1. #1
    Old_Canuck's Avatar Senior Member
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    ... it was the pilots.

    Talking about the real planes here (P-51 Vs 109).

    ===========================================
    Just happened to be re-reading Martin Caidin's "Me 109" this morning. Caidin quotes Wing Commander Asher Lee RAF:

    "In a final review of fighter aircraft, he states that the Me-109 'proved itself the equivelant, if not the superior of any Allied fighter brought against it, including the Hurricane and the Spitfire ... If the Allies had a slight technical pull on the whole, it was certainly not till the last year of the Second World War. The big difference was of course in the quality of pilots ... By the last year of the war many of the German single-engined fighter pilots were hardly able to do more than take off and land the aircraft they flew. It was the German pilot deficiencies much more than the aircraft technical dificiencies which gave the Allies such complete air domination towards the end of the war.'

    Caidin continues, "Perhaps the reader will question this unqualified selection of the Me 109 design as 'the greatest fighter airplane ever built.' Certainly there will be those who will point out that the Mustang was faster, more manoueverable, with far greater range, and better visibility. But two pilots of equal ability, one in the Mustang and one in the Me-109, would have found their machines extraordinarily well-matched."

    OC

    "You don't stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing."
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  2. #2
    Old_Canuck's Avatar Senior Member
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    ... it was the pilots.

    Talking about the real planes here (P-51 Vs 109).

    ===========================================
    Just happened to be re-reading Martin Caidin's "Me 109" this morning. Caidin quotes Wing Commander Asher Lee RAF:

    "In a final review of fighter aircraft, he states that the Me-109 'proved itself the equivelant, if not the superior of any Allied fighter brought against it, including the Hurricane and the Spitfire ... If the Allies had a slight technical pull on the whole, it was certainly not till the last year of the Second World War. The big difference was of course in the quality of pilots ... By the last year of the war many of the German single-engined fighter pilots were hardly able to do more than take off and land the aircraft they flew. It was the German pilot deficiencies much more than the aircraft technical dificiencies which gave the Allies such complete air domination towards the end of the war.'

    Caidin continues, "Perhaps the reader will question this unqualified selection of the Me 109 design as 'the greatest fighter airplane ever built.' Certainly there will be those who will point out that the Mustang was faster, more manoueverable, with far greater range, and better visibility. But two pilots of equal ability, one in the Mustang and one in the Me-109, would have found their machines extraordinarily well-matched."

    OC

    "You don't stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing."
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  3. #3
    my point exactly, the Allies won the air war in the ETO because of quantity of airplanes and a more complete training


    p.s. hope I dont get flamed
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  4. #4
    Altough I love the 109, there are several deficiencies in the later versions, mostly due to the added weight of armor, weapons, heavier engine, etc etc, the 109 was a "sprinter" a race horse type airplane with the smallest airframe possible for the engine and pilot, where the weapons were almost an aftertought, it was designed to be a close support interceptor, not as a strategic fighter airplane, sure, its performances grew up to the G series, and then they deteriorated into a go forward speed demon with a very limited turning capability, given the situation I believe the FW 190 is more matched to the P51 than the 109, the mustang had several qualities different than the 109, they had to be exploited adequately by the pilots to get the advantage.

    for one the p51 is 50 kph faster than the 109 up to 22000 feet, after that they are matched up to 30,000 feet, and then the p 51 is faster again than the 109

    the p51 acclerates better than the 109 in dives, taking the dive advantage away from the 109

    the 109 turns better than the p51 ( no high speed stall syndrome due to the leading edge slats)

    the p51 initially zoom climbs better than the 109 when started at same high speed but the 109 climbs steeper and retains better speed, on a long climb the 109 has clear advantage.

    109 has fewer weapons but they are close together to the a/c centerline and has longer firing time in its magazines making it more accurate than the '51

    p51 has more weapons but fewer firing time than the 109.

    (in real life) the 109 can turn and keep turning down to 250 kph at full power ( slats out), while the P 51 will invariably stall with a spin tendency at 325 kph even with combat flaps in same turn.


    as you see both have their own qualities, it depends on the pilot to use them

    and yes you are right, by mid 1944 the pilot attrition in the LW was so severe that the average life span of a new pilot in the front line was 3 missions, experienced pilots were lost at high rates, and less training was given to a german pilot that their counterparts before being sent to the butchering front, average of 200 hours before going to combat versus the 500 plus hours that the typical American pilot had in training....

    but that is histoy.


    Armis Bela, non venenis geri
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  5. #5
    OC, happy new year. I suspect this thread will last a while.

    The 109 flew longer in more variants than any allied a/c in the war, and with reasonable success. Wm. Yenne, in his book "Aces" writes: "To say the that German aces in WWII outscored the aces of any other air arm is a huge understatement....With the exception of two Japanese aces with possible uncounted victories, no aces in any country other than Germany exceeded 100 aerial victories. In the LW, there were 105 aces who exceeded 100 confirmed victories and 15 who exceeded 200 confirmed. Two men exceeded 300 -- Erich Hartmann with 352, and Gerhard Barkhorn with 301."

    Hartman scored all his victories in a 109 (most in a G-6 I believe), and Barkhorn scored the vast majority of his in this a/c. Most of these scores, of course, were against inexperienced and poorly equipped VVS pilots in the early years of Barbarosa.

