Best WWII Fighter by Category




 
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March 19th, 2005  
Mike Main
 

Topic: Best WWII Fighter by Category


The Age Old Question

I am curious as to how people around the world answer this question. There a lot of room for debate when you look at a few angles never covered by the History Channel.
First I want to narrow it down a bit. Jets don't count. No jets. Otherwise the Me-262 would win hands down.
Also, lets not try to count the late model rare stuff. That would be like the Ta-152, F7F, F8F. If it really didn't play a part in the war, it doesn't count.
They were awesome machines, but to late.
Also when rating them, use the standard of equally matched pilots and in good working order.
Last, as I see it there are three categories:

Offensive
Defensive
Best Overall

I'll start things off. I won't bore you my reason until we get into this a bit. My list looks like this:

Offensive - P-51 Mustang (range and performance)
Defensive - Japanese KI-84 (performance and firepower)
Overall - Spitfire MkXIV (all of the above with less range)
March 20th, 2005  
bushpig1998
 
 
Mike - difficult to argue with that selection - for defensive, I have to say the Jet powered ME 262 (correct?) really had a better chance than most. It's single greatest flaw was no range - and that's why I say it is great as a defensive fighter - it can be scrambled fast and could easily outfly most other fighters of the day - IMO.

As far as best all round - I agree with the spitfure, but I really feel that the Mustang can fill this role. It was a Fighter, Escort and Ground attack platform towards the end of the war.
March 20th, 2005  
03USMC
 
 
Best Overall I'll say the F4U Corsair.

Offensive _ P-38 Lightening

Defensive - Hawker Hurricane
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March 20th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
I can't find any better than those, 03. Complete agreement.
March 20th, 2005  
Grimnar
 
 
I know the Hurricane is underrated, but I would not say it was the best defensive fighter. Most of the Hurricanes was rebuilt to an attack version, mostly because the RAF realised that it was outclassed by the german fighters. Originally the Hurricane had fabric covered wings!!
Still it made the backbone of the RAF, only because of the amount of planes they had.

EDIT: Defensive vs offensive fighter? A dogfight is a dogfight no matter if you are defending of attacking??

Offensive: P-51 (firepower, speed and range)
Defensive: Fw-190 (not the same range as the P-51. Thats why I rank it as defensive)
Overall: Corsair (firepower, also designed as a overall fighter/attacker)
March 20th, 2005  
chewie_nz
 
tempest/typhoon; probably the best ground attack plane of the war. especially used for train busting
March 20th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Some good choices there. I'd also add the Focke Wulf 190D as being one of the best fighters of WW2. I too I'm not sold on the idea of offensive and defensive fighters. A fighter is a fighter and operational range does not restrict role.
March 20th, 2005  
chewie_nz
 

typhoon


tempest


and probably too late to have any effect on WWII, but used in korea

March 20th, 2005  
03USMC
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimnar
I know the Hurricane is underrated, but I would not say it was the best defensive fighter. Most of the Hurricanes was rebuilt to an attack version, mostly because the RAF realised that it was outclassed by the german fighters. Originally the Hurricane had fabric covered wings!!
Still it made the backbone of the RAF, only because of the amount of planes they had.

EDIT: Defensive vs offensive fighter? A dogfight is a dogfight no matter if you are defending of attacking??

Offensive: P-51 (firepower, speed and range)
Defensive: Fw-190 (not the same range as the P-51. Thats why I rank it as defensive)
Overall: Corsair (firepower, also designed as a overall fighter/attacker)

I'm not saying the Hurricane wasn't outclassed by many other fighters. But it's role as a fighter in the Battle of Britian alone gives it my vote. The RAF made do with what they had and the Hurricane preformed admirably in perhaps the greatest Air Campgian in History. My .02. FWIW
March 20th, 2005  
Mike Main
 
I knew it wouldn't take long for the FW-190D to show up. Deserves honorable mention at least. In the top five fighters of WWII for sure.

Great feedback. I broke it down into categories to see what people come up with. A fighter is a fighter and it has to be flown aggressively. But it depends on the situation as to what I would want to be flying.
The P-51 has the range to practically run you out of gas over your home base. But it lacks the explosive shells to tackle heavy bombers.
The Ki-84 has a surprisingly large load of just that, cannon shells.
I think the Spit 14 has the best combination.
All three ( and the FW-190D ) can hold their own is a dogfight with any other fighter of the period. Boils down to the pilot at that point.

I didn't really think about ground attack. But if I had to pick something, it would have a radial engine.