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View Full Version : Propaganda vs 'Real War' - North Africa where was the Luftwaffe?



Xiolablu3
01-17-2009, 06:02 AM
I found this interesting quote by Stephen Bungay (Historian with a very good reputation) regarding the poor air support ROmmel had in North Africa, even thou the air support had with them 'The best pilot in the Luftwaffe' Han Joachim Marseille.


'The Luftwaffe was there all right, but it was pursuing an agenda
of its own. Since the first wing of JG27 had arrived in North Africa in
April 1941, it had become apparent that they had in their ranks a real
superstar, the twenty-one year old Hans-Joachim Marseille, who was
indeed to become known as 'the Star of Africa'. He had first flown in
action in the Battle of Britain in mid-August 1940. He was shot up
several times, making a forced-landing after two weeks, and baling out
into the Channel two weeks after that. He was posted to another unit,
JG52, but his commander, the future head of the post-war Luftwaffe,
Johannes Steinhoff, found him to be unmanageable and transferred him to
I./JG27 to get rid of him. He arrived in the desert having filed seven
claims. Marseille spent hours alone practising. He had a wonderful feel
for an aircraft and an amazing eye for judging speed and distance, the
rarest of all gifts. He honed those skills until he was the best shot in
the Luftwaffe. He perfected the technique of diving on a circle of P-40s
or Hurricanes, knocking one down with a few shells, zooming up and then
doing it again. On 6 June 1942, he shot down six P-40s of 5 Squadron
SAAF in twelve minutes in this way, taking his score to 81. On 18 June,
he passed 100 and was whisked off to Berlin to pick up a Knight's Cross
with Swords and Oak Leaves and do some photo-shoots. However, his
greatest day was 1 September. He
claimed 17 British fighters. Fifteen of them correspond to actual
British losses. No other pilot had ever shot down so many of the enemy
on a single day. His armourer calculated that he had expended the
astonishingly low average of 15 shells on each victim.

Marseille made a wonderful warrior-hero, and was the most famous
German serviceman in Africa after Rommel, a real Aryan superman.
However, warrior-heroes do not win modern wars. Shooting down British
fighters did not stop the bombers. Instead of attacking them, which
would in any case have been rather a dangerous thing to do, most of the
pilots of JG27 milled about watching in awe as Marseille exhibited his
graceful if gory skills, and making sure that nobody interfered.
Protecting their superstars was a full-time job. Marseille's own wingman
flew 100 sorties before making his first claim. On 1 September, German
pilots only made 26 claims in all. The British actually lost 20
fighters. Therefore, assuming, as seems most likely, that Marseille got
15 of the 17 he claimed, all the rest of the 100 or so German fighter
pilots between them only got five. The British lost no bombers at all.

The Luftwaffe's emphasis on creating superstars had created a very
strange culture in the fighter units. The commander of jG27, Eduard
Neumann, commented after the war that 'most of the pilots in Marseille's
Staffel acted in a secondary role as escort to the "master"'. It was
hard, he added, for newcomers to gain successes. Given the nature of air
fighting, it was difficult for any new pilot in any air force, but some
of the old hands in JG27 appear to have actively discouraged them from
doing so. Another pilot of I./JG27 has observed that some squadron
leaders had the attitude, 'There is only one man who has the right to
shoot down enemy aircraft =3F me!' Internal rivalry over star status took
precedence over military effectiveness. The events in the air on 1
September are an extreme illustration of the impact these prima donnas
had on the furtherance of the Axis cause.'

I thought this shows extremley well how who has the most 'kills' doesnt matter one bit in war, only which Air Force succeeds in their mission/objectives.

Xiolablu3
01-17-2009, 06:02 AM
I found this interesting quote by Stephen Bungay (Historian with a very good reputation) regarding the poor air support ROmmel had in North Africa, even thou the air support had with them 'The best pilot in the Luftwaffe' Han Joachim Marseille.


'The Luftwaffe was there all right, but it was pursuing an agenda
of its own. Since the first wing of JG27 had arrived in North Africa in
April 1941, it had become apparent that they had in their ranks a real
superstar, the twenty-one year old Hans-Joachim Marseille, who was
indeed to become known as 'the Star of Africa'. He had first flown in
action in the Battle of Britain in mid-August 1940. He was shot up
several times, making a forced-landing after two weeks, and baling out
into the Channel two weeks after that. He was posted to another unit,
JG52, but his commander, the future head of the post-war Luftwaffe,
Johannes Steinhoff, found him to be unmanageable and transferred him to
I./JG27 to get rid of him. He arrived in the desert having filed seven
claims. Marseille spent hours alone practising. He had a wonderful feel
for an aircraft and an amazing eye for judging speed and distance, the
rarest of all gifts. He honed those skills until he was the best shot in
the Luftwaffe. He perfected the technique of diving on a circle of P-40s
or Hurricanes, knocking one down with a few shells, zooming up and then
doing it again. On 6 June 1942, he shot down six P-40s of 5 Squadron
SAAF in twelve minutes in this way, taking his score to 81. On 18 June,
he passed 100 and was whisked off to Berlin to pick up a Knight's Cross
with Swords and Oak Leaves and do some photo-shoots. However, his
greatest day was 1 September. He
claimed 17 British fighters. Fifteen of them correspond to actual
British losses. No other pilot had ever shot down so many of the enemy
on a single day. His armourer calculated that he had expended the
astonishingly low average of 15 shells on each victim.

Marseille made a wonderful warrior-hero, and was the most famous
German serviceman in Africa after Rommel, a real Aryan superman.
However, warrior-heroes do not win modern wars. Shooting down British
fighters did not stop the bombers. Instead of attacking them, which
would in any case have been rather a dangerous thing to do, most of the
pilots of JG27 milled about watching in awe as Marseille exhibited his
graceful if gory skills, and making sure that nobody interfered.
Protecting their superstars was a full-time job. Marseille's own wingman
flew 100 sorties before making his first claim. On 1 September, German
pilots only made 26 claims in all. The British actually lost 20
fighters. Therefore, assuming, as seems most likely, that Marseille got
15 of the 17 he claimed, all the rest of the 100 or so German fighter
pilots between them only got five. The British lost no bombers at all.

The Luftwaffe's emphasis on creating superstars had created a very
strange culture in the fighter units. The commander of jG27, Eduard
Neumann, commented after the war that 'most of the pilots in Marseille's
Staffel acted in a secondary role as escort to the "master"'. It was
hard, he added, for newcomers to gain successes. Given the nature of air
fighting, it was difficult for any new pilot in any air force, but some
of the old hands in JG27 appear to have actively discouraged them from
doing so. Another pilot of I./JG27 has observed that some squadron
leaders had the attitude, 'There is only one man who has the right to
shoot down enemy aircraft =3F me!' Internal rivalry over star status took
precedence over military effectiveness. The events in the air on 1
September are an extreme illustration of the impact these prima donnas
had on the furtherance of the Axis cause.'

I thought this shows extremley well how who has the most 'kills' doesnt matter one bit in war, only which Air Force succeeds in their mission/objectives.

FlatSpinMan
01-17-2009, 06:18 AM
Interesting to read, thanks.
I can imagine how this could be the case.

I think JG52at least, seemed to differ a bit from this though. they had zillions of experten but there seemed to be a healthier, more realistic attitude. This is just from one account I have read (Norbert Hanning: Luftwaffe Fighter Ace).

K_Freddie
01-17-2009, 06:20 AM
AFAIK, the WW2 German military 'promoted' independent thinking, which is very effective in the confusion of battle, but in achieving the overall battle objective, it resulted in more confusion, and failure.

