Let´s discuss the reasons to choose P-51 over P-47 and P-38.

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This has already been discussed in the P-51 Vs. P-47 thread but; the simple fact is the P-51 was an above average fighter at cheap cost.
The thing is though, the P-51 wasn't a bad fighter. It was easy to fly, good gunsight, fast cruise, long range and six .50 cal. It was a better escort fighter than the P-47 because it could actually take the bombers to Berlin and back. It was better than the P-38 because no air force has a massive amount of experts and the P-38 was much more difficult to fly.
I dissargee on several points.

1. Cost is always a factor however when you fight for your life you pay for the best you can get. the AAF bought 18,000 P-47s at a best cost (1945) of $85,035, The best cost of a P-38 (1944) was $97,147 a difference of $12,000. The P-38 was second sourced in 45. Unit cost was not a factor during the war.
Cost of a Pilot is also a factor, in the ETO the P-38 failed to RTB 451 (1751 were ultimately scrapped as unuasable plus the ones that didn't return) times the P-51 had 2,201 that failed to RTB. adjusted for sorties flown for each P-38 that didn't return to base 3.8 P-51s bit the dust.
2. It it true that the P-38 was harder to fly to it's ultimate it was not difficult to fly effectivily as it did EVERYWHERE ELSE in the world. The loss rate in training in the P-38 was never as bad as the P-40 and in 44 and 45 when the most P-38 training was done it's loss rate was better than the P-47.
3. The vast malarity of the issues concerning the P-38 in the ETO was a direct result of the 8thAF attitude and support of the aircraft and its crews. This can be verified by reading any account of the P-38 that involves pilots and ground crews.
4. In spite of that and with aprox 1/4th the opportunities (about half of theP-38 sorties were ground attack) the P-38 shot down 1,771 aircraft over 1/3rd the mustang. The P-38 successfuly escorted the bombers lowering the loss rate from 9/10% to 4/5% of which the first 3/4% was AAA. These were also the more experianced German pilots and with odds as hi as 10:1 against the early escorts.
5. Doolitle admits to Warren Bodie that it was standardization NOT capability that dictated the transitin to the P-51.

As to ability. Art Heiden put it this way (paraphrasing) The P-51 was fast, easy to fly and long legged, in those ways you might be able to say it was better. But It couldn't do anything better than a P-38J/L. Art flew both in combat in the ETO. As another P-51 pilot said
'If you (in a P-51) fight a P-38 you better start a LOT higher and faster, to have a chance".

The P-38 was at least as capable as either the P-47 or the P-51 as its record minus the political crud shows.

I totally disagree that unit cost is not a factor in war. It most certainly is because if you can put 2 P-51s in the air for the cost of one of the others, it makes economic sense that you have 2. War bonds paid for the war production and it was tough to continue to squeeze the American population for more and more money.
evangilder said:
I totally disagree that unit cost is not a factor in war. It most certainly is because if you can put 2 P-51s in the air for the cost of one of the others, it makes economic sense that you have 2. War bonds paid for the war production and it was tough to continue to squeeze the American population for more and more money.

As I showed above the P-38 (and P-47) production was expanding all through the war even to the point of a second source. Doolittle cited standardization to Mr. Bodie as well. Another point is that at least in the US overhaul of the Merlin averaged twice the manhours an Allison did. Another point is that even then a Pilot was worth as/almost as much as an aircraft doesn't 3.8:1 mean anything? At that rate the P-38 was a lot cheaper!

Cost is an issue but neither the P-47 or the P-38 were ever restricted due to cost during the war. In fact a 2/3 week delay to integrate the K model in the line uas deemed unacceptabe to the WPB. AFTER the war they disappeared very quickly due to cost but that's a different issue. I'm saying it was a minor issue at the time.

Nonskimmer said:
Surely cost had some bearing.

I'm not saying it didn't have some, just that is was minor. The P-38s major fault was that it was available and not used as an escort when the AAF and the 8th were insisting the bombers were self escorting. The only way thay could cover their behinds was to disscredit the P-38 and say we had nothing that could do it until the P-51.

If you look behind the standard histories of the P-38 you will see it. Two good references are the Planes and Pilots of WWII http://home.att.net/~C.C.Jordan/index.html and The P-38 (CCJordon) http://yarchive.net/mil/p38.html These have some good stuff on the P-38.

Actually cost and production time is a big issue during war. "Cost is always a factor however when you fight for your life you pay for the best you can get." - the pilot isn't paying for the aircraft, the government is and they're not fighting for their life in the cockpit of it.

The fact is, the P-51 was chosen by the U.S government because it was simple, cheap and above average. They wouldn't have chosen it above the P-38 or P-47 if it wasn't better for the time.

The P-38 was naturally harder to fly than the P-51, having twin engines. Just face it, the P-51 was a better wartime aircraft.
That post was the biggest crock of shit since the Munich Pact. I'm sorry but you do not have a clue.

Cost is a big part of war, without money you cannot build a war machine. Time of production is also vital but that isn't what made me roll around with laughter...

...this did; "The Sherman tank was produced in vast quantities despite that the US knew that it was inferior to the Panzer Kampfwagen III (Sd. Kfz. 141), Pz. Kpfw. IV A-H (Sd. Kfz. 161 and 161/2), Pz. Kpfw. V (Sd.Kfz.171) Panther, Hertzer, Panzer Jager Tiger (P) Elefant (Sd. Kfz. 184), Tiger, King Tiger and the huge Maus! The cost is this case has nothing to with it, but it was a deliberate decision to let the Sherman tank crews die in numbers to wear down the Panzers that could not be replaced and that policy worked."

