Best Air Force 1939-1941

Discussion in 'Polls' started by DerAdlerIstGelandet, Mar 31, 2011.

?

Best Air Force 1939 to 1941?

  1. United States Army Air Corps

    1.8%
  2. Royal Air Force

    14.5%
  3. Luftwaffe

    70.9%
  4. Imperial Japanese Air Force

    7.3%
  5. Armée de l'Air (French Air Force)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. VVS (Soviet Air Force)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Other

    5.5%
  1. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    #1 DerAdlerIstGelandet, Mar 31, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
    We had a thread with a poll about the Best Airforce of WW2 and many members of the forum requested that this be broken down a bit more. So here is the first part...

    What was the best Air Force overall in the world during the period of 1939 to 1941? This does not include Naval Air Forces...
     
  2. rank amateur

    rank amateur Member

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    Is there any answer possible than die Luftwaffe? if so I'm dying to hear the arguments ;)
     
  3. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Luftwaffe, no contest. But, it was like a championship athlete with a brain tumor.
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    We can try some kind of breakdown.
    In the fighter branch, RAF is a close second by 1941 contender, with LW having a good LR fighter all the time.
    In SE bombers, Ju-87 and Il-2 are at top.
    In twin-engined bomber class, Ju-88 leads, but RAF evens things via better torpedo bombers here (Beaufort, Hampden); Beaufighter features rockets already IIRC. USA has some strong contenders in A-20 B-25, making all 3 AF pretty even.
    RAF has the edge in really heavy bombers, USA second with early B-17s.
    In MP class things are pretty even - RAF has the edge due to electronics greater emphasis on this key issue.
    Transports are pretty even.
    Radars are good, after what RAF has at disposal, and much later.
    LW has top pilots here; those are hampered by Goerings Hitlers decisions, though. The other main thing is that Germany is outproduced, and US production is bulking up the numbers of planes RAF VVS have at disposal.

    Any advantage Luftwaffe held in 1939 is pretty much thinned out by 1941.
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Hands down, the LW. it was numerically the most numerous (exception: the VVS outnumbered it, though most VVS aircraft were not in flying condition), until the very end of 1941, its equipment the best in the world, and its crews the most experienced. It had suffered one major reverse, and in russia was embroiled in an unwinnable quagmire, but this was all for the future. in the here and now of 1941, it was clearly ascendant
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Luftwaffe for the same reasons as parsifal.
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Forgot to add night fighters; RAF is leading the way here with AI radars as early as 1940. Zero radar-equipped night fighters for LW, for this time frame?
     
  8. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Overall, the LW was the most effective with the RAF trailing close behind. The LW's accomplishments in 39-early 40 along with it's opponent's weaknesses contributed to the LW's accomplishments. It is handy to blood your military against lesser opponents.
     
  9. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Has to be the Luftwaffe as it was the most complete airforce. In a number of areas the RAF were as good as the Luftwaffe or even better but overall if has to be the Luftwaffe.
    1942 was the big year for the RAF with a lot of the prewar aircraft being replaced but up to 1941 in key areas they were still behind.
     
  10. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    I'll state (again) some areas that other AFs have had the lead in 1941:
    -radar-equipped NF force (RAF only)
    -(land based) MP torp-bomber force (RAF Italians here)
    -heavy bombers (RAF no.1)
    -development of planes engines that would've replaced existing types within foreseeable future
    -production of planes
    -numbers of pilots in training, multiplied by hours of flying

    In some categories LW is tied with others:
    -heavy fighters (RAF has Beaufighters)
    -2-engined bombers (RAF USAAF are strong here too)
    -transport planes

    I know there is more to air force than just hardware, though :)
    If someone can state 5 (preferably more ) categories that LW have had clear edge, that would've been cool.
     
  11. peterpro

    peterpro New Member

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    Luftwaffe,due to reasons said above.
     
  12. TheMustangRider

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    As I was submitting my vote, came to my mind one of the dialogues in the original Blazing Angels game in which a LW pilot says in heavy German accent "Nobody can out fly the Luftwaffe"; this topic is very complex of course and open to scrutiny but in my best opinion, the Luftwaffe was second to none in the early days of the war and its preparedness paid dividends at the expense of Nazi Germany's unprepared neighbors.
     
  13. Nxthanos

    Nxthanos Member

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    I'll be a little different and make the argument for the RAF!

    The reason being that while german fighter tactics and training was better, overall the British could do a better job with replacement and training, plus they had an edge in things like radar controlled intercepting, which of course the germans did at night also, but I think the brits were a little better but could be wrong!
     
  14. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I think ignoring Naval Air Forces, then I would have to say the Luftwaffe. However, if including Naval Air Forces I'd have to say Japan.
     
  15. Nxthanos

    Nxthanos Member

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    Its hard to qualify who was really the best pilots if you add naval aviation.

    For example many of the AVG 'flying tigers' were marine and navy pilots, and they got the best of teh japanese over burma and china.

    The great performance of the japanese in the first 6 months of their entry into WWII cannot be over looked either!

    Yes, very hard to say.
     
  16. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Errr....there are many who argue that Japan entered WWII very early given its extensive operations in China (ie in 1937).
     
  17. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Japana was actually at war from 1931, Manchuria.
     
  18. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Undoubtedly, but there is a perceived difference between the scope of the hostilities commenced in 1931 compared to the events of 1937 - I wrote an essay on the subject for my MA a few years ago and got a less-than-stellar mark for arguing that 1931 was the starting point! That said, it's somewhat moot to argue the pros and cons either way. Bottom line is that Japan didn't enter the war in 1941.
     
  19. Nxthanos

    Nxthanos Member

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    Well, the german and italian as well as russian air forces all fought in spain and gained a lot of experience not available to britsih and french fliers.
     
  20. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Undoubtedly so, but Spain was most definitely a civil war whereas Japan's involvement in China was an expansionist war of aggression.
     
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