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Old 3rd February 2012, 15:56
Andrey Kuznetsov Andrey Kuznetsov is offline
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Dogfights over Sworbe 18-23.Nov.1944 questions. Part 1. German claims vs Soviet losses

Hello, friends!

Some data and questions about dogfights over Sworbe - southern part of Ösel (Saaremaa) Island, Estonia.

18.Nov.44 began final Soviet assault against German bridgehead on Sworbe. Despite shortage of aviation fuel and tense situation in Kurlandkessel, Germans used most of fighter and ground attack units of 1.Luftflotte in attempt to prevent the collapse of bridgehead. Also, fighters were used as a cover for Kriegsmarine units in the area, including powerful 2.Kampfgruppe (heavy cruiser Adm.Scheer and destroyers).

German air-to air claims were following:

18.Nov.44: according to Tony Wood’s well known list, no Luftwaffe claims that day.
But according to German 16.Army documents, off Sworbe fighter shot down 1 Il-2.
Indeed, 1 Il-2 (448.ShAP 281.ShAD 13.Air Army) was damaged during FW190 attack, but managed to made belly landing in open space, remained repairable.

19.Nov.44, according to various AOK.16 reports, 3 or 4 Soviet aircrafts were shot down by fighters off Sworbe. Really, only one Il-2 was damaged, but managed to return to his airfield.

In the Wood’s list are 2 claims for 19.Nov.44:
Oblt. Kittel 2./JG 54 La-5 Qu.29 754: tiefflug 11:40 (13:40 MSC)
Really Il-2 (703.ShAP 281.ShAD 13.Air Army) was damaged, see above.

Uffz. Sporer Stab II./JG 54 Yak-9 Qu.29 781: at 100 m.] 13:05 (15:05 MSC)
Really no losses

20-22.Nov.44
Bad weather, no claims.

23.Nov.44
According to AOK.16 documents, 4 Soviet aircrafts were short down by fighters. Real number = 3.

Wood’s list contains 3 items:

Ltn. Thaler 4./JG 54 Il-2 Qu.28 175: at 20 m. 08.16 (10:16 MSC)
Ltn. Thyben 5./JG 54 Il-2 Qu.28 183: at 10 m. 08.20 (10:20 MSC)
Both claims are correct – 2 Il-2 (35.ShAP 9.ShAD Baltic Fleet Air Forces) shot down.

Ofw. Kroschinski 3./JG 54 Yak-9 Qu.28 117: at 500 m. 10.06 (12:06 MSC)
Claim is correct too – Yak-9 (12.IAP 9.ShAD Baltic Fleet Air Forces) shot down.

So, 5 claims against 3 real losses (Woods) are relatively good ratio.
8-9 claims against 3 losses + 2 damaged a/c (AOK16) seems relatively good too.

Anyway, the influence of Luftwaffe efforts on the overall situation was insignificant.

Soviet claims vs. reality seems more poor, but some additional info requires (see the Part 2 a bit later).

The difference between Wood’s list and numbers in AOK.16 documents appeared maybe because Army documents counted claims of III./SG3 (FW190F) and maybe even NAGr5 (Bf109G).

QUESTION: Are the claims from SG3, NAGr5 and maybe other units on 18-23.Nov.44 in Sworbe area exists?

Best regards,
Andrey
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