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Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the German Luftwaffe and the Air Forces of its Allies.

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  #21  
Old 29th July 2005, 09:11
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Re: Luftwaffe data from ULTRA

Firstly, SES, thanks for your feedback on the Air Ministry report. As mentioned previously, such reports are the best estimate of what Air Ministry Intelligence thought was going on and you have highlighted perfectly the pitfalls of using such material - it can be used as a starting point but all such information should be checked and validated against another independant source.

How truly spoken. I was trying to make this point in another thread, but it got lost in personal quarrels. “These accounts cannot be trusted without cross reference to original German documents on the same subject”. http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=1874&page=2&pp=10



Anoher such example are the Operational Research Section estimates of cause of loss for missing Bomber Command aircraft on night raids (as contained in the ORS Interception Tactics Reports and Final Reports of Night Raids). Of course, these are based on reports by returning crews but even in March 1945, for example, 30-50% of losses at night are still attributed to flak. IMHO, this figure includes attacks by night fighters from below using dim tracer (and thus being described as light flak by returning crews).


Yes a very odd conclusion. How on earth could anybody believe that 20 mm Flak could make it all the way to 20.000 ft AND be effective? But both parties did. During allied raids the light Flak was firing madly and I guess ineffectively, and allied crews concluded that 20 mm holes had been made by Flak.

However, some clarifying points:

The intrepretation by ADI of the captured Duisburg flak map was that it had the potential Oboe course lines marked on it, based on the positions of the Oboe ground stations. It was assumed that to correctly predict the course of an Oboe-equipped aircraft, the broadcasting stations being used would have to be known in order to know which course lines were being used. It was further assumed that this technique could be more accurate than straight plotting by interrogation. I am not saying this is neccessarily a correct assumption but only what the report is saying.


The Naxburg was very accurate, 1 degree in azimuth and elevation is the quoted figure, but the true give away was the Morse signals exchanged between the ground station and the aircraft.



With regards to the late war H2S usage, the operational orders and Interception Tactics reports that I have for Jan-Mar 45 make it clear that signals silence was imposed up to the frontier so that H2S etc was only used in enemy territory.


When doing shallow penetrations, the Stream was over newly liberated territory most of the way, here GEE and radio beacons could be used for navigation. For deeper penetrations H2S was used over enemy territory.

Signal silence may have been imposed by the higher-ups, but each crew had their personal opinion and it seems to me that they exercised that. A grievous example was the use of IFF. Early on a superstition spread among bomber crews that the IFF had some sort of interfering effect on the Würzburg used for directing Flak. So the crews left it on and the sets were even modified with a “J”-switch in order for the equipment to transpond even if it was not interrogated. This led to the German development of the Freya Flamme, which could receive the transponded signal and thus track a/c’s utilizing IFF.

I June RAFBC conducted an evaluation of the Luftwaffe Control and Reporting organization (Exercise POST MORTEM). The system was intact in Denmark and all the personnel had been retained with this exercise in mind. The evaluation consisted of a number of raids being flown by about 200 a/c with or without ECM support. “In all exercises except (1), (11) and (12) radio silence is to be imposed i.a.w. normal BC practice” (quote from OPORD). In spite of this IFF and H2S was intercepted and exploited by the German organization on almost all the exercises. Old habits die very hard indeed.



In March 1945, for example, the PFF was generally NOT laying ground markers (my understanding is that the route markers were Skymarkers) for turning points (and I have confirmed this with ex-aircrews) and the radar signals ban equally applied to them. Of course, individual crews did break the rules and thus gave the Luftwaffe the opportunity to detect signals. In the main, many bomber streams, based on W/T sigint, were not clearly plotted early, or at least not until after they had passed through the mandrel screen and when the usual tactics of ,firstly, sending in a shallow penetrating force, followed by a deeper penetration force, both via France and/or Belguim, the latter force was usually not heard to be plotted until well over the frontier. The trend that followed is that if the initial penetration was shallow (i.e. to the Ruhr), losses where generally light as the night fighters could not get into position to intercept in time but when the penetration was deep, or took a deeper route, the first bomber stream often suffered heavy losses while the later stream had a comparitively easier time of it.

I agree completely with this assessment.



IMHO, some of the successful inflitrations of night fighters into the bomber stream in March 1945, owed just as much to fortuitous initial positioning of n/fs around beacons and/or correct analysis of intentions (based on repeated operational patterns of Bomber Command) as to early and clear detection of the bomber stream route.


And you cannot argue with success. If in golf you do a “worm-burner” of 125 yards it’s actually immaterial how the ball got there. You are 125 yards closer to the pole (almost).

If you are prepared to wait for the publication of Dr. Theo Boiten's 'Nachtjagd War Diaries', late next year, you will find some quite detailed descriptions of the course of some of these nightly air battles, including details of the moves by the fighter controllers.


I will look forward to that with great expectations.
bregds
SES
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  #22  
Old 29th July 2005, 12:45
RodM RodM is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe data from ULTRA

Hi SES,


thanks for your reply. I should point out that many of the raids analysed in March 1945 re: the L/F claims were relatively low level affairs (i.e. 8,000 - 14,000 ft). In one case the ORS made the statement that the L/F reported by crews for one loss could've been actually a night fighter.

