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.
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.
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?
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.
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. 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".
Kingfish wrote:Jenisch wrote:For simplification purposes, let's assume that Germany invaded the USSR like historically,
How do we get around Poland?
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)
Germany: 1 472 000 tons
USSR : 926 700 tons (63%)
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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