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Posted: 1/8/2002 10:19:03 AM EDT
I think everyone would have to agree it is the U.S. Army Air Coprs/Air Force. Both in quality of planes and ability. Just look at Korea, dogfight ratios of 15-1. The Soviets did have a larger air force, but nowhere near as good.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 4:27:49 PM EDT
Plus, SS, you have to factor in education, motivation and technology. A Soviet plane might have two flight control systems, where the U.S plane would have three. U.S. airmen were better paid and taken care of, in comparison. In 1943, the Germans did not have the luxury of time, pilots, and fuel. They flew untill they were shot down. I read the new book by Stephen Ambrose, "The Wild Blue." I was surprised to read of the youth of our pilots.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 7:41:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MrClean: I read the new book by Stephen Ambrose, "The Wild Blue." I was surprised to read of the youth of our pilots.
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Sure he wrote that?!
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 8:11:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Grin_N_Barrett:
Originally Posted By MrClean: I read the new book by Stephen Ambrose, "The Wild Blue." I was surprised to read of the youth of our pilots.
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Sure he wrote that?!
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The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s over Germany was written by Ambrose, not sure if same book MrClean is talking about
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 9:05:37 PM EDT
That is the book, and today I read that Mr Ambrose was accused of plagerism. I really cannot comment on that. Mr Ambrose has had a long career as an author. I also recently read "Band of Brothers." This mostly consisted of interviews from actual veterans of the 101st. John
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 11:10:32 AM EDT
I heard a story that the ideal age for p-47 and the like pilots was 19. Young and foolish enough to do what should be done. Hmm. Is that a flak battery I see? Lets go get it.
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 4:41:24 PM EDT
Never underestimate Soviet fighters. Remember the MIG-15?
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 6:27:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 199: Never underestimate Soviet fighters. Remember the MIG-15?
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Remember the F-86? Perhaps the most beautiful Mig-killer ever.
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 7:59:12 PM EDT
Say, Arock, I thought the F4E was the most beautiful Mig Killer! The Mig15 had heavy guns, but the F86 was a better aircraft. A funny thing about that on a personal note. When I arrived at Mac Tan, in the Philippines, a Master Sergeant with us spotted a Philippine F86 with the same number on the tail as the one he crewed in Korea in 1951, 15 years earlier. John
Link Posted: 1/9/2002 9:11:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Arock:
Originally Posted By 199: Never underestimate Soviet fighters. Remember the MIG-15?
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Remember the F-86? Perhaps the most beautiful Mig-killer ever.
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MIG-15’s and F-86’s were very closely matched, though with different strengths and weakness. The superiority of the F-86 over the MIG-15 in Korea was more a superiority of our pilots over the North Korean ones, rather than a superiority of the F-86. And I doubt anyone is going to claim our straight winged P-80’s, F-84’s and F9F’s – frontline planes at the time – could match a well-flown MIG-15. Our enemies have some pretty good stuff, too. If we forget that, we will pay dearly!
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 12:35:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 199: Never underestimate Soviet fighters. Remember the MIG-15?
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Yes, it was the plane Soviet pilots flew against us in Korea. We shot them down, 15 to 1. You are correct that it was better than our planes of the time, it was even better than our F-86. But Soviet pilots in MIG-15s were no match for American pilots in F-86s. Note that the MIG-15 was designed using the technology the Soviets learned from the Germans, and that they used British designed engines. As an interesting side note, at the end of WW2 the Soviets considered making Me-262s, but decided against it because it was too advanced for their pilots at the time. No doubt, Soviet pilots had improved by the time the MIG-15 had come into service, but they still fell short of American standards.
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 12:38:50 PM EDT
Shouldn't we be talking about Chinese MiG-15 pilots vs US F86 pilots?
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 12:40:00 PM EDT
The F-15 has a 100 to 0 kill ratio, and just wait 'till the F-22 comes on-line. Bye Bye Flanker.
