Battlehawks 1942 manual
- Battlehawks 1942
© 1989 Lucasfilm Games
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA..............................................13
THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY.....................................................17
THE BATTLE OF THE EASTERN SOLOMONS.......................................24
THE BATTLE OF THE SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS.....................................29
ACTIVE DUTY MISSIONS.....................................................41
REVIEW SERVICE RECORDS...................................................48
UNITED STATES NAVY MEDALS................................................62
JAPANESE NAVY MEDALS.....................................................64
AERIAL TACTICS AND TIPS..................................................75
JAPANESE AND AMERICAN AIRCRAFT:1942......................................87
JAPANESE AND AMERICAN WARSHIPS:1942.....................................107
COLOR BATTLE MAPS.......................................................129
THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA
THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY
THE BATTLE OF THE EASTERN SOLOMONS
THE BATTLE OF THE SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
In 1940, I was ordered from Pensacola, Florida, to a dive-bombing squadron
aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. Even though I had been a flight instructor in
Pensacola, I was still raw, and untested in battle, like most of the people
I first flew with. Perhaps that was an advantage, as I was so pumped up
that I wasn't fearful in combat-exhilarated was more like it! I can only
speak for myself, but I suspect most other flyers on both sides felt the
same way, and those who were scared but flew combat missions nevertheless
were the bravest of the brave.
"The six months I flew combat missions from the Enterprise were probably
the best six months of my life. My greatest thrill came on the morning of
June 4, 1942, at the Battle of Midway. As I started my bombing run on the
Japanese carrier Akagi, I saw its great bight tan-colored deck with a
tremendous orange Rising Sun painted on the deck just forward of the
bridge, and I couldn't believe I was there. I had this tremendous feeling
of holding the upper hand; it was heaven!
"I must admit I was a little skeptical when Lucas-film Games first told me
they had a computer program that simulated the excitement of flying combat
missions like the ones I flew back in '42. But after seeing the program, I
was impressed. I think you'll agree they've done a great job of capturing
the details of the cockpits, the feeling of flight, and the sensation of
attack. And when you're in the thick of battle, the reactions of the enemy
planes and ships are authentic, no matter which side you choose to fight
"My advice to you? Fly steady. Make every bomb, torpedo, or round of
ammunition count. And above all, have fun!"
Richard H. Best, U.S.N. (Ret.)
Battlehawks 1942 is a World War II naval air combat simulator that lets you
train for - and fight in - the four pivotal naval air battles of the
Pacific war in 1942. In Battlehawks, you can choose the mission, the plane,
and even the country you want to fly for. But whether you fight on the
Japanese or the American side, Battlehawks, lets you relive history, or
even rewrite it, if you're good enough!
Through a series of menu choices, you can decide whether to improve your
skills with Training missions, or fly the missions that count - Active Duty
missions. You then pick the battle you want to fight in, the country you
want to fight for, and whether you want to fight for, and whether you want
to fly fighter escort, fighter defense, dive bombing, or torpedo-bombing
You can also inspect all the aircraft to learn about their strengths and
weaknesses. Then, you move to the Ready Room to choose your plane, and
make any last-minute modifications to your mission. Next comes the actual
mission itself. You'll find yourself in the cockpit of the aircraft you
chose, flying high above the water. Your plane will respond to the controls
much the way a real plane does. But you'd better master the basics of
flight quickly, because enemy planes and ships are nearby.
You'll soon be flying in the face of danger! When you've completed your
mission, you will be evaluated on your performance. Successful sorties will
be rewarded with medals and promotion in rank, which will be kept track of
in your Service Record.
HOW TO USE THIS MANUAL
Although this manual is lengthy, a good deal of it has been devoted to the
historical background of the war in the Pacific in 1942. There is also a
large amount of detailed information about the ships and planes of that
time. Don't worry, you won't need to read every word of the manual before
you play the game.
The manual is divided into four parts, Introduction, Historical Overview,
Game Play, and Reference Information. There is also a separate Reference
Card, which has specific loading instructions for your particular computer.
If you're eager to get into the air in a hurry, see the Quick Start section
on your Reference Card. With this set of instructions, you can take off on
a sample Training mission and get a feel for flying.
Once you're back on the ground, read the Historical Background section of
the manual to familiarize yourself with the four major battles you'll be
participating in. Game Play covers the details of choosing missions,
flying, attacking, and winning promotions and medals. Finally, the
Reference Information section give you tips on fighter plane maneuvers,
dive-bombing and torpedo-bombing tactics, plus more information on the
planes you'll be flying and the ships you'll be attacking.
QUICK START REFERENCE
If you're like most game players, you probably want to get a taste of
flying without doing a whole lot of reading first. The Quick Start
instructions let you do just that. In a matter of minutes, you can be
flying a U.S. Navy Wildcat fighter against eight Japanese Zero fighters.
Your fuel and ammunition supplies are unlimited, and your mode is
invincible, which means you cannot crash or be shot down. You'll find the
Quick Start instructions on the Reference Card. For more detailed
information on how to start up the game, see Loading Instructions, also on
your Reference Card.
(THIS PAGE IS BLANK)
At the dawn of the year 1942, war was raging in the Pacific, a war
thoroughly dominated by the Japanese. Their army and naval forces enjoyed a
series of stunning victories, including the sinking of five battleships of
the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Singapore, the
Philippines, the Netherlands East Indies, Guam, and Wake Island fell in
rapid succession to the onrushing Japanese, who also pounded northern
Australia with numerous air raids. As the Japanese expanded their Pacific
territory, the U.S. forces, stung into action by the Pearl Harbor attack,
could do little to stop them.
Duty by the end of that eventful year, Japan and the United States would
engage in a series of four epic naval clashes that would decide the fate of
the entire Pacific. These battles, the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Battle
of Midway, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, and the Battle of the Santa
Cruz Islands, all had one factor in common: they were fought primarily by
aircraft flying from aircraft carriers. This relatively new type of ship
would alter sea warfare forever. For the first time in history,
carrier-based fighters, dive bombers, and torpedo bombers would be the
principal attack weapons in naval combat.
THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA (MAY 4-10, 1942)
After the capture of the Philippines, Singapore, the | "Your boys are not
Netherlands East Indies, Guam, and Wake Island, the | going to be sent
Japanese decided to expand their Pacific holdings | into foreign wars."
even further. With Japanese troops already occupying | Franklin D.
northwest New Guinea, their plan called for inva- | Roosevelt, October
sion and capture of Port Moresby, the principal | 30, 1940, while
Australian outpost in southeast New Guinea. The loss | campaigning in
of this base would cut off the supply route between | Boston.
Australia and the United States, and leave the coast |---------------------
of northeast Australia wide open to invasion. At the same time, Tulagi
Island, east of Port Moresby, was to be captured and used as a seaplane
base to further isolate Australia.
The Japanese assembled two task forces. The Carrier Striking Force, led by
Vice Admiral Takeo Takagi, left the base at Truk and headed south. This
task force included the heavy carriers Shokaku and Zuikaky, veterans of the
attack on Pearl Harbor. The invasion task force, under the command of Rear
Admiral Aritomo Goto, was to leave the Japanese base at Rabaul on May 4th
and head southwest toward Port Moresby. The light carrier Shoho, along with
four heave cruisers, would
escort the troop |-----------------------------------------------------------
transports as they headed |The antiquated Brewster Buffalo fighter planes |
toward New Guinea. |which guarded Midway were so obsolete that they |
Unknown to the Japan- |were unofficially dubbed "Flying Coffins" by |
ese, however, American in- |those who flew them. After most of them were |
telligence had broken |wiped out in the Japanese attack on Midway, one |
Japan's secret code, and the|of the commanders wrote in his action log that |
U.S. forces had learned of |"It is my belief that any commander that orders |
the impending invasion of |pilots out for combat in an F2A3(Brewster |
Port Moresby. They also |Buffalo)should consider the pilot as lost before|
knew that three Japanese |leaving the ground." The U.S. Marine SBU2-3 dive |
carriers would arrive at the|bombers were equally despised. Their official |
Coral Sea, northeast of |name was the Vindicators;their own crews |
Australia and southeast of |referred to them as "Wind Indicators" and |
New Guinea, before May 3rd. |"vibrators." |
Two U.S. carrier task |--------------------------------------------------
forces were assembled, with Rear Admiral Frank J. Fletcher commanding the
Yorktown task force, and Rear Admiral Aubrey Fitch heading up the Lexington
group. The carriers Hornet and Enterprise, under the command of Vice
Admiral William F. Halsey, headed south from Pearl Harbor, hoping to reach
the other carriers in time to help.
"The sight of those |On May 3rd, a Japanese assault force captured
heavy dive bomb- |Tulagi, which had been abandoned by the
ers smashing that |Australians. The next day, SBD-3 Dauntless dive
carrier was so |bombers and TBD Devastator torpedo bombers from
awful I was |the Yorktown attacked Tulagi Harbor, sinking one
physically ill." |Japanese destroyer and three minesweepers.
Lieutenant Commander |Following this attack, the Yorktown met the
Jimmy Flatley, de- |Lexington, and the two task forces headed west
scribing the attack on|through the Coral Sea to engage the Japanese task
the Shoho at the Bat- |forces.
tle of the Coral Sea |Bad weather, poor visibility, and poor scouting kept
|the opposing fleets from discovering each other right
|away. At one point they were only seventy miles
|apart, but each could not find the other. But at dawn
----------------------|on May 7th, search planes from both sides finally made
sightings and attacks were launched. The Battle of the Coral Sea had begun.
F4F-3 Wildcat fighters, Dauntless dive bombers, and Devastator torpedo
planes from the Lexington and Yorktown searched for a reported "two
carriers and four cruisers."
Despite the fact that reconnaissance later reported no carriers in the
area, the group pressed on, and at 11 a.m. they found the smaller task
force, which was to cover the Port Moresby invasion. There, in the waters
below, was an inviting target: the Shoho. Although it was protected by a
small Zero fighter cover, this was not enough to fight off ninety-three
American planes. Hit by thirteen bombs and seven torpedoes, the Shoho sank
in half an hour.
Meanwhile, the Shokaku and Zuikaku, out of sight of the attacking U.S.
planes, launched a strike of their own against what a reconnaissance plane
had reported as a carrier and a heavy cruiser. The "cruiser" turned out to
be the destroyer Sims, which was struck by several bombs and sank. The
"carrier" was the tanker Neosho, which was badly damaged and had to be
scuttled several days later.
The next day, May 8th, following a futile night attack on the American task
force, a Japanese strike force of thirty-three Val dive bombers, eighteen
Kate torpedo planes, and eighteen escorting Zeroes took off from the
Shokaku and Zuikaku at 9 a.m. Scout planes had left earlier, the strategy
being that if these scouts spotted the American carriers, an attack force
would be right
behind. At the same time, the Lexington and Yorktown launched most of their
available planes to attack the two big Japanese carriers.
Just as they had done the day before, the two opposing fleets of fighters,
dive bombers, and torpedo planes passed each other without sighting the
opposition's planes. At 10:30 a.m., the U.S. planes spotted the Shokaku and
attacked, scoring three bomb hits and severely damaging the heavy carrier.
The Zuikaku, hidden in a rain squall, escaped detection by the attackers
and was able to launch fighter planes to assist the Shokaku.
While the American planes were attacking, Japanese scout planes found the
U.S. task forces, and the Japanese attack force soon struck. With fighter
cover provided by only seventeen Wildcats and twenty-three ill-suited
Dauntlesses, the carriers and their escorting vessels virtually had to
defend themselves. On this day, however, Japanese aim was poor. Twisting
and turning, the Yorktown was able to dodge every torpedo while taking only
one bomb hit. The less maneuverable Lexington was hit by two torpedoes and
Both of the damaged carriers were soon able to recover their returning
planes. But when gasoline vapors deep inside the Lexington were
by a spark from a generator that had been left running, the carrier was
rocked by a tremendous internal explosion. Fires raged out of control, and
the Lexington was abandoned. Later that evening, it was scuttled by
torpedoes from the destroyer Phelps.
The Japanese invasion task force, which had reversed its course when the
Shoho was attacked, was ordered back to Rabaul until the U.S. carriers
could be driven off. Thus, the invasion of Port Moresby was postponed. With
both the Japanese and American task forces retiring for repairs and
refueling, the Battle of the Coral Sea was over. Two historic "firsts" had
occurred: a naval battle between aircraft carriers, and a naval battle in
which the opposing ships never even saw each other.
Who won this engagement off New Guinea? Judged strictly on the basis of
ships sunk, it was a Japanese victory. The Japanese lost one light carrier
plus the services of a heavy carrier, a destroyer, and a tanker. But
because the losses to the Japanese carriers forced the postponement, and
eventual cancellation, of the Port Moresby invasion, the U.S. fleet could
claim a strategic victory in the Coral Sea.
THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY (JUNE 4-7, 1942)
With a navy vastly superior to the Americans, Admiral Isoroku Yamamote,
Commander in Chief of Japan's Combined Fleet, developed a plan to destroy
the U.S. Pacific Fleet once and for all. After a surprise April 18th air
raid on Toyko by American B-25 bombers from the carriers Hornet and
Enterprise, he decided to move up the timetable for this decisive battle.
Yamamoto's plan was to capture U.S. held Midway Island, and use it as a
stepping stone to take over the Hawaiian Islands. To accomplish this, an
armada would be sent to Midway to bomb the American base there with carrier
planes, and then capture it with five thousand ground troops from twelve
troop transports. As a diversionary move, a Japanese task force would head
north to the Aleutian Islands. The day before the Midway attack, the U.S.
base at Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians would be bombarded, and the islands
of Kiska and Attu would be invaded.
Japanese strategy held that the smaller U.S. fleet would immediately sail
out of Pearl Harbor when the Aleutians were attacked. It would quickly be
spotted by a Japanese submarine curtain outside Pearl Harbor. When the
Midway attack commenced, the U.S. fleet would change course to assist the
island, where they would change course to assist the island, where they
would be crushed by the superior Japanese fleet. If any U.S. ships still
headed for the Aleutians, they would be met halfway by a task force of four
But as the Japanese armada steamed toward the east, American intelligence
operations, having broken Japan's secret code, learned of the plan to
invade Midway. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander of the U.S. Pacific
Fleet, ordered Midway to be reinforced, and land-based B-17 bombers were
flown in from Hawaii to repel the attack of the invading task forces. The
damaged Yorktown, believed by the Japanese to have been sunk at Coral Sea,
was worked on by fourteen hundred dockyard technicians at Pearl Harbor and
repaired in three days, instead of the three months originally estimated.
Repairs completed, the Yorktown carrier task force, commanded by Rear
Admiral Frank J. Fletcher, left Pearl
Harbor. The Enterprise and Hornet carrier task force, commanded by Rear
Admiral Raymond A. Spruance in place of the ailing Vice Admiral William F.
Halsey, also left Pearl Harbor. When the Japanese submarine barrier
arrived, the U.S. Pacific Fleet was already out at sea.
Even with three carriers, the U.S. forces were overmatched by the Japanese.
The First Carrier Striking Force, under the command of Vice Admiral Chuichi
Nagumo, included the carriers Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, and Soryu, all veterans
of the Pearl Harbor attack, plus two battleships, three cruisers, and
eleven destroyers. They were without the damaged Shokaku and the
plane-depleted Zuikaku, but Yamamoto felt that his fleet could crush the
opposition without the two battle-scarred carriers.
On June 3rd, U.S. reconnaissance planes, on the alert for the Japanese task
forces, finally spotted Vice Admiral Nobutake Kondo's group, which included
two battleships, eight heavy cruisers, and the troop transports. B-17
bombers from Midway were sent to attack the fleet, but the high-altitude
strikes did no damage to the ships. Later, Japanese planes from the
carriers Ryujo and Junyo attacked Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians.
But Nimitz, along with the American task force commanders, Fletcher and
Spruance, refused to fall for the Japanese Aleutians diversion. Their
three carriers headed northwest of Midway, where they thought Nagumo's
carriers would be.
On the morning of June 4th, the four Japanese carriers launched 108 Val
dive bombers, Kate torpedo bombers, and Zero fighters to attack Midway. But
as these planes headed for the island, two of the Japanese carriers were
spotted by an
American reconnaissance plane from Midway. Their position was barely within
range of the U.S. carrier aircraft. Spruance now had a decision to make.
Should the Hornet and Enterprise lose valuable time to get closer to the
Japanese carriers? Or should they strike now, and hope to catch the
carriers when they were the most vulnerable: with the returning Midway
attack planes refueling and reloading on their decks? Spruance gave the
order: attack now.
Back at Midway, a counterattack was launched against the Japanese fleet. A
motley assortment of B-17 and B-26 bombers, SBD-3 Dauntless and Vindicator
dive bombers, and TBF-1 Avenger torpedo planes all headed for Nagumo's
carriers. Midway's fighter cover of six Wildcats and twenty antiquated
Brewster Buffalos also took to the air to protect the island.
