Author Topic: Stealing the Stuka  (Read 61460 times)

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #125 on: July 26, 2014, 04:38:11 AM »
Loving it! Any more description of the Culpeo/Goshawk airframe?
The doorbell's ringing, could be the elves
But it's probably the werewolf ...

Offline upnorth

  • Distorting a reality near you.
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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #126 on: July 26, 2014, 03:58:28 PM »
Thanks for checking in!

I'm actually getting together the components to build a pre 1943 Goshawk/Culpeo in 1/72 at the moment.

I've got an old Revell Macchi C.200 which will donate the wing centre section with the landing gear.

The fuselage will be a combination of a Spitfire Mk.9 and an Avia B-534 series 4. The Spitfire will mostly be for the forward fuselage and Merlin engine.

I chose the Avia as it has the fabric on frame rear fuselage section and the four machine guns in the fuselage that I wanted.

The wing will be a bash of the Spitfire and Macchi wings, but in what ratio I'm not certain yet.

Pickled Wings, A Blog for Preserved Aircraft:
http://pickledwings.wordpress.com/

Beyond Prague, Traveling the Rest of the Czech Republic:
http://beyondprague.wordpress.com/

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #127 on: August 04, 2014, 10:52:24 AM »
Ooo, intriguing combo. I'm looking forward to seeing this Goshawk/Culpeo bash!
The doorbell's ringing, could be the elves
But it's probably the werewolf ...

Offline upnorth

  • Distorting a reality near you.
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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #128 on: August 04, 2014, 09:44:12 PM »
I'm hoping to be able to start it soon. I'm doing some sketches right  now and when I hit something that really works, I'll get to cutting and gluing.

I'm not sure yet if I'll do a WIP thread or just build it and show it when done.
Pickled Wings, A Blog for Preserved Aircraft:
http://pickledwings.wordpress.com/

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Offline upnorth

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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #129 on: September 26, 2014, 10:39:31 PM »
Return to Yenangyaung

Late Autumn of 1943 saw the bulk of Burma’s Arakan state firmly under Allied control. Of particular importance was the border region between Arakan and Magwe states. Magwe was directly to the east of Arakan and was where the rich Yenangyaung oil field was located.

Prior to Japan’s conquest of Burma in 1942, the oil field was held by British interests. With the swiftness of the Japanese advance through the country, the plan was to destroy the oil wells and refining facilities with explosives to deny the invaders use of them. As it was, the Japanese moved too quickly and captured the oil fields before they could be destroyed.

The determination of the Allies to return and destroy the Yenangyaung facilities was equally matched by Japan’s determination to keep them operational and the precious oil they produced flowing.

The Magwe Campaign began with an Allied air and land offensive across the border from Arakan in December of 1943. It would be a drawn out ordeal with some of the bloodiest ground battles on Burmese soil.

Magwe presented vary different fighting conditions; whereas Arakan had been coastal and mountainous, Magwe was part of Burma’s central plains region. Through the Arakan Campaign; Brazilian ground forces had come to the fore, Argentine ground forces would be taking the lead across Magwe.

Back to Basics

For the balance of the Magwe Campaign, Yarara units were occupied with close support of infantry and armored divisions. The aircraft was truly back in its element down low and the increased speed of the latest variants made them one of the most valued air assets of the campaign.

A Japanese veteran recalls facing the Yarara as an anti aircraft gunner:

“I was manning an anti aircraft gun when a group of Yararas came at us really low over a grove of trees. They flew low enough that their propellers stirred up a big green cloud of leaves and I couldn’t make out their outlines or even tell how many there were.

We fired into the cloud and hoped for the best, but abandoned our gun as the cloud got closer.

We’d found cover and watched our gun shattered effortlessly by the aircraft. As they climbed out and prepared for another run at us, we could see they had been a group of three.

This, we would come to learn, was a standard tactic for the Yarara. They would come in formations of three or four, two in front with the third in a slot position behind or two pairs in a square formation. The front two would stir up enough of a cloud to obscure the group and they’d be travelling so fast that you might only get time for one shot at them.”

Some Yarara tactics took advantage of the aircraft’s dive bomber pedigree to truly devastating results. One such incident is recalled by a British army veteran:

“We were doing reccon somewhere south of Padam when we spotted some Japanese light armored infantry in the distance. We reported them, but they had already been seen and reported by another reccon unit shortly before.

No sooner had we reported them than  four or five Yararas broke through the cloud cover in near vertical dives at terrific speed and put a pair of bombs each on the Japanese. After pulling out of their dives, they engaged in a series of slashing cannon attacks. The whole attack took little more than five minutes and the aircraft were on their way out.

