Could the later model P47 establish complete control of air over Germany without P51

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by pinsog, May 25, 2012.

  1. pinsog

    pinsog Member

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    Could or would the P47 Thunderbolt have eventually taken complete control of German skies without the aid of the P51 Mustang?
     
  2. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    It would. Absence of the P-51 would result in development of the N or some version with extended range of the Thunderbolt sooner. It's performance was sufficient.
     
  3. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    IMO - yes after the P51D-25 and subsequent versions came into the ETO, the internal fuel capacity increased from 305 to 370, which combined with external tanks gave the P-47 the ability to nearly get to Berlin. That was not enough for a P-47 to Ess above a bomber box in close escort to Berlin, but enough to Sweep there and return.

    The D-25 arrived in late June/July 1944 and equipped the remaining 56, 78, 353 and 356FG's by August/September.

    Had the P-51s not been a factor, the strength of LuftFlotte Reich would have been higher in both aircraft and experienced pilots. The Me 109G-10 would have been in play which would have been a very nice match for the P-47D-25 at high altitude as well as all intervening altitudes. The P-47 would have been even more vulnerable to loss of range had the LW attacked the inbound target escort in small flights.
     
  4. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, sheer numbers of virtually any 1940's fighter would have finished off the LW. That's the nature of attrition.
     
  5. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #5 drgondog, May 25, 2012
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
    The LF Reich was the primary force which a.) stopped the 8th AF BC in October 1943, b.) was the intended reserve for Western Defense while being primary for Reich Defense, and c.) experiencing less than 5% attrition when confronting Spitfires and P-38/P-47s. In other words, without the Mustang hurting them at 25% per month, LF Reich is very healthy on D-Day and positioned to add 400+ day fighters to LF 3 on D-Day.

    Additionally I'm trying to figure out how 3000+ P40B, Spit II, Hurricanes fare against FW 190A7/Me 109G-6 when they will enconter each other in much smaller (squadron level) packages in which the LW has clear advantage in either fight or run.

    I suspect it would look more like Spain, Poland and Barbarossa.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The Luftwaffe conducted a 1,000 aircraft mission during January 1945. So it's readily apparent the Allies never had complete control of German skies.
     
  7. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    Yes, and it was the last time that would ever happen. Yet another poorly planned desperate act of futility by LW High Command. Except this time they hammered the final nail in their own coffin. Adolf Galland said of Bodenplatte, "We sacrificed our last substance". And as Crimea_River suggested above, the 300 or so Allied planes they did manage to destroy were replaced within weeks. LW planes and pilots lost certainly never were.

    drgondog- Even if the Alies wouldnt have had Mustangs, US industrial capacity would have provided them with that many more P-47s, etc. and the LW would have still been steadily reduced to ineffectiveness. You know, just like the VVS did to them in the east after Barbarossa.
     
  8. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #8 drgondog, May 26, 2012
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
    Stug, you may not have gotten the points made earlier. While the P-47 was an excellent fighter at high altitude, was effective against the LW when they had the range to engage (or the LW obliged by flying in range) most of the air to air engagements prior to D-Day were Netherlands, France, Belgium and Western Germany. Neither the VVS nor the 8th/9th AF Fighters were engaging LuftFlotte Reich over central and eastern Germany - except the P-51. Ergo, all the airpower implied by Yak-3, P-47, Spitfire was negated by distance. Absent the P-51B, Only the B-17 and B-24 and three Groups of P-38s were available between Big Week and D-Day.

    As an illustration of the comparative effectiveness between the P-38 and P-51B in that period, the 51 was credited with 1073 destroyed, the P-38 with 82. There is 'steadily reduced to ineffectiveness' versus 'rapidly slashed and stretched to the limit'.

    So, voila - replace 1072 day fighters and the KIA/WIA pilots downed by the P-51B and add that force to LF 3 to attack the beachead and offshore transports on June 6, 7 and 8.
     
