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Old 28th February 2005, 20:30
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
Alter Hase
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 2,282
Franek Grabowski is on a distinguished road
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.
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