Presentations from HAAC – Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front in 1944-45

We did have two conference rooms operating and were running parallel briefings for part of the afternoon. The second briefing in the Einstein Conference room of the first day was given by the author Daniel Horvath. It is “Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front in 1944-45” (21 slides): Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front 1944 45_DH_2022.pptx


We had a total of 30 presentations given at the first Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC). We have the briefing slides from most of these presentations. Over the next few weeks, we are going to present the briefing slides on this blog, maybe twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursday). In all cases, this is done with the permission of the briefer. We may later also post the videos of the presentations, but these are clearly going to have to go to another medium ( We will announce when and if these are posted.

The briefings will be posted in the order given at the conference. The conference schedule is here: Schedule for the Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 27-29 September 2022 – update 16 | Mystics & Statistics (

The conference opened with a brief set of introductory remarks by me. The seven supporting slides are here: Opening Presentation

It was then followed by a briefing by Dr. Shawn Woodford on Studying Combat; The “Base of Sand” Problem: 20220927 HAAC-Studying Combat

The second presentation of the first day was given by me. It is here (45 slides): Data for Wargames (Summary) – 2

The third presentation of the first day was given by Dr. Tom Lucas of the Naval Post-Graduate School (49 slides):  Fitting Lanchester equations to time-phased battle data

The fourth presentation of the first day was given by Dr. David Kirkpatrick of the University College of London (25 slides):  DKirkpatrick Presentation 19 Jan 22 v2

The fifth presentation of the first day was given by Dr. Niall MacKay, University of York (161 slides): HAAC2022MacKay 

The sixth presentation of the first day was given by Jim Storr (32 slides): HA Conference DC Sep 22 V1.2

The seventh and final presentation of the first day was given by Dr. Shawn Woodford (10 slides): 20220927 HAAC-Understanding Dupuy

The first briefing in the Einstein Conference room of the first day was given by Dr. Michael Johnson (CNA) (64 slides): Main brief

This entry was posted in Air Warfare, Eastern Front, Historical Analysis Annual Conference, World War II by Christopher A. Lawrence. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience. Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation. His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) and The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019) Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

5 thoughts on “Presentations from HAAC – Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front in 1944-45

  1. The curve for the G-10 in the performance analysis is actually the G-6 (with MG Rüstsatz).
    G-6: 592 @4000, 609 @4000 for DB 605A-1 (MW 50/GM-1), on WEP.
    G-10: 655 @4000 (605D)
    From Teststelle Rechlin (author’s source), early production G variants: 578 @4000, Finnish tests: 590 @4000.
    The Soviet figures likely refer to forsazh, on light load. In fact, the listed speeds are based on calculations and experimental models.
    Yak-3 (VK-105PF2): 624 @4000
    LA-5FN: 587@4000
    LA-7: 616@4000
    From tests, N.I.I/V.V.S.: Yak-7B: 553 @4000, LA-5FN (M82-FN) 619 @4000 and these are probably still utopian in contrast to field conditions, i.e. ~599, 541 at respective speeds (based on the La-7 coefficients, top speed at ceiling listed in literature: 680, vs 659 for the production model).

    Without proper context, the information is nigh to useless, unadjusted for different testing environments.

  2. I hope you enjoyed the presentation. You would gain a benefit if you consulted the source materials provided in the presentation to make your conclusions. I will briefly comment on your post.

    1) The Bf 109G-10 graph is for the G-10, and the G-6 graph is for the G-6. Their performance is correct, you are welcome to look at the sources I used as they are mentioned.
    2) Bf 109G-6 at sea level reached 495kph, G-10 reached 500kph at the same altitude [source as found on GL/C E-2 Flugzeug-Entwicklungs-Blatt Bf 109 (J), late 1944]
    3) The VVS figures, just like the Luftwaffe data, is presented without boost values (without Форсаже). If boost would be applied the results roughly similar with the VVS aircraft outperforming Luftwaffe aircraft below ~4000m.
    4) The information is useful to understand why the VVS chose to engage in combat at lover altitudes, and why the Luftwaffe’s Bf 109 fighters were no longer at an advantage.

    • Okay, I will actually address this, the browser ate my first comment, so to sum up:

      1.) I am familiar with the sources. The author likely used this one.

      Graphs in the presentation and the following were aligned via superposition and show a match. They were also compared to prototype data.

      These are also not the maximum speeds BF-109s or FW-190s could attain, but that is another matter. Variants, loadouts and other tests were disregarded, the circumstances were also ignored.

