Jump to content

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

 

Yes.

He was pretty fond of the 189, 190 and 200; as well as the 262 and 162 in general. And certainly the 234 was rated pretty highly.

He liked the general handling caracteristics of the 163, too. That's just off my mind and without looking it up.

 

He's just not jumping onto the same hype-train, the many Luftwaffles like to.

Soviet testpilots rated FW 190 not worth following since La 5 /7 and yaks was pretty much matching it. And they had a hard look at the jet age and 262. 
Fw 189 suppose to be the one impressing them most. In interviews I seen with Eric Brown he simply was so pragmatic and clearly colored by being a testpilot. 
What that man flew. Imagine

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Bremspropeller said:

 

Yeah, but not really.

The soviets were clueless about airpower.

 

 

Maybe initial stages...

 

But between final and midway...they were learning fast. They just did not have the kind of pilot training like the Germans had. They started to make gains mid and final phases of battles.

 

Anyway I wonder which variant of the Me-410 are we seeing?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, jojy47jojyrocks said:

But between final and midway...they were learning fast. They just did not have the kind of pilot training like the Germans had. They started to make gains mid and final phases of battles.

 

Ze Germans had a very marginal understanding about Air Power, too.

With the death of Wever, it was all down the sink.

 

The only countries that had a grasp or command of Air Power were the Brits and the Americans.

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Bremspropeller said:

 

Yeah, but not really.

The soviets were clueless about airpower.

They might have been. But by the time testpilots tested fw 190 I believe airplane design was more a political thing. 
Even US copied the fw 190 cockpit layout but Soviet only copied the kg 13 grip as far as I know

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Bremspropeller said:

 

Ze Germans had a very marginal understanding about Air Power, too.

With the death of Wever, it was all down the sink.

 

The only countries that had a grasp or command of Air Power were the Brits and the Americans.

 

 

British at the VERY early battles performed poorly. They got better from the midways of Battle of Britain. Americans too performed poorly in the Africa front. Ze Germans got stuck in too many fronts and engagements and their experienced pilots were overstretched. In the final phases The USA had more material power.

Edited by jojy47jojyrocks
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, jojy47jojyrocks said:

British at the VERY early battles performed poorly. They got better from the midways of Battle of Britain. Americans too performed poorly in the Africa front. Ze Germans got stuck in too many fronts and engagements and their experienced pilots were overstretched. In the final phases The USA had more material power.

 

All of that has little to nothing to do with the understanding and use of Air Power. The Germans used the Luftwaffe as airborne artillery and were incapable of inflicting strategical influence onto Britain or the Soviet Union, when it counted. The airframes at hand were ill-suited.

They also were unable to conduct large-scale airlift-operations into Stalingrad, due to the lack of air-freight volume/ tonnage (capable airframes) and the lack of local air-superiority.

 

The Germans could also not support their U-Boats sufficiently - both close to the shore, but also out at sea. That wasn't just down to overstretching. They didn't have any airframes to do the job. Neither did they have enough industrial oomph to support a strategical bomber force, both in production and in operation.

 

Neither the Germans, nor the Soviets engaged in large-scale interdiction-campaigns to strangle (TM) the enemy behind his defensive lines.

While the Soviets shot at german tanks at the front, they heavily relied on the western-allied capability of bottlenecking german strategical ressources and production-output.

 

 

  • Upvote 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Bremspropeller is right on the money here.  The Germans, Russians, and indeed, the Japanese, were totally immersed in short term tactical solutions, to the detriment of their logistical and industrial positions.  They were also hamstrung by their political dogma, and their misguided belief in their own propaganda.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, BlitzPig_EL said:

Bremspropeller is right on the money here.  The Germans, Russians, and indeed, the Japanese, were totally immersed in short term tactical solutions, to the detriment of their logistical and industrial positions.  They were also hamstrung by their political dogma, and their misguided belief in their own propaganda.

 

It's also called necessity. Exactly how much a priority would have strategic bombing have been if, say, the Soviets agree to a ceasefire and truce before wrecking the entire Army Group Center in June 1944 and the entire Wehrmacht can now move freely against the Allies in the West?

 

How about if the Luftwaffe was still in its prime, numerically and operationally (pilot skill, training, etc) as if in June 1941, yet with current 1944 equipment?

 

And, say, you don't have the Channel to retreat through and regroup at an island. The French coast is the end line.

 

Can you still prioritise long term potential gains from strategic bombing with millions of well equipped, battle hardened German soldiers bear down upon you?

 

Saying that either the Soviets or Germans didn't grasp the concept of air power if just plain wrong. They adjusted to their immediate necessities.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Burdokva said:

It's also called necessity. Exactly how much a priority would have strategic bombing have been if, say, the Soviets agree to a ceasefire and truce before wrecking the entire Army Group Center in June 1944 and the entire Wehrmacht can now move freely against the Allies in the West?

 

How would that have come to play out?

The soviet productions sites were safely beyond german reach and there was a healthy stream of western allied supplies coming in.

The only problem for the Soviets would have been human ressources - which never had been an issue.

The Germans attacked the Soviet Union underestimating their manpower under arms by a large factor. And they forgot to bring a jacket.

 

5 minutes ago, Burdokva said:

How about if the Luftwaffe was still in its prime, numerically and operationally (pilot skill, training, etc) as if in June 1941, yet with current 1944 equipment?

 

How would that have been possible? The Luftwaffe's neck (in terms of pilot-ressources) was broken during BoB and demand and supply of freshly trained, competent aircrew was diverging ever since after that. The Luftwaffe training-command was never up to the demand after September 1st 1939.

 

7 minutes ago, Burdokva said:

And, say, you don't have the Channel to retreat through and regroup at an island. The French coast is the end line.

 

Or you decide to bomb the Brits at Dunkirk, instead of trying to be nice to Churchill and hope that'll turn him into liking you.

The Germans didn't have a plan for Britain and it showed right there.

 

9 minutes ago, Burdokva said:

Can you still prioritise long term potential gains from strategic bombing with millions of well equipped, battle hardened German soldiers bear down upon you?

 

You mean the horse-carts that the Wehrmacht mainly relied on for logistical support, right through to the very end.

Or do you mean the clusterduck of airplane design-requirements that did nothing but load potentially good designs up with unneccessary stuff (e.g. air-brakes, because a mid-sized bomber for some reason HAS to be dive-delivery capable...)?

The 410 fits very nicely as an example for those clusterducked aircraft-requirements the RLM came up with.

 

They could have just gone and take a similar approach to the Mosquito and build a copycat. That would have given them an enormously potent airframe, which would have presented the same challenges to the allies in terms of intercepting it, as it did to the Germans.

They didn't, however. Instead, they wanted an airplane that can do it all - even when the tide was very much turned against Germany.

Pragmatic solutions were never (and still aren't) the strength of ze Germans.

 

BTW: There was a german hot-twin available in 1940 - it was called Fw 187. It would ahve been ideal for intercepting bombers.

 

10 minutes ago, Burdokva said:

Saying that either the Soviets or Germans didn't grasp the concept of air power if just plain wrong. They adjusted to their immediate necessities.

 

No. General Wever did some important pre-war work on the strategical use of bombers in Germany. Unfortunately for the Luftwaffe, he once tried to take-off with a gust-lock installed and was killed. They used a tactical concept thereafter, which heavily relied on supporting the ground-forces in the immediate area of the front. The Germans did try to go semi-stratgical during the Blitz, but they didn't have the airplanes to pull-through. It's kind of funny to see the Luftwaffe - an independant air arm - being heavily tied to support the Heer, while the USAAF - not operating independently from the Army - would conduct strategical operations. Much like the US Navy did with their large aircraft.

 

The Brits and Americans not only could fly into the Reich pretty much at will - day or night - but also could use their strategic bombers (PB4Y and B-24) to wreak havoc amongst the U-Boats (in the Atlantic, but also hunting japanese trawlers in the Pacific). The Germans never had a similar capability. The Fw 200 was never intended to do the job and it was quickly defeated by another stratgical shortcoming of the germans: They didn't have any meaningful naval strength apart from their submarine-fleet. No aircraft-carriers, much less escorts were available to defend the U-Boats or for conducting their own strategical naval operations.

Once air-cover over the Atlantic was complete and taken-over from unsikable bases (Iceland, the Azores and both sides of the pond), there was no place left to hide for the submarines.

  • Upvote 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Bremspropeller said:

No. General Wever did some important pre-war work on the strategical use of bombers in Germany.