This idea seemed to stem from Hitler, who in the early pre-war years, encouraged this way of thought, and made the 'achievers' look like 'Hollywood Hero's.'

And we all want to be in the limelight... don't we. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Bremspropeller
01-17-2009, 06:21 AM
It's quite stupid to break the entire Luftwaffe-activity down to what happens in one single squadron.

Attacking bombers in a 109F is not exactly the way to get old.

There NEVER were enough LW fighters/ fighter-bombers around in Africa in order to get the job done.
It's like having a blanket that's too short; nobody wants to sleep in the cold. So the blanket gets pulled all over the place, not effectively warming anyone.

M_Gunz
01-17-2009, 07:20 AM
The whole German effort in Africa was 'a short blanket'. The Italians were supposed to be the major Axis force there.
The British effort was far larger and then the Americans turned it into a two front conflict, that was all she wrote.

horseback
01-17-2009, 11:39 AM
I think that JG 27 and the Marseille phenomenon were a rather extreme case, but it does appear that many JGs had a similar 'star' mentality.

I've read multiple Soviet fighter memoirs (the "I Remember' site is a good source) that all made the same point: if you trailed a few apparent easy kills in front of the German fighters, they'd hare off after those and leave the bombers or Sturmoviks free to bomb and strafe at will. Even assuming that this is exaggerated to some degree, it does appear to have been a problem in the LW in general, at least in N. Africa and the East, where the technical inferiority of the opposition made it easier to run up big numbers.

Maybe this had something to do with the Germans' belief that the Western Allies could be talked out of war with Germany and into joining in the destruction of the Soviet menace. Many of them seem to have held onto this right up to VE Day.

Certainly, the Germans were pretty conscientious about attacking the bombers over their own country, but by that time, the LW at least may have developed a more realistic perspective on the war by mid-1944.

cheers

horseback

Kurfurst__
01-17-2009, 01:35 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
Certainly, the Germans were pretty conscientious about attacking the bombers over their own country, but by that time, the LW at least may have developed a more realistic perspective on the war by mid-1944. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Or, quite simply, the concentration of air forces and radar coverage was much higher over Western Front than on the Eastern front. This seems to me a much more likely cause why so many German and Russian bomber and ground attack missions went unmolested. Stukas and Sturmoviks never ventured too far behind the frontlines, and I suppose most of the time when fighters were scrambled against attack aircraft that were reported pounding the own positions, by the time they took off and got there, the attackers disappeared over the vast spaces of the steppe..

JtD
01-17-2009, 03:32 PM
Claims from JG54 on April 2nd, 1944:

Il-2: 11
Pe-2: 5
La-5: 5
Yak-9: 7
LaGG-3: 2
16 bombers, 14 fighters

Claims from JG27 on May 23rd, 1942:
P-40: 11
A-20: 4 (2 claimed by Marseille)
4 bombers, 11 fighters

Xiolablu3
01-17-2009, 03:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
Maybe this had something to do with the Germans' belief that the Western Allies could be talked out of war with Germany and into joining in the destruction of the Soviet menace. Many of them seem to have held onto this right up to VE Day.



cheers

horseback </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is an excellent point, I have read stories that in 1945 the word being passed around the Whermacht was that the British and US forces were about to join up iwht the Germans and turn East against the 'Red Menace'.


WHo knows perhaps this would have meant that the COld war would never have happened?

Hitler could have been ousted from power, the Germans shown the 'wrongs' of their regime' (slave labour, concentration camps etc) and the Western Allies grouped up to purge Russia of that Stalin?

It sure would have worked out better for the Poles and Czechs who got a rough deal at the end of WW2 and still harbour some bad feelings as a result of it. Even though USA and UK were really powerless to act, they could hardly suddenly turn on their old Ally and start a new war. The UK was Bankrupt, France and Germany were broke and impotent, the US didnt want another war, and it was up to the Czechs and Poles to stear their own destiny, not for the Western Allies to 'babysit' them.

ANyway, I am getting far off topic, but its an interesting thought nonetheless.

Its my thread so I am alloweed to go OT http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. WHat do you guys think would have been the result if UK+US+Germany HAD teamed up in early 1945 and turned on Stalin?

WOuld we have had a peaceful, democratic latter half of the 20th century? I guess even if Stalin was ousted from power, the Russian people would have democratically elected a new Communist Govermnent into power anyway...

JtD
01-17-2009, 03:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:

Its my thread so I am alloweed to go OT http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. WHat do you guys think would have been the result if UK+US+Germany HAD teamed up in early 1945 and turned on Stalin? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://www.tu.no/multimedia/archive/00027/Atombombe_sprenging0_27557d.jpg

TS_Sancho
01-17-2009, 04:22 PM
After the surrender of May 8, 1945 eliminated the threat of Nazi Germany, Patton was quick to assert the Soviet Union would cease to be an ally of the United States. He was concerned that some 25,000 American POWs had been liberated from POW camps by the Soviets, but were never returned to the US. In fact, he urged his superiors to evict the Soviets from central and eastern Europe. Patton thought that the Red Army was weak, under-supplied, and vulnerable, and the United States should act on these weaknesses before the Soviets could consolidate their position. In this regard, he told then-Undersecretary of War Robert P. Patterson that the "point system" being used to demobilize Third Army troops was destroying it and creating a vacuum that the Soviets would exploit. "Mr. Secretary, for God’s sake, when you go home, stop this point system; stop breaking up these armies," pleaded the general. "Let’s keep our boots polished, bayonets sharpened, and present a picture of force and strength to these people, the Soviets. This is the only language they understand." Asked by Patterson — who would become Secretary of War a few months later — what he would do, Patton replied: "I would have you tell the Red Army where their border is, and give them a limited time to get back across. Warn them that if they fail to do so, we will push them back across it."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_S._Patton

Xiolablu3
01-17-2009, 04:40 PM
CHurchill also had a very bad opinion of the SOviets around the same time I believe...

However it was not the time to start another war, I think all countries knew that. It was actually impossible for the UK, France, Germany etc who were all bankrupt.

It would have had to have been US led.

wheelsup_cavu
01-17-2009, 06:37 PM
Another thing that is not being mentioned about the demobilization of the troops in Europe is that they were thought to be needed in the Pacific.
We wanted the Soviets help in this regard and any provocative actions against the Soviets in Europe would have precluded this support.
The final defeat of Japan came suddenly and with the Soviets support, which may or may not have been necessary, but it would not have existed if we had started to fight them in Europe.

Another thing is that the Soviet army was not the toothless Bear that existed in 1940 when Hitler invaded.
Something we learned in Korea a scant 5 years after the war when the North Koreans had been supplied with Soviet equipment.

Wheelsup

TS_Sancho
01-17-2009, 07:16 PM
The atomic bombing of Japan was intended equally as a demonstration for the Soviets as there were fears of Stalins ambitions going beyond what had been agreed amongst the allies at Yalta.Conceding Manuchuria and Sakhalin to the Soviets was a mistake. Japan was thouroughly beaten without Soviet intervention.In hindsight giving Stalin the green light in the east enabled Mao to seize power in China and led to the whole Korean debacle.

Feathered_IV
01-17-2009, 07:28 PM
Ten pages - easy. Just try to remember what the original topic was this time guys, mkay?

hop2002
01-17-2009, 09:45 PM
Looking at Tony Wood's list, JG 27 claimed in 1942:

P-40 = 519
Spitfire = 109
Hurricane = 181
Other fighters = 54 (mainly P-46???)
Total single engine fighters = 863

Beaufighter = 9
Boston = 14
Blenheim = 5
Other bombers = 17
Total bombers = 45

They also claimed 1 NAA 64 (Harvard)

That's 19 single engined fighters claimed for every bomber, even when "bombers" include things like Beaufighters.

