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  #11  
Old 5th March 2005, 02:24
Gizmo Gizmo is offline
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F/Lt Gęca was shot down before fight with Luftwaffe fighters. Hit by Flak, his Mustang exploded, killing the pilot. When it happen bombs was still under wings.

My source is:
- "Elita Luftwaffe" by Robert Michulec -page 251/252

- Article about Mustang service in Polish Air Force by Piotr Wiśniewski ( Polish Magazine "Lotnictwo" No 5/2002)

Quote:
However, weren't those Polish losses sustained during Ramrod 980 in the morning, with Mustangs of 306 Sqn, 315 Sqn and 129 Sqn in combat with JG 26? (Four Mustangs were shot down on this occasion - including three in air combat - while two Fw 190s were lost. Sources: Clark CD, Caldwell "JG 26 Diary" II/pp. 269 - 270, Franks "F-Com Losses".)

306 Sqn was twice in combat with German planes on this date. First one at 10:35 (Pont Audemer aera) with 3 a/c lost, and second at 18:00 (Argentan Caen aera - with no losses. Claims at http://www.psr.netfriend.org/mysliwc..._zestrzaly.htm all Bf-109, not I. and II./JG 26 Fw-190)
I'm looking at Tony Wood's Luftwaffe claims lists and see that time of fight with Mustang, according German pilots is 6:20 - 8:10.
10:35 for RAF it's 11:35 for Luftwaffe - It's I'm Right ?
  #12  
Old 5th March 2005, 02:56
Nash Nash is offline
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Quote:
Nash, it says explicitly "shot down in air combat".
If it's a source intended for public consumption, you can't really assume that they are drawing that much of a distinction. Obviously if it gives losses to other sources as well, that's a safe assumption, but I'd expect any public announcement of losses to lump them all together.

Quote:
Generally, the number of fighters pilot casualties were close to the number of shot down and destroyed fighters.
I am registered at the 1stJMA forum as Hop (and many other forums too, with "Nashwan" being my name at a couple of game sites). (No attempt at deception, I tried to register here with the name Hop but never recieved the confirmation email, and couldn't find a way to get it resent)

During one of the debates there about BoB casualties, where you claimed that the RAF really suffered around 1,800 fighters lost (iirc), I pointed out that that would mean almost 4 lost aircraft per pilot, which seemed oddly high. You responded that 4 lost aircraft per pilot was fairly normal, and was the same ratio the 109 units suffered.

I can see why during the BoB period the Germans would lose a disproportionate number of fighters per pilot, because British fighters of the period were armed only with MGs, which are more likely to cause damage than catastrophic failure, and many pilots might have been tempted to bail out rather than risk a channel crossing with smoking engine.

I can't see many reasons why the RAF fighter losses should have been so disproportionate to pilot losses though.
  #13  
Old 5th March 2005, 05:43
Six Nifty .50s Six Nifty .50s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
I found the loss figures for the Luftwaffe in the Mediterranean area suspiciously high in Williamson Murray’s “Luftwaffe” (published in 1985). According to Williamson Murray, the Luftwaffe lost no less than 282 aircraft, including 124 fighters, in the Mediterranean area in January 1943 alone. (Murray, “Luftwaffe”, p. 211.)

Due to “Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen” and the daily returns to Generalquartiermeister der Luftwaffe, the Luftwaffe fighter units in the Mediterranean sustained the following aircraft losses in air combat in January 1943:

II./JG 2: 2
JG 27: 0
II./JG 51: 7
JG 53: 8
JG 77: 15

Total sum: 32.

That should be compared with Murray’s figure of 124 Luftwaffe fighters lost in the Mediterranean in January 1943
What about twin-engined German fighters?

You cannot hide them behind names like Zerstorer, Panzerjager, and Nachtjager because the Allies used singles and twins for the same tasks, and convoy patrols. Allied single-engined planes were also used for dive-bombing, so if you intend to count their losses then you should count the Stuka losses as well.

By the way, you missed 1./Sch.G 2 which had three staffeln of Bf 109s, along with one staffel of twelve Hs 129s. In January 1943 the remaining Hs 129s were lost when the Eighth Army advanced on the Libyan capital. I'm not sure if there was any flyable Hs 129s left when the staffel evacuated to Bari, Italy for refit.

The original Bf 109-equipped III./ZG 1 was redesignated 1./Sch.G 2 (the unit mentioned above) and a new III./ZG 1 was formed with Me 210s, in November 1942.

