Sorties per kill

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by fastmongrel, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,340
    Likes Received:
    406
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Motor Mechanic
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Has anyone ever crunched the numbers for the top aces and worked out who had the best sorties per kill ratio. If its even possible I imagine LW records after mid 44 wouldnt include such data and not sure if the USSR ever kept full details of a pilots sorties.

    I ask this because a friend and I were having a friendly argument about this. I reckon Marseille or Hartmann would have the best ratio he thinks it would most likely be a USN pilot simply because of the fact that a carrier man has fewer chances to fly but late in the war plenty of inexperienced one way pilots to hunt.

    If anyone could point me in the right direction of a source or could post sortie/kill ratio figures for the best of the best and the top ace of each service I would be grateful.
     
  2. Ratsel

    Ratsel Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #2 Ratsel, Oct 22, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
    Erich Hartmann flew 825 (disputed, but official regardless) missions in recording 352 (disputed, but official regardless) victories. Thats .42 kills/mission. Or roughly a kill every 2 1/3 missions. IMO that would make him Top Dog. Now let the number bangers come...
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,768
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Your math is a bit off. If he had 2.34 kills per mission and he flew 825 missions as you say (disputed of course), then he would have shot down 1930.5 aircraft. (2.34 x 824 = 1930.5)

    By shooting down 352 aircraft (disputed of course) in 825 missions his kill ratio would be 0.42 per mission.
     
  4. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,484
    Likes Received:
    110
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    It would be easy to beat that mission /sortie to kill ratio. You know that somewhere in the history there would have to be someone who flew one mission, got one kill, and for whatever reason never flew again, ( never returned, crashed on landing, etc.). That would be 1 to 1, no matter which way you figure it.
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,202
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
  6. vanir

    vanir Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Wow 70 claims in 71 missions (not being facetious, seriously impressed) yet for example claims 62 to 67 are on the same sortie.

    I find an atmospheric approach might infer accurate appraisal, as well as predicting extra research genrés to fill in blanks. If you follow details of claims you can build a career picture of that pilot, if you have a little background on that pilot's career you can infer things like Hartmann's performance leap when he released from Hospital, he was an unremarkable but competent ace with 17 kills and was nearly killed colliding with an enemy a/c, turned into a deadly marksman overnight, really he just went out and started bagging four and five at a time right out of hospital and a Messerschmitt doesn't really have the ammunition stores to do that unless you're a legend.

    You can start to really profile the aces like a CSI investigator. Get a real handle on the nature of individual career records but I suspect what you'll find is what they tell you in person. Same guy, different day. At that performance level the margins between aces are minor but with German pilots you were dealing with extremely experienced and highly trained crews until March 1944. After that quality noticeably dropped off, before that the Luftwaffe consistently performed in the field well out of all proportion to its size.

    These are circumstantial things though, they don't infer any kind of general superiority. Notably the US had excellent world class pilot training. If you build a full profile of a US ace with 13 kills in 180 missions what you'll find are circumstantial reasons for both those figures, if you actually profiled the man's career you might very well find it mirror's Hartmann or Rall or someone awesome.

    By the very same token, Rall says the best ace in the Luftwaffe wasn't Hartmann, it was Marsielle.
     
  7. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    I have seen many numbers for Hartmann. Most sources agree on 352 victories.

    But I have seen sorties veriouisly quoted as 1425, 1404, and 1400. And I have seen combat sorties (as opposed to sorties) veriously listed as 1404, 1400, 850, and now, here in this post, 825.

    I wish we could get the data from a consistent source but, no matter how you cut it, Erich Hartmann was the highest scoring pilot of all time.

    His performance was amazing in more ways than one, including surviving Soviet internment, no mean feat in itself.
     
  8. vanir

    vanir Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Still the nature of figures in this type of performance comparison are highly circumstantial. I'd say there's a point where the skill of pilots just plateaus at "amazing" and a Hartmann is going to have just as much trouble with a Thatch as he does with a Porkryshin or a Barkhorn.
     
  9. NZTyphoon

    NZTyphoon Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    University Student
    Location:
    New Zealand
    According to Osprey's LaGG and Lavochkin Aces of WW2 Ivan Kozhedub flew 120 aerial combat sorties = .52 claims per sortie in which he engaged in combat - in addition he accidentally shot down two American P-51s, which was kept very quiet :!: , and claimed that with shared victories he had scored over 100 victories - the latter may be pure propaganda, although this isn't to denigrate Kozhedub's courage and ability (pp 79-84).
     
