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Old 26th August 2010, 02:38
Sylvester Stadler's Avatar
Sylvester Stadler Sylvester Stadler is offline
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52nd FG v. Ju 88s 9 April 1943

My present reading includes a book on the Tunisian campaign, with emphasis on the attacks on the logistical system of the German-Italian Army. The book is The War Against Rommel's Supply Lines by Alan J. Levine. The volume is a valuable addition to the student of the North African campaign which describes the Allied effort to strangle the supply line to the Axis armies in North Africa, using submarines, surface ships, and air power. Levine uses as one of his sources Fighters Over Tunisia by Christopher Shores, et al.

On 9 April 1943 the U.S. 52nd Fighter Group, according to Levine, shot down eight Ju 88s, although Shores states that the FG claimed eleven over the Kairouan, Tunisia, area. Shores does not confirm the losses from the German side, although he states that Lt. Rudi Dassow, of III/ZG 1, was shot down and wounded in a Me 210, with his radio operator being killed, when the bomb load exploded when he force-landed NW of Bou Thadi, which I can't locate on a map in Shores' book. Shores suggests that Dassow was a victim of the 52nd FG.

On the Military Channel there were several episodes where the narrator and a visiting WW II fighter pilot twice misidentified a Ju 88 as a Me 410, so misidentification exists even today. In the heat of battle this would be even more common.

I have looked at books of German bomber operations, including the history of KG 54 which was in the Mediterranean area. Thus far, I can find no confirmation of which unit (whether KG or ZG) the 52nd encountered. Certainly if the claims were anywhere near accurate, this would be a blow to the German unit involved.
Sylvester Stadler

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