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Old 28th March 2014, 21:37
Andrey Kuznetsov Andrey Kuznetsov is offline
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Luftflotte 4 losses Apr.-Jun.1943: a comparison of the different data

Comparison of the loss data from “Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen” (available on well-known http://www.ww2.dk/) and piece-by-piece calculation from GQM returns, some other sources like KTB StG2 and (many thanks to Matti Salonen first of all!) from NVM returns, gives the following remarkably picture:

“Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen”:
433 planes due to enemy actions (durch Feindeinwirkung, hereinafter referred to as d.F.), 354 without enemy actions (ohne Feindeinwirkung, hereinafter referred to as o.F.) and 363 “Überholung” (repair, usually assumed as tear and wear only)

Piece-by-piece calculation:
100% losses – 304;
damages 60-99% (usually assumed as unrepairable) – 83;
damages 40-59% (usually assumed as require repair outside the unit) – 87
damages 10-39% (usually assumed as require repair within the unit) – 212

Units with lacking “Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen” (harassment squadrons = Störkampfstaffeln for example) are not counted (and their losses too). But the bulk of units are counted.
Units partly based beyond Luftflotte 4 area are counted in full (and their losses too).
Some loss cases are uncertain so the summary data are approximative a bit.
But these uncertainties has no significant affects for the final results.

Comparison:
433 d.F. + 354 o.F. = 787 planes.
Losses 40-100% = 304+83+87 = 474

THE DIFFERENCE is 313 planes, or 66% !

Even if we add 10-39% damages, all losses = 474+212 = 686.
Anyway, the difference is 787-686=101 or ~15%

Is it means that GQM+NVM contains a remarkably incomplete list of losses?
Or “Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen” data means nothing?

Almost all losses of Luftflotte 4 in Apr.-Jun.43 that became known to Russians in 1943 (POWs and/or WNr or the board codes = Verbandskennzeichen mentioned in the documents) can be found in the GQM returns except few uncertain cases (further checking required).

I think the difference is partly due to some damages (both combat damages and flying accidents) assumed less than 10% and not reported to GQM but really required a repair outside the combat units. Some difference is due to the unrecorded ground losses during the Soviet air raids certainly. German army documents contains the reports about air raids losses not listed (or listed incompletely) in the GQM returns.

Any ideas?

Best regards,
Andrey
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Old 28th March 2014, 23:47
Andreas Brekken's Avatar
Andreas Brekken Andreas Brekken is offline
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Re: Luftflotte 4 losses Apr.-Jun.1943: a comparison of the different data

Hello, Andrey

I believe that a more detailed overview of what you have counted and not is necessary in order to be able to support your hypothesis.

What I have seen (I have not used a lot of time on this kind of comparison) is that one has to take into account that the cut-off dates may differ between the Bestand- und Bewegungsmeldungen and what you suspect to be the losses counted towards the same period.

I found that this accounted for several of the discrepancies I found.

Will gladly help if I can - interesting project.

Regards,
Andreas B
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Old 29th March 2014, 13:30
Andrey Kuznetsov Andrey Kuznetsov is offline
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Re: Luftflotte 4 losses Apr.-Jun.1943: a comparison of the different data

Hello Andreas,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas Brekken View Post
Hello, Andrey
What I have seen (I have not used a lot of time on this kind of comparison) is that one has to take into account that the cut-off dates may differ between the Bestand- und Bewegungsmeldungen and what you suspect to be the losses counted towards the same period.

I found that this accounted for several of the discrepancies I found.
No doubt, some June losses maybe counted in July but hardly to believe that 3-months timeframe for entire Luftflotte 4 can give the difference 66% for that reason. Let’s take into consideration that some March losses are counted in April at once. For Luftflotte 4 March was the hot month too (support of Manstein’s counteroffensive, Kuban and so on).

