Luftwaffe vs RAF

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
ljadw
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Re: Luftwaffe vs RAF

Post by ljadw » 06 Feb 2021 20:55

gracie4241 wrote:
13 Nov 2019 21:38
The fighter v fighterv fighter loss ratio, although complicated, nevertheless shows the media perception/presentation is grossly distorted.I have NEVER seen a movie of any kind where Spitfires are clubbing ME-109's like baby seals.This is the public(and wrong) perception.All the publicity about "the Finest and their exploits overshadows a great performance by the Me-109 pilots, who stayed in action longer and frequently flew more sorties.BTW, until changed, Goering's insistence on close escort of his bombers meant the german fighters were often low and slow, and bounced from higher altitude;as a principal advantage of the me-109 was its "verticality".
Goering's order of close escort was correct : bombers were more important than fighters .

Stravinsky444
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Re: Luftwaffe vs RAF

Post by Stravinsky444 » 02 Nov 2022 23:11

Smokey Stover wrote:
30 Aug 2018 14:43
I knew you were going to say that.... And for about 2 or 3 months during 1941 you are right. Everyone always trumpets how until the Spitfire lX came into production the Fw 190 rained supreme. But the truth is the German 190 pilots were not fazed by the Spitfire lX when it arrived in numbers. If a Spitfire got behind a 190 the Germans would simply dive away at speed. The real problem however was the introduction of the Hawker Typhoon. If you asked German pilots about what British aircraft they feared the most, many would say the Typhoon + Tempest. The Typhoon was so fast and so heavy that 190 pilots could not outdive them. And many 190 pilots found this out the hard way. After the Typhoon had its initial gremlins ironed out it was just as effective in its introduction as was the 190. Also it has to be noted as with any new aircraft, dogfighting tactics had to be learned and adapted accordingly. This was why captured enemy aircraft evaluation tests were so important. To find out an aircrafts strengths and weaknesses. The Spitfire was a superb fighter all through the war. But its psychological impact was highly overrated. Just as many allied pilots suffered from 190 mania! Sometimes just the sight of an enemy aircraft was enough to give pilots a false sense of fear. The 190 scourge didnt stop just because of the Spitfire lX. Even if it was designed to combat that aircraft. And besides, almost every German pilot i have heard speak about aerial combat with the British stated the last thing they wanted to see behind them was a Tempest. The Typhoon was almost as good. Maybe not as fast or agile as the Tempest but it could still fight. A good comparison is the P-51 & P-47. Both aircraft were more than capable dogfighters, its just one of them was considered more glamorous, therefore better. Which isnt always the case.
I have to disagree a little on the introduction of the Spitfire Mk IX making no changes: It did make a change against the FW-190A, because it had a world beating climb rate that even exceeded that of the Me-109G-6, and maybe even later variants when 150 fuel was introduced in August '44.

The Mark IX redressed the balance by using hit and run, not by turning. Turning at low speed was the only thing the FW-190A did well, and the Mark IX did not turn any better than the Mark V, despite one Russian source stating 17 seconds vs 20 seconds for a turn time. In true sustained turns I don't buy it: Current operators all say the Mark V turns noticeably better than a Mark IX, even more so vs the XIV...

The FW-190A always out-turned the Spitfire, but the 190A had absolutely horrible high-speed handling, of the high G sinking "mushing" "squashing" sort. and this sort of forced the Germans out of the hit and run obsession they had with the 109, which was a good thing, as slow speed turning was an increasingly dominant tactic as the War went on, one that easily defeated hit and run when the pilot was aware of the threat. However, the Germans stuck to throttling up to high power in their 109s and as a result turned poorly. The Allied were more pragmatic, and decreased hit and run use faster than the Germans on 109s did. On the Eastern Front the Russian aircrafts had one-way radios, which favoured hit and run against them. On the Western Front, hit and run was a bad idea for the Luftwaffe, and Eastern Front aces with 130 kills would get killed on their first mission in the West, despite admonitions by other pilots not to use hit and run or the vertical...