When the Japanese attack wave arrived at Midway, most of the American
fighter planes were shot down by Zero fighters within twenty-five minutes.
The installations at Midway were bombed, except for the runway, which the
Japanese planned to use after Midway's capture. The counterattacking B-17s,
flying high above the Japanese ships and their Zero fighter cover, dropped
their bombs without any hits, and returned to Midway after the Japanese
attack. The six Avengers, flying without fighter cover, were sitting ducks
for the Zeros and only one returned to Midway. Again, no Japanese ships
But then Admiral Nagumo made a serious mistake. He decided that the
harassment from the Midway B-17s and other bombers, which was keeping his
task force defense fighters in the air constantly, had to end once and for
all. A number of torpedo loaded bombers had been reserved in case the
American fleet was spotted. Nagumo ordered that these planes to be
immediately rearmed with land bombs to destroy the remaining American
planes while they were on the ground at Midway. When this conversion was
partially completed, a Japanese scout plane radioed that they had sighted
the American carrier fleet. Nagumo temporarily
halted the armament switch, then ordered that the land bombs be removed,
and replaced with torpedoes.
His indecision proved to be costly. Because while this time-consuming
rearming was taking place, the Enterprise and Hornet had launched every
available dive bomber, torpedo bomber, and fighter to engage the carrier
force. An hour and a half later, the Yorktown launched its planes. The
Hornet's dive bombers and fighters failed to locate the carriers, and were
forced to turn back, with all of the Wildcats eventually running out of
fuel and ditching. But the rest flew on, and at 9:25 a.m., the torpedo
squadron from the Hornet, Torpedo 8, spotted the Japanese fleet.
Flying in the slow, obsolete TBD Devastators, with no fighter escort, all
three torpedo squadrons were no match for the swarm of Zero fighters
protecting the carriers. Of the forty-one torpedo planes which attacked,
thirty-seven were shot down, and no torpedoes hit any Japanese ship. Every
plane from the Hornet's Torpedo 8 was shot down and only one man, Ensign
George Gay, survived the onslaught.
So far, the U.S. was faring terribly in the Battle of Midway. A total of
ninety-three bombers and torpedo planes had attacked the Japanese fleet -
without scoring a single hit. And Nagumo's planes, including those from the
earlier Midway strike, were recovered, refueled, rearmed, and ready to be
launched against the U.S. carriers. The four carriers started to turn into
the wind to launch their planes.
Suddenly, from the deck of the Kaga, the lookout screamed, "Dive bombers!"
the Japanese fighter cover was busy destroying the low-flying torpedo
planes, two squadrons of high-flying Dauntlesses from the Enterprise were
diving on the carriers. With Lieutenant Commander Wade McCluskey leading
the way, four bombs ripped the Kaga, setting off a chain of explosions as
the planes on the deck were ignited. Lieutenant Richard Best's squadron
attacked the Akagi, and leader Best's bomb was the first to hit the
carrier, landing near the bridge. Other hits followed, and soon the Akagi
was enveloped in flames. Then, Commander Max Leslie's dive bombers from the
Yorktown, which had caught up with the Enterprise's squadrons, struck the
Soryu's deck, and twenty minutes later, its captain ordered the crew to
Six minutes after the first U.S. dive bomber struck, the assault was over,
and three Japanese carriers were mortally wounded. Ironically, the
Enterprise's dive bombers had been on their way back to their carrier when
they spotted a Japanese destroyer, and followed its course toward Nagumo's
carriers. Earlier, they had searched a different area in vain. Another
irony: the decks on the Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu were crowed with fueled and
armed planes about to be launched. Many bombs were strewn around the deck
area while the crews were hastily rearming the planes.
When the attack came, it was no wonder that the direct hits on their flight
decks quickly turned the three carriers into blazing, exploding infernos.
Had the attack come but a few minutes later, the three carriers would have
already launched their planes, and perhaps the U.S. carriers would have
been sent to the bottom instead of the Japanese.
As the U.S. dive bombers flew off, one Japanese carrier remained untouched.
Off in the distance, the Hiryu quickly began to launch a strike against the
American carriers. Japanese Val dive bombers and Zero fighters followed
some of the
Yorktown's planes back to the carrier, and while the Zeros engaged the
Yorktown's Wildcat fighter cover, the Vals swooped in. Despite the fact
that only seven bombers actually dropped their bombloads, three bombs
struck the Yorktown and left it dead in the water. No sooner had the damage
been brought under control when a wave of Kate torpedo bombers attacked the
Yorktown, scoring two hits. The listing, powerless carrier was soon
abandoned by its crew.
Later in the afternoon, American reconnaissance planes located the Hiryu,
and thirty-eight planes from the Hornet and Enterprise were launched. As
the Hiryu's planes were being readied for a twilight attack on the American
carriers, the U.S. planes dived out of the setting sun. Four direct hits
later, the Hiryu was a burning wreck.
As the day ended, four Japanese carriers and one American carrier were dead
in the water. The Soryu and Kaga sank later that evening, while the next
morning the Akagi and Hiryu were scuttled by Japanese destroyers to prevent
them from falling into American hands. On the American side, a salvage
party boarded the Yorktown, and with a towline secured to a minesweeper,
the carrier was towed toward Hawaii.
That night, Yamamoto, still hoping to catch the U.S. fleet with his big
battleships, continued to sail toward Midway. But the intuitive Spruance
decided that the U.S. task forces would not push their luck, and ordered
them to sail east, where they would be in a better position to protect
Midway from any
Early the next morning, there was another engagement between the two sides.
The American submarine Tambor sighted several Japanese ships and was
spotted in return. In the scramble to evade the Tambor, however, two
Japanese heavy cruisers, the Mogami and Mikuma, collided. Leaving an oil
slick that was easily spotted by American planes, the two ships were later
attacked by land-based aircraft, with little damage done. But the next day,
planes from the Hornet and Enterprise attacked the cruisers, sinking the
Mikuma and badly damaging the Mogami.
On the afternoon of June 5th, Admiral Yamamoto, with his four carriers now
lying on the ocean floor, realized that remaining in the area without air
cover would put the rest of his fleet at serious risk. He cancelled the
Midway invasion, and ordered his ships to head west.
Meanwhile, the Yorktown and its escort ships had been spotted by the
Japanese submarine I168. Having slipped through a screen of destroyers, the
I168 fired four torpedoes at the Yorktown. Two struck the carrier while one
hit the destroyer Hammann, which was alongside the Yorktown. The torpedo
broke the Hammann's hull in two, and the destroyer sank within three
minutes. The Yorktown now damaged beyond hope of salvage, finally sank on
the morning of June 7th.
With the sinking of the Yorktown, the Battle of Midway was over. It was a
turning point in the war in the Pacific - a victory for a U.S. fleet that
sorely needed one six months after Pearl Harbor, and a setback from which
Japan would never recover. The loss of 4 carriers, 322 planes, and 3, 500
men dealt a severe blow to Japan's hopes of total domination in the
Pacific. After Midway, Japan and the United States would be on virtually
THE BATTLE OF THE EASTERN SOLOMONS
(AUGUST 24, 1942)
With the victory at Midway, the American strategy for the war in the
Pacific changed. Instead of fighting defensive battles, the American Joint
Chiefs of Staff decided that a policy of seizing Japanese-held islands for
use as forward bases was the best way to push back the Japanese Pacific
They agreed that the first Japanese base to be taken would be the newly-
established one at Tulagi in the southern Solomon Islands. While scouting
Tulagi in July, an American reconnaissance plane reported that an airstrip
was being built on Guadalcanal Island, southeast of Tulagi. Orders were
given to invade this island, seize the airfield, and prevent the Japanese
from establishing air superiority in the region.
On August 7th, U.S. Marines invaded Guadalcanal and Tulagi. Surprising the
light Japanese force at the Guadalcanal airstrip, they captured it and
renamed it Henderson Field, after a Marine Corps major who died in the
Japanese attack on Midway Island. The U.S. Marines encountered much heavier
resistance at Tulagi but managed to secure it by August 8th.
From their base at Rabaul, northwest of Guadalcanal, the Japanese sent
planes to bomb the new American positions. A naval task force was also
dispatched to engage the American surface ships off Guadalcanal. At
midnight on August 8th, a surprise Japanese attack, known as the Battle of
Savo Island, sank three U.S. cruisers and one Australian cruiser, thus
effectively wiping out the support fleet.
For the next two weeks, the U.S. Marines at Henderson Field were largely
isolated except for occasional relief from planes and ships when they could
get through. Japanese troops, which held the remainder of the island,
mounted attack after attack but were repelled by the outnumbered Americans.
Japanese ships sailed uncontested down the straits to the north of
Guadalcanal, known as "The Slot, " landed troops and supplies, and
bombarded the U.S. Marine positions. These raids took place with such
regularity that they were nicknamed the "Tokyo Express."
In an attempt to completely wipe out the Americans, a Japanese task force
was assembled at Rabaul. The Japanese plan, known as Operation KA, called
for the landing of fifteen hundred Japanese troops on Guadalcanal,
supported by air and sea bombardments. This task force headed toward
Guadalcanal covered by Vice Admiral Nobutake Kondo's group, which included
the heavy carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku, veterans of the Battle of the Coral
Sea. Rear Admiral Tadaichi Hara's diversionary task force, which included
the light carrier Ryujo, steamed south, ahead of the main task force.
The Japanese strategy was that if Americans took the bait and attacked the
Ryujo group, the counterattacking planes from the Shokaku and Zuikaku would
sink the U.S. carriers while their planes were away.
This flurry of Japanese activity at Rabaul was detected by U.S. scout
planes and submarines, and the American command guessed that an attack was
forthcoming. The American task force, which included the carriers
Enterprise, Saratoga, and Wasp, was ordered to remain south, away from
Japanese search planes, to protect the shipping lanes east of Guadalcanal.
On August 23rd, American patrol planes spotted Japanese troop transports
heading for Guadalcanal. SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers and TBF-1 Avenger
torpedo bombers from the Saratoga headed northwest to intercept them.
However, the Japanese invasion task force, which had spotted the scout
plane, abruptly reversed course, and the U.S. bombers could not locate it.
They were forced to land at
Henderson Field that night, and rejoined the Saratoga the next day.
With no definite knowledge of the Japanese task force position and not
expecting a battle just yet, Admiral Frank J. Fletcher, commander of the
carrier force, dispatched the Wasp and its destroyer escorts south for fuel
oil. This left only two carriers to engage the Japanese.
The next day, August 24th, the American task force radar picked up Japanese
planes headed for Guadalcanal from the Ryujo. Thirty scout bombers and
eight torpedo planes from the Saratoga were launched to search out and
attack the carrier. While they were in the air, U.S. scout planes located
the Shokaku and Zuikaku but poor radio reception prevented the Saratoga's
planes from hearing the order to attack them. Instead, the Dauntlesses
found the Ryujo, and attacked it with thirty 1, 000 pound bombs. Four to
ten of these hit home and, following a torpedo attack from the Avengers,
the Ryujo quickly went under.
But it was a loss the Japanese could live with, because the Americans had
swallowed the Ryujo diversion bait, while the Shokaku and Zuikaku remained
untouched. As the Ryujo was being attacked, a Japanese scout plane located
the U.S. carriers. Before it was shot down, it radioed the position of the
U.S. ships, and soon an attack from the Shokaku and Zuikaku was launched.
Since U.S. F4F-4 Wildcat fighters had downed the scout plane near the
carriers, Admiral Fletcher assumed that the Japanese knew their position
and would launch an attack. The task force was alerted to this possibility
and fifty-three fighters were launched as a defensive screen.
The attack soon materialized. The Enterprise and Saratoga were ten miles
so the Japanese concentrated on the "Big E." Flying through a heavy screen
of fighters and anti-aircraft fire, most of the Japanese dive bombers were
shot down. Despite the murderous firepower, however, several Vals got
through to the Enterprise and blasted it with three direct hits. Even
though explosions ripped holes in the Ship's flight deck and jammed the
rudder, damage control parties soon had the Enterprise fully operational
A second wave of attacking Japanese planes was unable to locate the
American fleet and had to return to the carriers. Meanwhile, American
planes from the Saratoga could not locate the Japanese heavy carriers, and
instead attacked and damaged a seaplane carrier, the Chitose.
As night approached, the American task force decided to break off the
attack and head south. The Japanese task force also sailed south, but at
midnight, Admiral Kondo, not wanting to risk his ships in the darkness,
ordered them to turn north.
The next day Japanese scout planes unsuccessfully search for signs of the
American task force, which was out of their range. His ships were now low
on fuel, so Kondo ordered them back to the base at Truk.
Meanwhile the Japanese transport group was still headed toward Guadalcanal.
But Dauntlesses from Henderson Field, which had failed to locate the
carriers, stumbled upon the transports. Loaded with troops, the Kinryu
Maru was struck by a bomb, as was the cruiser Jintsu. Army B-17 bombers
followed this attack and, for the first time in the war, hit and sank a
ship, an escorting destroyer. Since it was obvious that the U.S. controlled
the skies over Guadalcanal, the Japanese invasion task force was also
called back to Truk.
The Battle of the Eastern Solomons was over, and the outcome was somewhat
of a toss-up. The Japanese lost a small carrier, which Yamamoto had
anticipated losing, plus numerous carrier aircraft and crews. The U.S. lost
the Enterprise for two months to repairs. but the U.S. had prevented the
Japanese from establishing air superiority over Guadalcanal and had turned
back a major troop landing. And the U.S. Marines still held their position
at Henderson Field.
THE BATTLE OF THE SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
(OCTOBER 26-27, 1942)
As the battle for Guadalcanal dragged on through September and October,
1942, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto drew up a plan to put an end to the
conflict. His strategy called for a naval bombardment of Henderson Field,
after which land-based troops would seize the airstrip. Once this was
accomplished, carrier based planes would move in to aid in the offensive
and prevent the Americans from landing reinforcements. Additional troops
would then be landed on Guadalcanal to drive out any remaining U.S.
The Japanese carrier task force, including the carriers Shokaku, Zuikaku,
Junyo, and Zuiho, steamed south toward Guadalcanal. On October 23rd, U.S.
reconnaissance planes spotted the Japanese ships. Two hastily-assembled
carrier groups, led by the Hornet and the recently-repaired Enterprise,
were ordered to a position north of the Santa Cruz Islands, east of
Guadalcanal, to intercept the Japanese.
Meanwhile, the Japanese mounted a fierce land-and sea-based attack on the
American positions near Henderson Field. Although the devastating naval
bombardment destroyed most of the U.S. planes on the airstrip, the Japanese
ground troops were unable to overrun the U.S. Marines.
On October 25th and 26th, additional sightings of the four Japanese
carriers were made be scout planes. At dawn on October 26th, Vice Admiral
William F. Halsey, commander of the South Pacific Force, gave the order to
attack. Two SBD-3
Dauntless scout/bombers from the Enterprise located the Japanese task force
and attacked the Zuiho. Two bomb hits damaged the carrier, and it was
unable to launch or retrieve any more planes. The Hornet then launched two
waves of attack planes while the Enterprise launched another one.
Unfortunately for the Americans, the Zuiho had already launched its planes
against the U.S. carriers. A search plane had spotted the Hornet earlier,
and twenty-seven Zeros, twenty-two Vals, and eighteen Kates from all four
Japanese carriers were on their way to the American ships. The first
Japanese attack group passed a wave of American F4F-4 Wildcat fighters,
TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bombers, and SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers from the
Enterprise. In the ensuing skirmish, the Zeros shot down three Wildcats and
four Avengers while losing three of their own. The two opposing groups then
continued on to their targets.
At 9:10 a.m., the Japanese squadrons found the American carrier groups.
With the Enterprise hidden by a rain squall, the attackers pounced on the
Hornet. Although many Vals were destroyed by anti-aircraft fire from the
Hornet, a good number got through, and the carrier was ripped by four bomb
hits and a deliberate suicide crash by a damaged Val. Two torpedoes from
Kates plus another suicide crash completed the damage, and the Hornet was
left listing and in flames.
While the Hornet was under attack, its planes, along with those from the
Enterprise, were unleashing a similar attack on the Japanese carriers. The
American Dauntlesses, noting that the Zuiho was already damaged from the
earlier strike, concentrated on the Shokaku. Three to six 1, 000 pound
bombs rocked the carrier and destroyed its flight deck, ending any further
flight operations. Other planes attacked secondary targets in the task
force and heavily damaged the cruiser Chikuma.
