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Ojisan_Mjoelner
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Ojisan_Mjoelner

Why did the Russians ever need P-39's, P-40's and Hurricanes when they had the La-5's and Yak-1's ?

 

Any1 has an idea ?

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4thFG_Cpt_J_Godfrey

Great question,,,given how "accurate" the flight models are. Can not imagine why the US and the British bothered wasting their war material by sending them east. Russian aircraft=superb flight characteristics, excellent cannons/mgs' that will take the wing off with a 1 sec burst, what else can you ask for? Flame away boys!! :P

Edited by Orion
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216th_Lucas_From_Hell

In a simple way, numbers. Before becoming the post-1943 juggernaut it is known as, the Soviet air forces had very few airworthy aircraft in the end of 1941 due to constant retreats and airfield attacks. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the Hurricane was obsolete by then, or that the P-40 fell behind its opposition and other Soviet fighters too, but when these deliveries started the Soviet Air Forces were taking whatever they could get.

 

Elaborating a bit more, production of modern aircraft was no easy feat, and having somebody else help you shoulder the burden freed up workers and factories to focus on products such as tanks and so on. Evacuations early in the war also meant that production wasn't meeting demand, so aircraft of any kind were welcome.

 

On top of that, the P-39 was a first-rate aircraft within the operational realities it faced with the Soviets which is why it was delivered up until 1945 and fought along with Yak-3s and La-7s.

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ShamrockOneFive

Also keeping in mind that when they needed these aircraft the most was in that crucial 1941-1942 period where not only were they loosing spectacular numbers of aircraft (and pilots) but they were also facing mass disruptions to their production as they were forced to move everything to the east and away from the front lines.

 

There were some qualities that lend lease aircraft had that Russian aircraft tended not to have as well but they are things that don't matter so much in simulation world. Things like the excellent and lightweight two-way radios that most or all British and American types were fitted with. Cockpit glass that didn't yellow and distort quickly and engine seals that largely kept noxious fumes out of the cockpit (the La-5 was a particularly nasty one for that).

 

The P-39s ended up being some of the best that they got. For those reasons... Plus its excellent low altitude performance, and better firepower than most Allied types (as far as the Russians were concerned) and that the P-39s being flown in were new aircraft. Some of the Hurricanes and Spitfires that the British sent over were old, used, and more sensitive to harsh Eastern Front conditions although the Hurricane's rugged construction definitely helped.

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LLv44_Damixu

The reason was a political gesture towards an ally. Those lend-lease aircrafts were not exactly needed at eastern front but were nice addition to the rooster for the ruskies.

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lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/romanenko/p-39/

 

The link is specific in listing a lot of VVS units and P-39 serial numbers but a very interesting read (excerpts from Airacobras Enter Combat).   On the second page at the bottom ( Drawing conclusions ...) is the paragraph to the point.  (Russian author)

 

 

... oh ... and Stalin personally requested more P-39s.

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If the Russian fighter pilots had been of the same high standard as that of their opponents, then their Yak's and La's would have been sufficient.          

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Mastermariner

If the Russian fighter pilots had been of the same high standard as that of their opponents, then their Yak's and La's would have been sufficient.          

 

That is intended as an insult. Coming from a Dane who's people 'resisted' the Germans for six (6!) hours, 16 casualties' compared to 27 million, its pretty dumb. I suggest we both delete our posts befor further flames erupts.

 

Master  

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ZachariasX

That is intended as an insult. Coming from a Dane who's people 'resisted' the Germans for six (6!) hours, 16 casualties' compared to 27 million, its pretty dumb. I suggest we both delete our posts befor further flames erupts.

 

Master  

 

Careful, you can't just say, beacuse back then they resisted 6 hours, so would he. What if he resisted for 3 hours?

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That is intended as an insult. Coming from a Dane who's people 'resisted' the Germans for six (6!) hours, 16 casualties' compared to 27 million, its pretty dumb. I suggest we both delete our posts befor further flames erupts.

