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Subject: Best All-Around Fighter of World War II
sentinel28a    10/13/2009 3:38:03 PM
Let's try a non-controversial topic, shall we? (Heh heh.) I'll submit the P-51 for consideration. BW and FS, if you come on here and say that the Rafale was the best fighter of WWII, I am going to fly over to France and personally beat you senseless with Obama's ego. (However, feel free to talk about the D.520.)
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oldbutnotwise       3/27/2013 8:48:27 AM
All of those 107 German aces were defeated.
No, their Nation was defeated, only some of them were defeated and then by lesser men. As defined by their failure to score as well.
Talk about comic book histories - you really cant do in depth thinking can you if its not the "big number" you get hopelessly lost, your favourite author Mike Spick explains all this in his books, books you have supposedly read, so either he was too complex for your feeble mind or you lied about reading them

The Russians flew their pilots into the ground as the Germans.
True, so what?
The P-38...
Was great, was it not?
No, good certainly but not great
Difficult plane to fly until power assist was added (P-38J 1943), which the FW-190 had from the start.
But delayed introduction by 18 months, the Luftwaffe pilot would have prefered a system similar to that in the 109 and the plane a year earlier
No, it was not difficult to fly,
Thats NOT what test reports say
it was not easy to manage compared to most single engined fighters, but also easier than some!
thats true the sopwith camel was a complete pig
 There is a differance between flying the plane and managing all the extra engine controls. The aerodynamic controls on the other hand were light and preciese at most speeds.
so thats why they went to power control to DECREASE the sensitivity of the control I did wonder
Failure to acheave up elevator at transonic speeds had nothing to do with the controls, but the basic design of the plane. Note that this problem was common to ALL planes of this period and only cured by the all moving stab of the F-86.
You mean that  british invention that was given to the US and then prevent from returning
The only difference between them was the speed at onset of said problems. This was exacerbated in the P-38 because of the quickness with witch it picked up speed in the dive. ( Twice to five times as quick as ALL other planes of the time!)
actually wrong
 Hydraulic ailerons were installed to make the initial rate of roll much faster, not because of any defect in the rate of roll, which was much better than some planes I shall not mention.
bull the P38 was terrible roller and even worse turner
 This was in responce to the Fw-190 which should be a hint as to where in the pecking order it was to start with.
  only in your dreams fanboy
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oldbutnotwise       3/27/2013 9:06:53 AM
 What about the German who spent his entire career on the Western Front and racked up 152 Victories against the French, British and Americans?
 have you seen how many Eastern front expertern wher lost after transfering back to the west? he Hartman failed to score ANY kills during his time in the West, go back and read your Spick books
 Germans and the rest of us, even if we go month by month?
done to death but obviously over your head as you are returning to the same rubbish
Statistics show that the exact oposite was the truth.
An we all now know your skills instatistics - nill, you couldnt understand the basics so I will ignore this rubbish
 The Ruskies shot down more Germans than the RAF.
I dont think you get the fact that the combat enviroments were different, I am not supprised you have repeated shown an inability to grasp anything complex
So, you want to divorce the pilot skills entirely from the plane's performance and just make your choise based on the plane itself?
virtually impossible to do in the real world but ideally yes, infact the aircraft should be judged not only on its own merits but agaisnt other aircraft flying the same missions agaisnt the same level of opposition, if you dont then thier is so much chaff that you cannot find the wheat
I can live with that and like that idea most of all!
This is not in dispute by the RAF, or any other rational person in the UK. So, who were the weak nellies, the Russians or the RAF? One last point, the Germans had more than twenty Aces who shot down over 100 planes each in the west exclusively!
I need to check this figure as Iam pretty sure its bogus
  just the neccessaties of war meant they were rushed into service  with build quality that would not otherwise have been allowed, From what I have seen of many Allied aircraft, I would say the exact same thing!
and that comments is what? unlike B17 engines where they bribed the inspectors and late production P40s where they knew they were going directly for scrap the quality control of Allied planes was far supeior to Russia (but needs must)
Using this logic, then the German planes had to have been better in some fundamental way in order to account for their score superiority?
How the hell do you get that? certsinly not from my comment unles you again fail to understand  
I mean, since you stated above that we scored so well because the Germans failed to train their new pilots as well as we did, just like the Ruskies, as you state above, then with pilot quality minimized,
again black and white no inbetween it has to be one way or another with you you caqnnot understand the differences in different combat zones it is pointless discussing you its like a petulant 10 year old
  Me-109 and Fw-190 had traits that made them great killers, but not necessarily great "Dog Fighters"! This is just one more nail in the "Dog Fighter" argument's coffin!
and look what happen when you make a fighter that only ones one thing well against one that is good enough in all areas
again you are placing you own bias on the facts
No! I am just using the logical extension of your own arguments against you.
By using broken logic and lies, yep that works 
 o back and actaully READ Mike Spick after all he was your source and yet he contrdicts all your comments
I have read them many times and he contradicts nothing I've said.
He contradicts everything you said,
 You use his quotes from German Aces who did not like giving up half of their 20 MM firepower as if they were his ideas.
what that they prefered 2x 20mm wing cannons to the 1x20mm nose gun? is that the commet you object to?
 , if not impossible to dispute his ideas with un-biased tests today.
I find you can dispute any fact that is placed before you (over and over again)
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Maratabc       3/27/2013 9:13:37 AM
About those 107 German aces who were not defeated.

