News World War II taught the Air Force why flying...

World War II taught the Air Force why flying tanks are king

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Core point: During World War II, both Germany and the United States experimented with the installation of 75-millimeter cannons, which are usually mounted on tanks in ground attack aircraft.

It is an axiom in military aviation that, despite their potential aesthetics, fighter jets are little more than weapon platforms designed to deliver deadly payloads to an enemy. However, size and weight restrictions have always set greater limits for the transport of combat aircraft than for ships at sea or vehicles on land.

However, there is an exception for each rule. During World War II, both Germany and the United States experimented with the installation of 75-millimeter cannons, which are usually mounted on tanks in ground attack aircraft.

The German armored ground attack aircraft Hs-129B-3 and the fast bomber Ju-88P-1 both had long-barrel anti-tank guns to destroy Soviet T-34 tanks.

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When the U.S. Air Force procured the B-25G Mitchell, it had a very different mission in mind: to sink ships at sea. Japan’s vast Pacific empire could only be maintained through frequent supply convoys. When the United States began dismantling Tokyo’s island base network, they decided to confiscate only key islands and have the rest “rot on the vine” by cutting off their supply convoys.

While U.S. submarines caused most of the Japanese ship losses, air power could be concentrated more quickly to pound large Japanese convoys.

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