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Gibbage1
07-05-2005, 03:00 PM
To do its original designed mission. That is bomber intercepter. Not many people know that the P-38 from the ground up was designed as a high altitude high speed bomber intercepter. The US thought that if it would be attacked, it would be by high altitude large bombers. During all of WWII, bombers only accounted for about 14% of the air kills from the P-38. The rest were fighters.

When it did perform its roal as bomber intercepter, did did a steller job! Most notably attacking the German air supply lines in North Afrika. Those supply lines were escorted by 109's and the P-38's stil not only managed to DECIMATE the formations of Ju-52's, but also take down a lot of the escorting 109's at the same time with very low losses. Even though the escorting 109's equaled the number of attacking P-38's.

Just food for thought http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif BTW, the P-38's attacking the Ju-52's were early F and G models. Not the much improved J and L's we have in the game.

So ya, the P-38 failed as a bomber intercepter, but did **** good as a fighter.

total enemy aircraft destroyed in the air in order of most destroyed first

P-51 5,944
F6F 5,168
P-38 3,785
P-47 3,661
F4U 2,140
P-40 1,993

the big 3 usaaf fighters in the MTO

2,697 for the three types

P-38 1,431 53%
P-51 1,063 39%
P-47 203 8%

the big 3 usaaf army fighters in the PTO

2683 total enemy aircraft destroyed in the air

P-38 1,708 64%
P-47 696 26%
P-51 279 10%

Lets add some more numbers.

Aircraft built.
P-47 = 15,677
P-51 = 14,819
P-40 = 13,839
F4U = 12,571
F6F = 12,275
P-38 = 9923

Even though the P-38 was produced LESS then any fighter in the list, it scored MORE then the fighter produced the most! Giving it a higher kill % per produced then all other US fighters in the top list.

So anyone who says the P-38 was a target drone can stuff it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif

Chuck_Older
07-05-2005, 03:03 PM
Drone? No. That was the Culver http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Utchoud
07-05-2005, 03:36 PM
Yes, the P-38 did very good work.

During it's initial deployment in the Solomons, it was used as high altitude cover for air operations. As such, the P-38 only saw limited combat, and was not rated as very effective by the other pilots of COMAIRSOLS.

However, as soon as the P-38 units were assigned with low-altitude missions, they quickly gained respect. Long range and two engines were an important advantage in the PTO.

The P-38 was the USAAF mainstay in the Pacific until the end of the war.

Hristo_
07-05-2005, 03:47 PM
P-38 was a successful design, I assure you !

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39065000/jpg/_39065561_saed203ap.jpg

fordfan25
07-05-2005, 04:13 PM
to bad we have the p-38 moddle 1c in the game http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

Kurfurst__
07-05-2005, 04:20 PM
Decimating Ju 52 formation, man, now that`s a though job ! I also heard it had excellent record against the Fiesler Storch. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

JG7_Rall
07-05-2005, 04:25 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Decimating Ju 52 formation, man, now that`s a though job ! I also heard it had excellent record against the Fiesler Storch. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Gibbage1
07-05-2005, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Decimating Ju 52 formation, man, now that`s a though job ! I also heard it had excellent record against the Fiesler Storch. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Ya. The 109 escorts were pitiful also! They were as much a victum as the Ju-52's.

Remember, not only did they butcher the Ju-52's, they also took out quite a few escorts even though it was not there job. Also, the escorts equaled the number of P-38 attackers, and the 109's were still left with nothing to escort and a few friends short with nothing to show for it.

So, in short, the 109 was a horrid escort fighter http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Gibbage1
07-05-2005, 04:39 PM
On April 5th, twenty six P-38€s intercepted a huge formation of German transports and their escort. 16 of the German aircraft went down, including two of the escorts. A pair of P-38€s were lost, with one pilot missing in action. Elsewhere, P-38€s accounted for another 15 German fighters. Combined efforts of NAAF fighters and bombers destroyed up to 200 Luftwaffe aircraft on April 5th,with many destroyed on their airfields. Just 5 days later,on April 10th, the P-38€s destroyed another twenty German transports and 8 escorting German and Italian fighters. Later that afternoon, B-25 Mitchell medium bombers and their escort splashed 21 more transports and four of the escorting fighters. Despite these serious losses, the Luftwaffe continued to fly these aerial "convoys". On April 11th , the Lightnings located and destroyed another twenty six Ju-52 transports and 5 Bf-109 fighters did not return to their airfields that evening. The Luftwaffe was being bled white.

BSS_CUDA
07-05-2005, 04:44 PM
cmon Gib we all know thats just PURE propaganda, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif everyone knows that the P-51 won the war http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Gibbage1
07-05-2005, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by BSS_CUDA:
cmon Gib we all know thats just PURE propaganda, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif everyone knows that the P-51 won the war http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

P-38 won North Afrika, be sure! That started the Luftwaffe's downward spiral. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/icon_twisted.gif

Stigler_9_JG52
07-05-2005, 04:52 PM
I dunno.... seeing as one of its "successful" bomber intercepts was a Betty carrying Yamamoto, I'd call it put paid just based on that one mission, when you consider Yamamoto's impact on the war up to that point (and his impact on the Japanese once gone from the scene).

joeap
07-05-2005, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by JG7_Rall:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Decimating Ju 52 formation, man, now that`s a though job ! I also heard it had excellent record against the Fiesler Storch. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

As tough as blasting Soviet planes on the ground 22.06.41, or C-47s. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

Gibbage1
07-05-2005, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by Stigler_9_JG52:
I dunno.... seeing as one of its "successful" bomber intercepts was a Betty carrying Yamamoto, I'd call it put paid just based on that one mission, when you consider Yamamoto's impact on the war up to that point (and his impact on the Japanese once gone from the scene).

True, but he was rolling the dice flying around in a Betty anyways http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif The P-38 was just there to cash it when he rolled snakeeyes! But its true that the only aircraft with the range to intercept him WAS the P-38. Without it, the USAF would not of had a chance to kill Yamamoto.

Stigler_9_JG52
07-05-2005, 05:30 PM
There wasn't exactly a "more sturdy" bomber for him to travel in, now was there?

Gibbage1
07-05-2005, 05:35 PM
Originally posted by Stigler_9_JG52:
There wasn't exactly a "more sturdy" bomber for him to travel in, now was there?

Well, not with the range.

Fehler
07-05-2005, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by Gibbage1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Stigler_9_JG52:
I dunno.... seeing as one of its "successful" bomber intercepts was a Betty carrying Yamamoto, I'd call it put paid just based on that one mission, when you consider Yamamoto's impact on the war up to that point (and his impact on the Japanese once gone from the scene).

True, but he was rolling the dice flying around in a Betty anyways http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif The P-38 was just there to cash it when he rolled snakeeyes! But its true that the only aircraft with the range to intercept him WAS the P-38. Without it, the USAF would not of had a chance to kill Yamamoto. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hey, not according to that one episode of "Blacksheep Squadron." Robert Conrad would have gotten him, but he was being nice that day and let the Army do it... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

3.JG51_BigBear
07-05-2005, 05:50 PM
If we're going according to black sheep squadron, then I believe it was a squadron of P-51s that got Yamamoto, not P-38s http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Fehler
07-05-2005, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by 3.JG51_BigBear:
If we're going according to black sheep squadron, then I believe it was a squadron of P-51s that got Yamamoto, not P-38s http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

No, I am pretty sure it was P-38's. Or am I getting that episode mixed up with the one where Conrad and that Army ace were competing for the most kills in the PTO? Hmm, the show was so bad, that I never watched ANY episode more than once.. heh

The best thing was the gun footage and seeing the Corsairs flying...

MEGILE
07-05-2005, 05:59 PM
w00t! Killing and all that. I love it when ya talk dirty http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif
So it was a waste of money then? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

horseback
07-05-2005, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by Fehler:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by 3.JG51_BigBear:
If we're going according to black sheep squadron, then I believe it was a squadron of P-51s that got Yamamoto, not P-38s http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

No, I am pretty sure it was P-38's. Or am I getting that episode mixed up with the one where Conrad and that Army ace were competing for the most kills in the PTO? Hmm, the show was so bad, that I never watched ANY episode more than once.. heh

The best thing was the gun footage and seeing the Corsairs flying... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Black Sheep Squadron jumped the shark in the very first episode...

cheers

horseback

Slickun
07-05-2005, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by Gibbage1:
To do its original designed mission. That is bomber intercepter. Not many people know that the P-38 from the ground up was designed as a high altitude high speed bomber intercepter. The US thought that if it would be attacked, it would be by high altitude large bombers. During all of WWII, bombers only accounted for about 14% of the air kills from the P-38. The rest were fighters.

When it did perform its roal as bomber intercepter, did did a steller job! Most notably attacking the German air supply lines in North Afrika. Those supply lines were escorted by 109's and the P-38's stil not only managed to DECIMATE the formations of Ju-52's, but also take down a lot of the escorting 109's at the same time with very low losses. Even though the escorting 109's equaled the number of attacking P-38's.

Just food for thought http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif BTW, the P-38's attacking the Ju-52's were early F and G models. Not the much improved J and L's we have in the game.

So ya, the P-38 failed as a bomber intercepter, but did **** good as a fighter.

total enemy aircraft destroyed in the air in order of most destroyed first

P-51 5,944
F6F 5,168
P-38 3,785
P-47 3,661
F4U 2,140
P-40 1,993

the big 3 usaaf fighters in the MTO

2,697 for the three types

P-38 1,431 53%
P-51 1,063 39%
P-47 203 8%

the big 3 usaaf army fighters in the PTO

2683 total enemy aircraft destroyed in the air

P-38 1,708 64%
P-47 696 26%
P-51 279 10%

Lets add some more numbers.

Aircraft built.
P-47 = 15,677
P-51 = 14,819
P-40 = 13,839
F4U = 12,571
F6F = 12,275
P-38 = 9923

Even though the P-38 was produced LESS then any fighter in the list, it scored MORE then the fighter produced the most! Giving it a higher kill % per produced then all other US fighters in the top list.

So anyone who says the P-38 was a target drone can stuff it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif

Gibbage, I'm not disputing the sentiments, but what do you mean higher kill %?

The P-38 got .381 aerial kills for each P-38 produced.

The Mustang got .401 kills per P-51 produced.

The F6F got .421 kills per Hellcat produced.

I mean, the P-38 did a great job in the PTO and the Med.

Gibbage1
07-05-2005, 07:51 PM
Originally posted by Slickun:

Gibbage, I'm not disputing the sentiments, but what do you mean higher kill %?

The P-38 got .381 aerial kills for each P-38 produced.

The Mustang got .401 kills per P-51 produced.

The F6F got .421 kills per Hellcat produced.

I mean, the P-38 did a great job in the PTO and the Med.

Ugh. My math is very fuzzy. But considering it was produced less then the others, but still got 3rd place in total shot down is outstanding.

wayno7777
07-05-2005, 08:10 PM
Hey Gibbage, the PBY on EBay didn't go...
They can say all they want about the P-38, to me it's still one of the sweetest rides ever! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Enforcer572005
07-05-2005, 08:17 PM
you guys should read Martin CAidens book about the p38, i think it was " forked tailed devil" , and he did some serious research and took on alot of mythology.

the 38 was far more effective early in the war in the MTO and Pacific, especially the pacific, apparently because the combat was at lower altitudes...the allison engine just wasnt a good performer at high altitudes. this is why it ddidnt do too great at high altitude escorts of heavy bomber formations...well, that and the fact taht the heaters didnt work until about the L models or some of the later Js.

over mainland europe, its kill ratio was about even with the luftwaffe; on the low side at first, then much higher as later versions came out, so it kinda equaled out. the J model wiht the speed brakes really brought it into its own. the thing had a really bad compressability problem until then, though they retrofited the brakes to some earlier models. thats a whole other story in itself.

the plane was especially successful in the pacific, the altitudes being lower.

In europe, it was very successful in ground attack, despite the liquid cooled engines. its an unusual aircraft with alot of factors determining how successful it was.

when tony levier went to the pacific with some other lockheed test pilots, they showed the pilots how to fly it most effectively in some circumstances that were previously causing some concern. after they visited these outfits, they kill ratio climbed dramatically.

then lindberg would show up and instruct them how to squeeze alot more range out of them..... a really great plane in the hands of a properly trained pilot who knew how to use it. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

anyone know the circumstances of the me-110 guy who got 4 p38s (supposedly) in one day?

Slater_51st
07-06-2005, 05:04 AM
Originally posted by Gibbage1:
On April 5th, twenty six P-38€s intercepted a huge formation of German transports and their escort. 16 of the German aircraft went down, including two of the escorts. A pair of P-38€s were lost, with one pilot missing in action. Elsewhere, P-38€s accounted for another 15 German fighters. Combined efforts of NAAF fighters and bombers destroyed up to 200 Luftwaffe aircraft on April 5th,with many destroyed on their airfields. Just 5 days later,on April 10th, the P-38€s destroyed another twenty German transports and 8 escorting German and Italian fighters. Later that afternoon, B-25 Mitchell medium bombers and their escort splashed 21 more transports and four of the escorting fighters. Despite these serious losses, the Luftwaffe continued to fly these aerial "convoys". On April 11th , the Lightnings located and destroyed another twenty six Ju-52 transports and 5 Bf-109 fighters did not return to their airfields that evening. The Luftwaffe was being bled white.

