were the U.S. B-29, and the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero. Both of these planes were very powerful but the B-29 came in later in the war ending the war with Japan by dropping two atomic bombs. The Zero's were some of the fastest and best fighter planes in the beginning but the Allied powers caught on and advanced unlike the Japanese.

Main Idea #1: The Japanese started the war of the pacific with more advanced aircraft than the U.S.

Analysis: The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was one of the best aircraft of the Japanese and it could beat any U.S. fighters because of its speed and agility.

Supporting Fact: At the beginning of World War II, Japanese aircraft were at least the equals of anything then flying in the West, and in some cases (As with the A6M Zero) were substantially better. Japanese aircrews were amazingly trained and had been in the conflict with China during the late 1930's. When war tore across the Pacific in December 1941, Japan was more than a match for any of its opponents.

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Main idea #2: As the war continued, the U.S. was able to use their homefront resources and ingenuity to surpass the Japanese.

As the war progressed the Japanese air forces quickly lost ground to the faster, more heavily armed and armoured American air force. When the American B-29s began bombing over the Japanese islands, lightly-armed Japanese fighters had difficulty bringing them down. Japanese planes also lacked the advantage of airborne radar. This discrepancy led Japan to begin kamikaze, a suicide tactic where a plane is loaded with explosives and crashed directly into its target, attacks on U.S. shipping.

Analysis: This quote shows that the technology of the U.S. caught up to that of the Japanese and it was up to the Will of the Japanese pilots to have an effect on the war so they weren’t afraid to intentionally crash their planes into the enemy.

Supporting Fact: "Throughout the war, the IJNAF remained a potent weapon, though Japanese equipment was eventually outclassed by newer American models, and relentless attrition began to take its toll on pilot quality. Even in defeat, though, the IJNAF refused to wilt away, finally immolating itself in the form of the Kamikaze air corps".

Main Idea #3: Some of the best U.S. planes came later in WWII.

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Analysis: The Zero's were some of the fastest and best fighter planes in the beginning but the Allied powers caught on and advanced unlike the Japanese.

Supporting Fact: World War II was fought in the air as much as it was on the ground, with entire groups of fighter planes and bombers in combat. Some of the most famous types of World War II airplanes between the U.S. and Japan were the U.S. B-29, and the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero. Both of these planes were very powerful but the B-29 came in later in the war ending the war with Japan by dropping two atomic bombs.

At the end of the war there was a major difference in the planes that were being used and the ones before the war. The aircraft had became a highly effective weapon in wars.

Supporting Fact: Larger bombers that had more of an impact were being developed later in the war. The B-29 was a huge aircraft that was capable of delivering atomic bombs almost anywhere around the world. To end the war with Japan, the U.S. used a B-29 called the Enola Gay to end the war between the U.S. and Japan. They used it to drop the atomic bomb on Japan.

Main Idea #4: The ambition of the U.S. helped win the war on the Pacific front.

Analysis: The Japanese started the war on the Pacific by striking the island of Oahu. This was when the war effort was in effect and everyone in the U.S. wanted revenge. The ambition of the American citizens created some of the best aircraft in that time that would change air battles for ever such as the B-17 and the B-29. Both of those planes were built in the factories across the U.S. and were major factors in winning the war.

Supporting Fact: "After the raid that saw hundreds of Japanese aircrafts basically destroy the Pearl Harbor fleet and many of the Air Force bases of the island, the war effort went into full swing and, ultimately, the engagement of the U.S. made the difference. We can say that the attack on Hawaii was the sting that woke up the giant. Thanks to their determination and their enormous economic power, the American people changed the course of the war, producing some of the best airplanes of the time".

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