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The effects of the P-51 Mustang in World War II Abstract This paper deals with the contributions of the P-51 Mustang to the eventual victory of the Allies in Europe during World War II It describes the war scene in Europe before the P-51 was introduced traces the development of the fighter its advantages and the abilities it was able to contribute to the Allies arsenal It concludes with the effect that the P-51 had on German air superiority and how it led the destruction of the Luftwaffe The thesis is that it was not until the advent of the North American P-51 Mustang fighter and all of the improvements benefits and side effects that it brought with it that the Allies were able to achieve air superiority over the Germans This paper was inspired largely by my grandfather who flew the P-51 out of Leiston England during WW II and contributed to the eventual Allied success that is traced in this paper He flew over seventy missions between February and August 1944 and scored three kills against German fighters Table of Contents Introduction Reasons for the Pre-P-51 Air Situation The Pre-P-51 Situation The Allied Purpose in the Air War The Battle at Schweinfurt The Development of the P-51 The Installation of the Merlin Engines Features Advantages and Benefits of the P-51 The P-51s Battle Performance The Change in Policy on Escort Fighter Function P-51s Disrupt Luftwaffe Fighter Tactics P-51s Give Bombers Better Support Conclusion Works Cited Introduction On September 1 1939 the German military forces invaded Poland to begin World War II This invasion was very successful because of its use of a new military strategic theory-blitzkrieg Blitzkrieg literally lightning war involved the fast and deadly coordination of two distinct forces the Wermacht and the Luftwaffe The Wermacht advanced on the ground while
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