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luftluuver
12-04-2007, 08:42 AM
Losing Air Superiority
A Case Study from the Second World War

Dr. Richard R. Muller

What happens when an air force loses the ability to gain and maintain air superiority? How might an energetic and resourceful air force leadership deal with this situation? As the United States prepares to face twenty-first-century adversaries, it is extremely unlikely that it will encounter an air force able to match the US Air Force in terms of technology, training, numbers, and combat power. However, the United States may well have to deal with opponents who employ asymmetric strategies in an attempt to wage a "poor man's air war."¯

A study of the Luftwaffe's efforts to cope with the loss of daylight air superiority in 1944–45 is of more than historical interest. It serves as a case study of how a military organization, faced with neutralization of most of its weaponry and the increasing irrelevance of its doctrine, may attempt to prolong its useful life. Since the United States may encounter such an adversary in the future, an examination of how a past foe coped with this state of affairs may enlighten contemporary air and space planners.
The Loss of Air Superiority
over the Homeland

When the Anglo-American bomber offensive began seriously to threaten Germany's control of its airspace, the Luftwaffe leadership responded energetically. Gen Günther Korten, chief of the Luftwaffe General Staff, set to the task of creating "an umbrella of fighter aircraft over the Reich."¯ Korten belonged to a "defensive clique"¯ that included Col Adolf Galland"”the inspector general of fighters"”and Field Marshal Erhard Milch"”the chief of air armament. Korten beefed up the homeland air-defense organization, finally creating Air Fleet Reich"”equivalent to a numbered air force"”which centralized all flak, fighter, and command-and-control functions. At the same time, and in keeping with basic Luftwaffe doctrine, Korten's reforms also called for strong bomber forces in both the eastern and western theaters in order to permit the Luftwaffe to carry out strategic operations.1 Even so, Korten's program brought about an increase in the strength and efficacy of Germany's air defenses.

Korten's organizational reforms were matched by Milch in fighter production. In partnership with Albert Speer, the armaments minister, Milch minimized the inefficiency of the German aircraft industry. Through stringent measures, he was able to boost aircraft output without increasing consumption of raw materials.2 By June 1943, German factories were producing over 1,100 fighters per month. In March 1944, Milch and Speer set up a joint "Fighter Staff"¯ with far-reaching authority over production, plant dispersal, construction of bombproof factories, raw material, and labor matters. German aircraft production finally peaked in September 1944 at just over 3,700, despite months of Allied air attacks.3 The production reflects the underlying tension between the need to strengthen the home-defense forces and the desire to retain an offensive capability. Thus, the Germans also manufactured thousands of bombers (whose production consumed far more raw materials and factory floor space than did fighter aircraft) in 1943–44.4 The quest for offensive power did its part to make the loss of air superiority permanent.

The Luftwaffe's operational response to the crisis was no less energetic. It placed great hopes in its basic interceptors, the Messerschmitt (Me) Bf 109G and Focke-Wulf Fw 190A. These aircraft initially lacked the necessary armament to deal with American heavy bombers, so later variants carried 13 mm machine guns and 30 mm cannons in place of the earlier 7.9 mm and 20 mm weaponry. Both types could also carry 21 cm rocket mortars to break up enemy bomber formations from well outside the radius of their defensive firepower. The German fighters would then pick off the stragglers at will.

Yet, these modifications also hastened the loss of air superiority once American long-range escort fighters appeared on the scene. The heavily laden 109s and 190s were severely handicapped in combat with their less encumbered American adversaries"”a problem the Luftwaffe command never solved. One attempted remedy involved the development of specially stripped fighter aircraft with superior high-altitude performance and air-to-air capability. These included Bf 109G and K fighters with special superchargers and methanol and nitrous oxide injection, as well as the "long-nosed"¯ Fw 190D and Ta 152. These vastly improved interceptors appeared only in small numbers; coordinating the "light"¯ and "heavy"¯ aircraft proved extremely difficult"”and tactically ineffective"”in practice.

Another proposal that has attracted postwar attention was Galland's suggestion to mass some 2,000–3,000 German fighters for a knockout blow. His goal was to commit this force against an American bomber formation in order to "shoot down an approximate total of 400–500 four-engined bombers against a loss of about 400 aircraft and about 100–150 pilots."¯5 A victory on this scale would cause the Americans to cease daylight penetrations, restoring air superiority at a single stroke. In Galland's view, Hitler scuttled this potentially decisive action by earmarking his carefully husbanded fighter reserve for support of the Ardennes counteroffensive in December 1944.

One has reasons to doubt the potential effectiveness of the "Great Blow."¯ While the operation was in the planning stages, considerable portions of the fighter reserve engaged American formations, but even under favorable conditions, the Germans did not down a significant number of American aircraft.6 The standards of German fighter-pilot training were so low by fall 1944 that the bulk of the 2,000+ pilots participating in the proposed operation would have been incapable of operating effectively. In particular, the task of assembling and controlling such a large quantity of aircraft in a single operation was probably beyond the Luftwaffe's capability in late 1944.

With conventional German tactics proving increasingly futile, desperate expedients arose. In summer 1944, the Luftwaffe command created the "assault fighter groups."¯ Modified Fw 190s, with increased armor plating and packing heavy armament, formed into "flying wedges"¯ of 48 aircraft. The massed juggernaut, heavily escorted by conventional fighters, would approach a B-17 combat box from directly astern. The rationale was simple: to ensure the greatest possible number of kills, shatter enemy morale, and disrupt formation discipline. As one Sturmgruppe pilot recalled, "We positioned ourselves about 100 yards behind the bombers before opening fire. From such a range we could hardly miss, and as the 3 cm explosive rounds struck home we could see the enemy bombers literally falling apart in front of us."¯7 If all else failed, the Sturmgruppe pilot was to ram his target. According to official Luftwaffe High Command instructions, "the guiding principle for the Sturmgruppe is: for every assault fighter that encounters the enemy, a sure kill."¯8 These special units achieved some noteworthy successes, but the overall cost was high"”especially when the American fighter escort caught the formation while it was still assembling.

The German technological cure that has received the greatest amount of postwar scrutiny was the development of turbojet and rocket-propelled interceptors. Because airpower and air superiority have increasingly depended upon technology since 1945, it is hardly surprising that studying the German "wonder weapons"¯ has become something of a growth industry. Many authorities single out mismanagement of these weapons as one of the cardinal reasons for the Luftwaffe's defeat. Certainly, the Me 262, with its top speed of 540 mph and powerful armament of four 3 cm cannons (and eventually racks of air-to-air rockets), was an awesome weapon. Galland, echoed by many other writers, attributes this aircraft's delayed debut to Hitler's untutored meddling in air force Ā*matters. The führer, so the argument runs, decreed that the Me 262 enter service as a high-speed bomber; this decision ensured that it did not reach operational units in time to turn the tide.9

The idea of the Me 262 as the potentially decisive wonder weapon is one of the most enduring myths in airpower history. Hitler's oft-quoted order forbidding the employment of this aircraft as a fighter dates from May 1944, by which time no Me 262s were in service. Because design and technical faults still plagued the aircraft, its employment in any role would have to await their resolution"”as would the training of a sufficient number of pilots, many of whom found it difficult to master the temperamental interceptor. It is unlikely that the jet could have appeared in combat much earlier than it did, even without Hitler's interference. The 262, although a deadly aircraft in the hands of the right pilot, remained essentially a prototype pressed into combat service. Throughout its short service life, the aircraft suffered from an abnormally high accident rate and scored only a minuscule number of combat victories.

German industry produced a number of less significant advanced-weapons projects in the last year of the war. Although these caused Allied intelligence some concern, none had any discernible impact upon the battle for air superiority. During the years of victory in 1939–41, German aircraft industry failed to energetically press the development of successors to the basic types with which Germany began the war. A more rational production strategy might have relieved the Luftwaffe of the dilemma of having to go into battle in 1944 with either obsolete types or unready new ones.

A sure sign of the fighters' slumping effectiveness was the resurgence of antiaircraft (flak) forces as the main element of home air defense. German antiaircraft concentrations around key targets grew dramatically. The backbone of the force was the 8.8 cm flak 36; by 1944 improved 10.5 cm and 12.8 cm guns had appeared. Although the flak force was actually more effective than many postwar analyses would lead us to believe, the failure of the fighter defenses led to increased"”and by 1945, virtually sole"”reliance upon it.10 Prior to January 1944, fighters claimed the lion's share of downed US Army Air Forces (AAF) bombers, but in June 1944 alone, flak downed 201 Eighth Air Force heavies"”fighters only 80.11 Instructions to flak units stressed that they were to "free fire"¯ at all altitudes, without regard for friendly fighters in the area.12 The prewar tenet of German airpower doctrine that gave antiaircraft guns the dominant air-defense role had been fulfilled by default.

Even though German ingenuity was able to provide the Luftwaffe with large numbers of aircraft, it offered no solution to the problem of producing sufficiently qualified pilots to fly them. The Luftwaffe in 1939 had what was probably the highest standard of aircrew training in Europe.13 As a result, German fighter pilots, seasoned by combat in Spain in 1936–39, were the best in the world by 1940. Yet, as early as the Battle of Britain, increased crew losses brought with them a decline in the length and rigor of the training program. The instructor cadres of the flying schools were constantly raided for combat pilots. By July 1944, when the general fuel crisis hit home, Luftwaffe fighter-pilot trainees were receiving fewer than 25 flying hours in operational fighter aircraft, compared with over 150 hours for American pilots.14 Quite simply, the average German fighter pilot in mid-1944 was more a liability than an asset, all too prone to crash his aircraft on the first sortie. Specialized skills such as night or bad-weather flying and long-distance navigation were lost arts in the Luftwaffe by that time. In an effort to redress the balance, the Luftwaffe command made a number of grave personnel-policy decisions. The overstretched pilot-training schools were compelled to give up additional instructors, and every able-bodied fighter pilot serving on staff duty was recalled to combat flying. Galland pillaged night-fighter units, ground-attack formations, and the Russian front for trained pilots.15 The course of the air war over the Reich placed tremendous strains on an already overtaxed organization.

In April and May 1944, the operations staff noted an alarming rise in losses of training, courier, and transport aircraft operating in previously safe havens in eastern and southern Germany.16 Allied fighter aircraft ranging at will over Reich territory curtailed the Luftwaffe's ability to train new pilots to replace losses of the previous months. Many gun-camera films from AAF Mustangs and Thunderbolts illustrate attacks on aircraft, frequently misidentified as "Me-109s,"¯ that are in fact Arado 96 trainers"”usually with a dazed student pilot at the controls. In order to cope with this situation, the Training Branch issued new instructions emphasizing vigilance ("daydreaming leads to death"¯). Noncombat flights were to take place only at dawn and dusk. The Luftwaffe expanded its aircraft-warning system and devised a series of radio and visual signals. Even courier aircraft were armed. If attacked, aircraft were to take evasive action and dive quickly to ground level. If necessary, the crew was to belly-land the aircraft and take cover to avoid being strafed.17

The commencement of "aerial guerrilla warfare"¯ by AAF escort fighters meant that not only the training facilities, but also the whole of the Luftwaffe's supporting infrastructure was at risk. American escort fighters, at first individually but later as a concerted policy, began strafing airfields and ground installations on their homeward flights.18 The Luftwaffe airfield commands adopted a number of passive measures, including constructing revetments, increasing the use of optical camouflage and smoke screens, and burying vital communications and electrical cables that served command posts and radar installations.19 Deep slit trenches appeared on airfields, with fuel and ammunition stored in tunnels. Posting of additional lookouts and a reorganization of the aircraft-reporting service provided crucial early warning.20 In the final month of the war, some units operated off stretches of the autobahn, sheltering their aircraft beneath the overpasses.

The single most effective countermeasure the Luftwaffe took was the equipping of airfields with additional antiaircraft protection. Luftwaffe operational directives pointed out that the concentrated firing of every available weapon"”even machine guns and cannons removed from parked aircraft"”could turn the airfield into a veritable "flak trap"¯ for low-flying aircraft. The Luftwaffe operations staff noted with satisfaction the depositions of captured AAF pilots who spoke of the dangers of strafing.21 Indeed, during 1944 the AAF lost 1,293 fighters in the European theater of operations to enemy fighters, while losing 1,611 to flak"”mostly in low-level actions.22 During the last five months of the war, German flak kills of AAF fighters exceeded those made by Luftwaffe fighters by a ratio of nearly four to one.

One final remedy for the air-superiority dilemma deserves mention: the employment of volunteer pilots on suicide missions. The popular literature is filled with Wagnerian references to 11th-hour attempts to emulate Japanese kamikaze tactics. Although the reality is somewhat less dramatic (in only a very few instances did such attacks take place), they remain of interest: such expedients rarely occur on an organized basis in interstate warfare, but nonstate actors such as terrorist groups have not shrunk from employing them.

The desperate military situation in 1944–45 partially accounts for the contemplation of these extraordinary efforts. As historian Omer Bartov has noted in his study of combat motivation on the Eastern Front, the military reverses of the latter years of the war, coupled with intensified Nazi indoctrination, generated a new level of fanaticism among German soldiers.23 Official Luftwaffe publications, including military-science journals and even operational directives, which had been largely devoid of overt political content up to 1944, began referring to the struggle in ideological terms. Directives maintained that only "the National Socialist world-view"¯ could provide the necessary "internal strength"¯ to vanquish the enemy.24 The primary sources for such "spiritual weapons"¯ were the National Socialist Leadership Corps, which populated Luftwaffe and army units with "political officers"¯ (akin to Red Army commissars) and the Military Science Branch of the Luftwaffe General Staff. Although the latter agency produced much valuable operational analysis and traditional historical studies of recent campaigns, by 1944 it was more concerned with inculcating the Luftwaffe officer corps with proper National Socialist attitudes.25 In this ideologically charged climate, the most extreme measures for redressing Allied air superiority took shape.

Luftwaffe programs along these lines fell into two broad categories. The first consisted of extremely high-risk (but theoretically survivable) missions against enemy air and ground targets. Sturmgruppe tactics fall into this category, since even ramming attacks did not prevent pilots from bailing out. Even more desperate was the proposal to quickly train Hitler Youth boys on gliders and send them immediately into combat in the Heinkel 162 "people's fighter"¯"”an aerial manifestation of the Volkssturm, the "people's militia,"¯ with which Germany hoped to create a Nazi "levee en masse."¯26 Only the end of the war spared teenagers from flying the unreliable and dangerous aircraft in combat.

The second (and much rarer) category was so-called total-commitment missions, billed explicitly as suicide operations. With the air battles over the Reich seen as the greatest threat to German national survival, a number of proposals surfaced in late 1944 for using volunteer pilots for suicide attacks against American bomber formations or other lucrative targets. Korten ordered the formation of the Leonidas Squadron, which would operate aging bombers, attack gliders, and manned flying bombs in this manner. The unit ultimately disbanded after extensive training and political indoctrination.27 Yet, proposals and programs for ramming attacks against bomber formations continued throughout the war, culminating in a desperate mass ramming attack by the hastily formed Schulungslehrgang Elbe unit on 7 April 1945. One hundred twenty Bf-109s engaged an AAF formation, destroying at most 13 bombers at a cost of 53 German fighters. Many of the poorly trained pilots never even engaged the AAF formation.28

Despite the expenditure of blood and treaĀ*sure, the Luftwaffe was never able to regain air superiority over the Reich. Despite signs of an 11th-hour technological "knockout blow,"¯ the Luftwaffe of 1944–45 was an ineffective force, incapable of controlling the tempo of operations or even of causing the AAF more than occasional inconvenience. Most of its pilots from June 1944 onwards were more a hazard to themselves than to their enemies, and its overstretched flying units operated obsolete, poorly constructed aircraft. During the final year of the war in Europe, German day fighters destroyed 703 AAF heavy bombers; from June 1943 to May 1944, a much smaller force had destroyed 1,579.29 All of the energetic measures put into place by the Luftwaffe command to combat the daylight bombing offensive had failed.

luftluuver
12-04-2007, 08:42 AM
Coping with Allied Air Superiority:
The Combat Fronts

Despite the fearful losses sustained by its fighter units in the early months of 1944, the Luftwaffe command believed that it could mount a successful aerial response to the coming Allied invasion of Western Europe: "Defense against this landing attempt is decisive for the outcome of the war."¯30 The Luftwaffe developed a complex scheme for reinforcing the invasion sector once the Allies launched Operation Overlord. Upon receipt of the code phrase Drohende Gefahr West (Imminent Danger West), squadrons from the Reich defense force were to fly to previously identified airfields in northern France. As many fighter aircraft as possible were to be equipped with bomb racks so that they could participate directly in the ground battle.

