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  #11  
Old 29th November 2007, 08:34
Kapper Kapper is offline
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Re: Rudolf Mueller: claims vs actual 'kills'

Sanchez,

Do you have a copy of the article, if so could you post it on the discussion board or send it to me at my email address in the members list, I would like to read it.

In particular, I’m interested in what source Alexandr Mardanoff used to determine Rudolf Muller’s Victory list and the timings of the various Soviet losses listed.

The reason for my interest is that I have several concerns over the authors article, but firstly I‘ll apologize in advance if I've got any individual detail wrong from the sources I’m about to quote. I am purely an amateur at this and as I work away from home (where the books are kept) I’m relying on my notes in my laptop.

My first concern is in respect to the accuracy of Muller’s claims list. To me it appears like Muller’s list in the article came from Kacha’s Luftwaffe Aces page on the internet which has stated the book Eismeerjager as one of it’s sources. In Kacha’s list and Eismeerjager, victories 82 & 83 are shown as “confirmed - date assumed” so if no losses are found on that date it’s not surprising as it could be the wrong date. Did the Author research combats around that date?

Another source I reference is Prien’s JFV Series which has published Luftwaffe victories to the end of 1942. When compared with Eismeerjager there is a number of differences. For instance the following victories are stated by Mardanoff as “overclaim”, while JFV states the following.

No. 2 17 Sep 41– JFV has a different date, 15 Sep 41
No 48 – 59 4 Aug 42 – JFV has a different date, 5 Aug 42
No. 57-59 22 Aug 42 – JFV date uncertain Aug 42
No. 62-63 29 Aug 42 – JFV date uncertain Aug 42

There are also a number of other discrepancies between the 2 sources such as the number of victories claimed on certain dates and victories claimed or not claimed on dates. This makes the actual victory number sequence between the 2 sources different in places. Who is right? Who is wrong? Eismeerjager or JFV ??

I would also like to highlight a few more points.
  • None of Muller’s claims are in the Archived Victory list that has been copied onto the internet by Tony Woods.
  • Prien in his JFV series puts a B at the end of each confirmed victory that has been confirmed from a primary source. Not one of Muller’s victories listed have a “B” after it.
So back to the original question, what source was used in determining Muller’s victory list? Which relates to how accurate is Muller’s list of victories?

In the second case, my concern is the accuracy of Soviet losses. Without going into great detail in every situation I have many questions here as well, for example.

26 Apr 42 the author stated 5 Pe3’s lost for 5 Pe2’s claimed (very accurate!) and credited Muller with 1, however the author discounted 3 Hurricane (1 to Muller) saying the Pe3’s were unescorted. In JFV the Pe2’s are all claimed around 16.15hr while the 3 Hurricanes had no time of claim listed. Earlier in the day a further 7 hurricanes were claimed mostly around 10.00 hr including one to Ltn. Dahn who also claimed one of the Pe3’s. Could the 3 Hurricanes actually be from the earlier combat that losses are unknown? The author states that the 5 Pe3’s are the only losses for that day, so this would then makes 10 hurricanes for no Hurricanes lost.

28 Apr 42, A big day, at least 4 combats at 07.25 hr, 10.00hr, 11.30hr and 12.30hr for 13 claims (12 Hurricanes). All the Hurricanes lost are shown to come from 2GKAP. A big battle was fought at 11.30 for 8 hurricanes claimed, so could it be possible that the 4 lost and 2 damaged from the same unit occurred at this time? No times are given for the losses to confirm this. However to me this would seem reasonable for a typical case of over claim (8 claims for 4 lost +2 damage). Did the author identify these other combats and the subsequent results?

I maybe premature in my comments/questions without reading the article but I would like to know how accurate the Soviet records are? Even if no losses occurred, can the individual combats and units involved be identified? As with Andreas I eagerly await to finding a source of Soviet losses to compare against.

I look forward to getting a copy of the article.

Regards,

Craig….
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  #12  
Old 29th November 2007, 09:52
Nikita Egorov Nikita Egorov is offline
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Re: Rudolf Mueller: claims vs actual 'kills'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas Brekken View Post
Hi

I for one would be very interested to see the documents concerning the Bf 109's on 27.09.1941 as these would be additional losses that were never recorded by I./JG 77. And since they were observed by Soviet ground based observers, I am sure that they recorded this in detail and would like to see the corresponding documents detailing the information taken from the wreckage.

Sure it wasn't a Hurricane they saw? LaGG? MiG?

