History, datas and pictures of British, US and Russian WW2 fighter planes.
Most of this aircrafts are used or will be used with the computer wargame WW2 Total.
During the inter-war years the British Government tried to maintain an Air Force with a merely defensive capacity of fighter planes. On 10 May 1940, 416 of Britain's total number of 1,873 first-line aircraft were stationed in France, but on 20 May it was decided to bring them back to England. The first phase of the German plan for the invasion of England was to gain control of the air and so during the months of July and August 1940 the RAF prepared its fighter planes for the inevitable battle against the Luftwaffe. The main defence possessed by the British was RAF Fighter Command. By the end of July 1940 the RAF had 530 fighter planes ready for combat. The margin of the following Battle of Britain RAF's victory over the German Air Force was slim but it was sufficient to deter the Wehrmacht from seriously contemplating an invasion of Britain.
The RAF entered the last year of the war with the invasion in France in June 1944 with 487 squadrons, whereby 100 were manned by personnel from the Dominions. In Europe and the Middle East the RAF lost a total of 22,120 aircraft, of which were 3,558 fighter planes.
At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbour the US Army Air Force had 3,305 aircraft, while the US Navy hat about 3,000 aircraft ready. The entry of WW2 led to an entirely new rhythm of production and numbers alone are enough to give an idea of the incredible progress that was made. In 1942 a total of 10,769 fighter planes were built. In 1943 a total of 23,988 fighters and in 1944 a total of 38,873 fighters were built. In 1945 a total of 21,696 fighters came off the assembly line. And quality was not sacrificed to quantity.
When Germany launched its attack on Russia in June 1941 no one imagined that in a few days only 3,000 Luftwaffe aircraft would knock out what was considered to be the strongest air force in the world. It took almost a year for the Russians to regain air superiority. Aircraft production was slowed down while factories were moved to less vulnerable areas in the east, the Allies organised regular fighter plane deliveries, and Russian industry came up with new designs. A total of 8,000 aircraft of all types were built in 1942. Production rose to 18,000 in 1943, 30,000 in 1944, and 25,000 in 1945.