Greg of Auto and Airplanes has asked for a Debate (2 Viewers)

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#1 Far more success than others who thought it was suicidal? Rhetoric aside, what's your actual benchmark for success, when comparing heavy losses to strategic achievement?

The losses were demonstrably large and unsustainable - and that was the 8ths own assessment. The only way to limit them was to keep raids to within the then limited range of the available fighter cover and to keep flight times over occupied Europe short. When they eventually ventured further forth over the Reich proper in 1943 under 'Pointblank', the losses were so high (something like 20% of aircrew killed or wounded) that the 8th had to suspend operations. I'm struggling to think of very much which could be deemed a 'success' to offset that before escorted raids in '44, can you? :rolleyes:

As for 'suicidal'? I suppose it depends on your personal appetite for risk and sense of mortality. But an airman serving in the 8th in the 1943 period knew that statistically, the odds were against them surviving even a single tour of operation. Thats a pretty close comparison, I would have said.

Raids only recommenced when fighter escort became available. And no, this critique is NOT with the 'benefit of hindsight'. The USAAF only had to look at what happened to the Luftwaffe during the BoB. And it could have looked at (and listened to) the two and a half year's worth of direct war experience of the RAF - who advised them at the time of the capability of the Luftwaffe and had long since been on the receiving end of it. Instead, political, doctrinal and material limitations lead them to relearn those lessons again. Maybe that was worth-while in itself, but it cost a lot of arguably avoidable lost-lives for what looked and still looks like little return for that sacrifice.
Too simplistic. The combination of low loss rate betwee Aug 42 and May 1943, and faulty Intelligence assessments of LW losses attacking 8th AF presented a rational view that a.) losses were at an acceptable rate, b.) loss percentage tracked inversely to the strength of the attacking formations, c.) that 8th AF could win a war of attrition.

Intelligence failures included lack of visibilty to LW transfers from Ost and Sud fronts to Germany. For whatever reason Eaker believed that the primary defenses were aligned as an 'outer ring' which, upon penetration would dramatically reduce fighter opposition until the return. In any case, only the P-38 presented the opportunity to escort to and past the 'ring' - but had been removed from his comand in fall 1942. The replacement was the much shorter ranged P-47 with neither belly shackles or wing fuel feed for existing tanks being produced - only the 200gal ferry tank with proprietary 'one of' Republic belly mount.

Other factors that inflenced 'fight with what we have', were a.) belief that no s/e fighter could carry enough internal fuel fraction to be able also have sufficient perfomance to battle successfully with s/e interceptors, b.) the ENTIRE logistics chain was exclusvely dedicated to the doctrine of daylight attacks, ranging from targeting technologies, aircrew formation flying, dependencies upon favorable visibility for operations , c.) that construction of additional Lockheed mfg centers to increase P-38 deliveries were forecast to start deliveries in 1945.
#2 The Kassel raid on 1-2 April 44 where a raid went in without its escort due to a series of errors showed exactly how unescorted raids remained horribly vulnerable. Indeed the USAAF suffered its worst proportional losses of the entire bombing campaign on this raid. It merely underlined the lesson: strategic bombing by aircraft with a significantly lower speed and overall performance than defending fighters CANNOT 'slug it out' in a box formation and inflict enough losses to favourably attrite any enemy equipped with modern fighters in any number (and especially when operating under good radar direction). Adding yet more .50s eventually drops speed (meaning the aircraft is an easier target which is spending more time under threat), lowers bombload (meaning its less likely to achieve its bombing objective) and simply puts more flesh in the path of concentrated groups of 13, 15, 20 and 30mm shells. And in the grim economics of war, those are also human beings into whom a large amount of expensive and time consuming training has also been invested.
If you refer to 9-27-44 Kassel raid where the 2CBW mysteriously branched at the IP (and escorting 4th FG did not follow) toward Gottingen, it was the worst single unit/single disaster inflicted by LW - but not the only one. The July 7 Bernburg losses are another example, for the same reason save missed R/V by 4th FG.

