Discussion in 'Alternate History' started by ww2archiver, Dec 31, 2017.
And of course the claims on both side were inflated at best.
In a discussion some time ago it was pointed out that one of the big dominants of how bad the over claiming was involved whether or not the combat took place over friendly territory. It apparently was more important than the nationality of the pilots. Bombers also tend to over claim by huge margins in large part I suspect due to the number of different planes that may have had gunners fire on a particular attacker.
Yes, all of this is true, but you are wrong to discount it! Do you think that anyone wanted to get shot down and killed? They all fought like mad men, when they knew they were under attack! But, depending on who you believe, 80-92% of all actual shoot downs happened to targets who were NOT aware they were under attack until the bullets started to impact, or it was far to late to do anything about it but punch out! It is Vs that 80-92% that the Me-109 was the best! The other 8-20% is all pilot skill and is other wise a toss up. And as to landing and taking off accidents, the Spit was even worse, but nobody ever claims that Vs the Spit? Why not? The Spit was a delightful plane to fly and very acrobatic, but a lousy killer for that 80-92% I mentioned before and it is that 80-92% that is way more important than the 8-20% shot down in dog fights!
Almost all of them! But this is counter intuitive as it is the offensive nature of fighter plane that they buy, they all know they are going to loose most of them to one cause or another. It's a dangerous business after all. No one ever lists the landing and take off losses of the Spitfire which were if anything worse than the 109. All the tail dragger planes had higher accident rates in war time and those with narrow track gear were far and away the worst by a factor of ten or more! All the few planes with tricycle gear were the proof of the pudding as it were! Making that simple change would have made a huge difference in take off and landing accident rates, but only we did it because it was too expensive for every one else. It was only during the war that the empirical evidence proved those facts and later planes were spec'd with tricycle gear. The P-38/39, B-25/26/29 all made that point such that they ALL know it now.
But I would state that losses of a non-combat nature are irrelevant because they all expected them back then as a part of doing business!
Again true, but not relevant! When you use the entire war as your survey population, everything is taken into account and it all averages out to a greater, or lessor extent.
ALL TRUE!!! But most of it not relevant. Conditions of war forces most of that on them and could also be said of ALL of the Allies, except the USA where we could take the time to train up and equip out soldiers, sailors and airmen with what we thought was the best we could get. However with such great hind sight, we now know that the planes we thought were the best were in fact not! At least for the conditions extant where we fought them! At >17-20K' with contrails, all planes are easy to spot, so size is an insignificant factor. At lower altitudes where the first part of the war and the eastern from was fought by choice, size was the single most important factor in success at killing. But up high and at long ranges from base, speed, rate of roll at high speed, fuel fraction and quality of the gun platform and weapons were very much more important! So we have a dichotomy, small size for low altitude and early war combats and speed, range(think Fuel Fraction!), rate of roll at high speed and weapons effectiveness were the right ticket!
Yes all of that is true! but it is not relevant! We all know for a fact how many Allied planes were lost, or how many the Soviets admitted to losing and they were all shot down by Germans, for the most part. We also know how many they lost and we claimed and those numbers, no mater which set you use shows the 109 was a more effective killer than any other plane of WW-II!
After the fact War Gaming has shown us that other planes were better at whatever criteria we want to look at, but we can't change history. In the American part of the war, the P-38 is King, Queen and Jack of all Trades rolled into one plane! But depending on what you want to do, other planes come to the forefront based on those assumptions of purpose. Then there are the what if questions and those posed in the Games themselves that lead to the idea that the P-77, with obvious defects fixed, could have been the best single engined type of early war plane. An entirely new can of worms for later debate.
Second verse, same as the first.
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.
Please learn to use the quote function properly instead of colored text. It makes things clearer and replies easier.
???? What an absurd response to a well reasoned statement. A poor LER is certainly very strong evidence that your attempt to define "best" is very flawed.