I seriously doubt that the German airforce would have looked much different if Wever pulled out the locking pins before taking off on that flight. In the end they needed the numbers for a war that was by no means „intercontinental“. I think in the thirties, nobody had an effin idea of how air war would really look like. Yes the B-17 was a truly revolutionary aircraft. But the same guys built the Peashooter.

 

Also, the bombing of Brittain was very much „strategic“. They even had a great fighter plane for that (the best long range fighter in the world actually at the time), the Bf-110, that was far more effective than the Bf-109. It was not only a great airframe (Eric Brown praised it for that for good reason), but it had also the range and it offered significant better survivability for the pilots while giving good scores. As long as the 110 was used as Doolittle used his Mustangs later on, they scored well. But same as the Allies had to find out, without boots on the ground your „strategic bombing“ will not make your determined enemy give in. All „stratecic bombing“ gives you is the possibility to open a further front of material attrition. The 8th AF did nothing but that. Anyone thinking different could have told the Poles or French „as long as they only bring Stukas, they can‘t win!“ and hear what they would say about that.

 

The misery of the 410 is just that it had to succeed a great airframe at a time where the whole concept was moot, as you could have almost 2000 hp on a single engine fighter (and the heavy hitting weapons that go with it), instead of a twin engine when the 110 was conceived. What made things much worse that it used up those 2000 hp engines, keeping them from the plane that really needeed it, the Fw-190. The 410 is an impressive plane. But not good enough as airframe to completely supersede the 110. It takes more than speed and range to be a suitable plane for all weather and night operations. The 410 didn‘t deliver there as it should have.

 

29 minutes ago, Bremspropeller said:

The Fw 200 was never intended to do the job and it was quickly

If more than one year duration and assisting to a sunk tonnage as never seen in history is „quickly“... For good reason, the Brits hated that plane.

 

32 minutes ago, Bremspropeller said:

You mean the horse-carts that the Wehrmacht mainly relied on for logistical support, right through to the very end.

When Germany started their Russlandaufenthalt, they had commissioned 600k transport vehicles and 625k horses. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, ZachariasX said:

I seriously doubt that the German airforce would have looked much different if Wever pulled out the locking pins before taking off on that flight. In the end they needed the numbers for a war that was by no means „intercontinental“. I think in the thirties, nobody had an effin idea of how air war would really look like. Yes the B-17 was a truly revolutionary aircraft. But the same guys built the Peashooter.

 

It's not so much about pre-visioning the concept in the mid 30s. Neither the Americans, nor the British were that far-sighted. They did, however, had enough vision to have the assets available, when they were needed. One could argue that the Germans weren't planning for that kind of war. But the same was true in WW 1 and thus it was hardly surprise, when America was eager to support Britain.

 

15 minutes ago, ZachariasX said:

Also, the bombing of Brittain was very much „strategic“. They even had a great fighter plane for that (the best long range fighter in the world actually at the time), the Bf-110, that was far more effective than the Bf-109. It was not only a great airframe (Eric Brown praised it for that for good reason), but it had also the range and it offered significant better survivability for the pilots while giving good scores. As long as the 110 was used as Doolittle used his Mustangs later on, they scored well. But same as the Allies had to find out, without boots on the ground your „strategic bombing“ will not make your determined enemy give in. All „stratecic bombing“ gives you is the possibility to open a further front of material attrition. The 8th AF did nothing but that. Anyone thinking different could have told the Poles or French „as long as they only bring Stukas, they can‘t win!“ and hear what they would say about that.

 

Not sure whether I can agree here. They didn't have the bomber-fleet to strategically challenge Britain. Much of that is due to the actual plan of going east and not really wanting to wage war with Britain in the first place.

 

The 110 could have been good if the radar-installations had been destroyed - otherwise, the RAF would still have relied on radar-intercepts and entering the fight on their own terms.

The only german hot-twin available, engaging single-engine fighters on equal terms was the 187. Much like the He 100 did have enough range on internal tanks to go much deeper into Britain than the 109. Maybe those should be the aircraft for the Man in the High Castle...

 

The "boots on the ground" argument is valid, but it is a bit one-dimensional. It's not just another front for attrition (people, fighters, flak-guns for home-defense). It also opens the possibility of intercepting ressources deep inside the enemy territory, so they won't ever reach the front. A tank without shells is useless - even though it's there and continues to exist.

The 8th AF fighter groups did help a lot here, when they went free-roaming and strafing everything that moves. If nobody is safe nowhere, that is a completely different kind of game, than just bombing cities, or trying to hit a factory and levelling a city-quarter instead, because one didn't know the wind above target...

 

The Poles and French could be overrun relatively quickly - also mostly due to superior ground tactics. Their wars were entirely tactical and played right into the planning of the Heer and  Luftwaffe. Things started to get "interesting", when Britain refused to yield, and when ole Bennito thought it was a great idea to go play in the sand. That's where the lack of strategical planning (in the latter part: lack of logistical support capabilities and inability to take Malta) came to show.

Attacking the Soviet Union, basicly making the same mistakes as Napoleon a century before, wasn't all that great.

 

30 minutes ago, ZachariasX said:

The misery of the 410 is just that it had to succeed a great airframe at a time where the whole concept was moot, as you could have almost 2000 hp on a single engine fighter (and the heavy hitting weapons that go with it), instead of a twin engine when the 110 was conceived. What made things much worse that it used up those 2000 hp engines, keeping them from the plane that really needeed it, the Fw-190. The 410 is an impressive plane. But not good enough as airframe to completely supersede the 110. It takes more than speed and range to be a suitable plane for all weather and night operations. The 410 didn‘t deliver there as it should have.

 

And it had that bomb-bay and those dive-brakes. They could have just gone for a more conservative approach, which would basicly be a Mosquito built in metal.

But they wanted the airplane that could do everything and got too little, too late. Had they not tried to go too far out with the technological requirements, the initial 210 might have been the Mosquito's evil twin. It even had the right engine-size (DB605 vs Merlin) to make them more comparable.

 

32 minutes ago, ZachariasX said:

If more than one year duration and assisting to a sunk tonnage as never seen in history is „quickly“... For good reason, the Brits hated that plane.

 

The same could be said for the initial U-Boat campaign. They relied on one plan and when it failed to work, they had nothing to back it up.

 

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

Also, the bombing of Brittain was very much „strategic“. They even had a great fighter plane for that (the best long range fighter in the world actually at the time), the Bf-110, that was far more effective than the Bf-109. It was not only a great airframe (Eric Brown praised it for that for good reason), but it had also the range and it offered significant better survivability for the pilots while giving good scores.

The Zero was the best long range fighter in the world at the time. You could argue the best fighter in the world at that time. Not the 110. Also I thought the 110’s needed escorts as well because they performed so poorly? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

Not sure whether I can agree here. They didn't have the bomber-fleet to strategically challenge Britain.

I wonder what would have qualified for „strategic bombing“ if bombing factories in Liverpool or bombing Antwerpen (with V2) was not strategic. I‘m sure The Brits felt at least somewhat challenged.

 

The term “strategic“ seems only to apply if American heavies are doing it by day and British heavies by night. Else, by definition it cannot be „strategic“, otherwise the Germans would have won the war.

 

I don‘t think this common gospel is a helpful interpretation.

 

8 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

They could have just gone for a more conservative approach, which would basicly be a Mosquito built in metal.

That wasn‘t the aircraft they were looking for. The Mosquito actually got its „evil sister“, this was the Arado. The Arado has performance and great handling and superior performance, same as the Mosquito in 1942. The 210 was not a good airframe despite on paper performance. Also, the superiority in numbers and ops as well as aircraft performance wouldn‘t allow the 410 to operate as the Mosquito did. The Misquito could do what it did because the German defenses were drastically overstretched at the point where the flight performance of the Mosquito was not superior anymore compared to German fighters.

 

The 410 is the dinosaur that lingered on a bit past his time. In contrast to 1940, this whole concept couldn‘t bring more to the table than single engine aircraft, of wich you could have two for each 410.

 

Still, I‘m very much looking forward to this aircraft. Its armament options can make it a very nasty surprise in MP. There, you can be rather efficient with both the duck and the 110. The 410 will certainly be more dangerous. The more versatile the aircraft, the better for gameplay. I think the 410 will add way more to the game as it did to ze Germans back then. With the Arado, in many respects the far superior aircraft, you can do much less. Except destroying ground targets with impunity.

