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Paul Pless
04-13-2010, 06:43 PM
But it seems to me that he persistently distorts history to minimize the American contribution. He's started several threads to make this argument. Why he has such a bee in his bonnet about that, I don't know. Maybe he thinks the only history other people know is Hollywood films. In any case, each time he raises the topic, it's never enough to acknowledge the Russian contribution; he must minimize the American contribution.a form of australian inferiority complex (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_cringe#Australia) perhaps

The Bigfella
04-13-2010, 06:57 PM
John, that issue was covered in post 222 using the reference you introduced, Loza...

John... just on the issue of P-39 deliveries, how many and when...



the Loza book that you linked points out that 150 of the early P-400 (aka Model 14 or Airacobra-1) were shipped to Russia in December '41 / Jan '42, having been rejected by Britain. He says that total deliveries were 4,423 to 4,750 (depending on source) .... the majority of them were Q models and were half of all fighter deliveries to the USSR. (pp13-14)

http://www.amazon.com/Attack-Airacob...der_0700611401 (http://www.amazon.com/Attack-Airacobras-American-Against-Germany/dp/0700611401/ref=pd_ybh_2?pf_rd_p=280800601&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_t=1501&pf_rd_i=ybh&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0R82F6KNE7JYMVAKN75N#reader_0700611401)


So... the majority of what the Russians received (P-39s that is) were Q models, which - having been put into production in, what was it, March 43? - would only have started arriving at the Eastern front in mid-43.

btw..... if you do a straight line estimation of production - 17 months of production, I think it works out at 380 or so a month - and perhaps 150 or so a month going to the Russians from mid 43 to the latter part of 44 (but that is my estimate - and I'd love to see more detail from other sources).

Incidentally, when we did find more detail on other sources (trucks etc.... it showed that most of the finished goods aid arrived quite late in the war. Yes, I'm sure that the food aid was very important - and I've already pointed out the critical importance of the rolled steel for T-34 production.

Gunter Rall wrote about the first appearance of the Spitfire V on the Eastern Front on 27 April 1943



I wrote a summary of the battle, in which I noted the appearance of the Spitfires on the Eastern front. My group commander asked me for the time being not to discuss what had happened. ‘Perhaps you were mistaken, Rall? All this will only alarm your comrades.’ I responded that it was more likely that tomorrow we would encounter a large number of Spitfires in our sector of the front.


http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/spit/index.htm

There's a bit in that link about P39's too. Interesting to see how long it took the squadron to convert to the Spits btw.

It is a really interesting read btw - well worth it.

I've backtracked to the head source of that and come up with some more articles btw... which I will provide links for. Here's a snippet



the period of time that elapsed between delivery of the first Airacobras to the USSR (end of December 1941) and their appearance in aviation units (early May 1942) speaks for itself


http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/romanenko/p-39/index.htm

That link is an article on the early Airacobras.

It wasn't all roses with the P-39s. They required modifications for the cold conditions and...



the brief test period did not permit sufficient testing to expose the basic weaknesses of design and construction that were later revealed in the process of mass exploitation. The flat spin, the engine throwing connecting rods, and other manifestations were yet to be discovered.


..... and this points out that there were only 254 P-39s taken on in 1942



According to documents of 6th ZAB, in 1942 alone some 254 Airacobras were assembled and flown in 22d ZAP, of which 237 were sent to the front or to other units. It is interesting that this number exceeds (according to data from the archives of the Main Staff, VVS [6]) the total number of this fighter type received in the USSR for the year (192). In the opinion of this author, this is explained by the mistaken inclusion in their number of aircraft ostensibly belonging to the five PIAPs (5 x 32). This difference, some 94 aircraft, represents a more real number of Airacobra Is that might have passed through the 22d ZAP in 1942.


and....



The Airacobra I was actively employed in the Soviet VVS for approximately a year, from June 1942 until the early summer of 1943. Subsequently losses in this air frame were compensated for by deliveries of the later models. The last two Airacobra Is arrived in the USSR in January 1943. By the end of the summer of 1943 they had almost disappeared from line units, although the last examples fought on until the spring of 1944.


Part 2 of the link above shows that the P-39-D did not reach the front until 9 March 1943



The regiment fell into the "oven" of combat over the Kuban and on the second day suffered its first loss: Airacobra 41-38427 with engine Allison V-1710-63 (E-6) no. AAC 42-135031 did not return from its combat mission. This was the first P-39D-2 shot down on the Soviet-German front.


and



Drawing conclusions, it can be said that the debut of the Airacobra in the Soviet VVS was singularly successful. In skilled hands it was a powerful weapon, fully on a par with the enemy equipment. There was no "special" operational environment for the Airacobras-they were employed as normal multi-purpose fighters that fulfilled the same roles as Lavochkins and Yakovlevs: they contested with fighters, escorted bombers, flew on reconnaissance, and protected our ground forces. They differed from Soviet-produced fighters in having a more powerful armament, survivability, and a good radio, and fell behind our fighters in vertical maneuverability, capability to withstand excessive G-forces, and to execute acute maneuvers. The pilots loved their Airacobras for comfort and good protection. As one P-39 pilot expressed it, he felt like he was "flying in a safe". Airacobra pilots did not burn because the aircraft was metal and the fuel cells were positioned far away in the wing. They were not subject to jets of steam or streams of oil because the engine was behind them. Their faces were not beat up on protrusions of the gunsight. If the airplane should happen to flip over on landing, they were not turned into lump of flesh, as happened to twice HSU A. F. Klubov after transitioning from a P-39 to an La-7. There was a kind of mystical belief that a pilot attempting to preserve a damaged Cobra by belly landing it would almost always emerge not only alive, but also undamaged. But if he bailed out of the same airplane he often was seriously injured or killed by the stabilizer, which was on the same level as the door.


Ahh... some more detail.



Deliveries of the Bell model 26Q-15 began in August 1943; the last of this series being completed towards at the end of the year. Although the manufacturing cost was not stated, it is likely to have been in the region of $46,000, excluding items such as the propeller and radios.

In all, 4,905 P39Q models were produced and of these, 3,291 were issued to the Soviet Union under lend-lease agreements.


http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/sheppard/p39/index.htm

So.... it would seem that the majority of P-39's would not have entered service on the Eastern Front until 1944 eh?

The Bigfella
04-13-2010, 07:00 PM
Well, I've acknowledged that repeatedly, but let me acknowledge it again for you. As stated earlier in the thread, I think the Russians carried most of the load in WW II. Ian seems to think our contribution was insignificant, and with that I take issue.

I agree, the argument becomes tiresome. If Ian's only point was that the Russians took the brunt of the German military effort, we would have no difference of opinion. But it seems to me that he persistently distorts history to minimize the American contribution. He's started several threads to make this argument. Why he has such a bee in his bonnet about that, I don't know. Maybe he thinks the only history other people know is Hollywood films. In any case, each time he raises the topic, it's never enough to acknowledge the Russian contribution; he must minimize the American contribution.


Eh? Where have I minimised the American effort?


btw The Pacific screens here tonight on one of the main free-to-air channels.

WX
04-13-2010, 07:28 PM
Eh? Where have I minimised the American effort?


btw The Pacific screens here tonight on one of the main free-to-air channels.

I don't think he does, only an idiot would deny the massive input by the US.
Re The Pacific, I hope to watch that, depends on Kerry though, she's not big on war movies. Her father served in Viet nam and came back quite changed.

Lew Barrett
04-13-2010, 07:45 PM
This thread can be hard to stay with at points along the way. I'd sooner not get involved discussing motives, but (excuse me if this has already been discussed) I was surprised to see the extent of US battle casualties and deaths when I looked them up and compared them to losses of other combatants in the usual source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties#Human_losses_by_country). I would add that I was already aware of the numbers, but had never thought about them in comparative terms before.

I was surprised to see that (absent the Soviets and Chinese) the US suffered the most combat deaths and casualties of any Allied combatant. When the UK's civilian losses are factored in, the losses there just edge out the US's. But for combat losses, the US took the most.

Poland's 240,000 combat deaths in the few weeks they struggled also represents a stunning statistic, and their total losses, given the size of the country, are absolutely horrific. While this has little to do with the discussion at hand, it's hard to understate what the betrayal of Poland (by the Soviets) says about Stalin's character, and helps explain to me the depth of loathing most Poles have for the Soviet Union or what those weeks in Poland must have been like as the nation was dismembered and eaten alive.

PeterSibley
04-13-2010, 07:47 PM
I guess you're forgetting China Lew ...it never happened did it ?

The Bigfella
04-13-2010, 08:11 PM
This thread can be hard to stay with at points along the way. I'd sooner not get involved discussing motives, but (excuse me if this has already been discussed) I was surprised to see the extent of US battle casualties and deaths when I looked them up and compared them to losses of other combatants in the usual source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties#Human_losses_by_country). I would add that I was already aware of the numbers, but had never thought about them in comparative terms before.

I was surprised to see that (absent the Soviets and Chinese) the US suffered the most combat deaths and casualties of any Allied combatant. When the UK's civilian losses are factored in, the losses there just edge out the US's. But for combat losses, the US took the most.

Poland's 240,000 combat deaths in the few weeks they struggled also represents a stunning statistic, and their total losses, given the size of the country, are absolutely horrific. While this has little to do with the discussion at hand, it's hard to understate what the betrayal of Poland (by the Soviets) says about Stalin's character, and helps explain to me the depth of loathing most Poles have for the Soviet Union or what those weeks in Poland must have been like as the nation was dismembered and eaten alive.

Yes, they are significant and horrific.... but just a minor word on that usual source.... the stats they have given are somewhat misleading. IIRC, US battle deaths were just under 300,000 in WW2.

Taking that wiki number... (at the risk of hearing Patton's reinterpretation of Monash's words again) the US military deaths were 1.5% of the total military deaths. The fact that they were "only" one casualty in every 67 in the war is simply an illustration of the point that I made earlier... about where the war was fought. The suffering was immense.

johnw
04-13-2010, 08:14 PM
I don't think he does, only an idiot would deny the massive input by the US.


The sort who would write this...


Can we also remember chaps... that Germany was already backpedalling and stalled 9 months before the first of these planes got there. Oops.

...knowing that the first American fighters arrived in 1941?

He keeps trying to put the aid in 1944, knowing the Murmansk convoys started in 1941.

I don't mind giving the Russians full credit. I've pointed out that Dmitry Loza, who interviewed surviving pilots and read their logbooks, says the P-39s had an immediate impact when they arrived at the front, and they arrived in August 1942. He still hasn't backed off his claim that they can't have made much of an impact, and has provided no proof at all for his claim that they arrived mainly in 1944, even though the production run of the models used in Russia started in the spring of 1941.

WX
04-13-2010, 08:29 PM
http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/sheppard/p39/p39e.jpg

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/sheppard/p39/p39a.jpg
http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/sheppard/p39/index.htm

The Bigfella
04-13-2010, 08:32 PM
The sort who would write this...



...knowing that the first American fighters arrived in 1941?

He keeps trying to put the aid in 1944, knowing the Murmansk convoys started in 1941.

I don't mind giving the Russians full credit. I've pointed out that Dmitry Loza, who interviewed surviving pilots and read their logbooks, says the P-39s had an immediate impact when they arrived at the front, and they arrived in August 1942. He still hasn't backed off his claim that they can't have made much of an impact, and has provided no proof at all for his claim that they arrived mainly in 1944, even though the production run of the models used in Russia started in the spring of 1941.

John... see post 262 - it points out that the first of the P-39 planes reached the front in May 1942.

If you read the links I provided, you will understand why.

Please continue to flail me for the fact that these first few planes (about 3% of the eventual deliveries) arrived at the front a bit over six months after the failure of the Germans to reach Moscow, not nine months.

While you are reading that post (it would seem for the first time) please also notice that 3,291 of the P-39s delivered to the USSR were Q models..... which means that the majority of the P-39s didn't reach the front until 1944.

Doesn't it John?

The Bigfella
04-13-2010, 11:38 PM
Take a good look at what Hartmann faced...there were more than half dozen P-51 kills in that group, and other aircraft. Hartmann wasn't just lucky, he was good.

His first kill was a P-39

The Bigfella
04-14-2010, 12:28 AM
OK… since people want to suggest I’m an idiot – and I’ll be fair and say some have done that in the nicest possible way… I’ll summarise what I’ve said about the air war – and where it was fought.

Then I’ll challenge you to show me the holes in the argument again eh?

