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Most Decorated Soldiers

Discussion in 'Leaders of World War 2' started by Boba Nette, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. Castelot

    Castelot New Member

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    True again, but we must also remember that quite a lot of the german figthers were Bf 110's which were inferior to the Ms.406 in air combat.
    It was only progressively that the germans stopped to use the Bf 110's as day figthers.
     
  2. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    I haven't seen any statistic, but repeated accounts state that certainly over the RAF the Luftwaffe enjoyed a qualitative superiority in tactics and training at that point.

    As for the aircraft, if one considers the Hurricane MkI of the Advanced Air Striking Force the MkI has a listed top speed of 318mph, but this is with a variable pitch prop, a fixed pitch prop as the AASF machines had knocked depending on sources between 10 and 25 mph from that speed. The Bf109 had a top speed of 359mph.

    So from the RAF's point of view their fighters were achieving between 297 and 308mph (Or there abouts), the Luftwaffe 359mph. That's a considerable superiority to the Luftwaffe from a start, not just in terms of fighter-fighter combat, but in terms of actually standing a better chance of affecting a bomber interception.

    IIRC, Bf109s were much more numerous in Luftwaffe service than Bf110s

    However, in any case how many of the French pilots were able to carry on serving throughout the war? I am aware that Frenchmen served in the RAF's Free-french Squadrons and in the Vichy airforce (The Vichy Air force produced some aces as well I believe).

    In any case this reinforces my comments that the Luftwaffe pilots enjoyed much greater opportunities to amass large victory totals and taking the war as a whole and especially compared to USAAF aces the Luftwaffe spent much of the first half of the war fighting enemies that were inferior in equipment or training or both.
     
  3. Castelot

    Castelot New Member

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    I checked my sources and I must admit that you appear to be right.

    While it's true that the allies did loose aproximately the same number of planes than the germans in the 1940 campaign(at least in the air), the germans did indeed not loose numerous Bf 109's.

    Of the planes fielded on May 10th 1940,till the armistice with France the germans had lost:

    30% of their bombers (521)
    30 % of their Stuka (122)
    40% of their transport aircraft (mainly Ju 52) (213)
    30 % of their Bf 110
    but only 20% of their BF 109 (245)


    So indeed for loosing some 400 figthers themselves, the germans destroyed some 750 allied figthers.
    However quite a number of those allied figthers(certainly over 100) were destroyed on the ground.

    So indeed the germans(at least those in a Bf 109) had some kind of superiority over the allied pilots.
    But of course that german advantage cannot remotely be compared with the advantage they had over the polish, yugoslav, or soviet airforces.
     
  4. Quillin

    Quillin New Member

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    because the polish, sovjet and yugoslav planes were seriously outdated, slow and mostly less manoeuvrable
     
  5. Ricky

    Ricky Well-Known Member

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    Um - the Yugoslavs had some good planes, including the Hurricane Mk I, Bf109E-1, and the home-made IK-3, which was superior to both.

    Sadly, they did not have many planes - hence the outcome.

    Take a look here for some good info & interesting first-hand accounts.
     
  6. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    forget the condor legion myth.hartmann[350 kills ]didnt start shooting in ernest until 1943.rall ,barkhorn and kittel didnt really start to score until summer 42.there were 11 germans with over 40 raf spitfire kills,not counting their hurris,bombers and p47s ect...priller shot down some seventy SPITFIRES all by his lonesome..most of these guys were shot down themselves 10 or 15 times,with eyes ,fingers or legs shot away an long hospital stays.while its true they flew in a target rich enviornment,dont forget those russian,brittish and yank targets were doing their level best to kill them every day.im proud of bong and johnson and gentry...but lets not kid ourselves ,there will never be warriors to match the german fighter pilots of ww2.pound for pound ,fight for fight it cannot be duplicated...there were over a hundred german aces that scored over 100 kills!....to fly a fighter plane on a sunny day in peacetime is a risky venture.to do it 5 or 6 times a day in all weather with ppl shooting at you is superhuman.
     
