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Old 25th March 2014, 06:00
RodM RodM is offline
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Ofw. Kurt Welter 5./JG302 Jan-Mar 1944

Hello One & All,

I am hoping to gather some learned opinions concerning the claims made by Ofw. Kurt Welter during the period between January-March 1944, while flying with 5./JG302.

Firstly, there is the documentary evidence of such claims from the Chef für Ausz. und Dizsiplin material as transcribed by Tony Woods et al. From this source there are three claims attributed to Welter by name and an additional three claims without a name (but attributed to Welter by researchers) during Jan-Mar 1944

Secondly, there is additional 'evidence' of unknown (to me at least!) provenance that appears in the late Willi Reschke's book, "Jagdgeschwader 301/302 "Wilde Sau"". This includes four claims not included in the Woods list (in addition to three un-named confirmed claims from the Woods list, attributed to Welter by Reschke).

Thirdly, there is contemporary German propaganda piece, details from Welter's Wehrpaß, and a photograph of Welter beside the tail of his FW190 which provide clues as to his tally during the period. In late 1944 a propaganda article was written that mentioned Welter having claimed 14 victories in 11 missions. There exists an unrelated photo of Welter beside the tail of his aircraft, showing 14 victory bars.

In looking at the various sources, I do not trust the Reschke work without knowing the provenance of the data that he used to compile his claims lists.

Question 1: Can anyone provide details on the documentary sources used by Willi Reschke to compile his lists, specially with regards to Welter's claims on 28-1-44, two on 18-3-44, and second on 24-3-44?

I am sceptical that Welter lodged any of these additional claims as referenced by Reschke because:

1. Between September 1943 and the end of March/mid-April 1944, Welter claimed 17 victories in 15 operational flights (as evidenced by his Wehrpaß), of which only 8 are known to have been confirmed by OKL/RLM by the end of the war, as evidenced by the Chef für Ausz. und Dizsiplin material.

2. Of the 9 unconfirmed/rejected claims between September 1943 and the end of March/mid-April 1944, four from October 1943 and a fifth from March 1944 are detailed in the Chef für Ausz. und Dizsiplin material, and exclude the four referenced solely by Reschke.

3. Of the remaining four unconfirmed claims by Welter during this period, I would think it likely that they were all made in January 1944, during the period when the Chef für Ausz. und Dizsiplin material only includes the Abschußübersicht - i.e. the lists of confirmed claims - and when the documentation on all submitted claims is missing.

Thus I believe in the absence of evidence, that four of Welter's claims as listed by Willi Reschke are most likely unfounded, and that the corresponding unconfirmed and undocumented Welter claims from the period Jan-Mar 1944 were all made in January 1944; a period for which it appears that documentary evidence confirming the submitting of these claims hasn't survived.

According to a propaganda piece written and published in late (Oct-Dec) 1944, Welter had achieved 14 victory claims in 11 operational flights. This corresponds with an unrelated (to the late war article) photograph of Ofw. Welter by the tail of his FW 190, which bears 14 victory bars:

http://odkrywca.pl/forum_pics/picsfo...urt_welter.jpg

I suspect the photograph and statistic may be linked to an earlier propaganda piece from/written in Jan-Feb 1944, but haven't confirmed this.

Question 2: Can anyone provide any evidence of a date when the photograph of Welter by the tail of his FW 190 photograph was taken?

I suspect that Welter had claimed the 14 victories prior to 20 February 1944, and that further claims on 20 February 44 (two) and 24 March 44 (one) took his tally up to the 17 as recorded in his Wehrpaß. This theory is not plausible if documentary evidence does exist for the additional Welter claims listed by Willi Reschke...

Regards

Rod
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Old 25th March 2014, 20:51
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Re: Ofw. Kurt Welter 5./JG302 Jan-Mar 1944

Rod : there is a pic may be of the same Fw, maybe not but ground crew and craft attributed to Welters ~ A-5/U2 with twin fuel tanks and FuG 217, dated January 44.
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Old 25th March 2014, 21:38
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Re: Ofw. Kurt Welter 5./JG302 Jan-Mar 1944

...Rod, as Erich says there is another pic of Welter in front of his 'porcupine' here, this one is dated 'January 1944' (from J-Y Lorant's "Le Focke Wulf 190")

from M. Lorant's interview with Fritz Gniffke (6./JG 302) published in France in the late 1970s..

" ..Welter had downed two Lancasters during the night of 2-3 December 1943, bringing his total to 11, all returned on wilde Sau sorties. On the night of 21-22 January he had run into a Mosquito north of Magdeburg, but the English pilot had managed to get away..Welter was our role model - we certainly didn't have any others.."

