I consider the hydrodynamic stability of imploding gases as a model for inertial confinement fusion capsules, sonoluminescent bubbles and the gravitational collapse of astrophysical gases. For oblate modes under a homologous flow, a monatomic gas is governed by the Schwarzschild criterion for buoyant stability. Under buoyantly unstable conditions, fluctuations experience power-law growth in time, with a growth rate that depends upon mean flow gradients and is independent of mode number. If the flow accelerates throughout the implosion, oblate modes amplify by a factor (2C)^(|N0| ti)$, where C is the convergence ratio of the implosion, N0 is the initial buoyancy frequency and ti is the implosion time scale. If, instead, the implosion consists of a coasting phase followed by stagnation, oblate modes amplify by a factor exp(pi |N0| ts), where N0 is the buoyancy frequency at stagnation and ts is the stagnation time scale. Even under stable conditions, vorticity fluctuations grow due to the conservation of angular momentum as the gas is compressed. For non-monatomic gases, this results in weak oscillatory growth under conditions that would otherwise be buoyantly stable; this over-stability is consistent with the conservation of wave action in the fluid frame. By evolving the complete set of linear equations, it is demonstrated that oblate modes are the fastest-growing modes and that high mode numbers are required to reach this limit (Legendre mode l > 100 for spherical flows). Finally, comparisons are made with a Lagrangian hydrodynamics code, and it is found that a numerical resolution of ~30 zones per wavelength is required to capture these solutions accurately. This translates to an angular resolution of ~(12/l) degrees, or < 0.1 degree to resolve the fastest-growing modes.