The Luftwaffe took note of the experience gained during the months preceding the invasion in preparing for battle. Units in France in early 1944 reported increasing enemy fighter and fighter-bomber attacks"”augmented by medium- and heavy-bomber strikes"”against airfields, transportation centers, rail communications, and radar and signals installations.31 The ground organization learned sophisticated techniques of camouflage, concealment, dispersal, and mobility as means of reducing losses of materiel and personnel to air attack. Drawing on its experiences on German territory, the Luftwaffe deployed mobile flak batteries, especially the quadruple 2 cm antiaircraft gun. This useful weapon, often mounted on a trailer, truck, half-track, or even a tank chassis, provided dense and highly mobile fire support for important targets, including airfields, bridges, and trains.32 For protection of ground units, the Germans concentrated their flak batteries in the front and rear of the columns, with weapons at the ready. German commanders designed quick and responsive aircraft-alert procedures, and when an enemy aircraft was sighted, the column would stop, and the antiaircraft vehicles would deploy to the sides of the road, providing massed antiaircraft fire against low-flying Allied "Jabos."¯

The effect of Allied air superiority was far worse than even the most pessimistic Luftwaffe planners had envisioned. A Luftwaffe officer reported that enemy air activity rendered all daytime convoy traffic impossible, with the exception of fully armored units.33 Landline communication throughout the invasion zone was disrupted from D-day onward, due to both air attack and the activities of the French resistance. The Germans responded by making increased use of radio communications although, dependent as they were on the Enigma cipher machine, such measures made German intentions all the more transparent to Allied intelligence. Allied air superiority rendered the orderly transfer of Luftwaffe units into the theater an extremely difficult proposition.

The Luftwaffe's immediate response to the landings was "barely perceptible."¯34 Indeed, the German air effort during the first 24 hours added up to only 319 sorties, thus dashing the initial hope of defeating the invasion during the first crucial hours.35 Even so, the movement of Reich defense-fighter units had some success, with 200 aircraft arriving during the first 36 hours. By D-day plus seven, over 1,000 German aircraft directly opposed the landing.36 As well as fending for themselves, they had to provide escort for the lumbering trimotor transports that hauled ground personnel and spare parts.37 Real troubles for these aircraft began after their arrival since Allied air attacks had already damaged many of their airfields. The German fighter force was drawn into a losing battle to retain its operational ready-rates in the face of intense enemy air activity.

German commanders quickly realized that their methods for contesting Allied air superiority were not equal to the tasks facing them in Normandy. The ground organization had to deal with conditions far worse than even those in the Reich territory. As a result, the Luftwaffe High Command emphasized that "the flying forces and the ground organization are a single weapon"¯ and sought to instill "warlike deportment"¯ even among the second-line personnel who ran the airfields.38 The Germans greatly strengthened their existing air-raid warning service since Allied fighter-bomber attacks often took place with little or no warning. Camouflage and dispersal almost became art forms, with aircraft uncovered immediately before a sortie and whisked under cover quickly after the propeller stopped turning. Antiaircraft forces came under an airfield-defense commander, responsible for training, implementing new defense measures, and actually conducting operations if the base came under attack. Flak commanders took advantage of the fact that Allied fighter-bombers pounced on everything that moved on the Norman roads by creating ingenious "low-flying-aircraft booby traps."¯ They deployed mobile canvas dummies equipped with glass panels to simulate glare from vehicle windshields. When fighter-bombers dove to the attack, massed antiaircraft artillery (AAA) guns, usually camouflaged as shrubbery, opened fire.39

Early in the summer invasion, the Germans experimented with attempts to fly aircraft away from threatened airfields and disperse them to emergency strips. These "evacuation flights"¯ soon ceased. For one thing, they tended to consume scarce stocks of aviation gasoline; for another, the airspace over Normandy proved far more dangerous than the ground. By early August 1944, the Luftwaffe had to withdraw its fighter force from the forward airfields since, as one commander recalled, his fighters were "pinned to the ground"¯ by Allied aircraft.40 The new bases"”located to the southwest of Paris"”though marginally less vulnerable to direct attack by Allied aircraft, compelled the Luftwaffe to fly greater distances, thus using precious fuel and decreasing loiter times. The hope of using fighters as "swing-role"¯ ground-attack aircraft proved vain: bomb racks were quickly discarded as the fighters massed over selected German units to provide a modicum of air cover. They also attempted to shoot down Allied spotting aircraft, which registered the fire of conventional and naval artillery against the hard-pressed German ground forces.

Clearly, the fighter force could not make an appreciable impact, and the ground-attack arm found itself in an even more precarious position.41 Bomb-laden Fw 190s were even less capable than their fighter counterparts of penetrating Allied fighter screens.42 The Luftwaffe restricted its ground-attack missions to dawn and dusk"”or bad weather. The Luftwaffe general staff concluded that "ground attack aircraft . . . no longer afforded any decisive support to the land forces, and the heavy losses incurred rose ultimately to a level out of all proportion to the successes achieved."¯43

The Luftwaffe at least had few illusions that its bomber force, once its primary striking arm, would have a significant role to play in the daylight battles in Normandy.44 Driven from even the night skies over western Europe, the Luftwaffe's offensive force depended increasingly on pilotless weapons"”the Fieseler Fi 103 (V-1) "buzz bombs."¯ As a substitute for conventional bombing capability, the V-1 had a number of shortcomings, especially its lack of precision. Yet, the robot bombardment, which began on 13 June 1944, tied down large numbers of Allied fighter aircraft and antiaircraft batteries that might have otherwise gone to Normandy. The Luftwaffe staff drew special attention to this collateral benefit in several of its tactical memoranda.45 Later in the summer invasion, the army's A-4 (V-2) ballistic missile entered the fray. Although long touted by the Army Ordnance Rocket Program as a potential substitute for strategic bombing,46 the V-2 featured even less accuracy than the V-1 and (since no defense was possible) did not cause any diversion of Allied fighter or antiaircraft forces.

Only in the area of reconnaissance support did Luftwaffe countermeasures produce any significant improvement. The Luftwaffe's inability to conduct even the most basic aerial reconnaissance rendered German forces virtually blind, a situation that went a long way towards ensuring the success of the Allies' preinvasion deception operation (Fortitude),47 as well as granting Allied formations fighting in Normandy an unprecedented level of operational freedom.48 Although Allied air superiority seemed to condemn the Luftwaffe reconnaissance force to the same irrelevance as most of its combat units, in this case radical new technology did bring about a noticeable improvement. Although the Me 262 jet-Ā*propelled interceptor did not appreciably alter the balance in the struggle for air superiority over Germany, its less celebrated counterpart"”the Arado Ar 234 jet bomber/reconnaissance plane"”dramatically improved the fortunes of the reconnaissance arm. In late July and early August 1944, two prototypes of the Ar 234 arrived at the invasion coast.49 The Ar 234 was unarmed, carried two high-resolution panoramic cameras, and relied on its tremendous speed and altitude performance to escape interception.50

During a single flight on 2 August, an Ar 234 pilot flying the one operational aircraft "achieved what had been beyond the entire Luftwaffe reconnaissance force in the West for the previous eight weeks: he had photoĀ*graphed almost the entire Allied lodgment area in Normandy."¯51 In fact, for the remainder of the war, reconnaissance units equipped with Ar 234s could operate virtually unmolested in the west, in Italy, and even over the British Isles. No longer did the German military possess the capacity to take effective action based upon the improved flow of intelligence information. Nevertheless, the operational career of the Ar 234 indicates the possibilities conferred upon even a hopelessly outclassed air force by single items of new technology.

Small successes aside, Luftwaffe countermeasures to Allied air superiority in Normandy did not appreciably prolong the struggle. Air support for German counteroffensives such as the Mortain attack in August was lacking, and the Luftwaffe ground organization was caught up in the general rout that followed in France. Wags in Germany remarked that the "WL"¯ license-plate prefix on Luftwaffe vehicles in fact stood for "we're leaving!"¯52 Luftwaffe tactical support for ground operations during the rest of the campaign remained spotty and ineffectual. Even the rare mass attacks by the Luftwaffe fighter force, as occurred in Operation Bodenplatte"”the surprise attack on Allied air bases on New Year's Day 1945"”were hardly worth the losses sustained.

The Luftwaffe's loss of air superiority on the Russian front, although neither as complete nor as dramatic as that in the west, still posed considerable problems. Although the Luftwaffe could concentrate its forces and wrest local air superiority from the Red Air Force, even into the final year of the war, it still had to contend with the fact that it could muster only very limited or nonexistent air opposition over large sectors of the front. In these regions, the Germans resorted to many of the same camouflage, concealment, and antiaircraft techniques in place in the west, but a number of countermeasures were unique to the eastern theater. One of the most interesting and widely used of these "low-tech solutions"¯ to the air-superiority problem was the use of aircraft in a night-harassing role. Since the early days of the eastern campaign, even when the Germans enjoyed general air superiority, frontline army units were vexed by the appearance of obsolete Soviet biplanes, operating at night and frequently flown by female pilots (the so-called Night Witches). Although the material effect of these attacks was minuscule, nightly fragmentation-bomb attacks eroded troop morale, caused sleep deprivation, occasionally destroyed supply depots, and inflicted casualties.

German air commanders drew inspiration from these developments. In the Luftwaffe's rear areas one found an assortment of obsolete training and reconnaissance aircraft, as well as many captured types. These aircraft had little role in major air operations, but"”given the size of the theater and the dispersal of the Luftwaffe's fighter and bomber wings"”most commanders adhered to the philosophy that "any unused aircraft is helping the enemy."¯53 The Luftwaffe made extensive use of these antiquated aircraft, grouping them into night ground-attack units. Virtually undetectable by radar or other means, the aircraft attacked Soviet supply depots, partisan encampments, enemy airfields, and other vulnerable targets with light fragmentation bombs and machine-gun fire.54 That these crude aircraft were able to operate so effectively should not be surprising; even 60 years later, under certain circumstances, light aircraft can penetrate even sophisticated air-defense systems. By fall 1944, over 500 such aircraft were operating, most of them in Russia; however, Allies also encountered night ground-attack units equipped with more modern aircraft types on the Italian and Western Fronts. As with many such improvisations throughout German military history, this cheap expedient came from the grass roots. Not until early 1944 did official published doctrine for the use of this weapon appear, and the bulk of developmental and experimental work with the concept occurred at the unit level. The fixation of the Luftwaffe Operations Staff on regaining conventional air superiority probably prevented more extensive reliance on such low-tech work-arounds.

luftluuver
12-04-2007, 08:43 AM
Conclusion

By destroying the Luftwaffe and gaining air superiority over the whole of the battle area, airpower made its single greatest contribution to Allied victory in the Second World War. The German air force responded to this threat with resourcefulness and determination. Many of these measures brought transitory success; others had no detectable impact upon the course of events. One may assess their individual effectiveness on a number of levels. In creating a homeland-defense organization in the face of many demanding commitments on three widely separated combat fronts, the Luftwaffe High Command actually did a creditable job; in fact, by late 1943 it had come close to rendering the AAF's deep-penetration operations too costly to continue. The German aircraft industry certainly rose to the task of providing greatly increased numbers of fighter aircraft"”so much so that the Luftwaffe to the end did not suffer from a shortage of airframes. Even under punishing bombing attacks, the armaments overlords of Nazi Germany accomplished a "production miracle."¯ The success of these measures underscores the amount of resilience present in a modern state, even under the most adverse circumstances.

In spite of impressive technological developments such as the Me 262 interceptor, German high-tech solutions to the air-superiority problem were largely failures. As compelling as the vision of new technology countering Allied numerical superiority may have been, the late-war German developments could not justify the exaggerated hopes placed in them. It is a fact that Luftwaffe airmen and ground personnel won their few defensive successes towards war's end with conventional or even obsolescent weapons.

What lessons does the Luftwaffe's struggle to regain air superiority suggest? Clearly, many aspects render the experience, from the vantage point of the early twenty-first century, only of historical interest. The pace of combat operations in the Second World War was rather leisurely and incremental. The Allied air offensive took years to unfold, only in the final year of the war doing real damage to the German economy. Even after the Normandy landings, the "broad front"¯ strategy of the Western Allies enabled German forces"”despite the drubbing they received in France"”to reconstitute and not only defeat the Arnhem operation in September 1944, but also launch a major offensive in the Ardennes. Future conflicts are unlikely to afford an adversary such breathing space, during which the Germans implemented reforms in organization and aircraft production. Nor can a future adversary count on having time to ready new technology for even limited combat action. Furthermore, German countermeasures were designed to inflict decisive defeat upon the air forces of their enemies. As vain as that hope turned out to be, it is most unlikely that an adversary in the foreseeable future would even attempt to engage the US Air Force in such a battle for air superiority.

Despite the apparent gulf between the Luftwaffe experience and any future scenario, this historical case study offers relevant lessons. One of the more striking conclusions concerns the unwillingness of modern air forces to make sweeping changes in their operational doctrine. To suggest that the Luftwaffe's fixation on offensive operations was the sole"”or even primary"”cause of its defeat is to oversimplify the situation, but its adherence to cherished beliefs regarding the proper employment of airpower certainly delayed and hampered its response to the loss of air superiority. The costs of maintaining an offensive capability proved enormous, and for the Luftwaffe this was largely a self-inflicted wound.

Yet, to a certain extent, the Luftwaffe freed itself from the shackles of prewar doctrine, and its resulting measures hold the greatest interest to current airpower practitioners. Although the passive performance of the Iraqi air force in 1991 and 2003 in the face of coalition air dominance is reassuring, the Luftwaffe's experience"”as well as the performance of the Argentine air arm during the Falklands war in 1982"”suggests that well-trained air forces will continue to operate even in the face of overwhelming odds. Moreover, most of the significant, if transitory, German defensive successes resulted from clever and determined employment of conventional aircraft types, despite the postwar fixation on "wonder weapons."¯ Ironically, the most relevant lesson from the Luftwaffe experience may be the use of obsolete, stealthy biplanes in a night-harassing role rather than the belated introduction of the world's fastest fighter. Recent US combat experience around the globe suggests many possibilities offered by the employment of less sophisticated weapons.

Reliance upon ground-based defenses also offers a great number of lessons. By mid-1944 the flak arm could claim responsibility for most of the Allied aircraft destroyed by German forces. Although the massing of heavy AAA tubes around important targets may seem a cost-ineffective way of doing business, the protection of tactical targets with massed small-caliber weapons was a different story. Since Allied aircraft immediately pounced upon every moving vehicle, it became a simple matter to lure them into well-concealed flak traps. Even humbler measures such as camouflage, concealment, smoke screens, shelter construction, and evacuations should not escape notice. Their cumulative effect enormously complicated the task of the Allied air planners. As Milch summed up, "If the last war taught us how to dig in, this war has taught us camouflage."¯55 Inexpensive and requiring little training and preparation, such methods quickly lend themselves to the repertoire of any nation that faces air dominance by an enemy. Moreover, concealment and mobility may prove an effective counter to precision-guided munitions, since these weapons often contain only a small warhead and depend on accuracy for their effectiveness. A future adversary would do well to study the German example.

