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> The most effective air force in WW2
i16stealth
Posted: August 03, 2004 08:53 am
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I want you to say, what air force was the most effective (please prove your opinion).

Variants:

1) ARR
2) VVS RKKA (soviet)
3) Luftwaffe
4) Japanese Imperial Aviation
5) RAF
6) USAF
7) Other
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tjk
Posted: August 03, 2004 12:25 pm
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There was no USAF in World War 2, it was still then the USAAF (United States Army Air Force).
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i16stealth
Posted: August 04, 2004 07:47 am
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QUOTE
There was no USAF in World War 2, it was still then the USAAF (United States Army Air Force).


Sorry, my mistake.

But what about your vote?
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dragos
Posted: August 04, 2004 10:03 am
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In my opinion, the domain covered is too vast to be able to give an unbiased and accurate answer. One can say that the Germans had some of the most successful pilots, given their number of victories, but we must take into account the fact that they stayed in combat for the longest time and had the biggest number of sorties. In similar conditions, it is possible that pilots of the other nationalities could have achieved similar performances.

IMO the biggest importance for the outcome of the war had the USAAF, because they fought on all theatres and the eventual results were in their favor.

Again, the domain covered include too many countries and many branches of the air forces.
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Iamandi
Posted: August 04, 2004 10:38 am
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USAAF in "too many" aspects...



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Chandernagore
Posted: August 04, 2004 10:54 am
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RAF, hands down.

Best planes, best fighting spirit, best Polish pilots, best everything but quantity.
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tjk
Posted: August 04, 2004 12:11 pm
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My vote is for the Finnish Air Force. They had a very high victory to loss ratio and made the most effective use of their equipment, which was mostly cast offs from other nations. An example is the Brewster Buffalo, which was a disaster in British and American units, but the Finns used it effectively.
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dragos
Posted: August 04, 2004 01:04 pm
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QUOTE
My vote is for the Finnish Air Force. They had a very high victory to loss ratio and made the most effective use of their equipment, which was mostly cast offs from other nations. An example is the Brewster Buffalo, which was a disaster in British and American units, but the Finns used it effectively.

For a specific time frame and a specific theater of operations, are you positive that another nation's airforce did not achieved a similar ratio ? For example what was the ratio achieved by the Luftwaffe over VVS in the first months starting from operation Barbarossa ?

Also, can we say the early Soviet aircraft were more practicing targets than veritable opponents ?
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Dénes
Posted: August 04, 2004 03:36 pm
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can we say the early Soviet aircraft were more practicing targets than veritable opponents ?


Not quite. There were quite a few very good Soviet pilots in 1941, who had previous combat experience from Spain of Mongolia. True, some were purged by Stalin, but some not and many of those did achieve some remarkable results even in the opening stage of the war on East.
Maybe 'I16Stealth' can give us further details.

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Dr_V
Posted: August 05, 2004 09:36 pm
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Over all I'd say the USAAF, mainly for their key impact on the final outccome. Without American air superiority the Japanese Empire would have prevailed in the Pacific, as they were far more efficient on the grownd and even on the sea. Also on the European theater only the air superiority (fully acheived only when the Americans joined in) was the key factor to the Allied victory, as without it the Panzer divisions were almost unstoppable.

But to be fair I'd like to highlight the credits of all WW2 air forces, as every significant player had something that made history in the war aviation field. In my oppinion these are as following:

Germany: ME 262 was the first effective jet fighter; Ju 88 was a splendide versatile dive-bomber

Britan: Spitfire (V-IX-XII) "the best deffensive fighter of WW2"

USA: P51 Mustang was overall the most effective fighter of the war; B17&B24 flying fortresses were undubtfully the most effective bombers

Japan: they practicaly invented the aircraft carrier as an offensive weapon, both for ground support and sea battles (even if the Americans were the ones who eventually had the means to fully exployt this new tactic)

Romania: the IAR80 was a grate acheivement for a small nation with limited industrial development. The bravery shown in combat was also remarcable.

Finland: a small, but determined and resourcefull nation that set an example of courrage and acheived unexpected results with the limited resources available.

There are also some air forces to be listed as dissapointments, unable to acheive anything noteworthy except huge losses, bad aeroplanes and poor tactics:

Italy: produced maybe the worst WW2 planes and their rigid and outdated tactics were not helping them. There were many brave Italian pilots, but didn't stud any chance.

USSR: they produced low quality planes and teir victorys were only the result of the huge quantity of matherials they deployed. If the losses/defeats are took into count, their aviation was one of the worst air forces of the war.

France: as in many other situations, the French failed to exployt their relative technical superiority in aviation design at the beginning of WW2.
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Victor
Posted: August 06, 2004 05:41 am
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USSR: they produced low quality planes and teir victorys were only the result of the huge quantity of matherials they deployed. If the losses/defeats are took into count, their aviation was one of the worst air forces of the war.


I have to disagree here. The VVS had some of the best aircraft in the world for the job it had to do and eventually helped the Red Army win the war. If you wil check the Allied aces list you will see who has the most kills.
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Der Maresal
Posted: August 07, 2004 03:31 am
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If I may only say - the Americans were very impressed about the German Airforce, the Luftwaffe. They had such an admiration for it and for the pilots, that they 'allowed' germany to keep her airforce name - Luftwaffe- after the war.

The German army - the wehrmacht had to change it's name, the Kriegsmarine too.. The Luftwaffe however remains. Americans in 1945 were mostly interested in airforce technology.

One can say roughly that the Russians were mostly interested in the German Army - in Tanks because it was against the wehrmacht that they fought mostly. The British were interested in the Germany Navy, in Submarines, Radars, radar-detectors and all sorts of secret projects that the Germans had - they had fought a war primarily against the German U-Boots in the Atlantic, they mostly took naval technology - As for the Americans (who treated german prisoners with contempt), were more kind to Luftwaffe pilots, they respected them more. during the last years of that war, mosty the US and the Luftwaffe had fought for air supremacy, so the US was mostly interested in the Airforce, in secret weapons and rocket technology.
I tried to show by this which country was interested in what 'area' and what they looted the most.
So there you have it, USSR - Army, America - Airforce, Britain - Navy.
I vote for the Luftwaffe as the most efficient airforce, with battlehardened experienced pilots, excellent aircraft, designers, engineers, great quality of workmanship, well maintained planes and superb combat record.
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Victor
Posted: August 07, 2004 04:08 am
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If I may only say - the Americans were very impressed about the German Airforce, the Luftwaffe. They had such an admiration for it and for the pilots, that they 'allowed' germany to keep her airforce name - Luftwaffe- after the war.


Actually it's the Bundesluftwaffe I think.

AS for teh best, IMO, it was the USAAF, followed by the RAF and only then the Luftwaffe and the VVS. The rest were too small to even be compared with the big players.

The USAAF had the capability to carry out any kind of mission, from strategic to tactical, something which only the RAF could do. The Luftwaffe and the VVS were limited mostly to tactical missions, which they did very well in most cases. The Germans carried out a strategic bombing campaign against Britain, but were hardly as successfull as the USAAF and RAF were later on.
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Dénes
Posted: August 07, 2004 04:29 pm
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Yes, I'd also say that as a whole, USAAF was the most efficient.
However, down to basic unit (squadron) or even pilot level, I stick with the Luftwaffe.

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Chandernagore
Posted: August 07, 2004 08:23 pm
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USAAF might have been excellent in 44/45. But top level in 41-42 ? Uh, tell that to Saburo Sakaï ;-)
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