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  #21  
Old 7th August 2018, 16:08
PMoz99 PMoz99 is offline
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

Thank you for the 2 lists Alfred. They are very much appreciated.
While Clostermann's list is similar to one in one of the links previously given, it is not the same. Straight away one can see the claims for 341Sq are 3 + 2 damaged on C's list, and 4 + 1 prob on the other.
Unfortunately, his list doesn't really help make the picture any clearer.
For the 11 kills listed for the DFC, Clostermann has 8 + 3 probables (all aerial). That includes 1 probable on 28/6/43 apparently not confirmed. As far as I can see, there is no other way to get 11 but to include the probables and unconfirmed.
For the 12 kills listed for the Bar, it is less clear. He lists 11 kills and 2 probables (all aerial). Of these, 5 are unconfirmed (3+2). The Bar record also states 70 missions, while the 11+2 was achieved in 73. So how to get a total of 12? Perhaps treat the Ju252 shot down on takeoff as OTG and you get 10 kills + 2 probables. But it seems probable some of these were scored in missions 71-73. Or should the 70 mentioned just be taken as an approximation?
BUT also, officially, 4 of the 11 "Bar" kills are recorded as OTG kills. So would Clostermann's list overrule the official records? When were those 4 officially listed as OTG kills? Immediately or later?
There is another interesting thing - Clostermann makes no mention of the Ju290 in his list, but it is mentioned in the note at the end. How can this be?
I will also point out that it seems Shores and Williams did have Clostermann's list when they reviewed the claims - they make reference to it in their notes. So they have considered all the information, applied their expertise, and come to a conclusion.
In my opinion, it just so happens their conclusion also makes most sense.
If someone has a better analysis, please let me know.
Peter
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  #22  
Old 8th August 2018, 08:38
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

When you say "unconfirmed", what's the source ?

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Originally Posted by PMoz99 View Post
BUT also, officially, 4 of the 11 "Bar" kills are recorded as OTG kills. So would Clostermann's list overrule the official records? When were those 4 officially listed as OTG kills? Immediately or later?
That's the big question. It look like it was later, much later. Clostermann claims may have been re-examined after one or another controversial speech.

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There is another interesting thing - Clostermann makes no mention of the Ju290 in his list, but it is mentioned in the note at the end. How can this be?
The victories listed at the end are shared ones.

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In my opinion, it just so happens their conclusion also makes most sense.
If someone has a better analysis, please let me know.
There's documents that mention 19 confirmed solo victories + 3-4 probables. They may have some issues but I doubt his real total would be that different. And I wonder how many pilots got their tally retroactively reduced by no less than 8 victories without them being informed (Clostermann had combat reports of all his victories and the mention OTG was not present, therefor a later add). The ones "changed" to "unconfirmed" may be geniune (I'll wait for your answer on that), the OTG ones are not IMHO.
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  #23  
Old 8th August 2018, 15:30
PMoz99 PMoz99 is offline
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

Hello Alfred.

I agree the notes at the end refer to shared kills. A re-read on my part was required for that to penetrate.

Regarding the 'unconfirmed' status, Shores and Williams indicate they have referred to squadron records and combat reports, and the unconfirmed seem to be claims which they did not locate in either, but are present in Clostermann's personal log/record.

The OTG kills are mostly from 3/5/45 and are stated to be so listed in squadron records. If they were originally recorded as aerial kills, would anyone have bothered to change the status of the claims so close to the end? Or after the end? In his book Clostermann describes shooting down the Do24s in detail, so why would the squadron's records show them as OTG kills?

Regarding Clostermann's own list, Shores&W say it was prepared in November 1945 (showing 19 individual and 14 shared kills) and then signed by Broadhurst. They also say that with the shared kills, it appears Clostermann was only present and likely never fired a shot. I have no idea if these details are correct. If so, I guess it is always possible that the list was prepared with best belief but not 100% accurate being 6 months later.

In any case, I still think it safe to say the 23 claimed kills include claims which some sources now say are unconfirmed and/or probables and/or OTG kills. Ignoring claims Clostermann himself records as OTG, Shores&W list differs from Clostermann's only on one point - a FW190 kill on 2/7/44. Clostermann claims 2, Shores&W has only 1. As a result, the Shores&W list has 11 confirmed, 7 unconfirmed, and 5 probables = 23. And 9 damaged. Coincidence? By design? I can't see why they would try to tailor the result.

So it comes back to my question at the start - what do the crosses on his Tempest represent? In the absence of anything concrete from Clostermann on the meaning of his markings, I can only guess they are as I have presented above.