Specific examples (two are easy to check due to small number of losses, and one hardly explainable):

4.(F)/Nacht: losses 21.Apr.43 (100%, Absturz bei Landung - it maybe result of the battle damages or maybe flying accident) and 18.Jun.43 (100%, MIA, really shot down by AA train) = 2
Bestand- und Bewegungsmeldungen:
Apr.: 4 o.F.; May: (2 Überholung); Jun.: 1 d.F.
Difference is 5-2=3

2.(F)/100: losses 27.May (35%, fighter attack); 11.Jun. (100%, MIA); 28.Jun. (100%, MIA) = 3
Bestand- und Bewegungsmeldungen:
Apr.: 0; May: 1 d.F. and 1 o.F. [35% required the repair outside the unit here? But o.F. loss is absent anyway]; Jun.: 2 d.F. (correct)

I./StG2 (one of egregious cases):
April losses: 3 - 100%
Bestand- und Bewegungsmeldungen: 3 d.F.+1 o.F. (+1 Überholung). Difference is 4-3=1
May losses: 1 - 100%, 1 - 80%, 1 - 30%, 2 - 20% (and at least 1 < 10%)
Bestand- und Bewegungsmeldungen: 14 d.F.+3 o.F. Difference is 15 (or 12, if we’ll count 30% and 20% as required the repair outside the unit too) (!!!)
June losses: 1 - 100%, 1 - 40% (and at least 2 < 10%)
Bestand- und Bewegungsmeldungen: 2 d.F.+2 o.F. (+2 Überholung). Difference is 4-2=2
Total difference is 1+15+2=18 !

I can post the details if needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas Brekken View Post
Hello, Andrey
Will gladly help if I can - interesting project.
Thank you in advance!
It isn’t a project itself but one of calculations needed for the Kuban air battles analysis. I’ll accept any result but it must be reasoned.

Best regards,
Andrey
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Old 29th March 2014, 18:43
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Norbert Schuchbauer Norbert Schuchbauer is offline
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Re: Luftflotte 4 losses Apr.-Jun.1943: a comparison of the different data

Hi Andrey,
I think you are putting too much emphasis on the dates. The above mentioned loss for 4./NachAufkl.St. dated 21-Apr-43 was not reported in the QM losses until 25-May 1943. Theoretically this loss could have been accounted for in the June Bewegungsmeldung. It took considerable time to transmit those reports to Germany as well.

Just my 5 cents,

Norbert
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Old 29th March 2014, 19:49
Andrey Kuznetsov Andrey Kuznetsov is offline
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Re: Luftflotte 4 losses Apr.-Jun.1943: a comparison of the different data

Hi Norbert,

I think the Bewegungsmeldungen drew up in the units immediately in the end of the reporting interval (as it was in Soviet Air Forces for example). Otherwise these reports are totally aimless.

Maybe Andreas will make the situation clear.

Andrey
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Old 30th March 2014, 01:26
Andrew Arthy Andrew Arthy is offline
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Andrew Arthy will become famous soon enoughAndrew Arthy will become famous soon enough
Re: Luftflotte 4 losses Apr.-Jun.1943: a comparison of the different data

Hi,

Judging from ULTRA signals, the Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen were sent within a day or two of the end of the relevant month. An example: even in late-November and early December 1942 in Tunisia when things were very hectic, II./J.G. 51 and III./Z.G. 2 sent their F & B for November to the II. Fliegerkorps Quartermaster on the evening of 30 November, and II./J.G. 2 did so on 1 December. So only losses from the correct months would have been included.

Cheers,
Andrew A.
Air War Publications - www.airwarpublications.com
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Old 30th March 2014, 11:05
Andrey Kuznetsov Andrey Kuznetsov is offline
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Re: Luftflotte 4 losses Apr.-Jun.1943: a comparison of the different data

Hi Andrew,

Thank you!

Cheers,
Andrey
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Old 30th March 2014, 20:34
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Re: Luftflotte 4 losses Apr.-Jun.1943: a comparison of the different data

Hello, all and Andrey especially.

I was kind of saving this for the article that I am working on (constantly improving it but I think I might publish it as is over easter), but here goes.

Quoting from documentation I have found in the remains of the archives of the Generalstab (as it has been stated also here on the forum that the GenQu 6 Abr and the lists we refer to have ´nothing´ directly to do with the resupply chain of the operational air units of the Luftwaffe). The quotes below are parts of a longer document which will be published in full in my article:

Quote:
1. The Oberquartiermeister in the Luftflotten are responsible for the resupply and operational capabilities of the units they command. Thus, they have the same responsibility that the Gen.Qu. have in the entire Luftwaffe. (....)

2. To ensure that the units does not request more aircraft than their planned strength, and to ensure that there is a running control over the number of aircraft in the units at any given time, it is ordered that unit strength lists (Bewegungslisten) are to be filled out by the Staffeln, Gruppen, Geschwadern and Luftflotten, as well as by the Gen.d.Lw.b.Ob.d.H. and Gen.d.Lw.b.Ob.d.M. Please see appendix 1 for the form to be used for this (...)