I'm not certain about the total number of ZG, NJG and Stuka units in the Mediterranean Theatre during January 1943. By that time the German petrol stocks were seriously depleted and that may have restricted flying, and therefore reduced crashes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
The website you refer to lists all aircraft above 10 % damage degree. Losses of 60 % damage degree and above were total losses, i.e. destroyed. All other aircraft were in repairable condition.

You may count all damaged aircraft if you like, but that doesn’t show real losses, does it?
You certainly have massaged the numbers in favor of the Germans. How many of those damaged German planes were actually repaired -- or cannibalized for spare parts?
  #14  
Old 6th March 2005, 08:51
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Hello

Quote:
In my favourite polish book about Jagdwaffe Aces - "Elita Luftwaffe" by Robert Michulec - I've read that JG 77 in Africa claimed 497 enemy a/c, against following own total loses: 218 Bf-109 lost, 61 seriously damaged, and 44 damaged. Also 67 pilots was KIA and 17 WIA.
Well, I once attempted to list all the errors and nonsenses there but after a few pages found that it is impossible.

Quote:
One more:
During combat with III./JG 1 and Hptm. Weber, polish 306 Sqn lost 2 a/c, S/L Łapka (WIA) and F/O Łaszkiewicz (POW) . Next one was shot down by Flak (F/Lt Gęca - KIA). III./JG 1 did not claim any polish Mustang III, so maybe Hptm. Weber before his death shot down one or two of them ?
306 did not fight with JG1. It is one of the many nonsenses Michulec wrote.

Quote:
F/Lt Gęca was shot down before fight with Luftwaffe fighters. Hit by Flak, his Mustang exploded, killing the pilot. When it happen bombs was still under wings.
Gęca was not shot down, his aircraft being downed by a bomb blast. This was the reason of Łapka and Łaszkiewicz losses as well. Łapka was not wounded but bailed out behind the front due to coolant leak. He evaded.

Quote:
My source is:
- "Elita Luftwaffe" by Robert Michulec -page 251/252
- Article about Mustang service in Polish Air Force by Piotr Wiśniewski ( Polish Magazine "Lotnictwo" No 5/2002)
My source is my article at Ciel de Guerre #2. Sources were cut (as was my name) by a publisher, but footnotes are all there.
  #15  
Old 6th March 2005, 10:50
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
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Quote:
” What about twin-engined German fighters?
You cannot hide them behind names like Zerstorer, Panzerjager, and Nachtjager because the Allies used singles and twins for the same tasks, and convoy patrols. Allied single-engined planes were also used for dive-bombing, so if you intend to count their losses then you should count the Stuka losses as well.”
Please calm down, SixNifty. This is just a hobby, and we should all be friendly to each other.

Quote:
“You certainly have massaged the numbers in favor of the Germans.”


I am not trying to hide anything. . .

Facts about the German losses in Tunisia in January 1943:

Due to “Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen” and the daily returns to Generalquartiermeister der Luftwaffe, the Luftwaffe fighter units in the Mediterranean sustained the following aircraft losses in air combat in January 1943:

II./JG 2: 2
JG 27: 0
II./JG 51: 7
JG 53: 8
JG 77: 15

Total sum: 32.

Quote:
“you should count the Stuka losses as well”
I did.

II./StG 3 and III./StG 3 flew successful operations against the Allied positions throughout January 1943 wihout more than two Ju 87s being registered as lost due to enemy fighters. (Another four Ju 87s were registered lost due to “Feindbeschuss” or unknown reasons.)

There were no other losses registered by any Stukageschwader in the whole Mediterranean area in January 1943. (Source: Daily reports to Generalquartiermeister der Luftwaffe.)

III./SKG 10 flew fighter-bomber missions thoughout January 1943, without losing more than a single aircraft to Allied fighter interception. (Arthy & Jessen, “Fw 190 in North Africa”, pp. 153 - 154.)

III./ZG 1 sustained no losses at all to hostile activity, not even a damaged plane. (Source: Daily reports to Generalquartiermeister der Luftwaffe.)

I./SchG 2 reported four Bf 109s destroyed or damaged due to hostile action through January 1943. (Source: Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen.)

I./NJG 2 reported two aircraft damaged in accidents, and not other losses, in the Mediterranean area in January 1943. (Rökker “”Chronik I./NJG 2”, p. 221.)