      2.) See testing environment and engine variants. I assume you are referring to this:
      The closest you get is a 605AM with MW injectors, but all pre 10 models had a similar retrofit. G-6, there is no detailed information on the tests:

      They do not match the graph in the ppx though, they do match the Soviet one, but they do not seem to deviate much. They list 568 km/h at SL, 652 km/h at 4900m and 568 km/h at SL, 665 km/h at 5000m with MW.

      3.) Yes, via reduction of protection and or an experimental configuration (prototypes), I have no information on compression ratio/octane.
      The equivalent would be something like, e.g. looking at experimental FW190 models. These figures are still being listed in literature as series models.
      (quite the variance) Compare “series model” with “prototype”.
      closer to the production models: “nominal” and “forsazh”, compare this to the original graph.


      To quote Iwanow (Luftkrieg über Europa, Dr. Wolf), let me translate:

      “The situation is similar with the propaganda-tinged Soviet data on the performance of Russian fighter planes. These widely used numbers usually refer to experimental models. Ivanov writes: “In the case of the mass-produced Soviet military aircraft during the war, the sum of the coefficients for profile and resistance differed by 6-12%, on average by 9%, larger than in the experimental models of these types – partly due to production errors. For this reason, the values ​​for the series-produced aircraft were significantly less favourable than those for the test models. As a rule, however, the values ​​of the test models and not those of the series aircraft are given in the literature.”

      Considering that they were turn based fighters, which they were designed for. Admittedly, reverse engineering American and British fighters let them bridge the gap to an extent.

      I can replicate the same issue with German data:

      4.) This leads to one of the central aspects. German pilots were probably never at an advantage in these altitudes to begin with, that is a misunderstanding of doctrine, interdiction and aircraft design (see turn and engagement radii in the BoB or fighter aircraft in the Pacifc Theatre), speed differential or not. This has more to do with target exposure time (sights) and precision.
      From a technological point of view, this was not the only reason why they could inflict greater casualties, such a graph is insufficient in establishing an overview of combat characteristics, this however is a tedious process.
      Just because a 122mm gun is larger than a 88mm, does not mean that it is more sophisticated. Most scholars fail in this field. It is like saying “the Romans were technologically inferior, because they used short swords”.
      Relying merely on one indicator, is insufficient for an analysis, though. I assume this was one of the stereotypical: “The Soviets were actually technologically superior to the USAAF/RAF and Luftwaffe, but could not translate this to the battlefield”. If they were, then already in 1941, because so were P-39 airacobras.
      I guess they had a late war advantage in fleeing on sea level, but considering the dive speeds, I would not even be sure.
      The casualty infliction differential was too great to be merely explained by skill, keeping in mind that the number of accidents increased on both sides, due to deterioration of the quality of their labour force. This was not just confined to one side.
      This is closer to how an air model should look like:

      chose to engage in combat at lover altitudes

      Yes, I wonder why that was the case. The presentation lists 4-5km as the most typical engagement altitudes. The production variants of the LA-5 and LA-7 at this altitude are listed at ~590-620 km/h respectively, this is already optimistic. Optionally a lighter setup for countering, for instance, F-8 Jabos – hit-and-run.
      Based on the regression coefficients (Combat/WEP), the expected engagement speeds of 540-590 km/h would be more realistic, assuming a fully armed model.
      I would assume the German figures to drop due to the absence of gondolas, but that cannot account for larger deviations. This does not suggest that the picture radically changed, even at lower altitudes. This narrative is still perpetuated for ground and air forces alike. The RKKA did not show improved combat effectiveness in the later stages of the war. In per capita terms, the opposite seems to be the case.

      I can only give a review based on what I see, but for the rest: Raw aircraft figures without personnel allocations, magnitudes (procurement), airframe and or weight etc.
      Damage type/criterion, damage composition and, causes. Low flying aircraft tends to be hit by AA fire, and many pilots in 1944 were victims of accidents.
      Misunderstanding the roles and listing only two German aircraft versions might be another culprit.

      Juxtaposing claims (or observing individual claims for a more critical view of the prolific “Aces”) with actual downed aircraft would have been a proper addition, as well. The deeds of the defenders of obnoxious regimes are still exalted and inflated up to this date.

      That is not to say that Soviet late war fighters did not have good low altitude performance, the advantage here was actually in turning, but the author must prove that: 1.) The CPI of VVS pilots was greater in 1944 than in the previous year, ceteris paribus. Any improvement of gear or tactics will increase the output and hence, 2.) affect the differential in casualty infliction potential.

  3. I am now confident you were NOT at the presentation… It may reappear next year. Come then and maybe you will gain a better rounded understanding.
    Claims/losses are dealt with my book Verified Victories:Top JG 52 Aces Over Hungary 1944-45 (215 pages).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *