PDA

View Full Version : Aces vs Aces



Dogfighter1969
02-01-2007, 04:38 AM
I found a few sites through Google about aces of WWII. I have seen it long ago but wasn't part of this forums at the time and didn't get to discuss it with anybody else.

What always was of interest to me is that the top German aces tallied up a lot more kills than the Allied aces. I am referring to kills per individual. What would you say the reason would be for this? Was it that they were :
1)Better pilots
2)Made most of their kills early in the War
against lesser adversaries (eg the earlier
Russian planes)
3)Had better planes throughout the war
4)Was better trained or more experienced at the
start of the war
5)Had more targets to shoot at during a fight
6)Any other

Lastly, just to pee a few people off, I don't think the P-47 nor the P-51 won the war. I believe that it works like an RTS pc game. The Germans could not keep up with the resources that the Allieds were able to produce in terms of both men and material. They never had a chance. By the time the P-47 and P-51 became big news the Germans were already set back heavily because of restricted resources. Imagine what would have happened if they were able to produce the Me-262 in the same quantities as the Me-109's. They would have kicked our butts. But, in my opinion the war was won on the ground and at sea.
Now that's a hot potato. What do you guys and girls say about that?

K_Freddie
02-01-2007, 04:59 AM
We all must have played strategy games like Warcraft, civilisations.. ect.

The side that wins is the one that has the most resources. Better weapons only delay or hasten the inevitable.

I was reading that link to Hartman. Interesting thing is that he (Hitler) said that the war was militarily lost as early as 1942/3 - the time Hartman met hitler for the second time.

tigertalon
02-01-2007, 05:12 AM
Originally posted by Dogfighter1969:
2)Made most of their kills early in the War
against lesser adversaries (eg the earlier
Russian planes)


I have to disagree with that point. Hartmann started fighting as late as 1943. The reasons why german pilots were able to rack up enormous kills compared to allied ones are two:

1. Germans were short of pilots, so they stayed on the front for as long as possible (until they were either injured/incapacitated for further action/killed etc etc). Allied pilots were all rotated from battle field to training, so they could share experience.

2. There were many American fighter pilots who flew 50 escort missions deep into the Germany, and they never even saw a German plane, so they couldn't get a victory. German pilots in the last years were bathing in 'target rich area'. They were virtually strafed from take off till landing. They always met oposition, mainly in overhelming odds (especially on East). Such an enviroment is clearly deadly for novice pilots, while it enables aces to get a lot of kills.

Coupling upper two reasons gives a clear clue why we have 352 vs 40 or 60. I do not believe german pilots exaggerated claiming kills more than allied did.

Krizz1972
02-01-2007, 05:15 AM
http://www.luftwaffe.cz/hartmann.html

SeaFireLIV
02-01-2007, 05:48 AM
The reasons the Germans had such high-scoring Aces were due to several facters:

1. The Germans learned much of their skill earlier ie, the Spanish Civil war experience.

2. The Luftwaffe fought over a much longer period of time.

3. The Luftwaffe did not get the kind of extended leave that, say, the US would get, especially in the later years of the war.

4. A lot of pilots earned their kills during times like the Battle of France, Britain and especially in the killing fields of Russia.

5.Luftwaffe pilots did tend to protect their Aces if they looked like they were in trouble. And who wouldn`t?

BSS_CUDA
02-01-2007, 06:34 AM
because they tallied their kills like IL2 they got 1 kill for a fighter and 4 kills for a 4 engine bomber

DuxCorvan
02-01-2007, 06:42 AM
and they had no 50 mission tour of duty, but a never ending one.

JG4_Helofly
02-01-2007, 06:45 AM
Originally posted by BSS_CUDA:
because they tallied their kills like IL2 they got 1 kill for a fighter and 4 kills for a 4 engine bomber

No. They got points not kills. A 4 engine bomber gave more points to the pilot but not more kills.
Other thing is the overclaiming. In the Luftwaffe this was not that easy because the pilot who shoot an ennemy down had to have an other pilot to confirm the kill. If no one saw the kill it was not a confirmed one and did not count.

So some pilots could have more kills than they actually got officially.

DKoor
02-01-2007, 06:50 AM
Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
and they had no 50 mission tour of duty, but a never ending one. This is the main reason. Imagine the worth (in military terms) of one Luftwaffe veteran (let's say over 100 combat missions) and compare it to other air forces... it isn't even remotely comparable when you literally have seasoned veteran vs. rookie.

Training? Yes, rookie may be trained well, but still combat is one thing training another. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

LStarosta
02-01-2007, 06:52 AM
Cuz the MK108 is overmodelled.

