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Today, a brief overview of the force that attacked Pearl Harbor:

Three types of airplanes were used. The most famous is Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter, with two 20mm cannons and a pair of 7.7mm MGs:

The other, most numerous type, was Nakajima B5N Kate torpedo bomber:

And the third type, the Aichi D3A Val dive bomber, has a distinction of being the first Japanese aircraft to bomb American targets:

The first attack wave of 183 planes was launched north of Oahu, commanded by Captain Mitsuo Fuchida. It included:
  • 1st Group (targets: battleships and aircraft carriers)
50 Nakajima B5N Kate bombers armed with 800 kg (1760 lb) armor piercing bombs, organized in four sections
40 B5N bombers armed with Type 91 torpedoes, also in four sections
  • 2nd Group — (targets: Ford Island and Wheeler Field)
54 Aichi D3A Val dive bombers armed with 550 lb (249 kg) general purpose bombs
  • 3rd Group — (targets: aircraft at Ford Island, Hickam Field, Wheeler Field, Barber’s Point, Kaneohe)
45 Mitsubishi A6M Zeke fighters for air control and strafing
Six planes failed to launch due to technical difficulties.

The second wave consisted of 171 planes: 54 B5Ns, 81 D3As, and 36 A6Ms, commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Shigekazu Shimazaki. Four planes failed to launch because of technical difficulties. This wave and its targets comprised:
  • 1st Group
54 B5Ns armed with 550 lb (249 kg) and 132 lb (60 kg) general purpose bombs
27 B5Ns — aircraft and hangars on Kaneohe, Ford Island, and Barbers Point
27 B5Ns — hangars and aircraft on Hickam Field
  • 2nd Group (targets: aircraft carriers and cruisers)
81 D3As armed with 550 lb (249 kg) general purpose bombs, in four sections
  • 3rd Group — (targets: aircraft at Ford Island, Hickam Field, Wheeler Field, Barber’s Point, Kaneohe)
36 A6Ms for defense and strafing

The second wave was divided into three groups. One was tasked to attack Kāneʻohe, the rest Pearl Harbor proper. The separate sections arrived at the attack point almost simultaneously, from several directions.

The effect of these attacks is common knowledge. I only want to remind you of the Japanese losses:
9 A6M2, 5 B5N2, 15 D3A1, 55 airmen.
To shoot a single enemy airplane in a situation like this is a great achievement. 29 were shot. Losses in the second wave made Admiral Nagumo cancel the third, most deadly wave.

There's more in the album. Enjoy the slideshow:

Find more photos like this on Dieselpunks

Views: 760

Tags: 1940s, S.A.M., aircraft, aviation, bombers, fighters, japan, navy, wwii

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