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B-17 s successfully bombed Japanese shipping...
...off Bali in Feb. 1942 from great altitude (25,000--27,000 ft) and damaged seriously one transport (SAGAMI MARU) and slightly damaged another (SASAGO MARU). These were American bombers of the 19th BG (H) flying out of Malang a/f in eastern Java.
They disrupted Japanese landing ops sufficiently to allow ABDA naval forces to interdict them in Badoeng Strait later, but that three-wave strike mission was as confused and chaotic an engagement--or series of engagements--as you could imagine, in which the escorting IJN destroyers (especially ASASHIO & OSHIO) performed w/very great skill and determination to thwart the ABDA Striking Force.
Not strictly a floaty-things subject but please cut some slack.
'Been reading Midway stuff this week and was once again dismayed at the total lack of success of USAAF B-17s at Midway.
Considering, the much, much less capable / martial FW 200 Condor was "The Scourge of the Atlantic" for two years and sunk hundreds of thousands of tons...
...why did not the B-17 crews of the time who were expected to take on ships, utilize the Condors' frighteningly effective, proven techniques against IJN ships?
Attempting to hit a moving, able-to-evade-maneuver, ship from a straight-course plane at altitude, using a high-altitude bombsight seems rather iffy at absolute best.
A half dozen B-17Es coming in at 500 feet, leading-abeam their targets, at dawn or dusk, multiple .50s sweeping the ships' decks and releasing bombs in a shallow dive would certainly have accomplished more than six strings of bombs hitting water 500 or more yards off the target's position, as happened at Midway.
Thoughts? Thank you.
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