Re-reading Gniffke's remarks you get the impression that had he been aware of any other Welter successes during this period he would probably have mentioned them..

(FWIW I have featured the recollections of both Fritz Gniffke and Walter Schermutzki (4./JG 302) in a two-part article -"wilde Sau und Moskito Jagd"- to appear in a UK magazine sometime soon..)
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Old 27th March 2014, 13:26
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Re: Ofw. Kurt Welter 5./JG302 Jan-Mar 1944

Other night-fighter pilots knew during the war he was making large numbers of false claims, in fact his name post-war was taboo.

E.mail me your personal e.mail address on the private TOCH system and I'll send you what I have on the guy. Trouble is that witnesses were hard to find at night when you alone in your aircraft. All those he made in January 1944 and others were u/c.

Kind Regards

Johannes
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Old 28th March 2014, 04:44
Rob Romero Rob Romero is offline
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Re: Ofw. Kurt Welter 5./JG302 Jan-Mar 1944

Johannes, could you elaborate on that?
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Old 28th March 2014, 09:04
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Re: Ofw. Kurt Welter 5./JG302 Jan-Mar 1944

Hi Rob

These are the claims I have:-

At 5./JG 301

22nd September 1943 Lancaster Hanover area 2304 hrs 5000 metres Nr.1
22nd September 1943 B-24 Hanover area 2312 hrs 4000 metres Nr.2
3rd October 1943 Halifax SW Kassel 2229 hrs 4000 metres Nr.3
3rd October 1943 Halifax ENE Kassel 2241 hrs 4000 metres v.n.e-a.s.m Nr.4
22nd October 1943 "viermot" 4km NW Kassel 2104 hrs 4500 metres A.S.M Nr.5
22nd October 1943 "viermot" 18km N Kassel 2114 hrs 4500 metres A.S.M Nr.6
22nd October 1943 "viermot" 28th N Kassel 2124 hrs 4500 metres A.S.M Nr.7
2nd January 1944 "viermot" Berlin area 0255 hrs u/c
5th January 1944 "viermot" W Stettin 0346 hrs u/c
11th January 1944 "viermot" W Stettin 0411 hrs u/c
28th January 1944 "viermot" Berlin area u/c
20th February 1944 Lancaster Berlin area 0327 hrs 6500 metres Nr.8
20th February 1944 Lancaster Leipzig area 0416 hrs 6500 metres Nr.9
18th March 1944 Lancaster u/c
18th March 1944 Lancaster u/c
24th March 1944 Lancaster SW Berlin 2244 hrs 5000 metres A.S.M Nr.10
24th March 1944 Lancaster Berlin area u/c
18th July 1944 P-51 Füssen area 1047 hrs 7000 metres A.s.M Nr.11
18th July 1944 P-51 Schongau area 1055 hrs 4500 metres Nr.12
19th July 1944 P-51 Memmingen area 0937 hrs 7000 metres Nr.13
19th July 1944 B-17 S Konigsbrunn 0943 hrs 6000 metres Nr.14
20th July 1944 B-17 Reichenbach area 1115 hrs 5500 metres Nr.15

The micro film for January 1944 appears to be only the v.n.e-a.s.m listings, however for each Staffel a micro film exists showing only date and time, but nothing matches up for welter.

with 10./JG 300

26th August 1944 Mosquito Nienburg area 0038 hrs 9500 metere Nr.16
30th August 1944 Lancaster 0205 hrs 4800 metres Nr.17
30th August 1944 Lancaster 0201 hrs 4800 metres Nr.18
30th August 1944 Lancaster 0212 hrs 4800 metres Nr.19
30th August 1944 Lancaster 0215 hrs 4800 metres Nr.20
11th September 1944 Mosquito 15km E Nauen 2258 hrs 8500 metre Nr.21
12th September 1944 Mosquito Hopsten/Bramsch 2310 hrs 8300 metres Nr.22
12th September 1944 Mosquito Tangerhutte area 2325 hrs 8000 metres A.S.M Nr.23
13th September 1944 P-51 Salzwebel area 1740 hrs 5000 metres v.n.e-a.s.m Nr.24
16th September 1944 Mosquito Berlin area 0203 hrs 8000 metres v.n.e-a.s.m Nr.25
16th September 1944 Mosquito Gardelegen area 0230 hrs 3500 metres Nr.26
18th September 1944 Mosquito N Wittenberg 2305 hrs 8000 metres Nr.27
6th October 1944 Mosquito Berlin area 2030 hrs 8000 hrs Nr.28
28th October 1944 Mosquito N Berlin 0120 hrs 8000 hrs Nr.29

with 10./NJG 11(not on the micro films, so therefore open to question)

