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Christer Bergström 28th February 2005 03:46

Luftwaffe Aces KIA in Normandy in 1944
 
In another thread, Franek Grabowski asks for some details surrounding the detahs of some of the Luftwaffe’s aces at Normandy in the summer of 1944:

Quote:

Concerning those 'super veterans' as you call them, please give samples how those and other aces like Huppertz, Simsch, Weber, Wurmheller or Zweigart were outnumbered in their last combats. (Thread “La-7 Att Franek” on the Allied AF Forum, Fri Feb 25, 2005 11:42 am)
Major Herbert Huppertz, a veteran who was in first-line service from 1939, attaining 70 victories, and served as III./JG 2’s Gruppenkommandeur: On 6 June 1944, Huppertz testified to the value of the German “super veterans” over Normandy - particularly in exceptional cases when Allied airmen due to a combination of bad luck and poor planning were caught without the numerical superiority which they usually enjoyed. At noon on 6 June 1944, Obstlt. Kurt Bühlingen (who scored his 100th victory on 7 June 1944) and Huppertz participated when 29 Fw 190 attacked at least 24 Thunderbolts (of US 365 FG) and Typhoons (of RAF 183 Sqn). The Germans claimed to have shot down six Allied fighters - including two Typhoons in less than two minutes by Huppertz - against a single own loss. Actual Allied losses in this engagement were five (two P-47s, three Typhoons). (Clark, “Angels Eight”, p. 42.) That same evening, Huppertz caught eight Typhoons of 164 Sqn and shot one down, with F/O Roberts KIA. (David Clark, CD “Daily Data tables of the Normandy Air War Diary”, 6 June 1944.) During another mission late on 6 June, Huppertz engaged the numerically superior formations of Allied aircraft which by that time swarmed the whole sky in the area (on 6 June 1944, the USAAF and RAF conducted 14,674 sorties over the Normandy area - against only 319 Luftwaffe sorties). During this single mission, Huppertz was entangled in combat with several Allied fighter units, involving both Mustangs and Thunderbolts, but in spite of all odds he claimed a Mustang and a Thunderbolt. David Clark has identified the former as one of US 352 FG’s losses, while the Thunderbolt was one of a total of 2,302 Thunderbolts despatched by US 8th and 9th AF (Freeman, “The Mighty Eighth War Diary”, p. 259; Rust, “The 9th Air Force”, p. 84.) Thus, Huppertz had scored five victories in a single day.

At around 0945 on 8 June 1944, a formation of Fw 190s of III./JG 2 were engaged by both Mustangs and Thunderbolts: Mustangs from 361 FG’s Mustang (whereby Hptm. Wurmheller claimed one Mustang, while 361 FG failed to shoot down any of III./JG 2’s Fw 190s), and Thunderbolts from possibly both 56 FG and 353 FG. Four Fw 190s were claimed by 353 FG during the morning mission, and 56 FG simultaneously claimed one or more Fw 190s. 56 FG made its claims when it attacked a group of German fighters which were taking off from an airfield. Only two Fw 190s were lost by the Germans in that very uneven combat, and one of them was flown by Huppertz - who was killed. (David Clark, CD “Daily Data tables of the Normandy Air War Diary”, 8 June 1944.)


Hptm. Karl-Heinz Weber, a veteran with over 500 combat missions from the autumn of 1940, and 136 victories, Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 1: At around 1000 hrs on 7 June 1944, about 10 Bf 109s of III./JG 1, commanded by Hptm. Weber, were en route to the frontlines. (Clark, “Angels Eight”, p. 56.) But already northeast of Paris they were attacked from above by 30 Allied fighters (Prien, “JG 1/11”, pp. 1008 - 1009), and Weber crashed to his death at Pontoise, north of Paris. Apart from Weber, one more III./JG 1 Bf 109 was shot down in that combat. It is possible that Weber was killed in combat with 24 Mustangs from 306 and 315 squadrons of 133 (Polish) Wing, which claimed to have shot down four Bf 109s in the Dreux area. (David Clark, CD “Daily Data tables of the Normandy Air War Diary”, 7 June 1944.)

Hptm. Josef Wurmheller, a veteran with over 300 combat missions from 1939 and 102 victories, commanded 9./JG 2 at Normandy: On 22 June 1944, Wurmheller was killed when he collided with his own wingman near Alencon. (Obermaier, “Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe”, Vol. 1, ed. 2, p. 38.)



Hptm. Siegfried Simsch, a veteran with around 400 combat missions from the autumn of 1940, and 54 victories: Simsch was killed in action early on 8 June 1944, when I./JG 11 despatched around 20 Fw 190s in a fighter-bomber mission against the Allied landing fleet. Having endured the hellish fire from hundreds of AAA guns from the landing fleet, the dispersed remnants of I./JG 11 were attacked by numerically superior Allied fighters. (Prien, “JG 1/11”, pp. 1019 - 1020.) The Allies conducted 1096 fighter sorties for beach patrol (David Clark, CD “Daily Data tables of the Normandy Air War Diary”, 8 June 1944), and it is possible that many of these fighters engaged Simsch - but according to David Clark’s “Angels Eight”, he was killed in combat with Mustangs of 339 FG, which formed part of 869 Mustangs and Thunderbolts of US 8th Air Force which simultaneously were out on search-and-destroy missions against lines of communications. (Freeman, “The Mighty Eighth War Diary”, p. 262.) David Clark writes: “Simsch spotted a small formation of P-51s from 339th FG of the US 8thAF and immediately attacked not realizing that the whole FG was in the vicinity - the others hidden by clouds. Attacking from above, the 503rd FS and 505th FS swept down.” (Clark, “Angels Eight”, p. 62)

Oblt. Eugen-Ludwig Zweigart, a veteran in first-line service since the fall of 1940, with 69 victories, with III./JG 54: All I know is that on 8 June 1944 his Fw 190 A-8 (WNr 170736, “Black 3”) was shot down in aerial combat near Le Cambaux. Zweigart baled out but was gunned to death has he hung in his parachute. Based on US 8th AF’s reports, Roger A. Freeman wrote: “On the 8th [of June 1944], 130 enemy aircraft were sighted during the day, mostly Me 109s and Fw 190s in twos and threes.” (“The Mighty Eighth”, p. 166.) US 8th AF alone performed 2077 sorties over Normandy on 8 June 1944, and these 2077 pilots sighted a total of 130 German aircraft - mostly flying in twos and threes.
On 8 June 1944, the Allied fighter pilots claimed to have shot down 60 German fighters (David Clark, CD “Daily Data tables of the Normandy Air War Diary”, 8 June 1944), and Luftflotte 3 claimed 21 victories. (Prien, “JG 1/11”, p. 1021.) Actual Luftwaffe losses were either 30 aircraft (Clark, “Angels Eight”, p. 63) or 36 aircraft (Prien, “JG 1/11”, p. 1051)while the Allies lost 42 aircraft. (Freeman, “Mighty Eighth War Diary”, p. 261 - 262, 2nd TAC Losses, and http://www.geocities.com/AF9th/new_page_13.htm )

Some interesting examples of the vast Allied numerical superiority over France during the invasion of France is given by the combat reports which are published in 20th FG’s chronicle, “King’s Cliffe: The 20th Ftr. Grp Association”:

On 25 June 1944 in the evening, a formation of 49 Lightnings from US 20 FG attacked 15 Bf 109s near Chartres. (“King’s Cliffe: The 20th Ftr. Grp Association”, p. 161.)

The US report from the mission against targets north of Paris on 28 June 1944, shows a total of 25 German fighters intercepting 684 heavy bombers escorted by fourteen Fighter groups with a total of 569 fighters. US 20th FG, with 46 Lightnings, was attacked by eight Fw 190s and Bf 109s. (“King’s Cliffe: The 20th Ftr. Grp Association”, p. 162.)

The report for 14 July 1944 reads: “This morning 524 P-51s and P-47s were dispatched to support a special heavy bomber operation in the Chartres area. Enemy opposition was characteristically meagre and 4 of 10 Me 109s and Fw 190s encountered were shot down by our fighters.”

