Quantity Not Quality Fighters

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Peter89
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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Peter89 » 18 Feb 2021 06:37

danebrog wrote:
17 Feb 2021 09:51
In direct reference to the thread, I refer you to Chapter III, pages 199 – 254
IMHO, this also provides more than enough "fodder" to continue this debate about whiffs on a provable factual basis
(By the way, the source list is a treat in itself) ;-)

III Mass instead of Class - The Free Fall into Insignificance, 1944/45

1.) The "Man" as a Decisive Factor in the Air War

2) Airplane pilot training 1933-1945
a) The underestimation of airplane pilot training
b) Training difficulties and deficits

3.) The vicious circle of the Luftwaffe
a) Tactical disadvantages
b) "Cannon fodder": the next generation of airmen
c) The attrition of experienced regular personnel
d) Casualties without enemy action
e) The declining morale
f) Alcohol abuse in the associations
g) Flight discipline and team spirit

4.) Position and development of pilot training in the United States and Great Britain
Thank you!

I was really amazed by the 400 (!!!) LW POWs who were freed from French / British captivity, including Mölders and Kammhuber.
“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: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by ThatZenoGuy » 19 Dec 2021 03:30

Relative to some aircraft wasn't the 109 already 'quantity over quality'?

To the point where the G's didn't even have retractable tail-wheels for simplicity, and some parts replaced with wood?

The 190 was also not especially expensive, featuring aspects you would not expect, like 'power egg', to make the plane especially easy to keep in the air instead of ripping it apart to get at the engine.

Even the famed jets were actually CHEAPER than piston engines, not only in producing them, but in upkeep. Jets consume cheap available fuel, while featuring few moving parts. Germany managing to get functioning jet engines with minimal resources due to some smart ideas involving hollow turbine blades and aluminum coatings.

You really can't get much cheaper than historical German planes before you end up with pedal powered biplanes or something, in any case Germany had a famed lack of pilots and aviation gasoline.

The only wasted potential I see is the huge numbers of two engined 'destroyer' aircraft which ultimately proved to be pointless both on the offensive (where they were simply out-maneuvered) and on the defensive (where their increased range was pointless as you could always have an airbase somewhere nearby).

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 19 Dec 2021 12:08

ThatZenoGuy wrote:
19 Dec 2021 03:30
Relative to some aircraft wasn't the 109 already 'quantity over quality'?
Yes. Me-109 cost a fraction of what the main Allied fighters cost. P-51 narrowed the gap a bit but was still probably twice as expensive as Me-109. Fw-190 was more expensive than 109 but still cheaper than basically every major Allied fighter*.

*not sure whether this is true of the Hurricane.
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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by ThatZenoGuy » 19 Dec 2021 12:34

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
19 Dec 2021 12:08
Yes. Me-109 cost a fraction of what the main Allied fighters cost. P-51 narrowed the gap a bit but was still probably twice as expensive as Me-109. Fw-190 was more expensive than 109 but still cheaper than basically every major Allied fighter*.

*not sure whether this is true of the Hurricane.
I am curious on what made these aircraft cheap though, i've heard many claims they were cheaper so I just parrot it. But the actual numbers and why said numbers are true eludes me.

As I understand it the 190 used some steel in it's construction (steel being far cheaper than aluminum), the 109's tail ended up wooden along with the design being in production for a very long time, presumably lowering costs due to mass production, etc.

The DB 605 was also 'cheap' IIRC due to several cost cutting features like bushings instead of bearings, etc. But that would still only be a small factor for the whole plane.

Do you have any specifications on the cheapness?

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Cult Icon » 19 Dec 2021 14:04

After the Destroyer concept proved to not work, the ME-110 was used as a ground-attack aircraft on the Eastern Front.

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by ThatZenoGuy » 20 Dec 2021 02:35

Cult Icon wrote:
19 Dec 2021 14:04
After the Destroyer concept proved to not work, the ME-110 was used as a ground-attack aircraft on the Eastern Front.
Probably not the best at it either with all the low altitude agile Russian fighters around, in addition to somewhat limited firepower due to it not being designed for CAS. Also rather expensive to run.

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Cult Icon » 20 Dec 2021 05:47

ThatZenoGuy wrote:
20 Dec 2021 02:35

Probably not the best at it either with all the low altitude agile Russian fighters around, in addition to somewhat limited firepower due to it not being designed for CAS. Also rather expensive to run.
It was also used as long range recon, bomber escort and as a bomber hunter.

Yea, they were expensive aircraft.

The later Stuka models (and BF-110 fighter-bomber variants) had a good bombload. However I doubt that the BF-110 was a very good platform (?). Accurate CAS needed slow/steady aircraft like the Stuka and HS-129, preferrably guided by ground controllers. The Stuka was well armed, but the HS-129 was a cannon-bird with a weak bombload.
Last edited by Cult Icon on 20 Dec 2021 15:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Re:

Post by Kingfish » 20 Dec 2021 12:47

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Feb 2021 18:50
IIRC they nearly did it without a surface fleet. Two dozen destroyers and a half dozen cruisers? The Scharnhorst & sister were not essential.
Isn't that a bit of 20/20 hindsight?
All the warships in Groups 1 and 2 were packed with troops and therefore incapable of either fighting their way through or running from a British squadron. The twins were needed against the very real possibility of the Royal Navy waiting for them off central Norway.