We were ordered to advance to the site of the attack. The aftermath was beyond words; not a prisoner to take, not a piece of gear to recover, not a single man or machine left intact.

We recorded the results and started our trip back to our base. Nobody talked, what was there to say?”

To the River

Through spring and early summer of 1944, the Yarara squadrons continued their close support work for the ground units. Yarara pilots were also free to take targets of opportunity during regular patrols. Such targets became much more prevalent as the Allies approached the Irrawaddy River in late July.

Yenangyaung sat directly on the Irrawaddy and was heavily defended by the Japanese. The hope was that ground forces could recapture the oil field; however, nearly a month of steady fighting through August with little progress made the solution obvious.

Late in the afternoon of August 28, 1944; Ground forces were ordered to fall back from Yenangyaung.

As night fell, a group of Yararas equiped with flares marked the oil fields and were followed by a large formation of Arakan based RAAF Lancasters to put an end to the campaign.

What Japanese survivors that were surrendered without resistance to Allied ground forces.

Fuel for the Fire

The Allied victory in Magwe was a huge boost to the morale of forces further south who, in the same time frame, were fighting their way up the Sunda Islands towards the Sumatran oil fields.

At the time the Yenangaung oil fields were destroyed, Allied ground forces were still heavily engaged in combat on the island of Java.
Pickled Wings, A Blog for Preserved Aircraft:
http://pickledwings.wordpress.com/

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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #130 on: September 27, 2014, 02:51:23 AM »
Nice update.
"What young man could possibly be bored
with a uniform to wear,
a fast aeroplane to fly,
and something to shoot at?"

Offline upnorth

  • Distorting a reality near you.
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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #131 on: December 24, 2014, 03:14:56 AM »
Ships in Passing

Mid November of 1944 saw the arrival of the newly commissioned aircraft carrier ARA Rio Negro and it's battle group arrive in New Zealand waters in preparation to relieve ARA Resistencia and her respective group in the defense of Timor and the continuing fight for the Sunda Islands and Sumatran oilfields.

The Rio Negro was of purely South American design and much larger than the Resistencia; it was the pride of three nations and inspired awe from onlookers as it passed Aukland and other points along the north of the country on its way to Timor.

It's deck was busy with the latest models of Yarara, Garza, Culpeo and Avenger aircraft. Additionally, the Rio Negro air wing contained Vought Corsair fighters to take some of the work load off of the Culpeos and Yararas.

After a brief ceremony, Rio Negro took over Resistencia's duties and the older ship and  her group made way for Perth before the long cruise homeward.

Post war interviews with veterans of the Resistencia group at the time reflect the mood that was:

Jorge Argente (Culpeo pilot, Argentine Navy)

"Rumors had been swirling for months beforehand that Resistencia would be going home before 1944 was out, but we were all very skeptical until the day actually came. The first thing I did when we arrived in Perth was to send a telegram to my wife; not that it was necessary though, news of us coming home was well known before I had a chance to tell her.

I was happy, but a bit apprehensive at going home. There had been the coup and my wife had told me how it had changed the mood on the streets and in life in general. There was great speculation but little certainty of where Argentina would be headed politically and socially in the near future.

If I had the certainty of nothing else, I had the knowledge that I would spend the rest of the war at home in an instructor role. Someone felt I had accumulated enough experience in combat that I had become too risky to lose and my skills were best used in training new Culpeo pilots at home. I had that assurance in writing and I guarded that letter with my life!

Resistencia had the speed and the seas were willing. My wife and I had each other for Christmas in 1944 and every year after until she passed away in the early 1980s."

Emanuel Velloso (engine technician, Brazilian Navy) 

"I was stationed on a frigate for the time of the Resistencia's cruise in the area around Timor. I thought the Resistencia was the largest ship our three nations would ever field in the conflict until I saw the Rio Negro; it was easily half again as big as Resistencia. I couldn't believe, or help feeling tremendous pride, that our nations could make such a contribution as that. Rio Negro was a South American design from the keel up and our allies looked at us with even more respect than they had before after she entered service.

For myself, going home was a bittersweet thing. I knew very well that my life wouldn't be the same as I'd left it and it wasn't simply my experiences in war that would make it so.

About a year before we got out orders to go home, I had received one of those horrible "Dear John" letters from my girlfriend at the time. The sadness didn't last too long though; about four months after getting that letter, I got the wonderful news that my sister had given birth to a healthy baby boy. With the few days we had in Perth before heading home, I managed to find a small gift of Australia for him.