The USSR produced 157,261 planes and received a further 14,795 from the USA. (post 9)

Summary of kills by various allied plane types (11):

Spitfire = ~6,800 ETO/MTO only
Non-Spit Brit claims = ~4,000 ETO only
P-38 = ~3,900 kills total world-wide
P-51 = 4,950 in ETO/MTO only
P-47 = 3,752 in ETO/MTO only
F6F = 5,000+ PTO only
F4F = 1,327 (USN/USMC only)
F4U = 2,139 total WW2

We know from taking a look at Lend Lease stuff before, that it had to wait until 1944 before it made an impact.... which it did. (19)

…1944… the Luftwaffe issued an order to "avoid combat with Yak fighters…” (20)

By 1941, the I-16 was still the most numerous Soviet fighter and made up about two-thirds of the VVS. … The I-16 performance was generally equal to that of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 (of the era) at altitudes up to the 3,000 m (9,843 ft), where the I-16 could fight the Messerschmitt Bf 109 '"Emil" on equal terms … Around half of all produced I-16s were still in service in 1943, when they were finally replaced. (20)

I'd like to get a bit more info on where / how the Japanese losses were incurred. We have info that the US Navy and Marines shot down 8,641 planes... presumably in the PTO... but Japan produced over 75,000 planes. Most of the WW2 air forces lost as many planes to accidents as enemy action... so that takes us to 17,000 or so... then there was the kamikaze / ship AA fire situation. (53) – Note…. Have seen subsequently that Kamikaze losses were under 4,000… many of which will have been shot down by AA fire.

On 16 May 1942, Hermann Göring made a rare perceptive observation. He noted that if enemy bomber formations started penetrating the German fighter defense at the Channel coast, there was "nothing left in Germany to oppose them". It was stretched thin, particularly with its main air command (Luftflotte 4) which was occupied with Stalingrad. ….after April '42, only 8 of Germany's 100+ aces were left to take to the sky.... and they had 105 of them. So, 92% of their top aces were gone before an American plane reached Europe … wiki quote: “The failure to maximize production immediately after the failures in the Soviet Union and North Africa ensured the Luftwaffe's effective defeat in the period of September 1943 - February 1944.” (56)


Yzer provided stats that showed the number of US fighters that went to the USSR was 9,868 (65)

(re allied air campaign over Germany) …. the Luftwaffe was but a shadow of its former self by then. It had suffered body blows in the West in 1940, and was ground down in the East in '41-'43. There was nothing substantial left to defend the Reich.... only schoolkids. Ill-trained pilots, out-numbered by at least 6:1 (91)

….let's see what "Historical Turning Points in the German Air Force War Effort" - USAF Historical Studies No 189 has to say. From it's table of contents:

The Critical Battles & Turning Points of the War:
1) The Battle of Britain
2) The War Against Soviet Russia
3) The Lack of Strategic Air Warfare Against Russia
4) Malta – the Victory Germany Gave Away
5) Stalingrad
6) The Lost Fighter Battle
7) The Last Opportunity – The Jet Fighter (Post 98)

In Europe in the critical first three months of 1944, when the German aircraft industry and Berlin were heavily attacked, the P-47 shot down more German fighters than did the P-51 (570 out of 873), and shot down approximately 900 of the 1,983 claimed during the first six months of 1944. In Europe, Thunderbolts flew more sorties (423,435) than P-51s, P-38s and P-40s combined. That 1,983 claimed victories is interesting - the Germans lost, according to one source I've read, about 86,500 aircraft during WW2. If that highly intensive period on the Western Front... when the Luftwaffe defence was supposedly being decimated ... is less than 2.3% of their total losses.... does that tell you anything about the answer to the thread title? btw... The Battle of Britain also resulted in less than 2.3% of their losses. Sure, some of the other 95% were in the last 10 months.... but most were elsewhere (110)

Some data about the air forces of the decisive WW2 front where ~75% of German air and ground forces were destroyed (116)

Perusing this list of more than 1315 Soviet Aces, yes.. there are some Lend Lease planes on there that these aces flew. But not that many. In fact, I don't think the La-5 , La-5FN or La-7 have ever been mentioned by those who poo poo the suggestion that the main air war was on the Eastern Front. Its as if they never existed. (117)

The end result is 1,281 Soviet Aces in WW2... with an average of 15.22 victories each.... for a total of 19,493 victories. That's 23% of all German aircraft losses during WW2. By way of contrast, the wiki list (which is western nation-centric ) includes 8,516 Allied Ace victories... or the equivalent of 10% of all German aircraft losses during WW2..... however, that list also includes the Aces against the Japanese.... so the share of the German victories is even lower. Does this make sense to anyone else? (117)

As to my denigration of the US effort.... please put your money where your mouth is. Where did I do that? (137) – no response.

Jones, in "Alaska at War 1941-1945 states on page 324 that in 1942, only 150 planes went to Russia via the Alaska route.... which was established in August 1942.... 14 months after Hitler invaded Russia. (176)

... just on the issue of P-39 deliveries, how many and when... the Loza book that you linked points out that 150 of the early P-400 (aka Model 14 or Airacobra-1) were shipped to Russia in December '41 / Jan '42, having been rejected by Britain. He says that total deliveries were 4,423 to 4,750 (depending on source) .... the majority of them were Q models and were half of all fighter deliveries to the USSR. (222)

We now know that the first P39-s – the ones from Britain- did not get to the front until May 1942 (post 262) and that 3,291 were Q models (made at an average rate of 380 a month – and with deliveries starting to the USSR in August 43) – so about 75% of all P39’s were delivered to the USSR after August ’43.

The Bigfella
04-14-2010, 12:28 AM
If you want to consider this supposed anti-American bent…. I think it might be a bit of mud sticking from comments made by others, without justification… eg:

“And yet, we contributed nothing to the war, Ian?” (31) I’ve never said anything remotely like that…. Have I?

“Ian's practice is to manipulate the numbers to minimize the American contribution. It's a little tiresome.” (43) I’ve asked for an example of this supposed manipulation – and never got it.

Really, Ian, you'll do pretty much anything to disparage the American contribution, won't you? (123 – yet again with no reason to make such a claim)

And just to show the level of information coming back the other way, we get this:
“Ah, the joy of needling Ian. Consider it from the Soviet point of view. At the point where you're invaded, you've got one model of fighter that can engage the enemy on equal terms -- and only 425 of those -- and you've got to move all your aircraft factories.” (172) – which totally ignores the I-16 and many other capable planes that shot down thousands of German planes.

John posted this “You'll notice that many of the top Russian aces started in the P-39D, which came out in April 1941, progressed to the P-39N, which came out in 1942, and then to the P-39Q, which came out in May 1943. In October 1944 the P-63 replaced the P-39, so I guess that's when the production run ended. I'd say most of the P-39s must have been delivered prior to 1944, which has a lot to do with why they were important. In 1944, the Russians introduced some very good aircraft of their own.” (245)

“Ian seems to think our contribution was insignificant, and with that I take issue” (260) I’ve made no such claim

The Bigfella
04-14-2010, 01:24 AM
...snip....

Because most Japanese and German military attrition was due to disease, starvation, surrender and cold from failures in logistics....not defeat on the battlefield. ...snip


Another conclusion lacking context, perspective and understanding.

Wartime tactics are largely a function of personnel turnover. You can't execute at a level beyond your training.


There you go....digging again. The bull**** meter is past the peg.

.... snip ....

I've been meaning to comment on this for a while.

It just ain't so Bob... according to some of the best US minds who've commented on it.

Let's take a look at Japanese troop dispositions and casualties:

http://www.japanww2.com/jpg/wt_19image.jpg

Oh dear, it seems that "privation" dead were one third of the total, not the majority you claimed. When looking at that 1945 troop disposition... let's not forget the input of Japanese schoolgirls into the home defence stats.

Now the following table is interesting.

I'd appreciate your input Bob.

If Japan was occupying territory that had a population of 394 million people, as it was in 1943.... and bearing in mind most of that was on mainland Asia, just how much military resource do you think it would take to hold that territory?

http://www.japanww2.com/jpg/wt_01image.jpg

johnw
04-14-2010, 02:22 PM
Jones, in "Alaska at War 1941-1945 states on page 324 that in 1942, only 150 planes went to Russia via the Alaska route.... which was established in August 1942.... 14 months after Hitler invaded Russia. (176)

Still peddling that, Ian? Loza, who has seen the Russian archives, said it was more like 2,600. By the way, I've ordered his book and should have it in about a week. You continue to quote the figure from the fellow who has not seen the Russian archives because it serves the purpose of your larger narrative. And of course, early in the war we shipped mostly P-40s, which the Russians found about equal to the bf 109 at the altitudes they fought at. I also note that it was 1944 before The Germans advised their aviators to avoid combat with Yak fighters. That's because until 1944, they were fighting the Yak-1. In 1944 the Yak-3 came out. The La-7 came out the same year. And by the way, your memory is deficient. I did mention the Yak and Lavochkin fighters in an earlier post.

By the way, I was rather surprised by the casualty statistics you posted for Japan. It looks like only about a third occurred in China. More fell to American forces, and of course, the American strategy was not one of attrition -- we were working our way to their homeland. I'd say the numbers you've posted undermine the idea that Japan lost the war in China.

Although I've said our food aid to Russia might be more important than the aircraft, you've ignored that aspect of the aid.

PeterSibley
04-14-2010, 04:59 PM
By the way, I was rather surprised by the casualty statistics you posted for Japan. It looks like only about a third occurred in China. More fell to American forces, and of course, the American strategy was not one of attrition -- we were working our way to their homeland. I'd say the numbers you've posted undermine the idea that Japan lost the war in China.
.

You could equally argue that only 4% of their disposition were in the Pacific Islands and 2% in the Phillipines .....facing the US .
China ,facing the Chinese forces ...18%

The Bigfella
04-14-2010, 05:00 PM
Still peddling that, Ian? Loza, who has seen the Russian archives, said it was more like 2,600. By the way, I've ordered his book and should have it in about a week. You continue to quote the figure from the fellow who has not seen the Russian archives because it serves the purpose of your larger narrative. And of course, early in the war we shipped mostly P-40s, which the Russians found about equal to the bf 109 at the altitudes they fought at. I also note that it was 1944 before The Germans advised their aviators to avoid combat with Yak fighters. That's because until 1944, they were fighting the Yak-1. In 1944 the Yak-3 came out. The La-7 came out the same year. And by the way, your memory is deficient. I did mention the Yak and Lavochkin fighters in an earlier post.

By the way, I was rather surprised by the casualty statistics you posted for Japan. It looks like only about a third occurred in China. More fell to American forces, and of course, the American strategy was not one of attrition -- we were working our way to their homeland. I'd say the numbers you've posted undermine the idea that Japan lost the war in China.

Although I've said our food aid to Russia might be more important than the aircraft, you've ignored that aspect of the aid.

John

The 2,000 plus was for the southern route. The Alaskan route didn't start until late '42 and it became the dominant route because it was much quicker... it didn't require assembly of crated aircraft, etc. There were three routes and I've always been clear if I was talking about one, which one it was.

Have you got a reference that says the Russians found the P-40 was about equal to the Bf-109. I'd be interested to read it. I posted a reference that showed their I-16 was equal to the Emil version of the Bf-109..... and the I-16 made up 2/3 of the Russian fighters at the time. I also posted the details of a large number of Russian (and Chinese) aces who achieved their victories in biplanes.

Re China - pre "Pearl Harbour", Japan had more than 79% of their army on mainland Asia (Japan/Korea were lumped together). In August '45 it was still at 55%, despite having homeland forces almost equal to their entire army at the start of the Pacific Theatre ops in late '41. I'll post up their major battles in the A/P Theatre for you at some stage. It doesn't strike you as interesting that in 1943, Japanese occupation forces were controlling 394 million people across a vast range of territory? I'm sure Bob will pop up sometime soon and tell us the logistics of doing that.

You claim I've ignored your comment on food aid. In post 260 I said: "Yes, I'm sure that the food aid was very important - and I've already pointed out the critical importance of the rolled steel for T-34 production." Ignored it eh? :confused:

Speaking of ignored.... I see you haven't commented on the fact that 75% of all P-39's delivered to the USSR were Q models, delivered after August '43.

Nor have you addressed the issue that nowhere in this thread have I disparaged the American effort... despite you making numerous claims to the contrary. Nowhere.

The Bigfella
04-14-2010, 05:02 PM
You could equally argue that only 4% of their disposition were in the Pacific Islands and 2% in the Phillipines .....facing the US .
China ,facing the Chinese forces ...18%

Not just 18% Peter.... add in the Manchurian, etc bits

PeterSibley
04-14-2010, 05:26 PM
Another 15% ?

33% against Chinese forces versus 6% against US forces ? Interesting .

The Bigfella
04-14-2010, 05:53 PM
Another 15% ?

33% against Chinese forces versus 6% against US forces ? Interesting .

Not forgetting that a large part of the home army (which is in 1945 given at just under 2 million, including Korea - or 40% of their total forces) was by then comprised of old men and schoolgirls.

