In praise of allied aircraft/airforces

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Mar 24, 2006
I must admit I didn't realise this was another of those "Luftwaffe worship" sites, so I thought I'd put in a few well needed words to redress the balance a bit, and bring a touch of reality to proceedings. I used to be nuts on the Luftwaffe too, then as I got older and started researching and writing on WW2 aviation, I found things were actually a bit differant to what I then believed:

The Luftwaffe was devastating in its effectiveness in the early blitzkrieg campaigns in the West. Ditto with its early role (pre-1943) against Russia. No arguments there. However these were essentially its high-water marks. We have to remember these were against pretty weak opposition, in the case of Russia - numerous, but very poorly trained and equipped. The element of surprise was Germany's in the cases of Poland, low countries and Russia.

The BoB was a failure for the Lutwaffe. The main excuse being "Bf109's couldn't operate effectively over S. England because of fuel limitations", really? Cripes the channel is only 10 MILES wide - 2 minutes flying time!!! German bombers proved weak in the face of proper fighter resistance, and even the much vaunted Bf110c heavy escort fighter needed escorting itself.
To be fair the writing was on the wall early in 1940 - even the Bf109e's had not dominated the Hurricanes in France as they should have done, let alone the Spits. The Ju-87 had to be withdrawn from the battle. So at the first major hurdle, and against proper and alerted resistance, the Luftwaffe had failed. Fact.

1941 - The RAF was now fighting in N W Europe, Africa, Malta, Greece/Crete and Burma. It was fighting the German, Italian and Japanese airforces. So it certainly had its back to the wall. Fortunately there were Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, S. African, Polish, Free-French, Dutch, Belgium, Czech and US pilots, as well as British aircrew available (what an amazing alliance - unique in history). The RAF was spread very thinly, yet it succeeded in stopping the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeranautica from taking Malta and Egypt-Libya. The Axis tried like blazes to take Malta for 2 and a half years, but they couldn't, once again failing in the air.

By 1943 the Luftwaffe had been beaten, it just didn't know it. The new Russian fighters like the late model Yaks and Lavochkins were superior to the Bf109's and Fw190a's, the La-7 and Yak-9 even coping with the Fw-190d with some ease.
The Bf109 series had peaked with the Bf109f, yet this fighter had no wing guns - so to achieve speed it lost guns! The Spitfire had been succesfully upgraded everytime, after an initial period in which it was second to the Fw190a/Bf109f when they first appeared, and unlike the Bf109G series - which had to have extra guns hung under the wings to be really potent, the Spitfire just got better - even being successfully up-engined, always retaining its powerful armament.

Typhoons appeared and eventually found their role in stopping the Fw190 tip-and-run raiders across the channel. Later becoming the sort of fighter-bomber that the Germans dreamed of; 4x20mm cannon and 8x60lb rockets.
The Tempest was even better, similar but faster. In the Mosquito the RAF had the best multi-role combat plane of WW2. As a bomber it didn't need guns because it was so fast, yet it bombed with an accurate bombsight.
B-17's proved unable to achieve their role in daylight bombing without escort, but long range US fighters solved the problem and dominated the Luftwaffe.
Fighters like the P-47 and later P-51 ruled supreme in German skies, in the latter case right in the middle of the Reich! German fighters were swatted down like flies by the aggressive American pilots. The boot was firmly on the other foot, and the Luftwaffe day defence fighters were an abject failure.

At night the Luftwaffe fighters had more success, but they never came close to stopping the RAF night offensive. The Germans had "sown the wind and were reaping the whirlwind", as were the Japanese with the USAAF.
Scores of RAF bombers were destroyed, but the offensive never slackened. On the other hand, RAF nightfighters like the Mosquito and Beaufighter, destroyed so many Ju-88/Ju-188's over England that these raids had to be abandoned in favour of solitary nuisance raiders, because they were so costly. In the end, Mossies were enjoying good hunting amongst the bomber stream over Germany, because there was little left over England!

German jets caused a few stirs, as did V1's and V2's. But these were essentially the death throes of a beaten airforce. Allied fighters roamed at will and soon turned airfields into scrap yards. RAF bombers turned to day bombing because the sky was safe.

German soldiers in Normandy used to say "if the plane is camouflaged then its British, if its silver its American, if its invisible its ours!". This was as early as winter 1943-44.

German pilots scored many victories (almost certainly inflated - RAF Fighter Command was destroyed 3 times in the BoB!), because they served continously and in target-rich environments, especially in Russia.

The Luftwaffe was an abject failure in its allotted task. If you worship the Luftwaffe you are essentially worshipping failure.

Now I'm probably going to concentrate on some serious work. Have a nice day!
when you look at the stats for BoB its always total Luftwaffe losses vs RAF fighter command if you include bomber command and coastal command the losses equal out
I do disagree with you.

This is not a Luftwaffe is everything site as you seem to think it is. Get a life, if you do not like what is posted here, go someplace else. Everyone here gives credit to where it is due. If it is to a British plane then credit is given to the British plane, if it is a US plane then credit is given to it being a US plane. If it is a German plane then credit is given to it being a German plane.

