Curtiss Mohawk IV: A Familiar Yet Different Face

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Curtiss H-75A-4 Mohawk IV

Hello and welcome to my suggestion for the Curtiss Mohawk (aka P-36) in RAF service, I feel this could come to game as a light fighter at 2.0 to help diversify the rather Bare Rank I of the British Tech Tree. Something to note before I start is that this it technically already in game under the french tree in a slightly different configuration.

History

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The Curtiss Mohawk is a fairly popular aircraft from the Late pre-WW2 period, serving in a variety of well known air forces such as the US Air Force, Finnish Air Forces and, Most importantly to this suggestion, the French Armée de l’air. One airforce that is often forgotten about however is the Mohawks service with the RAF.

After the Fall of france in on in Mid 1940 a number of French orders found themselves with no place to deliver the remaining aircraft to, this lead to the UK accepting several French ordered aircraft Such as 140 H-81A-1 models (dubbed the Tomahawk Mk.I) and 204 H-75A-4 models (Dubbed Mohawk IV ) the remaining aircraft in these orders were subsequently modified to fit RAF specifications and in the Case of the Mohawk IV this included the changing of the 6 x 7.5mm Machine guns of French design to 6 x 7.7mm Browning Machine guns.

Now I would like to take some time to note that there were RAF designations for the Mohawk I, II and III however these versions were merely french aircraft that had escaped from france during its fall (alongside a small number of Mohawk IVs delivered before their fall), therefore these aircraft still flew under the Free french Air forces and not the RAF despite some being painted in RAF colours to avoid early confusion with Vichy french Aircraft. whereas the remaining Mohawk IVs were modified to be used entirely in RAF service.

Now back on track with the Mohawk IV, the RAF already had some experience with the Hawks before the war, having loaned a few French aircraft to compare to the new Spitfire, in which it was found the Hawk outperformed the Prototype Spitfire in almost every regard. However by the time The Mohawks found their way into RAF hands in mid to late 1940, they were rather obsolete, with newer and newer variants of spitfire leaving the Mohawk behind both in armament and flight performance, this lead to most of the Mohawks based in the UK being relegated to training Duties or placed in storage in case of a German invasion of Britain.

The Mohawk did see service in the Far east however. With the Japanese entry to the war in late 1941, the British and Commonwealth forces in the east found themselves woefully under equipped to fight the relatively modern Japanese aircraft, with on squadron, No.5 Sqn, being ordered to fair over the second cockpit of their Hawker Audax’s and use them as Fighters! The RAF quickly realised the need for Fighters in the far east and brought many of the Mohawks out of storage to be sent to India and Burma.

The first aircraft arrived in December 1941 with the first squadron, No.5 Sqn, becoming operational in March 1942, this proved effective and in April the Squadron claimed the destruction of a E8N floatplane however it was only damaged. The first proper aerial victory came in August when Sgt Stuart Garnett Shot down a Ki-27 whilst returning from a mission over Burma. The Mohawk saw itself in service until quite late in the war with some units staying in RAF service until 1944 before being handed off to the fledgling Indian Air force after being replaced by more capable units.

Several South African Squadrons were also equipped with the Mohawk IV in 1941, with at least 4 squadrons being equipped with the aircraft serving all across North and East Africa before being replaced by more capable Tomahawk and Kittyhawk Fighters by 1942.

Images

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An RAF Mohawk IV in India 1943

An RAF Mohawk in flight above the english countryside

Several Mohawk IV fighters of the South african air force in April 1942

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A Mohawk IV preparing to take off from an airfield in the UK

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A Mohawk IV being fitted with 20lb bombs for a bombing mission in India

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A Mohawk IV in the UK with its armament removed, many aircraft used for training in the UK had their armaments removed

Specs/ Armament

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Crew: 1
Length: 28 ft 6 in (8.69 m)
Wingspan: 37 ft 4 in (11.38 m)
Height: 8 ft 5 in (2.57 m)
Engine: One Wright R-1820-G205A Cyclone 14-cylinder radial engine, 1,200 hp
Speed: 518 kph (322 mph)
Weight (empty): 2,121 kg (4,676 lbs)
Weight (loaded): 2,726 kg (6,010 lbs)
Wing area: 21.9m2 (236ft2)
Climb Rate: 2,500 feet/min (760 meters/minute)
Range: 625 mi (1,006 km, 543 nmi) at 270 mph (230 kn; 430 km/h), 860 mi (750 nmi; 1,380 km) at 200 mph (170 kn; 320 km/h)
Service ceiling: 32,700 ft (10,000 m)

Armament

Guns:

  • 6 x 7.7mm Browning machine guns

Bombs:

  • Hard point under each wing capable of carrying a bomb of up to 100 lb (45 kg) or a light bomb rack for three 50 lb (23 kg), five 20 lb (9.1 kg) or 30 lb (14 kg) bombs

Place in game

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Personally I feel this could come to game as a Unique Rank I fighter to help diversify the British Tree, as of right now Rank I of the tree is very barebones and could use with a greater choice of aircraft between 1.7 and 2.3, hence why this would fit extremely well into that gap

In terms of gameplay it would play very similarly to the French H-75A-4 due to the design similarities and would be a good introduction the the Turn fighting gameplay style the british tree relies on for a large chunk of its Prop BRs

Sources

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Mohawk Mk IV, the British P-36 and H-75 - Passed for Consideration - War Thunder - Official Forum
Curtiss 75 Hawk
Curtiss Mohawk IV
Curtiss P-36 Hawk - Wikipedia
https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205126697

+1, the P-36/H-75 is a really great aircraft, and it would bring a completely different playstyle when compared to the aircraft at the same rank in the UK TT

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