"Order of the Day: Hit and Run " by steelrazer ()
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Curtis P40 Tomahawks of General Claire Lee Chennault's All Volunteer Group "Flying Tigers" depicted making a "Hit and run" attack on a flight of Japanese Zero aircraft.
The Japanese "Zero" and Nakajima "Kate", two nemeses of the P40, were faster and more agile than the more clumsily maneuvering Tomahawks. Though they were more heavily armored and armed, the P40's were clearly outmatched against the lighter, faster, and much more maneuverable adversaries. New tactics were needed to utilize the strengths of the outmatched fighters. General Chennault devised a winning strategy for the Tigers...never engage the Zeros or Kates in single duels. In a humorous but deadly serious quip he told his flyers “Never, never, in a P-40, try to outmaneuver and perform acrobatics with a Jap Kate or Zero. Such tactics, take it from me, are strictly non-habit-forming.” The new strategy was to hit and run.
The new tactics were highly successful. The P40s were instructed to fly in pairs, diving on the enemy with superior speed as they dove the heavier fighters, do their damage, and hightail it out of the area. For all their agility, the Japanese aircraft had a distinct weakness. Their superb maneuverability and speed was achieved at the cost of no armor and protection. They were fragile and very easily damaged with minor hits.
These tactics caused immense havoc on the Japanese, who reacted by broadcasting an announcement over Tokyo radio announcing, “The American pilots in Chinese planes are unprincipled bandits. Unless they cease their unorthodox tactics, they will be treated as guerrillas.”
The Flying Tigers group never numbered more than 200 aircraft at a time, but has been credited with downing 296 enemy planes and losing only 14 pilots in the conflicts. It's a good illustration of the power of flexibility and resourcefulness in the face of superior forces.
Curtis P40 Tomahawk: Superb version of the P40 Tomahawk by andreasgr available here on Renderosity.
Japanese Zero: Very nice model of the "Zero" by motokamishii, unfortunately no longer available here.
Models set up in PoserPro and DazStudio; composed, texture adjustments, lighting, and rendered in DazStudio; finished in PS Cs3