 

5 hours ago, QB.Rails said:

The Zero was the best long range fighter in the world at the time. You could argue the best fighter in the world at that time. Not the 110. Also I thought the 110’s needed escorts as well because they performed so poorly? 

You should compare the 110 to the Ki-27 Nate. That is the same generation. Besides, although I am extremely fond of the Zero as an aircraft, as a war machine going on long range missions (supposedly all weather), I suppose one could feel very lonely and exposed in that delicate can. I wouldn‘t mind a reliable plane with some inbuilt survivability. But that is maybe a question of mentality.

 

Also, the 110 only needed escort if it was used in fighter roles other than what I mentioned or when you put bombs on it. Net loss rates of the 110 are not worse than the 109‘s while maintaining similar scores. There‘s lots of urban legend taken as truth about the „bad Bf-110“. Stanford Tuck didn‘t think of the 110 as easy prey. On the contrary.

 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

Ze Germans had a very marginal understanding about Air Power, too.

Can't agree with you on this. 

 

You seem to look at strategic air war as the only realm of airpower - but the tactical air war is of course also airpower.

 

Every country has limited ressources - some more so than others.

 

German military planners were fully aware that Germany can't win the war of attrition - thus the only way to win a war is by quick decisive battles.

These can't be fought in the air alone - you have to have the boots on the ground - so the key to win the war is the army. Navy and Air force thus have to do their part in guarteeing victory on the ground.

 

For the navy this can be only interdicting supplies and supporting naval landings. Against russia not that interesting. Against Britain - chellinging the Royal navy in surfcae battles? With German ressources? Not realistic - so submarines interdicting supplies it is...

 

For the air force - it could help the army strategically by destroying the production facilities and infrastructure. Thisis only interesting in a long war of attrition. Not intersting for Germany as that war will be lost anyways. So the airforce has to assist the army by tactical operations.

 

So the German understanding of airpower was as good as any other at the time - they engineered the Luftwaffe to that aspect of air power that suited them the most - the tactical air war.

 

And it worked very well - in Poland and France the Luftwaffe proved vital for the armies astonishing successes. 

 

The war was politically lost when Britain refused to surrender in 1940. 

 

The soviets had basically the same doctrine of decisive battle - and thus gearing their air force to mainly tactical tasks makes sense as well. That they performed so poorly in 41 and 42 may be rooted to Stalins great purge...

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

You should compare the 110 to the Ki-27 Nate. That is the same generation. Besides, although I am extremely fond of the Zero as an aircraft, as a war machine going on long range missions (supposedly all weather), I suppose one could feel very lonely and exposed in that delicate can. I wouldn‘t mind a reliable plane with some inbuilt survivability. But that is maybe a question of mentality.

 

Also, the 110 only needed escort if it was used in fighter roles other than what I mentioned or when you put bombs on it. Net loss rates of the 110 are not worse than the 109‘s while maintaining similar scores. There‘s lots of urban legend taken as truth about the „bad Bf-110“. Stanford Tuck didn‘t think of the 110 as easy prey. On the contrary.

 

Ok then compare the A5M to the 110. The Claude still goes further than the 110. By the time the Battle of Britain rolled around the flaws of the 110 showed. Big, slow, doesn’t climb well. Doesn’t turn well compared to what it was facing. 
 

so they needs escort only if they had bombs strapped to them? Is that what you’re saying? How did Doolittle use his mustangs? That’s what you mentioned before. If they were used like that then they were good?

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, QB.Rails said:

Ok then compare the A5M to the 110. The Claude still goes further than the 110. By the time the Battle of Britain rolled around the flaws of the 110 showed. Big, slow, doesn’t climb well. Doesn’t turn well compared to what it was facing. 
 

so they needs escort only if they had bombs strapped to them? Is that what you’re saying? How did Doolittle use his mustangs? That’s what you mentioned before. If they were used like that then they were good?

If they were used in free hunt missions or "detached escorts" they could fight the hit and run game in which they were useful. If they had mingle with single seaters in anglefighting they were more prey than hunter. That they had actually quite good scores is more a question of pilot ability than airplane - many of the most promising fighter pilots were taken from the singleseaters to become Göring's elite destroyer force.

 

It's bad reputation comes mostly from the fact that they didn't prove as good as they were envisioned by Göring.

 

And if I had to choose between an A5M and a BF 110 for any task that isn't carrier borne I'd always go for the 110.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I don’t think most people would pick the Claude between those two choices. My point about his range claim is that it’s wrong. There were plenty of other planes with longer legs than the 110. 110 was an average to below average performer, to claim it as a great fighter is an overstatement. If that was the case production of 109’s would have been hampered significantly to make way for more 110 production. It’s also pretty bad to claim that if the 110 only fought this one way it did good. Otherwise it didn’t do so so we’ll, just proved the point that it was average even more. 
 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, QB.Rails said:

the flaws of the 110 showed. Big, slow, doesn’t climb well.

It's bigger than the Hurricane, but it is slightly faster and climbs better. In "boom and zoom" attacks, it is untouchable for a Hurricane that has a rather mediocre climb.

 

The Bf-110C is about 100 km/h faster than the claude and goes 100 km further. It also carries an armement that is of use intead of those peashooters. The Claude is far, far less useful then the Bf-110.

 

This brings me to:

4 hours ago, QB.Rails said:

How did Doolittle use his mustangs?

The whole idea of the Zerstörer was to sweep enemy airspace and clear it. Then any other attackers should be able to go on with their business unmolested. Doolittle did that with his fighters when he set them loose to sweep ahead of the bomber formation, chasing down everything they would find. It made it impossible for the Germans to assemble larger formations of heavily armed aircraft to perform orchestrated attacks on the Bomber formations. The Germans could do that on the Schweinfurt and Regensburg raids and it proved terribly effective. Countering that broke by sending hundreds of fighters ahead of the bombers had a heavy toll on the German fighers and it negated efficient attacks.

 

The Bf-110 was a good aircraft, safe to fly in any conditions and reliable. Hence it was used as the stringbag of choice for any odd tasks, even towing Me-321.

 

Over Britain the Bf-110 was tripped of its advantage when it couldn't enter the airspace in numbers and at hight, but had to stick to the bombers or carry bombs themselves.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Where are you getting your info on 110?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Bf_110
1100km in economic cruise!


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_A5M

1200 km for the Claude?!


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawker_Hurricane

 

I know it’s a mk.ll but it’s performance was probably very similar to the mk.l. So even conservatively speaking it was maybe equal to it? Could not out turn it. 
 

Still an average performer unless it has a clear advantage altitude wise or does surprise attacks. 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, QB.Rails said:

Where are you getting your info on 110?

Same Wiki, in German though, 1300 km for the C4 stated. Regardless of how correct. They also state 1200 km max range for the A5M4.  Also regardless of of how correct.

 

Regarding the Hurricane Mk.I, the 110 is roughly of similar speed and a tad faster in a shallow dive. The 110’s engines are also better at altitude (same as the 109), meaning the 110 has some qualities as attacker. It is also safe and easy to fly, same as the Hurricane.

 

All I‘m saying the Bf-110 is not a dud and in 1939 you could mop the floor with it has most aircraft in servince then weren‘t even close to its performance, like any Japanese aircraft pre A6m2 for instance. In late 1940, the Brits put up equal aircraft, giving less margin on how to employ the 110 successfully. That is where the Germans failed.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

While the 110 wasn't a worthless aircraft, it was bankrupt as a day fighter by mid 1940.  In just the fighting from July through September of 1940, 110 losses reached nearly 100% of their serviceable force strength - 109 losses over the same period were about 50% more, but from a pool of nearly 4 times as many operational aircraft.  Not surprisingly, they didn't see much action after that over Britain in daylight.  The 110's put in very useful service in a number of roles through much of the rest of the war, but simply couldn't operate without suffering crippling losses when faced by modern single engined fighters. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

According to Bergström, both Spit and Bf-109 had an exchange rate of 1.4:1 between July and October 1940, The Hurricane 1.2:1 and the Bf-110 had 1.5:1.

 

This counting authentic shootdowns (that can be matched to losses to the other side) and counting airframe written off as total losses.

 

I‘d say in 1940 it still depended very much on how you used the aircraft and how well it was piloted. No facts indicate the 110 suffering more than other types. On the contrary. The higher survivability of the 110 (vs. 109) certainly affected those numbers.

 

The bottom line feeling that things go belly up (they did!) is a combination of many factors, including doctrine and ops. Past 1941 it became clear that for many cases (not for all!) one engine could give you what you required two engines for previously, hence you repartition your force. Even upping engine power didn‘t help here as the whole concept became moot for a daylight fighter.

