Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum  

Go Back   Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum > Discussion > Allied and Soviet Air Forces

Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 28th February 2005, 01:58
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 2,357
Franek Grabowski is on a distinguished road
Imagine Pamela Anderson crossing Mareth line in the 1943. Imagine that she is tan and naked. Is there anyone here who thinks that would not have completely altered the situation - compared to the real relationship of a fighting men?

Of course we can imagine plenty of situations but what for?
The fact is that Axis were beaten in Tunisia and Normandy not due to numerical advantage (though it was a contributing factor) but due to better training, tactics and organisation of Western Allies.

Christer, please show us those dogfights, where the Germans were so outnumbered! Please give a single sample of a Staffel (6-9 aircraft) fighting with two or three Wings or Fighter Groups (60-90 aircraft)!
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 28th February 2005, 03:45
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 434
Christer Bergström is on a distinguished road
Quote:
”Axis were beaten in Tunisia and Normandy not due to numerical advantage (though it was a contributing factor) but due to better training, tactics and organisation of Western Allies.”
That indeed is a strong assertion! Everyone knows that a numerical superiority always is of great advantage. Since Franek denies that the Allied advantage in the air was a key factor to their numerical superiority, he has the burden of proof. We need some evidence which shows that the huge Allied numerical advantage played a secondary role! What makes Franek believe that so strongly?

Quote:
“Of course we can imagine plenty of situations but what for?”
Because only when man thinks creatively - i.e. creates alternative scenarios in his mind - is he able to evaluate and draw deep comparative conclusions.

I say that the huge numerical superiority which the RAF and USAAF enjoyed was a key factor to their dominance in the air in 1944 - 1945. This can be tested in our minds if we theoretically imagine completely reversed roles - everything else unchanged, it is the Luftwaffe which holds such a vast numerical superiority: On 6 June 1944, there are 10,500 Luftwaffe aircraft (including 5,400 fighters) against only 1,300 RAF and USAAF aircraft (including 475 fighters). If your conclusion is that regardless of that, the Allies would have dominated the skies completely, you think that my theory is wrong.

Franek says that the RAF’s and USAAF’s dominance in the air in 1944 - 1945 was "not due to numerical advantage (though it was a contributing factor) but due to better training, tactics and organisation of Western Allies". This can be tested in our minds if we theoretically imagine completely reversed roles - everything else unchanged: The Luftwaffe still has only 1,300 aircraft (including 475 fighters), but it has the training, tactics and organisation which the Allies had. And the Allies still have all their 10,500 aircraft (including 5,400 fighters), but they have the training, tactics and organisation which the Luftwaffe had. If your conclusion is that regardless of that, the Allies would have dominated the skies completely, you think that Franek’s theory is wrong.

Before anyone jumps in to be a smart guy and says that there are several contributing factors, allow me to say that both Franek and I have said so all the time. What we are discussing is whether the Allied numerical superiority of 8:1 or even 10:1 was a key factor or not. Now what seems most plausible in this concrete situation - that the numerical superiority of 8:1 was of decisive importance or not?

Quote:
please show us those dogfights, where the Germans were so outnumbered! Please give a single sample of a Staffel (6-9 aircraft) fighting with two or three Wings or Fighter Groups (60-90 aircraft)!
Oh, that is very easy. I will give you more than a single example, and I will refrain from using German sources, since it is a well-known phenomenon that the pilots of one side often exaggerate the number of enemy aircraft which they engaged (and often "forget" to mention that other friendly units participated in the same combat). So I will give you a few US reports:

Some interesting examples of the vast Allied numerical superiority over France during the invasion of France are given by the combat reports which are published in 20th FG’s chronicle, “King’s Cliffe: The 20th Ftr. Grp Association”:

On 25 June 1944 in the evening, a formation of 49 Lightnings from US 20 FG attacked 15 Bf 109s near Chartres. (“King’s Cliffe: The 20th Ftr. Grp Association”, p. 161.)

