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-   -   Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations (http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=6226)

Rob Romero 4th October 2006 07:26

Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
 
Blenheim, thanks for your throrough and thoughtful response. I welcome –as do many other students of history- any data which helps clarify the past. However, it would be more helpful if those who had made a throrough study of the careers of individual pilots post their conclusions as to the veracity of pilots rather than of the loss records of individual aircraft –eventually as the results of this effort expands, I see the records being broken up into sub categories.

Verifiable Victories of 24 WWI Central Power Aces / 2 WWI Allied Aces / 9 WWII Aces / 1 Korean War Ace

CAVEAT: I’ve started what I think is an interesting and potentially important thread: While I recognize this endeavor will be imperfect (in some cases highly), it may provide a SENSE of the actual success of various aces. Hopefully, it will expand and eventually (perhaps WELL into the future) provide us with a fairly comprehensive and reliable database. I am relying on the contributions of others and cannot vouch for the authenticity of submissions –I am relying on the web community to keep tabs and bring debatable data to light. Perhaps in cases of great controversy, a range could be established (i.e., pilot X claimed 100 aircraft and the documents/records STRONGLY SUGGEST he shot down 40 with another 30 Possible and of these ‘Official’ Victories 10 were really only Damaged etc. and 5 were Phantom (No Historical Basis) Claims).

24 WWI Central Power Aces (Easier to confirm due to more complete records of Allied Losses)
1) 74 of 80 Claims ( 92.5%) Manfred von Richthofen
2) 46 of 48 Claims ( 95.8%) Werner Voss
3) 33 of 33 Claims (100.0%) Kurt Wolff *
4) 33 of 40 Claims ( 82.5%) Lothar von Richthofen
5) 32 of 45 Claims ( 71.1%) Fritz Rumey
6) 30 of 30 Claims (100.0%) Karl Allmenröder *
7) 30 of 62 Claims ( 48.4%) Ernst Udet
8) 27 of 54 Claims ( 50.0%) Erich Lowenhardt
9) 25 of 44 Claims ( 56.8%) Rudolf Berthold
10) 25 of 48 Claims ( 52.0%) Josef Jacobs
11) 24 of 44 Claims ( 54.5%) Bruno Loerzer
12) 22 of 35 Claims ( 62.9%) Goodwin Brumowski positive or possible ID –Top Austrian WWI Ace
13) 28 of 31 Claims ( 90.3%) Paul Billik
14) 26 of 28 Claims ( 92.9%) Friedrich von Roth
15) 26 of 40 Claims ( 65.0%) Franz Büchner (Possibly 34/40 Claims 85%) REQUIRES FURTHER EVALUATION –SEE BELOW
16) 25 of 30 Claims ( 83.3%) Karl-Emil Schäfer
17) 23 of 40 Claims ( 57.5%) Oswald Bölcke (French claims OBSURED by insufficiency of French loss records!)
18) 22 of 43 Claims ( 51.2%) Paul Baumer
19) 17 of 17 Claims (100.0%) Edmund Nathanael (German-Jewish Ace)
20) 15 of 32 Claims ( 46.9%) Julius Arigi (15+ are Verified) Austrian
21) 14 of 15 Claims ( 93.3%) Max Immelmann (2-3 additional Verifed Victories)
22) 11 of 12 Claims ( 91.7%) Sebastien Festner
23) 9 of 22 Claims ( 40.9%) Hermann Göring Possibly 14 of 22 Claims (63.6%) or 15 of 22 Claims (68.2%)
24) 8 of 28 Claims ( 28.6%) Benno Fiala Ritter von Fernbrugg –Austrian


2 WWI ALLIED ACE RECORDS
1) 33 of 34 Claims ( 97.1%) Francesco Baracca - KIA 19 Jun 1918
2) 31 of 46.5 Claims ( 66.7%) James McCudden (46.5 Credited Kills / 57 Official Victories) (Possibly 36 of 46.5 Claims 77.4%)


