Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4351
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 28 Aug 2021 17:48

KDF33 wrote:
28 Aug 2021 02:56
Well, inasmuch as 'combat aircraft' are a subset of overall aircraft, yes.

My point was that glenn239's figure of '5,500' aircraft seems to match the number of German combat + transport aircraft deployed within operational Gruppen and Staffeln for the dates 5/17/43 and 5/31/44, as found in Price's Luftwaffe Data Book, reproduced here.
Okay, if by "match" you mean "some number sort of in the range of 5,500", given glenn239 was winging it. You bring up an interesting question though as to where exactly Price derived his figures from, since they do not in fact match any of the records I have available. For example, 17 May 1943 is an odd date for German accounting given the Luftwaffe at that time was firmly on the standard German Dekade reporting system and had been since 30 April 1942. Given Price reported both type totals and individual unit reports it appears to be a combination of reporting and at least falls within the range given by the "Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände".

In any case, on neither of those dates is the operational strength of German combat + transport aircraft deployed within operational Gruppen and Staffeln anywhere near 5,500. On 17 May 1943, the figure is 4,641, at least according to Price, but was 4,604 on 20 May 1943 according to the "Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände". On 31 May 1944 it was 4,928 according to Price, but 4,655 according to the "Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände".
I agree with you. I would only add the caveat that a larger dataset would be needed than just 1-2 dates per year to reach conclusions about average Luftwaffe serviceability rates within operational units.
Why yes, the "Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände". For example, serviceability of the 1E fighter force during 1944 amounted to 1,397.22 serviceable average/1,999.17 average on hand = 69.89%.
I only meant that we cannot arrive at a '73 to 74 percent' estimate.
Indeed, but the problem - for the Germans - is that the massive overstrength of aircraft and crews you are not counting as operational enabled the USAAF to maintain unit strength and operations without letup. The Germans could not.
For heavy bombers, no. For fighters, I would assume that a smaller share would be in maintenance/repair outside of their units, if only because of their lesser ability to return to base after suffering catastrophic damage. For medium/light bombers, I would guess they'd be somewhere in the middle.
I'm afraid that is an assumption based upon no evidence. The repair/damage categorization in use was adapted from the British:

Cat A – Damaged: repair on site by operating unit
Cat AC – Damaged: repair on site not by operating unit
Cat B – Damaged: repair at maintenance unit
Cat C – Damaged: repair for ground instruction purposes only, i.e. as static display
Cat E – Write-off: salvage impossible
Cat E1 – Write-off: major components salvageable
Cat E2 – Write-off: scrap salvageable
Cat Em – Write-off: failed-to-return (missing)

In the Eighth AF, 4,299 HB were counted as missing in 293,599 credit sorties, 1.46%. 1,556 returned Cat E, E1, and E2, 0.53%. For fighters it was 2,222 missing in 242,931 credit sorties, 0.91%. 778 returned Cat E, E1, and E2, 0.32%. Or, to look at it another way, 26.6% of HB lost returned, while 25.9% of fighters did. The difference is negligible.
Well, 60% for 11/30/1944, yes. Here is a summary of the basic breakdown:

Total '1st Line' heavy bombers in the ETO: 3,444 (100% of total)
Total assigned strength of heavy bomber units: 2,784 (81%)
Total heavy bombers on hand with units: 2,457 (71%)
Total heavy bombers serviceable with units: 2,071 (60%)

My points 1, 2 and 3 are what I assume accounts for the differential between 3,444 and 2,457 (987 bombers).
As I pointed out, your point 3 is fallacious and while points 1 and 2 have basis in fact, the real difference is the large reserve of combat-ready aircraft and crews maintained by the USAAF, but not counted as "operational", something the Germans never had. The Germans could not compare to the ability of the USAAF to sustain operations.
Thank you, I genuinely appreciate the gesture. It is so rare online.
No problem.
I can understand that. I propose we collaborate to get a proper apples-to-apples comparison.
The problem is the German concept of an "apple" was not the same as the USAAF.
I have never seen the Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände, but I have dug into the Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen, available online here.

For 11/30/1944, I get:

-2,930 single-engined fighters in 18 combat Jagdgeschwadern: JG1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 26, 27, 51, 52, 53, 54, 76, 77, 300, 301 and 400
-638 single-engined fighters in 2 replacement training Jagdgeschwadern: EJG1 and 2
-52 single-engined fighters in 1 weapons-test Jagdgruppe: JGr.10

For a total of 3,620 single-engined fighters.
That is problematic insofar as the "Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände" reported a strength of 2,998 1E fighters, of which 2,256 were operational on that date. Obviously, the Germans did not count the Ergänzungs-Jagdgeschwader as einsatzbereit Fliegenden Verbände. However, Jagdgruppe 10 was counted, probably since as of July when it was formed from Erprobungskommando 25 it was considered an einsatzbereit Fliegenden Verbände. Erprobungskommando 25 was a weapons testing unit, but as reformed it was not.
It doesn't appear to be the case. Regarding aircraft undergoing maintenance and/or repair, the Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen exclude aircraft overhauled/repaired at a higher level than the Gruppe. This is made clear by looking at the monthly flow of aircraft. To give but one example, in November 1944 45 Fw 190As left Jagdgeschwader 301 to undergo 'Überholung'. They were subtracted from the 11/30/1944 strength report.
Indeed, those aircraft, 30 alone in JG 1, were essentially those 60% damaged and not repairable by the unit. They were returned to factory for rebuild or to depots for repair/salvage...exactly the same as in the USAAF. There in Eighth Air Force, 1,556 HB were so treated, for the entire period 17 August 1942-8 May 1945.
By inference, we can conclude that aircraft in-theater, but as yet unassigned to Gruppen also aren't counted.
Or that they are sitting in factory yards "completed" (but lacking engines, propellers, and weaponry in many cases) but waiting delivery.
Or that they are sent to the Ergänzungs-Jagdgeschwader.
Perhaps the British definitions can help us. They used 4 categories: A to D. Here are their definitions:
Category A - Aircraft operationally serviceable or under inspection in units and
aircraft operationally serviceable complete with war equipment ready for
issue to operational units.

Category B - Aircraft under repair in units which it is anticipated will, in the case
of operational units, become available for operations within 14 days
and
in the case of maintenance and repair units will be ready for issue to
operational units within 14 days.

Category C - All new aircraft either boxed or flight delivered which (through lack of
Appendix A items rectifications and modifications) will not pass into
Category B till after 14 days.

Category D - All salvaged aircraft and those undergoing major repair in maintenance
units; some of the Category D aircraft will be long term repair jobs and
some will ultimately have to be written off.

(snip) The German data approximately corresponds to most of Cat (A) + (B), whereas the American data corresponds to the overall total across the four categories.
To be precise, you assume the German data approximately corresponds to that. :D
Thus, the proper comparison for 11/30/1944 would be:

-USAAF: 2,457 heavy bombers within operational units in the ETO, of which 2,071 were serviceable (84%)

-Luftwaffe: 2,930 single-engined fighters within operational units in the entire Luftwaffe, of which 2,256 (?) were serviceable (77%) - assuming my Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen figure corresponds to yours taken from Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände
Except that it does not. :D The actual serviceability of aircraft given for operational units was 2,256 of 2,998, or 75.3%...except we have no accounting of crew availability, which was critical in the Luftwaffe. I will try to dig into the Maxwell files for some more clarity on the Jagdwaffe.
The figure of 4,454 USAAF singled-engined fighters for 11/30/1944 would match the 2,930 single-engined fighters within operational units, plus the unknown number of fighters undergoing 'Überholung', those recently accepted by the Luftwaffe now waiting to be issued to the Jagdgeschwadern, and whatever fighters in higher-echelon reserve there were or not.
Actually, the figures for first line aircraft in theater for the USAAF included all assigned to units and all those held for issue or repair by the Base Air Depot. For HB, the number processed through Base Depots for repairs to 30 November 1944 was 476. In 1944, only an average of 35 per month went through that process, so it wasn't that large a number.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4351
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 28 Aug 2021 17:53

Oops, I just realized I posted the original British definitions. The full USAAF definition should be:

Cat A – An airplane which, by nature of the damage, may be repaired within 36 hours elapsed time, and is repairable by a combat unit.
Cat AC – An airplane which by nature of the damage, requires 36 or more hours to repair, and is repairable by a Sub-Depot or Service Sq.
Cat B – An airplane which, by nature of the damage, is repairable by a Repair Depot activity or establishments regardless of whether the
work is done on site or in a Depot.
Cat E – Write-off: salvage impossible
Cat E1 – Write-off: major components salvageable
Cat E2 – Write-off: scrap salvageable
Cat Em – Write-off: failed-to-return (missing)
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4351
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 28 Aug 2021 21:42

Okay, let's look at the status of the Jagdwaffe, especially pilots.

On 30 September 1939, the 1F fighter force had 1,125 aircraft on hand, of which 870 were operational. There were 968 pilots of whom 898 were ready.

By 31 December 1943, the Jagdwaffe reached its greatest expansion. There was 1,561 aircraft on hand, of which 1,095 were operational. More important, the pool of pilots had grown to 2,200. However, it was all downhill from there.

By 30 June 1944, there were only 1,523 aircraft on hand, of which only 895 were operational. Pilot strength was still high, but had sunk slightly to 2,100. That had been achieved by reducing the time in A/B and other schools, as well as disbanding Kampfflieger units and reassigning the pilots to the fighter force, so while the number of pilots was still high, the quality was badly eroded.

In July 1944, 1,935 pilots were lost, killed, wounded, missing, sick, and discharged, along with 1,340 aircraft.

By c. 1 September, the Jagdwaffe nominally had a strength of 2,120 pilots and 1,610 aircraft, but only some 1,120 pilots and 1,043 aircraft were operational.

