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Egorka
01-15-2008, 05:04 PM
Hello!

I need to get some info on the survival rate of the American and the British strategic bomber crews. I know it has been mentioned in our forum in the last year but I can not find it.

As I veigly remember the British had very high losses during the day time bombing raids and therefore had to shift to the night raids to reduce the losses. The Americans had it better as they had better fighter cover.

That is the only thing I have in mind. But if someone has some statistics it would be great!!!

P.S: I guess this one can be handy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Ussb-1.jpg

pdf27
01-15-2008, 05:22 PM
The RAF only did a handful of daylight raids early in the war. IIRC in one raid on Wilhelmshaven by Witleys (unescorted as no fighters could reach that far) they suffered around 70% losses. This would have been in late 1939 or early 1940.
By the time of the Battle of Britain the RAF had accepted that they simply couldn't survive over Germany in daylight without a fighter escort they didn't have, and so moved to night bombing. To start with this was both relatively safe and completely ineffective. Later, the German defences improved faster than Bomber Command, to the point where over Nuremberg a little over 10% of the attackers were shot down - this being higher than the US were suffering in daylight raids at the same time. More typical losses were in the 4-5% region.

Oh, and one frightening statistic - the only more dangerous job in the war than aircrew in RAF Bomber Command was to be a U-boat crewman. Losses there were ~75% of the entire force, and nearer 90% of those who actually made an active patrol at some point during the war (the majority of the survivors were still in training at the end of the war).

The USSBS for Europe may be found here (http://www.anesi.com/ussbs02.htm). I know of no equivalent work for Bomber Command unfortunately.

Chevan
01-15-2008, 11:50 PM
I,ve readed that the overal rate of loses RAF was in average 25% in the 1943-44 while the GErmans aviation was still possible to make a essential resistence.
The Britance survived the more loses coz they fight from the beginning of War. The 8 USAAF has arrived into the Britain in the end of 1942 but was involved into the bombing compain just in mid of the 1943.
the 160 000 mans of personals , lost in the battles and about 20 000 of bombers lost over germany is a too great pay for the stratgic compain.

Egorka
01-16-2008, 02:20 AM
Ok. Thanks!

So if we take a hipotetical crew memmber, what whould be his chances to survive the whole duration of the service? I think there was a limit on the number of sories after which the man would be moved back home, right?

Kovalski
01-16-2008, 02:22 AM
The 8 USAAF has arrived into the Britain in the end of 1942 but was involved into the bombing compain just in mid of the 1943.


In fact 8th AF begun air operations in Europe in August 1942.
The decision of "round the clock bombing" was made in Casablanca in January 1943, what allowed to start so-called The Combined Bomber Offensive officially six months later.
But it doesn't mean that 8th was staying on the ground all winter and spring. Bombing raids were conducted before that.

For much of the war both the Bomber Comand and the 8th AF ran a casualty rate in excess of 50 percent of crew force. In the 8th AF, the pioneers of 1942-43 paid the heaviest cost. Only one in five of these fliers completed their tour of duty. Of the 110,000 aircrew in Bomber Command, 56,000 were kiled, a los rate of 51 percent, the highest casualty rate of any of the Commonwealth's armed forces in the war.
8th AF's total casualty rate was between 26,000 and 28,000 fatalities (12.3 percent) of the 210,000 crewmen who flew in combat.

In the beggining, the tour of duty in 8AF was 25 missions, later tht number increased to 30 and 35. I don't know what was it at the end of the war.

Pozdrawiam,
Kovalski

Egorka
01-16-2008, 02:35 AM
Kovalsky,

thanks! What is exactly "loss" in this case? I guess it is shot down, not neseessary killed pilot. Right?

Kovalski
01-16-2008, 02:51 AM
Kovalsky,

thanks! What is exactly "loss" in this case? I guess it is shot down, not neseessary killed pilot. Right?

The above numbers refer only to the KIA.

8AF total loses:
KIA - 26,000 to 28,000 (I have no idea, why there is so big discrepancy)
MIA - 28,000 (POWs in German captivity)
WIA - 18,000 (psychological casualties not included - nobody ever counted them)
Total: 72,000 to 74,000 (34% of those who expirienced combat)

Source: "Eight Air Force:The american bomber crews in Britain", Donald L. Miller.

pdf27
01-16-2008, 04:13 AM
The RAF would do a tour of duty of 30 sorties. At the end of a tour, they would be "rested" for a tour - for instance working in a desk job, flying instructor, or similar. I'm not sure about the length of a rest tour though - gut feeling is around 6 months. After that they would start another operational tour. This cycle would continue until they were either shot down, wounded severely or the war was over. A (very) small number of aircrew survived four or five tours of duty.
AIUI in the USAAF - at least initially - for aircrew their war was over once they had done a tour of duty and they were returned to the US to training jobs and the like. I suspect this may have changed later in the war when loss rates became less severe.

Firefly
01-16-2008, 05:05 AM
Bomber Command crews also suffered an extremely high casualty rate: 55,573 killed out of a total of 125,000 aircrew (a 44.4% death rate), a further 8,403 were wounded in action and 9,838 became prisoners of war.[11] A Bomber Command crew member had a worse chance of survival than an infantry officer in World War I.[12] By comparison, the US Eighth Air Force, which flew daylight raids over Europe, had 350,000 aircrew during the war, and suffered 26,000 killed and 23,000 POWs.[13] Of the RAF Bomber Command personnel killed during the war, 72% were British, 18% were Canadian, 7% were Australian and 3% were New Zealanders

Lifted from Wiki, however, its the same information that Ive seen countless times and dont think I could dispute them.

Rising Sun*
01-16-2008, 05:32 AM
Lifted from Wiki, however, its the same information that Ive seen countless times and dont think I could dispute them.

I think the percentages between Britain and the Commonwealth forces mightn't be quite accurate in suggesting that only Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Kiwis were in RAF bombers.

I'm sure there were Americans, South Africans, and Poles, and probably other nationalities, sprinkled among bomber air crew.

Can't think of a reference, but I've read in various accounts of those nationalities being in RAF bomber air crew.

As they enlisted in the RAF in Britain, they might have been included in the British percentage.

Nickdfresh
01-16-2008, 06:12 PM
I remember something about the 8th AF having to stop raids because the losses had become unsustainable (in about the late summer and early autumn of 1943)...

Rising Sun*
01-16-2008, 09:36 PM
Following on from my last post.


An extraordinary mix of people from all over the world flew with Bomber Command, including Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, Poles, Czechs, South Africans, French, Americans, Jamaicans, Rhodesians. Some served in mixed squadrons, some formed their own squadrons. Almost all arrived in wartime Britain with no previous experience of the British way of life. http://www.rafbombercommand.com/master_about.html

Note the pictures in the link showing non-Brits wearing national shoulder patches.

Digger
01-16-2008, 10:58 PM
I remember something about the 8th AF having to stop raids because the losses had become unsustainable (in about the late summer and early autumn of 1943)...

This is true. The 8th AF were flying unrscorted raids over Germany and suffered heavily, especially during the Schweinfurt raids. The loss ratio could not be sustained and the offensive was suspended until enough long range escort fighters were available in early 1944.

digger

Chevan
01-17-2008, 12:29 AM
In fact 8th AF begun air operations in Europe in August 1942.
The decision of "round the clock bombing" was made in Casablanca in January 1943, what allowed to start so-called The Combined Bomber Offensive officially six months later.
But it doesn't mean that 8th was staying on the ground all winter and spring. Bombing raids were conducted before that.


I never told thay were staing on the ground all winter:)
But as it was mentioned by the Nickdfresh and Digger the 8 army was not involved for the active bombing compain untill the mid of the 1943.Also we know that after the Schweinfurt raids the Americans made a break for the four month- to restore the casualties .
BTW the very character the difference of behaviour of the Brits and Americans- the Brits NEVER stopped the flying raids since the 1941 even if they survived the great casualties- this was matter of honour for them( they fight for the matherland).
The americans to the contrast try to save their airplains until the moment when the mean of protection of the Strategic bombers was found ( p-51).

Kovalski
01-17-2008, 03:06 AM
This is true. The 8th AF were flying unrscorted raids over Germany and suffered heavily, especially during the Schweinfurt raids. The loss ratio could not be sustained and the offensive was suspended until enough long range escort fighters were available in early 1944.

digger

Although the raid on Schweinfurt and Regensburg was a total disaster for 8AF, the air operations were not suspended. They were carried out with partial escort of Spitfires, P-47s and P-38s. There was idea of night-bombing but the Air Force command kept pressure for daylight bombing raid, so the 8AF flew air operations in fall of 1943 and winter 1943/44.

Kovalski
01-17-2008, 03:22 AM
I never told thay were staing on the ground all winter:)
But as it was mentioned by the Nickdfresh and Digger the 8 army was not involved for the active bombing compain untill the mid of the 1943.

But Chevan, what is an "active" campaign in your opinion?

I think we cannot compare the actions of a "green" and small 8AF (in mid 1942) to the raids of veteran crews of British Bomber Command. They had to start somehow to learn.

In the begging of its presence in England, the 8AF attacked the targets in Western Europe, especially in France - U-Boats' bases. But on 23rd of January 1943 a first raid on German target was made - submarine-building yards at Wilhelmshaven, Kiel, Bremen and Vegesack.