All best,

Christer Bergström

Franek Grabowski 28th February 2005 17:11

Re: Luftwaffe Aces KIA in Normandy in 1944
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
In another thread, Franek Grabowski asks for some details surrounding the detahs of some of the Luftwaffe’s aces at Normandy in the summer of 1944:

Oh yes, finally!
Now before discussing it further, some comments concerning Normandy's Campaign research. Unfortunatelly details of German operations are quite scarce to say the least. Quite often there are errors in both dates and times, locations are unprecise and there are almost no narratives. Situations where nothing fits are quite common.

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Major Herbert Huppertz, a veteran who was in first-line service from 1939, attaining 70 victories, and served as III./JG 2’s Gruppenkommandeur: On 6 June 1944, Huppertz testified to the value of the German “super veterans” over Normandy - particularly in exceptional cases when Allied airmen due to a combination of bad luck and poor planning were caught without the numerical superiority which they usually enjoyed. At noon on 6 June 1944, Obstlt. Kurt Bühlingen (who scored his 100th victory on 7 June 1944) and Huppertz participated when 29 Fw 190 attacked at least 24 Thunderbolts (of US 365 FG) and Typhoons (of RAF 183 Sqn). The Germans claimed to have shot down six Allied fighters - including two Typhoons in less than two minutes by Huppertz - against a single own loss. Actual Allied losses in this engagement were five (two P-47s, three Typhoons). (Clark, “Angels Eight”, p. 42.) That same evening, Huppertz caught eight Typhoons of 164 Sqn and shot one down, with F/O Roberts KIA. (David Clark, CD “Daily Data tables of the Normandy Air War Diary”, 6 June 1944.) During another mission late on 6 June, Huppertz engaged the numerically superior formations of Allied aircraft which by that time swarmed the whole sky in the area (on 6 June 1944, the USAAF and RAF conducted 14,674 sorties over the Normandy area - against only 319 Luftwaffe sorties). During this single mission, Huppertz was entangled in combat with several Allied fighter units, involving both Mustangs and Thunderbolts, but in spite of all odds he claimed a Mustang and a Thunderbolt. David Clark has identified the former as one of US 352 FG’s losses, while the Thunderbolt was one of a total of 2,302 Thunderbolts despatched by US 8th and 9th AF (Freeman, “The Mighty Eighth War Diary”, p. 259; Rust, “The 9th Air Force”, p. 84.) Thus, Huppertz had scored five victories in a single day.
Combats of D-Day are a real mess. I was working with something more rather than David's Data Tables (which I highly recommend) but still it was not possible to make satisfactory combat links. As yet the day awaits further research.

Quote:

At around 0945 on 8 June 1944, a formation of Fw 190s of III./JG 2 were engaged by both Mustangs and Thunderbolts: Mustangs from 361 FG’s Mustang (whereby Hptm. Wurmheller claimed one Mustang, while 361 FG failed to shoot down any of III./JG 2’s Fw 190s), and Thunderbolts from possibly both 56 FG and 353 FG. Four Fw 190s were claimed by 353 FG during the morning mission, and 56 FG simultaneously claimed one or more Fw 190s. 56 FG made its claims when it attacked a group of German fighters which were taking off from an airfield. Only two Fw 190s were lost by the Germans in that very uneven combat, and one of them was flown by Huppertz - who was killed. (David Clark, CD “Daily Data tables of the Normandy Air War Diary”, 8 June 1944.)
I am surprised! Data included in David's CD does clearly indicate both 56 and 353 FGs claimed at significantly different times and locations and does not support thesis they were involved in combat with JG2. Also 361FG was clearly involved in combat with JG11 and not JG2. I cannot find opponent of JG2 but it is possible they were bounced by Allied AA.

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Hptm. Karl-Heinz Weber, a veteran with over 500 combat missions from the autumn of 1940, and 136 victories, Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 1: At around 1000 hrs on 7 June 1944, about 10 Bf 109s of III./JG 1, commanded by Hptm. Weber, were en route to the frontlines. (Clark, “Angels Eight”, p. 56.) But already northeast of Paris they were attacked from above by 30 Allied fighters (Prien, “JG 1/11”, pp. 1008 - 1009), and Weber crashed to his death at Pontoise, north of Paris. Apart from Weber, one more III./JG 1 Bf 109 was shot down in that combat. It is possible that Weber was killed in combat with 24 Mustangs from 306 and 315 squadrons of 133 (Polish) Wing, which claimed to have shot down four Bf 109s in the Dreux area. (David Clark, CD “Daily Data tables of the Normandy Air War Diary”, 7 June 1944.)
Data on David's CD are inaccurate. Squadrons of 133 Wing were flying separate sorties. 315 Sqn (12 Mustangs) flew in the Rouen are when one Section of 4 got entangled with some chasing of Germans. Finally they spotted a formation of Me 109s and engaged them, claiming 4-0-1 Me 109. There was no other Allied unit claiming at the time and in the very general area. Account of one survivor match pretty well to the combat report of one of the Polish pilots involved, while circumstances of another loss fit quite well to another report. I do not know if there was any overclaim on the Polish part as there could have been another German unit involved as well. III/JG26 lost two aircraft in the general area in unknown circumstances. I do not know how 4 Mustangs were multiplied to 30!
This combat was described in my article in French Ciel du guerre magazine but for some reason they have not printed my name.

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Hptm. Josef Wurmheller, a veteran with over 300 combat missions from 1939 and 102 victories, commanded 9./JG 2 at Normandy: On 22 June 1944, Wurmheller was killed when he collided with his own wingman near Alencon. (Obermaier, “Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe”, Vol. 1, ed. 2, p. 38.)
Wurmheller was involved in combat with 441 and 442 Sqns RCAF. At least two Gruppen flew the mission, so I suppose they were around 30 aircraft. Canadians flew in the Wing formation at best, so around 30 as well. It is believed the victor could have been F/O Fleming of 441 Sqn.

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Hptm. Siegfried Simsch, a veteran with around 400 combat missions from the autumn of 1940, and 54 victories: Simsch was killed in action early on 8 June 1944, when I./JG 11 despatched around 20 Fw 190s in a fighter-bomber mission against the Allied landing fleet. Having endured the hellish fire from hundreds of AAA guns from the landing fleet, the dispersed remnants of I./JG 11 were attacked by numerically superior Allied fighters. (Prien, “JG 1/11”, pp. 1019 - 1020.) The Allies conducted 1096 fighter sorties for beach patrol (David Clark, CD “Daily Data tables of the Normandy Air War Diary”, 8 June 1944), and it is possible that many of these fighters engaged Simsch - but according to David Clark’s “Angels Eight”, he was killed in combat with Mustangs of 339 FG, which formed part of 869 Mustangs and Thunderbolts of US 8th Air Force which simultaneously were out on search-and-destroy missions against lines of communications. (Freeman, “The Mighty Eighth War Diary”, p. 262.) David Clark writes: “Simsch spotted a small formation of P-51s from 339th FG of the US 8thAF and immediately attacked not realizing that the whole FG was in the vicinity - the others hidden by clouds. Attacking from above, the 503rd FS and 505th FS swept down.” (Clark, “Angels Eight”, p. 62)
The circumstances seem to fit well. This means about 20 against 30+, hardly a substantial numerical advantage of Americans. I really do not know what the total number of Allied sorties has to do with it!
BTW
Simsch was considered a Mischling by the German authorities. Interesting, is not it?

