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marsyao 26th March 2007 17:15

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
and how about the accurracy of the claims of P/O Georg Beurling ?

alessandro bray 26th March 2007 17:30

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
Hi Marysao,

at the moment I'dont have the file regarding Beurling on hand, but in general his claims against italian were accurate, less against the german, above all against Bf109, but all RAF claims against Bf109 are lesser accurate than vs other aircraft types
I send you the details tomorrow


Mark Steinitz 26th March 2007 19:53

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
For "drgondog" -- you say you found no claims filed by JG 51 on 09/18/44. According to Tony Wood, Guenther Josten of 3./JG 51 claimed a B-17. Narrative accounts indicate the Fortress was on a supply mission to the uprising in Warsaw.

shooshoobaby 27th March 2007 02:13

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
390th BG Mission Report 9/18/44
Flak Moderate but Accurate - Attacks by 20 LW Fighters on Drop Run.
1 B - 17 lost to COMBINATION of FLAK and FIGHTERS
# 338175 568th Sq.
Crashed Warsaw
Lt. Francis Akins - Pilot
8 KIA 1 POW 1 Evade
MACR # 10205

Rob Romero 27th March 2007 03:07

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations

We would love details on the combats of Michalski and Beurling. On the combats where the victor is indeterminate, could you list the number of claimants vs. losses? For instance if pilots claim 4 aircraft and only 3 are lost, we could assign an estimate of .75 victory to each pilot.


Rob Romero

dora9forever 27th March 2007 06:00

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
nice work,,,a thought, on claimin.say a german pilot adolf galland his in a dogfight,with a spitfire,and as 56 planes to his credit,so far""""",,hes over france and on his own,he shoots at the spitfire,the spitfire then statrs,to smoke,galland then runs out of ammo or his guns jam and his fuels low,galland follows the spitfire, down only to discover, the spit fly on course,to great britain,galland returns home and says he shot at a spitfire but it will get home,NOW the spitfire pilot althrogh,damaged,flys home,but thers a a small fire,.oil.he then decides to land , on the coastline or some fields,wheels down if poss,but cant lower them, then decides to crash land his plane,ok then steps out,, his plane his damaged right,hes 10 miles from his base,isnt galland ,be able to claim it as a shoot down,,there must be hundreds of pilots on all sides that have done this,,a brill thought,

Kapper 27th March 2007 09:40

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
Hi all,

I have a few points I would like to raise on this issue.

Firstly Dora9forever has raised a very good point here. To support this issue I'm referring to Caldwells works JG26 War Diary's. As I work away from home, I don't have these books with me so I'm working from some of my notes and memory, but those of you who have the book can check this out.

Where the author was able to access the Pilots logbooks he has been able to refer to all the pilots actions. Pilots such as Peter Crump, Waldemar Radenar, Wilhelm Mayer, and Heinrich Schild had a high percentage of claims not submitted or not confirmed early in thier careers (over 50%). I've got Mayer's 6th claim as his 1st confirmed victory and Shild's 7th claim as his 1st confirmed victory.

As with the allies the Luftwaffe had to go through a debriefing process before the submission of claims. In Caldwells book he has referred to instances where a junior pilot complained about the officer responsible for sorting claims within the unit had rejected his claim, instead awarding the claim to a more senior pilot and submitting the claim for confirmation in that senior pilots name. Therefore, a number of claims were never submitted into the claims process by the unit and unless you have the pilots logbooks, you do not know they exist. From memory, he detailed at least one instance where he varified the junior pilots claims.

The author also refers to instance where claims were not forwarded by the unit due to a lack of witnesses. The author mentioned at least one instance where the pilot noted in his logbook a claim that was not even submitted to the unit debriefing (claims?) officer for lack of witnesses, but from allied sources he was able to proove that the victory happened.

