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-   -   German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others... (http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=1262)

FalkeEins 21st October 2010 22:03

Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick Beale (Post 115704)
1)
P.S. A lot of my research makes me suspect that the Luftwaffe verification process wasn't always followed to the letter.


good points .. and of course it wasn't followed at all from some time during January 1945, when Hartmann had, what, a 'mere' 280-odd vics....I blame Alfred Price - and the chapter on the validity of Jagdwaffe claims process in his old 'Luftwaffe handbook'. 'Claims' are basically worthless unless there is a corresponding loss.

But then on the other hand we can hardly blame Hartmann for all those fantasy artworks with the '352' rudder marking. It seems to me that much of the 'propaganda' occurred post-war ..at the height of the Cold War..

Juha 22nd October 2010 04:22

Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...
 
Hello Ruy
Quote: ” We easily dismiss German claims…”

We? I have not seen anybody here to dismiss German claims easily. I have no doubt that some 100 highest scorers of WWII were all LW fighter pilots. What I don’t know is was Hartmann the top scorer or not. Barkhorn seems to have usually been a reliable claimer, so if his claims were say 80% accurate and Hartmann’s 60% accurate, which in fact wasn’t bad claim accuracy, Hartmann isn’t anymore the number one in actual kills. I can easily believe that Hartmann was among the 20 most successful fighter pilots of all times but what was the actual number of his kills, who knows. There may be some gaps in Soviet loss figures but we know that Soviet researchers have more easily found matches to the claims of some German aces than to claims of some others. Nowotny seemed to have been very unreliable claimer at the beginning of his career, how accurate he was later, I have no exact info. There seems to have also been problems with a number of Hartmann’s claim but on that I don’t have any exact info either.

On Lang’s 18 accepted claims on 3 Nov 43. Now he was leading all volunteer lonely schwarm fighting all alone from Kiev airfield, during next night the small band were hiding from marauding Soviet T-34s and their tank-riders in the ruins. Add to that that he overclaimed later during Normandy fighting. And of course Göbbels' machine made on Lang front page stories in weeks to come, after all Winter 43/44 wasn’t the most successful time for 3rd Reich. But IMHO the most important thing in Lang's military career was that he was a very good leader of his men not that how much he overclaim.

And the the "Expertenschwarm" of 4./JG 27 and how Edu Neumann handled the case are facts. But as I wrote, overclaiming wasn’t a German phenomenon but universal.

Hello FalkeEins

yes, in 50s there was a great need on "Good Germans" because West-Germany was wanted to be integrated into West and into NATO.

Juha

glider1 22nd October 2010 12:46

Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...
 
I admit that there is one thing that concerns me with this thread and that is the fixation on one person and nation. There is little doubt in my mind that the vast majority of claims were made with the best intentions and equally that some individuals of all nations went the extra step to boost their own scores with the active encouragement of what we would now call the Spin Doctors.

What does encourage me is the reaction of other pilots to those that went shall we say, the extra mile. That is of course almost contept. I have read about American, British, German and Japanese pilots who spoke with bitterness about such pilots. Unfortunately these comments don't get much publicity as the papers of the time wanted the 'good news' stories.

drgondog 23rd October 2010 14:32

Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FalkeEins (Post 115714)
good points .. and of course it wasn't followed at all from some time during January 1945, when Hartmann had, what, a 'mere' 280-odd vics....I blame Alfred Price - and the chapter on the validity of Jagdwaffe claims process in his old 'Luftwaffe handbook'. 'Claims' are basically worthless unless there is a corresponding loss.

But then on the other hand we can hardly blame Hartmann for all those fantasy artworks with the '352' rudder marking. It seems to me that much of the 'propaganda' occurred post-war ..at the height of the Cold War..

FalkeEins - on a slightly different tangent to this discussion, I have researched very thoroughly several battles from 8th Bomber and Fighter Commands perspective, and two that you may be interested in.

Contact me via PM to send me an email contact so that I can send you November 26 in particular - for the battle over Misburg.Erich contributed very strongly on JG301 attack and I put the JG1/JG6 part (still researching).

The focus was the 355th FG which was the sole escort for the 389th, 445th and 491st BG that day. The 361st was on a sweep to the Brunswick - Wittengen area and first encountered JG1/JG6 inbound from east-northeast. The 339th was to provide withdrawal support just east of Dummer Lake. From Gardelegen to Celle to Misburg to south of Misburg to south of Hannover from 1210 to 1245 only 40 Mustangs from the 355th and 7 from the 2SF, attached to 355th, were available to try to fight off the two German thrusts into Misbutg.

If the Tony Woods list is used as the primary source of Luftwaffe awards, then the ratio would be close to 2:1. If Reschke's narrative is used as a foundation for research, the overstatement of both the number of USAAF a/c destroyed, particularly Mustangs, as well as the number of US fighters that he encountered would be far overstated.