The Christmas of 1944 stands tallest in my memories of Christmases past. I was home, safe with my family. I was adjusting to my new duties as an uncle with great happiness and I had received a promotion and shore based post from the navy. I was one of the lucky ones to spend the rest of the war at home."

Armando de la Cruz (aircraft technician, Uruguayan Navy)

"It was great relief more than anything. I wanted to feel total elation, but my mind wouldn't let me until our ship was in Argentine waters again. Even in the relative safety of Australia, I couldn't let go of enough reserve to go out partying and carousing as some of the other guys did. To me, it didn't seem appropriate to be celebrating there anyway. Perth was full of allied sailors heading north into the thick of things; I couldn't party in front of them knowing full well what they were in for.

I found a quiet pier at the far end of the port and enjoyed the first peaceful sunset on the ocean I'd seen in ages. I had a small flask of rum and enjoyed it in the solitude.

I knew well enough that I would be discharged from the navy shortly after getting home, but I had also received a letter from FMA in Cordoba, Argentina inviting me to go there for an interview and possible employment.

I didn't have much of a family to celebrate Christmas with, but the future in civilian life was looking positive."
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 04:31:21 PM by upnorth »
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Offline upnorth

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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #132 on: March 04, 2015, 10:22:29 PM »
Battle of the Salween River

The Magwe Campaign, which culminated in the destruction of the Yenangyaung oilfields in late August of 1944, marked a rapid withdrawal of remaining Japanese military forces in Burma through Autumn.

By the begining of 1945, Allied forces had taken control of most of Burma west of the Salween river. The Japanese had retreated to Thailand and Indochina to regroup, keeping only the areas of Burmese soil east of the Salween under their control.

While the ARA Rio Negro had taken up station in the waters south of Java and Sumatra, the HMS Audacious had recently arrived in the Andaman Sea. The air wing of the Audacious was primarily tasked with launching air strikes into the deep southern part of Burma which led to the Malayan Peninsula and was still under Japanese control.

The Battle of the Salween happened in the same time frame as the Battle of Manila in the Philippines.

The Salween conflict was characterised by a series of low key skirmishes throughout the river basin that largely involved Allied ground forces seeking out remaining units of the Japanese military.

While Japanese forces were still a threat on the ground and on the river itself during the battle, the Allies had solid control of the air over the river basin and the Yarara crews were let loose to fly low and hunt freely for targets of oportunity.

Primarily armed with their standard quartet of 20mm cannons along with underwing rockets, the Yararas did regualar and deadly patrols of the river and made short work of any Japanese patrol boat afloat or docked on the Salween’s waters.

Such attacking tactics which involved flying low and following river courses came naturally to the South American Yarara pilots as being able to do so was part of their flight training regime from a very early stage. Not only did it give them a deadly proficiency against targets on the river itself, but also excellent abilities to identify and attack Japanese ground activity further up the banks of the river.

As with the Battle of Manila, the Battle of the Salween was an Allied victory.

As American forces were concentrating on the Philippines and points east, Commonwealth and South American forces prepared for a decisive drive to Malaya and northern Sumatra.

Japanese resistance through the region had notably diminished since they lost Yenangyaung and the precious oil it provided to them.

The Sun Sets on Sumatra

The Allied push to take the rich oilfields of Sumatra was largely a ground campaign; orders were very strict to capture the oilfields with minimal damage to them. The air elements involved in that conflict were primarily tasked with giving cover to ground forces rather than bombing.

In the early morning hours of Febrary 10, a group of Yararas with Corsairs to provide air cover launched from the Rio Negro and flew inland to scout ahead of the day’s first push against the Japaneses‘ last line of oilfield defenses.

The Yararas struck Japanese gunnery positions with deadly efficiency while the Corsairs tended to the Japanese fighters that went aloft to counter them.

After a day and a half of intense ground fighting, Allied forces were victorious in taking control of the Sumatran oilfields.
Though the Japanese still had the oil on Borneo under their control and defended it jealously, the loss of the Sumatran fields truly marked the begining of the end for any sustainable military resistance the nation could muster. Despite this, they continued to fight.

The Siege of Singapore

The air wing of the HMS Audacious provided excellent support for Allied ground forces advancing toward Malaya and the RAAF had begun a heavy bombing campaign into Thailand to put further pressure on Japanese forces in that country.

The Allies met relatively little Japanese resistance until they reached Malaya itself, where the Japanese had chosen to amass forces and make a larger stand.

Once the Sumatran oilfields had been taken, the Rio Negro moved to the northern tip of the island to keep the Japanese from trying to retake it and to aid in the expected fighting which would take place in Malaya and Singapore.

