The Greatest Air Battle

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Njaco, Sep 20, 2008.

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What was the Greatest Air Battle of WW2?

  1. The Hardest Day: 18 August 1940

    5 vote(s)
    3.0%
  2. Battle of Britain Day: 15 September 1940

    74 vote(s)
    44.8%
  3. Day of the Blenheim: 14 May 1940

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Ploesti: 1 August 1943

    4 vote(s)
    2.4%
  5. Black Thursday: 14 October 1943

    3 vote(s)
    1.8%
  6. Marianas Turkey Shoot: 19 June 1944

    18 vote(s)
    10.9%
  7. Bodeplatte: 1 January 1945

    10 vote(s)
    6.1%
  8. Last Flight of the Luftwaffe: 7 April 1945

    2 vote(s)
    1.2%
  9. Swansong of the Schwalbe: 10 April 1945

    1 vote(s)
    0.6%
  10. Black Friday: 9 February 1945

    3 vote(s)
    1.8%
  11. Battle of Midway: 4-7 June 1942

    27 vote(s)
    16.4%
  12. Dieppe Raid: 19 August 1942

    9 vote(s)
    5.5%
  13. Operation Cerebus: 11 February 1942

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  14. The Blackest Day: 10 June 1944

    2 vote(s)
    1.2%
  15. Other (Please list)

    7 vote(s)
    4.2%
  1. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Thought it would be interesting to get everyone's opinion on the greatest air battle during WWII. I'm not talking single combat actions but a battle with squadrons of planes and with objectives whether achieved or not.

    These are the ones I could think of off the top of my head. And I hope the Pacific experts can teach me about some of the combats on the other side of the world because I have no clue beside the one I listed.
     
  2. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    There's the MTO and NA to consider too. (and the CBI)
     
  3. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    I think there was some minor fracas near Midway Island in 1942....:confused:
     
  4. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

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    I've always been impressed by accounts of the air battle over Dieppe, during the raid there in 1942. I remember reading that for many pilots, the air battle over a rather small area was of such a heavy intensity that none of the survivors would ever forget.
     
  5. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Very good option VG-33! 8)

    That would be Operation "Jubilee" air battle.
     
  6. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    A poll with almost no wrong answers.. If I was a dummy I'd say "Define great?" but the purpose is to facilitate conversation..
    The Turkey Shoot was great but involved too many inexperienced Japanese pilots.

    Bodenplate was the cream of the luft vs. the best of the western allies.

    gotta go for Bodenplate.

    Battle of Britain was so protracted IMO it wasnt a "Battle". It was a campaign. It is accepted as a Battle only because of the pleasant illiteration.

    .
     
  7. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Ok, how about "Battle of Britain Day" Sept 15?
     
  8. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Thank you... I will digest that.

    Truly a battle.
     
  9. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Its up there along with "The Hardest Day" 18 Aug. I was trying to seperate campaigns with just a single day battle with an objective - no campaigns or single combats. I know I missed some.

    Good points about those others. Let me see if I can add them.
     
  10. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    the air battle over Dieppe in Aug 42 the following from Wiki
    The massive Allied air support for the operation amounted to about 70 squadrons, with the overwhelming majority coming from RAF Fighter Command, including 48 squadrons of Spitfires including all three Eagle Squadrons.[5] The opposing Luftwaffe forces were: Jagdgeschwader 2 (JG2) and JG 26, with 200 fighters, mostly the new Focke-Wulf Fw 190s and about 100 bombers from Kampfgeschwader 2 (KG2), KG 45 and KG 77, mostly Dornier 217s. On paper at least, the Allies would have a numerical advantage.

    The Allies were, in reverse to the Battle of Britain, at the extent of the operating range of most fighters and had a limited time over target, while the Germans were mostly flying from or could refuel at nearby airfields. This enabled the Germans to maintain a numerical superiority and have air superiority over the battle area once they had concentrated their effort.

