Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

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KDF33
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by KDF33 » 23 Aug 2021 19:44

Richard Anderson wrote:
23 Aug 2021 15:36
The largest number of "combat aircraft" - the Luftwaffe's definition BTW - was reported 30 November 1944. There were 5,375.
Richard, no one but you is discussing combat aircraft in this thread. The figure of '5,500 aircraft', brought up by glenn, matches numbers for aircraft holdings of Luftwaffe operational units in 1943-44 - i.e., combat, recon, coastal and transport.
Richard Anderson wrote:
23 Aug 2021 15:36
At the same date, the USAAF alone in "Theaters Vs Germany" had 14,685 - by the same definition of "combat aircraft".
These figures aren't comparable. Your U.S. figure is for total combat aircraft holdings in the USAAF in theaters vs Germany, whereas your German figure is for combat aircraft within operational units.
Richard Anderson wrote:
23 Aug 2021 15:36
For the "oh the German's could just build 1E fighters, its more efficient" crowd, on the same date, the Germans had 2,256 operational, the USAAF 4,454.
Even this comparison appears invalid. Your figure for 4,454 USAAF single-engined fighters corresponds to the '1st Line' total, which, despite the name, is a wider category than the number of Luftwaffe single-engined fighters within operational units.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 24 Aug 2021 03:34

KDF33 wrote:
23 Aug 2021 19:44
Richard, no one but you is discussing combat aircraft in this thread.
Really? And I could have sworn glenn239 began discussing it and then you replied to him, before I discussed it? Was it someone else posting as KDF33?
The figure of '5,500 aircraft', brought up by glenn, matches numbers for aircraft holdings of Luftwaffe operational units in 1943-44 - i.e., combat, recon, coastal and transport.
Um, "recon" and "coastal" were counted by the Luftwaffe as "combat", just as they were in the USAAF. Transports were not, again just as they were in the USAAF. The figure of '5,500 aircraft', brought up by glenn, if it was 1943-1944 would apply to total aircraft on hand, rather than operational, and operational is the important metric. For example, from 11 October 1942 through 10 January 1945, Luftwaffe total aircraft on hand (combat and transports) averaged 6572.51, but operational strength averaged 4393.40.
These figures aren't comparable. Your U.S. figure is for total combat aircraft holdings in the USAAF in theaters vs Germany, whereas your German figure is for combat aircraft within operational units.
Okay.

Eighth Air Force
Heavy Bombers Operational with Operational units - 2,071, 74.4% of the "First Line" assigned strength of 2,784.
Fighters Operational with Operational units - 1,037, 73.5% of the "First Line" assigned strength of 1,410.

We may estimate that about 73 to 74 percent of the "First Line" assigned strength of the USAAF in theaters vs Germany were operational aircraft with operational units at the end of November 1944. Call it 10,793 combat aircraft.

Unless you want to shift the goalposts again?
Even this comparison appears invalid. Your figure for 4,454 USAAF single-engined fighters corresponds to the '1st Line' total, which, despite the name, is a wider category than the number of Luftwaffe single-engined fighters within operational units.
Yes, it is a slightly wider category. Perhaps we should take the 88.3% of assigned heavy bombers and the 92% of assigned fighters were actually assigned to operational units of the Eighth Air Force figure and compare it to the German on hand. By that standard we could call it 13,239 aircraft on hand versus 6,732? However, again the operational strength is more relevant. Or we could use the 73.5% figure and derive an estimate of 3,274 USAAF 1E fighters versus 2,256 Luftwaffe 1E fighters.
"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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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 24 Aug 2021 07:26

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Aug 2021 22:33
Richard Anderson wrote:For the "oh the German's could just build 1E fighters, its more efficient" crowd, on the same date, the Germans had 2,256 operational, the USAAF 4,454.
Can anybody explain what this guy is on about? As in what is the logical relation between the statistic and the notion that more German fighters would shoot down more Allied planes?
I think they can't agree what statistics they should use; combat aircrafts, total aircrafts, operational aircrafts, etc.
Which is a valid question btw.