TS_Sancho
01-18-2009, 01:50 AM
On the original post, a bogeyman is worth his name tenfold if believable. VMF214 in 1943-1944 is a great parallel. Greg Boyington was front and center every action by early 1944, there was a lot of pressure in the entire group to guarantee Boyington the kills needed to beat Eddie Rickenbacker.He pushed too far and paid the price.

http://www.acepilots.com/usmc_boyington.html

In a more modern context the mysterious Nguyen Tomb has the honor (IMHO) of being the best myth of them all.

http://www.nasicaa.org/col_tomb.pdf.

On that note with the help of a rather tasty cheap merlot a great may I add...
Grant a full pardon for Randall "Duke" Cunningham.he has paid his debt and is a Hero/Warrior in the truest sence

http://www.acepilots.com/vietnam/cunningham.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_Cunningham
Thanks for listening to my opinion....
and now for something completly different....
The original post!

Xiolablu3
01-18-2009, 02:05 AM
Found this interview with Johann Steinhoff regarding Marseolle :-


WWII: Some of the men you flew with became legends. For instance, in 1940 in France you commanded a young pilot named Hans-Joachim Marseille. What do you remember about him?

Steinhoff: Marseille was in my wing, 4/JG.52, just before the Battle of Britain and was there shortly after it started. I was his squadron leader, and I watched him. I knew he was a brilliant guy, very intelligent, very quick and aggressive, but he spent too much time looking for the girls, and his mind was not always on operations. He actually had to be taken off flight status on more than one occasion because he was so exhausted from his nights on the town, if you know what I mean.

WWII: So you would say he was a playboy?

Steinhoff: He was the perfect playboy, but a real fighter. But he was an individual, not a team player. He had seven victories when I fired him, not because he was not good, but because he was shot down four times while getting those victories. He had no concept of Rottenflieger [i.e., a wingman's responsibility], and many men did not want to fly with him as their wingman, which is very bad for morale. I thought the best thing for him was to transfer him away from the women, and he became a legend in North Africa, of course, winning the Diamonds [to the Knight's Cross] and scoring 158 victories. He was a true character and was the epitome of the First World War fighter pilot, but we were not fighting the First World War.

http://www.tarrif.net/wwii/int...hannes_steinhoff.htm (http://www.tarrif.net/wwii/interviews/johannes_steinhoff.htm)

Phil_K
01-18-2009, 09:06 AM
I've just finished reading "Air Battle For Malta", and one of the RAF squadron commanders, David Douglas-Hamilton, was absolutely scathing about the performance of the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica. He could not believe that a combined Axis air force of over 600 planes was held back by a couple of dozen Hurricanes. His opinion was "if the situation was reversed, and we had the advantage, Malta wouldn't have lasted a week".

It's clear that he thought the Luftwaffe fighter pilots were little more than opportunists. I don't know if this kind of opinion is totally fair, but as with some of the other posters, I've seen the same sentiments expressed by Soviet pilots, so it's not as though they are unique.

horseback
01-18-2009, 10:46 AM
I think the mentality is pretty well described by what the various Air Forces called their respective single seat high performance combatants: the Brits and Commonwealth referred to fighters, the the French and Americans initially called them 'pursuit (chasse)', and the Germans had Jaeger, or hunters.

These names indicate different philosophies. A fighter is a weapon, to be employed wherever and however it is most effective against the enemy.

A hunter, however, is about a slightly different business, and I suspect that for a good part of the war, many geschwaders were of what we sometimes refer to as a 'union mentality'. The phrase "That's not my job, man" certainly comes to mind...

cheers

horseback

Boandlgramer
01-18-2009, 12:15 PM
As a native german speaker ( ok, I am a bavarian , but hey http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif)
no other word comes in my mind , except "Jäger" for a fighter plane .

or take that:
Gebirgskämpfer http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Fallschirmkämpfer http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

For people who never give up, yeah, that´s a Kämpfer. But for a weapon or a unit, it sounds really bad.

Kurfurst__
01-18-2009, 12:40 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
I think the mentality is pretty well described by what the various Air Forces called their respective single seat high performance combatants: the Brits and Commonwealth referred to fighters, the the French and Americans initially called them 'pursuit (chasse)', and the Germans had Jaeger, or hunters.

These names indicate different philosophies. A fighter is a weapon, to be employed wherever and however it is most effective against the enemy.

A hunter, however, is about a slightly different business, and I suspect that for a good part of the war, many geschwaders were of what we sometimes refer to as a 'union mentality'. The phrase "That's not my job, man" certainly comes to mind...

cheers

horseback </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Jäger most likely derives from the same term used for skirmisher/sharphooter light infantry in Prussian and Austrian armies of the 18th century (and I believe it is still used in the Bundeswehr for light recon infantry formations), usually equipped with rifles (often their very own ones used for hunting, and from the muzzle loading rifles of the American frontier were derived from) rather than the standard issue muskets of the time. That term 'hunter' itself simply originates from the fact that manpower for these units, that valued marksmanship, was drawn from game hunters. It came into use for fighter aircraft during WW1, but IIRC on the other side of the trench initially 'scout' was the term for similar aircraft...

WTE_Galway
01-18-2009, 04:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
CHurchill also had a very bad opinion of the SOviets around the same time I believe...

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

maybe so ... but at the three way Malta conference the clear winner with huge concessions his way was Stalin. Roosevelt and Churchill walked away with virtually nothing from the Soviets.

MB_Avro_UK
01-18-2009, 05:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
CHurchill also had a very bad opinion of the SOviets around the same time I believe...

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

maybe so ... but at the three way Malta conference the clear winner with huge concessions his way was Stalin. Roosevelt and Churchill walked away with virtually nothing from the Soviets. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I assume you meant Yalta rather than Malta. But I agree with you. Roosevelt trusted Stalin for some reason or other.

Churchill to his credit did not trust Stalin. And events were to prove him right.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

WTE_Galway
01-18-2009, 06:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:


I assume you meant Yalta rather than Malta. But I agree with you. Roosevelt trusted Stalin for some reason or other.

Churchill to his credit did not trust Stalin. And events were to prove him right.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah Yalta, my mistake.

By all accounts it wasn't so much Roosevelt trusted Stalin, more that he distrusted Churchill (he had some issue with "colonialism") and Stalin was able to exploit that lack of solidarity among the western allies.

JimmyBlonde
01-18-2009, 06:49 PM
A very interesting read guys,

I would like to add a few points of my own to this relating to the challenges faced by the Luftwaffe in North Africa.

-The Luftwaffe was forced to fight in a conservative manner due to the difficulty in procuring a reliable means of resupply.

-Much of the allied bombing effort was conducted at night which the Luftwaffe presence found difficult to counter in a meaningful way due to their lack of a large number of suitable night fighters in the area.

-In all military operations a balance must be maintained between discipline and morale.

To summarize, the Luftwaffe found itself ill-equipped for the task at hand in the skies over North Africa. Allied air superiority was inevitable and those in command must have understood that theirs was a token effort and that the success of this campaign relied upon the ability of the axis ground forces to overwhelm the allies over a short period of time.

It would seem that in order to raise the morale of their airmen, who were working under adverse conditions against a numerically superior enemy, that certain individuals must be made to shine. Marseilles, with his uncanny abilities, reputation as a playboy and roguish manner would have been an obvious choice for the OKL in it's propaganda campaign. Therefore,it is reasonable to assume that some lengths would have been taken by the OKL to protect their asset although it seems unrealistic to me that this would have encroached upon the designs of the axis military strategists who were trying to win the campaign.

