Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

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Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Dec 2012 03:34

We have tossed around some very 'general' ideas of the losses of the Soviet & German military aviation. anyone able to post something more detailed? Some more extensive numbers that clarify the losses each side actually suffered?

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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 09 Dec 2012 03:59

Carl, a member from other forum posted that the Eastern Front caused most LW losses. According to him, considerating accidents and combat casualities, about 60% of the LW losses occured there. Already ask him the source.

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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by 1st Cavalry » 09 Dec 2012 19:24

Soviet losses according to official figures were 45,568 .
however real losses from all causes ( including accidents, scraped due extensive damage or obsolescence ) were twice as much 106,400 including 88,300 combat types.

http://www.rkka.es/Estadisticas/VVS_stat/01/01_09.htm
must be treated with caution because German losses are from all causes, while the soviet are probably only in combat .

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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by BDV » 10 Dec 2012 03:15

If ACTUAL german losses would be 50% of those figures, only the FARR, the Ilmaivoimat, their cousins from the Honvéd Légierő, CSIR, ZNDH, and the handful of SVZ planes would be left flying the Bolshevik skies.
Last edited by BDV on 10 Dec 2012 03:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Dec 2012 03:17

John Ellis (Brute Force) pegs Soviet aircraft production from 1940 through 1945 as 121,460 combat models and 24,980 noncombat models. (from table 41). In table 42 Ellis has the VVS starting in 1941 with 8.100 "front line" combat aircraft and ending in 1945 with 17,000. That suggests approx 100,000 combat aircraft destroyed, or discarded due to wear & obsolecence. Or 84% lost.

Germany is credited with building 86,300 combat & 107,245 of all types by Ellis. 1941 start is 2,885 combat models & ending in 1945 with 2,175. That implies over 95% or nearly all German production was destroyed along the way.

Breaking out the numbers from 1941-42 covers the time the VVS, or operations in the east contributed the highest portion to German losses.

Soviet start 8,145, end 3,088; Production both years 33,957; total 42,000; net loss 38,914 or 93%

German start 2,885, end 3,440; Production two years 18,890; total 21,775; net loss 18,335 or 84%

Obviously there are a lot of unknowns here. Accident & combat losses are combined here. the number of German or Soviet aircraft repaired is unknown. The portion of German aircraft lost in the Med or west to all causes in unknown.

For just 1941 Ellis offers:

Soviet start 8,145, end 2,495; production 1941 12,377; total 20,522; net loss 18,027 or 88%

German start 2,885, end 2,561; production 1941 7,624; total 10,509; net loss 7,948 or 76%

Soviet VVS numbers 1944-45 are:

Soviet start 8,500, end 45 17,000; production 49,617, total 58,117; net loss 41,117 or 70%

Cant really draw final conclusions from any of that, but it does suggest possible increase in efficiency within the VVS.

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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by 1st Cavalry » 10 Dec 2012 13:15

No figures for the British but: http://www.afhra.af.mil/shared/media/do ... 08-043.pdf

Enemy aircraft destroyed : 29,916 ( 20,419 Eto, 9497 Mto ) this probably includes axis minors ?
1942:327
1943: 7,605
1944: 15,664
1945: 6,251

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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 11 Dec 2012 01:20

Thanks for those numbers on part of the western losses. I could not see if those were confirmed numbers from post war research, or drawn from early estimates/analysis. Either way they suggest to me the Allied role from 1943, after the German AF was already in trouble from a lagging training program, fuel supply, and other logistics miscalculations.

I dont have specific numbers to add for Brit inflicted losses on the German AF. What I reember suggests that 1. the idea of small western contribution in 1941-42 is not far off... 2. The GAF was then hammered hard in the Mediterranean in 1943, and in the west in general.

We are still a long ways off from being able to accurately project German/Soviet air losses absent a western/Med air war, but so far I'm no seeing anything that says the Luftwaffe would have guaranteed to have overwhelmed the VVS in 1942-44.

