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crazyivan1970
05-22-2007, 06:52 AM
There have been a number of threads on this forum which sought to answer (or fish for an answer) to the question: which was the best fighter of World War Two? In my view this is not a question with a sensible single answer. It depends on the criteria we use: if we go on objective performance, it would be one of the jets or the Me 163. Clearly, while spectacular, these planes had little or no impact on the war. To acclaim the Me 163, for example, as the best fighter of WWII, is to tell a preposterously small fraction of the story. It's like a history of Waterloo without mentioning Napoleon.

If we go by combat success, then the Bf 109 is the hands-down winner: more kills than anything else by a country mile. But again, we know that by 1943, the 109 had some very stiff competition.

We can go on proposing criteria, but we keep running into the same problem: an answer that in some critical way is too narrow. So, how do we cut this knot?

I propose to do so in three ways. The first is to narrow the question to, What was the best fighter over Western Europe in WWII?' This means we avoid comparing apples and oranges, like A6Ms and Focke-Wulfs.

The second way I propose to simplify the problem is to cut it up into bite-sized chunks. Rather than try to give one answer, I propose to give an answer for every six-month period from Sep 1939 to May 1945. In other words, what was the best fighter the first half of 1941, for example. This way, we get a set of answers that actually reflects the developments in technology and in the general war situation. It provides context for a discussion that would otherwise be entirely technical and divorced from reality.

Thirdly, I propose to use a set of criteria to judge each period that includes operational and logistical considerations as well as the purely technical. You might, for example have a plane that is clearly the best in its class for the period. But if you've only got 100 of them and the enemy force is numbered in thousands, you're a non-starter. Similarly, if your best fighter has a serviceability rate of 50%, again, you're a non-starter. If your best type needs an engine change after 25 hours, you aren't just a non-starter, you're barely airworthy in any normal sense of the word.

The criteria will include: top speed and critical alt; speed in dive; rate of turn; rate of climb; rate of roll; zoom climb; acceleration; fire power; range; serviceability; ease of handling; view for shooting; view for search; and number in service. These are not in order, but you get the idea.

I don't know a great deal about some types the Hawker Typhoon and Tempest, for example so I invite comment and expansion. Please note, I am not talking about the modeling of these planes in the game. I'm discussing the historical reality, not the gaming Nirvana.

Without further ado, The Best Fighters Over Western Europe in WWII: the unauthorized version.

1. The 1st Six' Months: September to December 1939
The contenders are:
Bf 109 E-1
Bf 109 E-3

Hurricane MkI
Spitfire MkI

French fighters here?

In terms of numbers available, I would discount both the Spitfire I and the Bf 109 E-3 immediately. This puts the competition down to the Bf 109 E-1 and the Hurricane. My money would be on the 109, because it's superior in every respect except turn and firepower.

My choice: Bf 109 E-1.


2. The 2nd Six Months: January to June 1940

The contenders are:

Bf 109 E-1
Bf 109 E-3

Hurricane MkI
Hurricane Mk II
Spitfire MkIa

French fighters here?

The Hurricane MkII was just entering service so I'd rule that one out straight away. The Spitfire MkIa is a serious contender, having good top speed, good rate of turn, excellent firepower (for the time) and easy handling. The 109 E-3 has the edge in climb, dive and weight of fire, although we have to remember that the MGFF 20 mm cannon in its wings had a low rate of fire and poor muzzle velocity. The 109 had a ceiling advantage, too. Line ball for performance.

However, the 109 E-3 was the main type during the French campaign, so it was operationally and numerically more significant than the Spitfire during this period.

My choice: Bf 109 E-3, by a nose.


3. The 3rd Six Months: July to December 1940

This is a big one. The contenders are:

Bf 109 E-1
Bf 109 E-3
Bf 109 E-4
Bf 109 E-7

Hurricane MkI
Hurricane Mk II
Spitfire MkIa
Spitfire MkII

This set gives us a much harder call to make, but we can begin by noting that the 109 E-1 and the Hurricane Mk I are non-starters in this line up. Similarly, the 109 E-4 and E-7 have the same performance and so are identical for most of the purposes of this discussion. Furthermore, the 109 E-4 was faster and better armed (MGFF/M cannon) than the E-3, so we can eliminate the E-3 too.

The Hurricane IIa, with the two-speed supercharger and a bit more horsepower, was much more of a match for the early 109s than the Mk I had been. With its top speed above 340 mph for the first time, it was far and away the fastest of the Hurri-buses, with the best performance across the widest altitude range. It was also the best gun platform of all three main types we're comparing here, so it was probably the best pure interceptor of the three. However, it really wasn't in the same class as the 109 E-4 or the Spitfire as a pure fighter.

The Spitfire MkIa had the Rotol constant speed propeller (CSP), by the beginning of August, and the Mk II had it as standard. The first deliveries of the Mk II began in August, so the type is significant for its involvement in the Battle of Britain. The Mk II also had the more powerful Merlin giving it a top speed of 360-365 mph. The Spit Mk I is often quoted as having a top speed of 367 mph, but this figure is for the second production specimen that was not fully equipped for battle, given that it was missing the armored glass, seat armor, CSP, radio, etc. The typical, battle dressed Mk Ia that flew during the BoB had top speed of about 355 mph. This eliminates the MkIa in favour of the MkII as a contender. It's now a toss up between the Bf 109 E-4/7, and the Spitfire MkII.

These two planes are very closely matched. The outcome of a contest between the two would probably come down to the tactical situation, and pilot skill. To summarise, the Spit II has the speed advantage at some altitudes, the E-4 at others. In neither case is the speed difference significant. The 109 has dive and climb, the Spit has turn. They're pretty close in roll. They are, in fact, pretty close in overall merit.

My view is that the Spitfire MkII was slightly superior for its purpose than the Bf 109 E-4/7 was for its purpose in late 1940. The RAF only had to stay in existence to win, and the Spitfire's superior turning ability was no doubt responsible for the survival of more than one frightened novice, frantically and instinctively yanking back on the stick. I think these kids would've died had they been flying something like the 109. On the other side of the ditch, the 109 was a superb offensive fighter, well suited for its role in all respects except one: lack of range. Range and endurance were an issue for the Germans at this stage. The E-4/7 could potentially use drop tanks, but except for the horribly leaky plywood prototypes - they weren't available in 1940 and so don't come into our deliberations.

My choice: Spitfire MkII by a Narrow Margin.



4. The 4th Six Months: January to June 1941

This one is the beginning of the change of the guard. The contenders are:

Bf 109 F-1/2

Spitfire Mk VB/C

In the interests of brevity, I've omitted the 109 E series, the Hurricane and the Spitfire Mk Ia and II from this comparison. Similarly, the P-40B, which I believe arrived in RAF service during this period, is also omitted because its top speed, climb, altitude and ceiling are not in the same class as the Spitfire and 109. I've also left off the Fw 190 A-1, even though the first deliveries to JG 26 began in June. It was not a player.

On the Spitfires, the Mk V was a definite improvement over the Mk II. It was faster (375 mph), had a better rate of climb (Merlin 45), better rate of roll (metal or plywood ailerons), a higher ceiling and more firepower (2 x Hispano 20 mm cannon). It was the best of the Allied crop, by a large margin.

The Bf 109 F-1/2 was a vast aerodynamic improvement over the E series. In fact, it was the only major aerodynamic upgrade of the entire 109 family. Powered by the same motor as the E-4/N, it was better in level speed (370-75 mph), climb, dive and roll than its predecessor. However, its firepower was reduced because the planned MG151/20 wasn't available. This meant it was armed either with the rather poor MGFF 20 mm cannon in the engine position (F-1), or the thoroughly inadequate MG151/15 (in the F-2).

This match up is very similar to the last one, except the Spitfire's firepower increased where the 109's went backwards. I can understand why the RAF thought they had the measure of the new 109 with the Spitfire Mk V.

My choice: Spitfire VB/C, in spite of the obvious promise of the new F series Bf 109 airframe.


5. The 5th Six Months: July to December 1941

This is where it all went south for the RAF. The new RAF fighter, the Typhoon, was delayed and disappointing when it arrived, and the Germans introduced two new types.

The contenders:

Bf 109 F-4
Fw 109 A-1/2

Spitfire VC
Typhoon

I don't know enough about the Typhoon to comment with any confidence, apart from to say:
1. it was the fastest at low altitude of all the types in this comparison;
2. it suffered problems with the tail (coming off);
3. it suffered from engine problems;
4. its altitude performance was not up to expectation.

The Spitfire VC is the same as it was in the last match up: a serviceable stop-gap.

The Bf 109 F-4 was a different proposition. It finally had the right engine (DB 601E) and the right cannon (the MG151/20). With a top speed of 390 mph at 1.3 ATA, and a centrally located 20 mm cannon with a good muzzle velocity and an excellent rate of fire, it was superior to the Spitfire Mk V in most respects except turn.

The new Fw 190 A-1/2 gave the RAF a nasty shock, but probably more so than its physical attributes really justified. Its top speed of 390 mph gave it an edge over the Spitfire Mk V, and its two centrally located MG151/20Es gave it plenty of firepower. It could out dive and out roll the Bf 109 F-4, but was otherwise inferior to the Messerschmitt offering. It also suffered appalling rates of serviceability until the turn of the year. However, with its firepower, strength, excellent maneuverability and high-speed handling, the Focke-Wulf was clearly the coming thing.

My choice: the Bf 109 F-4 by a large margin, with the Fw 190 A coming up fast. The Spitfire VC is outclassed.


6. The 6th Six Months: January to June 1942

I call this the frying pan to fire' period. Where the previous six months saw the arrival of the 109 F in its proper form and the debut of the new Focke-Wulf, all without any answer from the Allies, the first half of 1942 saw the arrival of the Focke-Wulf with all its teeth, and another new and more potent 109 variant. The Allies, for their part, had to make do with the now ageing Spitfire Mk V as the best they could put into combat.

The contenders are:

Bf 109 F-4 at 1.42 ATA
Bf 109 G-2 at 1.3 ATA
Fw 190 A-3 at 1.32 or 1.42ATA

Spitfire VC
Typhoon

I'm excluding both the Mustang I and the Spitfire Mk IX because they went operational in May and June respectively, and thus had no bearing on the first half of the year.

The boosted Me 109 F-4 had a top speed in range of 410-15 mph, as did the new Me 109 G-2. The G-2 had better altitude performance and I presume could dive to higher speeds, but did not turn quite as well as its older brother. I rate the G-2 the more highly of the two, but in my view they're close enough that it's really a matter of opinion. For me, height and the ability to use it are paramount, so I favour the G-2.

However, I favour the Fw 190 A-3 of either of the new Messerschmitt mounts. It was faster at 1.42 ATA, with a top speed of 415-20 mph. It could out dive any of its competitors. It could out roll any of its competitors. It out gunned all of its competitors except perhaps the Typhoon, with its quartet of Hispano IIs. It was more robust than either the Spit or the 109, with its twin-spar wing and air cooled motor. It was, in short, the first of the second generation fighters, working properly for the first time. The bad news for the Allies was that the Fw 190 A had still not reached even its initial potential.

My choice: Fw 190 A-3 by a long stretch and two 20 mm cannon.


7. The 7th Six Months: July to December 1942

This period sees the first light at the end of the tunnel for the Allies, although they may have wondered at times whether it was actually a train coming the other way. It's interesting that the fortunes of war were almost exactly parallel to the technical developments at this stage, too.

The contenders are our old friends in new guises, and one new comer:

Bf 109 G-2/4
Fw 190 A-4

Spitfire MkIX
Mustang I

Dealing with the German types first, there was no improvement from the G-2 to G-4, except, perhaps, a wider range of conversions available. If anything, performance went backwards with the widespread introduction of the larger, non-retractable tail wheel. The Fw 190 A-3 remained in service (as did some A-2s in Norway), but the new A-4 was delivered from June, when they also changed the formulation of the C3 fuel used in the Fws. The A-4 used the same motor as the A-3 (BMW 801 D-2), but with mods to the exhaust manifold that didn't increase its boost, but allowed to run high boosts for longer. The other mods had no effect on performance. In short, the A-4 was just a meaner A-3.

The first ray of light for the Allies was the Spitfire MkIX with its two-speed, two-stage Merlin 61 motor. The first squadrons were operational from June, but deliveries were slow. The new type had a top speed of about 410 mph at 26-28,000 feet. It was an excellent high altitude fighter. It could also nearly match the Focke-Wulf for speed...but not quite. Above 23,000 feet, the Spit IX had the edge, but below that, the Focke-Wulf usually had a slight advantage. The fact of the matter was that the Merlin 61 was a high alt rated motor, rather than a general purpose one. The Merlin 66 which would actually match the Spitfire IX's performance very closely to the Fw 190 A's only began to be delivered in late 1942, so it's not a factor in this comparison. Nevertheless, the Spit IX showed the shape of things to come, and it was not good for the Germans.

The second Allied development was the operational debut of the Mustang I in May 1942. While the V-1710 powered Mustang was not a serious contender for the best fighter' accolade, the performance of this type was still pretty startling. It reached its maximum speed of 375-380 mph at 13-15,000 feet. That made it as fast or even fractionally faster than the mighty Fw 190 A at these low to medium altitudes. It also demonstrated excellent diving capability. Its potential was clear as early as April 1942 when the Rolls Royce liaison pilot, Ron Harker, flew a Mustang I at the AFDU. He reckoned a Merlin 61 would transform it, given that it was already 35 mph faster than a Spit V at the same power.

My choice: the Fw 190 A-4, but the Spit IX is competitive. Even if the Spit IX were really a match for the Focke-Wulf, relative numbers would sway me in favour of the Wurger.


8. The 8th Six Months: January to June 1943

This is the period is the first technical crunch for the Germans. Their technical lead stands them in good stead, but the writing is on the wall.

The contenders are:

Bf 109 G-6
Fw 190 A-4/5

Spitfire F Mk IX (Merlin 61 or 63)
Spitfire LF Mk IX (Merlin 66)

P-38F/G/H
P-47 C/D

Dealing with the German types first, the Bf 109 G-6 was a backward step in performance from the G-2, although not by the amount sometimes claimed. This retrograde move in performance means that, for this period, the 109 was not a contender.

The Fw 190 A-5 was basically an A-4 with a lengthened engine mount. There was no change in performance. The stagnation in German technical development at this stage reflects the urgency of the need to maximize numbers, following the disasters at El Alamein, Stalingrad and Tunis. It also reflects the administrative chaos in the Luftwaffe's technical office during the period up to the end of 1941. The decisions made then or not made then were coming home to roost in 1942-3.

I've included the P-38 here because while it didn't start operations out of England until the end of 1943, the earlier versions were in combat in the Mediterranean from November 1942. This period also saw the combat debut of the Thunderbolt in April 1943, although its operations were not numerically significant until later. I've left the Mustang out because without a Merlin engine it was not yet a contender.

The P-38 F is interesting because it was fast (390-95 mph), but not as fast as either the Bf 109 G-2 or the Fw 190 A-4, particularly at low altitude in relation to the Focke-Wulf. It was also a good turner, although just how good is a topic of some controversy. Certainly, its rate of roll was inferior to its competitors, but it also had excellent firepower with five heavy, centrally located weapons. The P-38 H was faster (~ 405 mph), but didn't redeem the roll issue. It was obviously a type with potential, but with its poor roll and without a clear speed advantage, it was not a contender at this stage.

The P-47 was faster at high altitude, but it was inferior to the German types below 18,000 feet. The comparative tests of the early P-47C against the Spitfire IX show the Thunderbolt to have had excellent diving performance, and good roll at high speed, but to have been clearly inferior in most other respects, particularly climb, turn and acceleration. Its very high top speed (420-29 mph, depending on version) was a sign of its potential, but in the first half of 1943 the P-47 had yet to mature.

The new Merlin 66 powered Spitfire LF MkIX (or Spitfire MkIXB) meant the Allies had, for the first time, a fighter to really match the Fw 190 A. It had a top speed of about 410 mph: no higher than its F MkIX stable mates, but it reached its maximum speed at 20,000 instead of 26-28,000 feet. The lower gearing of its supercharger meant more power available at all altitudes up to 20,000 feet, vastly improving its rate of climb (over 4,200 feet per minute) and general capability.

My choice: The Spitfire LF MkIX and Fw 190 A-4/5 are so evenly matched it's difficult to separate them. If my life depended on it in a one-on-one dogfight to the death, I'd rather be flying a Spitfire LF MkIX. Its general agility, but in particular its turn and climb, would make it a most formidable adversary. However, in terms of numbers available, I think the Fw 190 A was more significant at this stage. The Wurger therefore gets my vote, on the basis of greater operational presence.

And the next installment:

9. The 9th Six Months: July to December 1943

This is a very difficult match up to call. The contenders themselves are very evenly matched on a purely technical basis, each exhibiting its own mix of strengths and weaknesses. Much depends upon the context. Without further ado, the contenders are:

Bf 109 G-6 (1.42 ATA)
Fw 190 A-5/6/7

Spitfire LF MkIX

P-47D

Enthusiasts will note the absence from this list of some rather prominent machines, most notably the Hawker Tempest MkV, the Merlin-powered Mustang P-51B and the P-38J. All three are excluded on the grounds that none of them saw combat in significant numbers before the end of the year.

The change to the Bf 109 G was to increase the boost of the DB 605 A engine to its rated 1.42 ATA. This returned performance to the 400-410 mph range in clean configuration. It was otherwise similar to the earlier model. However, models used in the West were fitted with extra equipment and so were generally not strictly clean'. The extra gear was to better suit the machine for the high-altitude interceptor role, and included IFF and radio navigation equipment. Both required external aerials (the under-fuselage whip antennae and the DF loop on the spine, respectively) in addition to the extra weight they entailed. Many 109s used for interception also had the fuselage rack for a drop tank, which was required to provide the endurance needed to assemble and position a large formation of fighters. The rack minus the tank had a small but measurable cost in speed. Finally, a good number of Gustavs were equipped as gunboats with the MG151/20 gun pods. In short, when equipped as a high-altitude interceptor, the Gustav was not a great fighter, and vice versa.

The Fw 190 A-6 was essentially a better-armed A-5 with the same basic performance. The increase in firepower was down to the replacement of the wing-mounted MGFF cannon with Mausers. The MG151 gave a higher rate of fire, higher muzzle velocity, and of course had the same ballistics as the Mausers in the wing roots, thus making aiming easier.

However, like the Gustav, the Fw 190 A was loaded up to perform the high-altitude interceptor role. In particular, the addition of IFF, DF gear and the ETC 501 fuselage adapter pulled the top speed down to the 405-410 mph range. Furthermore, the Fw 190 A was never at its best at high altitude. However, this should not be overstated, because the plane could still manage 400 mph at 25,000 feet.

On the other side of the ditch, the Spitfire LF MkIX was now in widespread use out of the UK and in the Mediterranean. As discussed in the last entry, this plane is superior to the Bf 109 G-6 in turn and climb, and is also faster, particularly at medium to low altitudes. It's also got more firepower. It's a pretty close match for the Fw 190 A-6 except in roll rate and dive. Some altitudes it's faster than the 190, and at some altitudes the Focke-Wulf is faster, but in neither case is the difference large.

The last offering is the P-47D, which in the second half of 1943 was finally maturing into a reliable and effective high altitude fighter. The problems with the engine were sorted out, and the type's high altitude performance was better than that of its contemporaries with a top speed of 425-430 mph at 28,000 feet. Above 18,000 feet it was faster than the German fighters, and was faster in the dive. Its rate of roll was good, and at 30,000 feet was better than the Spitfire MkIX's. However, its rate of climb was poor, and its turning performance was worse than either German type at speeds below 250 mph, or at altitudes below 20,000 feet.


My choice: the Spitfire LF MkIX by a whisker, for similar reasons to my call on the Jul-Dec 1940 match up. The plane is very competitive with its contemporaries, and enjoys an advantage in turn and climb. In my view, these qualities would give the novice a good chance of escaping a Focke-Wulf or Messerschmitt with body and soul intact. In contrast, a novice in a P-47 who allowed himself to be drawn into a dogfight with the German fighters would very quickly have found himself in that part of the envelope where his plane's advantages had evaporated. The same is true of a Messerschmitt or Focke-Wulf novice who allowed himself to be suckered into a turning match against Spitfires.

On the other hand, I think it's worth acknowledging that I think an expert could make better use of the spectacular diving performance of the Thunderbolt and Focke-Wulf to ensure a kill. However, survival in air to air combat was largely a function of experience. There is an analysis showing that, in the first half of 1944, if a German fighter pilot survived his first four missions, he had an 80% chance of surviving the war. In my view, if all other things are nearly equal (as they are in this match up), a plane like the Spitfire gave the green pilot a fighting chance of seeing his fifth mission and being in that 80%.

I fully expect to be mauled by the Focke-Wulf Legion and by the Clan of the P-47 for this call, but you can please some of the people all of the time...

10. The 10th Six Months: January to June 1944

This is where it really went south for the Germans. In this six months, the Americans introduced vastly improved versions of three types the P-38, P-47 and P-51 in large numbers, while the Germans had to persevere with incremental improvements to their two main types. The Spitfire Mk XIV and Tempest Mk V also drew their first blood in this half, although neither are included in this analysis because:

1. the Tempest got its first kill in a patrol over the Normandy landings in June, meaning it had no significant combat during this period; and

2. the Spitfire Mk XIV equipped very few units in this period.

If the Spitfire and Tempest maniacs can provide some data showing that these types had significant access to combat in the first half of 1944, I'll happily revise.

The contenders therefore are:

Bf 109 G-6/AS
Bf 109 G-6/U-3
Fw 190 A-8

P-38J
P-47D
P-51B

Spitfire LFMkIXc/e

Dealing with the Spitfire first, the changes were: the introduction of the e' wing; and, the introduction of the GS MkII gyro gun sight (this is the thing that the K-14 gyro sight is a license copy of). According to a statistical study done by the Brits with their MkIX squadrons, the GS MkII improved shooting accuracy by about 50%. The e' wing was also a good improvement in firepower for the Spit, not merely because of the heavier weight of the 0.50 cal machine gun, but because all the weapons were now in that inboard position. This latter characteristic gave more concentrated fire, and reduced the effects of any flex in the wing at high G loads. The e' wing also sorted out the problems with wrinkling of the upper skin on the wings of some Mk Vs that were fitted with bomb racks under the wing.

The changes were small, but they all combined to make the Spit MkIX a more capable plane in all its roles.

The Fw 190 A-8 improved the firepower of the Focke-Wulf by replacing the MG17s with 13 mm heavy machine guns. It also improved the power of the BMW 801 D-2 engine by introducing the erhte notleistung fr jger power boost system (hereafter referred to as EN for short). The extra couple of hundred horsepower meant that the A-8 sub-variant had the best power loading of the Fw 190 A series to date, making it the most agile of the Antons.

However, the loading-up of the Focke-Wulf with extra equipment continued, and the A-8 usually carried the ETC 501 adapter rack (for 500 kg bomb or drop tank), IFF and DF radio gear and the other bit of radio kit that required the morane mast under the wing. In addition, the EN system used an extra fuel tank in the rear fuselage and this added weight also. In that configuration, the top speed was about the same as the cleaner' A-5/A-6 series, in spite of the extra power.

Question for the Focke-Wulf gallery: does anybody have performance figures for the Fw 190 A-8 with EN but without the ETC rack? I've seen pics of A-8s like this, some of which had their outer wing guns removed (like Priller's), but I've never seen performance data for them. Anybody?

The new Bf 109 G-6s gave them added speed at high or low altitudes (depending on the type). Some time between March and May 1944, the Germans introduced the Bf 109 G-6/AS. This machine used the DB 605 AS engine, which featured the larger supercharger developed for the DB 603. The new induction system conferred better altitude performance, with the top speed in the 420-25 mph range at a critical altitude of 25-26,000 feet. This is for a clean' plane with no drop tank rack or gun pods. This plane was essentially a high-altitude fighter, and was very competitive with the P-47D and P-51B above 20,000 feet.

The G-6/U-3 variant was introduced around the same time. I am actually a little dubious about including this one in the first half of 1944 because I suspect the numbers in service were not that significant until the introduction of the G-14 in June / July. Be that as it may, the U-3 used the DB 605 AM motor, which had MW50 water-methanol injection. Like the EN system on the Fw 190 A-8, the MW50 introduced an anti-detonation agent (in this instance water) into the fuel air mixture, allowing the motor to run at higher manifold pressures without pinging' or knocking'. This meant the engine produced an extra couple of hundred horsepower up to critical altitude. For the DB 605 AM engine, that was about 23,000 feet. This conferred a top speed in clean config, as above of 415-420 mph at that altitude, and better acceleration and higher top speeds at lower altitudes.

The U.S. types introduced in this period were significant improvements over the earlier variants of the same aircraft. The first is the P-38J. With its completely re-worked cooling system, and a new, more powerful version of the Allison engine, the J series began to live up to the promise of the type. The J series began to replace the earlier versions in the 8th AF in late 1943, but I can't find any evidence that the J saw much action until 1944, and thus its inclusion in this time slot.

The J's top speed was 415-420 mph at 25,000 feet, and its rate of climb (3,730 feet per minute at sea level) was the best of the U.S. types. It had good low speed turn performance courtesy of the Fowler flaps, and its acceleration was again the best of the U.S. types. On the down side, the P-38 had a poor rate of roll that was not redeemed until the J-25 production block (produced in late-mid 1944: i.e., April-May production), which introduced powered ailerons. These gave the P-38J and subsequent versions excellent rate of roll at high speed. Below 300 mph, rate of roll was average, and got worse as speed dropped. The J-25 also introduced the dive recovery flaps under the outer wing. These corrected the compressibility problem that had limited P-38 dive performance at high altitude. Given the dates of J-25 production, I'll include the J-25 and L series in the next time bracket.

The P-47D was significantly improved at the beginning of this period, with the introduction of water-methanol injection and paddle-bladed propellers. These refinements improved the rate of climb of the P-47 (so it was no longer appalling), and improved its low altitude performance. The latter made the new Thunderbolt much more competitive at low and medium altitudes and made the plane much more of a genuine all-rounder rather than just a high-altitude juggernaut.

The third of the U.S. types is the P-51B: the Merlin powered Mustang. With its top speed of 440 mph at 26-28,000 feet, the new Mustang was far and away the fastest of the crop. Even though its engine was ostensibly a high-altitude version of the Merlin, it retained the excellent low altitude speed the earlier versions exhibited. Its diving performance already notable in its Allison powered version was comparable to that of the P-47. The self-confessed P-47 fan, Roger A. Freeman, opined that the P-51 out-dived the P-47. However that may be, there's no doubt the P-51 was one of the two best divers in the ETO at this point in time. It retained the good agility of the earlier P-51s, although it was much less docile than the earlier versions. Of course, the P-51B also retained its good range, which was augmented by the addition of a tank in the rear fuselage and a drop tank under each wing. On the down side, its rate of climb was poorer than the P-38's, but better than the P-47. Also, its firepower was barely adequate with four wing-mounted 0.50 calibre machine guns.

My choice: The P-51B. It was superior to the German fighters at altitude, but it could also match or beat them for speed at lower altitudes. Its firepower was poor, but given that the main enemy consisted of single and twin engine fighters, this was not a crippling inadequacy. (Mind you, it didn't stop them fixing the problem!) Of the German fighters, the new Bf 109 G-6/AS was a better match for the new Allied types at altitude, but it should be noted that control forces became very heavy at high speeds, and it could not match the P-51 or P-47 for roll or dive. The Fw 190 A-8 was more of a match for the new Allied types at altitudes lower than 20,000 feet, and it retained much more of its agility at high speed than the Bf 109.

However, while the P-51B showed a clear superiority in performance, we shouldn't read too much into that. For example, the U.S.N. comparative tests of a range of U.S. fighters from October 1944 show the P-51B with a top speed of 450 mph at 28,000 feet. However, the same plane could manage just 419 mph at 20,000 feet. The late model P-47D running at high boost had the same speed at that altitude, too. In other words the Fw 190 A, Bf 109 G-6, Spitfire LF MkIX, P-47, P-51B and P-38J all have top speeds within 10-15 mph of each other at 20,000 feet. That's on the same order as the plus or minus 3% tolerance we hear about. There really wasn't that much in it.

crazyivan1970
05-22-2007, 06:52 AM
There have been a number of threads on this forum which sought to answer (or fish for an answer) to the question: which was the best fighter of World War Two? In my view this is not a question with a sensible single answer. It depends on the criteria we use: if we go on objective performance, it would be one of the jets or the Me 163. Clearly, while spectacular, these planes had little or no impact on the war. To acclaim the Me 163, for example, as the best fighter of WWII, is to tell a preposterously small fraction of the story. It's like a history of Waterloo without mentioning Napoleon.

If we go by combat success, then the Bf 109 is the hands-down winner: more kills than anything else by a country mile. But again, we know that by 1943, the 109 had some very stiff competition.

We can go on proposing criteria, but we keep running into the same problem: an answer that in some critical way is too narrow. So, how do we cut this knot?

I propose to do so in three ways. The first is to narrow the question to, What was the best fighter over Western Europe in WWII?' This means we avoid comparing apples and oranges, like A6Ms and Focke-Wulfs.

The second way I propose to simplify the problem is to cut it up into bite-sized chunks. Rather than try to give one answer, I propose to give an answer for every six-month period from Sep 1939 to May 1945. In other words, what was the best fighter the first half of 1941, for example. This way, we get a set of answers that actually reflects the developments in technology and in the general war situation. It provides context for a discussion that would otherwise be entirely technical and divorced from reality.

Thirdly, I propose to use a set of criteria to judge each period that includes operational and logistical considerations as well as the purely technical. You might, for example have a plane that is clearly the best in its class for the period. But if you've only got 100 of them and the enemy force is numbered in thousands, you're a non-starter. Similarly, if your best fighter has a serviceability rate of 50%, again, you're a non-starter. If your best type needs an engine change after 25 hours, you aren't just a non-starter, you're barely airworthy in any normal sense of the word.

The criteria will include: top speed and critical alt; speed in dive; rate of turn; rate of climb; rate of roll; zoom climb; acceleration; fire power; range; serviceability; ease of handling; view for shooting; view for search; and number in service. These are not in order, but you get the idea.

I don't know a great deal about some types the Hawker Typhoon and Tempest, for example so I invite comment and expansion. Please note, I am not talking about the modeling of these planes in the game. I'm discussing the historical reality, not the gaming Nirvana.

Without further ado, The Best Fighters Over Western Europe in WWII: the unauthorized version.

1. The 1st Six' Months: September to December 1939
The contenders are:
Bf 109 E-1
Bf 109 E-3

Hurricane MkI
Spitfire MkI

French fighters here?

In terms of numbers available, I would discount both the Spitfire I and the Bf 109 E-3 immediately. This puts the competition down to the Bf 109 E-1 and the Hurricane. My money would be on the 109, because it's superior in every respect except turn and firepower.

My choice: Bf 109 E-1.


2. The 2nd Six Months: January to June 1940

The contenders are:

Bf 109 E-1
Bf 109 E-3

Hurricane MkI
Hurricane Mk II
Spitfire MkIa

French fighters here?

The Hurricane MkII was just entering service so I'd rule that one out straight away. The Spitfire MkIa is a serious contender, having good top speed, good rate of turn, excellent firepower (for the time) and easy handling. The 109 E-3 has the edge in climb, dive and weight of fire, although we have to remember that the MGFF 20 mm cannon in its wings had a low rate of fire and poor muzzle velocity. The 109 had a ceiling advantage, too. Line ball for performance.

However, the 109 E-3 was the main type during the French campaign, so it was operationally and numerically more significant than the Spitfire during this period.

My choice: Bf 109 E-3, by a nose.


3. The 3rd Six Months: July to December 1940

This is a big one. The contenders are:

Bf 109 E-1
Bf 109 E-3
Bf 109 E-4
Bf 109 E-7

Hurricane MkI
Hurricane Mk II
Spitfire MkIa
Spitfire MkII

This set gives us a much harder call to make, but we can begin by noting that the 109 E-1 and the Hurricane Mk I are non-starters in this line up. Similarly, the 109 E-4 and E-7 have the same performance and so are identical for most of the purposes of this discussion. Furthermore, the 109 E-4 was faster and better armed (MGFF/M cannon) than the E-3, so we can eliminate the E-3 too.

The Hurricane IIa, with the two-speed supercharger and a bit more horsepower, was much more of a match for the early 109s than the Mk I had been. With its top speed above 340 mph for the first time, it was far and away the fastest of the Hurri-buses, with the best performance across the widest altitude range. It was also the best gun platform of all three main types we're comparing here, so it was probably the best pure interceptor of the three. However, it really wasn't in the same class as the 109 E-4 or the Spitfire as a pure fighter.