1 WWI CENTRAL POWER ACE RECORDS REQUIRING FURTHER EVALUATION
Franz Büchner
11 of 40 Claims ( 27.5%) –as per Barrett (source Above The Lines?)
26 of 40 Claims ( 65.0%) –strict accounting as per Rammjaeger (this seems to utilize more up to date info than ATL)
34 of 40 Claims ( 85.0%) –a more liberal accouting by Rammjaeger

5 WWI ALLIED ACE RECORDS REQUIRING FURTHER EVALUATION
CAVEAT: It is difficult to check WWI Allied Claims against the incomplete Central Power Loss Records! Moreover, the actual ‘Official’ credits are being revised to include ‘Kill’ claims only (i.e., including not Out Of Control (OOC) etc.) If the situation is as bad as has been suggested, then perhaps we should limit our evaluation to Central Powers and Italian (?) aces?

Billy Bishop (55 Credited Kills / 72 Official Victories)
20 of 55 Claims ( 36.4%) -more recent evaluation of German Records than at billybishop.net/bishopP.html as per Al Lowe 6 Oct 98
2 of 55 Claims ( 03.6%) -It seems highly unlikely to me that such exaggeration would be tolerated by his squadron

Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock (38.28 Credited Kills / 61 Official Victories)
15 of 38 Claims ( 39.2%) -as per DEM 2 Oct 06

Eddie Rickenbacker (26 Official Victories)
11 of 26 Claims ( 42.3%) including 2 “grounders” –2 Crash Landed?

Lanoe Hawker (3 Credited Kills / 7 Official Victories)
1 of 3 Claims ( 33.3%) -as per DEM 2 Oct 06

Raymond Collishaw (29.2 Credited Kills / 60 Official Victories)
0 of 29 Claims ( 00.0%) - as per DEM 2 Oct 06


9 WWII Aces
1)??? of 101 Claims Josef ‘Pips’ Priller -largely verified by Johnnie Johnson (38)
2)100 of 151 Claims (+66.2%) Hans-Joachim Marseille (158) 151 Afrika + 7 Battle of Britain
3)~80 of 345 Claims (~23.2%) Erich Hartmann (352) -Ace of Aces? –based on claims of Russian Researcher
4) 74 of 121 Claims ( 61.2%) Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer -Top NJG Ace (much higher verification % has been indicated)
5) 25 of 40 Claims ( 62.5%) Richard Bong USAAF PTO Ace of Aces.
6) 21 of 28 Claims ( 75.0%) Francis ‘Gabby’ Gabreski USAAF ETO Ace of Aces
7) 15 of 64 Claims ( 23.4%) Saburo Sakai -top scoring surviving IJNAF ace
8)~9.5 of 26 Claims ( 36.5%) Gregory ‘Pappy’ Boyington - PROPORTIONAL METHOD JoeB
9) 9 of 31 Claims ( 29.0%) Heinz Knocke (–research continuing @ heinzknokewebsite.com)

Korean War
Nikolai Sutyagin
1.46 of 21 Claims (07.0%) PROPORTIONAL METHOD JoeB
5 of 21 Claims (23.8%) PROPORTIONAL METHOD with ‘Benefit of Doubt’ JoeB


Also does anyone have a sense of Walter Schuck (206) Hermann Graf (212) and Alfred Grislawski (133) verifyable victories from Christer Bergström’s recent cross referenced works?


INSTRUCTIONS: TO MAKE THIS PROCESS EASIER, PLEASE COPY THIS CHART AND THEN MAKE YOUR ADDITIONS/CORRECTIONS IN THE FORMAT ALREADY USED. IF YOU STONGLY DISAGREE WITH ANOTHER POSTER, PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE THEIR CALCULATION, BUT RATHER PASTE YOUR REVISED FIGURES BENEATH AS A BASIS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH/DEBATE –THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS!