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Oblt. Eugen-Ludwig Zweigart, a veteran in first-line service since the fall of 1940, with 69 victories, with III./JG 54: All I know is that on 8 June 1944 his Fw 190 A-8 (WNr 170736, “Black 3”) was shot down in aerial combat near Le Cambaux. Zweigart baled out but was gunned to death has he hung in his parachute. Based on US 8th AF’s reports, Roger A. Freeman wrote: “On the 8th [of June 1944], 130 enemy aircraft were sighted during the day, mostly Me 109s and Fw 190s in twos and threes.” (“The Mighty Eighth”, p. 166.) US 8th AF alone performed 2077 sorties over Normandy on 8 June 1944, and these 2077 pilots sighted a total of 130 German aircraft - mostly flying in twos and threes.
On 8 June 1944, the Allied fighter pilots claimed to have shot down 60 German fighters (David Clark, CD “Daily Data tables of the Normandy Air War Diary”, 8 June 1944), and Luftflotte 3 claimed 21 victories. (Prien, “JG 1/11”, p. 1021.) Actual Luftwaffe losses were either 30 aircraft (Clark, “Angels Eight”, p. 63) or 36 aircraft (Prien, “JG 1/11”, p. 1051)while the Allies lost 42 aircraft. (Freeman, “Mighty Eighth War Diary”, p. 261 - 262, 2nd TAC Losses, and http://www.geocities.com/AF9th/new_page_13.htm )
I really do not know what the stats had to do with this single combat.
Circumstances of III/JG54 operations are quite messy and sometimes obviously inaccurate. I have contacted Mr Urbanke in this regard but he did not disperse my doubts. Circumstances and place of combat fit pretty well to combat of Czechoslovak fighters, though there is no indication he was machinegunned. I cannot exclude he was hit by a ground fire!
I do not know strenghts of both units at the time, but 36 vs about 10 seems the most unfavourable proportion for the Germans, hardly an overwhelming numerical superiority.

Quote:

On 25 June 1944 in the evening, a formation of 49 Lightnings from US 20 FG attacked 15 Bf 109s near Chartres. (“King’s Cliffe: The 20th Ftr. Grp Association”, p. 161.)
Well, hardly an 10:1 numerical advantage.

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The US report from the mission against targets north of Paris on 28 June 1944, shows a total of 25 German fighters intercepting 684 heavy bombers escorted by fourteen Fighter groups with a total of 569 fighters. US 20th FG, with 46 Lightnings, was attacked by eight Fw 190s and Bf 109s. (“King’s Cliffe: The 20th Ftr. Grp Association”, p. 162.)
Do I have to understand all 1200 Allied aircraft were at one place and time? Following this logic we can achieve really tremendous disproportions. Also, from the description we cannot find if the whole FG fought with those aircraft.

Quote:

The report for 14 July 1944 reads: “This morning 524 P-51s and P-47s were dispatched to support a special heavy bomber operation in the Chartres area. Enemy opposition was characteristically meagre and 4 of 10 Me 109s and Fw 190s encountered were shot down by our fighters.”
As above.

Christer Bergström 28th February 2005 19:21

Regarding Huppertz’s (III./JG 2) last combat on 8 June 1944:

As you said yourself, Franek, combats of D-Day are a real mess - not least due to the large number of aircraft involved - and there are errors in both dates and times, locations are unprecise, etc. Unless we assume that 56 and 353 FGs engaged German ghost aircraft - i.e. non-existent Fw 190s - we have to assume that they encountered the German fighters which were in the air for real. Since both 56 and 353 FGs claimed Fw 190s during the morning mission over France, we have to conclude that those belonged to the Fw 190 unit which is known to have flown in that area by that time - namely III./JG 2. That leads us to the conclusion that the pilots of 56 and 353 FGs made an error when they calculated the area where they clashed with Fw 190s - which would be plausible, contrary to the alternative, which implies the existence of “ghost Fw 190s”.

Franek’s thesis “361FG was clearly involved in combat with JG11 and not JG2” is based on Clark’s personal assumption that 2./JG 11’s (not II./JG 11, as Clark writes) Ofw. Kokisch was shot down by 361 FG at around 0950 hours. (David Clark, CD “Daily Data tables of the Normandy Air War Diary”, 6 June 1944.) However, in the chronicle on JG1/11 (page 1020), Prien tells us that Ofw. Kokisch crashed at Rennes - which is too far away (100 miles) from the area where 361 FG operated to be explained as a mere navigational error. (Clark has made several erroneous judgements based on the material which he presents on his CD, and what I have done is not only to take everything which Clark says for granted, but I use the material presented by Clark as one of many sources upon which I build my picture of the air combats.)

I don’t know why Franek dismisses not only that III./JG 2 was engaged by 56 FG, 353 FG, and 361 FG - but even by any Allied fighter unit at all! :shock: The statistics presented on Clark’s CD clearly show that all those fighter groups were fighting Fw 190s in the vicinity by the same time, no other Fw 190 unit can be traced as airborne in that area by that time - and III./JG 2’s Wurmheller claimed to have shot down a Mustang! Still Franek draws the inexplicable conclusion that: “I cannot find opponent of JG2 but it is possible they were bounced by Allied AA.” I am surprised!

This also is surprising: All sources state that Wurmheller was killed when he collided with his own wingman near Alencon, but Franek writes: “It is believed the victor could have been F/O Fleming of 441 Sqn.” :o

Regarding Simsch’s last combat, I get the impression that Franek wants to reduce the number of involved Allied aircraft at any price - thus unconsciously implying that despite their access to ULTRA, the Allied were unable to make rational use of their numerical superiority.

The facts are that:

a) On 8 June 1944, I./JG 11 despatched around 20 Fw 190s in a fighter-bomber mission against the Allied landing fleet. Having endured the hellish fire from hundreds of AAA guns from the landing fleet, the dispersed remnants of I./JG 11 were attacked by numerically superior Allied fighters. (Prien, “JG 1/11”, pp. 1019 - 1020.) Note - of the originally 20 Fw 190s, some had by then had already been shot down or damaged by the AAA, while the remnants were dispersed. Thus we can assume that there were maybe 10 - 15 Fw 190s without battle damage, divided as they were after a fighter-bomber attack into an AAA barrage into maybe half a dozen small groups, each consisting maybe one, two or three planes. So obviously, these small groups were attacked by several Allied fighter units. We don’t know exactly how many Allied fighters that engaged the battered remnants of I./JG 11 after the terrifying encounter with the AAA barrage, but to give anyone a chance to judge I gave these vital background facts:

b) the Allies conducted 1096 fighter sorties for beach patrol (many of which surely must have engaged Fw 190s which attacked those beaches, unless the commanders of the beach patrols ought to have been court-martialled), and

c) another 869 Mustangs and Thunderbolts of US 8th Air Force simultaneously were out on search-and-destroy missions against German lines of communications at Normandy.

Indeed, we have to expect that among the Allied fighters which attacked the scattered small groups of III./JG 2 Fw 190s after their attack over the Normandy beaches, probably most were among those assigned to provide the beaches with fighter cover against precisely such air attacks. However, according to David Clark’s “Angels Eight”, Simsch was killed in combat with Mustangs of 339 FG, which formed part of the 869 other US fighters which also were airborne in the area. Thus, it is plausible to assume that Simsch and III./JG 2 were hemmed in by various Allied fighters from several units, assigned with two different tasks.

Franek’s own conclusion from all of this is highly improbable: “This means about 20 against 30+” Please remember that these figures are only Franek’s own conclusion!

Rather, it would seem probable that a German formation consisting of Simsch’s Fw 190 and maybe one or tow other Fw 190s was fighting to survive in an environment where hundreds of Allied fighters were hunting maybe half a dozen small groups of Fw 190s, each consisting one, two or three planes which desperately tried to escape after a costly fighter-bomber mission into a terrible AAA barrage.

Or should we assume that not only did the AAA on the huge fleet (which was tasked to cover the sensitive landing fleet against German air attacks) fail to inflict any damage to 20 Fw 190 fighter bombers, all those 1096 fighters which were assigned to provide the landing beaches with fighter cover also missed the 20 fighter-bombers and allowed them to escape - until nothing more than a relatively small formation of US Mustangs - assigned with a completely different task - was lucky to catch the (nota bene complete!) formation of 20 battleworthy Fw 190s!? (Also, we don’t know the number of Mustangs participating in the mission with the that the US fighter group in question, 339 FG; all we know is that all three squadrons participated in the fight against Simsch. How come Franek assumes that three whole squadrons of 339 FG numbered no more than 30 Mustangs, when the normal number of US fighters participating in a single 8th AF squadron mission by that time was between 15 and 18 - which would give an assumed total of fifty 339 FG Mustangs involved in Simsch’s last combat .)

In conclusion, if we pay attention to all known factors, it is hard to arrive at a conclusion similar to Franek’s.

