Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum  

Go Back   Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum > Discussion > Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 5th May 2005, 10:07
Nikita Egorov Nikita Egorov is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Moscow
Posts: 415
Nikita Egorov
German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...

Hi, Everybody!

I would like to add my "five cents" to this protracted discussion on Hartmann. Surely Khazanov's article is week enough to be subjected to harsh critics. But, I actually, don't see any constructive side in the attacks by Jean-Yves Lorant and Hans Ring, since they don't have any reliable information from Soviet side.
First of all, I tried in vain to find out what is more or less tangible list of Hartmann's victories. I have two of them, one from Tony Wood's files, the other from article on Hartmann in REVI magazine, has it's origins, if I'am not mistaken, in Bernd Barbas's research work. Who could explain me what of these two are more trustworthy, as they differ a lot in terms of dates, number and types of shot down planes? How can one compare such a "phantom" with the opposite side's documents if, for example, I take one list for one day when Hartmann claimed four Aircobras and on the other list there were La-5s in quantity of three or there were no claims at all...

Second in this is that one should take each pilot and try to trace his career through all the war with the broad use of Soviet documents. Only then there will be a reliable picture of possible overclaiming or on the contrary the author could prove almost all of the victories by the pilot at issue (as it happened in case with Alfred Grislawski). Unfortunatelly, all German pilots biographies are week when it comes to show what their adversaries come around, exept maybe the recent "Graf-Grislawski" book.

The last, but not least lies in the character of pilot and the fact if he was made a hero by the propaganda. My experience as compilator of German records with Soviet TsAMO material notifies that victories of many "middle ranked" German pilots are vastly concur with loss lists of VVS RKKA. On the contrary, some outstanding successes, especially "one day scores" of "highly-ranked" aces met no evidence in Soviet operational documents. There are lots of examples, completely ungrounded are successes of Lang, Rudorrfer, Nowotny in one day. Special investigation, I think, should be launched on Nowotny's "Great four", signs of many of their victories could not be found in TsAMO and TsVMA. Another aspect here is famous chase for 100th, 150th etc. victory mark. Christer Bergstrom partially hinted on this fact in "G-G" by showing that Graf's 200th victory was virtual. According to documents of 8 VA and 102 IAD PVO, I could draw a coclusion that with the arrival of the mixed bang from III/JG52 to the Stalingrad sector German overclaiming skyrocketed up to three claims to one lost Soviet plane, while it was approximately 1,5 to 1 for the rest of August 1942. The same situation with the 100th victory by Anton Hackl, who claimed Pe-2 on August 3, 1942. Accounts of 2 VA and 15 VA show that no Pe-2s were lost that day...etc.etc.
From the opposite side there is surprising coherence in Gunther Shack's, Hans Beisswenger's or Heinrich Jung's victories...

Regards.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 5th May 2005, 10:31
Ota Jirovec Ota Jirovec is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Posts: 229
Ota Jirovec
Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...

Dear Nikita,

Many thanks for your comments about Luftwaffe overclaims in the East. I believe you should use Tony Wood´s listing as base for your further research as they should be the transcription of the original RLM microfilms. However, there is another problem especially with III./JG 52: since approximately March 1943 they apparently did not care very much about the identification of their shot down opponents - almost every claimed Soviet-built fighter was referred to simply as "LaGG" (I guess the intelligence officer of this Gruppe had apparently a very strange sense of humour). For example in the period between March 1943 and August 1944 III./JG 52 claimed approximately 900 "LaGGs", some 250 Airacobras and only some 20 Yaks of various versions. A somewhat funny fact is that they also claimed 21 Spitfires (more Spits than Yaks claimed by an Eastern Front unit during a period of one and half year undoubtedly raises some questions and doubts.....)

All the best,

Ota
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 5th May 2005, 11:19
Boandlgramer Boandlgramer is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Freistaat Bayern
Posts: 149
Boandlgramer is on a distinguished road
Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...

the allied airmen had a much comfortable task to indentify german planes which they have met in combat .
fighters: most of the time 109 or 190 .

if i take günther ralls claimlist , according to his book, most of his victims were flying La 5 or LaGG3.


one of my fellow countryman said in another forum, günther rall lies about his claims, because in the sector he was flying , there were much more yaks than la5 .
but i guess, for the most airmen ,it was not important to know the accurate ac type.
but we do .