S! Gibbage,

Very impressive, but:

"Over Cape Bon, Tunisia, an Axis force of *60 Junkers Ju 52 transports escorted by 21 Messerschmitt Bf 109 and MC. 202 fighters were headed for the island of Sicily when they were spotted by patrolling P-40Fs of the 57th FGs three component Squadrons and the 314th FS of the 324th FG with a high cover of RAF Supermarine Spitfire Vs from No. 92 Squadron. The American P-40s dove out of the sun and when the smoke had cleared, 59 Ju 52s and 16 fighters had been shot down for the loss of 6 P-40s."

Just a note, not trash talking the P-38 in any way. But you are right in saying the Bf-109 is about the worst escort fighter ever http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

"On 30 July 20 P-40s of the 317th and 16 P-40s of the 319th Squadron took off on a fighter sweep, to rendezvous over Sardinia. As they turned to fly south over the west part of the island, they were attacked near Sassari and 20 miles north of the rendezvous point where they were to meet the 319th coming from the east. The attacking force consisted of 25 to 30 Me-109s and Ma-202s, bringing the estimated total of enemy aircraft engaged to between 40 and 50 planes. Radio communications with the other squadron was poor, and repeated inquiries received no answers, so the 319th was unable to locate the battle. In the brief, intense battle that occurred, 20 P-40s engaged and destroyed 21 enemy aircraft."

This really has nothing to do with P-38s, but I like posting impressive P-40 stats http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

S! Slater

Slickun
07-06-2005, 07:45 AM
I'm not sure if it was something inherrent in the 109, or the tactics. "Escort fighters" became effective when released from "close escort".

Free ranging US escorts were allowed to bust up formations of 110's, 210's and 410's queing up for unopposed runs at the heavies, for example. Any fighters staying in sight of the heavies couldn't do this.

TgD Thunderbolt56
07-06-2005, 08:01 AM
I don't quite understand the gist of the post. Was someone challenging the validity of the good ole P-38? It was a sound design and as I had stated in another post a couple days ago, the success of most of the aircraft in the war was dependent upon their application.

Airwarfare and all of its iterations (close air support, escort duties, air superiority, fleet defense, etc,..) was still a fairly new thing and a constant work-in-progress. In a few instances there were some designs that really shone in certain tasks. The P-38 in the PTO was one of them.

TB

Worf101
07-06-2005, 10:45 AM
Originally posted by Stigler_9_JG52:
I dunno.... seeing as one of its "successful" bomber intercepts was a Betty carrying Yamamoto, I'd call it put paid just based on that one mission, when you consider Yamamoto's impact on the war up to that point (and his impact on the Japanese once gone from the scene).

True dat. Couldn't have put it any better myself.

Da Worfster

NorrisMcWhirter
07-06-2005, 12:09 PM
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 JG7_Rall:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Decimating Ju 52 formation, man, now that`s a though job ! I also heard it had excellent record against the Fiesler Storch. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

As tough as blasting Soviet planes on the ground 22.06.41, or C-47s. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Or shooting Me262s on takeoff/landing.

Cheers,
Norris

Gibbage1
07-06-2005, 12:40 PM
Originally posted by TgD Thunderbolt56:
I don't quite understand the gist of the post. Was someone challenging the validity of the good ole P-38? It was a sound design and as I had stated in another post a couple days ago, the success of most of the aircraft in the war was dependent upon their application.

Airwarfare and all of its iterations (close air support, escort duties, air superiority, fleet defense, etc,..) was still a fairly new thing and a constant work-in-progress. In a few instances there were some designs that really shone in certain tasks. The P-38 in the PTO was one of them.

TB

There are a few members in this forum who consider the P-38 a flying "target drone" in WWII.

Jaws2002
07-06-2005, 12:46 PM
Originally posted by Gibbage1:
There are a few members in this forum who consider the P-38 a flying "target drone" in WWII.

It was for the IAR-81's http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

bolillo_loco
07-06-2005, 04:11 PM
Originally posted by Slickun:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
To do its original designed mission. That is bomber intercepter. Not many people know that the P-38 from the ground up was designed as a high altitude high speed bomber intercepter. The US thought that if it would be attacked, it would be by high altitude large bombers. During all of WWII, bombers only accounted for about 14% of the air kills from the P-38. The rest were fighters.

When it did perform its roal as bomber intercepter, did did a steller job! Most notably attacking the German air supply lines in North Afrika. Those supply lines were escorted by 109's and the P-38's stil not only managed to DECIMATE the formations of Ju-52's, but also take down a lot of the escorting 109's at the same time with very low losses. Even though the escorting 109's equaled the number of attacking P-38's.

Just food for thought http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif BTW, the P-38's attacking the Ju-52's were early F and G models. Not the much improved J and L's we have in the game.

So ya, the P-38 failed as a bomber intercepter, but did **** good as a fighter.

total enemy aircraft destroyed in the air in order of most destroyed first

P-51 5,944
F6F 5,168
P-38 3,785
P-47 3,661
F4U 2,140
P-40 1,993

the big 3 usaaf fighters in the MTO

2,697 for the three types

P-38 1,431 53%
P-51 1,063 39%
P-47 203 8%

the big 3 usaaf army fighters in the PTO

2683 total enemy aircraft destroyed in the air

P-38 1,708 64%
P-47 696 26%
P-51 279 10%

Lets add some more numbers.

Aircraft built.
P-47 = 15,677
P-51 = 14,819
P-40 = 13,839
F4U = 12,571
F6F = 12,275
P-38 = 9923

Even though the P-38 was produced LESS then any fighter in the list, it scored MORE then the fighter produced the most! Giving it a higher kill % per produced then all other US fighters in the top list.

So anyone who says the P-38 was a target drone can stuff it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif

Gibbage, I'm not disputing the sentiments, but what do you mean higher kill %?

The P-38 got .381 aerial kills for each P-38 produced.

The Mustang got .401 kills per P-51 produced.

The F6F got .421 kills per Hellcat produced.

I mean, the P-38 did a great job in the PTO and the Med. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It is simple slick run, gibbage used something I typed in another thread and it got used out of context,

the percentages listed in the MTO and PTO mean all the kills of the "big three" were added up and then percentage listed next to each aircraft is what percentage of aircraft it destroyed when compaired to the total of the three combined. I believe my main point in the other thread was that if the P-38 were so laim and so many stories float around about how much of a dud it was in the ETO because it fought germans........then why did it do so much better than the other two in the MTO theater even though it fought the same germans as the 8th airforce. further more if it was such a dud then why didnt the other two do better in the PTO than they did?

lrrp22
07-06-2005, 04:17 PM
Originally posted by NorrisMcWhirter:

Or shooting Me262s on takeoff/landing.

Cheers,
Norris

Considering the murderous flak encountered at 262 airfields, it was an extraordinarily dangerous endevour. Besides, plenty of 262's were shot down air-to-air.


.

NorrisMcWhirter
07-06-2005, 04:37 PM
Thought there weren't that many 262s about hence their lack of appearances on servers http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I'd suggest that attacking any airfield was a dangerous occupation although, when someone lines the planes up nicely for you, I'm sure it helps. I concur about the flak; Clostermann (who isn't to be believed, according to some on this forum http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif) thought it was extremely hairy.

Ta,
Norris

Kurfurst__
07-06-2005, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by Slater_51st:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
On April 5th, twenty six P-38€s intercepted a huge formation of German transports and their escort. 16 of the German aircraft went down, including two of the escorts. A pair of P-38€s were lost, with one pilot missing in action. Elsewhere, P-38€s accounted for another 15 German fighters. Combined efforts of NAAF fighters and bombers destroyed up to 200 Luftwaffe aircraft on April 5th,with many destroyed on their airfields. Just 5 days later,on April 10th, the P-38€s destroyed another twenty German transports and 8 escorting German and Italian fighters. Later that afternoon, B-25 Mitchell medium bombers and their escort splashed 21 more transports and four of the escorting fighters. Despite these serious losses, the Luftwaffe continued to fly these aerial "convoys". On April 11th , the Lightnings located and destroyed another twenty six Ju-52 transports and 5 Bf-109 fighters did not return to their airfields that evening. The Luftwaffe was being bled white.

S! Gibbage,

Very impressive, but:

"Over Cape Bon, Tunisia, an Axis force of *60 Junkers Ju 52 transports escorted by 21 Messerschmitt Bf 109 and MC. 202 fighters were headed for the island of Sicily when they were spotted by patrolling P-40Fs of the 57th FGs three component Squadrons and the 314th FS of the 324th FG with a high cover of RAF Supermarine Spitfire Vs from No. 92 Squadron. The American P-40s dove out of the sun and when the smoke had cleared, 59 Ju 52s and 16 fighters had been shot down for the loss of 6 P-40s."

Just a note, not trash talking the P-38 in any way. But you are right in saying the Bf-109 is about the worst escort fighter ever http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

"On 30 July 20 P-40s of the 317th and 16 P-40s of the 319th Squadron took off on a fighter sweep, to rendezvous over Sardinia. As they turned to fly south over the west part of the island, they were attacked near Sassari and 20 miles north of the rendezvous point where they were to meet the 319th coming from the east. The attacking force consisted of 25 to 30 Me-109s and Ma-202s, bringing the estimated total of enemy aircraft engaged to between 40 and 50 planes. Radio communications with the other squadron was poor, and repeated inquiries received no answers, so the 319th was unable to locate the battle. In the brief, intense battle that occurred, 20 P-40s engaged and destroyed 21 enemy aircraft."

This really has nothing to do with P-38s, but I like posting impressive P-40 stats http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

S! Slater </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Appearantly, nobody could best the Americans in overclaiming.

I wonder what would German loss reports would show for the day, the author who was being quoted obviously did not bother even to check out which units those enemy planes belong so he could cross-check it.

Reminds me of the 14th June 1944 engagment between hungarian bf 109s and P-38s. Not only the americans overclaimed the number of enemy fighters by a factor of 2, they reported 15 enemy aircraft were shot down.

In reality, they shot down.... one. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

NorrisMcWhirter
07-06-2005, 04:45 PM
^ Funny, cos Clostermann mentioned the exact same thing about overclaiming. Probably the very reason why certain people try to discredit him here.

Ta,
Norris

Gibbage1
07-06-2005, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Reminds me of the 14th June 1944 engagment between hungarian bf 109s and P-38s. Not only the americans overclaimed the number of enemy fighters by a factor of 2, they reported 15 enemy aircraft were shot down.

In reality, they shot down.... one. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Everyone overclaimed. But, you got proof if this?

Zyzbot
07-06-2005, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Slater_51st:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gibbage1:
On April 5th, twenty six P-38€s intercepted a huge formation of German transports and their escort. 16 of the German aircraft went down, including two of the escorts. A pair of P-38€s were lost, with one pilot missing in action. Elsewhere, P-38€s accounted for another 15 German fighters. Combined efforts of NAAF fighters and bombers destroyed up to 200 Luftwaffe aircraft on April 5th,with many destroyed on their airfields. Just 5 days later,on April 10th, the P-38€s destroyed another twenty German transports and 8 escorting German and Italian fighters. Later that afternoon, B-25 Mitchell medium bombers and their escort splashed 21 more transports and four of the escorting fighters. Despite these serious losses, the Luftwaffe continued to fly these aerial "convoys". On April 11th , the Lightnings located and destroyed another twenty six Ju-52 transports and 5 Bf-109 fighters did not return to their airfields that evening. The Luftwaffe was being bled white.

S! Gibbage,

Very impressive, but:

"Over Cape Bon, Tunisia, an Axis force of *60 Junkers Ju 52 transports escorted by 21 Messerschmitt Bf 109 and MC. 202 fighters were headed for the island of Sicily when they were spotted by patrolling P-40Fs of the 57th FGs three component Squadrons and the 314th FS of the 324th FG with a high cover of RAF Supermarine Spitfire Vs from No. 92 Squadron. The American P-40s dove out of the sun and when the smoke had cleared, 59 Ju 52s and 16 fighters had been shot down for the loss of 6 P-40s."

Just a note, not trash talking the P-38 in any way. But you are right in saying the Bf-109 is about the worst escort fighter ever http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

"On 30 July 20 P-40s of the 317th and 16 P-40s of the 319th Squadron took off on a fighter sweep, to rendezvous over Sardinia. As they turned to fly south over the west part of the island, they were attacked near Sassari and 20 miles north of the rendezvous point where they were to meet the 319th coming from the east. The attacking force consisted of 25 to 30 Me-109s and Ma-202s, bringing the estimated total of enemy aircraft engaged to between 40 and 50 planes. Radio communications with the other squadron was poor, and repeated inquiries received no answers, so the 319th was unable to locate the battle. In the brief, intense battle that occurred, 20 P-40s engaged and destroyed 21 enemy aircraft."

This really has nothing to do with P-38s, but I like posting impressive P-40 stats http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

S! Slater </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Appearantly, nobody could best the Americans in overclaiming.

I wonder what would German loss reports would show for the day, the author who was being quoted obviously did not bother even to check out which units those enemy planes belong so he could cross-check it.

Reminds me of the 14th June 1944 engagment between hungarian bf 109s and P-38s. Not only the americans overclaimed the number of enemy fighters by a factor of 2, they reported 15 enemy aircraft were shot down.