Last of all, I have no idea how to reconcile a Tempest with 21 black and 7 white crosses, given there were 4 kills in the last sortie with aerial kills. His score would have jumped from 19 to 23. Michel, - do you have a date for that photo? (I guess not)

Cheers
Peter
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  #24  
Old 8th August 2018, 16:36
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

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Originally Posted by PMoz99 View Post
Regarding the 'unconfirmed' status, Shores and Williams indicate they have referred to squadron records and combat reports, and the unconfirmed seem to be claims which they did not locate in either, but are present in Clostermann's personal log/record.
So it's nothing official, like RAF stated them as unconfirmed, it's just Shores who stated them as such.
Maybe the November document was faulty but that means that the DFC documents were faulty too (those documents are not personal logs !). But it never occured that the squadron records may be faulty ?

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If they were originally recorded as aerial kills, would anyone have bothered to change the status of the claims so close to the end? Or after the end?
Clostermann was somewhat a controversial figure. Some may want to boost his tally and some may want to downgrade it. He is after all very well know.

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In any case, I still think it safe to say the 23 claimed kills include claims which some sources now say are unconfirmed and/or probables and/or OTG kills.
I have already said what I think of the OTG. For the unconfirmed, this category only existed for a short time in 1939-1940 in the RAF. There is no reason to think these victories were rejected by the RAF as they are mentioned in the various documents quoted.

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Clostermann claims 2, Shores&W has only 1. As a result, the Shores&W list has 11 confirmed, 7 unconfirmed, and 5 probables = 23. And 9 damaged. Coincidence? By design? I can't see why they would try to tailor the result.
This may be one of the geniune errors I was talking about. So that would give Closterman 18 confirmed, 5 probables and 9 damaged.

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Last of all, I have no idea how to reconcile a Tempest with 21 black and 7 white crosses, given there were 4 kills in the last sortie with aerial kills. His score would have jumped from 19 to 23. Michel, - do you have a date for that photo? (I guess not)
His last mount show 23+9. So maybe confirmed+probable in black and damaged in white. That would match more or less with the rest.
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  #25  
Old 8th August 2018, 17:02
PMoz99 PMoz99 is offline
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

Thank you for your interest in this Alfred.
I have no real problem with the unconfirmed kills. I guess I just mention them separately for completeness and maybe also because the official lists usually exclude unconfirmed kills.
I have no idea where they get the info in the DFC/Bar documents. Is it provided by the Squadron when they put in the recommendation? Or is some poor soul in HQ admin given the task of checking all the records?
Michel previously suggested at post 19 the squadron records were reliable, but I would concede they could be just as much at fault as anything else. I don't think anything can be taken as 100%. But they are the official records, so I would use them at least as a base to start from.
Photo of Tempest with 21+7 attached.
So, you also agree 18 kills + 5 probables + 9 damaged is the likely score on the 23+9 Tempest?
Peter
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File Type: jpg Clostermann Tempest SN-222 JFoE 21+7 kill markings.jpg (109.2 KB, 16 views)
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  #26  
Old 8th August 2018, 17:10
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

Hi Peter

Sorry,I don't have a date:the picture is in the French Magazine "AVIONS" n°138 (sept.2004)

Out of curiosity,I tried to match his claims (1°to 7°-8°) with his potential victims.

Result
27/07/43= only one (I/JG2- crash Gonneville/mer or 2/JG2-crash Annebault) and maybe shared with Fl.Martel and Sgt Bruno of 341°Sqd.
overclaiming of 341°Sqd=150%

27/08/43= 3/JG26 crash St Nicolas or I/JG26 crash Nieuwepoort
485°Sqd claimed also one......shared?

15/06/44=no Bf.109 lost (St-andré de l'eure) III/JG3 based there....no losses recorded.

26/06/44=no Fw.190 lost (Caen/Carpiquet)

29/06/44=no Fw.190 lost (nord rouen)

2/07/44= only one-maybe 3/JG26 (17432) Lt Nink....shared with others pilots?

Michel
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  #27  
Old 8th August 2018, 18:34
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

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So, you also agree 18 kills + 5 probables + 9 damaged is the likely score on the 23+9 Tempest?

That's just a supposition, I have nothing to back this. As you say only him or someone close to him could tell.



That his claims match ennemy loss is another story. It is highly likely he was a big overclaimer, but I don't know how he rank among other RAF pilots in that domain.
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  #28  
Old 13th August 2018, 16:07
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

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Here's a reproduction of the document, this list is also found on a link provided earlier I think :

And here's something about the top 10 French aces :
Good afternoon Gentlemen,

thanks a lot for your many fascinating posts about this complicated topic. I will have a lot of fun working them through and cross-checking everything.

Dear Alfred Monzat: thanks for the document showing 19 Clostermann kills. I did not even know that something like this exists. Can you tell me the dates of the 14 shared kills ?

Cheers,

Michael
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  #29  
Old 13th August 2018, 23:58
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

No but a link in one of your posts show some of them.
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  #30  
Old 14th August 2018, 19:27
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Re: French WW2 decimal score aces

Yes, it shows six half-shares in the Tempest.
Does that mean that the missing eight shared kills (all Fw190's) were scored in the Spitfire ?
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