Hans-Joachim Marseille in another fighter?

spicmart

Senior Airman
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114
May 11, 2008
How, do you think, would Hans-Joachim have gotten along with another plane? Would he have been just as successful?
 

spicmart

Senior Airman
684
114
May 11, 2008
I just think that his legendary marksmanship was possible with a centreline armament. Oh, there comes the P-39 into play..
 
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taly01

Senior Airman
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221
Sep 5, 2016
Australia
It is worth saying/asking why Marseille was so successful..............AFAIK from books he had exceptional low speed control of the Me109 to change direction radically (which was not meant to be possible to mortals in 109's), and was an accomplished deflection shooter (which is again superhuman ability). Was there anything else?
 

Macandy

Senior Airman
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Aug 6, 2017
It is worth saying/asking why Marseille was so successful..............AFAIK from books he had exceptional low speed control of the Me109 to change direction radically (which was not meant to be possible to mortals in 109's), and was an accomplished deflection shooter (which is again superhuman ability). Was there anything else?

Yes, he was a talented pilot with a excellent deflection shooting skills, but it was the prey that allowed him to become 'stellar'.
Many of his victims were at best pedestrian pilots who often did strange things like forming Luffbury circles when confronted by him - break! attack! not circle like a flock of cycling frightened ducks to be shot down at will. The Luffbury Cicle belonged in the First World War - it had no place as a tactic in the 40's!
Against a pilot with any deflection shooting skill, a Luffbury Circle is a suicidal tactic.
 

BiffF15

Tech Sergeant
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Aug 15, 2010
Florida
He's have had a short and too exciting career against capable fighters flown better pilots. His performance over the Britain wasn't stellar.
Macandy,

Part of that was due to being inexperienced. You don’t start as an exceptional fighter pilot but will have a crawl, walk, run evolution.

Gents,

Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Marseille practice on his early Africa days doing close range high aspect gunshots? I thought I remembered reading that he started wide then worked closer and closer doing high aspect close range shots. If that’s the case he could have had a big edge over his opponents if they are not doing the same type of tactic.

Personally I think he could have been as effective in another fighter (Fw-190) as he was in the 109. I think his success was based on his evolution as a fighter pilot more than his type of plane.

Cheers,
Biff
 

Macandy

Senior Airman
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Aug 6, 2017
Macandy,

Part of that was due to being inexperienced. You don’t start as an exceptional fighter pilot but will have a crawl, walk, run evolution.


Yes Biff, this is true, but Marseille was fighting planes that were all inferior to his, the Bf109F was a very fine fighter, the Hurricane was absolutely past it it in 1941, with pilots of a generally very poor calibre over North Africa.
Many of his kills were P-40's, yet in the hands of better USAAF pilots, the P-40 proved to a formidable adversary, even to the Bf109F.
 

soulezoo

Senior Airman
548
389
Aug 20, 2014
Left coast
While there are good examples of excellent pilots changing aircraft and staying excellent or even better in WW II, I think the best analogs may be in WW I. With new developments and new aircraft being introduced almost every other month in WW I, notable aces rarely stayed in one type of aircraft. Richthofen was best known in the DR I but most kills came in an Albatross IIRC. Fonck did not suddenly become a worse marksman as he changed aircraft. I think a more effective aircraft can only enhance the pilot's skill (for the most part) making a more effective pilot. So I agree, had he flown a -190 instead of -109, his tally may be greater, maybe not. Too many variables involved outside of just pilot skill/aircraft. I don't put much stock into the whole "their planes were inferior" argument honestly. You can only fight with what you have and what is brought to bear against you. No one's going to argue that the Buffalo was the superior aircraft yet the Finns did ok.
Just my humble opinion....
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
For those of us groundpounders, could you elaborate on this a little? What made his flying style so unique and difficult?
In brief: his initial flying was "school" tactics he learned in flight school. As a result, his fighting abilities were lackluster.

He ventured outside the box a few times and while he got in trouble for it, his commander took notice.

In Africa, his commander encouraged him to work on his own tactics as his "outside thinking" was actually proving very effective.

His skills with deflection shooting and method of attack were beyond ordinary, to say the least.

He was able to get his Bf109 into turns that should have been well inside of a stall and his ability to land solid hits on a turning adversary that was beyond his view (and completely beyond his gunsight range) was hard to describe.
 

Thumpalumpacus

1st Lieutenant
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Feb 5, 2021
Tejas
In brief: his initial flying was "school" tactics he learned in flight school. As a result, his fighting abilities were lackluster.

He ventured outside the box a few times and while he got in trouble for it, his commander took notice.

In Africa, his commander encouraged him to work on his own tactics as his "outside thinking" was actually proving very effective.

His skills with deflection shooting and method of attack were beyond ordinary, to say the least.

He was able to get his Bf109 into turns that should have been well inside of a stall and his ability to land solid hits on a turning adversary that was beyond his view (and completely beyond his gunsight range) was hard to describe.

Thanks so much for that overview. Is there a particular book you'd recommend for further reading? I don't know much about the guy other than the headline stuff.
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
There's several to choose from and I don't have my books handy (still in storage, ffs) so I flexed my Google-fu to remember some of the titles.

This one "The Star of Africa: The Story of Hans Marseille, the Rogue Luftwaffe Ace" by Heaton and Lewis is packed with great info.

Another book I have, which outlines Marseilles' fighting style, is "Luftwaffe Fighter Aces" by Mike Spick.
 

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