Could the Luftwaffe survive against Allied attacks if the USSR had been defeated?

Discussion in 'Polls' started by freebird, Aug 7, 2008.

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Could the Luftwaffe survive after 1943 if it faced only the US/UK airforces?

  1. The Allies could still eliminate most of the LW strength within a year

    28.4%
  2. The Luftwaffe could maintain air superiority over Europe if the USSR is eliminated.

    21.0%
  3. It would be a long battle with neither side prevailing for several years.

    30.9%
  4. German technical advances would cancel the Allies strength in numbers.

    7.4%
  5. The Allied bomber casualties would force them to give up on bombing Germany

    14.8%
  6. Other?

    9.9%
  1. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    This was one question that came to mind in another thread.

    If Germany had managed to defeat Russia in the Spring/Summer of 1943, could the Luftwaffe have held off the US/UK air forces from mid 1943 onward?

    Was German production pilot training high enough to keep ahead of the Allies? {with no drain on the eastern front}

    Also assumes that the Italian/Rumanian air forces can be re-deployed to the Med to help boost Axis strength.
     
  2. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Good poll with good choices Freebird... Tough call....

    With the Sovs bein defeated Rumanian oil remains German and no fuel shortages... No fuel shortages, better flight training for the young Luftwaffe boys... More boys in the air to meet the 8th bombers... More bombers goin down...

    I think its more important that the ground forces would be freed up by the Sovs defeat than the Luftwaffe... Stop the Allied advances into Germany herself and keep those damn shortranged fighter bombers from the Luftwaffe airbases...

    My answer to ur question Freebird is the Luftwaffe could maintain air superiority over Europe if the USSR is eliminated...
     
  3. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    I think I would go with that too. Even with the P-51's up there, a lot of bombers would still be downed if there were more German planes in the air, and maybe better stratagies to defeat the bombers?

    The P-51's would probably hold their own, but they couldn't protect the bombers all the time.

    So I think Germany would have lost in the end. Eventually their resources would get depleted or destroyed before USA and UK, and simply Hitler would have ruined the country by the 1950's.
     
  4. JugBR

    JugBR Active Member

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    im considering that germany obtained a fast and low-casualties victories in soviet union.

    so, in 1942, the germany would have all his military force to fight in a single front against england and usa.

    considering this scenario, i think very difficult to allies even reach the german airspace. because germany would be attacking allies and not in defensive.

    i believe the main effort of allies would be maintain and protect the supply lines from atlantic and mediterranen and defend the british islands and north africa.
     
  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I think the main thing is that Luftwaffe could move its air training schools farther to the East where young German pilots could take their training without any disturbance form Allies.The same would be with the plane assembling.No bombes , more factories working correctly and much equippment.Additionally German economy would gather much more free prisoners for working at these factories.The war would last longer and LW air superiority could be maintained.
     
  6. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    If the timetable was mid to late 1943 I believe the play unfolds the same way, just longer. The question is how fast do the Allies focus on and attack the oildfields and refineries.

    The bomber losses are higher due to rotation of the remaining JG's but why should Germany do anything differently relative to tactics or speed up production of the Blitz Bomber? The Lightnings and Mustangs take heavier losses due to an extra couple of hundred 109s. Night fighter increases not much so RAF losses shouldn't go up too much on the transition

    Like Dan - I think the huge difference is on the ground.

    The war in Europe lasts with heavier air losses on both sides until the period August 6, 1945 - through (?) depending on how many nuclear weapons it takes and how much Sarin gas is dispensed by Germany on the UK.

    More probably a Truce of some kind. I don't think Germany has free reign in USSR or Yugoslavia for example so a lot of troops tied down to supress guerilla ops. Italy advances stop and maybe retaken. Ploesti gets enough damage if US willing to take the losses. The 51 will still make the same difference, slower, until the LW fields the 262 in great numbers. But if you look at that timetable - many German petroleum and chemical plants are still gone by Fall/winter of 1944. Soviet production may or may not be brought back on line in time but it probably does make a difference in pilot training in summer of 1944.

    USAAF shifts resources from CONUS and SA to Italy and North Africa and invade Siberia as USSR starts to collapse and race to the oil fields there.
    Germans remain victors as most of USSR collapses through Moscow but significant residual of Russian Army falls back to create lines where US can supply troops and air... Germany shifts some of their army back to Italy to try to force Allies (and airbases) out. Until they do Ploesti under relentless attack and remains under attack from Egypt and Libya.



    USN shifts resources destined for PTO in spring 1944 and delays future invasions of Okinawa to plan for Manchrian ops to support Siberian thrust. Make sure Siberia is 'spiked' if Germany has strength and commitment to retake Siberian oil fields.
     
  7. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    in a word NO

    if you look at the extreme bombing during 1944 and what the LW had on the Ost front for fighter support which was practically nothing, removing those 3-5 LW fighter units would not have bolstered up the LW front in the Reich to add even any response against the US/Allied P-47, Stang, Spitfire, Tempest units.

