History Channel "Dogfights"

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by davparlr, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    I saw a new Dogfights on the History Channel last night. I hope this means that it will be back.

    One of the pilots highlighted was Donald Bryan and his escapades in shooting down five Bf-109s in one mission on Nov.22, 1944. A couple of things were interesting, one was that the pilots of the 352 FG considered the Bf-109 as "easy meat", the other was that, while he said he had the fastest P-51 in the group (the crew chief had hopped it up), a Bf-109 got on his tail and he could not shake it. The Bf-109 outperformed his P-51 in everything he did. He escaped by doing a fancy snap roll. He said that he did not go looking for that guy again. I was wondering if that could have been a "K" Bf-109. Would anybody know if Bf-109Ks were involved in the fight that day? It involved a B-17 raid on an Oil Refinery in Maresburg (?) Germany.
     
  2. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Dave it was probably a G-10 which was faster than the K variant.

    did he cover his attempts and final shoot down of a an Ar 234 near the Remagen bridge in 45 ? I interviewed Don at length about this, what a neat guy and a character I must say.
     
  3. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Most every Mustang pilot considered the 51 to be superior to the 109 as a blanket statement. Only when they ran into a pilot of considerable skill was doubt introduced and only in models from G-6/AS and beyond.

    For those that found that pilot and a/c it was clear that a 109 would turn with the 51 ('turn with' being relative in a lufberry to pilot's ability to carve the turn on just above ragged edge on the stall) and a 51 would not be able to match a steep climbing turn from same speed.

    With these two a/c and equivalent combat position it was pretty much up to pilot skill and who didn't make a mistake first.
     
  4. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I watched that show. It had three different stories about the Mustang from both the ETO and PTO. They (history channel commentators) just went on and on about how the Mustang ruled the sky and was so superior. I wanted to throw a brick through the TV. I hear what your saying, drgondog, and agree. I believe we have discussed this many time that one of the main reasons the Mustang was superior is, one, they outnumbered the 109's and would pounce on them when they got airborne, and two, 1944-45 most of the Luftwaffe aces were dead and they were going up against green pilots.

    Just Donald Bryan said, he ran across a plane that he couldn't shake and only because of an extreme snap roll was he able to get away from the guy. So he ran up against either a veteran pilot or a G-6 or newer 109.
     
  5. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    it was no G-6 ............
     
  6. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    So, he DID shake it did he not? and the excellent pilot in a very good airplane failed to shoot him down despite starting from a higher altitude and closing on his six o'clock w/o warning?

    So what do we make of that?

    Regards,

    Bill
     
  7. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    ah but did the 109G pilot have a fellow blue noser coming down on his little you know what to cause him to bank off ? we may never know
     
  8. uberdave

    uberdave New Member

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    I saw the same episode as drgondog. In one of the dogfights, 8 P-51s attacked approx 50 Me-109s. I've read other accounts of P-51s attacking large gaggles of German fighters and accounting well. It's not simply a matter of US fighters outnumbering the Germans.
     
  9. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    but it's a matter of few experienced Staffelkapitäns and staffelführers leading a very inexperienced band of kids......sorry but it sounds lame but it is very true. drop tanks still fitted according to fool fat mans orders, do not break formation even when being assaulted from above and the rear by Allied escorts as the main objective is to attack the bombers at all costs.......insane !
     
  10. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    Does this mean we will get to see the Blue Nosed Bastards this Christmas fight it out with the Luftwaffe?

    Whoopie!
     
  11. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    ah probably not wait till 08 or if the H.C. will still exist .......
     