Laurent Rizzotti’s PROPORTIONAL METHOD:

Claims can also be divided into three categories (this applies mainly to large scale fights in WWII):

1) Verified: the Target is Identified and Went Down, or the Unit is Identified and has as many losses than the claims of its opponent.
2) Uncertain: Target not identified, at least one loss known but more claims than losses.
3) Invalid: the target is identified, or his unit, and wasn't destroyed though perhaps damaged

When you have one side claim 70 victories and shooting down 50 aircraft, you will probably have something like 10 valide claims and 60 Uncertain ones.

A method to try to get closer to the real score of WWII pilots will be to use the US method of using fractions for claims.

For example, in the above case, the 10 pilots having claimed identified targets (location and time corresponding, away from the main battle and so on) will be given full credit (1 claim = 1 victory) and the 60 other claims, corresponding to the remaining 40 losses, will be valued each 40/60 = 0.666 victory... This is as close as you can get in many cases.


THE PROPORTIONAL METHOD MUST REMAIN AS AS SUB-CATEGORY TO VERIFIED CLAIMS UNLESS NO OTHER METHOD OF CALCULATION IS USED –EXAMPLE BELOW

31 of 57 Claims ( 54.4%) Pilot X (PROPORTIONAL METHOD 36 of 57 Claims 63.2%)


Already I think it is safe to say that we can reach a historical conclusion! So far the results reflect exceedingly well on Jasta 11 -it seems the unit maintained an exceptional degree of integrity in making claims –and bestows even further credit on their ‘meister’ Manfred von Richthofen. Perhaps this is consequent to MvR’s mantra to “Bring them down burning!” At 82.5% Lothar comes out as a relative braggart! LOL This contrasts with a liberal outlook on claiming, allegedly taken by some JGs in WWII.
These results will also undoubtedly place an even greater gap between Jasta 11 and any rival unit in terms of its status as an elite unit (is Bölcke already starting to tarnish Jasta 2’s luster? -he was still nevertheless a great combat leader and a father of air combat tactics).

Richthofen’s Jasta 11 ‘Bloody April’ 1917 Gang
33 of 33 Claims (100.0%) Kurt Wolff *
30 of 30 Claims (100.0%) Karl Allmenröder *
74 of 80 Claims ( 92.5%) Manfred von Richthofen
11 of 12 Claims ( 91.7%) Sebastien Festner
25 of 30 Claims ( 83.3%) Karl-Emil Schäfer
33 of 40 Claims ( 82.5%) Lothar von Richthofen
206 of 225 Claims ( 91.6%) Jasta 11 - EXCEPTIONAL CLAIM VERACITY!

I’m a bit perturbed by the low percentages attained by such legendary figures as Udet –any explanations?

“Bring them down burning! Get the plane you are after and make it burn.”

-Manfred von Richthofen
“I hope he roasted all the way down.”
-Edward Mick Mannock upon learning of MvR’s death.

Rob Romero 3rd January 2007 09:51

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
 
Addition – 1 WWII Ace Lt. Hans-Leopold Henkemeier (6VV)

Verifiable Victories of 24 WWI Central Power Aces / 2 WWI Allied Aces / 10 WWII Aces / 1 Korean War Ace


CAVEAT: I’ve started what I think is an interesting and potentially important thread: While I recognize this endeavor will be imperfect (in some cases highly), it may provide a SENSE of the actual success of various aces. Hopefully, it will expand and eventually (perhaps WELL into the future) provide us with a fairly comprehensive and reliable database. I am relying on the contributions of others and cannot vouch for the authenticity of submissions –I am relying on the web community to keep tabs and bring debatable data to light. Perhaps in cases of great controversy, a range could be established (i.e., pilot X claimed 100 aircraft and the documents/records STRONGLY SUGGEST he shot down 40 with another 30 Possible and of these ‘Official’ Victories 10 were really only Damaged etc. and 5 were Phantom (No Historical Basis) Claims).

