Thank you for your reply. I think we're going to have to agree to disagree. Your novel manuscript, that I am not privy to, does not jibe with anything I've read about the performance of the Bf-110. So I am not in a position to weigh the verity of your uncited source.
Fair enough. I didn't expect this discussion. Originally, I just wanted to say that I thought it wrong to dismiss this aircraft out of hand in a discussion about the fighters during the battle of Britain. Mainly because it was not as bad as its reputation suggests. And, more importantly, it actually had the range to actually fight an air battle over Britain as opposed to the Bf 109 which, basically, could fight the battle of the Channel and Kent.
I would comment on the range question as follows:
Too much is made of the range. Don’t get me wrong, the short range could have impacted the pilots as there was little margin for error, and the extra time could have allowed some benefit. But what was the practical effect? Was the lack of range going to stop the Germans from gaining air superiority over the invasion beaches? Was the lack of range going to stop the Bf-109 from dog-fighting over the south-east of England? Was the lack of range going to stop the Germans from escorting its bombers against many of the key aircraft factories in the south? Well, no. The lack of range would have been a hindrance if the German goal was long term economic warfare – but not to achieve its goal of wiping the RAF from the skies over the southeast of England. And remember, that was the Luftwaffe’s job. If the Luftwaffe shot down RAF fighters over Kent, in the numbers expected, the RAF would have had to keep bringing reserves south until there were none – or give up the south. It was quite simple – the Luftwaffe had to clear the skies to set up the conditions for an invasion – not to fight a battle over Britain.
The Bf-109 had seven seconds worth of ammunition for its canon. Extra range would not have altered that. As the British found, machine guns alone (for which the Bf-109 had sixty seconds worth of ammunition) were not as effective. I would be interested to know how many German Bf-109 pilots that engaged in combat over the skies of southeast England ever came home with any unused ammunition…. My guess (and it is my opinion) is not many – and certainly no cannon ammunition.
But effectiveness of an air superiority fighter still comes back to the kill ratios. Does this thing kill more enemy than is killed itself? And the idea that the Bf-110 had the best kill ratio I just don’t understand given just everything written about the battle, and everything written about the aircraft’s performance and inability to dog-fight. For example it’s been suggested that the Bf-110 was initially used in its proper role and only when it was ordered to stick closely to the bombers did it begin to suffer. But if that is the case then what is being argued is that the Bf-110 kill ratio (apparently the best of all fighters) must have been even higher initially (because later losses when used incorrectly would have dragged that ratio down to ‘only’ 1.5). So what would the kill ratio have been before the ‘dumb’ Germans stopped it from being used effectively? And if it was proving to be such an effective killer then why stop using it in that way?
As we all know, there are lies, damned lies and statistics, but something is very odd about that kill ratio……
Finally, as for the link, I picked up this:
It is a fact that just when RAF Fighter Command was on the brink of destruction as a result of German air raids against its ground organisation
That's an interesting 'fact'. I'd love to see them try and substantiate that 'fact' with some evidence....
< Message edited by warspite1 -- 7/27/2020 7:13:08 AM >
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