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Discussion: What was the best all round fighter of ww2?


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cardboard_killer

 

 

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2 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

However. I am always amazed how little consideration is given on operational realiability and error tolerance of given aircraft.

 

However, some of that, at least, has to do with factors beyond the design of the airplane. E.g. quality of inputs; skill of workforce; quality/availability of POL; availability of mechanics to field service.

 

Also, there is doctrine. The LW was pretty abysmal at trying to eliminate accidents early in the war (basically accepting that high accident rates were a cost of doing business), while it was much more of a priority among the WAllied forces.

Add to that the Japanese, whose planes in the field always lacked proper spare parts, and mechanics to fix aircraft. The junked a/c at a Japanese airfield was full of planes that would have been flying if they had the logistical support of the US forces.

 

Forgot to add that there were times when planes were more valuable than pilots (e.g. often in SW Pacific), but more often there were planes that sat because of a lack of pilots. So, say only 80% of your Kittyhawks can fly, but you only every have enough pilots to fly 50% of them, which makes the limiting factor not the reliability of the a/c but the lack of pilots.

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Bremspropeller
13 minutes ago, cardboard_killer said:

Also, there is doctrine. The LW was pretty abysmal at trying to eliminate accidents early in the war (basically accepting that high accident rates were a cost of doing business), while it was much more of a priority among the WAllied forces.

 

WW2 was a decisive time that created the foundation of today's professional flying. Much of that came by the requirement of creating an efficient way of training country-boys how to fly a complex aircraft in large numbers in a streamlined fashion.

 

This is a good read on the gradual development of checklists and procedural training in the US:

 

https://art2science.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/standard-proced-adoption-bohn-2013.pdf

 

 

Checklists were unknown in the Luftwaffe. So were precise procedures, even though they'd also start using cartoonized handbooks (e.g. Schießfiebel) late in the war.

The Schießfiebel didn't use acronyms but tried to achieve somewhat similar results by usung rhymes that supposedly stayed in one's mind.

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ZachariasX
24 minutes ago, cardboard_killer said:

However, some of that, at least, has to do with factors beyond the design of the airplane.

I think everything is about the design of the airplane. The Cessna 172 is (probably) the most popular aircraft in the world because its ease in operation. That stems from its design, not from everyone having super mechanics. If the thing bends easily, it will bend more than things don‘t bend easily. This is innate error tolerance. It is design.

 

While it is true that with an American supply chain, there would have been a higher rate of operational Zekes an Oscars, but the rate would have been still considerably lower than the rate of operational Wildcats an Hellats.

 

 

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VBF-12_KW
20 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

 

 

Remember that good old 348 FG? Boy, what a training outfit...

 

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/08/f1/de/08f1de61fcbd355cabc06c7c5ffc06cd--kids-military-aircraft.jpg

 

348thFG-WRG-0026998.thumb.jpg.69c0668ce4bd3497134604d4852aee97.jpg

 

https://th.bing.com/th/id/Ra01470068afb6e4e77deb12ee60d1adc?rik=CklSNdgRtqmOmA&riu=http%3a%2f%2fwww.americanairmuseum.com%2fsites%2fdefault%2ffiles%2fstyles%2flarge%2fpublic%2ffreeman%2fmedia-418880.jpg%3fitok%3dRh7gjQjT&ehk=K9eKeAXtKJ67S9AoNKZUKMBxvl4xwWE4Z65W5gSSxVA%3d&risl=&pid=ImgRaw

 

https://th.bing.com/th/id/Rc499144e3312e0c060c70b5f379f1850?rik=bLtxHJC4aJh9Rw&riu=http%3a%2f%2f2.bp.blogspot.com%2f_B3cytY_FyMo%2fTDY3fjUbWXI%2fAAAAAAAAAWg%2fF7ShQlevy3k%2fs1600%2fColor%2b-%2bJenny.jpg&ehk=gIDZ%2bNhZOb0BJfzVEKtCEk22J5rTQuzCWrGoIu72YCg%3d&risl=&pid=ImgRaw

 

https://th.bing.com/th/id/R583f3f3fd7324a200aceb5f24b8ef22a?rik=dEhwRVvM4YPTIg&riu=http%3a%2f%2f3.bp.blogspot.com%2f_B3cytY_FyMo%2fTDY3iOIeODI%2fAAAAAAAAAWo%2fsELDaQO8HUY%2fs400%2fColor%2b-%2bLittle%2bEdie.jpg&ehk=ykGgr8bj75gt9OXkwG99oVNIvOzXYtHJ2kEpWt3ayZw%3d&risl=&pid=ImgRaw

 

 

 

And that ole Checkertail Clan - must have been the best in-theater training out there...