24 WWI Central Power Aces (Records of Some Aces are Easier to confirm due to more complete British Loss Records)
1) 74 of 80 Claims ( 92.5%) Manfred von Richthofen
2) 46 of 48 Claims ( 95.8%) Werner Voss
3) 33 of 33 Claims (100.0%) Kurt Wolff *
4) 33 of 40 Claims ( 82.5%) Lothar von Richthofen
5) 32 of 45 Claims ( 71.1%) Fritz Rumey
6) 30 of 30 Claims (100.0%) Karl Allmenröder *
7) 30 of 62 Claims ( 48.4%) Ernst Udet
8) 28 of 31 Claims ( 90.3%) Paul Billik
9) 27 of 54 Claims ( 50.0%) Erich Lowenhardt
10) 25 of 44 Claims ( 56.8%) Rudolf Berthold
11) 25 of 48 Claims ( 52.0%) Josef Jacobs
12) 26 of 28 Claims ( 92.9%) Friedrich von Roth
13) 26 of 40 Claims ( 65.0%) Franz Büchner (Possibly 34/40 Claims 85%) REQUIRES FURTHER EVALUATION –SEE BELOW
14) 25 of 30 Claims ( 83.3%) Karl-Emil Schäfer
15) 24 of 44 Claims ( 54.5%) Bruno Loerzer
16) 23 of 40 Claims ( 57.5%) Oswald Bölcke (Verifiable Victories (VV) OBSCURED by insufficiency of French loss records!)
17) 22 of 35 Claims ( 62.9%) Goodwin Brumowski positive or possible ID –Top Austrian WWI Ace
18) 22 of 43 Claims ( 51.2%) Paul Baumer
19) 17 of 17 Claims (100.0%) Edmund Nathanael (German-Jewish Ace)
20) 15 of 32 Claims ( 46.9%) Julius Arigi (15+ are Verified) Austrian
21) 14 of 15 Claims ( 93.3%) Max Immelmann (2-3 additional Verifed Victories)
22) 11 of 12 Claims ( 91.7%) Sebastien Festner
23) 9 of 22 Claims ( 40.9%) Hermann Göring Possibly 14 of 22 Claims (63.6%) or 15 of 22 Claims (68.2%)
24) 8 of 28 Claims ( 28.6%) Benno Fiala Ritter von Fernbrugg –Austrian

2 WWI ALLIED ACE RECORDS
1) 33 of 34 Claims ( 97.1%) Francesco Baracca - KIA 19 Jun 1918
2) 31 of 46.5 Claims ( 66.7%) James McCudden (46.5 Credited Kills / 57 Official Victories) (Possibly 36 of 46.5 Claims 77.4%)

1 WWI CENTRAL POWER ACE RECORDS REQUIRING FURTHER EVALUATION
Franz Büchner
11 of 40 Claims ( 27.5%) –as per Barrett (source Above The Lines?)
26 of 40 Claims ( 65.0%) –strict accounting as per Rammjaeger (this seems to utilize more up to date info than ATL)
34 of 40 Claims ( 85.0%) –a more liberal accouting by Rammjaeger

5 WWI ALLIED ACE RECORDS REQUIRING FURTHER EVALUATION
CAVEAT: It is difficult to check WWI Allied Claims against the incomplete Central Power Loss Records! Moreover, the actual ‘Official’ credits are being revised to include ‘Kill’ claims only (i.e., including not Out Of Control (OOC) etc.) If the situation is as bad as has been suggested, then perhaps we should limit our evaluation to Central Powers and Italian (?) aces?