To suggest that a squadron flew only to protect its star pilot and watch as he conducted his trade amongst the enemy seems spurious in the extreme. It is possible that from time to time some members would watch such a performer with a certain degree of awe but survival and success in aerial combat relies upon the participation of a squadron's members as a close knit team. Therefore whilst Mareilles, the individualist was doing his thing the rest of the squadron must have taken a proactive approach to combat or there is no way their star could have survived.

The fact that there were many experten who flew with Marseilles would seem to bear me out on this.

Also the Bf-109 is in it's E and F models is not a bomber interceptor, it is an air superiority fighter. It would seem likely that these aircraft were employed to counter the threat posed by large numbers of allied fighters in North Africa and not to intercept the allied bomber force. I can only assume that the Axis high command assumed that they would be able to make territorial advances sufficient enough to deny the allies suitable bomber bases and thereby counter the allied bomber offensive in the theater before it consolidated into a meaningful threat.

M_Gunz
01-18-2009, 08:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
CHurchill also had a very bad opinion of the SOviets around the same time I believe...

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

maybe so ... but at the three way Malta conference the clear winner with huge concessions his way was Stalin. Roosevelt and Churchill walked away with virtually nothing from the Soviets. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You say Malta, he says Yalta, let's call the whole thing ... oops!

Anywho, at that time the Russians were already paying in major terms of blood to keep a LOT of German forces tied up, and losing ground.
Doesn't that count for something as opposed to 'virtually nothing'?

TS_Sancho
01-18-2009, 09:26 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yalta_Conference

"You say Malta, he says Yalta, let's call the whole thing ... oops!"
lol,Thats funny

R_Target
01-18-2009, 11:40 PM
Strangely enough, Churchill and Roosevelt did have a meeting at Malta before proceeding to Yalta.

CUJO_1970
01-19-2009, 06:33 AM
Stalin had Roosevelts room bugged during the conference and evesdropped on every private conversation Roosevelt had during the conference.

The Allies, and the US in particular were monumentally naiive WRT the Soviets.

Xiolablu3
01-19-2009, 07:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by CUJO_1970:
Stalin had Roosevelts room bugged during the conference and evesdropped on every private conversation Roosevelt had during the conference.

The Allies, and the US in particular were monumentally naiive WRT the Soviets. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

ALso the post war British labour government who gave away the ROlls ROyce Nene (at that time the best Jet engine in the world) in a gesture of goodwill.

Stalins response was something like 'What idiot would give away his best weapons?' and it powered the Mig 15 against US+COmmonwealth forces in Korea.

Enforcer572005
01-19-2009, 09:24 AM
At a symposium in 83, I heard Stienhoff answer a question about Marsielle with, "that was a very undisciplined officer". The animated manner he used was amusing, but he elaborated much of what was has already been said.

I always was amazed that the Brits gave away jet tech to the Soviets. I also wondered why politicos who lean to the left always seemed to be so gullible toward them. Sort of like doing away with the RN's carriers and the RAF's strategic capability, as well as the US gutting its own military in the late seventies in the face of a huge Soviet build-up. Interesting how history seems so consistent, and I'm still amazed that the entire world doesn't have a portrait of Lennin in their houses.

Anyway, it appears that the Luftwaffe was a strange example of contradictions resulting from a particular combination of tactics, leadership, equipment, training, and priorities.....like all armed forces.

But look at the leadership of the nation and the Luftwaffe.

SeaFireLIV
01-19-2009, 10:10 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WTE_Galway:


By all accounts it wasn't so much Roosevelt trusted Stalin, more that he distrusted Churchill (he had some issue with "colonialism") and Stalin was able to exploit that lack of solidarity among the western allies. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yep. From what I read, Roosevelt didn`t want to see the former colonial Empire rise up again after the war.

Anyway, on topic, I also read accounts of the Luftwaffe tending to protect their Ace and letting him gain the majority of kills.

Mr_Zooly
01-19-2009, 11:17 AM
Roosevelt didnt want Britain retaining her empire after the war, he wanted the countries for himself/America to control (maybe exploit is a better choice of word).
As SeaFire mentions about the LW protecting its aces is true, Galland and his fellow 'Experten' were the hunters and their wingmen were personal guardians, this is why there is a large difference in kills/claims between the leader and the lackey.

M_Gunz
01-19-2009, 11:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Mr_Zooly:
Roosevelt didnt want Britain retaining her empire after the war, he wanted the countries for himself/America to control (maybe exploit is a better choice of word). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You've got to be freaking kidding. Learn some more history. That's an insult you've made besides being full of it.

TS_Sancho
01-19-2009, 12:17 PM
Mr_Zooly, with all due respect you are way out in left field on that one.
Colin Powells quote regarding American objectives in Iraq is an appropriate response to your accusation.

"There is nothing in American experience or in American political life or in our culture that suggests we want to use hard power. But what we have found over the decades is that unless you do have hard power -- and here I think you're referring to military power -- then sometimes you are faced with situations that you can't deal with.
I mean, it was not soft power that freed Europe. It was hard power. And what followed immediately after hard power? Did the United States ask for dominion over a single nation in Europe? No. Soft power came in the Marshall Plan. Soft power came with American GIs who put their weapons down once the war was over and helped all those nations rebuild. We did the same thing in Japan.

So our record of living our values and letting our values be an inspiration to others I think is clear. And I don't think I have anything to be ashamed of or apologize for with respect to what America has done for the world. [Applause.]

We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we've done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to seek our own, you know, to seek our own lives in peace, to live our own lives in peace. But there comes a time when soft power or talking with evil will not work where, unfortunately, hard power is the only thing that works"

http://urbanlegends.about.com/.../bl-colin-powell.htm (http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl-colin-powell.htm)

Read a little more about Galland and JV44 before making a blanket statement such as the Luftwaffe making any effort to protect their Experten.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jagdverband_44

Mr_Zooly
01-19-2009, 12:22 PM
It is now fifty-two years since the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. We can only speculate on what the world would have looked like, had Roosevelt lived, after the end of the Second World War. However, what we will document in the following report, is that Roosevelt was determined to force the British to dismantle their colonial empire, and to bend to Roosevelt's American System policies--to be dictated by the United States, at the end of the war

website
http://american_almanac.tripod.com/lkffdr.htm

PS
I dont mean any intentional offense, it was something i read a while ago, and I didnt mean American as such, I meant Roosevelt and his plans.

Xiolablu3
01-19-2009, 12:54 PM
Ahh come on Zooly, the colonialism was what was at fault, not the US wanting to see the end of it.

Even though the British genuinely thought they were bringing a good way of life, wealth and prosperity to their colonies (which most often they were), it does not make it right that white men from miles away should hold power over the 'natives'.

Just as the first US citizens thought they were 'civilising' the Native Americans, it doesnt make it right.

I am English btw, so dont accuse me of being 'anti-brit'.

