Allied losses in the SWPA

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Wildcat, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    After looking at Neil's post on RAF strength I thought I'd look for similar data on the RAAF. I couldn't find any that are available to view online at the National Archives yet, but did come across these graphs that I thought were interesting.
     

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  2. Reegor

    Reegor Member

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    So in USAAF, by mid 1944 when the data ends, it says 1700 lost "by normal action," and 700 lost by enemy action.

    Similar ratio for RAAF: 1600 versus 527 by August 1945.

    This is 2.5:1 for USAAF, and 3:1 for RAAF. I don't recall many mentions of such an extreme ratio.
    I assume "normal action" is what others call "operational losses?" What is the source of these colorful graphs?

    thanks
     
  3. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    Around 3 non-operational write-offs to 1 operational loss is not that surprising for wartime operations, almost regardless of airforce. There are just so many ways for pilots to write of an aircraft or for an aircraft to fail. Taxiing, take-off and landing incidents alone probably accounted for 20-25% of total aircraft

    Stealing from an earlier thread, but here are JG 5's losses for 1943, posted by Njaco:

    Take Off - 94
    Combat - 59
    Landing Accident - 31
    Engine Problem - 24
    Crash (unknown causes) - 22
    Missing - 16
    Emergency landing - 15
    Taxiing - 9
    Unknown - 7
    Landed on sea - 6
    Undercarriage - 2
    Mid-air collision - 2
    Tire Damage - 1
    Hit on ground - 1
    Enemy Bombs - 1

    Direct losses to enemy combat were 60 - 59 in air to air combat and and 1 to bombs - from 290 total losses, giving an almost 5:1 ratio. However, many of the other losses - unknown causes, missing, landed on sea and forced landing category - can be attributed to enemy action or damage from. If half of these 66 losses were to enemy action, then the combat to accident loss rate is about 3.3:1.

    Fighter squadrons tended to have higher non-combat loss rates. The combination of high powered, single engine fighters, undertrained pilots barely out of their teens and rough/forward fields with tail-dragger aircraft is not that condusive to low accident rates.
     
  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    These are from the National Archives of Australia compiled by Sir Frederick Shedden, secretary of the Department of Defence 1937-56.
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    That really drives home the point very forcefully. A major proportion of losses were not related at all to enemy action. moreover, if the losses attributed to enemy action are broken down even further, many of those so-called "combat losses" dont necessarily have anything to do with enemy violence. they may have, but we simply cant be sure. The numbers of aircraft listed as simply "failed to return" is staggering. We simply dont know the cause of the loss

    Fighters have a critical role to play in operations, and without them offensive operations become very expensive. However trying to argue that critical importance on the basis of losses isnt as straight forward as it appears. At least as important are losses due to navigational error for example.

    Flying in wartime is dangerous. Even so called routine operations are dangerous
     
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