I am not sure that "more German fighters would shoot down more Allied bombers" is necessarily true. The number of fighters was indeed a factor, but only one of many, not decisive on its own. Eg. 900 fighters in 1941 might have been stronger than 1000 fighters in 1944.
“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

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 24 Aug 2021 07:45

Peter89 wrote:I think they can't agree what statistics they should use; combat aircrafts, total aircrafts, operational aircrafts, etc.
Which is a valid question btw.
Another valid question is "what's the price of tea in China?" A bad argument stemming from that valid question is "Tea costs 1 yuan in Hangzhou so TMP is wrong about aerial combat."

Relevance and validity are distinct criteria.
Peter89 wrote:The number of fighters was indeed a factor, but only one of many, not decisive on its own.
The number of calories I eat daily is indeed a factor though not decisive on its own. If 100% of my calories come from beer or carrion, I'm not very healthy regardless of total calories.

Nonetheless, if I ate 4x my daily intake, that would decisively render me unhealthy regardless of other factors (to be clear, ATL calorie restriction would be better than OTL in my case).

One way to avoid getting lost in a morass of "other factors" is to focus on sufficient/necessary conditions. A sufficient condition (not necessarily a necessary condition) of stopping the CBO is imposing 4x the losses by early 1944. A sufficient condition of such attrition is 4x the planes at OTL 1944 quality.

Raising factors that do not bear on the sufficiency question muddles the logical analysis.
Peter89 wrote:“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
btw, as this thread has become a (IMO good) sub-sub-forum for freewheeling discussion by a cadre of AHF'ers on deep counterfactual matters - is your signature a subtweet of me? As in, are you suggesting that because FDR said one thing publicly and meant another, this other thing (my signature) is not to be taken at face value? It's only a hunch, not quite a suspicion... but if the hunch is right I have a simple response.
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Peter89
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 24 Aug 2021 09:39

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Aug 2021 07:45
Peter89 wrote:I think they can't agree what statistics they should use; combat aircrafts, total aircrafts, operational aircrafts, etc.
Which is a valid question btw.
Another valid question is "what's the price of tea in China?" A bad argument stemming from that valid question is "Tea costs 1 yuan in Hangzhou so TMP is wrong about aerial combat."

Relevance and validity are distinct criteria.
But it is relevant. KDF said that he wants to compare similar aircraft categories, ie. similar numbers. The authorized and in-commission rates varied greatly in LW. Furthermore, I am reading about the reporting system now, and it is a mess. KDF's definition "the number of aircraft present within operational units", and excluding "trainers and liaison, as well as aircraft undergoing maintenance, repair or held in depots" doesn't seem to be proper. However, I study the period between 1938-1944 now, and didn't get to the actual reporting system of late 1944-1945 yet.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Aug 2021 07:45
Peter89 wrote:The number of fighters was indeed a factor, but only one of many, not decisive on its own.
The number of calories I eat daily is indeed a factor though not decisive on its own. If 100% of my calories come from beer or carrion, I'm not very healthy regardless of total calories.

Nonetheless, if I ate 4x my daily intake, that would decisively render me unhealthy regardless of other factors (to be clear, ATL calorie restriction would be better than OTL in my case).

One way to avoid getting lost in a morass of "other factors" is to focus on sufficient/necessary conditions. A sufficient condition (not necessarily a necessary condition) of stopping the CBO is imposing 4x the losses by early 1944. A sufficient condition of such attrition is 4x the planes at OTL 1944 quality.

Raising factors that do not bear on the sufficiency question muddles the logical analysis.
In theory, I should eat around 2000kcal per day, but instead I eat about 2500-3000kcal, and still don't get fat (numbers don't grow) why? Because:
1.) regular exercise in gym (steady attrition)
2.) 10,000 steps every day (noncombat losses)
3.) healthy diet (quality of the enemy aircrafts)
4.) happy lifestyle (quality of the enemy pilots)

In order for me to get fat, it's not enough to eat more.