Back at the American task force, an attacking Japanese submarine torpedoed
the destroyer Porter, which later had to be sunk by the Americans. Then a
second Japanese wave from the Shokaku and Zuikaku struck. First cane the
Val dive bombers, flying straight into the murderous anti-aircraft fire
from the Enterprise and the battleship South Dakota, which was later
credited with twenty six kills. But the Vals still managed to damage the
Enterprise with three bomb hits. Next came the Kate torpedo bombers,
launching four torpedoes that the Enterprise was able to avoid. Another
wave from the Junyo damaged the South Dakota and the cruiser San Juan.
In the wake of these attacks, the Enterprise was still operational and
proceeded to recover its planes. On the dead-in-the-water Hornet, however,
salvage crews were trying to tow the carrier when a wave of Japanese
torpedo bombers and dive bombers from the undamaged Zuikaku and Junyo
struck. The Hornet was hit by a torpedo and two bombs, and the order was
given to abandon ship.
With the Japanese fleet drawing nearer, the destroyers Mustin and Anderson
were given the task of scuttling the Hornet. But even after taking nine
hits from American torpedoes, the Hornet would not sink. The destroyers
then fired four hundred and thirty rounds into the carrier and soon it was
a floating inferno. When Japanese reconnaissance planes began dropping
flares on the scene, the American destroyers fled. Later a Japanese
destroyer division arrived, and fired four more torpedoes into the Hornet,
sending it to the bottom.
In terms of combat tonnage lost, the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands was a
Japanese victory. The loss of the Hornet left the damaged Enterprise as the
only functioning carrier in the Pacific. Tactically, however, the U.S.
gained the edge in battle. With two carriers damaged, and many aircraft and
crews lost, the Japanese task force had to turn back and head for their
base at Truk. Any yet another attempt to drive the U.S. Marines from
Guadalcanal had failed. Four
months later, the Japanese would concede defeat and pull their remaining
troops from Guadalcanal, the "Island of Death." For the next two and a half
years, they would continue to fight a long, bloody series of defensive
battles until September 2, 1945, when Japan would officially surrender to
the United States.
Remove the Battlehawks floppy disk from the sleeve at the back of the book,
then look at the Reference Card. There, you'll find instructions on how to
load Battlehawks from a floppy disk, install it on a hard disk, and start
up the program. When you have finished, refer back to the Menu Choices
section of the manual below.
Once you've loaded the Battlehawks disk, you'll be at the first of several
menus. Here's how to move through all your menu choices, including
reviewing planes, selecting missions, and keeping track of your pilot
HOW TO SELECT FROM THE CHOICES ON THE SCREEN
From now on, we'll refer to your cursor keys, mouse, or joystick as "the
At many points in the game, you'll see a display of your current options
with one option highlighted in bright color. You can move this highlight in
a bright color. You can move this highlight from one choice to another by
moving your controller in the appropriate direction, or by pressing the
correct keys (see keyboard reference). Then, to actually choose the
highlighted selection and move on to the next screen, press RETURN (or
press and release your controller button).
Press any key or bottom to move through the title screen and the title
screen and the credits to the Main Menu.
You'll know you've reached the Main Menu when you see a screen with a
close-up of an American Wildcat fighter plan on the deck of a carrier.
There will be five menu choices:
SELECT TRAINING Allows you to choose a Training mission, which will not
reflect on your Service Record.
SELECT ACTIVE DUTY Allows you to choose an Active Duty mission that will
count on your Service Record.
REVIEW PLANES Allows you to inspect the different Japanese and American
aircraft you can fly in Battlehawks.
REVIEW SERVICE RECORDS Allows you to inspect and manage the records of all
pilots. You'll automatically start the game with a default American pilot
named TRAINEE. If you want to use a different pilot, or start with a new
one, you must choose this option before your first Active Duty mission.
EXIT FROM PROGRAM Allows you to leave the game.
Here's where you can develop, practice, and improve the skills that can
help you perform well in your Active Duty missions. Since none of the
results of these Training missions will appear in your Service Record, we
encourage you to take chances and make mistakes when flying them. It's the
best way to become a better pilot in actual combat situations.
Once you have chosen a Training mission, you will move to the Ready Room
screen, where you can make modifications to your mission. Experiment with
as many different modifications as you can.
You'll have four types of Training missions to choose from:
FIGHTER INTERCEPT You'll attack incoming enemy planes with your fighter.
You must defend your ship by shooting down enemy bombers or their fighter
escorts before they can attack.
FIGHTER ESCORT You'll fly a fighter and defend friendly aircraft as they
attack enemy ships. With enemy fighters everywhere, your fellow pilots will
need all the protection you can give them.
DIVE-BOMBING You'll drop your bomb load on an enemy ship. Dive bombers
flew at high altitudes, then plunged almost straight down, releasing their
bomb and pulling out close over their targets. Depending on your mission,
you may face enemy fighter opposition. For more information, see the
section on Aerial Tactics and Tips.
TORPEDO-BOMBING You'll fly a hazardous torpedo run. The low-flying torpedo
bombers had to practically skim the waves to launch their torpedo - and to
avoid being detected by the enemy. Fly low and slow toward the enemy ship,
and drop your torpedo when you're close. Enemy fighters may be in the area.
Techniques of torpedo-bombing are discussed in Aerial Tactics and Tips.
EXIT This returns you to the Main Menu.
To select one of these Training missions, move your controller up and down
until the type of mission you want to fly is highlighted. Next, move your
controller right to view the different scenarios for that type of mission,
then left to view them again. The first scenarios are the easiest, and you
may face little or no opposition. As you continue to move the controller to
the right, the scenarios will become more and more difficult.
ACTIVE DUTY MISSIONS
These are the ones that count! Success in your Active Duty missions will be
rewarded with promotions and medals, which will be logged in your Service
Record. But failure to execute your mission correctly will also be
And remember - in 1942, many pilots did not make it back to their ships.
These missions can be hazardous!
When you move to the Active Duty missions screen, the name and nationality
of your current pilot is displayed at the top. With the original pilot,
TRAINEE, you won't be able to save your Service Record. If you want to
change the pilot, select EXIT, then select REVIEW SERVICE RECORDS from the
Main Menu. (For more information, see the Review Service Records section of
To start your Active Duty mission, choose one of the battles shown on your
screen. Then, move your controller right to view the various missions you
can fly, then left to look them over again. These missions will vary,
depending on the battle you've chose, and the nationality of your pilot.
You may select the missions in any order, but you must complete all the
missions in a given battle to qualify for top honors.
On the menu screen, you'll see the following four battle choices:
THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA A duel of the flattops, where for the first
time a naval battle was fought entirely with air power. The Americans lost
more ships, but won the more important victory of preventing a Japanese
invasion. This time, the outcome is up to you.
THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY The pivotal battle of 1942, perhaps of the whole
Pacific war. When it was over, four Japanese carriers were at the bottom of
the sea. Can you recreate history or change it?
THE BATTLE OF THE EASTERN SOLOMONS The Japanese want to land troops on the
island of Guadalcanal. The Americans want to stop them. Historically, it
was a trade-off in ships, but a strategic victory for the Americans because
the Japanese invasion fleet turned back. Now, it's in your hands.
THE BATTLE OF THE SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS The last major carrier battle of
1942. A victory here, and the Japanese could still dominate the Pacific
theater. Will you give the Empire of the Rising Sun new hope - or stop it
cold? EXIT This returns you to the Main Menu.
In each of these battles, you can experience the same situation from both
sides of the battle. The composition of the forces may not be precisely the
same for each side, as exciting situation were chosen to maximize each
After you've chosen one of these battles, move your controller right to
view your mission choices, then left to see them a second time. Remember,
to distinguish yourself in combat, you're encourage to fly all the missions
in a given battle.
BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA: MISSION CHOICES
U.S. Fly one of several SBD Dauntlesses launched from the carrier
Lexington in a dive-bombing attack on the damaged and burning light carrier
Shoho. Enemy fighter cover is expected. (In the actual battle, the Shoho
JAPAN Fly a Zero fighter on an intercept mission to protect the Shoho from
approaching U.S. dive bombers.
U.S. You're in a F4F Wildcat fighter, escorting a group of dive bombers in
their attack on the Shokaku, a heavy carrier. An aggressive CAP (Combat Air
Patrol) of Zeros will try to protect the carrier. (In this action, the
Shokaku was damaged and had to sit out the Battle of Midway.)
JAPAN You and your Zero fighter must intercept the approaching American
air strike and save the Shokaku, an honored veteran of the Pearl Harbor
U.S. You're on the defensive in your Wildcat as a group of Kate torpedo
bombers, escorted by Zero fighters, closes in to attack. Concentrate on
the Kates, and
don't let them get through to the Lexington. (Historically, this attack
succeeded and the Lexington sank soon after.)
JAPAN Recreate history in your Kate torpedo bomber by attacking and
sinking the carrier Lexington.
U.S. Defend the Yorktown from attacking Japanese Val dive bombers. You'll
have to move your Wildcat quickly to save the carrier. (The Yorktown was
damaged in the actual battle, but was repaired in record time at Pearl
Harbor, and went on to play an important part in the Midway battle.)
JAPAN Try to change history by dive-bombing the Yorktown into oblivion
with your Val. Enemy fighter cover is present.
BATTLE OF MIDWAY: MISSION CHOICES
U.S. You fly a Dauntless dive bomber as the wing man for Lieutenant Dick
Best as he makes his run on the carrier Akagi. Enemy fighters (CAP) are at
low level, having just devastated the American torpedo planes. Follow Lt.
Best in and drop your bomb on the carrier. (Historically, both bombs hit,
and Lt. Best went on to become one of the first heroes of the war, and
later the Battlehawks technical advisor.)
JAPAN Perhaps the most critical minutes of the entire war for the
Japanese! You and your Zero must intercept the numerous American bombers
attacking your carriers. Honor the Emperor, and rewrite history.
U.S. The carriers Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu are damaged. Your squadron of
Dauntless dive bombers can help send them to the bottom, or seek out and
destroy the carrier Hiryu. (In the actual battle, the Hiryu was not
attacked in the first dive-bombing strike, and launched a strike of its won
against the Yorktown.)
JAPAN Protect the Hiryu from the attacking Americans. Only your Zero can
save the carrier so it can launch a counterstrike.
U.S. The tables are turned as you pilot a Wildcat in defense of the
Yorktown. Stop the Vals that are attacking in great numbers. (In this
action at Midway, the Yorktown was heavily damaged.)
JAPAN You and your Val represent a chance to avenge your fallen comrades.
Dive bomb the Yorktown and sink it!
U.S. One last chance to save the Yorktown. The Val attack has damaged the
carrier, and the follow-up attack is a squadron of Kate torpedo bombers.
Pilot your Wildcat skillfully and you may prevent the Yorktown's historical
JAPAN Use your powerful "Long Lance" torpedo to send the Yorktown to the
bottom. You must pilot your Kate through the heavy enemy CAP that protects
BATTLE OF THE EASTERN SOLOMONS: MISSION CHOICES
U.S. Your TBF Avenger packs a powerful punch. If you can deliver its
torpedo to the carrier Ryujo, you may repeat history and sink it.
JAPAN Fly your Zero with distinction, and the Ryujo can live to fight
U.S. Attacking Japanese planes threaten the Enterprise. You fly a Wildcat
in CAP to protect the carrier. The attack is fierce, and it will take every
bit of skill and daring you can muster. (Historically, the Enterprise was
damaged but survived.)
JAPAN Try to turn the tables on the U.S. forces by sinking the Enterprise.
fly a Zero, escorting some Val dive bombers.
U.S. You've dropped your torpedo on the Ryujo and your home carrier is in
sight. But the battle isn't over. You'll have to fly your Avenger as a
fighter when you encounter a flight of Japanese bombers returning from
their attack on the Enterprise.
JAPAN It's an unusual match. Will the superior maneuverability of your Val
let you outfight the slow but tough and well-armed Avenger? Remember, you
both have tail guns!
U.S. Fly your unescorted Dauntless in a strike against the well-protected
Japanese Support Group ships. There are no carriers, so pick out a cruiser
and dive in.
JAPAN You're lucky enough to be flying CAP in your Zero over several
cruisers and a seaplane carrier of the Support Group when enemy dive
bombers make their appearance. Save the ships!
BATTLE OF THE SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS: MISSION CHOICES
U.S. Your scouting Dauntless has spotted the main Japanese force's
carriers. Attack despite the heavy CAP resistance, and you may better the
inconclusive historical results.
JAPAN Bring down the enemy dive bombers with your Zero before they can
reach your carriers. Be sure to watch out for their tail gunners.
U.S. Fly CAP in your Wildcat, and protect the Hornet from a combined
attack of Vals and Kates. (In the actual battle, this proved to be too
great a challenge and the Hornet was badly damaged, and later sank.)
JAPAN Your Kate torpedo bomber is to attack the Hornet in concert with a
Val dive-bombing attack. Your torpedo carries a deadly punch, but the
American fighter cover and anti-aircraft fire offer a strong defense.
U.S. Fly your Avenger torpedo bomber in an attack against your old
nemesis, the Shokaku. The carrier is well-protected, but with courage and
luck, you could sink it. (In 1942, the Shokaku was badly damaged in the
attack and knocked out of action for nine months.)
JAPAN Save the Shokaku with your Zero, and air superiority in the Pacific
may again belong to the Empire of the Rising Sun.
U.S. A difficult Wildcat fighter mission unfolds as you escort damaged
torpedo bombers home. You must pass through a gauntlet of Zeros eager for a
chance to even the score.
JAPAN Your last chance for an honorable victory! Fly your Zero like a
samurai, and pick off the enemy torpedo bombers and their fighter escort.
When you select REVIEW PLANES from the Main Menu, you'll be sent to a new
menu screen. Here you can inspect American and Japanese aircraft from top
and side views, and read about their characteristics, both in the air and
in battle. Your menu choices are:
AMERICAN/JAPANESE (FLAG) Select either flag to view the fighters, dive
bombers, and torpedo bombers from that country.
NEXT PLANE After you select this option, the top and side profile of a
plane will appear, along with a description of its features, strengths, and
weaknesses. Move your controller right to look at the next aircraft, or
left to look at the previous plane again.
ROTATE PLANE This lets you rotate the side view of the plane. Move your
controller left and right to see what the plane looks like at different
EXIT This will return you to the Main Menu.
REVIEW SERVICE RECORDS
The menu choice REVIEW SERVICE RECORDS lets you look over and modify the
records of current and previous pilots who have flown Battlehawks missions.
The name and nationality of your current pilot are shown at the top of the
If you're playing from a floppy disk, you'll be asked to insert a Service
Record disk to save your records on. If you don't have one yet, insert a
formatted disk and use the PREPARE DISK command described below. As you
move the highlight up and down through the menu choices, specific
instructions on how to use them will be displayed on the screen. These are
the selections you'll see on the screen:
SELECT PILOT This lets you choose one pilot from the list of current ones
to become your active pilot. You need to do this before starting on any
Active Duty missions that you want to record.
When you boot up the program, a preselected American will be your current
This pilot will be named TRAINEE, and will also appear whenever you delete
your current pilot. If you fly any mission with TRAINEE as your pilot, that
Service Record cannot be saved. Enter your own pilot name and nationality
when you want to save the results of a mission. The nationality of the
pilot will determine which side you fight on.
You may select a pilot that has been grounded, retired, or killed in action
(KIA) if you want to review his record. This pilot cannot fly any more
NEW PILOT This allows you to enter a new name on the list of pilots, and
select his nationality.
VIEW RECORD This displays the battle history of the selected pilot. Medals
are shown in the cases on the lower part of the screen. See the Medals and
Promotions section for more information on these.
The battle history keeps track of victorious missions as well as a count of
defeated enemy planes and ships. Each small ship and aircraft symbol stands
for one ship or plane destroyed; each large symbol stands for five. The
number of planes your pilot has lost is also shown. If a pilot loses ten
planes, he'll be grounded, unable to fly again. After sixteen missions
he'll be retired, and can live out his life as a genuine World War II hero.
RENAME This lets you change the name of an existing pilot.
DELETE Use this to remove a pilot from the list.
PREPARE DISK Use this on a formatted floppy to set it up as a Service
BEST CAREER Choose this to display a list of the pilots with the all-time
best combat careers.
BEST MISSION Choose this to display a list of all-time best single
missions pilots have flown, regardless of their total career record.
EXIT This sends you back to the Main Menu.
Once you have chosen a mission, you'll be sent to the Ready Room. There,
you'll get your mission briefing. You can modify your missions in the Ready
Room, but if you modify Active Duty missions there, they will NOT count on
your record. The blackboard in the center of the screen describes your new
mission. The indicator boxes along the top show those characteristics of
your mission that you can modify. From left to right they are: PLANE MODEL,
AMMUNITION/FUEL/DAMAGE LEVELS, STARTING ALTITUDE, and ENEMY SKILL LEVEL.
You can change these mission settings by selecting MODIFY PLANE. When you
do, the briefing will be replaced by a list of options. Move the highlight
through the options, and make your selections. As you press RETURN (or your
controller button), you will change the settings. These changes will be
displayed in the corresponding box at the top of the blackboard.
