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Old 11th December 2014, 22:18
GuerraCivil GuerraCivil is offline
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Heinkel 51 air combat losses in SCW?

I wonder how big were the actual He 51 losses in air combats of SCW?

I managed to dig out these German He 51 air combat losses in SCW (based on Laureau 2000 and on Forsyth 2011 + Håkans Aviation page). The data is incomplete and may contain errors - thus additional info and corrections are welcome. Here are included only He 51´s of Legión Condor (LC):

30.8.1936: He 51 (Trautloft) shot down by enemy Dewoitine 372 (Puparelli)

13.11.1936: He 51 (Eberhardt) lost over Madrid in mid-air-collision with enemy I-16 (Tarkhov)

8.12.1936: He 51 (Mratzek - 4.J/88) shot down at Northern Front by enemy I-15

6.1.1937: He 51 (Gallera - 3.J/88) shot down over Madrid by enemy I-16

6.1.1937: He 51 (Kneiding - 3.J/88) shot down over Madrid by enemy I-16

12.2.1937: He 51 (Hepe - 1.J/88) shot down over Jarama by enemy I-16

12.2.1937: He 51 (Palm - 1.J/88) shot down over Jarama by enemy I-16

18.1.1938: He 51 (Klein - 4.J/88) shot down over Teruel by enemy fighters

4.5.1938: He 51 (Hester - 4.J/88) shot down over Albocacer by enemy fighters.

Although He 51 was heavily critized by LC pilots and was technically inferior compared to Polikarpov fighters, the actual air combat losses (9!?) do not seem to be heavier than those suffered by J/88 units when they were equipped with more advanced Bf 109!

But the list above is probably not the complete one and needs corrections - one should take in account also Spanish-flown He 51´s lost in air combat. These are known to me:

17.4.1937: He 51 (Palmero - 2-E-2), destroyed near Teruel due to mid-air-collision with I-15

17.4.1937: He 51 (Allende - 2-E-2), damaged in air combat near Teruel against I-15 (Comas) - was it written off?

15.1.1938: He 51 (Palacios Vega - 1-G-2), shot down near Teruel (air combat or flak?)

22.2.1938: He 51 (Carreras García - 1-G-2), shot down near Terual (air combat or flak?)

20.3.1938: He 51 (Jiménez Guerra - 1-G-2), shot down near Terual (air combat or flak?)

26.3.1938: He 51 (Aragon Muñoz - 1-G-2), shot down near Teruel (air combat or flak?)

12.5.1938: He 51 (Cuadra - 1-G-2), shot down in air combat?

Due to ground attacking role the big majority of Heinkel 51 combat losses were caused by enemy flak.

The Republican air combat claims regarding He 51 were exaggerated as well as their claims of "killed" Bf 109´s. According to Mikhail Maslov (2010) the I-15 and I-16 pilots had claimed by 9.12.1936 as many as 18 He 51´s destroyed (compare with the LC loss list above - by the 9.12.1936 only three He 51 were lost in air combat!).
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