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#1 Owen

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 09:42 AM

Where and when was the biggest dog-fight?
I believe Dieepe 1942 was the largest between the RAF and Luftwaffe.
Was there anything bigger than than on the Eastern Front?

How big were the biggest Luftwaffe attacks on USAAF bomber formations ?
Do they count as "dog-fights" or does that term purely relate to fighter v fighter?
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#2 Kyt

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 11:25 AM

There are claims that the largest air battle of the war was during the Battle of Kursk (5th July 1943 to be specific). However, trying to pin down exact numbers (and comparative figures for the Pacific e.g. the Marianas Turkey Shoot or Midway) has been difficult so far. I'll continue checking.

In the West, it was probably Dieppe but most figures are given in sorties rather than in actual numbers of aircraft involved in the skies at any given time. Actually, that could be said for all the statistics available.

I'll be back later with some numbers.

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#3 Owen

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 11:30 AM

So the biggest air-battle was during the biggest tank battle?
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#4 Kyt

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 11:33 AM

Makes sense I suppose - still looking for stats :banghead:
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#5 Owen

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 11:41 AM

Will this site help?
Air Battle over Kursk 1943, Starting Page
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#6 Kyt

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 11:44 AM

Anybody got a copy of "Duel for the Sky" by Shores?

From a review:

According to the author, the first day of the Battle of Kursk marked the single heaviest day of aircraft losses during the war with the Germans claiming 432 Soviet aircraft shot down and Soviets claiming at least 300 Luftwaffe planes destroyed. Both sides also claimed devastating losses to enemy armor by tank busters.
Shores supports his account of the air battle at Kursk with assorted photos, a map of the front lines, tables of approximate air strength for each side, a table of "Red Air Fleet Order of Battle, July 1943" at Kursk, "Soviet Air Regiments Identified" (with subordinations and commanders, where known), a Luftwaffe OB for July 1943 at Kursk, a sidebar of "The Aces at Kursk" (with photos and scores), and another sidebar entitled "Main Aircraft Types Employed during the Battle for Kursk".


As an aside, a for those interested in the air-war on the Eastern Front, some new books will be coming out over the next year or so:

Stalingrad: The Air Battle



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#7 Owen

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 11:56 AM

Found this site.
http://www.lesbutler...ny/tonywood.htm

Open the document for claims
Eastern Front Vol 2. Jul to Dec 1943
It is HUGE!

Attached Files


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#8 Kyt

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 12:00 PM

Found this site.
http://www.lesbutler...ny/tonywood.htm

Open the document for claims
Eastern Front Vol 2. Jul to Dec 1943
It is HUGE!


Yeah, I've just found that site too - not fair :( - you beat me to it ;)


Will this site help?
Air Battle over Kursk 1943, Starting Page


I can't make sense of what the hell's going on on that site :confused: Maybe I should learn some more German
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#9 Owen

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 12:10 PM

Surprise, surprise. Where did we end up in answer to my query?
The Eastern front , yet again.

To think, once , we couldn't even mention that here.
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#10 Kyt

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 12:23 PM

I'm having real problems uploading a pdf*, and I'm not sure whether this link will work for everyone (let me know)

https://calldbp.leav..._CUR_DOCUMENT=2

You'll get a "This operation not allowed" box - click OK - it should then download

The article is entitled " BATTLE FIELD AIR INTERDICTION BY THE LUFTWAFFE AT THE BATTLE OF KURSK - 1943"

*BTW - why is it that I can't upload some pdf files when they're only 2-3 mb? It works for some files, and not for others :mad111:
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#11 Owen

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 12:29 PM

Kyt
I get this.
There is a problem with this website's security certificate.
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#12 Kyt

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 12:34 PM

Kyt
I get this.
There is a problem with this website's security certificate.


Yeah, just click OK - nothing nasty pops up - I've checked with all my security programmes - just seems that the database seems to have been forgotten by the original site overseers (but I take no responsibility if you end up with pictures of a big bloke limbo-dancing naked :elkgrin:)
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#13 Kyt

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 12:57 PM

According to an article in Military Thought called "Evolution of forms and methods of struggle for air supremacy" by Ostroumov:

Up to July 1943, it was the German aviation that had the strategic edge on the Soviet-German front. Only separate operations (the counteroffensives near Moscow and Stalingrad, the operation by the North Caucasian Front) saw the Soviet aviation gain operational air supremacy (mostly in areas of ground combat operations) by pursuing air fights and battles and by delivering separate strikes at enemy airfields. The air operations aimed at destroying enemy aircraft on the ground and in the air failed to bring the expected results in connection with the lack in that period of sufficient forces. The latter half of 1942 saw the start of a large-scale rearmament of the air force, with the flight personnel learning how to control new planes that surpassed the German counterparts almost in every indicator. The front and army aviation forces were pooled to form air armies, something that enabled a more massive employment both in the interests of the ground troops and in the struggle for air supremacy. Simultaneously the Supreme High Command got down to creating major air reserves, thus solving the problem of having the necessary air combat forces for air battles and operations.

