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That's right, we're looking at everyone's favorite subject... WWII aviation!

 

... Wait, don't go, please!

Ok, so I have to admit I'm not a historian outside of a few books and an avid Wikipedia spelunker. However, something I found odd was how discussing the Aichi D3A "Val" carrier dive bomber, its article proclaims this aircraft "sank the most Allied warships out of any Axis aircraft". [edited] also touts this on one of their loading screen fun facts... or used to, I don't know anymore. 

Aichi D3A (Val)

A lovely lady for a date.

But when I look at the ships that are recorded as being sunk solely by Vals, I can't help but wonder how it got this reputation, when surely the amount of action in Europe would put another contender, a dive bomber at that, up first. 

The one, the only, the screaming meanie, the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka

Pin on Wehrmacht

Yes I know it's not a picture but I couldn't find any color pictures of one in flight so shush.

Anyways, looking at the kills, below is what the D3A Val is credited for sinking, entirely due to damage they alone created:

This included kamikaze attacks, which, I mean, should count. I'll also give them the credit for USS Porcupine, USS Pigeon (her article doesn't list the type of dive bomber but the Val was the only one in service at the time), and USS Kanawha (an oiler, but she had armament). I did not give credit if a ship was so damaged that she was scuttled, as technically the aircraft did not sink it.

Now to the Stuka. Let's start in Poland (as most nations accept WWII began), where in short order they sank "the 1540-ton destroyer Wicher and the minelayer Gryf of the Polish Navy (both moored in a harbour).[97] The torpedo boat Mazur (412 tons) was sunk at Oksywie; the gunboat General Haller (441 tons) was sunk in Hel Harbour on 6 September—during the Battle of Hel—along with the minesweeper Mewa (183 tons) and its sister ships Czapla and Jaskolka with several auxiliaries." Fast forward to 1940 and the Norwegian campaign, where " HMS Bittern was sunk on 30 April. The French large destroyer Bison was sunk along with HMS Afridi by Sturzkampfgeschwader 1 on 3 May 1940". It feels kind of cheap to add the naval trawlers to the list, but they were technically warships, so we'll include "the Jardine (452 tons) and Warwickshire (466 tons)". The Dutch lost  Jan Van Galen (1,316 tons) and Johan Maurits Van Nassau (1,520 tons) when the Netherlands was invaded. The Dunkirk evacuation technically takes us above the number of the Val sinkings listed by its article with the destroyers L' Adroit, HMS Grenade, HMS KeithFoudroyant... not to mention minesweepers or naval trawlers.

So what the heck? Granted, some of the Polish units were likely training ships, and many were at port, but still. I haven't even gotten to the Meditteranean or the Eastern Front. Why does the Val get the credit?

If I'm missing something obvious (aside from "WW2 didn't start until December 7, 1941"), let me know. Otherwise, feel free to give theories about this.

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Jan 1 1941:  HMS Southampton bombed by 12 Stuka of Stuka StG 2 off Malta.  The ship was wrecked and later sunk by friendly fire.

May 21 1941:  HMS Juno bombed by Stuka.  Ship blew up then sank off Crete.

May 22 1941:  HMS Gloucester sunk by Stuka off Antikythera.

May 24 1941 HMS Kashmir sunk by Stuka off Gavdos Island

May 24 1941 HMS Kelly sunk by Stuka off Gavdos Island

May 29 1941 HMS Hereward crippled by Stuka left DIW in Kavos Straight and abandoned.  Later sunk by Italian MAS boats

 

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The Val looks like a WWII airplane. The Stuka looks like a freaking dragon.

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10 minutes ago, Murotsu said:

Jan 1 1941:  HMS Southampton bombed by 12 Stuka of Stuka StG 2 off Malta.  The ship was wrecked and later sunk by friendly fire.

May 21 1941:  HMS Juno bombed by Stuka.  Ship blew up then sank off Crete.

May 22 1941:  HMS Gloucester sunk by Stuka off Antikythera.