In December 1944 (unclear when in the month), the Jagdwaffe looked like this ("Die Stärke der deutschen Jagdwaffe im Dezember 1943/1944", General a. D. Schmid, AFHRA Rell K1027M, f. 0336):

Lfl. Reich - pilots 535 on hand/330 operational, aircraft 385 on hand/270 operational
Lfl. 3 - pilots 675/505, aircraft 440/360
Osten - pilots 400/310, aircraft 400/345
Nord - pilots 54/42, aircraft 66/52
Total - pilots 1,664/1,187, aircraft 1,291/1,027

Note this obviously does not count the Jagdwaffe in Italy and possibly other units. The average strength of the 1E fighter force given by the "Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände" in December was 2,662 on hand of which 1,945 were operational.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

KDF33
Member
Posts: 980
Joined: 17 Nov 2012 01:16

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by KDF33 » 28 Aug 2021 22:00

Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2021 17:48
Okay, if by "match" you mean "some number sort of in the range of 5,500", given glenn239 was winging it.

[...]

In any case, on neither of those dates is the operational strength of German combat + transport aircraft deployed within operational Gruppen and Staffeln anywhere near 5,500.
Neither glenn239 nor I were discussing operational strength, however. Here is glenn's initial quote:

'The US Navy alone capped its aircraft strength at 38,000 at a time the Luftwaffe was peaking at its maximum strength of 5,500.'

Then my reply:

'(F)or the Germans you are only looking at the number of aircraft present within operational units.'

The word operational here refers to the Geschwadern, not to the number of serviceable aircraft within those units.

Thus, if we look at 5/17/43, we get a total of 5,109 aircraft present within operational JG/ZG/NJG/SchG/StG/KG/TG, of which 3,484 were serviceable. There is no data for reconnaissance units, but the first section - 'Serviceable Aircraft Strengths' - shows a total of 466 serviceable long- and short-range reconnaissance aircraft. Assuming similar serviceability rates for reconnaissance units, that would give a total of 5,792 aircraft present within operational units. This is very close to glenn's '5,500', and thus why I assumed he sourced it from Price.
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2021 17:48
Why yes, the "Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände". For example, serviceability of the 1E fighter force during 1944 amounted to 1,397.22 serviceable average/1,999.17 average on hand = 69.89%.
Thanks! Do you have the data for the previous years?
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2021 17:48
I'm afraid that is an assumption based upon no evidence.

[...]

The difference is negligible.
I stand corrected.
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2021 17:48
KDF33 wrote:
28 Aug 2021 02:56
Total '1st Line' heavy bombers in the ETO: 3,444 (100% of total)
Total assigned strength of heavy bomber units: 2,784 (81%)
Total heavy bombers on hand with units: 2,457 (71%)
Total heavy bombers serviceable with units: 2,071 (60%)

My points 1, 2 and 3 are what I assume accounts for the differential between 3,444 and 2,457 (987 bombers).
As I pointed out, your point 3 is fallacious and while points 1 and 2 have basis in fact, the real difference is the large reserve of combat-ready aircraft and crews maintained by the USAAF, but not counted as "operational", something the Germans never had. The Germans could not compare to the ability of the USAAF to sustain operations.
Re: heavy bombers used as transports, I had assumed there could have been a few in the ETO, given how Air Transport Command used some in that role in the U.S. It appears that I was mistaken.

For the rest, to me the interesting question is what is the breakdown. We know ETOUSA on 11/30/1944 had 3,444 '1st Line' heavy bombers: 2,457 on hand within combat groups and 987 elsewhere. My first question would be what accounts for the difference between the 2,784 aircraft assigned and the 2,457 actually on hand within units? That's 327 bombers, 11.7% of the assigned total. Could these be damaged aircraft classified as Cats 'AC' and 'B'?

Then there's the balance between total and assigned aircraft, which amounts to 660. Can we find the share made up of aircraft under maintenance/repair outside of combat groups, recent arrivals still unassigned to units, and theater reserves?
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2021 17:48
The problem is the German concept of an "apple" was not the same as the USAAF.
Absolutely. Ergo, why we must figure out the best measure to bring them in alignment.
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2021 17:48
KDF33 wrote:
28 Aug 2021 02:56
-2,930 single-engined fighters in 18 combat Jagdgeschwadern: JG1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 26, 27, 51, 52, 53, 54, 76, 77, 300, 301 and 400
-638 single-engined fighters in 2 replacement training Jagdgeschwadern: EJG1 and 2
-52 single-engined fighters in 1 weapons-test Jagdgruppe: JGr.10