 

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/46/e6/34/46e63420bdd61f51170bdabf4c20c863.jpg

 

https://th.bing.com/th/id/R149c3a0fafb69f549e3e0854b6a1e8db?rik=u0K5J0ls7hjJnw&riu=http%3a%2f%2fwww.americanairmuseum.com%2fsites%2fdefault%2ffiles%2fmedia%2fmedia-16958.jpeg&ehk=SKGAJhKbTDNsov0TML64Z%2ftQlf8ZF6PMjpG4ws%2fWw8Y%3d&risl=&pid=ImgRaw

 

https://th.bing.com/th/id/R6608857e2dae44f2f83d172d1bea0ffe?rik=6%2bbLTH1EgGUe7w&riu=http%3a%2f%2fwww.worldwarphotos.info%2fwp-content%2fgallery%2fusa%2faircrafts%2fp47%2fP-47_Thunderbolt_33_Little_Sir_Echo_of_the_325th_Fighter_Group.jpg&ehk=Jq66c%2b%2b8SZjk%2byokr8FDaC9g0vF4%2f3vWblhdfnw5xcg%3d&risl=&pid=ImgRaw

 

Tell me if you need more "hypotheticals".

 

 

 

main-qimg-1bc0cba99f6640ca5e275f156bb46e

 

OMG - it's as if the USAAF in Europe knew about P-38 drop tanks!  And yet they still went out of their way to come up with other solutions like this:

 

Zemke-Fighter-Mutiny-Drop-tanks.jpg

 

And yet even with these ultra heavy fuel loads (which were only possible after wing rack retrofit kits appeared at the end of 1943, roughly the same time as the P-51) the P-38 and P-51 still had significantly more range, and could get to further targets or stay with the bombers longer etc.  Likewise, P-47s in the 5th and 15th AFs were largely replaced with P-38s and P-51s for their extended range.  I'm not going to argue with you about this anymore - the historical record is very clear on the subject and if a change to a different drop tank had solved all the P-47s range shortcoming compared to its stablemates, Republic wouldn't have increased the internal fuel on later D models and then redesigned the wing and fuselage to carry even more fuel for the N model. 

 

Basing your argument on using hindsight to improve one aircraft, but not any others isn't an apples to apples comparison, just like cherry picking the results of a single P-47 group and comparing them to the average of an entire air force is an unreasonable comparison.  There were reasons that various aircraft upgrades and modifications took time to develop and be deployed.  Engineering and manufacturing resources were finite, even for the US.  Developing one thing earlier would have meant giving up on something else, or skipping a critical step with consequences we can never know and probably can't even imagine.

On 6/12/2021 at 6:33 PM, oc2209 said:

The P-51's wing-mounted .50s would be quite ineffective against Sturmoviks, in the interceptor role.

 

Amusingly, this is exactly how it plays out in BoX currently.  The Il-2 in game is nearly impervious to .50 fire.

 

The Finn's however had a different experience with their Brewster Buffalo's armed with 2 x .50 and 2 x .30:

 

"Despite our appearance, the IL-2s continued heading for their target in Kopornoye Bay.  I managed to slip in behind them whilst the other Brewster pilots kept their fighter escort busy.  Approaching one of the Sturmoviks from the port side, I hit it in the wing root.  The airplane instantly caught fire and crashed into the sea.  I then shot down a second IL-2.  I got my third Sturmovik as the formation neared Shepelevskiy, the aircraft beginning to smoke prior to it hitting the sea off Tolbukhin.  Throughout this engagement the only evasive maneuver attempted by the Il-2s was a side-slide.  The ground attack aircraft caught fire very easily when hit in the wing root."  1st Lt Hans Wind flying BW-393 in April 1943, quoted from here.

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10 hours ago, cardboard_killer said:

 

 . . . yes it was. It was a plan designed to end the war in a month by destroying the entire Red Army, and it failed miserably. It lacked reasonable intel, a coherent plan for logistics, and an understanding of grand strategy. All things the Germans were piss poor at. Once the operation began, it encircled large portions of the enemy without any way of liquidating them except with marching infantry that could not keep up with the encirclements.

