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Rammjaeger
08-05-2008, 02:20 PM
I was shifting through archived articles about the Chinese air force when I found this:

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x148/Rammjaeger1983/ww2aces.jpg

(Jacqueline A. Newmyer: China's air-power puzzle. Policy Review, June/July 2003.)

I'm kind skeptical though. Does this apply to ALL air forces in WW2?

Rammjaeger
08-05-2008, 02:20 PM
I was shifting through archived articles about the Chinese air force when I found this:

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x148/Rammjaeger1983/ww2aces.jpg

(Jacqueline A. Newmyer: China's air-power puzzle. Policy Review, June/July 2003.)

I'm kind skeptical though. Does this apply to ALL air forces in WW2?

montecristo1981
08-05-2008, 02:22 PM
Good find

BWaltteri
08-06-2008, 01:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Rammjaeger:

I'm kind skeptical though. Does this apply to ALL air forces in WW2? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Averagely, yes. But it includes the non-fighter pilots as well.

LEXX_Luthor
08-06-2008, 01:47 AM
I first read about this in the book Fire In The Sky: The Air War In The South Pacific, by Eric M Bergerud, a massiva paperback available at amazon, or bookstores can get it for you, at least in Ussia.

The most kills were made by pilots getting maybe 4 kills, so its not just "aces." Once a pilot got their first kill, the rest became increasingly frequent, other variables assumed constant of course. Even so, the no kill pilots were just as essential to all war efforts. Their was an interesting P-38 pilot interview or account I read once. He flew most of the Pacific war in the southwest Pacific, near the Celebes and Borneo. Never got a kill. But still a fascinating read.

Blutarski2004
08-06-2008, 05:41 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by LEXX_Luthor:
I first read about this in the book Fire In The Sky: The Air War In The South Pacific, by Eric M Bergerud, a massiva paperback available at amazon, or bookstores can get it for you, at least in Ussia.

The most kills were made by pilots getting maybe 4 kills, so its not just "aces." Once a pilot got their first kill, the rest became increasingly frequent, other variables assumed constant of course. Even so, the no kill pilots were just as essential to all war efforts. Their was an interesting P-38 pilot interview or account I read once. He flew most of the Pacific war in the southwest Pacific, near the Celebes and Borneo. Never got a kill. But still a fascinating read. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... In their book, "Fighters over the Desert", Ring and Shores quote British reports that the standard German tactic in North Africa was for the aces to do the shooting and for the other pilots to concentrate on protecting them while they went about their business.

JtD
08-06-2008, 10:24 AM
Mars eille is said to have been responsible for two thirds of all Allied planes shot down by fighters in North Africa at the time he was at his peak.

Edit: ****ing censoring. You can't even write M****ille without it interfering. **** it.

b2spirita
08-07-2008, 03:41 PM
seriously? two thirds?

Xiolablu3
08-07-2008, 04:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by LEXX_Luthor:
I first read about this in the book Fire In The Sky: The Air War In The South Pacific, by Eric M Bergerud, a massiva paperback available at amazon, or bookstores can get it for you, at least in Ussia.

The most kills were made by pilots getting maybe 4 kills, so its not just "aces." Once a pilot got their first kill, the rest became increasingly frequent, other variables assumed constant of course. Even so, the no kill pilots were just as essential to all war efforts. Their was an interesting P-38 pilot interview or account I read once. He flew most of the Pacific war in the southwest Pacific, near the Celebes and Borneo. Never got a kill. But still a fascinating read. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... In their book, "Fighters over the Desert", Ring and Shores quote British reports that the standard German tactic in North Africa was for the aces to do the shooting and for the other pilots to concentrate on protecting them while they went about their business. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have also read/heard this numerous times.

According to some historians/veterans, the main aim in the Luftwaffe squadrons was to get their highest scorer into position to increase his score, and also to protect him.

BRASSTURTLE
08-07-2008, 04:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">According to some historians/veterans, the main aim in the Luftwaffe squadrons was to get their highest scorer into position to increase his score, and also to protect him. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

So, that is where the NBA came from.
I had no idea.

ElAurens
08-07-2008, 04:55 PM
Another interesting stat from Fire In The Sky...

50% of all IJAAF pilots with over 350 hours stick time were shot down by the US Army and RAAF over New Guinea, mostly using P40s.

JSG72
08-07-2008, 05:30 PM
There are NOOooo ! Statistics that are interesting !!!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

I don't, even need to read the thread.

Buzzsaw-
08-07-2008, 11:04 PM
Salute

The RAF followed a tactic not quite as focused on the Ace as the Luftwaffe, but certainly, the Squadron Leader, and Flight Leaders, each one leading a flight of four, would lead a bounce or an attack, and would therefore get the first shot.

The USAAF followed a slightly more democratic model. Their focus was on the element of two pilots, Leader and Wingman, with the Leader getting the first shot. But all the elements were expected to act on their own initiative, and attack when the opportunity presented itself, notifying their Flight leaders. American fighter pilots were taught to be very aggressive, to attack immediately. Both the Germans and British commented on the USAAF aggressiveness, the British somewhat ruefully, as they suffered quite a few losses as a result of being misidentified by trigger happy USAAF pilots... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

M_Gunz
08-08-2008, 12:41 AM
There were P-38 pilots known to attack any fighter not a P-38 but that's maybe exaggerating.

berg417448
08-08-2008, 07:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
American fighter pilots were taught to be very aggressive, to attack immediately. Both the Germans and British commented on the USAAF aggressiveness, the British somewhat ruefully, as they suffered quite a few losses as a result of being misidentified by trigger happy USAAF pilots... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Do a little research and you'll find that the RAF was as good as anyone at shooting down friendlies.