In the case of the Polish unit involved in the combat on 8 June 1944, I can easily accept the facts which Franek presents, since I have no contradicting facts, and apparently Franek is better informed regarding that particular combat. So possibly this was one of the exceptions when the Allies failed to make use of their numerical superiority over Normandy, and fortunately for the Poles they managed without the usual reinforcements from masses of other Allied fighters on that occasion. Yes, I agree with Franek that it is strange that the German report deals with over 30 Mustangs if no more than four Mustangs engaged the ten Bf 109s.

However, Franek’s way of first denying the vast Allied numerical superiority, and then - when I provide him with a row of facts which testify to this vast numerical superiority even under the very special conditions which he demands (“a single combat where we know the exact number of aircraft on both sides, where the Germans were outnumbered by ten to one”) - simply dismissing all evidence by pointing at the very nature of the vast concentrations of Allied aircraft which he previously denied, is . . . surprising.
:shock:

What is the purpose of this discussion? To add our respective knowledge in order to together arrive at a better understanding? Or to defend a prejudical position at all costs?

I gave one example of 524 P-51s and P-47s supporting a heavy bomber operation in the Chartres area, encountering 10 Me 109s and Fw 190s. Obviously as a way to dismiss that uncomfortable fact, Franek resorts to scholastic tricks: “Do I have to understand all those Allied aircraft were at one place and time?” - As if 524 P-51s and P-47s supporting a special heavy bomber operation could be on the same spot simultaneously, even if it was aimed precisely against the Chartres area! :!: As if Franek knew that those 10 Me 109s and Fw 190s were on the same spot simultaneously, and not divided into maybe two or three groups! :!: As if this combination of scholastics and illogical bad mathematics would neutralise the whole impact of the vast Allied numerical superiority! :!: :!: Objections of the kind which Franek brings forward here, are only humiliating to the one who uses such tricks to slip out of a situation which he for some reason finds uncomfortable.

Why not face it? The fact that the Luftwaffe was outnumbered by eight to one in the air over Normandy had a very powerful impact on the outcome of that air war - particularly when the majority of the German pilots were inadequately trained rookies who were easy prey to the "normally" trained Allied fighter pilots!

Again - please remember that this is only a hobby, so stay friends! My harsh words to Franek are only because I want to advice against the use of discussion methods which brings such an interesting discussion to a sad end where everyone just withdraws in dismay.


All best,

Christer Bergström

Franek Grabowski 28th February 2005 20:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
Unless we assume that 56 and 353 FGs engaged German ghost aircraft - i.e. non-existent Fw 190s - we have to assume that they encountered the German fighters which were in the air for real. Since both 56 and 353 FGs claimed Fw 190s during the morning mission over France, we have to conclude that those belonged to the Fw 190 unit which is known to have flown in that area by that time - namely III./JG 2.

The problem is that III/JG2 was not there. What were the units encountered by Americans I do not know but it is possible they are simply not recorded in known scarce documents. That happens there is limited data for 1944 losses that did not involve human losses.

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Franek’s thesis “361FG was clearly involved in combat with JG11 and not JG2” is based on Clark’s personal assumption that 2./JG 11’s (not II./JG 11, as Clark writes) Ofw. Kokisch was shot down by 361 FG at around 0950 hours. (David Clark, CD “Daily Data tables of the Normandy Air War Diary”, 6 June 1944.) However, in the chronicle on JG1/11 (page 1020), Prien tells us that Ofw. Kokisch crashed at Rennes - which is too far away (100 miles) from the area where 361 FG operated to be explained as a mere navigational error.
This does not deny the fact 361 FG could fight with JG11.

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I don’t know why Franek dismisses not only that III./JG 2 was engaged by 56 FG, 353 FG, and 361 FG - but even by any Allied fighter unit at all!
It is not my problem.

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The statistics presented on Clark’s CD clearly show that all those fighter groups were fighting Fw 190s in the vicinity by the same time, no other Fw 190 unit can be traced as airborne in that area by that time - and III./JG 2’s Wurmheller claimed to have shot down a Mustang! Still Franek draws the inexplicable conclusion that: “I cannot find opponent of JG2 but it is possible they were bounced by Allied AA.” I am surprised!
Have you ever heard of Naval Spotters' Pool? I assume you did not. Several clipped wing Spitfires and Seafires that operated exactly in the area were claimed as P-51s.

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This also is surprising: All sources state that Wurmheller was killed when he collided with his own wingman near Alencon, but Franek writes: “It is believed the victor could have been F/O Fleming of 441 Sqn.”
Please, present all those sources, documents preferably. I have to dig it up but I do not see any contradiction between both facts.

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Regarding Simsch’s last combat, I get the impression that Franek wants to reduce the number of involved Allied aircraft at any price - thus unconsciously implying that despite their access to ULTRA, the Allied were unable to make rational use of their numerical superiority.
I assume every Allied pilot had Ultra in his aircraft and was chasing every German aircraft that appeared on the sky.

Quote:

a) On 8 June 1944, I./JG 11 despatched around 20 Fw 190s in a fighter-bomber mission against the Allied landing fleet. Having endured the hellish fire from hundreds of AAA guns from the landing fleet, the dispersed remnants of I./JG 11 were attacked by numerically superior Allied fighters. (Prien, “JG 1/11”, pp. 1019 - 1020.) Note - of the originally 20 Fw 190s, some had by then had already been shot down or damaged by the AAA, while the remnants were dispersed. Thus we can assume that there were maybe 10 - 15 Fw 190s without battle damage, divided as they were after a fighter-bomber attack into an AAA barrage into maybe half a dozen small groups, each consisting maybe one, two or three planes. So obviously, these small groups were attacked by several Allied fighter units.
In your post you have noted it was JG11 who attacked US unit!

Quote:

We don’t know exactly how many Allied fighters that engaged the battered remnants of I./JG 11 after the terrifying encounter with the AAA barrage, but to give anyone a chance to judge I gave these vital background facts:
Just a few lines above you was surprised III/JG2 could have suffered losses due to AA.

Quote:

b) the Allies conducted 1096 fighter sorties for beach patrol (many of which surely must have engaged Fw 190s which attacked those beaches, unless the commanders of the beach patrols ought to have been court-martialled), and
Allied AFs were not VVS RKKA were pilots were executed because of flying technique errors.

Quote:

c) another 869 Mustangs and Thunderbolts of US 8th Air Force simultaneously were out on search-and-destroy missions against German lines of communications at Normandy.
For a lenght of a day. So?

Quote:

Franek’s own conclusion from all of this is highly improbable: “This means about 20 against 30+” Please remember that these figures are only Franek’s own conclusion!
You may check battle order of 339 FG, could not you?

Quote:

all we know is that all three squadrons participated in the fight against Simsch. How come Franek assumes that three whole squadrons of 339 FG numbered no more than 30 Mustangs, when the normal number of US fighters participating in a single 8th AF squadron mission by that time was between 15 and 18 - which would give an assumed total of fifty 339 FG Mustangs involved in Simsch’s last combat .)
Based on knowledge that the basic formation was 4 aircraft I am free to assume FS formation had 12-16 aircraft. It is also worth to note that (often) FGs did not fly in single formations as you try to make us believe in it.

Quote:

In the case of the Polish unit involved in the combat on 8 June 1944, I can easily accept the facts which Franek presents, since I have no contradicting facts, and apparently Franek is better informed regarding that particular combat. So possibly this was one of the exceptions when the Allies failed to make use of their numerical superiority over Normandy, and fortunately for the Poles they managed without the usual reinforcements from masses of other Allied fighters on that occasion.
Nope, it was not unusual and Poles never got any reinforcements. You are trying to bend facts to make them fitting to your theories.

Quote:

I gave one example of 524 P-51s and P-47s supporting a heavy bomber operation in the Chartres area, encountering 10 Me 109s and Fw 190s.
No scholastics but apparently you do not know how the escort of bombers look like. Get educated on it first.

Quote:

Why not face it? The fact that the Luftwaffe was outnumbered by eight to one in the air over Normandy had a very powerful impact on the outcome of that air war - particularly when the majority of the German pilots were inadequately trained rookies who were easy prey to the "normally" trained Allied fighter pilots!
Why not face it, Red Air Force was not a substantial threat for Luftwaffe?