The Bigfella
04-14-2010, 05:56 PM
I just deleted the Battles list I had up.... I'll get the errors out of it and get it back up. Posting Excel to this forum is a nightmare.... I'm doin it via Powerpoint

The Bigfella
04-14-2010, 06:19 PM
From June 1940 until June 1941 the air war was fought by Germany and Italy against Britain, over Britain (the Battle of Britain and the Blitz) and Malta and Greece.

And, as the figures show, Britain was not losing it.

I thought we went through this before Andrew. Was Britain fighting alone?

Perhaps, "the Allies were not losing it" ?

The Bigfella
04-14-2010, 06:23 PM
Try again.... Battles of the Asia Pacific War.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/iansecond/Asia1.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/iansecond/Asia2.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/iansecond/Asia3.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/iansecond/Asia4.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/iansecond/Asia5.jpg

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 01:40 AM
OK - I was wrong.

Yep.... it seems that one of the major areas for aircraft losses during WW2 was the continental USA. In total, during the war, 13,874 aircraft were wrecked there.

On the issue of aircraft leaving the USA.... these are the totals by year for crewed flights. 20,574 by ATC crews and 29187 by non-ATC crews. Whilst that won't include planes on carriers and in crates (an educated guess), it gives a pretty good idea of how shipments ramped up and when.

Grand Total
49,761

Annually
1942 3,590
1943 12,730
1944 23,052
1945 10,389 (Jan-Aug)

I've just downloaded a whole heap of data... losses and victories, by theatre of ops, etc.... and I'll do my best to present it so that I can be accused of manipulating it. I'll be back in 41 or so....

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 02:50 AM
OK - here's the victories and losses of the US in aviation combat zones during WW2. If I can find the same level of detail for other combatants, it may be possible to build a decent picture of the various theatres of operation.

First up, the US Navy & Marines.

Victories – 2,756 against bombers and 6,535 against fighters for a total of 9,291. A further 6,182 victories were claimed for aircraft destroyed on the ground for a total of 15,473.

Average victories per month by year = ’42 – 93 victories per month. ’43 – 120, things hotted up in ’44 with 580 and in ’45 it was 745.

By Theatre =

Central Pacific = 4,449 in combat and 3,261 on the ground.

South Pacific – 2,264 and 179.

SW Pacific – 2,526 and 2,670.

North Pacific – 5 and 1.

Atlantic – 42 and 30.

SE Asia – 5 and 41 on the ground…. And that’s it for Navy and Marine Victories.

Losses – a total of 8,592 of which 4,234 were on operations, 3,045 on other flights and 1,313 on the ground.

By Theatre (excluding “on the ground” and “other”) =

Central Pacific = 2,170.

South Pacific – 824.

SW Pacific – 1,142.

North Pacific – 42.

Atlantic – 53.

SE Asia – 3…. And that’s it for Navy and Marine Losses – other than the missing categories.

Now for the US Army Air Forces.

Victories

Total victories on combat missions were 40,259 aircraft. By theatre:

Europe 20,419 of which 6,098 fell to heavy bombers, 103 to medium/light bombers, 7,422 to fighters in the air and 6,796 to fighters in ground attacks

Mediterranean 9,497

Pacific Ocean Areas 794

Far East Air Forces 6,298

China, Burma & India 1,913

Alaska 113

Latin America & Atlantic 1,225

Losses on Combat Missions, By Theater: Jan 1942 to Aug 1945 (note – NOT total losses)

Total losses on combat missions were 22,948 aircraft. By theatre:

Europe 11,687 (4,274 to aircraft, 5,380 to AA, 2,033 other causes) – 5548 heavies, 815 medium/light bombers and 5,324 fighters

Mediterranean 6,731

Pacific Ocean Areas 378

Far East Air Forces 2,494

China, Burma & India 1,076

Alaska 88

Latin America & Atlantic 494

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 03:07 AM
In summary, the US armed forces aviators were credited with 55,732 victories in WW2, 15,473 to the Navy / Marines and 40,259 to the Army Air Forces.

Known losses so far (excludes ground losses of Army Air Forces) are 31,540, of which 8,592 were Navy/Marines and 22,948 for the Army Air Forces.

Of particular interest is the European / Med victories info... which includes ground kills... it adds up to around 30,000. Add to that the Battle of Britain (another couple of thousand) and the other Allies results in those theatres (unknown).

We know that the Luftwaffe lost 116,000 aircraft.

I still reckon that the Eastern Front was where the main air war was waged. Opinions preferred to attacks please. There is no disparaging going on here.

US victories in the Asia/Pacific are about 23,000 - a much smaller number than one would expect given the Japanese production of aircraft during the war. I don't know the German or Japanese opening stocks... but I can't imagine too many of the more than 75,000 they produced during the war survived it. Given that, where were they lost guys? Kamikaze flights are under 4,000 I believe, although I did see one that said a bit over 4,000

I'll do the accurate numbers up on this later on. I'm still interested in firming up some of the stats for other participants.

References for the US stats are:

http://www.usaaf.net/digest/operations.htm

http://www.history.navy.mil/download/nasc.pdf

(unlike certain climate researchers... I'm happy to share any and all sources of data - if I remember to note them)

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 03:36 AM
For practical purposes, so far as the air war was concerned, in materiel terms Britain was fighting alone. Britain was being attacked, not Australia or Canada or New Zealand or India or South Africa or Palestine or the Windies or Norway, although all these places, along with Poland and Czechoslovakia and France, had pilots who were taking part as volunteers.

The 27,899 aircrew, who had qualified under the Empire Air Training Scheme, supplied approximately 9 per cent of all aircrew who fought for the RAF in the Mediterranean and European theatres in the air war against Italy and Germany.

.... if it wasn't for the Aussies, mate, you'd be eating sauerkraut for breakfast :D

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 03:48 AM
Here's an interesting list... WW2 aircraft production...

At the start of the 1930s the Soviet Union was the world’s largest aircraft producer by far. And as war clouds gathered during the late 1930s, the country’s production grew rapidly: Soviet production quadrupled from 2,529 in 1935 to 10,382 in 1939. Growth dipped in 1940 as the industry switched over to new types and as many factories relocated to the east, and then quadrupled again between 1941 and 1944 to exceed 40,000 units, making the Soviet Union the second-largest producer after the US in terms of number of aircraft. This continued growth after 1941 was achieved despite the fact that in 1941 the German army overran large areas of Soviet territory including many important industrial areas.

Following is a list of the top-produced aircraft of WW2. Japan produced C-47s!

1. Ilyushin Il-2
36,136
USSR
Single-engined ground-attack aircraft

2. Yakovlev Yak-1/Yak-3/Yak-7/Yak-9
34,547
USSR
Single-engined fighter. Some fighter-bombers & fighter-trainers

3. Messerschmitt Bf 109
33,436
Germany, Hungary
Single-engined fighter. Some reconnaissance

4. Lavochkin LaGG-3/La-5/La-7
22,201
USSR
Single-engined fighter & fighter-bomber

5 Polikarpov U-2/Po-2
22,000
USSR
Single-engined biplane trainer, utility & harassment bomber

6 Supermarine Spitfire
21,959
Great Britain
Single-engined fighter & fighter-bomber. Some reconnaissance

7 Focke-Wulf Fw 190
20,001
Germany
Single-engined fighter & fighter-bomber

8 Consolidated B-24 Liberator/PB4Y Privateer
19,264
USA
Four-engined strategic bomber & patrol aircraft. Some transports.

9 North American AT-6 Texan/Harvard
18,650
USA, Canada, Australia, Japan
Single-engined trainer

10 Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
15,683
USA
Single-engined fighter & fighter-bomber

11 North American P-51 Mustang
15,576
USA
Single-engined fighter & fighter-bomber. Some reconnaissance

12 Junkers Ju 88
15,018
Germany
Twin-engined bomber, fighter & reconnaissance aircraft

13 Hawker Hurricane
13,849
Great Britain, Canada
Single-engined fighter & fighter-bomber

14 Curtis P-40 Warhawk
13,378
USA
Single-engined fighter & fighter-bomber

15 Douglas C-47 Dakota
13,140
USA, USSR, Japan
Twin-engined transport

16 Bell P-39 Airacobra/P-63 Kingcobra
12,897
USA
Single-engined fighter & fighter-bomber

17 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
12,731
USA
Four-engined strategic bomber

18 Grumman F6F Hellcat
12,275
USA
Single-engined fighter & fighter-bomber. Some reconnaissance

19 Vultee BT-17/19 Valiant
11,525
USA
Single-engined trainer

20 Petlyakov Pe-2
11,427
USSR
Twin-engined light bomber

21 Mitsubishi A6M Zero
11,320
Japan
Single-engined fighter. Some trainers

22 Vickers Wellington
11,302
Great Britain
Twin-engined strategic bomber & patrol aircraft

2 3 Vought F4U Corsair
11,071
USA
Single-engined fighter & fighter-bomber

24 Avro Anson
10,302
Great Britain, Canada
Twin-engined trainer & light transport


25 Lockheed P-38 Lightning
10.036
USA
Twin-engined fighter, fighter-bomber & reconnaissance aircraft

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 05:25 AM
No 10 Squadron was there from Day 1, and stayed to the bitter end... sinking subs for you.

My father in law got there pretty quickly, also in Sunderlands, and my uncle was there shooting down Ju88s and sinking U Boats...

My old man got caught (literally) while on one of Churchill's follies and spent the war as a guest of Hitler.

As for the Aussie-built aircraft... (and there were thousands) we used them recovering all the colonies you've given away again since....

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
04-15-2010, 05:26 AM
(Whatever did we need ten thousand Avro Ansons for?) :D

Training bomber pilots and navigators.

That and later as a sort of airborne Transit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_Anson <<< The Canadians built some from plywood.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
04-15-2010, 05:43 AM
I found this gem:


But as maritime reconnaissance aircraft it was a failure: Slow, vulnerable, short-ranged, with pitifully weak armament. The ineffectiveness of the 100lb bomb was illustrated in December 1939, when the British submarine HMS Snapper was attacked in error, hit directly, and suffered four broken lightbulbs.


http://www.uboat.net/allies/aircraft/anson.htm


That this huge number of trainers were needed tells its own story.

downthecreek
04-15-2010, 06:07 AM
.... if it wasn't for the Aussies, mate, you'd be eating sauerkraut for breakfast :D

There's something awfully sad about the way that a thread like this always has to be accompanied by lots of dick swinging. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 07:17 AM
There's something awfully sad about the way that a thread like this always has to be accompanied by lots of dick swinging. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

..... and misunderstood statements. That wasn't dick swinging... it was a funny mate.

Clan Gordon
04-15-2010, 07:29 AM
Have you got a reference that says the Russians found the P-40 was about equal to the Bf-109. I'd be interested to read it.

Ian,

cannot lay my hands on a reference, but I think I did read something similar. It depends on which BF109 variant you compare against.

But the biggest single factor I think is that the air war over USSR was a low altitude one. That allowed the P40 (and the Kittyhawk) to perform OK (many references say it was not bad below 15,000ft), whereas she would have been no use in the high altitude air war over Western Europe.

Poor performance above 15,000 ft was why the RAF relegated the Allison powered Kittyhawks (and the Allison Mustangs) to ground attack type roles. When the RAF added the Merlin to the P51 they finally got the air superiority fighter they wanted when they first ordered the P51 from North American (in preference to the Kittyhawk).

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 07:38 AM
One of the other reasons I came across re the P-39 not being too popular was the toxic cannon shell fumes coming into the cockpit. The Russians (and I believe the Aussies) didn't ever complain about it. Some others we shall not mention wouldn't fly it though.

Tumzara
04-15-2010, 07:38 AM
Speaking of dick swinging Ian, there would have been a fair bit of that going on in the Tommy ranks if not for all of the Kiwi and Aussie wool we sent to the Poms to make uniforms.
If Ol' Fritz had have seen those cold shriven Pommy willies it might have even given them enough of a morale boost to roll the Old Dart over 'eh cobber. ;)

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 07:44 AM
They might well have rolled the Old Dart over if they'd let decent generals run the show rather than a failed monorchic corporal and his sidedicks

Tom Hunter
04-15-2010, 07:58 AM
Strategically the air war was fought in two places

Britian in the early war, and Germany in the late war.

The Germans lost both rounds. The interview with the Soviet Ace is interesting because he documents the effect of Germany losing the airwar over Germany. "German pilot quality went down in 1944"

It's not just a question of aircraft destroyed by aces, or best plane in combat. Fighter planes are hard to fly, some of the analysis I've read says that the Germans were losing 20% or more of their total available airframes to ground loops and other takeoff and landing accidents every month in 1944. For some airplanes and units the numbers were much higher.

