Talk:Akutan Zero

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Featured article Akutan Zero is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on June 19, 2009.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 27, 2008 Featured article candidate Promoted
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on December 7, 2008.

removed spam[edit]

removed some spam. goatse island? X_X (talk) 21:10, 19 June 2009 (UTC)


Ok, I've finished drafting this article. It was a lot of fun :) I'd like to nominate it for FA status. Is there anything that's missing? Raul654 (talk) 01:41, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Mental note - in case someone brings it up later, this page does not mention improvements to American machinery because "Contrary to some published reports, the Navy F6F Grumman Hellcat and the F4U Corsair were not designed after examination of Koga's Zero. Both were flying when Koga's Zero arrived in San Diego in August 1942." - Rearden, Fighter, 86. Raul654 (talk) 04:59, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I communicated with Barrett Tillman, noted historian and author of Hellcat: the F6F in World War II. I asked Barrett about the claim that this captured Zero influenced the Hellcat’s design. Barrett’s comments (which he has authorized me to pass on):

I'm still slightly astonished that anybody thinks the F6F was developed in response to the Zero. The design was drafted before Pearl Harbor (i.e., before anybody in the navy ever saw an A6M) and the only change from the X job was the engine. The Akutan Zero was flown in September but Grumman delivered the first dash threes at year end. That was not enough time to make production-line changes and then spool up the first production batch.

Furthermore, NOBODY whom I ever knew at Grumman said the Akutan bird influenced the Zeke. They include two test pilots and the F6F tech rep.

Barrett also told me that

Far as I know, H & M were the source of that rumor, which has been accepted at face value for decades.

"H & M" are Horikoshi and Masatake, authors of Zero!, discussed and quoted below. Kablammo (talk) 03:10, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

The body[edit]

I believe the image of Tadayoshi Koga's corpse should be removed. It brings nothing to the article and I find it disrespectful to show a dead body, atleast without the familys concent.(approval) bad english sorry —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:35, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not censored. -- Atamachat 19:35, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

My concern is that the page isn't marked as having a pic of a dead body... I'd like some sort of header to note that there's content that not everyone might be content seeing. (Tee-hee, homophones!) Friedlad (talk) 15:08, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

We have a content disclaimer linked from every article - Wikipedia contains many different images, some of which are considered objectionable or offensive by some readers. For example, some articles contain graphical depictions of violence, or depictions of human anatomy. --Wikipedia:Content disclaimer. There is no need for any article to have its own disclaimer. This is something we established back in 05/06. Raul654 (talk) 01:31, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
While I'm ambivalent about the issue, the existing disclaimer appears to be the very last thing on the page, so it is hardly effective. Hohum (talk) 18:46, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Additional sources[edit]

I can provide page cites to (or send copies of pages of) the 1956 first English edition of Zero!, Okumiya, Masatake and Jiro Horikoshi, with Martin Caidin. Zero! New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1956.

  • At p. 160 the authors state:

"Even as we reeled from the debacle of Midway, another event occurred far to the north which, although lacking the drama of open conflict, was no less serious."

The quote in the article is a partial paraphrase, unless the 1956 text was changed in the later editions of the book.
  • "The subsequent detailed study of the airplane revealed fully to the Americans the Zero's advantages and faults." 160–61.
  • While the book does state that the F6F was the first plane designed by Grumman following their study of the captured Zero, it refines that by stating that Grumman modified the design to reduce fuselage weight. P. 163.
  • The book also states:

"In the Aleutian campaign I (Okumiya) was Admiral Kakuda's air staff aide. I could not realize at the time how far-reaching an effect this seemingly trivial incident of losing to the enemy a single intact Zero could have. We felt strongly that the unnoticed capture of the airplane, assisting the enemy so greatly in producing a fighter plane specifically to overcome the Zero's advantages, did much to hasten our final defeat." P. 163.

