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Allied fighter-bomber effectiveness

Discussion in 'Tank Warfare of World War 2' started by Christian Ankerstjerne, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. Domobran7

    Domobran7 Member

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    Claims almost always were overstated. In air-to-air combat, during Korean War, F-86 Sabre was believed to have had 10:1 exchange ratio against MiG-15. Turns out, it was closer to 2:1.

    I suspect that claims against tanks were no different. IIRC, in A-10 tests, it had turned out that pilot would believe tank destroyed due to apparent damage done by cannon... but all of that would be dirt thrown up around the tank, or shells exploding against armor. Which again means that any claims will have been overstated.
     
  2. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Fritz Bayerlein, who commanded Panzer Lehr in Normandy, described jabo attacks as his division advanced on the beaches, unfortunately in good visibility. He credited them with destroying only five tanks but 84 lighter armored vehicles and prime movers, 40 fuel trucks, and 90 other trucks.
     
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  3. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    While the numbers are more or less correct, Bayerlein in his memoir conflated the losses for the entire month of June with those just for the movement to Normandy.
     
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  4. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The original premise here is wrong. It isn't that rockets, or bombs for that matter, had a low probability of hitting a single tank, building, emplacement, etc. They normally weren't being fired or dropped against one. Instead, the plane was firing on a column of tanks or vehicles, a gun battery with several emplacements, or other area target. So long as the rockets, bombs, or bullets were hitting something in the area of attack, it worked.
    Bombs and rockets also had a fragmentation effect damaging equipment or injuring people within that radius, something a tank was more immune to. Against a column of trucks or wagons, this could be devastating.
     
  5. harolds

    harolds Member

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    The result being that it made the Germans very hesitant to move the vehicles that weren't destroyed. They had to move after dark and in June in N. Europe there wasn't a lot of dark hours, so what they didn't hit, they inhibited. I remember reading that Patton's forces captured a huge POL dump that was there because they couldn't get the fuel up to the front.
     
  6. Maddog71

    Maddog71 Member

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    You might want to talk to the survivors from the Falaise Pocket, about the effectiveness of American ground attack aircraft. The killed so many Germans and horses, that the pilots would retch flying over the area from the smell.
     
  7. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Holland, in Normandy '44, gives great credit to the effectiveness of Allied fighter-bombers. He quotes several German survivors of the battles in France who nearly universally mentioned the jabos as interfering with their ability to bring armor and reinforcing troops to the front. The jabos are referenced numerous times in his book.
     
  8. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    It depends on which part of the "Falaise Pocket" you mean. Observed artillery fire during the period 17-19 August probably did as much damage as air power did and was more continuous. The 90th Infantry Division's organic battalions fired 9,031 rounds, while the attached 186th FA (155mm) fired 915 in a 10 1/2 hour period from 0600 to 1630 on 19 August alone.
     

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