WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Dec 2020 14:44

Politician01 wrote:Which are all used against the Japanese, so by mid/late 1946 the US has 0 bombs.
Look I don't think the W.Allies last into August '45 against Germany. I think FDR loses in '44 and there's some kind of peace. Western Europe nominally free but demilitarized and Germans have Atlantic bases plus some EU-like German economic domination. Vichy and other German-friendly regimes installed. Eastern Europe left to Hitler just as we left it to Stalin, who wasn't a great deal better (especially per contemporary views of Communism).

That said, we should steel-man our opponents and address the case where the W.Allies actually maintain Germany First in the ATL.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Peter89 » 21 Dec 2020 14:51

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2020 14:35
Peter89 wrote:Dear TMP, in 1940, the US did not fight the Germans
What is going on here? We're talking about post-SU ATL. Are you ok?
Yes. I mentioned historical examples.
Peter89 wrote:
21 Dec 2020 08:36

In the night bombing campaign against Britain in 1940 / 1941. The airlift to Tunisia in 1942 / 1943.

In some cases, the deployment alone causes +10-20% non-combat losses.

If the Germans had twice more bombers in 1940,
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Politician01 » 21 Dec 2020 17:05

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2020 14:44
Look I don't think the W.Allies last into August '45 against Germany. I think FDR loses in '44 and there's some kind of peace. Western Europe nominally free but demilitarized and Germans have Atlantic bases plus some EU-like German economic domination. Vichy and other German-friendly regimes installed. Eastern Europe left to Hitler just as we left it to Stalin, who wasn't a great deal better (especially per contemporary views of Communism).
Oh I am of the same opinion. Doesnt matter if the Wallies continue bombing or try to take Sicily, the attention of the American public will inevitably shift to the Pacific. Admirals, Generals and Congressmen will demand more resources for the Pacific and will demand to end the senseless war in Europe. Giving a Republican candidate the opportunity to beat the warmonger Roosevelt in the 44 election and to conduct realpolitics. Even if Roosevelt wins in 44, he dies in April 45 giving Truman the opportunity to conduct realpolitics.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2020 14:44
That said, we should steel-man our opponents and address the case where the W.Allies actually maintain Germany First in the ATL.
Well then there are only two ways:

1. If there is no war against Japan which sucked up around 40% of American and 10% of British Empire manpower/resources. In this case the Wallies have enough manpower/resources to really absorb all the damage the Germans could inflict on them. Ofc Japan would have to be out of the war by mid 1943 for this to work and the Wallies would have to be willing to accept 5 to 10x their OTL casualties in Europe. So this is pretty unlikely.

2. The Wallies/their public are willing to:

- let the war in Europe lay more or less dormant from the summer of 1943 until the summer of 1946
- restart it in Europe after the defeat of Japan
- continue the war until 1947/48
- use dozens of Atomic Weapons on all of Germany/occupied cities with German industry, killing millions of civillians
- be willing to sacrifice millions of British civillians/Great Britain alltogether to German chemical/biological retaliation

So this is pretty unlikely. Perpetual war on the level of 1984 is simply not possible with the intensity of WW2, there are manpower problems, public support problems, funding problems and a dozen other problems.

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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 21 Dec 2020 19:58

Politician01 wrote:
21 Dec 2020 13:13
Its the Allies that are losing the technological battle as well as their innitiative. They have to attack if they want to continue the war. If they dare to invade Italy/France they would sustain unimaginable losses which would destroy their manpower reserves and reduce public support for the war. If they are to afraid to invade and just continue bombing, they basically admit that they have no idea how to win the war and are to afraid to invade. As has been demonstrated, bombing has an extremely unfavorable exchange ratio for the attackers. With the Germans investing more/most of their resources into the air war, the Allies cannot cope. So yes, all Germany needs to win here is a better defence.
Where in 1944 were the Germans ahead in technology to continue aerial warfare compared to the Allies? Where in 1945? The truth is they were falling behind rapidly and while they did push out a few technologies prematurely, there was no way for them to keep up with what was coming.
An illogical question because all Germany needs to win the war is a better defence/to convince Allied populations that a victory would take to long/require to much casualties. American attention would shift to the Pacific and after the horrors/casualties experienced there, the war on Europe would not be restarted - simple realpolitics.
It was a perfectly logical question. Let's say the Allies do decide to finish Japan first and do so without using nuclear weapons. What does Germany do when the first city gets a mushroom cloud? What happens when a second gets hit? Or, do you not credit the Allies with sufficient intellect to come up with a way to deliver a nuclear weapon successfully regardless of what the Germans are doing?