 

Master

I don't think he was flaming but instead mentioning that the Russians were at a disadvantage in pilot experience. I think it a compliment to the aircraft of the VVS because they have taken a bad rap as crap aircraft, but they really aren't. Yet if we look at some other air forces of the war (Jap/Germany), when they were unable to train their pilots to standard, they suffered extremely high losses as well despite having "great" aircraft.

 

But yeah, that was a cheap shot though. The war has been over for 70 years, no need to thrash nationalities over their past. Besides, Hitler was intent on wiping out the Russian culture and people, so loss would mean extinction of a great civilization. So they HAD to fight and they did. Nothing is a stronger motivation for a fighting man than knowing that their cause is just. I don't think the Danes had to worry about that. Not saying it's right, just saying they weren't faced with the same circumstances that the Russians were. Besides, how long could the Danes have resisted? They would have lost either way since they were just vastly outnumbered and with inferior tech. At least the Russians had a means to offer actual resistance and pushback, and as history shows, they did. But if the Danes had to suffer 27million casualties they would have been exterminated. Hell, as of 2013 they only have a population of 5 millions.

 

Things aren't always so black and white.

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216th_Lucas_From_Hell

Still silly though, the stereotype of the Luftwaffe Supermen fighting the flying peasants of the Red Army has been proven wrong enough times. The truth is that both the Luftwaffe and the Soviet Air Forces were experiencing training problems at the time, with the difference being that the Soviets managed to eventually replenish the loss of experienced pilots while the Luftwaffe had a select few shouldering the burden across the board.

 

Soviet aircraft losses in 1941/2 were nearly exclusively a matter of poor direction and employment from Division/Corpus/Army commanders, combined with good tactical and strategic employment by an enemy which attacked decisively and had superiority of numbers and experience as a fighting force. It is a known fact that multiple experienced pilots of the Soviet Air Forces would categorically forbid rookies from flying until they considered them ready. Famous names like Fedor Arkhipenko and Aleksandr Pokryshkin grounded rookies and instead ordered them to study tactics and listen to experienced pilots for multiple days even in 1941.

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That is intended as an insult. Coming from a Dane who's people 'resisted' the Germans for six (6!) hours, 16 casualties' compared to 27 million, its pretty dumb. I suggest we both delete our posts befor further flames erupts.

 

Master  

 

No, that was not intended as an insult, and I humbly apologize if it came across that way. I was instead alluding to the fact that the Russians (or more correctly the Soviets, there were many more nationalities in the USSR) lost far more aircraft than their opponents throughout the war regardless of which aircraft they were flying. That would surely not have been the case if the standard of pilot experience and training had been of the same caliber as that of their enemies.

 

That is not to say that they didn't have some very good and even great fighter pilots, they certainly did.         

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216th_Lucas_From_Hell

It doesn't add up though - the vast majority of Soviet Air Force losses particularly from 1943 on was AAA. Losses per month in 1945 were as high if not higher than in 1942-1943 even though there was factually no Luftwaffe left. In the turn of 1943 the Soviet Air Force training was just as good if not better than the Luftwaffe's.

 

Factually speaking, the Soviets just flew more dangerous missions and took higher risks because they could afford to do so. Up to the end of the war you could read stories of groups of four attacking formations of 60 bombers plus 30 fighters with decent success. Attack aviation performed attacks at treetop heights against heavily defended targets (worth noting that while the number, quality and quantity of air opposition dwindled, AAA increased exponentially in the last two years of the war), bomber aviation would commonly dive-bomb for accuracy and naval aviation did all that while over water. In strategic terms, despite the elevated losses from such intense combat if it achieved a breakthrough and pushed the front then it was worth it, so long as production and training could keep up - which it could.

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ZachariasX

It doesn't add up though - the vast majority of Soviet Air Force losses particularly from 1943 on was AAA. Losses per month in 1945 were as high if not higher than in 1942-1943 even though there was factually no Luftwaffe left. In the turn of 1943 the Soviet Air Force training was just as good if not better than the Luftwaffe's.

