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View Full Version : Why exactly do you think that the Luftwaffe had superior airplanes early in the war?



XyZspineZyX
09-25-2003, 05:34 PM
Originally posted on 09/19/03 04:22PM (server time: GMT 0)

I read a lot of postings here from poeple who think that they are already making a point by just stating that the 109 does not outclass a contemporary VVS plane in every respect.

Why is this? Just because of the difference in kill counts?

I don't think that technical difference was the main reason for this. Just imagine the following mission setup in FB:

On the red side you have a couple of flights with very strictly defined goals. One flight is escorting some bombers with orders to maintain very close formation with the bombers and with the other fighters. A second is supposed to protect a spot of land by circling it at low altitude, a third is strafing some ground targets. All flights have strict orders to not actively engage enemy fighters, they are just allowed to defend themselves when coming under attack.

On the blue side the mission is simple: roam the skies, seek out easy targets and engage at will.

If you now add a general rule that noobs must fly red and Experten blue, I think we finally have a mission which could give us an idea about the air war at the eastern front, at least up to the end of '42.

Do you really think that 10 km/h more or less or 1 m/s roc moe or less would make any difference in this scenario?

And one last thing: I'm very grateful for everyone who makes an effort of comparing real test data with what we have in the game, like Wastel did recently. I just want to contest the assumption that Luftwaffe must have had superior planes to explain the respective losses of VVS and Luftwaffe in the war.

XyZspineZyX
09-25-2003, 05:34 PM
Originally posted on 09/19/03 04:22PM (server time: GMT 0)

I read a lot of postings here from poeple who think that they are already making a point by just stating that the 109 does not outclass a contemporary VVS plane in every respect.

Why is this? Just because of the difference in kill counts?

I don't think that technical difference was the main reason for this. Just imagine the following mission setup in FB:

On the red side you have a couple of flights with very strictly defined goals. One flight is escorting some bombers with orders to maintain very close formation with the bombers and with the other fighters. A second is supposed to protect a spot of land by circling it at low altitude, a third is strafing some ground targets. All flights have strict orders to not actively engage enemy fighters, they are just allowed to defend themselves when coming under attack.

On the blue side the mission is simple: roam the skies, seek out easy targets and engage at will.

If you now add a general rule that noobs must fly red and Experten blue, I think we finally have a mission which could give us an idea about the air war at the eastern front, at least up to the end of '42.

Do you really think that 10 km/h more or less or 1 m/s roc moe or less would make any difference in this scenario?

And one last thing: I'm very grateful for everyone who makes an effort of comparing real test data with what we have in the game, like Wastel did recently. I just want to contest the assumption that Luftwaffe must have had superior planes to explain the respective losses of VVS and Luftwaffe in the war.

XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 08:59 AM
Not much of an opinion, But as a 700 hour pilot in the mighty Cessna 150 I learned that the germans were having an intense love affair with aviation they really went for the gliders as well as having a huge civilian aviation presence in south america.

XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 09:26 AM
Yeah i also saw that young children where motivated to fly gliders as early as 1933, no wonder they grew up to beat the hell out of the Allied airforces.

XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 10:09 AM
You make some good points ICAG_Frog. However the conditions you describe only partially explain the disparity between the LW and VVS success rate.

The LW planes were superior to the VVS aircraft. It's hard to see w/ IL2/FB but there were a lot of small things that make a huge difference.

For instance:
1. Germany was endowed w/ an industrial work force and infrastructure as a result of leading the second industrial revolution.

2. After being wiped out after WWI, Germany had to start fresh and were not encumbered w/ old designs and obsolete aircraft.

3. Germany knew about the war beforehand, and therefore had the opportunity to better prepare.


4. German instrumentation was Superior throughout the war. You can't even find an artificial horizon in a Russian plane until the end of the war.

5. German enjoyed better manufacturing quality and the support infrastructure to keep their planes well maintained (at least at first)

3. German tactics were refined and were aided by the use of a radio. (which the Russians almost entirely lacked, if you were lucky your flight leader had a radio set and communicated to the squad w/ hand signals.


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XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 10:39 AM
Personally I think their planes weren't that superior, but their tactics were.
For example Brits used 3 plane Vic-formation until early BoB
while Germans used rotte und schwarm formation. Later brits adopted same system, but they only called it Finger four.
Almost all nations tried to use Burn&turn fighting as their method while Germans used Zoom&boom.