In reality, they shot down.... one. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


The Germans were able to overclaim with the best of them:

18 DECEMBER 1939 HELIGOLAND BIGHT
"On 18 December 1939, the RAF decided to mount a raid on the German fleet at Wilhelm shaven and orders were drafted for 24 Wellington Medium bombers to carry out the raid. 9 aircraft from 149 Squadron, 9 from 9 Squadron and 6 from 37 Squadron were selected to "Attack enemy warships in the Schillig Roads or Wilhelmshaven. Great care is to be taken to ensure that no bombs fall on shore"
While 24 Wellington's took off, 2 from 149 Sqn returned to base early leaving 22 to carry on. The bombers managed to successfully fly over the German Fleet, but their Orders about bombing German soil caused the abortion of the raid as the leader decided the ships, tied up in Port where too close to shore to be bombed. It was only after they turned for home did the German Fighters attack.
The ensuing massacre saw the shooting down of 10 Wellingtons, nearly 50% of the attacking force, however the Fighters claimed to have destroyed 34 Victories, over 150% of the attackers though OKL pruned this down to 26, still more than the force started with."

Gibbage1
07-06-2005, 05:28 PM
Originally posted by Zyzbot:
The ensuing massacre saw the shooting down of 10 Wellingtons, nearly 50% of the attacking force, however the Fighters claimed to have destroyed 34 Victories, over 150% of the attackers though OKL pruned this down to 26, still more than the force started with."

Outch. Those amazing Luftwaffe pilots! Able to shoot down more enemy then there was! Whooo!!! Im rooting for the wrong side all this time!

anarchy52
07-06-2005, 05:55 PM
Overclaims happen especially when your victim "falls" on enemy's side of the front. It is quite likely that some german aces of the eastern front got their victories confirmed a bit too easily. Western front was different because until D-day stuff was falling on occupied territory.
But one thing is certain - nothing can beat the mighty 8th in overclaiming. US bomber gunners alone were credited with the destruction of the whole luftwaffe several times over.

Gibbage1
07-06-2005, 06:43 PM
Originally posted by anarchy52:
But one thing is certain - nothing can beat the mighty 8th in overclaiming. US bomber gunners alone were credited with the destruction of the whole luftwaffe several times over.

Look at the situation the 8th AF gunners faced. You have 200+ gunners aiming at the same aircraft! It pops smoke and goes down, you have a good majority claiming they shot the bullet that did him in.

Pirschjaeger
07-07-2005, 05:52 AM
I read that in the beginning of the war and most of the way through, the Allies believed the Germans were overclaiming. After the war Allies realized that the protocal and standards for claiming and accrediting kills was more strictly controlled by the Germans.

I believe all sides were overclaiming simply because that's how propaganda works, and propaganda does work. Just read some of these threads. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Fritz

Slickun
07-07-2005, 07:46 AM
And I disagree. I think overclaiming is mostly just mistakes made in the heat of combat. Combine that with the typical fighter jock's mentality - that plane going down must have been because of ME - and there you have most of it.

There ARE exceptions.

anarchy52
07-07-2005, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by Gibbage1:
Look at the situation the 8th AF gunners faced. You have 200+ gunners aiming at the same aircraft! It pops smoke and goes down, you have a good majority claiming they shot the bullet that did him in.
Absolutely, noone blames the gunners for honest mistakes.

BSS_CUDA
07-07-2005, 08:41 AM
I find it EXTREMLY hard to swallow Hartmans 352 kills and never once the golden BB did come his way, I dont know how many kills the top aces in other countries had but the Top 2 German aces kills total more than the top 20 U.S. aces combined!!! they had 653 combined the top 20 U.S. pilots only had 601 combined. the Germans had 2 aces with over 300 kills and 8 with over 200????? cmon and I'm sure not one of those 2200 kills were shall we say a bit over inflated, German claimed 95 ace's with over 100 kills, no other nation even has even 1 ace with 100 kills, so if we are going to look at overinflated kill then we must without a doubt start with the Luftwaffe.

ww 2 ace's stats (http://www.1000pictures.com/aircraft/aces.htm)

AerialTarget
07-07-2005, 09:37 AM
Japan is supposed to have a bunch of aces with a few hundred, too. I suppose it was all of those target drone P-38 Lightnings that did it.

BSS_CUDA
07-07-2005, 09:49 AM
not according to this site top Japanese ace had 87 kills

Heliopause
07-07-2005, 09:53 AM
Richard Bong was the no 1 ace for the americans in WWO II, Tom McGuire the no 2 ace.
Both flew the P-38 although this was against the Japs ofcourse...

Kurfurst__
07-07-2005, 10:01 AM
Originally posted by Zyzbot:
The ensuing massacre saw the shooting down of 10 Wellingtons, nearly 50% of the attacking force, however the Fighters claimed to have destroyed 34 Victories, over 150% of the attackers though OKL pruned this down to 26, still more than the force started with."


Wrong, unfortunately. First thing that 12 Wellingtons were lost on the 18th, 'over the target area', not 10, as per the official RAF site :http://www.raf.mod.uk/bombercommand/diary1939.html

The daylight fighters plus the Zestorers claimed 37 Wellingtons that day, BUT that`s the summary of all claims for the day, not just the action above Helgoland, 'over the target area'. It includes claims done elsewhere above Wangerooge, Spiekeroog, Borkum, Ameland, Spiekerooge etc.

The point is again that the confirmation of kills were rigorous in the LW, and could correct for the natural tendecy of the pilots to overclaim in the heat of battle. The USAAF had no such system at all to correct for pilot claims, and P-38 fans seems to take those pilots claims on their face value....

Only 15 Wellington claims were accepted by the Luftwaffe for 18th December - probably including results of other air combats on the day.

Kurfurst__
07-07-2005, 10:06 AM
Originally posted by Gibbage1:
Everyone overclaimed. But, you got proof if this?

Of course everyone overclaimed. The USAAF was especially good at it, though. The problem is that you base your claims on the exaggrevated claims what the pilots made in the heat of battle, and not on their actual results.

You should look up actual LW losses for the given day to get an idea how well they did in reality.

As for the source, 'Air Warfare over Hungary' (translation of hungarian title), volume 2.
It gives the exact breakdown of P-38 claims by inc. information on pilot, destroyed/probable/damaged state for the reports at the time, as well as Hungarian losses.

p1ngu666
07-07-2005, 10:12 AM
the best overclaiming ive heard of was at malta.

i think it was a supply flight with spitfires flying off the carriers and landing on malta. spitfires and other planes on malta would cover this action. in the dogfights that took place that day the germans and italians claimed 43 aircraft shot down. they where half right.
so your now thinking hm, 22kills, not bad.

u is wrong.

they shot down 3 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

Huckebein_UK
07-07-2005, 10:30 AM
*Sigh*, the situation in which you fight counts for so much moe than people are giving it credit for...

German kill credentials are generally considered, by academics on the subject, to be as accurate as anyone else's. During the war it often took over a year to be officially creditted with a kill in the Luftwaffe - the Germans had some of the very strictest confirmation rules.

Hartmann et al were extremely good pilots fighting against, for the most part, inferior pilots and machines and thousands of them! A Western allied pilot would be lucky to see 300 German planes after 1942, let alone get a shot at them all.

I'll take a rifle with unlimited ammo into a shooting range with 4000 targets, and you take a machine gun into a room with 40. If I am a decent shot, I guarantee you I will come out with more 'kills' after a set length of time. Now let's say every so often you finish a 'tour of duty' and are rested, whilst I just keep on firing. Sound fair to you?

German 300/ 200+ aces were not 10 times better than their counterparts in other Air Forces, but they probably were the highest scoring by a huge margin. What you learn from this is the conditions under which they fought, not that they were ten times the pilot any westerner was.

JamesBlonde888
07-07-2005, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Decimating Ju 52 formation, man, now that`s a though job ! I also heard it had excellent record against the Fiesler Storch. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Holds the record for most barrage lloons shot down too I think.

horseback
07-07-2005, 10:35 AM
I have no problem with Hartmann or Rall's accepted totals when I consider how much more combat hours they had compared to the top US aces, and how much greater percentage of those combat hours were actually spent in contact with a more numerous enemy, rather than 'commuting' to the likely places of contact. Fighting a protracted defensive campaign also adds to your opportunities, and the survivors are going to develop their skills to a much higher level.

When you throw in the different philosophies of the fighter mission in the LW as opposed to the Allied Air Forces, it becomes even more probable that the Germans would have the one or two superaces who beat the odds and developed ludicrous skills on top of good training and natural talent. They had a 'star' system where (often) everyone else in the staffel was tasked to 'feed' the star the shooting opportunities. In a sense, 'Bubi' Hartmann was the Michael Jorden of WWII fighter jocks-before the Bulls put a team around Jorden that could also defend and score occasionally, instead of standing around and watching Mike soar.

The US combat hours champion was most likely LTCOL Don Blakeslee, who managed to 'wangle' consecutive combat tours with the RAF from 1941 through the transfer of the Eagle Squadrons to the 8th Fighter Command in late 1942, and then to serve with the 4th FG in various combat flying capacities until the autumn of 1944. He probably had more contact with the LW than any other US fighter pilot, and that was most likely far less than a third of the contacts that Hartmann or Rall had, and neither of them was exceptional in their number of contacts among the Ostfront jagdeflieger.

Blakeslee was reputed to be a remarkably poor shot, but he still scored around 15 kills against the best of the Kanalfront Luftwaffe.

We might also consider that Blakeslee did this flying a couple of different models each of Spitfires, P-47s, and Mustangs. The Ralls and Hartmanns of the world generally stayed in Messerschmitts. No need to learn the combat qualities of a new aircraft or set of guns...

Suppose an outstanding marksman/tactician like Tom Lynch or David McCampbell had been given Blakeslee's opportunities, and managed to avoid the hazards of protracted offensive operations over enemy territory. A score over 75 would not have been out of the question (even without a star system), but only if Hap Arnold personally intervened to allow the American 'ace of aces' to avoid selling War Bonds, in the way that GEN Kenney unofficially 'sponsored' Bong in the Southwest Pacific.

One of the reasons Blakeslee got away with staying as long as he did was because he wasn't running up a big score (being an obnoxious s.o.b. who didn't get along with the press didn't hurt him either).

Even so, US fighter pilots spending 3 or more hours per sortie (and only one sortie a day, at best) commuting to and from Central Europe would never have the scoring opportunities of the best German aces, simply because there weren't anywhere near as many Germans as there were Russians, British and Americans to practice and improve your combat skills against.

cheers

horseback

mynameisroland
07-07-2005, 12:16 PM
Originally posted by Gibbage1:
To do its original designed mission. That is bomber intercepter. Not many people know that the P-38 from the ground up was designed as a high altitude high speed bomber intercepter. The US thought that if it would be attacked, it would be by high altitude large bombers. During all of WWII, bombers only accounted for about 14% of the air kills from the P-38. The rest were fighters.

When it did perform its roal as bomber intercepter, did did a steller job! Most notably attacking the German air supply lines in North Afrika. Those supply lines were escorted by 109's and the P-38's stil not only managed to DECIMATE the formations of Ju-52's, but also take down a lot of the escorting 109's at the same time with very low losses. Even though the escorting 109's equaled the number of attacking P-38's.

Just food for thought http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif BTW, the P-38's attacking the Ju-52's were early F and G models. Not the much improved J and L's we have in the game.

So ya, the P-38 failed as a bomber intercepter, but did **** good as a fighter.

total enemy aircraft destroyed in the air in order of most destroyed first

P-51 5,944
F6F 5,168
P-38 3,785
P-47 3,661
F4U 2,140
P-40 1,993

the big 3 usaaf fighters in the MTO

2,697 for the three types

P-38 1,431 53%
P-51 1,063 39%
P-47 203 8%

the big 3 usaaf army fighters in the PTO

2683 total enemy aircraft destroyed in the air

P-38 1,708 64%
P-47 696 26%
P-51 279 10%

Lets add some more numbers.

Aircraft built.
P-47 = 15,677
P-51 = 14,819
P-40 = 13,839
F4U = 12,571
F6F = 12,275
P-38 = 9923

Even though the P-38 was produced LESS then any fighter in the list, it scored MORE then the fighter produced the most! Giving it a higher kill % per produced then all other US fighters in the top list.

So anyone who says the P-38 was a target drone can stuff it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif

Juat to put these kills in to context the Bf 109 series killed more than the combined total of all USAAF fighters added together.

Of note there were over 100 Experten who scored more than 100 kills which means that 10000 enemy ac fell to these aces.

mynameisroland
07-07-2005, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by BSS_CUDA:
I find it EXTREMLY hard to swallow Hartmans 352 kills and never once the golden BB did come his way, I dont know how many kills the top aces in other countries had but the Top 2 German aces kills total more than the top 20 U.S. aces combined!!! they had 653 combined the top 20 U.S. pilots only had 601 combined. the Germans had 2 aces with over 300 kills and 8 with over 200????? cmon and I'm sure not one of those 2200 kills were shall we say a bit over inflated, German claimed 95 ace's with over 100 kills, no other nation even has even 1 ace with 100 kills, so if we are going to look at overinflated kill then we must without a doubt start with the Luftwaffe.

ww 2 ace's stats (http://www.1000pictures.com/aircraft/aces.htm)

If we accept that all nations overclaimed then that still leaves the Luftwaffe aces streets ahead of every one else. They saw more action flew in great AC and had excellent tactics.

