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Old 4th August 2018, 01:09
ZhekaB ZhekaB is offline
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Air battle over East Prussia in October 1944

Hello everybody, I’m interesting in October 1944 air battle over East Prussia. May be somebody could tell me is there any issues on this topic on english or german?
If I am right, I calculated that the following list of German units took part in these battles in October:
Stab, I., III./JG52;
I., III./JG51;
II./SG1;
Stab, II./SG3;
Stab, I., II./SG4
AT staffels: 10.(Pz)/SG1; 10.(Pz)/SG3; Stab IV.(Pz), 10.(Pz), 13.(Pz)/SG9
More dificult to figure out bomber and recon planes. But they didn’t played significant role in battle. Also difficult question is participation of Bf.110/210. Maybe smb have additional information?

Information for attraction to topic from different soviet documents:
1) In information sheet of 1st Air Armee VVS is mention about interrogation of commander of 6. II/ SG 1 «Ганс Глаус» (smth like Hans Glaus or Heinze Glausse). He was downed by AA fire near Eidkau 20 Oct 44. I could not find anyone similar in “Luft officer career” data on M. Holm’s site or in other topic sites. May be pilot changed his name on interrogation.
2) 21 Oct by 4th Motorifle brigade’s gunfire (due to it’s documents) SW of Gumbinnen was shooted down Fiesler Storh. The body of XXVII A.K.’s commander - general Helmut Priess was found in wrecks. 4 AOK docs confirm this information.
3) Gen.-maj G. Zaharov, commander of 303 IAD, in air combat in 09 October 1944 near Tilsit had claimed damaged Bf.109. This day was full of air fighting so it would be very difficult to find possible vis-à-vis, but maybe smb has any information
4) The most interesting question is meeting of new model of Fw.190 in two combats at 16 october by pilots of 18 GIAP near Gumbinnen. They described it like Fw.190 with in-line engine or twin-star engine (probably meaning its longer nose). Cpt. Seregin went into dogfight with one and was surprised its performance and maneuverability which was not worse that his Yak-3. He had 7 front-attack with new Fw.190 and couldn’t got him into tail. So, the combat ended w/o result. On subsequent days pilots of 303 IAD hadn’t met these “fokkers”. Obviously this mention was about Fw.190D, but who was piloting these fighters? May be test-pilots? Also maybe it was a mistake. But, IMHO it is a strange coincidence with real sign of new model of Fw.190 which hadn’t been in use on East front before.
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Old 4th August 2018, 11:44
Marc-André Haldimann's Avatar
Marc-André Haldimann Marc-André Haldimann is offline
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Re: Air battle over East Prussia in October 1944

Hi there ZekhaB,

Regarding your point 4, the first combat losses of JG 54 occurred on 15 October 1944, as this unit lost 6 machines in combat that day (four W.Nr. are known: W.Nr. 210015, 210019, 210021 and 210035) against US fighters in the Hesepe area. Source: Urbanke, JG 54, p. 459 via Michael Balss's Luftwaffe losses list.

The sighting of Fw 190 D-9's in the Gumbinnen-Goussev area on 16 October 1944 is thus a possibility; unfortunately away from my library, I'm not aware as to which unit was already operating the D-9 on the Eastern Front.

Cheers
Marc

Last edited by Marc-André Haldimann; 4th August 2018 at 12:29.
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Old 4th August 2018, 11:58
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Re: Air battle over East Prussia in October 1944

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZhekaB View Post
1) In information sheet of 1st Air Armee VVS is mention about interrogation of commander of 6. II/ SG 1 «Ганс Глаус» (smth like Hans Glaus or Heinze Glausse). He was downed by AA fire near Eidkau 20 Oct 44. I could not find anyone similar in “Luft officer career” data on M. Holm’s site or in other topic sites. May be pilot changed his name on interrogation.