So my opinion is that German planes were not superior compared to others, but their tactics was good. And they did use their planes strong points.

Regards

SheerLuck Holmes

XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 10:48 AM
I think there are many reasons why the Luftwaffe performed so well and the Soviet air force so poorly in 1941 - 42.

Technical Superiority
The Luftwaffe fighters and bombers operated in 1941 were either as good as anyone else's (BF 109, Ju 88) or capable of being used effectively if air superiority could be gained (He 111, Ju 87). The vast bulk of the Soviet air force was comprised of obsolescent designs such as the I-16 and SB. The newer aircraft which would eventually allow the Soviets to gain control of the air were present in only very small numbers. For example, only 42 Pe-2s were present on the Western Front at the start of Barbarossa ('Petlyakov Pe-2 'Peshka' by Peter C Smith). So, against the majority of the aircraft they fought the Luftwaffe had a considerable rather than a minor technical advantage.

Tactical Experience
Luftwaffe pilots had, at this stage of the war, excellent training. This was backed up by a wealth of combat experience going back in some cases as far as the Spanish Civil War. Many of the Luftwaffe's pilots had experience against the air forces of France, Britain and the host of smaller countries Germany had attacked. This experience was often kept in the front line as there was no policy of pilot rotation as per the Western Allies. Though this would later become the Achilles' heel of the Luftwaffe in 1941 it made for a very experienced air force.

In contrast the Soviets had little recent experience beyond fighting the small and poorly equipped Finnish air force and the Japanese Army Air Force in the Far East, which was a very different beast from the Luftwaffe. Training seems to have been perfunctory as well. For example, even as late as 1943 heavy losses amongst IL-2s were attribute to stereotyped tactics; a Russian investigation found that 'On almost all fronts pilots adopted a peculiar scheme of approaching the target at 1,000 - 1,500m altitude without considering its nature, then gliding down and recovering after the attack with a turn to port. The enemy therefore knew the attackers' manoeuvres beforehand and prepared all his antiaircraft defences.' (from Soviet Combat Aircraft of WW2, Volume 2, by Yefim Gordon and Dmitri Khazanov)

Operational Experience
The Luftwaffe had had plenty of practical experience from planning and conducting operations in its campaigns in the West. It had a doctrine for supporting the army and experience in implementing it effectively, and this is what it did in the Soviet Union. The Soviet air force was some way behind, and if the purges of the late 1930s had affected the air force command as badly as the army's then there must have been full of politically reliable but militarily inept officers.

Strategic Initiative
Being on the offensive allowed the Luftwaffe to determine and concentrate on the key parts of the battlefield. This often allowed them to achieve local numerical superiority. The importance of sheer number should not be underestimated! This was coupled with the advantage that surprise gave and the general lack of Soviet preparations allowing for the destruction of huge quantities of aircraft on the ground in the first few hours of the campaign.

In summary, in every category other than that of crude numbers the Luftwaffe enjoyed the advantage over its 1941 Soviet opponent. That would change, but for the initial campaign the qualitative advantages enjoyed by the Luftwaffe far outweighed its smaller numbers.

Anyone any other thoughts?

-------------------------------------

In January 1945 German officials from the Ministry of Armaments assessed what might have been produced in 1944 without the bombing. They estimated that German industry turned out 35% fewer tanks, 31% fewer aircraft and 42% fewer lorries than would have been possible otherwise.All the officials interviewed (after the war) stated that bombing was the factor responsible for the declining gains from rationalisation and for the eventual collapse of the economic structure after January 1945

Professor R.J. Overy, 'War and Economy in the Third Reich'

XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 05:23 PM
Thank you for your post Mr_Nakajima. You have covered it all, and I would like to add a reminder that the advantages the LW had in 41 translated into a very significant psychological disadvantage that afflicted the VVS for a long time. Thanks to IL-2, I know from experience how hard it is for a scared pilot to survive when up against a cool confident opponent.

S!

SKULLS_LZ

SKULLS Squadron VF-98
"We Service What We Smell"

XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 06:16 PM
Germany also had alot of practice in the Spanish civil war.

XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 06:32 PM
Ogne of the major factors in deternmining aircraft quality was when nations had decided to modernize their air fleet. Poland's designs were state of the art in the early thirties, but were obsolete by the time '39 rolled around. Britan was just barely in time; the Huricanes and Spitfires were rolling off the line just in time to turn the tide in the B.O.B.. Germany had a well developed and battle tested air fleet at the start of the war. Her mistake was in never developing any new designs until it was too late (i.e. Me 262)

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Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.
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XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 07:29 PM
I'm not shier but wasn't it forbidden for Germany to develop or build weapons after WW1? And that's why the glider programs where started in the first place? They called it a hobby but were weapons research in dascies all under the world's nose!

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XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 08:56 PM
They were not meant too research or develop new weapons due too the treaty of versailles, im not sure if this was only offensive weapons or defensive aswell.

One way they got around this was filing for patents on designs in different countrys, for example a timer fuse that English boffins found hard to work out how to defuse. By chance someone found that the patent for the design had been filed in London and using the designs enabled our bomb disposal crews to safely tackle this type of bomb. A bit of trivia there but quite bizzare.

XyZspineZyX
09-27-2003, 09:46 PM
Glad to see these posts as I think many spend too much time looking at aircraft stats & not enough considering the importance of tactical advances.

One reason the online wars etc do not produce historical results is that both sides have the advantage of tactical know how that wasn't widespread in the 1940s.


Even in 1943 VVS fighters were often tied to slow speed standing patrols over particular areas which put them at a tactical disadvantage. Meanwhile the Germans were free to hunt for enemy aircraft & engage them only when they had the advantage.

This tactic is why less manuverable but higher speed planes came to dominate the dogfighters.

XyZspineZyX
09-28-2003, 03:24 AM
Germans unlike other natins had a typical "profesionalism"(is not the best word tough), and the fact that after WW1 they weren't allowed to have a big army or build weapons, allowed them to select the best ppl for the best pleces(until the nazi politics camed and splashed all).
Also, they dad as said before a better quality and rate of production.
To give you a simple scenario: 16 Ju88 at 6000m with the task of bombing a russian factory, escorted by 4-8 109F, wich are flying above at 7000m.
On the nearest airfield, are, some I-16 and Mig-3's, that recevie the notice about the LW bombers after they passed, due to the poor comunication quality.
4-I16 takeoff to attack the bombers, and 3 Mig's will protect them against escort.
the result: when on 7000m, the ratas wil barely cach up with the Ju's, and are being to busy to stay out of the bombers defensive fire, rather than destroy any, while the Migs,were surprised by the 109's that dived from above and after seriously damageing them, they left and atacked the poor rata's.
the result at debriefing? LW: 1 Ju88 damaged by AAA, 1 barely touched by rata's fire, and one Bf109, belly landed due to gear malfunction. probably caused by fighters.
VVS: 1 mig shot down, 1 damaged , 1 Rata shot down by fighters, one by bomber gunners, one rata destroyed on landing due to stucture damage, caused by prolonged use, and so on....
And so it goes one regiment afer a week of war....
Sad or not, but true.... /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

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XyZspineZyX
09-28-2003, 03:36 AM
Is that based on true facts?

If so where did you find that kind of info? I wouldnt mind taking a look.

XyZspineZyX
09-28-2003, 03:47 AM
Clip taken from: http://www.chuckhawks.com/best_fighter_planes.htm

The prototype Messerschmitt Bf 109 first flew in 1935. It was a low wing, all metal monoplane of the type that became the mainstay of all sides in WW II. The famous Messerschmitt fighter was flown by many of the top scoring Luftwaffe fighter pilots in the course of WW II. The top fighter pilot of all time, Erich Hartmann (who flew 1,400 missions, shot down 352 enemy planes--mostly on the Eastern Front, and was proudest of the fact that he never lost a wingman), and the second highest scoring fighter pilot of all time, Gerhard Barkhorn (301 victories, all on the Eastern Front), both flew the Bf 109. So did the first "General of Fighters", Werner Molders (115 victories), and his famous successor in that job, Adolf Galland (104 victories). Heinz Knoke, who wrote the fascinating book I Flew For the Furher had 44 victories, 19 of them 4-engine bombers, all in the Bf 109. The top scoring German ace of the Western front, Hans-Joachim Marseille (158 victories), also flew the Bf 109.

XyZspineZyX
09-28-2003, 07:22 AM
They may have had the best early war planes in RL, but in FB, the early Ivan planes seem better to me. The engine on the early Lagg is invincible, can take any amount of hits. Very good example of early russian planes in FB being better. It'a also faster than Emils, if I remember right.

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