 

Factually speaking, the Soviets just flew more dangerous missions and took higher risks because they could afford to do so. Up to the end of the war you could read stories of groups of four attacking formations of 60 bombers plus 30 fighters with decent success. Attack aviation performed attacks at treetop heights against heavily defended targets (worth noting that while the number, quality and quantity of air opposition dwindled, AAA increased exponentially in the last two years of the war), bomber aviation would commonly dive-bomb for accuracy and naval aviation did all that while over water. In strategic terms, despite the elevated losses from such intense combat if it achieved a breakthrough and pushed the front then it was worth it, so long as production and training could keep up - which it could.

 

Exactly. Training as well as doctrine make up your loss figure.

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It's tricky comparing losses, but from what I have been able to gather from searching the web total Soviet operational losses of aircraft were at least 3x that off the Luftwaffe (on the Eastern front); and that ratio was pretty constant throughout the conflict. I have know doubt in the bravery and will off the Soviet airmen to throw the invaders of their nation out; I can however, not see that they managed to achieve qualitive parity, the loss figures just don't bear that out.     

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1.

During the period in question, a constant 21-24% of the Luftwaffe's day fighters were based in the East - but only 12-14% of the Luftwaffe day fighter "losses" occurred in this theater.

2.

During this period, a constant 75-78% of the day fighters were based in the West. The turnover was enormous: 14,720 aircraft were "lost", while operational strength averaged 1364.

3.

During this period, 2294 day fighters were "lost" in the East; the ratio of western "losses" to eastern "losses" was thus 14,720/2294 = 6.4 to one.

4.

During this period, a constant 43-46% of all of the Luftwaffe's operational aircraft were based in the East. It should be noted that these included entire categories (for example, battlefield recce, battle planes, dive bombers) that were used exclusively in the East, because they couldn't survive in the West..

5.

During this period, a total of 8600 operational aircraft were "lost" in the East, while 27,060 were "lost" in the West; the ratio of western "losses" to eastern "losses" was thus 27,060/8600 = 3.41 to one.

 

 

http://don-caldwell.we.bs/jg26/thtrlosses.htm

 

further reading, http://chris-intel-corner.blogspot.ca/2012/04/eastern-front-aircraft-strength-and.html

 

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ZachariasX

Given how different the doctrines of the VVS and the Luftwaffe were, I think it is tather unfair to tell from these loss rates the "ability" of the soviet flying personel.

 

The Germans, from very early on had a very sporty approach to air combat. Especially knowing that they are hopelessly outnumbered, the fighters would mainly go and shoot down planes when opportunity was right. Very much in Richtofens sense "The task of the fighter plane is to shoot down the enemy. Everything else is nonsense." So they racked up score, some in a hugely impressive manner. BUT did they care about "completing missions"? Not so much.

 

For the VVS, completing the mission was more relevant than the individual pilots survival. No wonder they had high losses. Especially when they flew low over the front in flak infested areas.

 

You can compare that to Wing 122 of 2nd TAF in late '44 to the end of the war. They flew very much "Soviet style" and their attrition rate was staggering. When Closterman took over after former Wing Commander Brooker was shot down in February 45, he was almost sole survivor for these three months. (AFAIK Bay Adams also survived this long). Result was that that this wing was the secon most scoring unit (by half a victory; Closterman shared one with a Mustang pilot as a friendly gesture.) Closterman was shot down twice in this time. Once by an D9 and once by American flak. No one would tell from these huge losses on the British side that Wing 122's pilots were badly trained. Same holds true for the VVS. They did what they were supposed to do.

 

For JG 26, the whole picture looked drastically different. From the moment their Pilots would leave their bunks, they could see enemy aircraft, especially in the west. Just flying a mission pattern would result in swift and total destruction of all planes aloft. So what dan you do? You sneak from airfield to airfield trying not to get vulched and if you find careless pilots of the other side, then you take the chance.

