Best Air Force 1943-1945

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

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Best Air Force 1943-1945

  1. United States Army Air Force

    74.5%
  2. Royal Air Force

    12.7%
  3. Luftwaffe

    7.3%
  4. Imperial Japanese Air Force

    1.8%
  5. VVS (Soviet Air Force)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Other

    3.6%
  1. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    #1 DerAdlerIstGelandet, Mar 31, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
    What was the best Air Force from the period of 1943 to 1945?
     
  2. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Fighters - Allied forces have better prop planes for the period, but LW introduces jets.
    SE bombers - IL-10 is the bird here.
    TE bombers - Axis forces lose badly here, RAF has Mossie (with Bristol offering good ones), USAAF receives A-26, Russians get the Tu-2.
    4-engined bombers - USAAF has the best bird here. Along with nuke.
    Transport - USAAF has the lead.
    MP - USAAF (Consolidated's planes) - but here we have USN to interfere?
    Numbers - USAAF.
    Manpower - USAAF.
    Radars - RAF USAAF.

    The winner is clear.
     
  3. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    my opinion, the USAAf is clearly ascendant. LW is in a full nose dive, RAF now subordinated to the US, japan is also in a nosedive. VVS has some really good equipment, but the aircrews still are not quite up to standard
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I agree with you completely by this point. By this point the USAAF was the most formidable air force in the world. Combination of equipment, quality, pilots and training as well its world wide projection make it the finest in the world by this point. The Luftwaffe was on a serious decline by 1944. Still had top notch aircraft but either not in the quanitities needed or lack of fuel and trained pilots. The end was obvious by this point.
     
  5. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Yep, by January, 1944, the USAAF had to be rated as the most powerful in the world with the RAF next and the LW hanging in there but struggling. As a tactical air force, the VVS was effective.
     
  6. Saetta66

    Saetta66 Member

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    Among the Others there was a bunch of unbeatable losers called Aeronautica nazionale Repubblicana (northern Italy) e Aeronautica Cobelligerante (Southern Italy) who tried to keep on doing their duty even if everything was lost ...
     
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Certainly commendable, but in your opinion what sets it apart from the other air forces?
     
  8. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    one has no choice but to place the USAAF overall first particularly in numbers and in certain equipment like long range intercepters,B29, transport, logistics and industrial might however I quibble about quality of aircrew . I cannot figure out how aircrew were superior in the USAAF over Commonwealth crew most , from what I've read most USAAF aircrew were not as capable in a bad weather enviroment as their flight training for the most part took place in areas not kmown for inclement weather. The USAAF was also well behind in nightfighting and intruding
    I also ask if you wanted a precision mission performed which would you prefer the Commonwealth or USAAF.
     
  9. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    I'd also point out that the B-29 only entered operational service halfway through the period in question and it probably took some time to build up sufficient numbers for it to be a viable force. Until that time, the Lanc (IMHO) ruled the roost as the best long-range heavy bomber. Perhaps things aren't so cut and dried in favour of the USAAF?
     
  10. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    B-29s were not really effective until very late in 1944, when tthey began flying low, at night and using incendiary packages that had been developed earlier by the brits in their offensive over Germany. High level HE armed raids just couldnt deliver enough tonnage of bombs to destroy Japanese cities. For some reason the US had determined that the japanese population had to be targetted as wel as point targets like factories

    Converting to low level incendiary raids added the fuel load of the cities themselves to the fuel load, and hugely increased the leathality of the b-29....and then came THE bomb, of course
     
  11. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    While the USAAF was not #1 in everything, it was at the top in most. And even where it was lacking, it was still good enough to be near the top.

    The USAAF had the resources to build what it wanted, in any quantity, and piloted and maintained by competent crews.

    The RAF never had that capability. A very fine organization. But putting out a few great aircraft types manned by a limited number of superb crews, doesn't hold up to the shear industrial and organizational powers the US had at its disposal.
     
  12. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    A good summary Sys, and correct of course
     
  13. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    I disagree with the comment of limited competent crews there was never a shortage of crews in fact it was the reverse . I also would like to mention how much of a jump start the USAAF was given when in Dec 41 when approx 5000 trained aircrew transferred from RCAF to USAAF. I say RCAF rather then RAF as only approx 250 Americans were in the RAF and near 10000 were in RCAF even though many Americans servedd with RAF Squadrons they were RCAF and remained so as the pay was much better
     
  14. Saetta66

    Saetta66 Member

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    It sets apart form the other air forces simply because the ratio aircrafts/number of ennemies was so high that the percentage of comin back safe was probaly almost zero. That's it :). The German and the Jap aviations have got this gap only in the last months or weeks of war ....
     