Billy Bishop (55 Credited Kills / 72 Official Victories)
20 of 55 Claims ( 36.4%) -more recent evaluation of German Records than at billybishop.net/bishopP.html as per Al Lowe 6 Oct 98
2 of 55 Claims ( 03.6%) -It seems highly unlikely to me that such exaggeration would be tolerated by his squadron

Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock (38.28 Credited Kills / 61 Official Victories)
15 of 38 Claims ( 39.2%) -as per DEM 2 Oct 06

Eddie Rickenbacker (?? Claimed Kills / 26 Official Victories)
11 of 26 Claims ( 42.3%) including 2 “grounders” –2 Crash Landed?

Lanoe Hawker (3 Credited Kills / 7 Official Victories)
1 of 3 Claims ( 33.3%) -as per DEM 2 Oct 06

Raymond Collishaw (29.2 Credited Kills / 60 Official Victories)
0 of 29 Claims ( 00.0%) - as per DEM 2 Oct 06


10 WWII Aces
1)??? of 101 Claims Josef ‘Pips’ Priller -largely verified by Johnnie Johnson (38)
2)100 of 151 Claims (+66.2%) Hans-Joachim Marseille (158) 151 Afrika + 7 Battle of Britain
3)~80 of 345 Claims (~23.2%) Erich Hartmann (352) -Ace of Aces? –based on claims of Russian Researcher
4) 74 of 121 Claims ( 61.2%) Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer -Top NJG Ace (much higher verification % has been indicated)
5) 25 of 40 Claims ( 62.5%) Richard Bong USAAF PTO Ace of Aces.
6) 21 of 28 Claims ( 75.0%) Francis ‘Gabby’ Gabreski USAAF ETO Ace of Aces
7) 15 of 64 Claims ( 23.4%) Saburo Sakai -top scoring surviving IJNAF ace
8)~9.5 of 26 Claims ( 36.5%) Gregory ‘Pappy’ Boyington - PROPORTIONAL METHOD JoeB
9) 9 of 31 Claims ( 29.0%) Heinz Knocke (–research continuing @ heinzknokewebsite.com)
10) 6+ of 7 Claims ( +85.8%) Lt. Hans-Leopold Henkemeier –Source Andrey Dikov

Korean War
Nikolai Sutyagin
1.46 of 21 Claims (07.0%) PROPORTIONAL METHOD JoeB
5 of 21 Claims (23.8%) PROPORTIONAL METHOD with ‘Benefit of Doubt’ JoeB

Also does anyone have a sense of Walter Schuck (206) Hermann Graf (212) and Alfred Grislawski (133) verifyable victories from Christer Bergström’s recent cross referenced works?


INSTRUCTIONS: TO MAKE THIS PROCESS EASIER, PLEASE COPY THIS CHART AND THEN MAKE YOUR ADDITIONS/CORRECTIONS IN THE FORMAT ALREADY USED. IF YOU STONGLY DISAGREE WITH ANOTHER POSTER, PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE THEIR CALCULATION, BUT RATHER PASTE YOUR REVISED FIGURES BENEATH AS A BASIS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH/DEBATE –THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS!


Laurent Rizzotti’s PROPORTIONAL METHOD:

Claims can also be divided into three categories (this applies mainly to large scale fights in WWII):

1) Verified: the Target is Identified and Went Down, or the Unit is Identified and has as many losses than the claims of its opponent.
2) Uncertain: Target not identified, at least one loss known but more claims than losses.
3) Invalid: the target is identified, or his unit, and wasn't destroyed though perhaps damaged

When you have one side claim 70 victories and shooting down 50 aircraft, you will probably have something like 10 valide claims and 60 Uncertain ones.

A method to try to get closer to the real score of WWII pilots will be to use the US method of using fractions for claims.

For example, in the above case, the 10 pilots having claimed identified targets (location and time corresponding, away from the main battle and so on) will be given full credit (1 claim = 1 victory) and the 60 other claims, corresponding to the remaining 40 losses, will be valued each 40/60 = 0.666 victory... This is as close as you can get in many cases.