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 12:57:33 PM EDT
RE the original topic, this seems like an obvious question. If the fundamental key to military success is production, then the American economy is going to ensure that we massacre everyone else. OTOH, the Germans with their Disney-ish assortment of aborted and often absurd prototypes were pretty exciting, and all the Allies thought so too. From what I understand, the MiG15 bears more than a superficial resemblence to the Ta-183 Huckebein and I think that the F-86 was loosely based on the Me-p1011. BTW, the Roosian pilots claimed that the kill ratio flip-flopped when Russian pilots (and not N.Korean or Chinese) pilots were at the controls of MiG15s in Korea. Same with the MiG series in Vietnam. Who cares? I thThe american air force pounded the snot out of every adversary it every met. And the Soviet Long Range airforce was never more than a shadow of SAC. Overall, with the exception of missiles, the Soviet Union seems to have played catch up to the USAF. Really, the thankful thing is that LeMay wasn't allowed to go nuts on the Russians. We'd still be hurting from that little exchange. Ow.
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 11:00:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SJSAMPLE: Shouldn't we be talking about Chinese MiG-15 pilots vs US F86 pilots?
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No. Soviet pilots. In fact, probably the [i]best[/i] Soviet fighter pilots. Soviet fighter pilots also flew in 'nam. The MIG-25 pilot who defected to Japan in the '70s talked to some of those guys, and found out that American pilots were both brave and very, very good.
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 11:09:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Ustulina: OTOH, the Germans with their Disney-ish assortment of aborted and often absurd prototypes were pretty exciting, and all the Allies thought so too.
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That's pretty damn funny.
Link Posted: 1/12/2002 6:06:09 AM EDT
If you were a Soviet pilot, it just made sense to get some experience against who you expected to fight later on. Our Special Forces were probably in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, just makes sense.
Link Posted: 1/15/2002 9:58:38 AM EDT
SS109, Yes our forces were in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion. I have a friend : AIRBORNE with 3 combat drops saw some home movie of this: GUY UP ON THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN IN AFGHANISTAN, BEARD WHITE, ROBES, STINGER MISSILE. Mi-24 Hind Attack chopper comes out from behind a hill and the Afghani?? turns his system on and proceeds to down the soviet helo. Then turns toward the camera and opens his robe and on his chest is Tattooed. GOD BLESS AMERICA with a HUGE EAGLE taking up his entire chest. KOREA: Mig-15's were slighty better in the maneuverability department then was the f-86. Although they had their share of shortcommings to. In the hands of Soviet Pilots many of whom had flone in WWII I am sure that they evened up the odds quite a bit.
Link Posted: 1/17/2002 3:01:07 PM EDT
I believe the top two Aces of the war(Korea), from any side, were both Russian. The Mig15 was a very capable aircraft. It could out climb anything in the air at that time.
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 6:27:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DonS:
Originally Posted By 199: Never underestimate Soviet fighters. Remember the MIG-15?
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But Soviet pilots in MIG-15s were no match for American pilots in F-86s. .
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Actually, from my reading, (and lots of it) the Soviet pilots were quite a match for the US pilots, even though it has never been confirmed that they were even there. The pilots that were no match for the US pilots were the Chinese and North Korean.
Link Posted: 1/19/2002 10:43:04 PM EDT
Yeah, I had thought that Ivan Khozedub flew in Korea, but he did not. The website I was looking at (seemed reasonable enough) described repeated attempts by the Russians to force down a Sabre for analysis. This didn't happen, and the Russians finally shot a Sabre down on the coast, carted it off in a truck and nearly got plastered by an Invader. Immediately after the Sabre went down, the pilot was picked up by US rescue, and then the site was bombed by B-29s, but too late. Russians found out that visibility of F-86 was substantially better and was the reason why US pilots seemed to have a sixth sense of 6 danger. the cockpit had excellent layout. There was something about trying to fit a Russian engine to a Sabre, but I got bored... If these accounts are correct, then the Russians acquitted themselves well, and achieved 2.3:1 kill ratio.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 6:14:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/21/2002 6:16:45 PM EDT by DonS]
Originally Posted By Shrike: Actually, from my reading, (and lots of it) the Soviet pilots were quite a match for the US pilots, even though it has never been confirmed that they were even there. The pilots that were no match for the US pilots were the Chinese and North Korean.