 

And the army's orders contradicted themselves politically. Show no mercy in some messages; remove the communists and the people will be docile in other messages. No coherence in pacification; swarms of enemy taking to the country to become partisans; haphazard murdering of Jews and "bolsheviks".

 

The German army throughout the war believed, as it had in 1918, that successful operations led to strategic victory. And wars simply do not work that way.

 

All valid points as to why Germany ultimately failed in Russia.

 

However, my argument was that according to the initial German plan--which was to destroy, what, around 200 Russian divisions if memory serves--that plan was executed quite well, all things considered. So many catastrophic problems could have arisen, such was the narrow margin of error the Germans had with so few men (relatively) over such a broad front.

 

The Russian standing army of the west, as well as the majority of its air force, was destroyed. That was the goal, and it was achieved. The utter failure of intelligence (and Hitler's failure to listen to what little reliable intel there was, because he was riding the 'I'm invincible!' manic high) has little to do with the fact that the Germans did manage to destroy what they perceived as the entire Russian army, several times over. Indeed, they destroyed a very, very large army and air force by any reckoning. And the first portion of said destruction occurred in a matter of a few months.

 

By contrast, the Anglo-American invasion of Europe took ~11 months to completely shatter the German army of the west. That was with much greater air support than Barbarossa had; two useful nations versus one, whereas Barbarossa was 1v1 essentially; and most of Germany's veteran soldiers had been killed in Russia by D-Day. Thus the Anglo-American force faced a badly depleted enemy who was fighting a two-front war. And it still took 11 months to finish off said enemy. Yes, western European terrain is different from conditions in the east, more suitable to defensive warfare. But western Europe also has much better roads and rail, so I'd say that point is something of a wash. Yes, Russia was invaded in a surprise attack, which exacerbated their organizational issues. But Germany was being invaded by 3 superpowers, so I'd say that about evens the odds.

 

My point is that the invasion of Russia went about as well as can be reasonably expected. That it never should have been launched at all, because under most calculations total victory was likely impossible--that's all beside my point.

 

One other factor to consider is that the Germans probably thought they'd capture or destroy most of Russia's critical factories. They had no clue the Russians would pack up entire factories and hundreds of thousands of workers, and send them east. That was an absolutely brilliant move by the Russians, and one that would be difficult to foresee.

11 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

Interesting points have been raised and consesnus is probably stronger than some of the wording makes it appear. At least from this side of the discussion.

 

However. I am always amazed how little consideration is given on operational realiability and error tolerance of given aircraft.

 

A plane that can‘t take off, regardless of the reason, is the worst aircraft at hand.

 

This for instance disqualifies almost all Japanese aircraft.

 

11 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

The best aircraft is the one you‘d also give to everyone at your local flying club, where people have just one life but want to have fun as well.

 

The Zero was extremely reliable and easy to maintain. Safe and stable to fly under most conditions. Just sayin'.

 

Going by your local flying club criteria, I'd actually rate the Zero pretty high in that regard as well. Higher than the 109 or the Spitfire, due to the narrow undercarriages of both.

 

A light, maneuverable plane with good low-speed handling and gliding characteristics is exactly the kind of plane you'd want as a novice or civilian pilot. Also, the Zero's lawnmower horsepower would be easier for novices to handle than late-war 2000 HP behemoths.

 

The main problem with the Zero wasn't the Zero itself, but the Japanese attitudes regarding life, death, and warfare. The same suicidal zeal that led to banzai charges into machine gun enfilades.

 

And the radio issue. But the Japanese lack of radios wasn't the Zero's fault.

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2 hours ago, VBF-12_KW said:

Amusingly, this is exactly how it plays out in BoX currently.  The Il-2 in game is nearly impervious to .50 fire.

 

The Finn's however had a different experience with their Brewster Buffalo's armed with 2 x .50 and 2 x .30:

 

"Despite our appearance, the IL-2s continued heading for their target in Kopornoye Bay.  I managed to slip in behind them whilst the other Brewster pilots kept their fighter escort busy.  Approaching one of the Sturmoviks from the port side, I hit it in the wing root.  The airplane instantly caught fire and crashed into the sea.  I then shot down a second IL-2.  I got my third Sturmovik as the formation neared Shepelevskiy, the aircraft beginning to smoke prior to it hitting the sea off Tolbukhin.  Throughout this engagement the only evasive maneuver attempted by the Il-2s was a side-slide.  The ground attack aircraft caught fire very easily when hit in the wing root."  1st Lt Hans Wind flying BW-393 in April 1943, quoted from here.

