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Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today.

Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby Marcelo Jenisch on 15 Nov 2012 20:41

Since this section is about aviation, I preffered to created this topic here.
In the alternative history board, I asked about opinions of how the air war in the Eastern Front could have been in case the Germans only had to fight there and did not have any answer. So, I'm asking the same here. For simplification purposes, let's assume that Germany invaded the USSR like historically, considerating the LW casualities in the BoB.

The LW peaked with some 5000 aircraft historically, while just in Bagration the Soviets had the same number. Of couse, there's Lend-Lease aircraft in this account, and we gonna assume that the Soviets did not have Lend-Lease in this scenario.

What are your views? As for now, I would say that there would be a larger number of LW ground attack planes, since there would not be emphasis in fighter production like historically. Perhaps fighters, yes, but in the ground attack versions of the Fw 190. Unfornately, I can't make numerical projections.
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby Carl Schwamberger on 19 Nov 2012 02:19

Probablly a start would be to look at the historic loss rates for each side & try to extrapolate those on the basis of the larger German AF in the east. Do you have any data for these losses?

Jenisch wrote:What are your views? As for now, I would say that there would be a larger number of LW ground attack planes, since there would not be emphasis in fighter production like historically. Perhaps fighters, yes, but in the ground attack versions of the Fw 190. Unfornately, I can't make numerical projections.


As I understand the majority of the bombers in the west were configured for heavier naval or 'strike' & interdiction missions, vs the close air support ground attack you seem to be refering to. The German AF was fairly flexible & many of the aircraft used in the west could have been used for close support, and more deep strike type aircraft would have been useful in the east.
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby Marcelo Jenisch on 19 Nov 2012 04:33

Carl Schwamberger wrote:Probablly a start would be to look at the historic loss rates for each side & try to extrapolate those on the basis of the larger German AF in the east. Do you have any data for these losses?


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

Jenisch wrote:As I understand the majority of the bombers in the west were configured for heavier naval or 'strike' & interdiction missions, vs the close air support ground attack you seem to be refering to. The German AF was fairly flexible & many of the aircraft used in the west could have been used for close support, and more deep strike type aircraft would have been useful in the east.


Yeah.

From Wik:

Buckley argues the German war economy did indeed expand significantly following Albert Speer’s appointment as Reichsminister of Armaments, "but it is spurious to argue that because production increased then bombing had no real impact". But the bombing offensive did do serious damage to German production levels. German tank and aircraft production, though reached new records in production levels in 1944, was in particular one-third lower than planned.[17] In fact, German aircraft production for 1945 was planned at 80,000, "which gives an idea of direction Erhard Milch and the German planners were pushing", "unhindered by Allied bombing German production would have risen far higher".


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_ ... rld_War_II

I don't know how reliable this information is. The mention of Speer as someone important to the increase in German production is definately a myth.

There are many considerations to make, which turn out in questions. For example, the Soviet aircraft production could have been increased? it was already slowing down like the American by '44? Definately the absence of LL aircraft would make a difference in the Soviet industry, at which point, I don't know. There's also need to calculate the aircraft lost by non combat situation for both sides.
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby KDF33 on 19 Nov 2012 08:23

I believe the VVS would have been thoroughly crushed.

Although the Soviets had a rough parity in terms of airframes production, Germany had a large and growing advantage in terms of avgas supply. Using these two sources, here is the data for 1942 and 1943: (I excluded the data for 1944, since by May of that year Germany's production collapsed under American bombs)


1942:

Germany: 1 472 000 tons
USSR : 926 700 tons (63%)

1943:

Germany: 1 917 000 tons
USSR: 1 024 200 tons (53%)


The gap between the two countries' supply could be even greater if the Soviet dataset is including Lend Lease avgas, of which I am unsure. Lastly, note that a large part of the Soviet indigenous avgas production was of a much lower octane than Germany's. In fact, 70 and 74 octane aviation gasoline represented 3/4 of Soviet production in 1941!
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby Kingfish on 19 Nov 2012 12:18

Jenisch wrote:For simplification purposes, let's assume that Germany invaded the USSR like historically,


How do we get around Poland?
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby Marcelo Jenisch on 19 Nov 2012 14:16

Kingfish wrote:
Jenisch wrote:For simplification purposes, let's assume that Germany invaded the USSR like historically,


How do we get around Poland?


Don't considerate this. The goal is analyze the relative strenghts of both air forces with basic data. If we enter in historical details it will be impractical.
Last edited by Marcelo Jenisch on 19 Nov 2012 14:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby Marcelo Jenisch on 19 Nov 2012 14:52

KDF33 wrote:I believe the VVS would have been thoroughly crushed.

Although the Soviets had a rough parity in terms of airframes production, Germany had a large and growing advantage in terms of avgas supply. Using these two sources, here is the data for 1942 and 1943: (I excluded the data for 1944, since by May of that year Germany's production collapsed under American bombs)


1942:

Germany: 1 472 000 tons
USSR : 926 700 tons (63%)

1943:

Germany: 1 917 000 tons
USSR: 1 024 200 tons (53%)


The gap between the two countries' supply could be even greater if the Soviet dataset is including Lend Lease avgas, of which I am unsure. Lastly, note that a large part of the Soviet indigenous avgas production was of a much lower octane than Germany's. In fact, 70 and 74 octane aviation gasoline represented 3/4 of Soviet production in 1941!