I will add quotes to prove the 190 out-turned, badly, all marks of Spitfire, but only at low speeds, as did the 109 to a lesser extent. Like the Spitfire, the 109 did out-turn the 190A at high speeds, probably misleading the Russians into thinking the 109 turned better.

I will take strong issue with the notion of the Typhoon being a good fighter: It was absolutely hated by everyone in the RAF, handled poorly, could not hold its own against most airborne opponents, it poisoned its pilots even if they wore the mask all the time, and was really one of the absolute worst machines ever produced in such large numbers. It was so hated that, as the War ended, they were all immediately scrapped in huge numbers, to the point it was with great difficulty that a single one was preserved today. I don't really know why it was produced in such large numbers, but it had excellent speed at low altitude and a large carrying capacity. That being said, its role with rockets is somewhat overstated, and not that many tanks were its victims. Its landing and take-off characteristics were almost comically bad. None of this applies to the Tempest of course, but the few accounts of flying the Typhoon really read like it was a machine designed in the depths of Hell... Its roll rate was slow. I can't say just why it was so hated, but the fact is that it seemed to have been an easy prey for the Luftwaffe, the rare times it had to deal with fighters directly.

As to the Fw-190A vs Spitfire issue, here are a few quotes by the people who were there, not test pilots with 2 four engine kills like Eric Brown. But first, a brief overview (in parenthesis) of why I think there is a problem with our understanding of the Physics of these aircrafts:

(I would like to address our lack of understanding of the physics of these aircrafts: We do not understand reducing power not only reduces radius, which we do know, but that, on tractive low wing prop types, it also does so while maintaining or increasing the turn RATE... An indication of this lack of knowledge is that we actually think the FW-190A is out-turned by the Spitfire: Absolutely laughable in the face of front-line experience... See my video here for an explanation of why these (related) mistakes exist:

https://youtu.be/uYnCI3XURx0

If we cannot figure out that a supposed 50% difference in wingloading (30 lbs to 45 lbs) between these two types is the reverse of what we think, then we do not understand the physics of low wing tractive single engine WWII fighters.)

Parenthesis closed...

The Fw-190A was the most stereotyped "one trick pony" turn-fighter of the entire War.

A translated Russian article in "Red Fleet", describing Russian aerial tactics against the German FW-190, from a US Army translation in "Tactical and Technical Trends", No. 37, November 4, 1943.

Quote:

"-The speed of the FW-190 is slightly higher than that of the Messerschmitt; it also has more powerful armament and is more maneuverable in horizontal flight.

-They interact in the following manner:
Me-109G will usually perform dive and climb attacks using superior airspeed after their dive.
FW-190 will commit to the fight even if our battle formation is not broken, preferring left turning fights.

-Being very stable and having a large range of speeds, the FW-190 will inevitably offer turning battle at a minimum speed."

-Squadron Leader Alan Deere, (Osprey Spit MkV aces 1941-45, Ch. 3, p. 2): "Never had I seen the Hun stay and fight it out as these Focke-Wulf pilots were doing... In Me-109s the Hun tactic had always followed the same pattern- a quick pass and away, sound tactics against Spitfires and their superior turning circle. Not so these 190 pilots: They were full of confidence... We lost 8 to their one that day..."

Johnny Johnson article (top Spitfire ace at 36 kills, and top FW-190A killer at 20): "My duel with the Focke-Wulf": "With wide-open throttles I held the Spitfire V in the tightest of vertical turns [Period slang for vertical bank]. I was greying out. Where was this German, who should, according to my reckoning, be filling my gunsight? I could not see him, and little wonder, for he was gaining on me: In another couple of turns he would have me in his sights.---I asked the Spitfire for all she had in the turn, but the enemy pilot hung behind like a leech.-It could only be a question of time..."

RCAF John Weir interview for Veterans Affairs (Spitfire Mk V vs FW-190A-4 period): "A Hurricane was built like a truck, it took a hell of a lot to knock it down. It was very manoeuvrable, much more manoeuvrable than a Spit, so you could, we could usually outturn a Messerschmitt. They'd, if they tried to turn with us they'd usually flip, go in, at least dive and they couldn't. A Spit was a higher wing loading..."