Regards,

Bill Marshall

Dénes Bernád 23rd October 2010 16:51

Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...
 
In the book I wrote about the June-Oct. 1941 air campaign over the Southern sector of the Eastern Front (‘From Barbarossa to Odessa’), I tried to collect - together with my co-authors - all available information from all warring sides on a day-by-day basis. One cannot really go into any more detailed research than that.

Having all available shotdown claims (including many submitted by anti-aircraft artillery crew - a detail often overlooked by historians, who tend to focus on the actions of the fighter pilots) it came to my surprise how claims did not match losses. And by rather great margin. This was valid to both the Axis and Soviet side (however, the Soviets seem to have overclaimed more).

I decided not to get engaged in the overclaim issue - except for one notable day - as this was not the main scope of the historical research.

Quite understandably, people tend to look at the spectacular side of the otherwise rather dry historical narrative. In my opinion, this secondary issue should never cloud the focus of the authors, as it only leads to endless debates.

Personally, I would like to see more books written in a similar way, namely a day-by-day account of the events, with a general overview and conclusions at the beginning and the end of the book, so every Reader could draw his/her conclusions, including about the overclaim issue.

Juha 23rd October 2010 21:57

Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...
 
Hello Denes
I agree that the claim accuracy is a secondary issue. Much more important was how much a pilot X contributed to the effectiveness of his unit. And shooting down enemy planes was only one way to do that, others at least equally important were how well he protected others, how eager he was to teach to others, especially newcomers, the tricks of the trade, was he good in keeping the spirit of his comrades up etc. And to leaders much more important was their ability to lead both in air and on the ground and their organizational skills.

Juha

P Alvim 5th September 2012 03:58

Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...
 
Hello

I have been reading this discussion and others related in this forum and I would like to drop a few words.

Discussions about 'fraud' and 'overclaiming' seem to forget the reality of the day: a war between countries, each with their own politics, armies, culture, military cultures, etc.

In my opinion, it is not possible to compare fraud/overclaiming between Germany, the US, the Soviet Union and so forth, without a deep research into the political/cultural/historical environments in which the respective air forces operated.

This contention seems to level beligerant fighter pilots and air forces operating in very different cultural/military environments into a international score board of truthfulness or the opposite.

To illustrate what I'm trying to say I would like to draw your attention to the photo after page 112 in "The Blond Knight of Germany", entitled 'Hungarians with the Luftwaffe': Hartmann, Barkhorn, Lipfert with Hungarian pilots.

How possible it was for a german pilot to conceal his frauds from a colleague in a total war environment? If there were frauds and overclaiming how could these men be smiling in 44 and keeping their high spirits?

Of course, misclaiming must have happened and the technology of the day is consistent with this possibility.

Perhaps the answer is in culture, especially military culture. German pilots were few and their veterans had experience brought down from older generations while, for instance, soviet pilots were many but lacked experience from command to individual flying skill level.
We must remind that Germany was, until 1945, a nation orientated to war, as it had been in the previous centuries; as such it was a nation of warriors from grandfathers to grandsons and unity between soldiers taught and learnt from generation to generation. Fraudulent soldiers would be the total and early undoing of the German Armed Forces even more than the efforts of their leader(s).

It is not possible, in my opinion, to discuss Hartmann or any other alone, detached from the Luftwaffe as a whole (or the sum of 'many wholes'). As an example, I think, Hartmann was part of a system and if he overclaimed, the rest would have known and would have talked or written about it. Otherwise, it seems to me, it is like the 'conspiracy theory'.


I think it must have been very hard for a pilot like Hartmann, Rall, Barkhorn, Rudorffer, Lipfert, Nowotny or any other to overtly overclaim, under Luftwaffe's confirmation rules, even with the urge of propaganda, without controversy between fighter colleagues and the complete disestablishment of the Luftwaffe's structure as a fighting force.

Just my perspective.

Nikita Egorov 5th September 2012 10:37

Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...
 
We are researching history, not politics, personal attitude or something like this. If one has handful of accounts from both sides, he could draw a picture as regards to matching claims and losses.
The problem starts from the accuracy of those accounts, e.g. my thread on Brandle's 100th victory below. If nobody has definite answer on this, how it be possible to find out something on less distinguished flyers, taking into consideration that different claim lists sometimes contradict each other. Despite all this conclusions should be drawn, otherwise history research is of no sence at all. Get rid of emotions, place facts, back them with available documents and let the readers deside for themselves who was fraudster, dreamer, reliable claimant etc.

Rob Romero 1st January 2014 19:42

Erich Hartmann Overclaims:
 
Let’s get the New Year going with a BANG!