  7. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    btw i didnt mean to leave out the french,polish,yugo ,chzek anzak and dutch"targets"who did more than their fair share of shooting down luftwaffe planes given the time they had before being over run by the panzers.read more about the iron men of the luftwaffe at kachas luftwaffe site...
     
  8. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    What's the Condor legion myth, I said that many of the Luftwaffe's top aces started their careers in Spain, not all of them.

    Care to back up the claim that the Luftwaffe aces had five or six combats a day? RAF squadrons were being fatally exhausted at a lower rate than that during the Battle of Britain.

    You cannot take just the kill totals as an indicator that there was anything inherently superior about the German pilots, as I said I seem to recall that on Kills/Sortie (Which is a far more meaningfull figure) Bong is up there with Hartmann. You're saying that they weren't in the same legue as the German aces. I'll say now you're wrong. What about the likes of Sailor Malan whose preference was to shoot up bombers but let them escape, his reasoning was that a bomber that crash-lands full of dead, wounded and dying crew is just as lost but more damaging to a squadron's morale.

    Don't forget as well that post-war many Allied aces had their scores ammended downwards as Axis records became available. German Aces did not have this revision, their scores stood and as such it is doubtful that Hartmann did actually achieve this score.
     
  9. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    im sry simon,when i said condor legion myth,what i ment to say was NONE of the10 top german aces started their careers in spain.in fact none of them were yet even aces a year AFTER the battle of britain. .....I didnt say 5 combats i was talking about 5 sorties...mabey it was only 3 how about we call it sun up to sun down,weather permiting....i agree,kill claims are prolly too high ,lets revise them down by say 30 %....so hartman is only 220 kills and number ten krupinski is only140 kills most of them flew for months in combat before posting their first kill...most did not hit their stride until the summer of 42 .... as for shooting down bombers there were over a hundred luftwaffe aces who shot down TEN or MORE 4 engine bombers,when a lanc or b17 crashes it makes quite a dramatic impact prolly less cheating there...how many german bombers did malan...er ,shoot holes in?...do we know....im not belittleing the allied fighter pilots....kraut pilots were kept in harness until they were killed...loseing a leg or eye would not get you off the hook...lol :bang:
     
  10. Ricky

    Ricky Well-Known Member

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    But then, Allied fighter pilots were only allowed 2 or 3 tours of duty, and regularly rotated into training roles etc, while German pilots were kept at the front from 1939 to 1945...

    Hence 'kills per sortie' being a far more relevant figure. If you fly 50 mission, and shoot down 50 planes, you are arguably better than somebody who flew 100 missions and shot down 60 planes.
     
  11. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    ,there will never be warriors to match the german fighter pilots of ww2.pound for pound ,fight for fight it cannot be duplicated

    Your comment. My point is that is simply not true. Taking Bong for example, he scored 40 kills in 200 combat sorties for a 5/1 sortie/kill ratio, further he did so against a highly trained enemy in a fairly target sparse environment.

    Hartmann scored 350 in over 1400 missions for a 4/1 sortie/kill against a much less skilled enemy in a target rich environment.

    I'd suggest that if their positions were reversed there is no reason Bong couldn't have scored as highly as Hartmann.

    Please don't start spouting this unsupportable "There will never be anyone as good as the Nazi supermen" stuff. It's a nonsense.

    BTW they were Germans, not Krauts.

    No-one said anything about cheating but even something like a 4 engine bomber being shot down could provide multiple crash sites. Overclaiming and overawarding was endemic to every airforce in WWII, Germany was no exception.

    I am also unaware of fighter pilots being forced back into their cockpits missing eyes, fingers and legs. Perhaps you could elaborate on this?

    Equally, a scramble is not a combat sortie, and it seems that you have picked this number of maybe between 3 and 5 missions a day out of the air, you did refer in your post to flying 6 times a day whilst people were shooting at you, what is that if it is not combat? I simply do not accept that the entire Luftwaffe was affecting up to 6 combats a day continuously throughout the period of 1942-1945, unless you can find anything to support this?