In failing to halt the Allies, even the cleverest German countermeasures acquired an aura of total futility. The increased casualties inflicted by some of the measures were unlikely to divert the Allies from their stated goal of unconditional surrender. Yet, in a different political and social context, the capability of prolonging a conflict or driving up the casualty bill may be enough to force a major power to rethink its investment. As fruitless as the German measures were in a total war between nation-states, the ability to inflict unexpected casualties on the US Air Force, its coalition partners, or friendly populations might pay a future adversary disproportionate dividends.

Wepps
12-04-2007, 08:49 AM
The air war over Germany was one of attrition. Simply put, Germany was never prepared for such a war, and the enormous resources of both Britain and America combined was known to eventually be able to overcome Germany's capacity to counter it.

When Germany responded by changing aircraft production almost totally to defensive assets, this was an indicator of their inability to fight such a war and maintain the necessary offensive assets for conduct of a short series of quick campaigns.

It was when this happened that Germany was defeated. This is why the Russian opinion that daylight bombing had little effect, is not a very realistic opinion.

When Germany went defensive strategically, it was over. Wacht am Rhine is proof of concept of this situation.

JtD
12-04-2007, 09:11 AM
Originally posted by Wepps:
...the enormous resources of both Britain and America combined was known to eventually be able to overcome Germany's capacity to counter it...

And the Soviet resources.

Pluto8742
12-04-2007, 09:14 AM
Luft - Interesting stuff. Thanks.

Cheers,

P8.

Metatron_123
12-04-2007, 10:16 AM
Very good study of the matter that is mostly true, except for this remark:
''the Luftwaffe of 1944–45 was an ineffective force, incapable of controlling the tempo of operations or even of causing the AAF more than occasional inconvenience.''

I'm sure that american pilots that lost buddies to the Luftwaffe even as late as Spring 1945 would dissagree with the expression ''occasional inconvenience''.

That the Lufwaffe was losing the war and suffering huge losses in the process is true, but they were still shooting down aircraft. And losing even one crew cannot be dismissed as a minor inconvenience.

waffen-79
12-04-2007, 11:32 AM
Excellent Read, thanks mate

Wepps
12-04-2007, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Wepps:
...the enormous resources of both Britain and America combined was known to eventually be able to overcome Germany's capacity to counter it...

And the Soviet resources. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not in this case. I was discussing the effect of the air war over Germany, in contrast to Russia's perception of its effectiveness.

Let's not forget the Russians. We CAN'T forget the Russians. Without their amazing tenacity in the face of a terrible war launched against them, it would have all been a wash anyway. The best we could have hoped for was beating Germany to The Bomb and negotiating a truce. But we never could have won.

I won't apologize for the post I made because I'm well aware of this. I will apologize for assuming everybody else is aware of this though http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

JtD
12-04-2007, 02:15 PM
And I don't think it is correct to exclude the Soviets from that equasion at any given point. Loads of German airpower was employed and destroyed in the East, in particular from 1941 to 1943. Had these assets been available at the channel or in the Med, the Western Allies would not have been to dominate the skies over Germany in 1944. Maybe even never.

Blutarski2004
12-04-2007, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
And I don't think it is correct to exclude the Soviets from that equasion at any given point. Loads of German airpower was employed and destroyed in the East, in particular from 1941 to 1943. Had these assets been available at the channel or in the Med, the Western Allies would not have been to dominate the skies over Germany in 1944. Maybe even never.


..... This claim is not supported by the historical record. Germany lost the air war in the West. LW loss records make the point quite clearly. In 1943, the LW lost about 2.5x more a/c in Europe and the Med than they did in Russia.

HuninMunin
12-04-2007, 05:18 PM
Close that book and never open anymore.

BfHeFwMe
12-04-2007, 09:05 PM
Interesting read, but according to Milch's authorized biography, he kept diaries and documents, has some major contradictions.

For instance, he viewed it as end game the moment Speer took control over Luft production. In his view the Luftwaffe had been starved due to it being the newest service and the logical combat arm to point the finger at for the BoB disaster.

It only began to receive the attention it needed after the allies razed Hanburg. But than all the wrong kind of attention. Goering right around this time pretty much stepped out of the picture, not wanting any blame made himself scarce, but refused to relinquish power, and left no one in overall command.

That right there spelled defeat, no leadership with multiple departments split up in classical third Reich style, all competing for the same end result, but all with different goals to get there. They fought each other harder than the allies.

The allies only had to deal with one objective, winning, supply wasn't an issue, and they knew who was in command. Milch's documents and diary clearly give the view they never had a chance.

Also, the bomb rack on the 262 is a fallacy, the order was for all production aircraft to get them installed. Just look at the date, May 44, and what happened the next month. They needed strike aircraft, and knew the invasion was on soon. They were right, where were the strike capable craft over the beach?

It was Willy M's foot dragging on the 262 that set it back. He favored his own Me-209 project and stripped resources away from the 262 which became a joint Jumo-Heinkle engine project. He'd been ordered to drop the 209 long before this and given authority to appropriate all materials required in 262 production. Milch about pooped a brick when he discovered nothing was appropriated months later, and the project was still. He pursued courts martial proceedings against Willy.

So blame Messerschmidt, not the racks. Willy himself said it would only take a day to pop in the racks for testing, a simple job. And did prove so when he finally received the proper motivation, but it was far too late.

He desired to kill he 262 once it began to rely on a Heinkel bureau designed engine. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

http://www.fpp.co.uk/books/Milch/

An excellent read.

JtD
12-04-2007, 10:57 PM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:

..... This claim is not supported by the historical record. Germany lost the air war in the West. LW loss records make the point quite clearly. In 1943, the LW lost about 2.5x more a/c in Europe and the Med than they did in Russia.

That's probably because "Russia" is just a part of "Europe". The claim is well supported by historical records. Are you saying that Germany did not lose loads of aircraft in the East from 1941 to 1943?

I suppose you are referring to Murray with that statement, feel free to compare Murray's point of view with this website (http://www.lesbutler.ip3.co.uk/tony/pawel/stats.htm):
LW losses in flying front line personal from June, 1941 to August 1943:
32449 (total)
23870 (East)
4992 (Med)
3587 (West)

Three quarters of the losses occurred in the East. That's not surprising, as about three quarters of the Luftwaffe were employed in the East.

Assuming half of the plane losses (taking into account that more multi crew planes served East then elsewhere) were related to the Eastern Front at that time, with an average lost of roughly 1500 planes/month, the Eastern Front cost the Germans about 20000 planes from June 41 to August 43. I think that 20000 planes plus well trained pilots would certainly have made a difference in the West and Med in 1943, had they not been lost in the East.

Luke5skywalker4
12-04-2007, 11:04 PM
Despite the attrition of the German Luftwaffe late in WW2, there were still capable pilots fighting well up to the war's end. The numerous 'Experten,' and yes, even the 40 (more or less) known Me-262 pilots that achieved Ace status, I believe did well despite overwhelming odds. Even though so few could not change the outcome, their determination to fight with bravery and sacrifice, to defend their homeland, made them into the skilled pilots that they were.

Blutarski2004
12-05-2007, 08:28 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:

..... This claim is not supported by the historical record. Germany lost the air war in the West. LW loss records make the point quite clearly. In 1943, the LW lost about 2.5x more a/c in Europe and the Med than they did in Russia.

That's probably because "Russia" is just a part of "Europe". The claim is well supported by historical records. Are you saying that Germany did not lose loads of aircraft in the East from 1941 to 1943?

I suppose you are referring to Murray with that statement, feel free to compare Murray's point of view with this website (http://www.lesbutler.ip3.co.uk/tony/pawel/stats.htm):
LW losses in flying front line personal from June, 1941 to August 1943:
32449 (total)
23870 (East)
4992 (Med)
3587 (West)

Three quarters of the losses occurred in the East. That's not surprising, as about three quarters of the Luftwaffe were employed in the East.

Assuming half of the plane losses (taking into account that more multi crew planes served East then elsewhere) were related to the Eastern Front at that time, with an average lost of roughly 1500 planes/month, the Eastern Front cost the Germans about 20000 planes from June 41 to August 43. I think that 20000 planes plus well trained pilots would certainly have made a difference in the West and Med in 1943, had they not been lost in the East. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



..... You're correct. I am citing Murray. The website you mention is interesting, although I'll have to do a bit of translation in order to get a full appreciaiton of the data. Until then. I'm unable to rationalize them versus that cited by Murray.

As for Murray, here are the loss data (all LW a/c types) which he cites from LW records for the period Jun 42 through Dec 43 -


__________East_____West

Jun 42_____350______299
Jul 42_____438______386
Aug 42_____436______371
Sep 42_____332______206
Oct 42_____200______324
Nov 42_____224______595
Dec 42_____408______366

Total
1942______2388_____2547
Pctg_____(48%)____(52%)


- - - - - - - - - - - -


Jan 43_____482______458
Feb 43_____318______368
Mar 43_____314______564
Apr 43_____238______827
May 43_____331______664
Jun 43_____249______548
Jul 43_____558_____1237
Aug 43_____472______946
Sep 43_____338_____1025
Oct 43_____279______815
Nov 43_____194______709

Total
1943______3773_____8161
Pctg_____(32%)____(68%)


- - - - - - - - - - - -


Grand
Total_____6161____10708
Pctg_____(37%)____(63%)


This period does not cover 1944/1945 - the introduction of long range escort over Germany, the Overlord operation, Normandy, or the subsequent advance into Germany. LW loss data for that period are not easily extractable from Murray, but would unquestionably favor the west to a greater degree than the 1942/1943 figures given above.

JtD
12-05-2007, 09:57 AM
Well, maybe 20000 is a bit high, after all. Probably included damaged ac as well as destroyed.

Your "West" for 1942 actually is "other fronts", not "West". The biggest difference I can think of is "North".

Feel free to add figures for June 1941 - May 1942 and you'll find that my statement is absolutely correct.

Blutarski2004
12-05-2007, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
Well, maybe 20000 is a bit high, after all. Probably included damaged ac as well as destroyed.

Your "West" for 1942 actually is "other fronts", not "West". The biggest difference I can think of is "North".

Feel free to add figures for June 1941 - May 1942 and you'll find that my statement is absolutely correct.


..... My use of the term "West" does indeed include the Mediterranean, Western Europe, and air defense of the German homeland.

The LW committed only very slightly more a/c to the invasion of Russia than had been committed to the Battle of Britain - about 2770 a/c for Barbarsossa versus 2600 a/c in France plus 190 a/c in support ex Norway for the Battle of Britain. LW a/c losses over England in the period Jul-Sep 1941 were 1636, with a peak of 774 in the month of August. An additional 1428 a/c were lost in the Battle of France during May/Jun 1940. Average LW losses of all a/c types in Russia over the period June-Nov 1941 were approx 741 per month.

LW losses in Russia were by no means inconsequential. The majority of LW strength (up to 2/3s) was committed to Russia from July 1941 through Spring of 1943. But over time the LW suffered dramatically more losses in absolute numbers in the West. Beginning in Summer 1942, the LW was withdrawing units from the East for commitment to the Mediterranean theater. By Summer 1943, LW force commitments in the West exceeded those on the Eastern front by a margin which grew steadily over time.

Hoatee
12-05-2007, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
And I don't think it is correct to exclude the Soviets from that equasion at any given point. Loads of German airpower was employed and destroyed in the East, in particular from 1941 to 1943. Had these assets been available at the channel or in the Med, the Western Allies would not have been to dominate the skies over Germany in 1944. Maybe even never.

Soviet air power was used primarily in the tactical role - there was no strategic bombing launched by the Soviet air forces on the same scale as that made by the USAAF and the RAF. For that simple reason, it is correct to exclude Soviet air power from the equation - German air power may have been diverted to the East, but it was for the purpose of combating an air force that was being used in the tactical role.

Viper2005_
12-05-2007, 06:21 PM
Loss of air superiority is a symptom; attempts to treat the symptom rather than the root cause of the problem tend to be ineffective.

In this case, the problem was that the Nazis bit off substantially more than the German economy could chew.

There is very little that the LW could do to deal with this fundamental problem. Indeed, being at the top of the technological tree, it suffered soonest and it suffered most.

SkyChimp
12-05-2007, 07:20 PM
AFAIK know, fighter availability was never really the problem for the Jagdwaffe. The problem was too few (and too new) pilots, and too little fuel.

Ratsack
12-05-2007, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by Hoatee:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JtD:
And I don't think it is correct to exclude the Soviets from that equasion at any given point. Loads of German airpower was employed and destroyed in the East, in particular from 1941 to 1943. Had these assets been available at the channel or in the Med, the Western Allies would not have been to dominate the skies over Germany in 1944. Maybe even never.

Soviet air power was used primarily in the tactical role - there was no strategic bombing launched by the Soviet air forces on the same scale as that made by the USAAF and the RAF. For that simple reason, it is correct to exclude Soviet air power from the equation - German air power may have been diverted to the East, but it was for the purpose of combating an air force that was being used in the tactical role. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm sorry, but this reads like dogma. Forces diverted are diverted, regardless of the reason. And if they're diverted to win a battle, then they have had a very direct and measurable effect. This is in stark contrast to forces diverted to the 'strategic' campaigns, beloved of air power apologists ever since 1918.

End rant.

cheers,
Ratsack

heywooood
12-05-2007, 10:33 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Wepps:
...the enormous resources of both Britain and America combined was known to eventually be able to overcome Germany's capacity to counter it...

And the Soviet resources. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

JtD - nice catch of a classic omission..or slight...or both.
Germany was placed in a pincer of GINORMOUS proportions by her own leadership and fought strongly on both fronts...ideology aside, their soldiers and fliers were made of stern stuff.

Wepps
12-05-2007, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by heywooood:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Wepps:
...the enormous resources of both Britain and America combined was known to eventually be able to overcome Germany's capacity to counter it...

And the Soviet resources. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

JtD - nice catch of a classic omission..or slight...or both.
Germany was placed in a pincer of GINORMOUS proportions by her own leadership and fought strongly on both fronts...ideology aside, their soldiers and fliers were made of stern stuff. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you bothered to read my response, you'd realize it was no catch or omission, but yet another case of 'experts' not bothering to read what is being siad before responding.

JtD
12-07-2007, 09:57 AM
@Blutarski:

Turns out that my claim is in fact supported by facts.

- up to 2/3rds of the Luftwaffe committed in the East for large parts of 1941-1943
- 3/4th of personell losses June 1941- August 1943 occured in the East
- June-December in the East 1941 cost the LW qbout twice as many planes as the rest over the whole year (November excluded)
- no numbers yet for first half of 1942
- 50% of plane losses in 1942 in the East
- 30% of planes losses in 1943 in the East

Now I still think that the Eastern Front had a significant impact on the decline of the Luftwaffe and cannot be excluded from any statement regarding the ultimate defeat.

Esp. the losses in flying personell in the second half of 1941 are important to consider, as they marked the first period where Germany had to lower their training standards in order to replenish the ranks fast enough. Which is where the vicious circle started. These losses were mainly inflicted in th East.

I'd also like you to consider that many of the planes destroyed in the West in 1943 were destroyed on the ground in North Africa or Sicily, were the Germans failed to organize a timely retreat.

I don't want to leave the impression that I mean to say that the airwar was decided in the East, it imho was decided on all fronts. The major losses in the eraly war occured in the East, except for the very ealry war where there was no East, while most of the late war losses occured in the West.

Blutarski2004
12-07-2007, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
@Blutarski:

Turns out that my claim is in fact supported by facts.

- up to 2/3rds of the Luftwaffe committed in the East for large parts of 1941-1943
- 3/4th of personell losses June 1941- August 1943 occured in the East
- June-December in the East 1941 cost the LW qbout twice as many planes as the rest over the whole year (November excluded)
- no numbers yet for first half of 1942
- 50% of plane losses in 1942 in the East
- 30% of planes losses in 1943 in the East

Now I still think that the Eastern Front had a significant impact on the decline of the Luftwaffe and cannot be excluded from any statement regarding the ultimate defeat.