    By the time the P-51 was retrofitted for high altitude combat with a Merlin, many of the experienced aces seem to have been deployed in the east or were dead. Ironically, most of the LW aces who didn't survive the war were killed in accidents, not combat.

    There are some very well informed and thoughtful ppl in this community who will have other views. I suspect we'll hear from a few.

    Winning isn't everything;
    It's the only thing!
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  6. #6
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Old_Canuck:
    ... it was the pilots.

    Talking about the real planes here (P-51 Vs 109).

    ===========================================
    Just happened to be re-reading Martin Caidin's "Me 109" this morning. Caidin quotes Wing Commander Asher Lee RAF:

    "In a final review of fighter aircraft, he states that the Me-109 'proved itself the equivelant, if not the superior of any Allied fighter brought against it, including the Hurricane and the Spitfire ... If the Allies had a slight technical pull on the whole, it was certainly not till the last year of the Second World War. The big difference was of course in the quality of pilots ... By the last year of the war many of the German single-engined fighter pilots were hardly able to do more than take off and land the aircraft they flew. It was the German pilot deficiencies much more than the aircraft technical dificiencies which gave the Allies such complete air domination towards the end of the war.'

    Caidin continues, "Perhaps the reader will question this unqualified selection of the Me 109 design as 'the greatest fighter airplane ever built.' Certainly there will be those who will point out that the Mustang was faster, more manoueverable, with far greater range, and better visibility. But two pilots of equal ability, one in the Mustang and one in the Me-109, would have found their machines extraordinarily well-matched."

    OC

    "You don't stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Nothing Earth shaking here but one should be cautioned NOT to use quotes from any Martin Caidin book. Caidin is well known for exaggeration and out right fabfications. ANY data in his books is at best suspect.

    He also made no bones about the fact that he disliked the P-51.

    I will add that speed and range were so important in air warfare that the P-51 had a huge advantage as a weapon. In a one on one dog fight it was a close match, and with equal pilots I will give the edge to the P-51 but by a gnats lash.

    Db
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  7. #7
    Hartmann and the other JG52 jocks started really racking their kills by 1943, way after Barbarossa, and the Russians they were fighting flew good aircraft (modern yaks and la, and plenty of lend-lease a/c) and had training.
    Besides, most of the aircraft destroyed in the opening days of Barbarossa were done so on the ground by bombers.

    The fact is, the Germans had been fighting since 1939, and even earlier for those who participated in the Spanish civil war, they flew at least good enough aircraft all along, and flew alot in dangerous situations against superior odds (the german military didn't care much for the life of the individual soldier, at least not like the US army did).
    Thus it's not surprising that some elite pilots stuck out, surviving through a sheer elimination process : the ones who did survive gathered more and more experience which enabled them in turn to be more apt to survive.
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  8. #8
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JG69_Koenig:
    Hartmann and the other JG52 jocks started really racking their kills by 1943, way after Barbarossa, and the Russians they were fighting flew good aircraft (modern yaks and la, and plenty of lend-lease a/c) and had training.
    Besides, most of the aircraft destroyed in the opening days of Barbarossa were done so on the ground by bombers.

    The fact is, the Germans had been fighting since 1939, and even earlier for those who participated in the Spanish civil war, they flew at least good enough aircraft all along, and flew alot in dangerous situations against superior odds (the german military didn't care much for the life of the individual soldier, at least not like the US army did).
    Thus it's not surprising that some elite pilots stuck out, surviving through a sheer elimination process : the ones who did survive gathered more and more experience which enabled them in turn to be more apt to survive.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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

    Germany was fighting a defensive war by 1942, most of the
    air combat was over German held territory. This
    gave the German pilot an element of advantage
    to be able to bail and survive to fight another day.
    Tough way to learn don't you think?

    Early on the Brits were able to do the same thing
    over Britian during the BOB. Over the Pacific
    it was bad for everyone. Drowning was a real possibility.

    Most US surviving airmen shot down spent the war
    in a prison camp.

    Da
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  9. #9
    Bearcat99's Avatar Senior Member
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JaguarMEX:
    my point exactly, the Allies won the air war in the ETO because of quantity of airplanes and a more complete training
    p.s. hope I dont get flamed <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Wrong...the Allies won the air war because Germany had leadership that was myopic and megalomaniacal. If the German military men had been running the show instead of that fool Adolph Hitler and his band of nincompoops the whole war would have gone diffently. Germany had the technology, they had the experienced pilots. The fact that the Me-262 was put on the back burner till it was too late..and even then it wasnt used to it's strength till it was too late, The fact that Germany was the only major combatant in WW2 with no long range bomber, The fact that Goering was an idiot...all these things lost the airwar for Germany. Sure we won it...... but the German leadership also lost it...big time. If those who were trying to kill Hitler...and the plots for this actually started pretty early in the war... had had thier way the whole outcome might have been different. Lastly.....you are right the P-51 did NOT win the war. The GIs, sailors, pilots and civillians who worked in the factories and did the support work on the home front won the war. The machines were just tools.

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  10. #10
    Copperhead310th's Avatar Banned
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    "the Me-109 was obslete the day it rolled of the line."

    Kit Carson WWII Ace

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