The Spitfire MkIa had the Rotol constant speed propeller (CSP), by the beginning of August, and the Mk II had it as standard. The first deliveries of the Mk II began in August, so the type is significant for its involvement in the Battle of Britain. The Mk II also had the more powerful Merlin giving it a top speed of 360-365 mph. The Spit Mk I is often quoted as having a top speed of 367 mph, but this figure is for the second production specimen that was not fully equipped for battle, given that it was missing the armored glass, seat armor, CSP, radio, etc. The typical, battle dressed Mk Ia that flew during the BoB had top speed of about 355 mph. This eliminates the MkIa in favour of the MkII as a contender. It's now a toss up between the Bf 109 E-4/7, and the Spitfire MkII.

These two planes are very closely matched. The outcome of a contest between the two would probably come down to the tactical situation, and pilot skill. To summarise, the Spit II has the speed advantage at some altitudes, the E-4 at others. In neither case is the speed difference significant. The 109 has dive and climb, the Spit has turn. They're pretty close in roll. They are, in fact, pretty close in overall merit.

My view is that the Spitfire MkII was slightly superior for its purpose than the Bf 109 E-4/7 was for its purpose in late 1940. The RAF only had to stay in existence to win, and the Spitfire's superior turning ability was no doubt responsible for the survival of more than one frightened novice, frantically and instinctively yanking back on the stick. I think these kids would've died had they been flying something like the 109. On the other side of the ditch, the 109 was a superb offensive fighter, well suited for its role in all respects except one: lack of range. Range and endurance were an issue for the Germans at this stage. The E-4/7 could potentially use drop tanks, but except for the horribly leaky plywood prototypes - they weren't available in 1940 and so don't come into our deliberations.

My choice: Spitfire MkII by a Narrow Margin.



4. The 4th Six Months: January to June 1941

This one is the beginning of the change of the guard. The contenders are:

Bf 109 F-1/2

Spitfire Mk VB/C

In the interests of brevity, I've omitted the 109 E series, the Hurricane and the Spitfire Mk Ia and II from this comparison. Similarly, the P-40B, which I believe arrived in RAF service during this period, is also omitted because its top speed, climb, altitude and ceiling are not in the same class as the Spitfire and 109. I've also left off the Fw 190 A-1, even though the first deliveries to JG 26 began in June. It was not a player.

On the Spitfires, the Mk V was a definite improvement over the Mk II. It was faster (375 mph), had a better rate of climb (Merlin 45), better rate of roll (metal or plywood ailerons), a higher ceiling and more firepower (2 x Hispano 20 mm cannon). It was the best of the Allied crop, by a large margin.

The Bf 109 F-1/2 was a vast aerodynamic improvement over the E series. In fact, it was the only major aerodynamic upgrade of the entire 109 family. Powered by the same motor as the E-4/N, it was better in level speed (370-75 mph), climb, dive and roll than its predecessor. However, its firepower was reduced because the planned MG151/20 wasn't available. This meant it was armed either with the rather poor MGFF 20 mm cannon in the engine position (F-1), or the thoroughly inadequate MG151/15 (in the F-2).

This match up is very similar to the last one, except the Spitfire's firepower increased where the 109's went backwards. I can understand why the RAF thought they had the measure of the new 109 with the Spitfire Mk V.

My choice: Spitfire VB/C, in spite of the obvious promise of the new F series Bf 109 airframe.


5. The 5th Six Months: July to December 1941

This is where it all went south for the RAF. The new RAF fighter, the Typhoon, was delayed and disappointing when it arrived, and the Germans introduced two new types.

The contenders:

Bf 109 F-4
Fw 109 A-1/2

Spitfire VC
Typhoon

I don't know enough about the Typhoon to comment with any confidence, apart from to say:
1. it was the fastest at low altitude of all the types in this comparison;
2. it suffered problems with the tail (coming off);
3. it suffered from engine problems;
4. its altitude performance was not up to expectation.

The Spitfire VC is the same as it was in the last match up: a serviceable stop-gap.

The Bf 109 F-4 was a different proposition. It finally had the right engine (DB 601E) and the right cannon (the MG151/20). With a top speed of 390 mph at 1.3 ATA, and a centrally located 20 mm cannon with a good muzzle velocity and an excellent rate of fire, it was superior to the Spitfire Mk V in most respects except turn.

The new Fw 190 A-1/2 gave the RAF a nasty shock, but probably more so than its physical attributes really justified. Its top speed of 390 mph gave it an edge over the Spitfire Mk V, and its two centrally located MG151/20Es gave it plenty of firepower. It could out dive and out roll the Bf 109 F-4, but was otherwise inferior to the Messerschmitt offering. It also suffered appalling rates of serviceability until the turn of the year. However, with its firepower, strength, excellent maneuverability and high-speed handling, the Focke-Wulf was clearly the coming thing.

My choice: the Bf 109 F-4 by a large margin, with the Fw 190 A coming up fast. The Spitfire VC is outclassed.


6. The 6th Six Months: January to June 1942

I call this the frying pan to fire' period. Where the previous six months saw the arrival of the 109 F in its proper form and the debut of the new Focke-Wulf, all without any answer from the Allies, the first half of 1942 saw the arrival of the Focke-Wulf with all its teeth, and another new and more potent 109 variant. The Allies, for their part, had to make do with the now ageing Spitfire Mk V as the best they could put into combat.

The contenders are:

Bf 109 F-4 at 1.42 ATA
Bf 109 G-2 at 1.3 ATA
Fw 190 A-3 at 1.32 or 1.42ATA

Spitfire VC
Typhoon

I'm excluding both the Mustang I and the Spitfire Mk IX because they went operational in May and June respectively, and thus had no bearing on the first half of the year.

The boosted Me 109 F-4 had a top speed in range of 410-15 mph, as did the new Me 109 G-2. The G-2 had better altitude performance and I presume could dive to higher speeds, but did not turn quite as well as its older brother. I rate the G-2 the more highly of the two, but in my view they're close enough that it's really a matter of opinion. For me, height and the ability to use it are paramount, so I favour the G-2.

However, I favour the Fw 190 A-3 of either of the new Messerschmitt mounts. It was faster at 1.42 ATA, with a top speed of 415-20 mph. It could out dive any of its competitors. It could out roll any of its competitors. It out gunned all of its competitors except perhaps the Typhoon, with its quartet of Hispano IIs. It was more robust than either the Spit or the 109, with its twin-spar wing and air cooled motor. It was, in short, the first of the second generation fighters, working properly for the first time. The bad news for the Allies was that the Fw 190 A had still not reached even its initial potential.

My choice: Fw 190 A-3 by a long stretch and two 20 mm cannon.


7. The 7th Six Months: July to December 1942

This period sees the first light at the end of the tunnel for the Allies, although they may have wondered at times whether it was actually a train coming the other way. It's interesting that the fortunes of war were almost exactly parallel to the technical developments at this stage, too.

The contenders are our old friends in new guises, and one new comer:

Bf 109 G-2/4
Fw 190 A-4

Spitfire MkIX
Mustang I

Dealing with the German types first, there was no improvement from the G-2 to G-4, except, perhaps, a wider range of conversions available. If anything, performance went backwards with the widespread introduction of the larger, non-retractable tail wheel. The Fw 190 A-3 remained in service (as did some A-2s in Norway), but the new A-4 was delivered from June, when they also changed the formulation of the C3 fuel used in the Fws. The A-4 used the same motor as the A-3 (BMW 801 D-2), but with mods to the exhaust manifold that didn't increase its boost, but allowed to run high boosts for longer. The other mods had no effect on performance. In short, the A-4 was just a meaner A-3.

The first ray of light for the Allies was the Spitfire MkIX with its two-speed, two-stage Merlin 61 motor. The first squadrons were operational from June, but deliveries were slow. The new type had a top speed of about 410 mph at 26-28,000 feet. It was an excellent high altitude fighter. It could also nearly match the Focke-Wulf for speed...but not quite. Above 23,000 feet, the Spit IX had the edge, but below that, the Focke-Wulf usually had a slight advantage. The fact of the matter was that the Merlin 61 was a high alt rated motor, rather than a general purpose one. The Merlin 66 which would actually match the Spitfire IX's performance very closely to the Fw 190 A's only began to be delivered in late 1942, so it's not a factor in this comparison. Nevertheless, the Spit IX showed the shape of things to come, and it was not good for the Germans.

The second Allied development was the operational debut of the Mustang I in May 1942. While the V-1710 powered Mustang was not a serious contender for the best fighter' accolade, the performance of this type was still pretty startling. It reached its maximum speed of 375-380 mph at 13-15,000 feet. That made it as fast or even fractionally faster than the mighty Fw 190 A at these low to medium altitudes. It also demonstrated excellent diving capability. Its potential was clear as early as April 1942 when the Rolls Royce liaison pilot, Ron Harker, flew a Mustang I at the AFDU. He reckoned a Merlin 61 would transform it, given that it was already 35 mph faster than a Spit V at the same power.

My choice: the Fw 190 A-4, but the Spit IX is competitive. Even if the Spit IX were really a match for the Focke-Wulf, relative numbers would sway me in favour of the Wurger.


8. The 8th Six Months: January to June 1943

This is the period is the first technical crunch for the Germans. Their technical lead stands them in good stead, but the writing is on the wall.

The contenders are:

Bf 109 G-6
Fw 190 A-4/5

Spitfire F Mk IX (Merlin 61 or 63)
Spitfire LF Mk IX (Merlin 66)

P-38F/G/H
P-47 C/D

Dealing with the German types first, the Bf 109 G-6 was a backward step in performance from the G-2, although not by the amount sometimes claimed. This retrograde move in performance means that, for this period, the 109 was not a contender.

The Fw 190 A-5 was basically an A-4 with a lengthened engine mount. There was no change in performance. The stagnation in German technical development at this stage reflects the urgency of the need to maximize numbers, following the disasters at El Alamein, Stalingrad and Tunis. It also reflects the administrative chaos in the Luftwaffe's technical office during the period up to the end of 1941. The decisions made then or not made then were coming home to roost in 1942-3.

I've included the P-38 here because while it didn't start operations out of England until the end of 1943, the earlier versions were in combat in the Mediterranean from November 1942. This period also saw the combat debut of the Thunderbolt in April 1943, although its operations were not numerically significant until later. I've left the Mustang out because without a Merlin engine it was not yet a contender.

The P-38 F is interesting because it was fast (390-95 mph), but not as fast as either the Bf 109 G-2 or the Fw 190 A-4, particularly at low altitude in relation to the Focke-Wulf. It was also a good turner, although just how good is a topic of some controversy. Certainly, its rate of roll was inferior to its competitors, but it also had excellent firepower with five heavy, centrally located weapons. The P-38 H was faster (~ 405 mph), but didn't redeem the roll issue. It was obviously a type with potential, but with its poor roll and without a clear speed advantage, it was not a contender at this stage.

The P-47 was faster at high altitude, but it was inferior to the German types below 18,000 feet. The comparative tests of the early P-47C against the Spitfire IX show the Thunderbolt to have had excellent diving performance, and good roll at high speed, but to have been clearly inferior in most other respects, particularly climb, turn and acceleration. Its very high top speed (420-29 mph, depending on version) was a sign of its potential, but in the first half of 1943 the P-47 had yet to mature.

The new Merlin 66 powered Spitfire LF MkIX (or Spitfire MkIXB) meant the Allies had, for the first time, a fighter to really match the Fw 190 A. It had a top speed of about 410 mph: no higher than its F MkIX stable mates, but it reached its maximum speed at 20,000 instead of 26-28,000 feet. The lower gearing of its supercharger meant more power available at all altitudes up to 20,000 feet, vastly improving its rate of climb (over 4,200 feet per minute) and general capability.

My choice: The Spitfire LF MkIX and Fw 190 A-4/5 are so evenly matched it's difficult to separate them. If my life depended on it in a one-on-one dogfight to the death, I'd rather be flying a Spitfire LF MkIX. Its general agility, but in particular its turn and climb, would make it a most formidable adversary. However, in terms of numbers available, I think the Fw 190 A was more significant at this stage. The Wurger therefore gets my vote, on the basis of greater operational presence.

And the next installment:

9. The 9th Six Months: July to December 1943

This is a very difficult match up to call. The contenders themselves are very evenly matched on a purely technical basis, each exhibiting its own mix of strengths and weaknesses. Much depends upon the context. Without further ado, the contenders are:

Bf 109 G-6 (1.42 ATA)
Fw 190 A-5/6/7

Spitfire LF MkIX

P-47D

Enthusiasts will note the absence from this list of some rather prominent machines, most notably the Hawker Tempest MkV, the Merlin-powered Mustang P-51B and the P-38J. All three are excluded on the grounds that none of them saw combat in significant numbers before the end of the year.

The change to the Bf 109 G was to increase the boost of the DB 605 A engine to its rated 1.42 ATA. This returned performance to the 400-410 mph range in clean configuration. It was otherwise similar to the earlier model. However, models used in the West were fitted with extra equipment and so were generally not strictly clean'. The extra gear was to better suit the machine for the high-altitude interceptor role, and included IFF and radio navigation equipment. Both required external aerials (the under-fuselage whip antennae and the DF loop on the spine, respectively) in addition to the extra weight they entailed. Many 109s used for interception also had the fuselage rack for a drop tank, which was required to provide the endurance needed to assemble and position a large formation of fighters. The rack minus the tank had a small but measurable cost in speed. Finally, a good number of Gustavs were equipped as gunboats with the MG151/20 gun pods. In short, when equipped as a high-altitude interceptor, the Gustav was not a great fighter, and vice versa.

The Fw 190 A-6 was essentially a better-armed A-5 with the same basic performance. The increase in firepower was down to the replacement of the wing-mounted MGFF cannon with Mausers. The MG151 gave a higher rate of fire, higher muzzle velocity, and of course had the same ballistics as the Mausers in the wing roots, thus making aiming easier.

However, like the Gustav, the Fw 190 A was loaded up to perform the high-altitude interceptor role. In particular, the addition of IFF, DF gear and the ETC 501 fuselage adapter pulled the top speed down to the 405-410 mph range. Furthermore, the Fw 190 A was never at its best at high altitude. However, this should not be overstated, because the plane could still manage 400 mph at 25,000 feet.

On the other side of the ditch, the Spitfire LF MkIX was now in widespread use out of the UK and in the Mediterranean. As discussed in the last entry, this plane is superior to the Bf 109 G-6 in turn and climb, and is also faster, particularly at medium to low altitudes. It's also got more firepower. It's a pretty close match for the Fw 190 A-6 except in roll rate and dive. Some altitudes it's faster than the 190, and at some altitudes the Focke-Wulf is faster, but in neither case is the difference large.

The last offering is the P-47D, which in the second half of 1943 was finally maturing into a reliable and effective high altitude fighter. The problems with the engine were sorted out, and the type's high altitude performance was better than that of its contemporaries with a top speed of 425-430 mph at 28,000 feet. Above 18,000 feet it was faster than the German fighters, and was faster in the dive. Its rate of roll was good, and at 30,000 feet was better than the Spitfire MkIX's. However, its rate of climb was poor, and its turning performance was worse than either German type at speeds below 250 mph, or at altitudes below 20,000 feet.


My choice: the Spitfire LF MkIX by a whisker, for similar reasons to my call on the Jul-Dec 1940 match up. The plane is very competitive with its contemporaries, and enjoys an advantage in turn and climb. In my view, these qualities would give the novice a good chance of escaping a Focke-Wulf or Messerschmitt with body and soul intact. In contrast, a novice in a P-47 who allowed himself to be drawn into a dogfight with the German fighters would very quickly have found himself in that part of the envelope where his plane's advantages had evaporated. The same is true of a Messerschmitt or Focke-Wulf novice who allowed himself to be suckered into a turning match against Spitfires.

On the other hand, I think it's worth acknowledging that I think an expert could make better use of the spectacular diving performance of the Thunderbolt and Focke-Wulf to ensure a kill. However, survival in air to air combat was largely a function of experience. There is an analysis showing that, in the first half of 1944, if a German fighter pilot survived his first four missions, he had an 80% chance of surviving the war. In my view, if all other things are nearly equal (as they are in this match up), a plane like the Spitfire gave the green pilot a fighting chance of seeing his fifth mission and being in that 80%.

I fully expect to be mauled by the Focke-Wulf Legion and by the Clan of the P-47 for this call, but you can please some of the people all of the time...

10. The 10th Six Months: January to June 1944

This is where it really went south for the Germans. In this six months, the Americans introduced vastly improved versions of three types the P-38, P-47 and P-51 in large numbers, while the Germans had to persevere with incremental improvements to their two main types. The Spitfire Mk XIV and Tempest Mk V also drew their first blood in this half, although neither are included in this analysis because:

1. the Tempest got its first kill in a patrol over the Normandy landings in June, meaning it had no significant combat during this period; and

2. the Spitfire Mk XIV equipped very few units in this period.

If the Spitfire and Tempest maniacs can provide some data showing that these types had significant access to combat in the first half of 1944, I'll happily revise.

The contenders therefore are:

Bf 109 G-6/AS
Bf 109 G-6/U-3
Fw 190 A-8

P-38J
P-47D
P-51B

Spitfire LFMkIXc/e

Dealing with the Spitfire first, the changes were: the introduction of the e' wing; and, the introduction of the GS MkII gyro gun sight (this is the thing that the K-14 gyro sight is a license copy of). According to a statistical study done by the Brits with their MkIX squadrons, the GS MkII improved shooting accuracy by about 50%. The e' wing was also a good improvement in firepower for the Spit, not merely because of the heavier weight of the 0.50 cal machine gun, but because all the weapons were now in that inboard position. This latter characteristic gave more concentrated fire, and reduced the effects of any flex in the wing at high G loads. The e' wing also sorted out the problems with wrinkling of the upper skin on the wings of some Mk Vs that were fitted with bomb racks under the wing.

The changes were small, but they all combined to make the Spit MkIX a more capable plane in all its roles.

The Fw 190 A-8 improved the firepower of the Focke-Wulf by replacing the MG17s with 13 mm heavy machine guns. It also improved the power of the BMW 801 D-2 engine by introducing the erhte notleistung fr jger power boost system (hereafter referred to as EN for short). The extra couple of hundred horsepower meant that the A-8 sub-variant had the best power loading of the Fw 190 A series to date, making it the most agile of the Antons.

However, the loading-up of the Focke-Wulf with extra equipment continued, and the A-8 usually carried the ETC 501 adapter rack (for 500 kg bomb or drop tank), IFF and DF radio gear and the other bit of radio kit that required the morane mast under the wing. In addition, the EN system used an extra fuel tank in the rear fuselage and this added weight also. In that configuration, the top speed was about the same as the cleaner' A-5/A-6 series, in spite of the extra power.

Question for the Focke-Wulf gallery: does anybody have performance figures for the Fw 190 A-8 with EN but without the ETC rack? I've seen pics of A-8s like this, some of which had their outer wing guns removed (like Priller's), but I've never seen performance data for them. Anybody?

The new Bf 109 G-6s gave them added speed at high or low altitudes (depending on the type). Some time between March and May 1944, the Germans introduced the Bf 109 G-6/AS. This machine used the DB 605 AS engine, which featured the larger supercharger developed for the DB 603. The new induction system conferred better altitude performance, with the top speed in the 420-25 mph range at a critical altitude of 25-26,000 feet. This is for a clean' plane with no drop tank rack or gun pods. This plane was essentially a high-altitude fighter, and was very competitive with the P-47D and P-51B above 20,000 feet.

The G-6/U-3 variant was introduced around the same time. I am actually a little dubious about including this one in the first half of 1944 because I suspect the numbers in service were not that significant until the introduction of the G-14 in June / July. Be that as it may, the U-3 used the DB 605 AM motor, which had MW50 water-methanol injection. Like the EN system on the Fw 190 A-8, the MW50 introduced an anti-detonation agent (in this instance water) into the fuel air mixture, allowing the motor to run at higher manifold pressures without pinging' or knocking'. This meant the engine produced an extra couple of hundred horsepower up to critical altitude. For the DB 605 AM engine, that was about 23,000 feet. This conferred a top speed in clean config, as above of 415-420 mph at that altitude, and better acceleration and higher top speeds at lower altitudes.

The U.S. types introduced in this period were significant improvements over the earlier variants of the same aircraft. The first is the P-38J. With its completely re-worked cooling system, and a new, more powerful version of the Allison engine, the J series began to live up to the promise of the type. The J series began to replace the earlier versions in the 8th AF in late 1943, but I can't find any evidence that the J saw much action until 1944, and thus its inclusion in this time slot.

The J's top speed was 415-420 mph at 25,000 feet, and its rate of climb (3,730 feet per minute at sea level) was the best of the U.S. types. It had good low speed turn performance courtesy of the Fowler flaps, and its acceleration was again the best of the U.S. types. On the down side, the P-38 had a poor rate of roll that was not redeemed until the J-25 production block (produced in late-mid 1944: i.e., April-May production), which introduced powered ailerons. These gave the P-38J and subsequent versions excellent rate of roll at high speed. Below 300 mph, rate of roll was average, and got worse as speed dropped. The J-25 also introduced the dive recovery flaps under the outer wing. These corrected the compressibility problem that had limited P-38 dive performance at high altitude. Given the dates of J-25 production, I'll include the J-25 and L series in the next time bracket.

The P-47D was significantly improved at the beginning of this period, with the introduction of water-methanol injection and paddle-bladed propellers. These refinements improved the rate of climb of the P-47 (so it was no longer appalling), and improved its low altitude performance. The latter made the new Thunderbolt much more competitive at low and medium altitudes and made the plane much more of a genuine all-rounder rather than just a high-altitude juggernaut.

The third of the U.S. types is the P-51B: the Merlin powered Mustang. With its top speed of 440 mph at 26-28,000 feet, the new Mustang was far and away the fastest of the crop. Even though its engine was ostensibly a high-altitude version of the Merlin, it retained the excellent low altitude speed the earlier versions exhibited. Its diving performance already notable in its Allison powered version was comparable to that of the P-47. The self-confessed P-47 fan, Roger A. Freeman, opined that the P-51 out-dived the P-47. However that may be, there's no doubt the P-51 was one of the two best divers in the ETO at this point in time. It retained the good agility of the earlier P-51s, although it was much less docile than the earlier versions. Of course, the P-51B also retained its good range, which was augmented by the addition of a tank in the rear fuselage and a drop tank under each wing. On the down side, its rate of climb was poorer than the P-38's, but better than the P-47. Also, its firepower was barely adequate with four wing-mounted 0.50 calibre machine guns.

My choice: The P-51B. It was superior to the German fighters at altitude, but it could also match or beat them for speed at lower altitudes. Its firepower was poor, but given that the main enemy consisted of single and twin engine fighters, this was not a crippling inadequacy. (Mind you, it didn't stop them fixing the problem!) Of the German fighters, the new Bf 109 G-6/AS was a better match for the new Allied types at altitude, but it should be noted that control forces became very heavy at high speeds, and it could not match the P-51 or P-47 for roll or dive. The Fw 190 A-8 was more of a match for the new Allied types at altitudes lower than 20,000 feet, and it retained much more of its agility at high speed than the Bf 109.

However, while the P-51B showed a clear superiority in performance, we shouldn't read too much into that. For example, the U.S.N. comparative tests of a range of U.S. fighters from October 1944 show the P-51B with a top speed of 450 mph at 28,000 feet. However, the same plane could manage just 419 mph at 20,000 feet. The late model P-47D running at high boost had the same speed at that altitude, too. In other words the Fw 190 A, Bf 109 G-6, Spitfire LF MkIX, P-47, P-51B and P-38J all have top speeds within 10-15 mph of each other at 20,000 feet. That's on the same order as the plus or minus 3% tolerance we hear about. There really wasn't that much in it.

crazyivan1970
05-22-2007, 06:59 AM
The reason i am reposting it: while i was cleaning up original thread, forum software did a trick on me and corrupted the whole thing, now it returns some weird error and cannot be displayed. My appoligies Ratsack. If i missed something from your original post, please add. Or start a new post and i will lock this one.

Now, to the tricky part. Kurf, apparently you on the mission there and you are lacking respect to your fellow community members and it`s way too obvious. Let them have their part, you can have yours - But NOT in this thread. So, i will make it simple - do not post here please, start your own Best WW2 fighters thread and have it your way. My PM is always open if you have anything against my requests.

That`s it.

Thank you for listening.

Ratsack
05-22-2007, 07:08 AM
Thank you, Ivan, for retrieving that. I'll repost the last bit some time in the next 24 hours.

cheers,
Ratsack

Codex1971
05-22-2007, 07:24 AM
OK guys....This has the potential to be a really great thread!

I'm not very knowledgeable on the history of WW2 aviation and would greatly appreciate seeing the replies to this topic.

BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD and THE SIM **PLEASE** stick to historical facts and refrain from personal slanging matches.

AKA_TAGERT
05-22-2007, 07:29 AM
ROTFL

On that note.. is it just me.. Or does it seem that 99% of Brain's posts consists of no useful input/feedback what so ever..

Unless you consider him dropping his zipper and pi$$ing all over anything said by anyone useful input/feedback?

For example, here Ivan is trying to clean up this topic.. A fresh start.. and look at the input we get from Brian!

WTG!

Bewolf
05-22-2007, 07:35 AM
Oh my, here it goes again. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

AKA_TAGERT
05-22-2007, 07:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Brain32:
The funny thing is I mentioned no names(not even by quoting) or added any kind of adjectives to them in this thread http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>I rest my case

Brain32
05-22-2007, 07:38 AM
FIXED for your pleasure guys. Both messages deleted http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

Bearcat99
05-22-2007, 07:40 AM
Ivan? You wanna do it or should I cause this is getting old fast.... 2 strikes, one more and thats it boys.. play nice or this thread will be locked. Keep the personal stuff and the politics out of it. What is so hard to understand about that... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif Sometimes this place is like trying to heard a bunch of friggin cats man.... kittens actually....

crazyivan1970
05-22-2007, 07:48 AM
Feel free BC http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Personally i think it is a well thought out thread, i just cant understand why we always end up on the situation like this. Someone takes time, makes solid resonable post and in the matter of minutes gets sidetracked. And it is always the same scenario and always the same outcome. Simply amazing. Another thing that bothers me the most... that not the content of the thread being question or discussed...somehow, almost every time, it`s a person that posted it... I believe that biggest issue on this board is lack of respect, considering average age of over 30 it is rather frightning....

Whirlin_merlin
05-22-2007, 07:49 AM
Flogging the 'BOB' horse again, I'm still finding I can't get to grips with this slippery fish.
Do I go with just 'the numbers'? Many (most?) of which come down with the Emil although not all?
Then again reality isn't fought between two charts, aspects like how the plane handled in a fight are extremly subjective but surly relevent. In this case many (most?) of the sources I've read come down with the Spit although not all.
Or then there's the 'within the context of the battle' arguments for the Hurricane, the lowest pure performer but a solid reliable workhorse that got the job done.
At this rate I'm going to have to go with a Fiat just to stop the whiring noises in my head.

stathem
05-22-2007, 08:09 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Whirlin_merlin:
Flogging the 'BOB' horse again, I'm still finding I can't get to grips with this slippery fish.
Do I go with just 'the numbers'? Many (most?) of which come down with the Emil although not all?
Then again reality isn't fought between two charts, aspects like how the plane handled in a fight are extremly subjective but surly relevent. In this case many (most?) of the sources I've read come down with the Spit although not all.
Or then there's the 'within the context of the battle' arguments for the Hurricane, the lowest pure performer but a solid reliable workhorse that got the job done.
At this rate I'm going to have to go with a Fiat just to stop the whiring noises in my head. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ignoring for the moment the 109, to settle between the Spitfire and Hurricane, my take on it is this.

I realise and agree with what you'ver said previously about the Hurricane ease of use and maintainance and doing the majority of the donkey work, but I'd say that the presence of the Spitfire (in whatever numbers) enabled the Hurricane to do that donkey work; ie the 109 outclassed the Hurri at altitude to enough of an extent that had there been no Spitfires or at the least, threat of Spitifres, the 109 could have prevented the Hurris from doing their job. In that, having met previously and being aware of Spitfires that matched their performance, the 109s had to be more careful than would have been the case if there was only Hurris.

ie the Spitfire as a force multiplier.

Monguse
05-22-2007, 08:34 AM
Ivan

If I may say, your post is probably if not the best written post I have read thus far.

I have some information on the J model in the MTO, I'll see if I can dig it up.

Whirlin_merlin
05-22-2007, 08:46 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by stathem:

Ignoring for the moment the 109, to settle between the Spitfire and Hurricane, my take on it is this.

I realise and agree with what you'ver said previously about the Hurricane ease of use and maintainance and doing the majority of the donkey work, but I'd say that the presence of the Spitfire (in whatever numbers) enabled the Hurricane to do that donkey work; ie the 109 outclassed the Hurri at altitude to enough of an extent that had there been no Spitfires or at the least, threat of Spitifres, the 109 could have prevented the Hurris from doing their job. In that, having met previously and being aware of Spitfires that matched their performance, the 109s had to be more careful than would have been the case if there was only Hurris.

ie the Spitfire as a force multiplier. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Indeed and of course there is some analogy with the late war period where the combination of 109s above and 190s below was so much more effective than either would have been on it's own.

Just to prove that this isn't a one hymn sheet affair I do feel that the biggest 'weakness' of the 109 during BOB was endurance. So in the context of BOB this rules it out as the best 'fighter'. However this was 'flaw' shared with the Spitfire, but during BOB it was only a 'problem' for the 109 so out of the context of BOB and having a hypothetical comparison then to me the Emil wins out.

Xiolablu3
05-22-2007, 08:50 AM
As I am expecting the Bf109E vs Spitifre Mk1 to be very much like Me109F2 vs SPitfire MkVb in IL2, but a bit closer matched, I would prefer the Bf109E as it has the charactersitics I like in a warplane.

1. FAst Dive speed for escapes.
2. Good Climb
3. Heavy hitting armament.

However I have yet to see whether the .303 works better vs fighters than the heavy MGFF cannon. Maybe with more destroyable components, the .303's will be much more deadly that in IL2.

The .303's are already deadly, but you have to get right in close, as in the ranges they talk about in the real pilot reports - 200m and closer. If you fire at much over that, you are just wasting your ammo.

I prefer the 'snipers' weapon. When firing a cannnon, it makes no difference if you hit at 10m or 800m, same destructive power.

Can I make a prediction?

1. New guys will fly the Spitfire
2. Wannabes will fly the Bf109
3. Real Aces will fly the Hurricane and Me110

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

I already know quite a few Hurricane and Me110 aces in IL2 who fly on Ukded2, they shoot down what are classed as far superior fighters with no problem in their mounts.

Freelancer-1
05-22-2007, 09:00 AM
I've read that the 109s only had something like 5 minutes to do their thing once on the English coast before having to return (fuel limitations).

The Hurries and Spits could loiter about for hours if needed.

If true, how would that affect 'better plane' stats.

Or does it matter for this discussion?

mynameisroland
05-22-2007, 09:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
As I am expecting the Bf109E vs Spitifre Mk1 to be very much like Me109F2 vs SPitfire MkVb in IL2, but a bit closer matched, I would prefer the Bf109E as it has the charactersitics I like in a warplane.

1. FAst Dive speed for escapes.
2. Good Climb
3. Heavy hitting armament.

However I have yet to see whether the .303 works better vs fighters than the heavy MGFF cannon. Maybe with more destroyable components, the .303's will be much more deadly that in IL2.

The .303's are already deadly, but you have to get right in close, as in the ranges they talk about in the real pilot reports - 200m and closer. If you fire at much over that, you are just wasting your ammo.

I prefer the 'snipers' weapon. When firing a cannnon, it makes no difference if you hit at 10m or 800m, same destructive power.

Can I make a prediction?

1. New guys will fly the Spitfire
2. Wannabes will fly the Bf109
3. Real Aces will fly the Hurricane and Me110

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

I already know quite a few Hurricane and Me110 aces in IL2 who fly on Ukded2, they shoot down what are classed as far superior fighters with no problem in their mounts. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hurry up and get your game reinstalled mate!

Xiolablu3
05-22-2007, 09:14 AM
I will (you are one of those I was talking about in your 'vastly superior Hurricane' that you are always talking about http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif)

And Levola in his Me110, I dont know how he does it but hes a wizard in that thing! I have seen him win maps almost single handedly, taking out defending fighters such as SPitfire V's, Yak9's or La5's and all the targets!