That the Allies in the interim change tactics to ones they can manage, changes nothing. Germany is on the defensive and has to expend considerable wealth on not just an air war, but on ground defenses, etc. Without a way to win, the best they can hope for is a negotiated peace that isn't too unfavorable to them.

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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Politician01 » 21 Dec 2020 21:12

T. A. Gardner wrote:
21 Dec 2020 19:58
Where in 1944 were the Germans ahead in technology to continue aerial warfare compared to the Allies? Where in 1945? The truth is they were falling behind rapidly and while they did push out a few technologies prematurely, there was no way for them to keep up with what was coming.
Where were the Wallies ahead? And to compare OTL 44/45 when the Germans had to seriously scale back/cancel many projects because they needed all manpower and funds for the Eastern Front, to ATL where they can invest additional manpower/funds into development from the summer of 43 onwards is just stupid.
T. A. Gardner wrote:
21 Dec 2020 19:58
It was a perfectly logical question. Let's say the Allies do decide to finish Japan first and do so without using nuclear weapons. What does Germany do when the first city gets a mushroom cloud? What happens when a second gets hit? Or, do you not credit the Allies with sufficient intellect to come up with a way to deliver a nuclear weapon successfully regardless of what the Germans are doing?
As allways the time period from the summer of 1943 to the summer of 1945 is completely ignored. No active war in Europe except bombing = pressure to end the war and relocate more forces to the Pacific. In this case Roosevelt loses in 44 to someone who wants realpolitics, because the Wallies dont have the power of 20/20 and dont know that they have Atom bombs ready by the summer of 1945.

And if somehow the first German city gets Nuked, the Germans will threaten to release all their chemical/biological weapon stockpile on Britain/the US. So sure, if the British are willing to take Millions of casualties and their country contaminated, and the Americans a contaminated East Coast, then they could win a phyrric victory.
T. A. Gardner wrote:
21 Dec 2020 19:58
That the Allies in the interim change tactics to ones they can manage, changes nothing. Germany is on the defensive and has to expend considerable wealth on not just an air war, but on ground defenses, etc. Without a way to win, the best they can hope for is a negotiated peace that isn't too unfavorable to them.
It also doesnt change the fact that the Wallies (especially Britain) are running out of manpower and cannot continue the war indefinetely, especially one that would see them inactive. And after having conquered the European USSR a negotiated peace is all Germany needs to win.

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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Dec 2020 00:54

Politician01 wrote:Well then there are only two ways:
Agree with most of your analysis except that it would have been military feasible to make fewer exertions against Japan (Political feasibility is a different question):
  • After '42 when the Japanese Solomons drive has been stopped, limit U.S. offensive action to the Central Pacific.
  • Take Marianas as in OTL, then use naval power to isolate Japan as in OTL.
  • Otherwise assume encircling defensive position against Japan, whose navy is dominated by a few carrier task forces.
  • Move most OTL air resources to ETO, perhaps 15 divisions as well.
With this shift in focus the W.Allies are stronger than OTL in ETO. IMO still not strong enough but it gives perhaps a fighting chance of holding somewhere in the MidEast, India, and North Africa. If the Germans overextend themselves in Persia or Arabia maybe we win some battles and thereby maintain public support of what seems an active and potentially winning war.

IF there's a historical case for the political feasibility of indefinite anti-German siege warfare, it would require FDR publicizing the Holocaust etc. as part of his re-election/propaganda campaign, generating implacable public determination to kill Hitler. As an American I would like to believe this is politically feasible but OTOH the US was itself pretty anti-semitic back then.

Having used the Holocaust to justify continuing the war, moving to our own nuclear mass murder is at least emotionally/conceptually more likely.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Dec 2020 06:23

