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LUFTWAFEE 1946 (Would Have Happened if ...)

Discussion in 'Alternate History' started by ww2archiver, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    If the plane with the most kills must be the best, then the one with the most losses must be the worst. Anyone know how many 109s were lost during the war?
     
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  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Wrong! I suspect any of the percussion cap rifles were faster to load.
    Sources please. I fail to see how it could be better than the Enfield or the British wouldn't have replaced it with the same and the Spencer's were on a par with the Enfield's as I suspect the French weapons of the time were.

    PLS explain how you end up with air Supremacy over Europe by getting you "butt kicked". Rather sounds like the shoe is on the other foot to me.

    Of course logic, reason, and the ability to understand what's a fact are not only not your strong points I'm not sure they are part of your vocabulary.

    Then why don't you post them? Do you not really have a good understanding of them or are you afraid that if you actually post number they''ll bet shot down like most of your other numbers along with most of your favorite planes.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I personally thing a well constructed "what if" can be a very worthwhile learning tool. By well constructed I mean one with few and at best one reasonable point of departure (POD) and a fact and logic based discussion to follow. For instance some of the problems with an Axis invasion of Crete were brought to my attention and that of others by such discussions.

    This thread isn't really a "what if" at all though. It's a thread based on a claim that simply doesn't hold up when exposed to fact and logic. I think we've got similar threads in the Sacred Cow sub forum.
     
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  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I can not speak for this thread as a whole, but agree that a well structured counter factorial can have some learning potential as a supplement to a close reading of actual events. I personally learned a great deal from playing historical 'war games', and while not comprehensive, they usually showed why battles and campaigns played out as they did. Each time though I was engaging in a what if, if in a mild form.

    Commanders and leaders do make mistakes and operate on false assumptions.

    Take the 1940 French campaign, is it impossible to imagine the French command staff making full use of command communications, or deploying real forces to cover the Ardennes, or not moving deep into Belgium/Holland allowing themselves to cut off, or choosing to fight on from their colonies as we all suspect Great Britain would have?
     
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  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What I've seen in the better "what if's" is that the various sides do a lot of historical research to bring up points that impact the possible progression after the POD. Going back to the Crete example just how ill suited the island was for an invasion wasn't at all clear to me until several people brought it up. The various stone fences all over the island making being a significant obstacle for air landing or the funnel shaped beaches with high ground dominating them and as well as their egresses as well as how few and small they actually were are prime examples. Others abound (the extreme restriction that the log network in NA imposed on the combatants there is another classic) all of them brought to my attention and from the discussions obviously to others involved due to "what if's".

    If you look a this thread however there's not even a POD it simply one person voicing an opinion that has been proven conclusively to be both counter factual and illogical.
     
  6. Shooter2018

    Shooter2018 Member

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    It is nice to like a plane for whatever reason, but to say that plane is best is another thing all together. The simple fact the Spitfires lost more planes over all than they killed by a 1-5 to 1-7 ratio in favor of the Germans when flown in cross channel "Circuses" far out weighs it's 1.2-1 W-L ratio in the BoB. Late war, after the invasion when the Nazis had lost most of their better pilots and they were filling the skies with raw recruits and the P-47/51 and Mk-IX Spit came along they could score more wins. In addition, we out numbered them by a very large margin. That has a substantial effect on W/L Ratios.
    But at all times, there is no other plane in mass production that can match the 109 in either total kills, or W/L Ratio.
    I have thought of one other reason why that may be;
    Given that 80-93% of all kills are made Vs planes that are not aware they are under attack till the bullets start hitting, or just before and their Position is beyond most hope. IE, they are flying straight and level, or in rare cases with less than 30 degrees of bank on when shot down.
    Then it seems that anything that gives you a larger chance to avoid being seen during the approach to attack give an advantage. Regardless of what some have said, the 109 is a smaller and thus harder to see plane. In addition it's canopy glazing is made up of large flat planes with would certainly have a very much smaller chance for significant "Glint" than the blown bubble canopies favored in the West! Many people WO combat experience discount glint as a significant factor in spotting chance. But beyond the smallest significant angle range, it is the only way to spot distant targets and works at ranges many tens of times those of minimum resolution angle range.
    Just one more possible explanation why the Me-109 as a group of types of planes was so deadly?
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  7. Shooter2018

    Shooter2018 Member

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    Do not forget the top Allied plane for number of kills by a single pilot in type, the 6K of P-39s sent to Russia! No other allied type can match the numbers posted by several Allied, ( Soviet) P-39 pilots. Guess which type is in second place among Allied pilots!
     