I have had such a long break I am now really looking forward to getting back and doing some late night flying with you guys http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Fireloks 'HAstings' Map Rules (Me109F4 vs SPitfire V and your vastly superior Hurricane) forever! (It wont be vastly superior for long when you come up against me in my 'awesomely adequate' Me109f4 http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Freelancer-1
05-22-2007, 09:14 AM
UKded2?

Externals, icons, F6, padlock...

Everyone's an ace http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

MEGILE
05-22-2007, 09:16 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:


1. New guys will fly the Spitfire
2. Wannabes will fly the Bf109
3. Real Aces will fly the Hurricane and Me110

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Who will fly the Stuky? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

Xiolablu3
05-22-2007, 09:21 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Freelancer-1:
UKded2?

Externals, icons, F6, padlock...

Everyone's an ace http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You try staying alive in a Me110 whilst single handedly taking out all the targets and winning the map for your team, even with externals (which probably actually makes it harder if you are in a vulnerable plane like a ME110) Then I will believe you are an ace! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Only friendly icons.

Padlock has to be on if you have externals. No choice there. Ukded3 is there if you want to fly full real, however UKded2 is such amazing fun, I love it.

Not everyones an ace when I am in my FW190 http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Then everyones a target. Hehe

Xiolablu3
05-22-2007, 09:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Megile:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:


1. New guys will fly the Spitfire
2. Wannabes will fly the Bf109
3. Real Aces will fly the Hurricane and Me110

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Who will fly the Stuky? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Absolute Aces if you can stay alive in that thing!

If you like Stuka flying you MUST come and fly Hastings map with us on Ukded2 one night Megile. Its an Awesome map with pletny of Stuka action. Take a look. Planeset isnt the same as int he first post, it got changed a bit to balance the map. :-

http://www.battle-fields.com/commscentre/showthread.php...6&highlight=hastings (http://www.battle-fields.com/commscentre/showthread.php?t=10896&highlight=hastings)

Sorry for going OT guys.

Whirlin_merlin
05-22-2007, 09:27 AM
Since I realised you can skip a ruddy great bomb under the pier I've been well up for Hastings Stuka action!

Ooooops we went way off topic.

Blutarski2004
05-22-2007, 09:45 AM
With all due respect to Ratsack's criteria, consideration must be given to the tasks for which the fighter was intended. Those tasks to a large degree dictated many design attributes of the respective a/c. Fighters designed as interceptors possessed very different attributes from LR escort fighter, as did fighters intended for low altitude combat versus those for high altitude combat. Just as you cannot fairly judge a hammer against the performance requirements of a screwdriver, I question whether differently oriented fighter designs can reasonably be stacked up against one another. Perhaps a better approach is to judge them first upon their ability to performa their designed task and second upon their ability to perform other functions outside their original design basis. Ratsack's comparison standards do "back into" this in a way by evaluating dominance within various time periods, but perhaps more weight ought to be given to the efficiency of the a/c in executing their designed tasks.

Irish_Rogues
05-22-2007, 09:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Freelancer-1:
I've read that the 109s only had something like 5 minutes to do their thing once on the English coast before having to return (fuel limitations).


</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually it was more like 20 minutes, still not terribly long.

luftluuver
05-22-2007, 10:09 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Irish_Rogues:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Freelancer-1:
I've read that the 109s only had something like 5 minutes to do their thing once on the English coast before having to return (fuel limitations).
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually it was more like 20 minutes, still not terribly long. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Depends. The early phase when the airfields and radar stations along the coast were being attacked would give more time over the target areas than later when the Blitz was on London.

faustnik
05-22-2007, 10:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Irish_Rogues:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Freelancer-1:
I've read that the 109s only had something like 5 minutes to do their thing once on the English coast before having to return (fuel limitations).
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually it was more like 20 minutes, still not terribly long. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Depends. The early phase when the airfields and radar stations along the coast were being attacked would give more time over the target areas than later when the Blitz was on London. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

How can a set time be declared? Isn't there a radical diference in fuel consumption depeding on power setting? If the 109 had to go to full power when intercepted at the coast, I would expect a very short stay.

???

MEGILE
05-22-2007, 10:20 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by faustnik:


How can a set time be declared? Isn't there a radical diference in fuel consumption depeding on power setting? If the 109 had to go to full power when intercepted at the coast, I would expect a very short stay.

??? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sure you couldn't give an exact number, however you could presume that the BF-109s would be at a high speed cruise atleast when over enemy territory (blighty), and calculate the longest time they could remain at that kind of power setting.

faustnik
05-22-2007, 10:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Megile:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by faustnik:


How can a set time be declared? Isn't there a radical diference in fuel consumption depeding on power setting? If the 109 had to go to full power when intercepted at the coast, I would expect a very short stay.

??? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sure you couldn't give an exact number, however you could presume that the BF-109s would be at a high speed cruise atleast when over enemy territory (blighty), and calculate the longest time they could remain at that kind of power setting. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, my question is more, how much does fuel use increase going from high cruise to WEP?

Freelancer-1
05-22-2007, 10:26 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by faustnik:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Irish_Rogues:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Freelancer-1:
I've read that the 109s only had something like 5 minutes to do their thing once on the English coast before having to return (fuel limitations).
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually it was more like 20 minutes, still not terribly long. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Depends. The early phase when the airfields and radar stations along the coast were being attacked would give more time over the target areas than later when the Blitz was on London. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

How can a set time be declared? Isn't there a radical diference in fuel consumption depeding on power setting? If the 109 had to go to full power when intercepted at the coast, I would expect a very short stay.

??? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Didn't want to open a can of worms here.

I was just wondering if the limited time over England would affect the 'best plane' designations one way or the other?

crazyivan1970
05-22-2007, 10:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Monguse:
Ivan

If I may say, your post is probably if not the best written post I have read thus far.

I have some information on the J model in the MTO, I'll see if I can dig it up. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi Guse http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Sorry bud, cannot take credit for this one... This post was initially done by Ratsack and i accidently deleted it while cleaning it up. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

JtD
05-22-2007, 10:34 AM
20 min or 5 min or whatever usually refers to the "Kampfleistung" of the German planes, or combat power. That's the one that quite often comes with a 30 min limit.

DKoor
05-22-2007, 10:39 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by crazyivan1970:
1. The 1st Six' Months: September to December 1939
The contenders are:
Bf 109 E-1
Bf 109 E-3

Hurricane MkI
Spitfire MkI

French fighters here? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Bf-109E (best performance variant, probably 1)


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">2. The 2nd Six Months: January to June 1940

The contenders are:

Bf 109 E-1
Bf 109 E-3

Hurricane MkI
Hurricane Mk II
Spitfire MkIa </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Bf 109 E-3, by a nose, for me too.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">3. The 3rd Six Months: July to December 1940

This is a big one. The contenders are:

Bf 109 E-1
Bf 109 E-3
Bf 109 E-4
Bf 109 E-7

Hurricane MkI
Hurricane Mk II
Spitfire MkIa
Spitfire MkII </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Bf-109E7 although this is a very close one. Just.... I like speed down low.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">4. The 4th Six Months: January to June 1941

This one is the beginning of the change of the guard. The contenders are:

Bf 109 F-1/2

Spitfire Mk VB/C </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Spitfire VB/C - and not much doubting here either. Cannons are cannons. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">5. The 5th Six Months: July to December 1941

This is where it all went south for the RAF. The new RAF fighter, the Typhoon, was delayed and disappointing when it arrived, and the Germans introduced two new types.

The contenders:

Bf 109 F-4
Fw 109 A-1/2

Spitfire VC
Typhoon </div></BLOCKQUOTE>I'd go either by Bf-109F4 or Typhoon (I know jack about this plane)

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">6. The 6th Six Months: January to June 1942

I call this the frying pan to fire' period. Where the previous six months saw the arrival of the 109 F in its proper form and the debut of the new Focke-Wulf, all without any answer from the Allies, the first half of 1942 saw the arrival of the Focke-Wulf with all its teeth, and another new and more potent 109 variant. The Allies, for their part, had to make do with the now ageing Spitfire Mk V as the best they could put into combat.

The contenders are:

Bf 109 F-4 at 1.42 ATA
Bf 109 G-2 at 1.3 ATA
Fw 190 A-3 at 1.32 or 1.42ATA

Spitfire VC
Typhoon </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Probably FW-190A3, I said probably because I don't know anything about Typhoon, that may turn out to be really good plane (it has 4x20mm, no ? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif)

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">7. The 7th Six Months: July to December 1942

This period sees the first light at the end of the tunnel for the Allies, although they may have wondered at times whether it was actually a train coming the other way. It's interesting that the fortunes of war were almost exactly parallel to the technical developments at this stage, too.

The contenders are our old friends in new guises, and one new comer:

Bf 109 G-2/4
Fw 190 A-4

Spitfire MkIX
Mustang I </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Probably.... Bf-109G2. Thing is that aircraft has some sweet performance figures too sweet to neglect.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">8. The 8th Six Months: January to June 1943

This is the period is the first technical crunch for the Germans. Their technical lead stands them in good stead, but the writing is on the wall.

The contenders are:

Bf 109 G-6
Fw 190 A-4/5

Spitfire F Mk IX (Merlin 61 or 63)
Spitfire LF Mk IX (Merlin 66)

P-38F/G/H
P-47 C/D </div></BLOCKQUOTE>I'd probably go with either FW-190A5 or Spitfire LF Mk.IX....... let's say Spitfire.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">9. The 9th Six Months: July to December 1943

This is a very difficult match up to call. The contenders themselves are very evenly matched on a purely technical basis, each exhibiting its own mix of strengths and weaknesses. Much depends upon the context. Without further ado, the contenders are:

Bf 109 G-6 (1.42 ATA)
Fw 190 A-5/6/7

Spitfire LF MkIX

P-47D </div></BLOCKQUOTE>FW-190A7 without much doubt.... sometimes later I'd choose P-47 but this early on in 1943 - it's the 190.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">10. The 10th Six Months: January to June 1944

The contenders therefore are:

Bf 109 G-6/AS
Bf 109 G-6/U-3
Fw 190 A-8

P-38J
P-47D
P-51B

Spitfire LFMkIXc/e </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Without much thinking, with this options I'd go for a P-51B. IRL .50cal does the killing part quite a lot better than in game. And P-51 is just unfairly fast ac.

Whirlin_merlin
05-22-2007, 10:40 AM
Freelancer, I think it cuts to the core of the question do we mean 'best' in an abstract sense i.e all other things being equal plane vs plane or within the context of a particular theater/battle.
I suspect the answers will often be different.

Blutarski2004
05-22-2007, 10:56 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DKoor:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">10. The 10th Six Months: January to June 1944

The contenders therefore are:

Bf 109 G-6/AS
Bf 109 G-6/U-3
Fw 190 A-8

P-38J
P-47D
P-51B

Spitfire LFMkIXc/e </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Without much thinking, with this options I'd go for a P-51B. IRL .50cal does the killing part quite a lot better than in game. And P-51 is just unfairly fast ac. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Pretty much concur with your selections, except for the one above. I'd go for the P47C/D with paddle blade prop and water injection. These were numbers-wise the dominant fighter in 8AF over the first six months of 1944 by far. The Mustang did not reach parity in numbers until mid-1944.

P51 Mustang would get my vote for the July-Dec 1944 period, however.

horseback
05-22-2007, 11:58 AM
Agree with most of Ratsack's conclusions, although in the early war period, a very good case for the Hawk 75 could be made.

Before the LW adapted to the zoom and boom technique, the furball fights that dominated on the Western Front favored the Hawk's turn & burn abilities, and it did some serious damage with only four or six 7.5mm LMGs. Imagine what the Armee de l'Aire (sp?) could have accomplished with a couple of .50s over the nose in that bird.

I'd also add serious aesthetic points for those beautiful French AF camo schemes...

cheers

horseback

Xiolablu3
05-22-2007, 12:06 PM
Was the Hawk an early P40?

Or was the P40 a completely new design after the Hawk?

What I am trying to ask, is it :-

Hawk&gt;P40&gt;Mustang

Or

Hawk&gt;Tomahawk&gt;KittyHawk&gt;Warhawk

Thanks in advance

Xiolablu3
05-22-2007, 12:17 PM
1944 Jan-Aug.

I would stick with the Spitfire VIII for that period if its for pure fighter and my life depended on it.


As good range as the P47, excellent climb and armament, amazing turn, good roll and the Gyro gunsight.

Only things its lacking are dive and top speed, although the speed is still pretty good for early 1944.

I dont really see whats better about the P51B other than dive and top speed again. I know these are good for attack and escape, but if you have to stick around and fight it out then I would prefer Cannons+Climb+Turn.

Although I love the P47, P51 and especially the Fw190, if my life depended on it I would rather have the climb+turn+2x20mm cannon, so Spitfire VIII gets my vote.

JtD
05-22-2007, 12:34 PM
You'd notice the difference when you got bounced and the P-51 was going a good 100 miles faster than the Spit, giving it a a lot better chance to survive.

Bremspropeller
05-22-2007, 12:39 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">if my life depended on it I would rather have the climb+turn+2x20mm cannon, so Spitfire VIII gets my vote. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


I'd rather take the P-47 for it's always the guy you didn't see who shoots you down. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
In that case I'd like to rely on a plane that can take some punishment - a plane that brings you home even when you're shot up badly.

Xiolablu3
05-22-2007, 12:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JtD:
You'd notice the difference when you got bounced and the P-51 was going a good 100 miles faster than the Spit, giving it a a lot better chance to survive. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


You would turn sharply in a Spitfire.

Even if you are going 100mph faster and you get bounced then you are still going to get shot at.

Difference is that in teh Spitfire you could break and should easily be out of his sights very quickly providing you dont get slaughtered on the first burst, and this ccould happen just as easily in the P51 as the Spit.


I understand it has shortcomings, but so do all the planes. Its just a personal choice.

Tell me yours rather than slating mine http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

MEGILE
05-22-2007, 01:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:


You would turn sharply in a Spitfire.



</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

After an agonizing wait, while you roll that full winged Spitfire, at high cruise speed into the turn?
You better hope you spot him early then http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
Presuming you do, then a competant Spit pilot should whip round fast enough to be on the enemies 6 position... although with a lot less energy, and the enemy zooming away.

To be honest your damned if you do, damned if you don't.

If you were in a Spitfire and saw the Focke Wulf diving away from you... then what you would give to be in a Jug...

likewise if you get caught low and slow in a Jug, which is fairly inevitable... oh how you'd wish for a Spitfire http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

horseback
05-22-2007, 01:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Was the Hawk an early P40?

Or was the P40 a completely new design after the Hawk?

What I am trying to ask, is it :-

Hawk&gt;P40&gt;Mustang

Or

Hawk&gt;Tomahawk&gt;KittyHawk&gt;Warhawk

Thanks in advance </div></BLOCKQUOTE>The P-40 was a development of the Hawk 75/P-36. It replaced the Hawk 75's radial engine with the Allison V-1710 & sacrificed a lot of handling, some maneuverability and climb for top speed and vastly better dive.

The Model 75 was generally agreed to be a very sweet handling aircraft, on top of its very good maneuverability (rated better than the Spit Mk I in several areas), and generally in the Hurricane Mk I's class, performance-wise. The Tomahawk/Kittyhawk/Warhawk series' handling was a generally held to be in downward spiral as the series 'progressed'.

The P-40s were all very demanding and trim hungry aircraft compared to the P-36/H-75. If you can find Gabreski's autobiography, he makes a quick comparison of the two types, which he flew in Hawaii early in his career (he was present for the Dec. 7th festivities, altho unable to get into the air before the Japanese departed). Like most prewar USAAC fighter pilots, he loved the P-36.

As for the Allison Mustangs, they were very much more refined than the P-40s, as well as a good bit faster using the same engine; easily trimmable, quicker, better climb, much safer to taxi, take off, land and so on. The only edge the P-40s retained was a slightly better turning circle (IF the pilot was familiar with its vices). Maybe not as sweet as the P-36, but very well thought of by the men who flew it.

Merlin Mustangs were a bit rougher than the Allison versions, but still at least a couple of orders of magnitude better handling than the P-40, or the P-39, for that matter. Those would be the points of reference for most of the men who flew it in combat, while modern pilots flying it are perforce obliged to compare it to much more docile modern civil aircraft, in order to give an accurate impression to today's audience.

In the context of its time & type, the Mustang in every version was a pretty easy airplane to fly for a decently trained airman.

cheers

horseback

Xiolablu3
05-22-2007, 01:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Megile:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:


You would turn sharply in a Spitfire.



</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

After an agonizing wait, while you roll that full winged Spitfire, at high cruise speed into the turn?
You better hope you spot him early then http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
Presuming you do, then a competant Spit pilot should whip round fast enough to be on the enemies 6 position... although with a lot less energy, and the enemy zooming away.

To be honest your damned if you do, damned if you don't.

If you were in a Spitfire and saw the Focke Wulf diving away from you... then what you would give to be in a Jug...

likewise if you get caught low and slow in a Jug, which is fairly inevitable... oh how you'd wish for a Spitfire http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I understand what you mean about it taking time to roll, but what could you seriously do that was any better in a Jug or a P51?

The bouncing plane is 100-200kph faster than you as he dieves down to attack, you are cruising along in your P51 or P47 at around 350kph - what better defensive manouvr could you do in these planes that you could not do in a SPit VIII?

I would htink that a tight turn would be the best possible course of action.

Pushing the control colummn forwards is only going to give him even more time to shoot.

Belive me that when I choose the Spitfire VIII, its very close between it and the Jug. I love the Jug in historical scenarios online. I am also thinking hard about the FW190A8, if you are going to go with the Jug then the 190 has to be a contender too.

I just think that the Spitfire VIII is the better overall fighter plane of the 3.

Shame there werent more of them made instead of MkIX's as Spitfire Escorts deep into Germany would have been very possible in 1944. The RAF obviously thought that the Med and Pacific were much more in need of the extra range and that the CHannel front was doing fine. Or maybe a 'The Yanks are holding them well here, lets get at them in the desert and over Italy' stance.

Most of my other choices are German so its only 1 of 3 Allied planes in my choices for the war years.

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 01:53 PM
The list is cut rather short. Ends in mid 44. What about late 44 and early/late 45?

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 01:56 PM
I would also like to note, from my reading, range was not much of a consideration in Ratsacks list.

Honestly, I think short range was a critical flaw! A short range fighter, like the 109, is nothing but a defensive weapon. You CANT win a war with defensive weapons. With an endurance of 30-45 mins, it has very little use in a war. By the time it gets to the fight, the pilot is already planning his run home. On the otherhand, long range fighters played many roles that contributed to an offensive war. P-51, P-47 and P-38's, after escorting bombers, often would go down and strafe critical targets. Airfields, trains, boats and trucking.

Gib

Xiolablu3
05-22-2007, 02:04 PM
I understand your point Gibbage, but the range on the Bf109 is completely standard for its day, comparable with most of the fighters made at that time. So its not really a flaw in the BF109, but more a feature of the P51 and to some extent the P47, FW190 and Spitfire VIII.

You have to remember that the Bf109 and SPitfire Mk1 were built in 1937 and 1938 not 1943 and (I presume) their range was comparable to any other fighters of this time.

IMO : Its a bit like saying that the P51 or P47 not having cannon was a flaw. Or the F15 not having Stealth technology is a flaw. (OK not really but I am trying to think of a comparison here, can anyone help me out?)

What I am trying to say is that when you take into account the fighters from teh same generation as the Bf109, its range is completely standard. In that the P51, P47, FW190,Typhoon/Tempest and Spitfire VIII have excellent range (and are a generation later), whereas the Bf109 is just 'standard' not particularly 'bad'.

Had the Bf109 had drop tanks in the BOB, its range would have been quite adequate, I believe?

faustnik
05-22-2007, 02:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
I would also like to note, from my reading, range was not much of a consideration in Ratsacks list.

Honestly, I think short range was a critical flaw! A short range fighter, like the 109, is nothing but a defensive weapon. You CANT win a war with defensive weapons. With an endurance of 30-45 mins, it has very little use in a war. By the time it gets to the fight, the pilot is already planning his run home. On the otherhand, long range fighters played many roles that contributed to an offensive war. P-51, P-47 and P-38's, after escorting bombers, often would go down and strafe critical targets. Airfields, trains, boats and trucking.

Gib </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree. Long range is a huge advantage. The two best examples are the P-51 and the Zero, they could strike the enemy over a very wide range.

More than that, the USAAF combination of high-altitude heavy bombers, escorted by long range fighters with exceptional high altitude performance had a major effect on the LW and the Third Reich in general. In considering, the best fighter of a time period, this would have to be taken into account.

Anyone considering the La5 in mid-43, and the Yak-3 in early 44? Those are strong contenders too.

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 02:32 PM
The 109's range being "standard" lost BoB. The 109 was made during a time when the German army was on the offensive. Them building a defensive fighter in an offensive war just puzzles me. The Spitfire was made when England was on the defensive, when they needed a defensive fighter. Later, the turned the Spitfire offensive by extending its range considerably, when needed. When needed, the 109 was never made offensive. As a bomber escort, it failed in a big way, when it was needed the most. Also, im sure the 109's short legs did not help it in the vast expanses of Russia. The short legs also put the airfields it flew from at risk, being close to the front lines.

Not only could the P-51 strike at distant German airfields, but the 109 could not strike back.

It did have 1 benifit. Since most of the 109's combat happened over its own teritory later on, its pilots could just walk back to base if they were shot down and bailed out http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Irish_Rogues
05-22-2007, 03:14 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
The 109's range being "standard" lost BoB. The 109 was made during a time when the German army was on the offensive. Them building a defensive fighter in an offensive war just puzzles me. The Spitfire was made when England was on the defensive, when they needed a defensive fighter. Later, the turned the Spitfire offensive by extending its range considerably, when needed. When needed, the 109 was never made offensive. As a bomber escort, it failed in a big way, when it was needed the most. Also, im sure the 109's short legs did not help it in the vast expanses of Russia. The short legs also put the airfields it flew from at risk, being close to the front lines.

Not only could the P-51 strike at distant German airfields, but the 109 could not strike back.

It did have 1 benifit. Since most of the 109's combat happened over its own teritory later on, its pilots could just walk back to base if they were shot down and bailed out http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The 109 was developed at a time when Germany was just renouncing The Treaty of Versailles and not at war. In fact if things had turned out different with Britain and France deciding to enforce the treaty then it would've had the same roll as the Spit. You can not hold the time period against the machine when all the others range was the same. War wasn't supposed to happen, look at the path the German navy took, the long path.

You also need to account for the Bf 110. It was designed to fulfill the role of long range escort / penetration fighter. Hindsight now and experience then, proved the 110 wasn't up to the task and they had to improvise. I agree with Xio, if they'd have had the drop tanks the range would've been sufficient. Lucky for us all they didn't. Later drop tanks extended the range to an adequate level for offensive operations and by the time longer range might've been added the need was gone. The long defensive struggle had started.

The design was as good as it's contemporaries and the quickly changing tides of war paralyzed development. First an unplanned start to the war, then thinking once it started it would be over quickly, and then the next instant being on the defensive. Better to think as the original poster in small bites to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 03:26 PM
Its funny. I never though "adiquate" and "standard" were good terms to describe whats supposed to be one of the best fighters.

Im just saying that range should be considered, simply because it goes twards the usefullness of the fighter itself. Anyone can build a short range fighter. It takes very little to do that! Big engine, small airframe, good wings, and boom! Now, to build a long range fighter that can contend with the short range fighters takes a LOT more engineering. Dont you agree? Think of how much more manuverable the P-51 would be if it only had room for 30 mins of fuel.

DKoor
05-22-2007, 03:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DKoor:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">10. The 10th Six Months: January to June 1944

The contenders therefore are:

Bf 109 G-6/AS
Bf 109 G-6/U-3
Fw 190 A-8

P-38J
P-47D
P-51B

Spitfire LFMkIXc/e </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Without much thinking, with this options I'd go for a P-51B. IRL .50cal does the killing part quite a lot better than in game. And P-51 is just unfairly fast ac. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Pretty much concur with your selections, except for the one above. I'd go for the P47C/D with paddle blade prop and water injection. These were numbers-wise the dominant fighter in 8AF over the first six months of 1944 by far. The Mustang did not reach parity in numbers until mid-1944.

P51 Mustang would get my vote for the July-Dec 1944 period, however. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>LoL and I actually agree with that too!
First thing I wrote there was - the P-47 then I quickly changed my mind purely because of 51 speed. I remembered that 51B in that "company" has a real speed advantage. That is in fact the only thing why I choose 51 over 47..... but another fact is I really like speedy aircraft http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Xiolablu3
05-22-2007, 03:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
Its funny. I never though "adiquate" and "standard" were good terms to describe whats supposed to be one of the best fighters.

Im just saying that range should be considered, simply because it goes twards the usefullness of the fighter itself. Anyone can build a short range fighter. It takes very little to do that! Big engine, small airframe, good wings, and boom! Now, to build a long range fighter that can contend with the short range fighters takes a LOT more engineering. Dont you agree? Think of how much more manuverable the P-51 would be if it only had room for 30 mins of fuel. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Mate, please understand it was just my opinion. I am in no way saying what I wrote is fact - in fact I expect you to bring a counter debate to the table.

ALso I actually forgot about the Zero, did that plane also make its first flighjt around 1936-37 too? Its a bit different with regards to the fact that it gave up all armour and a lot of other, what western pilots would deem necesetties (sp?) like radio, comfort etc, to be able to carry all that fuel and stay manouvrable. Nevertheless, it was very long range.

I just thought that calling the Bf109 'flawed' for having the same range as almost all of the other fighters of its generation, was a bit like calling a Corsair 'flawed' next to a P80 because it didnt have Jet engines. In that its hte P80 which has excellent performance, and not the Corsair being 'flawed'. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Bremspropeller
05-22-2007, 03:45 PM
A P-47 is almost as fast (not counting the M model which is quite a bit faster), will take more damage, will throw out more lead and is just plain cooler than that ghey dweeb-horse.

Xiolablu3
05-22-2007, 03:51 PM
Thinking about it, unless Ratsacks post is Western Front only, then I htink that the Zero certainly deserves a mention early war.

So do a lot of the Russian Fighters.

Bewolf
05-22-2007, 03:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
Its funny. I never though "adiquate" and "standard" were good terms to describe whats supposed to be one of the best fighters.

Im just saying that range should be considered, simply because it goes twards the usefullness of the fighter itself. Anyone can build a short range fighter. It takes very little to do that! Big engine, small airframe, good wings, and boom! Now, to build a long range fighter that can contend with the short range fighters takes a LOT more engineering. Dont you agree? Think of how much more manuverable the P-51 would be if it only had room for 30 mins of fuel. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Range is one of many aspects. Undoubtly an important one, but not the only. Also, for offensive operations the 109 within Europe was doing fine. It only became a problem over the channel against a foe Germany never intended to wage war with. So for its intended role during development in the late 1930ies it was good enough indeed. Check both the Spitfire and the P40, or one of the french designs during that time, as a propper comparison. The picture varies only slightly.

crazyivan1970
05-22-2007, 04:28 PM
I understand that in BOB having long range was crucial... but question is...was it really that important for BF109s during battle of Europe? It was indeed crucial for allied fighters when they operated from England... but was it THAT important for LW?

luftluuver
05-22-2007, 04:34 PM
Well Ivan, basically it was mad climb up, take a shot a bomber and rtb. A little more fuel and a second pass at a bomber could be made and there would no need for that mad climb since they could be waiting for the bombers.

horseback
05-22-2007, 04:39 PM
For fighters built in the prewar era, range was not really that big a consideration. Fighters were first and foremost, defensive weapons, and without radar (the principles of which were not widely known or understood at the time), bombers had significantly less need of escorts.

Douhet had preached that "the bombers will always get through." The people who ran the Great Powers' air forces were all True Believers in this tenet of the Air Power faith, and wrote their fighter specifications accordingly.

Fighters had to able to react to bombers overhead in 1930's strategic thinking, and that meant a big engine, small fuselage, and lots of guns (at least compared to WWI fighters). Fuel was considered a necessary evil; it made your fighter heavy, caused you COG problems as it was consumed, and if hit by an enemy incendiary round, might make your airplane blow up.

Best to limit that evil to the absolute minimum required to get up, blast away at the invading bombers, and find a place to land...

In that context, the 109, the Spitfire and the Hurricane were not shortwinded cripples, because they were defensive fighters. It is especially unfair in the case of the 109, when the escort or heavy fighter role was supposed to be filled by the Me 110.

It is hardly the 109's fault that it's bigger brother was such a pig.

The Zero was introduced in 1940, and designed specifically as a carrier based fighter in the Pacific, absolutely needed lots of range--it should be pointed out that US fighters' ability to extend their ranges via droptanks were expressly forbidden by Congress before the war, and since the US had to project it's warfighting power, we had a lot of catchup to do once the bovine endproduct hit the fan.

cheers

horseback

crazyivan1970
05-22-2007, 04:40 PM
I guess i am still thiking from perspective of GPW..., I mean eastern front.

Xiolablu3
05-22-2007, 04:45 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
Well Ivan, basically it was mad climb up, take a shot a bomber and rtb. A little more fuel and a second pass at a bomber could be made and there would no need for that mad climb since they could be waiting for the bombers. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, precisely why the LW thought that the Me163 was such a good idea at the time.

However unsuccesful the Me163 was in the war, all side studied it with great interest after the war, especially those European countries who were close to Russia and feared Nuclear bombers appearing ont he horizon with only minutes to initiate a response.

I know for a fact the British studied the Me163 for a Rocket/Jet hybrid plane which almost made it into production. The idea was it used a Me163-a-like engine to get to height very quickly and then switched to a jet engine to shoot down the bombers and land.

The main concern was the short time they had to get the thing airbourne and to height before the bombers could drop their Nukes. Germany Especially had such little warning before the bombs would be dropped that this radical solution was proposed and very nearly built.

The SR-177:-

http://www.spaceuk.org/sr53/177/sr177.htm

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 05:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by crazyivan1970:
I understand that in BOB having long range was crucial... but question is...was it really that important for BF109s during battle of Europe? It was indeed crucial for allied fighters when they operated from England... but was it THAT important for LW? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Important in the fact that without range, your air bases were close to the front, and therefor, subject too attack. Most US and British bases, after BoB, need not worrie about air attack!

Now, not having to worrie about air attack has MANY benifits from the obvious. #1, moral. The crew can relax a lot more knowing that they wont be bombed any time soon. The threat of constant attack kept the Luftwaffe crews on constant alert, and that takes its toal. #2, US did not need camo paint. I can only speak for the P-38, but removing the paint saved over 100lb alone. That, again, has benifits http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Also, service is easy without having to dig your tools out of craters, or work on your aircraft in a dark and dank bomb shelter.

If the Luftwaffe had long range aircraft, the airports would be out of harms way during the 1st part of the war.

Also, here is a question for you. A great portion of the German aircraft losses in the Russian fronts was on the ground. Getting picked off by IL2's. Now, how many more fighters would be fighting if the air bases were out of range of the IL2's or PE-2's and such? That would mean that the Luftwaffe would have more aircraft available.

IL2 had a range of about 450 miles, the Pe-2 about 750. P-51 had a range of about 1500 miles. In a strategic war, range on fighters can be used to great advantage. If you have a sword, and I have an arrow or a lance, I can strike beyond your range.

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 05:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
Well Ivan, basically it was mad climb up, take a shot a bomber and rtb. A little more fuel and a second pass at a bomber could be made and there would no need for that mad climb since they could be waiting for the bombers. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Very good point. Me-262 also had the same VERY critical flaw. Only time for 1, maybe 2 passes. If the 109 or 262 had more range or loiter time, the war would of been a LOT harder. They could wait for bomber packs, make more passes, and even enguage the escorts. With there limited range, all they could do was inflict minimum damage before going home. Nullifying there effectivness.

crazyivan1970
05-22-2007, 05:51 PM
I get that part Gibb, was thinking more of Eastern Front perspective... it`s a whole different animal. Nevermind my post http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 05:57 PM
I also want to address the "In 1938/39, there was no need for long range fighters" BS.

P-38. Designed in 1937. First flew in 1939. Range over 1000 miles.

P-39. Designed in 1938, first flew in 1939. Range over 1000 miles.

F4U. Designed in 1938, first flew in 1939. Range over 1000 miles.

A6M Zero. Designed around 1938, had a range of almost 2000 miles!

Ki-43. Again, designed in the late 30's, had a range over 1000 miles.