Here are your choices:
PLANE MODEL Use this to change to a different model of aircraft. You'll
retain the current type of plane (FIGHTER/DIVE BOMBER/TORPEDO BOMBER), but
you can try newer or older models of that plane which might have been on a
Japanese or American carrier in 1942. In Active Duty missions, if you want
to fly planes of a different nationality, you must register as a pilot of
that nationality. (See the section on Review Service Records.)
AMMUNITION Use this to change between STANDARD or UNLIMITED amounts of
ammunition. In the STANDARD mode, you'll carry the same amount of
ammunition as the planes in 1942 did (see Reference Information for data on
ammunition loads). In the UNLIMITED mode, you'll never run out of
FUEL Use this to choose between STANDARD (picture of fuel gauge) or
UNLIMITED amounts of fuel. STANDARD is the amount of fuel that planes in
1942 carried. Since Battlehawks concentrates on the combat part of a flight
mission, there is often little chance of running out of gas, even at the
STANDARD fuel setting. If you're low on fuel you can decrease your fuel
consumption by cutting back on the throttle (see Keyboard Reference.
PLANE DAMAGE LEVELS With this, you can change between STANDARD and
INVINCIBLE modes. STANDARD is the normal amount of damage that can be
sustained by that plane, and INVINCIBLE lets your plane take an endless
amount of damage, so you can't crash or be shot down. In the INVINCIBLE
mode, you'll never hit the water.
STARTING ALTITUDE This gives you a choice of altitudes from which you can
begin your mission. (In general, starting a few thousand feet higher than
your enemies gives you an advantage.)
ENEMY SKILL LEVEL With this setting, you can select the skill level of
your enemies. In increasing order, these levels are CADET, VETERAN, and
ACE. (Since the Japanese did not acknowledge aces by numbers of planes shot
down, the ACE skill level is used here to denote top-quality pilots).
RESET ALL VALUES This restores the values for this mission to the default
settings, or the settings that initially appear in the Read Room.
you can change ANY values for an Active Duty mission, it will not be
recorded in your Service Record. Only valid, historically-accurate missions
are counted. For this reason, if you decide you don't want to change any
values after all, use this option.
EXIT This drops you back to the selections at the bottom of the screen.
Use this when you're finished with your modifications.
Other Ready Room commands are:
BEGIN FLIGHT Select this only when you're ready to begin your mission.
When you do, you'll be given a recognition/password test, and then sent to
NEW MISSION If you decide you don't like your current mission after seeing
the briefing, use this command to return to the mission selection screen.
EXIT TO MAIN This lets you leave the Ready Room, and return to the Main
This is your final step before take off. The Flight Deck Officer will show
you a silhouette of a Zero fighter. Turn to the Loading Instructions and
following sections of your Battlehawks manual, and look for the matching
illustration in the bottom, right-hand corner of one of the pages. When you
find it, enter the corresponding password with your keyboard, and press
RETURN (or your controller button). For example if the silhouette is:
you should find it on the second page of Loading Instructions with the
corresponding password YAMAMOTO. Type in:
and press RETURN (or your controller button).
This test is an important part of pre-flight preparation. Take your time,
and be careful when you compare the picture on the screen to the one in the
manual. If you make a mistake in recognition, you'll be judged unready for
advanced combat duty and sent to a basic training mission.
You always start your mission inside the cockpit of your aircraft. Here are
the instruments you'll see in front of you:
1. SPEED BRAKES (SBD Dauntless only) This indicates the position of your
speed brakes. Down is open, up is closed. Use your speed brakes to slow
your dive bomber while diving on a target.
2. FLAPS This gives you the position of your flaps. Up means flaps up,
down means flaps down. Put your flaps down to lower your stalling speed, so
you can fly slower without stalling (useful in torpedo runs). Otherwise,
fly with your flaps up for greater speed.
3. LANDING GEAR This shows you the position of your landing gear. In the
Val dive bomber, the landing gear is always down. Lowering your landing
gear can slow you down slightly by increasing drag.
4. NAME This indicates the name and model of your aircraft.
5. AIRSPEED INDICATOR This reads in hundreds of miles per hour, so 2 is
200 MPH. Stalling speed is about 70 MPH with the flaps up.
6. CLIMB/DIVE INDICATOR This dial shows how fast you're gaining or losing
altitude. The positive readings at the top show a climb, the negative ones
at the bottom show a dive. All readings are in thousands of feet per
7. RPM INDICATOR This shows your throttle setting in revolutions per
minute. The higher the setting, the farther to the right this indicator
goes. The red area warns you when you're using fuel at a high rate.
8. CAMERA INDICATOR This red light comes on when your replay camera is
recording (see Keyboard Reference for details on how to control the
camera). Use this feature to record and replay the events happening around
you. While you're watching your replay, you can use your controller to move
your point of view all around the sky. The replay camera is an excellent
tool for learning flight tactics, as well as a way to enjoy the game from a
9. BANKING INDICATOR This dial shows the roll of your plane. (See the
Flight Fundamentals section for an explanation of roll.) When you're
flying with your wings level, the indicator will display a straight
horizontal line with a small vertical bar to show which way your tail
points. As you bank to the left or right, the indicator will change to show
10. PITCH INDICATOR This shows how far above or below the horizon the nose
of your plane is pointing. The + direction is up, o is level, and - is
11. VIEW INFO This small panel serves several functions. When you're in
normal forward flight, it is blank. On some computers, RIGHT, LEFT, DOWN,
or REAR will be displayed when you look out your cockpit window in those
directions. Your screen will also display the corresponding view from the
cockpit. (See Keyboard Reference for information about looking out your
cockpit.) Other computers will show you these views through the appropriate
side or rear window.
VIEW INFO can also be used in the SCAN mode to let you look around in any
direction, using your controller to move your point of view. In this mode,
the VIEW INFO panel shows two numbers. The first indicates how many degrees
up or down you're looking. It ranges from -90 degrees (straight down),
through 0 (horizon level), up to +90 degrees (straight up). The second
number shows the direction you're looking, relative to your line of travel.
If you're looking to the right, it goes from 0 degrees (straight ahead),
through +90 degrees (directly to the right), to +180 degrees (behind you).
If you look left, it goes from 0 degrees (straight ahead), through -90
degrees (straight left), to -179 degrees (nearly straight behind you).
In the replay camera mode, REPLAY will be displayed here (see the Keyboard
Reference section for instructions on using the replay camera).
12. ALTIMETER This dial shows your altitude in feet. The digital display
on the dial shows thousands of feet, the little hand hundreds of feet, and
the big hand tens of feet. For example, if the digital displays reads 02,
the little hand is on the 6, and the big hand is midway between 1 and 2,
your altitude in 2, 615 feet.
13. COMPASS This indicates which direction you're heading: north, south,
east, or west.
14. ENGINE/AIRFRAME DAMAGE COUNTERS These twin dials show the total damage
to the engine (top dial) and the airframe (bottom dial). Severe damage to
either the engine or the airframe will push the indicators over into the
red. If that happens, you're likely to completely lose engine power or lose
control of your aircraft. Your only option will be to bail out.
15. GUN ROUNDS This indicator shows how many rounds of ammunition are left
in your forward pointing gun. The Japanese Zero fighter has two indicators
here. The top one shows the number of rounds in your 7.7 mm machine guns,
and the bottom one indicates the number of rounds in your more powerful 20
mm cannon. When you're flying dive bombers or torpedo bombers, an indicator
in the rear view shows how many rounds are left in the rear machine gun.
16. FUEL GAUGE This gauge shows how much fuel you have: E means empty, F
means full. 17. WARHEAD RELEASE This shows if you have a warhead (torpedo
or bomb) to release. Fighter planes never carry warheads in Battlehawks.
LEAVING THE GAME
To exit the Battlehawks program directly to your computer's operating
system, you may press the ESCAPE key any time you are not in the cockpit.
From the in- flight, cockpit view, you must press:
first to quit, then ESCAPE to exit.
To find out which of these controllers is supported by your machine, please
see your Reference Card.
For players without a mouse or a joystick, the keyboard will control all of
the game features. However, we strongly recommend that you use either a
joystick or a mouse as your primary flight controller. They joystick will
give the most "true to life" control and is easier to use for loop
maneuvers. The mouse gives the smoothest fine control. In any case, the
cursor keys (arrow keys) can function as the controller.
In this section, the mouse, joystick, and cursor keys will be referred to
collectively as the controller. Buttons on the mouse or joystick will be
referred to as controller buttons. In the menu screens (all screens except
the cockpit views, which are the ones you'll see in-flight), the controller
allows you to move up, down, right, and left through the menu choices.
If you have a non-standard mouse or joystick, you may be confused about
which of your buttons are the ones referred to in the manual as left button
or right button. Here's a simple way to find out. Fly a fighter intercept
training mission, and select a Japanese Zero fighter and STANDARD
ammunition (not UNLIMITED).
Once you're in the cockpit, look at the GUN ROUNDS display (item 15 in the
cockpit illustration on page 56). When you press one button on your
controller, the top number will decrease. This button is the one referred
to as the left button. A different button will make the bottom number
decrease. On a dive-bombing or torpedo-bombing mission, pressing both
these buttons at once will drop your bomb or torpedo.
USING THE CONTROLLER TO ADDITIONAL IN-FLIGHT KEYS
PILOT YOUR AIRCRAFT Key Function
Your plane will respond to the direc- P Pause game;press any key
tion you move your controller much the Q Quit game;get evaluation
same way a real plane would. For more E Toggle only the engine
information, see the Flight Fundamen- S Toggle ALL sounds on/off
tals section. V Display version of game.
Controller Move the nose of
forward the plane down
(away from you)
Controller Move the nose of L Drop/lift landing gear
backward the plane up (all planes except Val)
(toward you) F Drop/lift flaps
Controller Bank the plane B Open/close speed brakes
right to the right (on Dauntless only)
Controller Bank the plane + Increase throttle (you do not
left to the left need to use the shift key)
CONTROLLER BUTTON FEATURES - Decrease throttle
These allow you to fire your forward G Flip gun sight up/down
firing guns, and to drop your warhead
BUTTON FUNCTION C Toggle replay camera on/off
Left controller Fire main R Enger REPLAY mode
button machine gun (see below)
(or space bar)
Right controller Fire 20 mm J Jump from plane, parachute
button cannon (in Japanese to safety
(or RETURN) Zero fighter only)
(may be button NUMERIC KEYPAD CONTROLS
on tip of joystick) The following numeric and keypad
keys control the different views you
Left AND Right Drop warhead can switch to and from in your cock-
controller (torpedo or bomb, pit. Your computer may require the
buttons if you have one) NUM LOCK on for keypad use.
8 Look forward (your
mission starts in this view)
6 Look right
4 Look left
2 Look back (in torpedo or dive REAR GUN CONTROLS
bomber, this also activates All dive bombers and torpedo
rear gun; see below) bombers have rear guns. After you have
3 Look down (straight down, switched from the front view to the
regardless of flight angle) rear view to control the rear gun, your
9 Look around- (SCAN view, plane will fly on "automatic pilot, "
see below) with the controls set where you left
them. If you stall or are about to
REPLAY MODE CONTROLS crash into the water, return to the
When you turn your camera on, it forward view to regain control of your
starts recording your actions. It stops aircraft.
When you turn it off or run out of film. CONTROL FUNCTION
Starting the camera again erases your Controller Move rear gun and
old film, making a fresh recording. view;only works behind
When you are watching a replay of and above current
one of your aerial battles, use the con- position
troller to change your viewing angle. Left button/ Fire rear gun
This lets you look at the replay from space bar
anywhere in the sky. 8 Return to forward view and
In the replay mode, your instrument controlled flight
panel will reflect what was happening
to your plane during the original flight.
When the replay is over, you will be SCAN VIEW
back in your plane at the moment you CONTROL FUNCTION
started the replay. You may not use Controller Move viewing angle all
replay mode after you have crashed or around;angle degree is
bailed out of your plane displayed
Any valid Switch to a different
ADDITIONAL REPLAY MODE CONTROLS number key view. The 8 key returns
KEY FUNCTION you to forward view.
Left button/ Move forward
space bar (at a constant
+ Increase camera altitude
- Decrease camera altitude
R Reposition camera to your plane's location
F Resume normal flight
ENDING YOUR MISSION
There are several ways to end your mission. You may press: q to end it at
any time. The game may tell you to press this key once your mission has
been completed (this is to give you time to look at a replay before you end
This mission will also end if you crash or are shot down. You may ditch
your plane (come to a level landing on the water), or parachute safely down
to the water. In rare instances, you may even run out of fuel. In any case,
once your mission is over, you will be given a flight review. NOTE: If
your current pilot is killed in action during a mission, you will not be
able to repeat that mission. You'll have to start up a new pilot, or fly
with the assigned pilot, TRAINEE.
YOUR FLIGHT REVIEW
This takes place in the ready room. On the screen before you, you'll see
your commander, and a written description of how well you performed in your
mission. The most critical factor in your review is whether or not you have
successfully completed the mission.
On fighter intercept missions where you are defending your carrier,
quitting before the enemy planes have attacked is NOT a successful
completion. You need to shoot down or drive away all attackers. If you are
on a fighter escort mission, your priority is to keep the enemy aircraft
away from the planes you are escorting.
Finally, if you are on a bombing mission, you must make a successful hit on
an enemy ship with your warhead (torpedo or bomb) to complete your mission.
The flight review blackboard also shows the number of friendly and enemy
planes and ships that have been damaged or destroyed during the mission.
The plane and ship symbols you'll see are for ALL kinds of planes and
ships, not just the aircraft carriers and fighter planes pictured on the
blackboard. The numbers under the Tot column are the totals of enemy
losses; the numbers under the You column are the specific enemy losses you
caused. If other friendly planes cooperate with you in shooting down an
enemy plane, you'll get credit for the sinking even if it's hit by other
bombs after yours. If you're an American pilot, the losses credited to you
will make you more likely to get a medal or promotion that if you're a
Japanese pilot. If you fly for the Japanese, you're more likely to be
rewarded for distinguished service.
Once you've seen your flight review, press any key or your controller
button to get to the next screen. If you've just finished an Active Duty
mission and didn't change any mission parameters on the Ready Room screen,
you'll see your current Service Record on the screen (see the Review
Service Records section for more information). You may even be eligible for
a medal or a promotion.
To exit from these screens, press any key or your controller button. This
will send you to a text screen. There you'll have two choices. Pressing s
will repeat the same mission, while pressing RETURN will send you to the
MEDALS AND PROMOTIONS
To win a medal, move up in rank, and make the Best Missions list, the most
critical factor is fulfilling your basic mission requirements. If you've
successfully guarded your ship, escorted those torpedo bombers, or whatever
your mission called for, you're more likely to be rewarded. Causing other
damage to the enemy is secondary. In attack missions, every bomb or torpedo
that hits an enemy ship helps your chances for promotion significantly. Of
course, damaging friendly planes and ships will count against you. Finally,
protecting other friendly planes will add to your final rank.
UNITED STATES NAVY MEDALS (LISTED IN ORDER OR RANK)
After you have successfully completed an Active Duty mission in
Battlehawks, you may be awarded one of the following medals:
CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR
The highest award in the U.S. Military, the Medal of Honor, was the first
medal established by the United States government, and was approved by
Congress and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on December 21,
1861. It may be given both in wartime and peacetime for an extraordinary
act of heroism or self sacrifice in a combat or non-combat situation. The
Medal of Honor is awarded by Congress to a person who "distinguish(es)
himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life
above and beyond the call of duty and without detriment to the mission of
his command or to the command to which attached." It is the only medal
presented by the president in the name of Congress. The Medal of Honor may
be awarded only once; a Gold Star is awarded instead of a second medal, and
is worn on the ribbon of the Medal of Honor.
Awarded by outstanding heroism while engaging an armed enemy, the Navy
Cross is the highest U.S. Navy medal given strictly for combat action and
ranks just below the Medal of Honor. A Gold Star is awarded if a second
Navy Cross is warranted.
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL
This award is presented for "exceptionally meritorious service to the
government in a duty of great responsibility" in a combat or non-combat
situation. Only one Distinguished Service Medal may be given to an
individual, with a Gold Star given instead of additional medals.
SILVER STAR MEDAL
This medal is awarded for an act of "gallantry and intrepidity in action"
that does not warrant the awarding of the Medal of Honor or the Navy Cross.
It is the second-highest award given strictly for combat action ranking
just behind the Navy Cross.
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS
A person may be awarded this medal if they perform an extraordinary act of
heroism while in flight, either in a combat or non-combat situation. It can
only be awarded once; a Gold Star is given for subsequent heroic acts.