  15. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Syscom,

    I think we need to be a bit careful here. Whilst the US undoubtedly had amazing manufacturing capacity, it did not have unlimited resources although I fully accept that its full resources were never reached. The comment about Brit limitations must also be placed in context - the RAF was, after all, over 1,100,000 men in uniform in 1944.

    Despite the large scale of the USAAF, there were still some things it didn't do very well, particularly during the early stages of the period in question - integrated air defence, night fighting, massed shipping strikes, precision night bombing (although I accept this was as much doctrinal as technical as the USAAF wanted to persist with daylight attacks), support to resistance operations etc.

    I guess it depends on how you define "best". If it's the biggest, then the USAAF easily wins, although again I think that's more the case towards the end of the period rather than in the 1943-early 1944 timeframe.
     
  16. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    After the middle of 1943, there was an assembly line of pilots and crews coming out of the training groups as individuals or groups ready to deploy. This correlates squarely with the large numbers of groups (of all kinds) that began to be deployed around the world about that time. By 1945, there were so many available crews, that the training programs was cut back.

    In the time frame of this poll, personnel shortages were not an issue, or were being minimized on a weekly basis.
     
  17. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Integrated defense: Agreed. There really was no need for it as North America was never under this type of threat.

    night fighting: Agreed. The US was behind the RAF and LW.

    massed shipping strikes: No. The 5ht AF and 13th AF was doing that on a daily basis. And ever hear about the Battle of the Bismark Sea?

    precision night bombing: No. The B29's had the capabilities of duplicating what the RAF did. The B29's that were equipped with bombing radars did have good success. And f they had been forced into night missions in the ETO, they would have been better than the RAF simply by virtue of the B29 being a generation ahead of the competition.

    support to resistance operations: ?

    As for the production capabilities of the USAAF, once the factories were in full production in mid 1944, they were a juggernaut. And throughout 1945, aircraft production was still reaching a peak. Compared to the rest of the world, the US was the only country that could mass produce top notch aircraft in excess of its needs, have regular model updates without interruptions and still continue to develop new models.

    Look at it this way: In 1945, moderately damaged B24's in the PTO were scrapped instead of repaired because there were so many newer AC being made available.

    What other country could simultaneously build three heavy bomber types (B17, B24 and B29) and have a fourth ready for production (B32)?
     
  18. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    As already noted, the B-29 only entered service halfway through the period in question and massed raids only started into the last third of the period. Also, the fact that the B-29 was a generation ahead of other heavy bombers does not mean it could perform precision night attacks which had more to do with the airborne radar it carried, radio navigation aids and the procedures for precision target marking in which areas the RAF all were still ahead of the USAAF.

    Errr....that'll be the RAF with the Lancaster, the Stirling and the Halifax, and the Lincoln and Canberra in the pipeline with the V-Bombers to start the year following the end of the war.
     
  19. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but the USAAF wasn't combining rocket projectiles, heavy cannon and torpedo attacks like the Banff Wing and the other maritime strike wings in the UK.
     
  20. Sydhuey

    Sydhuey Member

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    #20 Sydhuey, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
    Yes the 5th A/F was to an extent, RAAF Beauforts combined with US a/c to do combined torpedo/skip bombing on Japanese shipping but it was soon realised that 1/ the torpedos used by the RAAF and US in the pacific were so unreliable to be next to usless and 2/the japanese navy was probably the best navy in the world at dodging torpedos having trained against there own superlative "Long Lance" torpedoes.
    Cannon equipped Beaufighters acted as flak suppressors to skipbombing A-20's and B-25's as they also did in europe and eventualy Austalian built beaufighters started carrying Rockets and 2 x 500lbs on the belly, The RAAF's 9 Operations Group was under the control of US 5th AF from mid 42 till mid 44 (4sqn Wirraway/Boomerang (army co-op/FAC), 5 Sqn Wirraway /Boomerang (army co-op/FAC), 6 Sqn Hudson/Beaufort (light Bomber, gen recon), 100 Sqn Beaufort (Torpedo/light Bomber), 7577 Sqn P-40 Kittyhawk (Fighter), 30 Sqn Beaufighter(long range strike fighter) and 22 Sqn Boston(Attack))

    At the end of WW2 the RAAF had the 5th biggest Air Force in the world , USA ,USSR ,UK ,Germany ,Japan, Australia.
     
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