By late February, ground and air forces were clashing fiercely over Malaya. While the Audacious and Rio Negro carrier wings got the upper hand in matters overhead, the ground war was a much more difficult matter and the japanese were putting up some of the harshest fighting the Allies had seen out of them in weeks.

“We had learned well that the Japanese were not the sort to go down without a fight. They made us fight across Sumatra for months before we touched the oilfields and they would keep swinging until their last man couldn’t swing another punch. And they had a hell of a last punch lined up for us in Singapore.”

Thus recalled an Australian veteran several years after the war.

Slowly, but steadily, the Allies pushed the Japanese back across Malaya in the direction of Singapore through the early spring. It was just beyond the outskirts of the city state that the Japanese were joined by reinforcements who had been kept back.

Though refreshed, the Japanese were still outnumbered in the battle to hold Singapore.

As the battle raged into the evening on the land side of the city, heavily laden aircraft lifted from the ground on the Thai coast.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 10:26:22 PM by upnorth »
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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #133 on: March 07, 2015, 03:44:41 AM »
Oooh! What's happening now?
"What young man could possibly be bored
with a uniform to wear,
a fast aeroplane to fly,
and something to shoot at?"

Offline upnorth

  • Distorting a reality near you.
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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #134 on: May 06, 2015, 08:41:01 PM »
While working out some of the details for the next chapter of the story, I decided to take a break and hit the sketchbook.

I give you a rough and ready sketch of an early/mid production FMA Culpeo:



This one is a mix of early and mid features including mid production four blade prop and sand filter in combination with the flame dampening exhaust shroud which was seen exclusively on early production Culpeos. Goshawks were never fitted with flame dampeners at all.

Such configuration was typical of the aircraft just before the design was reworked to take a Griffon engine, cut down rear fuselage of metal construction and a bubble canopy.

Wing design and gun placement stayed largely unchanged throughout the aircraft's development.

As always, all comments are welcomed

« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 01:02:42 AM by upnorth »
Pickled Wings, A Blog for Preserved Aircraft:
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Beyond Prague, Traveling the Rest of the Czech Republic:
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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #135 on: May 07, 2015, 08:24:37 AM »
From the windscreen back, the FMA Culpeo looks very much Morane-Saulnier MS.406 inspired. Looks good, too.


Chris
"What young man could possibly be bored
with a uniform to wear,
a fast aeroplane to fly,
and something to shoot at?"

Offline upnorth

  • Distorting a reality near you.
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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #136 on: May 08, 2015, 11:09:09 PM »
From the windscreen back, the FMA Culpeo looks very much Morane-Saulnier MS.406 inspired. Looks good, too.


Chris

Thanks. I didn't see the MS.406 similarity until you pointed it out.

My eyes were seeing a Rogozarski IK-3 resemblance in a lot of places.
Pickled Wings, A Blog for Preserved Aircraft:
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #137 on: May 09, 2015, 05:09:48 AM »
From the windscreen back, the FMA Culpeo looks very much Morane-Saulnier MS.406 inspired. Looks good, too.


Chris

I thought the same.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #138 on: May 09, 2015, 09:34:15 AM »
Somehow I'm seeing a low monoplane version of the Avia B-534. I like it  :)
The doorbell's ringing, could be the elves
But it's probably the werewolf ...

Offline upnorth

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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #139 on: May 09, 2015, 05:08:55 PM »
Somehow I'm seeing a low monoplane version of the Avia B-534. I like it  :)

Thanks, that's more or less what I was aiming for. Basically a parallel to the Fury to Hurricane transition.

Some of my earlier sketches kept the B-534's fuselage machine gun placement unchanged from the real world; however, in reality, the Avia's guns were pretty weak by the time WWII rolled around. I though that keeping two in the original spots and moving the other two up top between the engine and cockpit that it would allow for bigger calibres to be fitted more easily while still keeping the concentration of fire afforded by fuselage mounted guns.
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Offline upnorth

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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #140 on: June 24, 2015, 07:22:06 PM »
Reflection in the Fire

“I prayed. I prayed and I cried as I switched between looking at the canopy of my parachute and the sea below me. I could see other parachutes; some on fire, some with lifeless bodies hanging from them, some of them ours and others theirs. Though it was night, there was enough light from seachlights and fire for me to see much more than I wished to.

Bombers and fighters smashing each other to pieces between Borneo and Singapore; Bombers with nowhere to go but down even if they did make it to their target. They would not have the fuel to return to Japanese held territory and were under orders to find and crash the aircraft into any enemy ship they could find.