As of (date kept for the article...) the Gruppen and independent Staffeln will fill out the lists in 5 copies, divided by ´Liste A´ for frontline aircraft and ´List B´ for other aircraft in the unit, and send the copies to:

I.) Geschwader
II.) Fliegerkorps or Division
III.) Luftflotte or Gen.d.Lw.b.Ob.d.H. and Gen.d.Lw.b.Ob.d.M.
IV.) RLM L.E. 2

The last copy (Entwurf) are to be kept by the reporting unit.

These lists are to be kept up to date. Aircraft leaving the unit are to be reported by Werknummer. New aircraft shall be reported by Werknummer from the relevant commanding unit to the receiving unit.

These lists form the basis for the allocation of replacement aircraft.
Very important sentence with regards to earlier comments on the forum, and it gets better!!!

Quote:
To what extent urgent requests for replacement aircraft are to be accepted by telephone (fernmündlich) are up to the relevant commanding unit to decide.
And then!!!

Quote:
In any case (In jedem Falle) the loss list by Werknummer will be the one and only basis for allocation and delivery of replacement aircraft.
(.... sweet stuff kept for later ...)

Quote:
By losses with an estimated damage percentage below 60% the unit will report if the aircraft is to be sent for repair and when. (.... further details elaborating on this to follow...)
Further on in the document more or less any situation that can occur is outlined and regulated, including the fact that when an aircraft is sent from a unit for repair, the unit which originally had the aircraft on strength are not allowed to retrieve it without the relevant commanding unit allowing this and ordering it.

I have yet to be able to make a good table here, but will try to relay the form to be used:

Unit name at the top

The following columns to be filled out:

Nr. (Aircraft number, running count 1., 2., 3. etc)
Baumuster (Aircraft model, for example Ju 88 )
Werk-Nr. (Werknummer)
Datum des Zugangs (Date the aircraft was received by the unit)
Datum des Abgangs (Date the aircraft left the unit)
Total über 60% (Tick mark indicating if the aircraft left the unit due to a total loss with a damage estimated at more than 60%)
Reparaturindustrie (Tick mark indicating that the aircraft was transferred to the industry for repair and maintenance, i.e. lost to the unit)
Sonstige abgabe (Tick mark indicating that the aircraft was transferred out of the unit for other reasons, the example given in the document being transfer to another Gruppe of the Geschwader)

As a note it is also stated that the aircraft that are unready, but which can be made operational again by so called Truppenmitteln, are not to be reported as Abgang)

I will follow up on the specific questions later this evening, Andrey, but hope that this kind of answer some questions with regards to what exactly the basis for the Bestand and Bewegungsmeldungen kept for statistics and control in the central command structures were based on.

If all units were able to follow up on this in all operational situations is another question.

Regards,
Andreas B
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Old 30th March 2014, 22:09
Andrey Kuznetsov Andrey Kuznetsov is offline
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Re: Luftflotte 4 losses Apr.-Jun.1943: a comparison of the different data

Hello Andreas,

thank you for the most interesting info! I'm very much looking forward to your article.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas Brekken View Post
If all units were able to follow up on this in all operational situations is another question.
Yes, it is another question really.

In Apr.-Jun.43 I./StG2 have lost 30 Ju87 (incl.3 to 'Überholung' and 2 to other units) and has received 38 Ju87 as replacement. But, if I calculate right, the unit has reported to GQM 10 losses with Werknummern and other required items (incl.3<40%) only.

And long delays in loss reports in many cases are well known - too long if the replacement was depending on these reports really.

Best regards,
Andrey

Last edited by Andrey Kuznetsov; 30th March 2014 at 22:21. Reason: typo
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Old 31st March 2014, 02:27
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Andreas Brekken Andreas Brekken is offline
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Re: Luftflotte 4 losses Apr.-Jun.1943: a comparison of the different data

Hello, Andrey (and Matti since I call for your comments later on).

I do believe that the system as a whole would function quite well - as long as one take the command structure and war into the picture.

As is stated by the Generalstab - the O.Qu. at Luftflotte level was delegated the responsibility for the units operating under its command.

If we look at the chain of reporting (follow the paper trail) for for example I./St.G. 2 in April 1942:

The unit consists as far as I can see of Stab I., 1., 2. and 3. Staffel.

Thus the detailed list of Ab- und zugänge would be filled out by the individual Staffeln as well as the Stab.