 

Also, after BoB, the 110 could fill many roles that the Germans didn‘t have other viable propositions for, and used the aircraft for that, as in CAP over the battlefield, the 109 is clearly better suited. 

 

19 minutes ago, Eisenfaustus said:

110s operated successfully on the eastern front and in no way did it suffer 100% attrition. 

In June 1940, they had 261 Bf-110 at hand. Until October, they had 196 written off as total losses for the return of 290 kills.

Edited by ZachariasX
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

According to Bergström, both Spit and Bf-109 had an exchange rate of 1.4:1 between July and October 1940, The Hurricane 1.2:1 and the Bf-110 had 1.5:1.

 

This counting authentic shootdowns (that can be matched to losses to the other side) and counting airframe written off as total losses.

 

I‘d say in 1940 it still depended very much on how you used the aircraft and how well it was piloted. No facts indicate the 110 suffering more than other types. On the contrary. The higher survivability of the 110 (vs. 109) certainly affected those numbers.

 

The bottom line feeling that things go belly up (they did!) is a combination of many factors, including doctrine and ops. Past 1941 it became clear that for many cases (not for all!) one engine could give you what you required two engines for previously, hence you repartition your force. Even upping engine power didn‘t help here as the whole concept became moot for a daylight fighter.

 

Also, after BoB, the 110 could fill many roles that the Germans didn‘t have other viable propositions for, and used the aircraft for that, as in CAP over the battlefield, the 109 is clearly better suited. 

 

In June 1940, they had 261 Bf-110 at hand. Until October, they had 196 written off as total losses for the return of 290 kills.

 

Bergstrom's numbers weren't based on authenticating individual claims.  He simply took the total RAF fighter losses for the time period, subtracted a small percentage for losses to bomber gunners, and then compared them to the total claims from 109s and 110s over the same period.  This gave him a rough "overclaim" rate which he just applied to the claims for the two aircraft to come up with a rough approximation of how many victories they scored.  This assumes that overclaiming occured equally among all units and at a constant rate.  Looking at individual combats where we can see exactly what happened, his results look questionable at best.

 

Some examples: On July 10th III/ZG26 lost 3 aircraft while claiming 12.  The only problem being that the RAF lost a single Hurricane that day which collided with a bomber.  On August 15th I/ZG76 sortied from Norway against Northern England.  They promptly lost 7 110s while claiming at least 9 victories.  Actual RAF losses were a single Hurricane crash landed.

 

The high rates of overclaiming that took place during the Battle of Britain make claim to loss comparisons dubious at best.  My numbers were from Chris Shores' work, and given the variety of sources these authors have to draw from there is obviously some variance - his numbers reference 214 110s lost in July-September vs roughly 230 serviceable aircraft in mid August.  Whichever way you slice it, the loss rate was very high and the Germans quit using them as daytime air superiority fighters.

 

I absolutely agree with you that the 110 wasn't a failure as an aircraft, and filled a number of other useful roles.  But it wasn't a viable day fighter anywhere that it had to face modern single engine opponents.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, KW_1979 said:

My numbers were from Chris Shores' work, and given the variety of sources these authors have to draw from there is obviously some variance - his numbers reference 214 110s lost in July-September vs roughly 230 serviceable aircraft in mid August.

Interesting. I should have a look at Shores book as well.

 

Looking at the numbers you mentioned, they look similar enough for practical purposes, while they (both) are masking the true calamity. This is that among the losses are some of the most experienced aircrew. It is those that could make most of a plane like the Bf-110. (Same as in MP gaming, as long as you recognize your true customers and stay away from the others, you can do fine.)

 

1 hour ago, KW_1979 said:

But it wasn't a viable day fighter anywhere that it had to face modern single engine opponents.

Yes, this is all I‘m saying. Over Britain, for the first time it faced on average similar quality aircraft. In order to have good score to your favor, you better have both more experienced pilots and better tactics.

 

Going on free hunting missions ahead of the bombers, using most experienced pilots did just that and the aircraft did fine. Losing those pilots as well as not maximizing your odds through benefitial positioning of the aircraft (always attack from hight) is recipie for disaster, especially when the home team has established ground vectoring in a far more refined way, negating positional advantage.

 

This is why on one side the Bf-110 was a capable aircraft, but due to the culling of aircrew as well as insufficent long term vision on how to deal with Britain exposed the deeper problems within the German war effort. In that situation, the aircraft was certainly not good enough as fighter.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/15/2020 at 8:44 AM, ZachariasX said:

I wonder what would have qualified for „strategic bombing“ if bombing factories in Liverpool or bombing Antwerpen (with V2) was not strategic. I‘m sure The Brits felt at least somewhat challenged.

 

The term “strategic“ seems only to apply if American heavies are doing it by day and British heavies by night. Else, by definition it cannot be „strategic“, otherwise the Germans would have won the war.

 

I don‘t think this common gospel is a helpful interpretation.

 

I'd say a strategic campaign first requires a stretegy to follow in the first place. Hitler didn't have one for Britain, except "they'll just accept anything" at first - then replaced by "maybe if I'm soft enough on them, they'll like me back" - then replaced by "arr, let's bluff them into an armistice' - then replaced by "duck this, I always liked them Soviet plains"...

 

The Luftwaffe did put up a couple of challenges to the RAF, but it never really got close to threatening a breakdown. There was just too little pressure the Luftwaffe could employ - especially, when other branches of the Wehrmacht either weren't ready yet for prime-time (the Kriegsmarine) or flat out didn't know what show they were going to play in (the Heer).

 

The term "Vergeltungswaffe" kind of opposes any deep strategic thinking.

One could argue that defending against V2s requires ressources to defend cities and ressources to attack launch-sites and production-centers. The V1-program was much more effective in that regard, as the V2 could not be defended against except bombing the launch-sites. The V1 bound way more assets in aircraft (interceptors), flak and auxiliray personnel defending cities or flight-corridors. Attacking a city for the sake of spreading terror doesn't achieve any strategic goals beyond binding ressources there.

The only additional strategic value of the V-programmes was the asymmetry of requires ressources. The asymmetry of outcome was quite large, too, though. Levelling cities doesn't *do* much for you other than slowing down the other side.

 

On 5/15/2020 at 8:44 AM, ZachariasX said:

That wasn‘t the aircraft they were looking for. The Mosquito actually got its „evil sister“, this was the Arado. The Arado has performance and great handling and superior performance, same as the Mosquito in 1942. The 210 was not a good airframe despite on paper performance. Also, the superiority in numbers and ops as well as aircraft performance wouldn‘t allow the 410 to operate as the Mosquito did. The Misquito could do what it did because the German defenses were drastically overstretched at the point where the flight performance of the Mosquito was not superior anymore compared to German fighters.

 

The 410 is the dinosaur that lingered on a bit past his time. In contrast to 1940, this whole concept couldn‘t bring more to the table than single engine aircraft, of wich you could have two for each 410.

 

Still, I‘m very much looking forward to this aircraft. Its armament options can make it a very nasty surprise in MP. There, you can be rather efficient with both the duck and the 110. The 410 will certainly be more dangerous. The more versatile the aircraft, the better for gameplay. I think the 410 will add way more to the game as it did to ze Germans back then. With the Arado, in many respects the far superior aircraft, you can do much less. Except destroying ground targets with impunity.

 

The Arado was a generation beyond the Mosquito and although it had somewhat comparable performance, it wasn't used as fighter-bomber and it's use as night-fighter may be doubtful.

The 210 suffered mostly from an overladen requirement-catalogue, while the Mosquito started as a complete clean sheet of paper and hence was a way easier design-effort for deHavilland, working by their own ideas and presenting Bomber Command with a ready design that hadn't been compromised by technical follies.

 

Also, the superiority of the Mosquito was not neccessarily it's superiority in performance. It was the insufficient additional performance of the fighters over the Mosquito that made intercepting one so difficult. It's very comparable to intercepting jet-bombers with subsonic jet-fighters. There's just not enough of a performance-margin to catch the bomber within a reasonable time-window. The latter is also defined by fuel-available.

A Mosquito-clone in 1942 would certainly have been very interesting and it would have given the night-fighters a very important toy to play with.

It could also have helped in securing the Bay of Biscay longer.

 

I think the 410 will certainly be a favourite for online-play (it closes the performance-gap of the 110 to the '44 fighters a good bit).