History Learner wrote:
21 Dec 2020 01:05
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 Nov 2020 21:31
From memory the German AF started 1943 with approx half its strength in the east. About 2500 to 2700 operational combat aircraft, according to Ellis 'Brute Force'. During the year replacements to the east were reduced & in the autumn 600 too 800 interceptors were transferred from the east to German. Ellis places the operational number in the east at 1500 1 January 1944 IIRC. The various numbers folks have posted here & in other forms look to me like the loss rates per capita in the west were substantially higher that in the east. Hence that oft cited 68% of all GAF losses of 1943 were in the west. The conclusion I've taken away is shifting aircraft from the east to the west with its higher loss rate would over the year draw down GAF strength faster than OTL. Allied losses might be higher, but one result of that is production of aircraft is not rescheduled at a lower rate and the higher production number continues. Maybe Rich has some data of Allied pilot/aircrew training for 1943-44. I cant recall any.
Question: how exactly does shifting more German planes into the West result in the Luftwaffe being depleted earlier? Mathematically by running a Lanchester equation it doesn't equal that and I can't think of any strategic situations in WWII where adding more resources into a situation resulted in a worse outcome. Either the Allies would have to become even better or would, in turn, be forced to add more resources to achieve that end result.
It seems to boil down to a higher loss rate in the west than east. In the West each time the German air force leaned forward to contest the air the losses exceeded the pilot & aircraft replacement rate. In the east the losses were closer to replacements. Three times in 1943 the Axis air forces tried to make a stand in the Mediterranean. Each time they had to break away the contest to stop unsustainable losses. Yes the Italians and Germans won some spectacular tactical victories, but operationally & strategically they lost. Why that happened is a important part of understanding the German situation, & it goes far beyond shorting flight training hours for lack of fuel.

I ran the Lancastrian equation question past Randy Black, who used them quite a bit gaming and constructing historical models, & used similar statistical methods in his employment. His response was he could use the basic Lancastrian equation to prove the Allies could not win WWII. His view the accuracy of the equation is dependent of the accuracy of identification of variables & 'underlying trends, vs a single gross number. Which is pretty much what Earl Kehrberg told me twenty years ago when he warned me of flaws in a business analysis I was proposing. Since Dr Kehrbergs business was constructing the protocols and formulas for the other Purdue school of agriculture professors research I'm guessing he knew what he was talking about.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2020 06:30
...
So we have a math problem. Can W.Allies afford to trade heavy bombers against German fighters, when the former costs up to 10x the latter? The math obviously shows they can't if both sides are similarly committed to air warfare. It works if war against the W.Allies is sideshow to the main event, not if it's the main event.
Wrong question. The Allies defeated the Axis air forces with fighter planes not bombers. By the autumn of 1943 the Germans had figured out they could not compete in fighter vs fighter combat, despite evidence of a favorable loss ratio in individual fighter vs fighter combat. Shifting 35% or 45% or whatever it was in fighters from their east front strength to defend Germany in the autumn of 1943 made for a extra loss of unescorted bombers, but three months later they could not defend Germany & avoid US escorts. The Big Week was a culmination of a lot of things. Brute force in Allied numbers, rising Allied pilot skill, a crippling non combat loss rate among German fighter pilots, declining German pilot skill to name a few.

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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by History Learner » 22 Dec 2020 07:42

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2020 13:31
You apparently are imagining that in the original example all 100 planes attack at the same time. The Germans had serious difficulties getting a single schwarm (4 planes) to attack in unison, let alone 100. I'd recommend picking up a good book on the air war over Germany, such as Caldwell and Muller's The Luftwaffe over Germany: Defense of the Reich.
Not imagining they do, but noting the very real difficulties in assuming that more forces in place somehow results in higher casualties. Missions have fixed times and ammunition, for a rejoinder; if they used up all or most of their ammunition defending themselves against their OTL attackers, how are they supposed to inflict even more losses upon a larger body of attackers? It's why I brought up Lanchester Equations earlier, as you can run them yourself to see what I mean. They use OTL performance and then factor in ATL number conditions to get an idea of what the end result of alternate combat would be.

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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by History Learner » 22 Dec 2020 08:02

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Dec 2020 06:23
It seems to boil down to a higher loss rate in the west than east. In the West each time the German air force leaned forward to contest the air the losses exceeded the pilot & aircraft replacement rate. In the east the losses were closer to replacements. Three times in 1943 the Axis air forces tried to make a stand in the Mediterranean. Each time they had to break away the contest to stop unsustainable losses. Yes the Italians and Germans won some spectacular tactical victories, but operationally & strategically they lost. Why that happened is a important part of understanding the German situation, & it goes far beyond shorting flight training hours for lack of fuel.

