I'm just onto my second turn as Germany and have already found a plethora of mistakes (possibly even blunders) that I've made.
Which scenario? Grand Campaign? Must be if you destroyed so many planes I imagine.
1) In my first turn as I didn't quite understand how bombing airfields worked I managed to only destroy about 2,500 soviet airplanes, this is on the low side right? I feel that I should have been able to bomb a lot more.
Yes, it is. I've seen some crazy numbers quoted on this board. In my first grand campaign I got 4,000 first turn. Good players that know what to do get 5,000 and more. I've seen much higher numbers, but I do not know how patches and revisions may have affected the possible haul here.
Some of my panzer units are way ahead of my infantry....
I would bet this is the first thing most players wonder. Here are three simple things you can do to help alleviate the situation.
1. Use your FBD units to repair specific rail lines that will support your axes of advance. Which lines you choose, and the routes they take are quite important. In the Baltic Zone there is a repair 'discount' in the first couple of months, due to a similar gauge in this region (so each repair is one point versus three and more progress can be made). As a result, I tend to do two Baltic rails, one to Pskov and then on to Leningrad and the other a bit south through Polotsk, Vitebsk and on to Smolensk. This route ends up in the same place that a route from Brest to Smolensk would, but gets there much faster.
And then I rail the 'Brest' FBD to Rumania and end up with two down in the AGS sector (plus the Rumanian one). One goes toward Kiev and on to Kursk/Voronezh and the other to Dnepro and on to Stalino/Rostov There are several good threads here, this one's helpful to get some ideas. WitE is a complex games, with many important or critical facets. But surely how you repair your rails is one of the most crucial to the success of your campaign.
2. Use HQBUs. This mechanic will resupply your panzer corps and allow them to keep the operational pace high. You're limited by the admin points, so you have to use this judiciously. But this is one of the most useful tools an Axis commander has at his disposal.
3. Hold 'em back a bit. It's tempting to run the tanks as far as they'll go. The gains look impressive, and when 2nd Panzer is sitting on the Dnepr at the end of turn two it's mighty impressive. However, they'll almost certainly be out of fuel and too far to get more and therefore are useless for turn three.
By holding your panzer corps back a bit each turn, and not running them to the limit, you not only carry over some of the stuff they already have, but because they are a little closer to the railheads, they will get some resupply. Added together, it allows much bigger gains over the course of several turns than if you had run to the limit early on.
How import is it to use bombers for attacking ground units? There were a few areas that the soviets had higher level fortresses that I used some bombing runs on, is this an effective use?
Yes, and there is a disruption factor that these strikes will inflict, that can cause fewer enemy to man their posts in any follow up attacks by ground troops. Personally I find this the main reason to do this as opposed to causing casualties. In my case I use these strikes on any particularly tough strongpoint, but the vast majority of the sorties flown in my campaigns are ground support. But good use of these air strikes can make the difference in winning battles and advancing.
Is it a good idea to continuously move up airfields as I gain more ground and expand deeper into russia?
Yes, it is necessary to keep these aircraft in range. Stukas for example have a range of just 11 hexes I believe, so they have to keep moving with the ground forces if you want to use them tactically. The ideal way to do it is to move empty bases by transferring squadrons and thereby saving lots of trucks. But I just drive the base with the aircraft 'on them' and waste the trucks :) I'm not opposed to micro, but that's a step too far.