You also have to look at types of planes, the Allies produced more planes, they also produced a lot more 2 and four engine planes. These were a very important part of winning the war in the air.

One of the things that interests me about the air war is the role of bombers. In 1940 the Germans needed to defend thier bombers over Britian. The British had a much better organized air command, see "A Most Dangerous Enemy" and they inflicted very heavy losses on the German.

In 1944, the Americans had the bombers and a lot of long range fighters and the Germans had to stop them. But they did not, instead they lost 17% of their single engine fighters during the Big Week campaign in Feb. 44. After big week it got even worse as American tactics and experience improved and Geman pilot quality declined.

Tom Hunter
04-15-2010, 07:59 AM
I'm not slighting the Soviet effort in the air, but it pales in comparison to what they did on the ground, and it is not comperable to what either the British or Americans did to the Luftwaffe.

WX
04-15-2010, 08:04 AM
One of the other reasons I came across re the P-39 not being too popular was the toxic cannon shell fumes coming into the cockpit. The Russians (and I believe the Aussies) didn't ever complain about it. Some others we shall not mention wouldn't fly it though.
I've sat the cockpit section of a P-39. It had what looked like a cannon shell hole through the starboard doorpost.

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 08:05 AM
Strategically the air war was fought in two places

Britian in the early war, and Germany in the late war.

The Germans lost both rounds. The interview with the Soviet Ace is interesting because he documents the effect of Germany losing the airwar over Germany. "German pilot quality went down in 1944"

It's not just a question of aircraft destroyed by aces, or best plane in combat. Fighter planes are hard to fly, some of the analysis I've read says that the Germans were losing 20% or more of their total available airframes to ground loops and other takeoff and landing accidents every month in 1944. For some airplanes and units the numbers were much higher.

You also have to look at types of planes, the Allies produced more planes, they also produced a lot more 2 and four engine planes. These were a very important part of winning the war in the air.

One of the things that interests me about the air war is the role of bombers. In 1940 the Germans needed to defend thier bombers over Britian. The British had a much better organized air command, see "A Most Dangerous Enemy" and they inflicted very heavy losses on the German.

In 1944, the Americans had the bombers and a lot of long range fighters and the Germans had to stop them. But they did not, instead they lost 17% of their single engine fighters during the Big Week campaign in Feb. 44. After big week it got even worse as American tactics and experience improved and Geman pilot quality declined.

I think the pilot quality had already declined - it was seriously depleted on the Eastern Front. They didn't have the fuel to train new pilots either. The bombing campaign hadn't disrupted production that much either (output was increasing). Most of the transport disruption came towards the end and was done by the Tempests, Typhoons and P-47s.

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 08:15 AM
I'm not slighting the Soviet effort in the air, but it pales in comparison to what they did on the ground, and it is not comperable to what either the British or Americans did to the Luftwaffe.

One of the sites I looked at, but didn't link, was Soviet Bomber Aces. It was amazing how many missions they flew.

The US Navy/Marines flew 284,000 combat sorties during the pacific war. Those Bomber aces in Russia were flying up to and more than 1,000 sorties each. I'll track it down again if I can.

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 08:24 AM
Here we go... the parent page. This might bear some checking out

http://jpgleize.perso.neuf.fr/aces/ww2.htm

This isn't the list I was referring to that lists missions flown, but it is a list of Soviet pilots that achieved ace status flying bombers - not many are given status on this list despite having shared victories. I've taken that sort of thing off all the lists I posted...

http://jpgleize.perso.neuf.fr/aces/ww2.htm

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 08:53 AM
I found that list of bombing missions. It lists Russian bomber pilots with over 40 missions. The top 150 of them have over 55,000 bombing missions between them. There's 467 of them on the list... and I didn't count the number of missions for those listed as "whole war".

http://wio.ru/aces/aceb2.htm

Cuyahoga Chuck
04-15-2010, 09:48 AM
One of the sites I looked at, but didn't link, was Soviet Bomber Aces. It was amazing how many missions they flew.

The US Navy/Marines flew 284,000 combat sorties during the pacific war. Those Bomber aces in Russia were flying up to and more than 1,000 sorties each. I'll track it down again if I can.

If you consider the historical context it is not hard to see why these folks did what they did.
After 3 million Soviet soldiers got blown away at the beginning of the war Stalin initiated a "fight or die" policy. The common theme was that to take your chances facing the Fascists was far safer than being accused of falling back or otherwise failing to do your duty. Combatants had at least a 50-50 chance of survival. If you fell into the hands of the NKVD or SMERCH you would get a bullet in the back of the head or be sent to a gulag where you would die nonetheless.

johnw
04-15-2010, 02:37 PM
The 2,000 plus was for the southern route. The Alaskan route didn't start until late '42 and it became the dominant route because it was much quicker... it didn't require assembly of crated aircraft, etc. There were three routes and I've always been clear if I was talking about one, which one it was.

Loza said 2,600 for the northern route. I think that's credible, given how many aircraft were moved by that route.

http://www.bravo369.org/lend_lease/lend_lease.htm

At the peak of the Lend-Lease program, nearly 8,000 aircraft, including bombers, fighters, transports and trainers as well as three hundred PT-27 Boeing Stearman (Royal Canadian Air Force - Winterized Version of the PT-17) were flown from the United States, through Canada, and across sub-arctic wilderness of Alaska and Siberia, Russia. 140 pilots were killed and approximately 133 aircraft were lost in the ferrying effort. The majority of accidents occurred on the flights between Siberia and Moscow.

Also from that site:


Lend-Lease Aircraft Deliveries Over the Alaska-Siberia Route 1942-1945 (Figures Recorded at Ladd Field just east of Fairbanks, AK)
Bell P39 Airacobra - 2,618
Douglas C47 Skytrain - 710
Bell P63 Kingcobra - 2397
North American AT-6 Texan - 54
Douglas A-20 Boston / Havoc - 1,363
Curtiss P40 Warhawk - 48
North American B25 Mitchell - 732
Republic P47 Thunderbolt - 3
Curtiss C-46 Commando - 1


Time to admit that your claim that only 150 came by that route is wrong. It served the narrative you're pushing, but it's not what the records show.


A Russian on why they had a different assessment of the P-40 and P-39 than Americans did:
http://www.warbirdforum.com/russp40.htm



Q. and all in all, there is a serous difference in evaluations. Could it be from the different Soviet and Allied tactics?
Golodnikov: Main difference in the assesment of P-40's combat capabilities comes from that we and Allies had completely different exploitation of the aircraft. They use it as written in manuals, from letter to letter. We, as I said before, had a main rule is to take from the machine everything possible. How much "everything" is, it did not write in manuals, and even airplane designer didn't anticipate. This appears in combat. Everything said above goes for Aircobra, too. Have we flown them how Americans wrote it in the manual, we would all got shot down. It was a dud as the fighter aircraft on "birth" regime. On our regimes we had a equal combat with either "Me's" or "Fw's", but it would have meant 3-4 combats with subsequent engine change.



Speaking of ignored.... I see you haven't commented on the fact that 75% of all P-39's delivered to the USSR were Q models, delivered after August '43.


I do hope your source for this is better than the one claiming only 150 P-39s came by the northern route.

Captain Blight
04-15-2010, 04:11 PM
If you consider the historical context it is not hard to see why these folks did what they did.
After 3 million Soviet soldiers got blown away at the beginning of the war Stalin initiated a "fight or die" policy. The common theme was that to take your chances facing the Fascists was far safer than being accused of falling back or otherwise failing to do your duty. Combatants had at least a 50-50 chance of survival. If you fell into the hands of the NKVD or SMERCH you would get a bullet in the back of the head or be sent to a gulag where you would die nonetheless.
So how many of his own did Stalin kill during the war, and are they included in the statistics of war dead?

Cuyahoga Chuck
04-15-2010, 04:47 PM
So how many of his own did Stalin kill during the war, and are they included in the statistics of war dead?


I don't know but I would think the number was inconsequential compared to the total of Soviet citizens who died.
It didn't end during the war. When repatriation came after the war the returning POWs were thoroughly examined by the NKVD. Stalin felt their contact with their jailers had, probably, infected them with "revolutionary" ideas.
In the movie "Enemy at the Gates" the opening scene was of Russian troops, some who had no weapons, doing a frontal assault against a prepared German position. The attackers were backed up by machinegun platoons who fired on those who faltered or tried to run. For some reason I don't think the script writers made that up.

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 07:35 PM
Loza said 2,600 for the northern route. I think that's credible, given how many aircraft were moved by that route.

http://www.bravo369.org/lend_lease/lend_lease.htm


Also from that site:


Time to admit that your claim that only 150 came by that route is wrong. It served the narrative you're pushing, but it's not what the records show.


A Russian on why they had a different assessment of the P-40 and P-39 than Americans did:
http://www.warbirdforum.com/russp40.htm




I do hope your source for this is better than the one claiming only 150 P-39s came by the northern route.

John... you seem to have misread what I wrote and got stuck on that. I can understand why too.... if that had been what I said... but I didn't.

This is exactly what I said in post 174, way back on page 4



Jones, in "Alaska at War 1941-1945 states on page 324 that in 1942, only 150 planes went to Russia via the Alaska route.... which was established in August 1942.... 14 months after Hitler invaded Russia. So.... that's 150 planes via this route, the most dominant, in months 14 - 18 of the Eastern Front. Wow!



It even had the same bolding in it then that I would put in to highlight the point I was making..... that deliveries of Lend Lease fighters to the Russians were heavily weighted to the latter years of the war. You seem to have missed the words "in 1942".

I also pointed out the other delivery routes.



In total, 7,900 went to Russia this way, with over 5,000 of them fighters, mostly P-39 and P63's. 2,662 of all types in '43 and 3,164 in '44. The 5,000th was on Sept 10 1944. In addition, 993 planes went to Russia via the Southern Air Route and 5,100 by sea.



Can we agree that I haven't been manipulating numbers? I've added information as I've found it. There is doubt in some areas.... I am still trying to clear that up..... but I did not make the claim that you are suggesting in your last post.

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 07:38 PM
I don't know but I would think the number was inconsequential compared to the total of Soviet citizens who died.
It didn't end during the war. When repatriation came after the war the returning POWs were thoroughly examined by the NKVD. Stalin felt their contact with their jailers had, probably, infected them with "revolutionary" ideas.
In the movie "Enemy at the Gates" the opening scene was of Russian troops, some who had no weapons, doing a frontal assault against a prepared German position. The attackers were backed up by machinegun platoons who fired on those who faltered or tried to run. For some reason I don't think the script writers made that up.

No-one has ever suggested Stalin was a nice chap. There are reports of troops clearing minefields by marching across them too.... with a machine gun at their back to enforce discipline.

paladin
04-15-2010, 08:03 PM
I have flown 2 aircraft over the Aleutian route, one, a Beechcraft Baron, was flown solo with ferry tanks, and the other was a Mitchell B-25 with a co-pilot. The old airstrips were still there in the 60's and manned, and fuel was available. and hot coffee and sandwiches. The refueled as we made a quick pit stop and then we were airborne again. Two trips were enough. The next 5 ferry jobs were a bit more direct across the Pacific with pickets monitoring our flights. On the Pacific crossings, some of the old Japanese strips were still in operation, as museums. Most of those old birds have rotted away.

The Bigfella
04-15-2010, 10:23 PM
Nice article here on the development of the Merlin engine. Includes a bit on what it did for the P-51

http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/merlin-lovesey.pdf

The Bigfella
04-16-2010, 12:59 AM
Lend Lease was a funny thing... the Russians were providing planes and pilots to the Chinese. Even the Brits and the Germans sold the Chinese planes pre the opening of the ETO.

I found this bit...



Between 1937-1941 the Chinese Air Force received from the USSR 563 fighters, I15,I-15bis, I-16, I-153. During the same period the Chinese purchased from England 36 Gloster Gladiator Mk.1, from France 24 Dewoitine D.510, and from the USA 12 Hawk 75. During 1942-1945 the Chinese received from the USA through lend-lease 1038 fighters, including P-43 108 machines, P-66 – 129, P-40 – 377, P-51 – 50, F-5 (reconnaissance version of the P-38 Lightning) – 5.


same source has...



by 1940 the Japanese had lost 986 aircraft in the air and on the ground


http://www.j-aircraft.com/research/George_Mellinger/soviet_fighters_in_thesky_of_vi.htm

It seems that the pilots that attacked Pearl Harbour were operating in China not that long before that attack. The Kaga gets mentioned in that series of articles (the Kaga also attacked Darwin, Australia in Feb '42).

