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Captain Ned

The Douglas SBD Dauntless. Marginally obsolete when the war started, but still proved better in combat than its supposed replacement, the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver.

For those who want the correct version of Midway (IMO), look no further than Parshall & Tully's "Shattered Sword".


Someone in the Imperial navy produced a plan to produce 120,000 pilots, but the plan was shelved and ignored. The pre-war production rate of about 100 naval Aviators (According to Saburo Sakai) a year would never suffice. We proved that you could produce quality pilots at high rates. At least one Jap naval Officer knew that as well.


Reading it again now, it never gets old. It's always got something you forgot about. And seeing Yamamoto, Nagumo, Yamaguchi as they WERE , not portrayed in lousy movies is delicious

CT II Raven

Cap Ned - excellent read! The IJN never learned the concept of concentrated force. The Northern diversion force was a waste of assets




Interesting observation on Dauntless v Helldiver. I hadn't heard that before. They certainly look better, but I was not aware of a performance advantage.

Captain Ned

Esli: On paper, the SB2C was a far better plane than the SBD. Crews hated it. It was unreliable and unstable in a dive (sorta the point here) compared to the SBD, plus it was far more maintenance-intensive. It was also one of the last products out of Curtiss, whose skills in aircraft design and manufacture were about to hit the wall (they spent most of WWII as a contract manufacturer).

There's a reason it came to be called Son of a Bitch, Second Class.

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