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[i] Paschall, Rod. Witness to War: Korea. NY: Perigee, 1995. P.116-126, 179-181. "Of course, the North Korean Air Force was not all Korean, but basically Chinese with Russian and Polish pilots as well. Further, there is substantial reason to believe that most of the fighter squadrons actively engaging the F-86s were Soviet squadrons being rotated through the front at six-week intervals." MiG-Alley[/i] The Soviet MIGs may have attained a good kill ratio because their use was defensive, and they were used with effect against B-29s, which were no match. What I have read indicates the Soviets were very impressed with the ability of our pilots. And, to back this up, it is clear that the average Soviet fighter pilot at the end of WW2 was poor. By 1950 they no doubt had made up some ground, but they still would not be up to US standards. Further, the Soviets have [i]always[/i] had inferior pilots. When the East and West German airforces combined, most of the East German fighter pilots couldn't make the cut. They had trained in the Soviet style, which involved much more control from the ground, and they simply were not as good (perhaps they were just as good as pilots, but they were not good [i]fighter[/i] pilots). I doubt that very many MIG-15s were flown into combat by North Koreans or Chinese. The F-86 vs MIG-15 kill ratio was the American vs Soviet kill ratio.
Link Posted: 1/23/2002 11:01:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DonS: it is clear that the average Soviet fighter pilot at the end of WW2 was poor. By 1950 they no doubt had made up some ground, but they still would not be up to US standards.
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Not true. The average Soviet pilot flew two to three times as many combat sorties than Americans, and had hundreds of pilots with 20+ kills during WWII( Americans a litle over a dozen).These same pilots made up the core of the Russian air strength sent to Korea. The 15-1 kill ratio is a myth. Since both sides inflated their kills and chaulked up many of their losses as "accidents", we will never know the real kill taley. Many historians believe that Russian piloted Migs shot down at least equal, and some thinking more, U.S. Sabres. Thinking that Soviet pilots were inferior is not accurate.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 9:01:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Mach1: Not true. The average Soviet pilot flew two to three times as many combat sorties than Americans, and had hundreds of pilots with 20+ kills during WWII( Americans a litle over a dozen).These same pilots made up the core of the Russian air strength sent to Korea. The 15-1 kill ratio is a myth. Since both sides inflated their kills and chaulked up many of their losses as "accidents", we will never know the real kill taley. Many historians believe that Russian piloted Migs shot down at least equal, and some thinking more, U.S. Sabres. Thinking that Soviet pilots were inferior is not accurate.
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The fact is, the Soviets passed up the Me-262 at the end of WW2 because their pilots were simply not up to flying it (they had considered copying it outright). I believe the US kill claims, and I also believe that most MIG-15 pilots in Korea were Soviets. Hence I believe we achieved a 15 to 1 kill ratio against Soviet pilots. Keep in mind, the Sovets were fighting a defensive war, and many of their kills were against "soft" targets like B-29s (a B-29 wasn't "soft" against piston engined planes, but it was "soft" when facing MIG-15s). In WW2, many German pilots scored more than 100 kills, and two scored over 300. Yet on average, the American pilot was much better. The Japanese also had aces with many more kills than any American. Yet their average pilot was of lower quality after Midway. American pilots were rotated out of combat after a short tour. Our top ace during WW2 obtained 40 kills by flying two tours in combat. The lessons learned by these pilots was put to good use in training. Among the Germans, Japanese, and Soviets, pilots flew until they died. Some racked up impressive kills, but they were not rotated back to train new pilots. Our system was better, even though it couldn't produce "uber-aces".