WWII: Describe the first time you were shot down, General.

Galland: This was on June 21, 1941, when JG.26 was stationed at Pas de Calais. We had attacked some" target="_blank">Bristol Blenheim bombers and I shot down two, but some" target="_blank">Supermarine Spitfires were on me and they shot my plane up. I had to belly-land in a field until picked up later, and I went on another mission after lunch. On this mission I shot down number 70, but I did something stupid. I was following the burning Spitfire down when I was bounced and shot up badly. My plane was on fire, and I was wounded. I tried to bail out, but the canopy was jammed shut from enemy bullets. So I tried to stand in the cockpit, forcing the canopy open with my back as the plane screamed toward earth. I had opened it and almost cleared the 109 when my parachute harness became entangled on the radio aerial. I fought it with everything I had until I finally broke free, my parachute opening just as I hit the ground. I was bleeding from my head and arm, plus I had damaged my ankle on landing. I was taken to safety by some Frenchmen.

WWII: You survived being shot down twice in one day. How did it affect you?

Galland: I was worried that my wounds might ground me for a long time--that was my greatest concern, not to mention I had lost two airplanes.


Defeated twice.
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oldbutnotwise       3/27/2013 9:19:53 AM
 so the oppinion of someone who only flew plane of type A is superior to someoen who flew types A,B,C,D etc
Yes! Absolutely, if that person spent his time mostly as a test pilot, instead of flying combat missions and shooting down the B, C, and D aircraft!
you aregetting worse now you a complete joke
fine if you are comparing like with like otherwise the figures are meaningless (which they are in reality)
  Since ALL of the Fighter planes of WW-II were much more alike than different, that must make my asertion completely valid!
sorry I forgot that I was talking to a child and needed to explain this in small words

  Yes, but during the course of the war it averaged out.
No it didnt that is the point and only you think it did, is broken lgic to think that it did, the wrole air war was far to complex to be summerized in suh a simplitic manner, it show a lack of understanding of the whoole war
Or on the other hand it is very easy to say that ALL of the NEGATIVE situations you mention above were predominently on the German side and the POSITIVE situations were on the allied side, it makes the argument for superiority of German Aircraft seem so much more likely?
Here we go, you show hat you have NO understanding but that doesnt stop you claiming that it supports your view 

