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NickM
24th February 2008, 07:43
Guys:

I've been re-reading many of my Jagdwaffe unit histories ( Yeah...two Major & three minor ones) and some of my other 'sources' & I have a question:
JG26 (or at least I & II Gruppe) seemed to do better on the whole than say JGs 1, 2, 11, 27 etc....Now when they tried to do high altitude multi-gruppen ops they usually got chewed up by Allied fighters but when they were doing frei-jagd against the allied tactical airforces, even VERY late in the war I & II/JG26 seemed to have enough experienced unit, element & flight leaders to lead them that they packed a surprising sting for allied units.

So...how did JG26 'luck out'? Was it just that Galland favored JG26 & directed as many experienced & 'promising' replacements as he could to it or did some other factor allow them to maintain their quality of leadership--Not just Experienced long term unit leaders (Priller, Borris etc) and quality replacements (Eder, Hackl, Gluntz, Heckmann) but many guys who came right out of flight school (Soeffing, Crump, Hoffmann, Mayer, Schildt) survived & became top notch leaders as well;

Thanks ahead of time...

NM

Kurfürst
24th February 2008, 11:27
I tend to think of JG 26 as a unit that had very good press, but I don`t think it was that special.

It had the high-profile in its ranks, and naturally Galland wrote all sorts of good things about his home unit. Alfred Price and especially Caldwell 'Top Guns' analague also give it a big press boost.
It was fighting through the war on the Western front against the Allies and this is probably why it is so highly rated and romanticized in Western circles - ie. JG 26 was fighting in the West because it was the best of the best, the only worthy opponent for the RAF and USAAF - this kind of thinking.

Same perception with the FW 190, the literature tends to describe its deployment on the Western front because the Luftwaffe would deploy 'its best fighter' against the Allies, of course, and not the 'backward' Soviets
- whereas the reality shown by German reports is that the 190 was deployed in France primarly because its early powerplants were so unreliable they simply wouldnt want pilots to fly it over enemy territory or over the sea.

Don`t get me wrong, I don`t think they weren`t a good unit, but I think they were overhyped in the post-war years a tad bit, much like Rommel, for the same reason.

Franek Grabowski
24th February 2008, 13:59
I believe JG 2 performed much better over Normandy in 1944 rather than JG 26.

George Hopp
24th February 2008, 16:48
Well, we have Priller's and Caldwell's histories of JG 26. What have we on JG 2?

NickM
24th February 2008, 17:14
Guys:

Thanks, keep the info coming; unfortunately not too much has been written on JG-2; but I was speaking about the time AFTER 'Bodenplatte' to the end of the war; maybe it seemed JG26 did better than most JGs because more has been written about it;

Oh and...just so I can be clear on things: I guess I am including III/JG54;

Anyways, thank you & Keep replying.

NM

yogybär
24th February 2008, 18:28
Nick, sounds interesting. Can you underlay your point of view with numbers like claim/loss-rates, absolute losses or such?

NickM
24th February 2008, 18:46
Nick, sounds interesting. Can you underlay your point of view with numbers like claim/loss-rates, absolute losses or such?

Yogi:

No, not really--IF ONLY my reference reading material were THAT comprehensive...just from casually reading stuff like 'Win the Winter Sky' and of course The JG26 War Diary & some stuff from Mombeek & the Osprey unit histories; again it SEEMED that other units like JG1 & JG27 were constantly getting decimated or worse with only minimal success, yet in the small scale patrols & fights by I & II/JG 26, THEY seemed to be able to give allied forces a bit of a bloody nose from time to time---sure probably minimal when compared to things like FLAK & whatnot but still surprising given the time;

NM

FalkeEins
24th February 2008, 19:06
It was fighting through the war on the Western front against the Allies and this is probably why it is so highly rated and romanticized in Western circles - ie. JG 26 was fighting in the West because it was the best of the best, the only worthy opponent for the RAF and USAAF - this kind of thinking.


..ie JG 26 wins the propaganda war by default....
but for the period after Bodenplatte there's only one JG worth talking about, only one JG putting numbers of aircraft in the air approaching their theoretical strength ...and that's JG 300 of course..
after all for the period you wish to consider the war in west was effectively over ...the Soviets were on the Oder by mid-end January 45 and even sortieing against USAAF bomber raids was to take a back seat to throwing everything east...

Jan Bobek
24th February 2008, 21:14
Bit off-topic,

but I remember when I was reading Prien/Stemmer book on IV./JG 3, I got impression that results of this unit very much improved (III./JG 3 as well) when transferred in early 1945 from "West" eastwards against Soviets.

NickM
24th February 2008, 23:39
..ie JG 26 wins the propaganda war by default....
but for the period after Bodenplatte there's only one JG worth talking about, only one JG putting numbers of aircraft in the air approaching their theoretical strength ...and that's JG 300 of course..
after all for the period you wish to consider the war in west was effectively over ...the Soviets were on the Oder by mid-end January 45 and even sortieing against USAAF bomber raids was to take a back seat to throwing everything east...

Yes but I was specifically speaking of JGs who lent what support they could to the Army---and I TOTALLY forgot that MOST JGs (Presumably: 1,3,4,5,6,11 & 77)were transferred to the East to do what they could THERE---as I recall all that remained in the West flying the 'tactical war' were JGs 2, 26, 27 & 53;

NM

Don Caldwell
29th February 2008, 17:09
Nick --

Your question as you have refined it (the relative 1945 performance of the Jagdgruppen on the Westen Front) is a very interesting one, one that can ALMOST be answered with published data. IMHO, the performance of fighter units as pure fighters (offensive or defensive) in a given theater during a given period of the war can be compared using four metrics: combat sorties, claims/sortie, losses/sortie, and the claim/loss ratio. I don't think adequate sortie data exist, but a table of claim and loss totals for the Gruppen of JG 2, JG 26, JG 27, JG 53, and III/JG 54 would be useful. Losses are tabulated in the UHs of Federl, Caldwell, Prien, Prien, and Urbanke respectively. Claims are available in the same sources for all units but JG 2. I'm sure the JG 2 claim data exist in Germany, probably with Jochen Prien's team and most likely with Winfried Bock. I know Jochen reads this forum from time to time. If someone will get me a list of 1945 JG 2 claims, I'll prepare a table comparing all of the Western Front Jagdgruppen and post it on the JG 26 website. And no, I have no preconceived idea of what the data will show.

Horrido!

Don

O.Menu
29th February 2008, 19:02
Note that Erik Mombeeck is publishing a JG2 history (first in French) : http://www.luftwaffe.be/publicationsmain.html

Don Caldwell
29th February 2008, 22:03
I hadn't thought about Erik's JG 2 work, but his website lists only Volume 1, 1934-1940, and it's "propose" -- if that means what I think it does, 1945 is quite far off. I'll e-mail Erik directly and see if he can supply a 1945 claims list.

Don