The US report from the mission against targets north of Paris on 28 June 1944, shows a total of 25 German fighters intercepting 684 heavy bombers escorted by fourteen Fighter groups with a total of 569 fighters. US 20th FG, with 46 Lightnings, was attacked by eight Fw 190s and Bf 109s. (“King’s Cliffe: The 20th Ftr. Grp Association”, p. 162.)

The report for 14 July 1944 reads: “This morning 524 P-51s and P-47s were dispatched to support a special heavy bomber operation in the Chartres area. Enemy opposition was characteristically meagre and 4 of 10 Me 109s and Fw 190s encountered were shot down by our fighters.”

Okay, now to the question of “better training, tactics and organisation” which Franek claims was present in the RAF and the USAAF to such a decisive degree.

Regarding training, I fully agree. Like David Clark (to pick just one out of dozens of researchers) writes in his 380-page study on the air war over Normandy 1944 (“Angels Eight: Normandy Air War”, 2003): “We noted how many German super-aces appeared in the air battle. The skill level of the pool of German pilots was not homonogenous but rather, presented a dramatic contrast. The killing of so many good pilots in the first six months of 1944 left most gruppen with a smattering of super-aces, a small number of experienced but not yet expert pilots, and the vast majority with but a few hours flying experience. These latter had been desperately pressed into service without sufficient training.” (p. 59.)

Indeed, the victories attained by the Allied fighter pilots in 1944 - particularly in the latter half of that year - were relatively “easy”, in that regard quite comparable to the victories attained by the German fighter pilots on the Eastern Front in 1941.

While I agree with Franek on that issue, I see the declining quality among the German fighter pilots as a direct result of the Allied numerical superiority. Forced to wage a battle against terrible odds, the Luftwaffe sustained increasing losses. Thus, the Luftwaffe lost pilots at a much higher pace than it was possible to train pilots. Thus, pilot training quality inevitably suffered. It started with the calling of many instructors to first-line service. This first step lowered the quality of the trainers themselves. Next, the pilot training schemes were shortened. Already in early 1944, the Luftwaffe fighter pilot training was shortened to an average of 160 flight hours. A few weeks later, it was further shortened to only 112 hours. Finally, in the spring of 1944, the B flight schools were disbanded, and the pilots were sent into first-line service directly after A schools. The condition for the A2 flight certificate included a basic training of sixty training flights with a total of 15 flight hours!


“Tactics and organisation” is a bit more problematic. I would like to see a concrete description and evaluation of exactly which RAF and USAAF tactics were so superior to the Luftwaffe’s tactics? I would like to see a concrete description and evaluation of exactly in which way the RAF and USAAF organisation was so superior to the Luftwaffe’s organisation? And above all - exactly how can this be of even greater importance than a numerical superiority of eight to one?


All best,

Christer Bergström
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 28th February 2005, 11:59
Juha's Avatar
Juha Juha is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Finland
Posts: 1,445
Juha is on a distinguished road
Christer
we can always theorizice but in that we must be careful. And You are not. Your figures for Med are a moot point. You forget one major player (RA) and by doing so You almost double the superiority of Allies, and that at the time when the Allies had just achieved a major victory. Usually after a crushing defeat the victors had superiority at that theatre of war. From the situation after the battle is rather difficult to draw right conclusions on the reasons of the victory/defeat. Or what You think on the following example. On 30.6.40 British had in Europe let say 100 combat ready tanks, Germans had let say 2.500. (the number were imaginary but not far from the reality) From this one draws the conclusion that it was the 25:1 superiority in tanks which decided the 1940 Campaign in West and this historian proofs his claim on the assertion that if the British had had 2500 tanks and the Germans only 100 tanks in 10.5.40 the results would have been different. To me this sort of argument isn't creative thinking but zero-research, if not worse.

