The Battle Of Kursk - the air battle

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I think, and this is only my opinion, that the Soviets were not capable of repairing/rebuilding military complexes as fast as the Germans could. I also believe that in conjunction with destroying Soviets railroads, it would have been impossible in any reasonable time.
You think that, but why?

Constant Strategic bombing is very effective, as the Americans proved.
Nothing is proved, it's still a disputable question. I'm far from being sure that a strategic bombing is more effective than a blitskreag, leaded with the same means in Europe.

Anyway bombing Russia, in 41-42 no?
With what kind of navigation devices and maps would you use, e-net with satellite images and GPS something like that?

You want to attack the big factory n° 153 in Novosibirsk?

So if you please,
distance from Berlin to London: 926 km.
Berlin to Novosibirsk: 4387 km

About 4 800 km to hit Lavotchkin factory in Ulan Ude
About 7 500 km to strike on strategic wooden stocks at Komsomolsk on Amur

Goog luck:p
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German own losses are accurate enough, but their claims of kills are not very accurate. At the end of the day they are based on guesswork, like all claims.


Russian sources are dodgy from the Soviet era, but I am fairly confident that good work was done from the latter part of the 80s plus there are some reasonable western sources now.

Like I said, accurate figures on losses are hard to find, always disputed, and seldom accurate. that goes for both sides.
What accurate figures on losses. Why don't you use Krivosheiev's ones?

So on 1.1.43 VVS had 21 900 (a) planes on their own 12 300 in active army.
On 1.1.44 32 500/ 13 400 (b)

33 100 (c) were recieved both from industry and Lend Lease/ 22 500 (d) lost (total write -offs )

So i don't see any problem with this account: (a) + (c) -(d) = (b). No?

Have you got any approximate such a number for germans?

Kuban, awesome! as far as VVS claimes/losses, I would trust russian sources/documents as far as I could throw a Jak-9.
ie: untrustworthy.

German loss documents, well some are incomplete.. but unit diaries make up for that.
What's your problem and sources over Kuban?
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I don't have a problem.

The German Fourth Luftflotte, was responsible for this area, while its Soviet counterparts were primarily the
Fourth and Fifth Air Armies, along with three air corps from STAVKA reserves. Both air forces were roughly
equal in size at about 1000 combat aircraft each. The Luftwaffe fighter units were mainly equipped with
Bf 109G-2/-4's and Fw 190 A's, while the VVS possessed a mixture of the latest Yakovlev and Lavochkin fighters,
along with large numbers of IL-2 Sturmoviks and Pe-2 bombers. In addition, there was a steady flow of lend-lease
aircraft: P-39's, A-20's, P-40's and Spitfire V's.

Some info about losses Bf 109 during April 17 –June 7 1943 over Kuban bridghead.
Total losses:
Destroyed in air fight – 28 Bf 109
Destroyed by antiaircraft fire – 5 Bf 109
Non combat losses – 5 Bf 109
Destroyed from another reasons – 5 Bf 109
Damaged in air fight – 20 Bf 109
Damaged by antiaircraft fire – 9 Bf 109
Non combat damaged – 9 Bf 109
Damaged from another reasons – 18 Bf 109.

The mostly losses were in II./JG. 52:
10 Bf 109 (WNr.13 688, 14 309, 19 251, 19 454, 19 489, 19 525, 19 527, 19 550, 19 709, 19 745) were destroyed in air fight.
2 Bf 109 (WNr.19 748, 19 758] were destroyed by antiaircraft fire (guns)
2 Bf 109 (WNr.14 470, 19 512) were non combat losses
2 Bf 109 (WNr.13 469, 14 729) were destroyed from another reasons
10 Bf 109 (WNr.19 335, 14 822, 14 956, 19 440, 19 700, 14 847, 19 444, 19 735, 19 598, 19 769) damaged in airfights.
1 Bf 109 (WNr.13 720) damaged by antiaircraft fire
3 Bf 109 (WNr.19 235, 19 920, 19 744) non combat damaged
2 Bf 109 (WNr.19 344, 14 966) damaged from another reasons
During July 1943 Germany had a bunch of aircraft models superior to the He-111 for the CAS role.
Me-210C (Hungarian Air Force)
Are you asking me? then better bombers for what? or, what's 'CAS'? answer that then I can answer you.
I think, and this is only my opinion, that the Soviets were not capable of repairing/rebuilding military complexes as fast as the Germans could.

You are aware that Soviets moved much of their industrial complexes from threatened parts of Ukraine and west Russia to the Ural in matter of months, right? If they were capable for such an unprecedented feat, why would you think they would be incapable to fast repair any damage from bombing?
relocated to existing factories? big difference I would think. so to avoid an arguement. I retract my statement " I think, and this is only my opinion, that the Soviets were not capable of repairing/rebuilding military complexes as fast as the Germans could."
Attacking enemy units located within a few miles of friendly troops in order to assist the attack or defense. In the modern world this is largely accomplished with attack helicopters and specialized aircraft such as the A-10.
- Artillery positions.
- Anti tank positions.
- Machinegun positions.
- Forward observer positions.
- Enemy vehicles of all types.
- Command posts and communications centers.
- Supply points.
- Refueling points.
- Other targets as specified by a radio equipped forward observer attached to the ground forces.
oh. "close air support" or variation of. I see. well I would not choose a bomber, but rather the Bf 109.
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The Me-109 was sometimes employed in that role. However lightweight aircraft such as the Me-109 and Spitfire aren't ideal for that mission. Payload is too small, stall speed is too high and the aircraft cannot carry much armor. Purpose built CAS aircraft such as the Ju-87 and Hs-129 typically have a low stall speed to facilitate accuracy, high payload and significant armor for protection against ground fire. The Ju-87G and Hs-129 also had cannon and ammunition specifically designed for killing armored vehicles.