K_Freddie
02-01-2007, 07:21 AM
As said b4, a physical kill was a kill, the points allocated to that kill went towards promotions and medals as far as I know. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

AKA_TAGERT
02-01-2007, 07:24 AM
Originally posted by Dogfighter1969:
What do you guys and girls say about that? Myth
In that some of the highest production numbers of 109s was during this so called period of no resorces. The materials to build planes was not the biggest problem, the fuel and pilots were.

Xiolablu3
02-01-2007, 07:27 AM
Originally posted by JG4_Helofly:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BSS_CUDA:
because they tallied their kills like IL2 they got 1 kill for a fighter and 4 kills for a 4 engine bomber

No. They got points not kills. A 4 engine bomber gave more points to the pilot but not more kills.
Other thing is the overclaiming. In the Luftwaffe this was not that easy because the pilot who shoot an ennemy down had to have an other pilot to confirm the kill. If no one saw the kill it was not a confirmed one and did not count.

So some pilots could have more kills than they actually got officially. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi mate, RAF and USAAF also had this system. The kill had to be confirmed.

ultraHun
02-01-2007, 08:24 AM
They just were lucky to survive being shot or brought down.

First think of Marseille, who was often attributed as the ultimate expert by surviving LW fighter pilots. He scored around 150 kills, but became a fatal loss at the very one time he had an engine failure, because he climbed out unluckily.

Nex look at the overall statistics of LW aces. Most did not score more then 10, 20, 50 kills, and then, while already "experts", were shot down (e.g. Muencheberg).

Then think of e.g. Rall or Stinhoff (275 res. 176 attributed kills). Both were shot down several times, I believe 7 res. 12, but they always managed to survive a crash landing.

This means around 15 - 30 scores for each time being scored (but surviving that), which is comparable to what the best allied pilots achieved.

Add in their long time of service and the fact that they were not rotated or phased out.

There is nothing miraculous about it, it's both luck and professionalism.

Obviously some people feel offended or annoyed by their high socres. There is really no need for that.

JG4_Helofly
02-01-2007, 08:26 AM
I didn't know that for RAF and USAAF, but I heard about half kills or something like that. What was that exactly?

mynameisroland
02-01-2007, 08:32 AM
Originally posted by ultraHun:
They just were lucky to survive being shot or brought down.

First think of Marseille, who was often attributed as the ultimate expert by surviving LW fighter pilots. He scored around 150 kills, but became a fatal loss at the very one time he had an engine failure, because he climbed out unluckily.

Nex look at the overall statistics of LW aces. Most did not score more then 10, 20, 50 kills, and then, while already "experts", were shot down (e.g. Muencheberg).

Then think of e.g. Rall or Stinhoff (275 res. 176 attributed kills). Both were shot down several times, I believe 7 res. 12, but they always managed to survive a crash landing.

This means around 15 - 30 scores for each time being scored (but surviving that), which is comparable to what the best allied pilots achieved.

Add in their long time of service and the fact that they were not rotated or phased out.

There is nothing miraculous about it, it's both luck and professionalism.

Obviously some people feel offended or annoyed by their high socres. There is really no need for that.

One other guy who doesnt fit your ID - Hartmann.
One of the advantages of the Luftwaffe was that they normally fought over occupied territory so if they did bail or crash land ect they could be recovered.

The combat experience of the top 100 aces is frightening they have well over 10,000 kills

Akronnick
02-01-2007, 09:01 AM
Originally posted by JG4_Helofly:
I didn't know that for RAF and USAAF, but I heard about half kills or something like that. What was that exactly?

That's when a single kill is shared between two pilots, i.e., you're my wingman, we bounce an enemy and both get hits, he goes down, we both get one half of the kill.

It wasn't like Il-2 where the last person to hit gets the whole kill.

Manu-6S
02-01-2007, 09:14 AM
Originally posted by mynameisroland:
One other guy who doesnt fit your ID - Hartmann.
One of the advantages of the Luftwaffe was that they normally fought over occupied territory so if they did bail or crash land ect they could be recovered.

I don't think it was always an advantage: that wasn't Germany but over that land they were still the enemy... some german pilots got their asses kicked by partisans.

Bremspropeller
02-01-2007, 09:31 AM
One of the advantages of the Luftwaffe was that they normally fought over occupied territory so if they did bail or crash land ect they could be recovered.

That would be true for "Defense of the Reich"-pilots. However, during BOB and the most part of the eastern campaign, they regularyly flew above enemy territory.