Your point about vulnerability is true, but Blitz Week, Tidal Wave and Schweinfurt-Regensburg brought the lessons home a year earlier.
As envisaged and promoted by the designers and strategists, the self-defending daylight strategic bomber was a proven bogus philosophy. Underlined, proven unambiguously and in triplicate - a lesson evidenced that, aside from early B36 models, western bombers designed post-war concentrated on speed, altitude performance (be that high or low), counter-measures and offensive load.

Why unescorted raids over Germany were suspended
The daylight raids were not 'suspended' by LW as much as bad weather over the continent, but Bremen and Kiel remained as tagets (some successfully escorted by 55th FG P-38s, but no P-47s)
 
2. Are you not referring to the 27th September raid and not April? I cannot even find a mission in the ETO to Kassel on that date.
My mistake - yes, 27th September:

Twenty-five B24s are downed inside of Germany's borders; three crash land, two in France and one in Belgium; two make forced landings at an emergency field in England and another crashes after it makes it home but is waved off to try again.

All tolled, only four B-24s of the original thirty-five return safely to base at Tibenham.

117 airmen of the 8th's 445th are killed in action, 121 are taken prisoner, and only 98 are returned to duty.
 
To end 1943 the 8th AF reports 29,523 bomber sorties, removing spares and abandoned operations cuts that to 27,984 sorties, of which 23,077 were credit and 19,049 effective, with 892 B-17 and 109 B-24 missing in action, 137 B-17 and 22 B-24 written off.

The table uses the Richard Davis attacking bomber sorties and missing bombers to calculate the percentages, it includes 146 night leaflet and 80 YB-40 sorties. All up 19,099 attacking sorties, 997 bombers MIA. Using airborne or credit (entered contested airspace) sorties will lower the percentages, adding write offs will up them. Davis is being used as the figures provide a breakdown by country attacked.

The figures are cumulative percentage losses to the given country, that is all sorties to date and all MIA to date, this helps remove the fluctuations from individual raids that had few losses and others that had heavy losses. General Eaker talked about 4% losses, unsustainable losses were generally considered to be 5% and above.

MonthFranceGermanyAll Targets
Aug-42​
0.00​
n/a
0.00​
Sep-42​
1.41​
n/a
1.18​
Oct-42​
3.24​
n/a
2.92​
Nov-42​
3.25​
n/a
3.09​
Dec-42​
4.28​
n/a
4.11​
Jan-43​
5.05​
1.82​
4.72​
Feb-43​
5.30​
8.23​
5.55​
Mar-43​
4.54​
6.48​
4.74​
Apr-43​
4.58​
8.46​
5.26​
May-43​
4.88​
7.08​
5.32​
Jun-43​
4.75​
7.93​
5.87​
Jul-43​
4.57​
8.65​
6.09​
Aug-43​
3.95​
9.81​
6.18​
Sep-43​
3.77​
9.55​
5.72​
Oct-43​
3.84​
9.53​
6.26​
Nov-43​
3.89​
7.93​
5.81​
Dec-43​
3.73​
6.51​
5.22​

Losses to targets in France kept climbing until March 1943 then levelled out at above the Eaker figure and close to the unacceptable figure before finally declining from August 1943 onwards. Attacks on Germany were not quite a one way trend to end October 1943 but were heading that way and were never below 5% for any individual month. Warnings the 8th AF tactics were not working were early and persistent. While the 8th AF kept the figure of 300 bombers will drive the losses down to acceptable levels when attacking Germany the reality is it would have taken raids of 400 or more bombers taking no more losses than those actually flown with around half the sorties to achieve acceptable losses.

