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Old 30th December 2014, 01:58
GuerraCivil GuerraCivil is offline
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Re: True air combat records of Spanish Civil War?

Scratching little the "confirmed" air victories of Legion Condor.

As a case study I have started to look on air victory claims related to campaigns at the Northern Front of Spanish Civil War in 1937. In this case it was easy to compare to the number of claims regarding "Ratas" (I-16) with the number of available "Moscas" for the enemy.

The result showed that Legion Condor pilots claimed 17 "Ratas" destroyed during the campaigns on Vizcaya, Santander and Gijón:

4.1.1937 Harder and Houwald claimed a I-16 each
13.8.1937 Boddem claimed a I-16
15.8.1937 Rempel claimed a I-16
17.8.1937 Boddem claimed a I-16
22.8.1937 Lützow, Flegel and Pingel claimed a I-16 each
4.9.1937 Seiler claimed I-16
6.9.1937 Boddem claimed I-16
9.9.1937 Brücker claimed I-16
23.9.1937 Schlichling claimed I-16
27.9.1937 Harder claimed 2 x I-16
28.9.1937 Harder claimed I-16
30.9.1937 Flegel claimed I-16
13.10.1937 Harder claimed I-16

+ "probables" (Balthasar on 20.1.1937 + Flegel on 18.8.1937)

In total 17 "confirmed" I-16 + 2 "probable" I-16. Some of these claims can be verified by Republican records. But not all, because it is just impossible. Republicans delivered to Northern Front in total 17 I-16 planes, of which one escaped to France before the fall of Gijón on 21.10.1937 which ended the war in Northern Spain. In total Republicans lost in Northern Front 16 Moscas for all causes, and in these losses one should count one I-16 captured intact by the Nationalists.

One should also remember that Legion Condor was not alone operating against the weak Republican air forces at the North. Also the Italian Aviazione Legionaria and Spanish Nationalist pilots took part in air combats with their Fiat CR 32 fighters. They made also many claims including at least 3 confirmed "Ratas" during the Santander offensive.

Patrick Laureau´s remark in Condor: With hindsight, the claims against the weak Republican fighter forces on the northern front continued rather too quickly if one considers the number of actual airplanes available to sustain the "Red" resistance.
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