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Old 27th May 2005, 19:26
Jon Jon is offline
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Just how good was German Flak

On 17th April 1943 Six B17's of 401st BS/91st BG had the unfortunate spot in a bombing formation to Bremen called "Purple Heart Corner" low down well in range of the Flak.

All Six bombers were lost, 5 to flak and 1 to a FW190. Only 27 men got out.

Why was German Flak so good ?
Was it really so accurate that a bomber formation on a straight course ( bombing run ) was definately going to be in amongst it ?
Did the Germans fire test shots to perfect the Box barrage, that you had to fly through ?

Did British and American AA ever get as good ?
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Old 28th May 2005, 01:14
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Jim Oxley Jim Oxley is offline
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Re: Just how good was German Flak

I know that German Flak control utilised radar to aid in determining the range and height of the bomber flights, both in day and night. There was also plenty of it. The Blenheims of 2 Group and the 2nd Tactical RAF especially suffered high losses from flak.

As regards Allied flak, well it was commonly agreed amongst the Luftwaffe that the three 'hottest' spots were London, Moscow and Malta.
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Old 28th May 2005, 03:23
kaki3152 kaki3152 is offline
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Re: Just how good was German Flak

Actually it was 2 Ls and 2 Ms--Leningrad and London, Malta and Moscow.

There is a passage in one of my German books that makes this statement.
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Old 28th May 2005, 05:20
Rabe Anton Rabe Anton is offline
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Re: Just how good was German Flak

If the USAAF's Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRs) are any testimony, German Flak was often a very serious matter. The tracks of strategic operations were usually planned to avoid the worst concentrations, if possible . . . and there could still be heavy losses. But not consistently. Like fighter opposition, on any given operation, it could be a matter of the luck of the draw.

Coupla comments. First, the semantics of your question. What does "good" mean, anyway?

Second, there is an excellent book by Westermann on German Flak. About three or four years old, in English, by a School of Advanced Airpower Studies student at the USAF Air University.

Third, going back to your question per se, it is absolutely crucial to remember that however good German Flak prediction, firing, and concentration was, its potential effectiveness was enormously reduced by the lack of a proximity fuze. We had it, they didn't. The device was simply one of a handful of crucial gadgets that, had the Germans had them, might have considerably lengthened the air war.

RA
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Old 31st May 2005, 04:32
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Re: Just how good was German Flak

In comparison to German flak, here is an example of US AAA from "A radar history of World War II" (page 402): "As an example, in August a bridgehead 40km southeast of Paris was attacked at night by 35 German bombers preceded by three pathfinders and defended by the 109th and 413th AAA Gun Battalions. The attacking planes reached the bridgehead without drawing fire because they responded to IFF interrogation as Allied a/c, disclosing their true identity only after dropping flares. The two battalions brought down all three pathfinders and 13 of the main force with eight probables, and this without proximity fuses."
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Old 31st May 2005, 08:08
Jon Jon is offline
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Re: Just how good was German Flak

Thanks for the info regards the US AA.

Interesting as i am reading about the massive battles over Malta, the British and Maltese AA here was also excellent and brought down many Luftwaffe bombers and fighters. Looks to be the more practice (targets) you get obviously the better you will get.
And the Luftwaffe flak arm certainly had many targets.

One further question on Proximity fuses, how close to the target did they have to be for the fuse to detect and detonate?
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