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Aug 2021 07:45
Peter89 wrote:“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
btw, as this thread has become a (IMO good) sub-sub-forum for freewheeling discussion by a cadre of AHF'ers on deep counterfactual matters - is your signature a subtweet of me? As in, are you suggesting that because FDR said one thing publicly and meant another, this other thing (my signature) is not to be taken at face value? It's only a hunch, not quite a suspicion... but if the hunch is right I have a simple response.
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.
“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

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 24 Aug 2021 12:15

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Aug 2021 07:45
A sufficient condition (not necessarily a necessary condition) of stopping the CBO is imposing 4x the losses by early 1944. A sufficient condition of such attrition is 4x the planes at OTL 1944 quality.
Hi,

Is your logic that if the Germans produced 4x the planes this would necessarily have led to 4x US losses in the CBO? We could, of course, accept that 4x the planes would need 4x the trained pilots, ground crew, fuel, air field space, spare parts, etc, etc, but I take it you are taking all that into account and your “x planes” is just shorthand.

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.

War is not math!

Regards

Tom

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by glenn239 » 24 Aug 2021 14:55

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
24 Aug 2021 12:15
Is your logic that if the Germans produced 4x the planes this would necessarily have led to 4x US losses in the CBO? We could, of course, accept that 4x the planes would need 4x the trained pilots, ground crew, fuel, air field space, spare parts, etc, etc, but I take it you are taking all that into account and your “x planes” is just shorthand.
x4 Luftwaffe is certainly a more robust opponent for the Allies, but the statistics for the Anglo-Americans to me suggests that it would be insufficient to do more than slow down the aerial offensive. It might, perhaps, defeat the 4-engine bomber offensive, but this in and of itself is not going to be decisive given that single and fast twin engine types could step into the gap in even larger numbers. 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. Here's it's performance statistics,

http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/ ... istics.pdf

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 24 Aug 2021 16:01

Peter89 wrote:
24 Aug 2021 07:26
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Aug 2021 22:33
Richard Anderson wrote:For the "oh the German's could just build 1E fighters, its more efficient" crowd, on the same date, the Germans had 2,256 operational, the USAAF 4,454.
Can anybody explain what this guy is on about? As in what is the logical relation between the statistic and the notion that more German fighters would shoot down more Allied planes?
I think they can't agree what statistics they should use; combat aircrafts, total aircrafts, operational aircrafts, etc.
Which is a valid question btw.
Actually, I know full well what statistics I am using and what they mean. It seems the other guys have a problem with it, since they don't even seem to understand what the German definitions were. That of course is aside from the continued movement of goalposts from "aircraft" to "operational aircraft" to "combat aircraft" (excluding some combat types for some reason) and so on ad infinitum.
I am not sure that "more German fighters would shoot down more Allied bombers" is necessarily true. The number of fighters was indeed a factor, but only one of many, not decisive on its own. Eg. 900 fighters in 1941 might have been stronger than 1000 fighters in 1944.
Well, yes that is one of the most breathtakingly silly statements I think I have ever heard, given the Germans did in fact concentrate on building more fighters with the intent of shooting down more Allied bombers, but the actual result was that as German fighter strength increased over time the Allied losses declined.

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%.

The "notion that more German fighters would shoot down more Allied planes" is simplistic to the point of childishness and is actually not supported by the data. The same trends occur if you figure monthly, include German 2E fighters, or similarly torture the data. There were simply too many other factors involved, including increasing Allied fighter strength, decreasing German pilot quality, minimal German pilot training, and lack of fuel. Plugging in more German fighters only guarantees there would be more German fighters, but on average the quality of the pilots flying them would decrease, the aircraft serviceability would decrease, and the number of sorties would decrease.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 24 Aug 2021 18:01

Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Aug 2021 16:01
Peter89 wrote:
24 Aug 2021 07:26
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Aug 2021 22:33
Richard Anderson wrote:For the "oh the German's could just build 1E fighters, its more efficient" crowd, on the same date, the Germans had 2,256 operational, the USAAF 4,454.
Can anybody explain what this guy is on about? As in what is the logical relation between the statistic and the notion that more German fighters would shoot down more Allied planes?
I think they can't agree what statistics they should use; combat aircrafts, total aircrafts, operational aircrafts, etc.
Which is a valid question btw.
Actually, I know full well what statistics I am using and what they mean. It seems the other guys have a problem with it, since they don't even seem to understand what the German definitions were. That of course is aside from the continued movement of goalposts from "aircraft" to "operational aircraft" to "combat aircraft" (excluding some combat types for some reason) and so on ad infinitum.
I am not sure that "more German fighters would shoot down more Allied bombers" is necessarily true. The number of fighters was indeed a factor, but only one of many, not decisive on its own. Eg. 900 fighters in 1941 might have been stronger than 1000 fighters in 1944.
Well, yes that is one of the most breathtakingly silly statements I think I have ever heard, given the Germans did in fact concentrate on building more fighters with the intent of shooting down more Allied bombers, but the actual result was that as German fighter strength increased over time the Allied losses declined.

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%.

The "notion that more German fighters would shoot down more Allied planes" is simplistic to the point of childishness and is actually not supported by the data. The same trends occur if you figure monthly, include German 2E fighters, or similarly torture the data. There were simply too many other factors involved, including increasing Allied fighter strength, decreasing German pilot quality, minimal German pilot training, and lack of fuel. Plugging in more German fighters only guarantees there would be more German fighters, but on average the quality of the pilots flying them would decrease, the aircraft serviceability would decrease, and the number of sorties would decrease.
I completely agree with you here, Richard.
“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

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by David Thompson » 24 Aug 2021 21:20

A post from TheMarcksPlan, containing offensive personal comments about another member in violation of the forum's civility rule, was removed.

KDF33
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by KDF33 » 25 Aug 2021 23:20

Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Aug 2021 03:34
KDF33 wrote:
23 Aug 2021 19:44
Richard, no one but you is discussing combat aircraft in this thread.
Really? And I could have sworn glenn239 began discussing it and then you replied to him, before I discussed it? Was it someone else posting as KDF33?
Neither of us did. You can re-read glenn239's original post - the specific quote that started this whole discussion is this:

Image

As for me, here are my two relevant posts:

Image

And:

Image
Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Aug 2021 03:34
The figure of '5,500 aircraft', brought up by glenn, if it was 1943-1944 would apply to total aircraft on hand, rather than operational, and operational is the important metric.
You speak of 'important metrics' as if I were making an argument here. I'm not. I merely pointed out the fault in comparing total USN aircraft holdings to the number of German aircraft within operational 'combat' and 'transport' Gruppen and Staffeln.
Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Aug 2021 03:34
Okay.

Eighth Air Force
Heavy Bombers Operational with Operational units - 2,071, 74.4% of the "First Line" assigned strength of 2,784.
Fighters Operational with Operational units - 1,037, 73.5% of the "First Line" assigned strength of 1,410.

We may estimate that about 73 to 74 percent of the "First Line" assigned strength of the USAAF in theaters vs Germany were operational aircraft with operational units at the end of November 1944.
Actually, we can't.

At the end of November 1944, 'theaters vs Germany' consisted of the ETO and the MTO.

USAAF-wise, units deployed to the ETO were themselves allocated either to the 8th or to the 9th Air Forces.

Only the 8th Air Force deployed heavy bomber units.

On 11/30/1944, there were 3,795 heavy bombers in the ETO, of which 3,444 were classified as '1st Line'.

