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Old 13th March 2014, 16:54
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
Alter Hase
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado USA
Posts: 2,979
Larry Hickey
Re: Posting to the Allied Discussion form on British forces present at the Battle of The Heligoland Bay: 18 December 1939


What you say may be true; victory lists are a very tricky subject. I'm not sure at this point how you're going to get at more accurate information than what has been published by Dr Prien and his team. Winfried Bock does all of the victory lists for the JFV series, and he is the one who published the magazine article back in 1983 that tried to explain why the German victory claims were so high. Unfortunately, this advanced the whole idea of their being many more British aircraft present that day, but, which, of course, was based upon the original erroneous wartime German intelligence assessment, which was wrong.

You are in the same situation that Winfried faced 31 years ago: how could the German victory claims/confirmations be 400-500% too high? That is why it was so important to confirm the numbers of actual British bombers present that day, which is now certain. I'm assuming that Bock used all the information available to him and Hans Ring, who was his partner on the subject during that time. I'm not sure that more reliable information on times for the German victory claims are going to be available at this point, but I'll be the first to congratulate you if you can shed more meaningful light on the subject. I just don't know where you're going to find such information. Perhaps some of the surviving KTBs and FB may shed some light on this, but you would expect those to be consistent with the surviving "official" German records on the subject.

If you want to continue this discussion "off-board" I'm willing to do so, but I'm not optimistic you are going to find the answers that you are looking for. I'll not discourage the search, however.

Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator