P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:31 pm

Hiroyoshi Nishizawa: 87 victories

Tetsuzo Iwamoto: 87 victories (202 according to his own records)

Ryotaro Jobou: 77 victories plus 4 in Spain

Soichi Sugita: 70 victories

Saburo Sakai: 64 victories

Hiromichi Shinohara: 58 victories

Takeo Okumura: 54 victories

Satoru Anabuki: 51 victories

Yasushiko Kuroe: 51 victories

All those were
Japanese top guns flying relatively flimsy aircraft.

but still they were 100% better than whatever the USAF had with their
tough aircraft, so had better chance of survival in dire circumstances
:lol:
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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by yellowtail3 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:33 am

Karl, yours is a persuasive argument in favor of... something. Or is it against something? And just what is the... something? Some imagined Straw man, maybe?
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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:44 am

Karl, yours is a persuasive argument in favor of... something. Or is it against something? And just what is the... something? Some imagined Straw man, maybe?
Reductio ad absurdum
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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by Lutscha » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:54 am

I don't know what all those kill statistics are supposed to prove. Of course Hartmann had far more kills than any non German ace and he certainly had far more combat experience than any non German ace as had all those over 100 German aces who shot down more than 100 aircraft but if you put them on the USAAF they would have achieved scores like the Americans aces had due to being rotated regularly and not having such a target rich environment.

The Luftwaffe still got swept from the skies by a large number of well trained American pilots.

What I wonder about is why only Rudel received the Knight's Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds and no one else.

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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by Byron Angel » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:35 am

Lutscha wrote:I don't know what all those kill statistics are supposed to prove. Of course Hartmann had far more kills than any non German ace and he certainly had far more combat experience than any non German ace as had all those over 100 German aces who shot down more than 100 aircraft but if you put them on the USAAF they would have achieved scores like the Americans aces had due to being rotated regularly and not having such a target rich environment.

The Luftwaffe still got swept from the skies by a large number of well trained American pilots.

What I wonder about is why only Rudel received the Knight's Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds and no one else.

...... Quite agree. If one compares the kills per sortie rate of the best German fighter pilots versus the best Allied pilots, they are effectively the same. Without taking anything whatsover away from their great expertise, bravery and endurance, the Luftwaffe 'experten" racked up such prodigious scores because they flew many, many, many more missions. It was very unusual for an American pilot to reach 100 sorties in his combat flying career before being rotated back home; a LW pilot on the eastern front might fly 100 sorties in a single month during a period of intense combat.

And for the record - I concur with respect to the TBolt being the AAFs best all-round fighter a/c. (after the addition of water injection and paddle blades).

B

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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by alecsandros » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:44 am

Byron Angel wrote: ...... Quite agree. If one compares the kills per sortie rate of the best German fighter pilots versus the best Allied pilots, they are effectively the same. Without taking anything whatsover away from their great expertise, bravery and endurance, the Luftwaffe 'experten" racked up such prodigious scores because they flew many, many, many more missions.
B
But how can you explain their survival in 5-6 years of brutal warfare ?

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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by Lutscha » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:14 pm

I guess it was a combination of skill and luck, Hartmann e. g. would have been dead if those P-51 pilots decided to kill him after he had to bail out from fuel shortage on one occasion.

What other explanation is there? Racial superiority? :D

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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:56 pm

Lutscha:
What other explanation is there? Racial superiority?
Nope: technical proficiency.

The notion that the number of kills per sortie is also incorrect. Please check them. If you start going on with the kills of US pilots you will find that the great majority were in the Pacific and a great deal of them at Philipines from US Navy and US Marine Corps pilots. The "aces" in the European Theatre were a great number with lower figure kills, from 5 to 11 (Chuck Yeager is an 11 1/2 kills ace, for example).

On P 47 aces we had several but the two "greatest" were:

1. Frank Gabrieki with 28 kills
2. Robert Johnson with 27 kills

Gabrieki ended in a Luft Stalag after he was shot down
Johnson is one of the cases in which the USAAF strike out one of his claims because it was done on a day he wasn't even flying.

What I am trying to prove? Very easy. That the assertions of German fighter aircraft claims of inferiority, done without any real support aside from personal bias, are unfounded. It is very unfortunate that, in order to do so, we have to bring forth evidence like this, some "inconvinient truths".

Regards,
Last edited by Karl Heidenreich on Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:04 pm

If someone cares to check the fighter pilot carrer of Eric Hartmann and Chuck Yeager you will find that both of them started "late" in the war. Yeager in March 1943 whilst Hartmann in 1942. Yeager was shot down whilst Hartmann never despite his various bails outs and crash landings. Yeager made ace in a day with 5 kills (two of them in reality were two Me 109 that collided) and Hartman shot down 4 P-51s in a single mission too.
Someone will pop and say that Hartman made "hundreds" of kills against the soviets but that could be said of those NAvy and Marine aces that made their reputations at Phillipines against green Japanese pilots. However this brief example rules out that the notion kills per sortie equals on both sides is incorrect. Another example is the fighter pilot career of Hans Joachim Marseille who got killed early in the war (September 1942) with 158 victories, all of them western. I will like to see the record of a US pilot which a kill per sortie record as his.
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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:59 pm

I think that both, Lutscha and Byron Angel, have made correct points and I want to clear myself at their eyes and of those decent and more than inteligent forum members. I am not disputing the performance of allied aircraft nor the proficiency nor bravery and training of allied fighter pilots.
My PERSONAL opinion, out of these engagements on erroneous statements of some, is the following: in the case of fighter planes we must study both, their technical specifications and the way these planes made it in air combat. Again, using these parameters my PERSONAL criteria is as follows (only piston aircraft, not the Me 262):