 

Needkes to say, if you start operating like that, you converted your outfit from air force to a deadly nuisance. You lost.

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I very much disagree with your interpretation of Luftwaffe operations. The Luftwaffe over the course of the entire war had a higher attrition rate than any Allied air force, in particular the fighters. They got destroyed more than a dozen times over, and even in the successful early days, they lost more than 100% of their operational strength each year.

 

They weren't flying around as Sunday opportunity hunters, they were fighting a war like everybody else. It's just that German operational doctrine allowed for higher degree of freedom than other armed forces did, both in the air and on the ground. Which generally increased success rates, both in terms of reducing loss ratios/increasing kill ratios and in terms of increasing mission success. Flying straight and level just because your commanding officer told you so is not increasing mission success at the expense of higher losses. It's just increasing losses and reducing mission success. The Germans did not succeed with their Blitzkrieg because the Luftwaffe was not caring about completing missions, they very much did.

 

As a side note, the Luftwaffe had both dedicated ramming squads and well as suicide squads. The only Nation that took mission accomplishment to more extremes was Japan, with their large scale Kamikaze operations.

Edited by JtD
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Mastermariner

 

 

No, that was not intended as an insult, and I humbly apologize if it came across that way.

 

Respect man! I overreacted but if you write a one liner like that a lot of stupid guys, me included, will have field day interpret it in a bad way. Ha en bra dag!

​Master

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Respect man! I overreacted but if you write a one liner like that a lot of stupid guys, me included, will have field day interpret it in a bad way. Ha en bra dag!

​Master

 

 

 

NP, Master. I am a lazy writer, so I expect to take some knocks now and then when I don't bother to explain myself properly.

 

God dag til dig også  :salute:

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ZachariasX

I very much disagree with your interpretation of Luftwaffe operations. The Luftwaffe over the course of the entire war had a higher attrition rate than any Allied air force, in particular the fighters. They got destroyed more than a dozen times over, and even in the successful early days, they lost more than 100% of their operational strength each year.

 

They weren't flying around as Sunday opportunity hunters, they were fighting a war like everybody else. It's just that German operational doctrine allowed for higher degree of freedom than other armed forces did, both in the air and on the ground. Which generally increased success rates, both in terms of reducing loss ratios/increasing kill ratios and in terms of increasing mission success. Flying straight and level just because your commanding officer told you so is not increasing mission success at the expense of higher losses. It's just increasing losses and reducing mission success. The Germans did not succeed with their Blitzkrieg because the Luftwaffe was not caring about completing missions, they very much did.

 

As a side note, the Luftwaffe had both dedicated ramming squads and well as suicide squads. The only Nation that took mission accomplishment to more extremes was Japan, with their large scale Kamikaze operations.

 

There were several allied units that got destroyed several times over, the aforementioned Wing 122 was one of them. Not to speak of thy Typhoon units.

 

I admit that I let myself being carried away a bit by stating that "Luftwaffe was not caring about mission goals", which was meant for the final stage of war, where (in the west) 300 or so operational Luftwaffe fighters could sneak around under a sky filled with 2000 allied aircraft of all types. This situation makes every takeoff a gamble and a mission couldn't be executed anymore in the way the allies did them.

 

Sure they cared about mission goals like shooting down all the bombers coming in. But everybody knew that they couldn't stop them no matter what. The only thing they could do is shoot down some aircraft or strafe some troops, knowing that whatever they do is very inconsequential for the larger course of the war.

 

In the beginning, like battle of France or Britain, sure they had specific missions and goals they adhered to. By 1942 however, over the western front the mission was reduced to "shoot down what you can, when you can". By then, the attention shifted to the Mediterranean and the Russian front. There as well, they started out with clearly orchestrated plans and missions. In the Mediterranean, by 1943 it was also "shoot down what you can, if you can". In the East, it took a bit longer to reach that state of demise, but it happened as well.

