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Old 15th April 2017, 17:55
Dan History Dan History is offline
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Exclamation I have just written a new analysis of Luftwaffe resource distribution - it is on Michael Holm's website

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am Dan, I have been a military history researcher for some considerable time, although not quite as long as some of the veteran members of this forum

I have long been interested in the course of the Second World War and the causes of the initial Axis successes and the eventual Allied victory. In the course of pursuing this overarching interest, I have had the opportunity to research Luftwaffe resource distribution in some depth during my university studies. To summarise my findings in one sentence, I have found that Western air power defeated the Luftwaffe and therefore enabled the USSR to survive. This finding is based on a large volume of research that I have conducted in the German Federal Military Archives in Freiburg. I would be glad to receive questions and comments from members, whether supportive or critical!

I am grateful for the assistance of Larry de Zeng and Michael Holm in publishing my study online on Michael's website. The direct link is as follows - http://www.ww2.dk/Luftwaffe%20Research.html . The link to download the file with the text of the study is http://www.ww2.dk/Dan%20Zamansky%20-%20The%20Study.pdf

Comments can be sent to my email, luftwafferesearch@gmail.com

Kind regards,

Dan

Last edited by Dan History; 16th April 2017 at 14:56. Reason: Corrected links - all links now fully functional
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Old 16th April 2017, 09:23
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Boris Ciglic Boris Ciglic is offline
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Re: I have just written a new analysis of Luftwaffe resource distribution - it is on Michael Holm's website

Dear Dan,

With all due respect for your research, I must consider your findings that "Western air power defeated the Luftwaffe and therefore enabled the USSR to survive" pure historical revisionism. Are you aware of the numbers of German & Axis allied troops engaged on the Eastern Front? Did you ever read anything about the sheer size of German casualties in the east? What was the role of the Western air power at the gates of Moscow in 1941? At Leningrad? Where was the Western air power at Stalingrad?

Boris
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Old 16th April 2017, 13:21
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Marcel Hogenhuis Marcel Hogenhuis is offline
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Re: I have just written a new analysis of Luftwaffe resource distribution - it is on Michael Holm's website

Hello gents,

With my limited knowledge of the air battles in the east, I will not judge this new study nor becoming a participant in a discussion about it.

However I strongly advise that we all read the paper first, carefully check the used sources and the conclusions drawn, before we comment the value of this paper and opinions expressed.

History is a never ending discussion a famous Dutch historian once said. I do hope that several TOCH friends with expert knowledge read Dan History's paper very well and give their comments.

Urbi et orbi, Marcel
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Old 16th April 2017, 14:44
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Boris Ciglic Boris Ciglic is offline
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Re: I have just written a new analysis of Luftwaffe resource distribution - it is on Michael Holm's website

Dear Marcel,

Since reading 'Samurai' at the age of eleven, nothing has preoccupied my interests so much as the aviation history. Since then, I've read many books on the subject, spent a lot of time in archives and had the privilege to speak to some of the WWII veterans.
The statement that the "Western air power defeated the Luftwaffe and therefore enabled the USSR to survive" is naive to say the least and for that I do not have to read a line from the study trying to prove it. Did RAF Circuses and Ramrods stop von Bock in front of Moscow? Did the dislocation of few fighter groups to Libya prevent von Paulus from winning at Stalingrad?

Boris
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Old 16th April 2017, 15:38
Dan History Dan History is offline
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Re: I have just written a new analysis of Luftwaffe resource distribution - it is on Michael Holm's website

Dear Boris,

You may have considered thanking me for sharing the results of my research before launching into your attack, but that is your choice. What I strongly object to is the accusation of bad faith and ignorance that you have made. The charge of "historical revisionism" may have been considered appropriate in a meeting of an Eastern block Communist party, but such an attack only invites contempt in the civilised world.

You are entitled to strongly disagree with my conclusions, but you are not entitled to adopt the Soviet position, "I have not read it, but I condemn it". You may be aware that this was the reaction of members of the Union of Soviet Writers to the publication of Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, a reaction which served only to underline the boorish ignorance of those members.

I invite you to read my study in order to see the evidence that Western air operations drew critically important Luftwaffe resources away from the Eastern front. This can be seen particularly clearly during both the battle of Moscow and the battle of Stalingrad. German flying units were withdrawn from the Eastern front and redeployed to the Mediterranean before both of these Soviet counter-offensives. I look forward to further comments from you after you have had a chance to read my study.