 

On 5/15/2020 at 12:19 PM, Eisenfaustus said:

Can't agree with you on this. 

 

You seem to look at strategic air war as the only realm of airpower - but the tactical air war is of course also airpower.

 

Every country has limited ressources - some more so than others.

 

German military planners were fully aware that Germany can't win the war of attrition - thus the only way to win a war is by quick decisive battles.

These can't be fought in the air alone - you have to have the boots on the ground - so the key to win the war is the army. Navy and Air force thus have to do their part in guarteeing victory on the ground.

 

For the navy this can be only interdicting supplies and supporting naval landings. Against russia not that interesting. Against Britain - chellinging the Royal navy in surfcae battles? With German ressources? Not realistic - so submarines interdicting supplies it is...

 

For the air force - it could help the army strategically by destroying the production facilities and infrastructure. Thisis only interesting in a long war of attrition. Not intersting for Germany as that war will be lost anyways. So the airforce has to assist the army by tactical operations.

 

So the German understanding of airpower was as good as any other at the time - they engineered the Luftwaffe to that aspect of air power that suited them the most - the tactical air war.

 

And it worked very well - in Poland and France the Luftwaffe proved vital for the armies astonishing successes. 

 

The war was politically lost when Britain refused to surrender in 1940. 

 

The soviets had basically the same doctrine of decisive battle - and thus gearing their air force to mainly tactical tasks makes sense as well. That they performed so poorly in 41 and 42 may be rooted to Stalins great purge...

 

A strategic war doesn't have to be a war of attirion - that's just one part-aspect out of many. A strategic war can be won by denying the enemy from accessing his supplies (food, gas, ammo, replacement of machinery, etc).  Think "Operation Strangle" (an interdiction campain that was flown by tactical fighters and mid-sized bombers) in Italy, which played a major role in speeding up the allied advance.

You bomb the production-factories, logistics-centers and traffic-routes and if only very little volume of supplies reaches the front, the enemy will soon need to turn to sticks and stones to fight.

 

If the enemy has a vast hinterland to re-shift his production centers (which neither Poland, nor France had the option of doing), building a bomber that can't go far enough to smash those new production sites is a major drawback and denies any attempts to play that card. And having an entire bomber-fleet that can dive-deliver bombs won't help you much there either.

 

How stupid the german plan was shows when they not only picked a fight with everybody in the bar (betting on half the contenders being too scared to stand their grounds), they'd also seriously overstretch their logistics lines. Had the Soviets had any meaningful strategical air arm capabilities in the winter of 1941 (and a grasp of that concept), they could have pretty much ended the war right there. They didn't, though, so both the Germans and Soviets had to kill each other by the millions to gain ground or grind away at each others war-production in the field. That's certainly not a quick way to fight a war.

 

The tactical air war is not applied air-power. It's just delivering an artillery-shell by different means.

Air Power is about emancipation of the air arm and maximizing it's impact by waging an independant, direct campaign, using the inherent capabilities of an aircraft to it's maximum: Flying over the enemy's lines and hitting his most sacred and most important targets directly.

Just like Sea Power is not using a cruiser to bombard an island to prep it for a landing - it's using the capability of the navy to the most and denying strategic acces to food, supplies and ressources to the opposing forces by fighting them on the high seas or denying waterways for them to use.

 

As Zacharias had pointed out earlier, the combined efforts of the U-Boats and the Fw 200 had put a lot of concern on Churchill's mind. It was the ony real starategical warfare the Germans ever tried (and somewhat succeeded with), until those two assets were more and more taken out of the game by successful allied counter-tactics and strategies.

 

One strategy against the U-Boats was building more shipping-tonnage than could be sunk. The much more effective measures were aircraft patrolling for U-Boats, destroyer-escorts, hunter-killers actively searching for U-Boats, etc.

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

"....they adjusted to their immediate necessities."

 

No, the doctrines they followed were put down before the war even started. In that way, really, they had layed down the ground work for defeat before they had even invaded Poland. They had little or no strategic thinking. They thought tactically, short ranged, because they thought they could wrap it up very quickly. The bombing of London was NOT strategic bombing. It was terror bombing. No important military targets were being hit. It was done to kill and terrorize the civil population into being sick of the war and to pressure the government into ending it. This does NOT work. 

Edited by Poochnboo
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Poochnboo said:

"....they adjusted to their immediate necessities."

 

No, the doctrines they followed were put down before the war even started. In that way, really, they had layed down the ground work for defeat before they had even invaded Poland. They had little or no strategic thinking. They thought tactically, short ranged, because they thought they could wrap it up very quickly. The bombing of London was NOT strategic bombing. It was terror bombing. No important military targets were being hit. It was done to kill and terrorize the civil population into being sick of the war and to pressure the government into ending it. This does NOT work. 

Terrorbombing can work if done right - look at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. But with conventional means it's nearly impossible as even the british, who did it much more effectivly then the Germans, had to learn.

 

And yes - if I plan for tactical war and have to fight a strategic war I have a problem. Doesn't mean that their assessment, that Germany is unable to win a strategic war, is wrong though. Spending ressources on strategic means is done by not spending them on tactical means. Look at how much ressources the BRitish empire and the USA combined had to spend to have a meaningfull impact on German production - there is just no way Germany could have had a meaningfull strategic air arm and at the same time have a successfull tactical force.

 

11 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

A strategic war doesn't have to be a war of attirion - that's just one part-aspect out of many. A strategic war can be won by denying the enemy from accessing his supplies (food, gas, ammo, replacement of machinery, etc).  Think "Operation Strangle" (an interdiction campain that was flown by tactical fighters and mid-sized bombers) in Italy, which played a major role in speeding up the allied advance.

You bomb the production-factories, logistics-centers and traffic-routes and if only very little volume of supplies reaches the front, the enemy will soon need to turn to sticks and stones to fight.

So you speed up attrition. Military units have some supplies with them. If I plan to win the battle by them running out of supplies that is a battle of attrition. The decisive battle doctrine relies upon beating the enemy before supplies matter.

 

11 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

If the enemy has a vast hinterland to re-shift his production centers (which neither Poland, nor France had the option of doing), building a bomber that can't go far enough to smash those new production sites is a major drawback and denies any attempts to play that card. And having an entire bomber-fleet that can dive-deliver bombs won't help you much there either.

GErmany has as much hinterland as france and look at how long it took for the allied strategic air forces to have a meaningfull impact. And the dive bombing obsession comes from the very accurate analysis that Germany hasn't had the ressources to commit immense carpet bombings. So they hoped by bringing a few bombs right on target to achieve the same effect with less ressources. In hindsight they were wrong - but I don't find the idea all to stupid to begin with.

 

11 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

How stupid the german plan was shows when they not only picked a fight with everybody in the bar (betting on half the contenders being too scared to stand their grounds), they'd also seriously overstretch their logistics lines. Had the Soviets had any meaningful strategical air arm capabilities in the winter of 1941 (and a grasp of that concept), they could have pretty much ended the war right there. They didn't, though, so both the Germans and Soviets had to kill each other by the millions to gain ground or grind away at each others war-production in the field. That's certainly not a quick way to fight a war.

If Stalin hadn't purged most intelligence out of his armed forces and would not have refused to believe the German attacked, Barbarossa could have halted much earlier as well. The VVS was far superior in number to the Luftwaffe. If those a/c would have participated instead of being destroyed on the ground or captured battle might have turned diffrent as well. 

 

But I agree with you that German strategy was stupid. If I correctly assess I can't win a strategic war, I shouldn't start one. And relying on my enemy being stupid or cowardly is very incompetent planning. Germany in WWI and WWII tried to correct strategic incompetence with tactical brilliance and failed.

 

11 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

The tactical air war is not applied air-power. It's just delivering an artillery-shell by different means.

Air Power is about emancipation of the air arm and maximizing it's impact by waging an independant, direct campaign, using the inherent capabilities of an aircraft to it's maximum: Flying over the enemy's lines and hitting his most sacred and most important targets directly.

Just like Sea Power is not using a cruiser to bombard an island to prep it for a landing - it's using the capability of the navy to the most and denying strategic acces to food, supplies and ressources to the opposing forces by fighting them on the high seas or denying waterways for them to use.

If doing that without concept maybe. But doing it as Luftwaffe did in Poland France and during Barbarossa is of course applied airpower. First systematically destroying the enemy air force, than apply maximum force on the army units that need to advance most importantly. That is how the Americans fought and won desert storm. Desert war had no strategic campaign - but noone would deny air power was crucial in the swift American victory. A good air power policy uses air assets in best fashion in accordance with the greater plan. If the greater plan is stupid, air power won't cure that. But the Germanys air force was applied with great effeciency during the lightning wars.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eisenfaustus said:

Terrorbombing can work if done right - look at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. But with conventional means it's nearly impossible as even the british, who did it much more effectivly then the Germans, had to learn.

 

And yes - if I plan for tactical war and have to fight a strategic war I have a problem. Doesn't mean that their assessment, that Germany is unable to win a strategic war, is wrong though. Spending ressources on strategic means is done by not spending them on tactical means. Look at how much ressources the BRitish empire and the USA combined had to spend to have a meaningfull impact on German production - there is just no way Germany could have had a meaningfull strategic air arm and at the same time have a successfull tactical force.

 

Neither Hiroshima nor Nagasaki were terror-bombing. Terror-bombing relies on a city not completely pulverized, but eroded step-by-step by recurring attacks at day and night. Constant alarms around the clock - most of them not real. This was supposed to eat away at the morale of the people, but it actually just strengthened the resolve to "show those bastards" on the other side. No side got anywhere with this approach.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were first and foremost political attacks:

1) To show the japanese that the Allies were no to be f*cked around during peace-talks (that were way underway at that time).

2) To show Stalin who was boss in the PTO. Stalin had been informed abou the american nuke-program and wasn't all that impressed, but ultimately wanted to have nukes for himself.

3) To show the home-front that the Truman administaration wasn't going to wait and see and send several hundred-thousand of american boys to their deaths when pulling through with the invasions of the japanese homeland islands.

4) To actually put the multi-billion dollar weapons project into use that had been running for several years and was just showing practical results.

 

The japanese were actually pretty good in cutting information about both nuke-attacks to a minimum, so the scare-factor was pretty low.

The actual terror-bombing were the fire-bombing raids. The most fearsome was flown against Tokyo and arguably (nobody can know for sure) killed as many as both nuke-attacks combined.

 

I don't agree with the tactical vs strategic argument. Germany went to war too soon, because they were running out of money and needed foreign economies to keep the bubble going. The german economy starting from 1933 was build around the idea that somebody else was going to pay for it. They bound themselves to an external factor as to when the war needed to start, which was bad planning. If Germany could not win a strategic war with Britain, they should never have started their whole war-plan.

They lost because their whole set of action-planning was based on the premise that Britain wouldn't fight and was easily pushed around. Well, they were in for a bad surprise.

 

1 hour ago, Eisenfaustus said:

So you speed up attrition. Military units have some supplies with them. If I plan to win the battle by them running out of supplies that is a battle of attrition. The decisive battle doctrine relies upon beating the enemy before supplies matter.

 

No. You don't speed up attrition. You can leave the attrition-rate constant, but if there are no replacements coming in, the enemy will run out of stuff pretty quickly.

If your in-commission-rate starts to dwindle, because somebody shot up a train with spare-parts, then your fighter-wing may have a serious issue coming up very shortly.

 

A nice example was the loss of the aircraft (or was it a boat?) that was supposed to ship the dive-brakes kits for those P-38s to Europe.

 

1 hour ago, Eisenfaustus said:

GErmany has as much hinterland as france and look at how long it took for the allied strategic air forces to have a meaningfull impact. And the dive bombing obsession comes from the very accurate analysis that Germany hasn't had the ressources to commit immense carpet bombings. So they hoped by bringing a few bombs right on target to achieve the same effect with less ressources. In hindsight they were wrong - but I don't find the idea all to stupid to begin with.

 

Germany had a total war game plan in action and was extensively using slave-labor and throwaway-people to reach their goals. They also had an extremely clustered production-network (which was easier to take out via attacking railway) and they also would rely on foreign factories and foreign factory-workers to keep up with their supply-demand.

That is an entirely different game than both the polish and the french peace-time economies. Also, both economies weren't supposed to be destroyed, because they were needed later on to pay for the german economical bubble.

 

The french and polish campaign is not the issue here. It's the campaign against Britain (which wasn't on their aganda in the first place) and against the Soviet Union, who could just shift their production facilities out of reach for the tactically oriented Luftwaffe. That was the main issue here.

 

1 hour ago, Eisenfaustus said:

If Stalin hadn't purged most intelligence out of his armed forces and would not have refused to believe the German attacked, Barbarossa could have halted much earlier as well. The VVS was far superior in number to the Luftwaffe. If those a/c would have participated instead of being destroyed on the ground or captured battle might have turned diffrent as well. 

 

But I agree with you that German strategy was stupid. If I correctly assess I can't win a strategic war, I shouldn't start one. And relying on my enemy being stupid or cowardly is very incompetent planning. Germany in WWI and WWII tried to correct strategic incompetence with tactical brilliance and failed.

 

The purge actually worked for the Red Army, as a lot of fresh-blood from the frontline quickly found their way into the staff-offices and helped turning around military doctrines and tactics. This would not have worked quite so well with a staff fighting the last two wars.

 

Had the VVS not been destroyed on the ground, they would have caused a lot more attrition to the Luftwaffe, but they would probably not have halted Barbarossa right there.

The Germans probably would not have been able to reach the outskirts of Moscow by winter, but they'd still be able to break through. The rest of the war would have looked differently with a lot more attrition cause to the Wehrmacht - but still, the war would have dragged on for years.

 

1 hour ago, Eisenfaustus said:

If doing that without concept maybe. But doing it as Luftwaffe did in Poland France and during Barbarossa is of course applied airpower. First systematically destroying the enemy air force, than apply maximum force on the army units that need to advance most importantly. That is how the Americans fought and won desert storm. Desert war had no strategic campaign - but noone would deny air power was crucial in the swift American victory. A good air power policy uses air assets in best fashion in accordance with the greater plan. If the greater plan is stupid, air power won't cure that. But the Germanys air force was applied with great effeciency during the lightning wars.

 

The Luftwaffe did never systematically destroy the enemy air force. They were just lucky that the VVS hadn't heard the word and that Stalin wouldn't believe his intelligence-agencies.

One has to realise, that there were people in Stalin's inner circle that were yes-manning him, thus creating the false sense of reassurance for his decisions. This is where buddy-systems break down. Competence can never be substituted by personal favor or selection by belief-systems or party-membership. The same applied for Hitler and his buddies.

 

The Americans won Destert Storm because they'd have to be extremely inept to not do so. The balance of forces was so far in their favour, it was a seal-clubbing. Also, the commanders had been through the Vietnam-experience and knew what not to do: They weren't going to show restraint to a less powerful opponent to guide him to the peace-table. They were going to guide him there by providing a maximal defeat and no other options. It's the smart way to fight a war.

 

Desert Storm is also a very hard war to put a label on:

On one hand, there was very little military-production in Iraq and most targets were purely military. Then again, decapitation the iraqi command and control centers during the first night by cruise missiles and stealth bombers was a pretty strategic move, as it didn't have a direct impact to the front, but had severe effects down the communication-lines and made a combined and well staged effort to counter the allied attack impossible. Also, taking out airfields with anti runway ordnance has a very strategic component, as opposed to fight every single opposing aircraft in the air. There was relatively little conventional tactical ground-fighting going on, because the air campaign had left few useable units alive. Their ressources were blocked (remember the Highway of Death?) and thus their radius of action - both physically, but also tactically was very limited.

 

Edited by Bremspropeller
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

Terror-bombing relies on a city not completely pulverized, but eroded step-by-step by recurring attacks at day and night.

ok - we seem to use diffrent definitions.

 

For me terror bombing mean

s killing civilians with bombs to break a populations will to fight. That's what was done to London, Hamburg and Nagasaki alike.

 

6 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were first and foremost political attacks:

Interesting thesis - I'm certainly no expert on the PTO but I thought that while there were forces in Japan that wanted to surrender, there still were no actual negotiations underway. I shall read more ^^

 

6 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

No. You don't speed up attrition. You can leave the attrition-rate constant, but if there are no replacements coming in, the enemy will run out of stuff pretty quickly.

Ok you don't speed up attrition but the you slow down "counter attrition" and thus speed up "effective attrition" - whatever it is, strategic attacks take longer to show results. If you plan for a battle or campaign that is over before strategic attacks show results, they are wasted.

 

7 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

The french and polish campaign is not the issue here. It's the campaign against Britain (which wasn't on their aganda in the first place) and against the Soviet Union, who could just shift their production facilities out of reach for the tactically oriented Luftwaffe. That was the main issue here.