Interestigly, many pilots shined as single "killing-machines", however some of them failed to lead their squadronmates adequately during combat. This lead to a high attrition-rate among their fellow wingmen.

pacettid
02-01-2007, 10:55 AM
...I don't think the P-47 nor the P-51 won the war. I believe that it works like an RTS pc game. The Germans could not keep up with the resources that the Allieds were able to produce in terms of both men and material. They never had a chance. By the time the P-47 and P-51 became big news the Germans were already set back heavily because of restricted resources. Imagine what would have happened if they were able to produce the Me-262 in the same quantities as the Me-109's. They would have kicked our butts. But, in my opinion the war was won on the ground and at sea.
Now that's a hot potato. What do you guys and girls say about that?

Every time I read an assertion in one of these forum threads about which plane won or lost the war, it really cracks me up. To believe that any single tactical weapon (like a fighter plane or fighter bomber) would have "made the difference", is ludicrous. The only strategic weapon which was used in WWII that actually had the potential to "win a war" is probably the atomic bomb.

After 23 years of service in the USN, and 30+ years of studying military history, my personal opinion is the Allies won the war because they violated fewer of Sun Tzu's principles than the Axis did. Here are a few which are always worth another read:

"When doing battle, seek a quick victory.

A protracted battle will blunt weapons and dampen ardor.

If troops lay siege to a walled city, their strength will be exhausted.

If the army is exposed to a prolonged campaign, the nation's resources will not suffice.

When weapons are blunted, and ardor dampened, strength exhausted, and resources depleted, the neighboring rulers will take advantage of these complications."

csThor
02-01-2007, 11:50 AM
All of these principles favor the "Allies" if you'd notice. I'm currently reading Antony Beever's "Stalingrad" and Hitler himself stated before the launch of "Fall Blau" that if Germany failed to capture the oilfields of Grosny and the Caucasus the war would be lost. Even before this the fuel shortage caused not little concern to the Luftwaffe and Army officials, because Germany's reserves were virtually non-existant, influx from Rumania and Germany's own synthetical fuel industry could not meet demands.
Germany was not prepared and able to fight a prolonged war with the Allies just for natural ressources, "human material" and industrial potential.

But of course the "austrian corporal in Berlin" was a major advantage for the Allies. As Napoleon said "Never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake."

SeaFireLIV
02-01-2007, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by csThor:
I'm currently reading Antony Beever's "Stalingrad" ...

Excellent book.

Blutarski2004
02-01-2007, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by pacettid:
After 23 years of service in the USN, and 30+ years of studying military history, my personal opinion is the Allies won the war because they violated fewer of Sun Tzu's principles than the Axis did. Here are a few which are always worth another read:

"When doing battle, seek a quick victory.

A protracted battle will blunt weapons and dampen ardor.

If troops lay siege to a walled city, their strength will be exhausted.

If the army is exposed to a prolonged campaign, the nation's resources will not suffice.

When weapons are blunted, and ardor dampened, strength exhausted, and resources depleted, the neighboring rulers will take advantage of these complications."


..... Words of wisdom, valid even today.

KaleunFreddie
02-01-2007, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by pacettid:
After 23 years of service in the USN, and 30+ years of studying military history, my personal opinion is the Allies won the war because they violated fewer of Sun Tzu's principles than the Axis did. Here are a few which are always worth another read:

"When doing battle, seek a quick victory.

A protracted battle will blunt weapons and dampen ardor.

If troops lay siege to a walled city, their strength will be exhausted.

If the army is exposed to a prolonged campaign, the nation's resources will not suffice.

When weapons are blunted, and ardor dampened, strength exhausted, and resources depleted, the neighboring rulers will take advantage of these complications."


..... Words of wisdom, valid even today. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hear hear http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

BfHeFwMe
02-01-2007, 06:41 PM
It was due to them liking to hang cracker jack prize medals all over those cute uniforms. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

horseback
02-02-2007, 01:44 AM
I believe that in several senses, the Germans enjoyed a significant head start:

1. They knew that they were going to war. Regardless of who actually initiates the hostilities, one side is going to be better prepared for a fight. In the first three years of WWII, the Germans were better prepared, psychologically ready to fight, and it showed.

2. Better weapons platform. Ignoring for the moment the problems presented by taxiing, takeoffs and landings, the Bf 109 was a superb fighter equipped with good sights and reliable and effective weapons. It would be fair to say that until the jagdewaffe ran into the Spitfire at the far end of their range, they hadn't really had any competition. Even then, compared to the MG/FF cannon, the 8x.303 armament of the Spit Mk I and II was a bit like birdshot.

