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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:18 pm 
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The New Guinea Diaries

By

Ken Jeffs, S3 Manager

In the early months of 1943, the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy saw their plans to capture New Guinea and retake Guadalcanal crippled after a series of defeats at the hands of Allied forces.

For the IJA, the slowly growing supply of US men and materials had to be stopped and soon.

In March of that year, the IJA began a steady buildup of men and materials in their remaining strongholds along the coast of northeastern New Guinea. Large numbers of troops and resupply materials began moving from the major IJN base at Rabaul. This increase in men and materials would provide the IJA with the means to open a new offensive front in which to regain their lost holding in New Guinea. Imperial Japanese leaders still felt the capture of Port Moresby was essential to their plans for security of the empire.

For the Allies, the beginning of 1943 saw the combined Australian and US forces steadily pushing the IJA north up the eastern coast of Papua. A major thrust by IJA forces across the Owen Stanley mountains on the Kododa trail had be stopped and reversed as well as the capture of Buna gave Allied forces much needed victories against the seemingly invincible IJA.

However, the efforts necessary to gain the advantage had cost the Allies both men and material. Both the American and Australians ground troops were exhausted and needed rest and resupply before beginning the next thrust north along the coast. To maintain their holdings resupply was essential but only possible by air, thus causing undue strain on USAAF flight crews and planes. A major IJN offense at this moment with fresh troops was a severe threat to Allied holdings.

Frame 4 has a new wrinkle. All closed bases will now be reopened in the color of the side that originally CLOSED them. For the reds they will gain radar coverage from their capture of coast watchers but since a side can only have one air start, they will not get an air start from 108. While green lost their air start last week, they now have air bases on the eastern coast allowing them to rearm and refuel without crossing the Owen Stanleys. The frame will also see the inclusion of later version air craft for both sides.

The Challenge in Frame 4 (senza GVs)

Can Reds protect their convoys in the Bismarck Sea, their holdings in the northeast coast of New Guinea and attempt a closure of Port Morseby?

Will Green be able to protect Port Morseby from a new potential threat while attempting to close new territory and stop the Red convoys.

While more side specific details are forth coming, I can see an all-out air battle in the works.

<S>


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:35 am 
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THE FIGHTER MATCH-UP FOR NGD FRAME 4-5

--= ALLIED FIGHTERS =--

P-38G Lightning
The king of high altitude. While many use the P-38 for dive bombing, the low altitude regime is really not where the P-38 should be flown. It's engines are exclusively tooled for high altitude and while it's a mediocre fighter down low with a poor roll rate, the "Lightning" really shines the higher you get above 25000 ft. Even the Ki-44 will be at a huge disadvantage against the P-38G if the Allies are able to force the Japanese to fight up high. Turn fighting the Japanese fighters is not recommended in the P-38. Use boom n zoom wingman tactics. The 4x .50 cals and the cannon in the nose packs a good punch. Be aware that the P-38 will compress above 400 mph IAS.

P-38F Lightning
The P-38F is 120 lb heavier than the -G and doesn't have the 8° combat flaps setting. The engines will also overheat somewhat quicker when run at 41" of boost. That being said it's still very similar to the P-38G and a potent fighter up high.

P-39D Airacobra
Very similar to the P-40E in performance and agility but the P-39D has the better top speed. The P-39D is better at surviving and outdiving enemy bandits but it's armament is not as effective against the nimble Japanese fighters as the 6x .50 cals of the Kittyhawk. The 37 mm gun is very potent against enemy bombers though. The P-39D can outrun the Ki-44 below 13000 ft and should generally not fight above 20000 ft. The P-39D can turn inside the Ki-44 for a few laps since it has a narrower turn radius, but the Ki-44 will eventually win a sustained turn fight due to it's better raw power/weight ratio. Use boom n zoom tactics only vs the Ki-43 and A6M3. The P-39D can easily outdive them, but it's harder to outdive the KI-44.

P-40E Kittyhawk

Rugged and a jack-of-all-trades. The P-40E has good firepower but is somewhat outdated against the Ki-44. Wingman tactics is key and the P-40E has a tiny speed advantage below 4000 ft. Regarding turn fighting against the Ki-44 the same rule of thumb applies for the P-40E as for the P-39D. Against the Ki-43 and A6M3 boom n zoom tactics are crucial and take the fight below 15000 ft, do not turn fight them! You can outdive the Ki-43 and A6M3 but not the Ki-44.


--= AXIS FIGHTERS =--

Ki-44-IIc Shôki
The Ki-44 is quite different from traditional Japanese fighter design. It has small wings and is built for speed and climb rate rather than turning ability. Still it is light with a great power/weight ratio and can hold a sustained turn better than it's American adversaries, although the turn radius is quite large due to the high wingloading. The stall speed is also fairly high. The roll rate is great though and in a turn fight the Ki-44 pilot should always strive to make it a climbing spiral turn against the heavier American fighters. The P-38 is a serious threat above 20000 ft but below this altitude the Ki-44 pilot can confidently engage any enemy. The 4x 12.7 mm MG's provide decent firepower.

Ki-43-II Hayabusa
Very similar to the A6M3 in performance. The Ki-43 can outturn all adversaries and even outspeed the P-40E above 17000 ft. The ailerons don't lock up the same way as for the Zero at high speeds, but the Ki-43 pilot must not exceed 400 mph IAS in a dive. Try to force the enemies into a turn fight and the Ki-43 will shine. It is not very durable though so don't stay on a target if his wingman is coming up behind you. The 2x 12.7 cals is a weak armament but one can down a bandit with a sustained burst.

A6M3 Reisen
The Zero is probably well known to most, and this is a turn n' burn fighter just like the Ki-43. The same tactics apply for the A6M3 as for the Ki-43. While the Ki-43 has a tiny edge in overall performance over the Zero, the 2x 20 mm cannons of the A6M3 gives it a clear edge in firepower.

--------------------

POWER ON STALL SPEED AT 75% FUEL
Ki-43: 71 mph (114 kmh)
A6M3: 73 mph (117 kmh)
P-40E: 84 mph
P-39D: 85 mph
P-38F/G: 92/91 mph
Ki-44: 92 mph (148 kmh)

MAX RECOMMENDED DIVE SPEED
P-39D: 523 mph
Ki-44: 480 mph (772 kmh)
P-40E: 480 mph
P-38F/G: 445 mph, compresses above 400 mph.
A6M3: 420 mph (676 kmh)
Ki-43: 400 mph (644 kmh)


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<S>
/Robert


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