I ran the Lancastrian equation question past Randy Black, who used them quite a bit gaming and constructing historical models, & used similar statistical methods in his employment. His response was he could use the basic Lancastrian equation to prove the Allies could not win WWII. His view the accuracy of the equation is dependent of the accuracy of identification of variables & 'underlying trends, vs a single gross number. Which is pretty much what Earl Kehrberg told me twenty years ago when he warned me of flaws in a business analysis I was proposing. Since Dr Kehrbergs business was constructing the protocols and formulas for the other Purdue school of agriculture professors research I'm guessing he knew what he was talking about.
That there was a higher loss rate in the West/Med is a given, but it doesn't follow from there that adding to German numbers means a swifter defeat of said larger German force. If you're facing, say, 1,000 German fighters and can destroy 10 a day, then it's going to take you 100 days to get down to zero. If you double the 1,000 to 2,000 German fighters, then it's not going to be done in 100 Days because your base destruction is still 10 a day, so now you need 200 days. In time, you'll still get through them, but it'll take longer and you will take increased losses of your own. Alternatively, you either need to find ways to make your own forces more efficient (Double your destructive capacity from 10 a day to 20 a day) or double the amount of resources you have on hand; more fighters and AA for yourself.

As far as the applicability of the Lanchester Equation, I agree, in its base form its not the best, as the base form isn't well suited for modern warfare. Modifications, such as Lanchester's Square Law are, however, far more suitable for more modern combat. Dr. Niall MacKay or the University of York's Mathematics Department used Lanchester equations to examine alternate outcomes for the Battle of Britain, for one relevant example for our uses. He's the Head of the aforementioned Mathematics Department and the Chair of Correspondents for the INI and ICMS.

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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Peter89 » 22 Dec 2020 09:24

History Learner wrote:
22 Dec 2020 08:02
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Dec 2020 06:23
It seems to boil down to a higher loss rate in the west than east. In the West each time the German air force leaned forward to contest the air the losses exceeded the pilot & aircraft replacement rate. In the east the losses were closer to replacements. Three times in 1943 the Axis air forces tried to make a stand in the Mediterranean. Each time they had to break away the contest to stop unsustainable losses. Yes the Italians and Germans won some spectacular tactical victories, but operationally & strategically they lost. Why that happened is a important part of understanding the German situation, & it goes far beyond shorting flight training hours for lack of fuel.

I ran the Lancastrian equation question past Randy Black, who used them quite a bit gaming and constructing historical models, & used similar statistical methods in his employment. His response was he could use the basic Lancastrian equation to prove the Allies could not win WWII. His view the accuracy of the equation is dependent of the accuracy of identification of variables & 'underlying trends, vs a single gross number. Which is pretty much what Earl Kehrberg told me twenty years ago when he warned me of flaws in a business analysis I was proposing. Since Dr Kehrbergs business was constructing the protocols and formulas for the other Purdue school of agriculture professors research I'm guessing he knew what he was talking about.
That there was a higher loss rate in the West/Med is a given, but it doesn't follow from there that adding to German numbers means a swifter defeat of said larger German force. If you're facing, say, 1,000 German fighters and can destroy 10 a day, then it's going to take you 100 days to get down to zero. If you double the 1,000 to 2,000 German fighters, then it's not going to be done in 100 Days because your base destruction is still 10 a day, so now you need 200 days. In time, you'll still get through them, but it'll take longer and you will take increased losses of your own. Alternatively, you either need to find ways to make your own forces more efficient (Double your destructive capacity from 10 a day to 20 a day) or double the amount of resources you have on hand; more fighters and AA for yourself.
To make my position clear in the matter, I've never argued that more German planes in Tunisia's airlift means their swifter defeat. Only that defeat was inevitable in that operation, and the causes of that were many, and more planes alone would not change the end result (they can prolong the suffering though).
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Dec 2020 09:56

Carl Schwamberger wrote:Wrong question. The Allies defeated the Axis air forces with fighter planes not bombers.
Wrong analysis: the facts of attrition don't care about military strategy. Whether the W.Allies were fighting LW with bombers or fighters, they were losing bombers (plus some fighters) at a rate that doesn't work, relative to German attrition, unless the anti-W.Allies fight is a sideshow for Germany.

For example:
Carl Schwamberger wrote:The Big Week was a culmination of a lot of things.
In Big Week USAAF lost 226 bombers and 28 fighters; LW lost 262 fighters. https://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+Batt ... 0286971015

That aerial attrition ratio is terrible for the US. A B-17 cost ~$250k, an Me-109 ~$30k.

The personnel picture is worse: US lost >2,000 crewmen, Germany <100 KIA. The Luftwaffe over Germany by Caldwell and Muller p.162-63.

