Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

How effective was tactical airpower against tanks on the Eastern front?

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by USS Washington, May 31, 2015.

  1. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    6,720
    Likes Received:
    494
    Not confusing the Mig 25 with the Su 25 Frogfoot maybe.
     
  2. harolds

    harolds Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes Received:
    167
    @Poppy: Wiki mentions that his imput was used in the development of the A-10.
     
  3. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    6,720
    Likes Received:
    494
    The Alpha trainer may well be an offshoot of the YA9, but the Frogfoot was around before the Alpha.
    Hoping that is true.
     
  4. airacobra42

    airacobra42 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    From what I have gathered, it was quite rare for a Ju-87 or Il-2 to thoroughly destroy a tank on the ground, but it was quite common for attacks by CAS aircraft to put tanks out of commission for several days. Il-2s had a tremendous impact at the Battle of Kursk because they were able to render tanks immobile, forcing the talented German mechanics to make the necessary repairs on the front line. During such a battle, taking a German tank out for a few days was almost as good as completely destroying it.
     
  5. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    6,321
    Likes Received:
    459
    The Il2 (Black Widow) was a devastating ground attack aircraft. Germans dreaded its appearance. The plane was considered a flying tank and it rained down hell on its targets.
     
  6. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Germany
    Never heard the nick-name Black Widow for the Il2-Sturmovik. "Der Bucklige" (hunchback) it was called by the german soldiers.

    The Il2-M3 wasn't effective against tanks, that's a myth. It was a ground attack aircraft mainly against soft targets. The old Ju 87 with the 37mm canon was far more dangerous for tanks.
     
  7. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,190
    Likes Received:
    210
    Location:
    CA Norte Mexico, USA
    Luftwaffe pilots called it Zementbomber (Concrete bomber).[32] The Finnish nickname maatalouskone ("agricultural machine" or "tractor") derived from a word play with maataistelukone (ground attack aircraft, literally "ground combat aircraft" where kone, literally "machine", in turn is shortened from lentokone, aircraft, literally "flying machine")
    Wikipedia Ilyushin Il-2
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,362
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    I have seen some references that the German troops sometimes called the IL-2 the Black Death. However, I never heard the IL-2 referred to as the Black Widow.
     
  9. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    6,321
    Likes Received:
    459
    Yes yes Black Death is where I was heading....


    Where did I get Black Widow from?
     
  10. Owen

    Owen O

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,392
    Likes Received:
    510
  11. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Germany
    The Il2 had nothing more than two 23mm Canons.
    The german and finnish air force refused to use it, it was considered too dangerous to fly (and the Luftwaffe used planes like the He 177, the Me 210 or even the Me 163).

    It was difficult to shoot down from the ground and it was produced in vast numbers. But the soviets liked the Airacobras more than the US-pilots for a reason.
     
  12. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    75
    It seems to me that this machine has acquired a certain 'aura' that it simply does not warrant. Here was a machine conceived for taking out tanks individually - one by one if you will. Rudel in his first day's flying at the controls of his BK 3.7 mm toting Stuka managed to knock out around ten Russian tanks according to Nauroth's German-language Stukageschwader Immelmann history. (Rudel's own account states twelve). Yet just a few hundred miles east of where Rudel would have been operating (during, say, July 1943) Soviet factories were churning out hundreds of tanks weekly - well out of the range of any Luftwaffe bombers. The Luftwaffe did not possess a decent long-range heavy bomber as we know. All the Luftwaffe could come up with at this stage of the war was a Stuka 'D' model expedient with the flying characteristics of a brick - it was impossible for all but the most experienced pilots to fly well, especially in the turn where the massively laden Stuka bucked and wobbled on the edge of the stall.. At the time of course Rudel's efforts and those of his comrades were feted in the Nazi propaganda media. Today they are still 'celebrated' in just about every account you might care to read devoted to combat flying on the Eastern Front. In reality Rudel's 'achievements' were but a drop in the ocean, a mere pinprick in the overall scheme of battle on the Eastern Front..
     
    von Poop and Sheldrake like this.
  13. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Germany
    Yes, but even the allied bombing campaign failed to slow down the german tank production in the first years. So i can't see how the hard pressed Luftwaffe could be more successful against russian factories. And a lot of the factories were already behind the Ural, where the Luftwaffe could not reach them by any means.

    The old StuKa wasn't an ideal plane but at least it had a gun powerful enough to knock out a T-34. The Hs 129 was a reasonable successor.

    The Il2 was overestimated too, don't you agree?
     
  14. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,190
    Likes Received:
    210
    Location:
    CA Norte Mexico, USA
    Nice study Falke! Great share.
     
  15. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,384
    Likes Received:
    346
    Location:
    London UK
    Can I refer you to the question I raised in post #4. What proportion of Rudel's claimed kills were actual?
     
  16. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,377
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Atlanta
    They don't have a leg to stand on.
     
  17. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,494
    Likes Received:
    487
    Um, it "failed to slow down the german tank production in the first years" because, to quote the USSBS, "It was not until the late summer and fall that plants became the target for a concentrated bombing effort". Five plants were heavily targeted in the last five months of 1944, with variable effect. One, Henschel, Kassel was heavily damaged with a 70% loss of production over three months. Two others lost 35% and 15% production over three months, while the others suffered negligible loss. Only one plant was heavily attacked in 1943, Alkett-Borsigwalde, Berlin, which was knocked completely out of the war and was replaced by a new final assembly plant at Falkensee. Overall, the USSBS noted the difficulty of damaging the German tank industry, especially since attacks on the engine and transmission manufacturing plants occurred after they were dispersed, eliminating a potential industrial bottleneck, which might have been exploited. It is possible, given the extreme concentration of Soviet production in a few sites that a US-style daylight bombing attack would have been very effective.

    However, as you point out, the Luftwaffe had zero capacity to conduct attacks such as did the damage to Henschel and Alkett. Those were done by the USAAF in the prime of its capability during the CBO.
     
    von Poop likes this.
  18. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Germany
    You mean the attacks on the Borsig-Werke in 1943?
    The german tank production reached its peak in 1944. After heavy bombardments.
    So it is a simple conclusion that the Luftwaffe never was capable of slowing down the russian tank production. I guess even the USAAF couldn't achieve this, the factories would simply be transferred to the East. This is the difference between huge Russia and small Germany.
     
  19. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    75
    it wasn't much of a peak though of course. For example, 1,400 Tiger I's (approx) vs 36,000 T-34s
     
  20. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Germany
    A peak is a peak. The point is: Even the USAAF and the RAF with their huge ressources weren't immediatly successful in reducing the output of the german factories. By the way: The soviet air force didn't even try to destroy the industrial capacities of the enemy.
     

Share This Page