Most of us do not decide on our planes because they are of the same country of ours even if it was not the best. We like to discuss the truth about things here. Patriotism is good, but I am not going to say the P-39 was the greatest plane on the planet because I am a US citizen. I am not going to say the Bf-109 was the best because I am from Germany.

You said until you grew up. How old are you, because bitching like a 14 year old is not really needed here.

Learn your history. The Bf-109 had the RAF at its knees with its small range. The RAF was not overwellming the Luftwaffe as you make it out to be. The reason the Germans lost the BoB is because of the change in strategy to bombing non strategic targets. Even your fellow British here who know there history will tell you that.

Yes the Luftwaffe did fail, but not because of lack of good aircraft but because of bad strategy.

If you have more serious things to do, then by all mean leave, there are plenty of people that care about studying WW2 Aviation here and not be biased because of there country.

Goodbye now....


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I must admit though I liked the phrase

'German soldiers in Normandy used to say "if the plane is camouflaged then its British, if its silver its American, if its invisible its ours!".

Hadn't heard it before but I do like it and it has the ring of truth behind it.
pbfoot said:
when you look at the stats for BoB its always total Luftwaffe losses vs RAF fighter command if you include bomber command and coastal command the losses equal out

It's actually still a victory to the RAF, but by a far smaller margin. Around 1550-1600 RAF aircraft lost to all causes vs around 1800-1900 Luftwaffe (and about 50 Reggia Aeronautica) aircrast lost to all causes in the July to October period, depending on what research figures you go by.

If you include the French campaign and the airbattles over Dunkirk, then losses in between the RAF and LuftWaffe in 1940 are quite similar, with a slight advantage to the RAF. Obviously this discounts the damage inflicted by the French Airforce and others.

The very high accident rate of Bomber Command in 1940, when they transitioned to night ops, really hurts the RAF. At several points losses to accidents were higher than daylight losses to fighter interception. The LuftWaffe didn't seem to have the same problem though: losses to all causes in the first 2 months of the night Blitz were around 1%, compared to the RAFs 3-4% on night operations.

I have often though that the greatest British air campaigns were defensive in nature: the scramble over Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, the outnumbered defence of Malta. British pluck and determination seems to come out best when their backs are to the wall and the stakes are at their highest.
i don't think anyone here can say they're free from bias when talking about aircraft, absolutely no one............

and i would've said the -109 had the RAF on it's knees, it wasn't anywhere near that bad.........
Learn your history. The Bf-109 had the RAF at its knees with its small range.

To quote from Stephen Bungay, the Most Dangerous Enemy:

There are many who believe that Fighter Command was on its knees after the attacks on the airfields. It was a strange way of kneeling. Given Evill's cal¬culations, and taking the worst scenario of no increase in output from the training units, if the Luftwaffe had continued its attacks on the airfields and continued to destroy aircraft in the air at the most favourable rate it ever achieved, there would still have been about 725 Hurricanes and Spitfires ready to take to the air in the third week of September.

The truth is, whilst the RAF were worried because for a period of 2 weeks their losses had been slightly more than replacement level, the Luftwaffe had been suffering losses at more than replacement level almost since the start of the battle.

When the battle began, in July, the RAF had about 750 Spitfire and Hurricane pilots, and about 570 serviceable Spitfires and Hurricanes in front line squadrons. The Luftwaffe had 1090 single engined fighter pilots, and 860 serviceable 109s.

By the start of September, the RAF had increased their number of operational Spitfire and Hurricane pilots to about 950, and serviceable Spitfires and Hurricanes in front line squadrons to about 620. The Luftwaffe had declined to about 730 pilots and a similar number of fighters. It was the Luftwaffe that was closer to kneeling.

The reason the Germans lost the BoB is because of the change in strategy to bombing non strategic targets.

I don't agree. The Luftwaffe had already lost the BoB by the time they started attacking London. They had started the battle substantially stronger than FC, by September, just before the attack on London, they were weaker than FC, and had already passed the peak of their performance in the BoB.

Here's the sortie rate for the Luftwaffe fighters in the BoB:

The first peak, to 3,000 sorties, was the launch of the Luftwaffe effort to wipe out FC (which they thought would take about a week). When that didn't work, they went back to the drawing board, then tried another effort in the last week of August. Note how that was the peak sortie rate they achieved, and was substantially higher than their first attempt to destroy FC.

By the first week of September, the sortie rate was already dropping, as losses and reduced serviceability meant they could no longer fly as many operations.
luftwaffe worshipping site? are you reading the same forums I am?

BTW The 109 may have lost it's wing guns but it did get a monster in through the prop.

The main problem for the Germans was that they had to devote most of their time by '43 onwards to stopping the heavy bombers, thats why they had such heavy armament and armour, they were trying to stop the bombers decimating their industry. They couldn't afford to waste time playing around with fighters, and they also staked a bit too much on jet technology.