This combat attrition ratio is actually worse, in personnel and material terms, than what the Russians accomplished on the Eastern Front. USAAF was - with splendidly trained and educated human resources - less efficient at winning wars than were the Russians with semi-literate peasants. It was a 100% war-losing strategy against an opponent with remotely equal resources. It would have failed completely had the Russians not been doing most of the fighting in WW2.

Your analysis goes wrong by assuming that victory in the fighter vs. fighter duels means victory overall. This is tactics blind to strategy. The LW appropriately focused on the big, expensive bombers and not the American fighters - aside from a few "high cover" groups to try to distract the escorts. LW "fighter" forces included large numbers of heavily-laden bomber destroyers that the Germans knew were ineffective in dog fights. But unlike your analysis, the Germans had the correct strategic priorities: bombers not fighters. Per man/frame they were far more efficient than the Americans through Big Week.

Later, of course, it got much worse for the LW when they couldn't train crews or protect their airfields. But that's a consequence of victory via brute, inefficient force rather than a cause of it.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 22 Dec 2020 10:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Dec 2020 10:18

History Learner wrote:Missions have fixed times and ammunition, for a rejoinder; if they used up all or most of their ammunition defending themselves against their OTL attackers, how are they supposed to inflict even more losses upon a larger body of attackers?
Ok if the Germans can identify the B-17's that have run out of ammunition and only attack those then I guess they don't suffer any additional losses.
History Learner wrote:It's why I brought up Lanchester Equations earlier, as you can run them yourself to see what I mean.
I'm familiar, as I'm sure you are with their limitations. No truck, obviously, with the general idea that LW has a good chance to win (at least the defensive battle) in this ATL - just pointing out the limits.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Politician01 » 22 Dec 2020 11:15

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Dec 2020 00:54
Agree with most of your analysis except that it would have been military feasible to make fewer exertions against Japan (Political feasibility is a different question):
Politicially it would be impossible. In February 1943, 53% of Americans said that Japan was the "chief enemy" compared to 34% choosing Germany.
And by late 1943 American manpower/resources were split pretty even 50/50 between Europe and the Pacific. I dont know what POD one would need for the US to concentrate primarily against Germany from early 43 onwards, but it would have to be massive.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Dec 2020 00:54
IF there's a historical case for the political feasibility of indefinite anti-German siege warfare, it would require FDR publicizing the Holocaust etc. as part of his re-election/propaganda campaign, generating implacable public determination to kill Hitler. As an American I would like to believe this is politically feasible but OTOH the US was itself pretty anti-semitic back then.Having used the Holocaust to justify continuing the war, moving to our own nuclear mass murder is at least emotionally/conceptually more likely.
How would the US/Britain react if Germany threatens to use Biological/Chemical weapons against GB and the East Coast in retaliation for each atomic strike? Would the Wallies be willing to accept an ABC war threatening to kill millions of their citizens and large scale contamination of their territory?

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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Dec 2020 19:34

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Dec 2020 09:56
Wrong analysis: the facts of attrition don't care about military strategy. Whether the W.Allies were fighting LW with bombers or fighters, they were losing bombers (plus some fighters) at a rate that doesn't work, relative to German attrition, unless the anti-W.Allies fight is a sideshow for Germany.
Uh, Pot, meet Kettle.
In Big Week USAAF lost 226 bombers and 28 fighters; LW lost 262 fighters. https://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+Batt ... 0286971015
The USAAF did not lose 226 bombers 20-25 February 1944 in "Big Week", they lost 225. Eighth Air Force lost 148 bombers in operations over Germany in that period, 3 over the Netherlands, and 6 in "special operations". Fifteenth Air Force lost 88. Those include combat and operational losses.
That aerial attrition ratio is terrible for the US. A B-17 cost ~$250k, an Me-109 ~$30k.
No, it is not, and it isn't a "ratio" that matters. The loss rate for Eighth Air Force in February 1944 was 315 aircraft to all causes in 9,884 sorties or 3.19% per sortie. Or 0.11% per sortie per day. In the meantime, Eighth Air Force heavy bomber strength grew by 191 operational aircraft from 31 January to 28 February.
The personnel picture is worse: US lost >2,000 crewmen, Germany <100 KIA. The Luftwaffe over Germany by Caldwell and Muller p.162-63.
Worse than that even...for the month of February in theaters versus Germany, 4,653 battle casualties were incurred, all except 506 "irretrievable" (killed, died, missing, captured, and interned). It was worse in March, 4,744, and far worse at peak in April, 7,219.