"The Hurricane was more manoeuvrable than the Spit and, and the Spit was probably, we (Hurricane pilots) could turn one way tighter than the Germans could on a Messerschmitt, but the Focke Wulf could turn the same as we could and, they kept on catching up, you know."

In "Le Fana de l'Aviation" #496 p. 40:
Première citation : " Dans la journée du 29 avril, le régiment effectua 28 sorties pour escorter des bombardiers et des avions d'attaque au sol et 23 en protection de troupes, avec quatre combats aériens. Les premiers jours furent marqués par des échecs dus à une tactique de combat périmée dans le plan horizontal, alors que le Spitfire était particulièrement adapté au combat dans le plan vertical."

[Translation: "The Spitfire failed in horizontal fighting, but was particularly adapted to vertical fighting."]


I kept my favourite for last: Pierre Clostermann was an 18 kill ace and RAF mission record holder at 432. He was also a Caltech trained engineer and was the only pilot I know of to actually give technical conferences on German aircrafts to fellow pilots. He had 10 FW-190 kills. He wrote what is widely considered the greatest aviation memoir this side of St-Exupery: Le Grand Cirque. He watched litterally thousands of gun camera films for his conferences, most of which are probably gone forever by now. Do you really think this guy does not know what he is talking about?

https://youtu.be/c2zdA9TcIYo

(From 12:44)

Translation: "So there are legends about the Spitfire... Aaaahh the legends... Legends are hard to kill... One of those legends is that the Spitfire turned better than the Messerschmitt 109, or the FW-190. Well that is a good joke... In fact all those who found themselves with a 109 or a 190 turning inside them, at low speeds, well those in general did not come back to complain about the legend... Why? Above 280 to 300 knots, the Spitfire turned better than the Me-109. But, first and foremost, in a turning battle, the speed goes down and down and down and down, and at one point there comes a time, when the speed has gone down below 200 knots, that the Me-109 turns inside the Spitfire."

mezsat2
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Re: Luftwaffe vs RAF

Post by mezsat2 » 11 Nov 2022 12:03

In the end, the Luftwaffe suffered from lack of fuel and good pilots, not machines.

The aircraft were superb, for the most part. ME-262 had bad engines, but Speer had
a plan to address that (or so he claimed). Speer would have installed this as Germany's
ONLY fighter aircraft by 1944 and completely turned around the war.

The loss of pilots would not be so severe in the 262, since few were trained to fly jet
aircraft, anyway. It was so much faster than any plane flown by the allies, it would be
virtually invincible.

antwony
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Re: Luftwaffe vs RAF

Post by antwony » 11 Nov 2022 14:06

Stravinsky444 wrote:
02 Nov 2022 23:11
I will take strong issue with the notion of the Typhoon being a good fighter: It was absolutely hated by everyone in the RAF, handled poorly, could not hold its own against most airborne opponents, it poisoned its pilots even if they wore the mask all the time, and was really one of the absolute worst machines ever produced in such large numbers. It was so hated that, as the War ended, they were all immediately scrapped in huge numbers, to the point it was with great difficulty that a single one was preserved today. I don't really know why it was produced in such large numbers, but it had excellent speed at low altitude and a large carrying capacity. That being said, its role with rockets is somewhat overstated, and not that many tanks were its victims. Its landing and take-off characteristics were almost comically bad. None of this applies to the Tempest of course, but the few accounts of flying the Typhoon really read like it was a machine designed in the depths of Hell... Its roll rate was slow. I can't say just why it was so hated, but the fact is that it seemed to have been an easy prey for the Luftwaffe, the rare times it had to deal with fighters directly.
The Typhoon was rushed into service to zoom- and boom Fw190's raiding England's south coast, which it did successfully and the raids stopped. After that, it did ground support.

It was built in such numbers as ground support is how air forces can best help win wars.

As for its popularity, the poisoning can't of helped. Also, ground support couldn't have been the most popular job for fighter pilots. Also, I doubt it was scrapped after VE Day due to its lack of popularity. Better options being available and, once again, the poisoning would seem more salient. I mean really... popularity?

