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  #1  
Old 10th April 2005, 22:17
Ota Jirovec Ota Jirovec is offline
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Ota Jirovec
Franek Grabowski´s article about 133 Wing on 7 June 1944

Hello all,



An interesting article “Jour J+1 – Le grand jour du 133 Wing” by Franek Grabowski has been published in French magazine Ciel de Guerre No 02 last year. It describes the activity of RAF´s 133 Wing (Polish 306 and 315 Squadrons and British 129 Squadron) on 7 June 1944 and its remarkable successes, which made it the top-scoring Allied unit that day.



First I should say that the unit´s actions are depicted in great detail (23 pages devoted to wing´s activity during just one – albeit hectic – day). The author has used a balance mixture of primary (Personal Combat Reports, ORBs, Evasive Reports and other documents are often quoted) and reliable secondary sources (Prien, Caldwell...) to write a well-readable story. Wherever it is possible, the identity of wing´s shot down opponents is provided (among the Luftwaffe units encountered in the course of the day were I./JG 26, III./JG 1, II./JG 11 and III./JG 3).



Possibly the most interesting part of the article for this community are the events probably connected with the demise of Luftwaffe Experte Hptm. Karl-Heinz Weber, a newly-appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 1, who perished during his first sortie in the West. According to Franek he most likely fell in combat with only 4 Mustangs of 315 Squadron. Although I have to say that I still have some minor doubts about the author´s version (the Luftwaffe pilots surviving this combat have reported being attacked by no less than 30 Mustangs), I must admit that time and place seem to match quite well and that there were no other Allied claims in this area at that time. So Weber could have indeed been shot down and killed by the Polish fighters.



At the end of the article Franek Grabowski compares the credibility of 133 Wing´s claims (the wing has achieved 17-2-5) with the credibility of claims of other successful Allied units on 7 June 1944 – among others those of 126 RCAF Wing, 56th and 353rd Fighter Groups – and after matching the latter´s claims with known Luftwaffe losses comes to conclusion that 133 Wing´s claims were relatively very precise, a fact that cannot be always said about other RAF and USAAF units.



In my modest and necessarily subjective opinion this article is by far the best part of Ciel de Guerre No.2, whose publisher shamefully failed to mention the author´s name on it. I believe that Franek Grabowski´s article would definitely deserve to be published in English so it could be available to a bigger audience.



Ota Jirovec
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  #2  
Old 12th April 2005, 20:51
Many Souffan Many Souffan is offline
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Many Souffan
Re: Franek Grabowski´s article about 133 Wing on 7 June 1944

Hello Ota.



Before to tell my version, I would like to say that all things you will read are not a form of criticism or something like that. Only what I know about this subject.



At the moment of the print out of the n°2 of C de G where I had also an article (about the job of the French pilots during the first hours of D-Day) I was a simple collaborator of the magazine. Today I belong officially to the team of TMA (Ciel de Guerre and Air Magazine).



“In my modest and necessarily subjective opinion this article is by far the best part of Ciel de Guerre No.2, whose publisher shamefully failed to mention the author´s name on it. I believe that Franek Grabowski´s article would definitely deserve to be published in English so it could be available to a bigger audience.”



I agree with you when you said it is the best article of C de G. No problem, and it was highly acclaimed in the circle of our French readers. For the rest and specially “whose publisher shamefully failed to mention the author´s name on it” I can’t agree with you, Please don’t forget for all things in the life don’t say something if you don’t know all the story… something I learnt in the bible.



I would like to tell you a story: 2 or 3 of my French Friends knew that I have written in this n°2 of C de G and they said to me: “Is it you who wrote the article on the Poles?” I answered, no it’s a very good article but the author is Wojtek Matusiak. My friends knew that I like very much the Polish Pilots. I wrote an article about Stanislaw Skalski That I met in Warsaw the 5th September 2000 and My guide and interpreter for the translation was my Friend Franek Grabowski. If my friends ask this question it was because all articles were not signed with the name of the author. When I asked to my Friend and now my boss Jose Fernandez why there were not the name of the authors he told me that it was a collective work and he add that he will do an erratum for the next issue. Some months later I received a call from Franek. I was happy to ear him but also I was surprised by his question. What did you think about my article? My only answer was a question Which one,? When he has explained to me that it was in C de G N°2, I did not manage to believe that it was him. I was persuaded that it was Wojtek, as I had understood it from the mouth of Bartek Belcarz, it was a misunderstanding. But it was too late, the erratum was already printed out: All the authors were quoted, but, regrettably there was no name of Franek but that of Wojtek.



To come back to the article of Franek it will be nice to be print out in English, it’s always important to share with other persons a good book, a good article or simply a good info.

Many Souffan.
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  #3  
Old 14th April 2005, 16:36
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Franek Grabowski
Re: Franek Grabowski´s article about 133 Wing on 7 June 1944

Ahem, now it is clear why France lost the war. Sorry, I could not resist.
The situation is even more weird as Mr Fernandez perfectly knew who wrote the article. Also, he did not contact me since sending the text and photos, so I was unawared the text was published.
Anyway, I will drop you an email, especially as I have some long promissed photos for you.
Cheers
PS Any suggestions as to English language publisher that could be interested in so lenghty text?
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