You can not have it both ways! Either you take the field as a whole, or you narrow it down, but you can not do both as you tried to do above and be taken serriously!
I dont try to take it as a whole, But you labeled Russian Pilots as inferior to their German, and by inferance their American and British compatriots on one hand and then tried to sort it out above on the other! Durring the BoB, the Brits had several huge advantages and bairly1.2-1 beat the Nazis because the Germans chose to loose the battle with strategic mistakes.
yes the RAF had advantagesbut they also had disadantages but you conviently forget those dont you
 But over France, where similar-same conditions were played out and the RAF lost it's arse 4-1!
Yesthose missions across the chaneel were a tactical diaster, but theywere nothing like that in the BoB, in the BoBthe bBritish were forced to engage, over France the germans coose ot to unless they have the tactical advantage - so how are they similar? if you can choose you fight your will invarably win 
So which is it? it is you that do that, I realise that the figures DO NOT give enough granuallity to make the stupid claims that you do, you can take period when aircraft were performing in similar enviroments Like the BoB and Battle of France when the RAF tried cross channel raids and lost their arse 4-1?
Only a idiot would think those are comparable - oh wait
but even then you have to take into account the differences Like the RAF had Radar and the Observer Corpse over England and the HUGE advantage of permissive throttle at their bect and call, but over France, where the Nazis had the throttle advantage, what happened?
and they were the same tactics werent they, the Germans had to protect against the bombers else etheywould have lost all thier critical sites, oh wait no they didnt it was only France , they could wait untill they had all the advantages and then pounce, or not if the situation didnt look good, after all what danmage could 12 Blemheins actaully do?
and make allowances but you think that a bill at the end is somehow perfect for deciding what happened, it like looking at two bills from a resteraunt that have the same value and saying look these two groups of four people spent the same money so they MUST have eaten the exact same food.
  This last line is a silly asertion, full of false logic!
Its using your logic so I agree
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oldbutnotwise       3/27/2013 9:32:27 AM
I am sorry but why does the requirement of ONE country make its fighters the best?
Because those choices have other unforseen effects. So yes, the coises made by one country can be decisive!
but not comparable in ALL cases
The RAF never had need of he range of the P51, those in service with the RAF rarely used the rear tank.
This is not true!
Yes it is look it RAF use of the P51 rarely used the rear tank and only when escort USAAF bombers 
The RAF did have need of more range from the Spitfire and each new model had more than the last.
Not true, the lonegest ranged Spitfire was produced in 1940!
Now we know those effects and have even coined a term for it "Fuel Fraction"! The initial idea of pure intercepter is flawed from the start. The Germans desperately needed more range and they lost the BoB because of it!
Because thier fighter of choice was totally outclassed  (bf110 regarded as the permier fighter and got the best pilots)and they had to resort to a short ranged batllefield superority and interceptor fighter
The Spit desperately needed more range and they lost the cross channel battle of france because of it. So yes range is a valid criteria on which to fail a plane inspite of allo it's other sterling traits!
No they lost the battle of France as it was a stupid tactic that had zero chance of success regardless of how much fuel was carried
The Spit was designed as a short ranged inteceptor and it was excelent i that role, the Spit was superior to the P51,This is simply not true!
It is true in a One on One the spit will defeat the P51 every time
The spit had some small advantages in turn rate and climb, but the 'stang had huge advantages in rate of roll, range, strength and fire power!
firepower? 2x20mm and 4x303 against 6x.5 my choice will be the 20mm everytime (and so would the USAAF had you Yanks managed to produced one that actually worked
 the only advatge the P51 had was range, yet the the Spit was the FIRST single engine fighter over berlin so a long range Spit could have een produced had thier been a will.
There was a will, every single version had longer range than the last!