The military cemetery in Nanjing has a memorial to the aviators that died in the 1937-45 air war with Japan. It includes the Americans and 236 Soviet pilots. I found more on that memorial here:

http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/139639.htm



On August 1,1941, American Volunteer Group (AVG), nicknamed Flying Tigers afterwards, was formed. After a brief period of intensive training, they flied to China. On Dec. 20 in the first air combat, they downed 6 enemy bombers and damaged 4.

In the ensuing half year, the Flying Tigers fought more than 100 combats, shooting down 272 enemy aircraft and destroying another 225 on the ground, which earned them great appreciation and praises.

The Nanjing Memorial Cemetery to the Anti-Japanese Aviator Martyrs was built in 1930s, in which more than 3,000 pilots from China, the former Soviet Union and the United States were buried, who laid down their lives in China's resistance war against Japanese aggressors during the World War II. The total included more than 2,000 American pilots.

Joseph Hart, who was a member of the Flying Tigers, is now 86 years old. He said he came to China in 1943 and, on August 24 that year, in one mission, they shot down more than 40 Japanese planes. He was injured in the face during the combat, and was rescued by a young Chinese girl. "Today I was very gloomy, for 60 of my comrade-in-arms were buried here," he said.


Its a bit hard to follow some of this... the first bits are translated from Russian, the last bit is Chinese. My take is that there were 3,000 Chinese (plus or minus), 236 Russian and 60 American pilots killed in China fighting the Japanese... and the balance of that 2,000 American pilots were killed fighting the Japanese in the Pacific.

The Bigfella
04-16-2010, 07:16 PM
And on a different note..... I saw in the paper today that flights in Europe yesterday were down to about 11,000 from the normal 28,000.

Using the stats on the bomber war from p2.... there were 1.44 million sorties and another 2.5 million or so fighter escort sorties.. Just for the sake of argument, say the bomber war went for 1000 days.... that's 1,440 sorties per day average - or 4,000 per day including fighters.... Add in the other side..... and its still only about one third current flight ops levels in Europe.

Although.... they did have a sting in the tail back then.

johnw
04-16-2010, 09:19 PM
John... you seem to have misread what I wrote and got stuck on that. I can understand why too.... if that had been what I said... but I didn't.

This is exactly what I said in post 174, way back on page 4



It even had the same bolding in it then that I would put in to highlight the point I was making..... that deliveries of Lend Lease fighters to the Russians were heavily weighted to the latter years of the war. You seem to have missed the words "in 1942".

I also pointed out the other delivery routes.



Can we agree that I haven't been manipulating numbers? I've added information as I've found it. There is doubt in some areas.... I am still trying to clear that up..... but I did not make the claim that you are suggesting in your last post.
You're right, I misread you as saying. Sorry about that. Could have saved us both a lot of grief by reading more closely.

By the way, have you found any statistics on how many planes the Japanese lost in China? Military losses were certainly lopsided, and I suspect air losses followed the pattern. It looks like 30% of their military deaths were in the war with China, a bit over 400,000 men, but the Chinese are supposed to have had 3 million or more military deaths.

Lack of air cover?

http://www.japanww2.com/jpg/wt_19image.jpg

PeterSibley
04-16-2010, 10:18 PM
I have to say John..... the most remarkable figure in that table above is
Japanese KIA in Australian combat zones .199511 .We were a country of just under 7million at the time .Can that be correct ?

The Bigfella
04-17-2010, 12:49 AM
Second bit first... our guys were in Malaya, Borneo - Tarakan, Labuan etc, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Burma, etc - even in China.

Re the air casualties in China. I haven't got enough on it yet... one source said they had close to the same number of aircraft on the China front in 1940 as the Germans did in the West in the early days... but I'm still digging.

I get the feeling that on a casualty basis, the China air war would rank after the Russian front and the Western, Mediterranean and Pacific theatres.... and ahead of the Battle of Britain. Before old Bob jumps up and down... that's not a strategic basis, just raw casualties.... and it isn't properly defined - I haven't got enough data yet.

I've been working through a list of German aces... nearly 3000 of them (2937 - but it includes a couple who were given ace status for tank kills, so I'm taking them out and converting some data so I can do a count of their victories. I was a bit under 1/8th way through and there were already 8,100+ victories. Guess where most were. On a pro-rata basis, that would make 66k+, add that to the 30k or so for Russian aces and some data starts to make sense....

There's more to do - and I'll get to it.

PeterSibley
04-17-2010, 01:33 AM
Second bit first... our guys were in Malaya, Borneo - Tarakan, Labuan etc, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Burma, etc - even in China.

.

I knew that but not the China bit ...

Still a lot of KIA !

The Bigfella
04-17-2010, 01:40 AM
Not a lot of guys in China... doing training more than fighting I believe. There were 157,000 Japanese troops in PNG... and most didn't leave. There were some Americans there too btw... in PNG.

Someone asked an interesting question about MacArthur the other day.... why was he in Melbourne?

PeterSibley
04-17-2010, 02:17 AM
It's a long way from Port Moresby ?

Any idea how many Japanese died of enermy action versus starvation in PNG ?

The Bigfella
04-17-2010, 02:37 AM
Some of the work that Gruhl has put together has that. I'll see if I can find it.

PeterSibley
04-17-2010, 02:40 AM
Actually ,I have a copy of "The Bone Man of Kokoda " , the japanese side of the story . it might be there too .I'll have a shufti .

The Bigfella
04-17-2010, 03:06 AM
Peter

Before I get to the provations issue... here's a book I wouldn't mind reading...


Peattie, Mark R. Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power, 1909-1941.
Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2000. 364 pages. See Chapter 5, “Attacking a
Continent: The Navy’s Air War over China, 1937-1941.” How did the war in
China prepare the Japanese for later struggles?

First up - this table has a figure for the Chinese...

http://www.japanww2.com/jpg/wt_18image.jpg

Here's the total Japanese casualties.. military total is relevant

http://www.japanww2.com/jpg/wt_11image.jpg

This is an interesting table... shows the ramping up of the effort towards the end

http://www.japanww2.com/jpg/wt_12image.jpg


Gotta go .... will see if I can find more when I get back

PeterSibley
04-17-2010, 04:37 AM
Actually ,I have a copy of "The Bone Man of Kokoda " , the japanese side of the story . it might be there too .I'll have a shufti .

No ,lots of detail about his regiment but no overall figures for the theatre .

The Bigfella
04-17-2010, 04:47 AM
Back again... sorry for that Peter, been to Blacktown, then Penno... ferrying the kids.

OK, here we go... take the difference between 2.566 million military war dead and the 1.761 million KIA and you get total military dead from privation of 805,000.

That's during their entire war - incl China. Sorry - haven't got it by theatre. Clodfelter may have it.

http://www.japanww2.com/jpg/wt_19image.jpg

PeterSibley
04-17-2010, 06:03 AM
Those numbers are just gobsmacking !
Japanese military deaths 36,392 per week in 1945
Allied civilian deaths 101,871 per week in 1945

BLOODY HELL.

johnw
04-17-2010, 02:58 PM
Lend Lease was a funny thing... the Russians were providing planes and pilots to the Chinese. Even the Brits and the Germans sold the Chinese planes pre the opening of the ETO.

I found this bit...



same source has...



http://www.j-aircraft.com/research/George_Mellinger/soviet_fighters_in_thesky_of_vi.htm

It seems that the pilots that attacked Pearl Harbour were operating in China not that long before that attack. The Kaga gets mentioned in that series of articles (the Kaga also attacked Darwin, Australia in Feb '42).

The military cemetery in Nanjing has a memorial to the aviators that died in the 1937-45 air war with Japan. It includes the Americans and 236 Soviet pilots. I found more on that memorial here:

http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/139639.htm



Its a bit hard to follow some of this... the first bits are translated from Russian, the last bit is Chinese. My take is that there were 3,000 Chinese (plus or minus), 236 Russian and 60 American pilots killed in China fighting the Japanese... and the balance of that 2,000 American pilots were killed fighting the Japanese in the Pacific.


Those were 60 AVG. Once we entered the war, they were replaced by US Army Air Corps. They were also flying the hump, supplying the Chinese Nationalists. There will have been some lost to weather and possibly enemy action flying the hump, in addition to the fighter pilots.

Tom Hunter
04-17-2010, 03:18 PM
When looking at German production, I very strongly suggest reading Adam Tooze's The Wages of Destruction.

He goes into how and why German production went up in 43-44 and why it was not sustainable. Tooze did a lot of excellent research, and the book should change your view of the war.

Back to the question of "who gutted the Luftwaffe" you can't just look at kills, you have to look at accidents, new pilot production and the ability to inflict really heavy losses in a short time.

That is why the Allies get the credit. During big week the Germans lost about 17% of their engaged single engine fighters. In a week. The Soviets were a drain on the Luftwaffe, but they never did anything like that to the Germans in the air.

After big week it never really stopped. The Germans were very brittle, and they could not train the pilots they needed to keep up.

The same kind of thing happened earlier in the war when the Luftwaffe took on the RAF. The loss rates were very high in very short periods, and they could not keep up so they stopped attacking.

The big difference was that the Germans could choose to stop fighting over Britian in 1940. They could not choose to stop fighting over Germany in 1944. When they stopped sending fighters up the Americans came down and shot them up on the runways.

The Russians never had the capability to go on a strategic air offensive like the US offensive. If they inflicted heavy casualties on the Luftwaffe the Germans could pull back.

No amount of statistics about Aces, kills or production will change the fact that the US had the capability to kill the Luftwaffe in its home airspace, and we did.

On the same theme, those statistics will not show that the British had the capability to crush the Luftwaffe in the skies of Southern England and they did.

The Russians never had either the organizational and techincal capabilities of the British and Americans, or the range of the late war US Airforce. They did a lot of damage, but it was not decisive, the US Airforce campaign was.

johnw
04-17-2010, 03:26 PM
Far East Air Forces 6,298

China, Burma & India 1,913What sector was covered by Far East Asian Forces?

Could this be the distinction they were making?


In October 1944, CBI was split into US Forces China Theater (USFCT) and India-Burma Theater (USFIBT).
(From Wikipedia.)

WX
04-17-2010, 05:09 PM
http://www.badassoftheweek.com/litvyak.html

The Bigfella
04-17-2010, 05:19 PM
OK - here's the victories and losses of the US in aviation combat zones during WW2. If I can find the same level of detail for other combatants, it may be possible to build a decent picture of the various theatres of operation.

First up, the US Navy & Marines.

Victories – 2,756 against bombers and 6,535 against fighters for a total of 9,291. A further 6,182 victories were claimed for aircraft destroyed on the ground for a total of 15,473.

Average victories per month by year = ’42 – 93 victories per month. ’43 – 120, things hotted up in ’44 with 580 and in ’45 it was 745.

By Theatre =

Central Pacific = 4,449 in combat and 3,261 on the ground.

South Pacific – 2,264 and 179.

SW Pacific – 2,526 and 2,670.

North Pacific – 5 and 1.

Atlantic – 42 and 30.

SE Asia – 5 and 41 on the ground…. And that’s it for Navy and Marine Victories.

Losses – a total of 8,592 of which 4,234 were on operations, 3,045 on other flights and 1,313 on the ground.

By Theatre (excluding “on the ground” and “other”) =

Central Pacific = 2,170.

South Pacific – 824.

SW Pacific – 1,142.

North Pacific – 42.

Atlantic – 53.

SE Asia – 3…. And that’s it for Navy and Marine Losses – other than the missing categories.

Now for the US Army Air Forces.

Victories

Total victories on combat missions were 40,259 aircraft. By theatre:

Europe 20,419 of which 6,098 fell to heavy bombers, 103 to medium/light bombers, 7,422 to fighters in the air and 6,796 to fighters in ground attacks

Mediterranean 9,497

Pacific Ocean Areas 794

Far East Air Forces 6,298

China, Burma & India 1,913

Alaska 113

Latin America & Atlantic 1,225

Losses on Combat Missions, By Theater: Jan 1942 to Aug 1945 (note – NOT total losses)

Total losses on combat missions were 22,948 aircraft. By theatre:

Europe 11,687 (4,274 to aircraft, 5,380 to AA, 2,033 other causes) – 5548 heavies, 815 medium/light bombers and 5,324 fighters

Mediterranean 6,731

Pacific Ocean Areas 378

Far East Air Forces 2,494

China, Burma & India 1,076

Alaska 88

Latin America & Atlantic 494

John, I don't know offhand how they have made that split in these stats... or whether they combined them? Looking at them again, they also have a separate Pacific Ocean Areas category so I'm not sure what the location was. It must have been fun for them, co-ordinating those separate air forces, eh?


Tom... I think that the Russians may well have had that capability, certainly with the impact of the Lend Lease materials and equipment building rapidly in 44.... and their taking of the Romanian oilfields in 44. They didn't have the same long range bombing capability... but they certainly did have superior fighters - and it was fighters from both directions that were smashing up the remnants of the Luftwaffe.