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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 11 Dec 2012 16:02

Carl Schwamberger wrote:but so far I'm no seeing anything that says the Luftwaffe would have guaranteed to have overwhelmed the VVS in 1942-44.
Well, historically the LW was mostly engaged in the East until mi-1943, and it was defeated in the air combats in Kuban and Kursk. The Soviet offensives in 1944 counted with massive numerical superiority. Just for Bagration, there were 5000 Soviet combat planes. IIRC, the LW had something like 40 fighters. Therefore, it seems that the Soviets would suffer more if the LW remained fully in the East, but this would not be decisive.

According to a review of the book Bagration to Berlin: The Final Air Battles in the East 1944-1945:
Only long-time Russian Air Force enthusiasts can appreciate what superlative histories Christer Bergstrom has authored over the years. Russian histories of Eastern Front air ops produced in the 1960s/70s/80s were stilted, turgid prop-lit tracts filled with motherland-loving heroes inflicting catastrophic losses on the evil fascist invaders with few losses in return. The photographs found in those histories were heavily retouched, resembling nothing so much as bad xeroxes. Western histories concentrated on the Luftwaffe, the VVS often being characterized as hopelessly inept and easy targets for Experten. Bergstrom's books, by contrast, reflect impeccable research in various archives, official documents, books and other sources east and west and a balanced, comprehensive presentation of events, personalities, tactics and policies. BAGRATION TO BERLIN, published in 2008 by Ian Allan Publishing, is a prime example; military aviation history doesn't get much better than this.

Though it's subtitled THE FINAL AIR BATTLES IN THE EAST: 1944-45, the book's scope is larger by far. Bergstrom chronicles the air war from Barbarossa on, the better to understand the catastrophic defeat Army Group Centre suffered in 1944. He documents the painful learning curve VVS units suffered in the first years of the war, the constant reinvention and improvement those units underwent in terms of tactics and equipment and the major impact those units eventually had on the ground war. By 1944/45, the VVS, in terms of quantity and quality, was the 800-pound gorilla of the Eastern Front.

Bergstrom packs a great deal of information into the book's 128 pages of text. (Appendices take up another seven pages; notes/sources, five more). He does a marvelous job of presenting a wide-ranging multi-dimensional history of the air war, balancing strategic considerations with in-the-cockpit details. As you progress through BAGRATION TO BERLIN, you can easily understand why the VVS played such a dominant and successful role in the Russian march to Berlin. It's fascinating and informative history.

The book includes hundreds of well-reproduced and sometimes rare photographs of VVS and Luftwaffe aircraft and aircrew along with color maps and a color artwork depicting Mistel attacks on the Oder River bridges. Profiles of the opposing aircraft would have been nice but that's just me. Visually BAGRATION TO BERLIN is a treat!

Air combat buffs will want to add BAGRATION TO BERLIN to their collection. It's a well-researched, well-written and well-illustrated guide to the Eastern Front air war. Viewed as a whole, the four Bergstrom Ian Allan volumes are as near to a definitive history of the Eastern Front air war as I've ever seen. Highly recommended.
Someone has said that the Soviet planes were inferior to the Germans. They were inferior in some aspects (while even superior in others sometimes), but not to a relevant point of decisive importance, as for example, this LW test report of a La-5FN shows:

http://postimage.org/image/4q1dnv2v5/

Note: this was a "used" La-5FN. New aircraft were as fast as the Bf 109 and Fw 190 with MW50 in low altitude, while the La-7 faster than them at low altitude. The Yak-9U, introduced in 1944, complemented them to fight the German planes at medium altitude.

This is an interesting documentary about the VVS in WWII:


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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by stg 44 » 11 Dec 2012 17:28

Marcelo Jenisch wrote:
Carl Schwamberger wrote:but so far I'm no seeing anything that says the Luftwaffe would have guaranteed to have overwhelmed the VVS in 1942-44.
Well, historically the LW was mostly engaged in the East until mi-1943, and it was defeated in the air combats in Kuban and Kursk. The Soviet offensives in 1944 counted with massive numerical superiority. Just for Bagration, there were 5000 Soviet combat planes. IIRC, the LW had something like 40 fighters. Therefore, it seems that the Soviets would suffer more if the LW remained fully in the East, but this would not be decisive.
Define 'mostly'. The percentages I've seen show that in Barbarossa some 55% of the LW was on the Eastern Front; by 1942 it was down to below 50% but was a plurality of the German effort until 1943 when it became a minority effort. Also the multiple commitments prevented the LW from expanding its forces, resting its pilots, building up its training program, and providing more help to its allies. The LW was too widely spread to prevent the VVS from recovering, expanding, and dominating the skies of the Eastern Front. Though the VVS is underrated by the West, it is also overrated by the Soviets as far as what the Soviets achieved on their own. Its certainly correct that the VVS wrestled the skies away from the LW by 1944, but that was with major help by the Western Allies and very poor planning and resource allocation by the Germans themselves (and shortages of materials).