I am afraid you tend to outwrite me. Please remember, that the value of a historical work is not necessarily quantity.

Christer Bergström 28th February 2005 20:38

Is there any campaign where one side’s numerical superiority can’t be dismissed through a combination of scholastic tricks and selection of isolated events?



Let me play this game with the Soviet Winter War against Finland: The Finns started with 41 operational fighter planes against 900 Soviet aircraft. Let’s try to dismiss that.

Note - everything below is only a joke.

Okay, here we go. I’ll start with a quotation that could become a classic:

1. ”Do I have to understand all 900 Soviet aircraft were at one place and time? Following this logic we can achieve really tremendous disproportions.” :wink:

2. Here are some examples which shall prove that the Soviets actually enjoyed no numerical superiority in the air:

a) On 2 February 1940, two Finnish Fokker D-XXIs attacked a lonely SB of 57 AP/VVS KBF and shot it down. (Finnish sources.)

b) On 3 February 1940, five Finnish Fokker D-XXIs attacked three unescorted DB-3 bombers of 10 AB/VVS KBF and shot all three down in the uneven fight. (Finnish sources.)


c) On 4 February 1940, four Finnish fighters intercepted four VVS KBF DB-3s. (Finnish sources.)

d) On 18 February 1940, at least three Finnish fighters intercepted and shot down two unescorted DB-3 bombers. (Finnish sources.)

By carefully selecting these cases, we have transformed the reality of the Winter War - wh9ich was one of a huge Soviet numerical superiority in the air - into a relation where a total of 14 Finnish aircraft encountering the sum of 8 Soviet aircraft in these carefully selected cases give a totally distorted picture of the realities. One gets the impression that the Soviets won the Winter War only because they fought so bravely and skilfully against those Finns! :twisted:


Since it is our purpose in this game to deny the effect of the numerical superiority, thus creating a brighter view of the accomplishments of the Soviet airmen in the Winter War, allow us also to portray Soviet figures as unquestionable facts. Thus we continue:

e) On 19 February 1940, the crew of Mayor Tokarev, commanding 1 AP/VVS KBF, warded off attacks by fourteen Finnish Fokker D-XXIs against their lonely DB-3 bomber. Six Finnish fighters were shot down. :lol:

Hilarious, isn’t it?

Okay, now someone arrives and tries to demonstrate how useful the numerical superiority was to the Soviet AF in the Winter War by asking us to imagine a reversed situation: 41 operational Soviet fighter planes against 900 Finnish aircraft: Would that alter the situation in the air during the Winter War? :oops:

Okay, first allow us to counter by this: Imagine that Urho Kekkonen crossed the Mannerheim line completely nude in the winter of 1939/1940, wouldn’t that alter the situation completely, since the Soviets would have laughed themselves to death? :wink:

Then let’s get on track again: Well, maybe their numerical superiority was one secondary contributing factor to the Soviet dominance in the air during the Winter War, but I will blatantly state that of far greater importance was superior Soviet tactics, training, and a superior command. And the Soviets were superior regarding perseverance of their air force! :lol:

So, allow me to conclude with this regarding the outcome of the Winter War in this little game: “The Finns stood no chance against highest quality Soviet war machine that annihilated the enemy within a few months.” :wink:

Ruy Horta 28th February 2005 20:42

Quote:

Okay, first allow us to counter by this: Imagine that Urho Kekkonen crossed the Mannerheim line completely nude in the winter of 1939/1940, wouldn’t that alter the situation completely, since the Soviets would have laughed themselves to death?
So can we have a picture of Urho?

:shock:

Christer Bergström 28th February 2005 20:45

Quote:

So can we have a picture of Urho?
Yes, when Franek has posted that photo of Pamela Anderson crossing the Mareth line in 1943, "tan and naked".
http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/viewto...t=537&start=75 :P

Franek Grabowski 1st March 2005 00:29

Quote:

Yes, when Franek has posted that photo of Pamela Anderson crossing the Mareth line in 1943, "tan and naked".
Colour or black and white?

Quote:

Let me play this game with the Soviet Winter War against Finland: The Finns started with 41 operational fighter planes against 900 Soviet aircraft.
Do you think it was a good show by the Soviets? I think Finns should have been wiped out within a day or two, but they managed to fly through the entire campaign. So, is the numerical superiority that much important?

Christer Bergström 1st March 2005 09:53

Franek,

Quote:

So, is the numerical superiority that much important?
:shock:

Wait a minute, let me switch over to Monty Python's world. . .

Okay, here comes my answer, and please remember that everything below is a joke:

"So, is the numerical superiority that much important?"

No, didn’t I show you above? :P

Imagine that the Finns also had 900 aircraft (instead of just 41 fighters) to meet the 900 Soviet aircraft. There goes the Soviet numerical superiority. Wouldn’t have changed the situation in the air during the Winter War a bit, eh? :roll:

So, is the numerical superiority that much important? :P :roll:





“The Finns stood no chance against highest quality Soviet war machine that annihilated the enemy within a few months.” :wink:

John Beaman 1st March 2005 15:19

To Christer and Franek: Excuse my stupidity, but....
 
...what is the "David Clark table", you guys are referring to?

Franek Grabowski 1st March 2005 18:10

John
It is a set of excel sheets, one for each day between 6 June and 31 August 1944. Each one has details of all known claims (destroyed only) and losses of both Allies and Germans. This once had to be included in the Dave's book but he did bot do that due to his concerns of copyright violation, unsubstantiated IMHO.
A very useful tool in research but of course not the final word on the subject. I have to say it was a very refreshing experience to me and I am most grateful to Dave for making the file available.

Leo Etgen 2nd March 2005 05:56

Wurmheller
 
Hi

Concerning Wurmheller's demise, most sources do state that he was killed in a collision with his wing man but I do remember that some time ago on this discussion board there was an interesting thread that provided a very credible argument that he was indeed shot down and killed by F/O JW Fleming of 411 Sqn, RCAF while escorting fighter-bombers. Due to this latest research, it now seems as if that was what really happened to him. However, would not one good way to attempt to find out if he was killed in a collision would be to search the Luftwaffe loss lists for the other aircraft involved, the one that collided with his? It should appear listed as well as his does.

Horrido!

Leo

NickM 2nd March 2005 07:02

Christer:a funny thing about LW vets in Normandy.
 
After reading your 'Graf/Grislawski', and some other commentary from JG51 vets who's staffel was attached to II/JG1 during Normandy, it seemed that more than a few LW pilots who were vets of the Soviet front, felt that flying with small numbers (Rotte or schwarm) was better in Normandy because it kept them from being spotted too easily & it made it easier to 'sneak up' on allied formations...at least that was the impression that I got! Naturally I could have misunderstood;

thx

NickM

PS: Christer, Franek...you two have to 'chill out' a bit---I sense strong currents in the dark side of the Force between you!

Franek Grabowski 2nd March 2005 10:20

Leo
One of the points IIRC was that the Fleming's victim exploded in the air. There is only one candidate for the collision, Uffz. Mayer of 9. Staffel, but he is reported to be lost in another location. Of course we cannot exclude the pilot in question survived or was reported on another date.

Nick
I suppose one of the reason was lack of tactical knowledge and experience in flying large formations. Dog fight in squadron strenght is a little bit more complicated than the one of a section of two.

PS I always thought Skywalker's character was childish and stupid. Anyway I consider this thread closed because Christer did not manage to prove his point German 'superaces' were downed because overwhelming numerical superiority of Allies.

Ruy Horta 2nd March 2005 13:33

There is no need to close this thread. If it has served (or missed) its purpose it will die from natural causes.

Although I will try to honor all requests to lock, split or edit material if the need arrises, such requests should not be a one sided affair if it is a thread with more people involved.

IMHO it is a shame that the basic discussion is being splintered. A long thread is not a real problem, as long as the flow is logical.

IF a new branch is started, include a link to the original thread and try to include some reason why you've decided to split the discussion from the original thread.

Shows that I am lagging badly on a guidelines doc.

But I am an advocate of laissez-faire...