Esp. the losses in flying personell in the second half of 1941 are important to consider, as they marked the first period where Germany had to lower their training standards in order to replenish the ranks fast enough. Which is where the vicious circle started. These losses were mainly inflicted in th East.

I'd also like you to consider that many of the planes destroyed in the West in 1943 were destroyed on the ground in North Africa or Sicily, were the Germans failed to organize a timely retreat.

I don't want to leave the impression that I mean to say that the airwar was decided in the East, it imho was decided on all fronts. The major losses in the eraly war occured in the East, except for the very ealry war where there was no East, while most of the late war losses occured in the West.



..... I certainly don't consider LW losses in the East to have been insignificant. During the second half of 1941 into early 1942, the majority of LW losses were suffered in Russia.

My argument is merely that, over the general course of the war, the LW was ultimately broken in the West, where overall attrition rates were much higher. During the 2nd half of 1942, the LW lost as many a/c in the West as in the East, despite the fact that only 1/3 of LW a/c were deployed in the West. Over the 1st half of 1943, the West versus East loss ratio grew to 1.5 to 1. Over the 2nd half of of 1943, when the LW re-allocated the majority of its assets to the West, the West versus East loss ratio rose still further to 2.5 to 1.

This ought not to be viewed as any implied criticism of the VVS, which was operating under very different operational dicta - i.e., support of ground operation being paramount.

The personnel loss figures you gave for Jul 41 - Aug 43 are impressive. Do they represent only flight personnel or might they include LW ground crew, flak, security, ground troops as well?

EmKen
12-07-2007, 04:16 PM
The loss figures don't seem to make much sense to me -the LW in Western Europe was declining combat in 1941 -42 to the British organised "Rhubarbs" and "Circuses", *th AAF attacks fizzled out pretty quickly until the advent of proper escort systems in 1944. How did the LW manage to lose so many planes and personnel?
Is it because the figures in this theatre include training losses? This would be where pilots were being trained and therefore would maybe explain why, in a lightly contested arena, there was such disproportionality?

EmKen

Blutarski2004
12-07-2007, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by EmKen:
The loss figures don't seem to make much sense to me -the LW in Western Europe was declining combat in 1941 -42 to the British organised "Rhubarbs" and "Circuses", *th AAF attacks fizzled out pretty quickly until the advent of proper escort systems in 1944. How did the LW manage to lose so many planes and personnel?
Is it because the figures in this theatre include training losses? This would be where pilots were being trained and therefore would maybe explain why, in a lightly contested arena, there was such disproportionality?

EmKen


..... Included in the "West" ficures were the N African, Tunisian, Mediterranean, and Italian theaters, which were active in 1941-1943.

EmKen
12-08-2007, 10:53 AM
N African, Tunisian and Mediterranean are one and the same theatre, which basically closed down when the Italian theatre opened.
Alfred Price shows 2/3 of Luftwaffe strength on Eastern Front in 1941,42 and 43. These figures are even higher when Luftflotte 5, operating in Norway\Finland is included.
I still think that the Western allies contribution to the air war didn't really kick in until 1944, by which time the course of the war in Europe was irrevocably set.

Emken

Source:
Alfred Price. Luftwaffe Data Book, 1997.

JtD
12-09-2007, 08:00 AM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:

My argument is merely that, over the general course of the war, the LW was ultimately broken in the West, where overall attrition rates were much higher.

I'd say the Luftwaffe was worn out, not broken. A break is an event, if the LW was broken, when did that event happen?

May sound a bit academic, but it may be the key difference between our opinions.


The personnel loss figures you gave for Jul 41 - Aug 43 are impressive. Do they represent only flight personnel or might they include LW ground crew, flak, security, ground troops as well?

I was to say yes, because I claimed they were when I originally posted, but looked again and found I mixed the table up.

39760 - total losses
32449 - frontline losses
15268 - flying personnel losses

Frontline losses were split 3-1.

Wepps
12-09-2007, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
..... I certainly don't consider LW losses in the East to have been insignificant. During the second half of 1941 into early 1942, the majority of LW losses were suffered in Russia.


On June 22nd 1941, the Luftwaffe had deployed to the East 4,389 aircraft, not including the minor allies. They faced approximately 20,000 Soviet aircraft.

By December 31, 6 months later, according their own figures of each side - the Luftwaffe had lost 63% of that initial force, and the Russians had lost to all causes 21,200 aircraft. (this according to Bergstrom, who I trust as a good source)

So the Germans lost some 2,800 aircraft on the Eastern Front to all causes in the last 6 months of the year. It's obvious why this is the case, then.

Blutarski2004
12-09-2007, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:

My argument is merely that, over the general course of the war, the LW was ultimately broken in the West, where overall attrition rates were much higher.

I'd say the Luftwaffe was worn out, not broken. A break is an event, if the LW was broken, when did that event happen?

May sound a bit academic, but it may be the key difference between our opinions.


The personnel loss figures you gave for Jul 41 - Aug 43 are impressive. Do they represent only flight personnel or might they include LW ground crew, flak, security, ground troops as well?

I was to say yes, because I claimed they were when I originally posted, but looked again and found I mixed the table up.

39760 - total losses
32449 - frontline losses
15268 - flying personnel losses

Frontline losses were split 3-1. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... I understand the distinction you are drawing and "wearing out" is probably a better description. If the Russian campaign did one thing, it revealed the inability/unpreparedness of the LW to carry on a continuous multi-front war. Although the loss rates per sortie were low in the East, operations went on without respite 24/7/365. In the early part of the war in the West, the LW's loss rates were much higher, but the they was able to recuperate to a degree between campaigns [Poland - time-out - Battle of France - time-out - Battle of Britain - time-out - Barbarossa].

> Post edited to read "withOUT respite", as was originally intended.

JtD
12-10-2007, 08:43 AM
Yes. Eventually, Murray sums it up in the very first line of his book: "Strategy for Defeat". http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Now it could be interesting to check what could have happened in the West, had Barbarossa not taken place. More planes in the West (particularly the Med) with less losses, could have denied Allied air superiority for ages.

joeap
12-10-2007, 10:04 AM
Well one thing seems clear, the Heer, was unquestionably defeated in Russia by the Red Army; and the Kreigsmarine, defeated by the Royal Navy with support from the Canadians and other Commonwealth and occupied countries navies in the ranks, with help coming later from the USN...and LOTS of help from US shipyards. The Luftwaffe really does seem to have been bled on all fronts, while the Russian front has been underestimated in the past, it surely is not as lop-sided as the ground war contribution. I have read books where Soviet fighter pilots did remark noticing the LW being less numerous becasue of transfers. The Western Allies too can thank the Soviets for tying downlarge amounts of LW strength in the East. Heck I saw a British poster in a book, maybe the Time-Life series on WWII, thanking the Soviets for more peaceful nights after the Blitz.

Yes I know Soviet pilots still had a tough fight on their hands, and Britain was bombed to varying degrees right up til the end.

Blutarski2004
12-10-2007, 06:58 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
Now it could be interesting to check what could have happened in the West, had Barbarossa not taken place. More planes in the West (particularly the Med) with less losses, could have denied Allied air superiority for ages.


..... IMO, without the ultimately fatal commitment to Barbarossa, the substantial additional ground forces available to Germany would have secured its grip on the European continent for a lengthy period of time. I see little chance of success for any Allied attempt to invade Europe under such conditions. The additional freed LW assets would certainly have prolonged the war in the air, but I believe that it would ultimately have been submerged over time by sheer weight of numbers.

All the above is subject to the following "wild cards" -

[1] Does Hitler massively back the campaign in N Africa? If Rommel succeeds, the Mid-east and its oil fall to Germany, the Suez connection to India is severed, Turkey probably tilts to the Axis, and the USSR is strategically out-flanked.

[2] Does Stalin remain sitting on his hands?

[3] Does the LW gain sufficient time to put the ME262 into large-scale production and deployment?


It's a scenario which has always piqued my interest.

ImpStarDuece
12-10-2007, 08:03 PM
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 JtD:
Now it could be interesting to check what could have happened in the West, had Barbarossa not taken place. More planes in the West (particularly the Med) with less losses, could have denied Allied air superiority for ages.


..... IMO, without the ultimately fatal commitment to Barbarossa, the substantial additional ground forces available to Germany would have secured its grip on the European continent for a lengthy period of time. I see little chance of success for any Allied attempt to invade Europe under such conditions. The additional freed LW assets would certainly have prolonged the war in the air, but I believe that it would ultimately have been submerged over time by sheer weight of numbers.

All the above is subject to the following "wild cards" -

[1] Does Hitler massively back the campaign in N Africa? If Rommel succeeds, the Mid-east and its oil fall to Germany, the Suez connection to India is severed, Turkey probably tilts to the Axis, and the USSR is strategically out-flanked. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just to arrest this line of historical speculation a bit, but the Germans could hardly supply the 4 & 1/2 to 6 divisions that they had in the Western Desert with their existing shipping and air capacity, and the Italians were in a worse state. Rommel had a curious sort of genius, whereby he blazed forward and subsisted off captured supplies and completely ignored the long term logistical requirements of his operations. When he met solid resistance (El Alamain) or was unable to capture his objective (Tobruk), his plans typically came acropper.

The only real possibility for an Axis victory is the early seizure of Alexandria combined with the elimination of Malta. The seizure of Gibralta and a dramatic resurgence in the fortunes and fighting spirit of the Italian navy couldn't of hurt either.

The British actually had several chances to close the Mediterranean completely to the Axis, but, much like the Germans, tended to outrun their logistics tail and ended up being forced back by an injection of fresh forces.

Besides, the MTO was the sandpit that the Western Allies played in before the main even of Western Europe. Imagine the bloodbath a 10-division cross-Channel invasion in 1942 would of been.

The-Pizza-Man
12-11-2007, 01:22 AM
I think Germany had to invade the USSR, if they didn't the USSR would have invaded them. At least by going on the offensive early they had the initiative.

Blutarski2004
12-11-2007, 11:10 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by ImpStarDuece:
Just to arrest this line of historical speculation a bit, but the Germans could hardly supply the 4 & 1/2 to 6 divisions that they had in the Western Desert with their existing shipping and air capacity, and the Italians were in a worse state. [/UNQUOTE]

..... True, as the events actually unfolded. But my speculation supposed that Germany had not invaded Russia and therefore had available substantially larger assets to commit to N Africa. The rapid reinforcement of Tunisia after the Torch landings suggests that maintenance of much larger forces in N Africe was quite feasible for Germany. If not for the commitment in Russia, such additional forces would have been available much earlier. And I suspect that, with a Luftflotte or two permanently positioned in Italy and or Greece/Crete, the Mediterranean supply routes would have been much safer as well.

Blutarski2004
12-11-2007, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by The-Pizza-Man:
I think Germany had to invade the USSR, if they didn't the USSR would have invaded them. At least by going on the offensive early they had the initiative.


..... I agree that Germany ultimately would have had to fight the USSR. But I wonder whether it might not have been preferable to allow the USSR to attack and receive them on the flat plains of Poland at the end of their logistical tether.

A very interesting question to think about. The answer is by no means clear to me ...

hop2002
12-11-2007, 11:32 AM
The rapid reinforcement of Tunisia after the Torch landings suggests that maintenance of much larger forces in N Africe was quite feasible for Germany. If not for the commitment in Russia, such additional forces would have been available much earlier.

Martin Van Creveld addresses that specific point in Supplying War:


After the war in North Africa was over, Rommel bitterly commented that, had he received but a fraction of the troops and supplies that Hitler poured into Tunisia in a hopeless attempt to hold it, he could have thrown the British out of Egypt many times over. This claim has since been echoed by many other writers. However, it ignores the fact that the Axis' presence in Africa had been put on an entirely different basis by Rommel's retreat and by the Allied landings in North West Africa. Having seized both Bizerta and Toulon, as well as the French merchant fleet, the Axis now possessed the means with which to send reinforcements to Africa at a rate Panzerarmee had never known. Even so, however, they did not succeed in maintaining them there for very long.
The lessons of the period of the Libyan campaigns proper seem clear. First, Rommel's supply difficulties were at all times due to the limited capacity of the North African ports, which not only determined the largest possible number of troops that could be maintained, but also restricted the size of convoys, making the business of escorting them impossibly expensive in terms of the fuel and shipping employed. Second, the importance usually attributed to the 'battle of the convoys' is grossly exaggerated. At no time, except perhaps November-December 1941, did the aero-naval struggle in the central Mediterranean play a decisive part in events in North Africa, and even then Rommel's difficulties were due as much to his impossibly long - and vulnerable - line of communications inside Africa as to losses at sea.117 Third, the Axis decision of summer 1942 not to occupy Malta was of far less moment to the outcome of the struggle in North Africa than the fact that the port of Tobruk was so small and hopelessly exposed to the attacks of the RAF operating from Egypt.
More significant even than the above factors, however, were the distances that had to be overcome inside Africa. These were out of all proportion to those that the Wehrmacht had met in Europe, including Russia, and there was little motor transport available to bridge them. Coastal shipping was employed on some scale in 1942, it is true, but given the RAF's domination of the air its effect was limited because, the nearer to the front a port lay, the more exposed to attack from the air it became. Given these facts, Rintelen was right in pointing out that only a railway could solve the supply problem. This, after all. was part of the British solution. The Italians, however, never mobilized the resources for this purpose, nor did Rommel have the patience to wait for them.
That the reverses inflicted on Rommel during the summer and autumn of 1942 were due to the non-arrival of fuel from Italy, or to the fortuitous sinking of a disproportionately large number of vitally-important tankers, has frequently been maintained but is in fact without foundation. A detailed scrutiny of the list of ships sunk between 2 September and 23 October 1942 reveals that, out of a total of twenty-seven vessels, only two were tankers.1'9 Also, the average quantity of fuel that Rommel received during the months July-October was actually slightly larger than that which he got during the halcyon days from February to June.119 This suggests that his difficulties stemmed from the inability to transport the fuel inside Africa, rather than to any dearth of supplies from Europe. This impression is reinforced still further by the fact that, during the battle of El Alamein, no less than a third of Panzerarmee's very limited stocks were still at Benghazi, many hundreds of miles behind the front.120
Finally, the often-heard claim that Hitler did not support Rommel sufficiently is not true. Rommel was given all the forces that could be supported in North Africa, and more, with the result that, as late as the end of August 1942, his intelligence officer estimated that Ponzerarmee was actually superior to the British in the number of tanks and heavy artillery.121 To support these forces he was given a complement of motor-trucks incomparably more generous than that of any other German formation of similar size and importance, and if the problem of securing Panzerarmee's communications inside Africa was, as a result of the above-listed factors, never quite overcome, Rommel himself was largely to blame.

Earlier Van Creveld points out the distances involved. Brest Litovsk, on the German/Soviet demarkation line, to Moscow, is 600 miles. Tripoli to Benghazi was 600 miles, Tripoli to Alexandria 1,200 miles, almost all of it along a single coast road. The conditions meant wear and tear was high, and frequently even water had to be transported hundreds of miles.

Aaron_GT
12-12-2007, 06:00 AM
AFAIK know, fighter availability was never really the problem for the Jagdwaffe. The problem was too few (and too new) pilots, and too little fuel.

Indeed. Ranks upon ranks of 109G and later 109Ks lined up at the factory, then bombed by the USAAF before they were used as there wasn't the fuel or transport infrastructure left to even get them to front line units.

Blutarski2004
12-12-2007, 06:53 AM
Originally posted by hop2002:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The rapid reinforcement of Tunisia after the Torch landings suggests that maintenance of much larger forces in N Africe was quite feasible for Germany. If not for the commitment in Russia, such additional forces would have been available much earlier.