  9. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Dave, if you mean zero sorties for your definition of 'complete loss of control' you may hold with that POV. You could also be correct if you point to LW effectiveness against RAF at night.

    If you expand the definition of 'loss of control of the air' to mean absolutely ineffectual against Allied Air (and Ground) forces for all days, any location, then you could find some isolated 'wins' (at GREAT cost) to July 7, September 11, September 27 and November 26 when as great a loss as 3-4% was inflicted on the 8th BC and one Squadron/Group was severly punished.

    So, what are your definitions of 'loss of control, parity, control, total air superiority'
     
  10. muscogeemike

    muscogeemike Member

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    If I’ve read history correctly on the first mission to Berlin escorted by P-51’s both P-47’s and P-38’s were also present. Apparently the Jug did have some legs. I have also read that in the Pacific they flew some very long missions in the P-47.
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    So was attacking Taranto with 21 aircraft and attacking Bari with 100 aircraft. Calculated risks sometimes pay off.

    With a better planned mission and some luck the Luftwaffe might have landed a solid punch even as late as January 1945.
     
  12. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #12 Jenisch, May 26, 2012
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
    Still futile, there was no more fuel, the Soviets captured the Romanian oil fields. The USAAF also had the 9th and 15th air forces ready to enter in service if necessary. Also, the Soviets were really strong, with substantial Lend-Lease material and determination to finish the Germans. And ultimately, the atomic bomb was only months away.
     
  13. KiwiBiggles

    KiwiBiggles Member

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    One point that has been missing from this discussion is the fact that a P-47 cost nearly twice as much as a P-51. Sure the US was rich and getting richer, but the cost of a complex machine like a WW2 fighter is a reflection of the resources that were devoted to it, and ultimately how many could be produced. You would have to conclude that if your weapons were going to cost twice as much, you were going to end up with half as many.

    So the question should really be, "Could later-model P-47s establish control of the air over Germany given that there were only half as many of them as there ended up being of P-51s?"

    I think not.
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Politicians decide when to fight and when to quit. Not members of the Luftwaffe.
     
  15. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    Ive never heard or read about any scenario in which P-47s and P-38s operating from England did not have enough range to conduct missions over western Europe before D-Day.
     
  16. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    If they were used as Galland invisioned with "the Big Blow" delievering 2000 a/c against the bombers. Those stockpiled machines weren't meant for jabo attacks on Allied airfields.

    I think those may have been partial escorts to and from the target and not a complete round-trip.

    Do you mean the US or Germany? :)


    How would this enhanced Jug perform against the latest LW fighters if the 51 wasn't around? Machines like the K-4, D-9 and more 262s?
     
  17. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #17 Jenisch, May 26, 2012
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
    What evidence do you have that Germany was closer to obtain the atomic bomb?

    I don't know how this reality would develop itself. Maybe the absence of the P-51 could have meant a change of priority for the P-47 development.
     
  18. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #18 Njaco, May 26, 2012
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
    No evidence really outside of an episode of "Secrets of the Dead" which went into great length about Germany's efforts to develope the bomb. How close? Unknown, but there were production facilities (heavy water I believe) in Norway that were targeted by the RAF and Special Forces. Thats all I have.

    Video: The Hunt for Nazi Scientists | Watch Secrets of the Dead Online | PBS Video

    and thats the question. In this hypothetical thread topic, what would be the change of priority and how would it fare against the newer LW machines.
     
  19. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    The possibility of Germany develop the bomb is difficult to discuss today, by lack of evidence.

    I can't speak of this. The only thing I can say, but don't know if is the case here, is that frequentely there are endless variables for alternative history. People sometimes stick to one argument or two and belive it would be just like that.
     
  20. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    If there is no Merlin P-51 how long does it take for the USAAF to realise it needs a replacement very long range escort fighter. How long does it take to get an Allison engine P-51 capable of the same range and altitude and how long does it take to get the very long range P-47 versions in service. I can see the decisive battles over Germany being a good few months later.
     
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