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> Spitfire vs Messerschmitt
MMM
Posted: March 19, 2009 04:47 pm
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How many of the 300+ kills were made on the Eastern front against crappy planes and/or pilots of the SU? Let's not rush to the conclusions :)

This post has been edited by MMM on March 20, 2009 08:16 pm
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Radub
Posted: March 19, 2009 05:23 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ March 19, 2009 04:47 pm)
Let's not rush to the conclusions :)

Exactly!

I would not be that quick to dismiss the Russians.

Not all Russian aircraft were "crappy" and not all Russian pilots were useless. :D

Russians flew a variety of indigenous aircraft as well as a wide range of lend-lease aircraft such as Spitfires, Hurricanes, Tomahawks, Warhawks, Thunderbolts, Airacobras, Bostons, Mitchells, etc. The Russians' "own brand" aircraft were quite good, such as the Yak and the Lavochkin families that could hold their own against the Germans.

Furthermore, what is good for the goose is good for the gander: Many Romanian pilots scored impressive tallies against the Russians and I hope you do not wish to imply that these Romanian pilots did not have to fight hard. ;)

Radu

This post has been edited by Radub on March 19, 2009 06:11 pm
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Stephen Dabapuscu
Posted: March 20, 2009 03:59 am
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During the Battle of Britian, the Spitfire and Bf-109 where equal; pilot skill usaully determined the winner, along with other factors such as, altitude, tactics and sometimes luck.
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MMM
Posted: March 20, 2009 08:49 am
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Well, I definitely did NOT dismiss the SU: after all, they won! :P
I just said that - as I'm sure you know - in th first months of war, there was a big difference between Luftwaffe and the Soviet Air Force, resulting in a "sitting ducks" hunting. The same happened with the tanks as well in the first weeks of the conflict!
Get it?
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Radub
Posted: March 20, 2009 09:54 am
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QUOTE (MMM @ March 20, 2009 08:49 am)
Well, I definitely did NOT dismiss the SU: after all, they won! :P
I just said that - as I'm sure you know - in the first months of war, there was a big difference between Luftwaffe and the Soviet Air Force, resulting in a "sitting ducks" hunting. The same happened with the tanks as well in the first weeks of the conflict!
Get it?

By "the first months of the war" I imagine you mean the first days of Barbarossa. By that stage of the war, many of the German pilots who survived the Battle of Poland, the Battle of France, Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, Mediterranean, Africa, were already aces with impressive tallies. No matter who they met at the time of Barbarossa, be they American, Russian or the Rebel Alliance from Star Wars, the Germans were more experienced, more skilled and more versed. Even so, Barbarossa was not a "walk in the park".

Let us not go into the usual convoluted analysis of semantics that seems to happen a lot here lately. I just replied to your statement in which you said that the 109 pilots got most of their victories on the Eastern front against "crappy planes and/or pilots of the SU" , which is not entirely true. Not all Russian planes were crappy and not all pilots were rubbish. Furthermore, the 109 was in use from the Spanish Civil war until the end of the war and it fought on every single theatre of operations from the tundras of the arctic circle to the desserts of Africa and all the lands in between. Furthermore, of the top scoring aces of the Luftwaffe, a whole lot of their victories were not achieved on the Eastern Front. To achieve that large "score" a pilot has to actually survive a lot of missions and that takes skill. There were also a lot of 109s that never flew a second combat mission especially on the "Heimatschutz" front.

The very complex "balance of air power" on the Eastern Front is the subject of many books that can fill a few libraries. When I say "complex" I really mean that it goes beyond saying that one side was "crappy".

If you are curious, please have a look at this website and you will soon discover that things were not that "simple":
http://www.acesofww2.com/

Radu



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MMM
Posted: March 20, 2009 10:48 am
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Not only the first days! Stop mismatching my words, as we're not in a trial and I guess none of us gets anything for yelling "Objection!" The Soviet tactics were to attack at all costs, even when outnumbered and outgunned and so on - and that changed only in 1942, after the battle of Moscow! And, if you check out more carefully your data, you will see that in 1941 the pilots involved in the BoB were NOT on the Eastern front. Only later in the war things changed! I never said Barbarossa was a walk in the park, neither that all SU planes/pilots were crappy; what of acesofww2.com? It's just a site with many things not-so-easy to verify on it... Let's get back to the topic, as it is clear that NOT the pilot skills determin the best plane right?
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Radub
Posted: March 20, 2009 11:09 am
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QUOTE (MMM @ March 20, 2009 10:48 am)
Not only the first days! Stop mismatching my words, as we're not in a trial and I guess none of us gets anything for yelling "Objection!" The Soviet tactics were to attack at all costs, even when outnumbered and outgunned and so on - and that changed only in 1942, after the battle of Moscow! And, if you check out more carefully your data, you will see that in 1941 the pilots involved in the BoB were NOT on the Eastern front. Only later in the war things changed! I never said Barbarossa was a walk in the park, neither that all SU planes/pilots were crappy; what of acesofww2.com? It's just a site with many things not-so-easy to verify on it... Let's get back to the topic, as it is clear that NOT the pilot skills determin the best plane right?