Also we know that after the Schweinfurt raids the Americans made a break for the four month- to restore the casualties .
BTW the very character the difference of behaviour of the Brits and Americans- the Brits NEVER stopped the flying raids since the 1941 even if they survived the great casualties- this was matter of honour for them( they fight for the matherland).
The americans to the contrast try to save their airplains until the moment when the mean of protection of the Strategic bombers was found ( p-51).

There was no break in air operations after slaughter over Schweinfurt and Regensburg - that's a myth.
If US wanted to save their planes and crews, they would stop sending them over Europe after first B-17s went down in 1942.
80% of casualties of 8AF in 1942/43 should give you some idea about - as you described it - "try to save their airplains until the moment when the mean of protection of the Strategic bombers was found".

Digger
01-17-2008, 04:54 AM
Thanks Kovalski. I should have made the point 8th AF bomber ops continued over occupied European countries, especially France and the Low Countries during the suspension of operations over Germany.

Probably the major reason why the thought of night operations by the 8th AF was rejected were for two major reasons. Firstly US aircrews would have operated under Bomber Commands authority and understandably 8th AF commanders did not like the idea of Englishmen commanding Americans.

The other consideration was operational. The crews would have to undergo extensive retraining and re-equipment of their aircraft.

Digger.

Rising Sun*
01-17-2008, 05:15 AM
Thanks Kovalski. I should have made the point 8th AF bomber ops continued over occupied European countries, especially France and the Low Countries during the suspension of operations over Germany.

Probably the major reason why the thought of night operations by the 8th AF was rejected were for two major reasons. Firstly US aircrews would have operated under Bomber Commands authority and understandably 8th AF commanders did not like the idea of Englishmen commanding Americans.

The other consideration was operational. The crews would have to undergo extensive retraining and re-equipment of their aircraft.

Digger.

Was radio navigation an issue?

I know the British developed steadily improving radio navigation for bombers over Europe from fairly early in the war, which assisted night time ops.

Did the Americans use the same systems?

If not, was that a reason for daylight raids so they could navigate visually?

Chevan
01-17-2008, 06:30 AM
But Chevan, what is an "active" campaign in your opinion?

I think we cannot compare the actions of a "green" and small 8AF (in mid 1942) to the raids of veteran crews of British Bomber Command. They had to start somehow to learn.

In the begging of its presence in England, the 8AF attacked the targets in Western Europe, especially in France - U-Boats' bases. But on 23rd of January 1943 a first raid on German target was made - submarine-building yards at Wilhelmshaven, Kiel, Bremen and Vegesack.

the USAAF did no widely bombed the GErmany as the RAF did it untill the end of the 1943.
For instnce in the raids over Habmurg in summer 1943 - then the first firestorm was created- the participated 2355 British bombers and ONLY 230 Americans.
now I hope my point enough clear.


There was no break in air operations after slaughter over Schweinfurt and Regensburg - that's a myth.
If US wanted to save their planes and crews, they would stop sending them over Europe after first B-17s went down in 1942.
80% of casualties of 8AF in 1942/43 should give you some idea about - as you described it - "try to save their airplains until the moment when the mean of protection of the Strategic bombers was found".

Mate-Kovalski, i supposed you do not believe me any more:)
But could you deny the Wiki?:)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_bombing_during_World_War_II

U.S. operations began with 'Pointblank' attacks, designed to eliminate key features of the German economy. These attacks manifested themselves in the infamous Schweinfurt raids. Formations of unescorted bombers were no match for German fighters, which inflicted a deadly toll. In despair, the Eighth halted air operations over Germany until a long-range fighter could be found; it proved to be the P-51 Mustang, which had the range to fly to Berlin and back
So unfortinatelly our british comrades bonbed desperately Germany ALONE during those several months:)

pdf27
01-17-2008, 07:36 AM
Couple of points:
1) The USAAF was totally unsuited to night bombing - if they had made the decision after Schweinfurt to move over to night bombing it would have taken at least a year and more probably two to come up with the doctrine and equipment to be truly effective (after all it took the RAF nearly 3 years!). Waiting for a suitable escort fighter took them 6 months.
2) RAF nighttime losses were never quite as heavy as USAAF daytime ones, and even when they were bad they could limit their operations to moonless periods when they were at far less risk from night fighters and took much lower losses.
3) One of the major reasons the RAF campaign was never suspended was that it was the only practical means of providing military help to the Soviets. Apart from the sideshow in the Middle East, British/Imperial/Dominion/Commonwealth forces didn't have any place they could directly engage with Axis troops until the invasion of Italy. Thus their only means of striking Germany and supporting the Soviets was the bomber offensive.

Amrit
01-17-2008, 08:24 AM
The decision about Bomber Command, other RAF command, mission numbers for crews was based on a 1942 study (see attachment). Of course the survival rates changed drastically as the war progressed.

As to the survival rates and actual casualties, this paper highlights the problems of ascertaining accurate figures:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/r_m_g.varley/Strategic_Air_Offensive.html

Nickdfresh
01-17-2008, 06:14 PM
I never told thay were staing on the ground all winter:)
But as it was mentioned by the Nickdfresh and Digger the 8 army was not involved for the active bombing compain untill the mid of the 1943.Also we know that after the Schweinfurt raids the Americans made a break for the four month- to restore the casualties .
BTW the very character the difference of behaviour of the Brits and Americans- the Brits NEVER stopped the flying raids since the 1941 even if they survived the great casualties- this was matter of honour for them( they fight for the matherland).
The americans to the contrast try to save their airplains until the moment when the mean of protection of the Strategic bombers was found ( p-51).

Chevan, I should have clarified. The Eighth Air Force halted deep penetration raids into Germany when their losses were surpassing their ability to replace them. That is not to say they "stopped." And other units were engaged in strategic bombing. And we can argue all day as to how effective the bombers were in the particular roles they were used in. But 50% casualties, while heroic should have given pause, as these were the best and the brightest that Britain had to offer and both the US and Britain suffered a form of "brain drain" from their ground forces as the result of putting such an emphasis on strategic bombing...

Chevan
01-18-2008, 01:18 AM
3) One of the major reasons the RAF campaign was never suspended was that it was the only practical means of providing military help to the Soviets. Apart from the sideshow in the Middle East, British/Imperial/Dominion/Commonwealth forces didn't have any place they could directly engage with Axis troops until the invasion of Italy. Thus their only means of striking Germany and supporting the Soviets was the bomber offensive.
Oh so it was a ONLY way of help for the Soviets:)
To kill almost all the woman in cities( and wrecked by it the Soviet soldiers moral who as we know very loved the buatiful Germans woman and were very distressed of this sad fact :)) - is a help for the Soviets already:)
The lack of girls make the soviet soldiers to love the 50-60 years old grandmas:)
Thank you guys for such help:)
But this is whole other off-topic thread:):)

Chevan
01-18-2008, 01:31 AM
Chevan, I should have clarified. The Eighth Air Force halted deep penetration raids into Germany when their losses were surpassing their ability to replace them. That is not to say they "stopped." And other units were engaged in strategic bombing. And we can argue all day as to how effective the bombers were in the particular roles they were used in. But 50% casualties, while heroic should have given pause, as these were the best and the brightest that Britain had to offer and both the US and Britain suffered a form of "brain drain" from their ground forces as the result of putting such an emphasis on strategic bombing...
But they actually breaked the active bombing compaine till the feb of 1944.
And it wasn't just coz " there loses were surpassing their ability to replace them". Britain has no any agventage or superiority befor the american in ability to restore the casualties. Moreover after the 1943 the great part of the British military orders was placed in USA coz the Britain industry simply was not capable to build such great figures of Airplais and ships.
And i do not deny tha fact that Strategic Forces was elite in both states US and UK.The pilots of bomber got the best honnor in society , were heroized by the mass media and recieved the greatest payment. As any elite - it was a wishful aim for any soldier - to be entered into the strategic fleet company.
Almost as int eh USSR - there alot of young soldiers who dreamed about aviation:this was a great honor to be the pilot of fighter.

Kovalski
01-18-2008, 01:58 AM
Oh so it was a ONLY way of help for the Soviets:)
To kill almost all the woman in cities( and wrecked by it the Soviet soldiers moral who as we know very loved the buatiful Germans woman and were very distressed of this sad fact :)) - is a help for the Soviets already:)
The lack of girls make the soviet soldiers to love the 50-60 years old grandmas:)
Thank you guys for such help:)
But this is whole other off-topic thread:):)

Chevan, sometimes you seem to forget that Allies were really meant to help USSR.
But whatever they did, it would never be enough for you.

Let's focus on the thread then.


the USAAF did no widely bombed the GErmany as the RAF did it untill the end of the 1943.
For instnce in the raids over Habmurg in summer 1943 - then the first firestorm was created- the participated 2355 British bombers and ONLY 230 Americans.
now I hope my point enough clear.

There were no 2355 british bombers over Hamburg. It was 2355 sorties made by no more than 800 bombers.
Andy why did Americans sent "only" 230 planes?

"While the nightraids continued for another week until the operation's conclusion on August 3, the American daytime bombings ceased after the first two days due to smoke from the previous night's bombings obscuring their targets."
http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/aerialcampaigns/p/gomorrah.htm

Now I hope you finally got it.

