Fw-190 vs Spit/P-51/P-47

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by DerAdlerIstGelandet, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    There was an interesting documentary on the N24 a German documentary and news TV channel about the Fw-190. They talked about the development and the Butcher Bird in action. They interviewed several members of the Wilde Sau unit and several other Luftwaffe units. The show is coming back on TV tonight and I will have to watch it again for names of the pilots. They also interviewed several USAAF pilots who flew against the Fw-190.

    All of the Luftwaffe pilots had these things to say about the allied aircraft.

    They said the Spitfire was a superb aircraft and in straight up one on one fighting they were more scared of the Spitfire than the P-51D. The one they really did not like flying against was the P-47. They said it was a very hard aircraft to take down and a worthy opponent.

    One USAAF pilot (name not remembered until I watch the documentary again tonight) who flew all 3 of the mentioned allied aircraft said he really enjoyed flying the Spitfire. He said it was easy and a joy to fly. The P-51D on the other hand he said he did not enjoy very much. He said the only advantage it had over the Fw-190 and even the Bf-109 was its long range, saying it was especially hard to get the upper hand of the Fw-190D-9 with a P-51D.

    The one that he preferred to fight the Fw-190 in was the P-47 due to its heavy armament and good armour and robust engine.

    He even went as far as saying that the Fw-190D was probably the best fighter overall produced in WW2.

    It was an interesting documentary. I will watch it again tonight so that I can get names for the pilots that were interviewed.

    What do you guys think of this?
     
  2. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    It pretty much mimicks what Ive heard before on the subject....
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    It was a really interesting documentary actually, with lots of original footage of Fw-190s including them shooting down bombers, P-51D, Spitfires and P-47s as well as them getting shot down as well by the same aircraft.

    After that show was over can an interesting show as well about the B-29 modded to carry the Grand Slams and the Tall Boys. I watched a couple of minutes but it was too late and I had to get up to go to work early so I turned it off and went to bed.
     
  4. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

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    Chris,

    I have heard many of the same things.

    P-51D only big claim to fame was its range, other than that it was average.

    P-47 German pilots feared it a great deal. There was many of them and you can't see them all 100% of the time. You get bounced by a P-47 and you are highly likely to die in a hail of 0.5 cal fire.

    Spitfire - Very respected by the Germans though out the war. Very dangerous plane to fight. Nice to fly.

    I have seen on several occasions where the German pilots rated their various opponents on ability and who they respected the most for their flying ability. This is how always went:

    1) British - Best enemy pilots, very skilled and aggressive.

    2) USAF - Very good also, but not as seasoned or aggressive.

    3) Russian- Poor pilots (for the most part, but Guard units were very good), lacked skill, aggression or independent thought.

    I write this and I hope no one takes offense to it, it was not meant as a insult to USAF or Russian pilots. Its just what I have seen German pilots write several times.

    While I also have always heard how good the FW-190 was and heard how it was the best German made prop fighter of the war etc. I have never heard anyone go as far as say it was the best prop fighter of WW2. But then again most programs I see on TV are USA made and are baised towards the P-51 to say the least (no offense meant).

    To bad I don't get that TV channel in Canada, I would truely love to watch it. I would love to see that footage.
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    The channel is not just about WW2 but yesterday and today seem to be WW2 themed stuff.
     
  6. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

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    Sweet, now you are just making me jealous.
     
  7. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    The P-51 was not an average fighter, even without the range. It was an extremely useful and capable machine when operating at low-level in the armed-recon missions. Dawn raids on enemy airfields deep in enemy terrority where no other fighter could sweep were conducted by the P-51. It was fast, it was well armed and it was easy to fly.
     
  8. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    odd I have not heard several of the above statements from Luftwaffe vets, the predominance of Allied escorts is what was feared not any certain individual a/c type. It's all about the theater and the year in the war anyway guys ............ because the P-51 was in such huge numbers in 1945 compared to the groundattack Jug the P-51 is always mentioned. the 8th AF 56th fg was about the only Jug unit performing in an escort role during the latter half of 44 and through 45, the 9th AF specialty was bouncing ground vehicles, crossroads, etc......Also too the statement about the Dora is a bit odd as there were not that many in action especially flown by experienced pilots except for JG 26 on the western front and JG 2, so I am wondering just whom the US pilot was in making the mention that the Dora was the best over all performer. many times the US Stang pilots stated they had shot down a long noser which in reality they had not, BMW equipped A-8 or A-9. Obviously to shoot one of the "new" German craft was something special in their eyes. maybe think about this before you answer ............ as to the Spit yes early war and in the northern part of the ETO only in 45, aka JG 2 and JG 26, the rest of the units defending the Reich were central and southern-Bayern which took on hordes of Mustangs
     
  9. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    I'm quite interested in the German reaction to the Typhoon and Tempest. Obviously JG 2 and JG 26 would be the main opponents, as they were to the 2nd TAF throughout it's life.
     
