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Most Decorated Soldiers

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

  1. Tom phpbb3

    Tom phpbb3 New Member

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    Couldn't a slightly similar statement be made about the RAF? During the BoB, quite a few RAF flyers bailed out over friendly territory, mounted another kite, and went right back up. And? Your point would have been?
     
  2. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    Excuse me? Where the hell did that attitude come from?

    Not really relevant in the slightest. My observations were aimed at the Luftwaffe throughout the course of the war, the Battle of Britain was a pretty small part of it, around 6 months in duration, and involved a small number of the total fighter pilots and aircraft produced during the war, much less than 10,000 aircraft in total thoughout the BoB compared to well over 500,000 such machines throughout the war as a whole.

    The Luftwaffe attacked Poland in 1939, aircrew that were shot down and survived even behind Polish lines could be quite soon reunited with their units.

    The same occured over France and the Low countries, especially as the Vichy government returned Luftwaffe PoWs to Germany rather than evacuating them to Britain as Churchill wanted.

    Barbarossa, only a handful of Luftwaffe aircraft shot down, I have no idea how many pilots would have been reunited with their units after being shotdown, but given the largely tactical scope of Luftwaffe operations, the rapidity of Whermacht advances and the paralysis of command in the Soviet units it could well have been many if not most. This is of course speculation on my part.

    After 1942 much of the Luftwaffe operations in the East and ETO became defensive as the Luftwaffe fought the Red Air Force for air superiority, the US 8th and 9th air forces and the TAF. So for much of the war the Luftwaffe fighter pilots who were shot down had a pretty fair chance of being reunited with their units. OK, aircrew that fell into the hands of Partisans were usually murdered but overall a Luftwaffe fighter pilot who was shot down would have a pretty good chance of being returned to his unit taking the war as a whole.

    Compared to the Allies, both the British (Inc Free Forces and Commonwealth fighting as part of the RAF), US and Red airforce's day fighter pilots spent most of the war fighting offensive actions over or behind enemy lines from which the only hope in the event of a Bail out was being rescued by Resistance or Partisans or making their way to a friendly Neutral on their own wits.

    So what point exactly were you trying to make?
     
  3. Tom phpbb3

    Tom phpbb3 New Member

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    My apologies, Simon. I didn't quote quite the way I meant. I was actually trying to support your point, or so I thought. Obviously, I dropped the ball on that one.

    I'm sorry about that!
     
  4. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    OK Tom, I took that one out of context. :oops: Sorry. :oops:
     
  5. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    simon,its plane[wink] that you have a great deal of knowlege on this subject.let me respectfully put together a pretend scenerio..we travel back in time and take the top 200 pilots from the luftwaffe and allies and give each side matching steeds,say sea furies or bearcats.then we let them train for 60 days.then they enter a giant furball at the same altitude.the luftwaffe boys haveing had a quantem advantage in combat experience[theres just no getting arround this fact]....at the end of the day ,is it your contention that allied guys would prevail or merely hold their own against the expertan..?
     
  6. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    All other things being equal, I'd expect the results to be roughly equal. The top scorers of the Luftwaffe and the westen Allies were very close in skill, the difference came in scores but as I have already explained the scores of the Luftwaffe top aces and the Allies top aces are in no way comparable since the two fought a completely different type of war.

    On the other hand I never claimed that the Allied aces were superior to the Luftwaffe's, merely that they were at least as good as them. You claimed of the Luftwaffe's top aces that: "there will never be warriors to match the german fighter pilots of ww2". A fighter pilot's score is a combination of factors, their skill, the opportunity to score victories and the skill of their opponents. When you consider that and compare it to the scores of the Allied aces the Luftwaffe's top scorers do not appear that remarkable. An individual could be the best fighter pilot in the world, but without the opportunity to score any victories who would ever appreciate his talents?

    Hartmann for example had talent, opportunity and an inferior opponent. Bong, had talent, the opportunity was hamstrung both officially and by the nature of the theatre he was operating in and his opponents were highly trained, certainly in comparison to those of the VVS at the time. Yet on a Kills/Sortie basis Bong scores not unfavourably with Hartmann. This isn't about abusing statistics, both Bong and Harmann's ratios were established over a number of sorties (BTW a Sortie is a combat operation, so Carrier pilots carrying out a CAP over their ship isn't a sortie unless they encounter enemy aircraft).
     
  7. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    if i had a hundred roman gladiators who had an average of say a hundred kills each in the arena ....an u were to inport a hundred gladiators from say, gaul who had each killed about 10 men in stadium combat,...you would expect that the fans up in the bleachers would be making mostly even money bets on the contest between our two groups?
     
  8. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    What point are you trying to make? :roll: This comparisson has no relevance at all.
     