Martin Van Creveld addresses that specific point in Supplying War:


After the war in North Africa was over, Rommel bitterly commented that, had he received but a fraction of the troops and supplies that Hitler poured into Tunisia in a hopeless attempt to hold it, he could have thrown the British out of Egypt many times over. This claim has since been echoed by many other writers. However, it ignores the fact that the Axis' presence in Africa had been put on an entirely different basis by Rommel's retreat and by the Allied landings in North West Africa. Having seized both Bizerta and Toulon, as well as the French merchant fleet, the Axis now possessed the means with which to send reinforcements to Africa at a rate Panzerarmee had never known. Even so, however, they did not succeed in maintaining them there for very long.
The lessons of the period of the Libyan campaigns proper seem clear. First, Rommel's supply difficulties were at all times due to the limited capacity of the North African ports, which not only determined the largest possible number of troops that could be maintained, but also restricted the size of convoys, making the business of escorting them impossibly expensive in terms of the fuel and shipping employed. Second, the importance usually attributed to the 'battle of the convoys' is grossly exaggerated. At no time, except perhaps November-December 1941, did the aero-naval struggle in the central Mediterranean play a decisive part in events in North Africa, and even then Rommel's difficulties were due as much to his impossibly long - and vulnerable - line of communications inside Africa as to losses at sea.117 Third, the Axis decision of summer 1942 not to occupy Malta was of far less moment to the outcome of the struggle in North Africa than the fact that the port of Tobruk was so small and hopelessly exposed to the attacks of the RAF operating from Egypt.
More significant even than the above factors, however, were the distances that had to be overcome inside Africa. These were out of all proportion to those that the Wehrmacht had met in Europe, including Russia, and there was little motor transport available to bridge them. Coastal shipping was employed on some scale in 1942, it is true, but given the RAF's domination of the air its effect was limited because, the nearer to the front a port lay, the more exposed to attack from the air it became. Given these facts, Rintelen was right in pointing out that only a railway could solve the supply problem. This, after all. was part of the British solution. The Italians, however, never mobilized the resources for this purpose, nor did Rommel have the patience to wait for them.
That the reverses inflicted on Rommel during the summer and autumn of 1942 were due to the non-arrival of fuel from Italy, or to the fortuitous sinking of a disproportionately large number of vitally-important tankers, has frequently been maintained but is in fact without foundation. A detailed scrutiny of the list of ships sunk between 2 September and 23 October 1942 reveals that, out of a total of twenty-seven vessels, only two were tankers.1'9 Also, the average quantity of fuel that Rommel received during the months July-October was actually slightly larger than that which he got during the halcyon days from February to June.119 This suggests that his difficulties stemmed from the inability to transport the fuel inside Africa, rather than to any dearth of supplies from Europe. This impression is reinforced still further by the fact that, during the battle of El Alamein, no less than a third of Panzerarmee's very limited stocks were still at Benghazi, many hundreds of miles behind the front.120
Finally, the often-heard claim that Hitler did not support Rommel sufficiently is not true. Rommel was given all the forces that could be supported in North Africa, and more, with the result that, as late as the end of August 1942, his intelligence officer estimated that Ponzerarmee was actually superior to the British in the number of tanks and heavy artillery.121 To support these forces he was given a complement of motor-trucks incomparably more generous than that of any other German formation of similar size and importance, and if the problem of securing Panzerarmee's communications inside Africa was, as a result of the above-listed factors, never quite overcome, Rommel himself was largely to blame.

Earlier Van Creveld points out the distances involved. Brest Litovsk, on the German/Soviet demarkation line, to Moscow, is 600 miles. Tripoli to Benghazi was 600 miles, Tripoli to Alexandria 1,200 miles, almost all of it along a single coast road. The conditions meant wear and tear was high, and frequently even water had to be transported hundreds of miles. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... "Supplying War" is an interesting book. Van Creveld offers many insights into how logistics is the dominating element in warfare. I recall one observation by hims that, according to his calculations, more fuel was burned by Rommel's transport columns than was delivered to his fighting units.

As regards my speculations about the mounting of a stronger German thrust in N Africa, I would assume that suffcient logistical support would accompany any such effort. The Allies supplied vastly larger forces in France via the Normandy beachheads over the 2nd half of 1944, for example.

I do take issue with a few of Van Creveld's assertions re Rommel's situation in N Africa, which I will address in a later separate post.

jadger
12-12-2007, 09:11 AM
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 The-Pizza-Man:
I think Germany had to invade the USSR, if they didn't the USSR would have invaded them. At least by going on the offensive early they had the initiative.


..... I agree that Germany ultimately would have had to fight the USSR. But I wonder whether it might not have been preferable to allow the USSR to attack and receive them on the flat plains of Poland at the end of their logistical tether.

A very interesting question to think about. The answer is by no means clear to me ... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Even if they fought USSR on the defensive in Poland, rather than invaded, they still would have been required to make the counter-thrust into the Soviet Union (assuming success in Poland) It is better to take the fight to your enemy's cities than to let him approach yours.

Blutarski2004
12-12-2007, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by jadger:
<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 The-Pizza-Man:
I think Germany had to invade the USSR, if they didn't the USSR would have invaded them. At least by going on the offensive early they had the initiative.


..... I agree that Germany ultimately would have had to fight the USSR. But I wonder whether it might not have been preferable to allow the USSR to attack and receive them on the flat plains of Poland at the end of their logistical tether.

A very interesting question to think about. The answer is by no means clear to me ... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Even if they fought USSR on the defensive in Poland, rather than invaded, they still would have been required to make the counter-thrust into the Soviet Union (assuming success in Poland) It is better to take the fight to your enemy's cities than to let him approach yours. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Germany was successful with just such a strategy in WW1. They received a Russian offensive in East Prussia and destroyed it. Three years later, Russia collapsed into the hands of Germany. Only Germany's defeat in the West prevented annexation of Ukraine and most of European Russia into an expanded Germanic empire.

While I don't disgree with your basic premise - fight on your enemy's ground, I also see advantage in forcing your opponent into advancing beyond his means, so to speak. You become favored by short, efficient and interior lines of supply and communication. Your opponent is conversely in an opposite and awkward strategic position.

Frederick the Great almost made a science out of this method of waging war.

But it is admittedly a complicated question.

jadger
12-13-2007, 01:05 AM
Even on the offensive in 1941 the Germans were destroyed by the T34... now imagine larger numbers, against the same outdated German tanks (the German tanks were developed to match Russian tanks after all) and using an army that is based on the concept of offensive warfare in the defensive role.

As for advancing beyond his means... You are waiting for the Soviets to attack, meaning that you are waiting for them to improve their supply lines and bring up ample reinforcements to crush you. And Germany is not Russia, it is only a few hundread kilometres accross, It won't be that drastic of a stretch of supply lines as the infrastructure is already in place in the lands that will be conquered by the Soviets. Of course there is the railway grade change. but that is the only major obstacle.

In 1914 Russia invaded as soon as war was declared, in 1941 they weren't going to declare war until they were ready to make the assault, just as the Germans did in 1941.

As Frederick the Great said "The most certain way of insuring victory is to march briskly and in good
order against the enemy, always endeavoring to gain ground."

and Friedrich der Grosse also stated that "the battle is only delayed to the advantage of the enemy"

Blutarski2004
12-13-2007, 04:21 AM
Originally posted by jadger:
Even on the offensive in 1941 the Germans were destroyed by the T34... now imagine larger numbers, against the same outdated German tanks (the German tanks were developed to match Russian tanks after all) and using an army that is based on the concept of offensive warfare in the defensive role.


..... It's difficult to paint too much detail into such a hypothetical idea. Perhaps Germany has improved its own armaments by the time Stalin decides to act. Perhaps the Red Army has still not recovered from the officer purges.



As for advancing beyond his means... You are waiting for the Soviets to attack, meaning that you are waiting for them to improve their supply lines and bring up ample reinforcements to crush you. And Germany is not Russia, it is only a few hundread kilometres accross, It won't be that drastic of a stretch of supply lines as the infrastructure is already in place in the lands that will be conquered by the Soviets. Of course there is the railway grade change. but that is the only major obstacle.

In 1914 Russia invaded as soon as war was declared, in 1941 they weren't going to declare war until they were ready to make the assault, just as the Germans did in 1941.


..... The Russians held a stupendous advantage in numbers in the Tannenberg campaign. Numbers are not a guarantee of victory. OTOH, one of Germany's greatest problems historically in their Eastern campaign was in logistics.



As Frederick the Great said "The most certain way of insuring victory is to march briskly and in good
order against the enemy, always endeavoring to gain ground."

and Friedrich der Grosse also stated that "the battle is only delayed to the advantage of the enemy"


..... All very true. But I think that the concept of fighting on interior lines is not a conradiction to what you have quoted above.

Wepps
12-13-2007, 05:47 AM
Originally posted by jadger:
Even on the offensive in 1941 the Germans were destroyed by the T34... now imagine larger numbers, against the same outdated German tanks (the German tanks were developed to match Russian tanks after all) and using an army that is based on the concept of offensive warfare in the defensive role.

I would debate you that the German tanks were outmoded. In fact, they were the most technologically superior tanks in the world, and the T-34 was one of the least.

What made the T-34 great was its practical application on the battlefield. It's simple, but practical design allowed for tremendous mass production. Once on the field, it's sloped armor and large gun won the day. That does not constitute a superior machine technologically.

The same condition holds for the VVS. No aircraft was really technologically superior to a German one throughout the war, but some of them performed very well. They had a practical superiority on the battlefield regardless of being behind the Germans in their advancements.

The innovativeness of the Russians was clearly shown in their ability to bring the practical applications of a design to life, even though they did not maintain any kind of superiority in design, in such a manner so as to mass produce the end result.

The T-34 WAS the best tank around, but not because it had any technological superiority in any way to the German counterpart.

Fork-N-spoon
12-13-2007, 10:27 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
And I don't think it is correct to exclude the Soviets from that equasion at any given point. Loads of German airpower was employed and destroyed in the East, in particular from 1941 to 1943. Had these assets been available at the channel or in the Med, the Western Allies would not have been to dominate the skies over Germany in 1944. Maybe even never.

And I don't think that it's right to give the Russians so much credit. What beat the Germans was the steady supply of logistics pouring out of America. The British and especially the Russians would have been quite inept without petroleum products, foodstuffs, and other essential items that America mainly provided.

If you want to argue strictly on the myopic plane that combat troops did this or that is one thing, but if you look at the big picture, you'll realize that America provided an indispensable resource to all its allies, Supplies and Logistics! Without it, there's no way the British and Russians could have beaten the Germans. It was America's single most contribution to the war, and far outweighed anything that front line combat troops did.

bolillo_loco stepping in for Daiichidoku who currently isn't able to post online...

jadger
12-14-2007, 01:10 AM
Originally posted by Wepps:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jadger:
Even on the offensive in 1941 the Germans were destroyed by the T34... now imagine larger numbers, against the same outdated German tanks (the German tanks were developed to match Russian tanks after all) and using an army that is based on the concept of offensive warfare in the defensive role.

I would debate you that the German tanks were outmoded. In fact, they were the most technologically superior tanks in the world, and the T-34 was one of the least.

What made the T-34 great was its practical application on the battlefield. It's simple, but practical design allowed for tremendous mass production. Once on the field, it's sloped armor and large gun won the day. That does not constitute a superior machine technologically.

The same condition holds for the VVS. No aircraft was really technologically superior to a German one throughout the war, but some of them performed very well. They had a practical superiority on the battlefield regardless of being behind the Germans in their advancements.

The innovativeness of the Russians was clearly shown in their ability to bring the practical applications of a design to life, even though they did not maintain any kind of superiority in design, in such a manner so as to mass produce the end result.

The T-34 WAS the best tank around, but not because it had any technological superiority in any way to the German counterpart. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Very true, I was basing my argument on the fact that in 1941 the Germans called the Pzkpfw IV with the short 7.5cm gun "heavy tank". The short barrelled 7.5cm gun was did not have the velocity or penetrating power to kill the T34 with their sloped armour or the KV series from range. It was not until they had upgunned with the long barrel that they could reasonably hold their own.

We are assuming here that the Soviets would be attacking when ready, from all accounts I have heard, they would be ready within a year or two if Barbarossa had not been initiated (remember the Germans were already severely outnumbered in all areas except personnel).

I doubt that the Germans would have developed a large tank with sloped armour like the Panther without the experience gained from fighting the T34s.



..... All very true. But I think that the concept of fighting on interior lines is not a conradiction to what you have quoted above.

BLUTARSKI


Actions speak louder than words, of course talking about Frederick the Great, you must have realized by now that in the Seven Years War he declared war and invaded Saxony before his enemies could organize. He did exactly the opposite action you are proposing and claiming he would support.


..... The Russians held a stupendous advantage in numbers in the Tannenberg campaign. Numbers are not a guarantee of victory. OTOH, one of Germany's greatest problems historically in their Eastern campaign was in logistics.

Tannenberg was far far different than Operation Barbarossa. For one, the Soviet plans were already known. secondly, there were no tanks or vehicles of any kind. thirdly, the world had changed a lot between 1914 and 1941, namely the autobahn made movement a lot easier for enemies and friendlies, as well as the fact that automobiles were more widespread.

luftluuver
12-14-2007, 04:39 AM
Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:
And I don't think that it's right to give the Russians so much credit. What beat the Germans was the steady supply of logistics pouring out of America. The British and especially the Russians would have been quite inept without petroleum products, foodstuffs, and other essential items that America mainly provided.

Found this on another board:

Total Cargo shipped from the Western Hemisphere to the Soviet Union

Total 17,499,861

1941 360,778 - 2%
1942 2,453,097 - 14% - 16% of total
1943 4,794,545 - 27% - 43% of total
1944 6,217,622 - 35% - 78% of total
1945 3,673,819 - 21% - 100% of total

http://www.o5m6.de/Routes.html

Blutarski2004
12-14-2007, 06:10 AM
Originally posted by jadger:
Actions speak louder than words, of course talking about Frederick the Great, you must have realized by now that in the Seven Years War he declared war and invaded Saxony before his enemies could organize. He did exactly the opposite action you are proposing and claiming he would support.



..... If Frederick was famous for anything in the realm of the military arts, it was fighting on interior lines. Any web search of "Frederick the great interior lines" will vividly illustrate the point. In any case, as I said, the concepts we are discussing are not mutually exclusive.




Tannenberg was far far different than Operation Barbarossa. For one, the Soviet plans were already known. secondly, there were no tanks or vehicles of any kind. thirdly, the world had changed a lot between 1914 and 1941, namely the autobahn made movement a lot easier for enemies and friendlies, as well as the fact that automobiles were more widespread.



..... My reference to Tannenberg was directed to our discussion of numbers and was not presented as a comparison to Operation Barbarossa.

ViktorViktor
12-14-2007, 07:29 AM
From the previous posts one can conclude that (at least) in a prolonged war, the side with the most resources and the best logistics will eventually prevail.

From what I have read, I gather that Hitler planned on having quick war, where having less resources was not a dominant factor. And he nearly succeeded, with his blitzkrieg tactics.

Why then, would he bother to declare war on the U.S., with its massive resources and production capability ? The U.S. was the only land he declared war upon, but going to war with the U.S. meant that Germany was not only thrust into a genuine two-front war, it was a two-front war against major powers with abundant resources.

Would it not have been wiser to not declare war against the U.S. (did the U.S. declare war upon Germany first?) and hope to eventually negotiate a peace with the Americans ? There seemed to have a sizable portion of the U.S. population who were isolationists, and the U.S. seemed to have it's hands full already with the Pacific war.

What were the Nazis thinking when they declared war upon the U.S.?

Wepps
12-14-2007, 07:34 AM
Originally posted by ViktorViktor:

Why then, would he bother to declare war on the U.S., with its massive resources and production capability ?

Because he needed time and resources to defeat Russia.

I can see his reasoning here. Japan DoWed the US. By appeasing the Japanese through declaring war as well, according to treaty, he might get Japan to open a second front for him ... in Russia.

Remember, at that time Germany was involved in the fight for Moscow, Operation Tyfun. Opening that front up on the other side of the world might just have finished Stalin's resolve to fight, he was hanging by a thread at that time.

In retrospect we wonder why the enemy may have made a poor decision, but really it makes all the sense in the world.