If the 8th Air Force had 2,071 heavy bombers operational out of an assigned strength of 2,784, that's 60% of '1st Line' heavy bombers, and not 'about 73 to 74 percent'.
Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Aug 2021 03:34
Call it 10,793 combat aircraft.
There's multiple issues here. First, your number appears to be 73.5% of 14,685, which is the total number of combat airplanes assigned to theaters against Germany, i.e. '1st Line' + '2nd Line & Misc'. So, simply for the sake of internal consistency, you should arrive at 9,683 (0.735 x 13,174 '1st Line').

Furthermore, as explained above, '1st Line' appears to be somewhat of a misnomer: it counts more than aircraft assigned to operational units (i.e., 'Groups'). In the case of heavy bombers, it appears that, according to the data you've produced, 80.8% of '1st Line' aircraft were assigned to operational units on 11/30/1944 in the ETO. Which intuitively makes sense, given that:

1. Some heavy bombers would be undergoing heavy maintenance and/or repair in rear depots, and thus be unassigned to operational units
2. Some heavy bombers would still be recently arrived, and thus constitute as-yet 'unassigned' replacements
3. Presumably, a few heavy bombers would be assigned to transport units
Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Aug 2021 03:34
Unless you want to shift the goalposts again?
Here you're impugning my character. I invite you to post specific cites where I 'shifted the goalposts', or to retract the accusation.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Aug 2021 05:09

Richard Anderson wrote:the actual result was that as German fighter strength increased over time the Allied losses declined.
Richard Anderson wrote:Plugging in more German fighters only guarantees there would be more German fighters, but on average the quality of the pilots flying them would decrease, the aircraft serviceability would decrease, and the number of sorties would decrease.
This only approaches validity and intellectual honesty if one assumes - despite voluminous discussion otherwise - that higher fighter production is the only aspect of the ATL.

To do so, one must further assume that nowhere is there also discussion of LW fuel supplies, of the ways in which the demands Eastern Front torpedoed LW training. And/or ignore such discussion.

Any fair reader knows that's not the case and can't take these objections seriously. Pure obfuscation and misrepresentation.

But obfuscation is always partially successful, in that it takes time to rebut/clarify.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 Aug 2021 02:01

KDF33 wrote:
25 Aug 2021 23:20
Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Aug 2021 03:34
KDF33 wrote:
23 Aug 2021 19:44
Richard, no one but you is discussing combat aircraft in this thread.
Really? And I could have sworn glenn239 began discussing it and then you replied to him, before I discussed it? Was it someone else posting as KDF33?
Neither of us did. You can re-read glenn239's original post - the specific quote that started this whole discussion is this:

Image

As for me, here are my two relevant posts:

Image

And:

Image
Yes, exactly. Unless you and glenn239 were not discussing combat aircraft, I was not the only one "discussing combat aircraft in this thread".
You speak of 'important metrics' as if I were making an argument here. I'm not. I merely pointed out the fault in comparing total USN aircraft holdings to the number of German aircraft within operational 'combat' and 'transport' Gruppen and Staffeln.
No, I am making the argument, which is why I made the statement that operational aircraft was the important metric. And I agree with you regarding the problems of comparing those figures.
Actually, we can't.

At the end of November 1944, 'theaters vs Germany' consisted of the ETO and the MTO.

USAAF-wise, units deployed to the ETO were themselves allocated either to the 8th or to the 9th Air Forces.
Actually we can...or we can at least get an estimate, based upon the operational aircraft figures with operational units in the ETOUSA and applying them to "theaters vs Germany". Unless you think operational status varied significantly between the Eighth, Ninth, Twelfth, and Fifteenth Air Forces?
Only the 8th Air Force deployed heavy bomber units.
Well, Fifteenth Air Force, but I see where you are going.
On 11/30/1944, there were 3,795 heavy bombers in the ETO, of which 3,444 were classified as '1st Line'.