6.6.44 situation in the West is better example, because it is the time of the beginning of one campaign, but it was also a result of a long and bitter campaign for the air supremacy over Western France, which the Allies had won by greater industrial capacity, by much better production planing, by focusing right things, by better high command, by perseverance and by aggressiveness. And of course by the effects of Eastern front. But as I have wrote earlier, the LW losses against Western Allies had been greater than those against SU since late 1942. The importance of the many mistakes made by the OKL (which clearly is a part of LW and must be taken in account when we estimete the quality of the LW as an air force) and OKW must not be forgotten. For example the LW had wasted much of its bomber force in West in early 44 in those largely useless attacks against UK.

I don't deny the effects of numerical superiority in air war, but when the waring parties are big industrial powers it would be not easy to get and maintain a great numerical superiority if one's AF is greatly worse in tactical skills than the opponent.

Juha
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 28th February 2005, 15:24
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 2,357
Franek Grabowski is on a distinguished road
Juha
Perhaps we should consider to include Task Force 58 in those stats? There is a saying: there are small lies, there are big lies and there is statistics.
Luftwaffe was unable to manage their resources properly, partially due to decisions of government and this led to cutting the training of new airmen. Could you imagine such situation during the war? I do not mention the German training was simply inadequate in terms of modern warfare.
List of such grave errors committed by Germans is very long and it is really no surprise they have lost - fortunatelly. Unfortunatelly Soviet Union was among the winners but that is another story. Part of the story is quality of the latter's aircraft, including La-7.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 28th February 2005, 15:26
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 434
Christer Bergström is on a distinguished road
Quote:
”we can always theorizice but in that we must be careful. And You are not. Your figures for Med are a moot point. You forget one major player (RA) and by doing so You almost double the superiority of Allies”
In mid-1943, the majority of the Italians were not particularly interested in dying for Il Duce. If you read Prien, “JG 77”, p. 1621, you will find a long text about how it seems plausible that elements in the Italian Air Force cooperated with the Allies and in July 1943 gave them information on the whereabout of German aircraft on airfields in Sicily.

Moreover, even the parts of the Italian Air Force which were interested in fighting for Il Duce, were badly hampered by a lack of fuel, spare parts, aircraft - you name it. (See what Steinhoff writes in his book on Sicily.) Which in turn was an effect, among other things, of the lacking motivation to fight for Mussolini.

I don’t ask you to compare the number of Allied aircraft shot down by Italian airmen with the number of Allied aircraft shot down by German airmen in the Mediterranean; such figures are very hard to obtain. (However, some hints are found in Shores's two books on the air war in North Africa.) But here’s something easier: If you study the history of the Italian AF in action against the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean between 1940 and 1943 and compare that with the accomplishment of much smaller Luftwaffe detachments against the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean between 1940 and 1943, I think it is obvious that you can’t just compare the numbers when the Italian armed forces are involved.




Quote:
”Usually after a crushing defeat the victors had superiority at that theatre of war. From the situation after the battle is rather difficult to draw right conclusions on the reasons of the victory/defeat.”
The Western Allies were able to sustain much higher losses than the Luftwaffe, because they (the Allies) had many, many more aircraft, and each day large numbers of new aircraft and new aircrew arrived to increase the size of the combined Allied air force, while the Luftwaffe barely was able to replace its losses. If the huge Allied numerical superiority in the air in the Med was not the dominant reason to their victory in the air, then you have to come up with some really convincing arguments regarding other factors which should have been even more important.

Please consider these figures for Tunisia, April 1943:

I./JG 53 lost 47 Bf 109s (including 15 to enemy action) and received only 21 Bf 109s as replacement, and had only 13 Bf 109s on 1 May 1943. (During the same period, it achieved 32 victories.)

II./JG 53 lost 51 Bf 109s (including 18 to enemy action, 14 of which were destroyed in bombing attacks against II./JG 53’s air base) and received only 38 Bf 109s as replacements. (During the same period, it achieved 24 victories.)

II./JG 77 lost 28 Bf 109s (including 9 to enemy action) and received 26 Bf 109s as replacements. (During the same period, it achieved 34 victories.)

In total, the combined strength of these three Jagdgruppen went down from 103 Bf 109s on 1 April 1943 to 66 on 1 May 1943, a drop of 35 % in just one month.