Last edited by Boandlgramer; 5th May 2005 at 11:28.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 5th May 2005, 11:47
Nikita Egorov Nikita Egorov is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Moscow
Posts: 415
Nikita Egorov
Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ota Jirovec
Dear Nikita,

Many thanks for your comments about Luftwaffe overclaims in the East. I believe you should use Tony Wood´s listing as base for your further research as they should be the transcription of the original RLM microfilms. However, there is another problem especially with III./JG 52: since approximately March 1943 they apparently did not care very much about the identification of their shot down opponents - almost every claimed Soviet-built fighter was referred to simply as "LaGG" (I guess the intelligence officer of this Gruppe had apparently a very strange sense of humour). For example in the period between March 1943 and August 1944 III./JG 52 claimed approximately 900 "LaGGs", some 250 Airacobras and only some 20 Yaks of various versions. A somewhat funny fact is that they also claimed 21 Spitfires (more Spits than Yaks claimed by an Eastern Front unit during a period of one and half year undoubtedly raises some questions and doubts.....)

All the best,

Ota
Hi, Ota!

Yes, this is unclear moment. I, personally, found some cases when "Lagg" could turn to be Aircobra, Yak, or even ground assault Il-2... This is the problem with II/JG52 as well.

Regards!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 5th May 2005, 13:23
Jan Bobek's Avatar
Jan Bobek Jan Bobek is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Planquadrat 14 Ost N/QJ
Posts: 215
Jan Bobek
Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...

Dear Nikita,

I as one of two authors of Hartmann artical in REVI can say that "our" claim list is copy of Bernd Barbas research.
But today Tony Wood files seems to be much more correct and sometimes different at least till late 1944.
For 1945 the Bernd´s list is still only reliable source.
I would be happy to hear Bernd´s opinion about it.

However there are still many victories missing in Tony Wood files, especially those submitted by Schlachtguppen.

I duly agree with your opinion about strange claims of SOME of the experts. This could be confirmed even by living members of their squadrons. I made this experience personally with JG 54 members.

JG 27 had similar problem at least once (F. Sawallisch Schwarm, see Prien JG 27 book) and it was evaluated by military court.

Slovak squadron in JG 52 had also such problem with two pilots. But also Finnish Air Force seems to have some "skilled" individuals in this way.

IMHO: there was extreme sensitivity inside of german squadrons for correct procedure of claim submittals.

I also read that Hartmann was under suspiction, but Kommodore made very smart step. He took the doubtful pilot and placed him as Hartmann´s wingman. I think that it was Hrabak. Good manager indeed.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 5th May 2005, 13:39
Juha's Avatar
Juha Juha is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Finland
Posts: 1,355
Juha is on a distinguished road
Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...

Thanks a lot Nikita for the info You gave.

Rudorffer’s case is rather well known and I have been long time skeptical on Lang’s Nov 3rd record, it’s timing was so perfect for German propaganda machine. Of course it could have been a pure coincidence, but anyway that kind of coincidences made one suspious. Also Caldwell in his JG 26 War Diary writes that Lang, who he recognises as a great combat leader and a great fighter pilot, tended to exaggerate his claims.


I also think that in the end much depends on the personality of the claimant, his integrity and ability to remain cool and to be able to observe the situation objectively under great stress. The self-confidence, which is an important element to a fighter pilot in a way works against objective assessment of his own actions. And of course very important is the nature of actions. It's much easier to claim accurately against lonely recon a/c than in big fighter vs fighter combats, especially if one's side is the underdog.

Juha
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 5th May 2005, 15:11
Nikita Egorov Nikita Egorov is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Moscow
Posts: 415
Nikita Egorov
Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...

Hi, Jan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Bobek
Dear Nikita,

I as one of two authors of Hartmann artical in REVI can say that "our" claim list is copy of Bernd Barbas research.
But today Tony Wood files seems to be much more correct and sometimes different at least till late 1944.
For 1945 the Bernd´s list is still only reliable source.
I would be happy to hear Bernd´s opinion about it

I duly agree with your opinion about strange claims of SOME of the experts. This could be confirmed even by living members of their squadrons. I made this experience personally with JG 54 members.

