This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations, as well as the First and Second World Wars in general hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day.
A sensible leader would learn from the Americans and create many air services like US Army and Navy had their own aviation, US Airforce was a separate entity etc.
The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on 18 September 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947
The failure to train enough pilots was one of the primary mistakes.
Then again in BoB he ordered to bomb London when the victory was nearly at hand and all UK airfields nearly down ?
22nd August - Erpro210 hit Manston and destroyed a number of aircraft on the ground, and half the station's buildings.
24th August - Manston hit again when N0.264 Sqn was refuelling there; they decamped to Hornchurch - but were bombed there again! North Weald was hit simultaneously....and on their way out, this raid plastered Manston AGAIN, forcing its closure. 17 dead on the ground in this raid, all contact with the RAF telephone network cut, and the flightline too badly cratered. Horchurch and North Weald were still open for business...but badly damaged.
25th August - Only seven of the 40+ bombers that No.17 Sqn, Ten Group encountered heading for Portland, Weymouth and Warmwell got through....but these severely badly damaged Warmwell; two hangars destroyed, and the station also taken off the RAF telephone and teleprinter network so it was unable to function.
26th August - Biggin Hill and Kenley hit again; Debden was hit an hour later, with buildings destroyed and aircraft badly damaged on the ground, and a number of fatalities. (The Debden raid was one of those that should specifically have been prevented by Douglas Bader's Duxford Wing, but they were off gallivanting down on the coast )
28th August - Eastchurch, a joint FC/Coastal Command field, was hit and buildings destroyed, and several bombers destroyed on the ground.
30th August - In the morning, Biggin Hill was attacked (AGAIN while Bader's aicraft were...elsewhere), along with Kenley (major damage this time) Croydon and Detling. In the early afternoon, Kenley was hit again...and Tangmere and Shoreham - and Detling again after 4pm. This was a bad raid; Detling's oil bunkers were set on fire, it was isolated from the RAF network, hangars were badly damaged and the runway cratered....then late in the day, after 6pm a raid evaded interception and hit Biggin Hill again; another hangar was destroyed, leaving only three, an entire slit trench full of groundcrew was killed, and a similar fate befell a trench full of WRAFs The station's barracks, storehouses, armoury and workshops were all hit. In total 39 ground staff died, water and gas lines were cut, and Biggin too was isolated from operations by telephone and telex cables being cut.
31st August - North Weald hit again...and Debden badly damaged; four aircraft damaged on the ground had to be struck off, and 18 killed. Eastchurch was attacked, but with little damage...and Detling strafed. Croydon aerodrome was hit again....but again it was Biggin Hill that came off worst; two of the remaining three hangars were very badly damaged, two aircraft destroyed on the ground, and the ops room hit and destroyed - undoing ALL the work done since the raid the day before at getting The Hump back onto the RAF network. Hornchurch had been hit ten minutes before Biggin....and was out of action for several hours due to bad cratering; six were killed...but the bombs that fell across the runway and into a housing estate missed all the airfield's buildings; it was back in action by 4pm...then Biggin Hill - and Hornchurch -were hit again at 5.50pm!
(the above culled from Price and Bishop)
As the month ended, it had become clear that the Luftwaffe had abandoned a massed attack on Fighter Command's airfields and was in fact specifically attempting to clear the path to London through Eleven Group. On the 31st alone, 2800 sorties had been flown against Eleven Group's Sector stations and they were flying with VERY heavy fighter escort that Eleven Group's fighters were having problems getting through. The 31st was not a good day for the RAF; at the end of that concentrated seven days of operations, their kill margins had been prejudiced by the number of aircraft lost on the ground, and the RAF had lost more that day than the Luftwaffe had, well over forty aircraft.
As for the actual damage of the last week - well, No.56 and No. 151 Sqn both had to be withdrawn and replaced, they were shattered. No. 264 had already been replaced after its losses on the ground (and in the air) over Manston and Hornchurch. Biggin Hill was only able to accomodate one squadron instead of its previous four, No. 79...and just for airfield defence, not interception. Manston was "open" again after 3-4 days (accounts vary) but as with Biggin, "open" was a debateable term....and very much a matter for propaganda And Lympne and a couple of dispersal fields right on the coast had already had to be closed. We've seen the list of the attacks, and frequent temporary gaps in coverage as airfields were taken off the RAF net.
His main mistake was not to sack Göring of all honors in 1938
Mistake...or forced upon them? Remember, training was curtailed severely in an attempt to save aviation fuel. Potentially, doing so ALSO freed up a considerable number of pilots for combat duties that would otherwise have had to be retained at home as a training cadre. As with so many things...it looks like a mistake to US - only because they lost
Well, the mistake was in not dramatically ramping up pilot training immediately upon the U.S. entry into the war. The GAF needed to be in a position/condition to overwhelm the USAAF forces just as soon as they started operations.