SchG 2 registered no more than a single Hs 129 damaged due to hostile activity in the Mediterranean through January 1943. (Source: Pegg, “Hs 129”, p. 319.)

Note: I started this thread, and the subject for this study is supremacy in air combat - because of a doscussion in another thread, where I said that the Luftwaffe “super veteran” fighter pilots inflicted very heavy losses on the Allies in Tunisia, and this was doubted. In that perspective, losses by Stukas etc are relevant only afar as they show how effectively the German fighter pilots managed to cover the Stukas etc. The German fighter pilots definitely managed to protect their Stukas from Allied fighter attacks in January 1943 - which is more than one can say about the numerically superior Allied fighters.

SixNifty's mere guess about Stukas and ground attack aircraft mainly grounded due to fuel shortage in Tunisia in January 1943 can't be accepted since it seems not to be based on any facts at all. In any case, I can find nothing which supports his guesswork. Read through Arthy's and Jessens's very detailed "Fw 190 in North Africa", and it describes a quite hectic activity by the Schlachtflieger. The same regarding the Stukas due to documents from StG 3. What does Shores's "Air Combat over Tunisia" say? IIRC, according to that study, the Luftwaffe Stukas and ground-attack aircraft were in full action throughout January 1943. However, IIRC, it says that regarding the Italian aircraft, they were largely grounded due to a non-functioning Italian supply situation (regarding e.g. spare parts and ammunition etc for Italian aircraft types). (I had that book, but lost it. I'm waiting for the second edition. I wish someone here with access to that book could "jump in".)

SixNifty, how would it be if you based your assumptions on facts instead of mere guesses? And please, SixNifty, save us from totally unfounded implications that serious researchers are deliberately trying to falsify history. That will only bring down your own credibility.



BTW, a general rule is that when one refers to sources, one can’t refer to oneself. If you only say that “elsewhere I have mentioned sources”, you might as well say nothing.
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  #16  
Old 6th March 2005, 13:38
Andrew Arthy Andrew Arthy is offline
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Air war in Tunisia, January 1943

Hi Christer,

You asked for some figures for Allied fighter losses in combat, so I thought I'd go through the text of Shores, Ring & Hess for you.

Allied fighter pilot losses in combat with German fighters and bombers in northern and central Tunisia in January 1943 were as follows:

Failed to Return/Missing - Killed - Wounded

72 Sqdn 1 - 0 - 0
81 Sqdn 2 - 1 - 0
111 Sqdn 0 - 3 - 1
242 Sqdn 7 - 0 - 0
243 Sqdn 1 - 1 - 0
1st FG 6 - 2 - 0
14th FG 9 - 3 - 1
33rd FG 2 - 4 - 0
52nd FG 1 - 0 - 0
82nd FG 8 - 0 - 1
GC II/5 0 - 1 - 1

Total: 37 missing/failed to return
15 killed
4 wounded

In comparison, German pilot losses in combat with Allied fighters and bombers:

Failed to Return/Missing - Killed - Prisoner - Wounded

I./J.G. 53 1 - 1 - 2 - 1
II./J.G. 53 0 - 0 - 0 - 0
II./J.G. 51 2 - 0 - 0 - 3
II./J.G. 2 1 - 1 - 0 - 0
III./S.K.G. 10 1 - 1 - 0 - 1

Total: 5 killed
3 missing/failed to return
2 prisoner
5 wounded

So in combat the Allies lost 56 fighter pilots, while the Germans lost 15.

No matter what way you use the statistics, it is clear that the Germans held a degree of air superiority in northern and central Tunisia in January 1943. For example, in that month two Allied units (81 Sqdn and the 14th FG) were withdrawn from combat due to heavy losses (and the 33rd FG was forced to withdraw early in February 1943). On the German side, no fighter unit withdrew from northern Tunisia in January 1943, although II./J.G. 51 was withdrawn briefly in February 1943.

Of course a major issue was the downing of American four-engined bombers, something the German fighter forces in northern Tunisia always struggled to do. This was due in part to the light armament of the Bf 109, according to a complaint in the records of the Führer der Luftwaffe Tunis:

"Erfahrung: Bewaffnung BF 109 G – 4 mit 1 Kanone gegenüber viermot Bombern zu schwach. Bomber zeigen ausserordentliche Standfestigkeit. Es wird gebeten zu prüfen, ob statt 3,2 cm Kanonen (G-2) eine 3,7 und zwei 2,2 cm bzw. 2 MG eingebaut werden können." [Source: BA-MA RL 7/32, p.53]

As for lack of fuel preventing ground-attack operations, no, that was not a problem in January 1943. In fact, the main thing that did prevent German ground-attack operations on some days in that month was the inclement weather, quite common in Tunisia in the winter of 1942/1943.