TS_Sancho
01-19-2009, 01:47 PM
Xiolablu, if I may play devils advocate consider the Roman empire. The Romans were merely civilizing the indigineous people of their many conquests which resulted in the basis for modern anglo/european culture.
With the hindsight granted by history, would you consider the Roman expansion an entirely bad thing?European colonialism over the last few hundred years shaped the world we know and in its time served a purpose in the grand scheme although the ideology has no place in the modern.
Not that I'm saying its all a bed of roses, just ask the French
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Dien_Bien_Phu

Xiolablu3
01-19-2009, 06:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by TS_Sancho:
Xiolablu, if I may play devils advocate consider the Roman empire. The Romans were merely civilizing the indigineous people of their many conquests which resulted in the basis for modern anglo/european culture.
With the hindsight granted by history, would you consider the Roman expansion an entirely bad thing?European colonialism over the last few hundred years shaped the world we know and in its time served a purpose in the grand scheme although the ideology has no place in the modern.
Not that I'm saying its all a bed of roses, just ask the French
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Dien_Bien_Phu </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Excellent point to which I have no answer, Sancho! :P

I do agree that violent gangs, dictators and mobs have often taken over when the colonial powers left, but these guys have to learn for themselves.

deepo_HP
01-19-2009, 06:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Boandlgramer:
As a native german speaker ( ok, I am a bavarian , but hey http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif)
no other word comes in my mind , except "Jäger" for a fighter plane .

or take that:
Gebirgskämpfer http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Fallschirmkämpfer http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

For people who never give up, yeah, that´s a Kämpfer. But for a weapon or a unit, it sounds really bad. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

i don't agree fully with that...

i think, horseback made a good point, and your reply even constitutes his point. where other languages imply different meanings and therfor other tasks, in german the same objects are related to 'hunter'. sure, the historical origin explains the use perhaps, and also it maybe too long in use to interprete it literally. but when you say, that it feels 'natural' or best fitting... then you more or less add to horseback's point.

please have in mind, that it is 'kampfhubschrauber', 'kampfschwimmer', 'einzelkämpfer, 'kampfflugzeug'. the mentioned 'gebirgsjäger' are the same more proving the point... as 'gebirgskämpfer' doesn't sound bad as all.

in my opinion, the use of 'jäger' is not so much just by tradition, it implies the intentional aspects of tracing, catching and killing. 'kämpfer' would have been situational, as given in equal position, awareness and unsure outcome. although both namings would have been possible, the choice for 'jäger' has probably it's reason, and also consequences.

i don't think though, that 'hunter' and 'fighter' can be interpreted exactly the same way, but i would assume similar.

i am nevertheless pretty sure, that the naming of the task reflected somehow on the self-image of 'jäger' and 'fighter'. even if they were not aware of it.

unreasonable
01-19-2009, 10:20 PM
Manfred von Richtofen went out of his way to collect grizzly trophies - rudders, guns, props and the like - which he hung up in his officers' mess as though it were some sort of hunting lodge. (Surprising he did not add the downed aircrews' heads, like moose). No doubt every LW flier of the later generation had read his autobiography where hunting (as in stalking as opposed to fox hunting) is a common metaphor.

blakduk
01-20-2009, 02:24 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JimmyBlonde:
....To suggest that a squadron flew only to protect its star pilot and watch as he conducted his trade amongst the enemy seems spurious in the extreme... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It is not just a suggestion- it is a recorded fact that it did happen! From what i understand it was mainly evident in the early phase of WW2, as they task got grimmer and Reich citizens came increasingly under threat it seems to have ended.

I'll quote an incident that is described in Stephen Bungay's 'The Most Dangerous Enemy':
'At 1310 on the afternoon of 28 November 1940, Helmut Wick climbed into the cockpit of his Bf109 at Querqueville near Cherbourg in Normandy and took off with most of his Staff Flight on a sweep up to the Isle of Wight. They were accompanied by most of the rest of JG2 and a flight from II./JG 77 who were invited to come along to watch the fun. Georg Schirmborg of JG77 was astonished to observe that all these aircraft were under orders not to make kills themselves, but simply to protect their Kommodore as he did so.' pg348.

Wick was in a competitin with Molders and Galland to see who could be the leading ace of the LW- he very soon after was killed while it seems he was target fixated on a Spitfire. It seems the latitude given to the LW fighter pilots was extraodinary when compared to the allies. It seems to have been possible due to the lassez faire attitude of Goring, not to mention his flamboyance, and Goebbels never-ending quest for heroes for the propoganda ministry.

jamesblonde1979
01-20-2009, 03:57 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by blakduk:

Wick was in a competitin with Molders and Galland to see who could be the leading ace of the LW- he very soon after was killed while it seems he was target fixated on a Spitfire. It seems the latitude given to the LW fighter pilots was extraodinary when compared to the allies. It seems to have been possible due to the lassez faire attitude of Goring, not to mention his flamboyance, and Goebbels never-ending quest for heroes for the propoganda ministry. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I can only guess that mere 'lip service' would have been paid to such orders by any pilot who wanted to survive.

JtD
01-20-2009, 02:36 PM
The Luftwaffe also had "fighter" aircraft, in the Kampfgeschwader. This are the bombing squads.

I do think that some of the Luftwaffe Jäger corps were somewhat bizarre in the perception of their role in the air war, one of the things that imho illustrates that perfectly: In 1941 the two Kriegsmarine battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were stationed in Brest. The RAF would send over a Spitfire for recon once or twice a day. The British would then investigate the intel to decide if they had or not had to attack the ships in order to put them / keep them out of service. This went on for months. The Jagdwaffe pilots made jokes about the daily Spitfire and then went up against the bombers, which they did not managed to stop a single time. Eventually, the battleships were put out of action for a year, at a time where the battle of the Atlantic was at the edge, and the two large units could actually have made a difference in the outcome of the war.

Mr_Zooly
01-20-2009, 02:57 PM
In Stephen Bungay's 'The Most Dangerous Enemy', he gives quite a lot of information about the protection of the glory hunters (good propaganda you see). I would heartily recommend the book as it gives a fair evaluation of the BoB, by this I mean he points out both the good and bad regarding both sides command structure and standing orders.
BTW Epro 210 were either insane or fanatical due to some of the almost suicidal stuff they did.

WTE_Galway
01-20-2009, 03:01 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by blakduk:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JimmyBlonde:
....To suggest that a squadron flew only to protect its star pilot and watch as he conducted his trade amongst the enemy seems spurious in the extreme... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It is not just a suggestion- it is a recorded fact that it did happen! From what i understand it was mainly evident in the early phase of WW2, as they task got grimmer and Reich citizens came increasingly under threat it seems to have ended.

I'll quote an incident that is described in Stephen Bungay's 'The Most Dangerous Enemy':
'At 1310 on the afternoon of 28 November 1940, Helmut Wick climbed into the cockpit of his Bf109 at Querqueville near Cherbourg in Normandy and took off with most of his Staff Flight on a sweep up to the Isle of Wight. They were accompanied by most of the rest of JG2 and a flight from II./JG 77 who were invited to come along to watch the fun. Georg Schirmborg of JG77 was astonished to observe that all these aircraft were under orders not to make kills themselves, but simply to protect their Kommodore as he did so.' pg348.

Wick was in a competitin with Molders and Galland to see who could be the leading ace of the LW- he very soon after was killed while it seems he was target fixated on a Spitfire. It seems the latitude given to the LW fighter pilots was extraodinary when compared to the allies. It seems to have been possible due to the lassez faire attitude of Goring, not to mention his flamboyance, and Goebbels never-ending quest for heroes for the propoganda ministry. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The bomber crews of course were well aware of this and complained long and loud about how they flew unprotected while the "heroes of the Reich" went off hunting personal glory.

Xiolablu3
01-20-2009, 03:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WTE_Galway:


The bomber crews of course were well aware of this and complained long and loud about how they flew unprotected while the "heroes of the Reich" went off hunting personal glory. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Personally I dont think this is fair criticism.

The same sort of thing happened during the Dunkirk evacuation. The Army complained constantly that they had no Air support, and 'Where was the RAF?'