For a total of 3,620 single-engined fighters.
That is problematic insofar as the "Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände" reported a strength of 2,998 1E fighters, of which 2,256 were operational on that date. Obviously, the Germans did not count the Ergänzungs-Jagdgeschwader as einsatzbereit Fliegenden Verbände. However, Jagdgruppe 10 was counted, probably since as of July when it was formed from Erprobungskommando 25 it was considered an einsatzbereit Fliegenden Verbände. Erprobungskommando 25 was a weapons testing unit, but as reformed it was not.
Well, then both datasets are virtually identical. The Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände gives you a total of 2,998 fighters in operational JGs for 11/30/1944, whereas I arrive at 2,930 for the same date, using the Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen. However, I deliberately excluded JG7's Me 262s from my figure as they are twin-engined, as well as the 52 fighters of JGr.10. If we include both, I arrive at 2,996. That's a difference of just 2 (!) aircraft. Whether the difference is accounted for due to a (very very) slight discrepancy in the original documents, or a typo on my part, we can conclude that they are in agreement.
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2021 17:48
Indeed, those aircraft, 30 alone in JG 1, were essentially those 60% damaged and not repairable by the unit. They were returned to factory for rebuild or to depots for repair/salvage...exactly the same as in the USAAF. There in Eighth Air Force, 1,556 HB were so treated, for the entire period 17 August 1942-8 May 1945.
'Überholung' seems comparable to the USAAF's categories AC, B, E, E1 and E2, rather than just to the latter three. Thus in November 1944, 351 fighters left the combat Jagdgeschwadern to undergo 'Überholung', whereas 170 arrived classified as 'Reparatur'. If we include the two replacement training Jagdgeschwadern, the combined balance is 444 to 429, for a net gain of 15 aircraft.

Clearly, a large number of aircraft leaving units to undergo 'Überholung' were returned instead of written-off.
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2021 17:48
KDF33 wrote:
28 Aug 2021 02:56
-Luftwaffe: 2,930 single-engined fighters within operational units in the entire Luftwaffe, of which 2,256 (?) were serviceable (77%) - assuming my Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen figure corresponds to yours taken from Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände
Except that it does not. :D The actual serviceability of aircraft given for operational units was 2,256 of 2,998, or 75.3%...
As discussed above, including JG7's Me 262s and JGr.10's fighters the figures are 2,996 to 2,998, so clearly they correspond. The initial figure of 2,930 was due to my exclusion of the aforementioned units, rather than to a significant discrepancy between the two datasets.
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2021 17:48
except we have no accounting of crew availability, which was critical in the Luftwaffe. I will try to dig into the Maxwell files for some more clarity on the Jagdwaffe.
Yes, and that would make a large difference in combat capability. Even if we find out that the Germans had enough fighter crews to man their almost-3,000 fighters on hand in operational units, the low pilot training hours combined with the fuel shortage meant that the Jagdwaffe was a spent force. But then this doesn't really matter in the context of an argument that was initially strictly about the number of aircraft.
Richard Anderson wrote:
28 Aug 2021 17:48
Actually, the figures for first line aircraft in theater for the USAAF included all assigned to units and all those held for issue or repair by the Base Air Depot. For HB, the number processed through Base Depots for repairs to 30 November 1944 was 476. In 1944, only an average of 35 per month went through that process, so it wasn't that large a number.
Do you also have the number of heavy bombers sent for maintenance/repair to Sub-Depots and Service Squadrons?

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4351
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 29 Aug 2021 07:07

KDF33 wrote:
28 Aug 2021 22:00
Neither glenn239 nor I were discussing operational strength, however.
Yes, my fault for introducing the phrase "operational strength". i should have said "on hand" or Iststärke to be more accurate.
The word operational here refers to the Geschwadern, not to the number of serviceable aircraft within those units.
Indeed. In this case Iststärke versus Einsatzbereit. Complicating it is that the unit be be Einsatzbereit or not as well.
Thus, if we look at 5/17/43, we get a total of 5,109 aircraft present within operational JG/ZG/NJG/SchG/StG/KG/TG, of which 3,484 were serviceable. There is no data for reconnaissance units, but the first section - 'Serviceable Aircraft Strengths' - shows a total of 466 serviceable long- and short-range reconnaissance aircraft. Assuming similar serviceability rates for reconnaissance units, that would give a total of 5,792 aircraft present within operational units. This is very close to glenn's '5,500', and thus why I assumed he sourced it from Price.
I suspect from some of the documents I've reviewed that Price was referring to a report dated 17 June 1943, describing the situation as of 30 April 1943. The total on hand combat aircraft 20 May 1943 were 6,985, while the total serviceable was 4,604. Neither match glenn239's supposition or Price's figures. 5,792 more closely matches the on hand of combat aircraft in April than it does in May.
Thanks! Do you have the data for the previous years?
Yes, the "Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände" begins 1 August 1938 and runs to 13 April 1945. Other Maxwell documents have additional data, but the microfilms are a mess and poorly indexed.
I stand corrected.
:D
Re: heavy bombers used as transports, I had assumed there could have been a few in the ETO, given how Air Transport Command used some in that role in the U.S. It appears that I was mistaken.
ATC used some converted bombers as transports, but that is not quite the same thing. The most common one was the C-87.
For the rest, to me the interesting question is what is the breakdown. We know ETOUSA on 11/30/1944 had 3,444 '1st Line' heavy bombers: 2,457 on hand within combat groups and 987 elsewhere. My first question would be what accounts for the difference between the 2,784 aircraft assigned and the 2,457 actually on hand within units? That's 327 bombers, 11.7% of the assigned total. Could these be damaged aircraft classified as Cats 'AC' and 'B'?
Cat A would have been retained assigned to Eighth Air Force, since it was unit repair. Cat AC would have been repaired by one of the four Strategic Air Depots of VIII Service Command, which operated fixed and mobile repair squadrons at the airbases. They too would have been retained assigned to Eighth Air Force, but all would also be operational in less than 36 hours. Cat B was major work and was done by the Base Area Base Depots of USSTAFE, but as I think I mentioned, such long-term repairs were relatively few...in 1944 they averaged about 35 per month.
Then there's the balance between total and assigned aircraft, which amounts to 660. Can we find the share made up of aircraft under maintenance/repair outside of combat groups, recent arrivals still unassigned to units, and theater reserves?
I do not have hard figures, but again, "maintenance/repair outside of combat groups" amounted to around 35 per month, while "recent arrivals" and "theater reserves" would be more or less the same. 660 may be about right.
Absolutely. Ergo, why we must figure out the best measure to bring them in alignment.
Working on it, but the systems and accounting were very different.
Well, then both datasets are virtually identical. The Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände gives you a total of 2,998 fighters in operational JGs for 11/30/1944, whereas I arrive at 2,930 for the same date, using the Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen. However, I deliberately excluded JG7's Me 262s from my figure as they are twin-engined, as well as the 52 fighters of JGr.10. If we include both, I arrive at 2,996. That's a difference of just 2 (!) aircraft. Whether the difference is accounted for due to a (very very) slight discrepancy in the original documents, or a typo on my part, we can conclude that they are in agreement.
Yes, exactly, but the problem is knowing what units in the "Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen" were considered Einsatzbereit - i.e. operational units, especially since the unit organizations and roles were more than a bit fungible. For one thing, by the nature of Germany's war, all of its training and test units could be subject to operations, whether or not they wanted to be.
'Überholung' seems comparable to the USAAF's categories AC, B, E, E1 and E2, rather than just to the latter three. Thus in November 1944, 351 fighters left the combat Jagdgeschwadern to undergo 'Überholung', whereas 170 arrived classified as 'Reparatur'. If we include the two replacement training Jagdgeschwadern, the combined balance is 444 to 429, for a net gain of 15 aircraft.
'Überholung accounted for aircraft at the end of service life - old models and such - sent to the factory for rebuilds, as well as damaged aircraft that could not be repaired by the unit...typically the 60% damage threshold. There really was no comparable American or British categorization.
Clearly, a large number of aircraft leaving units to undergo 'Überholung' were returned instead of written-off.
Yes, because with possibly a few exceptions Reparatur were factory rebuilds.
As discussed above, including JG7's Me 262s and JGr.10's fighters the figures are 2,996 to 2,998, so clearly they correspond. The initial figure of 2,930 was due to my exclusion of the aforementioned units, rather than to a significant discrepancy between the two datasets.
Yes.
Yes, and that would make a large difference in combat capability. Even if we find out that the Germans had enough fighter crews to man their almost-3,000 fighters on hand in operational units, the low pilot training hours combined with the fuel shortage meant that the Jagdwaffe was a spent force. But then this doesn't really matter in the context of an argument that was initially strictly about the number of aircraft.
As I posted earlier, I am making some headway on the pilot situation in the Jagdwaffe, which was pretty grim. The Germans never had the luxury of maintaining a large crew reserve as did the USAAF when it got into its stride.
Do you also have the number of heavy bombers sent for maintenance/repair to Sub-Depots and Service Squadrons?
No, because the Sub-Depots and Service Squadrons were typically on base so the planes rarely went anywhere. There were even Mobile Repair Squadrons capable of going to a plane and repairing it. For example:

USAAF Station 167 – Ridgewell, Essex
7th Sta Complement Sq
1142d MP Co (Av) (-)
2021st Engr FF Plat (Av)
Det A, 881st Cml Co (A Op)
1207th QM Co (Sv Gp)
1775th Ord Sup & Maint Co
2965th Ord Sup & Maint Co
Co C, 831st Engr Av Bn (att frm USSTAFE)
Det 110, 18th Weather Sq (att frm VIII AFCC)
448th Sub-Dep (att frm VIII AFSC)
381st Bmb Gp (H)
532d Bmb Sq (H)
533d Bmb Sq (H)
534th Bmb Sq (H)
535th Bmb Sq (H)

Ridgewell was the base of the 381st Bomb Group, but it also was the base of the 448th Sub-Depot of AFSC, which did the more extensive repair and maintenance that could not be done by the Bomb Group's maintenance personnel. If necessary, they would be augmented by personnel and equipment from an AFSC depot, such as:

