Richard G. Davis, "Bombing the European Axis Powers"

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by mhuxt, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    As I'm on a roll, I may as well post this link - Air University Press are still giving this one away free, beats the 45 bucks Amazon wants for it.

    http://aupress.maxwell.af.mil/digital/pdf/book/b_0099_davis_bombing_axis_powers.pdf

    The real value of the book though is the spreadsheets which AU used to also give away free with the book. They no longer do, but I made a copy of all the data Davis provided, allows some interesting Excel-fu. The columns in yellow are ones I put in to make analysis, particularly over months, easier. Any errors that arise are therefore down to me, not Davis.

    You'll need the sheet key to decipher some of the notations, also in the zip file. I stuck the Charts sheet in there (used to come with the book too...) as it has particular reference to Oil targets.

    Some of the links in the "blurb" note are no longer valid, sadly.

    View attachment Davis Data.zip

    I haven't compared the Davis spreadsheet with another I input about Mosquito night raids - think I remember one critique of Davis saying he'd left a number of those out. Maybe I'll just stick my Mosquito raids spreadsheet up while I'm at it.
     
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  2. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the info and the link..
     
  3. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Altogether some very interesting data.

    Again, thanks.
     
  4. thedab

    thedab Member

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    nice one, thanks
     
  5. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    Well, FWIW, I did run the Davis sheet against my sheet of Mosquito sorties. I counted back from the end of the war to mid-March, just shy of 4,700 sorties, Davis had 35 fewer than the Bomber Command War Diaries and "Mosquito Squadrons of the Pathfinder Force" by Chris Ward. Three-quarters of one percent, plenty close enough. So, I have to retract what I said about Davis apparently suffering from the critique of being inaccurate on Mossie sorties, because he quite clearly is not.

    More posts on Davis follow.
     
  6. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    As an example of the kind of analysis one can do with the Davis spreadsheet of bombing operations, I hadn't realised the full extent of the part played by the 15th AF in the effort against Axis oil. I knew something about the Ploesti raids, but having done some Excel-fu with the Davis stuff, it seems to me the precipitous fall in German fuel production in mid-'44 may well have had more to do with the 15th than with the 8th. The criticism that RAF Bomber Command was "late to the party" seems borne out by Davis' numbers.

    tonsvsoil.jpg


    pcteffort.jpg
     
  7. Rangiora

    Rangiora New Member

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    Much obliged for the link. I've been wanting these data sheets for awhile.

    I'm writing a book on an RAF Mosquito squadron, due out for the 70th anniversary of VE Day. I got interested in comparing Mosquitoes versus Flying Forts to Berlin - not from the standpoint of one being better than the other, you understand (no, the Mossie couldn't have done the job alone!) - comparing loss rates and so forth. You mention having your own Mosquito data sheets. Maybe you can help me.

    I came to 6,249 Mosquito sorties and about 10,500 B-17 sorties. This led to:

    Loss rate per 1,000 sorties: B-17: 33 aircraft Mosquito: 9 aircraft
    Crew losses per 1,000 sorties: B-17: 95 killed, 214 prisoners, 14 wounded Mosquito: 10 killed, 7 prisoners

    Have you got the raw material that will help me improve on this?

    Thank you.
     
  8. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    Kia Ora,

    Glad the Davis spreadsheet stuff came in handy, it's a shame it's no longer available from the Air University Press website.

    Short answer is yes, I have some info which could help in terms of the Mosquito part of the comparison. Slightly longer answer is, the information isn't something I compiled, it's something I put into a spreadsheet from the Bomber Command War Diaries web pages, now offline I think. I believe the actual work work was done by Martin Middlebrook for his published version of the Bomber Command War Diaries, so he's the one to include in footnotes / bibliography.

    My total for Mosquito sorties to Berlin is 6,324, with 54 losses. Very close to yours I think. Gives me a total loss rate for aircraft of 0.85%, somewhat higher than the overall average of 0.68%. By my count, Berlin accounted for 21.78% of all Mosquito bomber sorties.

    I don't have the crew casualty rate per 1,000 sorties worked out, however I have the raw data, won't take much to tease it out.

    I need to make a couple updates to my spreadsheet, then will stick it on here.

    I haven't done a similar analysis for the USAAF, however if I were to do so, I'd start with the Davis spreadsheet, find the dates of American raids on Berlin, then cross-check for aircraft type (B-17 or B-24) against the USAAF chronology at Rutgers: The USAAF in WWII That site will generally tell you the numbers for the various aircraft types involved in a particular operation. (Bear in mind the 15th AF also raided Berlin in the third week of March '45, though I have no idea whether they used B-17s). In some cases Rutgers doesn't specify B-17s or B-24s, but I imagine if you google the mission number you'll find something. The Rutgers site will also tell you if a mission was recalled, and if some bombers struck a secondary target instead of Berlin.

    For the record, despite the old story, I've never found anything to suggest that the USAAF bomb load per aircraft to Berlin was 4,000 lbs, same as the cookie Mossie. It seems to have been somewhere between 4,500 and 6,000 lbs.

    As noted, will stick the Mossie stuff up shortly, needs a touch more polish before it's "ready for prime time."
     
  9. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    #9 mhuxt, Aug 13, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
    Hi,

    Here's my list of Mosquito bombing ops - excludes the fighter-bomber stuff.

    I get 54 losses for sorties to Berlin, excluding crashed on return, friendly fire, abandoned/crashed due to weather.

    More later - kid needs the computer... View attachment Mosquito Bombing.zip

    Note there's various bits and pieces of analysis on the other tabs, also some comparison info from other sources.

    Edit - So anyway, I get 54 losses for Berlin-bound Mosquitos, with the exclusions named, but I'll have to go through a different db for info on casualties, not sure whether I have full info on injuries or not.
     
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