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Old 26th August 2019, 23:58
INM@RLM INM@RLM is offline
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Re: [New Edition]Henschel Hs 129 Panzerjäger by Martin Pegg

This is a response volunteered to address the post of 24th August 2019 from Dénes Bernád.

Thank you for sharing those snippets, Dénes. Forgive me please if I make a few observations.

Item #1: W.Nr. 140448
I am left scratching my head as to how you can think that W.Nr. 140448 might indicate a new Hs 129 W.Nr. block when the blocks from W.Nr. 0151 to 0450 have long been definitively documented. This is W.Nr. 0448. It is understandable that Rumanian Air Force personnel outside a tiny few would not have understood the evolution of RLM Werk-Nummern presentations assigned to the Hs 129 and could easily have come to think that all Hs 129 W.Nrn. had a 14 stuck at the front. After all, the German W.Nrn. were not widely used or referred to in the Rumanian Air Force. (See on please to the Afterword at the foot of this post.)

Item #2: W.Nr. 142011
Sits immediately after the reconstructed block of 10: W.Nr. 142001 to 142010. Known within this block are 2001/2/3/4 & 6 (=5 so 50%). You also have a W.Nr. 142000 but that is not visible on the aircraft with tail number 113 where this attribution appears in the photo caption. 142011 like 142000 is not impossible but in the absence of any other W.Nr. identifications between 2006 and 2011 neither is it outright convincing either. One would also need to assess the quality of the source. [It also has to be said of W.Nr. 142000 that it’s a very early (1943 surely?) Esc. 41 tail number to be borne by an Hs 129 with such a high (c.July 1944) W.Nr. After all tail number 115 was reported damaged on 19-Aug-43 and it was likely these Eskadrila-specific tail numbers were assigned sequentially.]

Item #3: W.Nr. 141886
Sits immediately after the reconstructed block of 60: W.Nr. 141821 to 141880. 13 identities (so 38% of the 60) are known from this block starting at W.Nr. 141828 and ending with W.Nr. 141878/9/80. At this late stage of the war, it is possible the block began at W.Nr. 141828 and ended at 141887 (or W.Nr. 141827 to 141886). But it's also possible there is a typo in this W.Nr. number somewhere. Neither possibility would make it evidence of a new block. (And before changing any block boundaries, I think I'd want see another identification in the span W.Nr. 141881 to 141885, whilst the range W.Nr. 141821 to 141826 still remained empty.) As always, in the absence of any explicit documentation for the specific W.Nr. block, and without any guidance from having a known final Stammkz. letter, it's a best-fit-to-the-data reconstruction and not all of the data always fits in neatly. In short, there is always a handful of anomalies in any data set that are most likely pure errors of one sort or another.

Item #4: W.Nr. 141994
This sits in the gap of ten between W.Nr. 141961 to 141990 (30) and W.Nr. 142001 to 142010 (10), the latter already referred to above in Item #2. Also not impossible but there are 13 identities known in the lower-numbered block spanning 141962 to 141989 (so 43% of the 30). It's also possible there is a typo in this W.Nr. number, maybe it was W.Nr. 141984 (currently no record)? At most this identification of W.Nr. 141994 might link these two blocks into a single block of 50 but that still doesn’t make it into a new block.

So Item #1 fails the most basic test. However, taking Item’s #2 to #4 together, there could be some doubt around the precise borders of some of the later blocks. The maximum total area of uncertainty though is at most about 21 W.Nr. (141881 to 141886, 141991 to 142000, and possibly 142011 to 142015). What there is not in your offerings is any evidence of any missing W.Nr. blocks.
An objective reader would probably judge that you have yet to prove your contention that “I can firmly state that Martin Pegg has missed a few production blocks”. Perhaps there is something more substantial that you could offer in support of your claim?

There are error rates in all sets of records. However, there is a particular and fundamental problem with placing reliance on any Hs 129 Werk-Nummern drawn from Rumanian records. The overwhelming photographic evidence is that as soon as Rumanian Air Force camouflage and markings were painted on an Hs 129, the W.Nr. on the tail was painted over and the Rumanian Air Force tail number (TNr) became the sole remaining identification marking carried by the aircraft. [I can find only a few Rumanian-marked Hs 129s still bearing a W.Nr. - the page references in the following listing are to Martin Pegg's Edition 2 since that is all I currently have immediately to hand: 1. W.Nr. unreadable but 4 digits/TNr 321a? (background p.142tp); 2. W.Nr 140742/TNr 115 (p.143mid); 3. W.Nr 141268/TNr 228 (p.144tp); 4. W.Nr. 140719/TNr 215 (p.149tp); 5. W.Nr. 0152/TNr 233 (pp.204tp & 205paintg). That’s not many out of the scores supplied.]

Hence there is a basic contradiction here as to how much accuracy and attention would have been paid to a W.Nr. identity that the Rumanian Air Force had decided was of no importance, and which could now only be found by going to the aircraft’s Lebenslaufakte or inspecting the manufacturer’s plate on the aircraft.

For examples of the Hs 129 allocated to Rumania by the Luftwaffe, the only Rumanians that would have been interested professionally in accurately tracking the RLM-assigned W.Nr. of a Rumanian Hs 129 airframe would have been the handful of staff involved with indenting for additional Hs 129s to be supplied by the Germans and supporting such requests with the W.Nr. identities of the Rumanian Hs 129s written off or sent back damaged. All of that could be simply accomplished by carefully keeping a single master list cross-referenced between the always-unique assignment of a Rumanian tail number and each individual Hs 129 RLM W.Nr.

These extracts in your post do not appear to come from such a listing. Indeed there is no way of telling what sort of a listing they actually do come from, and you have not enlightened us on this aspect. In fact you have edited your examples to the extent that they are now meaningless as regards their context.

To expand this point a little, if these W.Nr. are extracted from a Rumanian report of the ex-Luftwaffe Hs 129s abandoned in Rumania after the surrender to the Soviets, then many of those could have been wrecked in varying degrees, some severely. As is not infrequently evidenced in the RAF's Crashed Enemy Aircraft Reports, in such cases picking out the W.Nr. with complete accuracy was not always feasible, and sometimes educated guesses were made of what a particular digit might be in the case of a partly destroyed or partly obscured W.Nr..

Given the clear evidence for how little significance the RLM W.Nr. had in Rumanian records, my suggestion is that any evidence from this source needs to be demonstrably shown to be comparable in quality and credibility to the standards of Luftwaffe loss records.

Last edited by INM@RLM; 27th August 2019 at 08:44. Reason: typos
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