    In the same regard about nil for the LW in the night fighter realm as well
     
  8. fly boy

    fly boy Member

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    i'd say if the germans where able to beat off the air attacks from at lest mid 43 to mid late 44 becasue by late 43 you got p-51ds comeing to service and combo of the mustang and bombers and attack fighters that would crush them and war would end possibly as late as mid 46 at the time japan would have been nuked and germans might have had an abomb in the face too
     
  9. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    think you guys again need to go see the OOB's of the LW fighter units on the Ost front before making any clear decisions, the factor is plain and simple there was not enough LW fighter forces to contend with the Soviets though the LW JG's 51, 52 and 54 which bore the brunt of the action slaughtered the Soviet A/F in incredible numbers till wars end
     
  10. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends on when they beat the Soviets. IMO, I believe the line is 1943. Before that, the Luftwaffe would still have had significant numbers to put on only one front, which would have help to defend the factories.

    After 1943, the allies advanced fighters and mass production would have drove Germany into the ground. However, I do believe it wouldn't have ended in 1945. All those men and resources on one front! wow.

    Of course, I'm sure Hitler would have screwed up a one front war too!
     
  11. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I think Erich is right. Not many units on the Ostfront. From Dr. Price. I only chose day fighters and NJG as I would think these would be used against the Allied heavies and escort.

    May 1944
    Luftflotte 1:
    Stab, II. and II./JG 54 - Fw 190 - 90 aircraft servicable
    II./NJG 100 - Ju 88, D0 217 - 21 servicable

    Luftflotte 4:
    IV./JG 51 - Bf 109 - 22 servicable
    JG 52 (three Gruppen and Stab) - Bf 109 - 82 sevicable
    I./JG 53 - Bf 109 - 30 servicable
    III./JG 77 - Bf 109 - 24 servicable
    II./JG 301 - Bf 109 - 10 servicable
    NJG 100 (reforming) - Bf 110 - 9 servicable

    Luftflotte 5:
    III., IV. and 13./JG 5 - 63 Bf 109 and 16 Bf 110 servicable

    Luftflotte 6:
    I. and III./JG 51 - Bf 109 - 66 servicable
    I./NJG 100 - Ju 88, Do 217 - 19 servicable

    452 aircraft total


    Jan. 1945
    Luftflotte 1:
    Stab./JG 51 - Bf 109 - 16 servicable
    Stab., I., and II./JG 54 - Fw 190/Bf 109 - 74 servicable

    Luftflotte 4:
    II./JG 51 - Bf 109 - 26 servicable
    II./JG 52 - Bf 109 - 30 servicable
    I./JG 53 - Bf 109 - 18 servicable
    Stab./JG 76 - Bf 109 - 4 servicable

    Luftflotte 5:
    Stab., III. and IV./JG 5 - Bf 109/Fw 190 - 82 servicable
    IV./ZG 26 - Me 410 - 35 servicable
    NJG Norwegian - Bf 110/Ju 88/He 219 - 9 servicable

    Luftflotte 6:
    I., III. and IV./JG 51 - Bf 109 - 78 servicable
    Stab., I. and III./JG 52 - Bf 109/Fw 190 - 75 servicable
    I./NJG 5 - Bf 109/Ju 88 - 36 servicable
    I./NJG 100 - Bf 109/Ju 88 - 41 servicable

    524 servicable total

    I don't think thats adding much to the Reich defense.

    Would the Allied A-bomb priorities change?
     
  12. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    And that enforces my opinion. After 1943, it was just a matter of time due to attrition.
     
  13. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I am not sure if they could have held them off long eneogh to win the war. I want to agree with what Bill is saying, but I also agree with what Erich is saying as well.

    I think there would have to be a change in tactics and the German jets would still have to come online faster for any effect to be truely noticed.

    In the end it certainly would have lengthened the war though..
     
  14. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Even if the Germans managed to reconstitute some type of training program, they would still be on the receiving end of the vast RAF/USA aerial armada.
     
  15. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    I think the most plausible scenario for an end of hostilities in the east is either late 1941 (when Stalin negotiated via the ambassador of Rumania as to what the conditions of a cease fire were with Hitler) or again in late 1942, assuming both, Leningrad and Stalingrad could be secured.
    If War in the east ends on 1st of jan. 1942, bad news for the western allies.
    The Luftwaffe lost from 1.1. to 31.8. 1942 4.561 planes (3.740 further were damaged) out of which the majority were on the Eastern front (2.459 total losses with 2.201 additional damaged) compared to losses of 1.113 planes (1.008 additional damaged) for Reich and western front and 989 planes total (531 additional damaged) in the METO during the same period.

    Late in may 1943, the Luftwaffe could deploy additional 3.415 planes (all types) to the west, which would in effect more than double it´s strength.
    The difference is most pronounced on offensive transportation abilities.
    The fighter planes in question are not nigliable. Luftflotte Reich had 296 day and 456 nightfighters (servicable) by may, 31th, 1943. Eastern front Luftflotte 1, 4, 5 and 6 recorded on this day 547 day and 33 servicable nightfighters.