Bf-109. Designed around 1935. Had a range around 400 miles.

Spitfire, around 470 miles.

Hurricane, around 600 miles.

Russian fighters also had very limited range.

So, 1-2 years after the 109, aircraft had 2-3x the range. Hack, even the hurricane had a lot more range, and it flew before the 109! So before the war even started, there were long range fighters. So apperantly, people saw the need for them.

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 06:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by crazyivan1970:
I get that part Gibb, was thinking more of Eastern Front perspective... it`s a whole different animal. Nevermind my post http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

One of the big differances between eastern front and wastern was how close the air bases were to each other. Both Russian and German air bases suffered almost daily attacks, and the threat of being overrun by an advancing enenmy. Two very big threats! Now, what if Russia had developed long range aircraft, and moved there bases AWAY from the front lines? Out of reach of German fighters? Would of made life a LOT easier on Russian pilots, dont you think? That its a huge advantage that cant be ignored.

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 06:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
The main concern was the short time they had to get the thing airbourne and to height before the bombers could drop their Nukes. Germany Especially had such little warning before the bombs would be dropped that this radical solution was proposed and very nearly built.

The SR-177:-

http://www.spaceuk.org/sr53/177/sr177.htm </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That concept was never truly dropped till way later. They even made rocket launched F-104!

http://www.vectorsite.net/avzel_1.jpg

crazyivan1970
05-22-2007, 06:10 PM
No, i dont think that way Gibb.. VVS just like LW were trying to get their fighters as close to front line as possible. Not sure how it translates to english... something like jump-start airfields they called them. 5-6km from front lines, armed and ready to go escadrilia or two in "Ready number one" status. Direct lines to command post of the airfield from front line observers. This approach actually proven itself to be very effective for covering offending/deffending troops, tanks, etc. As i said, completely different type of arial combat and tactics.

Philipscdrw
05-22-2007, 06:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
I would also like to note, from my reading, range was not much of a consideration in Ratsacks list.

Honestly, I think short range was a critical flaw! A short range fighter, like the 109, is nothing but a defensive weapon. You CANT win a war with defensive weapons. With an endurance of 30-45 mins, it has very little use in a war. By the time it gets to the fight, the pilot is already planning his run home. On the otherhand, long range fighters played many roles that contributed to an offensive war. P-51, P-47 and P-38's, after escorting bombers, often would go down and strafe critical targets. Airfields, trains, boats and trucking.

Gib </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
You say you can't win a war with defensive weapons - I think you can, depending on what you require to cause a 'win'. For instance in BoB the RAF just needed to stop the Luftwaffe from 'winning' to win themselves - intercontinental range isn't necessary for that, nor is it always necessary to take the fight to the enemy. Of course it's more effective to attack the enemy in his own house and to have the capability to dominate the skies hundreds of miles from home, but in 1936 I don't think this was much thought of. I'm reading a book at the moment: "How War Came", by Donald Cameron Watt, it's detailed and mostly going over my head but I'm getting the impression that Germany was mainly expecting a prolonged fight within continental Europe against Britain and France, not across the Channel - they'd started a program to build a very powerful navy, battleships bigger than the Tirpitz, which would have been completed in about 1943 if the program hadn't been cancelled in 1939 in favour of more short-term projects. It's easy to criticise these aircraft from a post-war perspective but viewed from the point-of-view of 1936 things are easier to understand I think.

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 06:42 PM
True. IL2's would of taken a long time to travel if taking off from a far off base. Would mean ground troops had less cover. Then again, IL2' were not "fighters". In todays wars and battles, they dont keep air bases close too the front lines. They keep the back, and away from danger. A-10's have a lot of loiter time, and air-2-air refueling means air support can be on-station at all times. They are not scrambled from base for support, but sort of fly around in the area waiting for a call. Would of been nice to have that advantage in WWII. Ironicly, air-2-air refueling was developed during WWI, but never used till well after WWII for the cold war. Im sure any nation during WWII would of benifited GREATLY from air-2-air refueling.

Irish_Rogues
05-22-2007, 06:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
I also want to address the "In 1938/39, there was no need for long range fighters" BS.

P-38. Designed in 1937. First flew in 1939. Range over 1000 miles.

P-39. Designed in 1938, first flew in 1939. Range over 1000 miles.

F4U. Designed in 1938, first flew in 1939. Range over 1000 miles.

A6M Zero. Designed around 1938, had a range of almost 2000 miles!

Ki-43. Again, designed in the late 30's, had a range over 1000 miles.

Bf-109. Designed around 1935. Had a range around 400 miles.

Spitfire, around 470 miles.

Hurricane, around 600 miles.

Russian fighters also had very limited range.

So, 1-2 years after the 109, aircraft had 2-3x the range. Hack, even the hurricane had a lot more range, and it flew before the 109! So before the war even started, there were long range fighters. So apperantly, people saw the need for them. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's not really apples to apples now is it? The first group of fighters were designed with pacific theater in mind. Always with operating over a lot of ocean, range means life especially for carrier borne planes looking for that tiny, moving homeplate. Also the first two in your group are rather heavy and not very nimble and the last in your group lack much pilot and plane protection.

You just said yourself that all of Europe built similar aircraft, including VVS. Operating over land and the relatively small countries of western Europe is different. Heck even Ivan said it was philosophy to operate close to the front, gives you range in and the ability to scramble quickly in defense.

You can't compare apples to oranges and be objective. This goes even more to early war designs to late war designs as technology moved so rapidly. Biplanes to jets in 5 years. A knock on range if one insists goes against all the early period fighters.

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 06:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Philipscdrw:
You say you can't win a war with defensive weapons - I think you can, depending on what you require to cause a 'win'. For instance in BoB the RAF just needed to stop the Luftwaffe from 'winning' to win themselves </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I said win a WAR, not win a battle. Yes, you can win a battle defensivly, but you cant win the war that way. You need to take the battle too the enemy, to win the war. Ultimatly, England had to go offensive in order to win the War. If the US just went defensive, and stayed in the US, we would of never won the war with Japan. We need to push, all the way to the main island to win, and push HARD.

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 06:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Irish_Rogues:
It's not really apples to apples now is it? The first group of fighters were designed with pacific theater in mind. Always with operating over a lot of ocean, range means life especially for carrier borne planes looking for that tiny, moving homeplate. Also the first two in your group are rather heavy and not very nimble and the last in your group lack much pilot and plane protection.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Interesting. In the many many many books I have on the P-38, it NEVER ONCE said anything about being made with the Pacific in mind! In fact, it was only made with shooting down bombers in mind, over American soil. Same goes for the P-39. I also would in NO WAY call the P-39 "not very nimble" considering the Russians used it VERY well as a dogfighter. You fly it yet? Its no sloutch! It can hold its own vs a 109. You calling a 109 not very nimble? The P-38 can also hold its own vs a 109. I do it all the time.

Granted that yes, F4U and Zero are carrier based aircraft, but the Ki-43 is not. P-47 was also developed in the same time frame. OK. Ya, I would call THAT one not very nimble.

Your saying the Ki-43 does not count because its light, and lightly armored. Much like the early 109E's hay? It still had 2-3x the range.

My point is that there WAS long range fighters, even though people said that AT THAT TIME, it was not the "norm".


You just said yourself that all of Europe built similar aircraft, including VVS. Operating over land and the relatively small countries of western Europe is different. Heck even Ivan said it was philosophy to operate close to the front, gives you range in and the ability to scramble quickly in defense.

You can't compare apples to oranges and be objective. This goes even more to early war designs to late war designs as technology moved so rapidly. Biplanes to jets in 5 years. A knock on range if one insists goes against all the early period fighters.[/QUOTE]

Philipscdrw
05-22-2007, 06:56 PM
From what I understand, the pre-war British government weren't interested in winning wars but preserving peace, while preventing German economic influence spreading eastwards (Britain was giving money to eastern European nations to strengthen their economies and stop them relying on Germany) and ideally breaking up the German economic bloc. I don't think they wanted to smash the German nation into the ground through a total war, but only to stop them expanding, especially into Britain!

Edit: but it didn't work. Total war happened anyway.

Winning wars isn't necessarily what armed forces are for...

edit 2: The USA and Japan both needed long-range combat aircraft because both would be fighting in a long-range war, I think mainly defending against carrier-based forces? Or fighting from a series of island bases. (BTW, when the P-38 was designed, where did the Americans expect the invading bombers to come from?)

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 07:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Philipscdrw:
From what I understand, the pre-war British government weren't interested in winning wars but preserving peace, while preventing German economic influence spreading eastwards (Britain was giving money to eastern European nations to strengthen their economies and stop them relying on Germany) and ideally breaking up the German economic bloc. I don't think they wanted to smash the German nation into the ground through a total war, but only to stop them expanding, especially into Britain!

Winning wars isn't necessarily what armed forces are for... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Never said that. Its clear that Germany, like Japan, would not simply stop there actions once they reached YOUR boarder. Russians thought that. Same for the French. Just setting on a small island off the coast of German dominated Europ, it was only a matter of time before they would come knocking on your door. To NOT go offensive after BoB would only let the Germans regroup, and start another more effective and well supplied war. This time with a lot more resources!

Hitler was a compleat fricken moron, thank god for that!!! If Germany just sat on Europ for a big, and gathered resoruces, things could of gone very differant, but no. He wanted England, and Russia. At the same time to boot!

I also find it funny that Russia moved its production out of range of German aircraft, and same for England. The German short range aircraft helped the Allies alot. With long range aircraft, the Allies could strike at any of the German production facilities. Even the heart of Berlin. That effort goes twards winning the war. Germany's short range fighters only made an effort to delay the loss.

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 07:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Philipscdrw:
edit 2: The USA and Japan both needed long-range combat aircraft because both would be fighting in a long-range war, I think mainly defending against carrier-based forces? Or fighting from a series of island bases. (BTW, when the P-38 was designed, where did the Americans expect the invading bombers to come from?) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The design proposition for the P-38 only stated its speed, armorment, and climb ability, NOT its range. It was intended to shoot down bombers over US soil, not island hop. Same for the P-39. The US thought that it would be attacked by high altitude, long range fast bombers on its own soil. Now, that soil is a VAST area, so range was needed to cover it. Remember, Pearl Harbor was a suprise? In 1937-1938, Japan was not viewed as a threat to the US.

Philipscdrw
05-22-2007, 07:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Philipscdrw:
From what I understand, the pre-war British government weren't interested in winning wars but preserving peace, while preventing German economic influence spreading eastwards (Britain was giving money to eastern European nations to strengthen their economies and stop them relying on Germany) and ideally breaking up the German economic bloc. I don't think they wanted to smash the German nation into the ground through a total war, but only to stop them expanding, especially into Britain!

Winning wars isn't necessarily what armed forces are for... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Never said that. Its clear that Germany, like Japan, would not simply stop there actions once they reached YOUR boarder. Russians thought that. Same for the French. Just setting on a small island off the coast of German dominated Europ, it was only a matter of time before they would come knocking on your door. To NOT go offensive after BoB would only let the Germans regroup, and start another more effective and well supplied war. This time with a lot more resources! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>It's clear now but everything was less certain in the mid-1930s. Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax urgently desired peace. I'm not sure I've read this book right but it suggests that we came close to a 4-way pact - Britain, France, Germany and Italy, defending against I-don't-know - in the late '30s. But the Nazis had just started persecuting the Jews and Britain was outraged, and Italy was demanding French mediterranean possessions, so it came to naught.
It wasn't in Hitler's interests to destroy or occupy Britain, only to stop her from interfering in his expansion eastwards. Hence the plans to build a navy that could match the Royal Navy - not to destroy it, but to prevent it blockading Europe. Pre-war, Britain had a lot of diplomatic power in Europe and hindered Germany a lot, apparently.

I've been reading this book a lot today and my mind is stuck in 1938 - not a common viewpoint perhaps??

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 07:30 PM
Do you REALLY think, in 1939, that ANYONE in the world thought that Hitler would JUST be satisfied with Europ? It was clear, in his own speaches, that WORLD domination was on his "to do list".

horseback
05-22-2007, 08:03 PM
To add to Gibbage's point about the P-38: Range was a consideration in US designs because the only other choice for transporting aircraft across the country/continent was train or ship. As soon as the ability to fly from one major airbase to the one in the next state was possible, the Army Air Corps wanted it. The Lightning was built to a specification for a single seat interceptor, with the expectation that a contract for 50 to 100 aircraft would result. How do you cover the East or West coasts of the USA with only 50 planes?

Range.

Unfortunately, the expectation that the most aircraft they would have to build would be only 100 or so caused Lockheed to design a fighter that would be hard to mass produce, at least in the near term. There were never enough Lightnings to meet our needs until there were more than enough Mustangs or Thunderbolts available to do the same job.

cheers

horseback

HellToupee
05-22-2007, 09:29 PM
Airbases still need to be close to the front for response times etc, the war in africa good example of this they always kept their bases close to the lines. Especially with bombers who would fly mulitple sorties a day.

HellToupee
05-22-2007, 09:50 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
I also want to address the "In 1938/39, there was no need for long range fighters" BS.

P-38. Designed in 1937. First flew in 1939. Range over 1000 miles.

P-39. Designed in 1938, first flew in 1939. Range over 1000 miles.

F4U. Designed in 1938, first flew in 1939. Range over 1000 miles.

A6M Zero. Designed around 1938, had a range of almost 2000 miles!

Ki-43. Again, designed in the late 30's, had a range over 1000 miles.

Bf-109. Designed around 1935. Had a range around 400 miles.

Spitfire, around 470 miles.

Hurricane, around 600 miles.

Russian fighters also had very limited range.

So, 1-2 years after the 109, aircraft had 2-3x the range. Hack, even the hurricane had a lot more range, and it flew before the 109! So before the war even started, there were long range fighters. So apperantly, people saw the need for them. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

yes some had long range but they were just not competitive with the spit/109? When american units arrived with p39s they reequiped with spit Vs.

Airforces saw the need for range, raf in the whirlwind germany in the bf110, but with the engines of the time they just wernt powerful enough to carry that much fuel and perform well. UNless like inthe zeros case you construct the plane extermly lightly no armour no self seeling tanks etc.

Gumtree
05-22-2007, 10:18 PM
Well what's happened here? I posted last night saying what a great posting this was and come back today expecting to see the usual ****ging and find a reasonable debate occurring, but my post congratulating Ratsack gone. I would like again to say well done and a very well considered post.
Even if I don't agree with all your selections you have stated a fair case for you choices, well done once again.

Ratsack
05-22-2007, 10:59 PM
Gibbage,

I did consider range among the criteria. It is used as a secondary criteria rather than a primary one. You will note that I picked the Spit II over the Bf 109 E on the grounds that the Spit was easier to fly, and in this time period was being used for its design purpose. In contrast, the 109 was not as easy to handle and, being used for escort, lacked the range to be really effective in this role without drop tanks. (It was this issue that set Kurfy off). While I acknowlege your argument, and I agree that range is important, I don't regard it as one of the first-order characteristics because a plane with good range but poor performance will be massacred. The Bf 110 is a good example of this.

Obviously, the best option is to have range and all round performance.

On a related but tangential point, the 109 was not designed as a purely defensive weapon. German doctrine had the fighter plane establishing air superiority over the battlefield, so that the enemy could not use the air, and the friendly bombers could. The emphasis here was on the battlefield

This has been criticised by English-speaking writers on the grounds that the German air doctrine was primarily tactical. The criticism is that the Germans didn't develop a doctrine of strategic air warfare, and consequently never developed a strategic bomber, etc, etc.

This critique is true in as much as the German doctrine was primarily tactical in outlook. However, it is not true to say that the Germans didn't develop a strategic air doctrine: they did. It just lost out in the internal battle for resources. The reason for this is that Germany is a landlocked country, and if it goes to war with its neighbours, its army will be involved in battle immediately. The postulated effects of strategic bombing on production or morale take time to bite, and they were only postulated effects at this time. Nobody had yet demonstrated that it could be done in practice. On the other hand, the army could very well lose a battle on the frontier - and thus lose the entire war- in the first few days of the conflict. The corollary of this reasoning was that the ary could in fact win the war in the first few weeks (as it did against Poland and subsequently against France).

The Germans therefore had very strong defensive and offensive reasons for first ensuring they had adequate tactical air support for their army, before moving to the development of a strategic air arm. In the event, they never did develop the latter.

In any case, the relevance of the development of German air doctrine to this discussion is that, in the German doctrine, the 109 wasn't a defensive weapon. It was offensive. Its job was to make it impossible for the enemy air force to operate in the skies above and around the battlefield. It did that admirably. It was not a very good escort, and it had some shortcomings as an interceptor, too.

Cheers,
Ratsack

Gibbage1
05-22-2007, 11:38 PM
How about that late war list?

Ratsack
05-23-2007, 12:39 AM
The rest of the comparisons went up to the end of 1944, and they were included in the thread that was lost. I'll repost that last part when I get home from work later.

I haven't actually written the analysis of the last 'six' months yet. It's difficult to see how it will differ much from the previous six, but I'll do it anyway for the sake of completeness. Then we can argue it all out and change any errors that I made along the way.

cheers,
Ratsack

Ratsack
05-23-2007, 03:06 AM
11. The 11th six months: July to December 1944

This period saw a lot of change on the German side, with the first large-scale production of the improved types from the previous six months, and the late introduction of three new types that offered significant improvements in performance and general capability. On the Allied side, the British had the Tempest MkV and Spitfire XIV in action in significant numbers, while the Americans introduced the definitive versions of the P-51, P-47 and the P-38.

The crop are:


Bf 109 G-14
Bf 109 G-10
Bf 109 K-4

Fw 190 A-9
Fw 190 D-9

Me 262 A-1a

P-51 D
P-47 D-25
P-38 J-25 / L

Tempest Mk V
Spitfire LFMkIX / XVI
Spitfire XIV

Starting with the Spitfire LFMkIXs and XVIs, these are essentially the same plane except that the XVI was powered by a Packard-built Merlin 266. The 266 was just the Air Ministry designation for the Packard version of the Merlin 66. The two types came off the same production line in Castle Bromwich and were otherwise identical.

The high-boost versions of the MkIX appeared in this period and were used initially for V1 chasing. Other changes included the introduction of the rear fuselage tank, which improved range, and the teardrop shaped bubble canopy. These planes were formidable air-to-air fighters, particularly at low altitude. This suited the R.A.F. well during this period, given the very large commitment to tactical support at this time. They were extensively operated as fighter-bombers, carrying 1000 lb of bombs. I understand a single unit used rockets, too, but this was hardly significant.

In summary, the Spitfire MkIX / XVI was an excellent workhorse, capable in a number of roles, but probably outclassed at higher altitudes by the newest types on both sides.

The Spitfire XIV was the first of the Griffon-engine Spitfires produced in significant numbers (only about ~ 100 MkXIIs were delivered, beginning in late1942). Just under 1,000 were [EDIT] built by the end of 1945 [END EDIT], the first squadron going operational in January 1944. The Mk XIV was based on the MkVIII airframe, and since I've not discussed the MkVIII earlier, it will require some description now.

The MkVII and MkVIII were the high-altitude and the general-purpose versions of the Spitfire intended to take the 60s-series Merlins, with their larger, two-speed, two-stage superchargers. In order to take the new motor, a number of changes were made to the airframe. Firstly, the wings and fuselage were strengthened to take the extra power. The fuselage was lengthened as a result of the bigger engine, and deepened very slightly to accommodate the larger two-stage updraft impeller. This latter change also meant that the main fuel tank was slightly larger. The MkVIII also had the Vokes Aero-vee dust filter incorporated into the supercharger intake. This dust filter was a much more streamlined version than the older design that gave the bearded' appearance to tropical Spit Vs.

The wings also incorporated some changes introduced as a result of experience with the MkV. Most important after the strengthening (which improved dive performance), was the reduction of aileron span and the introduction of small fuel tanks in the leading edge. The MkVII / VIII also introduced the extended fin, to provide better stability on the yaw axis with the extra power, and a fully retractable tail wheel.

The Mk XIV incorporated all of these changes and a couple more of its own. In particular, the MkXIV had a much larger fin and rudder (in line with the very large increase in power from the Merlin to the Griffon 65). It also did away with the mast for the radio aerial, using a small whip-aerial instead. The MkXIV also had larger radiators for the engine, intercooler and oil cooler, and a completely re-designed cowling enclosing the Griffon engine, which drove a five-blade Rotol propeller. The prop rotated anti-clockwise, viewed from the cockpit .

The MkXIV was the best of the Spitfires to see service in WWII in [EDIT] greater than squadron strength [END EDIT] numbers. It had improved performance at all altitudes, and was able for the first time to match the dive of the Fw 190 A. Its top speed was between 440 mph and 452 mph at altitude, with excellent speed at low altitude. It retained most of the turning performance of the MkIX, but with better rates of roll, climb and acceleration. It was the best dogfighter in the Allied line of battle, and perhaps the best dogfighter on either side. [EDIT] The type equipped seven squadrons in the 2nd Tactical Air Force in Europe. They were:

610, 91, 322, 41, 130, 350 & 402

All were operational or nearly operational by the end of September 1944. 'From then until the end of the war the Spitfire XIV was the main high altitude air superiority fighter operated by the 2nd Tactical Air Force in Northern Europe.' From Alfred Price, Spitfire Story, (Cassell, London, 2003), p. 205.[END EDIT]

The other British type coming into [EDIT] play at this time was the Tempest MkV. Its top seed of [EDIT] 435 mph [END EDIT] at altitude is not that impressive on paper, but at low and medium altitudes the Tempest was the fastest conventional fighter in the world at that time. Its turning performance was not as good as the Spitfire's, but its rate of roll was better. In addition, the diving performance of the Tempest was superb, and it also had a very high cruising speed. Its ground attack capability was the same as the Typhoon's, and its air-to-air weaponry consisted of four of the improved Hispano Mk5 cannon with its improved rate of fire. The bubble canopy provided excellent visibility from the cockpit in flight, and it had the wide-track undercarriage typical of the Hawker fighters. [EDIT] It was an exceptional low and medium altitude fighter.

Question for the Thunderbolt fans: did the P-47 have any problems ditching in water? Are there any P-47 pilot accounts of ditching? I ask because it occurs to me that it had a great big air intake at the front, too, just like the Typhoon and Tempest. Anybody know anything about this? I wonder the same thing about the Focke-Wulf 190 A, too.

The new version of the P-38, the J-25, was introduced late in the first half of 1944 (and thus its inclusion here). This version and all of the subsequent L series - had the dive flaps and the powered ailerons. While the J-25 block was the last 200 of the J series, the L was the most numerous of all the versions of the P-38, so from here on I shall refer only to the L. This plane included a formidable ground attack capability, with the addition of 10 HVAR rockets to its payload (although I've never understood why Lockheed went for the Christmas tree rack instead of the zero-length system). At this point the P-38 L was an extremely effective fighter at all altitudes, with excellent high altitude performance that for the first time was no longer neutered by the early-onset compressibility problem. The rate of roll at high speed was un-equalled, although this advantage evaporated at speeds below 300-350 mph. In many ways, the P-38 L was what the P-38 should've been from the beginning.

The new P-47s introduced a new bubble canopy, which changed the visibility from the cockpit from awful to excellent. They also featured improved internal fuel tankage, and were able to run at higher boosts. The higher boost improved performance at all altitudes, and produced a top speed of 441 mph at 28,000 feet.

The last versions of the P-47 D series, the 40 block, also incorporated dive flaps and the K-14 gun sight. However, I don't have dates for the production of these last Ds. Do any of the Thunderbolt fanatics out there have some info?

The new version of the Mustang was, of course the D. This version increased the firepower 50% (from a low base, it must be noted), and changed the mounting of the machine guns to reduce the stoppages that had been quite frequent with the P-51B. The D also brought in the bubble canopy, which transformed visibility from the cockpit. The D series also introduced a new version of the Packard Merlin, the V-1650-7, which had lower supercharger gearing than the V-1650-3 fitted to the B and early D series. The D was therefore even faster at low altitude than the B, although its top speed at altitude (and the same boost) was slightly lower than the B's. All of the Mustangs, including the older B series, were able to run at higher boosts in the second half of 1944, by virtue of the better avgas available then. Top speeds for the B series were on the order of 450 mph at 67" boost, as recorded in the USN tests of October that year. The improved low altitude performance of the Mustang made it a capable ground attack aircraft, too.

On the other side of the ditch, the Germans introduced the Bf 109 G-14. The G-14 was primarily an attempt to simplify production by reducing the number of options available for the G-6. It was to be the new standard type, capable of a variety of roles out of the box', without recourse to conversion kits. In practical terms the G-14 was really just a G-6/U3 straight off the shelf. Performance was the same [EDIT] at 417 mph at altitude [END EDIT]. The new type came with the Erla canopy and tall fin as standard. Some had the larger main wheels and the long-stroke tail wheel. However, some G-14s had the DB 605 ASM motor, making them G-14/***. In terms of performance the G-14/AS aircraft were similar to the new G-10, so I'll deal with those two types together, and keep the white-bread G-14 separate.


The Bf 109 G-14/AS and G-10 were very similar aircraft powered by a range of different but broadly similar versions of the DB 605 motor. All of them had MW50 water injection, and all of them shared the improved supercharger developed from the DB 603 engine. These aircraft came with the Erla canopy and Galland Panzerglas as standard, and of course the engine had the refined, streamlined cowling associated with the AS engine. They all had the tall fin, although some of the G-10s may have had the metal fin extension if they were converted from earlier G-6s with the old-style horn-balance rudder. I don't know if any G-14s were converted from older types. The other tall fins were probably the wooden ones made by Hirth. Some planes had the long-stroke tail wheel, and some had the larger main wheels that required the rectangular bulge on the upper mainplane.

The engines used were the DB 605 ASM and, in the case of some G-10 aircraft, the DB 605 D. There were a couple of other variations on this theme, and Butch2k would be able to shed some light on them, but they were broadly similar. Firepower remained the same, with two MG131 heavy machine guns, and a single MG151/20 engine gun. This latter was sometimes replaced with the Rheinmetal MK108 30 mm cannon. This weapon had been used since late 1943, but was not common until mid 1944. The MK108 had a low muzzle velocity, but a very high rate of fire for such a large-calibre automatic weapon. The weapon was initially prone to stoppages, but the extra firepower of the 30 mm weapon firing mine shells filled with Hexogen high explosive (still sold today as a commercial high-brisance explosive, under the name Cyclonite, I believe), was enough even for a heavy bomber.

These two late-model 109s were very capable fighters at all altitudes, courtesy of the new supercharger and MW50. They retained their good low speed manoeuvrability, and their excellent rate of climb. Like the earlier 109s, however, the control forces became very heavy at high speed. This is in contrast to their new stable-mates and competitors. Again, like the earlier 109s, their high altitude performance remained good, and in this respect the 109 continued to be superior to the Fw 190 A.

The final 109 variant for this period, and forever, was the new K-4. The first examples were delivered in August 1944, and some sources claim that about 500 of them were delivered by the end of the year, with 1,700 being produced by the end of the war. Others claim that only about 750 of them were built in total, so this is an area of some controversy.

The K-4 represented a refinement of the Gustav, designed to take the DB 605 D motor from the beginning, and incorporating a fully retractable and enclosed tail wheel, and doors for the wells of the main wheels (although these last were often removed in the field). The MK 108 30 mm cannon was standard fit, as were the old MG131s. Top speed for the K series is quoted [EDIT]: by Kurfy as 441 mph, and I have no reason to doubt him on this score [END EDIT]. What is not in question is that it was a very capable warplane. While faster than its predecessors, it shared most of their strengths (exhibiting the best climb of the series) and their weaknesses (heavy controls at high speed, poor ground handling).

The Fw 190 A-9 (which some sources claim never made production!) was the last of the Antons, and featured a new, more powerful version of the BMW 801 motor, the TS power-egg. Cutting a long story short, it was based on the A-8 airframe, and quite a few A-8s were re-engined with the 801 TS, thus becoming A-9s. The new motor had a new propeller with wider blades. The extra power, and the new prop, gave the A-9 the best rate of climb of the A series. I don't have a figure for its top speed at altitude, but Kettenhunde or Faustnik might have something. Between 700 and 900 of the type were built. Whatever the final performance figures, it stands to reason that the extra power in the same airframe and at roughly the same weight as the A-8 which was already the most agile of the Antons would have made the A-9 the pick of the crop. More information would be appreciated here.

The final piston engine type for this period was the Fw 190 D-9. Some of the information I have seen over at CWOS suggests that this type was not used in significant numbers before the end of the year. I'll take that under advisement and include it anyway.

This stop-gap version of the Focke-Wulf 190 was regarded by many as the best of the German piston engine fighters to see action. It was powered by the Junkers 213A liquid cooled engine, which offered better performance at high altitude. Fire power was reduced to two MG151/20Es in the wing roots and the pair of MG131s in the nose. The D-9 retained the handling qualities of the A series (some sources claim it was better; one noteworthy American source claims exactly the opposite), and was faster at most altitudes. It had a top speed of about 425 mph at altitude. (Note for the Focke-Wulf Gallery: if there's some other data on speed, could you please provide it. I've seen unsubstantiated claims that the D-9 was as fast as a Mustang: anybody got a source for that, or is it myth?). Its diving performance was supposed to be superior to that of the A series, too.

The final German type in this period was the famous Me 262 A-1a jet fighter. The first fighter wing (JG7) equipped with the type was formally established in late 1944, but it seems clear that it saw very little action, and in fact was never up to strength by the time the war finished. This is hardly surprising under the circumstances, so I'll include it in this period anyway.

The superlatives surrounding descriptions of the new jet have been many, ranging from its spectacular performance to its devastating weaponry, and onto its revolutionary wing design. However, it never actually lived up to the post-war hyperbole. The engines of the 262 had a life of 25 hours. By normal standards, the plane was not airworthy. Furthermore, control of the engines at high speed and or high altitude was extremely sensitive. Coarse control could cause a fire or explosion. Johannes Steinhoff opined that any movement of the throttles at high speed and high altitude had to be done with extreme care. In addition, the 262 like the other early jets, with notable exception of the Gloster Meteor lacked air brakes. This was an important operational oversight given that the plane was to be deployed intercepting high-altitude bombing raids, requiring it to fly at both high altitude and high speed. Again, the first commander of JG7, Steinhoff, specifically mentioned the lack of air brakes as a problem.

In short, the Me 262 was not combat ready when it was deployed. In less desperate circumstances, it would not have been ordered into mass production while the engines were still so clearly in need of development.

Conclusion: this period is even more difficult to make a call on, because the top contenders were so strong. It is easier to eliminate the non-starters. In no particular order, these are the Spitfire IX / XVI, the Bf 109 G-14, the Fw 190 A-9 and the Me 262 A-1a. The Spitfire IX, 109 G-14 and Fw 190 A-9 were all outclassed by the others in this time group. They are still competitive, but they are slower than their competitors by a fair margin. It should be noted that this is a purely technical argument: numerically, these three types are the most significant for the Luftwaffe and RAF. I also have no doubt that these three types remained very effective at medium to low altitudes against most opponents.

The Me 262 is a different story. It was just not ready, and no amount of post war enthusiasm can alter that. It's a bit of a free kick including it at all.

The next losers on the list are, in my view, the P-38L and the P-47D. The P-38L was finally living up to expectations, and was finally available in numbers. The new P-47s, running at higher boost, had performance similar to the Mustang and vastly improved low altitude performance. It is therefore ironic that just as these two types were really coming home, they were diverted primarily to the fighter-bomber role in Europe. In terms of pure fighter activity, they were relegated to the second rank. This is reflected nowhere more strongly than in the fighter strength of the 8th AF, where these types were nearly eliminated in favour of the Mustang (in fact, I believe the P-38 was: the P-38 Lobby will, no doubt, correct me on that just before they lynch me).

To be clear, this is not a technical argument either. It is an argument based on the operational use of these types at the time. Another argument can be mounted against both these types, that they were more expensive than their competitors, but I don't know how much of a factor this really was.

With the remainder, it gets really hard. In my view, the next loser is the Bf 109, in both its G-10 and K-4 forms. While its on-paper performance was good, its combat value at the very high speeds of 1944 was diminished by the fact of its poor elevator and aileron control in that regime.

Of those that are left, I find it very hard to slide a cigarette paper between them in any meaningful, technical sense. It therefore must come down to the operational and logistical and contextual issues. I suspect that, if the war had continued and the Tempest V and Tempest II had become really common, they'd have been truly dominating fighters. As it actually happened in late 1944, there were simply never enough of them. The same is true of the Spitfire XIV.