I thought I should really spark this discussion by adding the following: As we know the German fighter pilots were almost flawless with regards to their claims, while the poles, americans and brits have been documented again and again to have been notorious with regards to filing falsified claims, I do believe we have to be very cautious when reading the claims list of pilots of said nationalities.

But as I know from previous experience, certain members of the board does not seem to have a developed sense of humour or the ability to spot what is supposed to be ironic, I thought it would be best not to do it

What I however do believe is very important is that at least the people serious with regards to documenting the WWII airwar try to do this based on comparing the notes from both or rather ALL sides, as even the more famous of writers among us have made errors, simply because the necessary documents were unavailable to them. And even better, try not to be biased... even if it is hard!

I do also believe we should stop using the word KILL entirely, and rather use the term CLAIM. There are thousands of reasons that it is hard to verify a claim - several of them connected to the fact that it is not always easy to find documentation at all - simply because this kind of information has always been sensitive and thus more or less kept secret by the armed forces. We discuss here single incidents with regards to how many soviet fighters were lost on a given day, when the russian researchers of today cannot even agree rounded to the closest million how many soviet citizens 'disappeared' under Stalin.

I have been waiting for years for publications to appear stating the details with regards to soviet aircraft losses during WWII, as I have heard that they are supposedly well recorded and detailed. To date no such research (at least in english and to my knowledge) has appeared, with original sources stated, but I will continue to wait and I am really looking forward to cross reference the claims and losses when and if such publications finally appear.

Regards,
Andreas B
I would like to add my 5 cents here, as I work for several years comparing some German records with what we have in our military archives.

As regards to the "flawless" of German claims, that is absolute falsehood. There are lots of examples for number of pilots from German side being too optimistic, not to say more, about their claims. I do not know the exact reason of this trend. But in some cases I can presume that it was made deliberately.

Now about publications, you can see the the example of well-researched two-sided info books, based on the ammount of Soviet archive materials. I mean recent works by Berstrom and his co-authors, "Graf-Grislawski" and the third part of BKRS. The major stake of material from Soviet side has its origin in the first-account TsAMO, TsVMA and RGVA records. Thanks to Vlad Antipov and Andrey Dikov and previously to Andrey Mikhailov, who handled lots of their records to Christer Berstrom. Due to this, Soviet side material in these books are of perfect quality. However, some of the sharp issues, including German overclaim for few pilots, are not highlighted even in this books. Good example of this is the 200th claim by Graf. Good description of combat was given, but no concrete conclusion that this claim was pure overclaim, without any proof from Soviet side...
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  #13  
Old 29th November 2007, 12:07
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Andreas Brekken Andreas Brekken is offline
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Re: Rudolf Mueller: claims vs actual 'kills'

Hi, Nikita.

As I stated - this was a joke! An irony!

I thoroughly respect the work of for example Bergström and Dikov et al - but the problem still in my opinion is that for the german losses we have the records for most the war (1939 - April 1945) readily available, at least to numbers of aircraft, unit and date, while the corresponding records from the opposite side with regards to soviet aviation especially is not available to others than a precious few.

I am not doubting the fact that these individuals are doing a tremendous work, the problem is that the general research community is not able to access the original documents and thus not able to make an assesment to their completeness and eventual flaws.

As I said in a previous remark - most of us are able to state or locate the Werknummer, code, location and date for a given German aircraft lost by a given unit, also often the pilot or crew is named, but have no tools readily available with regards to establishing a corresponding claim or loss respectively on the Soviet side.

For example, when I state that the I./JG 77 does not seem to have reported any losses for the dates September 26th and 27th 1941, this is based on the Summary loss records of the unit and Generalquartiermeister 6 Abt loss records for the corresponding dates, of which I can state the archive reference in both cases, so anyone with an interest can in fact check if I have relayed the correct data. With regards to Soviet military aviation of the period I cannot see that this is the same situation, and please correct me if I am wrong!

As you said, Bergström has relied on lists provided by Dikov and Antipov, but to what extent do we know that these are exhaustive? That they cover every unit? That there is no possibility that there are more information in documents not available? That the pilot claiming a fighter in
fact misidentified a light bomber or observer/communications aircraft?

As another example, a lot of authors that have provided loss information based on German records have obviously been working off one of the sets of documents that has no handwritten references to corrections, and thus has not been able to relay more than the original record if not working with a database or spreadsheet approach, or in a painstakingly slow and tedious manual process of handling this. In my work on the database for German losses provided on my website, my teams strategy was always to work backwards from the latest towards the earliest dates in the documents, and we included the corrections as an integral part of the system, specifically to avoid making the same errors. For some of the losses there are three or four corrections and amendments made, in addition to information from other, often western allied or local sources.

