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  #1  
Old 25th January 2005, 12:38
Ruy Horta's Avatar
Ruy Horta Ruy Horta is offline
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Thunderbolts and Mustangs versus the Jagdwaffe (split topic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by R Leonard
Weighted by annual production, averaged costs derived from USAAF Statistical Digest:

P-38 - $114,351.30

P-47 - $98,335.40

P-51 - $55,109.75

Rich
Good fiscal reasons to choose the Mustang over either types, especially if weighed against performance (bang for buck).

You could, on average, have two P-51s against one P-38 or P-47. The Mustang might have been less able to absorb damage, but since Allied pilots weren't an issue in 1944, you could always win the numbers game by producing the cheapest high performance fighter.
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  #2  
Old 25th January 2005, 14:56
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Well, Mustang was not only cheaper but also superior in performance.
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  #3  
Old 25th January 2005, 15:40
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That seems to be arguable.

The late P-47s and P-38 matched or surpassed the P-51 in certain areas, but the overall sum clearly points towards the P-51.

However IMHO it was the P-47 which took on the brunt of the Luftwaffe and broke its back, the P-51 got the leftovers. The numbers game might show something different, but in 1943 the quality and quantity was more or less equal between the opponents, the same can not be said of 1944.

The USAAF could probably have done the same without the P-51.

However in the first post I did write:
Quote:
Good fiscal reasons to choose the Mustang over either types, especially if weighed against performance (bang for buck).
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Old 25th January 2005, 17:45
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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I am afraid we are going off topic, so perhaps you can edit the thread to a separate topic?

Quote:
The late P-47s and P-38 matched or surpassed the P-51 in certain areas, but the overall sum clearly points towards the P-51.
What areas? Certainly Thunderbolt was superior to Mustang as a ground attack aircraft but I think we do not discuss that role. RAF rejected T-bolt as an escort aircraft and send it overseas instead. Having in mind L-L terms I do not think that price was a decisive factor for Britons.

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However IMHO it was the P-47 which took on the brunt of the Luftwaffe and broke its back, the P-51 got the leftovers. The numbers game might show something different, but in 1943 the quality and quantity was more or less equal between the opponents, the same can not be said of 1944.
Well, there were two breaking points on ETO - the Big Week and Normandy. Neither of them can be considered a pure T-bolt show.
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Old 25th January 2005, 17:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Well, there were two breaking points on ETO - the Big Week and Normandy. Neither of them can be considered a pure T-bolt show.
You are looking in decisive moments, I am looking at daily grinding.

In 1943 the Jagdwaffe still had a strong force in the West with pilots of equal or superior quality, this force was pitted against the Thunderbolt and not the Mustang. Once the Mustang entered the picture in the spring of 1944 (Big Week), much attrition had already taken place, many experienced air crew had been replaced by far less experienced nachwuchs.

1943 misses a climactic moment like Big Week.
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Old 25th January 2005, 18:06
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Ruy
A closer look at the ETO operations during 1943 should reveal a significant role of RAF fighters. Also I do not think that results of combats between T-bolts and Germans were in the former's favour. Then we should consider condition of Luftwaffe in 1944 an effect of training system collapse rather than direct result of one type's operations.
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Old 25th January 2005, 19:03
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But if the training system collapsed in 1944 , it was due to the steady attrition of 1943 and although I agree that said attrition cannot be attributed to the Thunderbolt alone (or more precise USAAF alone), it can also be said that it cannot be attributed to only the western allies.

However the discussion was Thunderbolts (and Lightnings) versus the Mustang, and if the Mustang REALLY made the difference. Even during Big Week the Thunderbolt still filled the bulk of the VIII. AF FGs.

When the Mustang took over as the most numerable fighter, the Jagdwaffe had already lost its grip in the West (daytime). Although like you said this is attributable to more than just a single operational type, when you look at US fighter types it was the Thunderbolt (and Lightning) which took the relatively fresh Bull by the horns and it was the Mustang which took over when said beast was already bleeding to death.

It may be simplistic a view, but that's why I wrote leftovers.

1943 is fighting for supremacy, 1944 is mopping up, 1945 is kicking a dead horse.
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  #8  
Old 25th January 2005, 20:04
Dick Powers Dick Powers is offline
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One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the effect that 8th AF DOCTRINE had on the defeat of the LW. Doctrine probably more effect than the relative performance of P-38, P-47 and P-51. When the 8th fighter command was handcuffed by orders requiring them to provide escort they could not be successful. When Doolittle changed from a “defensive” mode to an “offensive” mode (find the LW and destroy him wherever he is), the same aircraft, and same pilots were much more effective in destroying the LW, not just preventing interceptions.

Doctrine matters; sometimes it’s not as interesting as maximum speed, turning radius and rates of fire, but it has a fundamental effect on the use of weapons.

So, Ruy, in your terms 1943 was developing the tools, 1944 was developing the doctrine and late 1944 -1945 was using the right tools while applying the doctrine.
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  #9  
Old 25th January 2005, 20:20
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I didn't miss out on the doctrine.

Said doctrine was impossible to implement without the numbers required to do so, something that only came to be in late 1943 at best. Lets assume that we are all aware of the same variables and developments.

Only in 1943 do we find a matching pair fighting for supremacy, technology, numbers and quality are roughly even between the Jagdwaffe and the USAAF.

This changes in the winter of 1943/44, you might attribute many factors, ranging from new allied types to new allied tactics to simply overwhelming numbers.

Again, I see these variables like any other enthusiast in our field however, and I am guilty of not attempting to quantify my take of events, it is 1943 that essentially forms the main attritional stage in the Battle over the Reich. It is 1943 that the Jagdwaffe loses air superiority and its essentially the Thunderbolt that does the hard work in gaining said superiority.

Certainly 800 Mustangs could do the work better than 600 Thunderbolts, but that's a mute point.

Again, look at the force disposition during Big Week.

Bottom line, as you indirectly mention, if it wasn't about the aircraft but the men and their aggressive tactics (not to forget numbers) etc, the Mustang did not really make the difference that's often attributed. The same work could have been done with Thunderbolts.

But now I am starting to argue for the sake of argument, so I'll leave it at that. Must be careful not to step outside the lines as a moderator.
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  #10  
Old 25th January 2005, 21:00
Lagarto Lagarto is offline
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With Thunderbolts and Mustangs over Europe - wasn't it a bit like with Hurricanes and Spitfires during BoB? The uglier did the job while the prettier got famous for it?
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