Which leaves us with the new Fw 190 D-9, and the boosted bubble top P-51 D. The Focke-Wulf would have slight advantages in acceleration and climb, the P-51 D would have similarly small advantage in dive. The Focke-Wulf would have a large advantage in roll up to very high speed, and the Mustang would have a significant advantage in speed at altitude.

My call? The P-51 D. The sheer numbers of the bloody things available make it so dominant it just isn't funny.


cheers,
Ratsack

luftluuver
05-23-2007, 04:28 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">On the Allied side, the British had the Tempest MkV and Spitfire XIV in action in significant numbers, ......... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Must take exception to this statement. Now we all know that Kurfurst says about the significant numbers of Spit XIVs and Tempest Vs and in this I have to agree with as there was a baker's dozen of squadrons, combined.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The Spitfire XIV was the first of the Griffon-engine Spitfires produced in significant numbers (only about ~ 100 MkXIIs were delivered, beginning in late1942). Just under 1,000 were delivered by the end of the war,.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>A rough count from Spitfire: The History has some 620 or so Spit XIVs deliverd by war's end in Europe and many of that number were being shipped to SEA.

Ratsack
05-23-2007, 04:33 AM
Does anybody have orbat data for Spit XIVs or Tempests (or both)?

cheers,
Ratsack

Philipscdrw
05-23-2007, 04:37 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">On the Allied side, the British had the Tempest MkV and Spitfire XIV in action in significant numbers, ......... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Must take exception to this statement. Now we all know that Kurfurst says about the significant numbers of Spit XIVs and Tempest Vs and in this I have to agree with as there was a baker's dozen of squadrons, combined.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The Spitfire XIV was the first of the Griffon-engine Spitfires produced in significant numbers (only about ~ 100 MkXIIs were delivered, beginning in late1942). Just under 1,000 were delivered by the end of the war,.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>A rough count from Spitfire: The History has some 620 or so Spit XIVs deliverd by war's end in Europe and many of that number were being shipped to SEA. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Out of interest, how many Other Types were in service at the same period? 13 squadrons - out of how many (approximately)? If there were (say) 6 squadrons of MkXIV Spits, that's about 72 airframes over France; is that enough to be significant?

Ratsack
05-23-2007, 04:42 AM
I would say not. That's why I am asking for orbat information. If it's only seventy-odd planes...

The word 'significant' is a subjective thing until we define it. I thought there were more Spit XIVs than that, so that gives you some idea of my subjective impression of the word 'significant'.

cheers,
Ratsack

luftluuver
05-23-2007, 04:46 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The new type came with the Erla canopy and tall fin as standard. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Me109G-14

No not standard as at least 3 blocks of WNr had the old fin/rudder. Common, imho, would be a better word.


RAF squdrons flying Tempest Vs in 1944 - 3, 486, 56, 501, 274, 80

In 1945, 33 and 222, with 349 and 285 for a short time.

edit, to add

That is 6 squadrons of Tempests compared to 20 squadrons of Typhoons.

stathem
05-23-2007, 04:54 AM
Will have something for you later, when I get home, about 6 hours.

Scans of the 2nd TAF OoB at the time of Bodenplatte, from 'Battle of the Airfields' by ... That famous aviation historian whose name I can't quite remember.

But it's right, ~6 Squads of Spit XIV and perhaps 7 of Tempests; The scans will just give the squadrons thou' not the number of planes in each squadron. I think that it was 16 flying and 20 as the full complement. But I could be wrong.

Whether those numbers are significant is a whole other story; certainly not significant compared to the huge number of P-51s on the whole of the American dominated Western Front inculding the 8th or the whole of the 3 front Third Reich; perhaps significant in terms of the Commonwealth part of the front served by the 2nd TAF.

Abbuzze
05-23-2007, 05:44 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:


One of the big differances between eastern front and wastern was how close the air bases were to each other. Both Russian and German air bases suffered almost daily attacks, and the threat of being overrun by an advancing enenmy. Two very big threats! Now, what if Russia had developed long range aircraft, and moved there bases AWAY from the front lines? Out of reach of German fighters? Would of made life a LOT easier on Russian pilots, dont you think? That its a huge advantage that cant be ignored.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You are ignoring some facts. If your fighter are far away from the frontline, you need more fuel, you give your enemy more time to react, you have to fly a damaged plane a long way home. Especially the fuel thing is important.

Beside the 109 was not designed as devensive fighter, it was build to create airsuperiority over the frontline, and enable planes like the Ju87 to destroy everything important in this area. The ME fits perfect in this concept.
If things like range would be important for LW the 109 wouldnt be choosed as the prime fighter. In your list of "long range" pre war planes you forgot the HE112.
HE112 - 1935 - Range 530-700 miles depending to source and equipment.
So you don´t need to wait two years if you want a plane with nearly twice the range of the 109.

It will be hard to proof the tactical idea of the LW to be wrong - the Red Army won their war with exactly the same idea.

Ratsack
05-23-2007, 05:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Abbuzze:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:


One of the big differances between eastern front and wastern was how close the air bases were to each other. Both Russian and German air bases suffered almost daily attacks, and the threat of being overrun by an advancing enenmy. Two very big threats! Now, what if Russia had developed long range aircraft, and moved there bases AWAY from the front lines? Out of reach of German fighters? Would of made life a LOT easier on Russian pilots, dont you think? That its a huge advantage that cant be ignored.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You are ignoring some facts. If your fighter are far away from the frontline, you need more fuel, you give your enemy more time to react, you have to fly a damaged plane a long way home. Especially the fuel thing is important.
... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The other thing that is important is the sortie rate. If your airbases are close, you can manage a higher sortie rate. It's a force multiplier.

cheers,
Ratsack

mynameisroland
05-23-2007, 06:14 AM
Hi Ratsack, ive got some pointers for you on the Tempest V. If you read pilots accounts of those that ditched in the Tyhpoon and Tempest it was apparantly the thick wing of the Typhoon which caused ditching to be fatal and not the chin scoop. Common ditching practice was to fly in nose high so that the tail hit the water first, The water slamming against the wing root caused huge decelleration often blacking out or killing the pilot. The Tempests thinner wing section made a difference during ditching with pilots being far more likely to survive. In particular Jimmy Sheddan talks about this in his book Tempest Pilot having himself survived ditching.

One other clarification is needed for its maximum speed. Most sources state that the Tempests top speed is 432/435 mph with 435 mph being the most quoted. The height that it reached this speed varied depending on the engine whether it was a Sabre IIA or B, the B's fastest height being somewhat lower around 17,000ft for the 435 mph figure. The Tempest was also the first RAF fighter type to have a decnet range. 740 miles clean or 1530 miles with 2 x drop tanks according to data taken from the book Hawker Tempest and Sea Fury by Robert Jackson pg 28. This book is dated so some data may need to be ammended. Again touching on the visibility from cockpit, Beamont claimed it to have the best forward and gunsight visibility of any plane he had flown up to that point. Significantly its gunsight was projected on to the forward armoured glass giving probably the best unobstructed view of any WW2 fighter.

For a general idea of how it handled and performed next to contemporaries simulated trials were performed against a variety of types including early Vampires;

" The Tempest was also flown in simulated combat against various Mks of Spitfire - including the lates Griffon- powered Mk XIV - Mustang Mk IIIs, a captured Fw 190 A and a captured Bf 109 G. It proved a better all round aircraft that any of them. None could match it for speed below 10,000ft and none could catch it in a dive at any altitude."

German test pilot Hans Werner Lerche claimed that by his measurments when flying them the Tempest V was faster than the P 51 D and that only the Me 262 was superior in climb and maximum speed. Presumably he didnt go above 25,000ft in the P51 D then but his comments are still interesting http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Blutarski2004
05-23-2007, 06:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mynameisroland:
Significantly its gunsight was projected on to the forward armoured glass giving probably the best unobstructed view of any WW2 fighter.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... That's very interesting, Roland. Are we talking an early type of HUD here?

Bewolf
05-23-2007, 06:52 AM
@Ratsack

Just one tiny nitpick at the 262´s engines. You do them a lot of injustice there. The engine was proven and ready to go. I'ts only real deficit was the lack of heat enduring materials, something Germany just did not have anymore at that time. The prototype of this engine, with propper materials, had a much longer lifespan and also a higher power outpout. Also, later versions of the Jumo were more relaible again, as workarounds for the heat problems were introduced.

That said, there was not much else Germany could have done to improve the engine situation. It was not rushed into service, quite the opposite. They just made the best out of it they could.


Else, thumbs up for your comparisons.

mynameisroland
05-23-2007, 07:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mynameisroland:
Significantly its gunsight was projected on to the forward armoured glass giving probably the best unobstructed view of any WW2 fighter.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... That's very interesting, Roland. Are we talking an early type of HUD here? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you fly a Tempest in IL2 you can see it Blutarski. Rather than have a seperate piece of glass as in most WW2 fighters, the reticle of the Tempest's gunsight was projected on to the armoured glass front windscreen. The nearest thing I can liken it to is the F4U1's gunsight which projects its sight on to a flat piece of armoured glass mounted inside the cockpit.

So in effect yes it is HUD like insofar it does away with having a gunsight obscure forward vision. But it isnt a gyroscopic sight or radar gunsight like in later aircraft. I dont suppose it would be impossible to have projected a K-14 (is that the name of the Gyro sight?) on to the windscreen however.

Ratsack
05-23-2007, 07:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mynameisroland:
...The water slamming against the wing root caused huge decelleration often blacking out or killing the pilot. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I remember reading about the ditching problems with the Typhoon in 'Rolly' Beaumont's book, My Corner of the Sky. I assumed it was the intake. It was more than 10 years ago that I read it, so my memory may well be at fault.

Thinking about it, I have some recollection of Closterman alluding to problems belly landing Tempests. I'll have a look in there, and see if that's what I've got mixed up with Beaumont's Typhoon observations.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
For a general idea of how it handled and performed next to contemporaries simulated trials were performed against a variety of types including early Vampires;

" The Tempest was also flown in simulated combat against various Mks of Spitfire - including the lates Griffon- powered Mk XIV - Mustang Mk IIIs, a captured Fw 190 A and a captured Bf 109 G. It proved a better all round aircraft that any of them. None could match it for speed below 10,000ft and none could catch it in a dive at any altitude."

German test pilot Hans Werner Lerche claimed that by his measurments when flying them the Tempest V was faster than the P 51 D and that only the Me 262 was superior in climb and maximum speed. Presumably he didnt go above 25,000ft in the P51 D then but his comments are still interesting http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, it seems it was a pretty impressive plane. Isn't there a AFDU comparative test against the Spitfire XIV that includes among its conclusions the recommendation that Typhoon pilots would be best suited to the Tempest, because its strengths were different to the Spitfire's. The implication being that pilots habituated to the Spitfire might not appreciate the Tempest or fly it to its strengths.

cheers,
Ratsack

tigertalon
05-23-2007, 07:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mynameisroland:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mynameisroland:
Significantly its gunsight was projected on to the forward armoured glass giving probably the best unobstructed view of any WW2 fighter.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... That's very interesting, Roland. Are we talking an early type of HUD here? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you fly a Tempest in IL2 you can see it Blutarski. Rather than have a seperate piece of glass as in most WW2 fighters, the reticle of the Tempest's gunsight was projected on to the armoured glass front windscreen. The nearest thing I can liken it to is the F4U1's gunsight which projects its sight on to a flat piece of armoured glass mounted inside the cockpit.

So in effect yes it is HUD like insofar it does away with having a gunsight obscure forward vision. But it isnt a gyroscopic sight or radar gunsight like in later aircraft. I dont suppose it would be impossible to have projected a K-14 (is that the name of the Gyro sight?) on to the windscreen however. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The idea was there for quite some time, the problem being multiple reflections inside the frontal (possibly multilayer armour) glass, so the pilot actually saw many reticles one slightly above the other, each one more faded. Seems like Brits were the first to solve the problem, how it remains a mistery to me. Possibly with combination of careful placement of collimator (angle), Lambda/4 film and monochromatic light source, but that's just guessing.

mynameisroland
05-23-2007, 07:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:

I remember reading about the ditching problems with the Typhoon in 'Rolly' Beaumont's book, My Corner of the Sky. I assumed it was the intake. It was more than 10 years ago that I read it, so my memory may well be at fault.

Thinking about it, I have some recollection of Closterman alluding to problems belly landing Tempests. I'll have a look in there, and see if that's what I've got mixed up with Beaumont's Typhoon observations.

Yes, it seems it was a pretty impressive plane. Isn't there a AFDU comparative test against the Spitfire XIV that includes among its conclusions the recommendation that Typhoon pilots would be best suited to the Tempest, because its strengths were different to the Spitfire's. The implication being that pilots habituated to the Spitfire might not appreciate the Tempest or fly it to its strengths.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I own the The Big show but not Beamonts book, It is Sheddans book that cites the specific example I am refering too however try and pick up a copy its cheap off of Amazon. It is unfortunately at my girlfriends flat and not to hand. The perception amongs Tempest pilots was that it was the nose scoop which caused the problems. This was due to the Typhoons reputation as a bad ditcher but Sheddan states it was entirely due to the wing design, he having ditched the Typhoon himself observed the phenomenon. He also says iirc that Tempest pilots from his squadron survived ditching in the channel relatively unscathed.

Even the Spitfire had a bad reptation as a ditcher!

The reason that Typhoon pilots were recommended to fly the Tempest is that the pilots of Typhoon squadrons were generally better trained. Clostermann cites this in his book stating that to get in to a Tempest squadron you had to have something like two tours of operational flying behind you. This aside from the obvious general differences between the two types.

Bremspropeller
05-23-2007, 08:03 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">So in effect yes it is HUD like insofar it does away with having a gunsight obscure forward vision. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it's not.
It's a gunsight and nothing else.
Just because it isn't "framed" doesn't change what it is.

A HUD delivers flight-parameter information, such as speed, alt, heading, etc.
Most HUDs are framed btw.

mynameisroland
05-23-2007, 08:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bremspropeller:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">So in effect yes it is HUD like insofar it does away with having a gunsight obscure forward vision. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it's not.
It's a gunsight and nothing else.
Just because it isn't "framed" doesn't change what it is.

A HUD delivers flight-parameter information, such as speed, alt, heading, etc.
Most HUDs are framed btw. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Isnt that what I said? "it is a HUD like insofar it does away with having a gunsight obscure forward vision." Isnt that part of a HUDs job&gt; to provide an unobscured gunsight too?

Where did I say anything like it delivered
flight-parameter information, such as speed, alt, heading, etc.

Bremspropeller
05-23-2007, 08:28 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Isnt that part of a HUDs job&gt; to provide an unobscured gunsight too? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Not really, since gunsights were revi's anyway by the time HUDs were introduced.

http://uscockpits.com/Jet%20Fighters/F-4E%20Phantom%20II%20front.JPG
What looks like a HUD in this F-4s front cockpit is actually just a gunsight.

http://www.gla.ac.uk/~woody/pics/m17_f105.jpg
Although that cuncam-footage is from a F-105, it shows exactly what a F-4D/E pilot would see, looking through his gunsight (the pipper is identical).

There is no flight-parameter information besides three little dots around the pipper that are roll-cues (giving a roll-angle only).

mynameisroland
05-23-2007, 08:33 AM
And this is the unobscured Grippens HUD. Why are you splitting hairs here Brem? Are you bored of Ratsacks thread already?

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y294/mynameisroland/gripen-cockpit.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y294/mynameisroland/Tempest_MKV_cockpit_011.jpg

Bremspropeller
05-23-2007, 08:39 AM
Again, it's not about giving an unobscured fwd-view to the pilot.

It's about giving him important information without requiring him to bury his head inside the cockpit to find an instrument.

That's what HUDs are about.

MEGILE
05-23-2007, 08:52 AM
Sure the contemporary interpretation, presents data to the pilot, in an unobscurring way, and that data is usually considerably more than just a gunsight.

But they work on the same principle... light source on glass.

Blutarski2004
05-23-2007, 08:54 AM
Guys!!!! I apologize. I didn't mean to start a big controversy over this image thing.

mynameisroland
05-23-2007, 08:55 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by tigertalon:

The idea was there for quite some time, the problem being multiple reflections inside the frontal (possibly multilayer armour) glass, so the pilot actually saw many reticles one slightly above the other, each one more faded. Seems like Brits were the first to solve the problem, how it remains a mistery to me. Possibly with combination of careful placement of collimator (angle), Lambda/4 film and monochromatic light source, but that's just guessing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

nice explanation mate

ploughman
05-23-2007, 09:13 AM
How'd you get to see the rev counter? I always have the bar in the way. Is that 'seat up' or something?

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y294/mynameisroland/Tempest_MKV_cockpit_011.jpg

Xiolablu3
05-23-2007, 11:06 AM
Possibly Zoomed a certain % view?

tomtheyak
05-23-2007, 11:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ploughman:
How'd you get to see the rev counter? I always have the bar in the way. Is that 'seat up' or something?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Shift + F1 old boy... like the broken German Gunsights http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

HellToupee
05-23-2007, 11:15 AM
press shift f1

stathem
05-23-2007, 12:42 PM
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/griffnav/Gallery/BotAPage1.jpg

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/griffnav/Gallery/BotAPage2.jpg

Xiolablu3
05-23-2007, 12:56 PM
Is that all the RAF Expeditionary force squadrons Stathem?

Gibbage1
05-23-2007, 01:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
This plane included a formidable ground attack capability, with the addition of 10 HVAR rockets to its payload (although I've never understood why Lockheed went for the Christmas tree rack instead of the zero-length system).
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Zero-length system was tried on the P-38J, but one of the problems with it was that for each launcher, it needed its own firing circut, wires, and fuse. The P-38 could have 6 on each wing for a total of 12. That means 12 new wire bundles, 12 new fuses, and 12 new firing circuts. The tree only needed 1 set each. It was much simpler to use the tree then the 12 launchers. A lot less to go wrong also!

As to why the 8th AF dropped the P-38, there are many reasons. #1, they were doing high alt escorts. The P-38 is friggen cold up there! A critical flaw in its cockpit design that hampered it all the way till the J and L's. #2, it was a lot more time consuming to maintain them. #3, it took more pilot skill and training. #4, there was problems suffered in Europ with the engines at high altitude. We know there were problems, but its hard to pinpoint EXACTLY what, and why these problems did NOT exist in the Pacific, North Afrika, or Italy. Some say fuel froze, some say oil froze, some say hydrolics froze all due too low quality liquids put in. But I have not seen one credible source that said it was a design problem with the P-38 itself, but the quality of fluids used in Europ. The fact it only happened in Europ leads me to agree. #5, it was needed in the Pacific a lot more.

It had a bad reputation in Europ due partly too many factors. Some that can be blamed on the design, some that cant. It was a very good aircraft, yes, but in no way the best. I agree with your assesment. Its still a remarkable feet of engineering, that a 15,000lb aircraft can even dogfight with a 6,000lb aircraft though. It was the only truly successfull twin engine fighter of the war, and that deservs some credit http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

ploughman
05-23-2007, 01:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by tomtheyak:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ploughman:
How'd you get to see the rev counter? I always have the bar in the way. Is that 'seat up' or something?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Shift + F1 old boy... like the broken German Gunsights http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Odder than a snake with legs but while Shift F1 does indeed get me a differrent view it still obscures the Rev counter.

Odd eh?

stathem
05-23-2007, 01:19 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Is that all the RAF Expeditionary force squadrons Stathem? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's what the book gave me to understand - that those were teh (Europe based) 2nd TAF sqadrons at the time of Bodenplatte. Maybe someone can cross reference it against the 2nd TAF tomes.

Norman Franks was the author.

faustnik
05-23-2007, 01:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
It was the only truly successfull twin engine fighter of the war, and that deservs some credit http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

As always, any "best of" thread needs more subdivisions. For long range desert and Pacific missions, the P-38 would be my choice. It was equal or superior to enemy fighter types, with the HUGE advantage of twin engine safety.

Gibbage1
05-23-2007, 01:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by faustnik:
As always, any "best of" thread needs more subdivisions. For long range desert and Pacific missions, the P-38 would be my choice. It was equal or superior to enemy fighter types, with the HUGE advantage of twin engine safety. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree. P-38 in North Afrika and the Pacific was just "unfair" to quote a Japanese ace. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

A very famous raid was the P-38's attacking a formation of Ju-52's escorted by 109's. They compleatly raviged both the Ju's and escorts. Talk about a roll reversal!

Philipscdrw
05-23-2007, 01:28 PM
Gibbage, is there any reason you're consistently spelling 'Europe' as 'Europ'?

Xiolablu3
05-23-2007, 01:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by stathem:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Is that all the RAF Expeditionary force squadrons Stathem? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's what the book gave me to understand - that those were teh (Europe based) 2nd TAF sqadrons at the time of Bodenplatte. Maybe someone can cross reference it against the 2nd TAF tomes.

Norman Franks was the author. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I am just a little shocked that people play down teh role of hte Spitfire XIV and the Tempest.

If thats the whole expeditionary force then around 1/4 of the planes are Spitfire XIV's and Tempests.

It seems that the squadrons on the frontlines are heavily injected with Tempests and Spitfire XIV's.

The way people have been talkign about these planes recently, led me to believe that they hardly playted a part, which is wrong if thats the list.

Add to that list the 25lbs Spitfire IX's which will be in some of the Squadrons and thats a hard hitting fighter force which certainly has SPitfire XIV's and Tempests in 'significant numbers'

6 Squadrons (120 planes?)of SPitfire XIV's sounds few until you look at the whole force and realise that the whole force was about 30 squadrons (600 planes?)

100 Spitfire XIV's heading out on Ops daily for 6 months is certainly going to make its mark.

Gibbage1
05-23-2007, 01:44 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Philipscdrw:
Gibbage, is there any reason you're consistently spelling 'Europe' as 'Europ'? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

To give the spelling nazi's something to do.

Daiichidoku
05-23-2007, 01:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Philipscdrw:
Gibbage, is there any reason you're consistently spelling 'yurp' as 'Europ'? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

fixed

Brain32
05-23-2007, 01:52 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by stathem:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Is that all the RAF Expeditionary force squadrons Stathem? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's what the book gave me to understand - that those were teh (Europe based) 2nd TAF sqadrons at the time of Bodenplatte. Maybe someone can cross reference it against the 2nd TAF tomes.

Norman Franks was the author. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I am just a little shocked that people play down teh role of hte Spitfire XIV and the Tempest.

If thats the whole expeditionary force then around 1/4 of the planes are Spitfire XIV's and Tempests.

It seems that the squadrons on the frontlines are heavily injected with Tempests and Spitfire XIV's.

The way people have been talkign about these planes recently, led me to believe that they hardly playted a part, which is wrong if thats the list.

Add to that list the 25lbs Spitfire IX's which will be in some of the Squadrons and thats a hard hitting fighter force. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well I don't know how many airplanes are there in one squadron but I counted 6 regular squads + 1 Recce squad equipped with SpitfireMkXIV, and only 5 Tempest squads, like I said, I don't know how many planes is that but it sure doesen't sound like a lot to me.

Xiolablu3
05-23-2007, 01:53 PM
I just edited, thats 100 Spitfire XIV's heading out on Ops daily, (from the frontline only, probably more flying from UK) for 6 months. (6 Squads of 16 planes with 20 per squad with 4 in the garage)

The whole force being around 600 planes.

100 SPitfire XIV's right on the frontline.

luftluuver
05-23-2007, 01:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
A very famous raid was the P-38's attacking a formation of Ju-52's escorted by 109's. They compleatly raviged both the Ju's and escorts . Talk about a roll reversal! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
The 57th Fighter Group was equipped with the Curtiss fighter until early 1944, during which time they were credited with at least 140 air-to-air kills. It was the 57th that took part in the "Palm Sunday Massacre" which took place on April 18, 1943. On this day, decoded Ultra ciphers had given away a Luftwaffe plan to cross the Mediterranean Sea with a large formation of German transport planes (Junkers Ju 52 - ~60) and their escorts (21 Me109 and MC. 202 fighters). An ambush was laid for them with three squadrons of the 57th, one squadron from the 324th Fighter Group (also flying P-40s) and a small group of British Spitfires (92 Sqn) intercepting the German formation and shooting down at least 70 German planes with only six or seven Allied airplanes being downed.

I see mention of P-38s as well as P-40s and Spitfires.

stathem
05-23-2007, 02:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Brain32:

Well I don't know how many airplanes are there in one squadron but I counted 6 regular squads + 1 Recce squad equipped with SpitfireMkXIV, and only 5 Tempest squads, like I said, I don't know how many planes is that but it sure doesen't sound like a lot to me. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Remember that the recce squadrons are armed TacR, FWIW.

Philipscdrw
05-23-2007, 02:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Philipscdrw:
Gibbage, is there any reason you're consistently spelling 'Europe' as 'Europ'? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

To give the spelling nazi's something to do. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Ah, I was wondering perhaps if you had to pay a toll every time you used the same letter twice in one word.

luftluuver
05-23-2007, 02:13 PM
One squadron of Tempests was with ADGB, 501.

Xio, not counting the 4 recce sqns (yes Stathem http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif) I count 49 squadrons of se a/c.

That is 10% Tempests and 12% Spit XIVs of the force.

Xiolablu3
05-23-2007, 02:24 PM
The Total USAAF, F22 force is going to be 127 planes.

There are 120 Spitfire XIV's on the German frontline in WW2.

With probably about 300-400 in combat in other theatres. (700 altogether by the end of WW2)

Almost 1/4 of the force on the frontlines being Spitfire XIV's and Tempests, Thats certainly significant.

Especially seeing as around 40-50% of the force will be ground attack Typhoons with rockets and bombs. Did they really need any more Spitfire XIV's there?

Brain32
05-23-2007, 02:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> The Total USAAF, F22 force is going to be 127 planes. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I don't see how is that related at all, the whole aerial warfare changed completely since WW2 especially in terms of numbers used and encountered in your average battle.

luftluuver
05-23-2007, 02:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
There are 120 Spitfire XIV's on the German frontline in WW2.

With probably about 300-400 in combat in other theatres. (700 altogether by the end of WW2) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Are you saying there was 15 to 20 Spit XIV squadrons in other theatres?

Btw, 20 was the squadron compliment not the flying component which was 16.

mynameisroland
05-23-2007, 03:00 PM
What was the Luftwaffes battle order on the Western European front at this time? And what percentage of their number were fuelled and serviced to flying standards?

Either way the numbers of qualitively good RAF fighters were significant, expecially when the ground pounding was done by the Mk IX, XVI and Typhoons leaving the fighter work to XIVs and Tempests.

Xiolablu3
05-23-2007, 03:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
There are 120 Spitfire XIV's on the German frontline in WW2.

With probably about 300-400 in combat in other theatres. (700 altogether by the end of WW2) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Are you saying there was 15 to 20 Spit XIV squadrons in other theatres?

Btw, 20 was the squadron compliment not the flying component which was 16. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes I realised that, thats why I came up with 100 on Ops each day.

Well there were 750 SPitfire XIV's produced by the wars end, so if there are 120 on the frontline in Germany, there must be around 300-400 spread between the UK/France/ and other theatres?

If not then where are the other 300-400?

luftluuver
05-23-2007, 03:25 PM
So there was no losses Xio? How many in OTUs and OCUs?

ploughman
05-23-2007, 03:31 PM
Planes seem to get bent more by their own side than the others half the time, crappy forward airfields, being away from your repair shops etc. A fighter that got bent at Hawkinge might get fixed, one that gets bent on a some field in Belgium might just get left. I wouldn't be suprised if the entire production was required to keep up a front line strength of 120 fighters. I'd be interested to know what the wastage was for forward based front line units on the continent during the later bit of the war. Anyone got a 2nd TAF history from which to devine such a thing?

Ratsack
05-23-2007, 03:57 PM
All,

On the basis of the doc Stathem scanned in, I'm inclined to revise my view of the 'significance' of these two types. As I said above, I thought there were more of them in the front line.

Does anybody else have any other orbat data to shed light on this? The reason I ask is that the data Stathem's provided refers to the forces on the Continent. Were numbers of these two types (Tempest and Spit XIV) kept in Britain for V1 chasing during the period that Stathem's data covers? If not, I would have to say the number available was not that significant.

If there's nothing else, I'll modify the assessment to reflect that, and give a reference to the page with the scan.

cheers,
Ratsack

Longpo
05-23-2007, 05:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
A very famous raid was the P-38's attacking a formation of Ju-52's escorted by 109's. They compleatly raviged both the Ju's and escorts . Talk about a roll reversal! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
The 57th Fighter Group was equipped with the Curtiss fighter until early 1944, during which time they were credited with at least 140 air-to-air kills. It was the 57th that took part in the "Palm Sunday Massacre" which took place on April 18, 1943. On this day, decoded Ultra ciphers had given away a Luftwaffe plan to cross the Mediterranean Sea with a large formation of German transport planes (Junkers Ju 52 - ~60) and their escorts (21 Me109 and MC. 202 fighters). An ambush was laid for them with three squadrons of the 57th, one squadron from the 324th Fighter Group (also flying P-40s) and a small group of British Spitfires (92 Sqn) intercepting the German formation and shooting down at least 70 German planes with only six or seven Allied airplanes being downed.

I see mention of P-38s as well as P-40s and Spitfires. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thought I would post some info about P-38 missions during "Operation Flax":

5th of April, 50-70 enemy transports escorted by 30 fighters were intercepted by P-38s from the 27thFS/1stFG - "roughly" 16 aircraft were shot down for the loss of 2 P-38s.

On the same day the 82ndFG engaged a mixed formation of "roughly" 20 ME-109s and Ju-52/3ms whilst escorting B-25s from the 321stBG on an anti-shipping sweep. The P-38 pilots claimed 9 transports and 8 fighters whilst loosing 4 Lightning's.

Five days later the 71stFS/1stFG ran into a formation of Italian Savoia-Marchetti transports, escorted by Macchi MC 200s whilst on a morning patrol. 20 transports and 2 fighters were claimed destroyed.

Later on the 10th the 82ndFG again ran into a sizeable formation of enemy aircraft whilst escorting B-25s. Out of 25 aircraft, 10 Ju-52s and 3 Bf-110s/Ju-88s - providing escort - were claimed by the 82nd. B-25s also claimed the destruction of 10 Ju-52s.

On the 11th P-38s of the 95thFS/82ndFG engaged a formation of 20 transports - downing all of them - and destroyed 7 escorting fighters including 3 Me-109s, 2 Bf-110s and 1 Ju-88. 3 pilots from the 95th were lost.

Later that same morning the 96thFS/1stFG ran into another formation of transports low over the water. The P-38s shot down 5 of them for the loss of 1 P-38.

The result of all this action meant the 82ndFG was now the dominant USAAF Fighter Unit in the MTO with 170+ aerial victories.

Info from "P-38 Lightning Aces of the ETO/MTO"

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Gibbage1
05-23-2007, 05:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Longpo:

Info from "P-38 Lightning Aces of the ETO/MTO"

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks for the post! Saved me the time of looking it up! Good info there. I find it interesting that in one of the raids, the B-25's claimed a few Ju-52's!!! HA! Those 109's were useless as escorts if B-25's are picking off there Ju-52's! Think of how bad it would look if some Ju-88's went into a B-17 formation and tore them up with no losses, even with a P-51 escort. good stuff.

Bremspropeller
05-23-2007, 05:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Think of how bad it would look if some Ju-88's went into a B-17 formation and tore them up with no losses, even with a P-51 escort. good stuff. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


WoW, that one gets the title "most reasonable comparison made ever".

Xiolablu3
05-23-2007, 05:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
All,

On the basis of the doc Stathem scanned in, I'm inclined to revise my view of the 'significance' of these two types. As I said above, I thought there were more of them in the front line.

Does anybody else have any other orbat data to shed light on this? The reason I ask is that the data Stathem's provided refers to the forces on the Continent. Were numbers of these two types (Tempest and Spit XIV) kept in Britain for V1 chasing during the period that Stathem's data covers? If not, I would have to say the number available was not that significant.

If there's nothing else, I'll modify the assessment to reflect that, and give a reference to the page with the scan.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thats wierd, the scan made me realise there were more than I had previouly thought!


I really thought the numbers were totally insignificant, but 1/4 of the frontline strength on the German border IMO is quite significant.

mbfRoy
05-23-2007, 05:52 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
All,

On the basis of the doc Stathem scanned in, I'm inclined to revise my view of the 'significance' of these two types. As I said above, I thought there were more of them in the front line.

Does anybody else have any other orbat data to shed light on this? The reason I ask is that the data Stathem's provided refers to the forces on the Continent. Were numbers of these two types (Tempest and Spit XIV) kept in Britain for V1 chasing during the period that Stathem's data covers? If not, I would have to say the number available was not that significant.