(Talking about the Italian Air Force, Italy produced only 2,818 aircraft through 1942.)

The Allied ability to not only replace their losses, but even increase their number of aircraft, was the single most important factor to the fact that the Allies finally managed to achieve air supremacy in Tunisia. If the crushing Allied numerical superiority was not a key factor - then what? You can’t say that the Allies had better trained pilots than the Germans in Tunisia, and you can’t say that they had better tactics or generally better aircraft. If numerical superiority did not decide the outcome - then what? :?:

Quote:
“Or what You think on the following example. On 30.6.40 British had in Europe let say 100 combat ready tanks, Germans had let say 2.500. (the number were imaginary but not far from the reality) From this one draws the conclusion that it was the 25:1 superiority in tanks which decided the 1940 Campaign in West and this historian proofs his claim on the assertion that if the British had had 2500 tanks and the Germans only 100 tanks in 10.5.40 the results would have been different. To me this sort of argument isn't creative thinking but zero-research, if not worse.”
In fact, one of the key factors to the German victory in the West in 1940 was German numerical superiority in tanks and aircraft on the battlefield. Out of the Luftwaffe’s plus 5,000 aircraft, almost 4,000 were directly involved to support the Western offensive in May 1940. On 10 May 1940, Armée de l’Air had 1,400 aircraft deployed in France’s western and northern parts, and the RAF had 416 aircraft stationed in France. On 10 May 194o, the Allies possessed a total of 2,689 tanks against the German total of 2,439 tanks. However, on the battlefield, the Germans enjoyed a crushing numerical superiority. For instance, most of the 530 French FT17, FT18 tanks were deployed behind the Maginot line in May 1940. Meanwhile, the Germans created power concentrations where they concentrated the bulk of their armoured forces - thus reaching a crushing numerical superiority in tanks.

But your example is ill-sought, at least if you are looking for a parallel to the reason to the Allied dominance in the air in Tunisia in 1943. All historians agree that the Germans were able to achieve such a decisive numerical superiority on the battlefield in the West in 1940 due to a superior German tactic.

Alas: I have seen no one who claims that the Allies had such a superior tactic in Tunisia in 1942/1943. To the contrary, it seems to be that if any side had a better tactic and better trained pilots in Tunisia in 1942/1943, it was rather the Germans. :!:

So we are back where we started: It seems quite plausible that the Allied dominance in the air in Tunisia in 1943 - which was finally achieved against an enemy which enjoyed a qualitative superiority - would have been completely unthinkable without the Western Allied crushing numerical superiority which ultimately overwhelmed German qualitative advantages.


Quote:
”6.6.44 situation in the West is better example, because it is the time of the beginning of one campaign, but it was also a result of a long and bitter campaign for the air supremacy over Western France, which the Allies had won by greater industrial capacity,”
Yes, there were two major industrial powers, with unlimited access to raw material and work forces, against less than half the industry in a Germany which was poor on key minerals. Of course the combined industries of the USA and the UK were larger than less than half of Germany’s industry. (More than half of Germany’s war production was sent to the Eastern Front.) That was a key factor to the huge numerical superiority which the Western Allies built up.


Quote:
“by much better production planning, by focusing right things”
Maybe. In any case, the USA and the UK sent something like ten times more aircraft into action than the Germans were able to employ.


Quote:
“by better high command”
Please elaborate on that. In which way did the Western Allies have more competent air force commanders than the Luftwaffe? It’s easy to feel strong when you outnumber your enemy by ten to one. However, the American AF commanders entered the war without having learned much about the need for a fighter escort doctrine, and the British AF commanders wasted thousands of aircraft sorties and airmen on virtually useless operations over France in daylight in 1941 and against German population centres. The Western Allies could sure have made use of a more competent air force high command!