 

I happened to be testing a P-51 against a Sturm the other day. Imagine my surprise when I line up one wing under its belly and it explodes in my face. Bent my prop.

 

I don't quite know what to think of Wind's account. I'm not calling him erroneous by any means, but I have read several German accounts of going after the radiator in the Sturm, implying it was the preferred weak point. Contrast this to accounts I've read of night fighters, where they prefer to aim at the Lancaster's wing root because it was easily flammable. So there's seemingly a clear understanding of weak points that's passed on from pilot to pilot, usually, and I just find it odd I've never heard of it in the IL-2's case. Nor have I managed to start many fires in the root myself, in the game. I always go for the radiator or the tail.

 

In any case, the IL-10 would have been a tougher nut to crack, and it would have been replacing the IL-2 by '45 when my proposed 3rd World War scenario would start.

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Monksilver
11 hours ago, cardboard_killer said:

 

It was a plan designed to end the war in a month by destroying the entire Red Army...

 

 

 

20 minutes ago, oc2209 said:

...the initial German plan--which was to destroy, what, around 200 Russian divisions if memory serves--that plan was executed quite well, all things considered. So many catastrophic problems could have arisen, such was the narrow margin of error the Germans had with so few men (relatively) over such a broad front.

 

The Russian standing army of the west, as well as the majority of its air force, was destroyed. That was the goal, and it was achieved. 

 

 

 

Apologies for going off topic but I find this part of the debate quite interesting.

 

It could be said that Hitler's plan fell to the same problem as thwarted Napoleon and Hannibal. That being taking on an enemy that is not willing to accept the same definition of what amounts to an overall defeat.  

 

At the time of the 2nd Punic war between Carthage and Rome the conventional understanding of war that everyone had was once one side's army was heavily defeated it had lost and would negotiate an unfavourable peace. So when Hannibal destroyed the 1st Roman army at Trebia the Romans should have sought peace terms, instead they raised another army.  When Hannibal destroyed that at Lake Trasimene, under the rules of the game Rome should have surrendered then. Instead they raised another army which Hannibal duly annihilated at Cannae. With a third large army destroyed and allies deserting it Rome should have surrendered but Rome wasn't playing by the same rules and had a completely different concept of what amounted to defeat in war. So they kept on raising armies and kept on fighting until finally Scipio won at Zuma and Carthage accepted they had lost. Any other nation or city state would have surrendered negotiated terms after the first or second defeats and certainly after the 3rd but Rome was instead playing by its own rules and so didn't understand that it  had lost and so carried on. For Rome to accept defeat the city and republic itself would to be destroyed and its people put in slavery.

 

The Russians are like the Romans in that they have their own concept of what amounts to losing a war. Napoleon found this out in 1812 when by the rules of the game Alexander 1 should have accepted defeat and come to terms when Moscow fell in 1812, instead he said so what and carried on the war until like the Romans he had won.

 

Hitler's destruction of Russian armies did no more for him that Hannibal's destruction of the legions. Even allowing for its role as a transport hub, if Hitler had taken Moscow Stalin would have carried on just like Alexander I. 

 

As Montgomery said, "Rule 1 on page 1 of the book of war: never, ever march with your land armies into Russia". It has been the grave of the 3 of the strongest armies of their times, just ask Hitler, Napoleon and Charles XII of Sweden due to massively over stretched supply lands and the Russian winter.

 

 

 

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Bremspropeller
2 hours ago, VBF-12_KW said:

OMG - it's as if the USAAF in Europe knew about P-38 drop tanks! 

 

You do realize that I described this very picture about three or four posts ago?

 

2 hours ago, VBF-12_KW said:

And yet they still went out of their way to come up with other solutions like this:

 

So the other air forces were the idiots then, for using just that loadout?