3. Tactics and training. Molders' rotte and schwarme tactics were vastly superior to anything the Germans faced until mid-1941, if the biographers of Tuck and Bader are to be believed. Most of what I have read seems to indicate that the Germans engaged in a lot more operational flying prewar than the Poles, French, British, or Soviets, and let's face it, practice makes perfect.

4. Marksmanship. This was a shooting air war, and the prewar Luftwaffe laid far more emphasis on learning to shoot accurately than any other air arm except possibly the Finnish AF and US Naval Aviation. The Germans put great store in their hunting traditions, and it is probable that the average German boy had a better idea of the principles of marksmanship than his French or English counterparts.

5. Good Radio Communications. The basic principle of team tactics calls for clear and reliable communications. The Germans had very reliable voice communications, at least within units. The Japanese and Soviets certainly did not early in the war, to their great detriment.

6. Three years of huge leads in technology, tactics, weapons and leadership before the other side even began to catch up allows gifted individuals to hone their skills to a very high level. As long as their aircraft were competitive, these guys would continue to have an edge over the opposition, having learned lessons the other guys would never have the combat time to reach.

From 1939 until late 1942, the German fighter pilot was happily feasting on plentiful supplies of inferior enemy aircraft. The only fly in the ointment was the Spit IX, and it wasn't nearly numerous enough to equip all the RAF Squadrons on the Channel Front, much less the Desert Air Force. There were plenty of Mk Vs, Hurricanes and Kittyhawks to go around in the West, and Yaks, LaGGs, MiGs, and the odd Kittyhawk or Cobra in the East.

So a lot of young men with good eyes, sharp reflexes, and highly competitive spirits became very formidible fighter pilots. When the Spit IX started showing up in significant numbers, and was joined by the P-47, P-38, P-51, La-5/7 and the late model Yaks, those young men still had a huge lead in skills and knowledge over their opposition, and continued to score, although generally at a reduced rate.

If Hitler and his mob of fruitcakes hadn't been convinced that they could persuade the British and Americans to give up and go away while he carved up Russia, the Luftwaffe might have committed the resources to training the numbers of new young fighter pilots they were going to need, and developing the aircraft for them to fly, it could have been a very different story.

cheers

horseback

pacettid
02-02-2007, 05:01 AM
Originally posted by horseback:
If Hitler and his mob of fruitcakes hadn't been convinced that they could persuade the British and Americans to give up and go away while he carved up Russia, the Luftwaffe might have committed the resources to training the numbers of new young fighter pilots they were going to need, and developing the aircraft for them to fly, it could have been a very different story.


I agree with a great deal of what you had to say in your previous post, but I do not concur with the above statement.

The Western Allies played their part, but Hitler was not able to rapidly defeat the USSR. This effectively sealed his fate because he did not have the resources to fight an extended war, especially on this front. The Soviet Union swallowed entire armies, on both sides, but the Soviets were able to absorb everything the Germans were able to throw at them, and still "come out swinging".

The fact that the Luftwaffe was a tactical air force that was grossly over-extended in Russia, and Hitler's repeated violation of Sun Tzu's principles, is precisely why Germany did NOT have the resources to train the numbers of new young fighter pilots they were going to need, and develop the aircraft for them to fly.

horseback
02-02-2007, 11:20 AM
First of all, I never stated that the Gang of Fruitcakes' belief that the British and Americans could be talked into backing off was realistic. The Western Allies were convinced that Fascism had to be destroyed, or that it would eventually destroy western democracy. Hitler and his boys never took that openly stated principle seriously, thinking it was merely propaganda.

Well, at least until it was far too late.

However, Hitler's problems in Russia become vastly simpler if the US becomes truly neutral in 1942; he no longer has to maintain a credible force to defend the western shores of Fortress Europe or diddle about in the Med, doesn't have to invest in a large fleet of U-Boats and can concentrate all of western Europe's resources on his real goals to the east.

At the same time, the Soviets get no fuel (especially avgas), no Airacobras, Mitchells or Havocs, no trucks, no food, no metals and chemicals, no munitions, and most important, no Bennie Goodman records via Lend Lease. They revert to their pre-Barbarossa world pariah status, with the knowledge that no one in the rest of the world is going to mourn their passing. If they were on the edge of dispair in late 1941, how do they recover from the blow of being deserted a year later, just as they are getting their footing?