If you can relay archive numbers and also the procedure on how to order copies of such documents from former Soviet archives, I would be very thankful, as this undoubtedly would enhance the accuracy and value of upcoming publications.

I sincerely hope that we in the future will see even more information coming from the archives of the former Soviet Union, and look forward to working with you all on this very interesting topic.

As a small side comment, the database system can handle all theaters and information from all combatants, so if anyone is interested in entering data from Soviet or western allied side (in addition to the former German allies like Italy, Rumania etc) please feel free to contact me off board to establish a project on this.

Regards,
Andreas B
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  #14  
Old 29th November 2007, 12:56
Nikita Egorov Nikita Egorov is offline
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Re: Rudolf Mueller: claims vs actual 'kills'

Dear Andreas,

As I stated - this was a joke! An irony!

Sorry, If had misunderstood you.

As I said in a previous remark - most of us are able to state or locate the Werknummer, code, location and date for a given German aircraft lost by a given unit, also often the pilot or crew is named, but have no tools readily available with regards to establishing a corresponding claim or loss respectively on the Soviet side

This is not our fault, but the common procedure in our archives that make foreigners work in some cases impossible. However, I heard somebody of the boardmembers succeded in working there.

For example, when I state that the I./JG 77 does not seem to have reported any losses for the dates September 26th and 27th 1941, this is based on the Summary loss records of the unit and Generalquartiermeister 6 Abt loss records for the corresponding dates, of which I can state the archive reference in both cases, so anyone with an interest can in fact check if I have relayed the correct data. With regards to Soviet military aviation of the period I cannot see that this is the same situation, and please correct me if I am wrong!

Could you please remind me on this case with I/JG77?

As you said, Bergström has relied on lists provided by Dikov and Antipov, but to what extent do we know that these are exhaustive? That they cover every unit? That there is no possibility that there are more information in documents not available? That the pilot claiming a fighter in
fact misidentified a light bomber or observer/communications aircraft?

I see. In this case someone can also question GQ lists as incomplete. Let me shed some light on this issue. Documents in TsAMO, are devided into funds that belong to different command levels. If we have purpose to check .e.g. documents of 5 GIAP, we refer to the regimental fund itself, afterwards we double-check this with documents of more higher level, divisions and IAKs or other it was subordinated to. And then goes the highest level - documents of VA, which summerise units reports.
In case of Graf 200th victory, I personally checked the sources and every document available. Case of misidentification is dropped, because combat reports from both sides coincide, exept the major thing: no plane was shot down. And I can advise lots of such examples.

As another example, a lot of authors that have provided loss information based on German records have obviously been working off one of the sets of documents that has no handwritten references to corrections, and thus has not been able to relay more than the original record if not working with a database or spreadsheet approach, or in a painstakingly slow and tedious manual process of handling this. In my work on the database for German losses provided on my website, my teams strategy was always to work backwards from the latest towards the earliest dates in the documents, and we included the corrections as an integral part of the system, specifically to avoid making the same errors. For some of the losses there are three or four corrections and amendments made, in addition to information from other, often western allied or local sources.

Same situation with Soviet records, we also include in our databases numerous amendments and corrections and other things, includind dates errors. The problem is that Soviet documents do not have anything similar to GQ list with summerized losses. Everything is to be extracted from units documents.

If you can relay archive numbers and also the procedure on how to order copies of such documents from former Soviet archives, I would be very thankful, as this undoubtedly would enhance the accuracy and value of upcoming publications.

I can advise archive references but it depends on what you are interested in. As regards order copies, I'am afraid that needs personal presence in Podolsk or Gatschina.

I sincerely hope that we in the future will see even more information coming from the archives of the former Soviet Union, and look forward to working with you all on this very interesting topic.

There are lots of publications in Russia. why they are not translated and published in Europe or USA. That is the question.
I should say that database with all Soviet fighter pilots claims during 1941-45 is already exists (VVS and PVO pilots). It consits of more than 45000 entries, based only on the first-hand unit accounts.
And the majority of loss cases are also summerized from the archive sites.

As a small side comment, the database system can handle all theaters and information from all combatants, so if anyone is interested in entering data from Soviet or western allied side (in addition to the former German allies like Italy, Rumania etc) please feel free to contact me off board to establish a project on this.