Therefore, unless you have a copy of the pilots logbooks you do not get a full appreciation of all his claims. It appears that within units they can be very sceptical of junior pilots claims, however once they proove themselves and become a more senior pilot, they tend to take them more at their word. This results in fewer claims not being submitted or not confirmed late in the careers of senior pilots and their claims becoming less reliable than earlier in thier careers.

On a second point I am warry of saying someone is not a reliable claimer. One of the first books I ever read as a young man (soory I can no longer remember the name of the book), quoted a statement from a senior RAF offficer about the validity of Marsielles claims. Now thanks to the excellent work of Shores in his book "Fighters over the Desert" and good work by other historians, Marsielles is now considered a reliable claimer. The point is not to make accusations untill fully reseached. For instances when your looking at Erich Hartmann, you can refer to the list in Tollivers book and the Tony Woods list for a copy of his claims list. You will notice that a fair amount of the information in these two Lists are different. Tolliver admits that he did not have all of Hartmanns logbooks and Tony Woods lists are known to have mistakes with translation from the hand written documents stored on microfilm. So which is correct? I've read the article on the net about Hartmans 80 but have yet to see a detailed analysis.

As information becomes available the situation can change and more accurate detail can be listed. This can be evident from Dr Priens histories of JG53 and JG77 when compared to his later work in the JFV series.

The third point I'd like to raise is that a Army in retreat generally has poor records, having destroyed/lost documentations during the retreat or have documentation filed at a later date or not at all. This is very evident for the allies in Greece (how many victories did Pattle really claim??) and the Russian retreat of 1941. The same can be said about Tunisia, Normandy and some period on the Eastern front for the Germans. For these reasons I believe not only should we be researching the claims but also everything that occurred around that time. Time, dates, location can all be recorded incorrectly, especially if the documentation is submitted well after the event. This is not a simple task as evident from Shores "Fighters over Tunisia" which is probably his weakest work in a range of excellent books. In this book the author on several occasions had a lack of detail over many actions.

Overall, I believe to give a reliability factor on known information is an interesting activity but I am warry of comments to say someone is unreliable when there is still many gaps to fill. I've watched the discussion on Rudorffers (& JG2) claims in Tunisia with interest, I hope some day that someone can piece all the actions together and put together an updated work of Shores Fighters over Tunisia.



alessandro bray 27th March 2007 13:44

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
Hi Craig,

you have emphasized good and, at least for me, shared point of view.
In Tony Wood’s and Prien’s lists we find only a small number of n.b. but for some pilots whose logbooks are preserved, the number of unconfirmed victories is certainly higher; in the case of Radener and W.Meyer for examples probably the real number of enemy aircraft downed is higher than that officially credited to them and certainly the knowlegde of all the pilot’s claims (confirmed and not) can give a better understanding of his status.
I’m searching only to have an idea of how losses sustained from one airforce tally with claims of another. My is not a sentence on the pilot’s attitude to be reliable or not.
Already in other topics we have discussed all the elements of dogfighting that can lead a pilot to think in good faith to have downed an enemy aircraft and then in the case of Hartmann for example should be more prudence before say he is unreliable.
Even in a limited theater of war as Malta in 1942, with small number of units, with only one main type of fighter as opposition (Hurricane till mid 1942 and then Spitfire) is difficult to reach univocal conclusions on claims/real losses, so I can imagine is very difficult for the Russian front...

I have attached a list of Michalski claims with personal notes.

marsyao 27th March 2007 17:11

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
of course, there were cases of under report of air victories, but we have to admit that those "underclaimes" were always far outweighted by overclaims, and in the wartime, pilots from every single one country overclaimed

dora9forever 29th March 2007 08:08

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
theres one more," the one that got away> franz von werra.claim of was it 6 hurricanes on 20 8 40..i still belive this"" i was a big cover up by .RAF<<<maybe it was a satalite,station,a spare landing ground,.as were the airfield was,as asked by the RAF interigater, when captured,that he claimed to shot" down 6 hurricanes,.on landing,,also straffed a petrol tanker,too,
also in the book and film,quoted,

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