MHO Home   Forum Home   Help   Register   Login
 
 
Welcome to MilitaryHistoryOnline.com.
You are not signed in.
The current time is: 10/20/2017 3:13:47 AM
 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
AuthorMessage
Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2770

Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 6/29/2017 7:03:54 PM
This appears to be a German perspective of why they were left wanting against the RAF!?

[Read More]

What say you about the RAF verse the Luftwaffe?
MD

BTW Ya gotta love this guys accent!
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3307

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 6/30/2017 3:08:16 AM
What say you about the RAF verse the Luftwaffe?

 Apples and oranges. The RAF was a well-rounded force capable of all aerial missions on a large scale and of sustained duration of operations. The Luftwaffe was a competent tactical air force, but in no way comparable to the RAF as far as strategic bombing, delivery of airborne forces, or transport of materiel went.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1309

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 6/30/2017 9:02:21 PM
MD, thought I sent you a lengthy comment last night. Seems to have chosen somewhere else to go.

Basically, I agree with Bill, but I'd take it further. Your link wasn't about a two-airforce comparison, so why try to compare them? At least Finnish, US, Canadian (?), Romanian, and Italian a/c are mentioned in the link, just as a starter. On top of that, the narrator unfortunately sounds as if any Luftwaffe positive would give him piles. That creates an inaccurate view of 1930s aerial warfare as it was envisioned. And IMHO, if you want to talk about the role of a/c you have to look some years earlier than 1939, then the S..t hit the fan.

Britain was still, perhaps barely, a true world power in the mid 1930s. Germany was not. It was a middle-European power digging itself out of years of inflation, depression and repression. But it had two dreams which to some extent coalesced: a belief in Germania's historic importance in Europe, and a political commitment to expanding Germania at the expense of lesser races.

Whether this was ever stated or not (and I haven't seen it stated except politically, but somebody might have access to German Army records to say differently), Germany's destiny would involve a land war in the east. And although there appear to have been errors in understanding the nature or extent of that land war to the east, I tend to think that German a/c development in the years leading to WW2 was sensible, effective and powerful. As aggressors, the Germans simply didn't end up getting the war they had prepared themselves for. That's happened more often than one wants to think, and should be recognized as bad strategic planning, but don't blame the failure of instruments designed for a different purpose.

In 1939, Germany's a/c were just fine. So were British a/c. And they were comparable.

On the German side:
• Bf-109F, a fine but short-range fighter with f/e engine and effective cannons as weapons.
• Bf-110, called at the time a "Zerstörer", a rather flawed a/c that only found it's purpose when converted to a night-fighter.
• Ju-52/3, a transport a/c converted to troop carrier, light bomber and other purposes.
• Do-17, the first of the "fast bombers" heralded by Douhet, but with so many changes that by 1939 the 1937 Do-17E was almost unecognizable as the Do-17Z-1.
• He 111, a fine a/c throughout it's iterations.
• Ju-87, IMHO the most successful and well-placed of any Luftwaffe a/c. By 1940 it was no longer effective in its primary role in the west, but continued to be effective in many different roles, particularly in the East.

Wanna think about comparisons? Well, thinking about 1940 or 1941, this is what the British side offered in comparison:
• Hurricane, no challenge for the Bf-109 but very effective against "Blitz" era bombers.
• Spitfire, a strong challenge to the Bf-109F, and like the Bf-109, an adaptable a/c which would exist to the end of the war.

Sorry... gotta go soon and can't complete my comments. In very general terms, my gist would be that the Allies chose the better air power image, and indicated their correct shoice only because they won the war.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2770

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 7/1/2017 7:50:56 AM
Hi Brian,

Thanks for your very astute points, but we must not forget about the RAF development of radar, which turned the air war in their favor?

Cheers,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2770

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 7/8/2017 8:22:20 AM
Some images of Luftwaffe losses in WWII!

[Read More]

Regards,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1309

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 7/8/2017 8:21:49 PM
Hey, MD, just noted your responses. I've been living in chaos the past few days.

