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

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  #41  
Old 1st June 2005, 19:15
Six Nifty .50s Six Nifty .50s is offline
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Re: Small B17 bomb bay and bomb load

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Originally Posted by Laurent Rizzotti
Yes, the support of ground troops by heavy bombers in WWII often proved to help more the other side. But once more if you compare both RAF and USAAF involvment in such missions, you will see that both air forces failed in this achievement, both either hitting their own troops or missing enemy troops.


Yes, but the Luftwaffe bombers and fighters frequently did the same, on all fronts.

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Originally Posted by Laurent Rizzotti
Probably the worst idea ever by Allied bomber commanders was the decision to bomb Normandy cities to create roadblocks with their rubble on D-day and the days after.


It may have been a bad idea, but using USAAF and RAF heavy bombers for tactical air support was usually requested (read: ordered) by the ground commanders. The air forces did so reluctantly because the aircrews were not trained and equipped to provide close air support. Another reason for their resistance was pure politics and inter-service rivalry.

The air forces wanted the power of independence from the ground war, and were always bitterly opposed when army or navy officers made decisions about the use of air forces. Note that many USAAF, RAF (and Luftwaffe) officers also had objections about special tactical air forces. They did not want to see air force funding used to serve the needs of ground forces.

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Originally Posted by Laurent Rizzotti
My own opinion is that bombing results of the RAF were most efficient at any time than USAAF. But the main contribution of the 8th AF still IMHO is to have defeated the German Luftwaffe in the air, killing thousands of German fighter pilots in 1944 and thus winning air superiority over Europe..



The RAF bombed the Germans long before the USAAF arrived in the UK, so in theory the RAF should have been more efficient based on several more years of practical experience.

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Originally Posted by Laurent Rizzotti
Even if both airforces became more and more powerful and precise during the war, German production increased in 1944. Only when both airforces targetted together the oil factories had they a decisive influence on the German war machine.


Forcing the Germans to spend enormous resources on air defense probably had a more crippling effect on them than measurable bomb damage.

Last edited by Six Nifty .50s; 1st June 2005 at 19:22.
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  #42  
Old 1st June 2005, 19:50
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Small B17 bomb bay and bomb load

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Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s

Yes, but the Luftwaffe bombers and fighters frequently did the same, on all fronts.
I was unclear here: I was just speaking of ground support missions using heavy bombers. Luftwaffe has no heavy bomber, except maybe He177 and they were never used to bomb the frontline AFAIK.

Medium and light bombers and fighters and fighter-bombers were used by all sides over the frontline and even if friendly fire was a problem for every side the history shows that they were far more efficient than the heavy.

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Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s


It may have been a bad idea, but using USAAF and RAF heavy bombers for tactical air support was usually requested (read: ordered) by the ground commanders. The air forces did so reluctantly because the aircrews were not trained and equipped to provide close air support. Another reason for their resistance was pure politics and inter-service rivalry.

The air forces wanted the power of independence from the ground war, and were always bitterly opposed when army or navy officers made decisions about the use of air forces. Note that many USAAF, RAF (and Luftwaffe) officers also had objections about special tactical air forces. They did not want to see air force funding used to serve the needs of ground forces.
My own opinion is that in the 40s it was impossible to win a war "with airforces" only as did both the Luftwaffe in 1940 and the RAF and the USAAF in 43-44.

But as for the above, it is easy to speak 50 years later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s


The RAF bombed the Germans long before the USAAF arrived in the UK, so in theory the RAF should have been more efficient based on several more years of practical experience.
Probably a reason but the tactics and technology changed heavily in the last years of the war and what was successfull in 1943 was no more used in 1945.


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Originally Posted by Six Nifty .50s

Forcing the Germans to spend enormous resources on air defense probably had a more crippling effect on them than measurable bomb damage.
Agree 100%
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  #43  
Old 2nd June 2005, 10:39
Andy Fletcher's Avatar
Andy Fletcher Andy Fletcher is offline
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Re: Small B17 bomb bay and bomb load

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurent Rizzotti
I was unclear here: I was just speaking of ground support missions using heavy bombers. Luftwaffe has no heavy bomber, except maybe He177 and they were never used to bomb the frontline AFAIK.
Hi Laurent,

During July 1944 II/KG1 (equipped with He177) was used in a low level anti tank role on the Eastern Front. Needless to say it was a role they were totally unsuited for and losses were very heavy.

Regards

Andy Fletcher
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