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View Full Version : Brewster Buffalo: Only the Finns had great success?



arcadeace
01-12-2004, 02:02 PM
Recently I've read a few sources conserning the Finns determination with the Buffalo, its quite an achievement. They learned to accept its lack of speed and developed tactics enabling them to exploit this aircraft's potential more than any other country. Fighter commanders Colonel Richard Lorentz and Lt.Colonel Erik Magnusson adopted German "finger-four" formation before the war and also introduced "pendulum-tactic" or hit from above and then disengage. And armament was increased replacing the sole 7.62mm MG with fourth 12.7mm HMG.

In 1941 Finnish Squadron 24 became legendary shooting down 135 Soviet aircraft with only 2 losses, neither from Soviet a/c.

The bigger problems started in 1943 when La-5 and Yak-9 entered service. The lack of cannon became obvious but Finnish pilots could match Soviets up to the summer 1944 using all their talents exploiting better training, albiet having Messerchmitts helped.

They never called it Buffalo, that came from the Brits. They chose "Pearl of the sky." All told they had 15 aces. Supposedly their Brewsters have the best kill/loss ratio of all fighters in WWII.

http://www.onpoi.net/ah/pics/users/ah_222_1073167449.jpg

arcadeace
01-12-2004, 02:02 PM
Recently I've read a few sources conserning the Finns determination with the Buffalo, its quite an achievement. They learned to accept its lack of speed and developed tactics enabling them to exploit this aircraft's potential more than any other country. Fighter commanders Colonel Richard Lorentz and Lt.Colonel Erik Magnusson adopted German "finger-four" formation before the war and also introduced "pendulum-tactic" or hit from above and then disengage. And armament was increased replacing the sole 7.62mm MG with fourth 12.7mm HMG.

In 1941 Finnish Squadron 24 became legendary shooting down 135 Soviet aircraft with only 2 losses, neither from Soviet a/c.

The bigger problems started in 1943 when La-5 and Yak-9 entered service. The lack of cannon became obvious but Finnish pilots could match Soviets up to the summer 1944 using all their talents exploiting better training, albiet having Messerchmitts helped.

They never called it Buffalo, that came from the Brits. They chose "Pearl of the sky." All told they had 15 aces. Supposedly their Brewsters have the best kill/loss ratio of all fighters in WWII.

http://www.onpoi.net/ah/pics/users/ah_222_1073167449.jpg

VW-IceFire
01-12-2004, 02:11 PM
Apparently they stripped alot of weight off the USN version and had modified the MG's to operate better for them and ultimately they used some excellent tactics to defeat superior Russian aircraft.

Never underestimate the Finns thats for sure.

- IceFire
http://home.cogeco.ca/~cczerneda/sigs/spit-sig.jpg

horseback
01-12-2004, 02:25 PM
It's my understanding that the base model USN F2A-2s shipped to Finland were already stripped of their Navy equipment, and that the A-2 was already quite a bit lighter than the follow-on F2A-3 or B-339 used by the RAF in the Far East.

However, the bulk of the credit goes to the Finnish AF and its pilots' training and marksmanship. Remember, these guys got outstanding results with Fiat G.50s and Morane 410s as well, and neither type could ever be described as a world beating design.

Cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

horseback
01-12-2004, 02:27 PM
It's my understanding that the base model USN F2A-2s shipped to Finland were already stripped of their Navy equipment, and that the A-2 was already quite a bit lighter than the follow-on F2A-3 or B-339 used by the RAF in the Far East.

However, the bulk of the credit goes to the Finnish AF and its pilots' training and marksmanship. Remember, these guys got outstanding results with Fiat G.50s and Morane 410s as well, and neither type could ever be confused with a world beating design.

Cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

horseback
01-12-2004, 03:55 PM
The base model USN F2A-2s shipped to Finland were already stripped of their Navy equipment, and that the A-2 was already quite a bit lighter than the follow-on F2A-3 or B-339 used by the RAF in the Far East.

However, the bulk of the credit goes to the Finnish AF and its pilots' training and marksmanship. Remember, these guys got outstanding results with Fiat G.50s and Morane 410s as well, and neither type could ever be described as a world beating design.

Cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

FW190fan
01-12-2004, 05:20 PM
Tactics play a big part and IMO the Finns were some of the best air warriors of all time, and they were successful with the Brewster.