You say: "we must not forget about the RAF development of radar, which turned the air war in their favor."

Radar (the British called it RDF, for radio direction finding") alone was not the issue, IMHO. A number of nations, including Germany, were at least as successful in their development of radar as the British were. IIRC, the USN was doing some work with radar that was pretty sophisticated as well.

Most people forget that during the Battle of Britain RDF was but one segment of the RAF interception system, and was not really trusted without backup observation of some sort.

Not knocking the system Britain had in place by June 1940, by any means. However clumsy and complex, it served well in general, and it placed defensive resources in the path of Luftwaffe with some. Keep in mind the Chain Home and Chain Home Low stations were but one element of the British system, which also included the Observer Corps, sound direction devices, various levels of "filtering" rooms, a web of land-lines for data transmission, and final assessment at operational level.

I would probably argue that British RDF deserves credit in two ways: it made the potential for interception of Luftwaffe by RAF defenders much more probable; and it provided RAF Fighter Command with more effective time in combat than would have been available had the Chain Home/Chain Home Low grids not been in place.

Cheers
Brian G

---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2770

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 7/11/2017 11:12:56 AM
Your right Brian,

The factors you point out, allowed the RAF to get maximum use of their fighters!

Thanks for the elaboration on British Radar use!
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 669

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 7/11/2017 3:16:01 PM

Quote:
What say you about the RAF verse the Luftwaffe?

 Apples and oranges. The RAF was a well-rounded force capable of all aerial missions on a large scale and of sustained duration of operations. The Luftwaffe was a competent tactical air force, but in no way comparable to the RAF as far as strategic bombing, delivery of airborne forces, or transport of materiel went.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


Exactly. The Luftwaffe was primarily a tactical air force, built for direct support of ground forces. It lacked true heavy bombers, and airlift capacity.
---------------
Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1309

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 7/12/2017 12:08:57 AM

Quote:
Quote:
What say you about the RAF verse the Luftwaffe?

 Apples and oranges. The RAF was a well-rounded force capable of all aerial missions on a large scale and of sustained duration of operations. The Luftwaffe was a competent tactical air force, but in no way comparable to the RAF as far as strategic bombing, delivery of airborne forces, or transport of materiel went.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


Exactly. The Luftwaffe was primarily a tactical air force, built for direct support of ground forces. It lacked true heavy bombers, and airlift capacity.


Not wanting to be a nitpicker, I'm not entirely sure I agree with your assessment, particularly in the early years of the war. I think the RAF grew into a strategic bombing force, and eventually had both airborne drop capability and transportation capabilities. But in the early years RAF were deficient in (numbers and quality of) reconnaissance a/c, transport a/c, naval patrolling. They certainly had nothing similar to the Ju-52/3 or the Fw-200. RAF "heavies" at the start of the war (Wellingtons and Whitleys, primarily) were equal to and in some ways superior to the closest German equivalents (Heinkel He-111s and later model Do-17s/217s), but RAF light and medium bombers were largely bad and often lethal. The Battle was a death trap; the various Blenheims barely kept up with minimum requirements. The Hampden all but defies description: just take a look at the procedure needed if a pilot is incapacitated and the co-pilot needs to take control!!

I agree that things changed as the war progressed, for many reasons. I agree that the RAF built up it's transport capability and to some extent it's airborne delivery (though that still fell largely to glider capability as late as September 44). I clearly believe that the Main Force of Bomber Command was impactful, and that rather more specialized RAF groups were incisive. But all that came about half-way through the war, starting perhaps in the Spring of 1942 with the "Millennial Raids", which established Arthur Harris as a major player in the strategic bombing campaign.

I don't mean the following nastily at all. But the "Millennial Raids" took place about a month before the first USAAF missions against France (IIRC, on July 4, 1942. Six a/c; 3 losses.). Are you gentlemen offering assessments concerning the RAF based on how they were halfway through a war? I ask this humbly. Much of what you suggest – airlift and transport capabilities are the most obvious – came from the US. Damn it, as late as early 1945, when the RAF (and RCAF) were turning bombers into freighters to supply the starving in Belgium and Holland, it was in part because they hadn't yet found themselves with a surfeit of transport a/c.

