Help Finding Exact Air Force Sizes.

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Tarquin, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. Tarquin

    Tarquin New Member

    Hello there,

    I'm starting this thread to ask if anyone can recommend a reliable source of information regarding exact sizes of air forces during WW2. I'm currently working on a project involving force comparisons of the British and German air forces during the Battle of France and Battle of Britain, however I'm struggling to find sources that can provide the exact size of both during this time, with most sources only giving the exact numbers on one date while I'm looking for numbers on a monthly if not weekly basis to see how they move up and down for the duration of the conflict.

    The reason why I ask for sizes throughout all of WW2 and not just 1940 is because this will likely not be my only project and I will probably need exact air force numbers during other battles. So ideally a complete size guide of the entire war would be perfect but if not then one for these two battles would be very helpful too.

    I thank you in advance for any help you can offer me.
  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    It's a bit like quantum physics once you introduce the word exact you can't know the other info as matters were in constant flux and given the manual means of recording losses, acquisitions it's usually only possible to take a snapshot of what the records said on a particular date and even then there would be a degree of error plus or minus. For one thing how does one define when an aircraft is included? When the supplier delivers it to a base depot? When it arrives with a squadron? During the Battle of France a significant number of French aircraft were in transit through the air force's own mobilisation process and there is no one reliable source of exactly how many were available at any one precise time only estimates.
  3. Tarquin

    Tarquin New Member

    I understand what you mean and I agree that it's basically impossible to know with certainty the exact amount down to each and every aircraft for the reasons you've mentioned and I accept that using the word "exact" is a little misleading. I'm not looking for a literal "exact" and just roughly how many aircraft were in service on any given date. I've read a few books that talk about number of aircraft on any one date where the author presumably got the info from somewhere, official records I assume? That's really what i'm asking, just for some guidance towards a book or reliable website that can offer some rough numbers of aircraft on a monthly if not weekly basis.

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