Kind regards,

Dan
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Old 16th April 2017, 15:52
Dan History Dan History is offline
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Re: I have just written a new analysis of Luftwaffe resource distribution - it is on Michael Holm's website

Hello Marcel,

Thank you for your kind and measured words. My study was not written with an Eastern front specialist in mind, but rather for anyone interested in history. This is especially so in view of the fact that my aim was to discuss the strategic influence of the Luftwaffe on the course of the war as a whole, not just events in the East. Therefore, I invite you to read my study, or some part of it that your other preoccupations allow, and give your reaction. I shall be interested to hear what you think of it, whether you agree or disagree with my arguments.

Kind regards,

Dan
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Old 16th April 2017, 16:00
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Re: I have just written a new analysis of Luftwaffe resource distribution - it is on Michael Holm's website

Dan, you've just arrived so please don't rise so readily to what you might interpret as provocation. You expressly invited criticism or comment and even if you do find some of what ensues intemperate, it's generally more effective to respond in a calmer tone than the one used by the person you're in dispute with.

And this goes for everyone else too, keep the discussion polite. We can express our differences without anger.
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Old 16th April 2017, 16:20
Dan History Dan History is offline
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Re: I have just written a new analysis of Luftwaffe resource distribution - it is on Michael Holm's website

Nick, I have arrived here with considerable respect for the knowledge of forum members, including those who have made contributions above, so I will take your remarks to heart.

To return to the subject of my study, I invite those particularly interested in the relative significance of operations on different fronts to consider "Table 13. Losses of Luftwaffe aircrew and aircraft to operational causes, 22.06.1941 to 01.01.1944, by front", on page 27 of my study. I do not mean to suggest that this one table, or my work as a whole, can answer all questions. What I would like to highlight is that I have adduced evidence from archival sources which will be of considerable interest to many. As far as I am aware, the total losses of Luftwaffe aircraft on all three fronts (Western Front, Mediterranean and East) have never been presented in this way in print.

Kind regards,

Dan
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Old 16th April 2017, 16:52
Bruce Dennis Bruce Dennis is offline
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Re: I have just written a new analysis of Luftwaffe resource distribution - it is on Michael Holm's website

Dan, you asked for comments so here goes:
Based on what you have given as a description of your work, I can see a blinkin’ obvious point that needs to be addressed: the threat to the survival of the USSR came from the German decision to fight a two-front war. The Eastern Front (ie the fight between Germany and the USSR) did not become a theatre of war until two years after the conflict began in Europe. The ‘Western air power’ as you have described it benefited from 1941 onward from the diluted efforts of the Axis two-front battle, not the other way around. Your scenario (as you have described it) casts the Eastern Front battle somehow as the central and real struggle and the previous and ongoing battles over the UK and western Europe as sideshows.
I feel able to use this black-and-white view of the situation in response to your post simply because you assert that the USSR survived because of the use of Western air power without including the game-changing aspect of the German decision to take the gamble in the first place.


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Old 16th April 2017, 17:26
Dan History Dan History is offline
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Re: I have just written a new analysis of Luftwaffe resource distribution - it is on Michael Holm's website

Bruce, I did indeed ask for comments, thank you very much for yours You are correct that the question of German resource distribution arose from the German decision to fight on two fronts, or even three fronts, if the Mediterranean is to be considered a distinct front. What I did not have the space to discuss in my study, limited as it was by maximum word count, is that Germany did not have an effective option for continuing the war other than attacking the USSR. The objective of Operation Barbarossa was German domination of the European hinterland and use of the associated natural resource base for the German war economy. The Nazi regime was aware that the attempt to crush British resistance had failed and that the United States could enter the war in the future, so Germany needed resources to continue the war with reasonable chances of victory. Otherwise, the German war effort would simply wither on the vine, suffocated by the Royal Navy blockade. Given the experience of the First World War, Germany's entire strategy was geared to avoid such a turn of events.

It was Britain, and ultimately the United States as well, who exercised the choice to either not become involved in the Soviet-German war, and then to fight a long war against a strengthened Germany, or to aid the USSR with the aim of preventing German domination of all of Europe. Churchill took the responsibility of making the decision to aid the USSR, aware of the consequences: "If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House". This aid effort eventually proved overzealous, as German domination of all of Europe was replaced with Soviet domination of half of the continent. One of the objectives of my study is to demonstrate by implication that, since Western air power was quite effective in defeating the Luftwaffe, better strategic choices could have been made during the war.

Kind regards,

Dan
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