 

2 hours ago, VBF-12_KW said:

And yet even with these ultra heavy fuel loads (which were only possible after wing rack retrofit kits appeared at the end of 1943, roughly the same time as the P-51) the P-38 and P-51 still had significantly more range, and could get to further targets or stay with the bombers longer etc.  Likewise, P-47s in the 5th and 15th AFs were largely replaced with P-38s and P-51s for their extended range.  I'm not going to argue with you about this anymore - the historical record is very clear on the subject and if a change to a different drop tank had solved all the P-47s range shortcoming compared to its stablemates, Republic wouldn't have increased the internal fuel on later D models and then redesigned the wing and fuselage to carry even more fuel for the N model. 

 

That's not an ultra heavy fuel load.

America's Hundred Thousand mentions a mission flown by 35 FG in October '44 with an asymmetric 310 gal/ 75gal/ 165gal loadout for a 835mile escort radius mission flown by D-28 models. Not having the top brass looking over one's shoulder helps in being creative. And using proper leaning technique.

 

I think the narrative of the P-47 not having "the range" is pretty much shot down now.

The P-51 and P-38 had "the range" attained easier and sooner, but each of the aircraft could do a Berlin mission. Doing Berlin a couple of months earlier or later changed little in the outcome of the war.

 

Installing more internal fuel came from the idea that all fuel carried interanally comes with a lower drag-penalty than carrying external gas. There were field-trials in the 348 FG to mount more internal fuel by changing around components, but it didn't come to fruition. Lockheed went the same direction, once the intercoolers were out of the wing and NAA found some additional space in the P-51 after shuffling the radios around. Nothing special about the P-47 here - everybody was trying to squeeze more gas into their airplanes. The Jug with it's juicy turbo didn't have much useable room to spare.

 

2 hours ago, VBF-12_KW said:

Basing your argument on using hindsight to improve one aircraft, but not any others isn't an apples to apples comparison, just like cherry picking the results of a single P-47 group and comparing them to the average of an entire air force is an unreasonable comparison.  There were reasons that various aircraft upgrades and modifications took time to develop and be deployed.  Engineering and manufacturing resources were finite, even for the US.  Developing one thing earlier would have meant giving up on something else, or skipping a critical step with consequences we can never know and probably can't even imagine.

 

Where exactly am I cherrypicking?

 

I am showing that different FGs had different results of fighting efficiency, and a deeper look is neccessary, instead of just braodly boasting superiority of one aircraft over another and acting as if one aircraft didn't do well with it's "7" rather than "10" kill-ratio over the enemy. The numbers only tell the whole story if you let them.

If you don't want to go there, that's fine, but stop acting as if you are the only person who has read a book.

 

Or are you rather talking about me showing that Jugs could fly to Berlin (six months before you were suggesting and during a Penetration Support mission, so not even planning for max range), when you'd think they couldn't. The max potential of the airplane wasn't used, but then again it wasn't neccessary.

What would you do? Use the duckloads of P-51 squadrons to go to Berlin, or use the few P-47 squadrons that are left, that could better be used for other missions, where Mustang range isn't ultimately required? If I were in charge of mission-planning, I'd rely on the Mustangs, too.

 

Basing arguments and analysis on hindsinght is what people usually do, 80 years after the fact. That's the beauty of having access to more information than those back in the day, looking through keyholes. Arguing the what-ifs is precisely the reason for coming together in a message board.

 

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1 hour ago, Monksilver said:

Hitler's destruction of Russian armies did no more for him that Hannibal's destruction of the legions. Even allowing for its role as a transport hub, if Hitler had taken Moscow Stalin would have carried on just like Alexander I. 

 

As Montgomery said, "Rule 1 on page 1 of the book of war: never, ever march with your land armies into Russia". It has been the grave of the 3 of the strongest armies of their times, just ask Hitler, Napoleon and Charles XII of Sweden due to massively over stretched supply lands and the Russian winter.

 

No need to apologize. The thread's already pretty well derailed.

 

I agree that Russia's paradoxical outwardly-vulnerable-yet-impossible-to-fully-conquer status is always an interesting subject. 