  10. vanir

    vanir Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Yeah I heard some cool career tales about Kozhedub, he was a seriously interesting fellow. Some of those Soviet pilots were really funny, interesting folks, it would've been quite something to have a beer with one. He actually used to complain about Lovochkin pilot equipment, the compasses used to get him lost. Him and Porkryshin both were considered a little riské and uncontrollable by Stavka. You know Porkryshin even got grounded at one stage, for making unpatriotic statements to recruits. Only lasted six months though, guess they still needed their best pilots. He was the one who introduced vertical manoeuvring in the Yak-9 to Soviet fighter tactics. He preferred the P-39 though, because it was "a cadillac of the skies" in terms of pilot equipment. He remarked the three reliable radio sets was sheer luxury.
     
  11. Ratsel

    Ratsel Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Americans/Allied claims for 3/4, 1/2, 1/4 shares... 10 half shares your an ace. or 20 1/4 shares. Luftwaffe doctrine is 1 plane 1 kill, shared/desputed would be resolved between the pilots, or awarded to the Staffel. Erich Hartmann said on numerous occasions that he let his wingman have the kill, always, if they both scored hits. Didn't matter who hit first.
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,202
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Be advised that the system of fractional kills and their awards was NOT done by the pilots but usually by some intelligence officer who substantiated combat reports. Sometimes when two pilots choose to "share" a claim and it was confirmed, it was awarded as such. If you really looked into why this was done you might have expanded your aviation knowledge but instead Your statement "10 half shares your an ace. Or 20 1/4 shares" is pure silliness and I do hope we can see more intelligent posts from you in the future.
     
  13. Ratsel

    Ratsel Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am fully aware that fractional kill awards was not determined by the allied pilots. But it could happen. But thanks for berating me.

    Kindest Respectful Regards.
     
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,202
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #14 FLYBOYJ, Oct 24, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
    My pleasure - and now you get to wear a dunce cap for a while. You have been warned. See you in a week, maybe by then you'll pull your head out of your @ss.
     
  15. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,934
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    retired avionics engineer
    Location:
    Southern California
    This maybe an interesting stat but is of little use without more knowledge. I am sure all would agree that an F6F pilot shooting down five kamakazes on one mission in 1945 is not the same quality as an SBD pilot shooting down two Zeros in 1942.
     
  16. Kryten

    Kryten Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Llantrisant
    not wanting to point out the obvious here, but if you are engaged in ten combats and get ten shared kills thats the same as two aircraft getting five kills each anyway, so why this should be frowned upon is a mystery to me?
    also how many german pilots got crdited for kills when they finished off an opponent allready damaged by a friendly? that in itself would artifically inflate one pilots scores whilst not crediting the other pilot for the effects of his fire, one pilot , one kill seems to me to be a recipie for unrealistic performance comparisons?

    if two aircraft damage and then destroy an enemy it seems far more logical to me to credit a shared kill, after all teamwork is the basis for all military success!
     
  17. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The Germans also had a points system, that awarded points to the pilot if he shot down a damaged a/c.

    Aircraft Type Abschuss/Destroyed - Herrausschuss/Separation - Entgültige Vernichtung/Final Destruction

    Single-engined - 1 - 0 - 0
    Twin-engined bomber - 2 - 1 - 1/2
    Four-engined bomber - 3 - 2 - 1

    This system was used in awarding medals
     
  18. vanir

    vanir Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne
    In part the German, should I say Prussian conceived Luftwaffe ranking system used an unconventional and complicated administration. Rank did not represent field role or combat experience like in the army, rank governed logistical access and pay grade and field commands were assigned in a utilitarian way, that wasn't necessarily related directly to commissioned rank (eg. NCO Staffelkapitäns which is a senior lieutenant's role, Major Geschwaderkommandeuren which is the field role of a full bird Colonel).

    The points system for medals helped with this, better than the recommendation system in this particular administrative structure. Prussians are very savvy this way, you they're the ones who literally invented the General Staff system of military high command structures, it was copied by every other major power in the world, replacing the Napoleonic system. They pretty much invented the way everybody runs a military administration.

    So when a Major was sent to a field command, invariably he has many more combat awards than nepotistic higher ranked alternatives, and his troops will trust him and like him. Colonels sit in offices, Majors fly fighter planes.
    Under the commission-command-award recommendation system, it doesn't work as good in practise. The more favoured, not necessarily more experienced aristocracy has all the best medals and uniforms and ranks and field commands and they go out and play toy soldiers using unimaginative textbook strategum.
     
Loading...

Share This Page