May 24 1941 HMS Kashmir sunk by Stuka off Gavdos Island

May 24 1941 HMS Kelly sunk by Stuka off Gavdos Island

May 29 1941 HMS Hereward crippled by Stuka left DIW in Kavos Straight and abandoned.  Later sunk by Italian MAS boats

 

You didn't count the GERMAN ships they sank....   DUUUUUUUOOOOHHHH !!!!!!!!

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24 minutes ago, AVR_Project said:

You didn't count the GERMAN ships they sank....   DUUUUUUUOOOOHHHH !!!!!!!!

I didn't think about friendly fire :cap_hmm:

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54 minutes ago, Lert said:

The Val looks like a WWII airplane. The Stuka looks like a freaking dragon.

 

d2if36s-53b43a03-e9cc-469f-a6f1-91c25c832931 (1).jpg

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42 minutes ago, SomemuttupNorth said:

I didn't think about friendly fire :cap_hmm:

And indirectly, if the Bismarck and Prinz Eugan had a few light cruisers with them, they would have fared a little better in the Atlantic.
The British Navy sunk a lot of destroyers, but the Luftwaffe took care of the German Light Cruisers limping home from Norway.

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I think the major difference is in how the DBs were deployed.

The Vals, being a CV based aircraft, targeted mostly warships. 

The Stuka (and much of the German Luftwaffe bomber force) was designed more for the Blitz attack, supporting the German Army. It lacked the range of the Val.

 

Stuka with a bomb load had a range of 370 miles.

Val with a bomb load had a range of 840 miles.

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2 hours ago, SomemuttupNorth said:

That's right, we're looking at everyone's favorite subject... WWII aviation!

 

... Wait, don't go, please!

Ok, so I have to admit I'm not a historian outside of a few books and an avid Wikipedia spelunker. However, something I found odd was how discussing the Aichi D3A "Val" carrier dive bomber, its article proclaims this aircraft "sank the most Allied warships out of any Axis aircraft". [edited] also touts this on one of their loading screen fun facts... or used to, I don't know anymore. 

Aichi D3A (Val)

A lovely lady for a date.

But when I look at the ships that are recorded as being sunk solely by Vals, I can't help but wonder how it got this reputation, when surely the amount of action in Europe would put another contender, a dive bomber at that, up first. 

The one, the only, the screaming meanie, the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka

Pin on Wehrmacht

Yes I know it's not a picture but I couldn't find any color pictures of one in flight so shush.

Anyways, looking at the kills, below is what the D3A Val is credited for sinking, entirely due to damage they alone created:

This included kamikaze attacks, which, I mean, should count. I'll also give them the credit for USS Porcupine, USS Pigeon (her article doesn't list the type of dive bomber but the Val was the only one in service at the time), and USS Kanawha (an oiler, but she had armament). I did not give credit if a ship was so damaged that she was scuttled, as technically the aircraft did not sink it.

Now to the Stuka. Let's start in Poland (as most nations accept WWII began), where in short order they sank "the 1540-ton destroyer Wicher and the minelayer Gryf of the Polish Navy (both moored in a harbour).[97] The torpedo boat Mazur (412 tons) was sunk at Oksywie; the gunboat General Haller (441 tons) was sunk in Hel Harbour on 6 September—during the Battle of Hel—along with the minesweeper Mewa (183 tons) and its sister ships Czapla and Jaskolka with several auxiliaries." Fast forward to 1940 and the Norwegian campaign, where " HMS Bittern was sunk on 30 April. The French large destroyer Bison was sunk along with HMS Afridi by Sturzkampfgeschwader 1 on 3 May 1940". It feels kind of cheap to add the naval trawlers to the list, but they were technically warships, so we'll include "the Jardine (452 tons) and Warwickshire (466 tons)". The Dutch lost  Jan Van Galen (1,316 tons) and Johan Maurits Van Nassau (1,520 tons) when the Netherlands was invaded. The Dunkirk evacuation technically takes us above the number of the Val sinkings listed by its article with the destroyers L' Adroit, HMS Grenade, HMS KeithFoudroyant... not to mention minesweepers or naval trawlers.

So what the heck? Granted, some of the Polish units were likely training ships, and many were at port, but still. I haven't even gotten to the Meditteranean or the Eastern Front. Why does the Val get the credit?

