Turkey Shoot

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Turkey Shoot : Phrases


Very easy to accomplish.


The negotiation on my new car turned into a
turkey shoot and I was the turkey.


Originally a turkey shoot was a contest in which muzzle loaded guns were used to shoot turkeys. Turkeys are very easy to shoot. They are large and move slowly. Despite the fact the are birds, turkeys don't fly very well.

Turkeys are not very intelligent animals. In modern turkey farms, the birds sometimes forget to drink and die of dehydration, despite the fact that a water supply is tied to their bodies. They sometimes die of heart attacks when scared by load noises.

Today the term turkey shoot continues to be used for shooting contests, usually held around Thanksgiving. In the modern turkey shoots, targets are substituted for turkeys. Often a turkey is awarded as a prize to the winner.

The phrase was further popularized by the Marianas Turkey Shoot, the name given to an aerial battle fought with Navy aircraft in World War II that took place in the Marianas Islands.

By the time of the invasion of the Marianas, the Japanese Army and Navy had lost most of their best pilots to combat attrition and did not have the huge manpower reserves enjoyed by the US. In addition, the Japanese were forced to disperse their forces while the U.S. hammered the island(s) being invaded with all necessary and available forces.

The battle was quite one-sided with U.S. flyers shooting down over 400 Japanese aircraft while losing something like 20 in combat.

Some American pilots lingered in the battle area too long because of all the tempting targets and were actually forced to ditch their aircraft at sea on the way back to their carriers. Even with dozens of aircraft lost in this manner, the engagement was considered a decisive victory for the Americans.

Japanese carrier aircraft were no longer a threat to the U.S. Navy at sea. Only land-based kamikaze attacks would threaten again.

The U.S. sent over 500 first-line fighter aircraft into the battle while the Japanese had a hodgepodge force of less capable types with inexperienced crews.

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