Do you not think they would have been found out if they were all fakes? Investigators have only had 60 years to find them out?

horseback
07-07-2005, 12:26 PM
the Bf 109 series didn't kill anyone except the poor bastages who couldn't take off or land in the treacherous b!tch. The credit goes to the men who flew it successfully in combat long after it had passed its prime.

cheers

horseback

chris455
07-07-2005, 12:56 PM
Not to detract from the P-38, but the P-40 did some great work in the Med -and every other theater of the war- also.

chris455
07-07-2005, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by 3.JG51_BigBear:
If we're going according to black sheep squadron, then I believe it was a squadron of P-51s that got Yamamoto, not P-38s http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

BB, you're kidding, right??? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

WOLFMondo
07-07-2005, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by Gibbage1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BSS_CUDA:
cmon Gib we all know thats just PURE propaganda, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif everyone knows that the P-51 won the war http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

P-38 won North Afrika, be sure! That started the Luftwaffe's downward spiral. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/icon_twisted.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

i love revisionist history http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

want to know who won north africa...the british and the commonwealth with a little help from the us in the way of sherman tanks. but it took monty and his staff to put it all together.

bolillo_loco
07-07-2005, 01:33 PM
if the bf 109 shot down more a/c than all the american a/c did combined then they had to be russian aircraft. Most american fighters were lost to flak and pilot error.

horseback
07-07-2005, 01:37 PM
Whatsamatter, WOLFMondo? Didn't you ever watch Rat Patrol on TV? IMHO, the historical and technical superior of Black Sheep Squadron (by a hair).

But you do underestimate the value of the US North African contribution and overestimate Montgomery's value as a General. He always took more casualties and time than necessary (German and American military historians are near unanimous on this point, the British are more supportive), and US soldiers dreaded assignment of their units to his command-it was considered close to a death sentence.

cheers

horseback

p1ngu666
07-07-2005, 02:16 PM
monty was often given the tough jobs. in normandy he tied down alot of the german elite units so the americans could breakout...

bolillo_loco
07-07-2005, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
Whatsamatter, WOLFMondo? Didn't you ever watch Rat Patrol on TV? IMHO, the historical and technical superior of Black Sheep Squadron (by a hair).

But you do underestimate the value of the US North African contribution and overestimate Montgomery's value as a General. He always took more casualties and time than necessary (German and American military historians are near unanimous on this point, the British are more supportive), and US soldiers dreaded assignment of their units to his command-it was considered close to a death sentence.

cheers

horseback

good thing that the rat patrol won in north afrika other wise Capt. Hauptman Hans Dietrich (as Hans Gudegast) would not have gone on to the USA and performed in so many TV shows, movies, most noteably his performance in "The Young and The Restless"

mynameisroland
07-07-2005, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by bolillo_loco:
if the bf 109 shot down more a/c than all the american a/c did combined then they had to be russian aircraft. Most american fighters were lost to flak and pilot error.

Do you have numbers when you claim 'most were shot down by flak'?

Its interesting to find the RAF losses were significantly higher than the Luftwaffes when fighting against each other for 41 pretty muvh throught ot the end of the war. The USAAF should have taught those RAF boys how to fly as good as they did and minimise casualties to enemy flak and accidents.

What war are you talking about? One that Steven Spielberg told you about?

Gibbage1
07-07-2005, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by mynameisroland:

Juat to put these kills in to context the Bf 109 series killed more than the combined total of all USAAF fighters added together.

Of note there were over 100 Experten who scored more than 100 kills which means that 10000 enemy ac fell to these aces.

The 109 was also produced more, flew for 7 years as apposed to the US who flew for 3 years, and had a lot more to shoot at. At mid 1944, there was not much for the Allies to claim as kills http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Target rich enviornments produce aces.

P.S. The Bf-109 was also the most shot down fighter of WWII.

horseback
07-07-2005, 04:46 PM
Do a little reading, Roland. Shooting down airplanes with another airplane in Real Life is not merely difficult; it is freaking hard.

When the Americans began operating their own fighters in appreciable numbers during the summer of 1943, the jagdewaffe actively avoided them most of the time. Any account of the period makes it clear that the US fighter groups were frustrated by the difficulty of making contact with the enemy. Of all the US aces shot down over Europe, a very small number were lost in air to air combat once they'd been credited with 10 or more kills. The overwhelming majority were lost to FlaK, particularly after the advent of the policy to attack ground targets of opportunity. It is my understanding that the majority of US fighter planes lost to all causes in the European theater were lost to mechanical malfunction or pilot error rather than enemy action.

Bombers may have been another matter altogether, but 109s were not the primary bomber killer used by the LW in any case, and it could be argued that a significant number of those finally downed by fighters of whatever type died the 'death of a thousand cuts', damaged not only by multiple fighter attacks, but by AAA and often from errant .50 rounds from other bombers in their own formation (there was a damage report I read somewhere thay mentioned that half the aircraft returning damaged in one early raid had a lot of half inch holes in them. I may be be mistaken, but I have the distinct impression that it predated the German use of 13mm MGs in their aircraft).

As for the RAFs problems across the Channel in '41-42, they were in a position of pronounced inferiority to FW 190 equipped German gruppe while fighter Command was flying short ranged Spitfire Mk Vs in the main, as a trickle of Mk IXs slowly came on line. Flying in medium altitude formations covering very slow bombers did them no favors either.

Very few of us look to Mr. Speilberg for how the war was conducted, any more than we would look to French cinema to learn how the Maquis drove the Germans from their sacred land...

cheers

horseback

HayateAce
07-07-2005, 04:47 PM
http://www.befa.org.uk/ef-uk/72/jn-me109-01.jpg

mynameisroland
07-07-2005, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by Gibbage1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mynameisroland:

Juat to put these kills in to context the Bf 109 series killed more than the combined total of all USAAF fighters added together.

Of note there were over 100 Experten who scored more than 100 kills which means that 10000 enemy ac fell to these aces.

The 109 was also produced more, flew for 7 years as apposed to the US who flew for 3 years, and had a lot more to shoot at. At mid 1944, there was not much for the Allies to claim as kills http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Target rich enviornments produce aces.

P.S. The Bf-109 was also the most shot down fighter of WWII. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Where in any of my posts did I dispute any of this?

I responded to a simple post relating to number of enemy AC shot down. As far as I can see my post stands. I do not think that the scores for the P38 or Mustang or even Hellcat for that matter are remarkable. I do however think its amazing that 10000 kills can be shared amongst 100 pilots. Even if they were achieved flying the 109 which is not the most formidable AC in my opinion.

Regards

mynameisroland
07-07-2005, 05:02 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
Do a little reading, Roland. Shooting down airplanes with another airplane in Real Life is not merely difficult; it is freaking hard.

When the Americans began operating their own fighters in appreciable numbers during the summer of 1943, the jagdewaffe actively avoided them most of the time. Any account of the period makes it clear that the US fighter groups were frustrated by the difficulty of making contact with the enemy. Of all the US aces shot down over Europe, a very small number were lost in air to air combat once they'd been credited with 10 or more kills. The overwhelming majority were lost to FlaK, particularly after the advent of the policy to attack ground targets of opportunity. It is my understanding that the majority of US fighter planes lost to all causes in the European theater were lost to mechanical malfunction or pilot error rather than enemy action.

Bombers may have been another matter altogether, but 109s were not the primary bomber killer used by the LW in any case, and it could be argued that a significant number of those finally downed by fighters of whatever type died the 'death of a thousand cuts', damaged not only by multiple fighter attacks, but by AAA and often from errant .50 rounds from other bombers in their own formation (there was a damage report I read somewhere thay mentioned that half the aircraft returning damaged in one early raid had a lot of half inch holes in them. I may be be mistaken, but I have the distinct impression that it predated the German use of 13mm MGs in their aircraft).

As for the RAFs problems across the Channel in '41-42, they were in a position of pronounced inferiority to FW 190 equipped German gruppe while fighter Command was flying short ranged Spitfire Mk Vs in the main, as a trickle of Mk IXs slowly came on line. Flying in medium altitude formations covering very slow bombers did them no favors either.

Very few of us look to Mr. Speilberg for how the war was conducted, any more than we would look to French cinema to learn how the Maquis drove the Germans from their sacred land...

cheers

horseback

Whats your point? Please re read my posts and direct me to where I said shooting enemy AC down was easy? I find it neccessary to put some statistics in to perspective - USAAF claims - regardless of how difficult it was to find the enemy, are not that spectacular.

To look at that another way , for those infrequent times the Luftwaffe did come in to contact with enemy fighters on the whole it did a very good job of shooting a fair share of them down.

Something that many people have trouble accepting.

bolillo_loco
07-07-2005, 05:20 PM
Originally posted by mynameisroland:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by bolillo_loco:
if the bf 109 shot down more a/c than all the american a/c did combined then they had to be russian aircraft. Most american fighters were lost to flak and pilot error.

Do you have numbers when you claim 'most were shot down by flak'?

Its interesting to find the RAF losses were significantly higher than the Luftwaffes when fighting against each other for 41 pretty muvh throught ot the end of the war. The USAAF should have taught those RAF boys how to fly as good as they did and minimise casualties to enemy flak and accidents.

What war are you talking about? One that Steven Spielberg told you about? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

your ending statement is not very whitty, can you provide numbers to your claim that the bf 109 shot down more e/a than all usa fighters combined?

horseback
07-07-2005, 06:04 PM
More specifically, what numbers do you have to prove that the 109 was used to shoot down more American aircraft than the numbers of 109s lost to American aircraft?

My reading of history is that the United States moved an enormous air force to Europe, developed and supplied it with modern fighter aircraft capable of flying farther than anything their more experienced and 'sophisticated' enemy had, and wiped that enemy's air force out of existance over their own bases.

Let us be clear; it was the fighter forces that destroyed the German air force-the bombers ended up being bait. They started from a position of abject numerical, technological and tactical inferiority, and beat the supposedly 'best' air force in the world into the ground in less than 18 months (April 1943-first combat operations of the P-47- to September 1944, when the issue was essentially decided). If they did this through numerical superiority, it was achieved more by subtracting experienced German pilots than by adding inexperienced American ones.

My reading of history also makes it clear that the German fighter pilots also overclaimed in very similar proportion to the American fighter pilots when they were fighting over enemy territory. It is a function of fighting over enemy territory that you are denied the privilege of confirming crash sites, and you can only get vague picture at best from after action reports made by guys in their twenties writing in the throes of adreniline withdrawal, even with camera film.

Generally, fighting an offensive war is much more expensive in terms of casualties than fighting a defensive one, particularly when your opponent is defending home and hearth, has interior lines of supply, is not markedly technologically inferior, and is much more experienced at the start of the campaign. Yet, overall US casualties were not unbearable, and the Germans did not enjoy a clear statistical edge in fighter to fighter combat.

As has been stated repeatedly, at least two thirds of all aircraft losses in the ETO were operational, not due to enemy action (and 'enemy action' includes the 'missing-unknown reasons' category) for all sides. The Americans flying MUCH farther afield than any other air force in the war, fighting for strictly intellectual reasons (it wasn't their people facing imminent invasion or destruction) faced much greater individual obstacles to running up any kind of score than their German opponents, but they get no credit for it.

Maybe some of us seem a little touchy on the subject, but American feats of arms seem to get short shrift far too often on these boards.

cheers

horseback

NorrisMcWhirter
07-07-2005, 06:16 PM
Round the clock bombing of German industy and infrastructure had nothing to do with the final victory? It was purely superior aircraft and pilots and all 1:1 ratio battles?

Next time you're in an online war, go alone against 4-6 enemies (even inexperienced ones) and see how you fare. Then come back and say that numerical superiority has no advantage whatsoever. You might win once...even twice...but you won't win for long.

I don't think anyone is disputing any effort put in by any of the allies; rather, they get a little fed up of listening to how 'this', 'that' or 'they' won the war almost single-handedly particularly when 'their' industry and people were almost entirely free from attacks.

Ta,
Norris

bolillo_loco
07-07-2005, 06:30 PM
total fighters credited are from a revised study done well after the war and many claims from ww II were disallowed after a compairision to axis records.

victories in north africa by the P-39, P-40, and american units flying spitfires are not included as well as victories in the PTO by the P-39. all enemy aircraft were destoyed in the air, no probables are included or are damaged aircraft. statistics only include fighter types.

23,119 enemy aircraft were destroyed in the air by all american fighter types. 8th airforce fighter groups scored as many or more enemy aircraft destoyed on the ground as they did in the air. The 9th airforce destroyed many times more enemy aircraft on the ground as they did in the air. I would venture a guess that the navy and marine corps scored many on the ground as well.

USAAF Fighter losses in the ETO alone

1,691 fighters were lost due to enemy aircraft
2,449 fighters were lost due to enemy anti aircraft fire
1,184 fighters were lost due to other causes, ie crash, lost, pilot error etc.

these figures do not include 2nd line units which would skew the figures for lost to other causes.

of the 10,914 USAAF fighters lost during the war in the ETO by 1st line units 70% were lost due to enemy anti aircraft fire or other causes. 37.8% to enemy anti aircraft fire and 32.2% to other causes.

8th airforce study of fighters damaged and lost from 8/43 till 5/44. their findings were 1,330 a/c were damaged and 659 a/c were lost. the reasons are given below

of the 1,330 aircraft damaged

63% due to anti aircraft
22% due to enemy aircraft
6% unknown
7% collision with ground or aircraft
1% mechanical failure
1% others

of the 659 aircraft lost

27% due to anti aircraft
39% due to enemy aircraft
12% unknown
6% collision with ground or other aircraft
4% other

8th airforce study from 6/44 till 5/45 no

damaged aircraft

69% damaged by anti aircraft
26% due to other causes
5% damaged by enemy aircraft

aircraft lost

32% due to enemy anti aircraft
13% due to enemy fighters
55% due to other causes

the 8th airforce clearly lost most of its fighters due to reasons other than enemy fighters


when one considers how many fighters the united states army air corps, navy, and marine corps destroyed both in the air and on the ground I find it very hard to believe the Bf 109 destroyed more than all those combined. the number probably exceeds total fw 190 and bf 109 production combined.

you can find my source for reference at the following ULR

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/076431458...nce&s=books&n=507846 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0764314580/qid=1120783539/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_ur_1/103-2502154-9241422?v=glance&s=books&n=507846)

MEGILE
07-07-2005, 06:33 PM
P-38 is over modelled, no?
Also nice picture HayateAce. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

p1ngu666
07-07-2005, 06:50 PM
the americans often found themselves outnumbered in areas, so did the british aswell. the lw would tend to fly in large numbers, rather than the smaller numbers the allies used.