Also, on the scant number of reports that I have, the ORS damage teams who inspected damaged bombers that returned home, were well aware of the damage caused by night fighters and the calibre of the weapons used. An interesting ORS Report, finished in May 1945, analysed in detail the contributory factors that lead to the loss of the bombers shot down during 'Gisela' on the 3/4 March 1945. It was seen as an unprecedented opportunity, mainly because they could analyse a number of shot down aircraft that they normally wouldn't have access to (for obvious reasons!).

The report concluded from inspection of the wreckage and interrogation of surviving crew members that:

(i) fire is the major agent for the destruction of aircraft shot down by night fighters (as opposed to hitting the pilot or a vital aircraft component)

(ii) there was no significant difference between the damage suffered by the shot down bombers and the damage suffered by bombers returning from raids

(iii) a significant proportion of fighter attacks are a complete surprise to the crew.

Cheers

Rod
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  #23  
Old 29th July 2005, 12:57
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Re: Luftwaffe data from ULTRA

Thanks Rod,
Yes the Schräge Musik was a nasty piece of kit.
bregds
SES
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  #24  
Old 31st July 2005, 00:46
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Re: Luftwaffe data from ULTRA

Hi SES,


some of the following files from the British National Archives may be of interest to you. These are files that I have noted but have not investigated yet. I should add that there is a whole range of technical files in AIR 40 series, that I haven't noted, dealing with specific radar and radio devices. The last two are listed for the benefit of the board community:

AIR40/1394 Germany: the history of German night fighting; A.D.I.(K) Report No. 416/1945 1945 Dec
AIR40/1395 Germany: G.A.F. night fighters; developments in night fighting and organisation and control on the Western Front 1945 Jan.- Mar
AIR40/1386 Germany: report on G.A.F. night fighter system; a post mortem 1946
AIR40/1343 Beacon Bible : German visual and radio beacons, code-names and locations 1944 Apr.-1945 Feb
AIR40/2472 History of German night fighting 1940-45
AIR14/1377 Countermeasures against transmissions to enemy night fighters
HW13/64 German RDF and techniques for control of interceptions of bomber formations 1940-41
AIR13/65 Surveys and analyses of German night defence methods
AIR14/2503 Enemy night fighter defences
HW2/99 Reports on enemy a/c activity in response to Allied operations. Reports by Det ''A'', Cheadle Apr-May 45
AIR51/292 Intelligence section: Signals: German Air Force radio telegraphy (R/T) activity: night fighters 44-45




AIR40/1691 Official regulations re credit for victories achieved by the G.A.F. and associated arms. Translated from Luftwaffen Verordnungsblatt 28 April 1941
AIR40/1471 Translations No. 86: German combat reports Aug. 1944 - Feb 1945




A couple of late additions in response to the request on your web site for more info about operating procedures re: Jagdschloss. The following files, especially the first listed, may have information relevant to what you are looking for:

AIR 40/321 Germany: air scientific intelligence technical translations and interim report Jagdschloss 1944 Oct.-1946 Feb.
AIR 40/3019 Interim report: Jagdschloss (new German ground radar) 1944 Jan 01 - 1944 Dec 31
AIR 20/1689 German "Jagdschloss": report 1944 Oct.
AIR 20/1701 "Jagdschloss": report 1945 Apr.
AIR 51/290 Intelligence section: Signals: Enemy radar apparatus: ground Jagdschloss 01/10/1944 - 31/03/1945

Last edited by RodM; 31st July 2005 at 11:24.
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  #25  
Old 31st July 2005, 11:35
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Re: Luftwaffe data from ULTRA

Hi RodM,
That was very kind and very useful, will certainly procecute. London is not THAT far away.
bregds
SES

Tease: Have you figured out where I live?
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  #26  
Old 31st July 2005, 12:51
RodM RodM is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe data from ULTRA

Hi SES,


in response to your tease and in an effort that could lead to public embarrassment if I am wrong, I would say Denmark! However, I will not state this with authority as I usually like to confirm any information against two independant sources!

Cheers

Rod
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  #27  
Old 31st July 2005, 13:34
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Re: Luftwaffe data from ULTRA

Hi Rod,

Clue 1: 05 ON LT 8

Clue 2: http://www.gyges.dk/LUMA%20Guide%20ver%202.pdf and http://www.gyges.dk/LUMA.xls

just me feable way of anouncing a very useful research tool, which recently became available through a tri-lateral effort.

bregds
SES
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  #28  
Old 31st July 2005, 14:18
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Re: Luftwaffe data from ULTRA

Hi SES,


that appears to place you at or near Årestrup...

Cheers

Rod
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  #29  
Old 31st July 2005, 15:11
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Re: Luftwaffe data from ULTRA

Hi,

Not too bad, actually it's 5 km NE of the GefStd of Jafü Däne.
bregds
SES
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  #30  
Old 31st July 2005, 22:00
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Re: Luftwaffe data from ULTRA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kari Lumppio
Do the ULTRA decrypt messages catch anything of the transfer of Stab., I and II Gruppe SG 4 from Italy to Baltic area? Transfer taking place 1.7.1944 (July 1st). I would be especially interested if there is anything about the markings (changes) of the planes.
I plan to put something about SG 4's last days in Italy on my website before too long. I have not got all the data in order yet but Ultra gives a lot of information on the markings of aircraft as the I. and II. Gruppen were rebuilt on airfields in northern Italy. These are mostly data I collected in the early 1990s when researching "Air War Italy" so I din not pay much attention to what happened after units moved elsewhere, I'm afraid. I can't say for certain whether Ultra covers the period of the transfer.
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