If I'm missing something obvious (aside from "WW2 didn't start until December 7, 1941"), let me know. Otherwise, feel free to give theories about this.

Read somewhere once that the STUKA sunk the most ships...myself would have though VAL....was hard to research...was going to be too much work....the germans sunk a lot of smaller coaster ships which could run up the tonnage

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That list doesn't include ships sunk at Pearl Harbor. 

The USS Cassin and USS Downes were both destroyed by Val's at Pearl Harbor (well, Val's set fire to the Cassin, the fire spread to the Downes, destroying both)

Ships sunk by Val's usually also include vessels that were scuttled after they were abandoned due to dive bomber damage. Such is the nature of a carrier war fought in the Pacific, where ships are thousands of miles away from a safe port.

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3 hours ago, SomemuttupNorth said:

That's right, we're looking at everyone's favorite subject... WWII aviation!

 

... Wait, don't go, please!

Ok, so I have to admit I'm not a historian outside of a few books and an avid Wikipedia spelunker. However, something I found odd was how discussing the Aichi D3A "Val" carrier dive bomber, its article proclaims this aircraft "sank the most Allied warships out of any Axis aircraft". [edited] also touts this on one of their loading screen fun facts... or used to, I don't know anymore. 

Aichi D3A (Val)

A lovely lady for a date.

But when I look at the ships that are recorded as being sunk solely by Vals, I can't help but wonder how it got this reputation, when surely the amount of action in Europe would put another contender, a dive bomber at that, up first. 

The one, the only, the screaming meanie, the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka

Pin on Wehrmacht

Yes I know it's not a picture but I couldn't find any color pictures of one in flight so shush.

Anyways, looking at the kills, below is what the D3A Val is credited for sinking, entirely due to damage they alone created:

This included kamikaze attacks, which, I mean, should count. I'll also give them the credit for USS Porcupine, USS Pigeon (her article doesn't list the type of dive bomber but the Val was the only one in service at the time), and USS Kanawha (an oiler, but she had armament). I did not give credit if a ship was so damaged that she was scuttled, as technically the aircraft did not sink it.

Now to the Stuka. Let's start in Poland (as most nations accept WWII began), where in short order they sank "the 1540-ton destroyer Wicher and the minelayer Gryf of the Polish Navy (both moored in a harbour).[97] The torpedo boat Mazur (412 tons) was sunk at Oksywie; the gunboat General Haller (441 tons) was sunk in Hel Harbour on 6 September—during the Battle of Hel—along with the minesweeper Mewa (183 tons) and its sister ships Czapla and Jaskolka with several auxiliaries." Fast forward to 1940 and the Norwegian campaign, where " HMS Bittern was sunk on 30 April. The French large destroyer Bison was sunk along with HMS Afridi by Sturzkampfgeschwader 1 on 3 May 1940". It feels kind of cheap to add the naval trawlers to the list, but they were technically warships, so we'll include "the Jardine (452 tons) and Warwickshire (466 tons)". The Dutch lost  Jan Van Galen (1,316 tons) and Johan Maurits Van Nassau (1,520 tons) when the Netherlands was invaded. The Dunkirk evacuation technically takes us above the number of the Val sinkings listed by its article with the destroyers L' Adroit, HMS Grenade, HMS KeithFoudroyant... not to mention minesweepers or naval trawlers.

So what the heck? Granted, some of the Polish units were likely training ships, and many were at port, but still. I haven't even gotten to the Meditteranean or the Eastern Front. Why does the Val get the credit?

If I'm missing something obvious (aside from "WW2 didn't start until December 7, 1941"), let me know. Otherwise, feel free to give theories about this.

Stukas and Vals were deployed differently and for different roles.

Stukas supported Blizkreig movements, so you need to factor in the amount of tanks they killed suing bomb and late on the 37mm gun pods. Stukas were also deployed against the British, who did not have as many ships as the US was producing, decreasing the chance that stukas would meet them. But stukas were also tasked with sinking merchants ships in the mediterrian to crucial areas such as Malta, and so had plenty of targets

 

vals however were deployed in carrier forces, with emphasis on sinking ships, rather than supporting troop movements. They also faced th US manufacturing capability, and so more warships deployed. = more likely vals could meet them to sink. However, they were not really tasked with sinking merchants ships, so that is a significant amount of traffic untouched.