Again - imagine a bomber force capable of destroying soviet/british industry. Something like 8th air force and bomber command combined (which was what it took to destroy German industry in two years). How would Germany have built such a fleet? How manned it? Fueled it? Stuffed it full of bombs? For maybe two years of intensive bombing?

 

And if these ressources were dedicated to strategic air warfare, how would the army have looked? Or the tactical air arm?

 

Strategic airwar was no option for Germany.

 

7 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

The Luftwaffe did never systematically destroy the enemy air force. They were just lucky that the VVS hadn't heard the word and that Stalin wouldn't believe his intelligence-agencies.

They failed in their goal - but it was their goal. And a smart one. They just always overestimated their success. In France, Britain and Russia - and it cost the Kampfgeschwader dearly in all three campaign.

 

7 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

The Americans won Destert Storm because they'd have to be extremely inept to not do so.

The outcome was inevitable - I agree. Yet the Americans basically fought a battle of mechanized attacked with serious tactical air support to drive home those quick thrusts - basically lightning war.

 

7 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

Then again, decapitation the iraqi command and control centers during the first night by cruise missiles and stealth bombers was a pretty strategic move, as it didn't have a direct impact to the front, but had severe effects down the communication-lines and made a combined and well staged effort to counter the allied attack impossible.

Destroying the leadership has no impact on the Front? Especially in rigid force as the iraqi army was? Then if I order my platoon sniper to kill the enemy company commander on sight that is strategic combat as well? The confusion taking out command creates is very temporary - I have to strike immediatly to make use of it - that's why it was done the night before.

 

But yes - no soldier stops firing his gun because of this. So I get your drift. Not sure if this is a thing in English but in our mothertongue  there is a level between strategic and tactical that is operativ. There I'd see the criuse missle attack ^^

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

The purge actually worked for the Red Army, as a lot of fresh-blood from the frontline quickly found their way into the staff-offices and helped turning around military doctrines and tactics. This would not have worked quite so well with a staff fighting the last two wars.

 

Balderdash. Words I cannot use in this forum level of scorn for this idea.

8 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

It's the campaign against Britain (which wasn't on their aganda in the first place)

 

More strategic buffoonery by the German General Staff--let's go to war with a country and not have any plan on how to defeat that country, even after eight months of war.

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Eisenfaustus said:

ok - we seem to use diffrent definitions.

 

For me terror bombing mean

s killing civilians with bombs to break a populations will to fight. That's what was done to London, Hamburg and Nagasaki alike.

 

The will to fight is not broken by breaking somebody's stuff or by killing their family members. That just angers them and deepens their will to fight.

The willingness to fight can only be broken by constant hassle and erosion (i.g. forced lack of sleep, constant state of alarm, etc).

That's why "moral bombing" failed.

 

20 minutes ago, Eisenfaustus said:

Interesting thesis - I'm certainly no expert on the PTO but I thought that while there were forces in Japan that wanted to surrender, there still were no actual negotiations underway. I shall read more ^^

 

Let me re-phrase: Peace-talks were not underway at the time of bombing, but plans for surrender were talked (and dismissed by Tojo) about. The nukes drove home the impression that the US was not going to accept BS by Japan.

 

For some reason, that knowledge had been forgotten during the Vietnam conflict...

 

23 minutes ago, Eisenfaustus said:

Ok you don't speed up attrition but the you slow down "counter attrition" and thus speed up "effective attrition" - whatever it is, strategic attacks take longer to show results. If you plan for a battle or campaign that is over before strategic attacks show results, they are wasted.

 

That is false. You're expecting a "tactical" wrestle to reach a conclusion quickly. A look at WW1 trench-warfare quickly shows that this is just the best possible outcome.

Fighting at the front, hoping to kill every single one of the other guy's tanks (instead of just robbing them of gas or ammo by hitting the correct supply-tender) is the long way home.

 

25 minutes ago, Eisenfaustus said:

Again - imagine a bomber force capable of destroying soviet/british industry. Something like 8th air force and bomber command combined (which was what it took to destroy German industry in two years). How would Germany have built such a fleet? How manned it? Fueled it? Stuffed it full of bombs? For maybe two years of intensive bombing?

 

And if these ressources were dedicated to strategic air warfare, how would the army have looked? Or the tactical air arm?

 

Strategic airwar was no option for Germany.

 

Again, you're missing the point:

Strategic warfare is not just based on attrition or denying production-capability/ destroying an industry at the spot.

It is first and foremost about denying access to ressources to about denying replenishments to the front-lines.

Think about it: The most harmful way of killing a tank is to kill the train trying to bring it to the front-line.

- the enemy had all the ressources made availabe for building it

- the enemy needed a production-slot to build that tank that hence wasn't available for something else

- the same applies for the man-hours of specially trained workers building it

- you stop the tank at a place where it can least damage your own units (outside the range of it's guns, no ammo aboard, no/ little gas to go anywhere, no camoflyge to hide it) or binding your own firepower to get rid of it

- meanwhile somewhere, an enemy tank-crew was trained with a good investment of time and ressources that now has no acces to a g0ddamn tank

 

Bomber Command did very little to destroy the german industry. Bomber Command did have a pretty large fleet of bombers, though, which shows that such a fleet was feasible for a nation like Germany to build, as Britain and Germany had comparable industrial capabilities.

 

36 minutes ago, Eisenfaustus said:

The outcome was inevitable - I agree. Yet the Americans basically fought a battle of mechanized attacked with serious tactical air support to drive home those quick thrusts - basically lightning war.

 

The war was princibally won, once the command and control structure was severed. The only way iraqi troops could have salvaged the situation was by inflicting too many losses to the allied sides, so a political ceasefire would have had to be reached. With american leadership having learned from the grinding pain of SEA, this was highly unlikely to occur. There was going to be no artificial restraint - especially since the arab world was opposing Saddam's invasion of Kuwait.

 

42 minutes ago, Eisenfaustus said:

Destroying the leadership has no impact on the Front? Especially in rigid force as the iraqi army was? Then if I order my platoon sniper to kill the enemy company commander on sight that is strategic combat as well? The confusion taking out command creates is very temporary - I have to strike immediatly to make use of it - that's why it was done the night before.

 

But yes - no soldier stops firing his gun because of this. So I get your drift. Not sure if this is a thing in English but in our mothertongue  there is a level between strategic and tactical that is operativ. There I'd see the criuse missle attack ^^

 

Now you're trying hard to misinterpret my writing:

The destruction of the CCC doesn't aim at the tactical hardware at the front-line, but it takes out soft-targets inside a bunker with a disproportunate effect of the ongoing warfare.

 

Operational warfare is just some BS the army came up with to make things more complicated than they need to be :russian_ru:

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Bremspropeller said:

Operational warfare is just some BS the army came up with to make things more complicated than they need to be

As part of the army I have to disagree ^^ 

 

38 minutes ago, Bremspropeller said:

That's why "moral bombing" failed.

Absolutely. Although I never said otherwise.

 

40 minutes ago, Bremspropeller said:

That is false. You're expecting a "tactical" wrestle to reach a conclusion quickly. A look at WW1 trench-warfare quickly shows that this is just the best possible outcome.

Fighting at the front, hoping to kill every single one of the other guy's tanks (instead of just robbing them of gas or ammo by hitting the correct supply-tender) is the long way home.

Nope - that was what Hitler was expecting. It worked in Poland as planned. It worked in France surprisingly good. It seemed to work in Russia until someone used a ruler to measure distances on his map and realized the German army was in deep sh*t.

 

Warfare is not only about numbers - moral is vital as well. And while an encirclement on the ground does basically the same as operation strangle - it's a psychological much diffrent situation. Most Russian casaulties in 41 were POWs not dead. The chaos induced by the relentless combined arms assault in 41 lead enormous loss of personal and material - and the kampfgeschwader did attack hqs depots and train stations - there weren't enough of them and luftwaffe intelligence sucked throughout the war.

 

59 minutes ago, Bremspropeller said:

Bomber Command did very little to destroy the german industry. Bomber Command did have a pretty large fleet of bombers, though, which shows that such a fleet was feasible for a nation like Germany to build, as Britain and Germany had comparable industrial capabilities

England has an industry similar to Germany - the British Empire played in another leage. And fuel stays an issue - even in it's good times the Wehrmacht struggled for fuel - dwespite as you correctly pointed out - the bulk of the army relying on horses. A large fleet of 4 engined longlegged bombers? No way!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some interesting ideas here. Still, I think two points are up for discussion:

 

One is that if you try to make a strategic move/plan and you fail due to incomptetence/lack of will/lack of ressources, then then I still think this qualifies as „strategic“.

