Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Bgile » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:36 pm

I finished the book. The guy flew 51 missions total before VE day. The closest he came to air to air combat was when six P-51s kept two Me-262's from shooting down the two P-38 recon aircraft they were escorting. Noone was shot down.

There were a few US aces and there were a few P-51s lost to German aircraft, but almost all combat losses were from ground fire when they had to strafe ground targets on the way back from an escort mission. Sometimes they were sent on strafing missions that didn't involve escorting bombers.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4349
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by alecsandros » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:38 am

Thanks for the info, Steve. I also think most of the escorting missions were rather dull, simply because there were so many raids opposed by so few pilots and serviceable planes.
For mid-1944, I would make a small observation: there were significant battles over the Romanian oil-fields... The typical response from the combined German-Romanian fighters was to send 1-6 squadrons, usualy from differerent airfields, and usualy attacking on their own (each squadron would engage, than break off and head for the nearest airfield).
So, a maximum of 15-16 fighters would attack at once. And that against formations with 250-300-400 escorts... It's easy to see how few US fighters actualy got a chance to engage the RO-GERM Me-109s and IAR-80s.

Byron Angel

Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Byron Angel » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:15 am

alecsandros wrote:Thanks for the info, Steve. I also think most of the escorting missions were rather dull, simply because there were so many raids opposed by so few pilots and serviceable planes.
For mid-1944, I would make a small observation: there were significant battles over the Romanian oil-fields... The typical response from the combined German-Romanian fighters was to send 1-6 squadrons, usualy from differerent airfields, and usualy attacking on their own (each squadron would engage, than break off and head for the nearest airfield).
So, a maximum of 15-16 fighters would attack at once. And that against formations with 250-300-400 escorts... It's easy to see how few US fighters actualy got a chance to engage the RO-GERM Me-109s and IAR-80s.

..... Keep in mind that that heavy bomber raids did not appear over target in a single gigantic massed formation. They were typically delivered by a succession of bomber groups/squadrons with the escorting fighters distributed ahead, above, within, and on the flanks of the stream.

By late 1944, German fighters over the Reich were preferably committed only in relatively large strikes (50 to 100+ a/c) which could achieve local superiority in numbers at a given striking point. Otherwise, the sky was often empty of German aerial opposition.

Byron

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4349
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by alecsandros » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:57 pm

Byron Angel wrote: ..... Keep in mind that that heavy bomber raids did not appear over target in a single gigantic massed formation. They were typically delivered by a succession of bomber groups/squadrons with the escorting fighters distributed ahead, above, within, and on the flanks of the stream.


Byron
From the literature I've been through, in June-Aug 1944 over Ploiesti, most raids were over in 1 hour or less. There were 2 fighter formations, one for the attack, and another one for the return-trip (Each one was 250-300 units strong). Indeed, they were distributed around the formations, but the Axis fighters could also attack from any angle.

Anyway, the idea was that, at any moment, there weren't more than 12-15 Axis fighters engaging a total of 200+ fighters and 300+ bombers, at least over Romania.
There were very few exceptions to this rule.

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Bgile » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:00 pm

One recurring theme is how happy this guy was that he wasn't flying a bomber. Their losses were much worse than those of the fighters, and every time one went down there were 10 or so men aboard it. Sometimes they crashed and blew up on takeoff, the flak was effective, and sometimes they were bounced by German fighters before the US fighters could do anything about it. They crashed on landing sometimes, too. He even describes a time when three of them collided.

Byron Angel

Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Byron Angel » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:02 am

alecsandros wrote:
Byron Angel wrote: ..... Keep in mind that that heavy bomber raids did not appear over target in a single gigantic massed formation. They were typically delivered by a succession of bomber groups/squadrons with the escorting fighters distributed ahead, above, within, and on the flanks of the stream.


Byron
From the literature I've been through, in June-Aug 1944 over Ploiesti, most raids were over in 1 hour or less. There were 2 fighter formations, one for the attack, and another one for the return-trip (Each one was 250-300 units strong). Indeed, they were distributed around the formations, but the Axis fighters could also attack from any angle.

Anyway, the idea was that, at any moment, there weren't more than 12-15 Axis fighters engaging a total of 200+ fighters and 300+ bombers, at least over Romania.
There were very few exceptions to this rule.

..... but a bombing raid over in an hour or less (at, say, 180mph) suggests a bomber stream 180 miles in length passing over the target! Something to think about.....


Byron

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:37 pm

When checking today some information I came across this in wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_cas ... rld_War_II

According to this the totals for German causalties are:

By Front.......................................Front Total Dead
Eastern Front until 31/12/44 .................2,742,909
Germany 1945 ..................................1,230,045
Western Europe until 31/12/44.................339,957
Sea and Air........................................245,561
Italy ................................................150,660
The Balkans........................................103,693
Northern Europe ....................................30,165
Africa.................................................16,066
Confirmed deaths of POWs in captivity.........459,475
Total............................................... 5,318,000

This reflects, with clarity, the level of sheer violence and comitment of the Germans in each of it's fronts. In the East the Germans had 806.84% more casualties than in the west, being that in the West the actions started since 1939. Incredible the number of Germans killed at POW camps.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

Post Reply