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AH_Solid_Snake
06-15-2004, 05:45 AM
After flying a few QMB missions of bomber intercept in a 109 w/Mk108 30mm cannon i have a question that my own knowledge cannot answer.

Based on the modelling of the weapons and damage being accurate how was the 8th AF effort sustainable? considering a single 109 can decimate about 8 bombers (i mean really blow them up or rip off a wing, not something they will get home with) what was it that enabled the bombers to get the job done and get some planes back for the next day?

I appreciate that until the introduction of the P51B the loss rate was high, but given the weapons punch im surprised any B17's made it back.

Was it the escort fighters? box formations? Or were the 109 pilots just unable to hit the broadside of a barn?

Solid Snake

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AH_Solid_Snake
06-15-2004, 05:45 AM
After flying a few QMB missions of bomber intercept in a 109 w/Mk108 30mm cannon i have a question that my own knowledge cannot answer.

Based on the modelling of the weapons and damage being accurate how was the 8th AF effort sustainable? considering a single 109 can decimate about 8 bombers (i mean really blow them up or rip off a wing, not something they will get home with) what was it that enabled the bombers to get the job done and get some planes back for the next day?

I appreciate that until the introduction of the P51B the loss rate was high, but given the weapons punch im surprised any B17's made it back.

Was it the escort fighters? box formations? Or were the 109 pilots just unable to hit the broadside of a barn?

Solid Snake

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Red_Storm
06-15-2004, 06:08 AM
It was the fact that at any given time about eighty machine-guns were firing at a single Bf-109. The odds were about 127 B-17's vs. one Bf-109. It's nothing like what we have in FB where we have boxes of about eight bombers. Ofcourse they're easily decimated. You should try the Me-262A-1a out on them.

---
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SUPERAEREO
06-15-2004, 06:20 AM
As Red_Storm says, the real conditions of the aerial combats over the skies of western Europe cannot be replicated by the game engine of FB.

American bomber formations were tightly packed in combat boxes (British night bombers flew in a looser stream, often hundreds of miles long) and at any moment attacking German fighters were exposed to the fire of dozens of machine guns from the bombers.

It is a fact that German pilots rightly considered bomber intercept missions as highly dangerous.

S!



"The first time I ever saw a jet, I shot it down." - Chuck Yaeger

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Chuck_Older
06-15-2004, 06:23 AM
Bomber losses were very high. Mathematically speaking, no crew could expect to complete their tour, at a number of times during the daylight bombing campaign. Twenty five missions seems like a reasonable number until you do the math on survivability. If I recall correctly, it was a 13% loss rate per mission at one point. How many times does 13 go into 100? Very bad odds. The Memphis Belle's claim to fame, after all, was that her crew made 25 missions.

I would be very hesitant to base historical questions on what you see in a PC simulation, Snake.

For one thing, the standard tactic of the Luftwaffe was a single attack run, then a break or split-S for the deck. For some time, the escorts were ordered to stay with the bombers, so a vertical escape was very possible for these real life German pilots who didn't want to die while trying to knock 8 B-17s out of the air.

*****************************
The hillsides ring with, "Free the People",
Or can I hear the echoes from the days of '39?
~ Clash

k5054
06-15-2004, 10:29 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Describes the mood or content of the topic posted 15-06-04 05:23 Tue June 15 2004 05:23 AM
Bomber losses were very high. Mathematically speaking, no crew could expect to complete their tour, at a number of times during the daylight bombing campaign. Twenty five missions seems like a reasonable number until you do the math on survivability. If I recall correctly, it was a 13% loss rate per mission at one point. How many times does 13 go into 100? Very bad odds. The Memphis Belle's claim to fame, after all, was that her crew made 25 missions. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


A pedantic correction is in order. You work out survival chances using the survival rate. Chances of surviving one mission, 87%. Chance of surviving two, 0.87 x 0.87 = 75.69%, three, 65.8%. It never goes to zero, but the chance of surviving 25 is a fat 3.08%. In real life each mission has a different rate, of course. Your best bet was to catch a flak fragment (somewhere not too dangerous) and get sent home.

