Battle of Britain RAF and LW order of battle

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Mustang nut, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Mustang nut

    Mustang nut Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #1 Mustang nut, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
    The thread about Bf109 landing gear drifted off topic onto the relative strengths of the RAF and LW during the BOB. I thought it would be best to start a new thread so the subject could be continued here.

    If you take the BOB starting with Churchills speech the figures I have for 1 July 1940are .


    Single engine fighters LW 1,107 RAF 754
    Two engine fighters LW 357 RAF149
    Bombers LW 1,380
    dive bombers LW 428

    serviceability on both sides was approx 72-75%

    On 13 August LW
    Single engine fighters 908
    Two engine fighters 263
    Bombers 988
    dive bombers 311

    15 September .......................LW........... RAF
    Single engine fighters ............500+ ........ 630
    Two engine fighters ........... 120
    Bombers ...............................500

    For 15 sept they are the forces available to kesselring in LW and 10/11/12 group for Park. Does anyone have better/different figures?


    These figures gleaned from "the most dangerous enemy"
     
  2. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    #2 Milosh, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
    LW OoB and the airfields the units were based at, Luftwaffe Campaign Orders of Battle

    13 Aug 40

    Strength Summary
    Number Type Strength Svcble
    42 1/3 Kampfgruppen 1482 1008
    9 Stukagruppen 365 286
    1 Schlachtgruppe 39 31
    26 Jagdgruppen 976 853
    9 Zerstrergruppen 244 189
    3 Nachtjagdgruppen 91 59
    14 Seefliegerstaffeln 240 125

    7 Sept 1940

    Strength Summary
    Number Type Strength Svcble
    43 Kampfgruppen 1291 798
    4 Stukagruppen 174 133
    2 Schlachtgruppe 59 44
    27 Jagdgruppen 831 658
    8 Zerstörergruppen 206 112
    18 Fernaufklärungsstaffeln 191 123
    6 Seefliegerstaffeln 52 33

    In addition this link, German Order of Battle - Statistics as of Quarter Years, 1938-45
     
  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    993
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Animal Control Officer
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    #3 Njaco, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
    Great idea Mustang!

    Here is what John Ellis in "The WWII Data Book" lists.....


    S/E aircraft

    6 July....................RAF - 644 LW - 750
    20 July..................RAF - 658 LW - 656
    10 August..............RAF - 749 LW - 805
    7 September..........RAF - 746 LW - 623
    28 September........RAF - 732 LW - 276

    T/E aircraft (fighters)
    6 July....................LW - 220
    20 July..................LW - 168
    10 August..............LW - 224
    7 September..........LW - 129
    28 September........LW - 230

    Dive bombers aircraft
    6 July....................LW - 280
    20 July..................LW - 248
    10 August..............LW - 261
    7 September..........LW - 180
    28 September........LW - 343

    bombers
    6 July....................LW - 1200
    20 July..................LW - 769
    10 August..............LW - 998
    7 September..........LW - 772
    28 September........LW - 750



    will check other sources I have including several from Dr. Price.
     
  4. Mustang nut

    Mustang nut Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks milosh and Najco. I realise its not easy, not all of the LW was used in the BoB and serviceabilty availability will always be a point of disagreement but there is a trend downwards for the LW and upwards for the RAF.
     
  5. Mustang nut

    Mustang nut Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The blenheim was never more than a backup in N England the gladiator was a reserve I dont think any were ever scrambled by Park though i think a few did take off. The defiant was very quickly withdrawn. The Bf110 was used throught the BoB because the LW took an age to realise how badly it was suited as an escort. In terms of effectiveness in the battle it was just the Bf109 Hurricane and Spitfire that really played a part.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I suspect these numbers include Me-110 and Ju-88 recon aircraft. Probably also includes Me-109s and Me-110s assigned to night fighter units.

    Where are the aircraft of RAF Bomber Command which operated continuously against Germany from September 1939 to May 1945? They didn't cause much bomb damage during 1940 but they did tie down a substantial amount of Luftwaffe resources which would otherwise have been employed in the BoB.

    One more question.
    The RAF could maintain a higher fighter aircraft sortie rate as they were operating over friendly airfields. Shouldn't we be counting aircraft sorties rather then individual aircraft?
     
  7. P-40K-5

    P-40K-5 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Messages:
    387
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Earth
    all excellent points.
     
  8. Mustang nut

    Mustang nut Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I agree with P-40 excellent points, i was just trying to kick off the discussion which was off topic on the other thread.
    I didnt include bomber or coastal command maybe I should have. I was addressing the numbers in the Battle of Britain which was the topic of discussion.
    Of course bomber command and also coastal command played a part and the LW had to respond. The figures I gave at the end were for those available to Kesselring on on side and Park on the other to attack defend the S.E. og England. Both sides had other areas of concern to defend and attack. Basically on what is called Battle of Britain day the RAF did have a slight superiority in SE fighters but only because of what had gone before starting with the invasion of Belgium.
     
  9. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,676
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    Deightons 1 July ac.jpg Here is a page from Deightons hard cover version of "Battle of Britain" / LW figures are for the two main air fleets committed plus LF 5 as a separate total. Date is 1 July 1940
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I think you mean "Fighter. The true story of the Battle of Britain.", a copy of which is on my bookshelf.