What shall I understand here?

On 19 March you said: "crappy planes and/or pilots of the SU"
On 20 march you said: "I definitely did NOT dismiss the SU" :blink:

Today, 20 March, at 08.49 you said: "in th first months of war, there was a big difference between Luftwaffe and the Soviet Air Force"
Today, 20 march, at 10:48 you said: "Not only the first days!" :blink:

YES, get back to the topic!
The topic is "Spitfire vs Messerschmitt". If you really want to discuss the VVS competency or lack of it in this context, may I suggest that you research the effectiveness of the Russian Spitifires against the Messerschmitt?

I feel that this is heading in the usual "whose is bigger" direction. :lol: I know that you like to have "the final word" in every "discussion". That is why, after you reply to this, I will allow you to have the "final word" in this "discussion", no matter how inflammatory or incorrect that may be. :lol: :D

Radu
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Hadrian
Posted: March 20, 2009 05:23 pm
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Talking about the Me-109 and Spitfires from Battle of Britain, I think it is hard to find more balanced oposing fighters in any war.
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MMM
Posted: April 09, 2009 05:02 pm
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So which one's better? Both? Isn't there possible a comparison between - say - the most advanced models of each?
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Dénes
Posted: April 09, 2009 05:06 pm
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This excercise is pointless (and the debate endless). My opinion.

Gen. Dénes
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dragos
Posted: April 09, 2009 09:45 pm
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Some quotes from "Forgotten voices of the Blitz and the Battle of Britain" by Joshua Levine:

QUOTE (Flying Officer Hugh Dundas @ 616 Squadron RAF)
During the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire still had fabric ailerons. It wasn't until the beginning of 1941 that we got metal ailerons which made a tremendous difference to handling in the high speed of a dive.


QUOTE (Sergeant Cyril 'Bam' Bamberger @ 610 and 41 Squadrons RAF)
When you were diving at speed with fabric ailerons, the aircraft used to try to turn to the left and I hadn't the physical strength to straighten it up.


QUOTE (Flying Officer Jeffrey Quill @ Vickers Chief Test Pilot and 65 Squadron RAF)
When you were on the ground with the tail down, you were completely blind forwards because the nose obliterated everything. You had to taxi with a zigzag motion. You swung the nose to the right and had to look over the left side to see that all was clear and then you swung the other way. Once you were airborne, the view was quite reasonable because it was in flying altitude.


QUOTE (Flight Sergeant George Unwin @ 19 Squadron RAF)
The Spitifire was a super aircraft. It was so sensitive on the controls. There was no heaving on pulling and pushing and kicking. You just breathed on it. If you wanted to turn, you just move your hands slowly and she went. She was really the perfect flying machine. She would only spin if you made her and she'd come straight out of it as soon as you applied opposite rudder and pushed the stick forward. I've never flown anything sweeter. I've flown jets right up to the Venom but nothing... nothing like her.


QUOTE (Pilot Officer James Goodson @ American pilot 43 Squadron RAF)
Once you got used to the Spitfire, of course you loved it. It became part of you. It was like pulling on a tight pair of jeans. It was a delight to fly. I used to smoke a cigar sometimes - against all rules and regulations - but if I dropped my cigar lighter, instead of groping around on the floor, I's move the stick a fraction of an inch, the Spit would roll over and I'd catch the cigar lighter as it came down from the floor. That was the kind of plane it was. Everybody had a love affair with it.


QUOTE (Pilot Officer Thomas Neil @ 249 Squadron RAF)
Every second German pilot who was shot down by a Hurricane will say that he was shot down by a Spitfire. That was the folklore that went on.