Are you kidding me!?! The Sherman inferior to the Pz.III!?!!?!?!?!!? :laughing3: And inferior to the Pz.IV early marks (A-F/1) what drugs have you been taking?!!

The Sherman was far superior to the Pz.III and early mark Pz.IV - it was a match for the Pz.IV G-J. The only German tanks the Sherman had to swamp were the Panther, Tiger and King Tiger! The other machines you mentioned were tank destroyers and the Maus didn't even get completed!

The Sherman was built to match the Pz.Kpfw IV, nothing else. The U.S government never made the choice to let their troops die in numbers to grind the Wehrmacht down, that was the Soviet Unions job! The U.S took their time to save lives!! The reason the Sherman was so crap compared to the Tiger, Panther and King Tiger was because the Sherman was A) in a different class and B) easy to produce. The U.S army would stop when attacked and bring their SUPERIOR artillery forward to shoot the German forces to pieces. Even then the U.S had decent tank destroyers in the M36 and M18....ARMOUR DESIGNED TO DESTROY ENEMY TANKS!!! And they f*ckin' did it well.

The Pz. IV A-F/1 were f*ckin' shite tanks! You get into tank vs. tank action with one of those and you're dead meat! It wasn't until the F/2 came along that the Pz.IV was any good. And the Pz.III was a pussy ass light tank that only did well because of German SUPERIOR tactics. IT was a good little light tank but in the grand scheme of things, it was dog wank. The Sherman would f*ckin' blast it to pieces, no problem.

It's not the best production that wins wars. It's the best production of capable machines that wins wars.

THINK; if the U.S produced millions of B-25 Rocs...would they have won the war!?! NO!!!

The Mustang was above average, cheap and easy to produce. It was also f*ckin' good aircraft, no matter what anyone says. I've said it before and I'll say it again. It doesn't matter if the Bf-109K-4 can out climb it, it wasn't an interceptor. It doesn't matter if a Fw-190D-9 can out-roll it, it wasn't a dogfighter. It doesn't matter if a Typhoon packs more of a punch, it was neither a ground attack aircraft or a bomber destroyer.

It was a cheap, easy, fast and simple escort fighter. It did it's f*ckin' job which was to shoot those SUPERIOR German planes out of the f*ckin' sky. And that it did 'cos the USAAF was flattening Germany...so obviously the P-51 did it's f*ckin' job!
I don't believe Germany had ever intended for Great Britain to actually declare war over Poland, especially considering its invasion was treatised with the Soviets for the division of its territory. Great Britain was in fact very close to war with the Soviet Union during 1940 and this was one of the matters up for discussion in British Parliament, as they were deciding how to respond to the German threat on Norway. Whether or not to declare war on the Soviet Union whilst they were at it.

I think Hitler had always intended on annexing France and threatening England from its northern shores, which would have included crushing French military capacity in that region but I think he had this in mind at a later time and was truly surprised that England made good on its threat to Polish invasion. In his insanity I think Hitler actually expected somehow, a grudging respect of the new Germany from England. At the same time I think he thought they were all idiots.

I think Hitler wouldn't have even entered France until after he'd taken Norway and spent a year building German industry to wartime production. 1941 at the earliest. That would've blatantly been much smarter and I don't see Hitler as intellectually incapacitated exactly.

The celebrated dichotomy of early war Germany was an occupation of the low countries (Belgium, the Netherlands) and widening national borders (Austria, Czechoslovakia), then the move into the mineral value of Scandinavia. I think Hitler always had the Soviet oil fields in mind, perhaps during those years of the mid-30's when Soviets trained German troops and he would've had the opportunity to see their industrial strength up close. He probably realised right then that Germany would never truly become a world class Empire without superpower-scaled industry and strong oil fields to fuel it.

At the opening of hostilities Germany ran its industry at peace time production rates, which suggests no extended hostilities were expected in 1939.
Even after the declaration of war from England I think he expected to give France a good slapping and swat England like a fly, they were an annoying distraction from everything his Reich had planned.
When England declared war on Germany Hitler knew he immediately needed France out of the equation if the western border was ever to be safe from things like screaming scotsmen wearing skirts. But the push to Paris and subsituting strategy with political egotism left Germany wide open to declarations of war from every country capable of it around the world. You just don't invade coffee shops and art colleges and expect everybody to say, yeah that's cool man, good for you.

In short I think Hitler's primary delusion (aside from other psychosis), was believing he was living 2-3 years into the future and making decisions accordingly. This worked well in the 30's when Germany was preparing for the coming climate they'd set for the next decade, but was a strategic error the moment hostilities began. He should never have had any military authority, he was such a frickin corperal for chrissake.
I can't be arsed to answer all that but the longest advance in history is by 3rd Armoured Division "Spearhead".
Excuse me, Patton led the U.S 3rd Army. The U.S 1st Army bore the brunt of the Ardennes Offensive. The 3rd Army broke through to "save" the 101st Airborne but I agree with the 101st Airborne, they didn't need saving.

The position of the 101st was inside a town on top of a shallow slope surrounded by ditches, in the middle of winter, behind enemy lines. Perfect! They were supported by air drops and fighter-bombers. They were in a perfect fire base position.

He had a basic grasp of mobile warfare but he soon threw that away when throwing men into the meat grinder Red Army style on the Siegfried Line.

And his men were nothing special. Like all regular Western Allied troops, they were poor combat soldiers. Even a junior officer reported that out of 100 men only 20 did all the work, and that they could win the battles with just those 20. The fact is though, they couldn't because the other 80 purely served the purpose of getting shot.

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