If anyone wants an accurate picture (from the German side) of the air situation in northern Tunisia in January 1943, then you should check BA-MA RL 7/32. From this source, II./St.G. 3 flew the following missions:

01.01.43 - 10 sorties, four aircraft damaged by anti-aircraft fire
02.01.43 - 10 sorties, 3 Ju 87s lost with crews (one crew returned a couple of days later), four damaged. A Ju 87 gunner claimed one Spitfire shot down in return.
03.01.43 - 4 sorties, no aircraft damaged
05.01.43 - 10 sorties, no aircraft damaged
11.01.43 - 35 sorties, four aircraft lightly damaged by anti-aircraft fire
13.01.43 - 9 sorties, no aircraft damaged

I don't have time to include more, but hopefully that gives some idea of the scale of operations by the Ju 87 unit in northern Tunisia in this month. This Gruppe continued flying operations into April, until at least 14 April 1943. (Source: Logbook of II./St.G. 3 gunner). Not bad for an aircraft often considered "obselete" since 1940.

I won't deal with operations in southern Tunisia (J.G. 77 and Sch.G. 2), because that is not an area I've researched enough (BTW: is anyone out there interested in doing a unit history of I./Sch.G. 2?).

I hope some of the above is helpful (and I'm not trying to provoke anyone!!!)

Cheers,
Andrew A.

"You'll never silence the voice of the voiceless" - Rage Against The Machine
  #17  
Old 6th March 2005, 17:01
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
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Thank you veey much for that, Andrew! I wish all posts were that clean, fact-oriented, and source relating as your post! Your post should be viewed as a model for us all.

So now we know - there were almost four Allied fighters shot down for every Luftwaffe fighter which the Allies managed to shoot down. Of course an effect of the German "super veteran" fighter pilots, who were totally superior to the Allied pilots. If we bring in other aircraft than fighters, we will find that the German fighter pilots in reality managed to shoot down maybe five (or perhaps even more?) aircraft for every loss which they sustained themselves in air combat. (Do you have those figures, Andrew?) Quite interesting, if we consider the relation during the Battle of Britain of Luftwaffe total losses to air combat and RAF Fighter Command losses to air combat - which were far from as good as the Luftwaffe fighter unit records in Tunisia in January 1943. What else than superior German fighter pilots can explain that?

Just one more piece of information which I found:

In "The 9th Air Force in World War II", Kenn C. Rusts gives the figures for US 57th FG's losses in in Tunisia January 1943: 26. (Rust, p. 25.)

I know - those losses probably are to all causes and can't be compared with the "destroyed in air combat only" figures which we gave above, but there's no harm in giving those figures. After all, we have the Luftwaffe figures down to even damaged in take-off accidents.

(PS: I am only trying to find actual facts. I have no bias at all. The German fighter pilots were on the average much better than the Allied pilots in Tunisia in January 1943. Let me say that I also think that The Allied fighter pilots were on the average much better than the German pilots at Normandy in June 1944. Sometimes, one side was better than the other side - that's nothing strange about that. We Swedes have always had one of the best ice hockey teams, but I can easily admit that there was one other nation's ice hockey team which always was better than our team.)
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  #18  
Old 6th March 2005, 23:12
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
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(I shifted the relevant text on German fighter superiority in Tunisia from this place to another place farther below, so that no trolling will destroy this nice thread.)
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  #19  
Old 6th March 2005, 23:15
Six Nifty .50s Six Nifty .50s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
Quote:
”What about twin-engined German fighters? You cannot hide them behind names like Zerstorer, Panzerjager, and Nachtjager because the Allies used singles and twins for the same tasks, and convoy patrols. Allied single-engined planes were also used for dive-bombing, so if you intend to count their losses then you should count the Stuka losses as well.
I did. Didn't I? II./StG 3 and III./StG 3 flew successful operations against the Allied positions throughout January 1943 wihout more than two Ju 87s being registered as lost due to enemy fighters. (Another four Ju 87s were registered lost due to 'Feindbeschuss' or unknown reasons.) There were no other losses registered by any Stukageschwader in the whole Mediterranean area in January 1943. (Source: Daily reports to Generalquartiermeister der Luftwaffe.)