Conversely, RAF Brewsters were dominated by the Japanese.

http://people.aero.und.edu/~choma/lrg0645.jpg

SkyChimp
01-12-2004, 06:40 PM
The British and Dutch Buffalos actually gave good account of themselves over Malaya and the East Indies. But they were overwhelmed by the Japanese, flying much more manueverable fighters, piloted by battle hardened pilots. Nevertheless, the Brits did pretty well under the circumstances.

Regards,
SkyChimp
http://members.cox.net/rowlandparks/skychimp.jpg

EPP-Gibbs
01-12-2004, 06:54 PM
I believe that he two highest scoring WW2 aces outside the Luftwaffe were both Finns...and after them, Ivan Khozedub as the highest scoring allied ace

I think the top scoring Finn with 80+ kills was Jutalainen (unsure of spelling, apologies to Finnish forum readers if incorrect)

Anyway, what the Finnish airforce achieved demands the greatest admiration, and is exactly the kind of thing that IL-2 FB was created for to highlight.

If I had all the money I'd spent on drink..I'd spend it on drink!

EPP-Gibbs
01-12-2004, 07:03 PM
Quoted by Arcade Ace:

"In 1941 Finnish Squadron 24 became legendary shooting down 135 Soviet aircraft with only 2 losses, neither from Soviet a/c."

Mind you, In May 1940 in France No1 Sqn RAF managed 114 German A/C downed in 10 days for the loss of only 2 Killed 2 wounded and 1 POW. That isn't bad either http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gifThey flew Hurricane Mk1's.

Or, during the Battle of Britain, 303Sqn RAF(Polish) achieved a kill to loss ratio of 14:1, higher than any other unit on either side. They flew Hurricanes too.

There were elite units in every airforce.

If I had all the money I'd spent on drink..I'd spend it on drink!

F19_Olli72
01-12-2004, 07:19 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by EPP-Gibbs:
I think the top scoring Finn with 80+ kills was Jutalainen (unsure of spelling, apologies to Finnish forum readers if incorrect)
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
It was Ilmari Juutilainen, with 94 or 96 kills (i cant remember wich). I highly recommend his book "Double fighter knight", he started flying Fokker DXXI's, then Brewster and lastly Bf109s.

Hmm i think you left out some japanese pilots EPP-Gibbs? There were some who had over 100 i think....

Btw it wasnt the F2As that was shipped to finland, it was the "de-navalized" B-239 without arresting hook, life raft and some other stuff that was removed, and they were first shipped to sweden where they were assembled.

p1ngu666
01-12-2004, 07:19 PM
the brits and other forces did the best they could against jap aircraft, it was a loosing battle tho :\

VW-IceFire
01-12-2004, 07:28 PM
As is becoming increasingly apparent here is that virtually every nation had its top notch flyers. Groups that when working together well performed under sometimes extremely adverse situations and came out ontop with wide margins and generally some kind of legends to tell about them.

The Flying Tigers, 303 Squadron, Finish Squadron 24, and so on. Definately not limited to a single country...

- IceFire
http://home.cogeco.ca/~cczerneda/sigs/spit-sig.jpg

DeerHunterUK
01-13-2004, 05:37 AM
These sites have good information about the different Buffalo versions that various countries used.
http://www.wwiitech.net/main/usa/aircraft/brewsterf2abuffalo/index.html
http://home.att.net/~jbaugher1/f2a.html
enjoy

No601 Moggy
-----
In memory of 'The Few'
http://www.lima1.co.uk/Sharkey/spitfire.jpg
The Tangmere Pilots - http://www.tangmerepilots-raf.co.uk/
Know your enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated.

MatuDa_
01-13-2004, 05:46 AM
Nice trivial info: More la-5 were shot down by brewsters then the other way around http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

horseback
01-13-2004, 10:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Olli72:
Hmm i think you left out some japanese pilots EPP-Gibbs? There were some who had over 100 i think....

Btw it wasnt the F2As that was shipped to finland, it was the "de-navalized" B-239 without arresting hook, life raft and some other stuff that was removed, and they were first shipped to sweden where they were assembled.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Quite a bit of dispute about Japanese aces' claims, but there were probably a few with over 80 among the survivers.