thier was never a will, the big range increase for the P51 was the fuelarge tank and the wing drop tanks, it was not untill 45 that the normal spit got either,
You cannot write an aircraft off because it didnt do what YOU think is the important role, had the USAAF changed to night bombing in 43 would the P51 ever had gained that range? its unlikely.  Well, yes! It started with more range than the later Spits and then grew longer leggs!
Becuase IT HAD TO as the US bombers were getting slaughtered it was not designed with that range but it did manage to cope with the extra fuel something the P38 and P47 failed to do
If you read Rall and Galland and a few others that survived the air war in the west the thing that stand out are they never feared combat with P51, P47 and especially P38s  but always had the utmost respect for the Spit, That is why they had an over all advantage of about 4-1 in Victories over the Spitfire over France?
yawn, same old same old, missing the point completely, you need to read and understand that fight as you clearly do not at the moment
In one of Mike Spicks books he has an account of one of the top german aces being in an encounter with a single spit whilst comanding a full squadron of 109s include 3 "experten" in which no one got a single hit on the Spit!
But he also has an episode of one Me-109 shooting down five Spitfires in one go. So I guess it is a wash.
Not realy as those 5 Spits werent piloted by your experten were they?
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Jabberwocky       3/28/2013 1:35:26 AM
Shooter said: " The RAF did have need of more range from the Spitfire and each new model had more than the last ."
The first part of that sentence is true, the second part is patently false.
The range of the Spitfire on internal fuel fell with each subsequent mark from the Mk I to the Mk IX. It was only with the introduction of the Mk VII and Mk VIII that the internal tankage increased with the addition of the larger front fuel tanks and the introduction of the wing tanks.
The Mk I had a still air crusing range of around 550-575 miles. The Mk II around 500-520 miles, the Mk V around 480 miles, the Mk IX around 435 miles and the poor old Mk XII (at least, the early builds) just 330 miles on internal fuel, necessitating the carriage of 30 imperial gallon slipper tanks even for cross Channel patrols.
The Mk VII and the Mk VIII increased internal fuel from 85 imperial gallons to 120-124 imperial gallons, increasing range to about 640-680 miles.
The Mk XIV had range on internal fuel of about 460 miles, thanks to the thirstier Griffon engine. The Mk 21, which was slightly more slippery than the Mk XIV, had a range of about 490 miles.
Yes, drop tanks were made available, in a variety of sizes (30, 45, 48, 50, 90 and the 170 gal ferry tank). But the limitations of internal fuel still determined the Spitfire's combat range.
Shooter said: " The Germans desperately needed more range and they lost the BoB because of it! The Spit desperately needed more range and they lost the cross channel battle of france because of it."
Neither Germany in the Battle of Britain or the RAF in the cross-channel battles lost the fight because of a lack of range.
Germany lost the BoB because it made several stupid decisions and came up against something it simply wasn't perpared for or structured to defeat: an equal opponent operating an integrated air defence network based around the principle of minimum risk for maximum return.
The RAF got thumped in the cross-Channel battles in 1941/1942 because it ran up against a similarly good air defence network, combined with an enemy that had the strategic initiative, had better trained and more experienced pilots and, until the appearance of the Spitfire Mk IX and to a lesser extent the Typhoon, superiority in equipment (marginal in the case of the 109F1/2, slightly more in the case of the F4 and significantly more in the case of the 190A2/3/4). The RAF offensive strategy was also poorly though out and even more poorly executed than the German's strategy in the BoB.
Shooter, on your claims regarding the relative speeds of the Spitfire Mk XIV and the P-51, you're mistaken, or perhaps confusing your Spitfire marks.
Based on RAF testing, the Mk XIV had a speed range of 436 to 446 mph at 28,000 ft. The P-51, based on US testing, had a speed range of 420 to 438 mph, giving the Mk XIV a narrow advantage.  
At 35,000 ft, the case is similar. The Spitfire has a speed range of 432 to 440 mph, based of five tests, while the P-51 has a speed range of 410 to 435 mph, again, giving a minor advantage to the Spitfire XIV.