    Overhead the Allied air forces lost 119 aircraft while the Luftwaffe lost just 46.
     
  11. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    For epicness I am going to have to go with Bodenplatte, but in the end it is the BoB. So much depended on a British victory that it is epic in itself.
     
  12. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    A little bit a question of semantics. Does "greatest" mean biggest, longest, widest, most AC involved, most AC shot down? If greatest means most influential, then I vote for Midway, perhaps one of the most influential battles in history.
     
  13. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    I struggled with Dieppe, BoB 9/15 and Bodenplatte and finally went with Bodenplatte because it was an "all Allied AF" against the biggest mission the LW ever put up - literally 1000's of a/c in a relatively small volume of airspace..

    The 8th AF and the LW had some epic battles in November 1944, thinking about 11/2, 11/26 and 11/27 as well as 9/11.

    The 11/2 missions against Merseburg area refineries was perhaps the most concentrated single action in a small area for the 8th AF. Of the 1100 effective bombers, 800 were over the Merseburg/Halle area. Of the 640 Mustangs involved in target escort for the day, 433 were engaged with nearly 350 LW s/e and t/e fighters over those eastern Germany targets.

    This was also the last time the LW got as many as the 40 bombers that went down to flak and fighters.

    The air battles around Market Garden campaign were also notable as well as Malta albeit on a smaller scale.

    As far as most important air battle for the US I would go with Midway, for the Brits it would have to be BoB. I would have a hard time defininng the most important for USSR but suppose Kursk.. LW would be hard to define but BoB should be there as well as the first series of 8th AF raids on Berlin for symbolic reasons - not being able to stop 8th AF over their own capital. Those missions probably were the 'end of the beginning' or the beginning of the end' depending on your point of view.
     
  14. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps the Kassel raid of 27 September 44 might be considered, where it was a bomber versus fighter event.

    The 35 B-24s of the 445th BG that strayed over Gottingen suffered, but made a showing of themselves against 150 aircraft of the Luftwaffe.
     
  15. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The Kassel raid is similar to Leipzig/Merseburg on July 7 and Hannover on November 26, but battles for Berlin on March 6, 1944 or April 29, 1944 saw far more bomber losses in toto for a great fighter battle than Kassel.

    What was somewhat unique about Kassel and Hannover was the violence and focus in one very small area in a very short time.. before escort fighters were able to intervene. Both of thes battles demonstrated the effectiveness of the Sturm Gruppe - when escort fighters were absent.
     
  16. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    it was the four fighter groups of the 8th AF that took it to JG 4 and JG 300 on 27 of September 44. IV.Sturm./JG 3 shot down 18 B-24's in their first pass and upon forming up again the Mustangs got into the action but JG 3 dove out and got down but still had 6 wounded pilots in their Fw 190A-8 Sturms from the bombers as they flew away

    2 November 44 is another confusing day JG 4 and JG 3 claimed some 50 bombers but returned nearly the same amount of their machines as being shot down. I./Jg 300 was to be airborne as high cover but JG 3 109's came into land at their A/F and Bill's dad's fg the 355th fg followed close behind as the 109's of Jg 3 landed at Börkheide the 355th fg shot the place to pieces and destroyed some 32 I./Jg 300 Bf 109G's not to mention the 109's of JG 3 they ripped apart.
     
  17. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Greatest in this context is only on a personal level. What each member feels is his personal favorite. I was just curious where everyone's tastes were, not so much as a litmus test to find the all time awesome battle. Just for discusion sake and some great points have been made.

    I haven't even voted becuase I can't really choose yet. All the pilots in all those battles have my admiration because of the extraordinary situation they were put in.
     
  18. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    I voted other but then the other was added to the poll hence no vote
     
  19. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Sorry PB, but you made a good point and I wanted to include it. :(
     
  20. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    I'll live but it certainly was more intense IMHOP then anything in the Pacific
     
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