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View Full Version : Size of air battles, different theatres..



XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 01:08 AM
Just something I have always wondered. What was the difference in the size of the air battles that took place in the different theatres? How did Western Europe compare to Eastern Europe, Africa, Italy, Pacific, etc.? What were the numbers of planes typically involved? Any info would be appreciated.

Also, I thought this may have an effect on the direction 1C/Maddox goes towards in their next project.

<center>
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XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 01:08 AM
Just something I have always wondered. What was the difference in the size of the air battles that took place in the different theatres? How did Western Europe compare to Eastern Europe, Africa, Italy, Pacific, etc.? What were the numbers of planes typically involved? Any info would be appreciated.

Also, I thought this may have an effect on the direction 1C/Maddox goes towards in their next project.

<center>
http://www.brooksart.com/Typhooncountry.jpg

XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 02:40 AM
Yeah, its hard to find info on the raw number of aircraft in certain fights over certain areas. Perhaps the best known are BoB, USAF in German stratosphere, Truk island, etc...

Browze this for some ideas...

---> http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/2072/LW_OBs.html

XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 05:28 AM
Overall, the western ETO saw the largest air battles of the war. But that's to be expected when the USAAF and RAF sent as many bombers as they did into Germany.

I've read accounts of bombers streams so long that the planes at the front of the stream were dropping there bombs as the planes at the end were just lifting off from their bases in England.

The airwar was fought on its largest scale in the western ETO.

Regards,

SkyChimp

http://pages.prodigy.net/4parks/_uimages/LT150.jpg

XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 05:59 AM
I think we need information on tactical, frontal air battles. They tended to last all day long, with pilots making multiple sorties throught the day. Truk Island was pretty big. I've read Kursk was the largest tactical air battle, kinda like it was the largest tank battle. Largest tactical air assualt may be the Ardennes battle at the end of 1945, when the weather cleared, but there wasn't much tactical Luftwaffe left so I doubt it was very large in air battle sense.

Yough Chimp, do you realize the raw number of aircraft you are implying with that bomber stream, assuming a constant linear density of aircraft?

XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 06:59 AM
Thanks for the replies. Does anyone know how the air battles in the Med./Italy/Africa compared to others? Wasn't there some pretty heavy action at Malta?

<center>
http://www.brooksart.com/Typhooncountry.jpg

XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 07:13 AM
SkyChimp wrote:
- Overall, the western ETO saw the largest air battles
- of the war. But that's to be expected when the
- USAAF and RAF sent as many bombers as they did into
- Germany.
-
- I've read accounts of bombers streams so long that
- the planes at the front of the stream were dropping
- there bombs as the planes at the end were just
- lifting off from their bases in England.
-
- The airwar was fought on its largest scale in the
- western ETO.
-
- Regards,
-
- SkyChimp
-
- <img
- src="http://pages.prodigy.net/4parks/_uimages/LT15
- 0.jpg">
-
-

wow that would be amazing to see simulated properly in a game now-a-days. i always love games that make it feel like everything isn't created exclusively for the player but that there is a greater cause. i think this is why some of the most successful games coming out are the ones like grand theft auto and battlefield 1942. you're just one guy in the middle of a huge city or a battlefield. of course i think it will take a while to make a realistic simulation that could make you feel as insignificant as these games try to make you feel realistically.



... and yes this is pointless and off topic

XyZspineZyX
07-13-2003, 08:03 AM
Salute

The USAAF was running missions with 1000+ heavy bombers, escorted by 1000+ fighters in the last stages of the war.

By that time there were not that many interceptors coming up to meet them.

The period of the most intense fighting was between October of 1943 and May of 1944. During that time, the Luftwaffe Fighter force was basically destroyed as an effective counter to the bombing raids.

The number of losses of both sides were enormous, dwarfing anything which had happened before that time on either the Western or Eastern Front.

On the first day of 'Big Week', February 20th 1944, the 8th AAF put up 880 B-17's and B-24's, and 835 P-47's, P-51's and P-38's. (75% P-47's) Of the escorts, due to range constraints and the nessesity to cover the bombers throughout their flight path, at any one time approximately 250 would be with the Bombers.

The Germans might have 1000 aircraft available, but due to the requirement to cover all of Germany, would typically be able to intercept with approximately 300-400 fighters which would vectored in on one section of the bombers stream to swamp the defences.

Battles would often see 1000 aircraft involved.

In the period of Jan-May 1944, the Luftwaffe was losing almost 50% of its fighter strength EVERY month.

On the other side, the crews of the B-17's and B-24's had about a 25% chance of surviving the required number of missions to complete a tour.

Losses for the USAAF Fighters were not nearly as bad, although far more than would be deemed acceptable nowadays.

By the way, in regards to SkyChimp's comments that some bombers would be taking off at the same time as others would be over target, that would be a slight exaggeration for the Daylight bombers.

The USAAF daylight bombers operated in quite densly packed formations, and would form up over England prior to heading for Europe. Sometimes this process of forming up into Bomb Divisions would take hours.

The British Night Bombers on the other hand, did not operate in mutually supportive formations, each bomber was on its own. They all flew the same general path, but the 'bomber stream' was much less dense and much longer in length. It is possible that the British bomber stream might see aircraft over England at the same time as others were over target. (British had 1000 bomber raids too)

If you are interested in a book which covers the battle in detail, then I would reccommend "The Mighty Eighth" by Geral Astor.

The combats which occurred on the Eastern Front did not involve these kinds of numbers and the typical engagement saw many fewer aircraft present, as well as lower losses.


Cheers RAF74 Buzzsaw

XyZspineZyX
07-14-2003, 12:18 AM
Best Quote, ever.......


Author: Timmothias http://forums.ubi.com/i/icons/Food/chili.gif

Rank: Over 100 Postings
Date: 07/13/03 06:13AM

I always love games that make it feel like everything isn't created exclusively for the player but that there is a Greater Cause....You are just one guy in the middle of a huge city or a battlefield. Of course I think it will take a while to make a realistic simulation that could make you feel as insignificant as these games try to make you feel realistically.

Very well stated.