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Old 10th August 2006, 15:05
Boomerang Boomerang is offline
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Announcement of Luftwaffe Losses by OKW?

My limited understanding is that the OKW issued a daily communique about developments in the war on air, land and sea (but I certainly stand to be corrected).

My questions are:
  • did the OKW releases include 'information' on Luftwaffe losses and, if so, did these include actual statements about aircraft and personnel losses?
  • assuming information on Luftwaffe losses was given, how does it correlate with the data on actual losses which is now available?
Thanks

Boomerang
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Old 10th August 2006, 18:47
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Announcement of Luftwaffe Losses by OKW?

From what I have seen from newspapers of the 40-45 era, while US and UK usually gave figures for their losses, roughly in accord with the real ones (ie when they give a figure it is the good one or close to), German communiques translated in French newspapers only counted enemy losses, and only said that 'German losses were nil/light' or 'the fight was severe'.
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Old 10th August 2006, 21:12
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Nick Beale Nick Beale is offline
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Re: Announcement of Luftwaffe Losses by OKW?

Try to get hold of Günter Wegmann's "Das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht Gibt Bekannt…" (Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück 1982) which is a collection of all the daily OKW communiqués throughout the war.

The Imperial War Museum library was where I saw it.
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Old 11th August 2006, 17:46
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
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Re: Announcement of Luftwaffe Losses by OKW?

When one compares with the loss returns to the Generalquartiermeister der Luftwaffe, it is obvious that both the OKW communiqués (in the source which Nick mentioned above) and the OKW/OKH diary ("Kriegstagebuch des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht") gave daily Luftwaffe loss figures which were lower or much lower than the actual losses. This does not necessarily mean that the figures were deliberately false (particularly not in the case with the figures in the OKW/OKH diaries), but perhaps only preliminary and incomplete.
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Old 12th August 2006, 14:26
bulldog bulldog is offline
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Re: Announcement of Luftwaffe Losses by OKW?

German losses were rarely publicized because of the obvious fallout created by official casualty figures. the only way the German public realized their armed forces were suffering high losses(especially after the opening of Barbarossa) were the black bordered death notices in the daily papers. From this point on the German public began to grow alarmed at the heavier losses and there were 'official' measures taken to censor these death notices.
Hope this helps. I'm sure other members will have more detailed info.
Regards Bulldog.
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Old 13th August 2006, 13:10
Boomerang Boomerang is offline
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Smile Re: Announcement of Luftwaffe Losses by OKW?

Gentlemen:

Thank you for those very informative replies. It looks as if there are some very good primary sources to throw further light on this issue.

One can speculate that, in the absence of quantitative official information on Luftwaffe losses, the German population learnt to read between the lines.

Cheers

Boomerang
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Old 13th August 2006, 13:35
bulldog bulldog is offline
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Re: Announcement of Luftwaffe Losses by OKW?

Boomerang,
The other obvious evidence of casualties were the number of women in mourning. This was one practice the Party could not prevent.
Regards Bulldog.
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Old 13th August 2006, 18:17
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Re: Announcement of Luftwaffe Losses by OKW?

There's also this website http://www.denkmalprojekt.org/en.htm which is a project to create a searchable database of names on German war memorials.

I recently found the fate of a pilot I was interested in thanks to this site.
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Old 13th August 2006, 18:33
rldunn rldunn is offline
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Re: Announcement of Luftwaffe Losses by OKW?

Here a few examples of parts of OKW communiques.

2 Feb 42: "In the period from Jan. 24 to Jan. 30 the Soviet Air Force lost 164 planes of which 94 were shot down in air combat, thirteen by anti-aircraft fire and the remainder destroyed on theground. During the same period we lost 33 planes on the Eastern front."

7 Feb 42: "In air combat yesterday 34 Soviet planes were shot down or destroyed on the ground without loss to us."

15 Feb. 1942: "From 7 to 14 Feb. the Soviet Air Force lost 153 planes of which 88 were shot down in air battles, eight by antiaircraft fire and the remainder destroyed on the ground. During the same period 25 German planes were lost."

The New York Times is a handy source for full text translations of OKW communiques.

Rick
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