The truth was that the RAF were trying to intercept the bombers BEFORE they got to the beaches, not AS or AFTER they where dropping their bombs. The guys on the ground only saw the enemy planes which got through, as the RAF was trying to STOP the bombers, not attack them over the beaches.

Similarly, in the Luftwaffe, just because the bombers could see the fighters close by, it might give them a feeling of 'safety', but it greatly decreases the ability of the fighters to actually destroy the RAF fighters, particularly with the RAF fighters better turning circles.

The 109's best tactics would have been to fly high and in front of the bombers, attacking the RAF fighters as they closed in on the bombers. Goering spoiled this with his 'stick close to the bombers at all times', which tried to use the Bf109 in the style of a WW1 dogfighter, for which it was not suited when matched up against the Spit and Hurri.

As Galland famously said to Goering, if you want me to stay close to the bombers then give me a Squadron of Spitfires, owing to the SPitfires being better suited to the close-in dogfight which would inevtiably develop if the Bf109's had to stick close to the bombers.

Galland and his fighter pilots KNEW where the 109's strengths lay vs the RAF fighters and Goering was taking this advantage away.

Which way worked best would have to be worked out by examining the loss records by each side for both bombers and fighters throughout the battle.

Just because the bomber crews 'felt' safer with the 109's right next to them, doesnt necesarily mean that they WERE safer in the long run.

WTE_Galway
01-20-2009, 04:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:

Personally I dont think this is fair criticism.

The same sort of thing happened during the Dunkirk evacuation. The Army complained constantly that they had no Air support, and 'Where was the RAF?'

The truth was that the RAF were trying to intercept the bombers BEFORE they got to the beaches, not AS or AFTER they where dropping their bombs. The guys on the ground only saw the enemy planes which got through, as the RAF was trying to STOP the bombers, not attack them over the beaches.

Similarly, in the Luftwaffe, just because the bombers could see the fighters close by, it might give them a feeling of 'safety', but it greatly decreases the ability of the fighters to actually destroy the RAF fighters, particularly with the RAF fighters better turning circles.

The 109's best tactics would have been to fly high and in front of the bombers, attacking the RAF fighters as they closed in on the bombers. Goering spoiled this with his 'stick close to the bombers at all times', which tried to use the Bf109 in the style of a WW1 dogfighter, for which it was not suited when matched up against the Spit and Hurri.

As Galland famously said to Goering, if you want me to stay close to the bombers then give me a Squadron of Spitfires, owing to the SPitfires being better suited to the close-in dogfight which would inevtiably develop if the Bf109's had to stick close to the bombers.

Galland and his fighter pilots KNEW where the 109's strengths lay vs the RAF fighters and Goering was taking this advantage away.

Which way worked best would have to be worked out by examining the loss records by each side for both bombers and fighters throughout the battle.

Just because the bomber crews 'felt' safer with the 109's right next to them, doesnt necesarily mean that they WERE safer in the long run. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The reaction to the bomber complaints was counter-productive.

But the ever so typically Third Reich habit of elevating individual personalities to something bigger than life and creating individual heroes amongst fighter pilots for worship (the later war "experten" are an example of this) whilst at the same time the bomber crews were decimated day after day must surely have added fuel to the complaints.

In a sense the "showing off" and treating air combat as a sporting competition backfired when the luftwaffe was forced to change its tactics in the face of the bomber crews virtual refusal to fly.

Kurfurst__
01-20-2009, 04:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Similarly, in the Luftwaffe, just because the bombers could see the fighters close by, it might give them a feeling of 'safety', but it greatly decreases the ability of the fighters to actually destroy the RAF fighters, particularly with the RAF fighters better turning circles.

The 109's best tactics would have been to fly high and in front of the bombers, attacking the RAF fighters as they closed in on the bombers. Goering spoiled this with his 'stick close to the bombers at all times', which tried to use the Bf109 in the style of a WW1 dogfighter, for which it was not suited when matched up against the Spit and Hurri.

As Galland famously said to Goering, if you want me to stay close to the bombers then give me a Squadron of Spitfires, owing to the SPitfires being better suited to the close-in dogfight which would inevtiably develop if the Bf109's had to stick close to the bombers. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is not entirely true - Galland and other fighter pilots complained a lot about the close escort duties, but the escort tactics were not limited to close escort alone. Wood and Dempster wrote of that:

By September, standard tactics for raids soon became an amalgam of techniques. A Frei Jagd, or fighter sweep would precede a raid to try to sweep any defenders out of the raid's path. The bombers would then fly in at altitudes between 16,000 and 20,000 feet (6,100 m), closely escorted by fighters. Escorts were divided into two parts, some operating in close contact with the bombers, and other a few hundred yards away and a little above. If the formation was was attacked from the starboard the starboard section engaged the attackers, the top section moving to starboard and the port section to the top position. If the attack came from the port side the system was reversed. British fighters coming from the rear were engaged by the rear section and the two outside sections similarly moving to the rear. If the threat came from above, the top section went into action while the side sections gained height in order to be able to follow RAF fighters down as they broke away. If attacked themselves, all sections flew in defensive circles. These tactics were skillfully evolved and carried out, and were extremely difficult to counter.

So not all of them were stuck to the bombers - some flew well ahead, and 'swept' the opposition from the bomber's path; some flew close escort on their flanks, near to the bombers; and others remained high above the bombers, waiting to bounce anybody who got near of the Heinkels and co.

Bremspropeller
01-20-2009, 04:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">owing to the SPitfires being better suited to the close-in dogfight </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Is there any way to stop you from telling that? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/disagree.gif


Please note that all those "killing spree"-Experten had to change their mind, were killed or were serving in different positions in '44, when the war really went bad for the Lw.
A new generation of fighter-pilots and leaders had emerged.
Dortenmann, Meimberg and others were good examples of Lw pilots with good leadership-abilities.
Just once again, they were too little too late.

There was still too much brass in command when the final stages of war began.
Incompetence, ignorance and inconsequence were among the worst traits of some of the Luftwaffe's highest officers.

Woke_Up_Dead
01-20-2009, 05:50 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:

Churchill to his credit did not trust Stalin. And events were to prove him right.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's simply not true, at least not until near the end of the war anyways. A famous Churchill quote: “Poor Neville Chamberlain believed he could trust Hitler. He was wrong, but I don't think I'm wrong about Stalin.” Ironic, given that Churchill also said "those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

As to the topic of whether the western Allies should have joined the Germans to fight the Soviets in 1945: the western Allies should have drawn a line to stop Stalin's western expansion way, way, way earlier than that. In 1939, Britain's agreement with Poland stated that it will protect the Poles from all aggression (not only German), but from September 17th right through the end of the war the Brits (and later the Americans) pretty much pretended that the Soviet Union's invasion of Poland never happened. In 1941, Stalin first started making territorial demands from the west when German guns could be heard over the phone, but he didn't hear a "no." From 1942 to 1944 Stalin relied very heavily on US and British aid and he had no choice but to fight the Germans since they were attacking him on his territory, but still he got pretty much everything he wanted from the west.

Had the west stood firm on the question of Polish and Chech territorial integrity and democratic governments, they would not have been "babysitting" them as someone here put it, but they would have been fulfilling their obligations to their allies the way the Poles and Chechs fulfilled their obligation by fighting in the British armies, and they would have been doing themselves a favor too: the Iron Curtain would have been drawn 1000km further east and the west would have had two more NATO allies rather than Warsaw Pact adversaries. But yeah, by 1945 it was too late: the Soviets were finally negotiating from a position of strength as they cleared the Germans from their territories, occupied Polish and Chech ground, let the Germans crush the pro-western uprising in Warsaw, deported any remaining pro-western Poles and Chechs who could have built a democratic and west-friendly government to Siberia, and had built a formidable army. By that time the opportunity for showing some political spine was gone, only military action against the USSR could have stopped them, and that would have been a folly.