Quote:
“by perseverance”
Aircraft production figures:

1943:
UK: 26,263
USA: 85,898

1944:
UK: 26,461
USA: 96,318

When the Western Allies produced almost a quarter of a million aircraft in those two years - while Germany produced “only” 25,527 aircraft in 1943 and 39,807 in 1944 - I don’t think there was a great demand for particular skills in perseverance abilities. . . What do you think?

(Okay, Japan: 8,861 aircraft produced in 1942 and 16,693 in 1943. . . The meagre Italian figures were showed above.)

Remember also that a large part (around 50 % in mid-1943) of the Luftwaffe served on the Eastern Front.

Quote:
“and by aggressiveness”
Are you seriously implying that the RAF and USAAF pilots showed a greater aggressiveness than the Luftwaffe pilots in 1943, 1944, 1945? If not - what is the point of bringing this up when we are discussing which other factors than sheer numbers that might have decided the air war in the West and Med to the advantage of the Western Allies? (If you really think that the RAF and USAAF pilots showed a greater aggressiveness than the Luftwaffe pilots in 1943, 1944, 1945, then please show us the sources to your theory.)

Quote:
“And of course by the effects of Eastern front.”
I agree completely. Without the efforts of the Red Army, not even the vast numbers of the RAF and the USAAF would have sufficed to bring down the Luftwaffe in 1944. In the end, they probably would have brought down the Luftwaffe - but it would have taken much longer. (And of course conversely, without the "second front" which the Western Allies opened in June 1944, the Red Army would not have sufficed to bring down the Wehrmacht in 1945. In the end, the Soviets probably would have brought down the Wehrmacht - but it would have taken much longer.)

Quote:
“But as I have wrote earlier, the LW losses against Western Allies had been greater than those against SU since late 1942.”
Just one small correction. The Luftwaffe losses in the West plus the Med temporarily surpassed the losses in the East in October - November 1942, as a combined result of the thaw period in the East which brought down air action to a minimum while at the same time the German air offensive against Malta in October 1942 and the Allied major offensive in Egypt, Algeria and Morocco in November resulted in a peak in air fighting in the Mediterranean area. The tendency of the West plus the Med and being responsible for the bulk of the Luftwaffe losses started in February 1943, when the Allies achieved a manifold and steadily increasing numerical superiority in Tunisia.

Prior to that, the bulk of the Luftwaffe’s losses were sustained on the Eastern Front. The reason is simple - although the British enjoyed a significant numerical superiority against the Luftwaffe in both the Wets and the Mediterranean from mid-1941 and throughout 1942, it was not until the Americans arrived to add their huge numbers to those of the British that the Western Allies achieved such a numerical superiority that they could start wearing down the Luftwaffe. So you see, it really had very little to do with pilot quality, aircraft quality, tactics or organisation. The superiority in pilot quality which the Allies later achieved was an effect of the numerical superiority which eventually wore down even the Luftwaffe’s quality.

Quote:
“The importance of the many mistakes made by the OKL (which clearly is a part of LW and must be taken in account when we estimete the quality of the LW as an air force) and OKW must not be forgotten. For example the LW had wasted much of its bomber force in West in early 44 in those largely useless attacks against UK.”
I don't deny that the OKL and the OKW committed many serious mistakes. But before we start discussing “many mistakes”, we must take the general picture into consideration. The OKL and the OKW also accomplished much which testifies to great military competence. Mistakes were made by both sides. The decisive effect of mistakes committed by one side can be measured only if we compare them with the effect of mistakes committed by the other side. Otherwise, we fall in the trap of making too strong simplifications and nurturing myths.

There is a trend in popular history to selectively focus on mistakes committed by “Hitler and Göring”, while mistakes of similar amplitude committed by the Allies are neglected. One such huge mistake made by the Allied was that the Americans entered the war with a totally wrong air doctrine, assuming that there was no need for fighter escort. There simply was no real US air doctrine for fighter escort, which had a negative impact on fighter designation. This led to total failure for the first phase of the bomber offensive, and tremendous losses for the bombers. As Williamson Murray writes: “They allowed preconceived judgements to filter out reality until ‘Black Thursday’ over Schweinfurt faced them with defeat”. (“Luftwaffe”, p. 443.)