Pozdrawiam,
Kovalski

Chevan
01-18-2008, 04:14 AM
Chevan, sometimes you seem to forget that Allies were really meant to help USSR.
But whatever they did, it would never be enough for you.

I do always remember that the allies was aimed to help the USSR - but sometimes it turned into the very strange way:)
Anyway you are very good guy who try to protect the Allies( i like you such). Even if they speak the other version:)
True pole.


There were no 2355 british bombers over Hamburg. It was 2355 sorties made by no more than 800 bombers.
Andy why did Americans sent "only" 230 planes?

"While the nightraids continued for another week until the operation's conclusion on August 3, the American daytime bombings ceased after the first two days due to smoke from the previous night's bombings obscuring their targets."


Now I hope you finally got it.

Not finally yet.You know i'm very hard forehead:)
The 8 USAAF refused the fly not becouse the smoke but becouse the great casualties that had to restore force for several month( see above at Nickdfresh post).
The smoke could be a barier for few days but not for 4 month:)
Besides the smoke was never a problem for the bombing of cities - it was carpet bombing - not target.
For that period till the feb 1944 the 8 Air fleet simply did not realize the other great bombing compains.
After that the 8 USAAF had finally received the good escort fighter- nobody even mentioned about smoke:)

pdf27
01-18-2008, 07:49 AM
Oh so it was a ONLY way of help for the Soviets:)
To kill almost all the woman in cities( and wrecked by it the Soviet soldiers moral who as we know very loved the buatiful Germans woman and were very distressed of this sad fact :)) - is a help for the Soviets already:)
Care to suggest anything else the UK could actually do? If nothing else, the night bombing raids disturbed the sleep of factory workers - thus reducing production. Furthermore, a significant amount of production which could have been used against the Soviets was redirected to defend against the area bombing raids. Antiaircraft and antitank guns for instance are very similar, and tactical aircraft can simply be redeployed.

Kovalski
01-18-2008, 11:50 AM
I do always remember that the allies was aimed to help the USSR - but sometimes it turned into the very strange way:)
Anyway you are very good guy who try to protect the Allies( i like you such). Even if they speak the other version:)
True pole.

Thanks, I'm glad you are not using the stereotypes - that's really promising... :(
But what else could I expect?



Not finally yet.You know i'm very hard forehead:)
The 8 USAAF refused the fly not becouse the smoke but becouse the great casualties that had to restore force for several month( see above at Nickdfresh post).

Well, this is what Nickdresh wrote:
"The Eighth Air Force halted deep penetration raids into Germany when their losses were surpassing their ability to replace them. That is not to say they "stopped." And other units were engaged in strategic bombing."

First you had said that 8AF "stopped" operations, now wrote that it "refused to fly".
When do you get your information from mate?




The smoke could be a barier for few days but not for 4 month:)
Besides the smoke was never a problem for the bombing of cities - it was carpet bombing - not target.


The info about the smoke wa an answer for your comment about number of US sorties over Hamburg during "Operation Gomorrah".
Yo are wrong again - 8AF was not conducting a carpet bombing in 1943.



After that the 8 USAAF had finally received the good escort fighter- nobody even mentioned about smoke:)

Later in the war, the 8AF conducted so called "radar-bombing" which allowed them to attack target covered with smog, smoke or clouds.

Nickdfresh
01-18-2008, 08:08 PM
Oh so it was a ONLY way of help for the Soviets:)
To kill almost all the woman in cities( and wrecked by it the Soviet soldiers moral who as we know very loved the buatiful Germans woman and were very distressed of this sad fact :)) - is a help for the Soviets already:)
The lack of girls make the soviet soldiers to love the 50-60 years old grandmas:)
Thank you guys for such help:)
But this is whole other off-topic thread:):)

Well, the artillery fire sacks from the East probably also killed quite a few women...

And the mighty Red Army wasn't limited to just lovin' the girls...

Nickdfresh
01-18-2008, 08:13 PM
But they actually breaked the active bombing compaine till the feb of 1944.

No. "They" were "bombing" the entire time...


And it wasn't just coz " there loses were surpassing their ability to replace them". Britain has no any agventage or superiority befor the american in ability to restore the casualties. Moreover after the 1943 the great part of the British military orders was placed in USA coz the Britain industry simply was not capable to build such great figures of Airplais and ships.

The US never produced Lancasters or Mosquitoes...



And i do not deny tha fact that Strategic Forces was elite in both states US and UK.The pilots of bomber got the best honnor in society , were heroized by the mass media and recieved the greatest payment. As any elite - it was a wishful aim for any soldier - to be entered into the strategic fleet company.
Almost as int eh USSR - there alot of young soldiers who dreamed about aviation:this was a great honor to be the pilot of fighter.

Perhaps. But the "cost vs. benefit" comparison is questionable...

I certainly believe in the idea of strategic bombing, but I think a more limited, narrowly focused campaign (as evidenced in the use of strategic bombers just prior to D-Day) against transportation targets closer to the fronts might have been more effective with a lowered cost in both air crew casualties and German civilians...

Chevan
01-19-2008, 02:21 PM
No. "They" were "bombing" the entire time...

But far not as much intensive as the Britains until the 1944.


The US never produced Lancasters or Mosquitoes...

But Britons also never prodused the B-17 - they have buyed all of them in USA.
Coz the ONLY American industry could build the so great numbers of the strategic bombers.


Perhaps. But the "cost vs. benefit" comparison is questionable...

I certainly believe in the idea of strategic bombing, but I think a more limited, narrowly focused campaign (as evidenced in the use of strategic bombers just prior to D-Day) against transportation targets closer to the fronts might have been more effective with a lowered cost in both air crew casualties and German civilians...
There is a objective seriouse dilemma - the strategic bombing could be really effective and usefull ( in military sence) ONLY agains the military and strategical targets- But those targets usially have a strong AAA-defence. Thus the allied command have choosed the bombing of cities as the more easy target:)
But bombing of cities is nothing more then Genocide Nick. - that why the strategic bombing could not be justified in way that it was used in the ww2.

Chevan
01-19-2008, 02:29 PM
First you had said that 8AF "stopped" operations, now wrote that it "refused to fly".
When do you get your information from mate?

You will laugh my friend but from...wiki:)
OK if you do not like the "stopped" and "refused to fly" lets call it as "the Eighth halted air operations over Germany" and work done.
Lets finish this sensless disput.


The info about the smoke wa an answer for your comment about number of US sorties over Hamburg during "Operation Gomorrah".
Yo are wrong again - 8AF was not conducting a carpet bombing in 1943.

Yea , and what "definite target" did they bombed in Hamburg?


Later in the war, the 8AF conducted so called "radar-bombing" which allowed them to attack target covered with smog, smoke or clouds.
OK.

pdf27
01-19-2008, 02:37 PM
But Britons also never prodused the B-17 - they have buyed all of them in USA.
Coz the ONLY American industry could build the so great numbers of the strategic bombers.
The RAF never operated more than a handful of B-17s - a small number were handed over under lend-lease early in the war and proved not to be a success as day bombers and were rapidly withdrawn and handed over to Coastal Command - as were most subsequent deliveries. Later in the war a small number were used by 100 Group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._100_Group_RAF) as electronic warfare aircraft in support of the heavy bombers (the B-17 had a high service ceiling and so was more suited to the role than any of the British bombers). All in all, deliveries of B-17s to the RAF were less than 200 over the course of the war. This to a force that suffered very heavy casualties yet could put over 1,000 bombers over a target on any given night...

Chevan
01-19-2008, 02:56 PM
sure you right.
The Britains used only limited figure of B-17.
My point in post for the Nickdfresh was just to show that the USA has absolute figure superiority over britain in figures of heavy bombers ( the ONLY 8 USAAF has reached the 2 000 of bombers and 1000 of escort fighters in the mid 1944).
The British limited industry capability did not let them to produse bombers more them americans have.

pdf27
01-19-2008, 06:09 PM
Not quite so many aircraft, but those they did produce tended to have a substantially larger bombload. Furthermore the RAF had something of a headstart - the first 1,000 bomber raid was on Cologne in 1942, carried out by Bomber Command. They never really advanced much beyond this level however - towards the end of the war a typical raid would be something like 800 Lancasters over a target. Due to the sheer size and power of the aircraft however this is something like 4,000 tonnes of bombs - similar in capability to what the USAAF could deliver. Daylight bombing increased the defensive requirements on an aircraft, to the extent that a B-17 and a Mosquito could deliver a similar bombload over a similar distance, while at typical ranges a Lancaster would deliver 2-3 times the bombload of a B-17.

Kovalski
01-29-2008, 01:15 AM
http://www.taphilo.com/history/8thaf/8aflosses.shtml

8AF losses in ETO.

Cojimar 1945
02-27-2008, 01:33 AM
Was it ever proposed that American and British forces be sent to the USSR and given a certain portion of the front to fight on so that they could kill more Germans?
In world war I the British/Canadians/Australians, etc held a portion of the western front against the Germans in France and where able to make substantial contributions.