    I tend to believe it would make a difference, if 296 servicable Fw-190/Bf-109 (&fighter pilots) are aviable over the Reich or 843 (assuming all eastern forces are spend to Reichsverteidigung, which is unlikely).

    Also note that a lot of auxilary fighter forces would be aviable (hungarian, slovakian, rumanian, bulgarian...)
     
  16. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Thanks! I was hoping to get some input from the aircraft experts.

    Erich, I would think that the Axis defeating USSR in 1944 would be far too late for any real help. However without the disasters in the summer of 1943, could the LW not maintain a better grip, without the Eastern front grinding down the JG strength in 43?

    I think you are exactly right Thor, which is why the choice is not easy. :twisted:

    Let me expand on the question a bit.

    We were looking at the results on the other thread {KM IJN thread} if the Axis launched an all out total submarine offensive right after Pearl Harbor.
    The most probable result is that in 1942 the US would be mainly concerned with holding on building up defences in Hawaii, Australia, NZ, and the Caribbean. The extreme shipping losses would force the Commonwealth to concentrate on suppling the UK, and to hold on to Australia and perhaps India.

    They would have had to sacrifice the Mediterranean Middle East fronts, as they simply do not have enough ships for the "Round the Cape" route.

    The results:

    1.) Due to shipping losses the Japanese cutting off the "Pacific" route to Russia NO lend-lease arrives in Russia after Jan 1942

    2.) As the British abandon Egypt, this allow the Axis to transfer ~ 150,000 - 200,000 men and substantial LW elements to the Eastern front in the spring/summer of 1942 as they don't need to guard Greece Southern Europe.

    3.) The Axis do not send ~250,000 men to Tunisia in the fall of '42, nor do they lose ~250,000 men of the 6th Army at Stalingrad.

    4.) The Axis are in a substantially better position in the fall of '42, having captured Leningrad, surrounded Moscow and driven deep into the Caucusas.

    5.) With the capture of parts of the Caucusas Middle East the Axis fuel situation will be much improved in 1943
     
  17. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    So assuming that the Axis can defeat the main elements of Soviet air tank strength in March/April of 1943, leaving a large portion of the ground troops to mop up Soviet pockets, but withdrawing most of the Luftwaffe in spring 1943.

    Due to the severe shipping situation the arrivals of US airpower to Western Europe are delayed by several months. The Allies could still possibly launch "Torch" in the spring of 1943, however with the Germans in complete control of the eastern Med, the situation will be much different.

    Now to the aircraft part... :)

    From what I understand, the turning point was in the summer of 1943, when the Luftwaffe losses increased dramatically due to pressure on both the East West fronts. They were never really able to recover from these losses, and the desparate situation resulted in the shortening of LW training. The real difference wat the arrival of the US 8th AF, which had ~ 150 bomber crews in March/April, and up to 600 in November, also along with a huge increase in long rang fighters.

    I used the data from "Attrition the Luftwaffe"

    Attrition and the Luetwaffe


    Am I correct that the key factor in the air war is the Luftwaffe fighter strength? The turning point seems to be from June - August 1943, when monthly fighter losses jump from 20% to over 35%

    This is the period when the Red Air Force begins to be a serious match for the LW, and the US AF's are rapidly gaining numbers clout.
     

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  18. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    in the Ost Freebird the LW was actually gaining ground till 1945. in 44 some of the Ost front LW JG's were being pulled back into the Reich to help the meagre and slaughtered remnants only by numbers. Literally as Adler pointed out in 42 the LW had to have the jets in hand, worked out the fuel shortage problems and give the jets more air time than only the minutes and one rear attack to be made before they had to land and re-fuel up.

    Obviously our replies are added up to a monster what-if, we really just don't know what the Allies would of done and how quick but certainly the prop jobs would of come to some conclusion and something faster would have to be in place very soon to tackle the 262 in the early years had it been provided.

    In the late winter of 44-45 the Reich defense except for very few JG's moved to the Ost front and fought it out with the Soviets thus the Allies from the west pounded the LW and the Reich into annialation. Certainly this thread would have to be developed as to when the Soviets were defeated as the effects of US/RAF bombings were only being really felt in early 1943 when the LW was sending up conventional prop jobs to counter the heavy bomber threat
     
  19. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Erich during the summer of 1943 {May - July} was the Luftwaffe divided up fairly evenly among the 3 fronts? For example 35% East, 35% West 30% Med/Africa? Or did one theater dominate? Assuming that Germany was in a better position strategically in 1943 could they have shifted some LW production pilot training to fighters?
     
  20. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    you had JG's 1, 2, 11 and 26 in the internal Reich and that is it............slowly Ost front and some gruppen from the Med were being pulled back for experimentation with different rockets and bombs and cannon, even the twin engine Zerstörers from different theaters were being armed up and equipped with rockets and as the air war developed the southern portion of the Reich aka Austria/Hungary was then defended against the US 15th AF and RAF units associated with day and sometimes night bombing.

    As to %'s I could not give you an accurate count.
     
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