11th/12th December 1944 Mosquito Nr.30
2nd/3rd January 1945 Mosquito Nr.31
5th/6th January 1945 Mosquito Nr.32
10th/11th January 1945 Mosquito Nr.33
16th/17th January 1945 Lancaster Nr.34
16th/17th January 1945 Lancaster Nr.35
21st/22nd February 1945 Mosquito Nr.36
21st/22nd February 1945 Mosquito Nr.37
22nd February 1945 Mosquito Nr.38
22nd February 1945 Mosquito Nr.39
2nd/3rd March 1945 Mosquito Nr.40
2nd/3rd March 1945 Mosquito Nr.41
2nd/3rd March 1945 Mosquito Nr.42
6th/7th March 1945 Mosquito Nr.43
6th/7th March 1945 Mosquito Nr.44
17th/18th March 1945 Mosquito Nr.45
17th/18th March 1945 Mosquito Nr.46
21st March 1945 Mosquito 2138 hrs Nr.47
21st March 1945 Mosquito 2204 hrs Nr.48
24th/25th March 1945 Mosquito Nr.49
27th/28th March 1945 Mosquito Nr.50
30th/31st March 1945 Mosquito Nr.51
30th/31st March 1945 Mosquito Nr.52
3rd/4th April 1945 Mosquito Nr.53
10th/11th April 1945 Mosquito Nr.54
11th/12th April 1945 Mosquito Nr.55
13th/13th April 1945 Mosquito Nr.56
14th/15th April 1945 Mosquito Nr.57
15th/16th April 1945 Mosquito Nr.58
17th/18th April 1945 Mosquito Nr.59

Hope you guys can clear up any faults with this final batch, but as I say it is not possible to use British Mosquito losses to help because he didn;t so much over claim, as just made claims without combat at all allegedly.

I should think his large amount of v.n.e-a.s.m claims was because of lack of witnesses. Assume also he flew the Me262 nightfighter with 10./NJG 11, also assume he sat in it alone.

Anybody wanting to prove his over claiming should have an easy time with the Mosquitos.

Kind Regards

Johannes
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Old 28th March 2014, 19:38
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Re: Ofw. Kurt Welter 5./JG302 Jan-Mar 1944

Johannes: for 5./JG 301 remember the unit switched places by January 44 to 5./JG 302...
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Last edited by Erich; 28th March 2014 at 23:23.
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Old 29th March 2014, 01:56
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Thumbs up Re: Ofw. Kurt Welter 5./JG302 Jan-Mar 1944

Hi,

interesting post!!
Johannes you forget?:

6/7.4.45 10./NJG 11 Oblt Mosquito Berlin area _____ _____ W N 53


or find new info to change the first file you send me....

about the claims seems good in Jg301 & JG300 but in JG11....

Karl-Heinz Becker seems more reliable

regards
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Old 13th April 2014, 03:13
RodM RodM is offline
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Re: Ofw. Kurt Welter 5./JG302 Jan-Mar 1944

Hello Gentlemen,

a very belated thanks for the replies.

I guess we are no closer to understanding the documentary basis on the Welter data contained in Reschke.

Of the two photos, the one of Welter by the tail is quite possibly a PK-produced image, whereas the second photo is unlikely to be a PK-produced image. I mention this because there is the possibility of the tail image having accompanied a propaganda article published on Welter. I have no direct evidence of this but a PK piece published in Nov/Dec 1944 mentions:

"...for within only a few weeks the number of victories exceeded the number of missions flown. After eleven missions he had shot down fourteen terror-bombers..."


Welter's Wehrpass mentions 17 victories in 15 missions by April 1944.

Neil, Fritz Gniffke's recollections are certainly interesting and detailed, but I wonder if he has got the dates right - I simply do not know the answer to that.... If he had 11 victories by the end of December 1943, then 2 x claims in Feb 44 and 1 x claim in Mar 44 would take his total to 14 by mid-April (whereas his Wehrpass indicates 17 by mid-April) and the three un-named confirmed claims from Jan 44, attributed to Welter by Reschke would be incorrect.


In looking at the victory list as reproduced by Johnannes, I will say the following:

1. Care must be taken to differentiate between claims that can be proven to exist via documentary evidence and those of unknown or dubious provenance.

For example, the BAMA films transcribed by Tony Woods et al have claims where Welter is mentioned by name, whereas the claims from January 1944 do not mention him by name, but several un-named confirmed claims have been attributed to Welter by post-war researchers (Reschke) based upon unknown evidence.