As of 10 October 1943 the 8th AF P-47 strength was 439, which included 105 C models, there were 220 D (no block number given), 12 D-1, 32 D-2, 57 D-5 and 13 D-6, it was the D-6 where the factory fitted external tank fitting changed to USAAF standard.
what's your actual benchmark for success, when comparing heavy losses to strategic achievement?
That depends on how big a set back to the enemy was caused by the bomb damage. One RAF raid on Berlin hit the Alkett works hard, loss of production in the 100's of STUG for example, Panzer IV production switched to STUG IV. The 1943 8th AF raid on Huls was one of the most effective ones for the war.
The only way to limit them was to keep raids to within the then limited range of the available fighter cover and to keep flight times over occupied Europe short. When they eventually ventured further forth over the Reich proper in 1943 under 'Pointblank', the losses were so high (something like 20% of aircrew killed or wounded) that the 8th had to suspend operations.
See above, what limited range figure are you using? Also operations were not suspended, operations outside of fighter cover were cancelled.
The USAAF only had to look at what happened to the Luftwaffe during the BoB. And it could have looked at (and listened to) the two and a half year's worth of direct war experience of the RAF
More immediate were the USAAF results from its operations against Japan and more particularly the operations in the Mediterranean with escorted and unescorted B-17 and B-24 raids. The effects on bomber losses of P-38 escorts in the Mediterranean was quite clear to Spaatz and Doolittle.
the self-defending daylight strategic bomber was a proven bogus philosophy ... a lesson evidenced that, aside from early B36 models, western bombers designed post-war concentrated on speed, altitude performance (be that high or low), counter-measures and offensive load.
Post war nuclear weapons meant 1 sortie per target, no need for large and therefore obvious formations. The speeds being used made defensive guns near useless though the B-47 and B-52 were fitted with tail turrets. In addition the fuel was heavier and consumption was higher, removing guns and gunners was an obvious weight saver. However you can claim the self defending bomber continued as the mission profiles were beyond fighter range, defences became electronic, not guns. Along with speed, height etc.
 
Though there are a few comments already.

Apparently Mr. Marshall is only interested in keeping the status quo and safeguarding his father's legacy!
His legacy in combat and sport is perfectly secure, they are a matter of clear historical record. Keeping a Youtuber's legacy alive is a matter of constantly stirring the Youtube pot. You tube videos can be wiped in a heartbeat and are almost impossible to quote as an type of historical record, especially Greg's because they contradict themselves.
 
He still has not addressed that he made up the 200 gallon pressurized drop tank he says existed in Jan of 1943. A hallucination he created by not carefully reading the Jan 1943 manual right after lecturing everyone in the same video about how people do not consult the primary source data.

To be entirely honest Greg is a perfect example of what happens when people go through the primary source data without the contextual knowledge to interpret it, or without the sufficiently critical eye.
 
60 bombers lost on 17 Aug 43, 69 lost on 6 Mar 44. About 16% losses for the former, 10% for the latter. First raid had 376, the latter over 700. Note that both 16% and 10% are unsustainable, but these are max efforts. Most are below this loss-rate.

Bottom line: attacking numbers rising greatly, defending shoot-downs lagging. More escorts, more bombers (meaning the defenses are strained), target-rich environment means flak and fighters can clip more numerically but statistically that's not a graph you want to look at.

Its not all gravy . There was a significant decrease in bombing accuracy with larger formations. The fact that losses rates per sortie decreased with larger formations was substantially mitigated by an increase in the number of sorties required to achieve the same results.

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Also while there is tendency to credit all the improvement to escort fighters the fact is that the USAAF was also increased bombing altitude to reduce losses to flak. This also had a major impact on accuracy.

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Also note that distance to target had a major negative impact on loss rate. The D-day invasion has a positive impact on loss rate by reducing the time spend over enemy territory as well as reducing the effectiveness of the German early waring system.

I have posted the attached papers before but I'm not sure anyone read them.
 

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That depends on how big a set back to the enemy was caused by the bomb damage. One RAF raid on Berlin hit the Alkett works hard, loss of production in the 100's of STUG for example, Panzer IV production switched to STUG IV. The 1943 8th AF raid on Huls was one of the most effective ones for the war.
I would add the RAF raid on the ZF works in April 1944 which resulted in a loss of production of tank gearboxes.
 