  8. Shooter2018

    Shooter2018 Member

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    War games are such a great tool that every single major military force on the planet use them as teaching tools! With aircraft, until the early '80s planes were represented by 1/2" square cardboard chips used to show position, facing and direction. Dice were used to determine the outcome of chance. Then flight Sims came along and then cockpit motion with image projection domes to fight the games in. Those Sims of either types taught us many things they did not know way back when. So many amateurs now know many things that the best pilots and engineers of the War did not know! Winkle Brown for all his experience and being the single person who flew more types of planes than any other man or woman on the planet was ignorant of what made a great fighter plane the greatest!
    With 60 years of hind sight we now know with absolute certainty that the Spitfire, while very good at most of the things they wanted it to be good at, was built to the wrong specifications because they did not know what the needed instead of what they wanted! Most other planes of the time had similar flaws and the later they were designed, the fewer the flaws there were.
    I read that roughly one out of four encounters were converted into kills by Allied planes, but roughly one out of three by Axis planes. Why was that? Why were over 500, IIRC, Axis pilots able to run up scores higher than any Allied pilot? The Russians left their aces in for the duration, so did the Brits. Why is it that the top Spitfire pilot only has 38 kills? Why does the Top Russian have 47? In the P-39?
    All of these questions can be answered most simply by the small size factor of the 109, 190 and P-39?
     
  9. Shooter2018

    Shooter2018 Member

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    It is just one person voicing an opinion, but it is based on facts and ideas that can not be disputed WO resorting to falsehoods.
    Those facts are;
    1. That Me-109s, of all types, shot down more Enemy Aircraft than any other plane in history!
    2. That many of the Me-109's traits were different than those of most of it's competitors.
    3. That those differences in attributes were a significant figure in why Me-109s were able to shoot down more planes than the next 6-10 types of fighter planes combined. ( Fw-190, P-51, P-47, F6F, P-38, Corsair, Spitfires, P-39s, P-40s and Hurricanes?)
    These facts are not counter factual. They are supported by many posts in the original thread, such as those listing how many EA were downed by each Allied type and how many Allied planes were in fact shot down in the war.
     
  10. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    I'm tired of posting facepalm memes. Would somebody put this idiotic thread out of its misery and lock It? Please! The stupid is starting to hurt.
     
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  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Wrong. It's facts distorted and pushed beyond on reason and logic along with an attempt to define words in totally new ways to come up with a conclusion that is so totally wrong it's beyond belief.
    Even if true it doesn't necessarily support your conclusions. There's a good chance the Me-109 was also the most shot down aircraft in History as well isn't there.
    So? Can't the same be said of most panes much less fighters of the period.
    Possibly but probably not. The Me-109 had pilots with an edge in experience and training over it's victims when it was wracking up many of those kills. It also had considerably more combat exposure than the others. Those two factor alone would account for more than the attributes you seem to favor.
    The facts are not counter factual but 3 at least is very questionable i.e. not a fact but an opinion. The other two are far from adequate to draw the conclusions you wan to draw.
    ???? Try learning something about logic pls. How many EA were downed may support 1. It doesn't support 2 or 3 and none are anywhere near adequate to support your contention that the Me-109 was the "best fighter of the war". Indeed it takes a tautological definition of that phrase for it come even close to being accurate.
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I agree. There's something in me that has a hard time not pointing out when someone is in denial of reality but we're going over the same ground now again and again.
     
  13. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Shooter, with respect, I fear you are not seeing the trees for the forest, or is it vice versa? :)

    The bf 109 was a great aircraft to be sure, but if it has more 'kills' to its credit than any other, it is to do with a accident of history rather than any other factor.

    The 109 was one of the few aircraft that saw service in large numbers through out the entirety of WWII. Most Allied types served for only part of the conflict, especially American types that did not see much use until December 1941. Many Allied types (Hurricane, P39/P40) rather quickly were relegated to secondary duties such as ground support or to less critical fronts. American day bombers had a defacto secondary role as a air supremacy asset as it did shoot down a considerable number of Axis fighters. By late 1942 both Allied and Soviet airforces began deploying a large variety of types of air superiority fighter while Germany still only producing two basic types. This does not include the sizable number of ground support ( P39, P40,Hurricane, Tempest, Typhoon and Mosquito) duties that could meet the 109 on equal or near equal terms.

    The bf 109 was used on day one, the last day and every day of the European war. Only the Spitfire can come close to that claim, but there were serious gaps in service compared to the 109. It did not fight in the Polish campaign, the invasion of Norway, the Low Countries, France 1940. Saw limited use in Greece, invasion of Russia and the CBI/Pacific until the end of the war in Europe.