Those supplies were absolutely critical to Stalin in the 1942-43 period, and had Hitler been able to convince Churchill and Roosevelt that it was all a big misunderstanding, that all Germany really wanted was the fertile parts of Russia (and the oil fields and natural gas and so on to the south), the Soviets are in a vastly different position than the one they historically were in in late 1942.

In 1942, the Soviets were holding off the Germans with their stockpiled supplies and Lend-Lease while trying to reestablish their industrial base east of the Urals. What happens if they lose the Lendlease portion of the equation?

cheers

horseback

BaldieJr
02-02-2007, 01:33 PM
Its real simple. Germany was the bad side so its clear that they lied. How could they possibly have such high scores when the allies had:

A. P-51 Mustangs.
B. God's blessing.
C. The best of everything else.

Clearly, the German propagandists were hard at work creating a fantasy in order to inflate egos that matched the national currency.

amilaninia
02-03-2007, 09:59 AM
"We had a completely different system from the American pilots.They normally went home after one hundred missions. If I would have been sent home after one hundred missions,I wouldn't have had any victories at all. There were some of us who had a second tour of two hundred missions and some who had three hundred missions.As long as you were willing to fly,you could fly.But on the other hand,you saw them die-all of them,slowly they disappeared and that was very difficult.So you also had the feeling-It's just the time,to die very,very young."
Luftwaffe General Walter Krupinski

Dogfighter1969
02-05-2007, 04:56 AM
"Its real simple. Germany was the bad side so its clear that they lied."

I am not so sure about the statement that they lied. I believe that quite a number of the German aces were merely doing what they were doing because they were good pilots and they were called up to war by their government. I have read too many times that some of those guys were not in agreement with the Nazi regime's political aspirations. You could of course say that they could have refused to be part of the war. That would have meant a firing squad for them, due to treason.
I seem to believe that some of the squadron commanders were being checked by the Gestapo because of the doubt whether they were faithful to the Party.
So I think that to some extent the claims of victories could have been accurate. Anyways, nothing could have stopped Allied pilots to also have lied. Just think of the fame they could have had if they 'scored' substantial kills, like the Germans.

msalama
02-05-2007, 05:00 AM
Excellent book.

+1

fighter_966
02-05-2007, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by Dogfighter1969:
"Its real simple. Germany was the bad side so its clear that they lied."

I am not so sure about the statement that they lied. I believe that quite a number of the German aces were merely doing what they were doing because they were good pilots and they were called up to war by their government. I have read too many times that some of those guys were not in agreement with the Nazi regime's political aspirations. You could of course say that they could have refused to be part of the war. That would have meant a firing squad for them, due to treason.
I seem to believe that some of the squadron commanders were being checked by the Gestapo because of the doubt whether they were faithful to the Party.
So I think that to some extent the claims of victories could have been accurate. Anyways, nothing could have stopped Allied pilots to also have lied. Just think of the fame they could have had if they 'scored' substantial kills, like the Germans.

In one point Galland was in danger to get punishment for treason Source Gallands diary

pacettid
02-05-2007, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
First of all, I never stated that the Gang of Fruitcakes' belief that the British and Americans could be talked into backing off was realistic. The Western Allies were convinced that Fascism had to be destroyed, or that it would eventually destroy western democracy. Hitler and his boys never took that openly stated principle seriously, thinking it was merely propaganda.

Well, at least until it was far too late.

However, Hitler's problems in Russia become vastly simpler if the US becomes truly neutral in 1942; he no longer has to maintain a credible force to defend the western shores of Fortress Europe or diddle about in the Med, doesn't have to invest in a large fleet of U-Boats and can concentrate all of western Europe's resources on his real goals to the east.

At the same time, the Soviets get no fuel (especially avgas), no Airacobras, Mitchells or Havocs, no trucks, no food, no metals and chemicals, no munitions, and most important, no Bennie Goodman records via Lend Lease. They revert to their pre-Barbarossa world pariah status, with the knowledge that no one in the rest of the world is going to mourn their passing. If they were on the edge of dispair in late 1941, how do they recover from the blow of being deserted a year later, just as they are getting their footing?

Those supplies were absolutely critical to Stalin in the 1942-43 period, and had Hitler been able to convince Churchill and Roosevelt that it was all a big misunderstanding, that all Germany really wanted was the fertile parts of Russia (and the oil fields and natural gas and so on to the south), the Soviets are in a vastly different position than the one they historically were in in late 1942.

In 1942, the Soviets were holding off the Germans with their stockpiled supplies and Lend-Lease while trying to reestablish their industrial base east of the Urals. What happens if they lose the Lendlease portion of the equation?

cheers

horseback
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif Some very good, well stated insights.