As for the B-239, it was a re-designation of the F2A-1 order, with the addition of a slightly different engine. The original shipment included former USN F2As with their naval equipment & original engines removed. The acceptance of the F2A-3 made the earlier (and much lighter) models available for Finland, which had a great deal of sympathy in the US during the Winter War, which led to a certain amount of semiofficial winking at Neutrality Act violations by Brewster.

Cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

zoomar2
01-13-2004, 11:11 AM
My take is that a lot had to do with the fact the Finnish pilots were probably better trained than the Soviet counterparts (especially in the Winter War when the Brewster had its greatest sucesses), and that Soviet monoplane fighters it opposed (I-16 and Lagg 3's) were far less manoeuverable. Brewsters employed in the Pacific were opposed by Japanese fighters (A6M and Ki-43)which outdid the Buffalo on its one strong point (manoeuverability), and poseessed equal or better speed and firepower. Also, in the early phase of the Pacific war Japanese aviators were far more experienced and well-trained than the US opponents

jazman777
01-13-2004, 11:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by EPP-Gibbs:
Quoted by Arcade Ace:

"In 1941 Finnish Squadron 24 became legendary shooting down 135 Soviet aircraft with only 2 losses, neither from Soviet a/c."
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
There is no way on God's green earth that you can come remotely close to this in FB--your AI mates, even if "Ace", are lame. AI collisions do more damage. Sniper AI bomber gunners. Etc.

---
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under - H. L. Mencken

Old_Canuck
01-13-2004, 11:54 AM
I remember reading about the Finnish tactic of getting in close to a Russian bomber from behind and shooting the tailgunner before giving the rest a plane a working over. Here's a piece on the top Finnish ace Jorma Sarvanto:

http://www.sci.fi/~fta/finace26.htm

Part way down the page there's a riveting story of his famous "6 kills in 5 minutes."

==========================================

OC

"You don't stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing."

ElAurens
01-13-2004, 12:03 PM
Here is something even more interesting really... the second highest scoring finnish squadron was armed with the Curtiss Hawk 75. They had nearly as good a record...

_____________________________

http://www.blitzpigs.com/forum/images/avatars/Curtiss_logo.gif

BlitzPig_EL

F19_Olli72
01-13-2004, 12:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ElAurens:
Here is something even more interesting really... the second highest scoring finnish squadron was armed with the Curtiss Hawk 75. They had nearly as good a record...

_____________________________

http://www.blitzpigs.com/forum/images/avatars/Curtiss_logo.gif

__BlitzPig_EL__<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Very true, go to virtualpilots.fi and read about Ky√¬∂sti Karhila. The reason they are forgotten is apparently that there has been very little if at all written about the Hawk75 squadrons.

TheNightFly
01-13-2004, 12:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by zoomar2:
My take is that a lot had to do with the fact the Finnish pilots were probably better trained than the Soviet counterparts (especially in the Winter War when the Brewster had its greatest sucesses), and that Soviet monoplane fighters it opposed (I-16 and Lagg 3's) were far less manoeuverable. Brewsters employed in the Pacific were opposed by Japanese fighters (A6M and Ki-43)which outdid the Buffalo on its one strong point (manoeuverability), and poseessed equal or better speed and firepower. Also, in the early phase of the Pacific war Japanese aviators were far more experienced and well-trained than the US opponents<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree with you here about the better training, but you made one mistake. Brewsters didn't make it to Winter War. Some of them arrived a bit before the peace, but they didn't really fight I believe. The success came in Continuation war (1941-1944).

http://koti.mbnet.fi/tpulse/sturmovik.jpg
http://www.fighting-irish.org

F19_Olli72
01-13-2004, 12:46 PM
TheNightfly is correct, Brewsters werent readily available until after the winterwar. Also some soviet planes was indeed more agile & manoevrable notably the I-153 and i think I-16 too. But reality isnt FB, reading memoirs of Juutilainen and Karhila (excerpts) they often outturned soviet planes even in their 109s. A mock fight between a captured Lagg3 and a Brewster left the Brewster as winner, but even the pilot that flew it said it was a bit unfair as the finnish pilot in the Lagg wasnt familiar with the plane.

masamainio
01-13-2004, 04:30 PM
Just to point out some great FAF history links. Sites in english.

http://www.virtualpilots.fi/en/hist/

http://www.virtualpilots.fi/en/hist/WW2History-CaptainWindsAirCombatTacticsLecture.html

http://www.sci.fi/~ambush/faf/faf.html