If there's nothing else, I'll modify the assessment to reflect that, and give a reference to the page with the scan.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thats wierd, the scan made me realise there were more than I had previouly thought!


I really thought the numbers were totally insignificant, but 1/4 of the frontline strength on the German border IMO is quite significant. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Indeed it is.

Philipscdrw
05-23-2007, 06:56 PM
But that's 1/8th Tempest F.5s and 1/8th Spitfire F.14s then

luftluuver
05-23-2007, 07:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
All,

On the basis of the doc Stathem scanned in, I'm inclined to revise my view of the 'significance' of these two types. As I said above, I thought there were more of them in the front line.

Does anybody else have any other orbat data to shed light on this? The reason I ask is that the data Stathem's provided refers to the forces on the Continent. Were numbers of these two types (Tempest and Spit XIV) kept in Britain for V1 chasing during the period that Stathem's data covers? If not, I would have to say the number available was not that significant.

If there's nothing else, I'll modify the assessment to reflect that, and give a reference to the page with the scan.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE><BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">One squadron of Tempests was with ADGB, 501. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I guess you missed this in my post a few posts above your post Ratsack?

Blutarski2004
05-23-2007, 07:59 PM
Just a thought here, but that late 1944 - early 1945 period over the British front featured a lot of low level dogfighting between XIV's, IX's, Typhoons and Tempests battling ME109's, 190A's, and 190D's as the Germans attempted to take the tactical air heat off their ground forces.

You could stick in a few TBolts and P51's for added zest.

Might make a great (and historically correct) on-line server campaign - low level dogfights, mud-moving. Sounds like a winner to me.

Ratsack
05-23-2007, 10:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
All,

On the basis of the doc Stathem scanned in, I'm inclined to revise my view of the 'significance' of these two types. As I said above, I thought there were more of them in the front line.

Does anybody else have any other orbat data to shed light on this? The reason I ask is that the data Stathem's provided refers to the forces on the Continent. Were numbers of these two types (Tempest and Spit XIV) kept in Britain for V1 chasing during the period that Stathem's data covers? If not, I would have to say the number available was not that significant.

If there's nothing else, I'll modify the assessment to reflect that, and give a reference to the page with the scan.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE><BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">One squadron of Tempests was with ADGB, 501. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I guess you missed this in my post a few posts above your post Ratsack? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, I did miss that.

Regarding significance, I am disinclined to call 100 planes significant at this stage of the war, when the Allied airforces were measured in the thousands. The other side of the argument is that these 200-odd Tempests and Spit XIVs were right in the thick of the fighting.

cheers,
Ratsack

HellToupee
05-23-2007, 10:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
All,

On the basis of the doc Stathem scanned in, I'm inclined to revise my view of the 'significance' of these two types. As I said above, I thought there were more of them in the front line.

Does anybody else have any other orbat data to shed light on this? The reason I ask is that the data Stathem's provided refers to the forces on the Continent. Were numbers of these two types (Tempest and Spit XIV) kept in Britain for V1 chasing during the period that Stathem's data covers? If not, I would have to say the number available was not that significant.

If there's nothing else, I'll modify the assessment to reflect that, and give a reference to the page with the scan.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thats wierd, the scan made me realise there were more than I had previouly thought!


I really thought the numbers were totally insignificant, but 1/4 of the frontline strength on the German border IMO is quite significant. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes and what about the 190d9 it was only beginning to enter service and mainly used covering 262s, im pretty sire xivs and tempests were in greater signficant quantaties and roles at this stage of war.

Gibbage1
05-23-2007, 10:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bremspropeller:

WoW, that one gets the title "most reasonable comparison made ever". </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was gonna say Ju-88's attacking C-47's, but the Goony's dont have devensive guns. Ju-52's do. The P-38's got shot up and a lot of the losses are from the Ju-52's guns, not the 109's.

MEGILE
05-24-2007, 03:00 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HellToupee:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
All,

On the basis of the doc Stathem scanned in, I'm inclined to revise my view of the 'significance' of these two types. As I said above, I thought there were more of them in the front line.

Does anybody else have any other orbat data to shed light on this? The reason I ask is that the data Stathem's provided refers to the forces on the Continent. Were numbers of these two types (Tempest and Spit XIV) kept in Britain for V1 chasing during the period that Stathem's data covers? If not, I would have to say the number available was not that significant.

If there's nothing else, I'll modify the assessment to reflect that, and give a reference to the page with the scan.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thats wierd, the scan made me realise there were more than I had previouly thought!


I really thought the numbers were totally insignificant, but 1/4 of the frontline strength on the German border IMO is quite significant. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes and what about the 190d9 it was only beginning to enter service and mainly used covering 262s, im pretty sire xivs and tempests were in greater signficant quantaties and roles at this stage of war. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This thread could benefit from a detailed analysis of the amount of, and type of sorties the Tempests and XIVs undertook.
Presumably if they were being used mostly for air superiority type combat, they could certainly be regarded as in the thick of it.
Whereas I was under the impression a significant number of IXs were being used as bomb trucks.

mynameisroland
05-24-2007, 04:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
Regarding significance, I am disinclined to call 100 planes significant at this stage of the war, when the Allied airforces were measured in the thousands. The other side of the argument is that these 200-odd Tempests and Spit XIVs were right in the thick of the fighting.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ratsack I think everyone including me is forgetting the significance of the role the Tempest played during the V1 campaign against London. The type was immediately drafted from flying fighter missions to countering the V1 threat. Between June and 5 September 1944, the handful of 150 Wing Tempests shot down 638 flying bombs, with No. 3 Squadron alone claiming 305. One Tempest pilot, Squadron Leader Joseph Berry of No. 501 (Tempest) Squadron, shot down 59 V-1s, and Wing Commander Roland Beamont destroyed 31. The Tempest also flew at night against the V1s.

So the Tempest and the XIV were heavily involved against this threat and then as soon as it was over were put straight back in to the firing line on mainland Europe. The RAF certainly regarded them as prime assets and used them in the most significant theatres and gave the units flying them the best pilots.

stathem
05-24-2007, 04:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ploughman:
Planes seem to get bent more by their own side than the others half the time, crappy forward airfields, being away from your repair shops etc. A fighter that got bent at Hawkinge might get fixed, one that gets bent on a some field in Belgium might just get left. I wouldn't be suprised if the entire production was required to keep up a front line strength of 120 fighters. I'd be interested to know what the wastage was for forward based front line units on the continent during the later bit of the war. Anyone got a 2nd TAF history from which to devine such a thing? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That would be my thought. Not to beat on the Doras (or K-4's for ex.) but what are the corresonding figures for those types in front line service? It's easy, (beacuse we know) to point to only '100 MkXIV's' in service and compare them to 1000 D-9's (was it?) built between Sept 44 and May45, but how does that relate to their service on the Western Front (which is under consideration), bearing in mind they would suffer similar wastage?

Of course the significance of the RAF numbers pales by comparison with the numbers of USAAF types in the field. Of course if one's position is that the British and Commonwealth contribution to the western front post D-Day is not significant, then it's easy to run down the significance of the two types in question.

My view of it is that the Tempest and XIV were a significant part of the British contribution considered their mission roles; whether that makes it a significant part of the whole war effort is another question.

Philipscdrw
05-24-2007, 04:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
Just a thought here, but that late 1944 - early 1945 period over the British front featured a lot of low level dogfighting between XIV's, IX's, Typhoons and Tempests battling ME109's, 190A's, and 190D's as the Germans attempted to take the tactical air heat off their ground forces.

You could stick in a few TBolts and P51's for added zest.

Might make a great (and historically correct) on-line server campaign - low level dogfights, mud-moving. Sounds like a winner to me. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's the WarClouds server you've described there, although it's not a campaign server...

Bremspropeller
05-24-2007, 08:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">compare them to 1000 D-9's (was it?) built between Sept 44 and May45 </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It was roughly 1800. (Rodeike's count-out figures 1805 units built).

horseback
05-24-2007, 10:45 AM
German wastage ratios would be higher than RAF/Commonwealth units; between Allied advances and suffocation of ground transport, LW logistics became very irregular. It was often actually easier to discard damaged or broken aircraft and replace them with new a/c flown in. Their main concern was fuel, not aircraft or parts for them.

As to the significance of RAF's premier fighters, most Spit XIV and Tempest V units arrived after first week of January, 1945, just as LW activity started to disintegrate & many units started to disband after becoming increasingly isolated from resupply.

Aerial encounters became vanishingly rare from January onwards from an Allied perspective, and results of the few combats that did occur may have been skewed by all sorts of factors, including surprise (10-15 sorties without enemy air opposition, and then-BOOM!), relative experience (the LW side would want to get the most experienced pilots in there, the Allies would pump in as many rookies into the mill as possible to get 'combat time'), recognition problems (Allied pilots much more prone to friendly fire accidents & resulting hesitation; LW knew almost everyone else out there would be enemy), and the universal desire not to get killed when the war was already lost/won.

IMHO, measuring how good the Tempest V or Spit XIV were would be a matter of comparison against the already known quantities like the P-51D or Spit IX/XVI, rather than their results of aerial ambushes in the nasty weather of the winter of 44/45.

cheers

horseback

faustnik
05-24-2007, 11:30 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
measuring how good the Tempest V or Spit XIV were would be a matter of comparison against the already known quantities like the P-51D or Spit IX/XVI, rather than their results of aerial ambushes in the nasty weather of the winter of 44/45. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, out of the Tempest/Mustang/Spit XIV, I would have to pick the Spit if range is not factor. It had the best performance and fight ability over a very large range of altitudes.

In "Green Hearts" Jg54 mentioned encountering the "new Spitfires" in Spring '45.

Xiolablu3
05-24-2007, 12:19 PM
I like the RAF expeditionary force amke-up, it sounds formidable :-

Thats Typhoons attacking the German positions with rockets and bombs,
with Spitfire IX's and Spitfire IX 25lbs as close support/cover,
Tempests on Free hunts down low/medium and Spitfire XIV's flying Top and Medium Cover.
Spitfire XIV recce Squad keeping an eye on things and searching out targets.

Sounds like a well balanced force, ready to do many different roles.

If they could have worked in the Meteor F3 somewhere it would have been even better. I understand the Meteor wasnt the greatest plane in the world, but it would certainly have added another option to the force (Very high speed)


Does anyone know why the RAF didnt go straight to full SPitfire XIV production in July 1944 rather than keep producing Spitfire IX's? Was 600-700 planes exactly what the RAF wanted to supplement its other planes? Or was there a problem with SPitfire XIV production&gt;?


Guys can I just say what a pleasant experience a mature discussion on this forum is for a change.

Very interesting points, with no back biting, bias or b*llsh*t.

Just people telling their opinons, knowing very well that they are only opinions, and willing to listen to others points of view.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

More threads like this one!

luftluuver
05-24-2007, 12:33 PM
More like 32% Typhoons Xio. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Spit9/16 was around 45%.

Have to agree, this has been a good thread since one, or two, were told not to participate. That should be a clear indicator where the disruption to the board comes from.

Xiolablu3
05-24-2007, 12:38 PM
Rgr that mate.

I totally understand where you are coming from when you say 'its not that many' Spit XIV's and Tempests, but you have to realise that I had been led to believe that the Spitfire XIV did basically nothing in the war and it was lucky to see a fight, which I now realise is completely wrong.

Thats why I may seem a bit more impressed by the numbers in action than many others.

I cant help thinking that 100 SPitfire XIV's and 100 Tempests flying free hunts daily over the frontlines would give some serious hurt to any Luftwaffe planes they came across.

I believe a SPitfire XIV was the first fighter to shoot down a Me262. I guess this should have told me something about the Spit XIV in action.

faustnik
05-24-2007, 12:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
I cant help thinking that 100 SPitfire XIV's and 100 Tempests flying free hunts daily over the frontlines would give some serious hurt to any Luftwaffe planes they came across. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm sure they could, but, I think you are putting too much emphasis on the fighter type. Spit IXs, Typhoons, P-47s, P-51s and P-38s could cause just as much hurt to whatever the LW could put in the air in 1945.

The best fighter in 1945 was the one that could provide the best ground support and still engage e/a when needed. So, again, I'm back to needing more catagories http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif . Best all-around pure fighter = Spit XIV. Most useful fighter = P-47D/P-38L/Tempest.

Bewolf
05-24-2007, 01:00 PM
I am usually not inclined to say that, but this got reduced to a happy allied wank threat.
No offence.

Blutarski2004
05-24-2007, 01:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Rgr that mate.

I totally understand where you are coming from when you say 'its not that many' Spit XIV's and Tempests, but you have to realise that I had been led to believe that the Spitfire XIV did basically nothing in the war and it was lucky to see a fight, which I now realise is completely wrong.

Thats why I may seem a bit more impressed by the numbers in action than many others.

I cant help thinking that 100 SPitfire XIV's and 100 Tempests flying free hunts daily over the frontlines would give some serious hurt to any Luftwaffe planes they came across.

I believe a SPitfire XIV was the first fighter to shoot down a Me262. I guess this should have told me something about the Spit XIV in action. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... The numbers are also a relative thing. How many fighters (not sorties) was the LW putting up on a daily basis over Germany in early 1945?

200? 300? 500?

Those 100 XIV's and 100 Tempests suddenly take on a somewhat different operational aspect.

ploughman
05-24-2007, 01:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
I am usually not inclined to say that, but this got reduced to a happy allied wank threat.
No offence. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thread. You threatened? Thanks for the input though, really. Very good. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Blutarski2004
05-24-2007, 01:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Guys can I just say what a pleasant experience a mature discussion on this forum is for a change.

Very interesting points, with no back biting, bias or b*llsh*t.

Just people telling their opinons, knowing very well that they are only opinions, and willing to listen to others points of view.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

More threads like this one! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



..... I agree.

Xiolablu3
05-24-2007, 01:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
I am usually not inclined to say that, but this got reduced to a happy allied wank threat.
No offence. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I totally disagree, my favourite fighters include more German than anything else.

So do Ratsacks.

Its just that the subject got onto Spitfire XIV's and ALlied planes, nothing to do with ow they fared versus German planes.

Where is anyone saying anything about 'uber' Allied planes?

Just because we are not discussing German planes at the moment doesnt make this a Allied-wank-tank

If you want to talk about German planes, then start talking! Dont sl*g off the already interesting conversation.

I fear this thread is taking a turn for the worst.

Xiolablu3
05-24-2007, 01:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by faustnik:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
I cant help thinking that 100 SPitfire XIV's and 100 Tempests flying free hunts daily over the frontlines would give some serious hurt to any Luftwaffe planes they came across. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm sure they could, but, I think you are putting too much emphasis on the fighter type. Spit IXs, Typhoons, P-47s, P-51s and P-38s could cause just as much hurt to whatever the LW could put in the air in 1945.

The best fighter in 1945 was the one that could provide the best ground support and still engage e/a when needed. So, again, I'm back to needing more catagories http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif . Best all-around pure fighter = Spit XIV. Most useful fighter = P-47D/P-38L/Tempest. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I know you meant best Allied fighter.

(Sorry to add this but Beowulf is getting the wrong idea)

I am not even sure that the Spitfire XIV was such an amazing fighter - I really dont know. I am quite sure that the Me262 was more formidable and the FW190D9/P51D on a par with the Spitfire XIV. I would think that high speed control would be better on the Dora and the Mustang for a start.

I believe the Spit XIV still had poor ailerons at high speed like the other Spitfires? It was the same Spitfire VIII airframe after all.

It all depends exactly what the situation is, in that precise battle.

faustnik
05-24-2007, 01:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:


I know you meant best Allied fighter.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, I didn't. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

Xiolablu3
05-24-2007, 01:21 PM
Would you really choose a Spit XIV over a ME262?


I suppose it all depends on what the mission is.

For example Me262's probably wouldnt be much good for bomber escort.

faustnik
05-24-2007, 01:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Would you really choose a Spit XIV over a ME262? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I just can't go with the Me262 because of the reliability factor.

The Dora was equal to the Spit XIV at some height, superior in speed on the deck, but, at higher altitudes, the XIV was a great machine. I'd rate the Dora as a close contender.

EDIT: Factor in range, and the P-51D is my first choice.

ploughman
05-24-2007, 01:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by faustnik:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Would you really choose a Spit XIV over a ME262? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I just can't go with the Me262 because of the reliability factor.

The Dora was equal to the Spit XIV at some height, superior in speed on the deck, but, at higher altitudes, the XIV was a great machine. I'd rate the Dora as a close contender.

EDIT: Factor in range, and the P-51D is my first choice. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> We're very Euro-centric here. As the war progresses in Europe the range thing becomes less crucial, but it's always critical in the Pacific so perhaps we finish with the P-51 because, as Gib said, it can project and protect into the enemy's heartland.

Gibbage1
05-24-2007, 01:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
For example Me262's probably wouldnt be much good for bomber escort. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Considering the Me-262's limitations, I would not choose it. Logistics, having to overhaul the engines every 25 hours is just insane! Also, lets talk about range and endurance again. How did so many Me-262's get shot down by "inferior" Mustangs? Ow ya, ran low on fuel. Mustangs fallowed them back to base, shot them down, and then shot the rest of the Me-262's in there hangers. Again, range was a CRITICAL FLAW. The best example of that was the Me-262!

JtD
05-24-2007, 02:13 PM
The Me-262 wasn't a particularly short ranged fighter.

Xiolablu3
05-24-2007, 02:51 PM
I know what you mean about the reliabilty, but Me262 vs P51/Spit XIV/Fw190D9 1vs1 or equal numbers vs equal numbers,

I think I would have to choose the Me262, despite its problems.

Obviously 10 P51's/Doras/Spits vs 1 Me262, I would choose the Prop planes.

WW2 history shows quantity has a quality all of its own.

Certainly on the terms of Ratsacks post, the Me262 cannot be considered, but 1 Vs 1 I think is a whole different ballgame.

Gibbage1
05-24-2007, 04:27 PM
1 vs 1, I would take the P-80 over the Me-262, but thats a new catagory or even a new thread.

MEGILE
05-24-2007, 04:32 PM
For pure staying alive.... it has to be the Tempest.... fast as fffffff, dives like a mother in law thrown down a mountain... and hits with the quad 20mikemikes.

Philipscdrw
05-24-2007, 07:12 PM
If I was a combat pilot in Western Yurp in 1944/45, the Tempest V is what I'd like to sit in, for much the same reasons that Megile said. (I'm haunted by the tale of the P-51 pilot who was bounced while using the relief tube, who ended up with frozen urine all over the canopy, which gradually melted as he dived home. No long-range escorts for me OKthanksbye)

If I was a Minister for War, with the benefit of cloudy hindsight, I wouldn't rush to dominate the enemy's interior - overwhelming battlefield air superiority would be enough, I think, combined with high-speed deep strikes provided by low-flying Mosquito- or Ar-234-like aircraft against railway junctions. But admittedly I am biased in favour of the Tempest...

luftluuver
05-24-2007, 08:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
I believe a SPitfire XIV was the first fighter to shoot down a Me262. I guess this should have told me something about the Spit XIV in action. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Xio, the first Spit to down a Me262 was by 5 Spitfire IXs http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif from 401 RCAF near Nijmegan on Oct 5. The 262 was WNr 170093 flown by Hptm H-C Buttmann.

There is some debate whether 2 P-47s from the 78th FG downed Ofw H Lauer's 262. Lauer said he had to put down as he was out of fuel and the P-47s shot at him while he was ditching. This happened on Aug 28. The pilots were Maj J Myers and Lt MO Croy Jr.

On Oct 2, or it could be Oct 3, P-47s from 365th FG again downed Lauer. Again Lauer had run out of fuel so maybe this and the previous (Aug 28) are being confused.

During this time just about every 262 in Kdo Schenk was suffering radio problems.

a/c flown by 401

* Hurricane I (April 1941 - May 1941)
* Hurricane IIB (May 1941 - September 1941)
* Spitfire IIA (September 1941 - October 1941)
* Spitfire Vb (October 1941 - August 1942)
* Spitfire IXC (July 1942 - December 1942)
* Spitfire VC (December 1942 - October 1943)
* Spitfire IXC (October 1943 - April 1945)
* Spitfire XIVE (May 1945 - June 1945)
* Spitfire XIVE (June 1945 - July 1945)

ps. a loss list for Tempest was posted almost a year ago on the CWoS board

luftluuver
05-24-2007, 09:03 PM
For those that want a German OoB see,
http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/2072/LW_OBs.html

Luftwaffe Order of Battle
10 January 1945

Serviceable Aircraft Strengths
Single-engined fighters 1462
Night fighters 808
Ground-attack aircraft 613
Night harassment aircraft 302
Multi-engined bombers 294
Anti-shipping aircraft 83
Long-range reconaissance aircraft 176
Short-range and army cooperation aircraft 293
Coastal aircraft 60
Transport aircraft 269
Misc. aircraft (KG 200) 206
Total 4566

It is further broken down for a/c by area of operations if you go to the link.

Source: Alfred Price. Luftwaffe Data Book, 1997

Xiolablu3
05-25-2007, 02:24 AM
Good info there LuftLuvver thx for the corrections.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
1 vs 1, I would take the P-80 over the Me-262, but thats a new catagory or even a new thread. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

But the P80 certainly isnt a WW2 combat aircrat. It never even goy into a fight.

So it really cannot be considered as a 'Fighter from WW2' unless we want to start including other non combatants like the Vampire, SPitfire 21, Sea Fury, Bearcat etc.

Gibbage1
05-25-2007, 02:26 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
But the P80 certainly isnt a WW2 combat aircrat. It never even goy into a fight.

So it really cannot be considered. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Like I said, new catagory, or even a new thread. But let it be said, it was available, and could of been used. 1 set of P-80's based in Italy were sent up to intercept a recon Me-262. The P-80's could not find the Me-262. It was THAT CLOSE.

Bewolf
05-25-2007, 03:07 AM
4 planes in Europe, 1 of them crashing, can hardly be called "available" by all standarts. It was rushed there without its teething problems worked out, mostly for evaluation purposes.

By that the Ta 152, the He 162, the Do335, even the Horten would be legit contenders as well. Hardly realistic. The Meteor and the Swallow were the only jets that had "any" impact at all, even if those Shooting Stars found that recce 262.

P.S. So much for the official opposite opinion, everything else about that in a new topic, as you suggested, if at all.

carguy_
05-25-2007, 04:00 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Megile:
For pure staying alive.... it has to be the Tempest.... fast as fffffff, dives like a mother in law thrown down a mountain... and hits with the quad 20mikemikes. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

For veterans maybe or talented n00bs but otherwise,no,quite the opposite.It was a heavy ,unfriendly plane that did not forgive mistakes and often fell from the sky like a stone.

My definition of the best plane assumes it to be easy on the controls to make just about any trained n00b a good pilot.Spitfire did just that,it made RAF pilots fly with the same effectiveness as LW veterans and I find that amazing.Also ,it is the aircraft that completely confirmed its abilities against a force in bigger numbers,ulike US planes that were excellent only in using their excessive numeric superiority.

So for survival,maybe a Spit for me because it was the best piece of hardware I could get...and maybe a P47 because even if a triggerhappy German got few rounds on me,I`d just call help and retreat to friendly lines with big chance of saving the plane.

Bewolf
05-25-2007, 04:03 AM
Best plane is the plane that brings its pilots home alive while still inflicting heavy losses on the enemy.

P-47, without any doubt there.

luftluuver
05-25-2007, 04:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
4 planes in Europe, 1 of them crashing, can hardly be called "available" by all standarts. It was rushed there without its teething problems worked out, mostly for evaluation purposes.

By that the Ta 152, the He 162, the Do335, even the Horten would be legit contenders as well. Hardly realistic. The Meteor and the Swallow were the only jets that had "any" impact at all, even if those Shooting Stars found that recce 262. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
The 262 could be hardly called combat ready.

The Ta152H had numerous problems that in normal times would have set its introduction into service back.

The 162 and 335 as well could be hardly called combat ready. Both had issues, the 162 being the glue used and the 335 an overheating problem.

As for the Horten, well there was less of those than P-80s that showed up in Europe. It had barely gone into production of pre-production -0 a/c and no a/c had been completed.

Bewolf
05-25-2007, 04:50 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
4 planes in Europe, 1 of them crashing, can hardly be called "available" by all standarts. It was rushed there without its teething problems worked out, mostly for evaluation purposes.

By that the Ta 152, the He 162, the Do335, even the Horten would be legit contenders as well. Hardly realistic. The Meteor and the Swallow were the only jets that had "any" impact at all, even if those Shooting Stars found that recce 262. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
The 262 could be hardly called combat ready.

The Ta152H had numerous problems that in normal times would have set its introduction into service back.

The 162 and 335 as well could be hardly called combat ready. Both had issues, the 162 being the glue used and the 335 an overheating problem.

As for the Horten, well there was less of those than P-80s that showed up in Europe. It had barely gone into production of pre-production -0 a/c and no a/c had been completed. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks for supporting my opinion.

Bremspropeller
05-25-2007, 04:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The 262 could be hardly called combat ready.

The Ta152H had numerous problems that in normal times would have set its introduction into service back.

The 162 and 335 as well could be hardly called combat ready </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


The 262 was as much CR as possible given the circumstances.
Although "not" being CR it was still superior to the contemporary Meteor.
Oh, was the Meteor to be considered CR btw?

Well, certainly more CR than those five or six early Shooting Stars, sitting in Italy THAT CLOSE from having seen action. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

The Ta was just as CR as the early Typhoons or Fw 190s (speaking of A-1s and A-2s).
It served well enough and despite it's "numerous problems" (please count them up), it was very popular among it's pilots and considered a vast improvement over earlier types.

The 162 had it's glue-problems solved by the time it was sent into service.

All of the planes mentioned above - well except the P-80 that is - saw action and combat.

luftluuver
05-25-2007, 05:14 AM
Brem it was only 4 P-80s. Two went to Italy and the other 2 went to GB.
http://home.att.net/~jbaugher1/p80.html (http://home.att.net/%7Ejbaugher1/p80.html)

I also read somewhere that P-80 squadrons(s) were on their way to the Pacific area when WW2 ended.

Yes they all saw some combat but if the situation was normal, their operational introduction date would have been much later.

The Typhoon would have been set back but the situation was dire. In fact, it was almost cancelled.

Ratsack
05-25-2007, 05:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
Best plane is the plane that brings its pilots home alive while still inflicting heavy losses on the enemy.

P-47, without any doubt there. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's an interesting exercise to compare some of the raids. Consider the 8th AF attack on Berlin on 6 March 44. During this raid 81 German planes were claimed shot down:

"...by the VIII and IX Fighter Command fighter groups participating. Of these claims, two were by P-38s, 38 by P-47s and 41 by P-51s, although only 100 P-51s were despatched as against 615 P-47s - and this achievement was at the cost of onlhy one P-38 and five each P-47s and P-51s"

From Roger A. Freeman, The Fight for the Skies, (Cassell, London, 1998), p. 114. Now, in this instance German losses were only (only?) 66 planes destroyed due to the usual over claiming, but the important part is not the absolute numbers, but the relative kill and loss rates.

On the face of it, the P-51 was about 6 times more effective in killing German fighters on a sortie-for-sortie basis, on this occasion. However, it was also about 6 times more likely to be shot down on the same sortie-for-sortie basis.

Perhaps what we're seeing is the effect of the Mustangs providing support at the target and its immediate approach and exit. One could reasonably expect the resistance to fiercest there. Another way to say the same thing is that the Mustangs had more access to combat.

However, if we measure its effectiveness by the degree to which it was successful in the role for which it was deployed, the Mustang was the winner in my view. It was deployed in early 1944 with the intention of destroying German fighters. It did that rather admirably.

...but I can't help wondering if it wasn't just a function of where it was deployed in the escort stream.



On the matter of the P-80 and its comparison with anything, I agree with you completely. It can't sensibly be included in this topic. Which think Gibbage said.

cheers,
Ratsack

[EDIT]: Doh!

luftluuver
05-25-2007, 05:17 AM
Ratsack before you are jumped, you have to fix a typo &gt; P-74. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

luftluuver
05-25-2007, 05:20 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">...but I can't help wondering if it wasn't just a function of where it was deployed in the escort stream. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Be sure, at least in your example, as the P-47's range could barely have it entering the airspace of Germany.

Bremspropeller
05-25-2007, 05:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The Typhoon would have been set back but the situation was dire. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's it, the situation demanded the introduction right now.

It's not that the Ta didn't have teething problems, but otherwise it wasn't just the bombers that were the main threat for Germany, there were numerous Jabos buzzing around over the country.
Chasing them didn't require a working pressurized cabin.

The 162 on the other hand was never intended to be a "full scale" fighter project.
It was intended to rush as many of them into service as possible.
Early planes surely were deathtraps, but they got much more reliable by the time JG 1 took some over at Leck AB.


The P-80 was a good design, but as Gibbage said, we'd better not count it as "WW II" a/c.

luftluuver
05-25-2007, 05:35 AM
The Ta152 had more than just a pressurization problem.

Wasn't one of 'aces' of JG1 killed when an ejection seat malfunctioned and put him through the canopy. I believe that there was other occurances of this happening.

Agree, the P-80 should be left out of the discussion.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The 162 on the other hand was never intended to be a "full scale" fighter project. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Not so sure about that considering all the design work that was being done.

Bremspropeller
05-25-2007, 05:43 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The Ta152 had more than just a pressurization problem. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

So what was it then?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Not so sure about that considering all the design work that was being done. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I meant, it wasn't intended to be delivered to LW units at first.
It was only after the protest of several high-ranking personnel when the idea of the "Volksjger" was finally dropped.

Ratsack
05-25-2007, 06:01 AM
All,

I have edited the post on p. 5 that covers the second half of 1944. The main changes so far are to the detail of the Spitfire XIV entry, and some other details in the Tempest and G-14 parts.

I have not changed my overall conclusion in favour of the P-51D, because I think it's pretty strong as is. However, I am open to argument on a number of subsidiary issues. These include:

1. the significance of the Spitfire XIV. The extra information in the edited post doesn't say there were more of them than Stathem and Luftluuver have shown. It does, however, point out their particular role. My question is, was it significant?

2. The significance of the Tempest. Pretty much the same questions as above.

3. The significance of the Fw 190 D-9. Some here have suggested a production run of 1,700 or 1,800 aircraft. The numbers I've seen are much lower. E.g., 674 built, quoted in Heinz J Nowarra, Focke-Wulf Fw 190 & Ta 152, (Haynes, Sparkford, 1988), p. 147, or '...a little short of 700 examples...', quoted in Gordon Swanborough & William Green, The Focke Wulf Fw 190, (Newton Abbot, London, 1976), p. 76. These are both respectable tertiary sources, but primary source information would better. I would like to get this right.

4. The significance of the Bf 109 K-4. Kurfy has quoted a well-known and respected tertiary source on the 109 (in a much earlier thread) that claims more than 1,500 K-4s were built. I have read two other tertiary sources that claim the number was more like 750. I want to get this one straight, too.

cheers,
Ratsack

Blutarski2004
05-25-2007, 06:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
4. The significance of the Bf 109 K-4. Again, Kurfy has quoted a well-known and respected tertiary source on the 109 that claims more that 1,500 K-4s were built. I have read two other tertiary sources that claim the number was more like 750. I want to get this one straight, too. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Went to that nifty LW order of battle website and compiled the following numbers of available day fighters as of 30 Nov 1944 -

ME109 - - - - - (Total: 1992)
G2---6
G5---2
G6---403
G10--144
G14--1227
K4---209
T1---1
____________

FW190 - - - - - (Total: 1291)
A2---1
A3---22
A4---15
A5---21
A6---41
A7---15
A8---1053
A9---117
F8---4
G3---2
____________

FW190 - - - - - (Total: 123)
D9---123
____________

ME262 - - - - - (Total: 58)
A1---35
A2---19
B1---2
B2---2
____________

ME163 - - - - - (Total: 86)
A----4
B0---82
____________

TA154 - - - - - (Total: 1)
A2---1

______________________________


AGGREGATE TOTAL: 3551 fighter aircraft


Interesting observations, as of the end of November 1944:

(1) Approx 1 in 10 of available ME109s was a K4 model.
(2) 70+ pct of available ME109s were of G14 model or later.
(3) 90+ pct of available ME109s were of G10 model or later.

(4) Approx 1 in 10 of available FW190As was an A9 model.
(5) 90+ pct of available FW190As were of A8 model or later.

