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XyZspineZyX
06-15-2003, 02:20 PM
I was watching the Hitler..err. History channel yesterday ans there was a segment on the B-17. It said that B-17 gunners shot down 2/3 of all enemy fighters that were shot down. I presume they meant to say by the americans and in the pacific theater, but anyways, an intersting fact (?).

XyZspineZyX
06-15-2003, 02:20 PM
I was watching the Hitler..err. History channel yesterday ans there was a segment on the B-17. It said that B-17 gunners shot down 2/3 of all enemy fighters that were shot down. I presume they meant to say by the americans and in the pacific theater, but anyways, an intersting fact (?).

XyZspineZyX
06-15-2003, 02:28 PM
Never, ever, trust anything you see on the History channel.

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XyZspineZyX
06-15-2003, 02:37 PM
I thought we went over this yesterday.


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XyZspineZyX
06-15-2003, 03:16 PM
It is a wunder they shot anything down with shooting like this:

Testing done by the USAAF found that the bullet pattern from a B-17 during ground testing had the following results for 12 rounds to 600yds:

ball turret > dia. 15' - 8.3mils
upper turret > dia. 21' - 11.7mils
chin turret > dia. 23' - 12.6 mils
waist(closed) dia. 26' - 14.3mils
side nose > dia. 34' - 18.7mils
tail turret > dia 45' - 25mils

For the B-24 it was:

ball turret > dia. 15' - 8.3mils
upper turret > dia. 20' - 11.2mils
nose turret > dia. 23' - 12.9mils (Emerson)
nose turret > dia. 35' - 19.3mils (Motor Prod.)
waist(closed) dia. 23' - 12.9mils
waist(open) dia. 63' - 35.6mils
tail turret > dia 35' - 19.3mils

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XyZspineZyX
06-15-2003, 09:57 PM
I think there is also the issue of the accuracy of the number of kill claims amongst gunners versus the true number of enemy aircraft shot down.

Right now I'm looking at a Group Formation Chart for the 390th Bombardment Group for the Munster raid of 10 October, 1943. The chart shows three squadrons: Lead squadron, high squadron and low squadron. Lead squadron launched with six ships, high squadron with nine ships, and low squadron with eight ships. That's 23 B-17s for one group, one mission ...

Each B-17 has a top turret gunner, a belly ball turret gunner, two waist gunners, and a tail gunner. In addition, the radio operator and bombadier manned nose and chin guns, So in a ten man crew six or seven of them might be actively manning machine guns at the same time during a mission. Multiply that over the number of planes in a squadron covering each other with criss-crossing fire, then by the number of squadrons in a group protecting each other ...

Two or three gunners are firing at the same fighter. The fighter dives away smoking ... who claims the kill? Probably three gunners in three different ships. And it would be hard to dispute these claims without the evidence of gun camera footage like fighter pilots used.

I'm not saying that the combined firepower of the B-17s wasn't deadly, or that gunners did not truely shoot down enemy aircraft. I just believe the claims became inflated. I think I saw something once that supports this, like that the total number of planes claimed to have been shot down by gunners greatly exceeded the number of planes the Luftwaffe recorded as lost in all combat.

XyZspineZyX
06-15-2003, 10:22 PM
I was actually thinking the exactly the same thing. It's very hard to determine who got the kill in situations like that.
I guess it's a first person who yells out "got him" will get the kill mark.

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XyZspineZyX
06-16-2003, 12:46 AM
I recall reading in a book about the strategic bombing campaign that the USAAF awarded gunner kills by collating after action reports and trying to figure out which contender had most likely scored the kill. If thats the case, it must have been an awful job.

As an aside, I play B17II a lot and even with skill levels set to the highest, AI gunners rarely hit anything that isnt coming from 5-7 o'clock. Is that realistic?

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XyZspineZyX
06-16-2003, 01:32 AM
History channel says some true stuff, and it's fun to watch. But mostly, whatever information, if you're going to show it to someone, check it first.

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XyZspineZyX
06-16-2003, 02:08 AM
Often more than one gunner would claim the same kill, so the same AC might be recorded as being shot down two or more times.

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XyZspineZyX
06-16-2003, 02:17 AM
I wonder? How do you define a kill? Taken into consideration that a smoking plane does not always plunge to the ground, it is actually possible to shut off the engine and land on the nearest field... Is that a kill?? I don't like referring to victories as kills, a kill include a dead dude, a victory is making the enemy unable to continue fighting that day..

XyZspineZyX
06-16-2003, 03:17 AM
The History channel seems to oversimplify things and sometimes it gets sensationalist. Like they would show that "Luftwaffe 1946" (or whatever it's called) and keep on saying "This is what American bombers would have faced, had the war lasted into 1946 blah blah blah, bs, bs, bs. Educational television as a whole has become so sensationalist it's almost unbearable to watch. On the Discovery channel, they keep on talking about "killer asteroids" and "Mega-Tsunamis" that are going to end civilization as we know it. Now I have been forced to go outside on my free time! (or spend it on sturmovik forums)

XyZspineZyX
06-16-2003, 03:25 AM
i think the guns were used to just scare fighters off or discourage them, I dont think they seemed to be very good at shooting anything down. (well thats what i think after being the gunner on il2/fb i dont think ive ever shot anything down.

Death is only the beginning

XyZspineZyX
06-17-2003, 11:24 PM
Tsoman wrote:
- I was watching the Hitler..err. History channel
- yesterday ans there was a segment on the B-17. It
- said that B-17 gunners shot down 2/3 of all enemy
- fighters that were shot down. I presume they meant
- to say by the americans and in the pacific theater,
- but anyways, an intersting fact (?).
-
-

If the flexible gunners on B-17s were that good they would have sent B-17s out to escort P-51s rather than vice versa.

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