Jellicoe wrote:I've studied World War One plane vs plane combat a bit more extensively than WW2. Though I am aware of the top aces of WW2 and the campains they would be connected to, I was curious if anyone knows of any specific WW2 aerial encounters between established aces. World War One had its fair share of them, such as Lothar von Richtofen vs Albert Ball (debated), South African ace George Lawson (5 kills) colliding with German ace Fritz Rumey (45 kills), in which Rumey died, and Hans Mueller (12 kills) shooting down American Paul Baer (9 kills - Baer surviving); but I'm having a harder time finding any sort of comparative Ace vs Ace confrontations for WW2 pilots, apart from a few snipets in the Pacific. I suppose the sheer amount of aircraft in WW2 compared with WW1 would account for much of the lack of such encounters. Does anyone have any other thoughts on this?
Keith Enge wrote:I think that the main problem is that WWII didn't have dogfights in the WWI sense. In fact, pilots who persisted in attempting WWI type dogfights were soon dead pilots. The sheer number of planes were mentioned in other posts but, as important, was the difference in conditions. WWI combat was a much more intimate affair with close ranges and slow speeds. WWII aerial combat was a matter of diving gunnery passes and zoom climbs so you could do it again. However, because of the speed and longer ranges, you rarely made consecutive firing passes on the same target; during the interval, your original victim had moved far away. Therefore, the notion of one-on-one combat simply wasn't applicable in WWII.
Keith Enge wrote:If I make a suggestion, if you want to find dogfights, you should probably look at early war actions between the Germans and Soviets. Two factors improve the odds of finding them there. Action there tended to happen at lower altitudes because the air forces concentrated on support of ground forces. In the heavier lower air, speeds are lower and turns are tighter which might help produce duels. Also, the fighters tended to travel slower to match the speed of the bombers that they were escorting. The other factor was that the Soviets employed quite a few biplanes which had advantages as dogfighters. However, since you were looking for dogfights between aces, this might not be the place; most Soviet aces emerged later in the war after biplanes had been retired. On the other hand, the other stuff still applies, the Eastern Front is probably your best bet.
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