(6) ME109-K4s outnumbered FW190-D9s by a factor of 1.7:1.

(7) ME163's outnumbered ME262s by a factor of approx 3:2.

(8) Considering the fact that the LW did not possess sufficient pilots or fuel to put anything more than a modest fraction of these fighters into the air on any given day, it is reasonable to hypothesize that preference would have been given (fuel quality permitting) to the aircraft with the better performance. Therefore, the higher performance versions (K4s, D9s, etc) might well have had a rather greater representation in actual aerial combat than the above inventory figures suggest.

Bewolf
05-25-2007, 07:34 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
Best plane is the plane that brings its pilots home alive while still inflicting heavy losses on the enemy.

P-47, without any doubt there. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's an interesting exercise to compare some of the raids. Consider the 8th AF attack on Berlin on 6 March 44. During this raid 81 German planes were claimed shot down:

"...by the VIII and IX Fighter Command fighter groups participating. Of these claims, two were by P-38s, 38 by P-47s and 41 by P-51s, although only 100 P-51s were despatched as against 615 P-47s - and this achievement was at the cost of onlhy one P-38 and five each P-47s and P-51s"

From Roger A. Freeman, The Fight for the Skies, (Cassell, London, 1998), p. 114. Now, in this instance German losses were only (only?) 66 planes destroyed due to the usual over claiming, but the important part is not the absolute numbers, but the relative kill and loss rates.

On the face of it, the P-51 was about 6 times more effective in killing German fighters on a sortie-for-sortie basis, on this occasion. However, it was also about 6 times more likely to be shot down on the same sortie-for-sortie basis.

Perhaps what we're seeing is the effect of the Mustangs providing support at the target and its immediate approach and exit. One could reasonably expect the resistance to fiercest there. Another way to say the same thing is that the Mustangs had more access to combat.

However, if we measure its effectiveness by the degree to which it was successful in the role for which it was deployed, the Mustang was the winner in my view. It was deployed in early 1944 with the intention of destroying German fighters. It did that rather admirably.

...but I can't help wondering if it wasn't just a function of where it was deployed in the escort stream.

cheers,
Ratsack

[EDIT]: Doh! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



True, with one thing to keep in mind. The P-47 was also very successful in the tactical groundpounder role, a role when taken dirctly was much more important in winning the war then strategic bombing (as long one does not argue that strategic bombing was kept running only to draw out and decimate the Luftwaffe). In this role the 47 excelled and was used in much greater numbers then the Mustang, while "still" having a better survivale rate. I consider this very impressive.

Bewolf
05-25-2007, 07:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:


Interesting observations, as of the end of November 1944:

(1) Approx 1 in 10 of available ME109s was a K4 model.
(2) 70+ pct of available ME109s were of G14 model or later.
(3) 90+ pct of available ME109s were of G10 model or later.

(4) Approx 1 in 10 of available FW190As was an A9 model.
(5) 90+ pct of available FW190As were of A8 model or later.

(6) ME109-K4s outnumbered FW190-D9s by a factor of 1.7:1.

(7) ME163's outnumbered ME262s by a factor of approx 3:2.

(8) Considering the fact that the LW did not possess sufficient pilots or fuel to put anything more than a modest fraction of these fighters into the air on any given day, it is reasonable to hypothesize that preference would have been given (fuel quality permitting) to the aircraft with the better performance. Therefore, the higher performance versions (K4s, D9s, etc) might well have had a rather greater representation in actual aerial combat than the above inventory figures suggest. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I pointed that out already in one of the deleted threads. Thanks though for providing the numbers underlining this.

stathem
05-25-2007, 08:24 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
4. The significance of the Bf 109 K-4. Again, Kurfy has quoted a well-known and respected tertiary source on the 109 that claims more that 1,500 K-4s were built. I have read two other tertiary sources that claim the number was more like 750. I want to get this one straight, too. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Went to that nifty LW order of battle website and compiled the following numbers of available day fighters as of 30 Nov 1944 -

ME109 - - - - - (Total: 1992)
G2---6
G5---2
G6---403
G10--144
G14--1227
K4---209
T1---1
____________

FW190 - - - - - (Total: 1291)
A2---1
A3---22
A4---15
A5---21
A6---41
A7---15
A8---1053
A9---117
F8---4
G3---2
____________

FW190 - - - - - (Total: 123)
D9---123
____________

ME262 - - - - - (Total: 58)
A1---35
A2---19
B1---2
B2---2
____________

ME163 - - - - - (Total: 86)
A----4
B0---82
____________

TA154 - - - - - (Total: 1)
A2---1

______________________________


AGGREGATE TOTAL: 3551 fighter aircraft


Interesting observations, as of the end of November 1944:

(1) Approx 1 in 10 of available ME109s was a K4 model.
(2) 70+ pct of available ME109s were of G14 model or later.
(3) 90+ pct of available ME109s were of G10 model or later.

(4) Approx 1 in 10 of available FW190As was an A9 model.
(5) 90+ pct of available FW190As were of A8 model or later.

(6) ME109-K4s outnumbered FW190-D9s by a factor of 1.7:1.

(7) ME163's outnumbered ME262s by a factor of approx 3:2.

(8) Considering the fact that the LW did not possess sufficient pilots or fuel to put anything more than a modest fraction of these fighters into the air on any given day, it is reasonable to hypothesize that preference would have been given (fuel quality permitting) to the aircraft with the better performance. Therefore, the higher performance versions (K4s, D9s, etc) might well have had a rather greater representation in actual aerial combat than the above inventory figures suggest. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Blutarski, can I just ask, are those the numbers across the whole Luftwaffe, ie, all three fronts (and Norway)?

luftluuver
05-25-2007, 08:33 AM
Yes Ratsack, there was ~1800 Dora 9s built. If you want I can post a doc which shows 190 production. Looks like Nowarra used the A-9 number.

Prien and Rodeike in their 109 book say 534 K-4s had been built buy the end of Nov 44 and another 1200 built by the time WW2 ended.

Add to this the simular G-10 of which some ~6000 were built.

Found a list someone had compiled on another board. This was for neubau 109s.

for the K-4
15(Sept), 293(Oct), 221(Nov), 325(Dec), 338(Jan), 233(Feb), 168(Mar), 1593(Total)
The number is very close to P&R's number with the neubau to end Nov &gt; 529.

The same doc the K-4 info comes from has 2048 G-10s neubau.

Blutarski2004
05-25-2007, 08:41 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:


Interesting observations, as of the end of November 1944:

(1) Approx 1 in 10 of available ME109s was a K4 model.
(2) 70+ pct of available ME109s were of G14 model or later.
(3) 90+ pct of available ME109s were of G10 model or later.

(4) Approx 1 in 10 of available FW190As was an A9 model.
(5) 90+ pct of available FW190As were of A8 model or later.

(6) ME109-K4s outnumbered FW190-D9s by a factor of 1.7:1.

(7) ME163's outnumbered ME262s by a factor of approx 3:2.

(8) Considering the fact that the LW did not possess sufficient pilots or fuel to put anything more than a modest fraction of these fighters into the air on any given day, it is reasonable to hypothesize that preference would have been given (fuel quality permitting) to the aircraft with the better performance. Therefore, the higher performance versions (K4s, D9s, etc) might well have had a rather greater representation in actual aerial combat than the above inventory figures suggest. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I pointed that out already in one of the deleted threads. Thanks though for providing the numbers underlining this. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... My pleasure, Bewolf. This thread is thankfully progressing in a mature and collegial way. I'm taking advantage of that to explore the topic of Reich air defence - something which would usually raise far too much passion.

Blutarski2004
05-25-2007, 08:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by stathem:
Blutarski, can I just ask, are those the numbers across the whole Luftwaffe, ie, all three fronts (and Norway)? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Data came from here - http://www.luftwaffe.no/SIG/OOB/Nov44-1.html

It gave returns for JGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 26, 27, 51, 52, 53, 54, 76, 77, 300, 301, and 400. I'm guessing that this makes it an inventory for the entire LW day fighter force for that date. But I'm not myself absolutely certain of that.

luftluuver
05-25-2007, 09:09 AM
Blutarski, is that from the link I supplied?

Also, that is the LW inventory of a/c 'onhand' and not the a/c 'servicable', correct?

Blutarski2004
05-25-2007, 09:56 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
Blutarski, is that from the link I supplied?

Also, that is the LW inventory of a/c 'onhand' and not the a/c 'servicable', correct? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


It's a net number: a/c on hand plus a/c received from other units minus a/c sent to other units minus aircraft sent for repair. I suppose you could define it as a/c &lt;&lt;on hand&gt;&gt; at the end of the monthly reporting period.

I'm guessing that &lt;&lt;serviceable&gt;&gt; a/c would be about 60-70 pct of the on-hand value, depending upon a/c type and area of operations.

From get the number of &lt;&lt;operationally ready&gt;&gt; a/c you would have to restrict the count the number of aircrew available to actually fly the given a/c.

Then there is the restricted fuel issue, which seems to have steadily escalated in severity from June of 1944 onward. Fuel is probably the principal limitation, but I have no grip on the degree.

DmdSeeker
05-25-2007, 11:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
I would also like to note, from my reading, range was not much of a consideration in Ratsacks list.

Honestly, I think short range was a critical flaw! A short range fighter, like the 109, is nothing but a defensive weapon. You CANT win a war with defensive weapons. With an endurance of 30-45 mins, it has very little use in a war. By the time it gets to the fight, the pilot is already planning his run home. On the otherhand, long range fighters played many roles that contributed to an offensive war. P-51, P-47 and P-38's, after escorting bombers, often would go down and strafe critical targets. Airfields, trains, boats and trucking.

Gib </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I take your point; but think it's over stated.

After all; Germany had already won several wars with the 109: Spain, Czekoslvakia, Poland; France and Greece were all won with the 109.

Come to think of it; Britain and Russia also won the war with short range fighters.

I think you're being a bit narrow sighted. Granted; range was vital for the 8 th airforce and for the forces in the Pacific. America did a fantastic job of making exactly the right planes to suit her needs.

But there were other shows in town too.

Say they magicaly grafted an extra two hours endurance on the 109; can you see the He177 taking the role the B-17 did?

What would the Russians use a four hour endurance for?

Would it have helped the Italian?

faustnik
05-25-2007, 12:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DmdSeeker:
After all; Germany had already won several wars with the 109: Spain, Czekoslvakia, Poland; France and Greece were all won with the 109. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The LW also suffered in the war against England and the war against the USSR because it did not have good long range capability.



<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Come to think of it; Britain and Russia also won the war with short range fighters. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The RAF and VVS won defensive battle with short range fighters.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">What would the Russians use a four hour endurance for? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Fighters with greater endurance can stay over a CAP zone longer. The can climb to greater altitudes and gain tactical advantage. They can escort bombers further into enemy territory.

The Soviets did seek to increase the range of their fighters. The used external tanks and increased internal fuel with models like the Yak-9DD.

If you can increase range without sacrificing performance you gain advantages in many ways.

horseback
05-25-2007, 01:07 PM
As the Japanese demonstrated in the early Pacific war with the Zero, range acts as a force multiplier; your fighters can show up in unexpected places and times (and so can your bombers and torpedo planes), cover much wider swaths of territory for longer periods of time and pursue enemy aircraft over much greater distances.

The Spitfire's lack of range hamstrung the RAF's daylight operations after the Battle of Britain, as the Germans simply settled into a defense in depth that was very advantageous for them until the advent of the P-38, P-51 and improved range modifications of the P-47. Bombers with the sufficient range to damage German industry weren't capable of defending themselves beyond the range of escort fighters, and they were no strategic threat until over the target.

Since the distance between the point the escorts had to turn back and the bomber still had to travel to target provided plenty of time for German defenses to maul them badly, the German fighters could avoid facing the escorts and concern themselves with their real job which was to stop the bombers.

A four hour endurance for Soviet fighters would have allowed far fewer holes for the LW experten to slip through and go hunting; they could have blanketed the vast areas even their great numbers had trouble covering; they were simply lacking in the metals and technology to build a fighter to their specifications (ie, small, fast, highly maneuverable) with the range capability until the Yak 9DD, at which time their strategic air doctrine was already set for the war.

An extra two hours' range for the 109 would have been disastrous for the 8th Air Force. The USAAF put a lot of effort into 'spoofing' the Germans' fighter defenses into flying to protect the wrong location, making feints, doglegs or small diversionary raids to distract from the main effort, and these were often quite successful in limiting the amount of fighter opposition they faced.

Had the LW been able to climb to altitude at a more leisurely pace and been able to then fly wherever the bombers were reported instead of waiting until the last moment and climbing hell for leather for two or three passes before exhausting their fuel and pilots (a fast climb on oxygen is physically harder on you than a slow climb in an unpressurized a/c), their defense would have been a good bit more effective.

As for Italy, range allowed the Allies to cover the Med like a blanket once they were on the Italian mainland. Had the Italian AF been capable of similar coverage, the North African campaign would have been much more arduous than it already was.

cheers

horseback

Philipscdrw
05-25-2007, 01:51 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
As the Japanese demonstrated in the early Pacific war with the Zero, range acts as a force multiplier; *snip* </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif

Excellent post!

Ratsack
05-25-2007, 05:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
Yes Ratsack, there was ~1800 Dora 9s built. If you want I can post a doc which shows 190 production. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That would be good, thanks. What I'm trying to achieve here is a single thread that outlines performance and production data and, where the matter is controversial, provides a link, a proper reference, or a scan. As I said before, I will edit the narrative posts to include this material.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Looks like Nowarra used the A-9 number. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't think so. Both he and Green et al give suspiciously similar number in publications a long way apart in time. This suggests they were looking at the same source document. It'd be good to know what it was, but neither of them footnoted that figure.

Be that as it may, I want to get this number as close as we can to the most probable number.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Prien and Rodeike in their 109 book say 534 K-4s had been built buy the end of Nov 44 and another 1200 built by the time WW2 ended. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, that's the tertiary source Kurfy quoted ages ago. I am skeptical of those figures on two grounds. Firstly because the source is a book written by 109 enthusiasts. I'm skeptical of information from 'enthusiasts' (such as Freeman, when he gushes about the P-47, or Hermann et al, when they quote very optimistic performance figures for the Fw 190 A, etc). I'll take it as a starting point, but I'll be skeptical until I can find something that corroborates it.

The second reason I'm skeptical of those figures is because they require higher rates of production in the last months of the war - when the country was being overrun and the bombing was nearly unopposed - than in late 1944 when German fighter production peaked. This second objection is not a show-stopper: it is certainly possible that they produced more in 45 than in late 44. I just don't think it's likely.

So I would therefore rather see some document that purports to show deliveries...

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Found a list someone had compiled on another board. This was for neubau 109s.

for the K-4
15(Sept), 293(Oct), 221(Nov), 325(Dec), 338(Jan), 233(Feb), 168(Mar), 1593(Total)
The number is very close to P&R's number with the neubau to end Nov &gt; 529. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Like the ones above. Can we have a link or something so we can interrogate the sources?

cheers,
Ratsack

luftluuver
05-25-2007, 05:26 PM
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-12/1114844/Fw190-prod.jpg

luftluuver
05-25-2007, 05:34 PM
Ratsack you can read the thread and get the file here (pg 3), http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=2462&highlight=neubau+109

Ratsack
05-25-2007, 05:37 PM
Thanks for that, Luft. It seems to have Nowarra's number on it. Now, what does it mean? 'Literature' and 'auszaelung' (disbursement, delivery?). Are they saying the second column is disbursed production?
cheers,
Ratsack

Brain32
05-25-2007, 05:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Thanks for that, Luft. It seems to have Nowarra's number on it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Nowarra probably found production data only from one factory. FW190D9 was manufactured in 5 factories:
FockeWulf - Cottbus: 720
FockeWulf - Aslau: 30
Fiesler Kassel: 680
Weserflug Lemwerder: 50
Unknown factory(probably Mimetal Efurt): 325

Airmail109
05-25-2007, 06:03 PM
http://www.static3d.com/gaming/bf1942/images/mycorsar.jpg

AKA_TAGERT
05-25-2007, 06:16 PM
cool I invented a word

Ratsack
05-25-2007, 06:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Brain32:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Thanks for that, Luft. It seems to have Nowarra's number on it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Nowarra probably found production data only from one factory. FW190D9 was manufactured in 5 factories:
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's what I was implying above. Can one of the native German speakers please tell us what that table means (and what the text at the bottom is, too)? The mortal remains of my ancient, atrophied high school suggest that the column second from the left is some sort of total of the production at the disbursed factories.

The column to the right of that column is a bit of a problem, because it's a total. However, it doesn't add up. It only sums the column immediately to its left (disbursed). What is the left-hand column (literature)??!!

Help, please!

cheers,
Ratsack

HellToupee
05-25-2007, 06:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
An extra two hours' range for the 109 would have been disastrous for the 8th Air Force. The USAAF put a lot of effort into 'spoofing' the Germans' fighter defenses into flying to protect the wrong location, making feints, doglegs or small diversionary raids to distract from the main effort, and these were often quite successful in limiting the amount of fighter opposition they faced.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

How would it have helped they didnt have fuel to waste on flying fighters around waiting for the bombers to pick a target, they had long range variants of 190 for example the 190g which were discontinued.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
The Spitfire's lack of range hamstrung the RAF's daylight operations after the Battle of Britain, as the Germans simply settled into a defense in depth that was very advantageous for them until the advent of the P-38, P-51 and improved range modifications of the P-47. Bombers with the sufficient range to damage German industry weren't capable of defending themselves beyond the range of escort fighters, and they were no strategic threat until over the target. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

they were bombing targets in daylight that were within range of spitfire escort, what hamstrung them was a plane that could equal the 190. One could not just start launching raids into Germany when air superiorty over France was not yet won. What they needed was performance not range as seen in the mk9 vs mk8, they choose to stick with the mk9.

HuninMunin
05-25-2007, 06:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Brain32:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Thanks for that, Luft. It seems to have Nowarra's number on it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Nowarra probably found production data only from one factory. FW190D9 was manufactured in 5 factories:
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's what I was implying above. Can one of the native German speakers please tell us what that table means (and what the text at the bottom is, too)? The mortal remains of my ancient, atrophied high school suggest that the column second from the left is some sort of total of the production at the disbursed factories.

The column to the right of that column is a bit of a problem, because it's a total. However, it doesn't add up. It only sums the column immediately to its left (disbursed). What is the left-hand column (literature)??!!

Help, please!

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Text says:

"The present list is the result of ( at the time ) aproximatly provable
production numbers of Fw190A,D [...], wich are contrasted by the numbers found in literatur until now."

(bottom text references another graphic)

That means that one the right side you have the real production numbers and on the left those found in literatur.

horseback
05-25-2007, 07:50 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HellToupee:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
An extra two hours' range for the 109 would have been disastrous for the 8th Air Force. The USAAF put a lot of effort into 'spoofing' the Germans' fighter defenses into flying to protect the wrong location, making feints, doglegs or small diversionary raids to distract from the main effort, and these were often quite successful in limiting the amount of fighter opposition they faced.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

How would it have helped they didnt have fuel to waste on flying fighters around waiting for the bombers to pick a target, they had long range variants of 190 for example the 190g which were discontinued. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> Actually, we have been assured by such luminaries as Kurfurst that the LW did not lack for fuel until the 8th and 15th AFs made a concerted effort at knocking out the German refineries and other fuel sources in mid-late 1944. Had the Germans had a longer ranged 109 or 190 capable of carrying adequate armament to altitude, I contend that the USAAF daylight bombing might not have been able to concentrate on German fuel supplies.

The 190G was a ground attack variant of the Anton, wasn't it? The engine was hardly optimized for high altitude interceptions, and I imagine that it was hoped that it would be useful for 'tip and run' raids against England, or deep strikes against Soviet targets. But it wasn't very fast with two wing tanks, and had a poor climb compared to the standard Anton, and the early versions with two 66 Imp. gallon tanks still had only a 930 mile range, which translates into a very modest 400-450 mile combat radius on a good day.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
The Spitfire's lack of range hamstrung the RAF's daylight operations after the Battle of Britain, as the Germans simply settled into a defense in depth that was very advantageous for them until the advent of the P-38, P-51 and improved range modifications of the P-47. Bombers with the sufficient range to damage German industry weren't capable of defending themselves beyond the range of escort fighters, and they were no strategic threat until over the target. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

they were bombing targets in daylight that were within range of spitfire escort, what hamstrung them was a plane that could equal the 190. One could not just start launching raids into Germany when air superiorty over France was not yet won. What they needed was performance not range as seen in the mk9 vs mk8, they choose to stick with the mk9. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>If the Spitfire had a decent range, they would have had a vastly larger number of potential avenues of attack. As it was, the Germans knew where the RAF had to come from, and had ample warning from their coastal radars when the British aircraft climbed to alt and formed up over Southern England. The Spitfire V's range limited how much altitude it could obtain and still reach any useful targets over France. This made it a much more easily handled opponent for even the 109Fs the LW had in strength along the Channel prior to early 1942.

The RAF certainly wanted a longer ranged Spitfire; they tried those abortive Spit IIs with the non-droppable wing tanks before they managed to develop the slipper tanks.

The switch to the Mk IX was a matter of maintaining control of airspace over England; as long as the FW 190 was so blatantly superior to the majority of the frontline fighters on the Channel, there was a valid concern that the Germans might renew their bombing campaigns at least over southern England. The choice was having the Mk IX in increasing numbers in 1942 or having the Mks VII/VIII arriving in mid/late 1943, too late to prevent the LW from resuming the initiative in the air.

As it was, any foray over the Channel from either direction was likely to be hotly contested, and both sides maintained control over their own territories for the time being.

It was the arrival of American P-47s in early 1943 that relieved the RAF of urgency in the search for greater range; it was (correctly) assumed that the wealthier Americans, who had much more invested in strategic daylight operations, would take on all the responsibilities for the long range high altitude fighter operations.

cheers

horseback

HellToupee
05-25-2007, 10:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
Actually, we have been assured by such luminaries as Kurfurst that the LW did not lack for fuel until the 8th and 15th AFs made a concerted effort at knocking out the German refineries and other fuel sources in mid-late 1944. Had the Germans had a longer ranged 109 or 190 capable of carrying adequate armament to altitude, I contend that the USAAF daylight bombing might not have been able to concentrate on German fuel supplies.

[quote]
The 190G was a ground attack variant of the Anton, wasn't it? The engine was hardly optimized for high altitude interceptions, and I imagine that it was hoped that it would be useful for 'tip and run' raids against England, or deep strikes against Soviet targets. But it wasn't very fast with two wing tanks, and had a poor climb compared to the standard Anton, and the early versions with two 66 Imp. gallon tanks still had only a 930 mile range, which translates into a very modest 400-450 mile combat radius on a good day. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

it was used as a long range jabo, it used the same engine a the normal antons, it was strengthed with more armour etc. Of course it wouldnt perform as well as normal anton, u cant get more range for free.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
The Spitfire's lack of range hamstrung the RAF's daylight operations after the Battle of Britain, as the Germans simply settled into a defense in depth that was very advantageous for them until the advent of the P-38, P-51 and improved range modifications of the P-47. Bombers with the sufficient range to damage German industry weren't capable of defending themselves beyond the range of escort fighters, and they were no strategic threat until over the target. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If the Spitfire had a decent range, they would have had a vastly larger number of potential avenues of attack. As it was, the Germans knew where the RAF had to come from, and had ample warning from their coastal radars when the British aircraft climbed to alt and formed up over Southern England. The Spitfire V's range limited how much altitude it could obtain and still reach any useful targets over France. This made it a much more easily handled opponent for even the 109Fs the LW had in strength along the Channel prior to early 1942. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

they would usually fly low over the channel and climb just before they reached the coast. U couldnt of just loaded the spit V with alot of fuel its performance would have suffered too greatly. All these american long range planes were all much later in the war with more powerful or 2 engines.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
The RAF certainly wanted a longer ranged Spitfire; they tried those abortive Spit IIs with the non-droppable wing tanks before they managed to develop the slipper tanks.

The switch to the Mk IX was a matter of maintaining control of airspace over England; as long as the FW 190 was so blatantly superior to the majority of the frontline fighters on the Channel, there was a valid concern that the Germans might renew their bombing campaigns at least over southern England. The choice was having the Mk IX in increasing numbers in 1942 or having the Mks VII/VIII arriving in mid/late 1943, too late to prevent the LW from resuming the initiative in the air. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

They had control over their skies the MK IX was a more a matter of trying to outperform the LW over theirs, a 190 in range of england was in range of spitfires. A spitv that could fly to berlin and back wouldnt be much use if its performance was not suffient to fight 190s in the first place.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
As it was, any foray over the Channel from either direction was likely to be hotly contested, and both sides maintained control over their own territories for the time being.

It was the arrival of American P-47s in early 1943 that relieved the RAF of urgency in the search for greater range; it was (correctly) assumed that the wealthier Americans, who had much more invested in strategic daylight operations, would take on all the responsibilities for the long range high altitude fighter operations.

cheers

horseback </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

p47s in 1943 were not that long ranged and also were not able to escort bombers the entire length, they with spitfires were only able to escort them in and out. By allied planes spits 47s 51s were superior in performance at altitude, had they faced masses of me262s etc range alone wouldnt help.

horseback
05-25-2007, 11:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"><BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If the Spitfire had a decent range, they would have had a vastly larger number of potential avenues of attack. As it was, the Germans knew where the RAF had to come from, and had ample warning from their coastal radars when the British aircraft climbed to alt and formed up over Southern England. The Spitfire V's range limited how much altitude it could obtain and still reach any useful targets over France. This made it a much more easily handled opponent for even the 109Fs the LW had in strength along the Channel prior to early 1942. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
they would usually fly low over the channel and climb just before they reached the coast. U couldnt of just loaded the spit V with alot of fuel its performance would have suffered too greatly. All these american long range planes were all much later in the war with more powerful or 2 engines. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>You're talking about an entirely different type of mission, a Rhubarb/ground attack.

What I described was what the RAF was doing to draw German fighters into the air, a heavily escorted bombing raid, with several squadrons of Spitfires attampting to escort a few Blenheims. This was called a 'Rodeo.'

The Germans tended to ignore fighter only sweeps, unless they were reasonably sure of a significant success. Catching a Squadron of Spit Vs on the deck would have given the FWs most of the cards, which was why Rhubarbs were usually done in smaller flights, and on an irregular basis. There was still a relatively small section of coastline that had to be watched for British fighters; any radar contact approaching from outside of those areas could be approached with relative impunity. It certainly simplified the German's defensive responses.

They were putting the first slipper tanks on Spit Vb/cs (often further hamstrung with those draggy Vokes' tropical filters) headed for Malta in early 1942. If you are using the extra fuel/range to obtain your best altitude and speed before entering likely combat zones, your internal fuel can be devoted to actual combat and -hopefully- getting home. Greater altitude and speed create greater problems for the opposition because you're harder to intercept, and greater range allows you to show up in more inconvenient places for the enemy.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">They had control over their skies the MK IX was a more a matter of trying to outperform the LW over theirs, a 190 in range of england was in range of spitfires. A spitv that could fly to berlin and back wouldnt be much use if its performance was not suffient to fight 190s in the first place. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>On the contrary, in war a perceived weakness is an invitation for the other guys to step up the pressure. In hindsight, we now know that the LW had too many commitments in Russia and N. Africa to resume the daytime Blitz, but the RAF couldn't be sure of that, and regular overflights of Southern England by FWs was bad for morale, to say the least.

Again, against the FW, a Spit V with an altitude advantage was much better off than one below the FW. Greater range permits larger and longer standing patrols at better altitudes.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">p47s in 1943 were not that long ranged and also were not able to escort bombers the entire length, they with spitfires were only able to escort them in and out. By allied planes spits 47s 51s were superior in performance at altitude, had they faced masses of me262s etc range alone wouldnt help. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>P47s in the spring of 1943 were somewhat longer legged than the Spitfires, and with the use of drop tanks, steadily improved their range over the Spits by the beginning of that autumn.

As I said, once the Americans indicated their commitment to longer ranged fighters, the pressure was off for the RAF; the mere presence of USAAF fighters improved Britain's air defenses.

As for the Me-262s, their suppression by long ranged US fighters 'sitting' over their airfields waiting to catch them in their takeoffs and landings is a classic example of the advantages of range capability cancelling out raw performance.

cheers

horseback

HellToupee
05-26-2007, 04:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">[QUOTE]If the Spitfire had a decent range, they would have had a vastly larger number of potential avenues of attack. As it was, the Germans knew where the RAF had to come from, and had ample warning from their coastal radars when the British aircraft climbed to alt and formed up over Southern England. The Spitfire V's range limited how much altitude it could obtain and still reach any useful targets over France. This made it a much more easily handled opponent for even the 109Fs the LW had in strength along the Channel prior to early 1942. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
they would usually fly low over the channel and climb just before they reached the coast. U couldnt of just loaded the spit V with alot of fuel its performance would have suffered too greatly. All these american long range planes were all much later in the war with more powerful or 2 engines. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>You're talking about an entirely different type of mission, a Rhubarb/ground attack.

What I described was what the RAF was doing to draw German fighters into the air, a heavily escorted bombing raid, with several squadrons of Spitfires attampting to escort a few Blenheims. This was called a 'Rodeo.'

The Germans tended to ignore fighter only sweeps, unless they were reasonably sure of a significant success. Catching a Squadron of Spit Vs on the deck would have given the FWs most of the cards, which was why Rhubarbs were usually done in smaller flights, and on an irregular basis. There was still a relatively small section of coastline that had to be watched for British fighters; any radar contact approaching from outside of those areas could be approached with relative impunity. It certainly simplified the German's defensive responses.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
On the contrary, in war a perceived weakness is an invitation for the other guys to step up the pressure. In hindsight, we now know that the LW had too many commitments in Russia and N. Africa to resume the daytime Blitz, but the RAF couldn't be sure of that, and regular overflights of Southern England by FWs was bad for morale, to say the least. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Its not hindsight, they knew back then the LW had not the resources to resume a daylight blitz, like the hurricane in the bob, spit v would still be effective vs bombers. The 190 was causing losses on offensive operations, the IX was the response so that offensive operations could continue.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Again, against the FW, a Spit V with an altitude advantage was much better off than one below the FW. Greater range permits larger and longer standing patrols at better altitudes. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

More fuel carried results in lower climb rate and needs more fuel to get higher.
spitfire V often did have occasions where it was above, especially as escort tactics developed, but they always had the ability to disengage. This is one reason why the p38 performed so poorly in the escort role, it had range but the attackers could easily escape them.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
P47s in the spring of 1943 were somewhat longer legged than the Spitfires, and with the use of drop tanks, steadily improved their range over the Spits by the beginning of that autumn. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

not much so, even shorter ranged than a spit mk8 on internal fuels.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
As I said, once the Americans indicated their commitment to longer ranged fighters, the pressure was off for the RAF; the mere presence of USAAF fighters improved Britain's air defenses.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

pressure was never on for a long ranged escort fighter for the raf as they bombed at night, they used small fast light bombers during the day eg bostons,marauders, mosquitos, mosquitos which could bomb unescorted. Day time raf operations were moving towards tactical operations lightbombers tiffys etc.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
As for the Me-262s, their suppression by long ranged US fighters 'sitting' over their airfields waiting to catch them in their takeoffs and landings is a classic example of the advantages of range capability cancelling out raw performance.

cheers

horseback </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Their suppression was conducted by many planes, like tempests and spitfires, me262s were in small numbers and defenders were hugely outnumbered, despite this me262 suppression operations were very costly.

Kurfurst__
05-26-2007, 05:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
4. The significance of the Bf 109 K-4. Again, Kurfy has quoted a well-known and respected tertiary source on the 109 that claims more that 1,500 K-4s were built. I have read two other tertiary sources that claim the number was more like 750. I want to get this one straight, too. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Went to that nifty LW order of battle website and compiled the following numbers of available day fighters as of 30 Nov 1944 -

ME109 - - - - - (Total: 1992)
G2---6
G5---2
G6---403
G10--144
G14--1227
K4---209
T1---1
____________

FW190 - - - - - (Total: 1291)
A2---1
A3---22
A4---15
A5---21
A6---41
A7---15
A8---1053
A9---117
F8---4
G3---2
____________

FW190 - - - - - (Total: 123)
D9---123
____________

ME262 - - - - - (Total: 58)
A1---35
A2---19
B1---2
B2---2
____________

ME163 - - - - - (Total: 86)
A----4
B0---82
____________

TA154 - - - - - (Total: 1)
A2---1

______________________________


AGGREGATE TOTAL: 3551 fighter aircraft


Interesting observations, as of the end of November 1944:

(1) Approx 1 in 10 of available ME109s was a K4 model.
(2) 70+ pct of available ME109s were of G14 model or later.
(3) 90+ pct of available ME109s were of G10 model or later.