    The Allied top aces flew and fought a very different war from their Luftwaffe counterparts, but don't kid yourself that this means that the Luftwaffe pilots were all vastly superior because they racked up large victory totals, that is simply untrue. The evidence is there that on a mission for mission basis the top Allied scorers were at least as good.
     
  12. Stonewall phpbb3

    Stonewall phpbb3 New Member

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    I cant remember how many times Harrtman was shot down..

    Some top German Aces were shot down like 20 times..

    (memory)
     
  13. me262 phpbb3

    me262 phpbb3 New Member

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    but then we have marselle, all his kills against the british and allies, some considered him the best ace of aces
     
  14. Patton44

    Patton44 New Member

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    German

    1.) general adolf galland ( knights cross w/oak leaves and sword ) 20 kills in the battle of britain
    2.) lieutenant michael wittmab (knights cross w/oak leaves and sword, Iron cross first class) most successful tank comander of ww2. his kills totaled 138 tanks 132 anti-tank guns plus single handedly stoped the british advance to caen on june 13th and help up the advance nearly one month.
    3.) Knights cross w/ oak leaves, swords, and diamonds
    a.)luftwaffe major werner moelders - 115 kills
    b.)colonel gordan gollob
    c.)captain hans-joachim marseille
    d.) major's walther nowotny & erich hartman




    British

    1.) Captian phillip Vian - Victoria cross 1940 ( I think first of ww2 )
    2.) "paddy" blair mayne - Distinguished service order plus three bars.
     
  15. Man

    Man New Member

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    Patton44
    You forgot Hans-Ulrich Rudel, who was more decorated than any of those you mentioned. He recieved the Knight's Cross with Golden Oakleaves, Swords & Diamonds.
     
  16. me262 phpbb3

    me262 phpbb3 New Member

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    there are 10 recipients of the KC w/oak leaves,swords and diamonds (in the luftwaffe):
    Adolf Galland at 104 victories
    Gordon Gollob at 150 victories
    Hermann Graf at 212
    Erich Hartmann at 352
    Helmut Lent at 110 ( 102 at night)
    Hans-Joachim Marseille at 158
    Werner Moelders at 101
    Walter Nowotny at 258
    Han Ulrich Rudel at 11 plus ground targets
    Heinz Schanufer at 121 ( all at night)
     
  17. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    there were over a hundred luftwaffe pilots who had shot down 100+ planes...no allied pilot can join this club. there were over 50 luft pilots that outscored bong.and thats if u exclude ALL russian kills.most of bongs fighter kills were jap army oscars[same guns as a spad and not much heavier in consruction] if we go kill/sortie ratio the endless combat air patrol of carrier pilots takes then out altogether....if we look at luft waffe kill/sortie then we have... one lt. scheel who killed 70 planes in 70 missions...so there u have it lt ,scheel is the worlds best fighter pilot ! hmm ..i never even heard of him till today, but wait, emil lang shot dn 17 in one day...and a lt rudorffer got 12 in one mission....im not sayin the kraut pilots were supermen racially .they were just the worlds greatest fighter pilots as a group.then ,now and forever..no amount of fiddeling with statistics or ratios is ever gonna change it...live with it ...simon,i do..lol and yes if bong or tuck were in jg52 they prolly woulda been in the hundred club too.....p.s. duke cunningham ace of aces ,viet nam..5 kills,i dont think he has been eclipsed ,has he?
     
  18. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    Kraut is a derrogatory term. Try "German", it's not that much more difficult, only an extra letter long in fact.

    No I do not accept that the Luftwaffe "were just the worlds greatest fighter pilots as a group.then ,now and forever..", and I resent the implication that I am "Fiddling the statistics", I at least am not plucking numbers out of the air.

    The Luftwaffe weren't the greatest fighter pilots as a group, the Western Allies as a group were producing far superior pilots by 1944 to those coming out of the Luftwaffe. They weren't scoring as highly, but that doesn't change anything.