SkyChimp
07-07-2005, 08:04 PM
Originally posted by bolillo_loco:


you can find my source for reference at the following ULR

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/076431458...nce&s=books&n=507846 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0764314580/qid=1120783539/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_ur_1/103-2502154-9241422?v=glance&s=books&n=507846)

All those stats, and far more, are available on-line at:

Army Air Forces Statistical Digest
http://www.au.af.mil/au/afhra/wwwroot/aafsd/aafsd_index_table.html

horseback
07-07-2005, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by NorrisMcWhirter:
Round the clock bombing of German industy and infrastructure had nothing to do with the final victory? It was purely superior aircraft and pilots and all 1:1 ratio battles?

Next time you're in an online war, go alone against 4-6 enemies (even inexperienced ones) and see how you fare. Then come back and say that numerical superiority has no advantage whatsoever. You might win once...even twice...but you won't win for long.

I don't think anyone is disputing any effort put in by any of the allies; rather, they get a little fed up of listening to how 'this', 'that' or 'they' won the war almost single-handedly particularly when 'their' industry and people were almost entirely free from attacks.

Ta,
Norris

As usual, you're responding to something I didn't say.

I don't recall night bombing campaigns having a significant impact on the German Air Force. As I stated quite clearly
it was the fighter forces that destroyed the German air force German Air Force, not industry, not transport, not infrastructure. The German Air Force had to be neutralized before the western Allies could hope to mount a successful invasion of Europe.

The overwhelming majority of that job was accomplished by the US Army Air Forces. The RAF and the Commonwealth air forces simply lacked the reach and tactical philosophy to do the job before Marshall Zhukov reached Berlin.

As for numerical superiority, are we talking about the numerical superiority of August 1943 or August 1944? The American approach was undoubtedly what the British refer to as sheer bloody-mindedness. They just kept coming until the Germans broke down. It took less time and lives than originally estimated by all interested parties.

The Germans were kind enough to be stupid, and squandered their tactical advantages when they still possessed them, by concentrating on the bombers from the moment they came over German held territory, instead of assigning the Kanal Geschwaderen to elimination of the meager American escort forces when it was still feasible. Because they surrendered the initiative to the American fighter groups, and avoided them, providing the occasional sharp lesson in tactics instead of the regular massacres that might have accomplished something for their cause, the Yanks gained confidence, skills and numbers. At the same time, they failed to make provision for replacing their losses.

If they had convinced the Americans that escorted bombing was not possible in late summer 1943, they might have gained a year or two, in view of the limited number of days available that weather and tides permitted amphibiuous landings on Europe. They blew it, but the Americans also grabbed the gift with both hands and tore it open with all the enthusiasm of a child on Christmas morning.

So, yeah, if I come upon 4 or 5 opponents and they don't have a superior tactical position, and they avoid me and waste their chances to fight cohesively, I'll be happy to defeat them in detail rather than en masse. If I gain help as they are eliminated, than I'll happily accept that advantage too. Isn't that what happened?

cheers

horseback

bolillo_loco
07-07-2005, 10:37 PM
thanks for the link chimp, I had it some time ago, but lost track of it some how.

TAGERT.
07-07-2005, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by HayateAce:
http://www.befa.org.uk/ef-uk/72/jn-me109-01.jpg ROTFLMFAO

wayno7777
07-07-2005, 11:06 PM
Hey, give me that 109. I can fix it...


Originally posted by bolillo_loco:
of the 10,914 USAAF fighters lost during the war
btw, it's interesting to note that more 109's were lost to accidents (over 11,000, about 1/3rd of all produced) than the total US losses...

bolillo_loco
07-07-2005, 11:21 PM
america produced about 100,000 fighters. hence the clever name Francis Dean selected for his book "America's Hundred Thousand"

AerialTarget
07-08-2005, 07:59 AM
Originally posted by Megile:
P-38 is over modelled, no?


Is this a joke, or are you actually attempting to again start up the discussion in which we the P-38 Lightning fanatics provide extensive proof that the P-38 is undermodelled and you the Luftwhiners say "Nuh uh!"?

bolillo_loco
07-08-2005, 12:05 PM
target I am by no means a very diplomatic person, years ago when I was drunk most of the time I became very anti social at forums, this said...........responding to inflamatory comments with inflamatory comments only serves to promote futher inflamatory comments.

sorry I was just practicing my spelling of inflamatory..........inflamable a word which I have always found amusing........what is a flam?

TAGERT.
07-08-2005, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by bolillo_loco:
target I am by no means a very diplomatic person, Join the club


Originally posted by bolillo_loco:
years ago when I was drunk most of the time I became very anti social at forums, At least you have an excuse, to me it just come natural!


Originally posted by bolillo_loco:
this said........... responding to inflamatory comments with inflamatory comments only serves to promote futher inflamatory comments. Roger, fighting fire with fire makes more fire until all the fuel is fired up.


Originally posted by bolillo_loco:
sorry I was just practicing my spelling of inflamatory.......... inflamable a word which I have always found amusing........ what is a flam? A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet... And no need to be sorry! Sorry is for the kiss a$$ libral tree huggin PC minded terrist excuse making folks in this world who stand for nothing thus will fall for anything.... Hmmm was that inflamatory enough? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Aaron_GT
07-08-2005, 12:53 PM
But you do underestimate the value of the US North African contribution and overestimate Montgomery's value as a General. He always took more casualties and time than necessary

The main complaint against Montgomery was that he was very sensitive to incurring any casualties and overly cautious, not that he took more than necessary. This criticism haunted Monty, hence the overly bold and costly Market Garden. He was back to old, overly cautious form by the Battle of the Bulge, though.

Aaron_GT
07-08-2005, 12:58 PM
btw, it's interesting to note that more 109's were lost to accidents (over 11,000, about 1/3rd of all produced) than the total US losses...

As boilo loco noted, losses due to causes other than enemy actions were high for US forces too. Combat flying was very often under less than ideal flying conditions and accident rates were high. Approximately 1 in 3 F4Us produced were also lost in accidents.

With regard to Hartman and other claims victories per sortie is probably one of the more useful measures, and even then it needs to be modified by opportunity for combat. With regard to the suggestion that they couldn't have got so many kills as they would have got killed sooner or later, that's looking at things the wrong way round. We know they survived, therefore the post probability of their survival is 1. You can make guesses prior to an event of how likely or unlikely it was, but once it is over all bets are off, quite literally.

bolillo_loco
07-08-2005, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">btw, it's interesting to note that more 109's were lost to accidents (over 11,000, about 1/3rd of all produced) than the total US losses...

As boilo loco noted, losses due to causes other than enemy actions were high for US forces too. Combat flying was very often under less than ideal flying conditions and accident rates were high. Approximately 1 in 3 F4Us produced were also lost in accidents.

With regard to Hartman and other claims victories per sortie is probably one of the more useful measures, and even then it needs to be modified by opportunity for combat. With regard to the suggestion that they couldn't have got so many kills as they would have got killed sooner or later, that's looking at things the wrong way round. We know they survived, therefore the post probability of their survival is 1. You can make guesses prior to an event of how likely or unlikely it was, but once it is over all bets are off, quite literally. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

true statements aron gt, but it can be further argued that the bf 109 was a very hard aircraft to fly while taking off and landing. worse than the corsair (w/o the leading edge spoiler on the starbord wing) or perhaps the P-40? I do not know. one thing that is certain, the us could afford a high loss rate of both men and aircraft, the germans couldnt.

on a different note, many people only care to talk about the elite german aces who scored 100 or more victories, I would suggest you take a look at who they scored most of their victories against. it was againt the russians at a time when due to many reasons (included stalin's purges of ranking military personel just prior to the war) they were very ineffective in air to air combat. just looking at the losses that germany incurred during the war it is clear to see that 100+ victory luftwaffe aces did not make up the luftwaffe, it was infact a small percentage of what the luftwaffe fielded during the war. the last year and a half of the war your average german pilot had 4 to 6 times less training than the average american pilot enjoyed, crucial training time in the fighter type that he would be using in combat. on the other side of the coin most of the american aces who were shot down or lost during the war were lost to reasons other than enemy aircraft, flack, friendly fire, accidents, etc etc etc.

the last year and a half of the war a luftwaffe pilot had to worry more about being shot down or killed by allied fighters both on the ground and in his plane, than an american fighter pilot had to worry about being killed or shot down by the luftwaffe.

BigKahuna_GS
07-08-2005, 02:43 PM
S!
__________________________________________________ _______________________
Kurfurst__ Posted Thu July 07 2005 09:06
quote:Of course everyone overclaimed. The USAAF was especially good at it, though. The problem is that you base your claims on the exaggrevated claims what the pilots made in the heat of battle, and not on their actual results.
Huckebein_UK Posted Thu July 07 2005 09:30
*Sigh*, the situation in which you fight counts for so much moe than people are giving it credit for...
German kill credentials are generally considered, by academics on the subject, to be as accurate as anyone else's. During the war it often took over a year to be officially creditted with a kill in the Luftwaffe - the Germans had some of the very strictest confirmation rules.
Hartmann et al were extremely good pilots fighting against, for the most part, inferior pilots and machines and thousands of them! A Western allied pilot would be lucky to see 300 German planes after 1942, let alone get a shot at them all.
German 300/ 200+ aces were not 10 times better than their counterparts in other Air Forces, but they probably were the highest scoring by a huge margin. What you learn from this is the conditions under which they fought, not that they were ten times the pilot any westerner was.
__________________________________________________ ________________________




This was posted by Oleg quite sometime ago about Luftwaffe pilots overclaiming.

RE: Luftwaffe Claims Confirmation Procedure

I remember Oleg posting a piece about a year ago which quoted Wolfgang Spate(famous Luftwaffe test pilot). Spate had a brief period on operational flying and he was of the view that many of the Luftwaffe's higher scoring aces had inflated their claims in a quest for honours. As far as I know he is the only German pilot to have broken ranks in this way and made that assertion.

He gave a few examples of cases where he was 100% certain that particular
pilots had filed false victory claims- either because they had admitted as
much or because it was well- known on that unit that so- and- so did this.
He refused to name names but there was a long passage describing how, on the Russian front, a particular ace would augment his score. He would lead his unit on a free hunt and if nothing was found would disappear on the return flight. He would return to base sometime after everone else and claim that he had shot down "another two Pe2s"- unfortunately, with no witnesses. These would be added to his score at unit level.

At this time, the last 12 months of the war, it was obvious Germany was
going to lose and the RLM was taking 12 months to confirm victories. German pilots therefore didn't have to worry about their victory claims being investigated- it would all be over long before anyone could check. All German scoring during the last 12 months should therefore be taken with a pinch of salt.

In the case of the unnamed ace, a couple of same- rank officers got so fed
up with his scam that they confronted him. He broke down and admitted that
he had lied about shooting down aircraft just before he landed (he had done this several times).

He gave as his reason the fact that he had not scored legitimately for 3
months and felt under pressure to do so as he was leading men into battle.
The matter was hushed- up on the unit and it went no further.
If this is all fact we are left to speculate as to who the ace might have
been. Someone (a poster on this board IIRC) unkindly suggested Hermann Graf-
I can't remember why- but it could just as well have been one of the others.

___

Aaron_GT
07-08-2005, 04:18 PM
bf 109 was a very hard aircraft to fly while taking off and landing

No doubt there. It wasn't only that the gear had a narrow track, but also that it was relatively prone to folding up. This was seen by some pilots as an advantage when nightfighting as botched landings would tend to fold the gear up, rather than the plane flipping over as could happen in 190. The plane might well be a write off though.

One other point about 109 figures, and German loss rates in general, is that Germany produced far too few spares. This meant that damaged aircraft would sometimes be broken up for spares whereas in the RAF or USAAF they were repairable with spares produced for the purpose. I did have a book which estimated the additional write off rate, but I lost it in a house move several years ago and can't remember the figure.

NorrisMcWhirter
07-08-2005, 06:28 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by NorrisMcWhirter:
Round the clock bombing of German industy and infrastructure had nothing to do with the final victory? It was purely superior aircraft and pilots and all 1:1 ratio battles?

Next time you're in an online war, go alone against 4-6 enemies (even inexperienced ones) and see how you fare. Then come back and say that numerical superiority has no advantage whatsoever. You might win once...even twice...but you won't win for long.

I don't think anyone is disputing any effort put in by any of the allies; rather, they get a little fed up of listening to how 'this', 'that' or 'they' won the war almost single-handedly particularly when 'their' industry and people were almost entirely free from attacks.

Ta,
Norris

As usual, you're responding to something I didn't say.

I don't recall night bombing campaigns having a significant impact on the German Air Force. As I stated quite clearly
it was the fighter forces that destroyed the German air force German Air Force, not industry, not transport, not infrastructure. The German Air Force had to be neutralized before the western Allies could hope to mount a successful invasion of Europe.

The overwhelming majority of that job was accomplished by the US Army Air Forces. The RAF and the Commonwealth air forces simply lacked the reach and tactical philosophy to do the job before Marshall Zhukov reached Berlin.