If the 8th Air Force had 2,071 heavy bombers operational out of an assigned strength of 2,784, that's 60% of '1st Line' heavy bombers, and not 'about 73 to 74 percent'.
Okay, so use your 60% figure.
There's multiple issues here. First, your number appears to be 73.5% of 14,685, which is the total number of combat airplanes assigned to theaters against Germany, i.e. '1st Line' + '2nd Line & Misc'. So, simply for the sake of internal consistency, you should arrive at 9,683 (0.735 x 13,174 '1st Line').
Yes, I used the wrong line. C. 9,683 versus 5,375.
Furthermore, as explained above, '1st Line' appears to be somewhat of a misnomer: it counts more than aircraft assigned to operational units (i.e., 'Groups'). In the case of heavy bombers, it appears that, according to the data you've produced, 80.8% of '1st Line' aircraft were assigned to operational units on 11/30/1944 in the ETO. Which intuitively makes sense, given that:

1. Some heavy bombers would be undergoing heavy maintenance and/or repair in rear depots, and thus be unassigned to operational units
2. Some heavy bombers would still be recently arrived, and thus constitute as-yet 'unassigned' replacements
3. Presumably, a few heavy bombers would be assigned to transport units
I thought you were holding out for 60%?

Anyway, yes on 1 and 2, but then the Germans would be in the same situation. With 3 I'm unsure what you are referring to. Heavy bombers were not assigned to transport units, but heavy bomber units, especially B-24, were occasionally used as extempore transport units. That was usually in an airborne operation, when the transport units were acting as paratroop transports and glider tugs, but it was just for the duration of the operation. MARKET is probably the best example. However, those were still bomber units equipped with bombers.

2. is probably the greatest culprit in these discrepancies for the USAAF, because there was a built in reserve of aircraft in each group, which would normally not be counted as operational. The 62 HB Groups in the ETOUSA and MTOUSA in November 1944 in theory fielded 72 aircraft and 96 crews each, but flew as a 36-aircraft group...in Eighth Air Force, although those of XV BC were similar.

To walk fully down that rabbit hole, Eighth Air Force in November 1944 actually had 2,784 HB assigned. Of those, 2,457 were actually on hand with its 40 1/2 groups (actually c. 122 squadrons), 60.67 each. Of those, 2,071 were operational in those units, 51.14 each. There were also 3,466 crews assigned to Eighth Air Force of which 2,239 were "available", i.e. operationally qualified. However, the "effective strength for combat" was 1,890 or 46.7 per group, allowing for a 36-aircraft formation, plus flying reserves to take the place of aircraft that did not sortie for various reasons (typically aborted on take off or aborted prior to the assembly point, but there were other possibilities), but even that is deceptive, since one of the B-24 Groups was a two-squadron unit originally supporting RAF CC in ASW duties. Even more complicating, one B-24 Group was actually non-operational as of 14 November. It was relieved from assignment and sent home to the Z/I.

Anyway, the overstrengths were there, functioning as reserves and allowing continual training of new crews and rehabilitation of existing crews. However, they were still there and operational in the most basic sense.
Here you're impugning my character. I invite you to post specific cites where I 'shifted the goalposts', or to retract the accusation.
It was not intended as such and was not intended to impugn anything, so I do apologize if you took it as such. I am frustrated that we can't seem to agree to a strength and strength definition. You have said that the German figures I've quoted are for "operational units". In fact they are for the "Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände". They appear to be the compiled monthly "Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen", but I have not confirmed that. How does that differ from the USAAF counts? Because the German counts can include:

1. Some aircraft undergoing heavy maintenance and/or repair in rear depots, and thus be unassigned to operational units
2. Some heavy aircraft still be recently arrived, and thus constitute as-yet 'unassigned' replacements