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 9:07:21 AM EDT
In WWII, we tended to bring back our top pilots/top aces and use them from propaganda or training purposes at home. Few other combatant countries had this luxury. I would also make the case that for its size, the Israeli Air Force has been and continues to probably the best in the world, as well as one of the most combat-experienced.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 11:27:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DonS: The fact is, the Soviets passed up the Me-262 at the end of WW2 because their pilots were simply not up to flying it (they had considered copying it outright).
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The Me-262 was innovative, but was unreliable at best. It was fast, (that is, if the engines didn't explode) but, it couldn't turn worth a damn. Why would the Soviets want this plane to begin with when they would have a much superior plane of their own in 5 years?
I also believe that most MIG-15 pilots in Korea were Soviets.
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True. Flew probably 75% of the missions.
In WW2, many German pilots scored more than 100 kills, and two scored over 300. Yet on average, the American pilot was much better.
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Yes, American pilots were rotated home early, but combat experience is what it is all about. The Germans and Soviets flew more. Thats my point. On the "job" training is invaluable. Remember, the Soviets shouldered the brunt of the War, on land and in the air. Like the Brits, they took on the best Air force in the world at that time, and beat them. Now the U.S. certainly helped, but we got in the War a little late. Many of the seasoned Luftwaffe pilots were dead by that time. I'am not saying the U.S didn't have great pilots. They Did! But, to say the Russians were somehow inferior in Korea is just baloney. Another Cold War myth. The Russian pilot in a Mig 15, was up to the task.
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Link Posted: 1/29/2002 3:08:45 PM EDT
orginally posted by DonS:
In WW2, many German pilots scored more than 100 kills, and two scored over 300. Yet on average, the American pilot was much better.
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How can you back up this statement? Its impossible. If you go by straight kills you get twenty plus each of German and Russian pilots with more kills than any US airman. Throw in the fact that later in the war the American were flying P-51s so how much was skill vs. equipment. You could never make a case either way.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 4:07:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Atencio: orginally posted by DonS:
In WW2, many German pilots scored more than 100 kills, and two scored over 300. Yet on average, the American pilot was much better.
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How can you back up this statement? Its impossible. If you go by straight kills you get twenty plus each of German and Russian pilots with more kills than any US airman. Throw in the fact that later in the war the American were flying P-51s so how much was skill vs. equipment. You could never make a case either way.
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You keep worrying about the top aces, which is besides the point--most Russian and German pilots were not top aces. The top German aces were no doubt very, very good, and all of those with scores over 152 kills benifitted from the pathetic skills of the Soviets. During WW2, the German pilots went through three "dive to escape" stages (this according to Adolf Galland), due to the poor quality of their pilots. Hell, many of their pilots late in the war had trouble finding their way home (and when they found their way, they had trouble landing). The P-51 wasn't a better fighter than the FW-190. The P-51D had better high altitude performance than most FW-190 models, but at lower altitude the FW-190 was better. The P-51D was the best [i]long range escort[/i] fighter. Of course, many bf-109s were still in use near the end of the war, but a good pilot in a bf-109 could hold his own (as Eric Hartmann did). The fact is, the German training program was a mess. Initially they turned out very, very good pilots, but not fast enough to meet the demands of war (specifically, they had serious trouble producing pilots to replace the losses of the Battle of Britian). When they "cranked-up" their training program to meet demand, quality suffered. The very high scores of the top German aces reflect their excellent tactics, their quality as fighter pilots, their continuous exposure to combat, and the large numbers of easy targets the Soviets offered. If having the top aces won wars, Germany would have won. But in terms of average quality, American pilots were much better.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 5:13:36 PM EDT
