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  #1  
Old 18th February 2007, 05:07
NickM NickM is offline
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Post A 'what if' question RE: LW vs 8th AF

Guys:

In all honesty, once the USAAF got the political will to 'carry on the fight' after second Schweinfurt, could the LW actually have inflicted sufficient losses to eventually stop the 8th AF? As I understood it, by late 43/early 44 they could put a thousand bombers & at least that many fighters over a target AND there were several times that many planes & aircrew in reserve or 'in the pipeline';
It would seem that even IF the LW had an insanely favorable exchange rate (150 bombers & 50 fighters vs say, 50 LW fighters), they STILL eventually just get ground down by sheer weight of numbers; was there actually a 'turning point' that could have been reached or was it a 'pipe dream'?

NickM
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Old 18th February 2007, 05:39
Rob Romero Rob Romero is offline
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Re: A 'what if' question RE: LW vs 8th AF

I have even thought that the 8th would have eventually worn out the Luftwaffe (albeit at a barely sustainable rate of attrition) WITHOUT Long Range Escort.

Rob Romero
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Old 18th February 2007, 12:19
Boomerang Boomerang is offline
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Re: A 'what if' question RE: LW vs 8th AF

Nick:

One point I believe worth considering is that the 8AF's ability to put up very large numbers of bombers in 1944 was due to the very success of the escort force in gaining air superiority and hence reducing bomber losses.

In other words, the success of the USAAF fighters was responsible, to an extent, for the increase in 8AF bomber numbers. It might be interesting to compare the rate at which fresh bombers were supplied from the US with best guesses of bomber losses in the absence of escort fighters and see what size bomber force results i.e. an 'aircraft balance'.

The absence of an escort fighter force may also have allowed an increase in the size of the defending fighter force and unhindered use of the twin-engine fighters using rockets in stand-off attacks.

That said, an absolutely fascinating issue to consider.

Cheers

Boomerang
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Old 18th February 2007, 14:25
ArtieBob ArtieBob is offline
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Re: A 'what if' question RE: LW vs 8th AF

IMHO,

having been a child growing up in the USA during WWII and listening to how my parents, relatives and neighbors felt about the war , if different tactics by either side had delayed V-E day by more than a few weeks, Germany might well have been the recipients of the first nuclear bombs.

Best regards,

Artie Bob
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Old 18th February 2007, 16:23
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drgondog drgondog is offline
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Re: A 'what if' question RE: LW vs 8th AF

An interesting question. Morale in 8th AF bomber crews was pretty low after October 14, 1943... On the other hand the will of the American people to prevail was far stronger than today - so there probably would not have been enough Congressional pressure to influence the Strategic plan.

I think a couple of questions would have to be posed.

Belief: Absent the Mustang, the P-38 would have been extremely important and perhaps even effective once the dive brake modifications were available and the P-38J became numerous enough. The ratio of kills to losses would probably have been lower (than P-51) against the Luftwaffe but probably sufficient to stop un restricted forming of large gaggles of German fighters to make 50 bomber loss days a common occurance.

Question: Would the P-38 be effective 'enough' to extract the toll on the Luftwaffe between December and June to prevent a much stronger Luftwaffe reaction at Normandy?

Question: Would the combination of the P-38 and P-47's have been sufficient to enable the campaign against key oil targets?

I believe the answers are 'yes' but it would have been bloodier at Normandy and in the air during deep penetrations - both to 8th AF Fighter and Bomber Command, and the Luftwaffe would have been marginally stronger in the March-June timeframe to react stronger to bombing critical oil targets..

On the other hand, opinions are just that - opinions.

Bill
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Old 19th February 2007, 13:05
RT RT is offline
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Re: A 'what if' question RE: LW vs 8th AF

, Germany might well have been the recipients of the first nuclear bombs.


Who will drop the 3 rd one Iran, Korea,..or Israel, USA start a very sad list



remi
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Old 19th February 2007, 16:09
Jens Jens is offline
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Re: A 'what if' question RE: LW vs 8th AF

I would also support the oppinion, that introduction of P-51 wasn't that decisive, since many german planes were shot down by P-47. This includes great bundle of Experten like Rall.

But i don't think that 8th AF had a chance only with bombers. Losses in Schweinfurt where much higherthan 60 due damages. If Luftwaffe had used 1944 equipment and tactics like Mk-108 and Sturmgruppen with long-range fighter escort, the losses of four-engined bomber would be much to high.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 21:53
NickM NickM is offline
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Re: A 'what if' question RE: LW vs 8th AF

Quote:
Originally Posted by RT View Post
, Germany might well have been the recipients of the first nuclear bombs.


Who will drop the 3 rd one Iran, Korea,..or Israel, USA start a very sad list



remi
After five years of thought, I can only say, that while the US started a very sad list, 'the bomb' ended a very bad war....
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Old 3rd May 2012, 07:55
RT RT is offline
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Re: A 'what if' question RE: LW vs 8th AF

That war probably not began in 1939, nd probably finished in 1945 starting new era , finishing now ! what next ??

R
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Old 3rd May 2012, 14:52
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: A 'what if' question RE: LW vs 8th AF

Quote:
Originally Posted by RT View Post
That war probably not began in 1939, nd probably finished in 1945 starting new era , finishing now ! what next ??
R
Iran will probably air-burst a 25-megaton radio active sodium bomb at an altitude of 600 meters over central Paris. Peaceniks should be thankful that the U.S.A. is willing to spend its national wealth and the blood of its youth to keep the passive and complacent infidels of the world safe.

L.
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