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
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
But how can you explain their survival in 5-6 years of brutal warfare ?
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.
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.