I gotta say I am bothered by the pronouncement that the Fw190 "was a better low level fighter" than the P-51D. It might well be true, but I am skeptical unless you can refer me to sources that have assessed both machines in a relatively objective manner. You could take an A5M Claude fighter and a Mustang at 150mph and conclude that the Claude was a far superior dogfighter based on manoueverability alone. Which Fw 190? DonS, you know that there were an awful lot of Wuerger variants, ranging from interceptors to torpedo carriers. Throwing the Russians into the confusion again, the La-7 and Yak 3 serie were both supposed to be outstanding low level dogfighters as well. It does seem, however, that American training and American aircraft and British engines were a winning combination over Europe. Bottom line is, when you consider sheer numbers, training and effect, the AAF had the total package. Actually, I would have said that the British were the only other combatant comparable to us in mix of strategic and tactical aircraft, but perhaps that's just a reflection of situational need. Nobody else conducted a strategic air war on two fronts.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 11:02:31 AM EDT
orginally posted by DonS:
But in terms of average quality, American pilots were much better
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If we throw in the poor German pilots at the end of the war and average them in with the rest of the pilots that flew then the average of the two would be less than the average American. Is that what you mean [:)]
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 11:27:26 AM EDT
Ustulina, Based upon all that I've read, the FW-190 was the best fighter on the Western Front (I consider the P-51D to be the best escort fighter). Obviously, the particular varient has a great deal to do with this, and this caused problems for the Germans, when they mixed fighters with different capabilities late in the war. Late FW varients like the Ta-152 could outperform the P-51D at altitude. I know that post war tests showed that the bf-109 (E?) and Spitfire (Mk III?) were very evenly matched. The Germans certainly considered the Spitfire their most capable opponent, although I'm sure other factors besides aircraft perfomance no doubt crept into this evaluation. Atencio, No doubt the German fighter pilot of 1940 was superior to his American counterpart. In fact, in terms of combat tactics, I'm inclined to rate the German higher than his British opponent at this time, although flying skill would have been equal. But the Germans were not able to maintain this high average skill level in the face of losses. Stalin said that quantity has a quality all its own, and the simple fact is that no one was able to match our quantity + quality.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 12:51:56 PM EDT
Correct me if I am wrong: the Brits felt that they were were sucking the hind one with the Mark V Spit compared to the FW190A as it first appeared in combat. Only the Mark IX evened up the score a bit, and by the very end of the war, Castle Bromwhich was producing the Mark XXIV, which is so far removed from the Mark III, that it's probably not worth comparing the two. And the Emil version of the 109 like you said is BOB vintage, so comparing that to the P-51D is about as fair as comparing the P-51D to the Ta152H that Kurt Tank used to escape mustangs with in the latter stage of the war. From a vintage standpoint, it might be fair to compare a Bearcat, Tigercat, or P51-H to the Ta152. But a grand total of 68 of the Ta152 were produced. In other words, it did not exist, just like the F8F, F7F and P51H never saw widespread combat. I think that the Fw has always been my favorite combat aircraft. Yes the Fw 190 had excellent armament, was tough and by all accounts was excellent at low level, and easier to pilot than the 109. It was certainly very versatile, but that may have been due to the fact that the Germans HAD to make it versatile. Because they had nothing else in quantity they fit armor, armament packs, mortars, torpedos and whatever else they could. I don't think that I can say that any aircraft was the best aircraft, because they were close enough that the pilot made the difference. The Yak-3 was rated at initial climb rate of 4500 fpm, which is phenomenal if true. It also had very light armament, no range, and probably would have made a shitty bomb truck. I expect that it would have been as good a dogfighter as anything else, but was it the best fighter? I dunno, but the Luftwaffe issued a directive (1944?) to "avoid air combat with Yak series fighter lacking oil cooler below the nose at altitudes of less than 2500 meters." That probably says something. From what I understand, the Americans with their massive advantage in horsepower and firepower and about everything else but manoeuver would once in a while run into a Japanese maniac who could really use his obsolete A6M5.
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