Egorka
02-27-2008, 02:07 AM
Was it ever proposed that American and British forces be sent to the USSR and given a certain portion of the front to fight on so that they could kill more Germans?
In world war I the British/Canadians/Australians, etc held a portion of the western front against the Germans in France and where able to make substantial contributions.

I think I read ones about such discussion regarding using British troop in the Kola peninsula near Musmansk. But it was dropped. Besides Stalin would have then think how to get rid of them after the war. :)

Kovalski
02-27-2008, 03:32 AM
There was a French fighter unit on the Eastern Front, called "Normandie-Niemen".

pdf27
02-27-2008, 04:41 AM
I think I read ones about such discussion regarding using British troop in the Kola peninsula near Musmansk. But it was dropped. Besides Stalin would have then think how to get rid of them after the war. :)
The fact that the UK was one of several countries to invade Russia in 1919 to try and support the Whites against the communists would presumably not have been forgotten either...

Chevan
02-27-2008, 05:10 AM
The fact that the UK was one of several countries to invade Russia in 1919 to try and support the Whites against the communists would presumably not have been forgotten either...
Not quite.
I read that Stalin was in panic during first period of war.When the Soviet Western front was fully surrounded and destroyed for few weeks. The history get us the few of his assertion:
( In telegram to Churchill , jule of 1941)
"The Soviet command would glad to meet the British forces , landing in Caucaus or Crimea. To fight alongside agains the GErman Army in Russia"
( In speech with US ambassador in Moscow)
"The Soviet Union is not agains the landing the american forces in Vladivostok, or everywhere on Soviet territory"
In fact in that period Stalin though that USSR probably would have been beaten in the war.Coz the soviet catastrophical loses in first period fairly told about that.

Rising Sun*
02-27-2008, 05:48 AM
( In speech with US ambassador in Moscow)
"The Soviet Union is not agains the landing the american forces in Vladivostok, or everywhere on Soviet territory"


When was that?

It contradicts the way the Soviets treated the B25 crew that landed in Vladivostok after the Doolittle raid on Tokyo in 1942.

Nickdfresh
02-27-2008, 06:06 AM
Yeah. They seized the B-29s and directly reversed engineered them and interned the crews...

Chevan
02-27-2008, 06:26 AM
When was that?

In Jule/august 1941.
I found out this infor in the book of Alan Clark "Barbarossa"


It contradicts the way the Soviets treated the B25 crew that landed in Vladivostok after the Doolittle raid on Tokyo in 1942.
Nobody treated the Americans crews in USSR, never:)
Coz this could treat the Lend lise program, that was critically importaine for SU in that period.
Besides Stalin told about American troops in Vladivostok, not about the few pilots, returned after the bombing of Japane.
Formally USSR wasn't in war with Japane, so soviets would have interned the crew according the international law.
BTW the US gov never DEMANDED those three B-29 back:)
Although their crew have been returned to the America.

Cojimar 1945
02-27-2008, 05:26 PM
It seems unreasonable that the Soviets should be forced to bear the vast brunt of the casualties sustained by the allies when it was seemingly possible to make the other allies contribute to an equal degree.

Rising Sun*
02-28-2008, 07:07 AM
It seems unreasonable that the Soviets should be forced to bear the vast brunt of the casualties sustained by the allies when it was seemingly possible to make the other allies contribute to an equal degree.

The non-Soviet Allies didn't control where the Germans went.

If the Germans had advanced into Texas, the Americans could have engaged them on land, but the Germans put the bulk of their land forces against the Soviets who had to fight them in the east.

Logistically, it wasn't feasible for the non-Soviet Allies to match the forces the Soviets could deploy on land at the time.

Nickdfresh
02-28-2008, 07:40 AM
And the non-Soviet Allies fought the Germans on land where they could, with limitations on numbers, logistically speaking, imposed on both sides. North Africa was indeed "the second Stalingrad." And Anglo-American bombing sapped much in the way of the Reich's resources...

Nickdfresh
02-28-2008, 07:42 AM
In Jule/august 1941.
I found out this infor in the book of Alan Clark "Barbarossa"

Nobody treated the Americans crews in USSR, never:)
Coz this could treat the Lend lise program, that was critically importaine for SU in that period.
Besides Stalin told about American troops in Vladivostok, not about the few pilots, returned after the bombing of Japane.
Formally USSR wasn't in war with Japane, so soviets would have interned the crew according the international law.
BTW the US gov never DEMANDED those three B-29 back:)
Although their crew have been returned to the America.


"Dearest Joe 'Man O' Steel' Stalin: Can we please have our airplanes back. We've given you enough already." --FDR

Chevan
02-28-2008, 07:58 AM
Logistically, it wasn't feasible for the non-Soviet Allies to match the forces the Soviets could deploy on land at the time.

But they finally have deployed at the Western Europe in mid 1944 , right?
So the questions is still- could they made it early?
In this way they would have made the soviet casualties lower.

Chevan
02-28-2008, 08:01 AM
"Dearest Joe 'Man O' Steel' Stalin: Can we please have our airplanes back. We've given you enough already." --FDR
Probably he mean the Lend lise airplains that , according the conditions of Lend lise , would have been returned to the USA after the war.
Coz i never heared that the US authorities officially asked USSR give back those three B-29:)

Rising Sun*
02-28-2008, 08:36 AM
But they finally have deployed at the Western Europe in mid 1944 , right?
So the questions is still- could they made it early?
In this way they would have made the soviet casualties lower.

Just because I've been away doesn't mean I've gone soft. ;)

If the Soviets fought all the battles against the Germans that really mattered, then it doesn't matter what the other Allies did elsewhere.

Conversely, if what the other Allies did elsewhere really mattered, then the Soviets didn't win the war all by themselves.

Uncle Joe didn't think so, because he was keen for a second front in 1942 and desperate for one in 1943.

Militarily, the other Allies couldn't have sustained a second front into Europe anywhere in the Mediterranean in 1942, as Greece and Crete proved a year earlier. Logistically, they were even further away from it.

A second front anywhere you want from Denmark to Athens to Morocco in 1942 or 1943 would only have taken shipping away from the USSR that helped it defeat the Germans, and ensured that the other Allies blunted themselves in pointless exercises that failed to strike at the Nazi heart.

An earlier second front wouldn't have had much impact on Russian casualties, but it would have had enough impact on other Allied forces and supplies to delay an effective second front for another year or two beyond 1944.

Nickdfresh
02-28-2008, 10:43 AM
...
Militarily, the other Allies couldn't have sustained a second front into Europe anywhere in the Mediterranean in 1942, as Greece and Crete proved a year earlier. Logistically, they were even further away from it.
...


And despite this fact, various US Army officers desperately wanted too, but were thankfully overruled by a combination of British persistence, and the lobbying of FDR by Churchill.

Chevan
02-28-2008, 12:51 PM
Just because I've been away doesn't mean I've gone soft. ;)

Oh , harsh Rising Sun:)



Militarily, the other Allies couldn't have sustained a second front into Europe anywhere in the Mediterranean in 1942, as Greece and Crete proved a year earlier. Logistically, they were even further away from it.

But as we saw in the end 1942-43 the allies could not just sustain but and win the second front in Africa, righ?
So already inthe mid 1943 they were fully ready for landing in Europe, but they've prefered the Sicily and Italy ( rather senseless from military poin compain)
As the resault the great forces were frittered away of the strategic second front in Western Europe.


A second front anywhere you want from Denmark to Athens to Morocco in 1942 or 1943 would only have taken shipping away from the USSR that helped it defeat the Germans, and ensured that the other Allies blunted themselves in pointless exercises that failed to strike at the Nazi heart.

But the second fron in the 1944 did cut off the shipping in the USSR?
And since the 1944 the second front ACTUALLY helped the Red Army very much.
So there were no any proves of the "pointless exercises" if the Second front was opened for instance 1943:)
To the contrast- we could finish this war for year early and saved the millions of lives.


An earlier second front wouldn't have had much impact on Russian casualties, but it would have had enough impact on other Allied forces and supplies to delay an effective second front for another year or two beyond 1944.
Well may be , but i have to say that there were no points to think so.
If the Allies attacked the Germany in the 1943- they could save the Eastern Europe from soviet liberation ( as well as Berlin).So at least ONE million soviet soldiers could save their lives.

Nickdfresh
02-28-2008, 02:05 PM
Oh , harsh Rising Sun:)

But as we saw in the end 1942-43 the allies could not just sustain but and win the second front in Africa, righ?
So already inthe mid 1943 they were fully ready for landing in Europe, but they've prefered the Sicily and Italy ( rather senseless from military poin compain)
As the resault the great forces were frittered away of the strategic second front in Western Europe.

The Allies HAD to take Sicily in order to secure the Mediterranean shipping lanes. You recall that both Britain and the US are separated from Europe by bodies of water?

And while Italy wasn't totally senseless, there are a number of US Army officers that would have happily agreed that Italy was largely a waste of time and resources, and a more minimalist attack could have been waged, with more emphasis for a cross channel invasion sooner, perhaps by the latter half of 1943. The British point of view was that the Allies could roll-up Italy quickly, then blow through passes in the Alps into Vienna and hit the "soft underbelly." With the limitations on shipping, men, material, and the surprising German will to resist and to advantageously defend the Italian countryside, they were wrong...