Hitler knew he couldn't beat the USA outright, but by eliminating Russia and thereby gaining all those resources for Germany by default, the second front ceased to exist, and Germany could camp Fortress Europa until a truce was signed.

JtD
12-14-2007, 08:23 AM
Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:

And I don't think that it's right to give the Russians so much credit. What beat the Germans was the steady supply of logistics pouring out of America. The British and especially the Russians would have been quite inept without petroleum products, foodstuffs, and other essential items that America mainly provided.

If you want to argue strictly on the myopic plane that combat troops did this or that is one thing, but if you look at the big picture, you'll realize that America provided an indispensable resource to all its allies, Supplies and Logistics! Without it, there's no way the British and Russians could have beaten the Germans. It was America's single most contribution to the war, and far outweighed anything that front line combat troops did.

Sorry, this reads like "the US won the war". But they didn't. The Allies did. You take away one part, and everything becomes questionable. There is no way to give the Soviets too much credit for their part, just no way. Their part cost them 20 million lives.

--
I wasn't aware that Frederick the Great and the Prussians are known outside of Germany.

Blutarski2004
12-14-2007, 08:43 AM
Originally posted by Wepps:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ViktorViktor:

Why then, would he bother to declare war on the U.S., with its massive resources and production capability ?

Because he needed time and resources to defeat Russia.

I can see his reasoning here. Japan DoWed the US. By appeasing the Japanese through declaring war as well, according to treaty, he might get Japan to open a second front for him ... in Russia.

Remember, at that time Germany was involved in the fight for Moscow, Operation Tyfun. Opening that front up on the other side of the world might just have finished Stalin's resolve to fight, he was hanging by a thread at that time.

In retrospect we wonder why the enemy may have made a poor decision, but really it makes all the sense in the world.

Hitler knew he couldn't beat the USA outright, but by eliminating Russia and thereby gaining all those resources for Germany by default, the second front ceased to exist, and Germany could camp Fortress Europa until a truce was signed. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... An ineresting insight, Wepps.

Blutarski2004
12-14-2007, 08:55 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
Sorry, this reads like "the US won the war". But they didn't. The Allies did. You take away one part, and everything becomes questionable. There is no way to give the Soviets too much credit for their part, just no way. Their part cost them 20 million lives.


..... I think there is no question that the Allied victory in WW2 wouls not have been possible without a full team effort. Subtract England, the USSR, or the USA and the issue goes into real doubt.




I wasn't aware that Frederick the Great and the Prussians are known outside of Germany.


..... There is a certain element within the US whose horizons extend beyond MTV.

Fork-N-spoon
12-14-2007, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
Sorry, this reads like "the US won the war". But they didn't. The Allies did. You take away one part, and everything becomes questionable. There is no way to give the Soviets too much credit for their part, just no way. Their part cost them 20 million lives.

--
I wasn't aware that Frederick the Great and the Prussians are known outside of Germany.

It sounds like nationalism to me or that somebody is simply tired of hearing a lot of Americans beat their chests about winning the war... With the latter part, I couldn't agree with you more; it does get old.

Purely for conjecture, suppose that the Strafford Bevinshyre Co. produced tanks, rifles, and bombers. Let's further suppose that said company's products were crucial in the outcome of the war. Their products were so crucial that 80% of all fighting equipment used by the diaurnal gregorians to defeat the crepuscular creatures came directly from the Strafford Bevinshyre Company. By the logic that many employ, we could say that the gregorians were superior to the crepusculars, but in fact, it was the Strafford Bevinshire's production and distribution of their products that decided the out come of the war. The Strafford Bevinshire Company never took an active part in the war...

Yes I was born in America, but I'm not an American, I'm Pennsylvania Dutch. I had a German accent as a boy. I was mocked by other kids because I was a little Deutsch boy. I am not an American; moreover, I can't stand Americans! This is not nationalism when I state that without American supplies, nobody would have defeated the Germans. America didn't have to send one troop into the war zone against the Germans, its supplies and logistics were more than enough.

Imagine if the American supplies hadn't have reached Russia, and America wouldn't have fought the Japanese. The Japanese would have quickly conquered the Pacific and turned to Germany's aid; furthermore, what the Americans send to Russia was crucial to Russia's effort. Foodstuffs, fuel, oil, and most of all transportation trucks to further enhance America's contributions by giving the Russians a means to distrubute the supplies and logistics from American, and permit Russia to concentrate production on some of their excellent fighting equipment such as the T-34. Not only did the Americans give the Russians key products, but they also gave them the trucks with which to haul said products to their Russian units! That's a significant contribution.

Good find Luftluuver, that's some interesting data you've provided.

Bolillo_loco reporting for Daiichidoku who's currently being held Kaptive by the People's Republik of Kanada; thus, without internet access.

jadger
12-14-2007, 09:51 AM
What were the Nazis thinking when they declared war upon the U.S.?

Well, The Americans were neutral officially, but if you read any historical account, FDR was itching to get in on the good fight in Europe, he just needed an excuse, the Germans declaring war just played into his hands. Before the Germans declared war, he was already supplying men, materiel et al to the allies, basically the USA was neutral in name only.

As for the Japanese attacking Russia, can you just imagine what would happen if the Japanese tanks came up against the T34 or lol, a JS2 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/disagree.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/touche.gif


Yes I was born in America, but I'm not an American, I'm Pennsylvania Dutch. I had a German accent as a boy. I was mocked by other kids because I was a little Deutsch boy. I am not an American; moreover, I can't stand Americans! This is not nationalism when I state that without American supplies, nobody would have defeated the Germans.

I'm kinda Pennsylvannia Deutsch, my ancestors settled there in the 1700s then were forced out after the Colonial Rebellion of 1776. They settled around Berlin, Penn.

JtD
12-14-2007, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:

...This is not nationalism when I state that without American supplies, nobody would have defeated the Germans...

But this is a different statement than your first:


...What beat the Germans was the steady supply of logistics pouring out of America...

I totally agree that the industrial power of the US and the distribution of the goods produced there is one of the crucial elements for the Allied victory in WW2. But it is not the only important element. Your first statement implies it is, while the second doesn't.

I, personally, consider the battle for the Atlantic the most important front in WW2. So you can be sure I realize the importance of the US production for the Allied war effort. But from your statement I can't be sure you realize that all the weapons produced aren't worth more than the original ore, if there are no men to carry them into the fight. So excuse me if I do not think that the actual killing on the Eastern front was insignificant or should be allowed to be displayed as secondary.

What chances do you think the US would have had to defeat the Germans, had the SU surrendered, or the UK, for that matter?

Sergio_101
12-17-2007, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by SkyChimp:
AFAIK know, fighter availability was never really the problem for the Jagdwaffe. The problem was too few (and too new) pilots, and too little fuel.

Germany could have put up matching numbers of fighters
at any time.
Germany had roughly parity in fighters throurh the Dresden raids.
The huge waves of US and soviet fighters never materialised.
They were built to late or, in the case of US fighters, delivered to late.

A few more months would have brought massive numbers of Allied fighters.

Fuel and training were the factors in the German defence.
Plenty of aircraft, little fuel, few well trained pilots.

Another factor that overwhelmed the German fighter force was bombers.
The Allied 4 engined bomber force out numbered the German bombers
and fighters!

12,700+ B-17s were built, most got to Europe!
18,000 B-24s were built, about 1/2 got to europe.

Despite the obvious overclaiming of bomber gunners, the effect of those bombers
on the Luftwaffe was devestating. The USAAF/USAAC was well aware of the over claiming.
But the USAAF was also well aware of the real effect of those gunners.

In particular a B-17 was murder to attacking fighters. Then add escort.
By late 1944 there were enough P-51Ds to give effective escort to the bombers.
Imagine the danger of attacking a B-17 then being jumped by a P-51 or P-38...

I figure the Reich never had any measure of air superiority.
Most of the air war was over Germany or German held territory.
That's a recipie for defeat!

Sergio

Sergio_101
12-17-2007, 11:24 AM
In "Strategy for Defeat The Luftwaffe" a little
mentioned failure by the Luftwaffe is mentioned.
----Not that I believe it could have turned the tide of war-----
Allied bomners took off and landed unmolested.
I am aware of only one attack on returning bombers over Britian!
Now that's FAILURE!
Few raids were carried out on British airfields (British or American bomber bases).
I can not imagine why fighters with drop tanks or long range fighter bombers
did not follow those bombers home and massacre then while they were landing!
Imagine a raid on an airfield clogged with bombers taking off fully loaded!

Very strange indeed.

Sergio

Fork-N-spoon
12-17-2007, 01:52 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:

...This is not nationalism when I state that without American supplies, nobody would have defeated the Germans...

But this is a different statement than your first:


...What beat the Germans was the steady supply of logistics pouring out of America...

I totally agree that the industrial power of the US and the distribution of the goods produced there is one of the crucial elements for the Allied victory in WW2. But it is not the only important element. Your first statement implies it is, while the second doesn't.

I, personally, consider the battle for the Atlantic the most important front in WW2. So you can be sure I realize the importance of the US production for the Allied war effort. But from your statement I can't be sure you realize that all the weapons produced aren't worth more than the original ore, if there are no men to carry them into the fight. So excuse me if I do not think that the actual killing on the Eastern front was insignificant or should be allowed to be displayed as secondary.

What chances do you think the US would have had to defeat the Germans, had the SU surrendered, or the UK, for that matter? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ah, I think I understand you now. Not only are my communication and writing skills limited, but it's also hard to convey my meaning in a short post.

We are,in essence, debating which came first, the chicken or the egg. I say egg, but you say chicken, which's right? That depends upon whom you ask... Or, I think what's happening is that you're calling it green and I'm saying that it's verde... :\/

One final note, it would indeed be just as interesting to debate what would have happened to the United States if Britain and Russia had capitulated as it is to discuss what would have happened to Britain and Russia without the benefit of American supplies.

U-boat menace... If Kaiser wouldn't have been able to build Liberty ships faster than Dönitz could sink them... Well, it just goes to show just how important American industry was towards the war effort.


Cheers

Bolillo_loco filling in for Daiichidoku who's currently being held captive in the People's Republik of Kanada without benefit of Internet access.

JtD
12-17-2007, 02:33 PM
I think that had the UK and the SU surrendered to the Germans, the 2nd WW would have seen two separate conflicts, one the the Pacific, one in Europe. I don't think either side would have started a transatlantic war in the 40ies or even 50ies.

I think that had just the SU surrendered, the Western Allies would not have managed to secure a sure footing on the European mainland. The A-bomb might have become the deciding factor.

And I think that had the SU been left to fight on it's own, it would have ultimately succeeded defeating the Germans, mainly because of more effective mobilization and the sheer size of the country, which was impossible to control for the German invaders. Also German logistics were poor and unfit to deal with the demands of the Eastern front.

My 3 cents.

ImpStarDuece
12-17-2007, 09:16 PM
Originally posted by Sergio_101:
In "Strategy for Defeat The Luftwaffe" a little
mentioned failure by the Luftwaffe is mentioned.
----Not that I believe it could have turned the tide of war-----
Allied bomners took off and landed unmolested.
I am aware of only one attack on returning bombers over Britian!
Now that's FAILURE!
Few raids were carried out on British airfields (British or American bomber bases).
I can not imagine why fighters with drop tanks or long range fighter bombers
did not follow those bombers home and massacre then while they were landing!
Imagine a raid on an airfield clogged with bombers taking off fully loaded!

Very strange indeed.

Sergio

Why didn't they do it?

Simple answer; the RAF was playing defense over the UK and the German squadrons in France were of a primarily defensive mindset. The squadrons in France were a shield, not a sword. They were of limited strength, to be husbanded and nurtured, not frittered away on operations where they stood at a tactical disadvantage.

Would you attack an enemy with a 3:1 superiority in numbers, over their home territory, who also happen to have the advantage of radar and ground control?

RAF Typhoon and Spitfire squadrons ran escort cover for returning USAAF daylight raids. They ran sweeps over France and the low countries to provide support and make sure the LuftWaffe kept its head down when the heavies were building up.

Until mid to late 1943, the offensive airwars were Russia or the MTO. For all their size and scope, ETO fighter operations were something of backwater in the overall strategy and importance of the airwar, at least until arrival of long range daylight escorts in sufficient numbers.

Ratsack
12-18-2007, 12:04 AM
ImpStarDuece,

There was also a command failure in this respect. I recently re-read Hooton's two-part history of the Luftwaffe, and he mentioned high-level resistance to the idea of intruder missions. Part of the consideration was political, in that planes shot down over airfields in Britain would not be seen by the populace in Germany, and were thus of limited propaganda value.

There were sporadic attempts, with mixed success. The British air defense system was, as you mentioned, a major factor here. The exercise had pretty much ceased by the time of the Baby Blitz.

cheers,
Ratsack

M_Gunz
12-18-2007, 02:07 AM
And there was also that nasty AA.

Sergio_101
12-18-2007, 03:36 AM
Originally posted by ImpStarDuece:

Why didn't they do it?

Would you attack an enemy with a 3:1 superiority in numbers, over their home territory, who also happen to have the advantage of radar and ground control?



Yes, and we did, over Germany.
Mass waves of fighters and bombers were simply not available till early 1944.
Large numbers of P-51s were not available till may 1944.
The US attacked at a severe disadvantage in those early days.

I will counter that one Me-410 loaded with HE bombs would have knocked out a B-17 base
with one hit on the assembly area preparing for a mission.

So what if it took a dozen schnell bombers to have one or two survive to make a bombing run.
Horrible math, but one hit in a crowded assembly ramp and you could destroy a dozen or more bombers.

That such raids never happened is just one more piece in the puzzle.
Germany could never have won, but they sure could have given the Allies a better fight.

Hind sight says it was a good thing for Germany that they capitulated by May 1945
as it saved them from a nuclear attack.

Sergio

jadger
12-18-2007, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by Sergio_101:
I figure the Reich never had any measure of air superiority.
Most of the air war was over Germany or German held territory.
That's a recipie for defeat!

Sergio

Let me guess, you're American. Just an FYI, the war started in 1939, not 1941. The Germans had plenty of air superiority at the start of the war.

Sergio_101
12-18-2007, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by jadger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Sergio_101:
I figure the Reich never had any measure of air superiority.
Most of the air war was over Germany or German held territory.
That's a recipie for defeat!

Sergio

Let me guess, you're American. Just an FYI, the war started in 1939, not 1941. The Germans had plenty of air superiority at the start of the war. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Let me guess, your German, and you blame Poland for invading and starting the war.

Brits also flew missions over Germany into impossible odds long before the Japs were stupid enough to bomb Pearl Harbor.

The fact is that after the BOB Germany lost
air superiority in the west.
In fact the BOB was really a battle over air superiority.

In the east it is a different story as most of the air battles were over the front lines.
Very different there.


Sergio

jadger
12-18-2007, 11:03 AM
Actually no, I'm Canadian, and my great granfather served in the RCAF during the war. Sure our ancestors where German, but since they came in 1753 there aren't really any cousins over there.


The fact is that after the BOB Germany lost
air superiority in the west.


that's very different from "never had any measure of air superiority" as you can't lose something you never had http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

JtD
12-18-2007, 11:05 AM
Great stuff, Sergio. Two sentences and you offend 200 million people!

Sergio_101
12-18-2007, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by jadger:
Actually no, I'm Canadian, and my great granfather served in the RCAF during the war. Sure our ancestors where German, but since they came in 1753 there aren't really any cousins over there.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> The fact is that after the BOB Germany lost
air superiority in the west.


that's very different from "never had any measure of air superiority" as you can't lose something you never had http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ok. You krauts had air superiority over Poland. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
And over France. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

But I will correct you. As a world war, the conflict did not begin untill Dec 7, 1941.

Sergio

jadger
12-18-2007, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by Sergio_101:

Ok. You krauts had air superiority over Poland. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
And over France. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

But I will correct you. As a world war, the conflict did not begin untill Dec 7, 1941.