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22 hours ago, SgtBeltfed said:

That list doesn't include ships sunk at Pearl Harbor. 

The USS Cassin and USS Downes were both destroyed by Val's at Pearl Harbor (well, Val's set fire to the Cassin, the fire spread to the Downes, destroying both)

Ships sunk by Val's usually also include vessels that were scuttled after they were abandoned due to dive bomber damage. Such is the nature of a carrier war fought in the Pacific, where ships are thousands of miles away from a safe port.

I saw a note on the site the OP used for his info that they did not factor in the Pearl Harbor ships because you also had Kates (B5N bombers) in the level bomber role as well as the torpedo bomber role. It was a Kate that is credited with the fatal Arizona hit.

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Just now, Lord_Slayer said:

I saw a note on the site the OP used for his info that they did not factor in the Pearl Harbor ships because you also had Kates (B5N bombers) in the level bomber role as well as the torpedo bomber role. It was a Kate that is credited with the fatal Arizona hit.

There's a breakdown of what flight of aircraft attacked what at Pearl harbor (mostly to try and figure out where all the converted AP rounds ended up). It made for an interesting map.

Val's were hitting airfield targets in the first wave, with the Kates hit Battleship Row and the back side of Ford Island.

The second wave had Vals hitting the Drydock containing the Pennsylvania, Cassin and Downes. They also hit the Nevada once it got underway. The Kates were bombing the airfields in the second wave.

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On 6/28/2021 at 5:59 PM, Lord_Slayer said:

I think the major difference is in how the DBs were deployed.

The Vals, being a CV based aircraft, targeted mostly warships. 

The Stuka (and much of the German Luftwaffe bomber force) was designed more for the Blitz attack, supporting the German Army. It lacked the range of the Val.

 

Stuka with a bomb load had a range of 370 miles.

Val with a bomb load had a range of 840 miles.

One should note that the Ju 87R series with bomb load and drop tanks had a max range of about 1600 miles and about a 790 mile radius of action.  This model was specifically built in four subvariants R-1 to -4 for anti-shipping operations.

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Dive Bomber?

SBD Dauntless.  I heard it had a nice history against warships.

Douglas_SBD_Dauntless_dropping_a_bomb,_c

 

Some SBDs operating off of Enterprise, February 1942.

756px-SBDs_of_VB-6_taking_off_from_USS_E

 

Some more on Yorktown at the Battle of Coral Sea.

rlBhhxyLnyTnHnJnslXP2JRqtgXRUazXxa_zNfCb

 

XgvtPyN.jpeg

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Don't forget, Stuka sank two "battleships" the Kilkis and Lemnos (ex USS Mississippi and Idaho).

5418b393e74a8fc9fccb1b84df7c9c63.jpg

 

1459485777853.jpg

Edited by Murotsu

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One thing that might skew the numbers is that Germans lacked a dedicated torpedo bomber and only use hybrids, so the Germans would potentially rely more on a higher ratio of bombs to sink ships.

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I mean, by virtue of the Val being fielded in a primarily naval setting while the Stuka is much more focused on land, I'd go ahead and wager on the Val.

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The Germans really didn't have a good torpedo rack to begin with in WWII, and this lack of a rack (and a good airborne torpedo) was causing the Germans to look at license producing Italian or Japanese torpedoes and racks to arm Graf Zeppelin's Stukas.  Stuka's didn't combine their attacks with other aircraft types making it easy to pick out what ships were destroyed by Stukas. Lastly, many of the ships sunk by Stuka's are very small, so damage control after a bomb strike was non-existent.

For Val's it's a lot more complicated, they participated in combined attacks alongside Kates on many occasions, so you have to venture into war damage and loss reports for who actually did what. (The Japanese loved combined arms, probably a little too much) Another issue with the comparison is Val's either never attacked, or didn't record attacks on what I'll call "tiny combatants"  or armed trawlers, ect... With Vals attacking proper warships, there was frequently some measure of damage control, even if it was ultimately unsuccessful. The OP disregards most of these because the US Navy chose to scuttle the ship themselves, even though the ship was made a total loss by Val attacks.