Three years ago I made the following post on this thread (Post 25):
http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showth...gration&page=3

Quote:

The following may be speculative, but I find Hartmann’s 11 Victories on 24 Aug 44 to have be conducted under suspicious circumstances. The Third Reich had suffered its worst setbacks on both fronts. After two months of hard fighting, the Normandy front had collapsed with the Allies seizing a sizeable bag in the Falaise Pocket. Furthermore the East front had seriously and rapidly contracted during Operation Bagration, initiated by the Soviets shortly after D-day in June. This little known campaign resulted in the virtual destruction of the most formidable assemblage of German military might–Army Group Center. (The extent of the loss of territory as well (as some the encircled remnants of Wehrmacht units) is illustrated here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BagrationMap2.jpg ). Let us not also forget the failed assassination attempt on Hitler!
A distraction seemed called for and –so what do you know- a PK unit appeared on the scene to record Hartmann’s 290th -301st victories –and this was all too conveniently wrapped up in one day possibly so everyone could get it over with; Nazi Germany now had a new ‘Babe Ruth Luftsiege King’ or -better yet- a ‘Bubi next door Uberhero’ to distract some from the harsh realities of a disastrous and unsalvageable war.
Now the answer is starting to come to light. Not definitive, but indicative:

Link (Post 162):
http://reibert.info/threads/%D0%AD%D...n.76229/page-7

Google Translation:
23 - 08/24/44 he already shot a 19 aircraft, + his comrades to shoot another 14, only 33 stated craft. 2Ba same losses in the region of Sandomierz in these two days all 11 aircraft, of which 7 were listed under 3/A, 1 missing and 2 downed IA: Po-2, P-39. Incidentally last really knocked Hartmann. Thus overkleym like Air Force to - 10 to 1. Of the 19 aircraft claimed Hartmann shot down one (exactly).

My Interpretation of above:
In the consecutive days of combat on 23 and 24 Aug 44: JG52 claimed to to have shot down 33 aircraft: Erich Hartmann claimed 19 of these; his comrades 14 more. The last was actually shot down by Hartmann. Soviet 2Ba losses in the region of Sandomierz in those two days totalled 11 aircraft of which 2 were shot down (Po-2 + P-39), 1 was missing and 7 were shot down by 3/A (AAA) [also 1 in an undetermined category?]. Overclaim ratio about 10 to 1. Of the 19 aircraft claimed by Hartmann; he shot down 1 (exactly).

Erich Hartman claims:
23 Aug 1944

23.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 283 9./JG 52 LaGG  11 411: at 1.000 m. 14.15 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 932
23.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 284 9./JG 52 LaGG  11 413: at 1.200 m. 14.18 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 933
23.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 285 9./JG 52 LaGG  11 278: at 1.000 m. 14.20 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 934
23.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 286 9./JG 52 LaGG  11 363: at 1.500 m. 17.10 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 935
23.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 287 9./JG 52 LaGG  11 333: at 1.500 m. 17.12 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 936
23.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 288 9./JG 52 LaGG  11 412: at 1.200 m. 17.15 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 937
23.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 289 9./JG 52 LaGG  11 421: at 1.000 m. 17.17 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 938
23.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 290 9./JG 52 LaGG  11 444: at 3.500 m. 17.30 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 939
8 Claims

23 Aug 1944
24.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 291 9./JG 52 LaGG  11 416: at 2.000 m. Baranov Airacobra 13.18 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 962
24.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 292 9./JG 52 LaGG  11 417: at 1.500 m. Baranov Airacobra 13.15 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 961
24.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 293 9./JG 52 LaGG  11 421: at 1.200 m. Baranov Airacobra 13.19 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 963
24.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 294 9./JG 52 LaGG  11 427: at 1.500 m. Baranov Airacobra 13.25 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 964
24.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 295 9./JG 52 LaGG  11 419: at 1.000 m. Baranov Airacobra 13.27 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 965
24.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 296 9./JG 52 Airacobra  11 443: at 3.000 m. Baranov Airacobra 13.40 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 966
24.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 297 9./JG 52 LaGG-5  11 335: at 1.500 m. Baranov Airacobra 16.00 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 1064
24.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 298 9./JG 52 LaGG-5  11 363: at 1.200 m. Baranov Airacobra 16.03 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 1065
24.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 299 9./JG 52 Airacobra  11 447: at 1.200 m. Baranov Airacobra 16.06 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 1066
24.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 300 9./JG 52 Airacobra  11 441: at 1.000 m. Baranov Airacobra 16.10 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 1067
24.08.44 Oblt. Erich Hartmann: 301 9./JG 52 LaGG  11 422: no height. Baranov Airacobra 16.20 Film C. 2035/II Anerk: Nr. 1068
11 Claims

Oh and by the way Nick - you're welcome!

Maxim1 1st January 2014 20:43

Re: Erich Hartmann Overclaims:
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob Romero (Post 177500)
and 7 were D/A (damaged aircraft)

Rob,

those 7 "D/A" were not "damaged aircraft" but were 7 aircraft shot down by flak. "З/А" is an abbreviation for "зенитная артиллерия" (flak).

2 aircraft (Po-2 and P-39) were shot down by fighters and 1 was missing.


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