You are showing your ignorance. British radar at least in the form of Chain Home didn't cover the interior of Britain but the approaches. Furthermore the reaction time from the LW leaving fields in France until they reached their targets in Britain was relatively short. German radar in latter part of the war covered the interior and allowed for vectoring fighter intercepts. By the way in general it's hardly accurate to state that "German radar was better" as for the most part it wasn't.
Which isn't an argument for the 109 being better than the Spitfire is it? Most here aren't arguing that the Spitfire was the best fighter of the war either, indeed I'm not sure any have.
Quite relevant when you are using total kills and the high scores of the German pilots as part of your argument.
Hardly irrelevant. Indeed the "averaging out" can obscure some very important details.
You still haven't addressed the fact that by your logic the Constitution is the best warship currently in commission in the USN.
Wrong. The US and British both lost a fair number of aircraft to the Japanese. The British lost at least some to the Italians. The Soviets lost quite a few to the Finns. Need I go on?
Wrong on several counts. First of all we'd have to know how many of those the 109 was responsible for. Just stating the total losses which include losses to other fighters, FLAK, operational losses, and combinations of such proves absolutely nothing about the 109. Furthermore looking at total losses on the other side only is far from sufficient to prove any plane was the most "effective killer".
It's not just what "War Gaming has shown"! War time operations, science, and war time experience have shown that the 109 wasn't the top plane in a number of important war time criteria for fighters. Your basic assumption is clearly flawed and the huge flaws and leaps of faith in your logic don't help your case any. As most if not all of us have stated and supported well with fact and logic ... you are WRONG.
Just because you do not like my arguments is no reason to discount them. In this thread several others have listed the losses on both sides, but then tried to discount those losses because of this, that, or some other reason. Throw out the Russian Front kills and just use the Western Front numbers that all already agree on and the only clear winner is the Me-109! The Brits made >20,000 Spitfires and they only shot down <4,000 Enemy Aircraft. They made >15,000 Mustangs and they only shot down >5,200 planes. From these two simple facts we could deduce that the Mustang was the more effective, in spite of it being lower performance in all but three, of a dozen areas! So were either picking the wrong categories of performance to stress, likely, or some other factors were at work? Now we have to look at the Me-109. How do it's numbers compare to those above? The Nipponese did not build enough planes to make either end of this list and thus none of the planes that fought them could make this list, UNLESS, we change the criteria to one of STRATEGIC CONSIDERATIONS!!!! Then all the American planes won and they lost the War. I guess that the same could be said about the ETO also?
This all brings us back to the simple question I started this argument with so long ago that no one has yet answered: How do we judge which plane was the best? What criteria do we use Vs all planes?
Sorry, but this is why I have such a problem with your bullshit. It's bullshit from a bullshitter.
The U.S. manufactured 14,490 P-51, 500 A-36, and 299 F-6. We have zero idea how many aircraft they actually shot down or what types they were. We do have some notion of what their pilots CLAIMED they shot down.
The British manufactured 18,549 Spitfire fighters, 973 Spitfire PR, and 316 SF, plus 685 Westland and Cunliffe-Owen fighters and 1,863 SF. We have zero idea how many aircraft they actually shot down or what types they were. We do have some notion of what their pilots CLAIMED they shot down.
The Germans built ZERO Me-109. We have zero idea how many aircraft they actually shot down or what types they were. We do have some notion of what their pilots CLAIMED they shot down.
Indeed. On the other hand that your arguments have been througly refuted multiple times by multiple people is more than sufficient grounds to discount them.
Actually as has been pointed out we cannot.
The more reasonable explanation of course is your basic premise is thoroughly flawed, indeed we've pointed that out to you multiple times.
Thou waxeth incoherent.
That's because you are asking a question that is in many ways nonsensical. What is clear is that your criteria are thoroughly flawed. This has been pointed out repeatedly to no avail.
The 4-1 ratio was horrific, which was why the British changed their strategy.
The 109 was more effective on defense...Huh? The 190 was the far more effective fighter on defense and offense, with the 109 only gaining supremacy in altitudes over 21,000 feet.