The P-51 was faster than the Mk VIII/IX by 20-30 mph at all heights, with broadly the same power.
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Jabberwocky       3/28/2013 1:36:28 AM
Shooter said: The spit had some small advantages in turn rate and climb, but the 'stang had huge advantages in rate of roll, range, strength and fire power!
Again, simply untrue. The AFDU tests of the Spitfire XIV vs the Mustang III (faster and lighter than the later P-51D), state:
Turn: "The Spitfire XIV is better"
Rate of roll: "Advantage tends to be with the Spitfire XIV" 
Climb:The Spitfire XIV is very much better.
And, vs the Mk IX
Turn: The Mustang is always out-turned by the Spitfire IX.
Rote of roll: The Mustang III cannot roll as quickly as the Spitfire IX at normal speeds. The ailerons stiffen up only slightly at high speeds and the rates of roll become the same at about 400mph.
Climb: The Mustang III has a considerably lower rate of climb at full power at all heights.
Other comparative tests between Spitfires and P-51s of all stripes by both air forces found that the Spitfire had significant advantages in turn and climb, an advantage in rate of roll until around 350 mph, but was deficient in speed compared to the US aircraft, particularly at lower level. The Mustang's other advantages its better dive acceleration and zoom climb and better control harmonisation.
On a more general note:   Shooter, you would be doing the forum and yourself a significant favour if before you put fingers to keyboard, you did a bit of research and reading. Please make sure you can back up every point you argue with factually accurate information.
For the sake of everyone here, please know that your ability to mis-remember, mis-quote and misrepresent the various half truths you keep presenting and representing creates a stain on an otherwise quite pleasurable forum. Your blinkered patriotism and jingoistic, reactionary conservative views have seemingly rendered you incapable of reasoned argument or being corrected.
Instead, your debating style represents a shotgun spray of factual inaccuracites, hurled out at such a rate that you "win" any argument by presenting so many falsehoods and points of questionably logic and faulty conclusion from basic data that your opponents simply give up in dismay. This is the style of a "true believer", not someone who is open to reasoned argument.
Your debating style is most reminiscent of the Gish Gallop:
The Gish Gallop, named after creationist Duane Gish, is the debating technique of drowning the opponent in such a torrent of half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments that the opponent cannot possibly answer every falsehood in real time. The term was coined by Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education. Sam Harris describes the technique as "starting 10 fires in 10 minutes." 
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oldbutnotwise       3/28/2013 9:09:34 AM
 However, the Mustang (Like the Hellcat) wasn't just a great fighter because of how well it turned, it was the best because it changed the complexion of the entire war, and ultimately won it by turning the Axis powers from offense to defense:
Not sure how you get this, the main role of the P51 was bomber escort, an offensive task from day one and one forced upon the P51 due to the losses by the bombers, the P51 was a good fighter and with the long range the US decided they needed in a fighter, the European counties , however, didnt use long range day bombers and therefore had no real need for the long range, so assuming that the ability that was a pretty much US (ok and Japan) requirement makes it the best is lopsided. could the Spit have been made as long range as the P51? no, but it coulkd have had doubled it range by adopting the Rear tank and wing leading edge tanks (both of which were tried and tested by 1941) and then adding wing drop tanks, this would have been a big boost to range, why was it not done? the Raf (and Luthwaffe and Russians) all looked to fighters to either be interceptors or battlefield superiority aircraft, both of which need speed and manouverability adding fuel reduces these aspects, as I pointed out the RAF rarely used the rear tank of the Mustangs they flew - tactical requirements just didnt need it.
 something that the Spitfire and the Bf 109 were entirely incapable of doing. 
the Spit and the 109 didnt have day bombers to escort so why did they need the range to match that of the bombers?
The Spits in the BoB were sent up with half full tanks (and I believe the 109/190s flying against B17/24 were similarlly fueled)
 If you want to cherry-pick a plane based on a narrow performance standard, we could come up with any number of specialty aircraft divided into the categories of short range interceptor, long range escort and fighter-bomber. 
But isnt that what you are doing, you claim that the long range of thwe P51 makes it best, that is cherry picking
Then, once you have divided each specialty plane into its specific mission category, you could then deal with the minutia of speed, climb, turn, dive, range, damage resistance, firepower and then subtract any bad habits and fatal flaws baked into the design. 
This is why ANY discussion of which was best allways ends up as a diccussion as to which is the posters favourite aircraft, the criteria as so varied that it is pretty impossible to pick the "best" someone will always put one of thier favorite's best sides as higher as a "most required feature" of the discussion
  But if we take all of those categories into consideration and try to find one plane that fits, the Mustang would come out best or near best in every category except damage resistance, which is why Hellcat is still best overall.
the problem here (other than that stated above, and I am not imune to that either) is that the Helcat and P51 didnt arrive till halfway though the war, a Helcat v a Spit or a P51 v a Spit, well if it was 1940 the who wins, the Spit easily as the other two are paperplanes, by the time you get to 43 will the P51 ot Helcat beat a spit in combat, well discarding pilot ability, the tests that were done would tend to indicate no
  Could the Spitfire operate as an effective escort or long range fighter?  No.  Could the Mustang have operated as a effective short range defensive fighter? Yes.  Case closed.
Could the P51 fight the BoB no, would it have existed without the Spit, possible not, did it outperform the spit in any role except range no, did it serve as a Carrier fighter No , could the Spit serve as an escort fgighter Yes it did escorting many B17/B24 raids, could it have been a long range fighter Yes had there been a need- so its hardly a case closed is it
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oldbutnotwise       3/28/2013 9:18:59 AM
This is not in dispute by the RAF, or any other rational person in the UK. So, who were the weak nellies, the Russians or the RAF? One last point, the Germans had more than twenty Aces who shot down over 100 planes each in the west exclusively!
I need to check this figure as Iam pretty sure its bogus
I checked and sure enough this is bogus, There were only 6 pilots that scored more than 100 kills in the ETO, Shooter as usual either just made the number up or has taken all 100+ scoring pilots who had ANY ETO kills even if the vast majority were scored on the easten front
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Maratabc       3/28/2013 9:40:38 AM
One small error.
The RAF needed a long range night fighter, so they acquired one.
The obvious night fighter mission was to hunt German night fighters in free range intrusions so that the bomber streams could enter and leave the holes in the Kammhuber line the RAF detected.
Pilot interview.
The Spitfire was unsuited to this purpose.
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