One thing I've discovered, doing this, is how much junk "history" is out there. Stuff that varies by multiples from other material.

Where using victories/losses for making overall assessments goes a bit astray btw, is it doesn't capture the technical obsolescence factor or the plain wearing out of the machinery to the extent that it has to be junked. I've come across some references to that in relation to LL material - but only anecdotal stuff rather than overall assessments.

Tom refers to 17% losses in one week. I don't think that was such a huge step up from what was happening week in, week out through 44 and 45.... which is why the training issue bears more consideration. I seem to recall that Germany was churning out around 1000 fighters a month in 44.... but it wasn't building on the available numbers

I'll draw all this together when I work through some more base material.

Tom Hunter
04-17-2010, 05:45 PM
I agree very much that there is a lot of bad information out there.

Also, a lot of what was written years ago was just wrong, people either did not have access to the records or did not do the spade work.

Another author you should look at is John Ellis. His book Brute Force is good, though I don't agree with his conclusions. His Statistical Survey of the war has already been quoted (via other web sites) on this thread.

I do think you will find that causualty rate of the Luftwaffe fighter units went way up after big week. Feb 44 was the first time the Allies had a lot of long range fighters, all the major histories agree it was a turning point in the war in the air. Before big week the US bombers took such heavy casualties that they could not sustain the offense for long periods. After it, the Germans could not sustain the defense.

As for reach, the only countries with large number of long range single engine fighters were the Japanese and the US. What ever the other merits of the aircraft, the Mustang could fly from England to almost anywhere in Germany.

Find the books by John Ellis and Adam Tooze. I think they will make you drop your argument about the air war, but increase your admiration for the Red Army.

The Bigfella
04-17-2010, 06:05 PM
I was going to say that the spreadsheet I have on the German aces shows dates for those KIA.... now I can't find the damn spreadsheet.... I must have saved it in a temp directory somewhere.

The Russians didn't need long range fighters..... nor did the Brits, for that matter. I saw an interesting comment on the different Brit / US bomber strategies. The Lancaster could (and I'm doing this from memory, so don't take it as gospel) could carry 12,000lb of bombs for a tad over 1700 miles, the B17 was 6,000lb for 1300 miles... but the Lanc was at 24,000' altitude, whilst the B17 was up at 30,000'+ Hence the Brits had to fly at night.

The Bigfella
04-17-2010, 06:20 PM
Gary... that site mentions that there were only two female Russian fighter aces. The top listed Russian bomber ace (by number of missions flown) was a woman I.F. Sebrova... with 1008 missions.

johnw
04-17-2010, 07:25 PM
John, I don't know offhand how they have made that split in these stats... or whether they combined them? Looking at them again, they also have a separate Pacific Ocean Areas category so I'm not sure what the location was. It must have been fun for them, co-ordinating those separate air forces, eh?


Tom... I think that the Russians may well have had that capability, certainly with the impact of the Lend Lease materials and equipment building rapidly in 44.... and their taking of the Romanian oilfields in 44. They didn't have the same long range bombing capability... but they certainly did have superior fighters - and it was fighters from both directions that were smashing up the remnants of the Luftwaffe.

One thing I've discovered, doing this, is how much junk "history" is out there. Stuff that varies by multiples from other material.

Where using victories/losses for making overall assessments goes a bit astray btw, is it doesn't capture the technical obsolescence factor or the plain wearing out of the machinery to the extent that it has to be junked. I've come across some references to that in relation to LL material - but only anecdotal stuff rather than overall assessments.

Tom refers to 17% losses in one week. I don't think that was such a huge step up from what was happening week in, week out through 44 and 45.... which is why the training issue bears more consideration. I seem to recall that Germany was churning out around 1000 fighters a month in 44.... but it wasn't building on the available numbers

I'll draw all this together when I work through some more base material.
I'm thinking the Far East command might refer to the northern command after it was separated from CBI.

That indicates a pretty substantial effort on the China front, even though it was dwarfed by the Pacific effort. It strikes me that the China war went on long enough that many of the Japanese aircraft from early in the war became obsolete. Some of the production that they didn't have at the end of the war may have been junked.

The Bigfella
04-17-2010, 10:05 PM
What often happened is the older stuff got moved to less critical areas and also got used for training or, in the case of Japan, as kamikaze airframes.

The Mitsubishi A5M is a good example. It was the front-line fighter in China....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_A5M

The Bigfella
04-17-2010, 11:12 PM
I've had a good sort through that list of Luftwaffe aces that I mentioned earlier. Funny thing about statistics... when I'd got 1/8 of the way through it, I said that it would end up around 66,000. Guess what.... after taking out the tank aces, taking the minimum number for each ace (ie removing all unproven victories)...

.... the end result is 2,874 aces with 66,151 aerial victories.

I've gone back to some of the source material and cross referenced it too.

.... its all available here http://www.lesbutler.ip3.co.uk/tony/tonywood.htm

So... given that the US lost the following aircraft in areas that they came up against the Luftwaffe....


Europe 11,687 (4,274 to aircraft, 5,380 to AA, 2,033 other causes) – 5548 heavies, 815 medium/light bombers and 5,324 fighters

Mediterranean 6,731


....and in all likelihood, only 6-10k of them to fighters.... then, an awful lot of the German action was on the Eastern front. I'll track down what I can on the British and Italian air forces and see how it all fits together.

The Bigfella
04-18-2010, 08:17 AM
The site in post 328 has a couple of interesting files. (Luftwaffe) Claims West and Claims East. Unfortunately, they are Notebook files, but fortunately the text strings are searchable.

Claims West has 30,103 claims for kills in the west and Claims East has 37,647.... all listed by date.

It isn't that simple though... the Claims West includes quite a lot of Russian fighters - I counted 668 - mostly from Dec '44 on. At an educated guess, these were planes that were starting to appear near and over Berlin by that stage.

I was able to search the Claims West file and pull out the most common planes.

There were 1,581 that weren't identified (probably including some where I didn't get the search right, or missed the aircraft type). A further 1,151 were simply identified by 4-mot, 2-mot, 1-mot - probably night kills.

So.... 91% are identified by type in Claims West. I've listed the claims for all the types where 100+ were claimed:

5211 Spitfire
4397 B-17
2266 B-24
2156 Lancaster
1798 Hurricane
1581 Unidentified
1310 P-47
1249 Halifax
1156 P-38
1138 4-mot
1063 P-51
948 Wellington
928 P-40
671 Blenheim
486 Stirling
344 Morane
233 Hawk
220 Jak-9
215 Mosquito
207 Beaufighter
202 Il-2
179 B-26
165 Whitley
162 Boston
161 Typhoon
143 Hampden
110 Jak-3

In total, there's 73 different types in that list (that I found). The format of the list, for those interested is....

Date,"Rank","Fname","Lname","Unit","JG","Claimed","Location","Time","Claim.","St_Claim","RLM","Prim_Source","Conf.","Sec_Source","Notes"

I'll take a look at the Claims East file and see what it has in it. I did a quick search for Airacobra and P-39 .... and there were 1,542 and 116, for a total of 1,658. There were 729 P-40's lost there, 3 P-38's, 9 P-51's, 63 Spitfires and 261 Hurricanes.

The first Lend Lease aircraft losses I've spotted so far are a couple of P-40's in August 1942 and a couple of Bostons at the same time. The file isn't arranged in chronological order... but I intend to work through it....

Here's the first Airacobra claim I've seen so far... but I'm only scanning down and I'm about 15% in

7-8-1943 0:00:00,"Oblt.","Wilhelm","Batz","5.","JG 52","Airacobra","76 863: 3500m","17.50","o.Z.","-","no","C. 2035/I","Anerk: ASM",,

The Bigfella
04-18-2010, 08:58 AM
OK - just pushed that first Airacobra loss back to Sept 42.

8-9-1942 0:00:00,"Uffz.","Heinrich","Bartels","8.","JG 5","Airacobra","36 Ost 2995: 5000m","11.35","-","-","yes","C.2032/II","Anerk: Nr.166",,

There weren't many being used then by the look of the stats. I can't spot any before that. Not to say that I didn't miss them... but the records are ordered by day.... and there's a lot of clear days without any before that.

P40's and Hurricanes were getting shot down in May 42

The latest date I spotted in Claims-East was 29 December 44. I guess that may explain the Russian planes in the other file.

The Bigfella
04-18-2010, 10:44 PM
An interesting interview with a Russian pilot.... in earlier episodes he relates his progression through I-16, Hurricane, P40, P39 and other aircraft.

This bit is particularly relevant though....


At the beginning of the war the German pilots were trained (I am not afraid to use this word) almost ideally. They were well organized and took good advantage of their numerical superiority. If it was really required, they could be engaged in a dog fight. Their mastery gave them this option. Though, of course, they lagged behind our leading aces, like Boris Safonov, in this form of combat even in 1941.


Again, they had constant numerical superiority and believe me, they used it to their advantage. Moreover, flight characteristics of German aircraft in most cases were superior to ours and German pilots utilized this tactical and technical superiority very intelligently.

The Germans excelled in this high class of pilots in 1941—42. By 1943, we had heavily attrited these German pilots of prewar training. They began sending pilots to the front whose training quality was markedly lower. This shortage of well-trained flight crews led to a condition which by the middle of 1943 caused the Luftwaffe to form special designated groups of the most experienced ace pilots. These groups were rushed to various fronts, to the most critical sectors. The remaining units were manned with ordinary pilots, not badly trained but not highly trained. Just average. The “entrenched middle class.”

In 1943 the majority of German pilots lagged behind us in maneuver combat. Their gunnery skills had weakened; they began to lose to us in tactical training, although their aces were very “tough nuts”.

German pilots slipped further in 1944, when the average German pilot was a product of accelerated training. Their piloting skills were poor, gunnery was weak, they were unable to coordinate their actions in battle, and they did not know tactics. It can be said that these pilots did not know how to “look behind”. They frequently neglected their responsibilities to cover troops and installations. These pilots rarely executed the classic maneuvers of air combat and then only if they had managed to create serious (2—3 times) numerical superiority. They were very passive and tentative during equal strength battles; if we would shot down one or two then the rest would flee.....

A.S. I was referring to the arguments that one frequently hears now, that if the quality of our aviation had been better, we could have accomplished what was required with fewer numbers.

N.G. Those who hold this position have a poor understanding of the subject. Numerical superiority with parity in equipment quality and flight crew training is a great thing. It will bring victory.

At the beginning of they war the Germans were beating us, and why? Tactics, radio communications, and so on. But what was the main reason? The Germans were able to create tactical and strategic numerical superiority.

In their initial attacks the Germans destroyed an enormous number of aircraft. The Germans bombed our equipment directly on the airfield and shot us down in aerial combat. What we were unable to evacuate we destroyed ourselves to prevent it falling into enemy hands. This all happened. But there was still another cause that few mention.

A.S. Insufficient training of Soviet pilots?

N.G. No, that’s not it. Our pilots were not bad. In fact, we had good pilots and we had outstanding pilots. The main reason was that the Germans captured enormous number of facilities to produce and, particularly important, to repair aircraft. Plus gigantic reserves of spare parts were seized by the Germans. This is why we did not have enough aircraft in the first half of the war.

The production of new aircraft had fallen sharply and it was impossible to rehabilitate and restore old types in the required quantities. No aircraft! We had to get aircraft from every possible source!

The Germans achieved numerical superiority and did not allow us to catch up. Continuous combat with no time to catch our breath! Losses, of course, occurred on both sides. But the Germans replaced their losses much faster that we could. And they kept us in this condition, “unable to catch our breath”. It goes without saying, that from their side, this was military mastery of the highest class.

We, rank-and-file pilots, knew what it felt like. Strategic numerical superiority of the enemy, for us—simple pilots—manifested itself in the fact that we fought EVERY aerial engagement in the minority. And even if you were a good pilot, you should try six against twelve! You turned away from one of them and came under the fire of another. These twelve enemy pilots were not lesser pilots than you; they also were not “pushovers”. They were masters, the best of the best. But no matter what kind of masters the Germans were, we overcame!

We acquired combat experience and came up to par in numbers. As soon as we gained numerical superiority over them, everything started to go our way. Understand that all these German tricks with the rushing of aviation units from one front to another were reduced to a minimum. They no longer had the ability to fully concentrate their strength. All this developed while the enemy was falling behind in numbers, or while he still maintained numerical superiority, the quality of his equipment and flight crews fell sharply, on the order of one-half.

When against our thousand aircraft the enemy put up two thousand, and still another thousand in places where we had only two hundred, and he attacked in both places simultaneously, and both his pilots and his aircraft were at least as good as ours, it was impossible to defeat him. We could put up stiff resistance and inflict great losses on him, there was much we could do, but defeat him we could not.