QUOTE (Fred Roberts @ NCO served as an armourer with 19 Squadron)
The Hurricane was an easier plane to maintain from an armourer's point of view. On a Spitfire, you had to take eight panels off the top of the wings and eight panels from underneath the wings. When you rearmed it, you had an additional four flaps covering the underside of the ammunition tanks. In the Hurricane, you only had one panel covering each gun and one covering the ammunition tanks. And with the Hurricane, you could kneel on the top of the wings and rearm. On the Spitfire, you couldn't. You had to get on you knees on the wet grass and take all these panels off.


QUOTE (Flying Officer William David @ 87 and 213 Squadrons)
To repair a bullet hole in your Hurricane, you only needed a bit of dope fabric. Whereas a Spitfire was all metal and you had to have a panel beaten in and riveted.


QUOTE (Leading Aircraftman Joe Roddis @ Flight mechanic with 234 Squadron RAF)
Everyone thought the Spitfire was the most marvellous thing on wings but without Hurricane, we'd have been in real trouble. There were twice as many Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain as there were Spitfires.


QUOTE (Flight Lieutenant Hugh Ironside @ 151 Squadron RAF)
The Hurricane was absolutely viceless provided you treated it right. I think from the point of view of fighting, I would have preferred it to a Spitfire, because it was so much stronger. Certainly on the early Spits, if you put an end to a very steep dive and pulled up quickly, the wings used to buckle. You could see the aluminum on the wings, little bumps. But you just couldn't fuss the Hurricane.


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Florin
Posted: July 14, 2009 09:24 pm
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Me-109 was easier to be manufactured. Producing Spitfire was quite a challenge for the British industry, especially in 1939...1940. We should not forget that Me-109 already passed the contest with He-112 because it was cheaper and more technological, and also faster, the latter being the most important factor. You can see that He-112 looked closer to Spitfire, up to a point.
No surprise that Me-109 was the most produced airplane of the war (from all sides).

Also, while a lot was written about the technological "present" of 4 Rolls-Royce Kestrel engines helping the Nazi Germany to develop its engines, it is less known that in exchange Germany gave to Great Britain a He-70 "Blitz", which could be a very good inspirational start to design the Spitfire. (In engineering, you don't need to copy something. A smart guy is "inspired" by an existing product, then he makes something better.)

Mitchell, the creator of Spitfire, previously designed many prototypes for air races, and he missed somehow the importance of technologies suitable for mass production.
Unfortunately for Great Britain, Mitchell died of cancer in June 1938, at age 42, and at that time no country developed yet technologies for mass production.

On the other side, to the merit of Mitchell, the Spitfire was able to develop about 355 miles per hour with an engine of 1030 HP, while the Me-109 had about 340 mph with an engine of 1050 HP. (I am comparing the versions available in the summer of 1940.) So we can see that while Messerchmidt created a cheaper, easier to make product, Mitchell obtained a finer, smoother aerodynamic shape.

Also, tons of ink were used to mention how much bigger was the Luftwaffe fleet in 1940. Well, if you consider only the fighters, there were about 700 British versus 900 German, at the beginning of the Battle of Britain. Quite equal, I dare to say. But we should not forget that two thirds of the British planes were not Spitfires, thus inferior to Me-109. Well, you know that Germans also had some Me-110, but soon the workhorse was only the Me-109.

This post has been edited by Florin on July 14, 2009 09:42 pm
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Hadrian
Posted: July 15, 2009 03:03 pm
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700 british against 900 german, indeed. But the 109 was at the limit of his combat radius, he could stay for example only 10 min. over London. And a pilot who bailed out ended as prisoneer by the end of the day, with all his combat experience, while a british pilot will end in another new Spitfire, perhaps by the end of the day. This situation at least counterbalances the slight superiority of the germans.
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Stephen Dabapuscu
Posted: September 22, 2009 05:40 pm
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QUOTE (Hadrian @ July 15, 2009 03:03 pm)
700 british against 900 german, indeed. But the 109 was at the limit of his combat radius, he could stay for example only 10 min. over London. And a pilot who bailed out ended as prisoneer by the end of the day, with all his combat experience, while a british pilot will end in another new Spitfire, perhaps by the end of the day. This situation at least counterbalances the slight superiority of the germans.

It was more like 200 Spitfires, 400 Hurricanes and 100 other obsolete types such as Defiants and Gladiators etc... Against 900+ Me-109's and 450+ Me0110's. The Luftwaffe also had more experienced pilots and better tactics. So the RAF's finest hour! was a most unlikey victory! B)

Thank you
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