As for numerical superiority, are we talking about the numerical superiority of August 1943 or August 1944? The American approach was undoubtedly what the British refer to as sheer bloody-mindedness. They just kept coming until the Germans broke down. It took less time and lives than originally estimated by all interested parties.

The Germans were kind enough to be stupid, and squandered their tactical advantages when they still possessed them, by concentrating on the bombers from the moment they came over German held territory, instead of assigning the Kanal Geschwaderen to elimination of the meager American escort forces when it was still feasible. Because they surrendered the initiative to the American fighter groups, and avoided them, providing the occasional sharp lesson in tactics instead of the regular massacres that might have accomplished something for their cause, the Yanks gained confidence, skills and numbers. At the same time, they failed to make provision for replacing their losses.

If they had convinced the Americans that escorted bombing was not possible in late summer 1943, they might have gained a year or two, in view of the limited number of days available that weather and tides permitted amphibiuous landings on Europe. They blew it, but the Americans also grabbed the gift with both hands and tore it open with all the enthusiasm of a child on Christmas morning.

So, yeah, if I come upon 4 or 5 opponents and they don't have a superior tactical position, and they avoid me and waste their chances to fight cohesively, I'll be happy to defeat them in detail rather than en masse. If I gain help as they are eliminated, than I'll happily accept that advantage too. Isn't that what happened?

cheers

horseback </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

At least I've bothered to read the thread and not pointed the finger at you for something you never said...."As usual"

Regardless, you are saying that night and day bombing had no impact upon the German airforce whatsoever in terms of equipment, pilots, morale or supply? That's quite a bold statement.

As to the remainder, I'm sure you're quite right in that having the equipment, a guaranteed supply line and a constant supply of fresh, well trained pilots who are not prematurely put into combat is a wonderful bonus in fighting an air war. Then again, the British did it mostly on morale and a decent command and control system. The Germans, no doubt, thought what they were doing was best, as did the US in Vietnam where defeat was the outcome, also.

The last point I already addressed. You might win against novice opponents once..maybe even twice but eventually someone will get you. You might even come up against an ace in the pack...like McGuire did and where his arrogance ultimately killed him. Or, perhaps, he just came up against _an_ aircraft that was superior to 4 P38s.

Ta,
Norris

p1ngu666
07-08-2005, 07:11 PM
the bombing certainly gave the luftwaffe problems, u wouldnt notice them right away, but few weeks and you would have no spares...

mossie night fighters where very effective against the german night fighters, plus they worried teh germans greatly about landing at night.

so they and other intruder aircraft did give the nightfighter and bomber units a spanking, dont know what effect that had on the dayfighter pilots tho.

mossies where also used in night ground attack aswell, probably being a useal pain in the **** http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

AerialTarget
07-08-2005, 10:26 PM
Originally posted by NorrisMcWhirter:
The Germans, no doubt, thought what they were doing was best, as did the US in Vietnam where defeat was the outcome, also.

Do some research about the war in Vietnam before comparing the Germans in World War Two with the Americans. The problem in Vietnam was that the politicians tied the military's hands up with red tape. Had they not done this, America would have won the war, and a lot more kids thrown over there to die to fatten some politician's chances for the next election would not have died. You have no idea of what the military was capable of doing but were not allowed to do for political reasons - and I'm not talking about using nuclear weapons anything as drastic as that. What happened, in short, was that politicians started a less-than-half-hearted war to make themselves look good for intervening in a Communist takeover, but didn't want to finish it.


Originally posted by NorrisMcWhirter:
You might win against novice opponents once..maybe even twice but eventually someone will get you. You might even come up against an ace in the pack...like McGuire did and where his arrogance ultimately killed him. Or, perhaps, he just came up against _an_ aircraft that was superior to 4 P38s.


McGuire was not only at a very disadvantageous situation to begin with (when being bounced, numbers count for nothing, and they were all carrying a heavy load of fuel), but he also made an appalling tactical blunder (keeping the heavy load of fuel) to compound the problem. You are quite correct that it was arrogance that got him killed. Do not presume to insinuate that his aircraft was to blame, insect.

Hetzer_II
07-08-2005, 11:33 PM
just as a thought...:

after WWII.. which aircraft dissapeaed immediately?
The 51? the 47? The 38?

Which of those aircrafts was still in use over Korea? I beleive that would be the best of it.. and its definitely not the 38...

faustnik
07-08-2005, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by Hetzer_II:
just as a thought...:

after WWII.. which aircraft dissapeaed immediately?
The 51? the 47? The 38?

Which of those aircrafts was still in use over Korea? I beleive that would be the best of it.. and its definitely not the 38...

A P-38 cost about twice as much as a P-38 but, certainly didn't produce twice the effect, so you do the math. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I'm sure economics had more to do with it than performance.

AerialTarget
07-08-2005, 11:46 PM
Look at my signature, Hetzerkraut. It's not going to change anytime soon.

TAGERT.
07-09-2005, 12:21 AM
Originally posted by AerialTarget:
Look at my signature, Hetzerkraut. It's not going to change anytime soon. ROTFL! Love that sig of yours.. it really says it all!

Slater_51st
07-09-2005, 04:40 AM
Originally posted by faustnik:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Hetzer_II:
just as a thought...:

after WWII.. which aircraft dissapeaed immediately?
The 51? the 47? The 38?

Which of those aircrafts was still in use over Korea? I beleive that would be the best of it.. and its definitely not the 38...

A P-38 cost about twice as much as a P-38 but, certainly didn't produce twice the effect, so you do the math. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I'm sure economics had more to do with it than performance. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I never woulda guessed a P-38 cost twice as much as a P-38 http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I could be mistaken, but didn't the P-47 get taken out partially because of its shorter range, as compared to the Mustang?

S! Slate

TAGERT.
07-09-2005, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by Slater_51st:
I could be mistaken, but didn't the P-47 get taken out partially because of its shorter range, as compared to the Mustang? Not 100% sure about the 47, one thing for sure though there P38 in the air force after WWII, they went as far as to rename them to F-38s. Basically Hetzer_II simplistic assumption that the discontinuation of the P38 was based on the P51 being a *better* fighter is in error. During <span class="ev_code_red">WAR</span> things are based on NEED, during <span class="ev_code_green">P</span><span class="ev_code_blue">E</span><span class="ev_code_pink">A</span><span class="ev_code_yellow">C</span><span class="ev_code_pink">E</span> things are based on NEED and BUDGET. It is that simple.

faustnik
07-09-2005, 12:41 PM
Originally posted by Slater_51st:I never woulda guessed a P-38 cost twice as much as a P-38 http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif


Oops, thanks for catching that. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

I meant the P-38 costs twice as much as the P-51.

mynameisroland
07-09-2005, 01:45 PM
You may be surprised to hear but the 109 and the Spitfire were both designed as bomber interceptors so you could say they were even more successful failures.

horseback
07-10-2005, 03:00 AM
Okay, Norris, one last time...

1. How much of the German fighter force was dedicated to night/all weather fighters? How much of that was diverted from the day fighter force? How many German pilots were working 'double shifts' before the Spring of 1944? AFAIK, a large part of the nightfighters were twin engine heavies diverted from bomber production, and the rest were the Bf 110 dirivatives, because the single engine types were too short legged (and treachorous) to operate safely at night.

The RAF was putting pressure on the Germans, but from an Air Force's point of view, most of the resources during the first year of US daylight operations were drawn from very different sources, I would think even to maintenance personnel, who would support a given unit and work on that units' schedule.

Different airplanes, different engines, different pilot training pool, seperate support organizations, and quite often, I expect, different bases, heavier aircraft often requiring paved landing strips.

2. My point was that the Germans made no attempt to eliminate the US fighter groups when they were in their infancy, when they were few and inexperienced, flying essentially experimental aircraft and developing tactics for them in combat. The Bob Johnsons, Francis Gabreskis and Don Gentiles started getting 'hot' after January 1944, by which time they had over six months of combat experience...were I the Kommodore of JG 2 or 26, they would not have had that six months, because I'd have done my duty and taken some initiative instead of pouting and saying "f**k Goerring, if we can't get at the bombers without engaging the escorts, we'll just p!ss around the edges of their formations and not engage at all until or unless the fighters go home."

These same guys had hammered the Brits the previous two years running whenever they came into German held airspace, and all of a sudden their scoring pace takes a dive when an even more clueless opponent is coming over to wander around...those P-47Cs should have been meat on the table, and there weren't that many of them that first summer.

There were three USAAF fighter groups in England in the Summer of 1943, and none of them had their full complement of aircraft until November of that year, and the early C and D models lacked a lot of the extra goodies that made the Jug a more formidible opponent after the Big Week campaign. No paddleblade props, no water injection, less provision for droptanks, no experienced pilots.

Oh, and two of those three groups had no prior experience in the type of aircraft they were flying. The 4th FG had been flying Spitfires under RAF control, and the 78th had flown P-38s before losing them along with many of the squadrons' original pilots to supply replacements for Torch and North Africa. Only the 56th FG had been flying the Thunderbolt the previous year, and initiially, they were the only ones with any faith in their aircraft.

It should have been easy to shatter that faith in the spring and summer of 1943 for the 'best' fighter geshwaderen in the Luftwaffe.

What the hell were they thinking?

3. I wouldn't have needed to deal with 4 to 1 odds in 1943; the Yanks took forever to form up for their bombing raids, and the same German radar system that allowed the Gruppe in France and Belgium to get altitude and up sun from the British the summer before certainly gave sufficient warning for the even slower and less well coordinated 'Amis'(technical note: the higher altitudes the Americans reached before forming up allowed an earlier warning. Radar range is limited by curvature of the earth and pulse repitition time, or the time between radar pulse transmissions. The higher a target is, the farther away and the sooner it can be detected). Flights and even squadrons should have been easy to isolate and decimate, if not destroy, with attacks by single staffelen of these reputedly elite fighter formations. The combat radius of the American fighters was soon known to the Germans; catching them at the far end of that radius (when they were at critical fuel levels)would have driven their loss rates even higher, as any LW veteran of the Battle of Britain would well know.

To me, it seems an obvious and blatent failure, from the first time I realized that the German fighter forces hadn't jumped on the Yanks whenever they encountered them at the outset; if the numbers and altitude are remotely even, the Germans hold the advantage.

In any contest, you try to get your opponent into the habit of losing to you, especially when you have advantages he doesn't. Instead, the Germans got the Yank fighter groups into the habit of chasing them, and themselves into the habit of running when it wasn't necessary.

In time, it became necessary to run, because of squandered opportunities; opportunites to train sufficient numbers of pilots before the Allies had fighters roaming the length and breadth of the Reich, opportunities to convince the Americans that successfully escorting the bombers to any strategic range from England was not possible, opportunities to run up big scores on early model Thunderbolts with rookie pilots.

cheers

horseback

249th_Harrier
07-10-2005, 08:07 AM
Originally posted by horseback:
Okay, Norris, one last time...

1. How much of the German fighter force was dedicated to night/all weather fighters? How much of that was diverted from the day fighter force? How many German pilots were working 'double shifts' before the Spring of 1944? AFAIK, a large part of the nightfighters were twin engine heavies diverted from bomber production, and the rest were the Bf 110 dirivatives, because the single engine types were too short legged (and treachorous) to operate safely at night.

The RAF was putting pressure on the Germans, but from an Air Force's point of view, most of the resources during the first year of US daylight operations were drawn from very different sources, I would think even to maintenance personnel, who would support a given unit and work on that units' schedule.

Different airplanes, different engines, different pilot training pool, seperate support organizations, and quite often, I expect, different bases, heavier aircraft often requiring paved landing strips.

2. My point was that the Germans made no attempt to eliminate the US fighter groups when they were in their infancy, when they were few and inexperienced, flying essentially experimental aircraft and developing tactics for them in combat. The Bob Johnsons, Francis Gabreskis and Don Gentiles started getting 'hot' after January 1944, by which time they had over six months of combat experience...were I the Kommodore of JG 2 or 26, they would not have had that six months, because I'd have done my duty and taken some initiative instead of pouting and saying "f**k Goerring, if we can't get at the bombers without engaging the escorts, we'll just p!ss around the edges of their formations and not engage at all until or unless the fighters go home."

These same guys had hammered the Brits the previous two years running whenever they came into German held airspace, and all of a sudden their scoring pace takes a dive when an even more clueless opponent is coming over to wander around...those P-47Cs should have been meat on the table, and there weren't that many of them that first summer.

There were three USAAF fighter groups in England in the Summer of 1943, and none of them had their full complement of aircraft until November of that year, and the early C and D models lacked a lot of the extra goodies that made the Jug a more formidible opponent after the Big Week campaign. No paddleblade props, no water injection, less provision for droptanks, no experienced pilots.

Oh, and two of those three groups had no prior experience in the type of aircraft they were flying. The 4th FG had been flying Spitfires under RAF control, and the 78th had flown P-38s before losing them along with many of the squadrons' original pilots to supply replacements for Torch and North Africa. Only the 56th FG had been flying the Thunderbolt the previous year, and initiially, they were the only ones with any faith in their aircraft.

It should have been easy to shatter that faith in the spring and summer of 1943 for the 'best' fighter geshwaderen in the Luftwaffe.

What the hell were they thinking?

3. I wouldn't have needed to deal with 4 to 1 odds in 1943; the Yanks took forever to form up for their bombing raids, and the same German radar system that allowed the Gruppe in France and Belgium to get altitude and up sun from the British the summer before certainly gave sufficient warning for the even slower and less well coordinated 'Amis'(technical note: the higher altitudes the Americans reached before forming up allowed an earlier warning. Radar range is limited by curvature of the earth and pulse repitition time, or the time between radar pulse transmissions. The higher a target is, the farther away and the sooner it can be detected). Flights and even squadrons should have been easy to isolate and decimate, if not destroy, with attacks by single staffelen of these reputedly elite fighter formations. The combat radius of the American fighters was soon known to the Germans; catching them at the far end of that radius (when they were at critical fuel levels)would have driven their loss rates even higher, as any LW veteran of the Battle of Britain would well know.