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Sheldrake
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Re: Luftwaffe vs RAF

Post by Sheldrake » 11 Nov 2022 17:34

Stravinsky444 wrote:
02 Nov 2022 23:11
Turning at low speed was the only thing the FW-190A did well, and the Mark IX did not turn any better than the Mark V, despite one Russian source stating 17 seconds vs 20 seconds for a turn time. In true sustained turns I don't buy it: Current operators all say the Mark V turns noticeably better than a Mark IX, even more so vs the XIV...

The FW-190A always out-turned the Spitfire, but the 190A had absolutely horrible high-speed handling, of the high G sinking "mushing" "squashing" sort. and this sort of forced the Germans out of the hit and run obsession they had with the 109, which was a good thing, as slow speed turning was an increasingly dominant tactic as the War went on, one that easily defeated hit and run when the pilot was aware of the threat. However, the Germans stuck to throttling up to high power in their 109s and as a result turned poorly. The Allied were more pragmatic, and decreased hit and run use faster than the Germans on 109s did. On the Eastern Front the Russian aircrafts had one-way radios, which favoured hit and run against them. On the Western Front, hit and run was a bad idea for the Luftwaffe, and Eastern Front aces with 130 kills would get killed on their first mission in the West, despite admonitions by other pilots not to use hit and run or the vertical...

I will add quotes to prove the 190 out-turned, badly, all marks of Spitfire, but only at low speeds, as did the 109 to a lesser extent. Like the Spitfire, the 109 did out-turn the 190A at high speeds, probably misleading the Russians into thinking the 109 turned better.
This seems the wrong way around - even if there are individual anecdotes that appear to support the argument.

This is from the AFDU report on the Fw190A3 that landed in error in Wales.

Climb: The climb of the Fw 190 is superior to that of the Spitfire Mk VB at all heights. The best speeds for climbing are approximately the same, but the angle of the Fw 190 is considerably steeper. Under maximum continuous climbing conditions the climb of the Fw 190 is about 450 ft/min better up to 25,000 feet (7620 m). With both aircraft flying at high cruising speed and then pulling up into a climb, the superior climb of the Fw 190 is even more marked.

Dive: Comparative dives have shown that the Fw 190 can leave the Spitfire with ease, particularly during the initial stages.

Manoeuvrability: The manoeuvrability of the Fw 190 is better than that of the Spitfire VB except in turning circles, when the Spitfire can guite easily out-turn it. The Fw 190 has better acceleration under all conditions of flight and this must obviously be useful during combat. When the Fw 190 was in a turn and was attacked by the Spitfire, the superior rate of roll enabled it to flick into a diving turn in the opposite direction. The pilot of the Spitfire found great difficulty in following this manoeuvre and even when prepared for it was seldom able to allow the correct deflection. It was found that if the Spitfire was cruising at low speed and was 'bounced' by the Fw 190, it was easily caught even if the Fw 190 was sighted when well out of range


This makes sense as the FGw190 has a much higher wing loading that a spitfire V or IX.

These comments are from a RAF Museum dosant in response to a question about whether the Fw190 is a turn fighter.
In terms of sustained rate of turn, no: the wing loading was too high (around 45 lbs/sq.ft for a fully loaded 190A-8); but to turn, first you have to bank, and the 190 could respond quicker and roll faster than any other WW2 fighter. So it could change direction very quickly, and thus evade less responsive opponents with better turn rates - as pilots of MkV Spitfires discovered to their dismay in 1941. Its acceleration was excellent also. In due course faster Allied types like the MkIX Spitfire, P-51B-D and Tempest got the upper hand, but for over a year (mid-41 till late 42) the 190 was the best fighter extant.

This also fits with the analysis ion chapter 4 of Robert L Shaw's Fighter Combat on maneuvering one versus one dissimilar aircraft. The aircraft with the low wing loading fights for angles in the horizontal plane while the high wing loading aircraft maneuvers in the vertical plane - high or Low yo yo

There are a number of good combat flight simulators available. If you turn fighting at low speed in an FW190 you will die quickly...

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