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Old 5th March 2005, 06:43
Six Nifty .50s Six Nifty .50s is offline
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Six Nifty .50s
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
I found the loss figures for the Luftwaffe in the Mediterranean area suspiciously high in Williamson Murray’s “Luftwaffe” (published in 1985). According to Williamson Murray, the Luftwaffe lost no less than 282 aircraft, including 124 fighters, in the Mediterranean area in January 1943 alone. (Murray, “Luftwaffe”, p. 211.)

Due to “Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen” and the daily returns to Generalquartiermeister der Luftwaffe, the Luftwaffe fighter units in the Mediterranean sustained the following aircraft losses in air combat in January 1943:

II./JG 2: 2
JG 27: 0
II./JG 51: 7
JG 53: 8
JG 77: 15

Total sum: 32.

That should be compared with Murray’s figure of 124 Luftwaffe fighters lost in the Mediterranean in January 1943
What about twin-engined German fighters?

You cannot hide them behind names like Zerstorer, Panzerjager, and Nachtjager because the Allies used singles and twins for the same tasks, and convoy patrols. Allied single-engined planes were also used for dive-bombing, so if you intend to count their losses then you should count the Stuka losses as well.

By the way, you missed 1./Sch.G 2 which had three staffeln of Bf 109s, along with one staffel of twelve Hs 129s. In January 1943 the remaining Hs 129s were lost when the Eighth Army advanced on the Libyan capital. I'm not sure if there was any flyable Hs 129s left when the staffel evacuated to Bari, Italy for refit.

The original Bf 109-equipped III./ZG 1 was redesignated 1./Sch.G 2 (the unit mentioned above) and a new III./ZG 1 was formed with Me 210s, in November 1942.

I'm not certain about the total number of ZG, NJG and Stuka units in the Mediterranean Theatre during January 1943. By that time the German petrol stocks were seriously depleted and that may have restricted flying, and therefore reduced crashes.

Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
The website you refer to lists all aircraft above 10 % damage degree. Losses of 60 % damage degree and above were total losses, i.e. destroyed. All other aircraft were in repairable condition.

You may count all damaged aircraft if you like, but that doesn’t show real losses, does it?
You certainly have massaged the numbers in favor of the Germans. How many of those damaged German planes were actually repaired -- or cannibalized for spare parts?