Mitsubishi G4M Betty
1x20mm; 4x7.92mm mgs
The Story of the Betty Bomber: Like the Germans, the Japanese never made the building of a large, 4-engine heavy bomber a major priority. Instead, the Japanese made a series of quite effective, fast and long-ranged medium bombers. Thus, sacrificing on the category of load-carrying capacity, the Japanese produced a series of planes whose range simply shocked the allies in the first year of the war! What is more, with the Imperial Japanese Navy and Army having each their own land-based air forces (as well as a bitter inter-service rivalry) the Navy had trained their land-based bombers in the techniques necessary to attack ships to a degree that made them especially dangerous to enemy fleets. This involved primarily the use of torpedos, for level-bombing with gravity bombs was found to be too innacurate to produce consistent results against ships maneuvering at sea. Thus, the first power British task force sent into the theatre, Task Force Z, containing the powerful battlecruiser Repulse and the formidable, brand-new battleship Prince of Wales, were sunk very quickly by IJN medium bombers carrying torpedos. That attack had been carried out by IJN G3Ms; the G4M was the next model with an even higher speed (making it relatively hard to intercept) and an incredible range. Gradually the allies began to learn that the trade-offs that the Japanese had made in order to give them such high performance characteristics were in a relative lack of defensive armament and armor... and without self-sealing fuel tanks, the Japanese mediums also had a tendency to catch fire rather quickly. Nevertheless, the G4M Betty (as it was known by the allies) was a highly feared threat, whose long range made it threatening in a radius far greater than that of any US or UK medium bombers of the war!
Usage Notes: Use this piece for Global 1939 and Invasion of Italy Variants as a strategic bomber unit. Other Japanese aircraft of interest may be: the Mitsubishi A6M Zero Fighter & the Aichi D3A Val Tactical Bomber.