Also in the East, there was very little Luftwaffe present compared to the Soviet air force. They made more punctual efforts, but the regular German Landser had mostly Russian planes overhead with brief periods where he had some fighter cover. Also in this situations, when you as a fighter pilot see that you are outnumbered 10 to 1, all you do is snatch what you can and leave. You certainly don’t put yourself between the enemy and your ground troops, as this guaranties the failure of you to return. The Russians on the other hand would do just that, even if it meant the failure to return. You can see who’s ground troops were grateful. Also the racking up score was often enough at the expense of lesser skilled, new pilots. Gordon Gollob was a prime example of trading wingmen for personal victories.

 

It is really striking how sporty Galland and many of his fellows considered air combat. Much in contrast to Douglas Bader, to whom war was not “a game of Cricket”. Galland was not the only one to think that way, even Staint-Exupéry wrote in a letter about courage in air combat that it was “a bit of rage, vanity and a some sort of vulgar, sporty fun.”

The Germans had all ingredients to be that way with the lack of command, the outright impossibility to act like in 1941, adequate material at hand and a good sense for self-preservation. If you don’t get a very practical approach to air combat under these odds, you’re dead at once.

 

When you look at the operations in the west from 1944 on (I rely on Prillers book on JG 26), you can see that with the exception of Operation Bodenplatte, it was a very improvised affair for the Germans. You had some experienced wing leaders and a vacuum higher up in the chain of command. Like the circus in 1917, they moved from airfield to airfield avoiding to get bombed excessively, while flying in numbers of up to 60 planes of so giving them punctual numerical superiority over the allied patrols of 8 to 16 planes. The goal was shoot down what you can while not getting shot down. If that wasn’t bad enough, they had to go up to fight the 8th air force as well. With the exception of occasional recce or bombing attacks by jets (e.g. on the Ludendorff Bridge) didn't do anything offensive anymore. Every allied pilot by 1944 knew that the German air force was beaten. If they did actively any meaningful offensive actions, people wouldn't have thought them beaten.

 

Racking up scores was the only mission left to the Experten. That they did well.

 

There were trys for meaningful efforts. You mention the ramming squads. But there, the 109s got their weapons (except one 13 mm) traded for extra armor to "permit the pilot to bail out after the ram". There was also the "Selbstaufopferungsstaffel", the KG 200 of the Luftwaffe, the only thing that comes close to the Kamikaze (or your regular suicide bomber). Both attempts were failures. The rammers didn't really do much ramming and the self-sanctifiers didn't do much self scarifying, at least not much more than other pilots did (but they were being served much better food).

 

The point is, even though that the Germans are probably the most order oriented (befehlsorientiert) units out there, there was the point where you could order all day long, the environment was just not permissible anymore for a regular kind of mission.

 

Running for your life, killing what you can kill is by no means "sunday driving". It was the twilight of the gods.

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I still disagree with you after that more detailed explanation, but since this topic is supposed to be "lend-lease", I'll make my response short.

a) If the mission is to shoot down enemy aircraft, then shooting down enemy aircraft is going for the mission goals.

b) Up to the very end the few operational ground attack units left flew ground attack even against overwhelming odds when the orders were given, going for the mission goal.

Being incapable of winning the air war doesn't mean orders and missions weren't followed any more. Neither does the flexibility of "Auftragstaktik" equal a permission to abandon mission goals in favour of personal glory.

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216th_Lucas_From_Hell

JtD, I think what we're trying to say here is that the Luftwaffe - due to strategic need - could not afford to follow through with massive and risky offensive missions like the VVS did, and instead opted for a more passive doctrine. This kept it alive for longer as a fighting force, but at the same time reduced its overall efficiency in the large scale of things. Of course, factually speaking this only reflected the situation on the ground where from 1943 onwards there was little the Axis forces could do but dig up, defend then retreat considering the might they were facing. This map is one of my favourites because it puts the scale of operations in perspective.