But the second fron in the 1944 did cut off the shipping in the USSR?
And since the 1944 the second front ACTUALLY helped the Red Army very much.
So there were no any proves of the "pointless exercises" if the Second front was opened for instance 1943:)
To the contrast- we could finish this war for year early and saved the millions of lives.

Well may be , but i have to say that there were no points to think so.
If the Allies attacked the Germany in the 1943- they could save the Eastern Europe from soviet liberation ( as well as Berlin).So at least ONE million soviet soldiers could save their lives.

This is no certainty. The breakout of Normandy probably would have taken longer, and the numbers of divisions ready to be sent were less. The Battle for France may well have been a bloody stalemate for a year anyways. But I agree, the Allies should have by-and-large skipped Italy and hit France sooner. I think the rewards far outweighed the risks. But that's hindsight, and the Italian front was also meant to lesson the pressure on the Eastern Front as well as draw off Wehrmacht forces from Normandy. And the Italian campaign was waged with a secondary objective of trying to prevent a communist takeover in the Balkans in mind...

Rising Sun*
02-28-2008, 06:19 PM
It should be remembered that the non-Soviet Allies were also fighting the Japanese, where the Soviets were just facing them.

In 1942 the Japanese war soaked up whatever forces and materiel might have been available for a second front in Europe, and again in 1943.

Also, America needed time to mobilise men and industry. It certainly wasn't in a position in mid 1942 to undertake anything like the Normandy operation a bare six months after entering the war. Without America, and American materiel stockpiled in the UK which took time to build up, Overlord wouldn't have been possible.

Chevan
02-28-2008, 11:44 PM
This is no certainty. The breakout of Normandy probably would have taken longer, and the numbers of divisions ready to be sent were less. The Battle for France may well have been a bloody stalemate for a year anyways. But I agree, the Allies should have by-and-large skipped Italy and hit France sooner. I think the rewards far outweighed the risks. But that's hindsight, and the Italian front was also meant to lesson the pressure on the Eastern Front as well as draw off Wehrmacht forces from Normandy. And the Italian campaign was waged with a secondary objective of trying to prevent a communist takeover in the Balkans in mind...

That's exactly what i mean.
The Allies tryed to prevent the sovetisation of Balcans( this was a aim of Churchill firstly).Besides , as i know the Churchil planned to involve the Turkey into the war on allies ( British ) side.
But as we know today the Italy invasion did not prevented the Soviet offensive on the Balkans. And Turkey was not involved into the war.
So , in the end, the whole Italy compain was political failure of allies.
I do not argue, this had a certain limited military success for the allies and Soviets, but in general - this had not critically influence at the GErmans military forces.( well Germans was forced to withdrew the very few divisions from the Eastern front during the Kursk battle)
So from pure military sense it also was fairly waste of forces.

Chevan
02-29-2008, 12:05 AM
It should be remembered that the non-Soviet Allies were also fighting the Japanese, where the Soviets were just facing them.

But you wrote previously that the Soviets tied the million Kwantung Army ( very essential part of Japs troops) out of fight with Allies, right?
Coz the Soviet also hold about million of troops in the Far East.


In 1942 the Japanese war soaked up whatever forces and materiel might have been available for a second front in Europe, and again in 1943.

But inthe 1944 the Allied strength agains Japane were even higher.
And this was not a barier for Overlord.


Also, America needed time to mobilise men and industry. It certainly wasn't in a position in mid 1942 to undertake anything like the Normandy operation a bare six months after entering the war. Without America, and American materiel stockpiled in the UK which took time to build up, Overlord wouldn't have been possible.

But the Italy compain was still possible in minds of allied politics?So why the Overlord wasn't?

Rising Sun*
02-29-2008, 04:28 AM
But you wrote previously that the Soviets tied the million Kwantung Army ( very essential part of Japs troops) out of fight with Allies, right?
Coz the Soviet also hold about million of troops in the Far East.

Agreed. But the logistics and replacement of casuatlies and relief of fighting units impose far greater strains on an army and its LOC than holding units, while the burdens in seaborne landings in the Pacific were far greater than European land based operations.

It all changes once the holding units are engaged, as happened to the Germans after D Day.


But inthe 1944 the Allied strength agains Japane were even higher.
And this was not a barier for Overlord.

True, but by mid 1944 America had had two and half years to mobilise and train men and mobilise its huge industrial capacity for war.

It's worth noting that America never devoted more than 15% of its war effort to the Pacific, and considered devoting none in the early stages in preference for the 'Germany First' aim. If that 15%, or whatever it was in mid 1943, was available for Europe then it's feasible that a second front could have been opened.

As usual, the merchant shipping would have been the critical factor. Any serious second front through the Med in 1942, maybe even 1943, would have needed just about all the merchant shipping in the Pacific, and even more USN and RN because the Japanese, typically stupid in applying medieval concepts to modern war, largely ignored sinking merchant shipping while their own was being sunk much faster than they could replace it. The Germans understood that it was at the heart of any chance they had of defeating England or bringing it to terms of peace. Allied merchant convoys in the Pacific went largely unescorted for much of the war. Compare that with the Med and the North Atlantic, and the German commerce raiders in the Indian and Pacific oceans, from memory nine of which sank more merchant shipping than the whole of the German navy during the war.

It's also feasible that if America abandoned the Pacific, which Britain had already done, Japan would have left Australia alone and turned its attention to the Soviets without the shipping and logistical problems involved in invading Australia. Russia was of a lot more interest to Japan in its war aims. In which case the Soviets would have had to divert substantial forces to the east and been at risk in the west, or abandon the east to ensure they had sufficient forces against the Germans in the west.

Egorka
02-29-2008, 04:37 AM
Guys!

I have not read thoroughly the latest post in this thread. But I want to bring up 2 points:

Question: Are there any Western historians/military men that were concluding that "Overlord" should and could be done earlier, i.e. in 1943? I know of one of them but I have to look it up as I do not remember by heart.
I point to remember: Each goverment besides the global human kind interest also has to watch the interest of it's own country. Clear ehough as the politics is not a charity. Sadly so... But nonetheless is the reality. So there is play/balance between Odjective goals (i.e. defeat of Axis powers and bringing peace to the World) and Subjective goals (defeat the enemy here and now in order to gain someting for my country). The thing is that for the most part of the war (but not all of it of course) the only country which Subjectivs goals were exactly coinsiding with the Objective goals of the war was USSR. This is because USSR suffered the strongest Axis blow and highest losses. One has to remember that while analysing the events. I hope it is clear what I want to say.

Rising Sun*
02-29-2008, 06:26 AM
I point to remember: Each goverment besides the global human kind interest also has to watch the interest of it's own country. Clear ehough as the politics is not a charity. Sadly so... But nonetheless is the reality. So there is play/balance between Odjective goals (i.e. defeat of Axis powers and bringing peace to the World)

Maybe. More like finish the war and get a result on our terms which meets our needs, which doesn't necessarily involve world peace. None of the major Allies did anything to bring peace to China or various European colonies in Asia, for example, once they had peace for themselves.

Where is the evidence that the Soviets were fighting for world peace, as distinct from, say, conquering fascism so that they could export communism around the globe?



Subjective goals (defeat the enemy here and now in order to gain someting for my country). The thing is that for the most part of the war (but not all of it of course) the only country which Subjectivs goals were exactly coinsiding with the Objective goals of the war was USSR.

Why doesn't Britain meet that goal? Apart from not fighting for most of the war, because it was the only Allied nation that fought for all of the war when others had surrendered or, like the USSR, had done deals with the Nazis to avoid fighting?


This is because USSR suffered the strongest Axis blow and highest losses.

What about, for example, Poland? Or Greece? Or China?


The Soviets had the luxury of geography, resources, manpower, and politics that enabled them to keep fighting when other nations didn't, including Poland which the Soviets grabbed a chunk of in collusion with the Nazis.

I think we're heading back to the endless USSR contributed more than anyone else / no it didn't debate, which is a profitless exercise as there were so many contributions made by, and so many losses suffered by, so many people and peoples and nations.

Nickdfresh
02-29-2008, 07:31 AM
That's exactly what i mean.
The Allies tryed to prevent the sovetisation of Balcans( this was a aim of Churchill firstly).Besides , as i know the Churchil planned to involve the Turkey into the war on allies ( British ) side.
But as we know today the Italy invasion did not prevented the Soviet offensive on the Balkans. And Turkey was not involved into the war.
So , in the end, the whole Italy compain was political failure of allies.
I do not argue, this had a certain limited military success for the allies and Soviets, but in general - this had not critically influence at the GErmans military forces.( well Germans was forced to withdrew the very few divisions from the Eastern front during the Kursk battle)
So from pure military sense it also was fairly waste of forces.

And many Allied officers would concur with you that while calling Italy a "failure" would be a bit harsh (the Germans still had to defend it, although they were able to do so with less as the terrain was perfect for defensive warfare), that it was a sideshow and a waste of resources. However, we also have to consider that not invading and liberating Italy would have been seen as a ruthless, callous tactic of expediency as the Italian people were ready to uprise against the Germans (and did, in fact the much vaunted, but very rare, "general uprising" did take place in a few Italian cities often forcing the Germans into a hasty withdrawal). Like all issues connected to WWII, it is not a simple cut and dry issue. But it was one of dissent between the US generals that basically wanted to go into France as early as possible, and the British ones, that were reflecting the principles of Churchill (who often meddled in Italy once Ike was transferred to Overlord planning) --that the Mediterranean Theatre was vital, and needed to be secured before France. However, I think history shows that Sicily would have been enough...