USAAF Station 595 – Troston, Suffolk
1st Strategic Air Depot
38th Sta Complement Sq
977th MP Co (Av) (-)
2003d Engr FF Plat (Av)
9th Air Dep Gp, HQ & HQ Sq
9th Dep Rep Sq
9th Dep Sup Sq
40th Air Dep Gp, HQ & HQ Sq
40th Dep Rep Sq
40th Dep Sup Sq
55th Dep Rep Sq
6th Mbl Rec & Rep Sq
7th Mbl Rec & Rep Sq
13th Mbl Rec & Rep Sq
14th Mbl Rec & Rep Sq
1965th Ord Dep Co
899th Sig Dep Sq (Av)
1090th QM Co (Sv Gp)
1736th QM Maint Co (Av)
1839th QM Maint Co (Av)
1579th QM Bn, Mbl (Av)
1976th QM Trk Co (Av)
1977th QM Trk Co (Av)
2088th QM Trk Co (Av)
2465th QM Trk Co (Av) (-)
38th Med Sup Plat (Av)
320th AT Sq (-), 27th ATG (att frm BADA USSTAFE)
12th Sec, 1st Vet Det (Av) (att frm HQ, Eighth U.S. AF)
Det 595, 18th Weather Sq (att frm VIII AFCC)
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4351
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 29 Aug 2021 18:03

Okay, finally found the quarterly reports in the Maxwell microfilms of the Karlsruhe Collection. I will try and modify my post viewtopic.php?p=2361100#p2361100 to correct the dates and other data.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4351
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 29 Aug 2021 21:46

Okay, I can no longer revise that post, so here it is.

Okay, let's look at the status of the Jagdwaffe, especially pilots.

On 30 September 1939, the 1E fighter force had 1,125 aircraft on hand, of which 870 were operational. There were 968 pilots of whom 898 were ready.

Correct. There was also neither an aircraft or pilot reserve in Reserve u. Ausbildungs einheiten, everything was in the operational kitty. A 114-man pilot reserve was created on 28 September 1940, and by 28 December 1940 grew to 449...of whom just 45 were combat ready.

By 31 December 1943, the Jagdwaffe reached its greatest expansion. There was 1,561 aircraft on hand, of which 1,095 were operational. More important, the pool of pilots had grown to 2,395, but of those, only 1,441 were rated fully combat ready and another 291 were partly ready. Res. u. Ausb. Einheiten included 223 aircraft of which 143 were operational, and 643 pilots, none of who were rated ready for action.However, it was all downhill from there.

By 30 June 1944, there were only 1,523 aircraft on hand, of which only 895 were operational. That had been achieved by reducing the time in A/B and other schools, as well as disbanding Kampfflieger units and reassigning the pilots to the fighter force, so while the number of pilots was still high, the quality was badly eroded. 2,014 pilots were on hand, but only 1,325 were combat ready with another 124 partly ready. Res. u. Ausb. Einheiten had a strength of 266 aircraft of which 152 were operational, and 477 pilots, all of whom were ready for action.

In July 1944, 1,935 pilots were lost, killed, wounded, missing, sick, and discharged, along with 1,340 aircraft.

By 30 September, the Jagdwaffe had a strength of 1,984 aircraft of which 1,413 were operational, and 2,035 pilots combat ready and 1,740 not combat ready (probably the flood of personnel from the Kampfflieger and other disbanded units). The Res. u. Ausb. Einheiten had 381 aircraft of which 217 were operational, and 1,305 pilots, all of them ready for action.

In December 1944 (unclear when in the month, but I suspect 31 December, see below), the Jagdwaffe looked like this ("Die Stärke der deutschen Jagdwaffe im Dezember 1943/1944", General a. D. Schmid, AFHRA Rell K1027M, f. 0336):

Lfl. Reich - pilots 535 on hand/330 operational, aircraft 385 on hand/270 operational
Lfl. 3 - pilots 675/505, aircraft 440/360
Osten - pilots 400/310, aircraft 400/345
Nord - pilots 54/42, aircraft 66/52
Total - pilots 1,664/1,187, aircraft 1,291/1,027

Note this obviously does not count the Jagdwaffe in Italy and possibly other units. The average strength of the 1E fighter force given by the "Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände" in December was 2,662 on hand of which 1,945 were operational. On 31 December the Jagdwaffe had 2,260 aircraft of which 1,521 were operational, and 2,497 combat ready pilots, with another 1,744 not ready. The Res. u. Ausb. Einheiten had 928 aircraft of which 628 were ready, and 1,356 pilots, none of them combat ready.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4351
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 29 Aug 2021 21:51

I also hesitate to describe any of the pilots in the Res. u. Ausb. Einheiten as "combat ready". Probably more accurate would be to say they were ready to join operational units, which usually sealed their fate by 1944. The Germans simply did not have units similar to the British and American O.T.U., which took the graduates of single-engine and twin-engine fighter schools, who had about six to eight times the flying hours as their German counterparts, and trained them up to combat standards, while keeping them out of combat. The German newbies got OJT, which, as Peter has pointed out, was terminated after about five missions by the newbies death, wounding, or capture.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2784
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 30 Aug 2021 05:09

