Thread: Tunisian losses
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Old 22nd March 2005, 20:23
Andreas Brekken's Avatar
Andreas Brekken Andreas Brekken is offline
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Re: Tunisian losses

Hi, guys.

I do believe the only way we can get any further regarding this issue is to get down to the basis and the hard records that does exist today.

I am also unable to check my records against Your comments here, especially when they are written like 'for the unit I checked some losses seem not to be recorded' like Franek just did. No negative remark really Franek, I just do not want to write an answer regarding apples, when You were counting beans....

There is one source in particular on the German side that has not been mantioned here in detail, namely the 'Summarische Verlustemeldungen' for the units involved. They do not give the details, but they definitely give the number of losses recorded.

I am currently doing some work in regards to checking these against the 'Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen' as published oin Michael Holm's web site. There are discrepancies, but it seems (conclusion this far) that these can be based on the following: Report timespan (losses recorded with dates just before a shortly after the end/start of the month not showing in correct monthly return), and unit dispositions (these records are by Gruppe, and thus a Gruppen-TO or clerk could have had problems obtaining the correct figures for his return, especially when seen against the above dating 'problem').

I will look further into this, and report my findings later.

Also as a general comment - an aircraft damage with a loss percentage BELOW 10% is not reported as an aircraft loss. In my work with the GenQu 6 Abt loss records, I have come across numerous records that are recorded and later stricken with the comment saying: 'Streiche .... da Flzg unter 10% beschädigt'. This could even happen if the pilot or a crew member was killed!

To know how the system that generated our sources worked is especially important when discussing like we do here, I even feel that some of the participants have not fully understood and studied the loss return system of the WWII Luftwaffe based on original documents, but are referring to secondary sources that are at best an authors comprehension of a given event.

Also one VERY important message, You cannot read the GenQu6 Abt listings to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth without comparing esplly to the above mentioned 'Summarische Verlustemeldungen'. The reason being of course that none of us have access to the returns for the following dates (without doing backwards reconstruction from other sources):

January 2nd 1944 - January 28th 1945
February 21st 1945 - February 26th 1945 (current research hints towards these never being completed)
All records after April 1st, 1945

The reason I am saying this is that the records for 1944 most probably contain a multitude of corrections and amendments to the records for 1943.