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A6M Zero in the Battle of Britain

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  • #61
    Bomber losses, even early, meant that each bomber needed 2 fighters as escorts. By early Sept this had to be increased to 3 fighters per bomber because losses were getting out of hand. With about 600 serviceable fighters (Me-109 or A6M2 in this scenario) it meant raids not exceeding 200 -300 bombers maximum. Divide that by the number of targets,....

    By late August and early September with bomber losses continuing to mount the German fighters were also forced to execute "close escort" tactics, in other words no free roaming or pursuit. And this was with the better armoured Me-109. With these constraints the advanatge lies with the British interceptors. Since the escorts are tied to the bomber formations it means the more fragile A6M2s are exposed to more first attacks by diving RAF a/c (since the bombers often flew well below 25,000 ft).

    A6M2 does not make a good bomber escort and the BoB was not about dogfighting. It was a strategic bombing campaign aimed at destroying an air force, production capacity, infrastructure and port facilities in preparation for an invasion or forcing the enemy to capitulate under the same threat.
    The Purist

    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by The Purist View Post
      Bomber losses, even early, meant that each bomber needed 2 fighters as escorts. By early Sept this had to be increased to 3 fighters per bomber because losses were getting out of hand. With about 600 serviceable fighters (Me-109 or A6M2 in this scenario) it meant raids not exceeding 200 -300 bombers maximum. Divide that by the number of targets,....

      By late August and early September with bomber losses continuing to mount the German fighters were also forced to execute "close escort" tactics, in other words no free roaming or pursuit. And this was with the better armoured Me-109. With these constraints the advanatge lies with the British interceptors. Since the escorts are tied to the bomber formations it means the more fragile A6M2s are exposed to more first attacks by diving RAF a/c (since the bombers often flew well below 25,000 ft).

      A6M2 does not make a good bomber escort and the BoB was not about dogfighting. It was a strategic bombing campaign aimed at destroying an air force, production capacity, infrastructure and port facilities in preparation for an invasion or forcing the enemy to capitulate under the same threat.
      Succinct and right to the point, Gerry.
      "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
      Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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