Interesting.

I'm wondering if Galland's suggestion to interrupt the Bf 109 production for the Fw 190 would have a better chance in this scenario.

Anyway, the Fw 190 would definately have more presence. According to Osprey's Fw 190 Aces of the Eastern Front, the peak of 190 fighter versions in the East was a mere 189 in May 1943. The 190 was predominantly used in the West, despite it was more adequate in the East.

An interesting interview:



According to Rall, it appears that the Fw 190 firepower was indeed a relevant factor in the Luftwaffe kills. This was probably because the Russians had much more ground attack planes which were destroyed more easily by the 190.
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby paspartoo on 19 Nov 2012 15:05

Without LL the Soviets would have a big problem with high grade aviation fuel, meaning their underpowered planes would have even less engine power available. [Source: ‘The role of lend-lease in Soviet military efforts, 1941-1945’ by Sokolov]

As for the original question one on one the Soviet Airforce would definitely suffer even more than they historically did.
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby Marcelo Jenisch on 19 Nov 2012 15:57

And control of the air was vital to the outcome of the war in the East.

BTW, anyone already read Christer Bergstrom? I will order some of his books. Here's a description of his book Stalingrad: The Air Battle:

This book covers the significant air battles which took place over Stalingrad between August and November 1942 and the subsequent airlift operation in the winter of 1942/43 intended to relieve the German Sixth Army, which was by then trapped in Stalingrad. It also covers the air war during the Russian counter-offensive in early 1943 where the Luftwaffe played a major role in saving the whole German Eastern Front (and thus the whole German war effort) from collapsing.


Popularly the role of air power is underestimated by students of WWII. This is specially true in the case of the Eastern Front were the biggest land battles occured.
Last edited by Marcelo Jenisch on 19 Nov 2012 16:41, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby Marcelo Jenisch on 19 Nov 2012 16:00

Ah, talking about Stalingrad, I'm curious about something: if the German transport aircraft used in Africa were sent to Stalingrad, this could have meant some difference in the battle?
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby paspartoo on 19 Nov 2012 16:38

Jenisch wrote:And control of the air was vital to the outcome of the war in the East.

BTW, anyone already read Christer Bergstrom? I will order some of his books. Here's a description of his book Stalingrad: The Air Battle:

This book covers the significant air battles which took place over Stalingrad between August and November 1942 and the subsequent airlift operation in the winter of 1942/43 intended to relieve the German Sixth Army, which was by then trapped in Stalingrad. It also covers the air war during the Russian counter-offensive in early 1943 where the Luftwaffe played a major role in saving the whole German Eastern Front (and thus the whole German war effort) from collapsing.


Popularly the role of air power is underestimated by students of WWII. This is specially true in the case of the Eastern Front were the biggest land battles occured.


i've said it before but i'll repeat it here, anyone interested in the air war in the East should buy Bergstom's books and 'Stopped at Stalingrad' by Hayward. The Luftwaffe played a more important role than people realise.


Jenisch wrote:Ah, talking about Stalingrad, I'm curious about something: if the German transport aircraft used in Africa were sent to Stalingrad, this could have meant some difference in the battle?


It's hard to answer that because it's not only a question of aircraft but also how many can be stationed at the available airfields, whether the weather affects missions, the performance of the Red AF vs the transports, the availability of pilots, spare parts and fuel etc…
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby Marcelo Jenisch on 19 Nov 2012 16:54

Uhmmm.

paspartoo, in your view, the possibility of a stalamate in this scenario would be realistic?
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby paspartoo on 19 Nov 2012 17:24

Do you mean a stalemate in the air or in the entire campaign? In the air the Red AF would get an even greater pummeling in 1943/44 than it did historically so they wouldn’t be a combat factor.

If you are talking about the entire war effort it is not a war than can be won by airpower. I've seen it said here that the war in the East was an infantry war and i think that view is correct. Even in 1941/42 when the LW controlled the skies in the East the German forces suffered serious defeats and reverses.
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby Marcelo Jenisch on 19 Nov 2012 17:33

paspartoo wrote:Do you mean a stalemate in the air or in the entire campaign? In the air the Red AF would get an even greater pummeling in 1943/44 than it did historically so they wouldn’t be a combat factor.

If you are talking about the entire war effort it is not a war than can be won by airpower. I've seen it said here that the war in the East was an infantry war and i think that view is correct. Even in 1941/42 when the LW controlled the skies in the East the German forces suffered serious defeats and reverses.


But considerating the air power plus the extra German industrial potential and extra land forces, in your view, it would still be unlikely that they would be able to inflict casualities in the Soviets in a scale which would make them considerate peace with Germany?
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Postby Kingfish on 19 Nov 2012 17:51

Why continue to game the scenario in favor of the Germans? Its not enough that the Germans now have complete air supremacy, but land forces and logistics too?

Why not add a provision that all Russian ammunition would turn to flowers when fired? :roll:
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