Nickdfresh
02-29-2008, 07:39 AM
But you wrote previously that the Soviets tied the million Kwantung Army ( very essential part of Japs troops) out of fight with Allies, right?
Coz the Soviet also hold about million of troops in the Far East.

To be fair, these numbers of men and material were only rebuilt back up once the USSR was secure from German conquest. Remember, something like 250,000 men, and many tanks and aircraft, were pulled Eastward to defend Moscow in 1942.

And the Imperial Japanese Army in Manchuria was a "hollow army" devoid of any real anti-armor capabilities, artillery, or real tanks. On wide open steppes, they were easy pickings for any army of maneuver..


But inthe 1944 the Allied strength agains Japane were even higher.
And this was not a barier for Overlord.


But the Italy compain was still possible in minds of allied politics?So why the Overlord wasn't?


RS* already covered this, but the US forces were widely dispersed in an "island hopping" campaign. And suicidal static defense of broken, mountainous or jungle terrain was the one thing the IJA did well. And as amphibious operations are some of the most complex in warfare, I am sure you will appreciate that it took a while. The Red Army/Naval Infantry found this out as well on the Kuril Islands. The island hopping campaign was one of dozens of mini-Overlords with resources spread out as the US and the Brits were fighting a two-front war of their own..

Egorka
02-29-2008, 08:58 AM
I think we're heading back to the endless USSR contributed more than anyone else / no it didn't debate, which is a profitless exercise as there were so many contributions made by, and so many losses suffered by, so many people and peoples and nations.
Rising Sun,
For once ;) try to undestand what I am saying instead of suspecting the worst.

I am saying that by 1942/1943 due to the circumstqances USSR was put into situation were it was the major Allied country whoos subjective interests by large coinsided with the objective goals of the Allied ations union.

Rising Sun*
02-29-2008, 09:21 AM
Rising Sun,
For once ;) try to undestand what I am saying instead of suspecting the worst.

I am saying that by 1942/1943 due to the circumstqances USSR was put into situation were it was the major Allied country whoos subjective interests by large coinsided with the objective goals of the Allied ations union.

Mate, I'm not trying to be difficult, but I'm not sure what you're angling at.

I don't see that there was anything special about the USSR's effort at any time that was different to the other Allied nations.

Certainly the Soviets suffered things that others didn't, as did, say, the British, American and Australian POW's (and much larger numbers of Asian civilians) suffer things that the Soviets didn't in the war against Japan, which the USSR carefully kept out of until the last few days when Japan was badly beaten.

Then again, the non-Soviet nations didn't have a non-aggression pact with the Nazis and they didn't carve up Poland and wipe out its officer corps, or have a secret protocol to give them Baltic territory for keeping out of the war against Britain, which fought alone and against great odds (they have to be great odds if the Soviets faced the world's greatest military machine in mid-1941) while Britain and its Commonwealth and Empire countries were the only ones slogging away against the Nazis.

windrider
02-29-2008, 02:11 PM
Remember Dieppe, anyone???
That was the first try to get the "second front" Stalin wanted so much. Much too early, and a catastrophic blunder...
Read Eisenhower's biography, and you'll see the inherent complications that had to be addressed before any new attempt be made to invade Europe.
A reminder (source wiki)
19 August 1942. Over 6,000 infantrymen, predominantly Canadian, were supported by large British naval and Allied air force contingents. The objective was to seize and hold a major port for a short period, both to prove it was possible and to gather intelligence from prisoners and captured materials while assessing the German responses. The raid was also intended to use air power to draw the Luftwaffe into a large, planned encounter.
No major objectives of the raid were accomplished. 3,623 of the 6,086 men who made it ashore were either killed, wounded, or captured. The Allied air forces failed to lure the Luftwaffe into open battle, and lost 119 planes, while the Royal Navy suffered 555 casualties. The catastrophe at Dieppe later influenced Allied preparations for Operation Torch and Operation Overlord.

Major General Roberts was put in charge of the ground troops for the ill-fated raid against Dieppe, on August 19th, 1942. From his post of command aboard HMS Calpe, Roberts had only a vague idea of how the operation was unfolding. It is only when troops were recalled towards their transport fleet that Roberts clearly realized how desperate the situation was: almost no objective had been achieved and two brigades out of three had been decimated. Roberts, who had no part in the planning, was not blamed for the failure of the raid; to the contrary, he was even awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

Egorka
02-29-2008, 03:42 PM
Mate, I'm not trying to be difficult, but I'm not sure what you're angling at.
I will show. I am patient. I learned it by talking to you. :)


I don't see that there was anything special about the USSR's effort at any time that was different to the other Allied nations.
First of all, I did not talk about effort this time.
Ok I try again. Every country had an agenda (subjective goals) besides the main goal of defeating Axis (Objective goal).
So my point about 1942/1943 with respect to why Overlord did not happen earlier was that at that time USSR was the country whose agenda (selfish interest) was coinsiding most to the main goal of defeatin Axis. I am speaking of the big Allies of course.

Secondly, WHAT??? Which other society did as much and soffered as much in order to defeat Axis? I know you will now get mad bacause you would say that I am being arrogant towards other nation. This is absolutely NOT like that. What I am saying is not denyeing a tiny bit any other nation or group of people of their honor in what they did and suffered. Is not it clear enough without me saying it?

I believe you somehow think that my position is that Soviet people were better than others. Quite contrary so I must say. I said many time that what Soviet people did they did because they were put in those circumstances not so much out of free will.

Maybe you can tell me which other country can beat USSR in amount of casualties inflictec to theenemy AND number people lost both civil and military AND sustained similar hardship on the way?

Yes, there is China where the civil losses approach the Soviet ones. Yes, there is Britain that fought from the beginning to the very end. Yes, USA produced loads of stuff used and eaten all over the world. Yes, there were countries like Poland that got blows from all the sides and lost many-many people and also contribute much. Because we won together. The victory is not Soviet - it is Allied.


Then again, the non-Soviet nations didn't have a non-aggression pact with the Nazis and they didn't carve up Poland and wipe out its officer corps, or have a secret protocol to give them Baltic territory for keeping out of the war against Britain, which fought alone and against great odds (they have to be great odds if the Soviets faced the world's greatest military machine in mid-1941) while Britain and its Commonwealth and Empire countries were the only ones slogging away against the Nazis.
What does it all have to do with my words? I do not get it.
Do you honestly think that my position and objective is to present USSR as a spotless and peace loving country?

Peace and love! :)

Rising Sun*
03-01-2008, 08:01 AM
Ok I try again. Every country had an agenda (subjective goals) besides the main goal of defeating Axis (Objective goal).

So my point about 1942/1943 with respect to why Overlord did not happen earlier was that at that time USSR was the country whose agenda (selfish interest) was coinsiding most to the main goal of defeatin Axis. I am speaking of the big Allies of course.

I donít think this goes anywhere, apart from down tracks weíve been along before with little result.

We might as well argue about why the USSR chose to sign a non-aggression pact and carve up Poland instead of joining Britain and attacking Germany, which is part of Soviet history during WWII, even if the USSR wasnít fighting at the time.

That was the USSR in pursuit of its subjective goals. It didnít have any objective goal at that stage of defeating Germany, while Britain had both an objective and subjective goal of defeating Germany as the only nation fighting it. Britain would not have had either goal unless Germany attacked.

If Germany hadnít attacked the USSR, the things youíre talking about wouldnít be an issue as Soviet objective and subjective goals would have continued to be to grab as much as it could of eastern Europe without having to fight Germany. Which is exactly what it did after fighting Germany.

None of that alters the suffering of the Russian people or of, say, the Poles or Lithuanians who had the pleasure of attacks and occupation by both Germany and the USSR, but itís artificial to impose the objective and subjective distinctions and harmonies youíre putting forward about any nationís conduct.

Politicians and big businessmen run nations. All politicians and big businessmen are total bastards, so there's not a lot of worth to be found in their actions. The worth is found in the actions of the people they get to fight their wars for them, and cast aside once the war is over.

Cojimar 1945
03-01-2008, 03:57 PM
With regards to U.S. aircraft production vs British production I have recorded the following numbers of military aircraft built from various sources.
year USA Britain
1939 5,856 7,940
1940 12,804 15,049
1941 26,277 20,094
1942 47,836 23,672
1943 85,898 26,263
1944 96,318 26,461

Cojimar 1945
03-01-2008, 04:09 PM
The allies coulden't control where the Germans went but deploying forces from other allied nations in the USSR like in France during world war one seems perfectly reasonable. If the Soviets were particularly hostile towards the UK then they still could have used Canadians, Australians, Americans or Indians.

Ashes
03-15-2008, 01:44 AM
Hi fellas,

Just a few stats on Strategic bombing and the survival rates ........




Bomber command.....