One would think that aircraft such as bombers were to valuable for such practices, but the truth was we could barely support them anymore. We were running on hastily and poorly refined fuel that was drastically shortening engine life. We knew from experience, that flying the aircraft from Thailand to Singapore on such poor fuel would render the engines almost unuseable after.

It had been decided that this was likely the last massive bombing raid we could stage and the aircraft were better destroyed than captured.

I remember the pre mission breifing, when we were told that our mission was simply to deny Singapore to our enemy by flattening it outright. In spite of the fact that we had so certainly lost the war, the fanaticism of our leaders was still strong.

As the wind pushed my parachute in the direction of Sumatra, I prayed as I had never done so in my life.

I prayed that someone, someday, could find a way to forgive me for being part of this particular mission.”

So went a passage from a partially finished book manuscript found by the family of a former Japanese bomber crewman shortly after he passed away in the early 1970s in his home in a remote area of the island of Hokaido.

A book left unpublished, bearing a recollection of an event that very few of the handfull of known Japanese survivors of the raid over Singapore were ever willing to speak of.

The Dragon’s Last Breath

The mission to crush Singapore was unorthodox not only because it was known to be one of no return, but also because it employed a tactic of using the infamous Black Dragon bomber in a very conventional, en masse, fashion.

Typically, the bombers were used individually or in small formations against very specific and well defined targets. Forming up in large groups was not something their crews were accustomed to. It was the aircrafts’ range and payload that was the deciding factor in using them.

The bombers were joined by fighters from Borneo over the island and made the turn for Singapore there. Enroute to Singapore, the bombers broke into two formations, one targeting Singapore’s harbour and port areas while the other targeted inland sections of the city.

The bombers were joined by carrier based IJN fighters partway to Singapore. This was fortuitous for them as they still had the Borneo based fighters with them as well when they were jumped by Allied fighters.

The particular variant of the bomber was much changed from earlier versions. It was able to fly higher and had the dorsal turret removed in favour of more armor over the crew area. The hope was that between a higher operating hieght and more armour that attacks from above would be difficult and unappealing to attackers and that escort fighters could concentrate on protecting the undersides of the formation.

To a degree, this thinking worked. Corsairs, armed only with machine guns, were some of the first Allied fighters to attack the bombers and found that they needed to take very precise aim at either the cockpit and bombardier sections or the engines if they wanted to have the greatest effect on the bombers from above. Any time spent firing at the upper fuselage aft of the cockpit to just aft of the wing trailing edge was a waste of ammunition.

When news of this reached Allied fighter units, several squadrons of Yararas were diverted from the surface attack missions they’d been tasked with and were refitted to a bomber killer role. Fitted with the standard four Hispano 20mm cannons plus two extra 20mm cannons in pods under the wings; the first Yararas equiped as such launched from the Brazilian carrier Amazonas under an escort of Culpeos and Corsairs.

Similarly armed Yararas launched from the Rio Negro shortly after to head off the bombers before they reached Singapore.

The Yararas successfully got above the bombers and bore down on them, breaking the bombers’ dorsal armor with relative ease compared to the corsairs’ machine guns.

While the Yararas sent several bombers down, several of their own were lost to Japanese heavy fighters in the process.

The Dragon’s Ashes

“We had stemmed the tide, but we had not turned it” One Amazonas based Yarara pilot recalled shortly after the war.

“The remaining bombers were still heading to Singapore when we had to break off our attacks on them, we’d done what we could on the fuel and weapons we had and could only hope that the Rio Negro squadrons could finish the rest.”

The attack as recalled by a Black Dragon pilot:

“We could see Singapore straight ahead as well as Yararas and Corsairs coming straight for us from the Argentine and British carriers on the other side of the peninsula as well as land based fighters coming at us from Sumatra. The Corsairs flew out ahead of the Yararas as our own fighters flew out ahead of us to clash with them.

Our bomb bay doors were open and the order was given to drop the bombs. My plane was assigned to the formations attacking the port and harbour; our bomb load was primarily heavy fragmentation bombs set for aerial detonation to puncture ship hulls and any large tanks of fuel or flamable liquids. Bombers hauling loads of incendiaries were following close behind us.

As our bomb doors closed and I put the aircraft on a heading to the sea further ahead of us, I spared a glance to the city side of the cockpit and saw vast sections of the city consumed in the flames.

I heard a horrible punching noise from further back in the aircraft and the whole of the machine shuddered. We were hit, but not fatally; one of our fighters had quickly taken care of the attacker.