    The Spitfire's main claim to fame, and deserved it was, was the Battle of Britain. Even so it was not the most numerous type of day fighter deployed by Britain, the Hurricane was.

    Finally you must compare who the 109 contended against through much of the war, Poland, Norway, the Low Countries, France, Yugoslavia, Greece and Russia could not deploy quality opposition against the Luftwaffe. The same was true for Japan who ran up its score in China and against 2nd and 3rd rate aircraft belonging to the Allied powers during late 1941 till the middle 1943.
     
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  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    You very concisely and effectively made points a number of us have been making throughout this thread. I suspect shooter will ignore or twist those to conform to his opinions like he has previous ones but perhaps the best response going forward will be simply to repost your excellent summary.
     
  15. Shooter2018

    Shooter2018 Member

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    But the total number of Bipes in the Soviet Air Force was insignificant, ( ~1,050) compared to how many planes of your favorite type were shot down later in the war. So you can not claim that the 37,000 planes shot down by Me-109s was because the Reds had a thousand biplanes at the start of the War with Germany.
     
  16. green slime

    green slime Member

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    LTR.


    The purges affected the leadership of the VVS. In June 1941, 91 per cent of major formation leaders had been in place for just six months. With the exception of Major General Aleksandr Novikov, commanding the Leningrad District, most would fail in their posts and pay for that failure with their lives. A critical operational omission of the VVS was the failure to disperse its aircraft. Soviet aircraft was left closely ‘bunched’ into groups, and lined up on airfields, making a very easy target for the Germans.

    Soviet training left much to be desired. Stalin's purges had deprived the VVS of its senior and best commanders. It heralded a debilitating decline in military effectiveness. In the event of the Winter War and the German victory in the French Campaign, the Soviet leadership panicked and Stalin ordered a hasty overhaul of the armed forces. Order 0362, 22 December 1940, of the People's Commissar Defence ordered the accelerated training program for pilots which meant the cutting of training time. The program had already been cut owing to an earlier defence order, 008, dated 14 March 1940. It put an end to the flight training for volunteers, and instituted mass drafts. In February 1941, pilot training was cut further leading to a disastrous drop in the quality of pilot training prior to Barbarossa.

    The officer corps was decimated in the Great Purge and operational level effectiveness suffered. The 6,000 officers lost and then the subsequent massive expansion schemes, which increased the number of personnel from 1.5 million in 1938 to five million in 1941 flooded the VVS with inexperienced personnel and the infrastructure struggled to cope. It still left the VVS short of 60,000 qualified officers in 1941. Despite the expansion of flight schools from 12 to 83 from 1937 to June 1941, the schools lacked half their flight instructors and half of their allotted fuel supplies. Combined with these events, training was shortened a total of seven times in 1939-1940. The attrition and loss of experienced pilots in Barbarossa encouraged a culture of rapid promotion to positions beyond some pilots' level of competence. It created severe operational difficulties for the VVS.

    The process of modernisation in the VVS’ frontline strength had started to gain pace and strength. The alleged technical primitivity of Soviet aircraft is a myth. The Polikarpov I-16 fighter and Tupolev SB bomber were just as capable as foreign aircraft. In 1941, the Ilyushin Il-2, Yakovlev Yak-1, Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Gudkov LaGG-3, Petlyakov Pe-2 and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 were comparable to the best in the World. Only 37 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-1 and 201 MiG-3s were operational on 22 June, and only four pilots had been trained to fly them. The attempt to familiarise pilots with these types resulted in the loss of 141 pilots killed and 138 aircraft written off in accidents in the first quarter of 1941 alone. On 31 August, the first foreign aircraft arrived. The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was among those handed over but the Soviets did not have Russian-language manuals. The type was evaluated and made it into operations in September/October 1941.




    The VVS Western Front had received 900 new aircraft in July. In contrast, Luftflotte 2 had lost 447 in the opening battles for Smolensk, 6 to 19 July. On the Eastern Front the Luftwaffe had lost 1,284 aircraft, half of its original strength.


    In the battle before Moscow;
    The VVS brought in large numbers of aircraft from all over the country, though most were obsolete and training machines. This brought the strength of VVS to 3,700 by August. But ill-trained and inexperienced crews resulted in continuing heavy losses. Yet by 30 August, the VVS had sustained air superiority, though it failed to help Zhukov make any head way at Yelnya, and Guderian achieved a series of tactical successes at Roslavl and Krichev. The effect of Soviet aviation was evident in the severe losses among German transports. By 31 August, the Luftwaffe had lost 1,320 (820 destroyed) since the 22 June including 170 Army reconnaissance aircraft and 97 transports and liaison machines. The majority were lost to air attack. The VVS reported the loss of 903 aircraft from 10 July to the 10 September.


