History, Reference, Research, and GrogTalk > Military (and other) History

P-38 In the ETO

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LongBlade:
OK, so I was watching one of these WWII programs on the Military Channel.

They were covering the history of fighters and escorts of bombers. In passing it was mentioned that the P-38 was never seen as a good air superiority fighter in the ETO.

I have always loved the look of the P-38 and wondered why we didn't hear more about it in the ETO. Anyone have any thoughts on why it wasn't successful there?

Jarhead0331:
I'm assuming it has something to do with performance, or lack thereof in the cold dry air over the skies of europe???

LongBlade:
I do not know. There are several books published about the P-38, but I have yet to buy one and read it.

Somewhere out there has to be a few WWII aircraft gurus who know. If not, I'll figure it out eventually and will post it here.

Staggerwing:
I'm no guru but IIRC there were issues with it's high speed maneuverability when facing Fast AC such as 109Fs and Gs.
P-47s and Merlin-powered P-51s were more effective escort fighters due to the nature of that kind of combat. I also
seem to recall that the earlier Lightnings had some kind of stabilizer or elevator problem when diving. My guess is that
by the time all of the kinks were worked out the Jugs and Ponies had already become the USAAF sweethearts. The British
also disliked it and only used it for recon.
Slugging it out with the fragile and slow (though nimble) Zekes was more suited to it's style. Also, it had phenomenal
range which suited the many miles of open ocean flight needed for patrols in the PT.

LongBlade:
That makes sense. Thanks!

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