From the annual totals for the whole war the official history gives 364,514 Sorties dispatched and 8325 aircraft missing, whereas according to data contained in ACM Sir A Harris' Dispatch a total of 389,809 Sorties of all categories were dispatched during the war and 8655 aircraft went missing. The latter figure includes mining, counter measures and miscellaneous.



The average loss rate, missing aircraft only, on sorties over the whole war period was about 2.0% whereas if Ďcrashed' aircraft are included the rate increases to 2.7%. As a substantial number of aircraft crashing did so as a result of damage sustained on operations it would not be unreasonable in making any analysis, at least as far as risk is concerned, to includes them as operational losses. However it is difficult to do this using available data as it is not detailed enough.

Average Probability of Survival over the whole war, 1939-45.

Accepting Harris' estimate for the number of aircrew who served in the the command, overall out of every hundred :



40 Survived Unharmed

7 Survived but were wounded

8 Survived but were taken Prisoners of War

38 Killed in Action, or Missing presumed killed

7 Killed in Crashes and Accidents


The official history "Royal Air Force 1939-1945", Vol III (London,1954) gives the total RAF killed and missing as being 70,253 up to 14th August 1945. It also says 47,293 of these losses occurred on operations with Bomber Command. This figure is rather misleading as the Bomber Command losses given include about 17,000 killed and missing who were from the Dominion & Allied Air Forces, and only about 38,000 were RAF personnel. It would appear that the total figure of 70,253 did not include the Dominion & Allied Air Forces' losses in other commands


The total weight of bombs dropped by Bomber Command amounted to 988,281 tons, or excluding sea-mines 955,044 tons, of which 45% was dropped on industrial city targets, amounting to some 431,000 tons, 13% on Troops & Defences after D-Day, 14% on Transportation in NW Europe and 10% on Oil Targets.


USAAF

The tonnage of bombs dropped by the USAAF [by all types of aircraft] against all targets " VS Germany" from bases in both the European (ETO) and Mediterranean (MTO) Theaters of Operation amounted to 1,388,000 tons, of this 638,000 tons were dropped by the heavy bombers of the 8 & 9 AAF operating from bases in the United Kingdom.

The combined number of heavy bomber sorties mounted by the 8 & 9 USAAF between August 1942 and May 1945 was 332,904 of which 274,921 were classified as "effective". A peak numbers of 28,925 sorties were mounted in the month of June 1944. and 31,169 in March 1945.


The number of heavy bombers "lost" by the 8 & 9 AAF amounted to 5,548, of which 2,452 were shot down by enemy fighters and 2,439 by anti aircraft fire. 607 bombers were lost through other causes. 5,324 fighter aircraft of the 8 & 9 AAF were also lost, but it is not clear whether all the fighter losses occurred during protection cover on bombing raids. Because operations were in daylight and losses were observed by other aircraft these figures are probably very accurate..

The overall heavy bomber loss rate for the 8 & 9 USAAF was 1.7%. In 1943 1036 bombers were lost with an average loss rate of 3.8%. A tour of operations was set at 25 missions so that during 1943 the probability of completing a tour of operations was 38%. In October 1943 186 heavy bombers were lost on 2831 sorties, a loss rate of 6.6%. A tour of operations with the 8 & 9 AAF was at first 25 sorties but in the last year of the war this was increased to 40 sorties,



The United States Strategic Bombing Survey states that In all attacks by Allied air power, almost 2,700,000 tons of bombs were dropped, more than 1,440,000 bomber sorties and 2,680,000 fighter sorties were flown. The number of combat planes reached a peak of some 28,000 and at the maximum 1,300,000 men were in combat commands. The number of men lost in air action was 79,265 Americans and 79,281 British. [Note: All RAF statistics are preliminary or tentative.] More than 18,000 American and 22,000 British planes were lost or damaged beyond repair.

By some accounts, The U.S. spent about $27 billion dollars on the air offensive in today's money, and the British about the same.

Massive overall effort with tragic casualty numbers, but no doubt the combined bombing campaign shortened the war, [would have won it] and probably saved a lot more lives then they lost.

Rising Sun*
03-15-2008, 05:52 AM
Hi fellas,

Just a few stats on Strategic bombing and the survival rates ........




Bomber command.....


From the annual totals for the whole war the official history gives 364,514 Sorties dispatched and 8325 aircraft missing, whereas according to data contained in ACM Sir A Harris' Dispatch a total of 389,809 Sorties of all categories were dispatched during the war and 8655 aircraft went missing. The latter figure includes mining, counter measures and miscellaneous.



The average loss rate, missing aircraft only, on sorties over the whole war period was about 2.0% whereas if ‘crashed' aircraft are included the rate increases to 2.7%. As a substantial number of aircraft crashing did so as a result of damage sustained on operations it would not be unreasonable in making any analysis, at least as far as risk is concerned, to includes them as operational losses. However it is difficult to do this using available data as it is not detailed enough.

Average Probability of Survival over the whole war, 1939-45.

Accepting Harris' estimate for the number of aircrew who served in the the command, overall out of every hundred :



40 Survived Unharmed

7 Survived but were wounded

8 Survived but were taken Prisoners of War

38 Killed in Action, or Missing presumed killed

7 Killed in Crashes and Accidents


The official history "Royal Air Force 1939-1945", Vol III (London,1954) gives the total RAF killed and missing as being 70,253 up to 14th August 1945. It also says 47,293 of these losses occurred on operations with Bomber Command. This figure is rather misleading as the Bomber Command losses given include about 17,000 killed and missing who were from the Dominion & Allied Air Forces, and only about 38,000 were RAF personnel. It would appear that the total figure of 70,253 did not include the Dominion & Allied Air Forces' losses in other commands


The total weight of bombs dropped by Bomber Command amounted to 988,281 tons, or excluding sea-mines 955,044 tons, of which 45% was dropped on industrial city targets, amounting to some 431,000 tons, 13% on Troops & Defences after D-Day, 14% on Transportation in NW Europe and 10% on Oil Targets.


USAAF

The tonnage of bombs dropped by the USAAF [by all types of aircraft] against all targets " VS Germany" from bases in both the European (ETO) and Mediterranean (MTO) Theaters of Operation amounted to 1,388,000 tons, of this 638,000 tons were dropped by the heavy bombers of the 8 & 9 AAF operating from bases in the United Kingdom.

The combined number of heavy bomber sorties mounted by the 8 & 9 USAAF between August 1942 and May 1945 was 332,904 of which 274,921 were classified as "effective". A peak numbers of 28,925 sorties were mounted in the month of June 1944. and 31,169 in March 1945.


The number of heavy bombers "lost" by the 8 & 9 AAF amounted to 5,548, of which 2,452 were shot down by enemy fighters and 2,439 by anti aircraft fire. 607 bombers were lost through other causes. 5,324 fighter aircraft of the 8 & 9 AAF were also lost, but it is not clear whether all the fighter losses occurred during protection cover on bombing raids. Because operations were in daylight and losses were observed by other aircraft these figures are probably very accurate..

The overall heavy bomber loss rate for the 8 & 9 USAAF was 1.7%. In 1943 1036 bombers were lost with an average loss rate of 3.8%. A tour of operations was set at 25 missions so that during 1943 the probability of completing a tour of operations was 38%. In October 1943 186 heavy bombers were lost on 2831 sorties, a loss rate of 6.6%. A tour of operations with the 8 & 9 AAF was at first 25 sorties but in the last year of the war this was increased to 40 sorties,



The United States Strategic Bombing Survey states that In all attacks by Allied air power, almost 2,700,000 tons of bombs were dropped, more than 1,440,000 bomber sorties and 2,680,000 fighter sorties were flown. The number of combat planes reached a peak of some 28,000 and at the maximum 1,300,000 men were in combat commands. The number of men lost in air action was 79,265 Americans and 79,281 British. [Note: All RAF statistics are preliminary or tentative.] More than 18,000 American and 22,000 British planes were lost or damaged beyond repair.

By some accounts, The U.S. spent about $27 billion dollars on the air offensive in today's money, and the British about the same.

Massive overall effort with tragic casualty numbers, but no doubt the combined bombing campaign shortened the war, [would have won it] and probably saved a lot more lives then they lost.

Mate, a great and very informative first post.

Probably the best first post ever.

Welcome to the site. :D

Can you elaborate on the big discrepancy between the fairly small loss of aircraft, which is very much smaller than I'd thought, and the relatively large loss of air crew?

I'm assuming that it's explained by a lot of craft landing with mortally wounded or dead crew aboard and the craft being returned to service?

I suppose there's also a statistical factor that explains the ratio, being that one bomber has, say, seven men in the crew so that if they lose just one man killed every fourth flight and the plane survives a tour of, say, 30 sorties then the plane has still lost a number equivalent to the whole crew.

I seem to recall that, relative to ops, training flights in England were often more dangerous and there were many casualties from crashes from a range of factors related to inexperience by various crew members and, on occasion, even being mistakenly shot down by their own side because they were where they shouldn't be or had encountered another green fighter pilot or crew. Do you have any info on that?

