Impressions of Axis pilots regarding Allied planes.

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Staff Sergeant
Feb 23, 2005
I'm curious what German, Japanese and Italian pilots thought of the allied aircraft they faced.

I'm especially interested in what they thought of the P-47.
German pilots would have been in such a way instructed(probably being from the Hitler Jungen) that any enemy they saw, they considered inferior... Only maybe after engaging one or 2 aircrafts their picture would change, realising that they weren't the masters of the sky...


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Every Luftwaffe day fighter pilot I have interviewed from the late summer of 44 till war's end was impressed with the Allied fighters especially with the P-51 but the Germans all thought they had the better weaponry and ammo.............

there will be others here on this board that will say otherwise and it is good to get an overall picture. just giving my opinion and the thoughts of those I have dealt with.
Hellmaker´s idea is kind of silly.

The new German pilots, say from 1944 and on, knew very well what to expect once they´d get airborne for combat: LARGE numbers of enemy planes.

Now, from my conversations with some German veterans no one has ever come close to anything that might even suggest they felt their planes were inferior, at all. That there might have been some who saw the enemy planes superior can be true, not in the cases i mention here though.

Quite the contrary, in spite of the heavy losses in some battles of that particular period, it appeared to me morale was in very good shape amongst German fighter pilots.

They did not fear no particular enemy plane, what was unanimous is the fact they were more troubled about the numbers of allied fighters they could find many times rather than any sort of technical superiority of the enemy.

Also they feared one thing like hell: that there might not be fuel to fly any sorties against the enemy. FUEL.

When I asked them about Mustangs, Thunderbolts, Lightnings and Spitfires and Tempests they told me all were excellent planes, but in no way superior to their own toys.

Noteworthy to mention is the fact 2 of them told me the easiest to deal with was the P-38, which they did consider inferior to either the Bf109 or the Fw190. I asked them if they ever called the P-38 the "fork tailed devil", from them I began learning the German airmen never did refer to it as such, and that the propaganda of the USA could be as prolific as that of the communists or of the Reich itself.
as I said another viewpoint given by our friend Udet. I will say though that all the pilots I have interviewed thought very well of their own flying skills and could keep up with the predators-Allied escort fighters. As one pilot said in the SturmFw unit IV.Sturm/JG 3, one for one I could keep up with any US P-51 pilot even in my heavy Fw. but when there was 7-8 P-51's dropping down on you at once what kind of chance did we have ?

Nothing was ever said of the P-47 in combat.
I just finished reading a post made by GT on another thread telling late German fighter pilots were sent to service after 20-30 hours of training only.


That is nearly the average time the bulk of the late Japanese fighter pilots got before being ordered to take off and to smash themselves against Task Force 58 vessels as kamikazes.

20 hours of traning flight is hardly enough to teach the new pilot to just land his plane and to learn the basics of air navigation.

It is plentiful of records, showing allied formations, inspite of "superior training" committed gruesome navigational mistakes during 1944, which lead to many massacres conducted by "undertrained" young German pilots. Sure Erich can enlight you further in some of such cases.

I have said this on other threads, and i will repeat it: training of the new Luftwaffe pilots from 1944 and on, if indeed shortened due to lack of fuel, was sufficient to send properly trained guys to begin their careers as air warriors.

Germany was not Japan, as apparently tacitly suggested by the allies.

That they took high losses is real, but was due to the extremely easy reason of overwhelming numbers of enemy planes many times, and not because they did not what to do once airborne or because their planes were inferior, much less "outclassed".

Allies love to put it like "only a fistful" of the late German new pilots "survived" and that is not true from what i have learned.

The Stabstaffel of JG301 featured an interesting number of very young experten.

From opinions and books i have collected a casualty rate (HIGH) of between 40-50% seems more accurate for the new pilots of the Luftwaffe in 1944-45.
All pilots and aircrew take pride in there aircraft and they all love there aircraft and will say that they have the best aircraft out there even if they know it is not true. Allied pilots will do the same.
That attitude wouldnt have won us the BoB...


"Nah, i dont have any confidence in my plane, id rather stay down here and live."

A pilot should give it his best whether he likes his plane or not.
but it can also be used to your advantage, if you think you're invincible you'll automaticlly take the initative in battle, meaning you have a better chance of survival.............

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