    Unfortunately Len Deighton makes no distinction between bombers and recon aircraft. Nor does he discuss RAF Bomber Command, whose influence caused most Me-110 units to convert to the night fighter mission by the fall of 1940.
     
  11. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,160
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Consellor
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    I don't think that bomber command would influence the numbers as they mainly flew at night so the Me109's and Me 110's attacking the UK were useless against them. It was almost two battles going on at the same time. Had BC tried a mass raid against the German forces in France by day then it would have impacted the numbers.
     
  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I disagree.

    Without a need for night fighters the Luftwaffe is likely to have three times as many Me-110 long range day fighters plus an additional Jagdgeschwader equipped with Me-109s. Perhaps more Ju-88s also as the recon mission can be performed by Do-215s which were historically assigned to the night fighter force.
     
  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,676
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    No my copy does not include "Fighter" in the title, and i am reasonably certain it has significant differnces to the publication you mention Dave. For example, you say Deightons soft cover book does not mention the numbers of recon machines. The table I have does....there were 67 LR and 28 SR machines included in that sheet i posted, and these are additional to the bombers. Deightons list does not include KM aircraft or SAR aircraft

    I am uncertain about your claim relating to 110s, but I have a book at home by Gunston that goes into some depth about German TE NF conversions. Wasnt the first conversion a Ju88C conversion in June 1940. There were only very limited numbers converted for the rest of 1940, i do know that, perhaps no mor than 30 machines, and i am pretty sure none of them were Me110s. But I will check tonite and give a bit more information.
     
  14. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Do you ever look at the numbers?

    13 Aug 40

    3 Nachtjagdgruppen 91 59 (on hand - serviceable)
    9 Zerstrergruppen 244 189

    Of those 91 a/c, 50 were Bf110s, 10 were Do17s, 11 were Ju88s and 20 were Bf109s.

    My math does not come up with ~750 Zerstrer.
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Neither does mine.

    Luftflotte 2 had about 90 operational Me-110 day fighters as of September 7th, 1941. Luftflotte 3 had 28 more for a total of 118. Multiply that by three and the Luftwaffe would have about 350 long range Me-110 day fighters available for bomber escort over England.
     
  16. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,761
    Likes Received:
    792
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    Unfortunately Len Deighton also makes a few technical errors in one of his Battle of Britain books (Fighter, even in hard cover) that tends to cast doubt on his credibility. Maybe they were typos but he was trying to draw conclusions from them and/or punch up the "story" a little.
     
  17. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,676
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    He's certainly not the best source, but I still think he is useful as a reference....certainly for the purpose of establishing numbers.

    And as i said, the version I have is greatly different (even in the title) to the the soft cover version you guys are referring to. Text, layout, appendices are all completely different
     
  18. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The BoB was well over by Sept 7 1941.

    On Sept 7 1940

    Luftflotte 2
    Stab/ZG 2 Toussous-le-Noble 1
    I/ZG 2 Amiens, Caen 20
    II/ZG 2 Guyancourt/Caudran 28
    Stab/ZG 26 ? 3 3
    I/ZG 26 Abbeville, St. Omer 33
    II/ZG 26 Crècy 25
    III/ZG 26 Barly, Arques 25
    V (Z.)/LG 1 Ligescourt, Alencon 23

    Luftflotte 3
    Stab/ZG 76 ? 2
    II/ZG 76 Le Mans, Abbeville 27
    III/ZG 76 Laval 19

    That is 206 Bf110s.
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Operational aircraft are the only aircraft that count.

    Much of the Luftwaffe was committed to fighting in Norway and France during April to June 1940. That's doubly true for the Me-110 as it was the only German fighter aircraft with range adequate for operations over Norway. Consequently a large portion of Luftwaffe aircraft were damaged or in need of overhaul by July 1940.

    Most RAF fighter aircraft did not experience combat prior to the BoB so Britain should have had a much higher rate of servicable aircraft.

    Unternehmen Seelöwe, 07.09.1940
    3. Stab/ZG 26.
    14. I/ZG 26. (33 is the on hand figure.)
    17. II/ZG 26. (25 is the on hand number.)
    17. III/ZG 26. (25 is the on hand number.)

    I suspect most Luftwaffe bombing raids during July to September 1940 had fewer then 100 Me-110 long range escort fighters. Once the short range Me-109s turned for home German escort fighters would have been seriously outnumbered by Hurricanes and Spitfires.
     
  20. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,676
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW

    The Luftwaffe took several weeks to recover and redeploy from the french campaign. Another issue they needed to address was the shortage of airfields in northern France. But all these issues were well under control by about 15 July

    With regard to your second comment, most of the british aircraft were new, so to an extent you have a point, however, the gap in operations between June and the middle of July had been used to bring the LW back to a state of readiness. LW did not go into battle unready.

    They started the battle in August with over 200 Me 110s. On those days when maximum effort was demanded, why would they have less than full effort from the 110 formations.


    You also overlook that during the period of operations, the maximum effort by the Brits would be during the flighht in. By the time the germans were leaving, there would be many Brit formations in need of fuel, or ammunition, or both. I dont think there is any evidence of the Brits witholding effort so they could gang up on the 110s
     
Loading...

Share This Page