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ZachariasX

JtD, I think what we're trying to say here is that the Luftwaffe - due to strategic need - could not afford to follow through with massive and risky offensive missions like the VVS did, and instead opted for a more passive doctrine. This kept it alive for longer as a fighting force, but at the same time reduced its overall efficiency in the large scale of things. Of course, factually speaking this only reflected the situation on the ground where from 1943 onwards there was little the Axis forces could do but dig up, defend then retreat considering the might they were facing. This map is one of my favourites because it puts the scale of operations in perspective.

Better words than mine. Yes.

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Well, we started with explaining higher Soviet losses with worse piloting skill, something ZachariasX disagreed with and argued that it could be explained with the Luftwaffe just shooting down planes, whereas the VVS accomplished missions. I'm disagreeing with that.

 

In that context, Lucas, I'm also disagreeing with you, because the Luftwaffe had their biggest successes when they still could afford "massive and risky offensive missions". I don't see how something that made the Luftwaffe successful and gave it much of the reputation it earned, can at the same time be an excuse for another air force.

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ZachariasX

Well, we started with explaining higher Soviet losses with worse piloting skill, something ZachariasX disagreed with and argued that it could be explained with the Luftwaffe just shooting down planes, whereas the VVS accomplished missions. I'm disagreeing with that.In that context, Lucas, I'm also disagreeing with you, because the Luftwaffe had their biggest successes when they still could afford "massive and risky offensive missions". I don't see how something that made the Luftwaffe successful and gave it much of the reputation it earned, can at the same time be an excuse for another air force.

At that time? The biggest sucesses? Poltava? And...? I'd be honestly interessted in your impression of things. But it really goes OT. But I'd be happy to read it in a PM as well.

 

Z

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In 1941-42 the Soviets were still moving their industry beyond the Urals.

 

The majority of the pre-war (before 22 June 1941) stores of Soviet aircraft were destroyed on the ground in the opening phases of Barbarossa.

 

The P-40 and P-39 were also front line fighters for the Americans (and the UK/Commonwealth with the P-40) in 1942 and even into 1943.

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216th_Lucas_From_Hell

The Free French also used the Cobra from 1943 onwards over the Mediterranean. It's a fascinating aircraft, there's just so much vision and innovation in there :)

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J2_Trupobaw

Why did the Russians ever need P-39's, P-40's and Hurricanes when they had the La-5's and Yak-1's ?

 

Any1 has an idea ?

 

The Soviets were still switching from I-16s to newer types (like LaGG-3 and Yak... La-5 didn't exist yet IIRC) when Germans attacked. Most of new types were deployed close to German border, so they got bombed on the ground or overrun in first months of war, leaving VVS mostly with older types they were just switchig from. Then, Soviets were evacuating their factories to Urals  and it took time to set production of new planes up again. So in first months of German-Soviet war, if it outperformed I-16 it was already good enough to use.

 

If you read Rudels memoir, Aircobra is one of most often mentioned Soviet planes; either he was writing it to make good impression of American readers, or it was one of types that made lasting impression on him.

Besides, who does not like free  planes? I know I'd take a free Hurricane to fly over Eastern Front if offered one.

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I./ZG1_Panzerbar

It was not free, but selled for gold. It was a Hurricanes, phased out already (most of them were a veterans of BoB). 

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I./ZG1_Panzerbar

...They got destroyed more than a dozen times over...

.

 

Claimed, not destroyed. Jagdwaffe claimed ~45 000 victories in the East. ~15-20 000 of them could be classified as confirmed, leaving from 20 to 30 000 as overclaim.

 

Soviet Air Forces fighters claimed ~43 000 victories during 1941 - 45. Same ~15 000 of them also could be classified as confirmed.

 

But it does not matter. What does? Soviet tank steamrolling Luftwaffe airfield. Soviet Soldier, infantry Private Ivan in Berlin in may 1945. That mean, that Soviet Fighters did their job better then Luftwaffe fighters. Thats all.