I dont think the Germans actually planned for the war to last so long so thats probably why they never really upgraded much, plus they knew they had the jets coming down the line. They never even reached full wartime production until the very end of the war. I think the US kicked into gear within months of Pearl Harbour. The allies also pushed more development into taking the piston engined aircraft to the limit and got a bit of a jump on the germans whose prop jobs were mostly stop gaps while they waited for jets to come on line (which weren't the wonder plane they were cracked up to be IMO).

The Germans may have had more advanced tech in some ways but the allies used existing technology much better. It's like using a crappy old blunderbuss against a sword weilding opponent, you better kill them in the first shot otherwise you'll have to make do with a dagger against a sword because you'll never reload in time. Having the highest state of technology doesn't always win, it's who has perfected what they use.
I have such a long reply to this... but im tired
the Ju-87 was just not suited to BoB then, it is meant to hit the enemy, return to an airfield near the frontline, and hit again
worship is not the term for this, as I only worship God... it states in the Ten Commandments

The Luft was a strategic failure, cause they believed it had to support the army, just like the Soviets

what about after the war? when Germany had its attention on Russia?
the Fw190s and 109Fs were killing lots of Spitfires... and the invasion of Dieppe... my book states:

on August 19,1942. RAF flew 2,617 sorties and lost 106 aircraft, including 88 Spitfires JG2 Richtofen and JG26 Schlageter, responsible for German top cover, lost 12 Fw-190s, and 2 Bf109Gs. The two German fighter units were creditedm with 44 kills. Two of the pilot in 9./KG2: Oberleutnant Schnell and Leutnant Wurmheller together shot down 12 British aircraft -LUFTWAFFE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT IN PROFILE.

I have many more stories like this... i like the luftwaffe, my fav air force, but that doesn't mean i discount the RAF or anyting like that, I DON'T GIVE A CRAP IF IM WORSHIPPING A FAILURE

btw, its not that bad having no wing guns. they still shot down fighters just like the Yaks you mention did
Geez Louise another guy that equates acknowledgement of achievement with Nazi adoration. I have heard that crapola often enough to know that it is pure and simple bigotry! If a person can't recognize the established historical facts and read something else into the events that is their problem.

I haven't ever seen anyone here discounting Allied determination to catch up and surpass the established war machines of Japan and Germany. The Allies caught up and out produced the Axis powers. It doesn't mean that every piece of hardware and weapon was superior though. Contrarily dissing German advanced weapons and aircraft design shows how little one knows when we see the impact and influence they had on post-war aircraft.

Cutting and pasting snippets from acknowledged historical facts is aimless and proves nothing. Everyone here knows of the pros and cons of the stuff you posted. Had the RAF been traveling to France and the Luftwaffe defending over friendly terrain how would the BoB have been seen by spin doctors like you?

The advanced weaponry like V-1s, V-2 the jets and such being discounted as unimportant is assinine as well as ignorant. If you had any knowledge of the havoc they caused within the Allied establishment and the attention they received you'd know better than to call them results of "death throes."

To only pick and choose salient points about a miniscule handful of Allied weapons and events shows how juvenile you are SpitTrip. You so-called reality is just more bigoted, prejudiced close-minded tripe spewed by one who is unwilling or unable to comprehend the full measure of the events of history as you revise them to meet you myopic views.

People here give credit where credit is due. To verbally abuse and discount the achievements of the people that fought on other sides is a disservice to veterans from all countries.

You should go back to where ever it is you came from, where all your little deluded pals believe in the same fantasy you do. Adios mofo!
Also you say the channel was 10 miles its narrowest point! The German fighter bases were scattered all round the French and Belgian coastlines.

don't think anyone here can say they're free from bias when talking about aircraft, absolutely no one............

If youre talking in terms of towards our countries im totally unbiased :lol:
the lancaster kicks ass said:
i don't think anyone here can say they're free from bias when talking about aircraft, absolutely no one............

I agree and there is nothing wrong with that either, aslong as you dont go and say stupid things like SpitTrop. Anyways, he has more serious better things to do....
For what its worth heres my opinion.

I think Spitrop has got things twisted and he sure doesn't have a good grasp on these things, but he's got to start somewhere. The question is - do we want to bash him - or - teach him?

He is the one that said he was leaving. I do recall telling him in my post that if he wanted to learn and teach what he knows about WW2 aviation then that is fine but dont go bashing this forum because some people dont agree with you.

Being patriotic and biased is okay but I am sure he would think the Swordfish was a better torpedo bomber than the Avenger because it was British, that is obsured.
I've unfortunately seen geeks like this on other sites before. They are biased and bigoted and no "learning curve" will help them. Read this twerp's few posts; all predjudiced meanderings about how good Allied planes were and how bad german ones were. He's anti-German anyhow cause he rants about seeing too many BMWs and Mercedes in England. What bullcrap!

Anyone that cannot view, assess and weigh the merits of the weapons of war, despite their country of origin, in a neutral manner is certainly bigoted. besides that his knowledge of history sucks when he distorts facts like the German jet and rocket programs as last second stuff when they were long-term with research and development begun before the war!

I can live with someone saying the Spit was the best plane of the war for these reasons.... but to discount, discredit and degrade all Axis planes is simple childish.

Good riddance-
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