4) The most interesting question is meeting of new model of Fw.190 in two combats at 16 october by pilots of 18 GIAP near Gumbinnen. They described it like Fw.190 with in-line engine or twin-star engine (probably meaning its longer nose).
Hallo Zheka.
1 Question:
KLAUS, Johann Alfred. (DOB: 04.09.18 in Treis/Kreis Giessen). (R, DKG). (n.d.) with Fl.Ausb.Rgt. 43.
(n.d.) with Erg./St.G. 1.
07.42 assigned to II./St.G. 1 on completion of training.
(n.d.) in 5./St.G. 1.
16.11.42 Lt., awarded Ehrenpokal.
22.07.43 Lt., II./St.G. 1 awarded DKG, II./St.G. 1.
08.43 Staka 6./St.G. 1.
01.11.43 in SG 1, promo to Oblt.
26.03.44 Oblt., awarded Ritterkreuz, Staffelführer 6./SG. 1.
01.08.44 adjusted RDA for rank of Oblt. moved forward to 01.03.43.
15.10.44 Oblt., II./SG 1.
20.10.44 stellv. (deputy) Kdr. II./SG 1, Fw 190 (F-8?) shot down by ground fire over East Prussia and captured by the Russians.
25.10.49 released from Soviet captivity.
Credited with 812 combat missions, 3 air victories and the destruction of 65+ enemy tanks, 10 trains, 5 rocket launchers, and 37 guns.
01.04.56 entered in the Bundeswehr.
(n.d.) undertook general staff training at the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr.
30.09.77 retired with a rank of Oberst i.G.

4. Question - Fw190D-9 in October 1944 in East Prussia?
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Old 4th August 2018, 13:39
Merlin Merlin is offline
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Re: Air battle over East Prussia in October 1944

During October 1944 the only fighter unit equipped with the Fw 190D-9 was III./JG 54, they were based in northwest Germany.

The first units with the D-9 appeared at the Eastern front in February 1945.
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Old 4th August 2018, 16:51
Dan History Dan History is offline
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Re: Air battle over East Prussia in October 1944

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZhekaB View Post
October 1944 air battle over East Prussia
Hello Zheka,

It is good to have you here as a new member.

Concerning your question about the Luftwaffe order of battle in East Prussia in this period, the answer may be known to Andrew Arthy. My own comment would be that your list appears to be broadly correct, but some of the units concerned operated over Kurland and not East Prussia, while some other units may be missing from your list.

Turning to the types of German aircraft flown, the Schlachtgeschwader were flying the Fw 190 F-8 sub-type, almost exclusively. The exception was I./S.G. 1, which was still flying the Ju 87 D-5. The units of JG 51 and 52 in East Prussia were equipped with the Bf 109 G-6, though small numbers of the Bf 109 G-14 version appeared in service with JG 51 during the second half of October. The only Messerschmitt 110s which could have been theoretically present would have been Bf 110 G-4 of a Nachtjagdgeschwader. Other members here will have more specific knowledge, but I cannot see any evidence of any Bf 110 flights or losses over East Prussia at this time. The Me 210 had disappeared from the last frontline units in early 1944. A reconnaissance unit, 1.(F)/122, may have flown the Me 410 in this area, but again there appears to be no evidence of losses.

Evgeny has answered question 1 of your numbered points. I can see in sources available to me that Klaus was still listed as the commander of 6./S.G. 1 at the time when he was shot down, so it appears the identity of the pilot is confirmed.

In response to point 2 I can comment that this Fi 156 appears to have been an aircraft of 28./Fl.Verb.G.2 – Flugzeugverbindungsgeschwader 2. This squadron had been previously designated Kurierstaffel 11.

Point 3, Zakharov’s claim, cannot be matched to any known German loss.

Gerhard is an expert and he has given you his definitive answer about the Fw 190 D-9. I will add that my understanding is that the ‘Dora’ first appeared on the Eastern front when II./J.G. 6 and Stab/J.G. 11 were redeployed from the West in late January and early February 1945. The D-9 never flew over East Prussia. I suggest that skilled Fw 190 F-8 pilots, perhaps flying aircraft with unusual camouflage, could have confused their Soviet opponents. There would have been Soviet intelligence bulletins concerning the existence of a ‘long-nosed’ Focke-Wulf, possibly originating with the Allies. It is probable that this was a fairly mundane case of confirmation bias, with Soviet fighter pilots looking to find unusual Fw 190s even where there were none.

May I ask for your e-mail address, Zheka? I would like to ask you a question about Soviet sources.

Regards,

Dan
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Last edited by Dan History; 4th August 2018 at 16:56. Reason: Formatted spacing
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Old 4th August 2018, 21:36
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Re: Air battle over East Prussia in October 1944

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin View Post
During October 1944 the only fighter unit equipped with the Fw 190D-9 was III./JG 54, they were based in northwest Germany.

The first units with the D-9 appeared at the Eastern front in February 1945.
Thanks for your insight, Merlin.