(4) Approx 1 in 10 of available FW190As was an A9 model.
(5) 90+ pct of available FW190As were of A8 model or later.

(6) ME109-K4s outnumbered FW190-D9s by a factor of 1.7:1.

(7) ME163's outnumbered ME262s by a factor of approx 3:2.

(8) Considering the fact that the LW did not possess sufficient pilots or fuel to put anything more than a modest fraction of these fighters into the air on any given day, it is reasonable to hypothesize that preference would have been given (fuel quality permitting) to the aircraft with the better performance. Therefore, the higher performance versions (K4s, D9s, etc) might well have had a rather greater representation in actual aerial combat than the above inventory figures suggest. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


It's a nice complilation on the site. The only noteworthy problem with the breakdowns being that it includes both first and second line units (Ergnzungseinheiten =~ OTUs.), which usually operated with the older worn types. This kinda gives a false impression what types were actually doing the fighting on the frontlines. Ergnzungseinheiten were training units, they did not fly combat missions as a rule.

Ie. on 1st December (which is for all practical purposes the same as 30 november) my records (based on the same Blutarski's source was using) show 3715 daylight fighters being present of all types (not counting tactical recce units, ie. which had armed recce versions of G-6 and G-10, or FW 190 types). 662 of these however, were in second line units prepearing new pilots for combat duties which did NOT participate in action. A telling figure is that out of those 662 planes, 297 planes leaved the units, breaking down as the following :

1 wastage enemy action (an A-8)
214 wastage to non-enemy action (whacked by rookies it would seem)
78 required overhauls,
and 4 were transferred to other units (A-7s, A-8s and a G-14, probably to frontline units as replacements).

Regarding the older types, out of the 399 G-6s (G-6/U2, /U4 combined) present, most of them (249, G-6 only) were with OTUs, with 0 being becoming wastage to enemy action. Of the remaining 150, JG5 (Norway) shared 35, while two Eastern Front Figher Regiments, ie. JG51 having 44, while Hartmann's JG 52 having 63; shared on the rest.

Which leaves 8 renage G-6s scattered with II./JG11 and I./JG53 on the Western front... out of the 399 G-6s present in the Luftwaffe, most of the rest being scattered amongst 2nd line operational training units, and on relatively backwater areas. It should be noted though that these strenght returns do not seem to properly account for retrofitted modifications like the G-5/AS or G-6/AS or MW-50 retrofitted G-6s. The reason is probably the manufacturer's plate not being changed during the modification, ie. something produced as a G-6 remained a G-6 on it's dataplate stamp even if it was retrofitted with an AS engine in the meantime. There are several units which's contemporary photographs clearly show AS and/or Methanol boosted aircraft, yet none show up in the quartermaster's aircraft movement and returns papers.

Regarding the 109K-4 G-10 and D-9 production numbers, there's no reason to accuse respected historians like Prien or Rodeicke with falsifying the figures. The neubau figurs throughly support their undoubtfully well sourced and professional research. Prien himself has published thousends of pages worth LW unit histories alone so far. He doesn't state any performance figure in his book btw. All these figures are based on primary sources, and not on 'tertiary' sources.

Bf 109 production in 1944/45, inc. production in March 1945, new production planes only.

Bf 109G-5 237
Bf 109G-6 8014
Bf 109G-8 1059
Bf 109G-14 2035
Bf 109G-14/U4 654*
Bf 109G-14/AS 1377*
Bf 109G-10 2048**
Bf 109K-4 1593

* Appx. 4000 in total with retrofitted airframes included
** Apprx. 2600 in total with retrofitted airframes included

Radinger/Otto also quotes 'delivery and acceptence' tables from the RLM, showing 854 Bf 109K-4s being delivered and acceptance test flown up to the end of 1944.

Graphically the trends are more clearly visible :

http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e133/Kurfurst/109Neubau.jpg

April 1945, from LEMB :

from a Luftwaffe Gen.Qu. document captured by the British, dated 11 April 1945:

Estimated German Aircraft Production, April 1945:

59 FW 190 D-9/12/13
250 FW 190 F-8/9
4 Ta 152 H
ca. 250 Bf 109 G-14/10/Ka.4
3 He 219
15 Ar 234 C
ca. 170 He 162
ca. 200 Me 262


From : RL2III/1158


On 31 January 1945 the combat units of the Luftwaffe and their associated Erganzungs Einheiten, had the following strength in Bf109 and other types (no breakdown for the others, sorry).

These are on hand totals, they include both 'frontline' and 'other' units. Included are all aircraft operational and non-operational at the time.

(with combat untis/with Ergnzungseinheiten=OTU):

Bf109G1/5 (0/1)
Bf109G12 (0/5)
Bf109G6 (71/328)
Bf109G14 and G14U4 (431/190)
Bf109G10, G10/U4 and G14/AS (568/3)
Bf109K4 (314/0)
Bf109G10/R6 (51/0)
==================
Total (1435/527)

As seen, the G-6 by that time was almost completely withdrawn from frontline service, and relagated to training purposes. Of the 1435 first-line Bf 109s, 933 (65%) were high altitude G-14/AS, G-10, K-4 types, with apprx. every 5th 109 being a 109K.

Other Jagd types totaled (1058/359)

Schlacht types totaled (680/375)
Nachtschlacht types totaled (422/95)
Zerstorer types totaled (42/0)
Nachtjagd types totaled (1241, no breakdown between the two)
Kampf types totaled (543/158)
Nahaufklarer totaled (407/27)
Fernaufklarer totaled (195/81)
See types totaled (78/17)
Transport types totaled (496/9)
===============================
Grand total (6597/1631)

Of those 3379 were single engine fighters, but of those only 2493 were in actual combat units.

During January, a total of (1256/262) become wastage, (664/21) to enemy action, 385/108) in operational accidents, and (207/133) to overhaul and repairs. Another (106/151) were transferred from one operational unit to another.

Regarding the participation, and sortie rate, JaPo's figures for 11 053 LW fighter takeoff December 1944 on the Western Front, with 552 victories and 527 losses. JaPo also details 109K operations on both Western and Eastern Front. Generally speaking, it was not until 1945 until 109Ks begun to appear on the Eastern Front after the fighter force was shifted. JG 27 and JG 53 were perhaps the most prominant 'western' Geschwadern on the Western front, if there was such by 1945 at all.

Regarding the 'inaduquate' range of the 109/190 for the duties they were involved, I really can't understand that since neither I can see what 8 hours of endurance is good for the very tactical/operational depth missions on the EF (from both sides, strategic depth being equally impossible for the USAAF as well with those distances and infrastructure involved, if I may mention...), or how that would improve LW scoring. Many alternate scenario's were drawn here which hypothesize certain success if longer range is present, but it's still needs to be seen as to what range and endurance exactly would have been required 'effective' interception. The analogue with the Zero and the Pacific is simply a no comparison, the distances involved in Europe being but a fraction of those in the Pacific, and airfields were not restricted to islands 1000 miles away from the next possible airfield. The historical record of development also shows the LW not being particularly concerned with the range of it's fighters after 1940, new developments aiming primarly for high altitude figther projects and not long range fighter projects. Whereas the USAAF and the RAF, situated much further from their strategic targets could certainly make advantage of a long range fighter, the German and Soviet strategic position (having airfields right next to their target) meant that the existing's fighters range and endurance was satisfactory.

luftluuver
05-26-2007, 06:15 AM
Since Erganzungs Einheiten have been mentioned in the total count of LW a/c then so should the a/c in RAF OCUs, OTUs and ORTUs be counted in the RAF total. Many of these a/c being of the latest types seeing front line operational service.

Blutarski2004
05-26-2007, 06:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
As for the Me-262s, their suppression by long ranged US fighters 'sitting' over their airfields waiting to catch them in their takeoffs and landings is a classic example of the advantages of range capability... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

..... and, by implication, loiter time.

Kurfurst__
05-26-2007, 06:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
As for the Me-262s, their suppression by long ranged US fighters 'sitting' over their airfields waiting to catch them in their takeoffs and landings is a classic example of the advantages of range capability... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

..... and, by implication, loiter time. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

... and being more of a function of the sheer number of Mustangs avaiable, with many Mustang Groups having literally nothing to do so being used for strafing and 'sitting over' LW airfields. The example ignores that fact assuming it was only possible due to range and endurance. The reason those oppurtunist Mustangs were not quite simply blasted away by a vastly superior force of 'home team' fighters was not the Mustang's range. It was it's numbers.

In a counter example, it's beyond argueing that many British fighter airfields were well within the range of the Kanal Jagdgeschwaders. Range and endurance was not something that would have limited similiar operations, but the fact they would have been vastly outnumbered in enemy airspace and such attempts unless severaly overwhelming the 'home team' with numbers, are doomed to failure.

Again, range and endurance is only a matter of interest if they're insufficient for the task the given aircraft is perceived or used for. There was very little point for the Luftwaffe to make Berlin - London bombing raids when it could do Rhine - London and ever more so, Calais - London raids. Had it got the numbers available for that purpose in the West.

But if we argue that not meeting US fighter range requirements were a failing of Luftwaffe fighters, we can similiarly argue that not meeting the German fighter armament requirements was a failing of USAAF fighters, not having cannon armament onboard to successfully combat formations of heavy bombers.

That would be silly, isn't it?

luftluuver
05-26-2007, 07:16 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Again, range and endurance is only a matter of interest if they're insufficient for the task the given aircraft is perceived or used for. There was very little point for the Luftwaffe to make Berlin - London bombing raids when it could do Rhine - London and ever more so, Calais - London raids. Had it got the numbers available for that purpose in the West. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
It would have been nice if that flight time from Berlin to Rhine or more so Calais had been available during BoB.

More endurance gives one more air time over the battlefield. The closer the battlefield to your home field the more air time.

Oh and Kurfurst you forget that one model of the P-51 did have cannons, 4 20mm ones.

Ruy Horta
05-26-2007, 11:15 AM
Of course range matters, but K has a point with the numbers releasing fighters to do more than just close escort work. Arguably the number of fighters was of higher importance than range in freeing the fighter force to hunt the Luftwaffe.

Blutarski2004
05-26-2007, 12:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ruy Horta:
Of course range matters, but K has a point with the numbers releasing fighters to do more than just close escort work. Arguably the number of fighters was of higher importance than range in freeing the fighter force to hunt the Luftwaffe. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... No disagreement on my side re the value of numbers. But I do not see it as an either/or situation. Great flight endurance made loiter tactics &gt;&gt;possible&lt;&lt;. Greatly superior numbers unquestionably guaranteed their success.

Kurfurst__
05-26-2007, 12:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
..... No disagreement on my side re the value of numbers. But I do not see it as an either/or situation. Great flight endurance made loiter tactics &gt;&gt;possible&lt;&lt;. Greatly superior numbers unquestionably guaranteed their success. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

... then aren't we saying the same :

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kurfurst__:

... and being more of a function of the sheer number of Mustangs avaiable, with many Mustang Groups having literally nothing to do so being used for strafing and 'sitting over' LW airfields. The example ignores that fact assuming it was only possible due to range and endurance. The reason those oppurtunist Mustangs were not quite simply blasted away by a vastly superior force of 'home team' fighters was not the Mustang's range. It was it's numbers. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Range and numbers are of course both needed for such tactics. The question was though wheter the range of the LW or Soviet fighters put them into a disadvantage at the tasks they were given. I don't think so - the range was quite simply aduquate for the task, looking on post-action reports the flights themselves barely took more than a 1-1.5, IOW, the plane's capabilities were not even used near to tell full. Simply it took that much time to get airborne, gather up for an attack, expand all ammunition and get back to base to rearm and refit, and possibly, for prepeare another attack.

As for range being a force multiplier - it is, again under certain circumstances. One being the fighters that are supposed to help out from other places not being busy doing something else already - escorting B-17s or making sure Sturmoviks not having their fun with the ground troops unpunished for example. Here there's some difference between the PTO's quick paced, concentrated and intense battles and the ever present action in Europe. I have trouble picturing say a flight of 109Gs taking off from their airfield near Kharkov, flying 4-6 hours and some 1200 miles back to Germany to help out against B-17 raids which's crew, by the time the aformentioned EF fighers would get to the scene, would already attending to the girls in some smoky pub in the Soho. Even if they'd have the range to do that.

I'd say a reasonable interception reaction time (from alert to actually making contact to the enemy) is about an hour. That's about 4-500 km worth of radius, which meant that in the case of an attack on Ruhr, even fighters scrambling near Berlin could get there within an hour. And they had both the range and endurance to do that and more- esp. as they could land in any nearby base, not neccesarily having to return immidiately to their base without refueling. Wasn't that how Schweinfurt happened anyway, everything being sent up?

luftluuver
05-26-2007, 02:53 PM
Just came across this on the AH board,

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-12/1114844/Engmaint.jpg

Some might want to file it away for any future discussions.

source, http://www.au.af.mil/au/afhra/numbered_studies/467640.pdf

Blutarski2004
05-26-2007, 03:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kurfurst__:

... then aren't we saying the same :

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Kurfurst__:

... and being more of a function of the sheer number of Mustangs avaiable, with many Mustang Groups having literally nothing to do so being used for strafing and 'sitting over' LW airfields. The example ignores that fact assuming it was only possible due to range and endurance. The reason those oppurtunist Mustangs were not quite simply blasted away by a vastly superior force of 'home team' fighters was not the Mustang's range. It was it's numbers. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

..... Re-reading your original post, I think we do indeed agree.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Range and numbers are of course both needed for such tactics. The question was though wheter the range of the LW or Soviet fighters put them into a disadvantage at the tasks they were given. I don't think so - the range was quite simply adequate for the task, looking on post-action reports the flights themselves barely took more than a 1-1.5, IOW, the plane's capabilities were not even used near to tell full. Simply it took that much time to get airborne, gather up for an attack, expand all ammunition and get back to base to rearm and refit, and possibly, for prepeare another attack.

As for range being a force multiplier - it is, again under certain circumstances. One being the fighters that are supposed to help out from other places not being busy doing something else already - escorting B-17s or making sure Sturmoviks not having their fun with the ground troops unpunished for example. Here there's some difference between the PTO's quick paced, concentrated and intense battles and the ever present action in Europe. I have trouble picturing say a flight of 109Gs taking off from their airfield near Kharkov, flying 4-6 hours and some 1200 miles back to Germany to help out against B-17 raids which's crew, by the time the aformentioned EF fighers would get to the scene, would already attending to the girls in some smoky pub in the Soho. Even if they'd have the range to do that.

I'd say a reasonable interception reaction time (from alert to actually making contact to the enemy) is about an hour. That's about 4-500 km worth of radius, which meant that in the case of an attack on Ruhr, even fighters scrambling near Berlin could get there within an hour. And they had both the range and endurance to do that and more- esp. as they could land in any nearby base, not neccesarily having to return immidiately to their base without refueling. Wasn't that how Schweinfurt happened anyway, everything being sent up? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

..... I agree on this point as well. Fighters are expected to perform a wide range of tasks. Most of those tasks require different degrees of emphasis in terms of performance. The fighter design optimized to meet the needs of nation A will quite likely be inferior in meeting the needs of nation B. There is no single valid set of performance standards against which to measure "best" or "worst". I actually posted along these lines earlier in this thread.

Some might want to approach a comparison from the point of view of which fighter best performed it task, but making judgements along those lines would seem highly subjective to me.

Blutarski2004
05-26-2007, 03:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
Just came across this on the AH board,

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-12/1114844/Engmaint.jpg

Some might want to file it away for any future discussions.

source, http://www.au.af.mil/au/afhra/numbered_studies/467640.pdf </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Nice catch, Lufty! Very interesting.

Ratsack
05-26-2007, 05:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kurfurst__:

... then aren't we saying the same :

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Kurfurst__:

... and being more of a function of the sheer number of Mustangs avaiable, with many Mustang Groups having literally nothing to do so being used for strafing and 'sitting over' LW airfields. The example ignores that fact assuming it was only possible due to range and endurance. The reason those oppurtunist Mustangs were not quite simply blasted away by a vastly superior force of 'home team' fighters was not the Mustang's range. It was it's numbers. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

..... Re-reading your original post, I think we do indeed agree.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Range and numbers are of course both needed for such tactics. The question was though wheter the range of the LW or Soviet fighters put them into a disadvantage at the tasks they were given. I don't think so - the range was quite simply adequate for the task, looking on post-action reports the flights themselves barely took more than a 1-1.5, IOW, the plane's capabilities were not even used near to tell full. Simply it took that much time to get airborne, gather up for an attack, expand all ammunition and get back to base to rearm and refit, and possibly, for prepeare another attack.

As for range being a force multiplier - it is, again under certain circumstances. One being the fighters that are supposed to help out from other places not being busy doing something else already - escorting B-17s or making sure Sturmoviks not having their fun with the ground troops unpunished for example. Here there's some difference between the PTO's quick paced, concentrated and intense battles and the ever present action in Europe. I have trouble picturing say a flight of 109Gs taking off from their airfield near Kharkov, flying 4-6 hours and some 1200 miles back to Germany to help out against B-17 raids which's crew, by the time the aformentioned EF fighers would get to the scene, would already attending to the girls in some smoky pub in the Soho. Even if they'd have the range to do that.

I'd say a reasonable interception reaction time (from alert to actually making contact to the enemy) is about an hour. That's about 4-500 km worth of radius, which meant that in the case of an attack on Ruhr, even fighters scrambling near Berlin could get there within an hour. And they had both the range and endurance to do that and more- esp. as they could land in any nearby base, not neccesarily having to return immidiately to their base without refueling. Wasn't that how Schweinfurt happened anyway, everything being sent up? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

..... I agree on this point as well. Fighters are expected to perform a wide range of tasks. Most of those tasks require different degrees of emphasis in terms of performance. The fighter design optimized to meet the needs of nation A will quite likely be inferior in meeting the needs of nation B. There is no single valid set of performance standards against which to measure "best" or "worst". I actually posted along these lines earlier in this thread.

Some might want to approach a comparison from the point of view of which fighter best performed it task, but making judgements along those lines would seem highly subjective to me. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, it's a fair couple of points you've both made. And it's not just that nation A will have different requirement to nation B, but also that the particular requirement will change from time to time, and situation to situation.

This is actually why I decided to cut these comparisons up into six-month blocks. A plane that is clearly the best in the group in six-month block X might be struggling to do what was asked of it in block Y.

Performance can't be assessed independently of context.

cheers,
Ratsack

luftluuver
05-27-2007, 08:11 AM
Any know about an order issued in mid Febuary 45 that drop tanks should be jettisoned only in the event of combat or an in-flight emergency due to the fuel shortage?

Found in the Osprey Hungarian Aces book.

horseback
05-27-2007, 10:58 AM
Range/loiter time is a force multiplier in several ways, but one that is often missed is the fact that they allow fewer sorties for the same amount of operational hours.

Consider: you have a squadron/staffel tasked with defending a certain locale. It takes 15 to 20 minutes to climb to altitude (let's say 7000m) at best fuel efficiency, although you can do it in 7-8 minutes in an emergency. Once at that 7000m 'floor', you can easily climb still higher if necessary at a reasonable pace and be in place to intercept a striking force while hollering for help. If you can operate a flight of four over the defended area for 3 hours (including high fuel consumption for 45 minutes to an hour of actual combat), is this not preferable to two or three flights of four covering the same territory for the same periods of time?

You lose at least half an hour or more per aircraft landing, refueling/rearming and climbing back up to altitude even if you are able to re-use the same aircraft for multiple sorties in the same day. It's a simple matter of being able to have more planes in the air for longer during a raid, instead of a series of relays where half your striking power is on the ground during crtitical times.

WWII fighters required a great many man-hours of maintenance for every hour of flight, and more when most of the flying time was at high power. Fewer pilots are needed for the same coverage, fewer aircraft, and lower logistics costs overall when the aircraft are in the air longer in fewer numbers.

The LW knew when the American bombers were forming up over East Anglia at least a couple of hours in advance of when they would arrive over their targets. 190s and/or 109s with the endurance to get into the air & up to altitude at the least stressful climb rates, and move at best speeds to the point of ingress/interception would have not only helped alleviate the LW's fighter availability rates, but also added horrible complications to the opposition's strategic & tactical problems.

As I pointed out, the RAF and the 8th AF took great pains to create confusion about where they were striking and often took the long way in or out over the North Sea in order to force the intercepting units to operate at their extremes, knowing that it would eventually result in a weaker response later.

Longer legged fighters could cover more territory longer, allow a more flexible response, stay on the attack longer and force the bombers to work even harder to make it to target and back in one piece.

Add to that the morale factor for the opposition; remember the German bomber force's reaction to seeing the size of the RAF's response to their raids in September of 1940, when they were supposedly down to their "last few Spitfires?"

It nearly broke them. The RAF was able to sustain a maximum effort against the bombers over Southern England for 20-30 minutes. What if the LW had been able to maintain a maximum effort for the two hours or more the 8th Bomber Command was operating over German held soil on their deep penetration raids?

It would have been a very different war.

cheers

horseback

Ratsack
05-27-2007, 07:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
Any know about an order issued in mid Febuary 45 that drop tanks should be jettisoned only in the event of combat or an in-flight emergency due to the fuel shortage?

Found in the Osprey Hungarian Aces book. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I thought it was earlier than that. Isn't such an order mentioned in Galland's First and Last?

cheers,
Ratsack

luftluuver
05-28-2007, 06:07 AM
+1 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif horseback

mynameisroland
05-28-2007, 06:34 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
All,

I have edited the post on p. 5 that covers the second half of 1944. The main changes so far are to the detail of the Spitfire XIV entry, and some other details in the Tempest and G-14 parts.

I have not changed my overall conclusion in favour of the P-51D, because I think it's pretty strong as is. However, I am open to argument on a number of subsidiary issues. These include:

1. the significance of the Spitfire XIV. The extra information in the edited post doesn't say there were more of them than Stathem and Luftluuver have shown. It does, however, point out their particular role. My question is, was it significant?

2. The significance of the Tempest. Pretty much the same questions as above.

3. The significance of the Fw 190 D-9. Some here have suggested a production run of 1,700 or 1,800 aircraft. The numbers I've seen are much lower. E.g., 674 built, quoted in Heinz J Nowarra, Focke-Wulf Fw 190 & Ta 152, (Haynes, Sparkford, 1988), p. 147, or '...a little short of 700 examples...', quoted in Gordon Swanborough & William Green, The Focke Wulf Fw 190, (Newton Abbot, London, 1976), p. 76. These are both respectable tertiary sources, but primary source information would better. I would like to get this right.

4. The significance of the Bf 109 K-4. Kurfy has quoted a well-known and respected tertiary source on the 109 (in a much earlier thread) that claims more than 1,500 K-4s were built. I have read two other tertiary sources that claim the number was more like 750. I want to get this one straight, too.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi Ratsack, I posted last week about the significance of the role of the TempestV in the V1 campaign. Did you catch this post?

Blutarski2004
05-28-2007, 07:28 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
Any know about an order issued in mid Febuary 45 that drop tanks should be jettisoned only in the event of combat or an in-flight emergency due to the fuel shortage?

Found in the Osprey Hungarian Aces book. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Lufty, I do recall reading such a thing byt am unable to positively finger the source.

MAYBE here - http://www.au.af.mil/au/afhra/numbered_studies/studiesintro.asp - My best guess would be either in "Strategy for Defeat" or in "Case Studies in the Achievement of Air Superiority"

Ratsack
05-28-2007, 04:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mynameisroland:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
All,

I have edited the post on p. 5 that covers the second half of 1944. The main changes so far are to the detail of the Spitfire XIV entry, and some other details in the Tempest and G-14 parts.

I have not changed my overall conclusion in favour of the P-51D, because I think it's pretty strong as is. However, I am open to argument on a number of subsidiary issues. These include:

1. the significance of the Spitfire XIV. The extra information in the edited post doesn't say there were more of them than Stathem and Luftluuver have shown. It does, however, point out their particular role. My question is, was it significant?

2. The significance of the Tempest. Pretty much the same questions as above.

3. The significance of the Fw 190 D-9. Some here have suggested a production run of 1,700 or 1,800 aircraft. The numbers I've seen are much lower. E.g., 674 built, quoted in Heinz J Nowarra, Focke-Wulf Fw 190 & Ta 152, (Haynes, Sparkford, 1988), p. 147, or '...a little short of 700 examples...', quoted in Gordon Swanborough & William Green, The Focke Wulf Fw 190, (Newton Abbot, London, 1976), p. 76. These are both respectable tertiary sources, but primary source information would better. I would like to get this right.

4. The significance of the Bf 109 K-4. Kurfy has quoted a well-known and respected tertiary source on the 109 (in a much earlier thread) that claims more than 1,500 K-4s were built. I have read two other tertiary sources that claim the number was more like 750. I want to get this one straight, too.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi Ratsack, I posted last week about the significance of the role of the TempestV in the V1 campaign. Did you catch this post? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

G'day Roland,

I did see this. I haven't had a chance to go back to this post in detail for the last week. There are a couple of edits to make.

On the specific point of the Tempest, I'd still like to argue it out. That is to say, I'm not sure whether the Tempest's V1 killing role makes it a significant fighter, in the same way that I'm not certain the Spit XIV's deployment as the primary high-alt air superiority fighter makes it 'significant'.

So, to be clear, I'm not saying these types are or aren't significant at this point. I want to get more info, and argue the issues out.

cheers,
Ratsack

mynameisroland
05-28-2007, 04:44 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:

G'day Roland,

I did see this. I haven't had a chance to go back to this post in detail for the last week. There are a couple of edits to make.

On the specific point of the Tempest, I'd still like to argue it out. That is to say, I'm not sure whether the Tempest's V1 killing role makes it a significant fighter, in the same way that I'm not certain the Spit XIV's deployment as the primary high-alt air superiority fighter makes it 'significant'.

So, to be clear, I'm not saying these types are or aren't significant at this point. I want to get more info, and argue the issues out.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks for the heads up mate. From a WW2 perspective I think the V1 attacks were very significant. I saw a link somewhere which compared them to the Blitz of London during 40/41. They were certainly significant enough for the RAF to devote its best aircraft to hunting them including the 1st Meteors.

This threat from July to September required the Tempests attention. Had the V1 campaign not occurred the Tempest would have been given an earlier fighter role against the Luftwaffe. Im not arguing that this makes its role as significant as tyoes like the P51 but it certainly had a significance greater than its limited numbers would suggest. Qualitively in terms of performance and it terms of crews it was probably the best Allied fighter going toe to toe with the Luftwaffe at medium to low altitudes. Traditionally planes like the Bf 109 and Fw 190 ranged from much better to slightly better at low to medium altitudes but this was now turned on its head.

Gibbage1
05-28-2007, 05:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mynameisroland:

Hi Ratsack, I posted last week about the significance of the role of the TempestV in the V1 campaign. Did you catch this post? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Considering that US made VT Fuse 5" shells shot down between 85-95% of the V1's launched, how big of a role did the Tempest play again? Shootind down what the AA gunners missed? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

VT Fuse shell. The single most significant weapon development of WWII.

mynameisroland
05-28-2007, 05:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mynameisroland:

Hi Ratsack, I posted last week about the significance of the role of the TempestV in the V1 campaign. Did you catch this post? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Considering that US made VT Fuse 5" shells shot down between 85-95% of the V1's launched, how big of a role did the Tempest play again? Shootind down what the AA gunners missed? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

VT Fuse shell. The single most significant weapon development of WWII. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh sorry I forgot US won the war in Yurp' all on their lonesome didnt they? US 8th AirForce gunners claimed 200% of the Luftwaffe actual WW2 losses if you look at claim figures. How many V1s did the P-38 account for?

Also how many US 5" AA guns were stationed on the South East Coast of England in 1944?

VT Fuse shell. The single most significant US weapon development of WWII. I think that the Jet Fighter/Bomber, Radar, Atom bomb and ballistic and cruise missiles all rank higher than the VT fuse.

Anyway try and p1ss on the Tempest all you want, I dont care I think its funny lol

stathem
05-28-2007, 05:30 PM
To be fair, yes the VT was really significant and a real marvel.

And yes, they were a huge part of combatting the V-1's.

But Gib, you pulled that number out of your jacksie, didn't you? V-1 kills were about equally shared between the RAF and the gunners and considerably more than 5-15% of those launched got through.

mynameisroland
05-28-2007, 05:35 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by stathem:
To be fair, yes the VT was really significant and a real marvel.

And yes, they were a huge part of combatting the V-1's.

But Gib, you pulled that number out of your jacksie, didn't you? V-1 kills were about equally shared between the RAF and the gunners and considerably more than 5-15% of those launched got through. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I seem to recall reading about US gunners shooting down and killing one of Sheddan's Tempest squadron mates with their VT fused AA shells despite the Tempest haveing been cleared to fly through the area. The Tempest pilots had to be restrained from strafing the gunnery position and killing the gunners.

berg417448
05-28-2007, 05:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mynameisroland:

Hi Ratsack, I posted last week about the significance of the role of the TempestV in the V1 campaign. Did you catch this post? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Considering that US made VT Fuse 5" shells shot down between 85-95% of the V1's launched, how big of a role did the Tempest play again? Shootind down what the AA gunners missed? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

VT Fuse shell. The single most significant weapon development of WWII. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


I'd say this man was fairly successful in his Tempest:

http://www.hawkertempest.se/berry.htm


...here is an interesting "war story" related to US AAA use against the V-1:

http://www.smecc.org/shooting_down_the_v-1.htm

ake109
05-28-2007, 08:49 PM
On the topic of VT fused shells. If the Germans had something similar, was there ever an estimate done on how much more heavy bombers they would have shot down? Could they have kept their fighters all grounded and still shot down even more heavies?

Kurfurst__
05-29-2007, 05:02 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ake109:
On the topic of VT fused shells. If the Germans had something similar, was there ever an estimate done on how much more heavy bombers they would have shot down? Could they have kept their fighters all grounded and still shot down even more heavies? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bomber streams presented a whole different target - slow, predictable path targets at a set altitude. These kind of targets could be quite successfully combated by fixed time fuses. Range and lead could be easily provided by analoge FC computers directing the batteries, fed from optical/radar observation. In particular, German Flak found a very simply solution for the task. Since the bombers flew on a predictable path, they simply designated 'fire zones' ahead, and the entire AAA was set to that point, and then fired for effecrt - and let the bombers flew through that hell, instead of continously adjusting fuse times. Rinse and repeat. And though the Germans were working on VT fuses on various principles for a long time, they were not fielding any. OTOH, the targets they - typically heavy bomber streams - did not make it that much of a headache. Targets were flying at a fixed altitude, at fixed speed and fixed course. Fixed time fuses could do that job proper.

VT fuze primarly solved the problem of engaging fast and/or evading targets at a quickly changing ranges - such as fighters, V-1s and esp. dive bombers, torpedo bombers. It's development was more benefiting for the Navy's large caliber AAA guns than anything else. Those were originally meant for high flying level bombers - at the 1920s level of aircraft development, only level bombers with bombs dropped high enough to gain momentum to strike through a ship's deck armor could pose a threat, and which in reality had very little chance by WW2 actually hitting a ship, aircraft structures being too week for dive bombing, engines too weak to allow small aircraft to carry big bombs. But with the advance of capable smaller aircraft such as dive bombers they found it difficult to burst the shell at the correct distance. VT fuses solved that part of the problem, provided they did not miss the target too much - as the need for proper fire control and lead computing was still there.

The problem with WW2 VT fuses was their size. Nowadays they make that at ridiculusly small calibers, but IIRC during WW2 the smallest one they could make was fit for only AAA shells (ie. 76-88-90mm), and not autocannons. So the main problem still existed, there was a gap between the effective range of autcannons of 37-40mm caliber and the larger AAA guns of 88-90mm caliber. The former still had to physically hit the target, which was possible only at shorter ranges without proper lead computers, the latter had trouble tracking them at all at low altitudes. Towards the end of the war, every combatant seemed to realize this and work begun on interim caliber 55-57-76mm autoguns - the US Skysweeper was an early, advanced example.

Here's a good link to VT fuse development : http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq96-1.htm

luftluuver
05-29-2007, 05:34 AM
What the Gib forgets is that the VT fuse was used in conjuction with centimetric gun-laying radars.

Of the 4261 V-1s destroyed, 58% were destroyed by AA guns, or 2471. A/c shot down 1502 (35%) V-1s and ballons snaging 300 (7%).