  10. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

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    You are right Marc,

    Let me explain what I meant alittle more clearly.

    Advantages of the P-51:

    -Range big time
    -Good rec plane
    -Damn raids deep in enemy territory was b/c it had such range and very good speed.
    -It was available in large numbers
    - Decent armament on it.

    Some not so great traits:
    - Ok maneuverability only
    - Not as tuff as the P-47, admittedly not many planes were.
    - I have heard many times from unbiased reports that it could be tricky to handle at times, but over all pretty good.

    But over all put all those + facts and very small - facts into one plane and you are right you have a pretty good plane. But if you could ever get that sort of range out of a Spit I would take a Spit over a P-51 anytime. What made the P-51 dangerous was its speed, range and numbers. But it is over rated to a degree. IMHO
     
  11. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Yes Erich you are correct what I basically got from the show was this.

    The German pilots feared the P-47 and the Spit the most when it came to one one one fighting, but not the P-51D they all felt they could handle it with no problem but they all agreed that it did not matter since the allied aircraft and the P-51D were so numerous anyhow.

    I do have some disappointing news though. I did not watch the documentary again as it turns out Germany was playing Sweden today (which I might add a was wonderful match from the German side with Germany winning 3-0!) and I happened to watch this great game instead. I am sorry.

    The documentary is coming on again tonight but unfortunatly at 3 in the morning and I have to fly tomorrow so I will not be staying up. I have however sent an email to the station asking if the documentary is available on DVD. Hopefully it is and I will buy it then.
     
  12. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Small observation re the range of the Spitfire. As delivered to the squadrons it had an average range on that we will probably agree. You may be intrested to note that in September 1944 two MkIXc Spitfires (MK210 was one of them) were fitted with two P51 type drop tanks plus internal tanks (retaining their 20mm) at Wright Field Ohio. They then flew the Atlantic, non stop from St Johns Newfoundland to Northern Ireland.

    Its been said before that the Spitfire wasn't developed into a long Range Fighter, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't have been. This would tend to support that view.

    Its only fair to note that the P51 tanks were not made operational due to some seperation difficulties. These could have been addressed but the urgency of the requirement was over due to the number of escorts then available.
     
  13. redcoat

    redcoat Active Member

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    The first Allied fighter type to fly over Berlin, was the Supermarine Spitfire in its Photo-Recon role (March 14. 1941)
    8)
     
  14. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Have to agree with Erich on several points... First off, many more "Long Nose Fw's" were shot down than were ever operational... By the time the Dora was in Staffel usage, the number of combat veterans was very low proportionately to the number of kids out of flight school with no experience whatsoever, with 14 hours of actual stick time...

    They were slaughtered on a daily basis, Fw 190D-9 or not.... The real kicker is that so many records were lost, and the names of veterans forgotten, that it makes the actual losses that much more sobering...

    Most of these "Noobs" were in no way shape or form experienced enough to combat a 2 kill [email protected] 2nd Lt. in his shiny new Mustang with 127 hours of stick time, LET ALONE 4 OF EM at one time, and they gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country..

    As far as the aircraft gimmick goes, Ive heard every possible thing from vets; The 190D-9 was unreal, the 190-D what??? The Spit at altitudes to 22k, the Jug above that, the Tempest below 12k, this plane was feared, this one wasn't, the Tank ruled everything...........

    Everyone has a different story to tell, and everyone has their own opinion... The plane Galland feared the most wasnt even a plane, but the pilot flying it..

    But the one constant u hear from 90% of the surviving Luftwaffe Aces is this:

    The sheer numbers made it almost impossible to survive the War...

    As far as the JG 26 boys and their Doras, they dealt with the British Spits and Tempests just about every day when the weather permitted once they moved in '44... But at the end, it was more about intercepting fighter bombers and ground attack, bouncing from airfield to airfield...

