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  #11  
Old 11th June 2020, 20:25
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Re: New Arado 234 / KG 76 Book 'Blitz Bombers' - Eddie J. Creek & Robert Forsyth

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Originally Posted by edwest2 View Post
Nick,

I think a few think this book is more expansive as opposed to being just about KG 76. … That and the little known, by some, late war Ar 234 reconnaissance flight over Scotland, confused with England, and some flights over Normandy confused with England.

Best,
Ed
Regarding your link to 10 April 1945, this from Bletchley Park Air Operational Watch report CX/MSS/OPD 1504: "An Ar 234 of 1./FAG 1was due up from Stavanger at 16.00. This was probably the aircraft plotted 50 miles northeast of Rattray Head 17.18–17.43." So it wasn't actually over Scotland.

But, my apologies, I'm taking us way off the topic of a book about KG 76.
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  #12  
Old 11th June 2020, 20:40
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Re: New Arado 234 / KG 76 Book 'Blitz Bombers' - Eddie J. Creek & Robert Forsyth

Nick,

I'm glad you mentioned the upcoming Osprey title. Good books in English about Ar 234 operations are relatively few, and clearly there is a market for more. For example, the lone JaPo publication in the Luftwaffe Over Czech Territory series that includes Ar 234 final operations. It is sold out. (From a review: "There are 15 aircraft covered and importantly, each is backed up by accompanying reference photos. Also included is an Ar 234C-3 which is part of the authors’ discussion on the final operations of Ar 234Bs and Cs by 1.(F)/100 and III./EKG 1.")

That said, this book is in my top three for purchase.

Best,
Ed
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Old 1st August 2020, 13:44
INM@RLM INM@RLM is offline
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Re: New Arado 234 / KG 76 Book 'Blitz Bombers' - Eddie J. Creek & Robert Forsyth

HEALTH WARNING: RELEVANT ONLY TO CHAPTER ONE OF 'BLITZ BOMBERS, KG 76' (PUBLISHED BY CHANDOS)
There is a current and ongoing outbreak of misinformation in Chapter One of 'Blitz Bombers, Kampfgeschwader 76 and the Arado Ar 234' (purportedly by Eddie J. Creek & Robert Forsyth).
There is currently no evidence of ongoing community transmission, however, relying on some of what is written here will seriously damage your credibility.

SINS OF COMMISSION
Chapter One of ‘Blitz Bombers’ is titled ‘Flying on Every Front – A Brief History of Kampfgeschwader 76 ‘Florian Geyer’. It aims to cover the history of KG 76 in the period between its formation and late May 1944 when the Geschwader was told that it would re-equip with the Ar 234 B-2 bomber.

Unfortunately, the two statements below taken from Chapter One are utterly, horribly and completely wrong:

1. p.4, column 1 "The II. Gruppe left the West, however, on 13 June to return to Germany to convert to the Junkers Ju 88 at Langensalza the first Do 17 unit to do so."
In fact, III./KG 28, already and newly equipped with the Ju 88, was redesignated as the new II./KG 76 on or around 09-July-40. As Peter Cornwell has confirmed, the Feldpostnummern of the III./KG 28 components were retained unchanged by the equivalent elements of the new II./KG 76. See his TOCH Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum post of 14th May 2008, 10:49 at 'July 1940 - What really happened to II./KG 76 and I./StG 76?' http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/archive/index.php?t-13068.html

2. p.9, column 1 "The III. Gruppe led by Hauptmann Anton Stadler, however, enjoyed considerable success when, on the night of 12/13 May 1943, it took part in a large-scale attack along with other Gruppen against Allied airfields in north-eastern Corsica. Twenty-five Spitfires were destroyed in a first strike at Poretta and 35 B-25s were accounted for, with another 45 damaged during a second raid on Alesan airfield." (In fact, as noted on page 12 of Chapter Two here, Stadler had been lost on 29-Apr-43, a fortnight before this alleged event. His apparent successor was Major Albrecht Wichmann, also as noted on page 12.)

The far bigger issue, however, is that these attacks on Allied airfields in Corsica took place in May 1944, not May 1943. The events are exactly a year out of kilter.

There can be no doubt about the May 1944 date of these events. This double, 'ricochet' attack is mentioned in Karl Gundelach: 'Die deutsche Luftwaffe im Mittelmeer 1940-1945' (Vol. 2 p.802), in Nick Beale's 'Kampfflieger, Bombers of the Luftwaffe: Volume Four, Summer 1943–June 1945' from Classic Publications (see his TOCH post of 1st March 2007, 23:13 at http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=7919), and the participation of I. & II./LG 1 in these two raids is covered with some detail in Peter Taghon's superb history of LG 1 (Vol. 2 p.319). On the web, there is also a rather good set of pages dealing with the 340th Bomb Group, the then occupants of Alesan (aka Alesani), describing some of the effects of that part of this attack at http://www.dansetzer.us/taghon/Korsika_index.htm and related. (See particularly the download file from this web page named ‘17_May1944.PDF’ with the War Diary of the 340th Bombardment Group for May 1944. I tried attaching a copy here for convenience, but the file size is too large.)