Richard Anderson wrote:For example, in 1941, Luftwaffe operational 1E fighter strength averaged 784.5 in the first half of 1942 and 969.4 in the second half. In the second half the USAAF lost 49 of 55 aircraft to enemy fighters (not all German) or 89.1%. In the first half of 1943, German 1E fighter strength increased to 1,035.7 and USAAF losses were 239 of 291 or 82.1%. In the second half of 1943, there was an average of 1089.6 German 1E fighters and USAAF losses to fighters was 638 of 970 or 65.8%. In the first half of 1944, there was an average of 1,128.9 1E fighters and USAAF losses were 1,871 of 3,618 or 51.7%. In the second half of 1944, there was an average of 1,666.6 German 1E fighters and USAAF losses were 1,031 of 4,131 or 25.0%. In the last four months of the war, there was an average of 1,629 German 1E fighters (albeit there were only two strength data points, 1,610 on 10 January and 1,648 on 13 April) and USAAF losses (through 8 May) were 446 of 2,622 or 17.0%.
I didn't read this post closely at first, assumed Richard was referring only to AAF's declining casualties in the second half of 1944, after German fighter production ~trebled following Big Week and the Jagerstab. This is actually worse than I thought: Richard is comparing only percentage losses.

Guys, you can't compare percentages absent reference to totals. The Law School Admissions Test uses this bit of trickery to tell whether one should be admitted to law school, trickery discussed here:
* confusing a number with a percentage;
* confusing a percentage with a number;
* failing to tell you what happened with the total.
Per Richard's logic, if fighters increased kills by 1,000,000 times but Flak increased theirs by 2,000,000 times, fighter performance would have declined (because their % of kills would have declined due to Flak's greater improvement).

Per Richard's stats, AAF losses to fighters increased OTL as German fighter numbers increased - until the second half of 1944 when LW fell off a qualitative cliff.

Any students studying for tests out there, remember that schools use logic tests because logic is useful in school, life, and internet fora.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 30 Aug 2021 06:01, edited 1 time in total.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2784
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 30 Aug 2021 05:58

Tom from Cornwall wrote:Is your logic that if the Germans produced 4x the planes this would necessarily have led to 4x US losses in the CBO?

...but I take it you are taking all that into account and your “x planes” is just shorthand.
It's clearly shorthand. Among other places, I've referred to qualitative factors such as training here, here, here, here, and surely elsewhere. Amidst those posts (and surely elsewhere) are discussions of why LW would likely increase qualitatively, relative to OTL.
Tom from Cornwall wrote:Even then, it doesn’t necessarily follow that “4x LW Planes” = “4x US Losses in CBO”. The presence of larger numbers of LW fighters would have kept US fighter pilots busier but not necessarily overwhelmed the US fighter escort; the presence of larger numbers of LW fighters might have impacted on US targeting criteria - shorter range missions, changed bombing policy priorities, etc; the presence of larger numbers of LW fighters might have changed the policy for RAF night bombing as well - British bombers in the Mediterranean were regularly used to target LW airfields and may have been directed to do so in Germany if the need was identified. The US may have changed its tactics - fewer bombers and more fighters in each mission, etc, etc.
Yes, those other factors are to be considered. But can you really not think of a single other factor that might favor the LW or do you only want to look at one side of the argument? LW morale? Non-linear effects of breaking up bomber boxes? LW having sufficient fighter strength to allow freehunts, rather than tying the Hohegruppe to the slower Sturm/heavy groups?

I'm happy to discuss these things but please, Tom, act like it's a discussion rather than you telling me things I'm too dumb to consider and only making points for the Good Guys.

One of your points I'll further discuss now:
Tom from Cornwall wrote:The presence of larger numbers of LW fighters would have kept US fighter pilots busier but not necessarily overwhelmed the US fighter escort
Let's actually analyze this point. Caldwell and Murray's Defense of the Reich has a rare example from April 8, 1944:
Only the 2nd Bomb Division
penetrated as far as Brunswick, and its B-24s received the undivided
attention of 250 Bf 109s and Fw 190s, which for once were able to
overwhelm the escort.
Under my ATL conditions, 4x the production/training flow plus no Eastern Front should mean >5x the resources available to Reich Defense (RLV). OTL the RLV could put up ~500 sorties on big days. ATL the RLV can put up >2,500. That's 10x the number of fighters required to overwhelm the escort on the rare occasion when the LW accomplished that task.
Tom from Cornwall wrote:War is not math!
Please see above, particularly on not assuming I'm too dumb to tie my shows.
Peter89 wrote:In order for me to get fat, it's not enough to eat more.
For the love of God, Peter. Adding 2,000 calories to your diet, ceteris paribus would get you fat. That's obviously what I meant.

