Pearl Harbor movie: gun question..


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twoblink
May 6, 2004, 11:29 PM
Comments: First, gotta get it off my chest. I'm so glad we had REAL MEN defending our country in WWII, if all we had was Ben Afflick and Alec Baldwin, we'd all be speaking Japanese right now. Afflick is one of the worst actors to hit the screen. Yes, I know the movies been out for a long time, but didn't want to pay full price to see afflick. The chick was hot though.

Question:

They had what appeared to be some Thompsons and some M1Garands.. (But someone will correct me if I'm wrong) I know the 50Cal will shoot down a plane, but will a Thompson really do any damage??



I had to play "teacher" to my gf because to Taiwanese textbooks faux-pawed (on purpose) and said that America was already at war with Japan when Pearl Harbor happened. :rolleyes: I really wish countries would stop writing "their versions" of history.. (yes yes yes, I know, history is written by the victors)..

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azrael
May 6, 2004, 11:39 PM
The Japanese aircraft "skin" was relatively thin...So yea I think it would do some damage if it hit it...that is a big IF...

Oleg Volk
May 6, 2004, 11:56 PM
Pearl Harbor budget was about $140 million and even the combat scenes were lame to the extreme. Try Dark Blue World to see what can be done on 1/20 of the budget, with similar technology...and a real plot and decent acting.

Chupacabra
May 7, 2004, 12:52 AM
Dark Blue World is infinately better than Pearl Harbor. :D

Pearl Harbor needs about an hour of worthless love story cut out. After that it might be a good movie.

:banghead:

A single rifle caliber bullet would be able to take out a plane if it were to hit a vital part (yeah, a BIG if!).

All nations were using light machine gun rounds in their planes for the first few years of the war. Brits were using .303s, and the Germans were using 7.92 x 57 Mauser. Alone they were pretty anemic, but when grouped in banks of 8 or 12 like on the Hurricane, they were bound to hit something vital. The Germans made up for the MG17 by using 20mm cannons on the Bf-109.

Abominable No-Man
May 7, 2004, 01:17 AM
Azrael is right; the skin of the Japanese planes, especially the zero, was pretty thin. Compared to the American planes, they weren't built with too much survivability in mind; armor was minimal, and I understand that their armament wasn't thought of too highly by American pilots, even though they shot down quite a few Allied planes with them. Speed was their greatest advantage. (interesting sidenote: there is/was an urban myth at one time that the zero's skin was made from recycled beer cans that were bought en masse from Milwaukee. Supposed to have been a lot of animosity because of that). They didn't have self-sealing fuel tanks,
either. A rifle-caliber bullet of that day could have caused a lot of damage if it hit the right spot- if it was a tracer, it might have ignited the gas.

I'm not sure what the effective range of a Thompson SMG was. More than the M1911, I'm sure. So it could have caused at the least a pretty big hole in the gas tank, if it was in range to do so.

I know, big "if"..........

ANM

4v50 Gary
May 7, 2004, 01:25 AM
I've heard that one of our planes was shot down when a Japanese infantryman fired straight up when he flew overhead. Timing was perfect and the pilot was killed (shot in the cheeks no less). There's also an incident of a pilot who had bailed out and defended himself with a handgun against a Zero that was about to buzz or strafe him. In both instances, darn lucky.

Our late great NRA President Joe Foss use to love shooting down Zeroes. Hit them right and they blow up with the pilot shooting out like a pea from the pod.

Abominable No-Man
May 7, 2004, 01:54 AM
I've heard that one of our planes was shot down when a Japanese infantryman fired straight up when he flew overhead.

That sounds like the scene from the movie "Flight of the Intruder".

ANM

Treylis
May 7, 2004, 04:43 AM
I had to play "teacher" to my gf because to Taiwanese textbooks faux-pawed (on purpose) and said that America was already at war with Japan when Pearl Harbor happened. I really wish countries would stop writing "their versions" of history.. (yes yes yes, I know, history is written by the victors)..

That's... rather interesting. Any other shocking historical differences?

twoblink
May 7, 2004, 06:45 AM
That's... rather interesting. Any other shocking historical differences?