Franek Grabowski 2nd March 2005 13:57

Ruy
I am not talking about any administrative steps like closing the thread, just only I do not see any point in continuing it (ie. making posts here) if the questions were answered. Of course if new evidence appears, someone may post here again. That is a forum, is not it?

dahiot daniel 2nd March 2005 14:14

Hptm Smisch it 8 June 1944
 
That was Katschmarek of Hptm Smisch it 8 June 1944.

Seven pilots of JG are going losses this 8 June to the east and to the north of Rennes. Some KIA are identified, I research names of the other pilots.

Pilot ? bailed out : Châtillon en Vendelais
Pilot ? bailed out : Erbré
Pilot ? bailed out : Saint Didier
Pilot ? bailed out : Louvigné du Désert
Hptm. Simsch Siegfried : KIA at St. M'Hervé
Uffz. Schüler Günther : KIA at Princé
Uffz. Folger Alfred : KIA at St. M'Hervé

merci
Dan

Ruy Horta 2nd March 2005 14:15

Sorry, my mistake.

Christer Bergström 2nd March 2005 19:13

To return to the original topic:

Don Caldwell provides us with an interesting research result on the circumstances during the death of another German “super veteran” -Hptm. Emil Lang (403 combat missions, 173 victories) - in the West on 3 September 1944:

Three (or maybe six) Fw 190s led by Lang were bounced by 338 Sqn/55 FG (8th AF) and RAF ADGB 41 Squadron - altogether maybe something like 25 Allied fighters, resulting in two German and one Allied fighter getting shot down.

The Mustangs of 338 Sqn/55 FG (8th AF) - i.e. probably 15 to 18 Mustangs - attacked the formation of three Fw 190s led by Lang, and after Lang’s undercarriage and fallen down he was shot down and killed. This matches with the claims made by 338 Sqn/55 FG. But then one of Lang’s wingmen shot down a Spitfire, whose pilot was buried at the same place. That led Don to find another Allied unit participating in the attack against Lang’s formation: RAF ADGB 41 Squadron, which reported eight Spitfire XIIs attacking three Fw 190s in the same area. Don speculates that there may have been an additional Kette of three Fw 190s, which is not mentioned in the German report. (Caldwell, “JG 26 War Diary”, Vol. II, p. 343.)

Of course the Allies weren’t always able to make use of their numerical superiority. To quote Don Caldwell again, this time concerning 18 June 1944: “Addi Glunz took Uffz. Lissack, a young 7th Staffel pilot on a two-airplane evening sweep. They encountered a pair of tactical reconnaissance Mustangs from No. 414 Sqd. (RCAF) and shot them both down. The more experienced of the Geschwader’s pilots could best most Allied pilots in single combat, but such opportunities came rarely.” (Caldwell, “JG 26 War Diary”, Vol. II, pp. 281 - 282.)


In some cases, the Allied failure to make use of their numerical superiority did not work against the Allies. In order to pour some oil on troubled waters, I would like to repeat that I find no reason to question Franek’s claim that III./JG 1’s Hptm. Weber was shot down in a combat between 10 Bf 109s and 4 Polish Mustangs. In other words, I find no problem in admitting that Franek has convinced me in this particular case. So what? I am not personally involved.

In other cases, the numerical superiority would not save the Allies from sustaining bitter losses - like on US 4th FG’s last mission on 6 June 1944. David Clark writes that “P-51s of 334th FS, 335th FS and 336th FS of the US 8th AF 4th FG tangled with 10 Fw 190s. . .” (“Angels Eight”, p. 42.) I don’t know why Clark states that 10 P-51s were lost - due to “mechanical failure, a collision and heavy flak”. 4th FG’s report clearly states that there were “only” seven losses, and that most - if not all - were shot down by German fighters:

“Fifteen 109s and 190s bounced them out of the cloud cover. The entire section, consisting of Bernard McGratten, Harold Ross, Walter Smith, and Cecil Garbey, was shot down and all four pilots were killed. Later, at 2035 hours, Edward Stepp was heard over the radio to say to Mike Sobanski "Watch those behind you White Leader!" after Sobanski had requested a visual check of his aircraft after hitting some wires. Both were killed. As if that were not enough, Mike McPharlin, who was visiting his old squad, the 334th, on loan from the 339th Fighter Group in his 6N-Z, was lost after reporting his left magneto was out and he was aborting. He wanted to fly "the big one" with his old buddies. He was never heard from again. The totals for D-Day, 4 destroyed, 9 lost. Seven of the losses were on the final mission of the day.”

Obviously, Clark made a mistake when he placed this disastrous combat at “just after noon”, since the 4th FG report clearly states that it was “The last mission of the day [which also] was the worst for the 4th since its inception when 12 Spitfire MkIXs were lost near Morlaix, France”- i.e. at between 2030 and 2100 hours.

The “fifteen 109s and 190s” which bounced 4th FG clearly were a composite formation from JG 2 and 2./JG 26, led by Hptm. Herbert Huppertz. These German pilots claimed six Mustangs, one Thunderbolts and three Typhoons during this mission (of which Huppertz contributed a Mustang and a Thunderbolt). In all, these German pilots were engaged by at least the Mustangs of 4th and 352nd FG, the Thunderbolts of 56 FG, and Typhoons of 2nd TAF. Probably they were engaged by even further Allied units on this day - when the Luftwaffe fighters in France performed a total of 172 sorties throughout the day (divided between at least 13 separate missions from 0800 hrs to midnight ), versus 14,674 Allied sorties (including 2,185 by US 8th AF fighters) over the landing region.


All best,

Christer Bergström

http://www.graf-grislawski.elknet.pl/index.htm

http://www.bergstrombooks.elknet.pl/bc-rs/

http://www.bergstrombooks.elknet.pl/...-ace/index.htm

Franek Grabowski 3rd March 2005 11:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
To return to the original topic:
Don Caldwell provides us with an interesting research result on the circumstances during the death of another German “super veteran” -Hptm. Emil Lang (403 combat missions, 173 victories) - in the West on 3 September 1944:

I am not sure what does it have to the subject, Lang was killed already after the Normandy Campaign. Anyway I have no possibility to check any documents to verify the course of the combat.

Quote:

Of course the Allies weren’t always able to make use of their numerical superiority. To quote Don Caldwell again, this time concerning 18 June 1944: “Addi Glunz took Uffz. Lissack, a young 7th Staffel pilot on a two-airplane evening sweep. They encountered a pair of tactical reconnaissance Mustangs from No. 414 Sqd. (RCAF) and shot them both down. The more experienced of the Geschwader’s pilots could best most Allied pilots in single combat, but such opportunities came rarely.” (Caldwell, “JG 26 War Diary”, Vol. II, pp. 281 - 282.)
I cannot say FR Mustangs were fair opponent for the Germans. Always in unfavourable position, pilots trained to reconnaisance and not to dog-fight, sometimes not fit to fighter units.

Quote:

In other cases, the numerical superiority would not save the Allies from sustaining bitter losses - like on US 4th FG’s last mission on 6 June 1944. David Clark writes that “P-51s of 334th FS, 335th FS and 336th FS of the US 8th AF 4th FG tangled with 10 Fw 190s. . .” (“Angels Eight”, p. 42.) I don’t know why Clark states that 10 P-51s were lost - due to “mechanical failure, a collision and heavy flak”. 4th FG’s report clearly states that there were “only” seven losses, and that most - if not all - were shot down by German fighters:
The black day of 4FG is a quite well known episode but I would not follow your conclusions as to units engaged. It was a real mess. It is interesting to note that the German unit, JG2, performed quite well on the Invasion Front, despite not having Eastern Front experience.
I may add, that on the next day 355FG was also hit hard. But could you explain me what are you going to prove?

Leo Etgen 5th March 2005 06:10

Wurmheller
 
Hi Franek

Thanks for your reply to my post concerning Wurmheller. I appreciate your information that only one other loss is recorded for that date and it appears to have occured at a different location than the loss of Wurmheller. If I too remember correctly, the events were that his formation was escorting fighter-bombers when attacked by the Spitfire fighters of 411 Sqn, RCAF. His fighter went into a rapid climb but was attacked from above by F/O JW Fleming and exploded. I would like to thank you as well for your information concerning the unit involved in the loss of Weber.

Horrido!