Also, both the RAF and the USAAF wasted much of their bomber forces to bomb objects which dealt Germany no decisive harm, while Germany’s real Achilles heel (synthetic oil plants) was saved from methodical Allied bombings until May 1944.

Quote:
”I don't deny the effects of numerical superiority in air war, but when the waring parties are big industrial powers it would be not easy to get and maintain a great numerical superiority if one's AF is greatly worse in tactical skills than the opponent.”
Why? In 1943 - 1944, the USA and the UK produced almost a quarter of a million combat aircraft. With such a huge industrial power, it was evident from the onset that the crushing numerical superiority would ultimately wear down also the Luftwaffe’s superior quality. And that also is exactly what happened. There is no other factor which might explain why the Western Allies were able to turn the difficult situation in the air war in the period 1940 to mid-1942 into one of a crushing victory in late 1944.

All best,

Christer Bergström
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 28th February 2005, 16:44
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 434
Christer Bergström is on a distinguished road
Franek,

Quote:
“Luftwaffe was unable to manage their resources properly, partially due to decisions of government”
That goes without saying. I have to say that no single decision made by the Nazi government had a more disastrous impact on Germany’s war resources than the decision to invade the Soviet Union. That decision alone deprived Hitler of his possibility to bring the war to a successful conclusion, and wasted the bulk of Germany’s war effort, plus - of course! - millions of Russian and German lives. (Please - no discussions on the reason to the German invasion of the USSR! Please save that to a political forum, we all know that the clique who believes that Hitler acted in defence when he invaded the USSR has some followers among the members on the TOCH board, but please spread that gospel somewhere else!)

Franek, yesterday you asked me to show you only one example of an air battle in the summer of 1944, where the Germans were so outnumbered. I gave you a whole row of examples - and I refrained from using German sources, since it is a well-known phenomenon that the pilots of one side often exaggerate the number of enemy aircraft which they engaged (and often "forget" to mention that other friendly units participated in the same combat). Since you didn’t comment on that in your last post, I assume that you are satisfied with those random examples - two of which showed air battles where there were between 50 and 60 Allied aircraft against each Luftwaffe aircraft involved.

If you allow me to quote one of the German fighter pilots who experienced this while flying over Normandy in 1944, Hans-Ekkehard Bob told me:

“I often found myself alone pursued by eight or ten Mustangs, and was able to survive only by mobilising all my flight skills, twisting and turning around small woods and church towers in low-level flight. I was aided by the lacking skills on behalf of the American pilots, since each one of them wanted to shoot me down, and thus they blocked each other.” Bob has included that in his memoirs too.

Prien quotes III./JG 3’s War Diary on 13 June 1944:

“Die zahlenmässige Überlegenheit des Gegners, abgesehen von der technischen, ist derart gross, dass Starts in Schwarm- oder Staffelstärke zu untragbaren Verlusten führen. . . . Eigene Verbände werden in kürzester Zeit in Luftkämpfe mit überlegenen Feindkräfte, die laufend Verstärkung erhalten.“ (Prien, ”III./JG 3“, German edition, p. 364.)


I know that you asked for only one example, and I gave you several, but although I can’t write the whole history of the air war over Normandy here, I’ll provide you with just one more example of a single air combat which you wanted:

Let’s first listen to our friend Don Caldwell, who in his excellent “JG 26 War Diary” writes on page 292 (dealing with 27 June 1944): “134 Fw 190 and 196 Bf 109 sorties during the day, in thirty-five ordered missions. It is probable that a ‘mission’ in this context represented an effort by one Gruppe; a Gruppe mission thus contained an average of fewer than ten aircraft”.

In other words, an average of no more than nine German fighters participated in each mission on 27 June 1944.

