But, losses weren't the only issue. Fuel was becoming an issue. Pilot shortages were becoming an issue. Maintenance of aircraft was becoming an issue. The Luftwaffe wasn't set up or prepared for high intensity, sustained operations. They could mount a serious air offensive as an impulse for a short period of time.Carl Schwamberger wrote: ↑21 Mar 2020 13:22Thanks.Rob Stuart wrote: ↑19 Mar 2020 14:16You could start here: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/U ... F-I-7.html
The combat losses of the German AF seem bearably low. Far below the 5% per sortie threshold. Operating losses were not mentioned. One would expect that rate to be higher from the difficult night flying conditions, but were they near a damaging level we might assume they would have been mentioned. The other side of the coin is the damage to the port and cargo ships is not high enough for any decisive strategic result. Or even a sustained operational result. Damaging, but not war winning. that leads me to the question of how loss might have increased had more damaging & aggressive tactics or operating methods been adopted.
What the Luftwaffe needed was a major shift in how they operated. They needed a sustained and much larger pilot training program. They needed access to fuel, or the German economy, military and civilian, had to shift priorities to provide that, and they needed a much more robust maintenance and servicing system for aircraft.
Once they could reach a sustainable level of operations, they could afford 3 to 5% loss rates. The USAAF and RAF tried to keep theirs under 6%. That was calculated as sustainable. Much of the time they were around 3%.