Unlike front-scale offensives, where aviation was massed to give direct air support and cover to troops, air operations took place during pauses in operations. For example, over 1,000 enemy planes were destroyed on the ground and in the air in the course of three air operations preceding the Battle of Kursk. (1)

The enemy aviation somehow managed to keep the air supremacy following the start of the German offensive near Kursk and during the two days that the Soviet forces were on the defensive. However, as soon as the Soviet Air Force went over to resolute offensive actions, it instantly won operational and--during the counteroffensive launched by several fronts--strategic air supremacy.

Overall, 3,500 enemy planes (2) were destroyed in 2,700 air fights in the course of the Battle of Kursk, which was the result of the struggle for air supremacy pursued by Soviet fighter pilots flying Yak-1, Yak-3, Yak-76, La-5, La-7, and Yak-9 planes. The strike aviation was almost entirely employed to support the fronts and therefore destroyed only 145 enemy planes on the ground. During the counteroffensive, the antiaircraft artillery shot down 700 planes.


I don't have access to the full article, and I ain't paying for it :P
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#14 Kyt

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 08:02 PM

:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

It seemed like a relatively easy question and now I've wasted an entire day without luck - I hate you Owen
:Cartangry:
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#15 Kitty

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 08:35 PM

Owen is good at those types of question
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#16 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 09:13 PM

In a single aerial battle? I would opinion, without actually looking up which exact one and day the absolute largest occured, that it was one of the USAAF strikes in late 1944 where the 8th and 12th AF put on the order of 1000 + bombers with another 1000 or so escorts up against a target in Germany. The Luftwaffe response in several cases was right around 1000 fighters as well, not to mention hundreds of heavy antiaircraft guns firing into the mix.
I seriously doubt that anything on the Eastern Front as a single aerial battle even approached this size of aerial fight.
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#17 Owen

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 11:15 PM

T.A.G.

Thanks for that.
I mentioned the USAAF bombers in post #1 as 1000+ bomber raids with escorts are a target too good not to attack in force.

So do we think the Kursk is biggest aerial battle over a wide area BUT the biggest dog-fight would be one of the American day-light raids over Germany?
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#18 Gage

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 11:17 PM

T.A.G.

Thanks for that.
I mentioned the USAAF bombers in post #1 as 1000+ bomber raids with escorts are a target too good not to attack in force.

So do we think the Kursk is biggest aerial battle over a wide area BUT the biggest dog-fight would be one of the American day-light raids over Germany?


Not sure about the Eastern Front.

But Luftwaffe forces attacking the daylight American raids topped Maybe 80 to 100+ and that not including the attacking aircraft.

Maybe Nick has figures.
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#19 Drew5233

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 11:32 PM

There was a documentary on Military History earlier this year that used a lot of computer graphics to recreate this particular dog fight. The documentray included an interview with one of the American pilots.

I can't remember the exact figures but I'm sure they were talking a hundred plus German aircraft which I thought was strange for that time of the war, 1944/45. I can only remember a few bits and pieces. The American was in a P-47 and the Germans 109's or 190's were circling above them in massive rings with 20 odd aircraft in each defensive ring I think. As the American approached their targets the Germans would fall out of the circle in turns to attack their targets. The others would stay in the circle as top cover for want for a better discription.

I'm sure they claimed this incident to be one of the biggest dog fights on the war. Indded the programme may have been called dog fight.
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#20 nicks

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 12:07 AM

The USAAF raids are probably better described as a running battle made up of many dogfights (interceptions) along the route to the target and back, therefore you could have a high number of aircraft involved but not in one single engagement. The same could be said of the likes of Dieppe, Kursk and the Marianas 'Turkey shoot' these battles lasted over the course of a day or more, the aircraft involved would have flown more than one sortie.

Basically I believe you are looking for the largest number of aircraft involved in a single engagement which could even bring other actions like the Battle of Britain and Malta into the equation.

Regards,

Nick
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#21 Ferahgo

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 12:45 AM

Basically I believe you are looking for the largest number of aircraft involved in a single engagement which could even bring other actions like the Battle of Britain and Malta into the equation.


Like September the 15th? There were some pretty epic dog-fights over Malta and North Africa. How about China? or maybe the Russian attacks on Manchuria?
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