Well it is the last day of the 2015 A to Z Challenge. What a month. 26 posts about World War II and others in between and I enjoyed bringing each and every one to my readers. If you discovered my blog during the challenge, I am so happy you came. Did you miss any? There is a menu at the top of my blog. I hope you’ll come back when the challenge is over. Here is what I offer up to my readers every week:
Thursday – This Week in World War II. If you liked my posts during the challenge, I write at least one each week about the war and it will be an event that occurred during the same week on the calendar but between 1939 and 1945. You may also be interested in my separate blog about my father, the US Navy and the great Aircraft Carrier, the USS Hornet (CV-12). There is a menu at the top for this other blog or you can access it by a link below my father’s photograph on the left panel.
Saturday – The World’s Outstanding Women (WOW). You may have read some of these during the challenge. Each week I select a woman who made a difference in our world. Some are still living and some are not but each is an outstanding women. Can’t wait, I have written many of these posts and I have a page dedicated in a menu at the top of my blog.
Every other day of the week, come back to read posts about events that occurred on the date in history. I also have from time to time, flash fiction, short stories and poetry.
WORLD WAR II FROM A TO Z
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a long-range fighter aircraft, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1940 to 1945. The A6M was designated as the Mitsubishi Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter or the Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen. The A6M was usually referred to by its pilots as the “Reisen” (zero fighter), “0” being the last digit of the Imperial year 2600 (1940) when it entered service with the Imperial Navy. The official Allied reporting name was “Zeke”, although the use of the name “Zero” was later commonly adopted by the Allies as well.
When it was introduced early in World War II, the Zero was considered the most capable carrier-based fighter in the world, combining excellent maneuverability and very long range. In early combat operations, the Zero gained a legendary reputation as a dogfighter, achieving the outstanding kill ratio of 12 to 1, but by mid-1942 a combination of new tactics and the introduction of better equipment enabled the Allied pilots to engage the Zero on generally equal terms.
The Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (“IJNAS”) also frequently used the type as a land-based fighter. By 1943, inherent design weaknesses and the failure to develop more powerful aircraft engines meant that the Zero became less effective against newer enemy fighters, which possessed greater firepower, armor, and speed, and approached the Zero’s maneuverability. Although the Mitsubishi A6M was outdated by 1944, design delays and production difficulties of newer Japanese aircraft types meant that it continued to serve in a front line role until the end of the war. During the final years of the War in the Pacific, the Zero was also adapted for use in kamikaze operations. (See my post K is for Kamikaze) During the course of the war, Japan produced more Zeros than any other model of combat aircraft. The Zero also plays a role in a flashfiction story I wrote, Flash in the Pan – Surfboard.