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  #11  
Old 25th January 2005, 21:03
Six Nifty .50s Six Nifty .50s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
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.
Some members of the 4th FG assumed that the P-51B was superior, and attempted to test that theory when they tried to jump some P-47s from the 56th FG:

" 27 February 1944: At 1315 a Rolls-Royce tech representative held a briefing on the P-51. Blakeslee held a discussion on flying problems with the Mustang, which had been disappointingly numerous. A plague of mechanical gremlins diminished the pilots' enthusiasm for the highly touted fighter. Jim Goodson, Willard Millikan and George Carpenter had bounced the new paddle-bladed P-47s of the 56th and frustratedly reported that these Thunderbolts were a match for the Mustang upstairs and downstairs. This added to the air of uncertainty" (See ESCORT TO BERLIN, Garry Fry and Jeff Ethell).

The P-47M and P-47N had better performance, and both types probably would have been available sooner without the presence of the Merlin-engined P-51. What I mean is that the USAAF would have seriously pressured Republic to make those modifications.

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Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
RAF rejected T-bolt as an escort aircraft and send it overseas instead.
The RAF used the Thunderbolt to escort their Liberators in the Far East. They tangled with Japanese fighters occasionally.
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  #12  
Old 25th January 2005, 23:50
Larry Larry is offline
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P-47 Thunderbolt v P-51 Mustang

Within the realms of aviation history there will always be a bias towards one type or another. If the P-47 was no good why did the 56FG do so well with the type? You can prove almost anything with statistics!

I recently saw a thread that said hardly any German tanks were knocked out by P-47's and other Allied ground attack aircraft, while ignoring the fact that if you shot up everything in sight, as the Allies did in Normandy, the tanks are too scared to deploy were they should have been. And if they didn't get re-supplied, with fuel, parts or replacement soldiers, they became totally ineffective. If a tank is not in the battle, due to lack of fuel or ammo etc, it does not matter whether it is knocked out or not! Many vehicles were just abandoned.

Having talked to several P-47 pilots of the 9th USAAF, I have a bias for the P-47 and can see why these pilots liked having a big fat radial engine for reliability rather than an inline! P-47 pilots of the 9th AF think that the 8th AF stole all the glory as there was more credability in shooting down enemy a/craft, than blowing up a whole train load of fuel or ammo, which had a greater impact on the war effort. The 9th AF boys maintain they faced the greater dangers low down from flak compared to the 8th AF escorts. It would be interesting to see who suffered the greatest losses, though the 8th AF airwar over Germany lasted longer than the 'D-Day to VE-Day' campaign of the 9th AF.

Finally, when you think that the P-47 first flew in early 1941, it makes you weep to think of all those brave RAF crews who flew Fairey Battles and other out of date types on missions less than a year before and never lived to see what the P-47 could do. You can only wonder what effect 500 P-47's would have had on the Battle of France!
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  #13  
Old 26th January 2005, 07:08
Jens Jens is offline
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My opinion is, that Mustang was clearly superior to T-bolt and Lightning. It's also backed up by datas. Normal P-51D was faster and much more turny than the others. Also duration was higher.
Also the US-Experts vote Mustang superior to P-47, P-38.

Also losses of Luftwaffe in Normandie were not that high, i had in mind for some years. Take i.e. June 1944 in France were LW lost ~800 planes and ~240 dead and missed personel losses.
http://feldgrau.slacker.se/wwiilexic...-m-fbottom.htm

Of course these losses were high, but not for breaking backbone.
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  #14  
Old 26th January 2005, 08:49
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Hello
I'm with Ruy in this. IMHO T'Bolts did much of the foundation laying work for the later success. P-47D was also faster than P-51D in high up, at least over 27000ft because its turbo. Of course it had its problems, for ex. rather low critical Mach number (reason for dive recovery flaps for it and for P-38) and both early C/Ds and Ms suffered engine reability problems during the early parts of their careers in UK because of bad corrosion protection for sea-transit and because of problems in engine electronics.
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  #15  
Old 26th January 2005, 11:43
Smudger Smith Smudger Smith is offline
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P51&P47, What happened to RAF Fighter Command ?

Gents,

Slightly off topic, but I could not help but reply to some of the above posts. Other than a brief mention of RAF Fighter Command it seems to me that ALL credit for the demise of the German fighter arm is accredited to the US 8th and 15th Airforce’s.

I am not a Fighter Command researcher, my field is Bomber Commands bitter and costly bomber campaign. ( stay there I here you say. ) However from the little I know I feel Fighter Commands contribution is too easily dismissed. The air-war, or more specifically the gradual attrition of German fighters over Northern Europe did not start with the arrival of the P51 or P47, I was under the obviously misguided assumption it started in 1941 with the fighter sweeps carried out by Fighter Command. I freely admit that the losses were not on the scale of those submitted by the US, nevertheless losses were suffered by the G.A, including a number of respected German pilots prior to the arrival of the P47 & P51.

RAF Fighter Commands daily sweeps MUST have had an impact on the Germans effectiveness and efficiency.

So come on chaps, credit were credit is due, Fighter Command was also there.