I also read that Hartmann was under suspiction, but Kommodore made very smart step. He took the doubtful pilot and placed him as Hartmann´s wingman. I think that it was Hrabak. Good manager indeed.
Thanks a lot, I will surely rely on TW's files. And in case with 1945, IMHO, nothing could be done yet till we have incomplete victory and loss lits for Luftwaffe.

Yes, I have heard something of this sort. It was Obleser, if I am not mistaken, who questioned Hartmann's tally...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 5th May 2005, 15:27
werner werner is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Austria
Posts: 21
werner
Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...

>the allied airmen had a much comfortable task to indentify german planes which they have met in combat .
fighters: most of the time 109 or 190 .<
>Yes, this is unclear moment. I, personally, found some cases when "Lagg" could turn to be Aircobra, Yak, or even ground assault Il-2... This is the problem with II/JG52 as well.<

look at all those 100s of He100 & 113 that are in various Allied claim lists.
misinterpretation was often very common in air combats on all sites when the pilots move with 500km/h and more and have to keep an eye also on the overall situation.

I think it is quite fair to say that there is an 25% error margin for each ace on all fronts. But also keep in mind that several German pilots had many never credited claims/victories especially in 1945.

It would be very interesting to see a statistic with losses / claims / etc unit-wise like the lists that John Alcorn presented about BoB in the magazine Aeroplane in 2000 while cross-checking with other sources.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 5th May 2005, 16:34
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 1,985
Franek Grabowski
Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...

Quote:
Only then there will be a reliable picture of possible overclaiming or on the contrary the author could prove almost all of the victories by the pilot at issue (as it happened in case with Alfred Grislawski). Unfortunatelly, all German pilots biographies are week when it comes to show what their adversaries come around, exept maybe the recent "Graf-Grislawski" book.
I do not think any reliable picture of combats of German airmen is possible. The reason is simple - lack of German narratives and combat reports. Place and location is just not enough and may lead to serious mistakes.

Quote:
The same situation with the 100th victory by Anton Hackl, who claimed Pe-2 on August 3, 1942. Accounts of 2 VA and 15 VA show that no Pe-2s were lost that day...etc.etc.
The question is if records of VA level are accurate enough. Personally I doubt it and would not draw any definite conclusions without checking documents of eg. AP level.

Quote:
For example in the period between March 1943 and August 1944 III./JG 52 claimed approximately 900 "LaGGs", some 250 Airacobras and only some 20 Yaks of various versions.
I would just sort all the claims as single and twin engined. It makes life much simplier.

Quote:
It would be very interesting to see a statistic with losses / claims / etc unit-wise like the lists that John Alcorn presented about BoB in the magazine Aeroplane in 2000 while cross-checking with other sources
I have mixed feelings concerning the article. Certainly interesting approach but the tables are more misleading than informative.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 5th May 2005, 16:59
Six Nifty .50s Six Nifty .50s is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 247
Six Nifty .50s
Re: German overclaims in the East. Hartmann and others...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juha
Thanks a lot Nikita for the info You gave.

Rudorffer’s case is rather well known and I have been long time skeptical on Lang’s Nov 3rd record, it’s timing was so perfect for German propaganda machine. Of course it could have been a pure coincidence, but anyway that kind of coincidences made one suspious. Also Caldwell in his JG 26 War Diary writes that Lang, who he recognises as a great combat leader and a great fighter pilot, tended to exaggerate his claims.


I also think that in the end much depends on the personality of the claimant, his integrity and ability to remain cool and to be able to observe the situation objectively under great stress. The self-confidence, which is an important element to a fighter pilot in a way works against objective assessment of his own actions. And of course very important is the nature of actions. It's much easier to claim accurately against lonely recon a/c than in big fighter vs fighter combats, especially if one's side is the underdog.
Several years ago, a reader in another forum said that Hannu Voltonen researched available statistics and reported that Finnish and Luftwaffe pilots had inflated their aerial victories by (at least) 3 to 1 in 1944.

I have heard this author's name come up occasionally, but I don't know the specific reference source quoted from. Does Valtonen have anything available in English?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 13:08.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2007, 12oclockhigh.net