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  #1  
Old 9th February 2005, 12:12
Andy Fletcher's Avatar
Andy Fletcher Andy Fletcher is offline
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LaGG & Lavochkin Aces of World War 2

LaGG & Lavochkin Aces of World War 2, by George Mellinger (Osprey)

Not really a review, just a point of note (or caution!)

VVS ace Arkadiy Sukov of 41 IAP and 254 IAP is described as having shot down 6 Luftwaffe experten from JG54 with a combined "score" of 397 and 4 ritterkreuz. The 6 experten in question were (taken directly from the text)

1. 22/5/42; Lt Otto-Bruno Lörzer; II/JG54; 47 Kills; KIA
2. 9/8/42; Olt Max-Hellmuth Ostermann; St.Kap. 7/JG54; 102 Kills; KIA
3. 18/9/42; Hptm Herbert Findeisen; Gr.Kdr. II/JG54; 67 Kills; POW
4. 11/11/42; Hans-Joachim Heyer; III/JG54; 54 Kills; MIA
5. 17/12/44; Ofw Heinrich Wefers; JG54; 52 Kills, MIA
6. 3/1/45; Lt Hans-Joachim Kroschinski; St.Kap. 3/JG54; 76 Kills; WIA

Many of these facts are incorrect

1. I can find no loss for Lt Otto-Bruno Lörzer on this date (or any other JG54 loss). Lörzer is listed in some Ace lists as having 47 kills but I always thought this was doubtful.
2. The only correct date, but Ostermann was St.Kap. 8/JG54 not 7/JG54.
3. Findeisen was Gr.Kdr. II/JG54 from Feb45-May45, before that he was an aufklärer pilot with NAGr.4 during 43-44 and wasn't a POW. No JG54 losses on 18/9/42.
4. Lt Hans-Joachim Heyer was MIA 9/11/42 (not 11/11/42) whilst flying with 8/JG54.
5. Ofw Heinrich Wefers was KIA 15/1/45 (not MIA 17/12/44) with 4/JG54, there are four JG54 losses for 17/12/44 but none listed for Wefers.
6. Hans-Joachim Kroschinski was WIA 21/12/44 (not 3/1/45) as a Fw with 3/JG54 (not a Lt and St.Kap.). No JG54 losses listed for 3/1/45.

I don't know whether the author took the details of Sukov's victims from Soviet sources but obviously no effort was made to check their accuracy. Before this I was quite enjoying the book taking for granted what the author said about the VVS pilots (having few other sources to compare), but now I wander about the accuracy as little resaerch was obviously done on Sukov's victims.

If anyone could shed any light, correct the details provided by me or maybe confirm the accuracy of the claims I would like to hear about it.

Regards

Andy Fletcher
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Old 9th February 2005, 15:08
Ota Jirovec Ota Jirovec is offline
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Ota Jirovec
Hello Andy,

many thanks for your review / warning. Perhaps just two very short points:

- no book about Soviet aces published so far can be considered reliable - they are all based on "old" data - memoirs, doubtful secondary sources (very often "slightly" changed for propaganda purposes). I am afraid we all have to wait till the group of researchers around Mikhail Bykov publishes their book on Soviet aces based on information from Russian archives
- Heinrich Wefers of 4./JG 54 was not killed in July 1945, but already on 18.5.1945 on the Channel front, most likely a victim of Duane Beeson of 4th FG USAAF.

Hope this helps a little,

Ota
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Old 9th February 2005, 18:09
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Andy Fletcher Andy Fletcher is offline
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Hi Ota,

I can find no loss for Ofw Heinrich Wefers 4/JG54 on 18/5/43 but Don Caldwell lists an Ofw Heinrich Wefes 4/JG54 as KIA (P-47 (4FG - Beeson)) flying Bf109G-4 (19246; White 6+) on that date.

I agree this is probably Wefers as it is quite a coincidence and also he makes no more claims after 20/3/43. I think maybe the reason his loss doesn't show in JG54 loss lists is that 4/JG54 was sub-ordinate to JG26 at the time.

I agree with what you say about books on Soviet aces. I have Stalin's Falcons and Stalin's Eagles which are both very good but rather vague in many cases and are regarded by Russian researchers as not very accurate.

I look forward Bykov's book, especially if he has access to Soviet archives which I understand are extremely accurate once all the patriotic rhetoric has been filtered. Have you any idea when the book will be available.

Best Regards

Andy Fletcher
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Old 14th February 2005, 21:50
Jim P. Jim P. is offline
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Wefers

Bf 109G-4 19246 Wefers, Ofw. Heinrich 52 4. JG 54 wei§e 6 + - 18-May-43 KIA in FSA after Luftkampf with P-47 from the 4th FG (Lt. Beeson). Loss report says III./JG 26. Kanal Gen.Qu.6.Abt. (mfm #10)-Vol.17; Caldwell, JG 26 War Diary, II, p.64 Ghistelles near Ostende 100% F

Rosipal's loss list for JG 54 has Wefers being lost in early 45!!
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Old 16th February 2005, 12:31
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Andy Fletcher Andy Fletcher is offline
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Hi Jim,

Thanks for confirming the date of Wefers loss.

Regards

Andy Fletcher
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  #6  
Old 16th February 2005, 15:55
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Peter Kassak Peter Kassak is offline
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Peter Kassak is an unknown quantity at this point
any wonder...?

Why do I not wonder??? Osprey proved once again that it is more modellers literature that reliable historical information fact literature...Many times discussed topic.
I just wonder, how they can spit out so many books so fast with such a quality.
just a thought...

keep checking six...
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Old 16th February 2005, 16:27
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Hello
IMHO the quality of Osprey books varied greatly, some are good some bad, I think it depends entirely on the writer. For example I think the G4M Betty book is very good and there are others.
On the other hand I think that Mellinger relies almost entirely on secondary Soviet/Russian sources and that is better keep in one's mind when reading his text, but there isn't yet too much literature on Eastern Front air war and Mellinger books give at least some info on that subject. And Mellinger isn't the only writer who relies on one sided sources, in many books on western subjects still for example pilots' claims are taken as sure victories.

Juha
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Old 18th February 2005, 12:41
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Andy Fletcher Andy Fletcher is offline
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I agree with Juha. Just because a book is published by Osprey it doesn't mean the book is poor. The author is a far better indicator of the quality of the book. For example I think Rumanian Aces of WW2 (Dénes Bernád), Hungarian Aces of WW2 (Gyorgy Punka) and Croatian Aces of WW2 (Dragan Savic & Boris Ciglic) are excellent books, the material being well researched.

On the other hand some of the Osprey books are definately lacking in well researched info.

Regards

Andy Fletcher
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Old 26th February 2005, 11:28
sveahk sveahk is offline
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Hello everybody

So, talking about russian books: How good is the series by Bergström/Mikhailov, "Black Cross/Red Star". Looks very accurate to me, well researched, but perhaps somebody has another opinion about these books?
Hans
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Old 26th February 2005, 14:06
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Andy Fletcher Andy Fletcher is offline
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Hi Hans,

I've only got BCRS Vol II, but personally I find the book to be most informative and balanced, with plenty of information on operations and pilots. I've got no access to primary Russian (Soviet) sources so can't say how accurate the VVS data is but I've no reason to doubt the accuracy of the research done by the Russian co-authors (Andrey Mikhailov - BCRS Vol II).

I think I read on the old TOCH forum that the BCRS series was totally one sided in its view of the air war in the east, being biased on the side of the Luftwaffe, but I don't agree, at least not in Vol II.

I look forward to Vol III.

Regards

Andy Fletcher
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