As I./St.G.2 was under the command of Geschwaderstab/St.G.2 at the time the list as compiled by the Gruppe would be transferred to the:

I.) Geschwaderstab St.G.2
II.) Do you know which Fliegerkorps they sorted under at the time - I am still looking...
III.) Luftflotte 4
IV.) L.E.2

The O.Qu. at Luftflotte 4 would be responsible for the transfer of detailed loss information to the Gen.Qu.

I find the loss records at GenQu level lacking for I./St.G.2 - but when you look behind the figures as you present them Andrey, I think you will be intrigued, and maybe interested in trying to complement them, rather than dismissing them.

To me, when I look at the information present, something special happens at the end of March - up until then (I think it will probably coincide with the move of the Geschwader from Stalino to Kertsch) the average time from loss to report date seems to be about a week for the unit. (Not strange considering the distance the documents - yes paper trail! - need to travel to reach the offices of the Generalquartiermeister in the Ministerium in central Berlin - the few scraps of documentation we have left stems from these offices - at operational unit level almost all is lost).

For April 1943, beginning already with one recorded loss on April 1st 1943, this time lag between loss and report date jumps up to almost two months! Loss date April 1st 1943 - report date May 27th 1943. The other two losses as recorded by the unit happened on April 23rd and 27th, the loss record they are included in at central level is dated May 24th - a time lag of one month...

But! And this is my point - even if the detailed loss records which might have been in one of the post sacks blown up in a railway attack or in a shot down transport Ju 52? - nothing seems to indicate that the Bestand- and Bewegungsmeldungen which might have taken another route suffered the same fate - from those it seems that the records reached Berlin and was incorporated in the central and more statistical overviews on which Michael Holm has been able to work.

So how do we make sense of this? In my opinion it is like laying a jigsaw puzzle with some of the pieces missing.

We know the following details:

The unit was moved to Kertsch in April 1943. How was the communication from the operational area to the command structure? Are disturbances in the communication by paper likely?

Was there any heavy fighting going on in the area at the time? My answer is yes - they had their work definitely cut out for them - I think you and others can add more detail than me with regards to this.

So to the jigsaw puzzle - what do we have:

We have the Bestand- und Bewegungsmeldung for the unit, stating the outflux of 5 aircraft - 3 combat related, 1 non combat related and one transferred to the industry (which would never be reported in the loss records at Gen.Qu.6.Abt. level)

We have the Summarische Verlustmeldung which is a statistical sheet for the losses, and we can see from it that the loss on April 1st is deemed as non-combat related - while the losses on April 23rd and April 27th are stated as being combat related.

April 1st - non combat related: http://www.aviationhistory.no/ref_db...?lossid=132526

April 23rd - combat related:
http://www.aviationhistory.no/ref_db...?lossid=132782

April 27th - combat related:
http://www.aviationhistory.no/ref_db...?lossid=132781

So - bringing this together we seem to be one aircraft short.

And here comes my theory - the losses for I./St.G.2 between the dates of April 27th 1943 and May 26th 1943 - where there in theory should have been 12 losses reported are missing at central level due to one or more of the above mentioned factors.

The maths are:
1 missing Ju 87 D-3 loss for April 1943 - probably sustained in one of the last days of the month

13 - 5 (known losses for the dates May 26th, 28th, 29th and 31st) = 8 Ju 87 D-3 loss records missing for combat losses - probably sustained in the date period May 1st through May 25th 1943

3 Ju 87 D-3 loss records missing for non combat losses - probably sustained in the date period May 1st through May 25th 1943

1 Ju 87 D-1 loss record missing for combat losses - probably sustained in the date period May 1st through May 25th 1943

So no mystery - no propaganda - just war...

I believe Andrey - that if we look into the existing records still remaining on the Luftwaffe side - and try to correlate information from the other combatants with the same open mind - we will be able to bring the research forward - the other approach which I have seen far too much of is to dismiss information just because it does not fit some kind of hero story from one side or the other...

In this specific case it would be highly interesting to do the same exercise I just did to I./St.G.2 to the other units operating in the same area and under the same command structure. We might find that a ´mystery´ can be rather easily solved.

And if it would be possible to get any reliable data - by that I mean hard facts like crashed enemy aircraft reports with WNr or call signs or something like that - or POW records for St.G.2 personnel not listed in the records we have from the German side - that would help us shed a little more light to this.

Matti - do you have any NVM info that are not in the GenQu lists?

Regards and keep up the good work guys,
Andreas B
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