SixNifty's mere guess about Stukas and ground attack aircraft mainly grounded due to fuel shortage in Tunisia in January 1943 can't be accepted since it seems not to be based on any facts at all. SixNifty, how would it be if you based your assumptions on facts instead of mere guesses?
What guesses?

" As of today we have a total of 76 cubic metres of petrol available in this theatre of operations. Despite extreme economy measures, our rapidly decreasing supply of fuel is no longer sufficient to permit adequate reconnaissance activity, the necessary fighter escort duty, or the occasional committment of fighter-bomber aircraft. Our present supply must be kept in reserve in order to avoid development of a serious crisis... We have had to curtail drastically the employment of dive-bombers because of their relatively high petrol consumption "
Fliegerfuhrer Afrika to C-in-C South, August 1st, 1942

" The fuel situation of German units makes any mobile operations, in particular counterattacks by our panzer formations, more or less impossible. The fuel at present with the troops is just enough to carry out the first stage of the withdrawl as ordered, namely as far as the area Agheila - El Mugtaa "
Day report by Panzerarmee, December 12th, 1942

Quoted from opening page of JAGDWAFFE: The Mediterranean, 1942-1943 by Jean Louis Roba & Martin Pegg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
And please, SixNifty, save us from totally unfounded implications that serious researchers are deliberately trying to falsify history. In any case, I can find nothing which supports his guesswork
Are you suggesting that German officers lied about the fuel shortages?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
I started this thread, and the subject for this study is supremacy in air combat - because of a doscussion in another thread, where I said that the Luftwaffe Òsuper veteranÓ fighter pilots inflicted very heavy losses on the Allies in Tunisia, and this was doubted. In that perspective, losses by Stukas etc are relevant only afar as they show how effectively the German fighter pilots managed to cover the Stukas etc. The German fighter pilots definitely managed to protect their Stukas from Allied fighter attacks in January 1943 - which is more than one can say about the numerically superior Allied fighters.
Could it be that German losses were limited because their aviation fuel was limited?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
III./SKG 10 flew fighter-bomber missions thoughout January 1943, without losing more than a single aircraft to Allied fighter interception. (Arthy & Jessen, ÒFw 190 in North AfricaÓ, pp. 153 - 154.)

III./ZG 1 sustained no losses at all to hostile activity, not even a damaged plane. (Source: Daily reports to Generalquartiermeister der Luftwaffe.)

I./SchG 2 reported four Bf 109s destroyed or damaged due to hostile action through January 1943. (Source: Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen.)

I./NJG 2 reported two aircraft damaged in accidents, and not other losses, in the Mediterranean area in January 1943. (Rškker ÒÓChronik I./NJG 2Ó, p. 221.)
Thank you for the clarification. Any losses of Me 110s from the ZGs?

In the last message I forgot to mention that II./SchlG 2 and III./ZG 2 were also equipped with Fw 190s, but I'm not sure exactly when they received them. (See Roba & Pegg p. 156, 187).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
SchG 2 registered no more than a single Hs 129 damaged due to hostile activity in the Mediterranean through January 1943. (Source: Pegg, ÒHs 129Ó, p. 319.)
Possibly true. I read the following from John Weal, Luftwaffe Schlachtgruppen, p.59-60:

"4.(Pz)/SchlG 2 was initially equipped with a dozen of the twin-engined Henschels. But by the time the Staffel, commanded by Hauptmann Bruno Meyer, arrived at El Adem, south of Tobruk, on 7 November, this number had shrunk to eight, only four of which were servicable! The Hs 129s nevertheless claimed a dozen British tanks knocked-out during their first reported action just one week later.

