*MUST WATCH* Disney Documentary on Air Power and more (1943)

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Guys,

    You all have to see this! 1 hr Full color, with Graphics that rival modern video!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rzLHyuQL5s

    The best part is that as the documentary goes on, it touches on a lot of our most recent WWII History section discussions, from blitzkrieg, to Norway Invasion, to why hitler didn’t build 4 engine bombers and more.  You guys are going to love it!

    Remember that these are words from the people “at the time” of the war, and perhaps not all events will be precisely dissected and accurately described in detail as we know it today, but it’s well worth the time.

    Awesome film, with great commentary.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I want to know what happens to the globe shown at 58:48!  And the model super aircraft a few minutes later!!!

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    35:30 best term - “Maze of Equipment”

  • Customizer

    Absolutely brilliant post Garg! This video could bring peace to the board on soooo many topics. +1!!!

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    Alright, I have got to see what this is all about… Will return.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    It’s really interesting how Disney in 1943 shows the axis as a formidable and deadly opponent, with strategic supply advantages.

    The comments on land based vs carrier based planes is also very interesting.  This video was a lot of fun to watch!

  • Customizer

    I thought it was great.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    That was very cool. Nice find Garg.

    It was mostly about the strategy and evolution of air power which was nice too. There was a bit of (literal) flag waving at the end, but it was pretty brief. The part with the eagle attacking the octopus was a fitting illustration though.

    Seeing a perspective from the middle of the war, as opposed to after it, was kind of unique too. Obviously, they did not know exactly how the war would be won (in the Pacific anyway), but Seversky gives his opinionated opinion on the matter. It is interesting to see that the war in the Pacific was actually won by a combination of the 4 strategies he rejected, with the addition of his 5th. His reasoning for rejecting the first four was not entirely thought out and really ignored the submarine campaign in the Pacific and the decreasing quality of Japanese aircrews, both of which were significant factors that made it possible for the Allies to fight the way they did.

    Other than that, the whole documentary was very well done and the animation was surprisingly good. I mean, classic Disney animation is great, but I was surprised at how visually accurate much of it was and how creatively they illustrated the tactics.

    It struck me immediately as something I would have watched over and over when I was younger… had it been in my house. Makes me want to buy a copy for my sons to watch.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Just hook up a laptop to the TV for the kids to watch!

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @Gargantua:

    Just hook up a laptop to the TV for the kids to watch!

    Possible. When I have kids anyway.

    Though when I began typing it into Google, it showed searches for the DVD. Not sure if there actually is one though.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I think it’s truthful from the point that the guys are still in the middle of the war, and there aren’t a library of 2379837894739 books and 75 years of 20/20 history for them to read on the subject of the war.

    For them, what they are saying is true as they see it.  That’s what’s so unique about this film.

  • Moderator 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    I started watching it Garg, but have not watched the rest yet. I feel like I may have seen it before, possibly before  you were born!!


  • A very good documentary. Things I liked about it:

    • Discussion of the multiple available strategies for defeating an enemy.
    • Information about the history of air power.
    • The quality of the animations/illustrations. Especially their depictions of industrial plants churning out weapons, or nations exerting spheres of military control.

    I got the sense that the video was promoting a version of Douhet’s theories. At one point we were told that the distinction between civilians and military personnel would vanish. Also, the video’s general theme was that the U.S. should be building large, heavy bombers with which to strike targets deep within enemy territory. Of course, the documentary characterized these as raids against enemy industrial targets. Then again, they described the attack on Cologne as aggression against German industry, despite the fact it was primarily a terror raid. I suppose that this sort of thing is par for the course for a wartime propaganda film.

    I was surprised by the high importance they placed on the fact that the Axis production centers were relatively close to the front. Granted, I’d seen the same thing in any number of Axis and Allies games I’ve played. But I felt that a lot of that was exaggeration. For example: assume a transport ship travels 20 miles per hour. That would allow it to travel about 500 miles per day. It should be able to cross the Atlantic in about a week. You wouldn’t think that waiting one extra week to get those weapons would be that big a deal in the big scheme of things.

    Even back in 1905, a sailing ship crossed the Atlantic in 12 days.  Surely a diesel-powered transport in 1943 could do better than a sailboat from 1905!

    On another matter, I read an article describing two schools of thought which had existed in the American military. One school felt that the U.S. should produce very large numbers of good weapons. The other felt that the U.S. should produce much smaller numbers of outstanding weapons. The author of the article was of the former school. He felt that the majority of America’s WWII production fell into the former category. But he believed that strategic bombers were an example of the latter. I think he said that it cost 10 times as much to build a strategic bomber as it did a single engine piston aircraft. He seemed to feel the war could have been won more quickly if the resources used to produce those strategic bombers had instead been employed to build more single engine planes, artillery, and tanks.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @KurtGodel7:

    On another matter, I read an article describing two schools of thought which had existed in the American military. One school felt that the U.S. should produce very large numbers of good weapons. The other felt that the U.S. should produce much smaller numbers of outstanding weapons.

    Sounds a bit like the contrasting pilot-training philosophies that existed in Japan and the US in WWII.  Japan started the war with an elite but relatively small corps of elite fighter pilots.  They swept everything before them for the first six or so months of the war, but as their losses started to mount (Midway being, I think, the first big bite taken out of their numbers) the quality of their replacements dropped sharply.  The US, by contrast, aimed to produce large numbers of pilots who were reasonably good; some turned out to be excellent, and these top-notch pilots were certainly valued, but the US wasn’t aiming to produce an all-elite corps.  This US approach proved to be very effective.  And it fitted well with the fact that the US was producing planes in very large numbers (which wasn’t the case for Japan).