ON TECHNICAL SPECS (in descending order from "best")

1. P-51 and P-47 are the two fighter/interceptor that show the highest degree of technical advantages
2. P-38
3. FW-190
4. Me- 109
5. Mitsubishi Zero
6. Lavochkin La-5

ON THEIR COMBAT RECORD AND COMBAT ACHIEVEMENTS

1. Me-109
2. FW 190
3. Mitsubishi Zero
4. P-38
5. P-51
6. Lavotchkin La-5
7. P-47

Curious data: Ivan Kozhedub, the greatest "allied" ace of all time, in his La-5 has claimed that he shot down 2 P-51 during WWII. There is controversy on that.

Best regards,
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by Byron Angel » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:15 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Byron Angel wrote: ...... Quite agree. If one compares the kills per sortie rate of the best German fighter pilots versus the best Allied pilots, they are effectively the same. Without taking anything whatsover away from their great expertise, bravery and endurance, the Luftwaffe 'experten" racked up such prodigious scores because they flew many, many, many more missions.
B
But how can you explain their survival in 5-6 years of brutal warfare ?

..... First, one must acknowledge that many experten did NOT survive. Take a look at the list of big German scorers and see how many died or were captured. The one who survived the war are by and large well known; the many who fell are, with a few exceptions like Marseilles, largely unknown For those who did make it through the war, logic suggests that it was a combination of immense skill, good luck, and spending a majority of time flying and fighting over friendly territory.

Byron

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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by yellowtail3 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:03 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:What I am trying to prove? Very easy. That the assertions of German fighter aircraft claims of inferiority, done without any real support aside from personal bias, are unfounded.
Inferiority... well, when one compares relative merits of a couple of aircraft, one will generally be superior to the other in some areas.
That It is very unfortunate that, in order to do so, we have to bring forth evidence like this, some "inconvinient truths".
When comparing hardware, inconvenient truths aren't inconvenient, so much as non-sequitors which don't provide any light on subject at hand.
ON TECHNICAL SPECS (in descending order from "best")

1. P-51 and P-47 are the two fighter/interceptor that show the highest degree of technical advantages
2. P-38
3. FW-190
4. Me- 109
5. Mitsubishi Zero
6. Lavochkin La-5
A well-ordered list I'd agree with, though I'd quibble with the Zero being on it. I think the US could have done without the P-38 - actually, prob could have done any of the three, and still prevailed on pretty much same timetable. The P-38 was really expensive, though, and it took forever to fix it's high-speed (and other) problems which didn't matter much against slow Japanese aircraft, but did matter against much better Luftwaffe hardware. And that Zero, with its little engine and flimsy construction... it made its bones on superior numbers and shock. Once it was understood and countered with appropriate tactics, things got very grim for the Japanese pilots. I'd MUCH rather be in an La-5 (or P-40) than a Zero in any circumstance other than having to land on a flight deck :D
alecsandros wrote:
Byron Angel wrote: ...... Quite agree. If one compares the kills per sortie rate of the best German fighter pilots versus the best Allied pilots, they are effectively the same. Without taking anything whatsover away from their great expertise, bravery and endurance, the Luftwaffe 'experten" racked up such prodigious scores because they flew many, many, many more missions.
B
But how can you explain their survival in 5-6 years of brutal warfare ?
Byron pretty much covered that. First, the really experienced pilots didn't make the same mistakes that less experienced made (P-38 ace Thomas McGuire provides an exception). German pilots often fought over friendly territory, which much increased survival rate, and they had good equipment. Japanese pilots had it worst: their aircraft where weakly built fire traps, and they flew a lot of missions over water and very hostile territory (inhospitable jungle below, sometimes filled with angry Filipinos). The Japanese didn't put much effort into search & rescue, and imperial pilots suffered as a result.

Took this photo at Chino last year, the only Zero with a Sakae motor still flying. Beautiful aircraft.

Image
Last edited by yellowtail3 on Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:19 pm

Dear forum users,

Specially yellowtail, Byron and Lutscha. I want to apologize on my zealot ways which do not speak very well of me as a person and a student of history. My language sometimes is abusive and the worst part is that I know it and still continue to be a jackass.

I only want to put the score of WWII issues in the more objective way and sometimes the only thing I got is to polarize the discussions against my own vision. For that I apologize. I do not said that the evidence or positions that I defend are wrong but sometimes stupidly and wrongly put.

Sincerely I want to be considered a "friendly foe" who will enjoy a couple of beers with you people before starting a bar brawl.

Another thing: nor being an American I love the US and enjoy being there and the freedom of that land. I do believe the US is the only real beacon for the rest of the world and is about to face a global challenge, a real one, in some 5 to 10 years and for that strenght must be gained. Knowledge is the most important strenght because without it any war is lost.

Very best regards
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by Byron Angel » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:05 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Dear forum users,
Specially yellowtail, Byron and Lutscha. I want to apologize on my zealot ways


..... I think it's just that uncontrollable hot Latin blood! We still luv ya.

Byron

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Re: P-47 Thunderbolt: The USAAF's Best Pursuit Aircraft

Post by ede144 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:06 pm

@ Karl
Regarding the claim of the RussIan fighter of shootimg down 2 P-51. You can take Erich Hartman as witness for fighting between theallies. He provoked at least one and observed the fighting.
Regards
Ede

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