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Old 16th August 2010, 22:58
Jochen Prien Jochen Prien is offline
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Luftwaffe claims for British shipping in November 1940


in November 1940 the Luftwaffe reverted to attacks on the British coastal shipping in the Channel; JG 53 was frequently employed on escort sorties for the Ju 87 that were detailed to attack convoys and single ships in the Thames estuary and off the southern and southeastern coast of the UK.

It is a well known fact that Luftwaffe claims against allied shipping were often wildly exaggerated, one of the first good examples during the BoB period being the attacks on the convoy CW-08 PEEWIT in early August 1940.

My question concerns four days in November 1940 when parts of JG 53 were active as escort for Ju 87 units attacking British shipping in the Thames Estuary:

November 1st - at 15.30 hrs. Stukas attacked 18 ships in the Thames Estuary claiming to have sunk five totalling 20.000 BRT.

November 7th - at 13.40 hrs. Ju 87 claimed to have scored hits on four freight ships south of Southend; in five attacks on this day a total of 30 to 40.000 BRT of shipping was claimed to have been sunk.

November 8th - at 17.30 hrs. Stukas claimed to have severely damaged two heavy cruisers east of Southend and to have sunk a merchant ship, damaging another.

November 11th - at 13.20 hrs. two coastal convoys were attacked by Ju 87 off Margate and in the Thames Estuary; the overall claims fpr the day were for five ships totalling 37.000 BRT sunk and three more with 13.000 BRT damaged.

Now, there can be no doubt that these claims were by far exaggerated -but what were the true results of these attacks ? I would be very grateful for any detailed information.


Jochen Prien
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