  • @CWO:

    Sounds a bit like the contrasting pilot-training philosophies that existed in Japan and the US in WWII.  Japan started the war with an elite but relatively small corps of elite fighter pilots.  They swept everything before them for the first six or so months of the war, but as their losses started to mount (Midway being, I think, the first big bite taken out of their numbers) the quality of their replacements dropped sharply.  The US, by contrast, aimed to produce large numbers of pilots who were reasonably good; some turned out to be excellent, and these top-notch pilots were certainly valued, but the US wasn’t aiming to produce an all-elite corps.  This US approach proved to be very effective.  And it fitted well with the fact that the US was producing planes in very large numbers (which wasn’t the case for Japan).

    Good points. Just to add to what you’ve written: as of December 1941, Japan had 10% of the industrial capacity of the United States. Japan industrialized as the war progressed. In 1944 it produced three times as many military aircraft as it had in 1942.

    Back in '41, Japan had wanted a long range aircraft that was easy to produce, and which could fight at least as well as that of any other major power. They achieved that, but only by omitting armor, self-sealing fuel tanks, and other defenses from their aircraft. It was hard to hit a Zero. But if you did, it would die quite easily. American aircraft were slower and shorter-ranged, but better-protected. American pilots had far more protection from bullets than did their Japanese counterparts. Later in the war, improvements in American aircraft technology led U.S. planes to be faster, longer-ranged, and far better-armored than their Japanese counterpart.

    I think that Japan’s lack of industrial capacity may have played a role in the decision to create armor-free aircraft. I think they may have also been a little behind the curve in aircraft engine technology; though that was not necessarily apparent in '41. The problem with armor-free aircraft is that if you have an elite group of pilots, very limited in number, you want to protect them. Not send them up in planes which may as well have been made of paper.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Hey - Tie fighters don’t come with shields baby, and you just got to deal with it.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @KurtGodel7:

    The problem with armor-free aircraft is that if you have an elite group of pilots, very limited in number, you want to protect them. Not send them up in planes which may as well have been made of paper.

    Logically, this makes good sense – but the Japanese military at the time didn’t always operate by that kind of logic.  I’ve heard of cases in which Japanese fighter pilots in perfectly intact aircraft (not in planes that were battle-damaged and were about to crash) would sometimes ram enemy aircraft if they had run out of bullets, rather than letting the enemy plane get away.  This was in keeping with the aggressive Bushido spirit that was cultivated as part of the military training of that time in Japan (it placed a high value on defeating the enemy, with self-preservation at the bottom of the list of priorities), but it was awfully counter-productive in terms of being able to sustain a prolonged war.  The unarmoured Zero similarly reflected this philosophy, as did the Japanese Navy’s low level of interest in searching for pilots who’d been shot down (in marked contrast with the USN, which put a lot of effort into recovering downed flyers, and which reaped the benefit of putting those valuable trained pilots back into service after they had recuperated).

    I can’t remember the details, but if I’m not mistaken Japan at one point of the war, when it was starved for good pilots, sent into combat large numbers of flight instructors.  This produced a temporary spike in Japanese pilot effectiveness on the front lines, but the long-term effects were disastrous because it wrecked Japan’s ability (which was already marginal) to train adequate numbers of new pilots.  Germany made a similar mistake when it put together the Panzer Lehr division, which included large numbers of instructors.  The resulting division (which also had first-rate equipment) was one of the best tank formations Germany ever deployed, but a side-effect of its establishment was to deprive the Wehrmacht’s tank-training programs of excellent instructors who would have been more profitably employed communicating their experience to new tank personnel.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Gargantua:

    Hey - Tie fighters don’t come with shields baby, and you just got to deal with it.

    Very good analogy.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @Gargantua:

    Hey - Tie fighters don’t come with shields baby, and you just got to deal with it.

    Quantity over quality.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @LHoffman:

    @Gargantua:

    Hey - Tie fighters don’t come with shields baby, and you just got to deal with it.

    Quantity over quality.

    Stalin once supposedly said that quantity has a quality all of its own, but that was before Star Wars famously illustrated the Principle of Evil Marksmanship, also known as the Stormtrooper Effect (sometimes called the Inverse Ninja Rule for combat which does not involve firearms).  The principle, in a nutshell, states that the shooting accuracy of movie bad guys is inversely proportional to their numbers.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @CWO:

    The principle, in a nutshell, states that the shooting accuracy of movie bad guys is inversely proportional to their numbers.

    That is a very accurate statement in the world of cinema.

    Except perhaps for right here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE43XYKZzH8#t=345

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @LHoffman:

    Except perhaps for right here

    I’d say it’s one of those exceptions that proves the rule.  If it took 70,000 to 300,000 Persians (Herodotus claims a figure as high as two-and-a-half million) to kill 300 Spartans, that’s actually a pretty pathetic performance on the part of the Persians.

    It’s a good thing the Principle of Evil Marksmanship isn’t built into the A&A rules.  If that were the case, increasing the size of your attacking force would decrease the chances of rolling a hit against an enemy force.  (Now that would be a bizarre concept for a house rule.)

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @CWO:

    I’d say it’s one of those exceptions that proves the rule.  If it took 70,000 to 300,000 Persians (Herodotus claims a figure as high as two-and-a-half million) to kill 300 Spartans, that’s actually a pretty pathetic performance on the part of the Persians.

    True. However, speaking just about shots and arrows, the Persians did get them all.

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