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Old 12-18-2013, 07:46 AM
447 posts, read 717,329 times
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I am curious if anyone has info on the size of the RAF at the end of WWII and how many planes it had. I have many statistics on the US Army air force as I know it was the largest air force in the world with about 70,000 aircraft of which about 40,000 were combat aircraft and about 40,000 aircraft in the Navy and Marines with about 25,000 of them combat aircraft. I have read of estimates that the RAF had 8,000 fighters in 1945 but no accurate number of bombers and Naval aircraft. I also know the Bomber Comand would put 1,500 aircraft up a mission in 1945 so I am thinking Bomber Comand had to have at least 2,000 bombers to be able to put 1,500 or more in the air. And many times I have read that there was 28,000 combat allied aircraft in the European theater at wars end with about 15,000 of them US. So were the rest mostly British ?
To my knowledge the US , USSR and UK had the largest air forces at wars end as I have read the USSR had 18,000 combat aircraft at wars end. I know the RAF was large but was trying to get a more accurate figure. Thanks , Ron
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:55 AM
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The best I could find without really digging are the "peak combat strength" numbers for the RAF Bomber Command and Fighter Command. These would ostensibly have been between mid-1944 and mid-1945 and only for Europe.

Total fighters assigned to combat units: 7,726
Total bombers assigned to combat units: 6,956
Total aircraft assigned to combat units: 14,682
Total personnel assigned to combat units: 718,628

Again, these numbers are "peak strength". I know they are end-of-war, but not necessarily the very end of the war. It would seem those numbers jive pretty well with your "28,000 combat aircraft with 15,000 being American" number.
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