The Mitsubishi G4M was the main twin-engined,


land-based bomber used by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service in World War II. The Allied Forces gave the G4M the identification name of Betty. Using its long range and high speed, the G4M could appear from any direction, and then be gone before many fighters could intercept them. The 20 mm cannon in the tail turret was much heavier armament than commonly installed in bombers, making dead astern attacks very dangerous.

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto met his death on a Betty he was using for transport when ambushed by U.S. fighter planes in 1943.

Mitsubishi G4M in Days of Infamy[edit | edit source]

Although a land bomber, the G4M was also used as a torpedo bomber and were successful in the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse off the coast of Malaya on 10 December 1941.

Commander Minoru Genda thought very highly of the G4M as both a bomber and a passenger transport plane due to its extraordinary long range. However, the vulnerabilities of the bomber still caused major problems when ever there wasn’t adequate air cover. Because the G4M sacrificed crew armour, self sealing gas tanks, and structural strength for their long range, raids on Australia, Burma, and India had shown them to be extremely inflammable. This flaw was kept hidden from the Army.

During the second attempt by the United States to regain Hawaii, G4M’s were used as naval bombers to help add some much needed fire power to the small task force guarding Hawaii. Due to their vulnerability they were not successful in their task and many were shot down before they reached their targets.

After the loss of Hawaii, G4Ms based at Midway made attacks against the island. However, these were nothing more than nuance raids and did little or nothing in delaying the American advance.

Mitsubishi G4M in The War That Came Early[edit | edit source]

The Mitsubish G4M was the Japanese Navy's front line bomber. Although fast, sleek and long ranged, the bomber was highly vulnerable to enemy fire. Many of the bombers crews hated the aircraft and the men who created it, nicknaming it the Flying Cigarette Lighter.  Americans who encountered the bomber were no kinder, calling it the Zippo, as they lit the first time you hit them.

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