The Air Medal is given to an individual who distinguishes his or herself
with "meritorious achievement in an aerial flight, " either in combat or
non-combat actions. It ranks just below the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Originally established by George Washington in 1782, this medal is given to
any individual who is wounded by enemy action in such a way that requires
medical treatment. A Gold Star is awarded if wounded in action again.
JAPANESE NAVY MEDALS
Unlike their United States Navy counterparts, the Japanese did not honor
their military heroes with medals or other citations for acts of bravery.
To single out an individual for such an award would have been inconsistent
with the Japanese emphasis on the group over the individual. Acts of
bravery and self- sacrifice were expected of Japanese airmen, and even the
concept of the "ace, " so widely idolized by the Americans, was ignored by
the Japanese. A posthumous promotion in rank was the only official
recognition of bravery in combat.
ORDER OF THE RISING SUN
While the Japanese did not recognize heroism with a medal, on rare
occasions they did honor meritorious service with the Order ot the Rising
Sun. This medal had eight different classes, each representing how
distinguished the act of service was. Originally founded in 1875, the Order
of the Rising Sun was awarded in both wartime and peacetime. Officers,
noncommissioned officers, and even civilians were eligible for this medal.
These were issued to personnel who participated in various campaigns during
the Pacific war. In Battlehawks, a Campaign Medal is award for successfully
completing an Active Duty mission at the Battle of the Coral Sea, the
Battle of Midway, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, or the Battle of the
Santa Cruz Islands.
In both the U.S. and Japanese Navies, promotions were granted based on
experience more than individual valor. Simply by serving well, not losing
too many planes, and surviving, pilots would rise in rank. In the U.S.
Navy, the exception to this rule was when a pilot flew a particularly
successful mission. This would often result in a promotion. Similarly, the
Japanese sometimes honored their war dead with a posthumous promotion. A
Japanese pilot's highest honor (or more appropriately, his family's highest
honor) was a posthumous double promotion.
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This chapter discusses the dynamics of flight, both in a real working
aircraft and in Battlehawks 1942. The paragraphs that apply these dynamics
to the game situation have a * in front of them and behind them. Although
today's military aircraft are strikingly different from their World War II
predecessors, they both share many of the same aircraft design
fundamentals. And they both rely on the same aerodynamic principles to get
off the ground and maneuver in the air, starting with the principle known
as lift. If you've ever stuck your hand outside a moving car window and
felt the wind rush over it, you've already experimented with lift. When you
hold your palm down, then rotate it upward, your arm is pulled up. This is
caused by lift, or the vertical "push" of air flowing around your hand,
which creates high air pressure below your hand and low air pressure above
it. Substitute an aircraft wing for your hand and you have some idea of how
a plane flies.
Of course, the wing of a plane has a much more streamlined, aerodynamic
shape than your hand. This shape is needed to create high and low pressure
zones around the wing, as well as to ensure a smooth flow of air around it.
Furthermore, without a streamlined shape, too much drag, or wind
resistance, is produced, which will reduce the amount of lift. A wing needs
a continuous, smooth flow of air over and under it to produce lift. To
create this, an engine drives a propeller to provide forward thrust. Lift
increases with airspeed; the faster
the forward thrust, the more lift is created.
*To increase your thrust, increase your throttle setting. See the Keyboard
Reference section to find out how to adjust your throttle.*
When this smooth flow of air around the wing is interrupted, a dangerous
situation known as a stall can occur. This happens when the wing is tilted
upward at a steep angle or when the plane is moving too slowly. When a
plane stalls, it can go out of control and crash.
*In Battlehawks, stalls may occur when the plane's airspeed drops below 70
MPH. If this happens, push forward on your control stick (see below) until
the message STALL RECOVERED appears, showing that you're now going fast
enough for normal flight. Then, quickly pull back on the stick until you're
level. It's easy to stall when you're trying to fight a plane that is
passing by at a higher altitude. This can be deadly. Stalls are also
dangerous when flying low and slow, which unfortunately are the very
conditions necessary for a successful torpedo attack. Learn to judge when
you are close to stalling from the sound your engine makes, as well as by
watching your airspeed indicator.*
When in flight, the plane can maneuver three different ways. It can pitch,
or move up or down; it can yaw, or swivel left or right; and it can roll,
or bank left or right. To execute these maneuvers, the pilot has a control
stick or column that controls pitch and roll.
Yaw is controlled by a combination of pitching and rolling.
*The stick is controlled in Battlehawks by either the cursor keys, a
joystick, or a mouse. The stick is not shown on the screen, but it may help
you to imagine the stick in the following explanations of maneuvers. Pitch
is controlled by forward lowers the nose; pulling the stick back raises it.
If you push forward or pull back far enough, the plane may loop, flipping
The best way to execute a turn is to combine yaw which roll and bank the
plane either left or right. Roll is controlled by moving the control stick
left or right, which causes the plane to roll in that direction. When the
plane has its wings tilted to one side or the other, it is in a bank. When
banking to the right, the plane will turn to the right. The steeper the
bank, the faster the turn, up to full 90 degree bank with the wings
pointing straight up and down.
*Steep banking will cause you to lose lift, and the nose of your plane will
pitch down. To counteract this, you may wish to pull back on your stick
slightly or increase your throttle when you bank. Then, to come out of the
turn, push the stick in the opposite direction (for example, when turning
right, push left), which should level your plane.*
Flaps are the trailing-edge (or rear) sections of the wing that are hinged
down- ward to increase lift. When they're fully extended downward, flaps
can also slow the airplane by increasing the amount of drag on a wing.
*Since torpedo-bombing missions require low, slow flight, flaps can come in
Speedy brakes are special flaps found only on dive bombers. They open both
up and down from the back of the wing and are perforated to avoid buffeting
when they are open.
*Use speed brakes to slow your dive as you come in to drop a bomb on a
Landing gear are the wheels of your plane along with their supports.
*All the planes in Battlehawks can extend or retract landing gear except
for the Japanese Val dive bombers, whose gear are permanently fixed in an
extended position. By extending your landing gear, you can slow your plane
down quickly by increasing drag.*
To find out more about advanced flying techniques, see the Aerial Tactics
and Tips section.
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AERIAL TACTICS AND TIPS
This section describes many of the tactics used in combat by World War II
pilots, as well as those that are applicable to game situations in
A valuable tool for analyzing your tactics for any engagement is the replay
feature of Battlehawks. This lets you record your action and then view it
from any angle. See the Keyboard Reference section for more information.
Whether escorting dive bombers and torpedo planes, or providing aerial
defense cover for an aircraft carrier, the fighter pilot had but one
principal task: shoot down enemy aircraft as quickly as possible. When the
enemy was sighted, a pilot had to quickly maneuver his fighter into a
position to attack the often swift and maneuverable enemy planes. There
were several approaches a fighter pilot could take to make an attack,
depending on his position relative to the enemy and the speed and direction
the enemy planes were flying in.
The STERN ATTACK was an approach that dated back to the earliest aerial
duels, and was the easiest for poor marksmen. An attacking fighter would
simply get on the tail of the enemy and fire a short burst. This attack
could start from a higher or lower position, or from the same altitude as
the enemy. The stern approach could be dangerous if the enemy aircraft had
a tail or rear gunner who could fire back, or if the enemy was more
The OPPOSITE ATTACK sometimes gave equally great shots to both the enemy
aircraft and the attacking aircraft! In this approach, the attacking
fighter would fly head-on at the enemy plane and fire continuously. U.S.
Navy pilots using this approach would try to come up from slightly
underneath the enemy at a 15 degree angle, where the enemy aircraft was
especially vulnerable. This way, if the enemy tried to dip its nose down
and fire, it risked a head-on collision. After this attack was executed, it
was often difficult for either plane to set up another approach unless they
both turned toward each other again.
In these two types of attacks, pilots could fire straight at the target.
However, since attacking planes often had to pursue the enemy at angles,
the pilots sometimes needed to fire ahead of the target. That way, the
bullets would arrive in a given area at the same time as the enemy
aircraft. This was known as DEFLECTION SHOOTING. This shooting skill was
necessary for more complicated approaches, such as the OVERHEAD APPROACH
FROM THE SAME COURSE.
This called for the attacking aircraft to fly in the sam direction as the
enemy and at a position 2, 000 feet above. When the attacking pilot reached
a position ahead of the enemy and in the same vertical plane, he would roll
up and over onto his back. Continuing the roll, he would dive down on the
enemy at a 60 degree angle, and attack at a 45 degree angle. This gave the
attacking aircraft many opportunities for a clear shot, and made it
difficult for the enemy to fire back.
The OVERHEAD APPROACH FROM THE OPPOSITE COURSE, which was slightly easier
to execute than the same course approach, was used when the attacking
aircraft and the enemy aircraft were flying toward each other. Again, the
attacking fighter had to be at least 2, 000 feet higher than the enemy. As
the enemy got closer, the attacking fighter would bank his wings at a 90
degree angle to keep the enemy in his sight. When the attacking aircraft
reached the same vertical plane as the enemy and the two planes had passed
each other, the attacker would execute a half-roll and drop the nose of his
aircraft toward the enemy. Like
the same course approach, the attacker would dive at a 60 degree angle, and
attack at a 45 degree angle.
Both of these overhead attacks were difficult to execute. They required a
good deal of air space both above and below the enemy aircraft, so they
could not be used at low altitudes. Yet, when executed properly, they could
be extremely effective.
Finally, the SIDE ATTACK was a true test of marksmanship because of the
amount of deflection shooting required. It could be executed above the
enemy's flight path, at the same level, or below the flight path. Flying
parallel to the enemy, the attacking fighter would execute an s-turn,
briefly heading in the opposite direction of the enemy before turning in
and beginning his attack at a 90 degree angle. As the attacking pilot
finished his s-turn, the final loop would put him closer to actually
following behind the enemy.
Like the overhead attacks, side attacks offered the enemy a poor target to
shoot back at. They were also ideal at low altitudes, when overhead attacks
could not be executed.
FIGHTER TACTICS: BATTLEHAWKS 1942
DEFLECTION SHOOTING was a specialty of American fighter pilots, who
practiced it frequently with difficult side approaches. In Battlehawks, use
the gunsight to help you determine where to aim. You will need to
compensate for the speed of your target, the angle at which it crosses your
line of sight, and its distance away from you. When it is faster, closer to
perpendicular to your path, or farther away, you will have to lead your
shots more. Try to judge the direction it is flying, and aim along an
imaginary line in front of it. You can judge distance by seeing how large
the plane is compared to the rings of your gunsight. With practice, you'll
be able to score hits every time.
The Japanese excelled at tactics that used their planes' superior agility.
The SCISSORS was a maneuver used often by the nimble Zeros against the more
sluggish American planes. If an enemy is behind you, simply alternate steep
banks, turing first left, then right, then left again, while cutting back
on your throttle to slow down. The plane behind you will not be able to
turn as quickly and will gradually pull ahead of you. This should put you
on its tail.
If an enemy plane heads toward you then passes you, your fastest way to
turn is not to bank to one side but to execute a fancy maneuver. Two good
ones are the
IMMELMAN TURN and the SPLIT-S. The Immelman is useful when your target is
at the same or a higher altitude and you aren't close to stalling speed. To
execute it, pull back on your stick and flip completely over, so you are
upside- down pointing directly back along your path. If you perform this
maneuver correctly, you should see the enemy plane in front of you. Push
the stick to one side or the other to right your plane.
The split-s is sort of a vertical mirror image of the Immelman. Use it to
turn around if you are close to stalling speed, if you need to shake an
opponent, or if the enemy has passed by below you.
First, push the stick fully to one side (preferably toward the enemy who
has just passed beneath you)until you are upside-down. Then, pull back on
the stick until you have looped back to a vertical position. Don't try this
if you are within a thousand feet of the water!
If you execute this maneuver correctly, you'll be flying back the way you
came but at a lower altitude. By banking a little as you are pointing
straight down, you can quickly change your final direction to any angle you
In the war in the Pacific, dive-bombing was a deadly art that required as
much raw nerve as it did sheer flying ability. For attacking moving
targets, such as ships, it was much more accurate than high-level bombing,
but it was also much riskier.
Flying at an altitude as high as 12,000 feet to avoid enemy detection, a
dive bomber pilot would pick out a target. Then, he would open his dive
flaps so that his diving speed would be about 250 mph, and push the stick
forward so that his aircraft would plunge toward the target at a 70 to 75
degree angle. The direction of the dive determined the trajectory of the
bomb so the pilot kept the nose of the dive bomber right on the target,
preferably the stern of the ship.
For a harrowing 35 to 40 seconds, the aircraft would dive while
anti-aircraft fire burst around it. The pilot would keep his eye on his
bomb-sight telescope and move the ailerons to adjust for wind or any
movement of the target. Frequently, pilots would zig-zag during the first
part of the dive to make the plane a more difficult target for enemy
fighters and anti-aircraft fire. At around 2, 000 to 1, 500 feet, the pilot
would release the bomb. Since a bomb
takes less than three seconds to hit a target from 1, 000 feet, the
aircraft would be in danger of being blown up by its own bomb if it dived
any lower. The pilot would then quickly pull the nose up, subjecting
himself to a large amount of centrifugal force - usually from 5 to 6 Gs. If
he was lucky and anti-aircraft fire or a fighter cover didn't get him, he
would then hear the unmistakable sound of his bomb exploding on the target.
DIVE-BOMBING TACTICS: BATTLEHAWKS 1942
You should start your dive from at least 5, 000 feet up, preferably from 7,
000 feet. Below 5, 000 feet, you may not be able to dive, aim, drop, and
pull out in time. Starting your dive at an even higher altitude is fine.
Use your speed brakes to limit the velocity of your dive; the extra time
will give you plenty of opportunities to correct your aim.
To aid you in your approach to the target, Battlehawks provides you with
two special views. The scan view allows you to fly in one direction while
you look in another. Use this to look down while continuing to fly level,
and thus adjust your course so you are headed directly toward the target
ship. Then switch to the straight down view. See the Keyboard Reference
section to find out which keys control these views on your machine.
If you have lined up correctly with your target ship, it will eventually
creep into view below you. This is the time to go into your dive. You may
wish to switch on the camera to record your bombing run. Then, extend the
speed brakes, select the forward view, and push the control stick forward
into a steep dive. By watching your pitch indicator, you can judge how
steep your descent is. A 70 degree dive (about 3/4 of the way down the
indicator) is ideal for your final approach.
A longitudinal attack approach, along the line of your target ship's
course, is best as you'll have a longer area for your bomb to hit.
Attacking your target ship from the bow is better than from the stern since
the ship will sail directly away from you in a stern attack. This will
force you to flatten your dive to catch it, and will also pull you out of
the relatively safe region directly over the ship.
Remember that it is more important to surprise the enemy with your attack
than to take the time to line up for the perfect attack approach. Always go
directly for the ship. With practice, you'll be able to hit a ship even
with an angle of attack that's perpendicular to its course.
In your dive, you may see that your target is not directly in front of you,
but rather to one side or the other. Correcting your aim just by banking is
dangerous since this could force you to slip or skid (moving sideways in
relation to the direction your plane is pointing). To avoid this, push
forward until you are in a nearly-vertical dive - all the way down on the
pitch indicator. Then you can rotate your plane by moving your control
stick left or right until the target is directly in front of you. Pull back
gently to resume your 70 degree dive.
As you get closer to the enemy carrier, ignore the flak bursts. Your
critical, and you don't need the added problems of dodging flak while
aiming. If there are other friendly planes joining you in the attack, it is
very important to stick together and use defensive fire to protect each
other. But once you have released your bomb, by all means split up from the
group, and weave and doge to make yourself a tougher target.
Fighter defense is another critical problem. Dive bomber pilot Richard Best
would often shake a fighter plane by letting it approach from behind, then
going into a sharp turn just as it came within range. This threw off the
aim of the fighter, causing it to miss. Meanwhile, the rear gunner of his
dive bomber had a minimum deflection shot at the approaching enemy.
As you near 2,000 feet you should be ready to release your bomb. If you are
in a 70 degree dive, your gunsight should be pointed slightly ahead of
where you want the bomb to fall to compensate for gravity pulling the bomb
out of the line of your dive. If you release too high, the bomb will fall
longer and stray
farther from your aiming point.
Launching a torpedo from a moving plane against a moving ship was an
extremely difficult art that the Japanese excelled at. This was due to
their complete mastery of torpedoing techniques, an excellent torpedo, and,
for a while, a better torpedo plane (the American TBD Devastator was far
less effective than the Japanese Kate, though the TBF-1 Avenger proved to
be a successful replacement).
To launch a torpedo strike against a ship, a torpedo squadron would cruise
at a high altitude and dive when a target was spotted. They would break out
of their dive at an altitude of 100 feet or less above the ocean. Sometimes
a torpedo squadron would split up to attack a target from different
directions. If they flew together in formation, torpedo planes were easier
targets for fighters and anti-aircraft fire, as were the American torpedo
squadrons at the Battle of Midway.