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For the Germans, they really don't have a torpedo bomber in service until about 1942 when the Ju 88 A-17 and He 111 H-6 come into service.  The Fi 167 torpedo bomber for use on the Graf Zeppelin never proceeded beyond trials in the Netherlands in small numbers and there's scant evidence it was actually used against any enemy shipping.  It was replaced by the Ju 87E that likewise didn't go far in development.

 

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On 6/28/2021 at 7:33 PM, Lert said:

The Val looks like a WWII airplane. The Stuka looks like a freaking dragon.

With the Jericho Trumpet, it would've sounded about as terrifying as a dragon too.

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On 7/1/2021 at 7:07 AM, Murotsu said:

Don't forget, Stuka sank two "battleships" the Kilkis and Lemnos (ex USS Mississippi and Idaho).

5418b393e74a8fc9fccb1b84df7c9c63.jpg

 

1459485777853.jpg

 

Stuka pilot Hans Rudel is credited with the Russian battleship Marat, two cruisers and a destroyer.

 

 

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Yes, well... for Stukas, add the battles of Crete, Malta, Balkans, North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. Not to mention the random exciting strikes against the regular British convoys, etc.

Many people don't realize the amount of attrition inflicted on the Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, and Regia Marina during this 1941-44 timeframe and threatre, which significantly contributed to the Soviet victory on the Ostfront.

A classic case of too little butter spread on too much toast.

I recommend Shore's "The Mediterranean Air War" to those who are interested in daily flight accounts, very illuminating as to the life of these pilots and the combat environment.

The picutre is from 

https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/AAF-Luftwaffe/ 

and displays German aircraft losses of all types by theatre in the critical mid-war period.

What is not shown on the graph is the disproportionately large percentage destruction of expensive German bomber crews and airframes in the Mediterranean war.... IE NAVAL BOMBING.... which resulted in the stripping of the Luftwaffe to do anything but provide point fighter defense.

After the Mediterranean air war, the Luftwaffe ceased to be able to effectively support German ground forces, becoming nothing but a single-dimension defensive entity. A major element of the Wehrmacht's once-vaunted Blitzkrieg multi-disciplinary offensive power was permanently removed, and there could be no recovery under the economic, continuous duress that the ever-strengthening Allied forces applied.

 

AAF-Luftwaffe-XXX.jpg

Edited by Dr_Seadog

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@Dr_Seadog  I have not read that source, I wasn't that familiar with air operations in the Mediterranean.  The Luftwaffe was shredded, especially their transports trying to support North Africa / Tunisia.  If North Africa wasn't bad enough, the Western Allied Air Forces did even more damage in preparation for Sicily.  All of this shows up in big spikes of Luftwaffe losses in your chart.

If all that wasn't bad enough, the Allies felt it wasn't enough and the Luftwaffe needed to be diced up even more in preparation for Operation Overlord.

 

I saw this video years ago and was good for me because as I said, wasn't too familiar with the air operations in the Med.

The part at 16:20 on the video also hits hard.  Axis forces are surrendering to the Allies in Tunisia, but the last big formation of Italian troops were going to do a hopeless last stand.  Mussolini didn't want that: "Stop the fighting.  You are promoted to Marshall of Italy.  Honor goes to you and your brave men." 

This is in sharp contrast to Hitler with many stand or die orders issued.

 

Found another video, which fits a critical phase of your chart.  Tunisia was lost and the Axis forces of North Africa surrendered.  The Luftwaffe bled itself heavily to support Tunisia but the Axis knew more trouble was brewing.  40% of Germany's fighter production was being sent to the upcoming battleground of Sicily.

s2Lxt7h.jpeg

Adolf Galland had never seen such a scale of an air offensive before.

The double Axis disaster in the air as well on the ground for Sicily was so dire that Hitler cancelled the Kursk offensive to shift forces from the Eastern Front to the new emergency.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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