Sergio

really? what continent did not see combat on its land or in its territorial waters or have a combatant nation owning territory on it or in its territorial waters before the USA joined the war? And no, I dont want you to include Antarctica on that list of continents.

Fork-N-spoon
12-18-2007, 12:19 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
Great stuff, Sergio. Two sentences and you offend 200 million people!

Now that's funny! :\/

Save Daiichidoku! Trapped in Kanada w/o internet you see!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v358/bolillo_quemado/AidanwithHK91a.jpg

Sergio_101
12-18-2007, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by jadger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Sergio_101:

Ok. You krauts had air superiority over Poland. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
And over France. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

But I will correct you. As a world war, the conflict did not begin untill Dec 7, 1941.

Sergio

really? what continent did not see combat on its land or in its territorial waters or have a combatant nation owning territory on it or in its territorial waters before the USA joined the war? And no, I dont want you to include Antarctica on that list of continents. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

South America.

No south American nations were at war until
after Pearl Harbor. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

HuninMunin
12-18-2007, 12:33 PM
Your lack of respect is disturbing.
Ever since you registered on this board your posts consist of nothing else but glorified and biased propaganda.
I think your attitude does harm for this forum and is outright respectless for the deaths of all sides during World War II.

I wonder how long your private crusade is going to be ignored by the mods.

JtD
12-18-2007, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:

Now that's funny! :\/

I don't think so. Racial slurs aren't funny.

ImpStarDuece
12-18-2007, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by Sergio_101:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ImpStarDuece:

Why didn't they do it?

Would you attack an enemy with a 3:1 superiority in numbers, over their home territory, who also happen to have the advantage of radar and ground control?



Yes, and we did, over Germany.
Mass waves of fighters and bombers were simply not available till early 1944.
Large numbers of P-51s were not available till may 1944.
The US attacked at a severe disadvantage in those early days. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

And it was a bloody mess, at least initally, with High Command considering suspending all daylight operations at several points. Now, imagine you're a German airforce commander facing superior numbers with far less resources and chance of resupply, while your airforce is stretched covering every where from Norway through to Tunisia north to south and from Brest to Stalingrad west to east. Would you attack into the teeth of an enemy defensive system?

The only thing that the early USAAF raids (1942-1943) had going for them was the relatively deep penetration and localised use of force.

While large numbers of P-51s may not of been available over Germany until early 1944, the Eight and Ninth had nine full fighter groups equipped with P-47Ds and P-38s operational by August 1943.

The Luftwaffe lost more than 750 aircraft, mostly FW-190s, over the UK in between 1941 and the end of 1943 in fighter bomber sorties. The 'tip-and-run' raids were a major annoyance to the RAF until the Typhoon got into regular service, being the only fighter in their inventory with enough speed down low to catch them.



I will counter that one Me-410 loaded with HE bombs would have knocked out a B-17 base
with one hit on the assembly area preparing for a mission.

So what if it took a dozen schnell bombers to have one or two survive to make a bombing run.
Horrible math, but one hit in a crowded assembly ramp and you could destroy a dozen or more bombers.

That such raids never happened is just one more piece in the puzzle.
Germany could never have won, but they sure could have given the Allies a better fight.

Not really a mystery.

You'd have to know exactly where and when to send you bombers/fighter bombers to catch a heavy raid forming. Remember than the Luftwaffe had practically no high altitude reconnaissance over the UK until the appearance of the Ar 234.

Then you'd have to fight you way through the RAF offensive patrols, in multi-squadron strength, over France, which were expressly designed to divert or destroy potential threats to the massing heavies. That or the light bomber sorties of local Luftwaffe bases.

Then you'd have to get through the RAF defensive partols around the UK, as well as the escort provided by the RAF on the inital outbound leg of the heavy raid.


Hind sight says it was a good thing for Germany that they capitulated by May 1945
as it saved them from a nuclear attack.

Sergio

Germany had no choice but to capitulate in May-1945, bt a nuclear attack if they fought on any longer is highly unlikely.

The Western Allies and Soviet Union were fighting on German soil by the beginning of 1945. There was hardly a major German population center which remained under their control.

In comparison, the Japanese home islands had yet to experience an Allied bootstep.

Kurfurst__
12-18-2007, 04:05 PM
Well, night intruder missions were around from 1943 onwards, and the Luftwaffe took the opportunity to bomb US bombers on the ground when it presented itself; see what happened at Poltava.

The problem was, the resources were spread thin to make it any more regular, and, let`s not forget, the Luftwaffe`s bomber force was predominantly deployed to the Eastern Front - they could hardly be present in the East and West at the same time.

luftluuver
12-18-2007, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Well, night intruder missions were around from 1943 onwards, and the Luftwaffe took the opportunity to bomb US bombers on the ground when it presented itself; see what happened at Poltava.

The problem was, the resources were spread thin to make it any more regular, and, let`s not forget, the Luftwaffe`s bomber force was predominantly deployed to the Eastern Front - they could hardly be present in the East and West at the same time.
Where in GB is Poltava?

Any night time raids on GB, since day light raids were suicidal, by the LW were nuisance raids.

Blutarski2004
12-18-2007, 05:27 PM
If I am not mistaken the LW from time to time would infiltrate long range night-fighters into an RAF bomber stream returning home after a night raid. The night-fighters would follow the bombers home and then shoot them up while they were in their landing approaches.

Fork-N-spoon
12-18-2007, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:

Now that's funny! :\/

I don't think so. Racial slurs aren't funny. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif What I found amusing was what you quipped towards Sergio. As far as racial slurs go... I dare somebody, regardless of their skin color to come forward and honestly answer that they're not racist. Everybody is, even the Pope! Fork-N-spoon is my other bogus name. The ban on bolillo_loco hasn't been lifted for two years now. I lost it for spamming photos of Chunder. My name, also my real life nick name, is a racial slur of sorts that Mexicans use for white men, gabachos, güeros, gringos, blanquitos, or whatever you chose to call us. I find the racial slur directed towards me funny.

I somehow missed Sergio's remark. While he's never annoyed me, I simply stay well clear of him; hence, I do not read what he writes.

Bolillo_loco reporting for Daiichidoku. I hope he gets internet soon, I'm beginning to remember why I left this forum...

jadger
12-19-2007, 12:14 AM
Originally posted by Sergio_101:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jadger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Sergio_101:

Ok. You krauts had air superiority over Poland. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
And over France. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

But I will correct you. As a world war, the conflict did not begin untill Dec 7, 1941.

Sergio

really? what continent did not see combat on its land or in its territorial waters or have a combatant nation owning territory on it or in its territorial waters before the USA joined the war? And no, I dont want you to include Antarctica on that list of continents. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

South America.

No south American nations were at war until
after Pearl Harbor. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

look up the Battle of River Plate, and French Guiana, the Falkland Islands, are all in South America and where at war in 1939, thus you have been proven wrong.

Sergio_101
12-19-2007, 02:25 AM
look up the Battle of River Plate, and French Guiana, the Falkland Islands, are all in South America and where at war in 1939, thus you have been proven wrong.[/QUOTE]

No problemo!
Battle of River Plate, neutral territory.
British warships persued the GraffSpea into Montevidaeo,
German crew wisely scuttled it instead of commiting suicide
against massing British warships. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

French Guiana, French posession,
Hardly a combatant. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Same for Falkland islands. British though. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

Same could be said of Canada and Austrailia.
British empire holdings. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

No South American nation was a belligerent untill AFTER Pearl Harbor. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

Given the same definition you use, Antartica was a belligerent also http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/mockface.gif

Your grasping at straws. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/bigtears.gif

Sergio_101

Sergio_101
12-19-2007, 02:29 AM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
If I am not mistaken the LW from time to time would infiltrate long range night-fighters into an RAF bomber stream returning home after a night raid. The night-fighters would follow the bombers home and then shoot them up while they were in their landing approaches.

Yep. it happend far more often to night bombers than to day bombers.

I got to believe that more than one attampt was made on the USAAF/USAAC day bombers
but I aware of only one such attack, and it was successful, it cause mayhem.

By the way, who made a racist post?
I have not seen one yet in this thread.
It must have been deleted.

Sergio_!0!

Polyperhon
12-19-2007, 02:33 AM
Sorry , I didn't have time to read all the answers but I really to say that this Muller article is simply awful. It is certainly totally USAAF-biased like they were no other contributors to the victory over the Luftwaffe.It is characteristic that there is absolutely no mention the the night RAF Bomber command raids that in the end put an ever greater strain to the Luftwaffe force (night fighters needed pilots that could be able for night flying and fighting,have a twin-classification,for not saying that need for trained radio operators etc.).Still the biggest joke about this article is the way Eastern front is treated.Sorry,but for the Germans it was their main front and the trick with the night strikes is not good enough.Night striking needed pilots above the 25-hour rookies,and the distribution of the human resources of an air force is more indicative of to where is the priority or not.Furthermore,all these obsolete aircraft that he never mentions specifically (Fw 189,Hs 123,Ju87D,Hs 126,Hs 129 etc.) were remnants of the gigantic tactical air support force of a land battle front.As I am aware, this front didn't exist in France for 4 years.So these planes were not needed in France.In 1944,it made no sense to fly them from one front to another (it's a joke even to discuss this).If they were in France,most possibly they would have been used anyway, because in the worst scenario, they would have forced RAF to divert Mosquitos that were useful to protect the bombers.
Some fundamental things are forgotten by the author: For example that until the critical events of August 1944 (Hitler assasination attempt, german retreat from France,but yes,german retreat from Romania which was a huge event for the germans), Germans diverted a sizeable amount of resources that were neccessary for the occupation of the conquered countries.Including air forces.I saw a picture in a magazine (dated back in February 1944) that shows a (factory-fresh?) packed Bf 109 (almost for sure a G-6) in a train wagon with its wings folded.If the germans could sent fighters to Greece in early 1944, then apparently something is wrong with his logic. The article is a carefully written american neocon propaganda...awful.

Sergio_101
12-19-2007, 02:34 AM
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 Kurfurst__:
Well, night intruder missions were around from 1943 onwards, and the Luftwaffe took the opportunity to bomb US bombers on the ground when it presented itself; see what happened at Poltava.

The problem was, the resources were spread thin to make it any more regular, and, let`s not forget, the Luftwaffe`s bomber force was predominantly deployed to the Eastern Front - they could hardly be present in the East and West at the same time.
Where in GB is Poltava?

Any night time raids on GB, since day light raids were suicidal, by the LW were nuisance raids. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

GRAND SLAM, that one has been hit outta da park!
Good one Luftluvver.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

Sergio

HuninMunin
12-19-2007, 06:15 AM
Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:

Now that's funny! :\/

I don't think so. Racial slurs aren't funny. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif What I found amusing was what you quipped towards Sergio. As far as racial slurs go... I dare somebody, regardless of their skin color to come forward and honestly answer that they're not racist. Everybody is, even the Pope! Fork-N-spoon is my other bogus name. The ban on bolillo_loco hasn't been lifted for two years now. I lost it for spamming photos of Chunder. My name, also my real life nick name, is a racial slur of sorts that Mexicans use for white men, gabachos, güeros, gringos, blanquitos, or whatever you chose to call us. I find the racial slur directed towards me funny.

I somehow missed Sergio's remark. While he's never annoyed me, I simply stay well clear of him; hence, I do not read what he writes.

Bolillo_loco reporting for Daiichidoku. I hope he gets internet soon, I'm beginning to remember why I left this forum... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm not racist.
I had two black girlfriends in my life.
One Hungarian.
One of my closest friends is Chinese.

I mostly don't even see racial origins in people.
I mean of course I noticed that the two wemon had black skin, but that was it.

joeap
12-19-2007, 09:31 AM
Originally posted by Sergio_101:
Same could be said of Canada and Austrailia.
British empire holdings. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Sergio_101

....ummm no they were INDEPENDENT Dominions already. They could decide foreign policy and when to declare war etc...unlike 1914. That we got into the fray just means we didn't like arriving late. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

jadger
12-19-2007, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by joeap:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Sergio_101:
Same could be said of Canada and Austrailia.
British empire holdings. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Sergio_101

....ummm no they were INDEPENDENT Dominions already. They could decide foreign policy and when to declare war etc...unlike 1914. That we got into the fray just means we didn't like arriving late. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

joeap just ignore him, he's a racist troll who only said that because I already mentioned that I am Canadian when he claimed I was a (revisionist) German.

Fork-N-spoon
12-19-2007, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by HuninMunin:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:

Now that's funny! :\/

I don't think so. Racial slurs aren't funny. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif What I found amusing was what you quipped towards Sergio. As far as racial slurs go... I dare somebody, regardless of their skin color to come forward and honestly answer that they're not racist. Everybody is, even the Pope! Fork-N-spoon is my other bogus name. The ban on bolillo_loco hasn't been lifted for two years now. I lost it for spamming photos of Chunder. My name, also my real life nick name, is a racial slur of sorts that Mexicans use for white men, gabachos, güeros, gringos, blanquitos, or whatever you chose to call us. I find the racial slur directed towards me funny.

I somehow missed Sergio's remark. While he's never annoyed me, I simply stay well clear of him; hence, I do not read what he writes.

Bolillo_loco reporting for Daiichidoku. I hope he gets internet soon, I'm beginning to remember why I left this forum... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm not racist.
I had two black girlfriends in my life.
One Hungarian.
One of my closest friends is Chinese.

I mostly don't even see racial origins in people.
I mean of course I noticed that the two wemon had black skin, but that was it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you're not racist to some degree, that means that you're perfect! Within most religions, there is frequently a supreme being that was human, and perfect, but that's it. It's like saying that you never get angry, feel jealousy, or envy. You're human; therefore, subject to flaws. The fact that you're going out of your way to prove that you're not racist, proves that you are! The problem with most myopic people is that they think in terms of black and white. I'm quite sure that you're not a card carrying KKK member, but that doesn't' exclude you from being racist. The black girlfriends... That's cute! It means absolutely nothing. I've met a lot of black men that are very racist, but say, "Oh I'm not racist, I've had a lot of white girlfriends." Meanwhile, they openly wage a race war against white men... I've dated a lot of Hispanic women, and I'm white. It proves nothing!

If you breath, you make decisions almost daily based on a persons age, race, sex, sexual orientation, country of origin, favorite sports team, are they tall, attractive, short or fat, etcetera and so forth. It's part of being human. But like most people, you feel the need to deny deny deny, because as soon as somebody points out the obvious, you think, "Hey, he just said I'm racist. I've never burned a cross or hung a black man."¯ You don't have to do these things to be racist!

The only thing that you're right about, is that you're not racist as far as what racism means in your own mind. With that, I will agree. I seriously doubt that you're Black Panther or KKK material. On the other hand, you need to take a serious look at how you define discrimination. While it's nice to strive for progress, you're never going to achieve perfection.

Blutarski2004
12-19-2007, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HuninMunin:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:

Now that's funny! :\/

I don't think so. Racial slurs aren't funny. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif What I found amusing was what you quipped towards Sergio. As far as racial slurs go... I dare somebody, regardless of their skin color to come forward and honestly answer that they're not racist. Everybody is, even the Pope! Fork-N-spoon is my other bogus name. The ban on bolillo_loco hasn't been lifted for two years now. I lost it for spamming photos of Chunder. My name, also my real life nick name, is a racial slur of sorts that Mexicans use for white men, gabachos, güeros, gringos, blanquitos, or whatever you chose to call us. I find the racial slur directed towards me funny.

I somehow missed Sergio's remark. While he's never annoyed me, I simply stay well clear of him; hence, I do not read what he writes.

Bolillo_loco reporting for Daiichidoku. I hope he gets internet soon, I'm beginning to remember why I left this forum... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm not racist.
I had two black girlfriends in my life.
One Hungarian.
One of my closest friends is Chinese.