Before, going to private board with this issues, I would like to ask how one can use you database?

Best regards.
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Old 29th November 2007, 15:51
markjsheppard markjsheppard is offline
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Re: Rudolf Mueller: claims vs actual 'kills'

Andreas

I will post the 151 Wing RAF/Luftwaffe claims/loses later, but the archives are there - just very difficult to get access to. I have to rely on a few good research friends and luckily I am only asking for information about a single aircraft each time! Have a read of these.

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/englis...5252/index.htm
Soviet loss and report .Loss and claims seem to add up.

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/englis...very/index.htm
Soviet loss and report .Loss and claims seem to add up.

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/englis.../p39/index.htm
Soviet loss and report.

1941 is the worst period, similar to 1940 with the RAF. Things were so chaotic that there are large gaps. 1942 onwards - the records seem to be very detailed.

I want to look further inot the Sept/Oct 1941 claims loses to see if anything has been missed.

regards

Mark
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Old 29th November 2007, 16:22
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
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Re: Rudolf Mueller: claims vs actual 'kills'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikita Egorov View Post
(...)I personally checked the sources and every document available. Case of misidentification is dropped, because combat reports from both sides coincide, exept the major thing: no plane was shot down.
Just a single comment to this very interesting thread, comment generated by Nikita's remark, quoted above.

I think there is no need to find an aircraft of the opponent actually shot down, in order to confirm an air victory. An aircraft damaged in combat, which either force landed, or even returned to the base in damaged state would suffice.

While researching the often difficult events of 1941, which involved participants of several air forces, I came across many times of aircraft of a certain party being damaged in air combat (which didn't crash) and a matching 'kill' claim of the other party. I would consider those victory claims as confirmed, even though no 100% loss occurred from the other side. This means that the pilot did not 'invent' his 'kill', but the eventual fate of his victim was not fully observed (quite understandable in the heat of the battle).
[Note: this remark is generally valid, for all sides, and it's not specifically referring to the 200th victory claim of Graf.]
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Old 29th November 2007, 16:51
Nikita Egorov Nikita Egorov is offline
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Re: Rudolf Mueller: claims vs actual 'kills'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dénes Bernád View Post
Just a single comment to this very interesting thread, comment generated by Nikita's remark, quoted above.

I think there is no need to find an aircraft of the opponent actually shot down, in order to confirm an air victory. An aircraft damaged in combat, which either force landed, or even returned to the base in damaged state would suffice.

While researching the often difficult events of 1941, which involved participants of several air forces, I came across many times of aircraft of a certain party being damaged in air combat (which didn't crash) and a matching 'kill' claim of the other party. I would consider those victory claims as confirmed, even though no 100% loss occurred from the other side. This means that the pilot did not 'invent' his 'kill', but the eventual fate of his victim was not fully observed (quite understandable in the heat of the battle).
[Note: this remark is generally valid, for all sides, and it's not specifically referring to the 200th victory claim of Graf.]
Yes, Denes, you are right. Every damaged plane that was damaged as result of combat is considered to be the claim from the opposite side. I do not state that victories were invented deliberately in all cases, that can be result of the heat of the battle as you have written. But in this particular case no planes were even damaged and? please, note that magic 200th mark was the first for Graf. For some pilots this race for magic number and neck-itching is the reason for being less accurate.
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Old 30th November 2007, 22:44
Leo Etgen Leo Etgen is offline
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Rudolf Müller

Hello Craig

Very interesting post. I have noted these differences as well. As Craig points out there is a number of minor differences as well such as victory number sequence
.

Eismeerjä
ger includes the following victories not listed by Prien:

1.2.1942 Hudson
21.8.1942 I-180
27.9.1942 E/a

Prien includes
the following victories not listed by Eismeerjäger:

24.3.1942 18:15 Hurricane PQ 3078
18.5.1942 Hurricane

I hope that you guys find this interesting. Like Craig I wonder what are the sources for Müller's victory list.

Horrido!

Leo

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Old 1st December 2007, 08:15
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Re: Rudolf Mueller: claims vs actual 'kills'

Mark, lot of thanks for the links!
I have checked the site time to time but had missed the P-39 page, which was especially interesting to me because the plane had belonged to 773 IAP.

Thankfully
Juha
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Old 1st December 2007, 08:19
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Re: Rudolf Mueller: claims vs actual 'kills'

Sanchez, thanks a lot for your messages!
Very intresting! And thanks to other participans also, very interesting and informative discussion!

Juha
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