The largest single mission performed by the Luftwaffe over France on 27 June 1944 probably was that which involved I. and II./JG 27 in the evening, with approximately 20 Bf 109s. These were attacked by the Thunderbolts of 353 FG, and then Thunderbolts of 56 FG joined in, followed by the Mustangs of 352 FG and 355 FG. It is possible that the Mustangs of 339 FG also participated in the onslaught on I. and II./JG 27’s little formation, since this fighter group claimed a victory against a German fighter in the same area and at the same time, while there are no records of other German fighter units in the vicinity by the same time. However, it doesn’t matter whether I. and II./JG 27’s little formation was battered by four or five different US fighter groups; what matters is that the Bf 109 pilots stood no chance and lost nine Bf 109s (the Americans claimed 14 victories) while they only managed to shoot down two US fighters. (See Clark, book, p. 94, and CD for 27 June 1944.)


All best,

Christer Bergström
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 28th February 2005, 18:46
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 2,357
Franek Grabowski is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
That goes without saying. I have to say that no single decision made by the Nazi government had a more disastrous impact on Germany’s war resources than the decision to invade the Soviet Union. Please - no discussions on the reason to the German invasion of the USSR! Please save that to a political forum, we all know that the clique who believes that Hitler acted in defence when he invaded the USSR has some followers among the members on the TOCH board, but please spread that gospel somewhere else!
Well, you forget to note it is CIA sponsored clique of mad imperialistic supporters tending to a unjustified war with the peace-loving Soviet Union.
If you give preemptive attack theory as a reason, why do you refrain from discussing it? Certainly it does not fit into La-7 thread but it is too serious not to be discussed at all.

Quote:
Since you didn’t comment on that in your last post, I assume that you are satisfied with those random examples - two of which showed air battles where there were between 50 and 60 Allied aircraft against each Luftwaffe aircraft involved.
I did comment in Lw aces thread.

Quote:
“I often found myself alone pursued by eight or ten Mustangs, and was able to survive only by mobilising all my flight skills, twisting and turning around small woods and church towers in low-level flight. I was aided by the lacking skills on behalf of the American pilots, since each one of them wanted to shoot me down, and thus they blocked each other.” Bob has included that in his memoirs too.
So I have to believe in that without any further research?

Quote:
Prien quotes III./JG 3’s War Diary on 13 June 1944:
“Die zahlenmässige Überlegenheit des Gegners, abgesehen von der technischen, ist derart gross, dass Starts in Schwarm- oder Staffelstärke zu untragbaren Verlusten führen. . . . Eigene Verbände werden in kürzester Zeit in Luftkämpfe mit überlegenen Feindkräfte, die laufend Verstärkung erhalten.“ (Prien, ”III./JG 3“, German edition, p. 364.)
So?

Quote:
Let’s first listen to our friend Don Caldwell, who in his excellent “JG 26 War Diary” writes on page 292 (dealing with 27 June 1944): “134 Fw 190 and 196 Bf 109 sorties during the day, in thirty-five ordered missions. It is probable that a ‘mission’ in this context represented an effort by one Gruppe; a Gruppe mission thus contained an average of fewer than ten aircraft”.
One further point. It was apparently enough three weeks to decimate Luftwaffe in Normandy. I suppose that by the end of the year Allied numerical superiority in France was tremendous. But it is not a proof in your case. At the start of the invasion Germans had more-less full strenghth units.

Quote:
The largest single mission performed by the Luftwaffe over France on 27 June 1944 probably was that which involved I. and II./JG 27 in the evening, with approximately 20 Bf 109s. These were attacked by the Thunderbolts of 353 FG, and then Thunderbolts of 56 FG joined in, followed by the Mustangs of 352 FG and 355 FG. It is possible that the Mustangs of 339 FG also participated in the onslaught on I. and II./JG 27’s little formation, since this fighter group claimed a victory against a German fighter in the same area and at the same time, while there are no records of other German fighter units in the vicinity by the same time. However, it doesn’t matter whether I. and II./JG 27’s little formation was battered by four or five different US fighter groups; what matters is that the Bf 109 pilots stood no chance and lost nine Bf 109s (the Americans claimed 14 victories) while they only managed to shoot down two US fighters. (See Clark, book, p. 94, and CD for 27 June 1944.)
Why the assupmtion 339, 352 and 339 FGs participated? Dave's data do not allow such conclusion.
Nonetheless I agree, Luftwaffe stood no chance against highest quality Allied war machine that annihilated the enemy within few weeks.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 28th February 2005, 20:11
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 434
Christer Bergström is on a distinguished road
Quote:
It was apparently enough three weeks to decimate Luftwaffe in Normandy.
Luftflotte 3 fighter strength (source: Prien, “JG 1/11”, p. 1004):