THE PROPORTIONAL METHOD MUST REMAIN AS AS SUB-CATEGORY TO VERIFIED CLAIMS UNLESS NO OTHER METHOD OF CALCULATION IS USED –EXAMPLE BELOW

31 of 57 Claims ( 54.4%) Pilot X (PROPORTIONAL METHOD 36 of 57 Claims 63.2%)


Already I think it is safe to say that we can reach a historical conclusion! So far the results reflect exceedingly well on Jasta 11 -it seems the unit maintained an exceptional degree of integrity in making claims –and bestows even further credit on their ‘meister’ Manfred von Richthofen. Perhaps this is consequent to MvR’s mantra to “Bring them down burning!” This contrasts with a liberal outlook on claiming, allegedly taken by some JGs in WWII.
These results will also undoubtedly place an even greater gap between Jasta 11 and any rival unit in terms of its status as an elite unit (is Bölcke’s Jasta 2 luster starting to tarnish? -he was still nevertheless a great combat leader and a father of air combat tactics).

Richthofen’s Jasta 11 ‘Bloody April’ 1917 Gang
33 of 33 Claims (100.0%) Kurt Wolff *
30 of 30 Claims (100.0%) Karl Allmenröder *
74 of 80 Claims ( 92.5%) Manfred von Richthofen
11 of 12 Claims ( 91.7%) Sebastien Festner
25 of 30 Claims ( 83.3%) Karl-Emil Schäfer
33 of 40 Claims ( 82.5%) Lothar von Richthofen
206 of 225 Claims ( 91.6%) Jasta 11 - EXCEPTIONAL CLAIM VERACITY!


“Bring them down burning! Get the plane you are after and make it burn.”
-Manfred von Richthofen
“I hope he roasted all the way down.”
-Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock upon learning of MvR’s death.

SMF144 3rd January 2007 15:01

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

Excellent work and I think you're onto something rather interesting, but, speaking for the Canadians, where's Barker V.C., D.S.O., M.C., McLeod, D.S.O, D.F.C. or Beurling, D.S.O., D.F.C., D.F.M.? :confused:

Stephen

Nick Beale 3rd January 2007 20:38

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
 
Perhaps another approach would be to add up all the cases where you can establish that the "shot down" aircraft actually survived.

Dénes Bernád 4th January 2007 16:34

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
 
An interesting point. However, I'd consider an aircraft, which force landed, or returned home with significant damage due to air combat (thus survived) a legitimate proof for an actual 'kill'.

drgondog 4th January 2007 17:12

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
 
I'm inclined to go with Denes. My perspective is that if the a/c was rendered 'unservicable' or required extensive repairs to bring back to service - it fits 'destroyed' category.

In my research on the 355th there are several cases where the pilot escaped the combat (damaged) but was lost later due to running out of fuel, crash landing in England, or just disappeared after a combat and reporting in 'OK". I assign those to Lost in Air Combat.

For those of you researching Luftwaffe Claims (not just awards) for 4 Oct 1943, 29 January 1944, 28 May 1944, 12 September 1944 and 7 April 1945 - contact me and I will give you the encounter times and locations.

I also know the 355th lost one P-51 near Warsaw to Me 109s but find no claims for JG51 on September 18, 1944.

Regards,

Bill Marshall

Nick Beale 4th January 2007 19:33

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

Originally Posted by Dénes Bernád (Post 34770)
An interesting point. However, I'd consider an aircraft, which force landed, or returned home with significant damage due to air combat (thus survived) a legitimate proof for an actual 'kill'.

I'd agree if the returning aircraft was written off or if the pilot did not return to operations.

Dénes Bernád 5th January 2007 16:21

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

Originally Posted by Nick Beale (Post 34779)
I'd agree if (...) the pilot did not return to operations.