Cheers
Marc
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Old 4th August 2018, 23:53
ZhekaB ZhekaB is offline
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Re: Air battle over East Prussia in October 1944

Thank you eveybody for your fast answers and welcoming.
Eugeny made an excelent shot, I think - Glaus = Klaus. Indeed.
The most mentioned by soviet pilots and planes in this battle were FW-190 and Bf.109. Than, more rarely Ju.87 and Hs.129. Ju.88/188 have been mentioned just couple of times. Ground forces also mentioned Bf.110. But i think they also were Hs.129. And 1st Air Army VVS claimed just few Ju.88/188, He.111 and Bf.110 before and during the battle. Mostly reconassance. I dont know is there accesible data on losses of german reconnassance planes in this period. So, the most intresting are these four types: Fw.190, Bf.109, Ju.87 and Hs.129.
09 october was damaged 1 Bf.109 from I./JG51 but i dont know place and time.
I agree that simpliest explanation of mysterios appearing of Fw.190D in october near Gumbinnen is that soviet pilots have heard about it before. But for me is not clear that they had. And it is strange just one case of it appearing. There were havy fights in next days too ))
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Old 5th August 2018, 01:51
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Air battle over East Prussia in October 1944

Regarding Fw 190 D-9, there is no trace of their presence on Eastern front in this periode.

And on Western front, Allied pilots started to report "long nose Fw 190" in summer 1944, months before they actually were used. Aircraft recognition skill were not good for any airforce in WWII.
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Old 14th September 2018, 17:02
ZhekaB ZhekaB is offline
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Re: Air battle over East Prussia in October 1944

Thanks Laurent, interesting remark. It proves that reporting about "long nose" fokker could happen before its real appearing.
To warm up the topic let me try to introduce provisional OOB of 1st Air Army of VVS during its East Prussian invasion in october 1944. Operation had been started 16 october by:

240 IAD: yak-3,9 (111 operational a/craft; 111 a/crew)
303 IAD: La-5, Yak-3, Yak-9U (131; 154) - in few days arrived also 20 La-7
129 IAD: La-5 (103; 113)
6 GBAD: A-20, Pe-2 (92; 105)
276 BAD: Pe-2 (79; 80)
213 NBAD: Po-2 (85; 97)
1 GShAD: Il-2 (175; 154)
311 ShAD: Il-2 (80; 88)
182 ShAD: Il-2 (101; 110)
277 ShAD: Il-2 (97; 90)
10 ORAP: Pe-2, Yak-9, Il-2, Po-2 (40; 26)
117 OKRAP: Il-2, Yak-9 (30; 21)

later arrived:

130 IAD: Yak-9D, Yak-9L (110; 106) - starting from 18.10.
330 IAD: La-5 (42; 50) - starting from 23.10.


May be somebody does know any issues with information about german side in this operation? May be any memories from german pilots?
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Old 21st September 2018, 15:54
ZhekaB ZhekaB is offline
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Re: Air battle over East Prussia in October 1944

Thanks for the comment, Laurent. It’s a convincing argument in favor of the fact that the long-nosed Fw-190 could appear in the reports before their real appearance on east front.

I continue to dig the topic and collected 1st Air Army VVS OOB on starting of the Invasion into East Prussia. I tried to post it in this thread, but probably did not pass the moderation. Obviously this information is more for the branch of the Allied and Soviet Air Forces. Do you think it makes sense to create one more topic on the East Prussian operation in that branch? Or, maybe this information is not very interesting?
Quite a difficult question is the participants of the battle from the German side. There were a lot of units at that time, but probably they had not took part in the battle:
- 15. (kroat.)/JG52. But after incident with Mato Dukovac it is mostly sure that staffel hadn’t flew in October.
- III./SG4 located several days during the October battle in East Prussia but it is not clear have it made some flight or not?
- 14.(Eis)/KG3: (Ju-88C) and 14.(Eis.)/KG 55 (He 111H-16) these special staffels based in East Prussia that time, but I don’t have information about their activity.
- Also some JG54 staffels could have a short presence at that time on the East Prussian airfields during their relocations.
It is also interesting question about night fighter and bomber groups (I./NJG100, I., IV./NJG5, NSGr.6, NAGr.3, NAGr.4) – could they issue combat flights at day (late evening for example)?

Can anyone suggest any memoirs or interview of German pilots who took part in the battles in East Prussia in the autumn of 1944? Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any.
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