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Old 13th March 2015, 14:43
GuerraCivil GuerraCivil is offline
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Re: Morato's Air Combat Victories

It is quite easy to see that García Morato participated in quite a few air combats, in which Nationalist side overclaimed - sometimes very highly. Overclaims of 3:1 or more were common in air combat reports of both sides of Spanish Civil War.

But when it comes to individual overclaiming, it is very difficult to tell which pilots overclaimed in some particular combats. Lets say that García Morato participates and makes a claim in air combat in which Nationalists claimed 5 enemy planes, when actual enemy losses are 2. How can we tell that García Morato´s claim is one of two "legitimate" claims or one of three "overclaims"? We can of course try to study as carefully the combat reports of both sides of that air combat to find out the truth, but I`m afraid that even that would not give us the absolute truth. One should add that at operational pilot and unit level overclaiming was often done with good faith and without propagandistic aims.

I have not yet gone enough carefully the list of all García Morato´s claims to find out in which cases his claims are "undisputed" matching perfectly with known enemy records and there being no "competing" claims of other Nationalist pilots.

However my guess is that "undisputed" air victory claims after the most very careful research are less than those which are more or less involved with some overclaiming at unit level (Morato having made claims in air combats in which it can be showed that Nationalists overclaimed to lesser or bigger scale). And then there are usual cases when enemy plane has been damaged and has been smoking but nevertheless made it back to home or succesfull force-landing behind own lines.

And this most probably goes for almost all other aces of both sides of Spanish Civil War. At best we can try to "eliminate" overclaiming at operational unit level but to do that with all individual pilots is practically impossible.
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