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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by KDF33 » 11 Dec 2012 17:51

Well, historically the LW was mostly engaged in the East until mi-1943, and it was defeated in the air combats in Kuban and Kursk. The Soviet offensives in 1944 counted with massive numerical superiority. Just for Bagration, there were 5000 Soviet combat planes. IIRC, the LW had something like 40 fighters. Therefore, it seems that the Soviets would suffer more if the LW remained fully in the East, but this would not be decisive.
On 17 May 1943, only 42% of the Luftwaffe combat strength was in the East, according to this source. Even in 1942, as stg 44 mentioned, the German air effort was far from being exclusively focused against the USSR. What led to Soviet air superiority in the East was the gradual drawdown of units from East to West (or to the Med.), the debilitating casualties in aircrews they incurred at the hands of the Western Allies, in particular the Americans, and the destruction of Germany's fuel industry starting in May 1944.

With regards to the size of the VVS, it is ultimately meaningless since what matters is sortie generation and not total aircraft park. I have provided earlier on this thread data about Soviet combat sorties for 1942-4. They are not significantly higher in 1944 than in 1942. Thus, a simple comparison between the two countries' aircraft park is a poor metric to determine if the Soviets held a "massive numerical superiority".

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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by 1st Cavalry » 12 Dec 2012 10:56

Carl Schwamberger wrote:Thanks for those numbers on part of the western losses. I could not see if those were confirmed numbers from post war research, or drawn from early estimates/analysis. Either way they suggest to me the Allied role from 1943, after the German AF was already in trouble from a lagging training program, fuel supply, and other logistics miscalculations.
not sure actually , 6000 out of 20,000 in eto are credited to heavy bombers, afaik american bombers were rugged and packed a lot of punch on their own but the figures seam a bit high to me.

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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by 1st Cavalry » 12 Dec 2012 13:04

KDF33 wrote:
On 17 May 1943, only 42% of the Luftwaffe combat strength was in the East, according to this source. Even in 1942, as stg 44 mentioned, the German air effort was far from being exclusively focused against the USSR.
What exactly is east in your definition ?

for instance : I/JG 4 was deployed in Romania.

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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by Takao » 12 Dec 2012 16:37

1st Cavalry wrote:
Carl Schwamberger wrote:Thanks for those numbers on part of the western losses. I could not see if those were confirmed numbers from post war research, or drawn from early estimates/analysis. Either way they suggest to me the Allied role from 1943, after the German AF was already in trouble from a lagging training program, fuel supply, and other logistics miscalculations.
not sure actually , 6000 out of 20,000 in eto are credited to heavy bombers, afaik american bombers were rugged and packed a lot of punch on their own but the figures seam a bit high to me.
Most likely, they are "claimed", and not actual kills. Although, IIRC, for various reasons the claims were mostly made to "official" kills(mostly for aircrew morale).

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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by KDF33 » 13 Dec 2012 01:54

What exactly is east in your definition ?

for instance : I/JG 4 was deployed in Romania.
East is "East" proper + Finland/Norway. Thus I actually overcounted Luftwaffe deployments, since some of the units deployed in Norway were facing West.

JG4 in Romania was defending against Western Allied bombing runs on Ploesti, and thus cannot be seen as committed to the "East" until at least the spring of 1944.

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Re: Luftwaffe only has to fight the VVS

Post by 1st Cavalry » 14 Dec 2012 13:36

KDF33 wrote: JG4 in Romania was defending against Western Allied bombing runs on Ploesti, and thus cannot be seen as committed to the "East" until at least the spring of 1944.
Actually the German presence should be counted the other way around , east until mid 1942 , than west .
But your definition of combat strength includes those 319 ju -52 in germany and 178 various transports in Italy ?

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