Look what happened in the second half of the war. Our equipment was as good as the Germans’, the quality of training and combat mastery of our flight crews was equal, and later even exceeded theirs, and add to that the numerical superiority that we attained. As soon as this happened, our victory became inevitable.

You have to understand that the Germans simply could not produce combat aircraft in the numbers required to complete the war nor could they train the necessary number of pilots. They could not and we could. This is the whole argument in a nutshell.



http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/golodnikov/part4.htm

johnw
04-19-2010, 12:33 AM
From the same interview;


A.S. When did well-trained cohorts begin to arrive in the combat regiments?
N.G. Somewhere in the second half of 1944. We fought the second half of the war in modern equipment and had acquired good combat experience. The loss levels in combat regiments were dropping and regiments began to demand significantly fewer replacements. From this came the possibility of pilots being sent directly from flight school to reserve air regiments [ZAP], where their instructors were combat-experienced pilots. At the ZAPs young pilots practiced only combat flying, and in a quite serious manner. After the ZAPs these pilots moved on to combat regiments with good combat habits. The ZAP was one of the most needed and effective components of the Soviet school of combat training.
A.S. Researchers note the following basic deficiencies of Soviet fighter tactics in the 1941—42 period. 1. Passivity of fighter elements, which always attempted to conduct battle from the defense (“defensive circle”). 2. Inability to employ vertical maneuver. 3. They disregarded echeloned combat formation by altitude. 4. The basic flight consisted of three aircraft (not two pairs).
In your view, to what degree were these deficiencies a result of equipment obsolescence, low qualification of rank and file pilots, and the upper level command component?
N.G. Let’s look at these one at a time. First, there was no passivity. Our fighter forces never asked how many enemy they faced and were always eager to fight.
Second. Deficient observation, which I have already addressed, played a large role in these shortcomings. We spotted the enemy too late and therefore were forced to initiate combat on his conditions, by his initiative. This led to situations where we were forced to begin an engagement “from the defense,” more simply manifested in the aforementioned “circle defense”.
Third. Frequently this perceived passivity was a direct consequence of the inadequacy of our aircraft in speed. If you lack speed, you conduct defensive combat.
A.S. Did the 72d Air Regiment employ the “defensive circle”? If so, when did you finally abandon it?
N.G. We frequently used the “defensive circle” when we were flying the I-15bis and I-153. The practice fell off sharply when we transitioned to the I-16 type-28 because this type of “Ishak” was superior in the majority of tactical and technical characteristics to the Bf-109E (the basic German fighter in the Far North at that time). It’s too bad that this type was so scarce in our VVS then.
Later we transitioned to the Hurricane and the most common German fighter was the Bf-109F. At that time the “defensive circle” was used more broadly in combat with enemy fighters because in the Hurricane combat with this type of Messer was possible only in one manner—to attempt to engage it in the horizontal plane. We simply were forced to conduct strictly defensive battle. The Hurricane was unable to engage in active offensive battle and it lagged behind the Messer in both speed and vertical maneuver.
We completely abandoned the defensive circle as soon as they re-equipped us with the P-40. The P-40 was equal to the Bf-109F and therefore we had no reason to resort to the defensive circle. No reason at all.
Our neighbor 20th IAP also rarely employed the circle and they flew Yaks.
In addition, I want to make clear to you that the circle was a legitimate multi-faceted tactical maneuver. The circle had its application and it cannot be said that it was always bad. Fairly often it happened that we went out to escort attack aircraft and, engaging enemy fighters, pulled them into this circle. What a sweet deal! What’s most important in providing cover? To distract the attacking enemy fighters and give our own bombers the chance to either drop their ordnance or get away. And if you manage to suck enemy fighters into the “carousel”, then consider your mission accomplished. They have nowhere to go. This was a legitimate tactical method and not a bad one.
The interview with a German pilot referenced earlier mentioned that they considered the Russian tactics 'passive' until late summer 1942. I'm guessing this had to do with having aircraft suitable to the new tactics. P-40s started arriving at Murmansk in Oct. 1941, but it probably took time to get enough of them in service to make a difference.

From the same interview;


It should also be stated that after the aerial battles on the “Blue Line” [Kuban, summer 1943—JG], the Luftwarffe gradually lost overall air superiority. Toward the end of the war, when air superiority had been completely lost, “free hunt” remained the only method of conduct of battle by German fighter aviation by which they obtained any kind of positive result. In places away from the principal contested areas, they would occasionally “catch” someone. By this time it had become a matter of inflicting a loss—any loss—on the enemy. These “hunts” could not possibly have any effect on the outcome of the war.So from the Russian point of view, the Germans retained air superiority at least until the battle of Kuban in the summer of '43, and then gradually lost it. Kuban, by the way, was a major engagement for the P-39s.

As for why the German's retained air superiority so long, it might be because of this, (quoted above):


A.S. When did well-trained cohorts begin to arrive in the combat regiments?
N.G. Somewhere in the second half of 1944.

I'm sure it also had something to do with this:


N.G. No, that’s not it. Our pilots were not bad. In fact, we had good pilots and we had outstanding pilots. The main reason was that the Germans captured enormous number of facilities to produce and, particularly important, to repair aircraft. Plus gigantic reserves of spare parts were seized by the Germans. This is why we did not have enough aircraft in the first half of the war.
The production of new aircraft had fallen sharply and it was impossible to rehabilitate and restore old types in the required quantities. No aircraft! We had to get aircraft from every possible source!
The Germans achieved numerical superiority and did not allow us to catch up. Continuous combat with no time to catch our breath! Losses, of course, occurred on both sides. But the Germans replaced their losses much faster that we could. And they kept us in this condition, “unable to catch our breath”. It goes without saying, that from their side, this was military mastery of the highest class.

Now here's a chart from Wikipedia:

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_Qk62rRa2hGc/S8vxaSb465I/AAAAAAAACEM/x0Y48UYJlxw/Fullscreen%20capture%204182010%20105756%20PM.jpg

Soviet industry continued to decline through 1942. Their GDP didn't recover to prewar levels during the war. Germany kept increasing production through 1944. It doesn't look to me like they were crushed until late in the war, when the Russian factories were back on line and American production was roaring.

The Bigfella
04-19-2010, 01:09 AM
I know you like the P-39 John, and the Russian pilots who flew it liked it too, but it didn't win the war all by itself. It made up less than 3% of aircraft employed by the Russians. For every P-39, there were 33 or so other aircraft doing the job too.

That sequence of four articles is good. It highlights the changing technology advantages, tactics and so on - eg the need to get the Hurricanes away from the front when they were outclassed. Without wishing to sound (too) smug, it confirms what I said about the quality of the Luftwaffe pilots dropping significantly at a fairly early stage of the war. :D

btw... here's some analysis of the Luftwaffe claims on the Eastern Front. I've been able to identify all but 2% of the claims.

Il-2 7,407 (of 36,183 produced, ie 20% shot down)

LaGG-3 3,743 (60% of 6258 produced were shot down - may be higher as some not identified by model)

Jak-1 2,116 (24%)

Pe-2 1,992 (17%)

Jak-9 1,848 (11%)

DB-3 1,801 (oops.... 118% of the production was shot down) :confused:

Airacobra 1,542 and P-39 117 - total 1,659 (ie 35% of those shipped were shot down)

LaGG-5 1,533 (15% or more)

I-16 1,410 (16% of 8644 produced)

LaGG" 1,175 (model not identified)

MiG-3 1,120 (36%)

SB-2 995 (15%)

I-18 972

La-5 933 (see LaGG-5?)

P-40 729 (30%)

I-153 674 (20%)

Boston 670

R-5 657 (another oops..... 134% of production) :confused:

I-61 603

Jak-7 594 (9% of 6399)

SB-3 502

MiG-1 483 (another oops - 100 were produced) :confused:

AbschuB 445 (not sure what this is btw... does it refer to "launching"? :confused:

U-2 327 (13%)

Hurricane 262 (9% of about 3000 sent - but they were retired to the rear early)

I-15" 254 (8% of 3313)

V-11 231

Il-4 212 (4% of 5288)

I-26 210

I-180 169

R-10 145 (30% of 490)

Il-5 137

Il-7 113

Jak-4 100 (another oops - 90 produced):confused:

As you can see.... there are some questions here. I found conflicting production figures on a number of sites. Clearly some planes have been mis-identified, which is understandable too.

Incidentally Spitfire claims were 63 of about 1000 sent.... but they were retired to the rear early too. The pilots didn't like them and the friendly fire losses were too high (because they looked like the German planes) I don't see the similarity myself... but this was a war being fought down low.

P-39/Airacobra losses were pretty much on a par to other front line fighters in percentage shot down. Some favourite Russian front line planes, eg the I-16 and LaGG-5 had much lower loss ratios and there were far more of them in the fight. I think that the P-39 did a great job - nearly as good as the marketing effort devoted to its role ever since


I don't know the intensity of flak losses on this Front... will see what I can find... however, the 37,647 claims for aerial combat is around 20% or so of production and shipments... (I'll work it out when I get starting stocks - bearing in mind that the USSR was the largest producer of aircraft in the world for the majority of the 1930's).

The Bigfella
04-19-2010, 01:15 AM
John, I see we both quoted the same bits at times.

I'm not convinced on the GDP argument. Should France's GDP be included with Germany after they invaded? It doesn't show the percentage of GDP devoted to war production either... nor the relative costs of production (betcha that a person on the T-34 production line didn't make the same wage as a person churning out Shermans)

johnw
04-19-2010, 02:24 AM
I know you like the P-39 John, and the Russian pilots who flew it liked it too, but it didn't win the war all by itself.

Not a claim I or anyone else has made. If you look at the chart on post 332, you'll notice that there's a huge dropoff in the Soviet GDP after 1940, because they lost a lot of their factories in the summer of 1941. My point is that the aid that arrived through lend-lease was timely, and helped them get over the hump until they could get their own economy up and running again. We've spent a lot of time discussing the P-39 because you kept trying to place its contribution in 1944, by which time there were excellent Russian fighters and their factories were back running. That they had an impact at the Battle of Kuban River (as did P-40s, Spitfires and A-20s) seems to me undermines this narrative.

Our argument over that one aircraft has certainly taken up too many words. Sending them food and trucks to take it where it was needed may well have been more important.

I don't give a lot of credence to some of the numbers the Germans put up for their victories. Surely each country knew its losses better than how many of the enemy they shout down, and the Germans, unlike the Russians, were generous in awarding victories. Nor do I understand why you focus on the number lost as showing how much they contributed -- surely, the idea was to shoot down the enemy, or more importantly, achieve strategic objectives. One of the reasons the Russians didn't care for the LaGG-3 was that it wasn't very good in a dogfight. So yes, a lot of them got shot down. Did that help?

It's a bit like arguing that the Chinese are the ones who really beat the Japanese, because more than 3 million Chinese died.

Now, why did things change for the Russians in 1943? Building more aircraft, using better tactics, shooting down a lot of pilots, all helped, but perhaps the biggest factor is that the Germans were no longer focusing their air war on Russia. Take a look at this chart:

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Qk62rRa2hGc/S8wCEdzdxvI/AAAAAAAACEs/e9w2um9kwL8/Fullscreen%20capture%204192010%20121009%20AM.jpg
You've claimed the strategic bombing campaign didn't have a huge impact, but it required the Germans to put most of their air defenses to work protecting them from the American and British bombers. It wasn't attrition that deprived them of their air superiority on the Eastern Front, it was the fact that they were getting the hell bombed out of them by the Americans and the Brits. They had to move their aircraft to face us. After that, the Russians did great.

Mind you, that chart gives no notion of the attrition they had in the Battle of Britain and other conflicts prior to the invasion of Russia.

And in 1944, we invaded them, so they took a majority of their troops off the Easter Front.

By the way, that chart comes from this site:
http://www.world-war-2.info/statistics/
My father flew a full tour in B-17s. Take a look at the attrition rate for heavy bombers. It didn't really hit him until he retired and took a statistics class. Russian Roulette gives you much better odds.

The Bigfella
04-19-2010, 03:52 AM
John

There's another table there that gives the percentage of Luftwaffe aircraft employed against allied bombers. Quite apart from the fact that the site doesn't appear to include Russia as either one of the Allies, nor as part of Europe, it gives the figures as:

June 1940 - 0%
June 1941 - 7%
June '42 - 17%
June '43 - 21%
June '44 - 29%
January '45 - 50%

So... the movement to the West was pretty minor until the opening of the second front.

I keep saying it, but the Lend Lease aircraft were not there in any significant numbers early on. I went through that whole casualty list, and there were only around a dozen P-39's lost in 1942. They don't really start appearing until much later on.

