Friday 1 November 2019

CINCPAC - CINCPOA Translations - Attacking Large Bombers Pt. 3

Part #3

While Force B was patrolling, its diversion unit (OKI, or 2d CHUTAI) became separated from the attack unit, then sighted and approached the direct escort unit of Force A. At this moment the attack unit also sighted the enemy, turned right, and approached the medium attack plane unit of Force A. During this maneuver the 3rd (YAMAMOTO) SHOTAI was delayed a little, and the attack unit became drawn out.
Immediately after the attack unit begun to approach the enemy, the diversion unit was engaging A's direct escort unit (in an overhead approach). The latter broke away and came up in front of the medium attack plane unit in an attempt to attack Force B's attack unit, but were unsuccessful (though they were of some hindrance to the later  attacking SHOTAI of Force B). SHOTAIs 1, 2, and 3 were able to make an effective, concerted assault.

1. The mission of the diversion of Force B was to cover the attack unit, but it became separated through poor communication; to leave the attack unit unprotected while it made a run was poor tactics. The diversion unit on patrol should fly above and a little to the rear to cover the attack unit, but just before the run it must pull ahead of the attack unit; the same tactics apply to the direct escort of medium attack planes. Keeping a close liaison at this juncture is a necessity; (a difficult maneuver).
2. Since the planes' formation is the basis of aerial combat between formations of planes, it is very important to exert every effort to maintain formation.

Essentials of formation flying: 1. Speed and precision, 2. A formation that is too tight is better than one that is too spread out, 3. To arrive too early is better than arriving late.

3. The diversion unit in patrol formation follows the attack unit; its mission is further complicated by its being required to fly ahead when the enemy is sighted. For this reason, a reciprocating patrol () might be carried out at right angles to the direction from which the enemy is expected, and the diversion unit placed on the side towards the enemy. If the diversion unit is stationed above and diagonally to the rear in the patrol formation, it will be in front of the attack unit. It is also thought that maneuvering will be facilitated by this disposition. (Lt. (jg) MASUDA)
A direct escort unit (KO fighters) must be attached to the attack unit (OTSU fighters), and the diversion unit (KO fighters) kept separate. The direct escort unit (TN: This is presumably the subject of the sentence, although the Japanese text is extremely vague.) must seize any good opportunity for checking and disrupting the enemy and then attack. The diversion unit will have as its mission the direct protection of the attack unit; its duties will be reduced and its mobility facilitated. However, since the missions of the attack and diversion units are inseparably interrelated, it is needless to emphasize the importance of preserving the closest coordination of movement between them.


Force A's direct escort unit set out for the attack over CHIBA. While it was still gaining speed in an effort to take up its position as direct escort for the medium attack plane unit, Force B's attack unit approached and attacked the bombers. By the time the attack unit had climbed ahead, the direct escort unit was in its prescribed position and ready for a run.
As the 1st and 2nd SHOTAI were weaving, Force B's attack unit again came in for an attack. The 1st and 2nd SHOTAI of the direct escort unit engaged them. The 1st and 2nd SHOTAI, above them with an altitude advantage of 700 meters, engaged the diversion unit of Force B. As a result, the attack unit's run was pulled flat.
In general, the direct escort unit of Force A maintained good position and was able to prevent any effective attacks. 


While on patrol over its YOKOSUKA base, Force B sighted 6 fighters (Army SHOKIs) (TN: TOJO) in the direction of CHIBA at a distance of about 4000 meters. Though very near to them, the diversion unit (MASUDA CHUTAI) mistook these planes for the "enemy", became separated from the attack unit, and made a run on the fighters. However, realizing their mistake, the hastily turned, and attempted to rejoin the attack unit; but since they were already at some distance, only the 2nd SHOTAI was able to catch up and fly ahead of the attack unit.
When the enemy was actually sighted, the 2nd SHOTAI made an overhead attack on the enemy's direct escort unit. The attack unit beat off an attack by Force A's direct escort unit and attacked the medium attack plane unit (but was again attacked by part of the direct escort unit).
Hereupon, the 1st SHOTAI of Force B's diversion unit also joined the fight, but was unable to give the attack unit complete protection.

1. It is exceedingly poor tactics for the diversion unit to part from the attack unit;. The diversion unit bears an inseparable relationship to the attack unit; it must maneuver so as to be in advance when the attack unit starts its approach.
2. When approaching the bombers, the attack unit should roll over with an altitude advantage of 500-700 meters (TN: make its run), and pull out immediately in front of them.
When an altitude advantage of about 1000 meters has been regained, and an air speed of about 130 knots (indicated) has been reached, roll over, and another approach will be easy. Rolling over for the run after approaching with an altitude advantage of 1000 meters and at an air speed of 170-190 knots (indicated) makes for over-acceleration and rather difficult deflection firing.

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