    The Luftwaffe had the (Lack of) rotational structure that meant their pilots were never properly rotated away from front line areas as the Allies were and which in turn meant they were given the opportunity to amass large claims in a target rich sky against, certainly in the East, poorly trained opponents.

    Your point against Bong shooting down Oscars is unclear. The Oscar was a dangerous opponent, fairly fast, very nimble and at the point Bong was scoring his victories still piloted by arguably some of the best pilots in the world. In addition opportunities were very few and far between, unlike over the Eastern front or Defence of the Reich operations.

    The Oscar's armament was not that much weaker than many Soviet fighters, and the pilots on the whole at that time much better.

    Yet you seem fixated that the Luftwaffe produced better pilots. Why? Just because they scored more highly. Early in the war they undoubtedly had better pilots and better tactics than the Western allies, later on the position was reversed. Try to put these numbers into context.

    Luftwaffe Pilots scored more highly than their western counterparts simply because they had the opportunity to do so. It does not make them superior pilots as a group or even individually.
     
  19. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    japanese army pilots were not of the same grade as the navy pilots.the oscar is super nimble but not fast and it has two .30 cal machine guns..its amazing that oscar pilots ever shot down any planes at all..the navy zero had two mg.30 plus two 20mm....big advantage.also ,by the time most yank pilots got to the eto,they were often faceing student pilots in 109s...
    guys with 30,40 hours..[US PILOTS HAD AT LEAST 400 HOURS BEFORE THEY WENT INTO COMBAT]hartmann had only 60 hrs when he arrived in russia.on the job training,even in 43.
    chuck yeager shot dn 5 in one day.but they were almost certainly what ,in the us we would call cadets.if yeager had stumbled onto priller or bar that day he would have almost certainly been killed..their blastfurnece enviornment made the super aces of the luftwaffe what they were but they must have had icewater in there vienes to fly month after month into the valley of the shadow...u cant really think that a bond selling yank or brit war hero with twelve vics would be a match one on one with a hundred kill luftwaffe man...the german will have jumped out of or crashed more planes than the allied guy had shot down altogether.
     
  20. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    Who's talking about the Zero? The Romanians managed to down 4 engine bombers flying the IAR-80 with just 4 rifle calibre MGs, why is it so remarkable that the Oscar would be a dangerous foe for a fighter Oscars were steadily up-gunned with HMGs and some with 20mm cannon and at 329mph in level flight was far from slow.

    In any case regardless, the Army pilots were still very highly trained certainly better at that stage than many Allied PTO/CBI pilots, and highly trained opponent in highly manouevrable aircraft capable of getting on your tail with 2 rifle calibre mgs, 2 HMGs or 2 20mm cannon was still a very deadly foe.

    ...and how exactly does this make the Luftwaffe better as a group (Your words)? Hartmann only had 60 hours but his leaders were more experienced. Hartmann was also flying on the Eastern front were Soviet pilots had minimal training.

    Based on what exactly? So let me get this right, when the Luftwaffe are engaging in what one pilot called "Infanticide" in shooting down unskilled opponents they're the greatest group of pilots ever, when Allied aces engage poorly trained Luftwaffe pilots it's a case "Yeah well, they were just cadets"? Double standards.

    Why not? The evidence is there to show that the Allied aces were as good, the standard of Allied pilots in the last 18 months of the war as a whole better. I'm getting fed up of saying this, but you can't realistically say that a Luftwaffe ace who is shooting down poorly trained opponents or lumbering unmanouevrable bombers in a sky filled with targets is a better pilot than an Allied ace who is facing a sky increasingly sparsely populated with targets just because the Luftwaffe man shoots down more planes.

    A pointless statement, and you said I was fiddling statistics. The Luftwaffe were largely on the defensive, of course they'd have the opportunity to be shot down and climb back into the cockpit, they were largely flying and fighting over friendly controlled territory. At exactly which point did being shot down make an individual a better pilot?
     

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