I have found plenty!! Most aren't worth noting, but things like WWII "Concentration Camps" were left out. It said "open-air prisons".. which sounded like Club Med... they forgot to mention the showers, the ovens etc..:rolleyes:

Ok, from the movie, it looks like people failed geometry... From a slow bullet, shouldn't you shoot where you ANTICIPATE the plane will be by the time the bullet gets there??:rolleyes: :scrutiny:

Afllick :barf:

Treylis
May 7, 2004, 07:39 AM
I have found plenty!! Most aren't worth noting, but things like WWII "Concentration Camps" were left out. It said "open-air prisons".. which sounded like Club Med... they forgot to mention the showers, the ovens etc..

If you ever want to write them out, I can promise that I'll definitely read all of them with interest. That kind of stuff is always incredibly fascinating to me.

Ok, from the movie, it looks like people failed geometry... From a slow bullet, shouldn't you shoot where you ANTICIPATE the plane will be by the time the bullet gets there??

I actually haven't seen the movie in question, but, yes, you do kinda have to lead your shots to some degree. Of course, the reason why I haven't seen it is that people whose opinions I trust on cinema have denounced it as trash. ;-)

MrMurphy
May 7, 2004, 09:29 AM
Since Zeroes were thinskinned and unarmored, yeah, a lucky burst of .45s inside 100 yards could do some real damage. Ditto M1 and Springfield and BAR rounds.


AAA (antiaircraft artillery, everything from rifle caliber on up) has historically shot down more planes than anything else, mostly cause they throw so much crap up there, it can be hard to avoid.

One thing pilots fear most is The Golden BB (that one lucky bullet that kills the engine, blows something vital, etc). Doesn't matter if it's a 9mm or an AK round fired blind, the Golden BB can seriously ruin a pilot's day.
So firing a burst off from a Thompson as a Zero goes overhead, yeah, might not do any damage, but yeah, you might also kill the pilot or blow the engine with a lucky hit!

Edit: Kate Beckinsale (the cute girl from Pearl Harbor) is in the new movie Van Helsing coming out today.

And the nurse with the glasses is Jennifer Garner from Alias.... never noticed did you? (Seen the movie couple of times...... it was free).

Zach S
May 7, 2004, 09:59 AM
I thought that was Jennifer Garner. I'm just not obsessed to the point where I had to know:neener:

Considering the budget, pearl harbor was beyond lame. While I dont care much for him at all, I did like how Afflack called it a magazine instead of a clip.

I havent seen many of the previews, but does Van Helsing have any guns in it? It looks like its gonna be pretty good, and like all my movies, I'd prefer to see a review here first.

Kharn
May 7, 2004, 12:00 PM
Better to fight back, no matter how small the chance of success, than to bend over and kiss your butt goodbye.

Kharn

Mr. Mysterious
May 7, 2004, 12:18 PM
I second what Kharn says...the japanesse are attacking...you happen to have a thompshon...wouldn't you unload it at the plane...if anything it makes you feel a little better.

Kind of like Patton shooting at the German bomber with his 1911.

Harry Tuttle
May 7, 2004, 12:51 PM
heck, the Red Barron was downed by a bolt action rifle shot

sometimes the spheres align and impossible becomes history

shep854
May 7, 2004, 01:41 PM
Double ditto Kharn. When under attack, you shoot back with anything you have.

During the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese would give people any sort of gun and have them lay on their backs and shoot straight up, when an American strike came in. "Barrage fire" of this sort brought down a number of aircraft. This is why pilots tried to never go below 3000' AGL

armoredman
May 7, 2004, 02:26 PM
Yes, even pistol bullets have brought down aircraft - though more birds have killed planes than pistol rounds! BTW, the armament of the Zero is/was the 7.7mm machine gun. Read the book Zero, written by one of the engineers who built it, and the only surviving Zero ace. I can't find mine, or I'd tell you the authors....

DMK
May 7, 2004, 02:53 PM
Compared to the American planes, they weren't built with too much survivability in mind; armor was minimal, and I understand that their armament wasn't thought of too highly by American pilots, even though they shot down quite a few Allied planes with them. BTW, the armament of the Zero is/was the 7.7mm machine gun. Although it was unarmored and did not have self sealing fuel tanks, the Mistubishi A6M Zero actually did have formidible firepower. It had two 7.7mm machine guns and two 20mm cannon.