  12. machine shop tom

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    Seems like the 109F was considered superior to the G in maneuverability and comparable (in later F marks) in firepower.

    tom
     
  13. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    The show indicated this somewhat and it confused me until I read your post. On one of the encounters, a large number of German fighter, Bf-109 I think, was attacked by a hand full of P-51. The Germans maintained formation and the P-51 chewed away at them like wolves attacking moose. Another similar event, the one Don Bryan participate in, protrayed the Germans breaking up into melee. In both cases, the Germans took a battering. Was the Luftwaffe so depleted of experienced pilots in the fall of 44? I have heard on other shows of former Luftwaffe pilots complaining that they wanted to attack the escort planes and "teach them a lesson" but were not allowed to do so. No matter what, for 8 pilots to take on 50, that certainly takes courage and confidence in their ability and their aircrafts ability.

    The maneuver Bryan used was showed him by another pilot that had evaded his fighter in play. The plane just seem to disappear. He pulled the stick full back, and kicked full rudder followed by pushing the stick full forward. A very abrubt maneuver that probably worked on the Bf-109.
     
  14. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    I don't know about "Dogfights" in general, I've only watched some parts of some episodes, and heard about others on forums. Aside from the graphics etc. seems like the basic approach is an oral history approach, IOW what first hand participants perceived to have happened, rather than trying to rigorously determine what actually happened, in a given episode. Oral history has value, but has definite limits.

    On the issue of numbers in air combat, I think it tends to get oversimplified. There's a learned published author on another forum neither of which I'll name basically insists the tendency to positive exchange ratio's by USAAF fighters against LW ones ETO ca. 1944 is meaningless as measures of quality because the overall numbers were so much in favor of the Allied by then. This is very shallow and oversimplified IMO. Order of battle superiority in numbers is very important to the overall outcome of a campaign, but theater-wide order of battle numerical superiority can be a pretty poor predictor of the outcome of a given air combat engagement. In ETO much of that numerical superiority was the Allied TAF's (9th and Brit) which encountered German fighters on a small % of their missions. And has been mentioned here, even over Germany once 8th/15th numbers were superior, it doesn't mean that larger formation of US fighters always met smaller ones of German fighters. Rather, often some US units would not meet German fighters, and accomplish their escort missions easily, while others would have their hands full. If anything as was already mentioned, there seemed some tendency for smaller USAAF formations to run across bigger German ones.

    Of course the German veterans liked to see the later defeats of the Luftwaffe solely in terms of numbers, or 'green' pilots under them, not USAAF fighter units that may have been the most effective fighter units the LW ever had to face. Of course the USAAF fans would like the latter explanation. There's a lot of subjectivity possible. But the problem IMO is when people basically make up generalized facts to back their predispositions, quotes like 'there were 8 Mustangs to each of us by then what could we do' and make that quote into a generalized fact, rather than study engagements and see if that was actually a common type of engagement. Again the limits of oral history.

    Joe
     
  15. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The situations in which Mustangs had a numerical superiority would occur most likely during a Sweep when one group ranged out in front ant caught a smaller unit organizing.. other than that it was usually one group against whatever the german controllers put into that specific area - and most likey overwhelming numbers of s/e and te/e fighters.
     
  16. AL Schlageter

    AL Schlageter Banned

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    Why do I have this feeling that this author is Scandinavian?
     
  17. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    hmmm.....I don't know. Why?
     
  18. 1.JaVA_Sjonnie

    1.JaVA_Sjonnie New Member

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    The way they show these dogfights is very nice and most of the a/c look realistic, yet I think nothing beats IL-2.

    352 FG were re-deployed to the Ardennes in december of 1944 and if you happen to have IL-2 version 4.05m or up this will show you what happened during the battle of the Bulge:

    Mission4Today › Downloads › The legend of Y-29

    cheers8)
     
  19. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    3rd download of the G-14/AS is bogus............the fuselage band is yellow and there was NO + on any of JG 11's II.gruppe 109's
     
  20. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    G-10 faster than K-4 ?? The K-4 had a top speed of 719 km/h, the G-10 685 - 690 km/h. Not saying it wasn't a G-10 he met though..

    The fact that the 109 managed to stay on him was probably because of all his evasive maneuvers, none of which the 109 would have had any problem following.
     
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