 

Hence, not only the U-Boat campaign against British shipping comes to mind, but also attacks on Britains radars and airfields with the sim to destroy the RAF. One has to keep in mind that the main thing the 8th AF destroyed besides housing was the Luftwaffe, and they destroyed it in the air.

 

Second, a bit off topic though, but that video on Stalins purges is making a questionable point to put it nicely. Taking Eisenhower as reference of why a purge might do good should probably seen as someone saying that in the 1950‘s, being explicitly concerned about an over abundance of chairbone in the Pentagon and industrial contractors doing their thing and get emotional about it. What is clear is that the effect of Stalins purges was a resulting total passive attitude of anyone, all caring more about Stalins opinion on them than enemy action. Stalin had about one of the most modern airforces and tank divisions along with the doctrine required, had he not sent anyone with two brain cells’ worth of integrity to the Gulag. That the Germans made it as far as they did was entirely up to Stalins action. That there would be such a resistance in the Russian population against the invaders was most unexpected to Stalin. (He surely wouldn’t have lifted one finger for a crook like himself.) The „purges“ worked for the Germans though when they remade their armed forces, as they kicked out old and tired hands and replaced them with eager and often talented ones. Not just yes-men.

Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Eisenfaustus said:

As part of the army I have to disagree ^^ 

 

 I was just pulling your leg 😜

 

44 minutes ago, Eisenfaustus said:

Nope - that was what Hitler was expecting. It worked in Poland as planned. It worked in France surprisingly good. It seemed to work in Russia until someone used a ruler to measure distances on his map and realized the German army was in deep sh*t.

 

It worked because neither Poland nor France were ready for the show. In France, the tactics were decisive and once again the issue that France couldn't quite grab the concept of trampling Belgium and the Netherlands was the quickest way to Paris. Also consider neither Poland, the BeNeLuxes, nor France were war-time economies (well, France was granted some time, but their tactics hadn't been adjusted to counter german combined arms warfare) and were not producing war-time goods at breakneck speed like Germany was. Being prepared for the fight was a huge advantage for Germany.

 

What killed the german plan for Barbarossa before it started (apart from any deep strategical warfare dimension) was the underestimation of the Red Army's capabilities. The recent purge had the Germans think of the Soviets as easy prey. On top, the RA had a lot more divisions available than planned for by the Germans.

 

Also, the Soviets had time to gain recent war-time experience in the far-east, Polan, Finnland and the Baltic States. They weren't lacking behind in their application of modern warfare as were many other powers at the time.

 

44 minutes ago, Eisenfaustus said:

Warfare is not only about numbers - moral is vital as well. And while an encirclement on the ground does basically the same as operation strangle - it's a psychological much diffrent situation. Most Russian casaulties in 41 were POWs not dead. The chaos induced by the relentless combined arms assault in 41 lead enormous loss of personal and material - and the kampfgeschwader did attack hqs depots and train stations - there weren't enough of them and luftwaffe intelligence sucked throughout the war.

 

There you go. Make that "german intelligence" across the board.

 

The soviets had enough manpower to regroup and re-attack. Even after the most devastating battles in 1941.

That's why trying to fight them at the front - instead of blocking their supplies and going for production centers - was so stupid.

 

44 minutes ago, Eisenfaustus said:

England has an industry similar to Germany - the British Empire played in another leage. And fuel stays an issue - even in it's good times the Wehrmacht struggled for fuel - dwespite as you correctly pointed out - the bulk of the army relying on horses. A large fleet of 4 engined longlegged bombers? No way!

 

But yet you couldn't build a highway from the oil-fields in British Arabia to England - you had to ship it across the ocean. Just as well as other crucial supplies. That made it vulnerable.

As Zacharias had already pointed out, the U-Boat force in combination with the Fw 200s of KG 40 did knock a very serious dent into british homeland supply. it did concern Churchill quite a bit and without the help of America, it might have proven extremely dangerous to Britain. The Fw 200 already was a 4-engined bomber - a pretty bad one (it was an awesome airliner and as such noot designed with a military role in mind) all it's success notwithstanding. Had Germany had a substantial force of 4-engined maritime patrols/ bombers, the strategical situation might have tipped quite a lot. Possibly even as far as bullying Britain into a ceasefire and negotiations.

 

There were enough 4-engined Junkers transports available that showed Germany was capable of producing quads even before the war and would have just needed better program-streamlining and and overall strategical plan for the things to come. There were plans for airplanes with substantial payload-range in Germany (both the Uralbomber* and the Amerikabomber**) , but they never materialized - because Udet thought that all bombers needed to be dive-attack capable and the He 177 entered the stage.

 

BTW - there were:

- 1137 (!) He 177s (which is a four-engined bomber)

- 276 Fw 200s

- 52 Ju 290s

 

 That's 1500 four-engined long-range aircraft without even trying.

 

 

* The Ju 89 and Do 19 were both built and flown, but they weren't all too promising in terms of performance.

** While the Amerikabomber idea was stupid and well beyond technological reach, those airplanes - with a more reasonable set of requirements - could have made formidable long-range bombers for the eastern front and for blocking Britain.

 

 

13 minutes ago, ZachariasX said:

One is that if you try to make a strategic move/plan and you fail due to incomptetence/lack of will/lack of ressources, then then I still think this qualifies as „strategic“.

 

But was it really a plan, or was it just bourne out of the need to do something. I'd go along and call the attacks strategic, but there was a lack of an overall campaign.

 

15 minutes ago, ZachariasX said:

Hence, not only the U-Boat campaign against British shipping comes to mind, but also attacks on Britains radars and airfields with the sim to destroy the RAF. One has to keep in mind that the main thing the 8th AF destroyed besides housing was the Luftwaffe, and they destroyed it in the air.

 

The attacks on the radars would certainly be strategic (or operational as brought up by Eisenfaustus) and so would be the attacks on the airfields. There again, the lack of strategic concept (and plan for Britain) showed, so I wouldn't call the campaign stratgic (or operational), while the attacks were.

 

By that same token, terror-attacking british towns in southern England with Jabos was a strategical (binding forces and ressources ina disproportional manner) or at least operational campaign that was short-lived due to the short-sightenedness of the german air-staff.

 

It's true that the 8th AF probably destroyed more housing than it did factories (not for the lack of trying, though), but concerning the destruction of the Luftwaffe, we're probably reaching a boundary, where conventional strategical, operational and tactical thinking breaks down.

The 8th AF bombers didn't destroy the Luftwaffe in the air - it was the escort, eventuelly completely freed form the bombers - that went onto search and destroy/ fighter sweeps deep in the backyard of the enemy.

 

23 minutes ago, ZachariasX said:

Second, a bit off topic though, but that video on Stalins purges is making a questionable point to put it nicely. Taking Eisenhower as reference of why a purge might do good should probably seen as someone saying that in the 1950‘s, being explicitly concerned about an over abundance of chairbone in the Pentagon and industrial contractors doing their thing and get emotional about it. What is clear is that the effect of Stalins purges was a resulting total passive attitude of anyone, all caring more about Stalins opinion on them than enemy action. Stalin had about one of the most modern airforces and tank divisions along with the doctrine required, had he not sent anyone with two brain cells’ worth of integrity to the Gulag. That the Germans made it as far as they did was entirely up to Stalins action. That there would be such a resistance in the Russian population against the invaders was most unexpected to Stalin. (He surely wouldn’t have lifted one finger for a crook like himself.) The „purges“ worked for the Germans though when they remade their armed forces, as they kicked out old and tired hands and replaced them with eager and often talented ones. Not just yes-men.

 

I think it's unneccessary to say that the purge had an overall-negative effect.

I also think, though, that the common wisdom about the purge falls a bit short, as it neglects other "purges" and their effects - it doesn't matter if Eisenhower is a prime example or not. It's the fact that other armys and branches of service in other countries also had a significant exchange in all echelons of command and did reasonably well. Not least because of those changes. The purge was both a threat at first, but a chance later when more personnel with recent front-line experience raised in rank and influence.

 

When looking over to the leadership of the Luftwaffe, where WW1 veterans struggeled to grasp the technological challenges of the times being, it's important noting that a lot of failure was due to the old-timers. It was clear that Goering was trapped in 1918 with his views on aerial warfare.

Edited by Bremspropeller
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...