Its not all gravy . There was a significant decrease in bombing accuracy with larger formations. The fact that losses rates per sortie decreased with larger formations was substantially mitigated by an increase in the number of sorties required to achieve the same results.

View attachment 781695
View attachment 781696

Also while there is tendency to credit all the improvement to escort fighters the fact is that the USAAF was also increased bombing altitude to reduce losses to flak. This also had a major impact on accuracy.

View attachment 781698
View attachment 781700

Also note that distance to target had a major negative intact on loss rate. The D-day invasion has a positive impact on loss rate by reducing the time spend over enemy territory as well as reducing the effectiveness of the German early waring system.

I have posted the attached papers before but I'm not sure anyone read them.

Right, I am not arguing anything was gravy in the heavy bombing of Germany. It killed my grandfather.
 
If long range escorts were not a thing, what of the Fisher XP-75?

In February of 1942, the USAAF issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) which called for aircraft companies to submit designs for a fighter/interceptor having an exceptional performance. Maximum speed was to be 440 mph at 2000 feet, operational ceiling was to be 38,000 feet, and range was to be 2500 miles. A special requirement was added for the initial climb rate, which was to be no less than 5600 feet per minute.

On October 10, 1942, a contract for two prototypes was awarded to Fisher under the designation XP-75.

By the summer of 1943, the USAAF had a more urgent need for long-range escort fighters than it did for fast-climbing interceptors. On July 6, 1943, the USAAF ordered six more prototypes that would be adapted to fulfill the long-range escort role. They were assigned the designation XP-75A, and the serial numbers were 44-32161/32166.


If the aircraft was to have a range of 2,500 miles, why would it need to be adpated to the escort fighter role?

Obviously it was too late for the time frame being discussed by Greg.
 
If long range escorts were not a thing, what of the Fisher XP-75?








If the aircraft was to have a range of 2,500 miles, why would it need to be adpated to the escort fighter role?

Obviously it was too late for the time frame being discussed by Greg.
XP-75 was Oliver Echols answer to the Arnold 1940 issued priority of #1 to a1500mi escort fighter. Arguably it was the worst example of program management for any aircraft developed by US during WWII. Don Berlin and the power wielded by GM/Fisher deserve large share of the blame.

The initial basis was high performance and low cost through adaptation of existing major assemblies from P-40, P-51, Vultee and Douglas to build a ballet dancing Frankenstein. When issues began arising such as forcing ejection of Mustang wing in favor of redign, it should have been clear to the lowest IQ in the room, that while philosophically the idea was cool - practically speaking it would never work. Also New engine commitment based on a neat idea of coupling two unproven engines? What could go wrong? Proceeding after Col Bradley tested the airframe and concluded that it was dangerous to fly, informing Echols while recomending P-51B with fuse tank was te right answer, only to see Echols continue pouring $$ for another six months - was nearly criminal.

IMO this disaster was coupled with Echols demonstrated animosity toward NAA for the Mustang as well as torturously slow devlopment of combat tanks was the last straw to Echols potential senior leadership in AAF post war.

I've had enough email and Zoom discussions to understand that Greg will not consider opposing facts if they contradict his beliefs. He is not stupid but incredibly stubborn. Maybe I am also, but occasionally I have capitulated to superior research and presentations of contradictory facts. Particularly here.

My latest exchange highlighted my belief that he could not demonstrate ANY alleged range performanceof SWP P-47 in 1943 without acquiring and presenting Mssion Reports citing TO/Landing times, assignment (Sweep or escort), Rendezvous and Break escort times, location of base. He responded that he didn't 'think' that such existed even after I sent him an example of a 49th FG P-38 escort mission to Rabaul area in Nov 1943 with that detail contained in standard AAF format. I followed up with multiple 355th FG P-47 Sweep and Escort Mission Reports with all the same info as 49th. Crickets. I suggested Macrs contained a lot of the time and location data as well as witness statements. Crickets.

I asked him when 348FG stopped using the Ford/Brisbane 200gal tank and switched over to 155 (or 0ther B-7 compatible rack system) when P-47s arrived from states so equipped). Crickets.
 