    Shooting fish in a barrel does not make you a great fisherman, nor a great marksman.

    The important thing, is, the LW was maimed and mauled in the East, and in the end limped home to ignominious defeat.

    Germany sucked: they planned on wishful thinking, and they got served. It's terrible millions of people had to die in the process.


     
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  17. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    "He who is giddy thinks the world turns 'round."

    - Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew
     
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Actually, it was about 1-4. Also, the FW-190 was playing an increasing larger part in the defense of Germany, and was superior to the Spitfire in the low-medium altitudes that the Circuses, Rhubarbs, Ramrods, and Rodeos took place at. Further along this line, the Germans had quite improved their air defense network above and beyond what the British in the BoB.

    So, you are really comparing Apples to Oranges.

    The 109 W/L ratio isn't that hot, and also depends greatly on how you are spinning the statistics.

    Nope, you can get "glint" off of any surface. Also, large flat surfaces will reflect more sunlight than curved ones.

    Mostly, the pilot did not see what killed him because of target fixation - he was to busy trying to get a kill than watch his six. Further, the Germans would have had ground radar giving them intercepts and guiding them into position, the British did not have this benefit.

    Games are only as good as the rules, and computer sims are only as good as their programming. So, many amateurs think they know many things that the best pilots and engineers of the War did not know, but in reality, they don't...Witness all the discussions on how aircraft perform in game vs. reality.

    They are not "flaws", but compromises. Every plane,no matter when it was designed is a compromise to meet set design specifications. The 109 was a great point defense fighter from prepared airfields, however, as an offensive aircraft operating from unprepared advance combat bases, it was far less stellar in performance.

    Because they flew far more combat missions than Allied pilots...British and American fighter pilots usually flew less than 100 combat missions during the entire war. German pilots flew in excess of several hundred, with a good number flying over 1,000.

    I would think the math would be obvious to even you...

    The British didn't, if you look at the histories of most British aces, you will see that they have several periods of doing training duties for stretches at a time. IIRC, this was also true for the Soviets.
     
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  19. green slime

    green slime Member

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    We have data on the victory claims of more than 5,000 (Luftwaffe) pilots for the entire conflict, 1939-45. These pilots filed claims that they had shot down 54,800 enemy planes. Victories were extremely unevenly distributed. The highest-scoring ace, Erich Hartmann, claimed more than 350 victories, and the top 100 pilots scored almost as many victories as the bottom 4,900. The maximum monthly victory score was 68, recorded in 1943 on the Eastern front.

    In an average month, 3.3% of pilots died. After two years of service, half the low-scoring pilots would have been killed. Amongst the better-performing pilots, only one-quarter would have survived. Towards the end of the war, loss rates became extremely high, averaging 25% or more from the spring of 1944 (Murray 1996).
    Examining the details, we see that;

    ...aces tried harder when a former colleague got a public pat on the back, but didn’t take many more risks. Average or poor pilots tried harder, were a bit more successful, but also tended to get themselves killed more often.

    ...

    German pilots during WWII had the highest numbers of aerial victories ever recorded. The top 100 pilots of all time are all German. The Luftwaffe operated an elaborate system of awards and recognition. We find positive spillovers from this recognition, in the sense that former peers of recognised pilots increased their performance.

    But some also took more risks, leading directly to greater loss rates. The net effect may well have been corrosive. Recognition – in our case, through mentions in the daily armed forces’ bulletin – reduced the average number of enemy planes shot down in exchange for the loss of one German pilot. This suggests that, in aggregate, incentives may have been detrimental.

    Ego trips to the grave: The dangers of status competition | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal
    It is readily apparent, how desperate and corrupt the German system was. Poor training, inadequate resources (fuel, rubber, aluminium, tungsten, manpower, industrial capacity, etc), and shoddy planning forced them to shove ill-prepared youth into outdated aircraft in an attempt to prolong a war they had inflicted upon the world. Those lucky, talented few LW pilots. You can't then claim it was a magnificent aircraft, when so many pilots died flying it, and so many "kills" credited were due to less than 2% of the pilots... Especially, when they entered the war with enormous advantages over their adversaries in training, and experience. They frittered it away on wishful thinking.

    I make it 14,854 "kills" for the top 100, and 19,411 for the top 150 (still all European Axis pilots; it only includes one non-LW pilot, a Finn, Ilmari Juutilainen scoring 94)
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Didn't the German "scoring" system give credit to the leader for all or most kills by a pair? Also weren't multiengine aircraft worth more "kills" than single engine aircraft at least during part of the war?
     
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