Flying at a low altitude, a torpedo plane would approach a target. The
preferred attack position was to be facing either the bow or stern of the
ship, since any way the ship turned would leave it vulnerable to a hit.
When the torpedo plane was within 1, 000 yards or less of the target, the
torpedo was released.
A lot could go wrong with a torpedo once it was launched. It had to land
perfectly flat on the water to run true to the target. If it landed at a
sharp angle, it would dive straight down; if it landed at a shallow angle,
it would bounce up and down on the surface. Occasionally the torpedo would
simply break up when it hit the water. If the torpedo did land perfectly,
it was designed to dive, then rise to a pre-set depth just below the
surface. If the depth mechanism was faulty, it could cause the torpedo to
run too deep and end up going underneath the target. Sometimes, a
slow-moving torpedo could be exploded by machine gun fire aimed at its
And even if all went well and the torpedo did hit the target, there was
always the chance that it would be a dud and fail to explode. American
torpedoes were notorious for this, to the point where it was an occasion to
celebrate when one actually did detonate. But when a torpedo hit and
exploded, it struck a highly damaging blow to a ship in a vulnerable area -
below the waterline. The ability to inflict such damage on a surface ship,
no matter how great the odds of failure, made torpedo-bombing an important
weapon in the Pacific war.
TORPEDO-BOMBING TACTICS: BATTLEHAWKS 1942
The best attack approach to make when your target is sighted is to stay
low, coming in just a few feet above the water. By flying at a low
altitude, you risk disaster in a stall but you also make it hard for enemy
fighters to safely engage you. As they dive in at you, they will need to
attack at a very shallow angle or risk crashing into the water themselves,
since they are limited to firing in the direction they fly. Furthermore,
your rear gunner has no such limitation and can pick them off while you fly
a steady course toward your target.
To make the most of your rear gunner, make sure you are flying level, or at
least in a gradual climb with no loss in speed, before switching to the
rear view. Since you're one person doing the job of two, you'll have to
make sure the plane is on a relatively safe heading before looking back.
As with dive-bombing, try to ignore the flak on your way in. Staying low is
your best defense. A higher approach may give you more room to maneuver,
but it will expose you to more gunfire. It will also force you to waste
precious seconds diving into position and slowing to torpedo-release speed
before dropping your "fish."
To release your torpedo, you'll have to fly low, slow, and level. If you're
flying an American TBF Avenger, with inferior torpedoes, you'll have to
stick below 100 feet and 100 MPH. If you fly and faster or higher, your
torpedo will malfunction
when it hits the water. If you're piloting a Japanese Kate, with its
powerful "Long Lance" torpedoes, you can fly up to 150 MPH at an altitude
of up to 500 feet, but you should stay low anyway to avoid anti-aircraft
Because guns are arranged all along the length of a ship, your safest
approach is directly toward the bow or stern. To maximize the chance of a
torpedo hit, the head-on approach (toward the bow)is strongly recommended.
Then, swing to one side or the other to release your torpedo at a small
angle off the bow. Remember to turn and dodge once you've released the
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JAPANESE AND AMERICAN AIRCRAFT: 1942
There were three different types of aircraft on board both Japanese and
American aircraft carriers. The first, called fighters, were the smallest
and most maneuverable. Their two main missions were to protect ships from
incoming enemy bombers (fighter intercept mission) and to protect their own
bombers on their way to enemy targets (fighter escort mission). The primary
Japanese carrier fighter in 1942 was the Zero, while the main American
carrier fighter was the F4F Wildcat.
The second group of carrier planes were called dive bombers. Larger and
less agile than fighters, dive bombers were designed to drop bombs on sea
or land targets. This dive-bombing mission was accomplished by diving down
on the target at a steep angle, then releasing the bomb at an altitude low
enough for maximum accuracy, yet high enough to escape the resulting bomb
blast. Sometimes dive bombers were used for scouting and reconnaissance
missions, though they carried bombs in case they found a target. In 1942,
the Japanese used the Val bomber for divebombing missions, while the
Americans relied on the SBD Dauntless dive bomber.
Finally, torpedo bombers made up the third group. In a torpoed-bombing
mission, these bombers would attack enemy ships by flying toward them at a
very low altitude, then releasing self-propelled torpedoes, which would
speed to the targets. A low flying altitude was necessary because the
gyroscopes on torpedoes would malfunction if dropped from too high up. The
Kate torpedo bomber was used by the Japanese, while the U.S. Navy Avenger
torpedo bomber saw its first Pacific action in mid-1942.
AIRCRAFT SQUADRON DESIGNATIONS
Carrier aircraft personnel were divided into four different types of
groups, or squadrons. In the U.S. Navy, fighter squadrons were designated
by the letters VF, with V being the symbol for "heavier-than-air craft, "
and F for fighter. VB stood for dive-bombing squadron, VT for torpedo
squadron, and VS for scout or reconnaissance squadron, which was
essentially another dive-bombing squadron. These identification letters
were followed by the identification number of the carrier the squadron was
based on. The number 2 was for the Lexington, 3 for the Saratoga, 5 for the
Yorktown, 6 for the Enterprise, and 8 for the Hornet.
Therefore, if your squadron was called VB-6, you were in a dive-bombing
squadron based on the Enterprise. If you were a member of VT-3, you were
part of the Saratoga's torpedo squadron, and so on.
The Japanese Navy had similar groupings for their carrier aircraft
personnel. All the aircraft on board a given carrier comprised the carrier
air unit, or hikokitai, and was divided into three flying units. These
units were the equivalent of U.S. Navy squadrons. Fighters made up the
carrier fighter unit, and dive bombers were the carrier bomber unit. The
third unit was called the carrier attack unit, and was made up of aircraft
that could be used as either torpedo bombers or dive bombers.
JAPANESE NAVAL AIRCRAFT
MITSUBISHI A6M2 TYPE 0 MODEL 21 ZEKE CARRIER-BASED FIGHTER
The plane that terrorized Pacific skies, the A6M2 Zeke, or Zero, was a key
participant in nearly every Japanese naval action of the Second World War.
This swift, long-range fighter could outfly and outmaneuver every type of
U.S. fighter during the first two years of the war. The earliest version of
the A6M2 was extremely successful in the China campaign, at one point
destroying ninety- nine Chinese aircraft, with only two Zeros lost to
ground fire. In later attacks on Pearl Harbor, Wake Island, Darwin, Ceylon,
the Philippines, and the Netherlands East Indies, the Zero was virtually
The A6M2 Model 21 was developed specifically for carrier operations. A 1
foot 8 inch section of each wingtip folded upward, allowing the Model 21s
to fit inside carrier deck elevators. In combat, they were used for bomber
protection, carrier defense, and for strafing military ground
MITSUBISHI A6M3 TYPE 0 MODEL 32 ZEKE CARRIER-BASED FIGHTER
Just before the last major carrier battle of 1942, the Battle of the Santa
Cruz Islands, the A6M2 Model 21 was replaced by the A6M3 Model 32. This
updated version was faster than its predecessor due to its larger, more
powerful engine. However, to make room for this engine, a smaller fuel tank
had to be used, which reduced the range of the Model 32. Instead of folding
wingtips, the Model 32 had a smaller wingspan, so it could still be used in
A6M2 EVALUATION: Top climbing speed:2, 625 Power loading:5.5
Speed:excellent feet per minute pounds/horsepower
Climbing:excellent Ceiling:32, 810 feet Armament:
Maneuverability:excellent Range:1, 162 miles Guns:two 7.7 mm Type 97
Gun firepower:good Crew:one machine guns, mounted in
Durability:poor Dimensions: the engine cowling, plus
Range:excellent Wingspan:39 feet 4 inches two 20mm Type 99 can-
Performance: Wing area:242 square feet non, mounted in wings
Engine:one Nakajima Length:29 feet 9 inches Warhead:two 132-pound,
NKIC Sakae 12 14 Height:10 feet wing-mounted bombs
cylinder, air-cooled radial Weights: (ground attack)
Horsepower:940 at take Empty:3, 704 pounds
off;980 at 9, 350 feet Loaded:5, 313 pounds
Top speed:331 miles Wing loading:22 pounds/
per hour square foot
Both the A6M2 Model 21 and the A6M3 Model 32 were faster and more agile
than their U.S. counterparts. But this speed and maneuverability came at
the price of pilot protection. To save weight, the Zeros were less heavily
armored than U.S. Fighters, and also lacked self-sealing fuel tanks. As a
result, hits that might not do much damage to a U.S. fighter would turn a
Zero into a ball of fire. When these facts became known to U.S. pilots,
they began to take advantage of this ability to outgun, if not outrun, the
less durable Zero.
A6M3 Evaluation: Top climbing speed:2, 689 Power loading:5 pounds/
Speed:Excellent feet per minute horsepower
Climbing:excellent Ceiling:36, 250 feet Armament:
Maneuverability: Range:1, 477 miles Guns:two 7.7mm Type 97
excellent machine guns, mounted in
Gun firepower:good Crew:one the engine cowling, plus
Durability:poor Dimensions: two 22m Type 99 cannon,
Range:good Wingspan:36 feet 1 inch mounted in wings
Performance: Wing area:232 square feet Warheads: 2 132-pound
Engine:one Nakajima Length:29 feet 9 inches bombs, mounted on the
NKIC Sakae 21 14 Height:11 feet 6 inches wings (ground attack)
Horsepower:1, 130 Empty:3, 984 pounds
at take off; 1, 100
at 9, 350 feet Loaded:5, 609 pounds
Top speed:338 miles Wing loading:24.2
per hour pounds/square foot
AICHI D3A1 TYPE 99 MODEL 11 VAL CARRIER-BASED BOMBER
First delivered in 1940, this distinctive-looking dive bomber helped the
Japanese achieve many of their victories during the early months of the
war. The Val sank more Allied ships than any other type of plane, and
figured prominently in Japanese successes in China, Indochina, the Indian
Ocean, and at Pearl Harbor, where 126 D3A1s dropped the first Japanese
bombs on U.S. ships. The D3A1 was so maneuverable it was sometimes used as
a fighter, though with its fixed landing gear, it had a relatively slow
airspeed. Despite the fact that it could only carry a light payload, it was
considered one of the best dive bombers of its time.
D3A1 Evaluation: Top climbing speed:1, 515 Armament:
Speed:fair feet per minute Guns:2 forward-firing
Climbing:fair Ceiling:30, 500 feet 7.7 mm Type 97 engine
Maneuverability:excellent Range:915 miles cowling-mounted machine
Gun firepower:fair Crew:two guns and 2 rear-firing,
Durability:fair Dimensions: flexible-mounted 7.7 mm
Range:fair Wingspan:47 feet 2 inches Type 92 machine guns
Performance: Wing area:376 square feet Warhead:one 551-pound
Engine:1 Mitsubishi Length:33 feet 5 inches fuselage-mounted bomb;
Kinsei 42 14-cylinder Height:12 feet 7 inches also could carry 2 132-
radial Weights: pound wing-mounted
Horsepower:1, 000 at take Empty:4, 309 pounds bombs (ground attack)
off;990 at 6, 650 feet Loaded:8, 047 pounds
(earlier model) Wing loading:21.4
Top speed:240 miles pounds/square foot
per hour Power loading:8 pounds/horsepower
AICHI D3A2 TYPE 99 MODEL 12 VAL CARRIER-BASED BOMBER
With the staggering losses in aircraft carriers, planes, and crews suffered
by the Japanese in the naval battles of 1942, many D3A1 Vals were assigned
to land- based bombing duty in the Solomon Islands. Since their low fuel
capacity and range made them insufficient for this task, they were replaced
by the D3A2 Model 12. This improved version had a larger fuel tank, a more
powerful engine, and a longer rear canopy section than its predecessor.
The D3A2 saw its first combat action in the fall of 1942. It was later used
in the defense of the Philippines in 1944, and even saw service as a
kamikaze plane during the last year of the war.
D3A2 Evaluation: Top climbing speed:1, 697 Power loading:6.4
Speed:fair feet per minute pounds/horsepower
Climbing:good Cruising speed:184 miles Armament:
Maneuverability:excellent per hour Guns:2 forward-firing
Gun firepower:fair Ceiling:34, 500 feet 7.7 mm Type 97 engine
Durability:fair Range:915 miles cowling-mounted machine
Range:good Crew:two guns and 2 rear-firing
Performance: Dimensions: flexible-mounted 7.7 mm
Engine:1 Mitsubishi Wingspan:47 feet 2 inches Type 92 machine guns
Kinsei 54 14-cylinder Wing area:376 square feet Warhead:1 551-pound
radial Length:33 feet 5 inches fuselage-mounted bomb;
Horsepower:1, 300 at Height:12 feet 7 inches also could carry 2 132-
take off;1, 200 at 9, 845 Weights: pound wing-mounted
feet;and 1, 100 at 20, 340 Empty:5, 666 pounds bombs (ground attack)
feet Loaded:8, 378 pounds
Top speed:267 miles per Wing loading:22.3
hour pounds/square foot
NAKAJIMA B5N1 TYPE 97 MODEL 11 KATE CARRIER-BASED TORPEDO BOMBER
An earlier version of the Kates, which were so effective in Pacific carrier
battles, the B5N1 Model 11 enabled the Japanese to become the masters of
the art of torpedo-bombing. The Model 11 went into production in 1937, and
was first used in combat as a land-based bomber to support ground troops in
China. Even though it was lightly armored, and had only a single
rear-firing machine guns to ward off attackers, the Model 11 was highly
successful in the China campaign. Carrier-based versions of the Model 11
had folding wingtips that overlapped above the cockpit for easy storage
B5N1 Evaluation: Top climbing speed:1, 257 Weights:
Speed:good feet per minute Empty:4, 643 pounds
Climbing:good Ceiling:24, 280 feet Loaded:8, 157 pounds
Maneuverability:good Range:1, 404 miles Wing loaded:20.1
Gun firepower:poor Crew:two pounds/square foot
Durability:fair Dimensions: Power loading:11.5
Range:good Wingspan:50 feet pounds/horsepower
Performance: 11 inches Armament:
Engine:1 Nakajima Wing area:406 square feet Guns:1 flexible 7.7 mm
Hikari 3, 9-cylinder Length:33 feet 9 inches Type 92 rear-firing ma-
air-cooled radial Height:12 feet 2 inches chine gun
Horsepower:700 at take Warhead:1 1, 764 pound
off;800 at 11, 485 feet torpedo;also could
Top speed:229 miles carry
per hour 1, 764 pounds of bombs
NAKAJIMA B5N2 TYPE 97 MODEL 12 KATE CARRIER-BASED TORPEDO BOMBER
At the time of the outbreak of war between Japan and the United States, the
B5N2 Model 12 was the most advanced carrier-based torpedo bomber in the
world. It had replaced the earlier B5N1 Model 11 by the time of the Pearl
Harbor attack, where 144 Kates did heavy damage to the U.S. battleship
fleet. During the four critical carrier battles of 1942, B5N2s fatally
wounded the U.S. carriers Lexington, Yorktown, and Hornet. They also saw
service in campaigns in the Solomons and the Philippines, but advances in
the advances in the aviation design of other aircraft relegated the Kates
to aerial reconnaissance and anti submarine duty at the close of the war.
In appearance, the B5N2 Model 12 was nearly identical to the B5N1 Model 11.
The B5N2, however, had a larger, more reliable engine than the B5N1, a
factor which was critical during long flights over the water. A redesigned
cowling also provided a better view for the pilot, while reducing drag on
B5N2 Evaluation: Top climbing speed:1, 285 Weights:
Speed:good feet per minute Empty:5, 024 pounds
Climbing:good Ceiling:27, 100 feet Loaded:8, 378 pounds
Maneuverability:good Range:1, 237 miles Wing loading:20.6
Gun firepower:poor Crew:two pounds/square foot
Durability:fair Dimensions: Power loading:8.4
Range:good Wingspan:50 feet pounds/horsepower
Performance: 11 inches Armament:
Engine:1 Nakajima Wing area:406 square feet Guns:1 flexible 7.7 mm
NK1B Sakae 11 14- Length:33 feet 9 inches Type 92 rear-firing ma-
cylinder, air-cooled radial Height:12 feet 2 inches chine gun
Horsepower:1, 000 at take Warhead:1 1, 764 pound
off;970 at 9, 845 feet torpedo;also could
Top speed:235 miles carry
per hour 1, 764 pounds of bombs
UNITED STATES NAVAL AIRCRAFT
GRUMMAN F4F-3 WILDCAT CARRIER-BASED FIGHTER
The fighter that would be the mainstay of the U.S. carrier force until 1943
had its earliest incarnation as the F4F-3. After the first version had
fared miserably in performance tests, the addition of a more powerful and
reliable engine convinced the U.S. Navy to place an initial order for
fifty-four. The first F4F-3 rolled off the assembly line early in 1940.
