The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #148498   Message #3450731
Posted By: Little Hawk
11-Dec-12 - 07:56 PM
Thread Name: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
Good stuff, Don. It gives me a shiver to think of hearing those huge events announced on live radio! I didn't arrive in the world until 1948, being one of those "baby boom" kids.

You bet the Germans and Japanese would have loved to put Boeing out of business! The B-17 made considerable impact in the Pacific early on, but the B-24 proved more useful in that theatre...I think due to its longer range? Then later the B-29s came, again from Boeing. As for the Germans, they saw more B-17s than you can shake a stick at, as the saying goes. That was one hell of a tough airplane...and a pretty good looking one too, as bombers go.

Even the top Japanese aces found the B-17 a tough plane to knock down. Like the Germans, they eventually discovered that head-on attacks against it worked best...but this required damn good timing and a lot of nerve. Saburo Sakai has some interesting comments about that in his well-known book "Samurai". He flew the Zero for most of the war, and had a number of encounters with the B-17, managing to shoot down a couple of them.

Western Canada was worried about possible Japanese attacks too, but I think there was very little actual risk of the war coming that far east, other than through occasional submarine raids. It was too long a tactical reach for the Japanese, and too great a risk of serious losses if they had ever tried it. Still, I'm not surprised that people were concerned about it at the time.