I mostly don't even see racial origins in people.
I mean of course I noticed that the two wemon had black skin, but that was it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you're not racist to some degree, that means that you're perfect! Within most religions, there is frequently a supreme being that was human, and perfect, but that's it. It's like saying that you never get angry, feel jealousy, or envy. You're human; therefore, subject to flaws. The fact that you're going out of your way to prove that you're not racist, proves that you are! The problem with most myopic people is that they think in terms of black and white. I'm quite sure that you're not a card carrying KKK member, but that doesn't' exclude you from being racist. The black girlfriends... That's cute! It means absolutely nothing. I've met a lot of black men that are very racist, but say, "Oh I'm not racist, I've had a lot of white girlfriends." Meanwhile, they openly wage a race war against white men... I've dated a lot of Hispanic women, and I'm white. It proves nothing!

If you breath, you make decisions almost daily based on a persons age, race, sex, sexual orientation, country of origin, favorite sports team, are they tall, attractive, short or fat, etcetera and so forth. It's part of being human. But like most people, you feel the need to deny deny deny, because as soon as somebody points out the obvious, you think, "Hey, he just said I'm racist. I've never burned a cross or hung a black man."¯ You don't have to do these things to be racist!

The only thing that you're right about, is that you're not racist as far as what racism means in your own mind. With that, I will agree. I seriously doubt that you're Black Panther or KKK material. On the other hand, you need to take a serious look at how you define discrimination. While it's nice to strive for progress, you're never going to achieve perfection. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Your entire argument here seems to be based upon a personal assumption that, since absolute perfection is unachievable, Hunin-Munin must therefore register to some infinitesmal degree or another on the great cosmic scale of racism. And that registration, however infinitesmal, serves to qualify him as a racist in your mind. This is a lazy man's argument. If neither man nor nature can ever achieve a standard of absolute perfection in any aspect of existence, of what use can such a standard possibly be in any rational discussion?

Here is a question to ponder. Would you know perfection if you encountered it?

HuninMunin
12-19-2007, 03:55 PM
The appropriate question might be:
"Would you know racism if you encountered it?"

The statement that every human beeing is racist is utter nonsense.
Racism means to assign value to human beeings on basis of their ethnical background.
It is an abstract idea to beginn with, based mostly on cultural and social habits.
And as it is an abstract idea it is open for reflection and discussion - nothing one just easlily accepts to be part of human nature ( as you do).
I refrained from this abstract concept as it is neither usefull nor should it be part of any modern society - be it for practical reasons only.
That doesnt make me "perfect".

To give another example ( as it occured to me just today ).
If I encounter to beggars on the streets of Cologne, one black and one white, I don't feel an urge to give my two Euros I can spare to the white one because I'm blond and blue-eyed.
I'd decide on basis of their behavior.
( The white one in this case, the black was full of Glühwein ).

Or to go back to dating someone of different ethnical orginin - I dated these women because they were extraordinary individuals and for no other reason.

Anyway.

I agree with Blutarski.
The premise you base your opinion on is by it's nature egocentric and I doubt that you'd want to call it objectiv.

Rammjaeger
12-20-2007, 06:23 AM
Although the passive performance of the Iraqi air force in 1991 and 2003 in the face of coalition air dominance is reassuring, the Luftwaffe's experience"”as well as the performance of the Argentine air arm during the Falklands war in 1982"”suggests that well-trained air forces will continue to operate even in the face of overwhelming odds.

That's the claim in the original article I'm the most skeptical about.

Wepps
12-20-2007, 06:42 AM
Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HuninMunin:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:

Now that's funny! :\/

I don't think so. Racial slurs aren't funny. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif What I found amusing was what you quipped towards Sergio. As far as racial slurs go... I dare somebody, regardless of their skin color to come forward and honestly answer that they're not racist. Everybody is, even the Pope! Fork-N-spoon is my other bogus name. The ban on bolillo_loco hasn't been lifted for two years now. I lost it for spamming photos of Chunder. My name, also my real life nick name, is a racial slur of sorts that Mexicans use for white men, gabachos, güeros, gringos, blanquitos, or whatever you chose to call us. I find the racial slur directed towards me funny.

I somehow missed Sergio's remark. While he's never annoyed me, I simply stay well clear of him; hence, I do not read what he writes.

Bolillo_loco reporting for Daiichidoku. I hope he gets internet soon, I'm beginning to remember why I left this forum... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm not racist.
I had two black girlfriends in my life.
One Hungarian.
One of my closest friends is Chinese.

I mostly don't even see racial origins in people.
I mean of course I noticed that the two wemon had black skin, but that was it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you're not racist to some degree, that means that you're perfect! Within most religions, there is frequently a supreme being that was human, and perfect, but that's it. It's like saying that you never get angry, feel jealousy, or envy. You're human; therefore, subject to flaws. The fact that you're going out of your way to prove that you're not racist, proves that you are! The problem with most myopic people is that they think in terms of black and white. I'm quite sure that you're not a card carrying KKK member, but that doesn't' exclude you from being racist. The black girlfriends... That's cute! It means absolutely nothing. I've met a lot of black men that are very racist, but say, "Oh I'm not racist, I've had a lot of white girlfriends." Meanwhile, they openly wage a race war against white men... I've dated a lot of Hispanic women, and I'm white. It proves nothing!

If you breath, you make decisions almost daily based on a persons age, race, sex, sexual orientation, country of origin, favorite sports team, are they tall, attractive, short or fat, etcetera and so forth. It's part of being human. But like most people, you feel the need to deny deny deny, because as soon as somebody points out the obvious, you think, "Hey, he just said I'm racist. I've never burned a cross or hung a black man."¯ You don't have to do these things to be racist!

The only thing that you're right about, is that you're not racist as far as what racism means in your own mind. With that, I will agree. I seriously doubt that you're Black Panther or KKK material. On the other hand, you need to take a serious look at how you define discrimination. While it's nice to strive for progress, you're never going to achieve perfection. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Also, consider the fact that understanding there are differences between people based on racial traits is not actually racism, but realism.

Even having the attitude that a particular race is inferior due to those racial traits is not racism, it's bigotry.

Racism only exists when those in authority take an action that is detrimental, or harmful in some way, to a person's life. A company CEO telling his managers not to hire Albanians. A government ordering the execution of a particular person or groups of persons because of their cultural alignment. That's racism.

A person who understands that their lineage offers them advantages and disadvantages due to genetics passed on in that lineage, is not a racist or a bigot.

For example, I'm from a lineage which originates from northern Scandinavia and i was adopted into a family that came from eastern Germany prior to WWI. Oftentimes my mother or father would criticize me for not adopting certain family traits, such as how I ate, or what I appreciated in a meal as one specific example. As I grew to learn about my lineage, I realized that I eat like they do and appreciate the same foods. This is not something I learned from society or from a family upbringing, but must have been passed down through my genes.

I have a good friend, a black woman who I've known for years. Her favorite foods are fried chicken and watermelon. She's old enough that she isn't overly sensitive to what people call stereotypes, so she comes right out and says it, "Black people love those foods." This isn't a condition of a person being racist or even a bigot, but understanding the realistic and practical matters of a culture. There is a reason for it that I'd love to understand, just to add that one more piece to the puzzle, of why certain cultures appreciate certain foods.

Another example, when I was on Parris Island I had a black drill instructor who was running the 'amphibious training' and on the first day we were to head to the pool he came right out and said, "None of you blacks know how to swim, so we will teach you by kicking you in the pool and you will sink to the bottom." Sure enough, he wss right! This fascinated me, as I'm one of those who constantly asks the question, "why?". Why is this the case?

A culture exposed to certain environmental and practical situations will adopt traits that allow them to overcome those problems. This is evolution. This is how it works. Just pointing out those differences does not constitute racism in any form, but I believe learning these differences between peoples, and why they exist, is important for the future of humankind.

EDIT -

To take the universal, external viewpoint that essentially we are all humans and therefore all the same, is not a bad position and rings true.

To adopt the viewpoint that different cultures have different associated traits is not a bad position and there is truth to be found here as well.

To think in terms of each of us being unique and different in some way from the billions of others we live with is also true. Nothing wrong with thinking this way either.

People are so busy trying to stomp out racism that they've lost the ability to even understand what it is or where it comes from, or if it even exists in a situation. I know a university professor as one example who claims racism and bigotry are what are causing the re-segregation of schools in the Pittsburgh area. This is patently untrue. The fact is, Blacks in America came from the slavery tradition of a hundred and fifty years ago. Unlike many other cultures in the US, there is no money to pass on to the children from one generation to the next. This condition of urban poverty has never been defeated, and poverty breeds crime. So if you want to defeat poverty, crime, and bigotry for that matter associated with this condition, then the school systems must be changed so that students can go to the school they want without it being separated by lines of community. Those schools will have special concentrations dealing with specific interests of students: a School of Engineering, as one example. Funding for those schools will no longer be determined by the size, or perhaps color, of the community partaking in that education. As a generation or two passes, the association of crime with blacks in the urban environment will also pass.

Simple - solution.

However, it's those stuck on pointing fingers at everyone else for being racist, without even knowing what it is, that are part of the problem. They continually draw lines around a culture and create special interest groups, instead of in America just calling them...Americans, and moving on to practical solutions to the problems.

stathem
12-20-2007, 07:24 AM
Originally posted by Wepps:
Another example, when I was on Parris Island I had a black drill instructor who was running the 'amphibious training' and on the first day we were to head to the pool he came right out and said, "None of you blacks know how to swim, so we will teach you by kicking you in the pool and you will sink to the bottom." Sure enough, he wss right! This fascinated me, as I'm one of those who constantly asks the question, "why?". Why is this the case?



Do you want to know the answer to this?

WOLFMondo
12-20-2007, 07:53 AM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
If I am not mistaken the LW from time to time would infiltrate long range night-fighters into an RAF bomber stream returning home after a night raid. The night-fighters would follow the bombers home and then shoot them up while they were in their landing approaches.

Sources? I've never heard of this. I've heard of Germans using captured bombers to unsuccessfully enter day light formations but not this.

Wepps
12-20-2007, 08:30 AM
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 Wepps:
Another example, when I was on Parris Island I had a black drill instructor who was running the 'amphibious training' and on the first day we were to head to the pool he came right out and said, "None of you blacks know how to swim, so we will teach you by kicking you in the pool and you will sink to the bottom." Sure enough, he wss right! This fascinated me, as I'm one of those who constantly asks the question, "why?". Why is this the case?



Do you want to know the answer to this? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it's not important in the context of this forum. What I am doing here is addressing the thoughts of those in the forum who think they understand what racism is and where it can be found.

It's important to know that when a culture is singled out and discussed, that by itself is not racism. Understanding differences between cultures is not racism. And typically, when you get right down to the practicalities of a cultural issue, it rarely if ever has anything to do with racism or even bigotry.

People need to stop trying to find racism in everybody else, and instead adopt a more moderate viewpoint in which they realize people are different and it's okay to discuss those differences.

JtD
12-20-2007, 09:29 AM
Originally posted by WOLFMondo:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
If I am not mistaken the LW from time to time would infiltrate long range night-fighters into an RAF bomber stream returning home after a night raid. The night-fighters would follow the bombers home and then shoot them up while they were in their landing approaches.

Sources? I've never heard of this. I've heard of Germans using captured bombers to unsuccessfully enter day light formations but not this. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's true and fairly well known, I thought. They did not do this too often, though. I think Galland says they did in his book. He also said they didn't use captured bombers, but did their best to fuel the rumours so the Allied would shoot up each other.

jadger
12-20-2007, 10:27 AM
ummm... can we get back on topic people? thanks

WOLFMondo
12-20-2007, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WOLFMondo:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
If I am not mistaken the LW from time to time would infiltrate long range night-fighters into an RAF bomber stream returning home after a night raid. The night-fighters would follow the bombers home and then shoot them up while they were in their landing approaches.

Sources? I've never heard of this. I've heard of Germans using captured bombers to unsuccessfully enter day light formations but not this. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's true and fairly well known, I thought. They did not do this too often, though. I think Galland says they did in his book. He also said they didn't use captured bombers, but did their best to fuel the rumours so the Allied would shoot up each other. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I can't think of anywhere I would want to be less. Flying low near an RAF airfield, hundreds of miles from home, dawn on the horizon...

Sounds like a crazy plan, just like the single He177's dive bombing from 30,000ft to avoid fighters and flak hoping to hit anything.

berg417448
12-20-2007, 11:18 AM
Luftwaffe Intruder operation:

http://archive.thisisthenortheast.co.uk/2005/3/4/20899.html

There is a book called "Night of the Intruders" which recounts a German attack on returning US bombers.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Night-Intruders-First-hand-Acco...ughter/dp/1852604506 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Night-Intruders-First-hand-Accounts-Slaughter/dp/1852604506)

JtD
12-20-2007, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by WOLFMondo:

I can't think of anywhere I would want to be less. Flying low near an RAF airfield, hundreds of miles from home, dawn on the horizon...

I can. Being home with my family and having 800 bombers drop their loads on my city.

jadger
12-20-2007, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WOLFMondo:

I can't think of anywhere I would want to be less. Flying low near an RAF airfield, hundreds of miles from home, dawn on the horizon...

I can. Being home with my family and having 800 bombers drop their loads on my city. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

that's why I live in the country, and stock an arsenal of weapons in my closet http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

JtD
12-20-2007, 01:36 PM
Uuuh, that could make you a valuable target. I recommend you move that arsenal to a nearby barn or something. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Ratsack
12-20-2007, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by WOLFMondo:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
If I am not mistaken the LW from time to time would infiltrate long range night-fighters into an RAF bomber stream returning home after a night raid. The night-fighters would follow the bombers home and then shoot them up while they were in their landing approaches.

Sources? I've never heard of this. I've heard of Germans using captured bombers to unsuccessfully enter day light formations but not this. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have. I'll hunt up a reference for you, but I can't do it now. At work.

cheers,
Ratsack

Ratsack
12-26-2007, 05:57 PM
Originally posted by WOLFMondo:


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
If I am not mistaken the LW from time to time would infiltrate long range night-fighters into an RAF bomber stream returning home after a night raid. The night-fighters would follow the bombers home and then shoot them up while they were in their landing approaches.



Sources? I've never heard of this. I've heard of Germans using captured bombers to unsuccessfully enter day light formations but not this. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


I forgot all about this! I found the ref and then forgot to post back. Oops.

The following title:

E.R. Hooton, Eagle in Flames: The Fall of the Luftwaffe, (Brockhampton Press, London, 1999)

covers this intruder activity by the Luftwaffe, from 1940 to 1945.

To summarize, the Germans started doing night intruder missions in 1940, during the late Battle of Britain (the account of this bit starts on p. 129). They had good successes, but limited resources. They were never properly resourced because of in-fighting among the Luftwaffe leadership. Patch wars, in other words. This put an end to intruder missions by the end of 1941.

There were moves to reinstate the practice from August 1942, but again, in-fighting delayed the commitments necessary to make it work. By that stage operational demands at the front line meant there were not enough planes of suitable type to go around. As a consequence, ops didn't start again until well into 1943, but on a very small scale.

Ops were still going in 1945. On the night of 3/4 March 1945, 142 night fighters shot down 21 RAF heavies in a large scale intruder op. However, they lost 23 planes themselves, mostly due to low fuel.

cheers,
Ratsack

Sergio_101
12-27-2007, 02:46 AM
A deceased uncle of mine flew B-17s out of Britian for a short time, then
was transferred to the Med arena, not sure where
and I can no longer ask.

He flew B-24s, I believe out of somewhere in Sothern Italy.
I can remember him saying that they never saw a German plane
over their base, all air raid alarms turned out to be false or drills.
He said he could never figure out why the Germans
could put up fighters over the target but never took
a shot at them on the ground.
By the way, he was not fond of being stuck in bombers but he really hated B-24s. (He said the B-17F was a "wonderful flying machine")

This is one of many cases where I wish I used a tape recorder.

I have known many WWII Vets and was raised by one.

I worked for a German that was an "undesireable" and worked in a factory for no pay.
Not quite the more brutal slave labor they were fed well and had clothing and shelter.
But he had no freedom untill May 1945. He got then hell out of Germany after that.

He is still alive, but talks very little about his experiance.

Sergio