For the quarter ending 31 March 1944, 4,804 aircrew for B-17 and B-24 completed training and during the month of February, six complete Heavy Bomber Groups moved to theaters versus Germany.

Obviously, while severe, the losses were sustainable. That was not the case for the Luftwaffe. It struggled to grow operational single-engine fighter strength in the first quarter of 1944. On 31 December 1943 on all fronts they had 1,095. On 31 March 1944 they had 1,188. Twin-engine fighter strength shrank, from 199 to 148. In the second half of 1944 they did manage to grow the Jagdwaffe, peaking at 2,491 on 10 October, but only at the expense of shrinking the bomber and ground attack strength, from 1,544 operational on 31 December 1943 to 901 on 10 October 1944. Worse, they also achieved that increase by curtailing the Jagdwaffe training program.
This combat attrition ratio is actually worse, in personnel and material terms, than what the Russians accomplished on the Eastern Front. USAAF was - with splendidly trained and educated human resources - less efficient at winning wars than were the Russians with semi-literate peasants. It was a 100% war-losing strategy against an opponent with remotely equal resources. It would have failed completely had the Russians not been doing most of the fighting in WW2.
Nice claim. You have the figures to back that up? My admittedly old analysis based upon the monthly Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen from March 1942 through December 1944 indicated that the breakdown (Westfront and Reich/Ostfront) was:

1942
1E Ftr 536/707
2E Ftr 61/178
N Ftr 83/0
GA 169/457
Bmb 690/957

1943
1E Ftr 2,359/1,135
2E Ftr 182/132
N Ftr 274/23
GA 518/905
Bmb 1,164/933

1944
1E Ftr 6,818/972
2E Ftr 275/185
N Ftr 1,063/94
GA 345/1,237
Bmb 1,217/425

Overall, it appears that about 77.5% of the 1E Ftr loss, 51.1% of the 2E Ftr loss, 92.4% of the N Ftr loss, and 57% of the Bmb loss was in the West and in defense of the Reich. Only GA were lost disproportionately in the East, about 71.6% of them.
Your analysis goes wrong by assuming that victory in the fighter vs. fighter duels means victory overall. This is tactics blind to strategy. The LW appropriately focused on the big, expensive bombers and not the American fighters - aside from a few "high cover" groups to try to distract the escorts. LW "fighter" forces included large numbers of heavily-laden bomber destroyers that the Germans knew were ineffective in dog fights. But unlike your analysis, the Germans had the correct strategic priorities: bombers not fighters. Per man/frame they were far more efficient than the Americans through Big Week.
Your analysis goes wrong by assuming that the Luftwaffe could successfully continue to focus on the big, expensive bombers and not the American fighters. In February 1944, 170 HB were lost to German aircraft and 81 to antiaircraft. In October 1944, 36 were lost to German aircraft and 112 to antiaircraft. Not only did the numbers decrease, the proportional cause reversed, and the overall loss rate decreased.
Later, of course, it got much worse for the LW when they couldn't train crews or protect their airfields. But that's a consequence of victory via brute, inefficient force rather than a cause of it.
Actually, it became worse for the Luftwaffe when the American fighter force developed sufficient strength and range to combine close escort with fighter sweeps and direct attacks on fighter airfields. Worse for the Luftwaffe, the requirement for heavier armament to bring down the bombers reduced the capability of their fighters versus fighters, requiring a large percentage of the Jagdwaffe to act as escort fighters for other fighters, which was horribly inefficient and tactically complex.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Dec 2020 21:07

BTW, to square the circle, the Germans actually recorded flying at least 3,078 fighter and 960 night fighter sorties over Germany during "Big Week" to counter the Allied heavy bombers. The Luftwaffe losses were 167 fighters and 16 night fighters written off, 86 fighters and 19 night fighters missing and presumed lost, and 133 fighters and 6 night fighters damaged 60% or greater (thus requiring a factory/depot rebuild).

Thus, daylight losses were 12.54% per sortie, including damaged and 8.22% per sortie for "lost". If we look just at the Eighth Air Force, they suffered 154 losses in 3,280 HB sorties, or 4.7%, so the Germans suffered nearly three times the American HB loss rate.

See TNA AIR 77/18, German Statistics on German Fighter Reaction to Anglo-American Bombing Attacks.

Edited to keep apples with apples as much as possible.
"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

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