My crew were all still alive, but we were too low for bailing out with parachutes. I spotted a relatively open patch of sea and belly landed the plane. We quickly escaped the plane and waited in a life raft for whoever it might be who came to claim us.

As it turned out, ours was one of only two bombers to make it over the peninsula. The rest had either not made it to Singapore at all or had been destroyed during or shortly after their attacks.”

Cold Dawn

The first rays of the next day’s sun revealed a smoldering, shattered Singapore. The port and harbour were completely underwater and the sea was threatening to take some of the fragile adjoining areas out with the tide.

Twisted in with the remnants of the city were countless broken aircraft of both Japanese and Allied origin. What few survivors remained were found in the remnants of the city’s most far flung outskirts, the only parts of the city left standing.

All Black Dragon bombers involved in the mission were destroyed and more than 90% of their crewmen confirmed dead or presumed so.

Entire squadrons of fighters, both Japanese and Allied were lost in the battle; very few of those aircrafts’ crews survived the night.

Some of the most telling testimony of the aftermath came from those on the ground; both the Allied and Japanese soldiers who dared to venture into what was left.

A retired New Zealand army officer, and one of the first to enter Singapore after the bombing, recalled some years after the war:

“We couldn’t get close to the heart of the city for nearly 48 hours as the flames kept burning so intensely.

We could tell from the looks on the Japanese soldiers’ faces that they were as shocked and dumbfounded as we were. They truly didn’t know that this was coming and whatever fight they had the night before was gone from most of them. Most laid their weapons down and surrendered to us willingly.

We did what we could for the few survivors of the city we could find, and they were very few.

The bombing of Singapore is forever in my memory the most complete state of destruction in one place that I personally saw during the war.”

These words from a retired Japanese officer:

“The bombing of Singapore was one of the very few things our superiors ordered during the war that came close to surprizing me. By that point in the war, I thought very little could shock me.

The level of destruction was staggering to take in. It was an attack of pure spite and denial; our commanders had decided to clear it off the map with the last little bit of might they had left to display to our adversaries.

We knew we were expendable to those above us, but few of us that day had the will to die defending wreckage.

We surrendered. There was nothing else for us to do that day.”

Singapore remained in a forsaken state through the remainder of the war. In the late 1940s, the land the city had stood on was razed and allowed to be overgrown.

No attempt was ever made to rebuild Singapore and a permanent monument was erected off the coast in the mid 1980s.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 03:58:39 AM by upnorth »
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Offline upnorth

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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #141 on: July 14, 2015, 02:36:50 PM »
It looks like this story just got its 10,000th viewing! I never expected that!

Thanks for following along, all of you who do.  :)
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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #142 on: July 15, 2015, 02:59:10 AM »
It looks like this story just got its 10,000th viewing!

Damn stats function playing up again... ;)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline upnorth

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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #143 on: July 16, 2015, 02:22:11 AM »
Pausa

With well practiced precision and workmanlike efficiency, eight Argentine navy Yararas were launched from their carrier deck into a near cloudless blue sky and headed inland. Just off the coast, they were joined by an equal number of air force Yararas and formed into four groups of four abreast.

As the first group adjusted course to the target, the next group prepared to break from the circuit they had been holding and follow suit. In turn, the last two groups made their passes over the target and faded into the distance.

One of the Yarara pilots later recalled of the event:

"We flew low enough to hear the people below screaming. It was fantastic!"

The date was May 8, 1945 and news of Germany's surrender swept world headlines.

As the last group of Yararas disappeared beyond the dome of Argentina's Congressional Palace after flying the length of Avenida de Mayo, a group of twelve Culpeos followed swiftly in their wake; much to the delight of the jubilant crowds below.

The times were unstable in Argentina, the uncertainty that came with living under a provisional government hung over everyone's head.

This brief respite was most welcome and the people made the most of it.
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Offline upnorth

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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #144 on: September 08, 2015, 04:30:45 AM »
Snake Eyes

Through the bulk of May and June, the skies above the Malay Peninsula buzzed withthe sound of Allied aircraft.  The Yarara S.III TR, a dedicated tactical reconnaissance variant of the Griffon powered branch of the Yarara family was a very common denizen of the region at the time.

Some of the Japanese military units on the peninsula refused to surrender after the destruction of Singapore and began moving northward towards Thailand, where Japan still held territory. A wing of Yarara reconnaissance variants had been transferred to a rudimentary though functional base at Lamut, west of Kuala Lumpur, as soon as the northward movements of the Japanese were confirmed.