Another book by one of the same authors, Fuschida, Mitsuo and Masatake Okumiya, with Clarke K. Kawakami and Roger Pineau (eds.), Midway, The Battle That Doomed Japan, The Japanese Navy's Story, Annapolis: United States Naval Institute, 1955, briefly describes the Dutch Harbor raid and notes that only one fighter from this mission failed to return to the carrier, as it was hit while strafing and made a forced landing. P. 140.

Kablammo (talk) 19:22, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

As indicated in the section at the top of this page, and in the quote from the Rearden book, the Hellcat had already been designed when the Zero was captured, so the claim that the captured Japanese fighter influenced the American plane's design is incorrect. Kablammo (talk) 03:14, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
As they wrongly assumed that the captured plane had such an influence, they may have overstated the case for the Zero's capture on the later course of the war. Kablammo (talk) 03:33, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Hi, I received a note on my talk page about my edit adding the info about the Zero influencing the design of the Hellcat. I added the info because it was found in a reputable source. Please see the exact quote that supports article text on the bottom of page 103 here [1]. If there are sources that say otherwise perhaps article text can be reworded to include some clarifying language like "Some say the .... however, others believe that ....". NancyHeise talk 21:07, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
I have revised it, in light of Rearden's work, the comments above, and the Hellcat design timeline. That timeline, per O'Leary (cited), is:
  • 30 June 1941 Navy awards contract to Grumman for XF6F-1, designer uses information from Navy pilots who had flown Wildcat in combat with Japanese warplanes, including memo from Navy on F4F's inferior perfomance against Zeke at Midway
  • 23 May 1942 Series production ordered
  • 26 June 1942 XF6F-1 test-flown, with R-2600 engine
  • 30 July 1942 XF6F-3 test-flown, with R-2800 engine
  • [20 September 1942 first test flight of captured Zero; tests continue]
  • 4 October 1942 first production Hellcat flown
While the Hellcat was designed to fight the Zero, specific knowledge of the Akutan plane did not contribute to its design. Kablammo (talk) 16:54, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

With these changes, is this settled now? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:05, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

I believe so. Excellent work, Kablammo. Thank you very much. Raul654 (talk) 01:25, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Inline reference styles[edit]

This article uses the following inline reference style <ref>Rearden, Fighter, 66–70.</ref>. This evening I have been learning how to use the {{rp|66-70}} template with the <ref name=Reardon/> tag.

This article is an opportunity for me to ask about the merits of each of these styles. I am editing an article on Thomas Willing where I need to provide several inline citations for a book. --DThomsen8 (talk) 00:40, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Another alternative, {{Harvnb}} is quite nice (I'm probably biased, I made it) - try having a look at Richmond Bridge, London which uses it. The big advantage is that you can click on the short form of the reference given in the <ref> and it will take you to a full citation in the bibliography section. TheGrappler (talk) 13:25, 19 June 2009 (UTC)


Japanese historian Masatake Okumiya stated that the acquisition of the Akutan Zero "was no less serious" than the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway, and that it "did much to hasten Japan's final defeat".

May I offer the view that this is an overstatement? The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was Japan's most advanced shipboard fighter at the beginning of the war, but in terms of speed, armament and ruggedness it was outclassed early on by U.S. carrier-based fighters. While acquisition of the Akutan Zero was certainly helpful to the U.S. war effort in terms of scoping out the Zero's strengths and weaknesses, it seems quite a stretch to compare its importance to that of the Battle of Midway. In that tide-turning encounter, Japan lost four aircraft carriers, suffering (as the Wiki article notes) "irreparable damage" to its carrier force — its primary weapon in the Pacific War and, not incidentally, the force it had employed against Pearl Harbor and the U.S. Fleet in 1941.