Don't get too hung up on any one aircraft.... they didn't make up much of the overall deployment - the LaGG-3 would have been less than 4% of the fleet.

johnw
04-19-2010, 01:58 PM
Between 1942 and 1943, the Germans moved a quarter of their air force away from the Russian Front. How do you account for that?

The Bigfella
04-19-2010, 06:45 PM
Between 1942 and 1943, the Germans moved a quarter of their air force away from the Russian Front. How do you account for that?

There's another way of looking at that... ie that they weren't "moved away" but were lost and not replaced at the same rate they were being lost.

The timeframe also coincides with the ramping up of the effort in North Africa and the Mediterranean - and the lead up to the invasion of Italy. These campaigns were in lieu of the opening of the second front in Western Europe that Stalin had been pushing for right through '42 and '43. The impact of that can be seen if you compare the Med and rest-of-Europe stats for the US Army Air Forces, back in post 322.

Yes, Germany had to bolster its air defenses in the West as the bombing campaign grew (remembering that a lot of that defence was flak - not just fighters) and it had to take over the load that the Italians had been covering on its southern flank. I think, however, if that site provided some source material, you might find the story isn't as simple as that table tries to make it.

The Bigfella
04-19-2010, 10:15 PM
John - you asked some questions here:



I don't give a lot of credence to some of the numbers the Germans put up for their victories. Surely each country knew its losses better than how many of the enemy they shout down, and the Germans, unlike the Russians, were generous in awarding victories. Nor do I understand why you focus on the number lost as showing how much they contributed -- surely, the idea was to shoot down the enemy, or more importantly, achieve strategic objectives. One of the reasons the Russians didn't care for the LaGG-3 was that it wasn't very good in a dogfight. So yes, a lot of them got shot down. Did that help?

It's a bit like arguing that the Chinese are the ones who really beat the Japanese, because more than 3 million Chinese died.



Looking at casualties also gives some information on the other side of that coin... victories. I am quite surprised at the lack of such information in collated form. Its fairly basic stuff.

I'm also interested in how distorted some of the information out there is. Wiki's page on WW2 Air Aces, for example, lists 15 Russians with a total of 609 victories... and 818 Americans with a total of 6,836 victories.

One might get the wrong impression from that eh? Especially when a bit of digging turns up 1,281 Russian aces with 19,493 victories. Hmmm?

The argument has been pretty much "but we supplied all their good planes". Yep. The US and the UK supplied a lot of planes - including around 9,000 fighters. Without wishing to detract from that - because it was valuable, and it kept the Luftwaffe bleeding until the second front got started.... it wasn't the be-all end-all of the air war in the East.

"Only" 125 of Russia's air aces flew the P39. Some of them flew a number of different versions (P400, D, N, Q, and a few finally got the P-63). Those same 125 aces ... got an awful lot of victories in Russian planes - all the way through from the old bi-planes at the start to the La-7s and so on late in the war. You have to go all the way down to their 34th ranking ace before you find one who didn't fly Russian fighter planes too.

I took a look at what share of victories these guys got. There were 241 Russian aces with more than 20 kills. 41 (there's that "41" number again), yep 41 of them flew the P39 at some stage of their career. They were responsible for 19% of the victories of those 241 aces. What share of their kills were in P-39s? Unknown. If I had to guess, looking at the large number of other planes most of them also flew, I'd say it wasn't the majority.

We do know that the vast bulk of the P-39 deliveries were late in the piece.... latter half of '43 and most in '44. The German victories against P-39s confirm that (only a dozen or so in the latter part of '42)

Anyhow... back to the bigger picture. We do know the casualty counts for some of the other battles.

Battle of France - about 1,600 aircraft - 850 German, 750 Allies.

Battle of Britain 915 Allied, between 1,733 and 2,698 German.

We do know that the split of both victories and losses for America in the Pacific vs mainland Asia was around 55:45. (I make it 45% mainland for victories, 44% for losses - although, I get the feeling that "SW Pacific" might include some more mainland.... I'll check it out sometime).

Anyhow.... I intend to keep plugging the gaps in the matrix I've started on... and if I can find some more stats, I'll post it.

The Bigfella
04-19-2010, 10:57 PM
Here's an interesting site on Royal Navy stats for WW2

http://www.naval-history.net/WW2CampaignRoyalNavy.htm

and this one gives the list of theatres and divisions involved (land forces) for German troops... illustrating that point about the shift of resources to Africa/Med

http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=7288

johnw
04-20-2010, 02:10 PM
There's another way of looking at that... ie that they weren't "moved away" but were lost and not replaced at the same rate they were being lost.

As revealed in the interview with the Russian ace above, the Germans were able to replace their losses for the first half of the war. In the second half, they were not. Given that they went from putting 65% of their aircraft on the Russian front in 1942 to putting only 42% there in 1943, it would appear the problem was not attrition so much as a change in priorities.


The timeframe also coincides with the ramping up of the effort in North Africa and the Mediterranean - and the lead up to the invasion of Italy. These campaigns were in lieu of the opening of the second front in Western Europe that Stalin had been pushing for right through '42 and '43. The impact of that can be seen if you compare the Med and rest-of-Europe stats for the US Army Air Forces, back in post 322.

Yes, Germany had to bolster its air defenses in the West as the bombing campaign grew (remembering that a lot of that defence was flak - not just fighters) and it had to take over the load that the Italians had been covering on its southern flank. I think, however, if that site provided some source material, you might find the story isn't as simple as that table tries to make it.
It's not just the lead-up to Italy. We invaded first Sicily, then the Italian mainland in 1943. The Germans disarmed the Italians after we invaded and carried the load pretty much by themselves. Based on the deployment of of German aircraft, we could say that at that point 58% of the European air war was not on the Russian front. And remember, although the Germans had some units deployed in the East before June 1941, the air war was being fought almost entirely over Britain. It looks to me like there was about an 18-month period in a six-year war when the air war was mainly on the Russian front.

The Bigfella
04-20-2010, 06:57 PM
Ahaa.... you've given me an idea. Thank you.

edit.... damn, it didn't work. I tried to search those Luftwaffe databases (the Notebook files) by year of victory claim. Excel wouldn't do it for me. I'll try doing some data sorting, which will mean a bit of tabulating, etc. Unfortunately, the location data isn't good enough to do anything decent with (easily).... eg "4km NE Zonqor Point".

further edit... a nightmare.

johnw
04-20-2010, 07:05 PM
Mind you, it was a pretty intense year and a half, and they did keep 42-45% of their air forces there after the big push.

By the way, in the US victories and losses, I'm assuming the African campaign counts as part of the Mediterranean theatre?

The Bigfella
04-20-2010, 07:31 PM
That's the way I read it.

I might see what else I can find for an hour or so....

The Bigfella
04-20-2010, 07:43 PM
Just reading an interesting document about military aircraft crash sites in the UK

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/upload/pdf/Mil_Air_C_Sites.pdf

contains this:



whilst records for World War I are particularly fragmentary, those for World War II are better and allow a general estimate to be made.

For example, between 1939 and1945 RAF Bomber Command lost 1,380 aircraft within the UK whilst either outward or inward bound on operational flights and, along with its Operational Training and Heavy Conversion Units, a further 3,986 aircraft in non-operational accidents. The Luftwaffe is known to have lost 1,500 aircraft in and around the UK. American losses are harder to establish because contemporary statistics made no distinction between those aircraft lost in combat over continental Europe or those crashing on their return. However,the UK-based VIIIth Army Air Force reported 1,084 aircraft destroyed through non-operational causes. With the addition of losses for RAF Fighter, Coastal, Army Co-operation and Transport Commands, the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, the Italian Regia Aeronautica, the US IXth Army AirForce, the US Navy and the VIIIth AirForce’s operational losses, the combined total figure for World War II might be expected to be considerably in excess of10,000 aircraft.


It says elsewhere (or I just read elsewhaere) that the RAF lost 8,000 bomber aircrew in training accidents.

The Bigfella
04-20-2010, 08:05 PM
... and a little bit from the official Australian war history documents at the AWM.




When the war ended the total number of Australians serving in the R.A.A .F. was 154,511, of whom 137,208 were serving in the South-West
Pacific theatre.


The total casualties suffered by the R.A.A.F. in the war against Japan were 2,020 killed, 886 wounded, and 417 prisoners of war.



http://www.awm.gov.au/cms_images/histories/27/chapters/30.pdf


and a really interesting bit from the same source:




The infrequent meeting of R .A .A.F. aircraft and the enemy air forces in the last two years of the war was a result largely of the weakness of the enemy air force . After 1943 the Japanese air force had gone downhill rapidly. There is a danger that lessons might be drawn from the closing victorious years when everything was running smoothly, rather than from the difficult defensive early years . In 1947 Lord Tedder warned against this tendency . He said :

The campaign is immensely simplified for a commander if he knows he can count on a blank cheque . Surely it is the problems of the early stages of the war which we should study. Those are the difficult problems; those are the practical problems which we and every democratic nation have to solve . There were no big battalions or blank cheques then . Here is the real and vital test of our defence policies. It is at the outset of war that time is the supreme factor.

paladin
04-20-2010, 10:16 PM
A note on "inflated" number of planes downed by German pilots....while most were completely honest about their "kills" there were always people like Franz Von Werra that had a large tendency to go off on missions over the channel and claim kills, and not a mark on his plane, and half his ammo remaining, and the Brits claiming that they didn't lose anything that day.

The Bigfella
04-20-2010, 10:23 PM
Yep... that's why I'm trying to come at it from both directions. That was one of the issues the Soviets raised about Hartmann - the source of some of his "kills" were letters to his girlfriend.

It is really hard to get comparable data though - eg the issue of non-combat losses.

johnw
04-21-2010, 12:55 PM
I've now got my copy of Loza's book. In the introduction he says that the Russian losses on the first day of Operation Barbarossa were about 1,400 on the ground and 300 in the air. He estimates that they lost about 10,000, mostly on the ground, by the fall of '41. He places the resurgence of the VVS at the Battle of Kuban, in April-May of 1943. That puts it before the invasion of Sicily, but later than you seemed to be thinking earlier. Loza says Alekandr Novikov began reshaping the VVS in 1942, but some of his ideas about command and control were hampered by the fact that many Russian fighters did not have radios, and those that did often had inferior gear.

The interview we both quoted above mentioned that the Germans in some cases overran bases before the aircraft and spare parts could be evacuated. Thus, the shortage of aircraft for trained aircrews.

And yes, I think both sides had more accurate numbers of their losses than of their kills.

By the way, Loza fought on a Sherman tank during the war. After the war, he attended the Funze Military Academy, where he met P-39 ace Aleksandr Pokryshkin, who he reports said to him, "The glory that we earned on the battlefield is ours. But we are silenced regarding the means by which we beat the fascists. We can barely talk about it!"

American politicians didn't want to talk about arming Stalin after the war either.

The Bigfella
04-21-2010, 04:42 PM
Nor the situation in China, lest they offend the Japanese.

Yes - the Russians seemed to have no idea in the early days - despite their huge numerical superiority. I think it bears out the earlier comment about Stalin refusing to countenance defensive strategies. He wanted to invade Germany.

johnw
04-21-2010, 05:55 PM
Well, that explains why he wanted to build bombers when he needed fighters. Same thing as Hitler.

If the Far East command was the northern command after it was separated from CBI, it was a bigger force than I had thought we had there. It would be interesting to know more about that theater.

paladin
04-21-2010, 06:55 PM
I don't doubt Hartmann's kills....or those of Rall and Galland. When I spoke with Hartmann he thought the number was a bit low as he did not get credit for 1/2 kills, and he also said that in the heat of battle on the Russian front He was sure of three but not 4 or 5 as things were happening so fast that when he saw smoke or parts flying from a plane he immediately took after another. I am not sure about Galland as I know absolutely no German and Gallands accent was pretty heavy.

The Bigfella
04-21-2010, 07:09 PM
...snip.... I am not sure about Galland as I know absolutely no German and Gallands accent was pretty heavy.

You might have him confused with someone else Chuck? I've seen him interviewed on TV ... eg the second half of this clip...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hwqnt5_GEhQ&feature=fvw

His first job after the war for a couple of years was lecturing for the RAF

paladin
04-21-2010, 07:45 PM
He was speaking quite well there, Ian.....but perhaps he was tired, and at the time I talked to him it was late in the evening after the gathering, and I know he had more than a few drinks....in Wash D.C. in the late 70's....Rall wasn't drinking, he had been nursing a beer all evening. I was invited to sit at their table during dinner. That was the first time I had spoken to him or heard him speak, so I can only say what the impression was that one time. He was in dress uniform during the day, but they changed to business suits for the afternoon dinner. I missed getting autographs of Douglas Bader and a couple other esteemed gentlmen that night.