I once gained 10lbs in college football preseason while doing 8-hour high intensity workouts with 15lbs of equipment on at all times. How? Among other gluttony, we defensive lineman had an ice-cream eating challenge every night. 18 bowls was the record, IIRC. It was not a case me getting fat though, rather of getting fatter (I dropped 70lbs when my football career ended well short of the NFL).

Obviously calories are not the only factor but obviously that's not what I meant. Ceteris paribus was obviously implicit to me. Again, I feel like our discussions would be easier if you didn't assume I'm too dumb to open an envelope.
Peter89 wrote:It is a reflection on source criticism. Originally, I wanted to use Hitler's quote about the last territorial demand, but it's more balanced this way, because FDR was not a "mad" dictator. If someone said something - no matter how high he was in the decision making hierarchy - it doesn't mean that we can take that as a realistic alternative or at face value.
My quote is something FDR said in private to a friend (Morgenthau); you're invoking the general maxim "don't trust politicians." That's generally applicable re public statements, less so re what's confided in private. Statements against interest - those that contradict the public line - are particularly trustworthy. Here FDR was publicly projecting absolute confidence in final victory; in private he knew the US could not win without the Russians.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1248
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 30 Aug 2021 07:57

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 Aug 2021 05:58
My quote is something FDR said in private to a friend (Morgenthau); you're invoking the general maxim "don't trust politicians." That's generally applicable re public statements, less so re what's confided in private. Statements against interest - those that contradict the public line - are particularly trustworthy. Here FDR was publicly projecting absolute confidence in final victory; in private he knew the US could not win without the Russians.
It is not about trust per se, it's about a critical attitude that examines everything from different angles and prone to cross-reference the sources. Of course, "don't trust politicians", but don't trust priests, generals or physicians either.

For example, if you go to a doctor and he says that "Mr. TMP, you are going to die in 3 months", independently of the fact if he said it in public or in private, wouldn't you get a second opinion?
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2784
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 30 Aug 2021 08:06

Peter89 wrote:
30 Aug 2021 07:57
It is not about trust per se, it's about a critical attitude
Do you really think that I, the guy who finds every historian of WW2 deficient in their topline analysis, lack a critical attitude? ;)
Peter89 wrote:For example, if you go to a doctor and he says that "Mr. TMP, you are going to die in 3 months",
You're missing the unity of opinion and fact regarding one who holds power. If FDR doesn't think the US can win absent Russia, FDR isn't going to sacrifice American lives fruitlessly.

The analogy here is the doctor says, "I am not going to treat you because you are going to die." You can get a second opinion on whether you're going to die but not on whether the doctor is going to treat you.

--------------------

In any event, I don't accept FDR's quote as dispositive absolutely. It's just a means to jar folks out of AHF/general common knowledge that the US was all powerful. FDR's opinion is almost certainly better informed than most here; that he held this view should cause most of you to check your priors.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2784
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 30 Aug 2021 08:16

glenn239 wrote:For example, the F8F Bearcat was a honey of plane, (both in air to air and air to ground), but never saw service in Europe because it was just entering service when Hitler inspected the business end of his Luger.
Nice plane but there's no way it dominates Me-262, Ta-152, Do-335 to the same degree as did P-51 the Me109/Fw190. So in relative terms US is losing ground qualitatively in addition to quantitatively.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

Aber
Member
Posts: 936
Joined: 05 Jan 2010 21:43

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Aber » 30 Aug 2021 13:55

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 Aug 2021 05:58
Please see above, particularly on not assuming I'm too dumb to tie my shows.
How do you tie your shows? :D
Per Richard's stats, AAF losses to fighters increased OTL as German fighter numbers increased - until the second half of 1944 when LW fell off a qualitative cliff.
A partial analysis, which ignores the main driver of an increased number of losses - more US bombers over Germany.

The changing % of the split between losses to flak and fighters could have 2 main causes - more effective flak or less effective fighters. Do you have any evidence for flak becoming more effective?

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4351
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 30 Aug 2021 15:54

Aber wrote:
30 Aug 2021 13:55
A partial analysis, which ignores the main driver of an increased number of losses - more US bombers over Germany.
Yeah, I try not to waste too much time on these stem-winders any more. The best thing coming out of them is I occasionally find new things in sources I already have. This time I managed to find the "quarterly" OBdL. reports that include crew and Ers. u. Ausb. data. New gems after scanning through thousands of microfilm frames.
The changing % of the split between losses to flak and fighters could have 2 main causes - more effective flak or less effective fighters. Do you have any evidence for flak becoming more effective?
Well, the changing cause of loss is an indirect indicator and the change of USAAF tactics February 1945 is another. As is the simple statement by Eighth AF that "By 1945 the Luftwaffe was no longer a major threat. Lack of fuel and experienced pilots had reduced it to a mere shadow of its once-powerful self...Being able to rely less and less on their crippled Luftwaffe, the Nazis tightened and intensified their flak." (Eighth Air Force Tactical Development, July 1945, p. 28.)
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Return to “What if”