 

I too have always believed that the taking of Moscow wouldn't have changed the outcome of the war. For one thing, there's no guarantee that investing in its capture would actually result in its capture. Stalingrad proved this. Secondly, there's no guarantee that actually taking and holding all of Moscow would have saved German garrisons from encirclement in the coming winter. And finally, there's no guarantee that taking Moscow and successfully holding it throughout the winter would have forced Russia to capitulate. Russia didn't move its factories so far east just to throw in the towel the minute Moscow fell. There were plans all along to trade territory for time; the only problem in the Russian plan was that Germany advanced as quickly as they initially did. The only advantage the Germans had was speed. The moment the invasion lost its momentum, the Germans were dead. The entire German plan hinged on catastrophic destruction and demoralization of the enemy, which in turn would lead to surrender. There was no contingency plan.

 

If you wanted to construct an alt-history scenario where Germany defeats Russia, I think the smartest thing the Germans could have done was to sit back and let Russia attack it. Build deep defenses in preparation, grind up millions of Russian soldiers in fruitless attacks, then turn to the offensive. Don't ever make the war goal the total destruction of Russia. Have a thoroughly conventional war in which the Russians would lose a lot of men for little gain. This would place great internal stresses on the population and Stalin's support, and he would be obliged to seek peace. Under said peace, the Russians would forfeit large parts of their western territory. In other words, a repeat of what happened in WWI.

 

An even better plan would be to never invade Poland, never start a war with Britain and France, and somehow lure Russia into attacking Poland first. Allow Poland to be totally overrun. Then declare war on Russia without having the Western Allies to worry about; hell, they might even join in and offer some indirect support. Then, after Russia's defeated, then you invade France and the Low Countries by surprise. 

 

But I doubt Stalin would've been dumb enough to walk into that trap.

 

3 hours ago, VBF-12_KW said:

The Finn's however had a different experience with their Brewster Buffalo's armed with 2 x .50 and 2 x .30:

 

"The ground attack aircraft caught fire very easily when hit in the wing root."  1st Lt Hans Wind flying BW-393 in April 1943, quoted from here.

 

From what I can tell, both in books and in the game, there's nothing flammable in the Sturmovik's wing root:

 

20210614151625_1.thumb.jpg.c56139d124cd587eba29971903e1213d.jpg

 

To recreate the Buffalo's armament, I used a Macchi.

 

The Sturm's ammo would be stored near the guns, so that's not in the root. There's no fuel in the root that I know of. Meaning, the only thing that could burn in Wind's account, is some kind of bomb stored there.

 

Meaning that it was a fluke more than a reliable weak point in the plane. Unless someone can explain what would be flammable there.

Edited by oc2209
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VBF-12_KW
16 minutes ago, oc2209 said:

 

No need to apologize. The thread's already pretty well derailed.

 

I agree that Russia's paradoxical outwardly-vulnerable-yet-impossible-to-fully-conquer status is always an interesting subject. 

 

I too have always believed that the taking of Moscow wouldn't have changed the outcome of the war. For one thing, there's no guarantee that investing in its capture would actually result in its capture. Stalingrad proved this. Secondly, there's no guarantee that actually taking and holding all of Moscow would have saved German garrisons from encirclement in the coming winter. And finally, there's no guarantee that taking Moscow and successfully holding it throughout the winter would have forced Russia to capitulate. Russia didn't move its factories so far east just to throw in the towel the minute Moscow fell. There were plans all along to trade territory for time; the only problem in the Russian plan was that Germany advanced as quickly as they initially did. The only advantage the Germans had was speed. The moment the invasion lost its momentum, the Germans were dead. The entire German plan hinged on catastrophic destruction and demoralization of the enemy, which in turn would lead to surrender. There was no contingency plan.

 

If you wanted to construct an alt-history scenario where Germany defeats Russia, I think the smartest thing the Germans could have done was to sit back and let Russia attack it. Build deep defenses in preparation, grind up millions of Russian soldiers in fruitless attacks, then turn to the offensive. Don't ever make the war goal the total destruction of Russia. Have a thoroughly conventional war in which the Russians would lose a lot of men for little gain. This would place great internal stresses on the population and Stalin's support, and he would be obliged to seek peace. Under said peace, the Russians would forfeit large parts of their western territory. In other words, a repeat of what happened in WWI.

 

An even better plan would be to never invade Poland, never start a war with Britain and France, and somehow lure Russia into attacking Poland first. Allow Poland to be totally overrun. Then declare war on Russia without having the Western Allies to worry about; hell, they might even join in and offer some indirect support. Then, after Russia's defeated, then you invade France and the Low Countries by surprise. 

 

But I doubt Stalin would've been dumb enough to walk into that trap.