To me, it seems an obvious and blatent failure, from the first time I realized that the German fighter forces hadn't jumped on the Yanks whenever they encountered them at the outset; if the numbers and altitude are remotely even, the Germans hold the advantage.

In any contest, you try to get your opponent into the habit of losing to you, especially when you have advantages he doesn't. Instead, the Germans got the Yank fighter groups into the habit of chasing them, and themselves into the habit of running when it wasn't necessary.

In time, it became necessary to run, because of squandered opportunities; opportunites to train sufficient numbers of pilots before the Allies had fighters roaming the length and breadth of the Reich, opportunities to convince the Americans that successfully escorting the bombers to any strategic range from England was not possible, opportunities to run up big scores on early model Thunderbolts with rookie pilots.

cheers

horseback

You probably have more reference material than I do, but my understanding is that by late '43, the Luftwaffe was overextended by trying to be agressively engaged in the Med, the East, and the Channel, as well as defending against the RAF night attacks on Germany. When the 8th AF daylight offensive started to ramp up, these other fronts were de-emphasized, and bomber destruction over Germany was given top priority. So the reason the channel fighter groups were not as agressive in late '43 may have been that those assets had been re-assigned to Germany bomber defense. In a sense, even though the Luftwaffe had not been significantly eroded by late '43, the re-allocation caused by the 8th AF attacks, effectively gave the allies air superiority in the Med, the Channel, and the East. Is this incorrect?

horseback
07-10-2005, 04:12 PM
In the summer of 1943 almost all the action was in the Mediterranean, with the loss of North Africa, Sicily, and the invasion of Italy proper. At the same time, the U-boat threat to the convoys had been largely reduced, and it could be easily predicted that the full weight of America's industry and manpower would soon come into play.

On the ground, the mountains of Italy conferred significant advantage to the defending German armies, and limited the utility of medium range and close air support, which had to mean that the USAAF would be extending its strategic reach from bases nearest Germany-not from southern Italy, but from Britain, where the shorter ranged escorts could provide the greatest protection for the longest time.

However, with all the activity in the Med, there appears to have been no effect on the manning and aircraft levels of JG2 and 26, or the JGs arrayed along the German borders at that time. My point was that these formations had remained in static condition, and had sufficient numbers and experience to reduce the US fighter strength significantly before they became a threat.

They could have set up in ambush regularly beyond the reach of RAF support and before the American formations had to turn around themselves.

They were having negligible effect on the bomber formations by nibbling around the edges whenever they could avoid the escorts, and the bulk of the damage was being done to the heavies when they passed the range of the escorts and continued alone. At that point, the lighter single engined fighters were augmented quite effectively by zerstorers and dedicated gunpod /rocket launcher equipped single engine fighters. These types remained effective only so long as they were out of range of the American escorts.

In the spring and summer of 1943, when they weren't doing anything useful anyway, JGs 2 and 26 should have been concentrating on reducing the escorts' effectiveness, destroying their morale, getting them into the habit and expectation of getting their @sses kicked every time they crossed the Channel, the same way they had hammered the RAFs Fighter Command during the previous two years.

We have an expression here in America: "Welcome to the big leagues." It refers to what happens to young athletes going from college or amateur sports organizations to the top flight professional level, where everyone they compete against has similar levels of physical talent and years of experience competing at that level. A talented young player that you can expect to be competing against for some years to come may have more physical ability than the old pros, but he doesn't realize the speed that the professional game is played at, and he doesn't know all the tricks or have the reflexive responses that he will after a couple of years at that level of competition, and that is when they will try to get into his head...

Quite often (most of the time, really) the new player's first year is one butt-kicking and embarrassment after another (often in direct proportion to his signing bonus) as the older opposing professionals try to intimidate him and condition him into mentally losing before he steps onto the field against them. Referees tend to ignore all but the most blatent cheap shots, particularly if the rookies whine about it or 'show them up' in public. The first few games or practices can be especially harsh, and at least once a day, he will hear the phrase, "Welcome to the Big Leagues, rookie."

The American fighter groups in England expected to get a "welcome" from the Germans but never quite got anything at the level they expected, much less the level that the units on the Channel were quite capable of.

Had the Germans taken the effort to take down the escort groups before they had a chance to find their bearings, develop unit cohesion, and tactics appropriate to their aircraft (most of spring 1943 was spent finding out that RAF style formations and combat tactics weren't effective for the P-47), there would not have been a solid corps of experienced flight and squadron leaders to distribute to incoming groups, there wouldn't have been an ongoing effort to extend the P-47's range (what good is range if you can't get fifty miles into France before you're fighting for your life?), and there could very likely have been a suspension of the daylight 'precision' bombing campaign.

Or a demand for the expensive, hard to build, hard to master P-38 in numbers Lockheed wasn't yet capable of...

cheers

horseback

Copperhead310th
07-11-2005, 01:06 AM
Originally posted by TAGERT.:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Slater_51st:
I could be mistaken, but didn't the P-47 get taken out partially because of its shorter range, as compared to the Mustang? Not 100% sure about the 47, one thing for sure though there P38 in the air force after WWII, they went as far as to rename them to F-38s. Basically Hetzer_II simplistic assumption that the discontinuation of the P38 was based on the P51 being a *better* fighter is in error. During <span class="ev_code_red">WAR</span> things are based on NEED, during <span class="ev_code_green">P</span><span class="ev_code_blue">E</span><span class="ev_code_pink">A</span><span class="ev_code_yellow">C</span><span class="ev_code_pink">E</span> things are based on NEED and BUDGET. It is that simple. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


P-47's were excluded from combat ops in Korea on the baisis that:
1. they were much too expensive to produce
2. would only be employed in close airsuport roles
3. were needed at home for defense & pilot training
4. MOST prop driven fighters were being phased out to make room for the transition to jet powerd aircraft.

Source: my Grandfather. Was on Maj. Mac MacCurdy's ground crew with the 310th FBS 58th FBG 5th AF @ Osan Korea. If anyone would know he would. I've asked him many times why they weren't used in Korea. those are his answers.
and remember that he'd been working on aircraft since BEFOREWWII. Every thing from B-24's/25's/ 29's to P-51's, 47's T6's. & including P-80A's, F-84's-86's.

Hastatus
07-11-2005, 02:02 AM
Well, I think for starters you seriously underestimate the expansion of the allied air forces from 1943 onwards.

If the LW wanted to make interceptions "50 miles into France" in the summer of 1943, it would have found itself very busy indeed. RAF fighters provided escort for the 1st leg of the missions, far into France.

The expansion of the 8th AF escort groups and bomber groups would have continued, and drawing the LW into battle was already a stated aim of the offensive, so as to bring the LW into a war of attrition prior to D-Day (Pointblank). If they wanted to fight over France in larger #s instead of Germany im sure the allies would have been fine with that.

Two JGs would not have been able to "take out" as you say the USAAF FGs. Air combat doesnt happen like that. Its attritional. Also, inexperience does not mean incompetent. The USAAF FGs were well stocked with good pilots, and many combat veterans came to the 8th AF from the MED campaign, as well as from the PTO. They were well supplied, and had replacement pilots of a high caliber.

Nothing short of winning the U-boat war and somehow damaging the US war making industry at home would have made a serious dent in 8th AFs expansion.

horseback
07-11-2005, 11:36 AM
Two JGs would not have been able to "take out" as you say the USAAF FGs. Air combat doesnt happen like that. Its attritional. Also, inexperience does not mean incompetent. The USAAF FGs were well stocked with good pilots, and many combat veterans came to the 8th AF from the MED campaign, as well as from the PTO. They were well supplied, and had replacement pilots of a high caliber.

Wrong. The 4th Fighter Group didn't have its full complement of P-47s until November or December of 1943, and the 56th and 78th had to wait about the same length of time, so that means that these groups were sending understrength units into combat all the previous Spring and Summer.

People have to get a clear understanding that the 8th Air Force took 2 years to reach the numbers and experience level it needed to do its job. It didn't arrive (via Boeing 747s) in England in mid-1942 with thousands of Mustangs, B-17s, tons of bombs, ammo and trained pilots ready to leap upon the pitiful untrained German teenagers.

The two fighter Geschwadern the Germans had posted in western France had around 100 effectives each, mostly veteran pilots who had thoroughly dominated everything thrown at them to that point. The three American fighter groups in England the spring and summer of 1943 numbered less than 60 prewar trained pilots each, and they rarely mounted full strength missions in any case.

Materials and trained people arrived in a trickle, and until mid 1943, an appreciable chunk of what departed the coasts of the US was lost to U-Boats. Commanders in the Med, China, and the Pacific were screaming for those same men and supplies (and the Russians were demanding their share of the goodies too), and shipping was still very finite. Only bombers and transports were arriving by air, sometimes with their crews, but most of the time, aircrew and support personnel arrived by ship.

So we had three fighter groups, starting limited operations in March -April of 1943, operating with less than 60 aircraft each, flying what was essentially an experimental aircraft (unexplained smoke in the cockpit, ignition wiring so noisy that radio comms were near impossible, spontaneous engine stoppages were common complaints during the 'break-in' period) that two of the groups had no experience (and d@mned little confidence) in. At its introduction, the P-47C was not comparable to the FW 190 until they got up to over 20,000 ft, and even then, pilot experience was critical. On top of that, Zemke's memoirs make it clear that RAF style formations and tactics might have been fine for Spitfires, but they didn't work for P-47s, and they were casting about desperately for ideas that would work.

It took the British trained pilots of the 4th FG even longer to shed their old habits.

The numbers of experienced personnel coming from the Med were negligible, if there were any at all. Read the unit histories for the 4th and 56th FG, or Zemke's autobiography. The original groups in Britain were the seed bed for the rest of 8th Fighter Command; COs of the 4th and 56th were fighting a constant battle to keep key formation and squadron leaders from being 'stolen' to provide other units (or 8th Fighter Command staff) with combat experienced leaders from the fall of 1943 onwards.

But during the critical summer of 1943, these guys, while good officers and pilots, had yet to prove (or in some cases, develop) their qualities. The overwhelming majority of them were less than 25 years old, something that had to make their senior officers (I'm writing this from the perspective of a 51 year old guy) just a little nervous.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a Yank, and proud of my countrymen, but a great deal of what passed for prewar pilot training in the Army Air Corps was tragically bad, and killed a lot of fine young men. Some survived to become effective fighter and bomber pilots, but they hit a lot of bumps in the road. The Germans largely failed to provide their full share of those bumps.

Besides, it just takes time for even the best fighter pilot to learn his craft. For every George Welch (who scored multiples almost every time he made contact, starting at Pearl Harbor), there are twenty aces like Francis Gabreski, who took five or six months of combat flying before he started scoring.

As for the attrition tactic, it didn't become a strategy until Doolittle took command of the 8th AF in January 1944. In 1943, the atated aim was to get the bombers to the target (which they usually missed), and as late as the fall of 1943, some bomb group COs, including Curtis LeMay, were not convinced of the value of fighter escort.


If the LW wanted to make interceptions "50 miles into France" in the summer of 1943, it would have found itself very busy indeed. RAF fighters provided escort for the 1st leg of the missions, far into France.


As far as I know, the 'range' of the Spitfire Mk IX, which was limited to a couple of Wings in late 1942, and had not completely replaced the Mk V by summer of '43, was not improved markedly over that of the Mk I, which was no more than 400 miles under ideal conditions. Deep into France after climbing to 20,000 ft, waiting for the always late B-17s to make rendezvous (they had enough fuel to make it to the target twice; it took over a year to get them to appreciate the necessity of getting to their escort before they burned up all their fuel)? I think not.

That first year, Spits were assigned ingress and egress coverage for the Forts, because the slower climbing Thunderbolts could reach quite a bit farther if they didn't do a max performance climb and wait for the heavies to show up. AFAIK, the RAFs' responsibilities rarely extended much past 50 miles inland, if that, once the P-47 groups were up and running in summer of 1943.

Again, it strikes me as dereliction to not concentrate on the greatest potential threat. The Germans had to be aware of the rush to get the improvements to the P-47s in the field (there was a 3 to 6 month lag between development of a 'fix' and its arrival with combat units), the numbers and varieties of pilots and aircraft in the pipeline, and the stated intent to bomb Germany's industrial centers in daylight.

The RAF was not capable of the reach in daylight to threaten Germany, and the responsibility of the daylight fighters was to protect Germany's industrial ability to wage modern war from daylight threats.

A defense in depth called for the destruction of the aircraft and men who posed the greatest potential threat to the aircraft that could most effectively defend against the American heavy bombers, the twin engined zerstorer types. These types' earlier failure in their intended role as long range escorts had to make their vulnerability to single engined aircraft apparent to German military professionals.

I don't think it required a great leap of intuition to recognize that the American escort groups operating in England were the seed corn of the whole escort mission. Their leaders were leading from the front, and therefore vulnerable. Make an effort to take out formation leaders, as well as causing as many losses to the escorts as often as possible, and the American air war in Europe takes a lot longer to win. Remove key players like Blakeslee and Zemke from the war in the summer of 1943, and who takes their places?

cheers

horseback

wayno7777
07-11-2005, 08:30 PM
?The Eastern Front? 1943, read The First and Last by Adolph Galland....