My understanding is that the subject of an air combat 'kill' claim was the enemy airplane, not the pilot. Therefore, if the airplane was more or less O.K., i.e. only lightly damaged, but the pilot died or was severely wounded (like the case of Lt. Otto Fönnekold from JG 52, KIA on August 30, 1944, IIRC), I'd say it wasn't proof for an actual 'kill'.

Rob Romero 26th March 2007 15:28

Update -Sinner (39)
 
See Attatchement

alessandro bray 26th March 2007 16:49

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
 
Hallo,
maybe this can be of interest.
Some years ago I made an analisys of the 1942 claims of the top scorer over Malta, for the LW Oblt Gerhard Michalski and for the RAF P/O Georg Beurling.
Concerning Michalski claims the results were that for 15 claims are corresponding RAF losses as time, location and without other conflicting claims by other axis pilots; for 6 they are RAF losses with same time and location, but other pilots (Italian and or German, above all after the arrival of I/JG77) made similar claims and only for 3 found nothing (20.1.42, 24.01.42 and 17.03.42).
If interested I have details for claims and related RAF losses
Regards
Alessandro

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

Alessandro

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
Mike

Rob Romero 27th March 2007 03:07

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

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.

Thanks,

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,
gary

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.

Regards,

Craig...

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
 
hi,
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 think.it 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,
gary

Kapper 29th March 2007 18:57

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

Sorry if I was misunderstood. I was not trying to create an argument about underclaiming or overclaiming. At the end of the day when the number of claims outway the number of losses, then over claiming or optimistic claims must have occurred.

I was simply trying to highlight the issue that if you are going to look at a pilots reliability you should look at all the facts. To say that a pilot is unreliable because you can only verify a small proportion of claims can be a wrong statement when little information is available. Personally, I would exercise caution in calling a pilot unreliable until the claims are fully analysed, which is difficult for some campaigns due to lack of information and conflicting data.

As I pointed out in my previous post, things can change as more information becomes available, suddenly a pilot considered unreliable could be considered reliable as with my reference to Marsielle.

Regards,

Craig...

Johannes 1st March 2010 23:06

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

Regarding Heinz Knoke, only fifteen of his claims were actually confirmed! I don't wish to defend him too much because he was a real nazi, probably why he got the Ritterkreuz.
Regarding Marseille six of his first seven with LG2 were unconfirmed, leaving him 152 confirmed.
With Walter Schuck 25-31 of his 206 were unconfirmed.

Marseille is an interesting one, he was very much like Josef wurmheller, they even look alike, however with Wurmheller Egon Mayer had problems, personally I think that Mayer thought that Wurmheller was on the fiddle, and he'd be correct. Marseille was surprisingly honest, however his method of attack caused confusion, I believe he thought he had shot down all 152, but was just mistaken, he was not lying!

We never here anything about JG53's great aces! however of the big three Muller,Tonne and Crinius, mullers claims seem okay, tonne's are good, but Crinius's would seem to have been on the fiddle!

You say the Erich Hartmann's are questionable, he was in fact unpopular, perhaps that's why, his claims were all at high altitude, therefore he avoided the risk of being hit by flak and groundfire. I should think the the leaders of the claims race(in the East), and therefore future Brillanten recipiants are the bad guys i.e Gollob, Graf, Nowotny and Hartmann.

There is also a set pattern to fraudsters, this would be huge daily claims i.e Hartmann, Rudorffer, Nowotny, Graf, Batz. Whereas the slower claimers i'e Hrabak, Priller, Galland, Molders, Krupinski, Rall, Barkhorn would seem to be the honest guys(Marseille the exception), Kurt Welter was a massive fraudster and indeed not well liked at all, and it is known that the reason for his unpopularity was his huge over claiming, for him ot was easy, he was flying alone at night, the nightfighters probably average out as the most accurate claimers as there were three crew members, and the bomber would fall on Axis territory, in Russia the aircraft largely fell on Soviet held territory, therefore could not be confirmed as actually crashing by groud evidence. So perhaps you had to be that way inclined, and have the opportunity!