JtD
08-08-2008, 08:27 AM
WRT M****ille, & all afaik: The Germans claimed 1300 victories in the North Africa campaign. M****ille claimed 150 in North Africa. So over a period of one and a half years, he got about 12% of the total claims. But he wasn't there all the time.

He made 50 claims from mid May to mid June and another 50 from late August to late September 1942. Could be he made the two thirds I've read somewhere in these two months.

Rammjaeger
11-24-2008, 09:51 AM
A similar statistic I've found in the book "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society" by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman:

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x148/Rammjaeger1983/ww2aerialkills.jpg

(page 30)

Enforcer572005
11-24-2008, 10:05 AM
I don't think the air crews were THAT hesitant about engaging or "trying" to engage enemy planes. Most of the accounts I've studied are from the point of view that they are trying to destroy the AC, not kill the pilot, as the primary objective. If the guy gets out, fine, but if they don't , they rarely actually see them (sometimes they do in some pretty gruesome incidents though). So I don't think concern over the enemy air crew was as big a factor as the above article indicates.

FEAR and self preservation however, were large factors, as they always are in combat.

I totally disagree with the above article's position that compassion and a resulting hesitation played that large a role in combat effectiveness.

The biggest factor involved in the small percentage of pilots getting most of the kills has to do with the right combination of flying and shooting skills mixed with an aggressive mindset.Only a small number of guys have that on the level needed to rack up these large scores.

Also keep in mind that axis pilots were in it until they were killed, unlike most of the allied pilots. That's part of the reason for the big kill tallies, plus they had considerably lower standards for confirmation of said kills. That's why some allied pilots were credited with fewer than their actual number while at least some of the Luftwaffe tallies are probably a bit inflated to some extent.....SOME extent.

Most said kill tallies are still probably pretty close to accurate, but there will always be arguments over how accurate they are.

Like any other activity, there are just some people that are much much better at it than most others.

K_Freddie
11-24-2008, 12:09 PM
I must be a 'cold fish' then, cos I have no compulsion about squeezing the trigger. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

Just blow them away before they blow you away. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Choctaw111
11-24-2008, 12:43 PM
This is a very interesting statistic, and when you really think about it, is not very hard to believe, is it. Perhaps there is a way (a very tedious way at that) to find out if this is close to being true.

squareusr
11-24-2008, 01:04 PM
It's easy to imagine someone who got is experience in WW1 trenches overestimating the reluctance to kill and mistaking the symptoms of the complexity of air warfare (dramatical scaling of kills with skill and experience) with said reluctance:

In WW1 trenches, people were routinely confronted with perfectly futile and suicidal assault attempts from both sides, learning, over time, to see the poor guys who were selected for those attempts not as victims of the enemy, but as victims of their orders. First, they would learn to see their own guys in this light, but applying that way of thought to the other side as well would only be a matter of time, also because the assaulting troops were so outgunned by stationary machine gun positions that they were not enough of a threat to shoot out of fear.

Effects like this would certainly appear in all other war situations as well, but at no point or time have they been stronger than in WW1 trench warfare. Air combat, on the otherhand, lies quite at the opposite of the spectrum. Chances of nonlethal success are not too bad, you don't see the face of the enemy, don't hear his voice and start in a pretty symmetric position with no predetermined victims (even while you are diving down on the enemy, someone else might dive down on you).

Add to that the huge sense of achievement an aerial kill creates out of the incredible complexity of air combat, and you could well imagine someone who, if born early enough for WW1, would have got himself court-marialled for refusing to kill, become one of the more kill-hungry WW2 pilots.

Kurfurst__
11-24-2008, 03:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:

..... In their book, "Fighters over the Desert", Ring and Shores quote British reports that the standard German tactic in North Africa was for the aces to do the shooting and for the other pilots to concentrate on protecting them while they went about their business. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't quite see the difference compared to the tactics of other air forces once they developed/taken over the Finger Four/Schwarm formation.
Leader makes the attack, while the Wingman covers him. And it is so ever since.

Of course its very different than the early-war 3-plane Vic formations where all three planes were supposed to attack at the same time (at least in theory), but this formation/tactic was primarily meant against the super-duper fast monoplane bombers of the 1930s, and of course, was abandoned fairly quickly once they found out it was simply not working well.

If the British still made use of the 3 plane formations over the Desert, at least early on, it would natural that British reports would take note of the different approach of the Luftwaffe. I believe Fighter Command back in England was using the Schwarm from 1941 onwards (at the official level), but I am not sure if it was used in Africa as well.

K_Freddie
11-24-2008, 03:46 PM
I've read that some at the squadron level converted to Swarm formation, but I don't think it was official.
The reason being that 'it was not British' and copying the enemy...well was admitting that you were wrong, whereas those in the front line couldn't give a dam about the official view.

Also the probability of being downed by your own AAA.. Swarm = enemy
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

WTE_Galway
11-24-2008, 04:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
Salute

The RAF followed a tactic not quite as focused on the Ace as the Luftwaffe, but certainly, the Squadron Leader, and Flight Leaders, each one leading a flight of four, would lead a bounce or an attack, and would therefore get the first shot.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The RAF and other Commonwealth Air Forces also tended to remove high scorers from combat eventually often moving them up to a deskjob or putting them in charge of a training squadron.

Its not unusual for Commonwealth Aces (Clive Caldwell with 28 kills for the RAAF for example) to achieve scores high scores in the first year or so of the war and virtually nothing in kills for the rest of the war.

Of course from the point of view of the war effort it makes great sense having these men training new recruits rather than flying combat missions.