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View Full Version : Fighter tactics in WW2 simpler than today's simulations ?



Frankly Dude Really
03-09-2015, 04:23 AM
Hello,

The question rose to me whilst playing another War Thunder game and what I learned from a docu about George Beurling (Ace of Malta):


Isn't it so that the way to kill another fighter plane was exclusively by getting on his tail (either by spectacular turns, or rather by sneaking up to him as the other is unaware) and not so much by deflection shooting ?

e.g. Beurling is said to have introduced/mastered the deflection shooting..which is pretty late in the war (and still is said to use a 2 seconds burst to kill, even when straight behind....2 seconds is a lot!).
The weave of Thatch is a manoeuvre to get behind the enemy jap planes (or getting a first deflection shot if your wingman is good..but he can wait for the next swing to get straight behind the jap).
The successful/aggressive Poles and Czechs in RAF were so effective by getting very close BEHIND the german planes.

and yet in the simulation games there are noobs getting succesfull kills by flying straight at ya (in reality no-one did ramming until when all hope/prospect was lost), and better players (more paid for "skills") who kill you with a 1/10 second deflection shot (ONE bullet) all-the-time.

Of course a game is but a game, but the information is given that WW2 kills were largely depending on mastering the deflection shot, and I don't think that is the historical truth.

Is this correct ?


PS extra anecdote from Beurling fyi:
Nine of his kills on Malta were Italian pilots.[1] About them he used to say: "The Jerrie are probably better over-all pilots than the Italians, but they certainly let the Eyeties do their fighting for them when the going got tough. When we get around to adding the final score for this show I hope somebody thinks of that".

Indeed food for thought for statistics and people that value/evaluate pilots and planes in simulation games..

leccy
03-10-2015, 04:24 PM
Its safer to get behind an enemy fighter than go face to face - your guns are pointing at him while his are pointing away from you - it also means the enemy will be constantly looking over his shoulder (metaphorically - many had mirrors to aid rear view) to see where you are.

Same reason bombers were often attacked from below or above - less defensive armament.

Spit109
05-09-2015, 03:40 PM
Its safer to get behind an enemy fighter than go face to face - your guns are pointing at him while his are pointing away from you - it also means the enemy will be constantly looking over his shoulder (metaphorically - many had mirrors to aid rear view) to see where you are.

Same reason bombers were often attacked from below or above - less defensive armament.

Re: Unless you're flying a pre-G-model B-17 (no chin turret). I learned recently that the pre-G Fortresses were vulnerable to a front attack.

--Or any model of that ridiculous Boulton Paul Defiant. --no forward-firing guns!

Kovalski
05-13-2015, 08:45 AM
The successful/aggressive Poles and Czechs in RAF were so effective by getting very close BEHIND the german planes.


The deflection shooting was a basic element of fighter pilot training in Poland long before WW2 started, but I agree Poles used to open fire from very close distance.
But it was also what they learnt before the war: less distance, more rounds hitting the target, less round wasted.