“The Japanese who were moving toward Thailand stood a chance of getting there. The section of the peninsula which belonged to Thailand and Burma was not wholly secured by the Allies and it was becoming notorious for unrest and skirmishes among local people. The regional power was unstable and the Malayan Communist Party was taking advantage of it. With such internal unrest , there were plenty of opportunities for the Japanese to slip through if they got the chance. 

It was a very busy time for us, it seemed we were constantly flying or briefing and de-briefing; we took it on faith that we were sleeping and eating though few of us clearly remember doing either in those two months.

The Japanese had made themselves very difficult to detect; not only were their survival skills sharp, they also refrained from firing on us at all when we were in their vicinity. Clearly survival to Thailand was their priority and they were exercising a great deal of discipline in achieving that goal.

Ultimately, we had some success in locating some of the fleeing groups and putting the armed Yarara units or infantry units onto their locations. However, in the years after the war, we learned that a surprising number had successfully made it to their goal.

In spite of the Japanese refraining to shoot at us, we did lose a few aircraft to hostile fire in those two months. As it transpired, those responsible were local people whose agenda for the region would come to the fore in the years immediately following the war.”

The Yarara S.III TR was a remarkably clean flying machine given its Stuka lineage. While the baseline Yarara always had a capacity for minor recconnaisance work, the S.III TR stripped all weapons away and brought the aircraft's potential as a dedicated camera platform to the forefront.

The airframes which became S.III TR models were diverted from the standard attack verision assembly lines at an early construction stage and their construction was finished to the reconnaissance standard.

Great care was taken in making the S.III TR as smooth as possible. The majority of panel lines were filled and sanded smooth and a new, more streamlined cockpit canopy was fitted to it.

Production of this variant was split between FMA's La Pampa facility and Hindustan Aircraft in Bangalore, India. Primary wartime operators of the type were Argentina and India.

While never the most numerous member of the Yarara family, the S.III TR was the swiftest and longest serving of the piston powered Yarara lines.  The last examples of this variant active in military service were retired from the Mexican air force in the mid to late 1960s after being replaced by Lockheed RT-33 aircraft from America.

Check....

The end of June and most of July showed a distinct slow down in Japanese military action as well as key victories for the Allies. American forces had taken the Island of Okinawa before June was out and liberated the Philippines by early July. The end of July saw the American bombing of Aomori.

….Mate

Early August of 1945 saw the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki followed by Japan's announcement of surrender on the 15th of that month.
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Offline upnorth

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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #145 on: September 08, 2015, 05:21:13 AM »
The Yarara to the End of WWII

This would be a good time to take a look at the Yarara evolution thus far in the story before moving into the post war period.

Piston powered Yararas are broadly divided into three branches or series, using the engine as the primary differentiator between them.

All three series were built in both ground based versions and carrier capable naval versions.


Series I

The initial versions of the Yarara, those powered by the  Hispano-Suiza 12Y engine, were collectively known as Series I. This naming was retroactive as more variants of the Yarara came into being through the course of the war.

By the outbreak of the Second World War, all Yarara S.I variants had been relegated to training and second line duties.

Early S.I aircraft were armed with six .50 calibre machine guns. However, most aircraft had been converted to take four 20mm cannons or had been stripped of guns entirely by the time the last S.I aircraft had been retired.

Series II

Introduced in 1940, the Rolls Royce Merlin powered variants were known generally as Series II in Yarara nomenclature.

The Yarara S.II is often seen as the true workhorse of the piston engined branch of the Yarara family; they were built in greater numbers than other piston series and accounted for the highest percentage of Axis ground equipment destroyed or damaged by Yararas. This is, no doubt, due to its heavy usage against German and Italian forces in North Africa.

It was through the Series II that the Yarara developed and built its reputation as an adaptable and solid air to groud platform that was bothered little by adverse weather conditions.

Series III

Late 1942 saw the Yarara S.III debut. A significantly refined and reworked variant of the aircraft family that took its power from a Rolls Royce Griffon engine, the Series III were faster and lighter than the S.II and had been stripped of the ability to carry torpedoes as the S.I and S.II had been able to do.

Removing the weighty hardware and structures associated with carrying a torpedo gave the S.III versions appreciable handling advantages over its forebears.

The greater overall speed and better responsiveness on the controls on the S.III did, to a limited degree, put the Yarara back in the air to air combat arena. While it would not be used in dogfighting, it could be used very effectively as a bomber interceptor as evidenced by its actions during the Siege of Singapore.