M_Gunz
01-20-2009, 06:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
The bomber crews of course were well aware of this and complained long and loud about how they flew unprotected while the "heroes of the Reich" went off hunting personal glory. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

When Goring (sorry, no umlauts on my KB) wanted to know what the hold-up and problems were, the bomber commanders pointed
fingers and said the fighter pilots were not protecting them. You didn't want to be the one to blame around fatboy Hermann
yet Galland stood up to him when he called the fighter pilots cowards.

WTE_Galway
01-20-2009, 06:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Woke_Up_Dead:


... by 1945 it was too late: the Soviets were finally negotiating from a position of strength as they cleared the Germans from their territories, occupied Polish and Chech ground, let the Germans crush the pro-western uprising in Warsaw </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not just Warsaw ... lets not forget Slovakia as well. The Slovaks eventually got fed up with the German's high handedness and switched sides but on Stalin's personal request Churchill and Roosevelt ignored their request for help and let the German's re-occupy the new pro-ally state.

Stalin saw any partisan activity against Germany as a threat to future Soviet control (he did not want self liberated countries making demands and preferred the Germans crushed any partisan groups before he got there) and requested that the US and UK not aid any such groups. Churchill and Roosevelt happily complied.

Stalin was right to fear the partisan groups. In Lithuania for example the resistance against Soviet rule continued actively fighting until as late as 1953.

hop2002
01-20-2009, 11:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Similarly, in the Luftwaffe, just because the bombers could see the fighters close by, it might give them a feeling of 'safety', but it greatly decreases the ability of the fighters to actually destroy the RAF fighters, particularly with the RAF fighters better turning circles.

The 109's best tactics would have been to fly high and in front of the bombers, attacking the RAF fighters as they closed in on the bombers. Goering spoiled this with his 'stick close to the bombers at all times' </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's certainly the tale the fighter pilots told after the war. The Luftwaffe loss statistics do not bear it out.

From Hooton, Eagle in Flames, Luftwaffe day bomber loss rates during the BoB:

Channel phase, 1st July to 4th August
Bombers
Sorties 1150
Losses 100
Loss rate 8.7%

5th August - 1st Sept
Bombers
Sorties 3850
Losses 303
Loss rate 7.9%

2nd Sept - 29th Sept
Sorties 4125
Losses 192
Loss rate 4.7%

Goering ordered more close escort quite late on. It coincides with a large drop in bomber losses. Unfortunately it's not quite that simple, in that the switch to London made bomber escort easier. But just look at those loss rates early on. Whatever the fighter pilots were doing, they were not effectively escorting the bombers.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">But yeah, by 1945 it was too late: the Soviets were finally negotiating from a position of strength as they cleared the Germans from their territories, occupied Polish and Chech ground, let the Germans crush the pro-western uprising in Warsaw, deported any remaining pro-western Poles and Chechs who could have built a democratic and west-friendly government to Siberia, and had built a formidable army. By that time the opportunity for showing some political spine was gone, only military action against the USSR could have stopped them, and that would have been a folly. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Only military action could have stopped them anyway. Eastern Europe is between Germany and Russia, it's the other side of the Germany as far as the western allies were concerned. At the end of the war, whatever happened, the Soviets were going to be in physical control of eastern Europe. I think it's naive to believe Stalin would have honoured any commitments he had made earlier about free and fair elections. And it's naivety with the benefit of hindsight, too.

The only way to keep Stalin out of eastern Europe would have been to get western troops there first, and that would mean destroying Germany and getting to the far border of Poland before the Soviets could get back to their own pre war border. Never going to happen.

Xiolablu3
01-21-2009, 03:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">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 Xiolablu3:
Similarly, in the Luftwaffe, just because the bombers could see the fighters close by, it might give them a feeling of 'safety', but it greatly decreases the ability of the fighters to actually destroy the RAF fighters, particularly with the RAF fighters better turning circles.

The 109's best tactics would have been to fly high and in front of the bombers, attacking the RAF fighters as they closed in on the bombers. Goering spoiled this with his 'stick close to the bombers at all times', which tried to use the Bf109 in the style of a WW1 dogfighter, for which it was not suited when matched up against the Spit and Hurri.

As Galland famously said to Goering, if you want me to stay close to the bombers then give me a Squadron of Spitfires, owing to the SPitfires being better suited to the close-in dogfight which would inevtiably develop if the Bf109's had to stick close to the bombers. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is not entirely true - Galland and other fighter pilots complained a lot about the close escort duties, but the escort tactics were not limited to close escort alone. Wood and Dempster wrote of that:

By September, standard tactics for raids soon became an amalgam of techniques. A Frei Jagd, or fighter sweep would precede a raid to try to sweep any defenders out of the raid's path. The bombers would then fly in at altitudes between 16,000 and 20,000 feet (6,100 m), closely escorted by fighters. Escorts were divided into two parts, some operating in close contact with the bombers, and other a few hundred yards away and a little above. If the formation was was attacked from the starboard the starboard section engaged the attackers, the top section moving to starboard and the port section to the top position. If the attack came from the port side the system was reversed. British fighters coming from the rear were engaged by the rear section and the two outside sections similarly moving to the rear. If the threat came from above, the top section went into action while the side sections gained height in order to be able to follow RAF fighters down as they broke away. If attacked themselves, all sections flew in defensive circles. These tactics were skillfully evolved and carried out, and were extremely difficult to counter.

So not all of them were stuck to the bombers - some flew well ahead, and 'swept' the opposition from the bomber's path; some flew close escort on their flanks, near to the bombers; and others remained high above the bombers, waiting to bounce anybody who got near of the Heinkels and co. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Interesting comments, what is your opinion on Gallands criticism of Goerings 'fly close to the bombers' order?

Do you think it was valid? It seems from your post that the Luftwaffe actually had very good defensive routines, despite Goering 'order' which Galland so often critizied(sp?).

Xiolablu3
01-21-2009, 03:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by hop2002:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Similarly, in the Luftwaffe, just because the bombers could see the fighters close by, it might give them a feeling of 'safety', but it greatly decreases the ability of the fighters to actually destroy the RAF fighters, particularly with the RAF fighters better turning circles.

The 109's best tactics would have been to fly high and in front of the bombers, attacking the RAF fighters as they closed in on the bombers. Goering spoiled this with his 'stick close to the bombers at all times' </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's certainly the tale the fighter pilots told after the war. The Luftwaffe loss statistics do not bear it out.

From Hooton, Eagle in Flames, Luftwaffe day bomber loss rates during the BoB:

Channel phase, 1st July to 4th August
Bombers
Sorties 1150
Losses 100
Loss rate 8.7%

5th August - 1st Sept
Bombers
Sorties 3850
Losses 303
Loss rate 7.9%

2nd Sept - 29th Sept
Sorties 4125
Losses 192
Loss rate 4.7%

Goering ordered more close escort quite late on. It coincides with a large drop in bomber losses. Unfortunately it's not quite that simple, in that the switch to London made bomber escort easier. But just look at those loss rates early on. Whatever the fighter pilots were doing, they were not effectively escorting the bombers.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Also interesting. It seems that two of the leading studiers of the battle on these boards agree that as the BAttle went on the escort system got better and better, despite Goerings order.

Actually loss rates went down despite the fighter pilots complaints about 'close escorting' the bombers.