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The Luftwaffe did not claim their own losses, they simply recorded them. You think a dead pilot showed up at the airfield and claimed himself killed?

 

Your claim on the other hand that in an industrial war the winning side made better use of the material is unsubstantiated, at best. In my opinion, with more material, you don't need to make better use of it than your enemy.

 

And finally, British lend lease was for free, and the Hurricane is a British aircraft. The only lend lease paid for with gold was US pre-lend lease of 1941, before the US entered the war. If you disagree with that, please show a source.

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ZachariasX
...snipp...

 

But it does not matter. What does? Soviet tank steamrolling Luftwaffe airfield. Soviet Soldier, infantry Private Ivan in Berlin in may 1945. That mean, that Soviet Fighters did their job better then Luftwaffe fighters. Thats all.

 

Isn't that a tad too simple?

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I./ZG1_Panzerbar

The Luftwaffe did not claim their own losses, they simply recorded them. You think a dead pilot showed up at the airfield and claimed himself killed?

 

 

You misunderstood me.

 

Luftwaffe fighters didnt destroyed ~45 000 soviet aircrafts. They claimed 45 000 air victories. Wich is far not the same. Soviet loss records, compared to Luftwaffe fighter claims, show us that of 45000, less then a half, ~15 - 20000 of them could be confirmed as destroyed by Luftwaffe fighters (i.e. shot down in the air or strafed on earth). 13 soviet aircrafts shot down in one air combat? World never unbeaten record, You say? Hahahahaha

 

BTW: same picture in the West - far less then a half of Jagdwaffe "victories" mached with actual Allied losses, so could be stated as "confirmed".

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I./ZG1_Panzerbar

Isn't that a tad too simple?

 

Yes.

 

 

To tell the truth, I sometimes didn't understand logic of actions of the German pilots at all.

Imagine Yourself, we flew with 6 Yaks, patroling the area at 3000 meters. Ground control station reports: "Falcon" attention, on 3500 approaches you the eight  "messers".Well, we accepted, and made a  "combat turn" - and were already at 4000 metres. The8 Bf109 approached, and we are already higher than them. What to do to Germans? It is necessary, of course,  to accept battle with us, but then it will be necessary to fight on horizontals because, attacking on vertical maneuver, they will lose speed. And what was done by Germans? A War Emergency Power, a dive and aside - and then climb to gain height. While they are making it, Ground control station already retargets us: "Attention! Two nines of "JU-88" approach! Immediately attack!" We are diving in head-on attack on those  "Ju88". German bomber pilots, seeing that attack, right there get rid of bombs,  made a "Split-S" and WEPed home. Bombing attack is broken.

We follow Ju88s, they run from us. We look back, and "Bf109's" are already behind and above us, dive too, pursue, aiming to catch us up. Weeee-eeeellll … Though there is a wish to bring down some "Junkers", but surely you shouldn't perish because of it. We made "A fighting turn"and come on "messer's" into a head-on attack. They, without accepting our attack, climbed out and went back home. On it everything comes to an end.

 

 
We landed, very happy: "Well, men, as we scared Germans! Dashingly? Dashingly!" I think then: well, we have broken a raid, but what Germans flew for ? Well what sense was in this combat mission?
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You misunderstood me.

Actually you misunderstood me. It would help if you had the decency to understand what people are saying before you 'correct' them and start putting words in their mouth. Which I really, really don't like.
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ZachariasX

Yes.

 

I suppose if your posted first hand account is representative for the whole Luftwaffe, the Germans almost making it to Moscow was due to their habit of running away plus the habit of doing everything wrong, so they ran in the wrong direction. At least they found a road sign near Moscow, pointing leading them back to Berlin...