Think in terms of the U.S. AD-1 Skyraider which entered service a couple years too late for WWII. IMO it may be the best fixed wing CAS aircraft ever built.
JG 51/JG 53, and others were masters at using the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke 109 in bomber rolls.
relocated to existing factories? big difference I would think. so to avoid an arguement. I retract my statement " I think, and this is only my opinion, that the Soviets were not capable of repairing/rebuilding military complexes as fast as the Germans could."

Bold part noted. However, there weren't many factories at the Urals at that time. They had to physically relocate almost entire industry to the east, build new infrastructure, open new mines, etc.
When, in 1943 prior to Sicily and Kursk battles?

Or in summer (august) of 1944, when Ploesti was captured by soviets. Are you sure that strategic bombing campaign caused the fuel starvation, and not because german's had simply nothing else nothing to refine?


Nazi Germany did not have vast quantities of crude oil but it possessed vast quantities of coal that could be used to produce synthetic oil, a raw material heavily dependent of the German rail network as well.
The Soviets occupied Romania and its oilfields, do you think they were operating at 100% after the relentless offensive by the US 15th AF? I would not be so sure.
since 44 the Germans were operating on reserves mostly. I'm still waiting on hearing from Altea on how allied strategic bombing campaign
did not cause Germany's fuel/oil shortages. It should be a good one.
Perhaps a bit of information on the German oil industry is in order.

Crude oil from Ploesti and elsewhere was refined into motor fuel, lubricating oil etc. When Ploesti was bombed and eventually over run it caused a shortage of motor fuel. This had no effect on the supply of aviation gasoline.

German aviation gasoline was almost entirely produced from coal at large hydrogenation plants. These facilities also produced some motor fuel. RAF Bomber Command more or less put the hydrogenation plants out of business from the summer of 1944 onward. Destruction of the aviation gasoline supply led to an emergency program to speed up the introduction of jet aircraft as they used a different type of fuel. Among other things this resulted in the He-162 being rushed into production in record time (and well before the engineering glitches were fixed).

Germany made a lot of other things from coal also. It was the basis for their chemical industry from the late 1800s onward. Synthetic dystuff, synthetic rubber, nitrogen for the production of explosives and fertilizer, certain drugs and quite a few other things were made from coal.
yes, I know those things. and yes, I know about Ploesti. my question remains, how was SBC not responsible for
Germany's fuel/oil shortage ( notice I did not say aviation fuel only)? unless Altea only meant Ploesti. then its
a moot point on my part. otherwise its a valid question.
Strategic Bombing Campaign Impact on German oil production

The oil campaign was hugely successful. In June 1944, just 56,000t of oil had been produced against the planned total of 198,000 tons. Consumption was well above stocks produced since mid-May 1944 so that by the end of June 1944, it had been reduced to a reserve of just 410,000t, a 70% reduction from 30 April 1944. ULTRA intercepts confirmed cutbacks in non-operational flying as a direct consequence. According to Speer, by 21 July 1944 98% of all Axis fuel plants were out of operation. The monthly production fell from 180,000t in March 1944 to 20,000t in November; inventory dropped from 575,000t to 159,000t. The campaign caused huge shortfalls in fuel production and contributed to the impotence of the Luftwaffe in the last 12 months of the war, and the inability of the German Army to conduct counter offensives.
this thread has gone over the top into the OT zone. last warning get back on topic or it will be closed and Parsifal will have to start all over again.............
I agree with Erich 100%. This thread has developed all the nasty aspects I thought that it would. If you guys want to continue this thread, and attract better debate and information, the rules of the Forum about respect need to be observed to amuch greater extent.

I am a bit disappointed by how this thread has developed, but Im not surprised.

If you get the impression I sound Pissed off, you'd be correct
Kursk air battles had its impact on LW, in July-Aug 43 LW lost 1030a/c in the East (351 fighters, 273 bombers and 202 dive-bombers) according to Williamson Murray, or 1463 according to Khazanov's Air War Over Kursk. LW lost also 9 Ritterkreuzträger, of which 4 were fighter aces in Kursk battles according to Khazanov.

On strategic bombing and Soviet ability to repair damage, in spite of the best efforts of the LFl 5 to knock out Murmansk it didn't succeed. Also efforts to cut Murmansk railway was futile, Soviet repair teams very effectively repaired the cuts.

The connection between strategic bombing and the Kursk battle. The CoS of LFl 6, Kless, writes that when LW bomber force in the East was used, according to him very effective, raids against the Soviet armament industry in Jun 43 that means that the German bomber fleet could not be employed to smash the Soviet ground built up in the Kursk bulge during its most critical stage.

And to davebender's message #75 I agree but one point, IMHO the offensive to put the hydrogenation plants out was joint BC and USAAF effort.

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