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Old 5th May 2005, 11:07
Nikita Egorov Nikita Egorov is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Moscow
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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...

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