I think drgondog drgondog should, if i feels like it, make a video for here. This is a stable platform runned by horseUSA horseUSA for eons. It will be here for times.

In my little mind it should be about what happened. Not countering a troll that will fuck you up in editing.
Plain simple university stuff. This happened, that is what found, this is my view.
Lots of stuff one can look at sources etc. If not i will upload.
Just a bit more then i saw it on face book.

Now there you will defend untill you see green. Troll army will wear you down. Seen it before.
So perhaps answers question here. For that debate and put a link of your answer there.
I can almost bank a lot of money on it the discussion will die quite soon.
Its the viewings not the truth that matters.


Trolls.
 
XP-75 was Oliver Echols answer to the Arnold 1940 issued priority of #1 to a1500mi escort fighter. Arguably it was the worst example of program management for any aircraft developed by US during WWII. Don Berlin and the power wielded by GM/Fisher deserve large share of the blame.

The initial basis was high performance and low cost through adaptation of existing major assemblies from P-40, P-51, Vultee and Douglas to build a ballet dancing Frankenstein. When issues began arising such as forcing ejection of Mustang wing in favor of redign, it should have been clear to the lowest IQ in the room, that while philosophically the idea was cool - practically speaking it would never work. Also New engine commitment based on a neat idea of coupling two unproven engines? What could go wrong? Proceeding after Col Bradley tested the airframe and concluded that it was dangerous to fly, informing Echols while recomending P-51B with fuse tank was te right answer, only to see Echols continue pouring $$ for another six months - was nearly criminal.

IMO this disaster was coupled with Echols demonstrated animosity toward NAA for the Mustang as well as torturously slow devlopment of combat tanks was the last straw to Echols potential senior leadership in AAF post war.

I've had enough email and Zoom discussions to understand that Greg will not consider opposing facts if they contradict his beliefs. He is not stupid but incredibly stubborn. Maybe I am also, but occasionally I have capitulated to superior research and presentations of contradictory facts. Particularly here.

My latest exchange highlighted my belief that he could not demonstrate ANY alleged range performanceof SWP P-47 in 1943 without acquiring and presenting Mssion Reports citing TO/Landing times, assignment (Sweep or escort), Rendezvous and Break escort times, location of base. He responded that he didn't 'think' that such existed even after I sent him an example of a 49th FG P-38 escort mission to Rabaul area in Nov 1943 with that detail contained in standard AAF format. I followed up with multiple 355th FG P-47 Sweep and Escort Mission Reports with all the same info as 49th. Crickets. I suggested Macrs contained a lot of the time and location data as well as witness statements. Crickets.

I asked him when 348FG stopped using the Ford/Brisbane 200gal tank and switched over to 155 (or 0ther B-7 compatible rack system) when P-47s arrived from states so equipped). Crickets.
I often found it more than just a little amazing that people can be so stubborn (I'll refrain from the use of the word 'stupid') that when presented with absolute proof contrary to their beliefs, they still cling to their own misguided misconceptions. Being stubborn is one thing but to fly in the face of facts is taking that adjective a bit too far.

Sad really, the few videos by him I've watched he does good work, bad information but good video work.

I'm not surprised his response to your efforts was no response.
 
I often found it more than just a little amazing that people can be so stubborn (I'll refrain from the use of the word 'stupid') that when presented with absolute proof contrary to their beliefs, they still cling to their own misguided misconceptions. Being stubborn is one thing but to fly in the face of facts is taking that adjective a bit too far.

Sad really, the few videos by him I've watched he does good work, bad information but good video work.

I'm not surprised his response to your efforts was no response.
well, only no response on a few specifics - which he promises will be answered with proof in future Pacific P-47 series.
 
Greg talks about the Schweinfurt missions and unecessay bomber losses because they weren't escorted all the way to the target.

Has anybody seen or got a copy of the fighter mision reports from those missions?

In the first Schweinfurt mission, one of the two task forces went to Regensburg and then on to Africa.

No P-47 is going to be able to escort them that far.
 

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