However, not renowned for their reliability at the best of times, the mixing of the Hs 129s Gmome-Rhone engines with Libya's all-prevailing dust and sand was a certain recipe for disaster. After only a few more operations, during which two machines were lost when forced to land behind enemy lines, the Staffel was withdrawn to Tripoli. Here, attempts were made to produce a satisfactory sand filter for the recalcitrant powerplants, but without much success. And, when the advancing 8th Army entered the Libyan capital on 23 January 1943, the remaining unservicable Henschels were reportedly destroyed and the Staffel was evacuated to Bari, in Italy, for re-equipment "


To be fair, a lack of satisfactory air filtering was a common problem on both sides. Ingestion of excess dust and sand reduced the life of otherwise reliable Allison engines in P-40 and A-36 ground attack aircraft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
Read through Arthy's and Jessens's very detailed "Fw 190 in North Africa", and it describes a quite hectic activity by the Schlachtflieger. The same regarding the Stukas due to documents from StG 3. What does Shores's "Air Combat over Tunisia" say? IIRC, according to that study, the Luftwaffe Stukas and ground-attack aircraft were in full action throughout January 1943.
Did they write that, or did you? Tell us how many sorties were flown in January 1943, by SGs, KGs and Stukas in the Med Theatre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
And please, SixNifty, save us from totally unfounded implications that serious researchers are deliberately trying to falsify history. That will only bring down your own credibility. Maybe SixNifty is a troll who is only trying to provoke me
The German supply shortage has been common knowledge for decades. Only a troll would challenge it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
Why this unpleasant tone? And above all - calm down, Six Nifty. This is just a hobby, and we should all be friendly to each other. After all, he gave us no loss facts at all, he only was rude and provocative. I am giving facts supported by source references.

Moderators - keep an eye open now!
Christer, I'm not impressed with your special pleading. After reading your posts, I cannot say that your approach to sharing information is friendly or polite.

You get excited and try to project that behavior onto others. At times, you've displayed an unbending conviction about statistics and numbers extracted or cobbled together from many works cited. Later, you claimed to be nothing more than a hobbyist, suggesting that you are not very serious about researching your subject matter. I wish you would make up your mind.

It's fine with me if you insist on annotating every number with sources. But like the rest of us, you are selective about it. I realize that no individual has instant access to all data, but I think you are ignoring information that conflicts with your ideas. Certain numbers quoted from selected reports might be fact, but not necessarily your conclusions about them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
Please confine yourself to giving facts backed up by source references, or asking questions.
Thanks for the tip.

Yours in accuracy,
Six Nifty .50s
  #20  
Old 6th March 2005, 23:54
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
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Please, what we are talking about here is the air war in Tunisia in January 1943.

SixNifty tells us that the Luftwaffe had problems with fuel shortage in Egypt on 1 August 1942 - not only 1,350 miles from northern Tunisia, not only half a year before the situation which we are discussing, but in a completely different situation. . .

It is common knowledge that the Afrikakorps was completely starved on fuel in the summer and autumn of 1942.

That has nothing to do with the supply situation in northern Tunisia in January 1943.

Then Six Nifty tells us that German tanks had problems with fuel shortage in eastern Libya (“area Agheila - El Mugtaa “) on 12 December 1942. Yes, we all knew that too. But that is 850 miles from the place we are talking about. . .

That doesn't either have anything to do with the supply situation in northern Tunisia in January 1943.

Why did the Axis troops in Libya and Egypt encounter such severe supply problems? Because the British were sinking the supply ships which went the long way from Italy to Libya.

The Axis used another, and a much shorter and better protected, supply route to northern Tunisia. That too is kind of basic knowledge. I can't see why SixNifty brings up those things here. I can give hom dozens of other quotations on the bad supply situation in eastern Libya and Egypt in 1942.

But, again what we are talking about here is the air war in Tunisia in January 1943.

Andrew Arthy, who made a very detailed study of the Luftwaffe air activities on Tunisia in January 1943, concludes:

“As for lack of fuel preventing ground-attack operations, no, that was not a problem in January 1943.” (See Arthy's post above!)

I think Arthy should know. As far as I know, the most recent book on precisely Luftwaffe operations in Tunisia in January 1943 was written by Arthy (in cooperation with Morten Jessen): “Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in North Africa” (Chevron, 2004). It is based on a wealth of original documents, and I doubt there is any other book which is better researched regarding the Luftwaffe’s operations in Tunisia.

So if an expert as Andrew Arthy tells us that the Luftwaffe was not held down by a lack of fuel, I think we have reason to believe that. So far, we have seen nothing which would imply that a researcher like Arthy has completely missed such a vital fact as an alleged fuel shortage which curtailed Luftwaffe operations from Tunisia in January 1943. But, yes - Rommel sure had some bad supply problems in Egypt and eastern Libya in 1942. . . Don't you think Arthy knew that?
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