However, the A6m was not used as widely throughout the war as is generally assumed and American pilots tended to refer to almost any Japanese fighter as a Zeke or Zero even if it wasn't actually a Mitsubishi A6M.

The Zero was primarily a carrier based Navy fighter (the army did have them also) and it was used at Pearl Harbor, Coral Sea, Midway and throughout the war. However like their small arms, the Japanese fielded a large variety of different aircraft. Probably the most common type of fighter to be seen in the island hopping combat was the Nakajima Ki-43 "Oscar" (http://www.nasm.si.edu/research/aero/aircraft/nakaoscar.htm) which was lightly armed with only two 7.7mm machine guns.

extremefishin00
May 7, 2004, 08:10 PM
I seem to remember reading a story in a gun rag a few years ago, about a bomber gunner that ran out of ammo in his .50. As a Zero bore down on him, he drew his 1911, and fired at the pilot, ultimately killing him. Nice story, but I don't know how true it is.

Chris

DMK
May 7, 2004, 08:28 PM
I seem to remember reading a story in a gun rag a few years ago, about a bomber gunner that ran out of ammo in his .50. As a Zero bore down on him, he drew his 1911, and fired at the pilot, ultimately killing him. Nice story, but I don't know how true it is.
http://www.sightm1911.com/1911%20Myth.htm#2d Lt. Owen J. Baggett

Detritus
May 7, 2004, 09:04 PM
heck, the Red Barron was downed by a bolt action rifle shot

Close, it's now thought that the shot that killed Von Richthofen came from a ground based Machine gun, most likely a lewis gun. granted this is based on the allied ground unit that he was closest to when his plane went out of control having at that time made AA mounts for their lewis guns by mounting them on post about 4-5' high.

Stickjockey
May 7, 2004, 09:22 PM
IIRC, the last dogfight of WW2 was between a Piper L-4 "Grasshopper" and a Fieseler Fi-156 "Storch." The observer in the Grasshopper brought the Storch down with several well-placed shots from his 1911.

As for historical bits in Pearl Harbor:

Somewhere in the movie is a 50-state flag

One of the cars has a 1943 license plate

The B-25's in the Doolitlle raid scenes were -J's with the top turret just aft of the cockpit. The actual aircraft used in the raid were -C's which had the turret between the wings and empennage.

The P-40 was a single seat fighter. There were some trainer versions made that had a second cockpit setup, but the "jumpseat" right behind the pilot was added by the owner during the aircraft's restoration. She'd have to be sitting in his lap for the "sunset tour".

The row of destroyers that gets hit in the attack sequence had sharply-angled "clipper" bows. This bow design came out in the late 50's early 60's, IIRC.

extremefishin00
May 7, 2004, 09:37 PM
DMK, thanks for the link. There were some great stories on that site.

Chris

4v50 Gary
May 7, 2004, 09:42 PM
A much better movie. I wonder what happened to that barge was was dressed up to look like the IJN Nagato. Full scale battleship mock-up and no computer imaging in those days.

MrMurphy
May 8, 2004, 12:15 AM
She's sitting in his lap when they go flying if I remember right...


The four ships that keep getting blown up were Knox class frigates. My father served in the Navy reserve on the FF-1060 (USS Lang) the 1061, 1062 and I think 1064? maybe were among the ones in the mothball fleet moored there, the Navy let them get their paint scratched in some pyro explosions (hey, it gave some painters something to do afterwards), which I found rather funny....... Considering you mostly see the bow (not the very obvious helo hanger and pad on the tail!) with the 5-inch gun, most non-Navy people are clueless, they think they're WW2 destroyers.


The movie could have been a lot better, but considering it's a love story/triangle that just happens to be set during Pearl Harbor and the Doolittle raid, (which I didn't agree with) it could have been a whole lot worse. I have to admit the Pearl Harbor attack sequence was awesome.....the whole runway attack bit I didn't care for.

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