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WWII Empire of Japan
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WWII Empire of Japan

WWII Empire of Japan

Imperial Japanese Navy and the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force

At the beginning of the Pacific War no Allied fighter was a match for the Zero. The best of the early American Army fighters was probably the Curtiss P-40, and the early models of this fighter were distinctly inferior to the Zero. The Americans thought they were facing a "wonder weapon," the Japanese A6M2 Zero, the main fighter plane of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in 1941. It

flew rings around the American fighters of the time - Brewster Buffalo's, Bell P-39's, and (to a lesser extent) Grumman F4F Wildcats. The Zero pilots were superb; their machines were light, fast, and maneuverable.

Most of the Imperial Navy's top aces flew the Zero. Not only could the Zero out fight any Allied fighter, it also out-ranged them. Many people do not realize that the Zero was the world's first long range escort fighter. Zeros flew long range bomber escort
missions during the war in China, before the Pacific war even began. If the Germans had the long range Zero instead of the short range ME 109, the outcome of the Battle of Britain might have been very different. As famous as the Zero is, its importance is still under rated by most people. The Zero had two very important shortcomings... The lack of armor and self sealing tanks meant the death of many Japanese top pilots. Japan had no quick way to replace these pilots.

    Name      Manufacturer   Product Status 
 A6M Zero [gen]      A6M Zero [gen]

 Entering service in 1940, the A6M became known as the Zero based on its official designation of Type 0 Carrier Fighter.
— this one weapon, more than any other, played the biggest part in Japan's success at the outset of the war in the pacific. ...

 
 
 Mitsubishi      (available)    

less than
$23.00

Details
 Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Tony)      Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Tony)

 First seeing action around New Guinea in 1943, and continuing to fly combat missions throughout the war.
— most B-29 bombers lost to Japanese fighters were shot down by Ki-61 aircraft. ...

 
 
 Kawasaki Aircraft Industries      (available)    

less than
$33.00

Details
 Mitsubishi A6M Zero Sen      Mitsubishi A6M Zero Sen

 For its time, the A6M was far ahead of it's allied counterparts as a naval fighter and was the first fighter aircraft in history to have performance ability to compete with the best of the land based fighters. ...

 
 
 Mitsubishi      (available)    

less than
$23.00

Details
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