10 June 1944: 475 (290 serviceable)
26 June 1944: 529 (251)
20 July 1944: 509 (302)
20 August 1944: 581 (344)


Quote:
“I suppose that by the end of the year Allied numerical superiority in France was tremendous.”
Actually, in December 1944, in sheer numbers the Allied numerical superiority was less strong that it had been in June 1944. That had two major reasons:

a) The Western Allied failure to bring the German aircraft production to a halt through their bombing raids.

b) The German scrapping of the B flight schools and the radically shortened flight training schemes, which allowed the Germans to bring a very large number of inadequately trained pilots into first-line service.

It also is a fact that in the main battle days in December 1944 the Western Allied air forces sustained a loss rate in the West which was worse than ever encountered at Normandy the previous summer. These are the figures for the 9th AF on 23 December 1944: 58 medium bombers and fighter-bombers were shot down while 624 sorties were flown - a 9.3 % loss rate! On 24 December 1944, the Allies performed 5,000 sorties in the West and lost 94 aircraft - almost a 2 % loss rate.

The Allied loss rate on D Day was 1.1 %, and the average loss rate was 0.6 % during the whole air war over France June - August 1944.

However, In January 1945, the Allied numerical superiority in the West suddenly exploded into astronomical proportions - when the vast majority of the Luftwaffe was shifted to the Eastern Front, leaving only a fuel-starved tiny number tasked to operate against the RAF and the USAAF.

All best,

Christer Bergström
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 28th February 2005, 20:47
Six Nifty .50s Six Nifty .50s is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 246
Six Nifty .50s
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
Franek,
If you allow me to quote one of the German fighter pilots who experienced this while flying over Normandy in 1944, Hans-Ekkehard Bob told me:

“I often found myself alone pursued by eight or ten Mustangs, and was able to survive only by mobilising all my flight skills, twisting and turning around small woods and church towers in low-level flight. I was aided by the lacking skills on behalf of the American pilots, since each one of them wanted to shoot me down, and thus they blocked each other.”

I hope no one asked him to prove it. As time passes and memory fades, one Mustang becomes four, and later becomes eight. If no one questions it, maybe he will change it to twenty.

How many aerial victories did he claim?
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 28th February 2005, 20:56
Andy Mac's Avatar
Andy Mac Andy Mac is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Cornwall, UK
Posts: 139
Andy Mac
You have a point - some of those 'heroic' rammings lauded by the press 60 years later perhaps were a result of simple collisions and ended up with the pilots' shooting a line, no doubt helped along by the press of the day.

A Famous Gulf War Tornado pilot berated his pilots for being alowed to be used by the media to portray an air war that didn't exist.

Human beings, that's all. Heroes, no question. Keep a perspective.
__________________
Andrew McCallum
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Total number of claims for each Jagdgeschwader Gizmo Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 32 29th January 2023 19:34
14 October 1944 on eastern front Laurent Rizzotti Allied and Soviet Air Forces 8 16th October 2005 16:57
UK/US fighters on Eastern Front - June 1944? Peter Mikolajski Allied and Soviet Air Forces 7 22nd April 2005 15:01
Luftwaffe fighter losses in Tunisia Christer Bergström Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 47 14th March 2005 04:03
One Loss at Eastern Front Werknummer 10438 Jens Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 14 3rd January 2005 21:09


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 18:37.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2018, 12oclockhigh.net