Monday, May 11, 2015

Basic tactics adopted with P-40s against Japanese fighters

Basic tactics adopted with P-40s against Japanese fighters of superior maneuverability: 1.) Never Use Climbing Maneuvers unless you have excess speed from a dive because the Jap plane can outclimb you. 2.) Use the P-40s best characteristics; namely- speed, diving and fire power (head-on runs). Never use maneuverability. Avoid aerobatics because the Jap planes can do them faster and in much less space. Never Dogfight Them. 3.) Altitude is good life insurance. If the enemy has two or three thousand feet altitude advantage on you, turn at right angles to his course, or even directly away from him and avoid him until you have enough distance to climb safely at least to his altitude. Climbing straight up into an enemy formation at 150 MPH is almost a sure way to lose pilots and equipment. 4.) If you have to bail out while the enemy is in the vicinity, wait as long as possible before opening your chute, because if a Jap sees you, he will machine-gun you. 5.) Be patient; use the clouds and sun, and wait until you have an altitude advantage before attacking. If you have to dive away from the attack, it will take you twenty minutes to get back into it again. If you have an initial altitude advantage, you can dive, fire and climb again and repeat at very close intervals, thus doing more damage.

Combat techniques developed by the Flying Tigers in China, Summer 1941–Summer 1942, quoted in Bergerud, Fire in the Sky, 450–451.

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