 

 

From what I can tell, both in books and in the game, there's nothing flammable in the Sturmovik's wing root:

 

20210614151625_1.thumb.jpg.c56139d124cd587eba29971903e1213d.jpg

 

To recreate the Buffalo's armament, I used a Macchi.

 

The Sturm's ammo would be stored near the guns, so that's not in the root. There's no fuel in the root that I know of. Meaning, the only thing that could burn in Wind's account, is some kind of bomb stored there.

 

Meaning that it was a fluke more than a reliable weak point in the plane. Unless someone can explain what would be flammable there.

 

The armor diagrams im seeing online for the IL2 are showing thickness ranging from 4mm to 12mm depending on the location, all of which would be well below the max penetration of .50 AP (obviously range and angle allowing).  So I'd assume he got some strikes that pierced the fuel tank and incendiary rounds then ignited the leaking fuel.  There are a number of other cases mentioned in the same source of other pilots downing IL-2s in the Buffalo.  

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2 hours ago, VBF-12_KW said:

The armor diagrams im seeing online for the IL2 are showing thickness ranging from 4mm to 12mm depending on the location, all of which would be well below the max penetration of .50 AP (obviously range and angle allowing).  So I'd assume he got some strikes that pierced the fuel tank and incendiary rounds then ignited the leaking fuel.  There are a number of other cases mentioned in the same source of other pilots downing IL-2s in the Buffalo.  

 

Anyone feel free to correct me here, but the point I'm getting at is that there's nothing in the Sturm's root that will burn. It is my understanding that the fuel is all stored in the fuselage, within the 'armor tub'.

 

So, are you saying that fuel leaked into the root area, and that caught on fire? Whatever way it happened, if you take Wind's words at face value, you would assume that simply shooting into the wing root will start a fire. And I'm saying that's not possible. Shooting the wing root from dead six o'clock would achieve nothing.

 

Now, if you fired into the root while level with or slightly below the Sturm, at a shallow angle to the left or right, and that trajectory would place your bullets through the root and into the fuselage, maybe that would more reliably bypass the rear fuselage armor and hit a fuel tank. There's no other explanation I can think of.

 

***Edit:

 

This is the angle I'm talking about:

 

20210614191419_1.thumb.jpg.9966e778554fef9a5dd622790c05ebdf.jpg

 

A little shallower angle could work; just anything that isn't directly behind. You could fire from roughly this angle into the wing root and hit something vital in the fuselage.

 

I realize the 13mm (in my book) rear fuselage plate is not bulletproof, especially at point blank range (the only range the Sturm should be fired on), but even for bullets that penetrate it, they do so with less energy and are less likely to cause catastrophic damage.

Edited by oc2209
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ZachariasX
14 hours ago, oc2209 said:

The Zero was extremely reliable and easy to maintain. Safe and stable to fly under most conditions. Just sayin'.

In terms of plain operating the aircraft, I agree. The problem it has is less structural redundancy. You don‘t put that ton of metal in that aircraft, it will be inevitably more delicate and the soft patch on the runway that might leave a P-40 intact might well damage a Zero. Lightweight and ruggedness don‘t go together, never have. It also needs less damage to qualify as a write-off.

 

I do agree though that Zero (and the Oscar) would make for popular rides at your local flying club. But there it would definitely have more hangar time than robust aircraft. There is nothing more destructive to material than the casual use of common goods. ;)

 

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Bremspropeller
3 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

There is nothing more destructive to material than the casual use of common goods.

 

Not sure what you're talking about, that dent was there before!

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Dakpilot
8 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

In terms of plain operating the aircraft, I agree. The problem it has is less structural redundancy. You don‘t put that ton of metal in that aircraft, it will be inevitably more delicate and the soft patch on the runway that might leave a P-40 intact might well damage a Zero. Lightweight and ruggedness don‘t go together, never have. It also needs less damage to qualify as a write-off.

 

I do agree though that Zero (and the Oscar) would make for popular rides at your local flying club. But there it would definitely have more hangar time than robust aircraft. There is nothing more destructive to material than the casual use of common goods. ;)

 

 

I am no expert on Zero's, but, although lightweight, I did not think that they were weak or or comparatively less robust, they were built from stronger and lightweight 7075 alloy  not used by allies until after 43 as far as I know. 