...all those too, can't they? Especially since the "Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen" track just that with the units...losses of aircraft for overhaul, new aircraft arriving, aircraft transferred to and from other units, and so forth. How is that any different from the USAAF accounting?
"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: 1035
Joined: 17 Nov 2012 01:16

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by KDF33 » 28 Aug 2021 02:56

Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Aug 2021 02:01
Yes, exactly. Unless you and glenn239 were not discussing combat aircraft, I was not the only one "discussing combat aircraft in this thread".
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.
Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Aug 2021 02:01
No, I am making the argument, which is why I made the statement that operational aircraft was the important metric.
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.
Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Aug 2021 02:01
Actually we can...or we can at least get an estimate, based upon the operational aircraft figures with operational units in the ETOUSA and applying them to "theaters vs Germany".
I only meant that we cannot arrive at a '73 to 74 percent' estimate.
Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Aug 2021 02:01
Unless you think operational status varied significantly between the Eighth, Ninth, Twelfth, and Fifteenth Air Forces?
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.
Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Aug 2021 02:01
Well, Fifteenth Air Force, but I see where you are going.
Yes, I meant for the ETOUSA.
Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Aug 2021 02:01
I thought you were holding out for 60%?
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).
Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Aug 2021 02:01
It was not intended as such and was not intended to impugn anything, so I do apologize if you took it as such.
Thank you, I genuinely appreciate the gesture. It is so rare online.
Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Aug 2021 02:01
I am frustrated that we can't seem to agree to a strength and strength definition.
I can understand that. I propose we collaborate to get a proper apples-to-apples comparison.
Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Aug 2021 02:01
You have said that the German figures I've quoted are for "operational units". In fact they are for the "Einsatzbereitschaft der Fliegenden Verbände". They appear to be the compiled monthly "Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen", but I have not confirmed that.
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.
Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Aug 2021 02:01
How does that differ from the USAAF counts? Because the German counts can include:

1. Some aircraft undergoing heavy maintenance and/or repair in rear depots, and thus be unassigned to operational units
2. Some heavy aircraft still be recently arrived, and thus constitute as-yet 'unassigned' replacements
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.

By inference, we can conclude that aircraft in-theater, but as yet unassigned to Gruppen also aren't counted.

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.
I have highlighted the parts that appear to match the Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen. To illustrate what this meant in practice, on 5/1/1942 the British had the following fighter strength in Egypt:

-38 squadrons, for an establishment strength of 614 fighter aircraft
-589 aircraft in Cat (A) + 183 in Cat (B), for a total of 772 fighter aircraft
-80 in Cat (C)
-250 in Cat (D)

For a total of 1,102 fighters, 179% of the establishment strength.

The German data approximately corresponds to most of Cat (A) + (B), whereas the American data corresponds to the overall total across the four categories.

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

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.

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1495
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 28 Aug 2021 10:44

The original German sources would be the:

Stärkemeldungen der fliegenden Verbände (RL 2 III / 1732-1765)

Flugzeugbestand und bewegungsmeldungen (RL 2 III / 874-882)

Übersicht über Soll, Istbestand, Einsatzbereitschaft, Verluste und Reserven der fliegende Verbände (RL 2 III / 707-730)

Although I do not have all these documents yet, long story short: the German system is very hard to compare with the American one. If someone is interested, I can go into details about why the reported German combat readiness was inflated. Just a few key points to consider:
- German ferry flight system kept a large number of aircrafts labeled as "einsatzbereit" by the staff (ie in the Übersicht... and Flugzeugbestand... reports), but they were actually not combat ready at all, only "flugklar"
- minor modifications, sometimes as many as 40, and also sometimes lasting for weeks, were carried out on planes labeled as "einsatzbereit"
- repairs and maintenance lasting less than 48 hours were not even reported to the HQ, but prevented take off
- cca 50% of the overhauls were carried out on the field, especially in late war, when the factories were clogged up with production, ferry flights had high accident rate (as well as encounters with enemy aircrafts) and cannibalization on the field was easier and safer
“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

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