Do you have any figures for German Fighter losses during that period too, Hopp?

It would be very interesting for me to see if as bomber losses went down, fighter losses went up or not.

hop2002
01-21-2009, 03:18 AM
Fighter loss rates over the same periods went from 1.7% to 2.9% to 3.3%

Hooton includes fighter bomber sorties in the fighter total, though, and fighter bombers were employed more as the battle went on.

The tendency for those who survived and wrote their memoirs to blame their commanders for failures is natural. There's no doubt that the fighter pilots resented the interference, and of course from their point of view the orders were worse. I think you'd need the views of German bomber pilots to get a fair picture of the effect of Goering's order.

Xiolablu3
01-21-2009, 03:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by hop2002:
Fighter loss rates over the same periods went from 1.7% to 2.9% to 3.3%

Hooton includes fighter bomber sorties in the fighter total, though, and fighter bombers were employed more as the battle went on.

The tendency for those who survived and wrote their memoirs to blame their commanders for failures is natural. There's no doubt that the fighter pilots resented the interference, and of course from their point of view the orders were worse. I think you'd need the views of German bomber pilots to get a fair picture of the effect of Goering's order. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I see, so as the fighter pilots losses went up, naturally they resented Goerings order, which caused the deaths of their colleagues.

As the bombers were the important part of the campaign, then perhaps with hindsight Goerings order was actually the correct one?

He is often lambasted by history for this order, when in fact it actually makes perfect sense when you look at the figures you have shown here.

RSS-Martin
01-21-2009, 03:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by deepo_HP:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Boandlgramer:
As a native german speaker ( ok, I am a bavarian , but hey http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif)
no other word comes in my mind , except "Jäger" for a fighter plane .

or take that:
Gebirgskämpfer http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Fallschirmkämpfer http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

For people who never give up, yeah, that´s a Kämpfer. But for a weapon or a unit, it sounds really bad. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

i don't agree fully with that...

i think, horseback made a good point, and your reply even constitutes his point. where other languages imply different meanings and therfor other tasks, in german the same objects are related to 'hunter'. sure, the historical origin explains the use perhaps, and also it maybe too long in use to interprete it literally. but when you say, that it feels 'natural' or best fitting... then you more or less add to horseback's point.

please have in mind, that it is 'kampfhubschrauber', 'kampfschwimmer', 'einzelkämpfer, 'kampfflugzeug'. the mentioned 'gebirgsjäger' are the same more proving the point... as 'gebirgskämpfer' doesn't sound bad as all.

in my opinion, the use of 'jäger' is not so much just by tradition, it implies the intentional aspects of tracing, catching and killing. 'kämpfer' would have been situational, as given in equal position, awareness and unsure outcome. although both namings would have been possible, the choice for 'jäger' has probably it's reason, and also consequences.

i don't think though, that 'hunter' and 'fighter' can be interpreted exactly the same way, but i would assume similar.

i am nevertheless pretty sure, that the naming of the task reflected somehow on the self-image of 'jäger' and 'fighter'. even if they were not aware of it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I find this great, you are trying to explain someone elses native language??

What would you say if some foreigner came along and told you, you got your language wrong??

Oh well this can only happen at the Ubi-Zoo http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

Boandlgramer
01-21-2009, 04:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RSS-Martin:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by deepo_HP:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Boandlgramer:
As a native german speaker ( ok, I am a bavarian , but hey http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif)
no other word comes in my mind , except "Jäger" for a fighter plane .

or take that:
Gebirgskämpfer http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Fallschirmkämpfer http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

For people who never give up, yeah, that´s a Kämpfer. But for a weapon or a unit, it sounds really bad. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

i don't agree fully with that...

i think, horseback made a good point, and your reply even constitutes his point. where other languages imply different meanings and therfor other tasks, in german the same objects are related to 'hunter'. sure, the historical origin explains the use perhaps, and also it maybe too long in use to interprete it literally. but when you say, that it feels 'natural' or best fitting... then you more or less add to horseback's point.

please have in mind, that it is 'kampfhubschrauber', 'kampfschwimmer', 'einzelkämpfer, 'kampfflugzeug'. the mentioned 'gebirgsjäger' are the same more proving the point... as 'gebirgskämpfer' doesn't sound bad as all.

in my opinion, the use of 'jäger' is not so much just by tradition, it implies the intentional aspects of tracing, catching and killing. 'kämpfer' would have been situational, as given in equal position, awareness and unsure outcome. although both namings would have been possible, the choice for 'jäger' has probably it's reason, and also consequences.

i don't think though, that 'hunter' and 'fighter' can be interpreted exactly the same way, but i would assume similar.

i am nevertheless pretty sure, that the naming of the task reflected somehow on the self-image of 'jäger' and 'fighter'. even if they were not aware of it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I find this great, you are trying to explain someone elses native language??

What would you say if some foreigner came along and told you, you got your language wrong??

Oh well this can only happen at the Ubi-Zoo http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

RSS_Martin
I am almost sure, his native language is also german,
But we, myself and deepo must not agree at all. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

RSS-Martin
01-21-2009, 04:33 AM
Naja diese Klugschei.... die man zum Teil hier liest geht ja zum teil auf keine Kuhhaut.

Ist mit ein Grund wieso ich nur noch sehr selten hier vorbei schaue. Zuviele Erbsenzähler und Haarspalter.

M_Gunz
01-21-2009, 08:45 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by hop2002:

From Hooton, Eagle in Flames, Luftwaffe day bomber loss rates during the BoB:

Channel phase, 1st July to 4th August
Bombers
Sorties 1150
Losses 100
Loss rate 8.7%

5th August - 1st Sept
Bombers
Sorties 3850
Losses 303
Loss rate 7.9%

2nd Sept - 29th Sept
Sorties 4125
Losses 192
Loss rate 4.7%

Goering ordered more close escort quite late on. It coincides with a large drop in bomber losses. Unfortunately it's not quite that simple, in that the switch to London made bomber escort easier. But just look at those loss rates early on. Whatever the fighter pilots were doing, they were not effectively escorting the bombers.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's a very simplified conclusion from statistics presented as if the situation itself was unchanged during those periods.

Rather it should be considered that both sides lost experienced pilots throughout and that RAF bases were not attacked until
the second phase. The overall balance of talent and position as the contested areas moved varied over time, a straight
comparison of these statistics is unwarranted. Too much else was going on.

hop2002
01-21-2009, 09:22 AM
If you read what I wrote, I pointed out the situation changed. The main point, though, was:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">But just look at those loss rates early on. Whatever the fighter pilots were doing, they were not effectively escorting the bombers </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The reasons why the loss rates declined are immaterial. The fact is the bombers were suffering very badly before Goering ordered the change in escort tactics.

deepo_HP
01-21-2009, 10:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RSS-Martin:
Naja diese Klugschei.... die man zum Teil hier liest geht ja zum teil auf keine Kuhhaut.

Ist mit ein Grund wieso ich nur noch sehr selten hier vorbei schaue. Zuviele Erbsenzähler und Haarspalter. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


i can't see any reason to exaggerate here... i posted a thought in response to boandlgramer, which was not even a bit more than a point i wanted to make.
no offensive and no defensive tone, but just trying to connect a choice of word to a possible intention. which is not even far off-topic...
i found boandls statement indeed interesting, as in german meanings of words tend to be sometimes over-specific.

however, it seems to me, that your anger generates by itself? i can't see any 'klugschei...' and no 'erbsenzähler' here, and if you can't stand 'haarspalter' in a discussion, you might consider not to contribute - after all, discussions and 'haarspalter' are no contradiction.