While both S.I and S.II versions had minor reconnaissance abilities, The S.III was the only variant of the Yarara to give rise to a dedicated tactical reconnaissance version, the S.III TR.
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Offline upnorth

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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #146 on: December 12, 2015, 02:27:20 AM »
Silent Duties

On a brilliant spring afternoon in 1947, a pair of RAAF Yararas sat on the ground in the Australian sun. The air surrounding them was still and silent. The pair had seen better days; they were faded and missing some parts. Their engines had be silent for over year.

In a hail of machine gun fire and engine noise issued from a pair RAAF Mustangs careening over the weapons range moments later, the two Yararas became an even sorrier sight than they had already been.

The Mustang pair circled over the range once after their firing pass and then disappeared into the distance.

In one of the Mustangs that day was former Goshawk pilot, Richard Simpson:

“I remember those days very well. A lot of the Yararas and Goshawks had been put out on the ranges when the Mustangs came in and it was an odd feeling training guns and rockets on them.

In fact, the Yararas and Goshawks were pretty much gone from RAAF service within a year of the war ending to make room for the Mustang that was replacing both of them. Both types stayed in navy service a bit longer, until the Sea Fury arrived.

I loved the Mustang and was proud to fly it, but I'm not afraid to say I choked up a bit that first time I laid my guns into a Goshawk on the range. It was a bittersweet moment for certain as I learned a little later that I had several hours of stick time on that particular Goshawk.”

It was a similar story through the immediate post war years in other nations that had been primary users of the Yarara. While the aircraft had been built in substantial numbers, many were converted to range targets for a new generation of fliers to hone their skills upon.

However, a good number of aircraft were granted a pardon from execution.

Yarara Diaspora

At the end of the Second World War a number of fully and near fully assembled Yararas were left unclaimed at production facilities across Argentina and Brazil as well as a large number in similar states in India. These aircraft as well as many low time airframes that did reach service were offered up for sale with particular emphasis being put on smaller nations and those with newly emergent independent air forces. They encountered a surprisingly high degree of interest in the aircraft.

While Argentina and Brasil sold off fresh airframes, Hindustan Aircraft offered both fresh and refurbished low time airframes.

The Yarara was going head to head against American and British WWII era machines for sales and, it could be said, did respectably well for itself in the face of the competition.

As Latin America was concerned, Mexico took a large number of fresh aircraft; many of these later found their way to El Salvador.

Paraguay took a mix of low time Uruguayan machines along with some fresh ones. This allowed Uruguay to take on more fresh aircraft.

Chile showed interest in the aircraft, but difficult relations between that country and Argentina made the deal virtually impossible. Chile had approached Brasil for the machines; However, Brasil was not willing to compromise relations with Argentina by selling the aircraft to Chile.

Outside of the Americas, interest was shown in the aircraft by Portugal. However, American aircraft won favour there in competition over the Yarara.

The aircraft that had been reserved for a possible Portuguese order, were offered to Israel instead and accepted there.

Through India, the Yarara kept a degree of presence in Asia. Many of the low time aircraft that were refurbished had come from points in Asia and were subsequently returned there; finding service in Burmese, Indonesian and Thai militaries.

The number of airframes available for refurbishment was high enough that the bulk of fresh aircraft available in India could go to new customers in the Middle East and Africa.

The major taker in the Middle East was Iraq, with a smaller number going to Iran.

Ethiopia and Kenya were the main buyers in Africa.
Pickled Wings, A Blog for Preserved Aircraft:
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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #147 on: December 12, 2015, 09:49:25 AM »
Thanks


Chris
"What young man could possibly be bored
with a uniform to wear,
a fast aeroplane to fly,
and something to shoot at?"

Offline upnorth

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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #148 on: December 12, 2015, 06:29:52 PM »
Thanks for continuing to follow.

I spent quite a bit of time researching immediate post war foreign relations of the Yarara producing countries to figure out who likely post war users of it could be.

I decided to take it out of Australia and New Zealand fairly quick and reduce the presence of it in Asia.

Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to weave the Yarara fiction in with real aspects of Peronist Argentina and develop a plausible reason to make a turboprop version of it.
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Stealing the Stuka
« Reply #149 on: December 13, 2015, 02:15:16 AM »
I'm glad you're continuing this story and I think your distribution of airframes quite plausible.  As for Peronist Argentina, perhaps the data and/or prototypes of a late-war German turboprop design makes it's way there and they first need a testbed to fly it, Yarawas being quite suitable for that and then the demonstrated performance, coupled with the unavailability of engines from countries that did not care for Peron, led to production of a turboprop version, particularly if it gave near-turbojet performance without some of the takeoff drawbacks of early turbojets.