Certainly they saw how fast the U.S. mobilized for World War I and should have been ready for the same.
The first American troops, who were often called "Doughboys", landed in Europe in June 1917. However the AEF did not participate at the front until late October 1917, when the 1st Division, a formation of experienced regular soldiers and the first division to arrive in France, entered the trenches near Nancy.
Pershing wanted an American force that could operate independently of the other Allies, but his vision could not be realized until adequately trained troops reached Europe. In order to rush as many troops as possible to France, the AEF left its heavy weapons behind and used French and British equipment. Particularly appreciated were the French canon de 75, the canon de 155 C modele 1917 Schneider and the canon de 155mm GPF. American aviation units received the SPAD XIII and Nieuport 28 fighters and the US tank corps used the French Renault FT light tanks. Pershing established facilities in France to train new arrivals with their new weapons. By the end of 1917 four divisions were deployed in a large training area near Verdun: the 1st Division, a regular army formation; the 26th Division, a National Guard formation; the 2nd Division, a combined formation of regular troops and United States Marines; and the 42nd "Rainbow" Division, a National Guard formation consisting of units from nearly every state in the United States. A fifth division, the 41st Division, had been converted into a depot division near Tours.
At the beginning, during early 1918, the four battle-ready U.S. divisions were deployed with French and British units to gain combat experience by defending relatively quiet sectors of their lines. After the first offensive action and AEF victory on 28 May 1918 at the Battle of Cantigny, by the 1st U.S. Division, and a similar local action by the 2nd Division at Belleau Wood beginning 6 June, both while assigned to French armies, Pershing worked towards the deployment of a US field Army. The rest followed at an accelerating pace during the spring and summer of 1918. By June Americans were arriving in-theatre at the rate of 10,000 a day
Giving the Eighth Air Force a tremendous drubbing just as soon as it started flying might have changed the complexion of the air war
Hardly a mistake - given the circumstances of the U.S.' entry into the war, it must have come as a suprise that FDR and Churchill managed to agree that the ETO would be the main theatre for prosecuting the war against the Axis.
Fast? I know it's only Wiki, but it's all I have to hand at this time of night....
Perhaps...but remember - the "8th Air Force" only officially began operations in 1944; it's direct predecessor, VIII Bomber Command, DID experience very heavy losses during the second half of 1942 Enough to raise questions over continuing its daylight role...
Actually, it was indeed a huge mistake. Regardless of the circumstances, the Luftwaffe needed to be ready and it simply was not.
I dunno...recruiting and training an Army...and shipping 10,000 men a day across the Atlantic...all within a year's time seems like a fairly rapid mobilization to me.
And actually, the Eighth flew nine missions in 1942 before it lost its first bomber.
During all of 1942 it lost thirty bombers.
phylo_roadking wrote:Actually, it was indeed a huge mistake. Regardless of the circumstances, the Luftwaffe needed to be ready and it simply was not.
I think you should take a look at some of the many threads in here discussing the planning issues and contending priorities faced by the LW/RLM They had to face some very stringent decisions regarding what they were ready for. When circumstances force you into decisions - they can hardly be fairly called "mistakes" if you have very little or no room to manouver.I dunno...recruiting and training an Army...and shipping 10,000 men a day across the Atlantic...all within a year's time seems like a fairly rapid mobilization to me.
Take a look at the scale of the similar events in WWII, and how fast they moved along; remembering too that the U.S. was involved in a two-hemisphere war in WWII...And actually, the Eighth flew nine missions in 1942 before it lost its first bomber.
You're perhaps thinking of its B-17/B-24 operations The first operational element of VIII Bomber Command, the 15th Bombardment Sqn. flying Boston IIIs, actually lost two of its six aircraft in its first mission on the 4th of July against targets in Holland.
During all of 1942 it lost thirty bombers.
During its first few months of operations in the summer and autumn of 1942 - it was operating similarly small numbers of aircraft; when the 97th Bombrdment Group began operations as the first B-17 equiped element of VIII BC, it was operating only 24 crews. Its first raid on the 17th of August flew off only twelve aircraft. Losses during the several month long campaign aginst German uboat bases on the French coast were high...but the averages were skewed by events like the Romilly raid on 20th December when only six aircraft were lost out of 101 despatched.
BTW...I can't help myself...I'm pretty sure you're aware that the July 4, 1942 raid was nothing more than a holiday publicity stunt flown at Arnold's behest using (re)borrowed aircraft and that it had nothing to do with the U.S. strategic bombing campaign.
Oh, I think we're fast approaching the splitting hairs point. I'll stand by my belief that the Nazi leadership simply did not react appropriately to prepare for U.S. operations over Europe.
If it was a stunt...it was strangely one that was repeated quite a few times The 15th continued flying missions in borrowed Bostons for two months, until it received USAAF-spec Douglas Havocs in the first week of September.
Hair-splitting is what we do in the Research Sections
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