Sca (talk) 14:28, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

The article attributes that quote to a historian and makes it clear that it's his opinion, it isn't declaring it as fact. If you believe that it's an overstatement then your issue would be with Masatakesan. -- Atamachat 19:39, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
No, my issue isn't with a Japanese historian. My issue is with the article, which presents Okumiya's statement to the reader as a relevant piece of information, implying that it is a valid or reasonable statement.
If I were editing the article, I would delete it as an overstatement. However, although I've read a great deal about WWII, my focus has been the European Theater; I leave it to others who have greater expertise in the history of the Pacific Theater to make such judgments. I was merely offering an informed observation, and suggesting that other Wikipedians versed in this topic might want to consider acting upon it.
Again, equating the capture of a type of airplane in importance with a major naval battle seems illogical, and to me indicates that the person making the statement may have a particular fascination with the A6M Zero that leads him to exaggerate its importance.
Sca (talk) 15:05, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Further up you stated that the Zero was outclassed "in terms of speed, armament and ruggedness". But being superior in the turn -- which the A6M was -- is a feature all by itself, especially against an enemy who has not yet learned the lesson of how to work with a plane's energy potential instead of its turn rate. Since you mentioned being more familiar with the European theater, look at the Spitfire versus the Bf-109: You could argue the Spit was outclassed "in terms of speed, armament [and ruggedness]" as well, but it did compare quite well to the Bf-109 in battle. (Putting the ruggedness in brackets as the Spitfire did not share the fuel tank problem with the A6M.) -- (talk) 14:47, 20 January 2015 (UTC)


I changed the incorrect use of pull-quotes to block quotes (what was intended). Because this is a Front-Page'ed article, I was verbose in my justification. Please see Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Quotations, discussion on cquote etc. in archives, and note what a pull-quote is: Repetition of text from the article. I would have thought that before accepting it for FP it would be given a once-over with an eye to such things. Długosz (talk) 15:53, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

It was correct until a few hours ago with this edit. Raul654 (talk) 16:01, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Thach weave[edit]

This article mentions that the Thach weave was developed prior to Pearl Harbor, but the Thach weave article says Thach designed his tactic "soon after the United States' entry into World War II". Ant thoughts?--Knulclunk (talk) 18:01, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

In the Thatch weave article, the second paragraph contradicts the sentence you quoted: Thach had heard, from a report published in the 22 September 1941 Fleet Air Tactical Unit Intelligence Bulletin, of the Japanese Mitsubishi Zero's extraordinary maneuverability and climb rate. Before even experiencing it for himself, he began to devise tactics meant to give the slower-turning American F4F fighters a chance in combat. Raul654 (talk) 18:55, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

I think that a wrong information maybe is being provide on this article[edit]

"Also, its engine cut out under negative acceleration due to its float-type carburetor. We now had the answer for our pilots who were being outmaneuvered and unable to escape a pursuing Zero. Go into a vertical power dive, using negative acceleration if possible to open the range while the Zero's engine was stopped by the acceleration"

on this especific aircraft I already hear that during the repairs the allies instaled in carburator on the wrong way, so thefore this had happen.

as far as I know the A6M didn't have any problems to make negative G dives. ok, this can may have be reported during the trials, but I think that a information saying this must be place in the article, because people may gonna think that the aicraft couldn't make negative G maneuvers like early Spitifres and Hurricanes, witch is may be wrong.

I have almost sure that the A6M2 could do negative G maneuvers without any problems. but I are just talking, I don't have sources, I know, but please, check this information folks, you may are providing a wrong tecnical information about the plane. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:11, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Informational Intelligence Summary 85 (linked from this article) says explicitly that the engine cuts out under negative acceleration. on this especific aicraft I already hear that during the repairs the allies instaled in carburator on the wrong way, so thefore this had happen. - I don't have Rearden's book handy, but I remember that the appendix contains an exhaustive list of all modifications made to the Zero after it was recovered. And, as far as I recall, it did not say the carburetor was replaced. Raul654 (talk) 20:18, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
If I remember right, Robert S. Johnson in Thunderbolt said early versions of the Spitfire had the same problem with inverted flight. Sca (talk) 15:09, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Spitfires indeed had that problem but it was corrected by Tilly Shilling, check this: Miss Shilling's orifice. Loosmark (talk) 21:31, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Love it[edit]

Great article

Tad and his friends sound like 19-year-old punks -- shooting at other pilots in the water after their planes went down. Comeuppance of a sort in the end. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:56, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

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