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Bomber raids

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by GunSlinger86, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    That the Soviets maps weren't that great, doesn't mean a German pilot using them could find his destination, because obviously Soviet pilots using the same maps did it routinely.
    The Soviets radars were poor or nonexistent, similarly they didn't have anything approaching the Observer Corps - so it wasn't like during the Battle of Britain at all.
    The fact Russia was mostly empty plains intersected by numerous larger rivers, with many cities located by them helped air navigation greatly.
     
  2. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    And yet...there are many well-recorded instances in the West - some tragic, some laughable - where Luftwaffe pilots/navigators were unable to orient themselves correctly using ground landmarks like rivers, and riverine topographical features...and on occasion couldnt even follow/identify coastlines correctly. The latter is especially suprising as any navigator will tell you that the land-sea terminator is THE easiest surface feature to identify.

    Also - with the various moritoriums on training beginning midwar, I can't help wondering exactly how rigorous LW nightflying and navigation training was by then...
     
  3. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    They were led by pathfinders. See a good description of the attack on Poltava. I suppose they rarely bombed at night anyway, so less chance for mistakes. :)

    But sometimes they do. And I know this as a fact.
    My family lived in Ukraine near a railway line leading to the front, it was shortly before Bagration. And those sobs bombed the nearby railway station every night, it lasted for weeks.
    In the end they had to leave the place. Because really, it wasn't London but the bombs were falling every night. :)

    I later found out it was done by the people earlier preparing for the attack on the Soviet power stations, so I suppose they were good.
     
  4. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Mass training is aimed at giving you "good enough" pilots, big navigation errors were not the prerogative of the LW, Entire US bomber formations sometimes bombed the wrong town, a couple of times even the wrong country, the average RAF squadrons operating at night were possibly even worse. If we are talking about carefully planned single raids by veteran crews I would expect most to hit the right target, if attempting a sustained campaign I do not expect the Germans to be any better than the allies, and initially worse as they will have to develop doctrine and equipment.
     
  5. green slime

    green slime Member

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    The Germans were substantially worse, especially once their cadre was decimated in the East. With the pressure on Germany proper from the Western Allies, there was no real competence for long range bombing. As indicated by the completely shambolic showing over England in Jan 1944. With pathfinders and all the technology available.

    This is just another one of wm. fantasies. The Mistel's were just another ludicrous desperate attempt to waste men and material in the face of losing the war. More useless unique elite snowflakes.
     
  6. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    I only wanted to show that the USSR wasn't a terra incognita, impossible to navigate by air.
    It was a country which outsiders were able to visit, and actually many of them worked there till 1940 - even in such military important installations like oil refineries.

    Additionally as its air defences were weaker and much less capable than British or German ones, comparisons with the Battle of Britain and attacks on Germany are not very useful.

    I've never said the Germans were capable of strategic bombing or had planes useful for that. They did it sometimes with reasonably good results using frontline planes unsuitable for those missions, usually if there was a lull in the fightings. It wasn't true strategic attacks, but nothing better was available.


    Below an actually paid advert from 1938, showing how close the pre-war cooperation with the "capitalists" was, placed in the Soviet technical press by the Wright Corporation, advertising their Cyclone engines. The text reads: another [world] record of the Cyclone engines made by Wright.

    Terra incognita my foot. :)

    View attachment 25456
     

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  7. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Strawman

    No one said it was terra icognita. Several posters have given examples as to just how difficult aerial navigation is. That you continue to ignore.
     

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