The win/loss ratios have been analyzed and found to not be near as good as that of the Hellcat or the Finn's Brewster Model 239s.
Hmmm...A household lightbulb is more powerful than a searchlight. Would be nice if only it were true.
If you do not see who is shooting at you because you are fixated on another target...You have been ambushed.
80% were the pilots that did not see it coming...That does not mean that 80% were ambushed...It only means that 80% never saw their attackers.
Actually, it was not used differently. Germany had some 740 ground based radars scattered around Europe for the specific purpose of providing early warning and fighter intercept.
It is absolutely relevant. Because many of the US ace fighter pilots would have had scores equal to or better than the German aces had they flown similar numbers of missions given the number of kills and the number of missions flown.
Again, it is absolutely relevant. See above.
Curious...If it all averages out...Then the discounting of the P-51 & P-47 kills, and the US Navy F6F kills...Is an incorrect one...Since as you have said...It al averages out.
Or does it?
You dislike our arguments concerning the P-51, P-47, F6F, Brewster Model 239...Yet, you discount them.
Again, you dislike our arguments concerning the P-51, P-47, F6F, Brewster Model 239...Yet, you discount them.
Only in your fantasy....The numbers are far less clear cut, and the waters are a lot murkier.
Wait...What? We were talking about Win/Loss ratios. Those numbers did not prove your point. So, you discounted the P-51, as the German pilots were not supposedly "top tier pilots." Now, you move that goal even further by comparing total production to wins. Ignoring the salient fact that this discounts all American aircraft because they were not in production or combat for near as long as the 109.
Huh? Japan built over 30,000 fighters...Slightly more than 10,000 of those were the A6M Zero.
Besides, if we are looking at Win/Loss ratios...Production numbers are irrelevant.
What part of this progression is escaping you?
Oh, yeah...That's right. The 109 does not come out on top.
We had been using Win/Loss ratios, but you did not like that because the 109 is not the clear winner, but a clear loser.
Not just time of production but because of it's location and global commitments many US aircraft would never see combat. Indeed even in Europe many never engaged opposing aircraft. German fighters didn't engage opposing aircraft in some cases but only if they were destroyed before they had a chance to or were stranded at the end of the war due to lack of fuel or pilots.
WWII: Describe the first time you were shot down, General.
Galland: This was on June 21, 1941, when JG.26 was stationed at Pas de Calais. We had attacked some Bristol Blenheim bombers and I shot down two, but some Supermarine Spitfires were on me and they shot my plane up. I had to belly-land in a field until picked up later, and I went on another mission after lunch. On this mission I shot down number 70, but I did something stupid. I was following the burning Spitfire down when I was bounced and shot up badly. My plane was on fire, and I was wounded. I tried to bail out, but the canopy was jammed shut from enemy bullets. So I tried to stand in the cockpit, forcing the canopy open with my back as the plane screamed toward earth. I had opened it and almost cleared the 109 when my parachute harness became entangled on the radio aerial. I fought it with everything I had until I finally broke free, my parachute opening just as I hit the ground. I was bleeding from my head and arm, plus I had damaged my ankle on landing. I was taken to safety by some Frenchmen.
WWII: You survived being shot down twice in one day. How did it affect you?
Galland: I was worried that my wounds might ground me for a long time–that was my greatest concern, not to mention I had lost two airplanes.
That is one Spitfire for two 109's... in 1941. And a nearly dead Galland.
And of course, anyone can understand the effects of duration / length of operational tours on those pursuing large tallies;
The lengths of the RAF operational tours
What was the LW policy again?
The fact that so many LW aces survived being shot down and were returned to service is also a consideration. The Brits had that advantage during the BoB and it was significant there. Being shot down over the Pacific was a chancy thing for anyone although the US went to a lot of effort to recover pilots. I believe airmen shot down in Europe over enemy territory were grounded or at least not allowed to fly more combat missions in Europe. All factors that are relevant if not dominant in relation to the topic at hand and ones which tend to argue against the premise that the 109 was the "best".