Leo

Franek Grabowski 6th March 2005 10:26

Leo
The general problem is almost complete lack of accounts and documents from the German side. I cannot exclude that the circumstances of Wurmheller loss were different and even that he was not lost that day but as yet I think we must rely on Allied records and suplement them with known German data.
There is a lot to be done by the German researchers to document this period. ;)
PS Any particular interest in Weber?

dahiot daniel 6th March 2005 20:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Quote:

Originally Posted by Christer Bergstrom
Franek’s thesis “361FG was clearly involved in combat with JG11 and not JG2” is based on Clark’s personal assumption that 2./JG 11’s (not II./JG 11, as Clark writes) Ofw. Kokisch was shot down by 361 FG at around 0950 hours. (David Clark, CD “Daily Data tables of the Normandy Air War Diary”, 6 June 1944.) However, in the chronicle on JG1/11 (page 1020), Prien tells us that Ofw. Kokisch crashed at Rennes - which is too far away (100 miles) from the area where 361 FG operated to be explained as a mere navigational error.

This does not deny the fact 361 FG could fight with JG11.

Oberfeldwebel KOKISCH Heinz

After long month of researches in the region of Rennes to find Fw 190 of the Oberfeldwebel KOKISCH Heinz.

It was never found. The Oblt Fritz Engau to confuse with the loss of Uffz. Folger come across the front of invasion and buried to Rennes.

Oberfeldwebel KOKISCH that here was dead 8 June 44. (1st place of buried : cemetery of East of Caen. Banneville-la-Campagne, X, B - 4. 2st place of buried it 09/06/1944, cemetery of the La Cambe, block 30-6- 228.)

Without doubt loss in the morning of 8 June during its mission on it Riva Bella ?
Source documentation : (dossier KOKISCH Heinz) Wast Deutsche Dienststelle.

Dan

post edited by Ruy Horta

Leo Etgen 7th March 2005 06:24

Weber
 
Hi Franek

Thanks for your kind explanation concerning the gaps in known information relative to the day and period in question. As you pointed out, it may be that Wurmheller actually did collide with his wing man as is most often stated but if we take into account this Allied information we have the possibility that he was indeed shot down. As to Weber, I am interested in JG 51 aces in particular among those of the Luftwaffe and am always on the look-out for information about them. In the case of Weber, since he was a 100 plus victory ace, including many with the Fw 190 and his unusual end. I knew that he was killed by Polish flown RAF Mustangs but did not know the specific squadron that was involved until your post. As an aside, it is noteworthy how so many JG 51 aces began to increase their tallies upon conversion to the Fw 190, such as Brendel, Josten, Schack and Weber among others.

Horrido!

Leo

Franek Grabowski 7th March 2005 10:32

Dan
Do you have exact crash locations? I understand that Kokisch was buried in the nearest cemetery,

Leo
What would you say about particular pilot? ;)

dahiot daniel 7th March 2005 11:53

KOKISCH Heinz
 
Franek,


The burial Banneville-la-Campagne was used for all soldiers die in the region of Caen.

Impossible for the moment to know the place excat of the crash of KOKISCH Heinz.
It is well difficult to determine in this period after Day J in Normandy a such crash. Thousands of crashs on this territory.

Franek Grabowski 7th March 2005 13:50

Dan
I am not sure if I understood you correctly but it seems strange for me. I would expect the body to be buried at crashsite or the nearest cemetery initially and only then to reinterr it on a big one. Hmm.

Leo Etgen 9th March 2005 06:30

Weber & Wurmheller
 
Hi Franek

I will take the liberty of sharing the combat report of F/O Fleming kindly provided to me through e-mail by Ota Jivorec. I hope that you find it as interesting as I did.

22nd June 1944
441 Squadron
Spitfire IXB
1440 hours
Southeast of Domfront
One FW 190 destroyed

I was flying on the port side of Black Leader as Black 5. I sighted
two aircraft on the deck and immediately went down on them.

I took the leading aircraft and opened fire at approximately 400
yards. He broke immediately, and pulled straight up in the air. I
held my fire and, when within 50 yards of him, I saw strikes and
then he blew up. I flew through the debris and, upon returning to
base, found that a piece had been knocked off the tip of my
propeller. Also, only one cannon had fired.

I claim one FW 190 destroyed.

J.W. Fleming, Flying Officer

No assurance that it was Wurmheller but it may very well be describing the last moments of one of the Luftwaffe's greatest aces. Thank you Ota! As to Weber, I will limit myself to say that as he was one of only nine aces that claimed over a hundred victories with JG 51 he is of definite interest to me. I believe that he was a experienced and skilled veteran who flew over 500 missions and claimed 88 victories in 1943 and 26 in 1944, at a time when skilled Russian pilots had developed flying what were to be the primary types flown by the VVS such as the Il-2, LaGG-3, LaGG-5, Yak-7, Yak-9 and Pe-2. Most of his victims apperantly were the various Lavochkin and Yakovlev fighters, which would lead one to assume that he was skilled in air to air combat with enemy fighters. It is my personal opinion that one cannot draw conclusions as to the relative merits of air combat on the two fronts based upon the eventual fate of individual German aces. However, the fact remains that Weber was killed in action on his first mission over the Invasion Front. In my personal opinion, what this episode demonstrates is that even having the experience of over 500 missions and 136 victories against capable opponents is no guarantee of invincibility when facing well trained, experienced and skilled pilots flying excellent fighters, who did not necessarily always need rely upon numerical superiority to achieve success. After all, in the interest of fairness, it is my understanding that Weber and his comrades were also badly outnumbered on the Eastern Front as well. I would be pleased to read what you would have to write about this as you are a regular contributor to this board with far greater knowledge about the Luftwaffe than I do.

Horrido!

Leo

Ota Jirovec 9th March 2005 12:23

Fleming´s Combat Report
 
Perhaps I should add that this Combat Report of F/O Fleming was published in excellent John Foreman´s Fighter Command War Diaries, Volume 4. By the way, does anyone have a more accurate location of Wurmeheller crash than a rather vague Alencon area? After all, Domfront is still some 50 km WNW of Alencon although the location "Southeast of Domfront" makes the distance a little shorter.....

Ota

Franek Grabowski 9th March 2005 12:44

Re: Weber & Wurmheller
 
Leo
Thanks for the report (Ahoj Ota!), I am wondering what caused so violent explosion, petrol fumes perhaps? Anyway, a confirmed kill in my opinion.
Concerning Weber - the airman who likely downed him, flew fighters since 1939, took part in Polish Campaign, then France and then Britain. Although scored only 5 victories (2,1/3-2-0), he was certainly a very experienced pilot with hundreds of hours of flying time.
On the other hand Weber flew in a definetelly new environment and it is my impression that the Germans never got any experience in flying and fighting in large formations - this resulting in scattering of formations. Otherwise, Eastern Front was quite a comfortable place for fighters - Soviet aircraft had poor altitude performance and this allowed Weber and other to fly above them - height advantage is one of the principles of air combat since Roland Garros or Immelmann. Another problem is level of skills of Soviet airmen but if you want to follow the last two points I suggest to move to another already existing threads.
As a side note, I have heard that an article was recently published in France, where author compares Hartmann claims to recorded Soviet losses (based on archival research). Reputedly not very impressive overclaim ratio.

Christer Bergström 9th March 2005 14:14

Are you telling us that the mere fact that an Allied pilot claimed that he shot down a German fighter at Domfront, is enough to convince you that the German version that Wurmheller collided with his wingman at Alencon is wrong? And you don’t mind that the place of Wurmheller’s demise actually is 60 km from the place where that Allied pilot said that he had shot down a German plane? Alencon is a major town in the area, and Domfront is a small townlet 60 km away, but you still think that that Allied pilot used Domfront as a reference, despite the fact that he actually was flying near Alencon? Or maybe the easiest thing is to just assume that there were many things wrong with the German report? However, although we have been told several times on this board that the German reports are incomplete etc, you find it totally excluded that even if Fleming actually shot down a German plane (which is far from certain), it couldn’t have been another German plane than Wurmheller’s? Aren’t you guys just trying to press reality into your square form? I’d advice a little more caution. A historian would never accept such weak “circumstantial evicence”.