Chuck_Older
06-15-2004, 10:43 AM
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I am not sure you understood me.

My post says that a crew could not expect to survive their tour, and then I said it was very bad odds for survival. I also gave my reasoning for my statement, that 13 went into 100 only 7 times, roughly. I also mentioned I was using the loss rate for survivability odds, but I am not too sure I can see the semantic difference between "loss rate" and "survivability" when applied to not being able to complete a 25 mission tour. After all, if you caught a piece of shrapnel, you wouldn't be completeing your tour. A B-17 crewman who was sent to a LuftStalag didn't finish his 25, either.

I never claimed that the survival rate was nil, I think you just misunderstood what I meant. I never implied that they would all die, just that they would have bad odds completeing a tour.

*****************************
The hillsides ring with, "Free the People",
Or can I hear the echoes from the days of '39?
~ Clash

horseback
06-15-2004, 12:30 PM
There is quite a bit of difference between the 'working environment' a computer simmer experiences and the pilot in the cockpit of an unpressurized fighter flying 400kph through a hail of lead at 7-8000m, even assuming that he got one of the few planes in his unit that was completely reliable (check out the availability rates of LW fighter units-compared to their Western opponents, they rarely had more than half of their assigned strength 'up' on any given day after Fall, 1943).

The simmer rarely has to deal with frosted up wind screens, that 'funny' noise his engine seems to be making, propwash from his intended victims, the cold of high altitudes, or the absolute assurance that he could lose his own personal precious life in the next five minutes. He hasn't spent fifteen minutes climbing up to the height of his enemy, the last ten on oxygen, unable to see them, on the direction of some stinking paddlefoot safe in some radar site, and he doesn't have to worry about that cramp in his right thigh from holding the rudder just so the 'bubble' is centered.

He isn't sitting on his parachute, or straining his eyes looking for the escorts (unless his moniter's refresh rate is bad), and he isn't suffering from a diet imposed by wartime rationing (although he really ought to do something about the diet he does enjoy).

In short, the computer simmer, even on a sim as accurate as Forgotten Battles, is enjoying an idealized situation. His aim is unaffected by the vibrations of his cannon, the vaguaries of air currents, or the effects of a long-term fear of death. His aircraft always works to a consistant ideal standard, and his bullets always go where he aims them.

Not like Real Life at all...

cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

Huckebein_UK
06-15-2004, 12:42 PM
Also, 109s rarely carried '108s before P-51s were around. If they got through to the bombers and overcame all of the above ^, it was them and their MG 151 (the MG17/ 131s didn't do much at all against B-17s) against a box of Forts and their myriad .50s. Some of the bravest men I've ever heard of, Western Front LW bomber-interceptors...

--------------
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Willi_Wombat
06-15-2004, 12:43 PM
plus the sim, although great, isn't really that accurate, especially if you consistently shoot down 8 B-17's in one 109 with one load of ammo.

WW

owlwatcher
06-15-2004, 02:14 PM
The OMB is good for testing out stuff as to any thing else it is rather poor.

Get a mission setup 64+ bombers in a tight formation. 5000 and up in height.

Yes by itself or loose formation the B-17 is easy meat.
It is funny everyone says easy kill but if while intercepting you make any mistakes your plane will limp home.
All kinds of data on the bombers attrition rates. Try finding data on the interceptors damage and loses. Good luck.
The Luftwaffe had some good days but there was always a price to pay. It took a good brave pilot to attack a B-17. The pilot shortage showed up quickly.

woofiedog
06-15-2004, 03:15 PM
Excellent replys horseback & Chuck_Older...
As we sit in our cozy homes with heat, comfort, food and safty...
Theirs was getting Frost Bite in a cockpit with a heater that can bearly heat up itself up, fautige from being in a cockpit for up 6 hours, guns that jam after firing a couple times, being sent back up 3 times in a day to attack the Bomber Streams, and more... just to do it all over in the following Days, Months, and Years.