    Alot of D-9's disappeared on those GA missions, some to German flak Captains....

    As far as MY expert opinion on the P-51D, I think that it is overrated in the "Public Eye", but very well respected by the men who flew in it and against it... It was more dangerous in hoards of 30-40 than in single combat...

    Some people actually have the balls to say it was the best performing fighter in all of WW2.... Get a clue...
     
  15. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

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    Good post Dan, 100% with everything you said.
     
  16. jakal

    jakal New Member

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    Hunter368

    I read Female Russian Pilots during WW@ kicked *** with the little training they received!
     
  17. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Female Russian pilots were killed by the hundreds.... There were a handful that scored kills...
     
  18. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    "Advantages of the P-51:

    -Range big time
    -Good rec plane
    -Damn raids deep in enemy territory was b/c it had such range and very good speed.
    -It was available in large numbers
    - Decent armament on it.

    Some not so great traits:
    - Ok maneuverability only
    - Not as tuff as the P-47, admittedly not many planes were.
    - I have heard many times from unbiased reports that it could be tricky to handle at times, but over all pretty good.

    But over all put all those + facts and very small - facts into one plane and you are right you have a pretty good plane. But if you could ever get that sort of range out of a Spit I would take a Spit over a P-51 anytime. What made the P-51 dangerous was its speed, range and numbers. But it is over rated to a degree."


    The P-51 at high speeds was no slouch in the turn fight. But that aside, the P-51 achieved a great overall speed (cruise and top speeds both being high), exceptional fighter vs. fighter armament and easily flown. This is what we both agree on.

    Rating the P-51 survivability as a negative point is a little unfair, as you point out it wasn't as tough as the P-47 but nothing much was. Compared to the other inline fighters of the era, the P-51 had no disadvantages worth mentioning.

    If the P-51 didn't have it's legendary range, it would have provided an above average plane for actions down low. The RAF used the Mustang Mk.I and IA extensively over Northern France before deep penertrations were being made by the Allison cousins; Mustang Mk.IIIs started them. Pairs or trios of cannon armed Mk.IAs could provide a nasty surprise for the Luftwaffe when they were training or lining up to intercept a bomber formation early in the morning. The speed of the Mustang let it in and out of Axis Europe quickly, the Luftwaffe had a difficult time intercepting this small incursions. The 2nd TAF Mustangs achieved quite the success flying missions that could have been covered by the Spitfires range.

    The real niché of the P-51 was it's range, we all know that. The 2nd TAF used the Mustang III with great success on early morning raids against enemy airfields in Germany. These were another shock to the Luftwaffe, they never expected to see six Mustangs dive-bombing German bases in Germany before the Allies were on the continent! Nothin' like puttin' on your Lieder-Hosen in the mornin' and hearing six Merlins roaring overhead! :shock:

    A lot of people mistake the Mustang for being "relegated" to the armed-recon role by the RAF. But the Mustang was ordered for this role, to free up the Spitfire for the air superiority role. This provided a great partnership between the Spitfire and Mustang that is rarely mentioned. A great, and efficient sight to see, Mustang IIIs escorting "Bombphoons" while Spitfire IXs fly high over them. And these Mustangs weren't in a 10:1 situation against the Luftwaffe, like their USAAF brethren were.

    We don't need to mention the role of the P-51 in the escort duties for the USAAF bomber streams, it's known by everyone.

    The role of the Mustang as a war winning weapon is not over-rated. People will say the P-38 could have filled that role, but it didn't. The Mustang carried the bombers on it's shoulders to Berlin and beyond, then home again. The technical ability of the Mustang in a dogfight is the over-rated part, but be careful and don't instantly assume the Mustang was useless in one on one combat - pilots have many a wonderful story to tell!

    That said, if they managed to get Spitfire Mk.IXs with the range of the Mustang while keeping every other ability. I would take the Spitfire Mk.IX everytime - but again, they didn't get anything like that into service.
     
  19. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

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    Correct
     
  20. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

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    PlanD,

    I have been waiting for you to respond to my post so we could debate. But......I can't debate anything you have said b/c it is 100% correct. I agree with you on every single point 100%. Well done it was like you were reading my mind.


    I liked how you slipped that point about the 2ND TAF in there, lets see if syscom says anything about it.:lol:
     
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