 

/irony off

 

Seriously, when I was stating my assumption about the Germans being conservative in using what they had left of their air force, I would never say that they were harmless. Overclaiming or not, they shot down a lot of planes up to the very end. There is however a difference in making significant contributions to the war effort as a whole (which the Luftwaffe did great up to 1943, then declining) and dishing out hard punches. What they had left as a strategic bomber force, they wasted in Operation Steinbock (Baby Blitz) over England. They set some fires at the cost of 400 or so bombers (almost their entire heavy bomber force) that were not replaceable anymore at this stage of war. You're forced to be selective on what you are doing with the rest. Especially when the top brass is on drugs and what is left of staff can only plan amongst the material available with their units.

 

Nazi oligarchy was really poor in distributing material efficiently, as every Gauleiter was grabbing what he could for his own little kingdom. Most of the shortages the Germans had was initially due to misallocation of goods, not because they were not existent.

 

Lend lease was great, for the Soviets, as it gave them almost free aircraft (And a great lot of trucks, ammo, etc., Probably more than half of the material used to reconquer Stalingrad was done with American made material.). In a time where you had to be flexible with sourcing. Planned economy is the antithesis of flexibility. Especially when you get shot when not exactly delivering what's ordered initially.

 

The Soviets also profited a lot from having a lot of unmolested airtime later on in war to get their fresh crews to a remotely proficient level, while for the Germans the tides turned and ranks thinned out and the Herrenrasse thought little of training for fighter pilots, adding to their own demise and letting most of the fight rest on the shoulders of the frew remaining veterans and Experten.

 

Bombers of the Kampfgeschwader however did not suffer from this lack of training. They could fly and could read their instruments properly. But they made bad fighter crews on average. They learned to fly but not air combat and were reluctant to do so.

 

Z

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216th_Lucas_From_Hell

Zacharias, I think you're missing the point of the story told above.

 

If you look at the memoirs of any Soviet fighter pilot, of any era, the scenario described by Panzerbar is a very common one that repeated itself all the way from 1941 to 1945. Whenever faced with sizeable opposition, the bombers would drop their bombs earlier and make a move home.

 

There are two sides of if - one, yes, you can go with the easy explanation and say that the Nazis would puff their chest, launch invasions and play baddie but as soon as four enemy fighters started shooting they would chicken out and head home. There is truth to that, and it happened often enough.

 

In a more detailed explanation, this is exactly what I meant when saying that the Luftwaffe couldn't afford risky operations like the VVS did. The doctrine of the Luftwaffe was very consistent about this - if there are considerable risks facing an offensive operation, it makes more sense to disengage and try again. The reason here is strategic, because for the Luftwaffe even if they managed to accomplish the goals they had set out to accomplish, if they had pressed onto these attacks and lost too many aircraft there would be no pilots or planes left for the next stage of operations. They got where they got in 1941 because they launched a powerful surprise attack using everything they had while the Soviet Union was still in the process of redeveloping its military. Even then, despite going to the gates of Moscow they did so while suffering horrific losses both on the air and on the ground, and after that it was a matter of time until they were defeated. One also needs to note that despite going near Moscow, they were promptly beaten back and forced into the defensive for the rest of the war in that front.

 

With whatever they could muster, the Axis forces launched the Southern offensive of 1942 but that too stalled and had them lose major military formations in Stalingrad and sit tight in Kuban, and finally came the dying breath at Kursk in 1943 where the German offensive was defeated and culminated in a counter-attack that drove the Soviet army to Kiev and further.

 

When you think of the whole plan strategically - let's gather every last grain of our tiny army, invite some half-hearted allies and invade a gigantic country with a strong military and industrial complex for the sake of extermination and slavery - one can only wonder how stupid or delusional were every single general involved in the planning.

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http://www.o5m6.de/Routes.html

 

 

Lend lease was great, for the Soviets, as it gave them almost free aircraft (And a great lot of trucks, ammo, etc., Probably more than half of the material used to reconquer Stalingrad was done with American made material.).

 

 

Do you mean what had been received up to then? What had been delivered to June 30 1943 (~4.6 million ton) did not even match what had been delivered in the next year (~5.7 million ton).

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