Best Luftwaffe Ace

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Miss Nimitz
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who was best 'ace' in luftwaffe

Post by Miss Nimitz » 18 Dec 2002 05:04

Thanks Lord, I wouldn't of got to sleep if i didnt know that..That guy who shot down 352 allied planes must of been a good shot...

Lord Styphon
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Post by Lord Styphon » 18 Dec 2002 05:27

He was. He was also a good pilot, something the Red Baron wasn't. Had von Richthofen ever gone up against a pilot as skilled as Raymond Collishaw or Albert Ball, he would have been in serious trouble.

In World War II dogfights, someone like von Richthofen wouldn't have emerged as anyone special.

Had he lived to join the Luftwaffe, von Richthofen would have been put in charge of Luftwaffe field formations, like his cousin was.

Regarding Hartmann, he was good enough for the Soviets to send to the gulag after the war, and good enough for the Federal Republic of Germany's Luftwaffe to employ when he got back.

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Post by Mark V » 18 Dec 2002 07:54

Lord Styphon wrote:
In World War II dogfights, someone like von Richthofen wouldn't have emerged as anyone special.

Hi.

I must point the fact that marksmanship is the real difference which separates good flyers and aces.

There were thousands and thousands of good flyers in WW2, who could hang behind adversary in dogfight - but failed to shoot anything down because their poor shooting accuracy, most of them could even f.... up surprise attack from enemys 6 o'clock.

But those men that had the capacity to consider their plane as a weapon and an extension to hand (like Marseille and Juutilainen) - instead killed the enemy every time they had the slightest opportunity to shoot.

For example FAF focused on their prewar training especially on shooting skill - and results are obvious to see.


BTW. On late stages of war western allied had gyro-sights, which give them a considerable advantage in combat.

Lord Styphon
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Post by Lord Styphon » 18 Dec 2002 10:07

Ah, thank you, Mark. Your input is always valued.

And you have, at least in my mind, cleared up what I was trying to say. If only I could get it across on the computer. ^_^;;

My point was that, as a superb marksman but a mediocre pilot, von Richthofen wouldn't have emerged as one of the "great" aces. Similarly, as you have said, there were great pilots that wouldn't have become great aces because they couldn't shoot for sh*t. The greats are able to combine these skills.

Miss Nimitz
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who was best ace in germany

Post by Miss Nimitz » 18 Dec 2002 10:28

How can 1 guy shoot down 352 allied aircraft and still lose the war? why didnt they have this guy train other guys how to do it?

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Tiwaz
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Post by Tiwaz » 18 Dec 2002 10:59

Perhaps he was bit like Marseille, I doubt Marseille could have given lessons to anyone and that person would have become as good as Marseille.

Simply put, one can become good pilot through training, one cannot become great ace without gifts.

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Post by Mark V » 18 Dec 2002 19:45

Lord Styphon wrote:
My point was that, as a superb marksman but a mediocre pilot, von Richthofen wouldn't have emerged as one of the "great" aces. .

Hi.

I am not trying to diminish the value of flying skill, far from that, but there is difference. Shooting accuracy is primary skill, you couldn't trade it in favour of other qualities - on other skills you did have some possibilities for trade-off.

You could become a successfull ace (not great though) with mediocre flying skill and excellent marksmanship (good eyes and good battle tactics also help...)

.... but you couldn't become a successfull ace with superb flying skill and poor marksmanship.

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Tiwaz
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Post by Tiwaz » 19 Dec 2002 00:07

Superb flying skills might keep you alive longer...

Mark V
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Post by Mark V » 19 Dec 2002 06:58

Hi Tiwaz.
Tiwaz wrote:Superb flying skills might keep you alive longer...
That is right, but like i said there is possibilities for trade-off. You could use other talent to avoid situations where superb flying skill is needed:

- don't ever let enemy surprise you, instead surprise enemy (don't ever let anyone sneak to your six o'clock !!)
- think where you stick your nose in battle
- use tactics which is best suited for your ac perfomance characteristics and/or worst suites to enemys ac
- don't fight on situations where luck is predominant factor (like collision course nose to nose attacks)
- etc...

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Post by tonyh » 19 Dec 2002 11:33

How can 1 guy shoot down 352 allied aircraft and still lose the war? why didnt they have this guy train other guys how to do it?
Country's lose wars, not individuals. Besides the 352 kills that Hartmann got is but a mere fraction of the thousands of Soviet aircraft that were put into the air.

He did train other pilots on operational training. His "method" was very simple. Hartmann got in extremely close to the enemy aircraft, within 50 metres sometimes. This required a considerable amount of nerves.

I don't think Hartmann was a "great shot" at all. not in the way that Marsailles was. He simply got in close before shooting. Like his mentor Rosemann taught him. The skill needed for this is not marksmanship, but flying skills. You need to know when to slow down or pull away to avoid damage to your own plane. In fact Hartmann's 109 was damaged badly by his first (and nearly last) kill. Also there were nearly 100 missions between his first and second kills.

Hartmann was no great shot, he just got very close before firing.

Tony

tonyh
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Post by tonyh » 19 Dec 2002 11:51

If Richthofen was involved in WWII, he wouldn't be on many operational sorties. He would probably be involved in the Luftwaffe staff, like Udet or Goring.

However, if he was born in time for WWII, he probably would have been as good a good flyer in a 109 as a Fokker.

WWI pilots needed great flying skills to stay alive in the skies of WWI or else they were dead. There were no second chances. Richthofen was a great flyer, but he was a better shot. In saying that, a WWI fighter plane was EXTREMELY hard to shoot down, because they were so nimble. So once the target aircraft had noticed the attacker aircraft and combat ensued, there was a very good chance that the target aircraft would avoid getting shot down.

The VAST majority of victims in the air of WWI were bombers, not fighters and Richthofen's kill score was no different. These early bombers were slow and brutal movers. So once seen, they were an easy target to even a novice pilot. The trick was actually seeing the enemy aircraft. Most formations in WWI were small. Not the vast armadas of bombers that the Germans had to face in 1944. The size coupled with the radar tracking meant that the allied bombers were relatively easy to find. In WWI there was no radar. Pilots had to rely on there eyes alone and information from ground spotters. But by the time they got into the air that info could be an hour and a half old. Not much good to the pilot.

Also Pilots rely a lot on luck. A LOT. Richthofen was shot down by bad luck primarilly, not a better shot. In fact Brown didn't shoot him down at all. He was wounded by ground fire. If the Red Baron was flying in a WWII vintage aircraft, his chance of surviving such an incident would have been much higher. But that doesn't mean that he would have or have not achieved more than the 80 kills he did or that he would or would not have been shot down.

It would have relied more on luck than skill with either flying or shooting.

Tony

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Post by Peter » 22 Dec 2002 11:59

Disappointed not to find Hans-Joachim Marseille, Walter Oesau, Egon Mayer listed. Fighting British and US airmen and weaponry did mean reduced scores, what would have happened if these men had been on the Eastern Front in 1941/42 against inferior quality aircraft (although the Russian airmen were brave their aircraft did not do them justice)
cheers
Pete

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Post by Gen.Graf » 05 Mar 2003 01:09

Whers Hermann Graf he had 212 kills he should be up there

-Andrew Graf

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Post by Achtung Panzer Buff » 05 Mar 2003 02:56

Gunther Rall's name should be on that list.

Emerson Begolly
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Ace

Post by Emerson Begolly » 08 Mar 2003 04:42

I believe that Erich Hartmann was the best Ace. Not only of WW2, but of ever. He did score the most arial victories, and I believe that is what counts.

Em.

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