James A Pratt III 5th March 2010 17:41

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
 
I don't know if this information is 100% accurate but I think you can put the following RAF night aces into fairly accurate claimers. This is based on my research:
J.C. Cunningham 15 (+) of 20
J. Braham 20-25 of 29
R.P. Stevens 10(+) of 14
R. Chisholm 7(+) of 9

thenelm 8th March 2010 02:59

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
 
I've said it before and I'll say it again, did guys over/under claim? Obviously. Good Lord, these guys, from all countries, were fighting a battle in an environment where if you actually watched your 'claim' all the way into the ground, you'd more than likely end up dead yourself. Can we ascribe actual kills to specific individuals claims, sure, for some guys, assuming we know specifically who they were fighting against, and in probably more often than not these types of combat were small unit vs small unit. On the other hand we're also assuming specifically that these guys, from all sides, always knew in this ever changing environment, exactly where they were over the area they were flying over - a pretty bizarre assumption in an active 3-dimensional combat environment, especially when over anything but your home country, even with maps - again something you might not want to be spending lots of time referring to with enemy opponents all around? Can we make intelligent guesses/assumptions as to who may have shot down who? Again sure. But the only real way to accurately check true results is through claims versus losses. But trying to ascertain individual results, i.e. who got who, will always have limitations with some of the huge air battles that occurred in any theater of the war. Even gun camera films seems to seldom lead to a 100% identification of one's opponent other than aircraft type. I could go on (and on), but it just seems to me that a lot of this stuff, while useful to a point, doesn't result in any where near an accurate accounting. And, again something I've said before, trying to ascertain or ascribe motive for 'overclaiming' to guys long dead, from all sides, is kind of an exercise in futility. The attempt is nice, but the result - eh. Please note that I'm not saying all this as attempt to justify just the LW claims. Its a known fact that the RAF overclaimed by something like 3 to 1 in the BoB, but officialdom allowed those claims to stand as a matter of morale for the UK. There is also the Flying Tigers who claimed some 300 victories over the JAAF versus about 100 documented losses. The Japanese? Well, many of the claims from some of their guys just don't add up, but that's a whole field that will always be suspect do to lack of records, or maybe even more likely the language/translation barrier. These are just a couple of the more notable non-LW situations. Probably wouldn't take too long to find other examples.

Rob Romero 9th March 2010 02:05

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
 
James A Pratt III thanks for your postitive contribution!

Thenelm; there is A LOT of activity and number of researchers in this area you are unaware of (MY LIPS ARE SEALED). In the case of some pilots/units e.g Manfred von Richthofen's Jasta 11 there has has been some very solid research in which it has been possible to establish the victors to a high (though never of course 100%) degree of certainty; moreover in a surprisingly high percentage of combats throughout the history of aerial warfare it is has been possible to isolate likely victors by time and place. Even in the large scale brawls such as those against the massed 8th AF bombing raids, it has still been possible to cull out individual claimants & victims and even where this is not possible, one can garner a sense of reliabity by comparing overall claims to loss by cause (fighter vs. flak etc.). Morever reliablity & unreliability (especially over a period of time) is indicative if not determinative in an absolute sense.
Lets hope this thread can be kept alive.

Thanks,
Rob Romero


Sylvester Stadler 9th March 2010 03:39

Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations
 
This essay lists Manfred von Richthofen as claiming a total of 80 kills of which 74 are allegedly confirmed. While almost every book which is about or mentions von Richthofen and his 80 kills, I have one book in my possession which is Von Richthofen and the "Flying Circus" by H.J. Nowarra and Kimbrough S. Brown, published by Harborough Publications, 1959, which states that Manfred had a total of 84 claims of which 80 were confirmed by the Luftstreitkräfte. Generally, the authors who examined the 80 confirmed claims never considered the other four unconfirmed claims as to their ultimate fate or possible victim.


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