Amrit
03-15-2008, 08:05 AM
Actually Harris greatly overestimated the survival chances of Bomber Command Crews (1939-45). A better analysis was carried out by Middlebrook* (including all air forces - RAF, RCAF, RAAF etc):

Killed on Operations...............................51%
Killed in Crashes in England..................9%
Seriously injured in crashes...................3%
POW............................................... ........12%
Evaded Capture......................................1%
Survived unharmed.................................24%

* The Nuremberg Raid - Middlebrook ISBN 0140081143

Rising Sun*
03-15-2008, 08:12 AM
Killed on Operations...............................51%



That's the figure that seems most often quoted.

Does Middlebrook relate that to a specific raid or for the whole war?

Rising Sun*
03-15-2008, 08:14 AM
Killed in Crashes in England..................9%


Does this figure distinguish between training crashes and damaged craft returning from raids?

Amrit
03-15-2008, 08:41 AM
It's for the whole 1939-45 period, and the 9% is, as far as I can tell, for all operational and training casulaties on/over Britain.

A further breakdown of the 55,000+ Bomber Command casualties has been carried out by Chorley, in his final Volume of Bomber Command Losses (where he lists every single one of these by name, rank, service number, date and unit). However, the quoted Bomber Command Diary figures do differ from the Nuremberg Raid analysis.

He explains the breakdown thus:

Rising Sun*
03-15-2008, 09:21 AM
It's for the whole 1939-45 period, and the 9% is, as far as I can tell, for all operational and training casulaties on/over Britain.



Thanks.

That tends to support my recollection that training was very dangerous, as it's at about the ratio of one in six of total deaths.

On the reasonable assumption that enemy flak over England was fairly minimal :D, it suggests that whatever the causes a lot of people died out of 'action'.

I suppose one would need to know the people miles flown in training and on ops to garner a fair figure, but I suspect that rather more fuel was available for ops deep into enemy territory than blundering about in English airspace.

windrider
03-15-2008, 11:05 AM
Is there a statistic about tail-gunners KIA compared to rest of crews?
I often read that it was the most dangerous place in a bomber...

Ashes
03-15-2008, 11:30 PM
Mate, a great and very informative first post.

Probably the best first post ever.

Welcome to the site. :D

Can you elaborate on the big discrepancy between the fairly small loss of aircraft, which is very much smaller than I'd thought, and the relatively large loss of air crew?

I'm assuming that it's explained by a lot of craft landing with mortally wounded or dead crew aboard and the craft being returned to service?

I suppose there's also a statistical factor that explains the ratio, being that one bomber has, say, seven men in the crew so that if they lose just one man killed every fourth flight and the plane survives a tour of, say, 30 sorties then the plane has still lost a number equivalent to the whole crew.

I seem to recall that, relative to ops, training flights in England were often more dangerous and there were many casualties from crashes from a range of factors related to inexperience by various crew members and, on occasion, even being mistakenly shot down by their own side because they were where they shouldn't be or had encountered another green fighter pilot or crew. Do you have any info on that?



Hi Rising Sun, thanks for the welcome and kind words.

I think you nailed the answer to your question on casualties vs aircraft lost by the aircraft returning with wounded or dead crew aboard and the craft being returned to service.

Seen doco's with half the crews being taken off badly wounded or killed, while the bomber ''seems'' to be in reasonable shape, or at least repairable.


On the Strategic bombing offensive, it seems to still get a bad rap at times for failing to break the morale, or the production rates of the Germans until near the of the war and sometimes is thought as not cost effective and a waste of materials and manpower.


But the U.S. Strategic bombing report done after the war sums it up pretty well, saying in part..........


''Allied air power was decisive in the war in Western Europe. Hindsight inevitably suggests that it might have been employed differently or better in some respects. Nevertheless, it was decisive. In the air, its victory was complete. It helped turn the tide overwhelmingly in favor of Allied ground forces.

The German experience suggests that even a first class military power -- rugged and resilient as Germany was -- cannot live long under full-scale and free exploitation of air weapons over the heart of its territory. By the beginning of 1945, before the invasion of the homeland itself, Germany was reaching a state of helplessness. Her armament production was falling irretrievably, orderliness in effort was disappearing, and total disruption and disintegration were well along. Her armies were still in the field. But with the impending collapse of the supporting economy, the indications are convincing that they would have had to cease fighting -- any effective fighting -- within a few months. Germany was mortally wounded.''


It's probably that the full effects of the collapse had not reached the enemy's front lines when they were overrun by Allied forces that takes away the full impact of the bombing campaign.

snebold
04-04-2008, 12:44 PM
I read an english language bokk; "Air Gunner", I think, once. It contained some statistics on the matter.
I don´t recall the numbers, but piloting a US strategic bomber should have been a lot safer than being a gunner in the rear fuselage.

(The worst pilot-gunner "kill-ratio" must have been in the IL-2, many (armour protected) pilots survived a series of (much less protected) gunners.

A_rod
07-15-2008, 10:15 PM
Regarding Survival rates of US strategic bomber crews, I remember reading a passage in a book called my war by Andy Rooney, he was stationed with the 8th airforce in the beginning of the campaign. I think the tour was 24 missions before you were able to go state side and become a instructor. What struck me most while reading that chapter in the book was that due to the losses substained by the 8th airforce at that time it was mathmatically impossible to complete the number of missions required to return to the US. Ronney mentioned that that the high point of losses there were 28-30 year olds Majors and Col. that were leading the squads because there was no one else left. " of the crews returning back home none came from the 8th Airforce".

Kind of makes you wonder

pdf27
07-16-2008, 01:23 AM
That tends to support my recollection that training was very dangerous, as it's at about the ratio of one in six of total deaths.
That's how my Great Uncle died - he was in Bomber Command, as a Navigator on a bomber which flew into a hill in training...

Chevan
07-16-2008, 02:24 AM
That's how my Great Uncle died - he was in Bomber Command, as a Navigator on a bomber which flew into a hill in training...
Oh , damn,sorry was it in day or night training?

pdf27
07-16-2008, 01:51 PM
Oh , damn,sorry was it in day or night training?
I'm not sure - funny that being as he died about 40 years before I was born! All I know is that they never saw the hill they hit, so it will have been either at night or in bad weather.

SS Ouche-Vittes
07-16-2008, 07:08 PM
Regarding the forum topic, how many crew'd a b-17? I watched Ken Burn's 'The War' and a pilot said there were 10 people that flew in a b-17 over europe. He said at one point 110 people were lost in bomb raid. I think it was the Black Tuesday thing which was about bombing a v1 base or a german industry plant? Is the man correct? 10 is awefully alot of people i would expect like 6 poeple.

flamethrowerguy
07-16-2008, 07:20 PM
Regarding the forum topic, how many crew'd a b-17? I watched Ken Burn's 'The War' and a pilot said there were 10 people that flew in a b-17 over europe. He said at one point 110 people were lost in bomb raid. I think it was the Black Tuesday thing which was about bombing a v1 base or a german industry plant? Is the man correct? 10 is awefully alot of people i would expect like 6 poeple.

Ten is right! 1 tail gunner ("tail-end charlie"), 2 waist gunners, 1 ball turret gunner, 1 radio operator, 1 bombardier, 1 top turret gunner/technician, 1 navigator, 1 co-pilot, 1 pilot.

SS Ouche-Vittes
07-16-2008, 09:53 PM
i was aware only of the 1 tail gunner , 2 waist gunners, 1 ball turret gunner, 1 top turret gunner/technician, 1 co-pilot, 1 pilot. I assumed that some of them would also do 2 jobs simultaneously like navigating and bombarding.

Uyraell
03-27-2009, 12:53 AM
i was aware only of the 1 tail gunner , 2 waist gunners, 1 ball turret gunner, 1 top turret gunner/technician, 1 co-pilot, 1 pilot. I assumed that some of them would also do 2 jobs simultaneously like navigating and bombarding.

Some crew were dual-trained, in addition to basic first aid skills. This applies to both US and Brit crews.

Statistically, oddly enough, the safest crew position in a B17 was the ball turret. Casualty risk was given as 10%, citing this figure from a post-war USAF study. This from "History of Aviation" Hodder and Stoughton, 1976.

As to training accidents, the toll of about one in 6 deaths seems correct, from reading the RAF History, which I did several years ago.

As to relatives killed.
A cousin of mine, was dorsal turret gunner in a Lockheed Hudson.
They took off from Gibraltar in morning fog, and the pilot was late making the 15 degree right turn after the wheels left the runway. The Hudson flew straight into the rock. The remains of the crew were identified by their teeth.

A genuine event.

Accidents on operations were rare, but happened, as did accidents in training.
My math teacher was ex RAF Navigator, Lancasters.
He was off duty one afternoon as Lancs took off to form up for a raid.
Two took off, and turned opposite ways, one to the right, the other to the left.
The fireball was 500 yards wide, at about 1500 feet above ground: 15 dead men before you could even pray for them. One of the Lancs had had a reporter onboard, to write up that night's raid.

And one other casualty-causing factor needs mentioning regarding Lancasters.
As phenomenally good as the aircraft was, it killed a lot of crews, and the Air Ministry let it continue.
The fuselage escape door at the rear right was too small to permit an unassisted exit of a crewmember bailing out. A larger door had been designed, protoyped, built, but the Air Ministry refused to slow the production lines for long enough to have the new door fitted.
It was subsequently fitted to Lincolns and Shackletons, post war. This data from a newpaper article, circa 1980, still in my possession.

Regards, Uyraell.