The F4F-3 was first used by the British late in 1940. The following year,
both the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps were flying Wildcats, with 187 being
used by the navy alone at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
F4F-3 Evaluation: Horsepower:1, 200 Height:11 feet 4 inches
Speed:good Top speed:331 miles Weights:
Climbing:good per hour Empty:5, 238 pounds
Maneuverability:fair Rate of climb:2, 300 feet Loaded:7, 056 pounds
Gun firepower:good per minute Wing loading:33.6
Durability:excellent Ceiling:37, 000 feet pounds/square foot
Range:fair Range:860 miles Power loading:7.3
Performance: Crew:one pounds/horsepower
Engine:1 Pratt & Dimensions: Armament:
Whitney R-1830-76 (early); Wingspan:38 feet Guns: 4 .50 caliber
1 Pratt & Whitney Wing area:260 square feet machine guns, 2 in each
$-1830-86 (late) Length:28 feet 9 inches wing
GRUMMAN F4F-3A WILDCAT CARRIER-BASED FIGHTER
By late 1940, the U.S. Navy, concerned about production delays with the
F4F-3's Pratt & Whitney R-1830-36 engine, placed an order with Grumman for
a version that would use a different powerplant. Known as the F4F-3A, this
model was identical to the F4F-3 in every respect, except that it featured
a supercharged Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90 engine. This new engine was
slightly less powerful than the R-1830-36, and pilots reported that the
F4F-3A was slower and didn't handle as well as the F4F-3.
The F4F-3A was the first Wildcat to see action against Japan. In the battle
at Wake Island, four F4F-3As attacked the Japanese invasion fleet, sinking
a destroyer, and forcing the fleet to turn around. Eleven days later the
fleet returned, but this time the few remaining Wildcats were no match for
it, as Wake Island fell on December 23, 1941. F4F-3s and F4F-3As also
participated in numerous engagements early in 1942, including the Battle of
the Coral Sea.
F4F-3A Evaluation: Top speed:312 miles Weights:
Speed:fair per hour Empty:5, 216 pounds
Climbing:fair Rate of climb:2, 430 feet Loaded:6, 876 pounds
Maneuverability:fair per minute Wing loading:27.1
Gun firepower:good Ceiling:34, 300 feet pounds/square foot
Durability:excellent Range:825 miles Power loading:5.8
Range:fair Crew:One pounds/horsepower
Performance: Dimensions: Armament:
Engine:one Pratt & Wingspan:38 feet Guns 4 .50 caliber
Whitney R-1830-90 Wing area:260 square feet machine guns, 2 in each
Horsepower:1, 200 Length:28 feet 9 inches wing
Height:11 feet 4 inches
GRUMMAN F4F-4 WILDCAT CARRIER-BASED FIGHTER
Recognizing that the fixed wings of the F4F-3 and F4F-3A would severely
limit the number of aircraft that could be stored on board an aircraft
carrier, the U.S. Navy ordered a prototype F4F-3 with folding wings and two
extra .50 caliber machine guns. This version of the Wildcat, the F4F-4 and
F4F-3A aboard U.S. carriers. It saw extensive action in the Battle of
Midway, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, the Battle of the Santa Cruz
Islands, and in many other engagements. Even after the Wildcat had been
replaced by the F5F hellcat, it continued to play an important role in the
Pacific campaign up until the end of the war.
In a one-on-one dogfight situation, the F4F-4 was no match for the Japanese
Zero fighter, which was faster, more maneuverable, and had a higher ceiling
and a longer range. However, by avoiding dogfights and pairing up in twos
against a Zero, pilots of the Wildcat could take advantage of its superior
firepower and its ability to withstand battle damage.
F4F-4 Evaluation: Top speed:320 miles Weights:
Speed:good per hour Empty:5, 895 pounds
Climbing:good Rate of climb:2, 190 feet Loaded:8, 765 pounds
Maneuverability:good per minute Wing loading:26.4
Gun firepower:excellent Ceiling:34, 000 feet pounds/square foot
Durability:excellent Range:1, 275 miles Power loading:5.7
Range:fair Crew:one pounds/horsepower
Performance: Dimensions: Armament:
Engine:one Pratt & Wingspan:38 feet Guns:6 .50 caliber
Whitney R-1830-86 Wing area:260 square feet machine guns, 3 in
radial engine Length:29 feet each wing
Horsepower:1, 200 Height:11 feet 4 inches
DOUGLAS SBD-2 DAUNTLESS CARRIER-BASED DIVE BOMBER
Perhaps the most popular carrier aircraft of the Second World War among
U.S. Navy pilots, the Dauntless was easy to fly, and deadly effective at
delivering bombs. Otherwise known as the "Barge, "the "Clunk, " and the
"Slow but Deadly, " it played an important role in the carrier battles of
1942, especially at the Battle of Midway.
The earliest version of the Dauntless to be accepted by the U.S. Navy was
the SBD-2. This model had a larger fuel capacity than the earlier SBD-1,
but it lacked armor-plating and a bulletproof windshield. Even though it
was not considered combat-worthy, it was in use aboard U.S. carriers at the
time of Pearl Harbor. Seven SBD-2s from the Enterprise were shot down in
the attack, while shooting down two Japanese aircraft.
SBD-2 Evaluation: Ceiling:27, 400 feet pounds/horsepower
Speed:fair Range:1, 225 miles(bomb- Armament:
Climbing:fair (ing);1, 370 miles(scouting) Guns:1 fixed .50
Maneuverability:fair Crew:two caliber machine gun,
Gun firepower:fair Dimensions: mounted in front of the
Durability:excellent Wingspan:41 feet 6 inches cockpit, and 1 flexible
Range:good Wing area:325 square feet .30 caliber machine gun
Performance: Length:32 feet 2 inches mounted in the rear of
Engine:Wright R-1820-32 Height:13 feet 7 inches the cockpit.
Horsepower:1, 000 at Weights: Warhead:1 1, 000 pound
take off Empty:6, 293 pounds bomb. Also could carry
Top speed:252 miles Loaded:10, 360 pounds 1 of these combinations
per hour Wing loading:31.8 2 100 pound bombs or
Rate of climb:1, 080 pounds/square feet depth charges plus 1
per minute Power loading:10.3 500 pound bomb, or 1
1600 pound bomb.
DOUGLAS SBD-3 DAUNTLESS CARRIER-BASED DIVE BOMBER
In March of 1942, the U.S. Navy began replacing its SBD-2s with SBD-3s.
This new version was far more combat-worthy, with a more powerful engine,
extra machine guns, armor-plating around the crews and fuel tanks, and a
The SBD-3 was the first Dauntless model to be widely produced and, after
1942, it would go down in history. Bombs dropped from SBD-3 Dauntlesses
sank Japanese ships at the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of the
Eastern Solomons, in addition to four aircraft carriers at the Battle of
Midway. It would continue to be the workhorse of the U.S. fleet throughout
the entire Solomons campaign. The SBD-5 Dauntless and SB2-C Helldiver
replaced the SBD-3 in 1943.
SBD-3 Evaluation: Ceiling:27, 400 feet pounds/horsepower
Speed:fair Range:1, 345 miles(bomb- Armament:
Climbing:fair ing);1, 580 miles(scounting) Guns:2 .50 caliber for-
Maneuverability:fair Crew:2 ward-firing machine
Gun firepower:good Dimensions: guns mounted in front
Durability:excellent Wingspan:41 feet 6 inches of the cockpit, + 2 .30
Range:good Wing area:325 square feet caliber flexible
Performance: Length:32 feet 8 inches machine gun at the rear
Engine:Wright R-1820-52 Height:13 feet 7 inches of the cockpit.
Horsepower:1, 000 at Weights: Warhead:1 1000 pound
take off Empty:6, 345 pounds bomb. Also could carry
Top speed:250 miles Loaded:10, 400 pounds 1 of these combinations
per hour Wing loading:32 pounds/ 2 100 pound bombs or
Rate of climb:1, 190 feet square feet depth charges + 1 500
per minute Power loading:10.4 pound bomb, or 1 1, 600
GRUMMAN TBF-1 AVENGER CARRIER-BASED TORPEDO BOMBER
Sometimes known as the "Turkey" or "Pregnant Beast, " the rugged, reliable
Avenger proved to be a far superior replacement for the slow, obsolete
TBD-1 Devastator, which failed so disaterously at Midway. The TBF-1 saw its
first action as a land-based bomber in that battle, and replaced the
Devastator on carriers soon after. Avengers later participated in the
Battle of the Eastern Solomons and the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands,
and played valuable roles in other major naval engagements throughout the
war. In 1944, Avengers scored four torpedo hits against the Japanese
battleship Yamato, the most heavily-armed vessel in the world. Avengers
were also used extensively and effectively against Japanese shipping and in
The TBF-1 proved to be a very sturdy platform from which to launch a
torpedo. It was heavily armored, so it could sustain a good deal of damage
while in the air. With machine guns located in the front of the canopy, in
the power turret in the rear, and in the underside of the aircraft, it
could also unleash a good deal of damage.
TBF-1 Evaluation: Dimensions: the power turret at rear
Speed:good Wingspan:54 feet 2 inches of canopy
Climbing:good Wing area:490 square feet Warhead:1 500 pound
Maneuverability:fair Length:40 feet MK13 torpedo. Also
Gun firepower:excellent Height:16 feet 5 inches could carry 1 of these
Durability:excellent Weights: combinations:1 2000 lb
Range:good Empty:10, 080 pounds general purpose bomb,
Performance: Loaded:13, 667 pounds 2 1000 pound general
Engine:1 Wright Wing loading:27.8 purpose bombs, 4 500 lb
R-2600 pounds/square foot general purpose bombs,
Horsepower:1, 700 Power loading:8 pounds/ 1 1600 pound armor-
Top speed:257 miles horsepower piercing bomb, or 4 350
per hour Armament: pound depth bombs.
Rate of climb:1, 430 Guns:1 forward firing .30
feet per minute caliber machine gun, 1 .30
Ceiling:21, 400 feet caliber machine gun in belly,
Range:1, 215 miles and 1 .50 caliber machine gun
JAPANESE AIRBORNE WEAPONS
7.7 MM MACHINE GUN
Two major variations of this light machine gun were used in Japanese
carrier planes. The forward firing Type 97 was fixed to the engine cowling
of the Zero and Val. The flexible mounted Type 92 was used by the rear
gunners of the Val and Kate. It took many bullets from these guns to damage
the sturdy American planes. Zero pilots used them for ranging once they
were hitting the target accurately, the more powerful cannons were used.
20 MM CANNON
This wing mounted weapon on the Zero was powerful at close range. But, with
a limited magazine of sixty shells, it ran out of ammunition quickly. It
also had a low muzzle velocity, meaning that the bullets would travel
slowly once they left the cannon. This made it difficult to hit a moving
250 KILOGRAM BOMBS
These "iron bombs" were packed with high explosives, and were used by the
Val for dive-bombing ships and land targets. Often, a near miss on a ship
with one of these bombs was as effective as a hit because the explosion in
the water could breach the hull below the waterline, much like a torpedo.
TYPE 95 TORPEDO
Otherwise known as the "Long Lance, " this was the best torpedo in the
world at the time, far outclassing any U.S. torpedo. It could be dropped
from a bomber at a height of 500 feet above the ocean, and would speed to
its target at an incredible 45 knots, . Its warhead weighed 900 pounds and
would nearly always explode when it hit the target, unlike U.S. torpedo
UNITED STATES AIRBORNE WEAPONS
.30 CALIBER MACHINE GUN
Similar to the Japanese 7.7 mm guns, this 7.6 mm gun was used by rear
gunners on the SBD Dauntless and TBF Avenger, where it could prevent a Zero
pilot from executing his favorite tactic -- a tail attack. It came in
single barrel and double barrel varieties.
.50 CALIBER MACHINE GUN
This gun measured 12.7 mm and could do heavy damage to the Japanese planes,
which lacked selfsealing fuel tanks and armor-plating. The incendiary
tracer bullets would sometime cause a Zero to explode if they hit its gas
tank. It was the main forward gun on the F4F Wildcat, the SBD Dauntless,
and the TBF Avenger.
500/1, 000 POUND BOMBS
Like their Japanese counterparts, these were high explosive "iron bombs"
which could be used against land and sea targets. The SBD carried either
type, usually the larger 1, 000 pounder. When there was insufficient deck
space on the carrier for a long take off, the 500 pound bomb was used to
lighten the load and shorten the take off distance.
MARK 13 TORPEDO
Perhaps one of the most unreliable weapons ever devised, the Mark 13 was
slow, inaccurate, and often defective. Its fragile guidance system would
go haywire if it hit the water at a high speed or at an angle that wasn't
perfectly flat. With its sluggish speed of 33.5 knots, it could sometimes
be deliberately detonated by machine gun bullets. If it did hit the target,
its 500 pound warhead often failed to explode.
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JAPANESE AND AMERICAN WARSHIPS: 1942
Converted from the hull of a partially built battle-cruiser, the Akagi was
completed as an aircraft carrier in March of 1927. In 1938, the Akagi was
modernized, with the addition of a full flight deck and an island on its
The heavily-armored Akagi was an important part of the Imperial Japanese
Navy's carrier strike forces, and participated in the campaigns at China,
Pearl Harbor, Rabaul, Darwin, Java, and Ceylon. On June 4, 1942, the Akagi
was seriously damaged by planes from the Enterprise off Midway Island, and
was scuttled by destroyers the following day.
Number of ships in class:1 Length:855 feet
Beam:102 feet 9 inches Draft:28 feet 7 inches
Displacement:36, 500 tons Shaft horsepower:133, 000
Top speed:31 knots Crew:2, 000
Armament: six 8-inch .50 caliber guns, twelve 4.7 inch .45 caliber guns,
twenty eight 25 mm anti-aircraft guns Number of aircraft:91
Completed on August 8, 1941, the Shokaku and its sister ship, the Zuikaku,
were part of a new Japanese Navy class of "supercarriers". The two fast
carriers played an important role in many of the battles in the Pacific,
including attacks on Pearl Harbor, Rabaul, Darwin, Java, and Ceylon. On May
7, 1942, the Shokaku was heavily damaged by U.S. planes from the carriers
Lexington and Yorktown at the Battle of the Coral Sea. As a result, it was
laid up for repairs and missed the critical Battle of Midway.
The Shokaku returned to action in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. It
damaged at the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, and knocked out of action
for the next nine months. On June 19, 1944, the Shokaku was sunk by the
U.S. submarine Cavalla off Yap Island.
Number of ships in class:2 Length:844 feet
Beam:85 feet 4 inches Draft:29 feet 1 inch
Displacement:25, 675 tons Shaft horsepower:160, 000
Top speed:34 knots Crew:1, 660
Armament: sixteen 5 inch .40 caliber dual purpose guns, forty two 25 mm
anti-aircraft guns. Number of aircraft:84
While not as large as the Akagi or Kaga, the Soruy and its sister ship, the
Hiryu, were faster, more maneuverable, and more powerful than the bigger
carriers. Both the Soryu and Hiryu were built along roughly the same lines,
with the Hiryu weighing slightly more and having somewhat larger
dimensions. Interestingly, the Soryu's island was on its port side, while
the Hiryu's was on its starboard side.
The soryu was completed in 1937, and the Hiryu in 1939. Both carriers took
part in the engagements at China, Pearl Harbor, Wake Island, Rabaul, Ambon
Island, Timor, Darwin, Java, and Ceylon. On June 4, 1942, the Soryu was
attacked and sunk by dive bombers from the Yorktown at the Battle of
Midway. That same day, the Hiryu was badly damaged by aircraft from the
Yorktown and Enterprise, and was scuttled the next day.
Number of ships in class:2 Length:746 feet
Beam:69 feet 11 inches Draft:25 feet
Displacement:18, 800 tons Shaft horsepower:152, 000
Top speed:34 knots Crew:1, 100
Armament: twelve 5 inch .40 caliber guns, twenty eight 25 mm anti-aircraft
guns. Number of aircraft:71
Like the Akagi, the Kaga was built on the hull of an unfinished
battlecruiser. Both of these hugh carriers had horizontal funnels, and
smoke was constantly seeping into the crew's quarters. Nevertheless, the
Kaga and the Akagi were favorites of the Japanese Navy.
The Kaga was completed in 1928, and modernized to hold more aircraft in
1935. After seeing service at China, Pearl Harbor, Rabaul, Darwin, and
Java, the Kaga was sunk on June 4, 1942 by dive bombers from the
Enterprise at the Battle of Midway.