Leaving out any form of armour protection heavy self sealing fuel tanks even a hand brake for the sake of weight saving did not generally make an airframe less durable, even the wiring was light weight with shellaced tape instead of securing brackets. 

 

As a carrier aircraft and also developed as a float plane (two of the toughest a/c regimes) I would imagine they would be just as tough as a P-40 in use. 

 

As I said I am no expert on Zero's but nothing I have read indicated anything other than a tough and lightweight airframe but with a serious issue of flammability 

 

Cheers, Dakpilot 

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1 hour ago, Dakpilot said:

I am no expert on Zero's, but, although lightweight, I did not think that they were weak or or comparatively less robust, they were built from stronger and lightweight 7075 alloy  not used by allies until after 43 as far as I know. 

Leaving out any form of armour protection heavy self sealing fuel tanks even a hand brake for the sake of weight saving did not generally make an airframe less durable, even the wiring was light weight with shellaced tape instead of securing brackets. 

 

As a carrier aircraft and also developed as a float plane (two of the toughest a/c regimes) I would imagine they would be just as tough as a P-40 in use. 

 

As I said I am no expert on Zero's but nothing I have read indicated anything other than a tough and lightweight airframe but with a serious issue of flammability 

 

 

I was going to reply with something to this effect, but you explained it just fine.

 

The Zero wasn't made to be shot to pieces like American planes, but structurally it was reasonably tough.

 

I don't like to treat Wiki articles as the be-all-end-all, but when they coincide with most of what I've read, I use them because they're convenient to copy-paste. So here:

 

"The experts who evaluated the captured Zero found that the plane weighed about 2,360 kg (5,200 lb) fully loaded, some 1,260 kg (2,780 lb) lighter than the F4F Wildcat, the standard United States Navy fighter of the time. The A6M's airframe was "built like a fine watch"; the Zero was constructed with flush rivets, and even the guns were flush with the wings. The instrument panel was a "marvel of simplicity… with no superfluities to distract [the pilot]". What most impressed the experts was that the Zero's fuselage and wings were constructed in one piece, unlike the American method that built them separately and joined the two parts together. The Japanese method was much slower, but resulted in a very strong structure and improved close maneuverability.[31]

 

American test pilots found that the Zero's controls were "very light" at 320 km/h (200 mph), but stiffened at faster speeds (above 348 km/h (216 mph)) to safeguard against wing failure.[35] The Zero could not keep up with Allied aircraft in high-speed maneuvers, and its low "never exceed speed" (VNE) made it vulnerable in a dive. Testing also revealed that the Zero could not roll as quickly to the right as it could to the left, which could be exploited.[33] While stable on the ground despite its light weight, the aircraft was designed purely for the attack role, emphasizing long range, maneuverability, and firepower at the expense of protection of its pilot. Most lacked self-sealing tanks and armor plating.[31]

 

British opinions:

Captain Eric Brown, the Chief Naval Test Pilot of the Royal Navy, recalled being impressed by the Zero during tests of captured aircraft. "I don't think I have ever flown a fighter that could match the rate of turn of the Zero. The Zero had ruled the roost totally and was the finest fighter in the world until mid-1943."[4]"

 

Anything that gets the Eric Brown seal of approval must have done something right. He's notoriously hard to please (by my estimation, anyway).

 

My early views on the Zero were somewhat disdainful. I thought it was an inferior design because it couldn't be easily upgraded like the Spitfire and 109. But then, when I got a few books and read about the design process, I realized the Japanese Navy specifications were so demanding that the Zero had to be engineered very specifically to fulfill those requirements; and that, in turn, made it much harder to adapt to modifications. That, and the fact that Japan lacked more powerful engines.

 

So as a piece of aircraft engineering, the Zero is a marvel of ingenuity. When viewed in the context of Japan's severe deficiencies (lack of radios, lack of radar, lack of supplies, lack of efficient industry, etc), the Zero suddenly is less impressive. That's why, to be properly objective, you need to separate the machine from the conditions it served in. The machine itself is nearly flawless. Even considering its lack of protection. If the Japanese had the industry to build 1500-2000 HP engines (in large numbers, without severe issues brought about by lacking certain critical metals), they could have made planes almost as agile as the Zero, but with armor and protected fuel tanks. This is what they managed to do with their late-war designs, but as ever, too little, too late.

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