I could give you lots and lots of similar cases where a bit of “positive thinking” creates victors. Maybe there even was a Japanese pilot who claimed a victory somewhere on 6 August 1945, the day when the US top ace Dick Bong was killed? What? Killed in an accident near Burbank, California? But the Japanese pilot claimed that. . . :wink:

I wonder why none of the German pilots who flew on the Eastern Front for real, and not just read about it in books 60 years afterward, don’t agree with Franek in the notion that “Eastern Front was quite a comfortable place for fighters”. Maybe they never asked him?

I wonder how “comfortable” Karl-Heinz Weber thought it was to get shot down in air combat with Soviet aircraft on 3 September 1942?

Regarding the notion of Soviet numerical superiority in the air, it is true that the Soviets often held a certain numerical superiority in the air, but it never reached such “biblical” proportions on a major battle scene as the Allied numerical superiority over Normandy. Actually, the Luftwaffe often managed to attain a numerical superiority on vital sectors on the Eastern Front until as late as in 1945. In the area where Weber was shot down, and by the same time, the Germans recorded a total of 583 German and 698 Soviet air sorties each day. It would have been even worse to the Germans if the Soviets had been able to mount the 8:1 numerical superiority which the Allied airmen were fortunate to enjoy on average at Normandy. Imagine not 698, but 4,700 Soviet aircraft sorties encountering those 583 German sorties each day. That of course would have increased the German losses. Since it is more dangerous when there are 4,700 enemy aircraft around (the “Normandy proportion”) than when there are 698 enemy aircraft around, of course it was much more dangerous to fly over Normandy than on the Eastern Front. But to say that the Eastern Front was “a quite a comfortable place” is just not in line with reality. I wouldn’t even say that Normandy was a quite a comfortable place for Allied fighter pilots - even though they flew fighters which were almost as superior to the German aircraft as the Bf 109 F-2 was superior to the old I-16 Mark 24, and even though they had an average flight training consisting of 225 flight hours on operational aircraft against a mass of German rookies with only a dozen flight hours or so, and even though the Allies enjoyed a numerical superiority of 8:1 on average. Even a cursory look at the loss figures - an average of around two Allied aircraft were shot down in France in June 1944 for every German aircraft that they managed to destroy - shows that not even under those circumstances was it “a quite a comfortable place”.

This board is a quite a comfortable place. Anyone who suggests that war is a quite comfortable place maybe should ask someone who has been in a war.

Franek Grabowski 9th March 2005 20:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
Are you telling us that the mere fact that an Allied pilot claimed that he shot down a German fighter at Domfront, is enough to convince you that the German version that Wurmheller collided with his wingman at Alencon is wrong?

I never claimed that Wurmheller was downed by Fleming but that there is such a possibility.

Quote:

And you don’t mind that the place of Wurmheller’s demise actually is 60 km from the place where that Allied pilot said that he had shot down a German plane?
German records say: Caen-N Alencon. Quite an area, is not it?

Quote:

Or maybe the easiest thing is to just assume that there were many things wrong with the German report?
At the moment you reffer to a German report. Apparently I do not know of its existence, therefore I ask you to publish it here. I will gladly accept that Wurmheller went down in collision but I would like to know where and when exactly, in what circumstances and with whom he collided.

Quote:

A historian would never accept such weak “circumstantial evicence”.
Several historians accepted that Katyn massacre was done by Germans and I am not a historian.

Quote:

I wonder why none of the German pilots who flew on the Eastern Front for real, and not just read about it in books 60 years afterward, don’t agree with Franek in the notion that “Eastern Front was quite a comfortable place for fighters”. Maybe they never asked him?
Perhaps they like fairy tales?

Quote:

I wonder how “comfortable” Karl-Heinz Weber thought it was to get shot down in air combat with Soviet aircraft on 3 September 1942?
Doubtless much more comfortable comparing to what he felt in his last seconds on 7 June 1944!

Quote:

This board is a quite a comfortable place. Anyone who suggests that war is a quite comfortable place maybe should ask someone who has been in a war.
Oh yes, glamour of a fighter pilot, well supplied NAAFI, always smiling WAAFs, London by night, plenty of lonely girls, the war can be comfortable and I have heard that. ;)

More seriously, bulk of Soviet aircraft and Soviet airmen could not outperform German aircraft and German airmen. Through most of the war Soviets could not get height advantage which is one of the principles of the success in air combat. Through most of the war Soviets were unable to catch German aircraft.
In other words, German fighter pilots died due to bad luck or their own errors. Do you think it was any different in Poland in 1939? Most of the Polish victories were achieved because of the reasons mentioned above - no wonder, having in mind P.11 was able to fly as fast as Hs 126. Skills of Polish pilots only allowed to make use of those errors. The situation in the Soviet Union was no different.

Leo Etgen 10th March 2005 19:31

Wurmheller
 
Hi guys

I thought that I was being cautious when I mentioned "No assurance that it was Wurmheller but it may very well be describing the last moments of one of the Luftwaffe's greatest aces." Ota also pointed out that the locations do not match up entirely. It is an interesting speculation, an exchange of opinions, that we were engaged in as to what may have occurred to Wurmheller, not an attempt to press reality into a square form, at least on my part. As I see it, what we have is an Allied pilot claiming to have shot down a German fighter in the general area where Wurmheller was lost. That is all, nothing more. I agree that overall the VVS did not enjoy such a numerical advantage over the Luftwaffe as the Western Allies did over Normandy, quite possibly due to the huge front which the VVS was engaged in. However, I have read that by June 1944 on the central sector where JG 51 was stationed, Russian aircraft outnumbered German aircraft by five to one (Operation Bagration). Is this correct, Mr. Bergström? A note: please gentlemen, I am not attempting to denigrate Eastern nor Western pilots. I believe all sides had equally skilled fighter pilots. Let us please not take one person's opinions as a personal affront.

Horrido!

Leo

Christer Bergström 10th March 2005 21:28

You are right. As I wrote in Jagdwaffe, Vol. 5, Section 2, “The War in the East 1944 - 45”:

“Contrary to popular belief, the Soviets only rarely possessed the same numerical superiority in the air as the Western Allies attained over the Normandy invasion area in the summer of 1944. . . . However, during Operation 'Bagration', the major Soviet offensive in June and July 1944 which resulted in the destruction of Army Group Centre, the Soviet commanders created a massive concentration of aircraft that vastly outnumbered those available to Luftflotte 6, the local air command covering the area occupied by Army Group Centre.”

When Bagration was launched, there were 7,790 Soviet aircraft in the region, as opposed to 836 aircraft in Luftflotte 6.

III./JG 11 arrived straight from operations over the Normandy landing area to reinforce Luftflotte 6, but the average level of pilot experience in III./JG 11was below that of most Eastern Front Jagdgruppen, and it therefore sustained some severe losses. III./JG 11 sustained 23 pilot casualties on the Eastern Front between late June and the end of August 1944. In comparison, this Geschwader's II. Gruppe, which remained in the West, sustained the same number of casualties while operating against the USAAF and RAF in the same period. In early September 1944, the badly depleted III./JG 11 was withdrawn from first-line service and its surviving pilots were given a period of rest in Germany while the gaps from the losses were filled by inexperienced replacements.

Leo Etgen 11th March 2005 06:46

II./JG 1
 
Hi Christer

Thank you for your kind response to my question. The same source from which I obtained that information also states that during this time the Germans claimed some 2,800 victories and the Russians claimed some 1,500 victories. If this is so it goes to demonstrate the usual heavy attrition that large scale offensive action usually entails. This proportion is very similar to that over Normandy. Concerning Normandy, here is a link to an interesting article relating II./JG 1's experiences which you may or may not know about: http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/2072/FGnorm.html

Horrido!

Leo

kb 13th August 2005 22:10

Re: Luftwaffe Aces KIA in Normandy in 1944
 
While not he was not KIA, it appears from the records I have reviewed that I/JG5 Kdr Weissenberg was downed on this date by Col. Glenn Duncan of 353FG. Duncan's encounter report mentions the last ME109 aircraft he shot down was marked with "chevrons", which sounds similar to the markings described on Weissenberg's aircraft in the loss records listed in Frappe's book.

Can anyone confirm this?


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