Number of ships in class:1 Length:812 feet
Bean:106 feet 8 inches Draft:31 feet 1 inch
Displacement:38, 200 tons Shaft horsepower:127, 000
Top speed:28 knots Crew:1, 340
Armament: sixteen 5 inch .40 caliber guns, ten 8 inch .50 caliber guns,
twenty two 25 mm anti-aircraft guns. Number of aircraft:90
With its distinctive high bow and low stern, the Ryujo was one of the
smaller ships in the Japanese Navy. It was completed in 1933 and
reconstructed in 1936. After seeing service in China, the Philippines, the
East Indies, and the Indian Ocean, the Ryujo was part of the task force
that made a diversionary raid on the Aleutians on June 3, 1942, the day
before the Battle of Midway.
Later that year, the Ryujo was sunk at the Battle of the Eastern Solomons
by planes from the Saratoga.
Number of ships in class:1 Length:590 feet
Beam:68 feet 2 inches Draft:23 feet 3 inches
Displacement:10, 600 tons Shaft horsepower:66, 269
Top speed:29 knots Crew:924
Armament: eight 5 inch .40 caliber guns, twenty-four 13.2 mm anti-aircraft
guns, four 25 mm anti-aircraft guns. Number of aircraft:48
The Shoho and its sister ship, the Zuiho, were originally built as
submarine support ships, and were later converted to aircraft carriers. The
slightly-larger Zuiho was reconstructed in 1940, and the Shoho in 1942. In
its only battle, the Shoho was sunk by planes from the Yorktown in the
Battle of the Coral Sea on May 7, 1942. The Zuiho enjoyed a longer career,
seeing action in the Philippines and the Aleutians before being damaged in
the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. After repairs, the Zuiho took part in
the Battle of the Philippine Sea before being sunk off Cape Engano in the
Battle of Leyte Gulf.
Number of ships in class:2 Length:674 feet
Beam:59 feet 8 inches Draft:21 feet 7 inches
Displacement:11, 262 tons Shaft horsepower:52, 000
Top speed:28 knots Crew:989
Armament: eight 5 inch .40 caliber guns, eight 25 mm anti-aircraft guns
Number of aircraft:30
The first Japanese cruiser designed and built to comply with the 1925
Washington Treaty, which limited warship size, the Furutaka was completed
in 1926 and modernized in 1939. It saw action in the Battle of the Coral
Sea and at the Battle of Savo Island, near Guadalcanal. The Furutaka was
sunk in October, 1942, by the cruisers Salt Lake City and Boise at the
Battle of Cape Esperance.
Number of ships in class:2 Length:607 feet
Beam:51 feet 9 inches Draft:18 feet 3 inches
Displacement:7, 100 tons Shaft horsepower:102, 000
Top speed:34.5 knots Crew:625
Armament: six 8 inch .50 caliber guns, four 3 inch .40 caliber guns, ten
MGs, twelve 24 inch torpedo tubes Number of aircraft:1
Originally designed as light cruisers, the Mogami, along with her sister
ships Mikuma, Suzuya, and Kumano, were rearmed as heavy cruisers before the
outbreak of war with the U.S. The Mogami was constructed in 1935 and
rebuilt in 1938. In the Battle of Midway, the Mogami was heavily damaged,
both by aircraft from the Enterprise and in a collision with the Mikuma.
After extensive repairs, and modifications for seaplane carrying, the
Mogami was again severely damaged, this time off Rabaul in 1943. In 1944,
the Mogami was finally sunk in the Battle of Leyte Gulf by U.S. cruisers.
Number of ships in class:4 Length:649 feet 10 inches
Beam:63 feet Draft:19 feet 4 inches
Displacement:11, 200 tons Shaft horsepower:152, 000
Top speed:35 knots Crew:850
Armament: fifteen 155 mm .60 caliber guns, eight 127 mm .40 caliber guns,
eight 25 mm anti-aircraft guns, four 13.2 mm anti-aircraft guns, four racks
of three 610 mm torpedo tubes Number of aircraft:3
Completed in 1938, the Tone, along with its sister ship the Chikuma, took
part in the Battle of Midway. There, the Tone's defective seaplane catapult
delayed the launch of a reconnaissance plane and prevented the U.S. fleet
from being discovered until it was too late. The Tone was later sunk by
U.S. aircraft off the coast of Japan near Kure in 1945.
Number of ships in class:2 Length:649 feet 7 inches
Beam:60 feet 8 inches Draft:21 feet 3 inches
Displacement:11, 215 tons Shaft horsepower:152, 000
Top speed:35 knots Crew:850
Armament: eight 8 inch .50 caliber guns, eight 5 inch .40 caliber guns,
twelve 25 mm anti-aircraft guns, four racks of three 610 mm torpedo tubes
Number of aircraft:5
The oldest class of Japanese destroyers to serve in the Pacific war, Fubuki
class destroyers were the first in the world to have guns in enclosed
Date of construction:1925-1928
Number of ships in class:20 Length:378 feet 3 inches
Beam:34 feet Draft:10 feet 6 inches
Displacement:1, 750 tons Shaft horsepower:50, 000
Top speed:38 knots Crew:197
Armament: six 5 inch .50 caliber guns, two 13 mm anti-aircraft guns, nine
24 inch torpedo tubes, eighteen torpedoes, eighteen mines, eighteen depth
This class of destroyers was designed as an improvement on the Fubuki
class, and had lighter armament.
Date of construction:1931-1935
Number of ships in class:6 Length:359 feet 3 inches
Beam:32 feet 9 inches Draft:9 feet 11 inches
Displacement:1, 490 tons Shaft horsepower:42, 000
Top speed:36 knots Crew:200
Armament: five 5 inch .50 caliber guns, two 13 mm anti aircraft guns, nine
24 inch torpedo tubes, fourteen depth charges
Slightly larger and more powerful than the fubuki or the Hatsuharu classes,
the Kagero class was known as a cruiser-type destroyer.
Date of construction:1937-1941
Number of ships in class:18 Length:388 feet 9 inches
Beam:35 feet 5 inches Draft:12 feet 4 inches
Displacement:2, 033 tons Shaft horsepower:52, 000
Top speed:35 knots Crew:240
Armament: six 5 inch .50 caliber guns, four 25 mm anti-aircraft guns, eight
24 inch torpedo tubes, sixteen depth charges.
This class of destroyer was developed as an improvement to the Kagero
Date of construction:1940-1945
Number of ships in class:20 Length:390 feet 11 inches
Beam:35 feet 5 inches Draft:12 feet 4 inches
Displacement:2, 077 tons Shaft horsepower:52, 000
Top speed:35 knots Crew:228
Armament: six 5 inch .50 caliber guns, four 25 mm anti-aircraft guns, eight
25 inch torpedo tubes, thirty six depth charges.
UNITED STATES NAVY WARSHIPS
The Lexington, and its sister ship the Saratoga, were the oldest carriers
in the U.S. fleet at the time of the Pacific war. They were also the
longest. Originally designed and partially constructed as battlecruisers,
they were completed as aircraft carriers in 1927.
The Lexington was the first U.S. aircraft carrier to lost in action,
following attacks by aircraft from the Shokaku and Zuikaku at the Battle of
the Coral Sea in 1942. The Saratoga was damaged so many times during the
course of the Pacific war that the Japanese listed it as sunk on several
occasions. The big carrier participated in numerous engagements, including
the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, and the invasions at Bougainville, the
Gilbert Islands, Kwajalein, Eniwetok, and Iwo Jima.
Number of ships in class:2 Length:888 feet
Beam:105 feet 6 inches Draft:24 feet 2 inches
Displacement:33, 000 tons Shaft horsepower:180, 000
Top speed:34 knots Crew:1, 900
Armament: eight 8 inch .55 caliber guns, twelve 4 inch .25 caliber
anti-aircraft guns. Number of aircraft:81
The Yorktown, and its sister ship the Enterprise, were among the first
ships designed and built exclusively as aircraft carriers. The Yorktown
was commissioned in 1937, and the Enterprise in 1938. Both of these
carriers were renowned for their speed and their ability to take heavy
punishment, and their design inspired the later Essex-class carrier.
With only seven aircraft carriers in service when war broke out, the
Yorktown and Enterprise saw a great deal of action early on. The Yorktown
was damaged in the Battle of the Coral Sea, and was sunk by a Japanese
submarine at the Battle
of Midway. The Enterprise participated in nearly every major action in the
Pacific war, including the Doolittle raid on Tokyo and the Battle of
Midway. In both the Battle of the Eastern Solomons and the Battle of the
Santa Cruz Islands, the Enterprise was heavily damaged. After repairs, the
Enterprise supported numerous island invasions, and participated in the
Battle of the Philippine Sea and the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
Number of ships in class:2 Length:809 feet 6 inches
Beam:83 feet 3 inches Draft:21 feet 8 inches
Displacement:19, 900 tons Shaft horsepower:120, 000
Top speed:34 knots Crew:2, 072
Armament: eight 5 inch .38 caliber guns, sixteen 1.1 inch anti-aircraft
guns. Number of aircraft:81
The only carrier in its class, the Hornet was a modified Yorktown class
design. Commissioned just before Pearl Harbor, the Hornet enjoyed a
distinguished, though brief, career. It launched the B-25s which bombed
Tokyo in the Doolittle raid, and participated in the Battle of Midway. The
Hornet was finally sunk by Japanese planes and destroyers at the Battle of
the Santa Cruz Islands.
Number of ships in class:1 Length:809 feet 6 inches
Beam:83 feet 3 inches Draft:21 feet 8 inches
Displacement:20, 000 tons Shaft horsepower:120, 000
Top speed:34 knots Crew:2, 072
Armament: eight 5 inch .38 caliber guns, sixteen 1.1 inch anti-aircraft
guns. Number of aircraft:81
Commissioned between 1934 and 1936, the seven heavy cruisers of the Astoria
class were more heavily protected than earlier versions. Between 1940 and
1941, they were modified, with additional armor-plating added and
anti-aircraft batteries strengthened.
Astoria-class cruisers saw action in the Battle of the Coral Sea, the
Battle of Midway, and the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. Three
Astoria-class cruisers, including the Astoria itself, were sunk at the
Battle of Savo Island on August 9, 1942.
Number of ships in class:7 Length:588 feet
Beam:61 feet 9 inches Draft:19 feet 5 inches
Displacement:9, 950 tons Shaft horsepower:107, 000
Top speed:32 knots Crew:700
Armament: nine 8 inch .55 caliber guns, eight 5 inch .25 caliber
Smaller than the Astoria-class cruisers, the sleek Atlanta-class cruisers
were among the fastest cruisers in the world at that time. Commissioned
between 1941 and 1943, they were used mainly to provide anti-aircraft
defense for aircraft carriers. The Atlanta itself, along with a sister
ship, the Juneau, was lost off Guadalcanal in November, 1942.
Number of ships in class:11 Length:541 feet
Beam:52 feet 10 inches Draft:20 feet
Displacement:6, 000 tons Shaft horsepower:75, 000
Top speed:33 knots Crew:700
Armament: sixteen 5 inch .38 caliber guns, 20 and 40 mm anti-aircraft guns,
eight 21 inch torpedo tubes.
BATTLEHAWKS 1942 REFERENCE CARD FOR AMIGA
This card contains a set of start-up instructions specifically for your
Amiga 500, 1000, or 2000 computer. These instructions include Quick Start,
which lets you fly a Battlehawks 1942 mission right away. There are also
instructions for loading and starting up the game, and for installing
Battlehawks on a hard disk. Once the program is running, please refer to
the Game Play section of the manual starting with Menu choices.
For your convenience, Battlehawks is not copy protected. Before playing, we
recommend that you make a copy of the two game disks by following the
instructions in your Amiga user's manual.
You may use either a mouse or the keyboard controls for playing
Battlehawks. The program does not support a joystick.
QUICK START REFERENCE
To take Battlehawks 1942 for a test flight.
Turn on your machine. When your computer asks for the Workbench disk,
insert Battlehawks Disk #1 into drive df0:. Insert Battlehawks Disk #2 into
any drive when prompted.
A title screen and game credits will appear, followed by the Main Menu,
which has a close-up illustration of a plane taking off from a carrier. On
this Main Menu SELECT TRAINING will be highlighted. To proceed, press
RETURN (or your mouse button). See the Main Menu section of the manual if
you need more help.
Read the mission description for the selected FIGHTER INTERCEPT MISSION,
then press RETURN (or your mouse button) to proceed. More details are given
in the Training Missions section of the manual.
Now you will be sent to the Ready Room, where you'll see BEGIN FLIGHT
highlighted on the screen. Press RETURN (or your mouse button) to continue.
An explanation of this screen is found under the Ready Room section of the
manual. Next, you must answer the Recognition Test. The profile of an
aircraft will appear on the screen. Turn to the Loading Instruction and
following sections of the manual. At the bottom of every other page, you'll
see a profile of a plane, with a word above it. One of the profiles in the
manual matches the one on your screen. When you find it, use your keyboard
to type in the word that appears above it.
Once you've entered the correct word, you'll find yourself flying over open
water in an American Wildcat fighter. Eight Japanese Zero fighters are
flying maneuvers but are not shooting at you. Your Wildcat has an unlimited
supply of fuel and ammunition, and it cannot crash. Your mission is to
shoot down all the Japanese fighters. Good luck! Note that when you type: p
the game pauses. Refer to the Cockpit View and Keyboard Reference sections
of the manual for more information about cockpit controls and flying your
To end your mission, type:
at any time. This will return you to the Main Menu. You may also press:
to leave the game, except when you are flying a mission.
For a more comprehensive explaination of how to play, first read the
section below, Loading and Start-Up Instructions, then turn to the Game
Play section of the manual.
LOADING & START-UP INSTRUCTIONS
The game play of Battlehawks 1942 is enhanced by having as much free memory
as possible. Keep this in mind if you have a lot of other programs loaded
into your computer.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR 512K AMIGA USERS ONLY: Only the Cold Start and Warm
start instructions may be used for loading the program.
HOW TO LOAD FROM A FLOPPY DISK
If your Amiga hasn't been started up yet:
Turn on your machine.
When it asks for the Workbench disk, insert Battlehawks Disk #1 into drive
Df0:. Insert Battlehawks Disk #2 into any drive when prompted.
If your Amiga is already up and running:
Take out the Workbench disk. Insert Battlehawks Disk #1 into drive df0:.
Press CTRL and the two Amiga keys simultaneously. Insert Battlehawks Disk
#2 into any drive when prompted.
Starting from the Workbench
Insert Battlehawks Disk #1 into any drive. Open the Battlehawks 1942 disk
icon (labelled BHawk1). Double-click on the icon labelled bh. Insert
Battlehawks Disk #2 into any drive when prompted.
Starting from the CLI
Insert Battlehawks Disk #1 into any drive. From the CLI command prompt,
followed by a space, the name of your drive, then a colon. Press RETURN
when you have finished typing. For example, if you're starting from an
external drive named df1:, you'd type:
and press RETURN.
Next type in:
and press RETURN. This will send you to the Main Menu.
Suggestion for Two Disk-Drive System
To load the game faster and eliminate disk-switching, insert both game disk
at the same time, rather than just inserting Battlehawks Disk #1. Then,
when you get to the Main Menu, remove Disk #1, and replace it with a
Service Record disk (see next page).
SAVING YOUR SERVICE RECORD
As you fly the various missions in Battlehawks, you'll be using a variety
of pilot names. To keep track of the successes, failures, medals, and
promotions of each "pilot, " you'll need to create a Service Record disk.
This is a two step process. First, you must format a blank disk BEFORE you
start playing the game. Then, go into the game to prepare the disk for use.
TO FORMAT A DISK: You can do this from either the CLI or the Workbench.
From the CLI, if you are formatting a disk from a drive named df1:, you'd
format drive df1: name "BHPilots"
and press RETURN. Be sure to include the spaces when you are typing. To
format a disk from the Workbench:
Insert a blank disk into any drive. Select the icon for the disk. Choose
"Initialize" from the disk menu. After the disk has been initialized,
choose "Rename" from the Workbench menu. Use the delete key to erase the
word "Empty." Type in the word:
and press RETURN.
TO PREPARE A DISK: Once you've formatted your disk, go to the Main menu of
the program, and select Review Service Records. Then, use the PREPARE
command to set up the disk as a Service Record Disk.
HARD DISK INSTALLATION
If you have a hard disk drive, we recommend that you play Battlehawks from
it. Here's an example of how to copy the program from the two game disks
onto your hard drive.
If you hard disk is named "dh0:, " start from the CLI, and type:
and press RETURN.
and press RETURN.
Next, insert Battlehawks Disk #1 into and drive, and type:
copy BHawk1:bh1942 ALL QUIET
and press RETURN.
Now, insert Battlehawks Disk #2 into any drive, and type:
copy BHawk2:bh1942 ALL QUIET
and press RETURN. The game will now be installed on your hard drive. To
start up the game once it has been installed, type:
and press RETURN.
and press RETURN.
When you've finished, you'll be ready for take-off!
For additional Battlehawks instructions, refer to the Game Play section of
the manual, starting with Main Menu.