  9. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    i guess my point is ...shooting down enemy planes is important if your a fighter pilot....bravery ,skill and pugnacity are important....combat experience is very important [i think a 100 victorie ace will kill a 10 victory ace almost every time...]frankly ,simon ...it astounds me that you think that a 10 kill raf pilot and a 100 kill german are about an equal match...i am a prvt pilot [about 350 hrs]..i think if u were to try to tell the pilots at gnoss feild that a 10 hour pilot [a student ] was equal in skill to a pilot with 100 hrs in his log book you would see a lot of eyebrows going way up ...for instance ,lets say myself and another vfr pilot [who had 3500 hrs logged]both had to fly through 500 miles of marginal vfr condition in the mountains at night, thunder showers ,scud running ,high turbulence,ect...if your life was at stake and you absoulutly had to go..would you rather ride with me ...or the other guy ,simon?.......i would suggest that combat experience ie. keeping a cool head when bullets are flying arround is worth its weight in gold...btw ,simon ,i greatly enjoy reading your posts on all other aircraft topics
     
  10. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    But that is the point I am trying to make. Take a pilot who has 1000 hours in ideal conditions only vs a pilot who has 100 hours in all conditions, who would I want to fly me through a storm? The 100 hour pilot. A Gladiator who has 100 kills (All 12 year olds armed with a kitchen knife) vs a Gladiator with 10 kills (All equally trained Gladiators), who would I place my money on? The 10 kill man.

    I am really starting to get fed up repeating this. By focusing purely on the numbers you are loosing the picture. Target abundance, target type, enemy skill, these are all equally important. You might have 100 kills, but if 99 of them are V-1s or Fu-Gos, so what, does that make you a skilled fighter ace?

    Try looking deeper than just the numbers of kills.

    The RAF pilots and USAAF pilots had the log book hours and had the combat experience, they didn't have the kills because they were flying and fighting a different war. Rotations for rest and training, flying escort missions rather than interception missions. These all reduced the potential to rack up a huge kill tally, but didn't mean the pilots were less skilled.

    Give one pilot 100 escort sorties and another 100 intercept sorties and who would you expect to score more kills? The intercept pilot. Does that automatically mean he's a better pilot? Of course not. So why do you think otherwise?
     
  11. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    simon ,,who would you say are the best 5 fighter pilots of all time?
     
  12. merlin phpbb3

    merlin phpbb3 New Member

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    az abuv

    My God, what's happening to this Forum? It's getting to the level of playground arguments! "My Dad can beat your Dad".
    I thought it was going to improve but evidentally not, I can see now why Gerry Chester left!
     
  13. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Re: az abuv

    I don't really know what you're talking about, Merlin. Neither of the parties in this discussion have called in their dads or anything like it, and they are arguing on the basis of facts and information they have gathered. The subject itself may be considered childish to some, but it sparks discussion, rather than just involving one person telling another the facts. I do think both parties in this discussion are following the thread with some interest, waiting to make their next reply...
     
  14. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    I don't know. My knowledge doesn't really extend outside of WWII, but I'd like to bet that Richthofen, Hartmann, Galland, Nowotny and Moelders are at least up there in the top 100. On the other hand, I would like to bet that any realistic appraisal of the best fighter pilots (Not highest scoring aces) has to have at least Malan, Johnson, Bong, Zemke, Kozhedud, Rickenbacker, McGuire and Sakai up there with them too. There are probably untold modern day pilots without a kill to their credit who are at least as skilled but have never been called upon to prove it as well.
     
  15. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    this forum is about war,as to the human element its about great leaders ie r.e.lee,julius ceasar,guderian ect..or its about great soldiers, audei murphy,gunther prein,werner voss,mick mannock..ect..of course its also about the great sweating ,faceless armys of history..why is it more childlike to argue the merits airforces or pilots[actual warriors] than say tanks or generals?if i wanted to argue on behalf of my dad ,i would say the us. airforce was the best in the whole war [of which he was a member ,briefly] my dad taught me ,and its common knowlege in the usa ,that the p51 was the best piston engine fighter ever built....a russian pc sim designer has recently opened my eyes to the fact that this may infact not be true....fighter pilots and planes of ww2 are i belive a part of military history as much as tanks,merlin..as to our dads i dont think they much enter in to it.
     
  16. merlin phpbb3

    merlin phpbb3 New Member

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    playground talk

    Hello Woody, you evidentally do not understand the English expression
    "My Dad can fight your Dad", it's nothing to do with war, tanks and aeroplanes, it's an expression used when arguments get silly and every one trys to go one better than the previous, which, unfortunately some of these threads; at times, seem to do.
     
  17. jeaguer

    jeaguer New Member

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    at the end of the day , a soldier die , an officier got a medal and a promotion

    it's call war , get used to it :evil:
     
  18. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Soldiers got medals all the time. Officers got them too, because they fight for them too. I really don't see what you're talking about here.

    If you consider an officer getting glory over the backs of his men an injustice, consider what those men would have achieved if not for the leadership provided by said officer.
     
  19. jeaguer

    jeaguer New Member

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    an army do not depend on leadership to function , it's too rare ,
    it relie mostly on discipline , training , rules and enforcement mechanism
    such as military police and , at the extreme, court martials
    soldiering is not heroes stuff it's mostly boredom laced with mind numbling
    stupidity :D
     
  20. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    According to Sun Tzu (a good read, I can recommend it), discipline, rules and the enforcement thereof depend on the general. Even though these things have mostly been institutionalized, I still think leadership has a very important part in ensuring them and guaranteeing their effect.
     

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