This mis-step appears to have started with 'Bomber Units of the Luftwaffe, Volume 2' from Larry de Zeng and Douglas Stankey. It was downright careless and rather daft of them to have cut-and-pasted no less than six lines of text covering these events into the wrong place, a year too early, at page 242 of their book. (What they wrote there in the section on III./KG 76 was "... moved from Catania to Foggia-Tortorelli/south-east Italy (16-17 May); together with other Gruppen took part in two concentrated night attacks on Allied airfields in north-eastern Corsica - 25 Spitfires were destroyed during the first raid at Poretta airfield (5.4 km north of Bastia) and the second raid struck Alesan airfield (17 km south of Bastia) destroying 30 B-25s and severely damaging another 45 (12/13-May); raided Algiers and Bône harbours (13/14-May); ..." [reproduced exactly as in the original text - including the sequence - excepting only for the emboldening added by myself to identify precisely the incorrectly positioned words. However, it would seem to take a fairly remarkable degree of ignorance of both Mediterranean geography and the events of 1943 to reproduce the whole crass set of errors again in this new KG 76 title.

SINS OF OMISSION
Because of the first error above, neither of these two points get to be addressed, and accordingly we are left none the wiser:

3. What happened to the 'old' II./KG 76 then? Well, not mentioned at all in this chapter, is the existence during the summer of 1940 of the Gruppe it briefly became, the "other" II./KG 76, II.(Stuka)/KG 76, aka II.(St.)/KG 76. This is not just the figment of an overtaxed imagination. Andreas Brekken found the hard evidence: "Einsatzbereitschaft for 15.06.1940 states that instead of the III./KG 76 being reequipped, the order is given that the II./KG 76 was to make this change from Do 17Z to Ju 87B." plus "The strength report of 6.7.1940 (6th July) show the unit designation being changed from II.(St.)/KG 76 to III./St.G.77, and that 18 of their 25 crews now are operational." [See his post of 17th May 2008, 10:58 in the thread mentioned above: 'July 1940 - What really happened to II./KG 76 and I./StG 76?' Seems simple enough, but Peter Cornwell found that in the actual final event, only the Feldpostnummern for the Gr.Stab, 4, & 5. Staffeln of II.(Stuka.)/KG 76 were transferred to become Gr.Stab, 7. & 8. Staffeln of III./StG 77. So clearly not all II.(St.)/KG 76 crews had completed their conversion onto the Stuka, and 6.(Stuka) Staffel of KG 76 was not a full part of this redesignation.

4. So what then is the rest of the story around the 'missing' 6.(Stuka.)/KG 76? Again we have to wait for that story to be told. Possibly related, something very interesting was also happening in III./KG 76 around this time, with the Staffel emblem of 5./KG 76 transferring to 9./KG 76. But how does this fit in with the fate of 6.(St.)/ KG 76? Or is it completely unrelated? Regardless of which case might be correct, resolving both of these wrinkles should have been necessary parts of the story set out here in Chapter One of ‘Blitz Bombers’.

A lot of KG 76 aircrew were impacted by these 1940 organizational changes. Surely there is some mention of these events in the unpublished history of KG 76? In the Introduction to ‘Blitz Bombers’, Robert Forsyth describes the draft chapter from that history covering the Ar 234 period as "excellent and important”. Perhaps this is the book we now really need to have see the light of day? In the meantime, it would only be fair for Chapter One to be re-sourced and rewritten, put in a ZIP and emailed to all direct customers of 'Blitz Bombers'.

One can only wonder as to how this remarkable set of errors came to be perpetrated in 'Blitz Bombers'. I cannot actually persuade myself that Chapter One is the handiwork of either of the two Luftwaffe 'old troopers' named as the authors of 'Blitz Bombers'.

his chapter isn't a necessary part of the story. The book could simply have begun with what has now become Chapter Two. It is almost as if Chapter One was added late as an after-thought. To 'round out' the story perhaps? And then as a self-evidently no-brainer of a task, it was assigned to someone wholly innocent of the particular challenges and difficulties of this area.

Clearly also, no independent fact-check read through was performed before this chapter went to the printers.

I was sufficiently scandalized to express my displeasure directly by email to Richard Carrick at Chandos. I have no idea whether this was the first such protest that he received, or the fiftieth.

Well, it is as it is. Thanks to the wonders wrought by Herr Gutenberg, this set of misinformation will now go marching on in the published literature, possibly to be quoted as authoritative for decades or even centuries to come.

To be very, very clear though, my caustic comments and the factual corrections offered above are limited solely to Chapter One of 'Blitz Bombers'.

For the rest, this book is another beautifully produced volume, well up to the excellent standard set by Chandos with Martin Pegg’s magnificent ‘Hs 129 Panzerjäger’. The photographic coverage is superb, and comprehensive as far as contemporary reportage is concerned. I do see a few other minor shortcomings in ‘Blitz Bombers’. There is an index, a bibliography and brief source notes split by chapter, but the usual paraphernalia of a unit history (tables of bases, commanders, and material and personnel losses) are all omitted, and of maps there is but one. (A map of the Remagen bridgehead and surrounds would have been most useful in Chapter 11.)

However, the largest other issue that I see is actually a judgmental point rather than a matter of fiction versus fact. This is that the authors, in presenting the translations from German of the usually pretty technical progress reports that make up a significant portion of Chapters Four and Five in the middle part of the volume, have chosen a very different approach to the one I would have opted for. Overall though, I’m still distinctly glad that I secured a copy.

Last edited by INM@RLM; 2nd August 2020 at 04:53. Reason: Strange appearance of Bs instead of Bold Script
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  #14  
Old 1st August 2020, 19:18
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Re: New Arado 234 / KG 76 Book 'Blitz Bombers' - Eddie J. Creek & Robert Forsyth

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(A map of the Remagen bridgehead and surrounds would have been most useful in Chapter 11.)
Have one on me …
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Old 2nd August 2020, 04:49
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Re: New Arado 234 / KG 76 Book 'Blitz Bombers' - Eddie J. Creek & Robert Forsyth

Neat: does the job very nicely. Thank you, Nick.
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