Hastatus
07-12-2005, 04:32 AM
quote:
People have to get a clear understanding that the 8th Air Force took 2 years to reach the numbers and experience level it needed to do its job. It didn't arrive (via Boeing 747s) in England in mid-1942 with thousands of Mustangs, B-17s, tons of bombs, ammo and trained pilots ready to leap upon the pitiful untrained German teenagers.
quote:


Im sorry, where did I say they did?

As for the Spitfire V it had a 30 gallon drop tank in the spring of 1942, and as Spitfire IX squadrons came into service, they also had 30 gallon drop tank. They had a combat range of @500 miles.

As for USAAF combat veteran leaders, they were coming from P-40, P-39, and P-38 units in N. Africa, the PTO in some cases, and the ETO. Some with RAF flying experience with the Eagle Squadrons (later 4th FG). You seem to think the only place where experience was being gained was a handfull of English based squadrons, and thats it. Not true. You make it sound like they possessed 3-4 flight leaders and these were shot down, the whole USAAF buildup in ETO would somehow stop? Are you serious?

Its fancifull at best to think the LW had the air power to "stop" the expansion of the 8th AF Fighter Command and Bomber Command. Unless you either win the U-boat war or invade Britain. Neither was going to happen.

You also presume that a change in LW tactics would not have triggered a change in USAAF/RAF tactics. Well, war doesnt happen like that. I will point out that the Soviets took huge losses in trained pilots and formation leaders in 1941-2, and were at war continuosly with the Germans, yet, by 1944 the VVS was a huge organisation, and more than capable of conducting offensive operations, how did they do that?

Finally, any air force in the war that saw rapid expansion had to deal with the problems of new combat types and tactics, the USAAF was hardly alone in this regard. Your own signature indicates how they had to overcome that sometimes, does it not?

...I think "Hub" Zemke was a great leader, but the man was mortal. If he got shot down early, well, I think the USAAF would have overcome it. The fact that he flew combat operations meant he was expendable. Casualties are a fact of war.

249th_Harrier
07-12-2005, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by horseback:
In the summer of 1943 almost all the action was in the Mediterranean, with the loss of North Africa, Sicily, and the invasion of Italy proper.
- snip -
horseback

A bit of air-ro-air action was going on in the east too, Kursk for example. In fact, I remember reading that in '43, the Luftwaffe lost more planes in the East than all other theaters combined. By engaging in the East, the Med, and defending Germany, the Luftwaffe could just barely maintain their numbers in spite of a huge increase in aircraft production. When '44 rolled around, the only way the Luftwaffe could maintain their strength was not to fight (kind of defeats the point of having an airforce) so they reduced operations in the East, Italy, and the channel and concentrated on one fight, against the 8th. Even concentrating on this one fight, the Luftwaffe could not maintain their numbers, and lost the war of attrition.

Kurfurst__
07-12-2005, 10:21 AM
Originally posted by horseback:
As far as I know, the 'range' of the Spitfire Mk IX, which was limited to a couple of Wings in late 1942, and had not completely replaced the Mk V by summer of '43, was not improved markedly over that of the Mk I, which was no more than 400 miles under ideal conditions.


The Spitfire MkIXs range was 434-450 miles on interal tank, depending on F/LF/HF variant, though it could be increased by ca 50% with droptanks. This range is for maximal economy cruise, at 220mph though, rather unwise to lag like that over enemy territory!

Plus, the MkIX did not really replace the MkVs until 1944. In 1st July, 1943, there were only 10 (read, ten) Squadrons (each with an established strenght of 12 planes + 8 reserve) Squadrons equipped with MkIXs, and 37 with MkVs.

In other words, even in mid-1943, MkVs outnumbers MkIXs by 4:1.

horseback
07-12-2005, 10:25 AM
quote:
People have to get a clear understanding that the 8th Air Force took 2 years to reach the numbers and experience level it needed to do its job. It didn't arrive (via Boeing 747s) in England in mid-1942 with thousands of Mustangs, B-17s, tons of bombs, ammo and trained pilots ready to leap upon the pitiful untrained German teenagers.
quote:

Im sorry, where did I say they did?

I'm sorry, Hastatus, do you think you're the only person I was addressing my post to? Every time the accomplishments of the USAAF are brought up, some moron starts yapping about how the Germans only lost because of the sheer numbers of Allied aircraft and trained pilots.

It cannot be reppeated enough that it took time to build the advantage enjoyed by the Allies in the summer or 1944, and it was as much a process of subtracting German advantages as of adding British and American ones.

Spitfire slipper tanks were 'available' but they weren't cheap, they were not easy to install or fly with, and they were desperately needed in the Mediterranean. There was also the matter of dropping free aluminum (it's a lot like aluminium) into German held territory.

Droptanks were not widely used by the RAF in Great Britain to escort American heavies after the American fighter groups were fully operational. A quick perusal of the 4th FG's operations with Spitfire Mk Vs (September '42-March '43) before they moved to P-47s shows little use of droptanks, even when escorting Fortresses, and they were generally under British control and supply during that period.

As for US combat leaders coming to the 8th AF from the Med in 1943, NO they weren't. Read the Zemke autobiography, or the dozens of books about the Wolfpack; except for Gabreski, all his formation leaders were 'home-grown'.

The 4th FG had a steady influx of elderly colonels to act as figurehead COs (and attempt to 'Americanize' the former Eagles) until Blakeslee's record (something about three WAAFs in his room after curfew)could be rehabilitated, coupled with a constant outflow of experienced flight leaders to other groups in England and the Med. There were no US trained or combat experienced flight or squadron commanders in the 4th FG until well after they converted to Mustangs in March '44.

The 78th FG lost a series of Group and squadron commanders, and these were replaced either internally or from the ranks of available career Army Air Force officers, but there were few 'imports' (if any) from other theaters, because they were needed where they were in 1943.

In mid '44, yes, there was some cross-pollination from the Pacific, and Doolittle may have brought some people with him to the 8th from the 15th AF, but the three original 8th AF fighter groups were definitely net exporters of talent, not importers, especially during the critical period of Spring & Summer, 1943..

Finally, I do not say that the Germans could have stopped the 8th AF's expansion; I said that the commanders of the units on the Channel coast of France could & should have done a much better job of hampering it. My whole thesis is specific to the two Kanal Geschwadern, and the concept of defense in depth; I am aware that great things were happening in other theaters, but those two units were constants during the key period of March through October 1943, and they failed to take the initiative when it should have been most apparent to them. It was certainly apparent to USAAF leaders, and what they expected and planned for, because that was what they feared most.

Most of the American aces who distinguished themselves in the annihilation of the cream of the jagdewaffe in the Spring of 1944 had been seasoned and tempered in the Summer and Fall of 1943, under the leadership of two key personalities, Blakeslee and Zemke. Had their successes been 'moderated' by a long string of heavy casualties because the Kanalgeschwadern had 'picked on them', a great deal of the morale and initiative these groups displayed in the winter-spring of 1944 would never have evolved. Had those casualties included one or both of these key men, it would have been a major setback.

At the very least, another key man would have had to appear, probably with another group arriving in-theater later, quite conceivably setting back the eventual success of the 8th AF's domination of the skies over Germany, which might, in turn, have delayed the invasion of France.

The 78th FG lost more than one CO, and their performance suffered accordingly. While the loss of key leaders does not automatically guarentee that a unit will stumble, it does make it a probability.

It is clear to me that some leaders are much harder to replace than others, and these Zemke and Blakeslee were unique leaders and tacticians who not only fought and led well, they taught others to fight and lead well, very much in the tradition of England's Bader and Germany's Molders. They were responsible for or sponsered most of the innovations that led to the early success of 8th Fighter Command.

I don't for a minute believe that all innovation would have halted in their absence, but I do believe that things would have taken a different, and probably less fruitful, course.

cheers

horseback

Gibbage1
07-12-2005, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:

In other words, even in mid-1943, MkVs outnumbers MkIXs by 4:1.

And this has WHAT to do with the P-38? Lets get back on subject Mkay?

AerialTarget
07-12-2005, 02:53 PM
I like it better when he's not talking about the P-38, because when he is, his entrails reverse.

Hastatus
07-12-2005, 05:54 PM
I do agree with you horeseback that the USAAF fought some very tough battles in the early part of 1943-44. I would not presume to refute that. The LW had large fighter forces in the France and Reich JGs, and the USAAF was in its infancy, expanding with less experienced pilots and leaders.

I also think that some of the key personalities you discuss were important figues, like Zemke. Where we differ is the "hypothetical" that you describe. I just dont think any one or two men were THAT imporatant to the degree you make them out to be. Had Zemke not done the job he had to...somebody else would have. Maybe not as well, we will never know. I dont make lite of the problems that USAAF FG leaders faced trying to get their units up and running in the middle of a shooting war. It could not have been easy.

In respect to the RAF (because you have mentioned a few things that struck me as odd), the RAF Fighter Command possessed no fewer than 20 Squadrons of Spit IXs by June 1943 when the 4th, 78th and 56th P-47 grps were getting into operations over France. Thats enough to fill 5 USAAF sized FGs. Slipper tanks on escort and sweep missions were standard with both the MkVs and MkIXs. I state that because the notion that the RAF only possessed MkVs with no range to do anything save defensive ops over Britain is just not correct. The unit histories speak for themselves.

Btw the tanks were fabric, not aluminum. They did go to a 50 gallon aluminum tank however. They also had 45, 90, and 108 gallon tanks developed for their fighters. I have never read anything about "dropping aluminim" on Occupied Europe as an issue. In any case the RAF was just as big of a user of drop tanks as the LW and USAAF was.

Regards.

horseback
07-12-2005, 09:59 PM
I just dug out all the Spitfire references I have in my home, which comes to 10 books of various sizes and pedigrees dedicated specifically to the Spitfire, plus three or four more general aircraft books with extensive material about the Spit and its use in WWII. I left the RAF pilots' memoirs in the bookshelf, but I doubt that there is more than a couple of references to droptanks in the 8 or 10 that I have...

None of them make reference to the slipper tanks' construction material, and for every picture of a Mk V with a 30 gal. tank, there are 20 showing operations without. All the larger tanks are shown on aircraft intended for Malta. Dr. Price specifically states that the 30 and 45 gal. tanks followed after the 90 gallon tanks were successfully used for Malta in late '41. No pictures at all of anything earlier than a mid-44 shot of a MK IX equipped with a cylindrical 50 gal. tank.

My comment about the aluminum was a paraphrase of one US source who mentioned that the 'teardrop' tanks sometimes seen on US fighters were of aluminum, and were scavenged by the Germans when possible.

I could be wrong, but after literally devouring everything I could find on the subject for over 40 years, I have always had the strong impression that the use of the slipper tanks was relatively rare on 11 Group Spits. Every reference I have to them comments on how adversely they affected the Spit's handling and performance, and I would have expected to see some complaining about them in some, if not most, of the pilot memoirs, especially the Eagle Squadron veterans (Yanks love to b!tch).

As for the Zemke and Blakeslee issue, I may have overstated my case, although they were undoubtedly key players. The continuity of leadership in those two units, along with manageable casualty rates, may have been the key to establishing the 56th and 4th FGs as first rate fighter units, and I doubt that they would have done any better than the 78th (best paint schemes in the ETO, but an average FG) without those two strong personalities being there long enough to put their stamps on them.

Finally, not all of those Mk IXs were assigned to 11 Group in southern England; I see references to three or four squadrons in North Africa and the Med, and the 31st FG was flying a mix of Mk Vc and Mk IX Spits in May of '43 out of North Africa. I would expect that squadrons in the northern parts of the British Isles would also be flying some Mk IXs to defend against possible bombing raids out of Norway.

The Mk V was still quite numerous through most of 1943, and had hardly been phased out before the Americans commenced combat operations on a regular basis. At least 18 squadrons were operating it in combat missions as late as September of that year.

In any case, the Mk IX couldn't be everywhere at once, and the RAF had their own priorities, besides shepherding B-17s once the Yanks got their own fighters.

cheers

horseback

Hastatus
07-13-2005, 01:59 AM
The IX got priority for ops over the Continent, in any case, I am simply illustrating that they had a formidable force that was capable of doing more than just flying MkVs over Pas De Calais and coming right back.

Yes its true the SpitV was not really phased out completely untill the end of 1943 in front line units (ETO), but no air force converted to its best types overnight (despite many posters fantasies). The RAF being no different.

As for drop tanks, they all had an adverse effect on a/c. The Spit was no different. Once combat was joined, they were jetted. I do not have sources about exactly how many were made, or what the exact breakdown was on what date, and that info is probably next to impossible to find. There are any # of references that indicate they were used, and the sizes in gallons. Did it make the Spit a long range escort fighter? Im not saying that at all, just pointing out that the 1942-43 RAF was not the 1941 RAF.

Osprey Aircraft #16 Spitfire Mk V Aces (Alfred Price) page 15:

"slipper tanks were produced in 30 and 45 gallon sizes for use during combat ops, and these were used in all theaters where the MkV went into action".

They are not easy to spot because they are not a "US" style tank that hangs below the center fuselage like a bomb. They are a conformal design that hugs the fuselage very closely.

Like this : http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/Fea1/501-600/Fea5...tfire_Knowles/03.jpg (http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/Fea1/501-600/Fea550_Spitfire_Knowles/03.jpg)

Profile pics hide it almost completely. Thats a MK VIII but the tank design is the same, its the grey "thing" right between the landing gear struts.

In any case I will leave it there. Its been a decent debate <S>. Till next time.