Thread: Tunisian losses
View Single Post
Old 22nd March 2005, 07:52
Juha's Avatar
Juha Juha is offline
Alter Hase
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Finland
Posts: 1,427
Juha is on a distinguished road
Re: Tunisian losses

Hello Christer
You wrote:" according to Playfair’s 40-year old book, explicitly and admittedly flawed by difficulties to obtain accurate Luftwaffe loss statistics,..."

Don't underestimate the book, the writers, who all were rather high-ranking officers (group captain, captain, RN, brigadier and major general) had access to all official documents, also those that were then and rather long time afterwards officially secret and so unavailable to other researchers, especially to civilians and they also got help and co-operation from official historians and from archives in other countries, for example from Germany and US. So problemsstemmed probably more on the fact that so much LW documents had been destroyed than an ability to track the material. But of course the book is old.

Christer wrote:"Playfair's source for Allied losses also are flawed, since he writes - according to Juha: "Eastern Air Command flew an estimated total of 1,710 sorties and lost at least 45 a/c". - At least 45 aircraft? And Playfair apparently continues like that whenever he talks about Allied losses: "they lost at least. . ." or "so far as is recorded. . .""

I don't see that as a problem, see above, but rather as a good professional practice. They might have noticed that there might have been gaps in their source material or that maybe there might have been losses that had not been property documented in the official documents and they made that clear to their readers. That was double important in this case because, as I wrote above, they had access to materials that were inaccessable to other researches. The problems with some US losses during the early part of Tunisian campaign is well known, for example.

OK back to work