These are my opinions, so I expect the experts to "shoot me down in flames". Pardon the pun.

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  #16  
Old 26th January 2005, 12:33
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Of course attrition of 1941 was a factor, but it is also clear that it did not strain the Jagdwaffe. They pretty much had the situation under control, or at worst simply avoided combat. RAF Fighter Command did not strain the german system...

If we mention Fighter Command in 1941/42, then we might as well say that attrition started with the Battle of France in 1940, which meant that the Luftwaffe could only replace their losses for the upcoming Battle of Britain, instead of building up their strength. The same happened again against the Soviet Union, the Luftwaffe having mainly replaced their Battle of Britain losses.

And if there is one steady attritional factor that's overlooked its the Eastern Front meat grinder, which from the start took a steady toll (the opening round always shocks me, although the gains were great during Barbarossa, so were the losses - leaving the Luftwaffe more or less punch drunk in the winter of 1941/42).

However when we discuss the Mustang we automatically focus on the Battle over Germany proper, when the Jagdwaffe could not avoid confrontation, but had to fight at any cost and when the german system was really put to the limit and over it...

Although serious historians will probably shudder at the thought of these childish type vs type discussions, howver I still persist that while the Thunderbolt did the real work (or as some might say, lay the foundation), the Mustang took the credits.

Too much credit is given to some of the advantages of the Mustang, apart from the economics of being able to buy two of them for the price of one competitor (would be interesting to compare manhours, which unlike the money is a real a factor in war economy).

Speed is relative, certainly when applying hit and run tactics. Also it is arguable which a/c proofed to be the superior weapons platform in the most common attack form - a high speed bounce.

But this discussion is practically meaningless without supporting figures, just a nice bar room conversation
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  #17  
Old 26th January 2005, 14:47
Smudger Smith Smudger Smith is offline
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P51 V P47

Ruy,

Yes your right, a good topic to discuss over a pint of beer.

Appreciate you comments, but tend to see the similarities between post-war hype of the precision daylight bombing by the US bomber formations versus the ‘area bombing’ attacks by RAF Bomber Command and the apparent brainwashing that the US fighters single-handed destroyed the German fighter forces in the west.

I do appreciate that the US fighters did a tremendous job ( especially the Jug, my own personal favourite) over Europe. I just think Fighter Command also did.

PS : I was under the misguided impression the US Fort and liberator gunners destroyed the German airforce, considering the over-claiming that went on.

On that note, I’m off down the pub.

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  #18  
Old 26th January 2005, 14:56
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Hello Smudger Smith
at least I was not trying to ignore the contribution of RAF but I had time only for a short note as I was and I still am at work, so I concentrated only to some points not mentioned earlier in this tread, that's why I also left out the main weakness of the the P-47D as a escort fighter, range. Now back to work for a quarter of hour and then to our War Archive.

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  #19  
Old 26th January 2005, 17:06
Jens Jens is offline
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Wether type vs. type comparsions are childish nor useless. On the other side, of course the they tell only one point of the whole story.

If you read the german veterans especially Galland, the picture of Luftwaffes defeat is drawn by P-51. Only due the range and perfomance of P-51 the Luftwaffe get no break to revcover the suffered losses.

Just take a look on claims, losses and bombs dropped.

http://members.aol.com/forcountry/ww2/eak.htm

It can be seen, that P-51 had a much greater impact on air superiority.
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  #20  
Old 26th January 2005, 17:24
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First the range is a matter of temporary advantage, the Thunderbolt was playing catch up with the Mustang (the Lightning was already in the same ballpark or very near).

I don't doubt that the Mustang's record will look impressive, but if you take into account that during Big Week the Thunderbolt was still the most numerous US fighter type, I'd feel comfortable in adding that by the spring of 1944 the air war in the west had run its course. Sure, more pilots would die, more a/c would be built, but the matter had been decided before the impact of the Mustang could be felt.

Now I'd risk another statement. The loser loves to blame a wonder weapon. During the Battle of Britain it was the Spitfire, during the RVT it became the Mustang. Its easier to blame technology, since the Mustang was a world beater, all other considerations being secondary. The failure is aleviated by having to face (supposedly) superior technology.

Galland especially with his infamous Spitfire quote is the epitomy of this thought (taken out of context or not). If only we had something like a Spitfire, the Bf 109F was a retrogressive step, the Mustang was a wunderwaffe, Hitler messed up the Me 262 program...

So my main points are:
1. The main battle had been waged before the Mustang made its presence felt.
2. The Thunderbolt (and Lightning) could have done the same job if required, it might have taken a little longer that's all.

Of course this discussion becomes a bit of a generalization for the sake of focus and clearity. 1944 confuses the picture because of stepped up fighter production and en equally stepped up training program, yet the pilots manning these fighters do not have the same quality as only a year before, in essence the Luftwaffe is training cannon fodder, nothing more and nothing less...the Mustang had its place in history as it could pick the fruit of earlier labor.

So in the war over Germany, how much of a turning point is Big Week?

(sorry, I am leaving out RAF Bomber Command's strategic offensive completely).
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