I think it too easy to evaluate capabilities once a war is over. The German tactical use of a/c, from He-111s to Ju-52/3s to anti-armour Ju-87s, was incredibly effective in Poland, in Scandinavia, in the West and France, in Yugoslavia, and – initially – in Russia. I don't want their defeat to strip them of their successes, any more than I want to support the goals and directives of strategic bombing simply because the Allies won the war.

Cheers
Brian G





---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5952
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 7/12/2017 3:55:54 AM
In a nutshell what hadn't been bled white in the USSR- was needed to protect Germany. France was a low priority.

The Luftwaffe - like the rest of the German armed forces - was never designed for a prolonged war, and the 1944 New Years Day orders to the Eighth AF to destroy the Luftwaffe in the air, on the ground and on the production line was just another nail in its coffin.

It was actually a minor miracle that they had as many aircraft in the theatre as they did.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2770

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 7/21/2017 9:15:33 AM
Hermann Goring didn't seem like to intelligent of a leader for the Luftwaffe!?

He certainly was left wanting!
What say you?
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1309

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 7/21/2017 9:02:02 PM
MD, IMHO Göring was a very complex character. I'd be loath to question his intelligence, to be honest, but I would agree he was a poor choice for leader of the Luftwaffe.

Amongst other things, he was:
• a WW1 fighter ace, and leader of the Geschwader once commanded by the Red Baron;
• a holder of the "Blue Max", an equivalent of the US Medal of Honor;
• with such heros as Erich Ludendorff, an early adherent of Nazism, providing a certain legitimacy to a renegade party as early as 1923;
• one of the more pragmatic voices of Nazism during its formative years (his "I shall decide who is a Jew" comment is a classic for its time).
• as President of the Reichtag during the critical months following August 1932, he played a major role in bringing Hitler to power.
None of this suggests lack of intelligence.

As the leader of the Luftwaffe (which he commanded from its official birth in 1935) he was a brilliant propagandist for German air power, though this would not survive early challenges over Dunkirk and during the Battle of Britain.

His main weaknesses, at least in the early years as leader of the Luftwaffe, were two. He was, IMHO, a poor judge of matching a man to a job. This may be because he was at least slightly afflicted with "croneyism", as his choice of folks like Udet and Milch attest. Or it may be because he really didn't understand the implications of the development of air power. Secondly, he was rather too driven by Nazi economic policies, and by Nazi loyalty issues, to make certain sensible choices.

Nevertheless, within four years of the creation of the Luftwaffe, Göring had built as fine an air force as existed anywhere in the world. Yes, he had the power and support he needed to do this. But I would argue that others with the same support may not have done as well.

Whether he was as inept as an operational commander as is often suggested, I'm not sure. I think many claims of his errors are exaggerated. I believe his decisions re the Kanalkampf and the early days of the Battle of Britain were sound, given the information he had at hand. The switch to Blitz tactics was not primarily his decision, but that of his only boss.

I will say this, which argues a different Göring entirely. By 1939 the man was a caricature of himself. I believe the was known as "der Dicke": the fat man. Being fat is not a sin, but being mocked as a fat man suggests a distinction between respect and fear. His notorious changes of uniform; his ostentatious personal residence; his increasing greed for purloined artwork – all this turns a brave fighter and a cunning politician and an architect of a powerful air force into a mockery of himself.

When I think of Hermann Göring, I think of the holder of the "Blue Max" rather than "der Dicke". Yet both are the man.

Cheers,
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2770

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 8/8/2017 10:09:45 AM
Hi Bri,

Good points, I guess I sold Hermann Goring short, I didn't realize his military aviation background!?

His biggest weakness may have been trying to please the Fuhrer !?

MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 466

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 8/8/2017 12:43:37 PM
Brian,

Morphine addiction negatively effect all who become addicted. It would be interesting to know the usage because one tends to build up a tolerance so to "get off" or actually manage the pain you have to use more but using more the more "off you get." I wonder when his usage went over the line?
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1309

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 8/8/2017 8:29:43 PM
John, you've raised good questions I can't answer. IIRC, Göring's opiate use arose originally from a groin injury sustained in the abortive Munich Putsch in 1923. He weaned himself from usage for sme years, but became a habitual user later. I believe he used an artificial opiate, but in increasing quantities as both the war and his usage continued. By 1943, he was being injected with something called Eukodal (edit), which may have been a liquid form of his drug of choice, but I have no idea what the dose was.

I haven't had a chance yet to read Norman Ohler's Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany, though I'm certain it would be fascinating reading and would deal with Göring's addiction. One would have to assume that the impact of such an addiction would have increasingly affected Göring's judgment.

What I don't know (I've gotta read Blitzed!) is how the use of such meds was understood (and not just in Germany). Don't misunderstand me: I'm not disagreeing with your comments. And I'm certainly not writing in support of Herr Göring! But various drugs were viewed differently over time.

Various opiates (opium itself, but also derivatives such as Laudanum) played a large part in making pain bearable. And continued use often arose not because of the pain of the original trauma, but because of the pain of the attempt to withdraw from the opiate. Coleridge and de Quincey come to mind as English writers with a more than passing acquaintance with opium. During most of the 19th century, Laudanum was the "soother" of choice for just about everything from childbirth to hysteria.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 466

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 8/8/2017 11:32:38 PM
Brian,

I agree the perception of certain drugs have changed greatly with time. For example both Germany and the Allies issued a form of speed to their troops to some degree during the war. But my question is does the drug use and addiction actually start the slide in influence more than be increased by the slide in influence. I mean I've seen clips of his news conference after the Night of the Long Knives when the SA leadership and others were decapitated so to speak and he looks high as a kite. Plus the way he comes back out to make it perfectly clear that the former Chancelor and others were murdered also makes me wonder not if but just how high.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1309

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 8/9/2017 8:35:59 PM
Hoo boy, John. You're way beyond me with questions like that!

Thank God I've lived a sheltered life. Never been part of a night or two of brazen slaughter of Untermenschen, or butchery of my friends and associates to climb a political ladder. Can anyone come out the other end of such a scenario and appear sane? Or even be sane?

Seriously, I don't know what blood rage looks like. Could that be what you were seeing, or do you believe you were seeing drug-induced mindlessness?

Sorry, I guess that sounds a bit melodramatic.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

jahenders
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
top 60
E-3 Private First Class
Posts: 37

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 8/16/2017 2:16:37 PM
Good points.

The biggest problems with the Luftwaffe compared to the RAF were:
- Poor strategic planning / usage
-- The German plan for the Blitz/Battle of Britain was flawed -- they couldn't hit heavily enough to knock UK out and didn't stay focused to really beat down the RAF
- Inability to bring some technologies to bear effectively
-- Germany had some good technology, but often focused on developing the wrong ones or in the wrong ways. For example, instead of really refining radar to help defend against strategic bombing, they spent huge resources on V-1s, V-2s, and jet bombers.
- Inability to replenish losses (internally or with an ally). The Luftwaffe suffered heavy losses in the Battle of Britain, but it also suffered losses in Russia, in Africa, and against the US. They simply couldn't keep up with their losses so shouldn't have adopted a plan that entailed those losses. The UK suffered heavy losses, but it didn't choose the Battle of Britain and had allies soon getting in the game.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3307

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 8/17/2017 3:40:59 AM
jahenders,

 Welcome to MHO! Thank you for your comments and we look forward to your contributions.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

jahenders
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
top 60
E-3 Private First Class
Posts: 37

Re: Why the Luftwaffe failed!
Posted on: 8/22/2017 4:47:40 PM
Thank you. It's nice to feel welcome

 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
 Forum Ads from Google