Case in point: normally HMS Glowworm would have been easy pickings for two larger German destroyers, but as the latter were carrying the troops bound for Narvik they needed assistance the of Hipper.
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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Cult Icon » 20 Dec 2021 17:59

It seems like areas with strong AA defenses, like Normandy still extracted a heavy toll on the fighter-bombers. The Allied CAS relied on a large quantity of mediocre ground-attack aircraft with good fighter characteristics, providing dual flexibilty. The Stuka/HS-129 was even more vulnerable to AA, however in contrast to (Eg. FW190/Typhoon/P-47) they were accurate bomb delivery system.

A what-if to me is if the Allies adopted large dive bomber forces in conjunction with the air superiority already won by the fighters- if there was a way to neutralize the AA, efficiently, with special tactics. An issue I read about the Allied fighter-bomber tactics was, while they like to peel off a portion of their force for Anti-Flak attacks (one fighter group distracting the AA guns, the other an Anti-AA group coming from the opposite direction) this was with mixed results, likely due to the low accuracy of their rockets/bombs when strafing small targets that shoot back.

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Re: Re:

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 20 Dec 2021 22:52

Kingfish wrote:
20 Dec 2021 12:47
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Feb 2021 18:50
IIRC they nearly did it without a surface fleet. Two dozen destroyers and a half dozen cruisers? The Scharnhorst & sister were not essential.
Isn't that a bit of 20/20 hindsight?
I would not think so. Looking at it going in its fairly clear either the invasion force gets its boots on the ground before the Brits show, or its a failure. Even with the Scharnhorst & Geisnau they can't fight their way in past what the RN was expected to show up with. As you point out many of the warships of the invasion force were handicapped in a fight from overloading with parts of the landing force.

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 20 Dec 2021 23:01

In direct reference to the thread, I refer you to Chapter III, pages 199 – 254
IMHO, this also provides more than enough "fodder" to continue this debate about whiffs on a provable factual basis
(By the way, the source list is a treat in itself) ;-)

III Mass instead of Class - The Free Fall into Insignificance, 1944/45

....

I was really amazed by the 400 (!!!) LW POWs who were freed from French / British captivity, including Mölders and Kammhuber.


Its much like the aircraft losses in that campaign. Approaching the point where a significant reduction in efficiency threatens. I discussed years ago the numbers on the Anglo French side & the trajectory of each side had the campaign continued through July, August, September. We did not assemble enough data for a nice clean graph or two, but absent that 400 the German AF has a tougher time of it. In contrast it looked like the French had a trained reserve of pilots that came near replacing their loss in the campaign May-June.

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Re: Re:

Post by Kingfish » 21 Dec 2021 00:17

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Dec 2021 22:52
Even with the Scharnhorst & Geisnau they can't fight their way in past what the RN was expected to show up with.
I suppose that depends on what the RN shows up with.

If the home fleet is waiting off Lofoten island, game over.
If its just a destroyer squadron, the twins will shoot group 1into Oftofjord.

Take the twins out of the picture and both scenarios fail.
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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Dec 2021 12:35

We are far into topic drift here. The nuances of the Scandinavian campaign are discussed elsewhere, tho Im sure theres room for more.

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by Sheldrake » 21 Dec 2021 13:48

ThatZenoGuy wrote:
19 Dec 2021 12:34
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
19 Dec 2021 12:08
Yes. Me-109 cost a fraction of what the main Allied fighters cost. P-51 narrowed the gap a bit but was still probably twice as expensive as Me-109. Fw-190 was more expensive than 109 but still cheaper than basically every major Allied fighter*.

*not sure whether this is true of the Hurricane.
I am curious on what made these aircraft cheap though, i've heard many claims they were cheaper so I just parrot it. But the actual numbers and why said numbers are true eludes me.

As I understand it the 190 used some steel in it's construction (steel being far cheaper than aluminum), the 109's tail ended up wooden along with the design being in production for a very long time, presumably lowering costs due to mass production, etc.

The DB 605 was also 'cheap' IIRC due to several cost cutting features like bushings instead of bearings, etc. But that would still only be a small factor for the whole plane.

Do you have any specifications on the cheapness?
A man is looking for accountant. He asks each applicant in turn what is "two plus two" and he rejects them all until one applicant says

"what do you want the answer to be?"

The unit cost = variable costs, cost to build a single aircraft (labour, materials) + a share of the fixed costs (cost of plant, research and development, management overhead) in proportion to the number built.

Towards the end of the war German labour costs could be quite low.

For technically advanced aircraft there might be high fixed costs. 30,000 Me109 built compared to 15,000 P51 and P47, which carry double the proportion of fixed cost.

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Re: Quantity Not Quality Fighters

Post by ThatZenoGuy » 21 Dec 2021 14:59

Sheldrake wrote:
21 Dec 2021 13:48


A man is looking for accountant. He asks each applicant in turn what is "two plus two" and he rejects them all until one applicant says

"what do you want the answer to be?"

The unit cost = variable costs, cost to build a single aircraft (labour, materials) + a share of the fixed costs (cost of plant, research and development, management overhead) in proportion to the number built.

Towards the end of the war German labour costs could be quite low.

For technically advanced aircraft there might be high fixed costs. 30,000 Me109 built compared to 15,000 P51 and P47, which carry double the proportion of fixed cost.
That's assumption, estimation and guesses though, not any firm paperwork we can compare.

Although it does explain some cost savings if the German labor was cheaper.

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