2. Sadly, many, many of the late war claims listed are pure Bulls**t. By this I mean that they have nothing to do with the Luftwaffe or Welter himself, but were invented from thin-air by post-war researchers for reasons I will not go in to here.

3. It is the BS from point 2 above that has complicated research on Welter, and these bogus claims are still being published in English-language works at least.

For example, compare Johannes' list with the following, which has solid provenance:

The date and circumstances of the first Welter Me 262 claim have not been reliably documented or proven, but various authors (Ring, Boehme, Jurleit) each provide a different date for this claim! Only Jurleit offers indirect evidence: a memo of unknown provenance that isn't quoted verbatim in his published works and, quite frankly, could relate to some type of success other than the actual claiming of an Abschuss.

Delete all January 1945 claims. A memo from June 1945 by Welter (made for his British captors), and a report by Fritz Wendel from Feb 1945 (the latter as reproduced verbatim by Jurleit) both make it clear that while with Kdo Welter, Welter made five victory claims. Four of these claims can be proven to have occurred in mid-January 1945 (and are not on Johannes' list). Sadly, I cannot post the details of these four known claims here as they'll be published in the 2nd Ed of The Nachtjagd War Diaries in a couple of years time.

Of the remainder of the claims, many are pure BS, especially most of those in April 1945.

There are several documentary sources that can confirm the existence of 10./NJG11 claims, including those certainly and possibly made by Welter (not to be confused with sircher (certain) and wahrscheinlicher (probable) claims as detailed below), chief among these sources are the Reich Luftlagemeldungen from OKL FueSt Ic for Feb-Apr 1945, held at the BA/MA in RL 2 III:

3 x certain claims on 21/22 Feb 45 - confirmed as claimed by Welter in an ULTRA signal.

2 x certain and 1 x probable claims made on 2/3 Mar 45 - no direct provenance to Welter by most-likely made by him as this is a period where only single night-time sorties were flown by 10./NJG11, and the scant Flugbuch evidence available has no other pilots flying night-time sorties yet.

2 x certain claims on 21/22 Mar 45 - Luftlagemeldung indicates 2 sorties and three claims made. Becker Abschussmeldung proves that he flew one of the sorties and made one claim. The documentation supporting his claim proves that Welter was the second pilot airborne and he thus must have made the other two claims.

1 x probable claim on 23/24 Mar 45, 1 x certain claim on 24/25 Mar 45, 1 x certain claim on 27/28 Mar 45, 3 x certain claims on 30/31 mar 45, 1 x certain claim on 2/3 Apr 45, 1 x certain claim on 3/4 Apr 45, and 2 x certain claims on 19/20 Apr 45 are proven by the Luftlagemeldungen to have been made by 10./NJG11 and not proven to have been claimed by other pilots (Becker et al). There is no direct evidence that Welter made any of these claims and they could have been claimed by other pilots of the unit. 10./NJG11 pilots Czypionka and Lamm have both indicated in post-war interviews/articles that they each claimed on 27/28 Mar 45 (two claims made on this night, one of which can be proven to have been made by Becker). Also, Welter did state post-war to British interrogators that he shot down one Mosquito and damaged another on 3/4 Apr 45 (one of which was really claimed by Altner and not Welter, as proven by the Abschussmeldung).

On all other Feb-Apr 1945 dates given by Johannes, either the Reich Luftlagemeldungen make it clear that 10./NJG11 was flying but made no claims, or there is no mention of sorties having been made by 10./NJG11...

Cheers

Rod

Last edited by RodM; 13th April 2014 at 03:58.
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Old 15th April 2014, 05:47
Johannes Johannes is offline
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Re: Ofw. Kurt Welter 5./JG302 Jan-Mar 1944

Hi Rod

Thanks for clearing-up a lot of speculation about true and made-up. The author John foreman has a good expression "Cast in stone" i.e once something is published it's fact, it's "cast in stone" and presumed correct.

In theory claims for 1945 would not have had time to be confirmed anyway, but pilots knew I guess what was likely to be, and what would not be confirmed. Even pilots own claims lists can be misleading, some include u/c and others just the confirmed. I do try to see if combat occurred in obscure cases which made me suspicious of Welter's claims anyway.

Welter's reputation for fraudulent claims would not seem to be a result of examine his claims against Allied losses as he was thought to have been making fraudulent claims by his comrades, and appears to have been unpopular. Many people believe the Luftwaffe system of claiming was infallible, but as we have seen it could be cheated by people working together, strangely nightfighter pilots who had this opportunity didn't seem to do so as a crew, but Welter flew at night alone in the cockpit.

Kind Regards

Johannes
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