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Old 26th September 2020, 10:06
Russell Russell is offline
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Anomalies with Reinhold Hoffmann of 5./JG 54 and Rudolf Hofmann also of 5./JG 54

Hi All

Jochen Prein's comprehensive works cover II Gruppe JG 54 in 1942 in Vol 9 part III and then in 1943 in Vol 12 Part 111. This thread is about differences within Prein about Reinhold Hoffmann, and within Johannes Matthews books regarding Reinhold Hoffmann and Rudolf Hofmann, who were both in 5 JG 54 in 1943.

At page 147 of Vol 9 No 3 footnote 121 says its probable the claim at 1905 at 27 July 1942 ( and another one on 22 Aug ) by what he lists as a Uffz Hoffmann were not made by Uffz Reinhold Hoffmann later the RK holder, awarded posthumously for either 61 victories or 66 victories. Now the Prein team have yet to publish their Eastern Front 1944 lists, but in Vol 13 Part V have published a list for III./JG 54 for the western front in 1944. Fw Reinhold Hoffmann is listed at pages 450 and 451 as having three claims on 19 May 1944 before he was killed in action on 24 May 1944. These three claims are numbers 59 60 and 61, which means the Prein team have gone for a total of 61 and not the 66. By deduction the last claim by Hoffmann on the Eastern front is claim 58. There are only 51 listed in Vol 12 part III.

Johannes Matthews and John Foreman have in Vol 2 of their Luftwaffe Aces book, gone for a total of 67 claims for Hoffmann, the same three on 19 May 44, but as claims 65-67. That leaves claims totaling 64 in the East. This is at least 6 too many!

The first difference is that while Prein excludes the 2 1942 claims by Uffz Hoffmann as not being by Reinhold Hoffmann Matthews puts them in. Matthews has Hoffmann making 6 claims in 1944 on the eastern front.

What makes things difficult is Lt Rudolf Hofmann who served with 5 JG 54, from 1943 to April 1944 when he apparently moved to 6 Staffel. Matthews has Hofmann with 10 claims between 2 August 1943 and 1 April 1944 with his 11th on 28 April 44, which is irrelevant to the Reinhold Hoffmann issue as Reinhold was no longer on the eastern front by then, his last claims in the east being on 21 April. However the following sets out the differences between Matthews and Prein regarding the respective claims in 1943 by Reinhold Hoffmann and Rudolf Hofmann.

Rudolf Hoffmann is listed with 6 claims with 5 JG 54 in 1943, according to Matthews. They are
1 2 Aug 43 at 12.58
2 21 Aug 43 at 16.25
3 21 Aug 43 at 16.45
4 26 Aug 43 at 16.25
5 7 Sept 43 at 17.31
6 14 Sept at 16.07

According to Prein, Rudolf Hoffman made the following five claims in 1943

1 2 Aug 43 at 12.58

No claim on 21 Aug 43 at 16.25, Prein has this as by Xaver Muller

2 21 Aug 43 at 16.45
3 26 Aug at 16.25
4 7 Sept at 17.31
5 14 Sept at 16.07.

As noted above Matthews includes the two 1942 claims as being by Reinhold Hoffmann, unlike Prein, who is assuming its is a different Hoffmann. Who this may have been is totally unknown to me and the recent book by Phillip Saintes, he does not list a Hoffmann that would fit either.

Both Prein and Matthews agree the first Reinhold Hoffmann claim for 1943 is at 0840 on 21 March 1943. Both Prein and Matthews have the same claims to 2 Aug 43 when both have a claim at 0900 but Matthews has another at 1258. Matthews has duplicated the time type and location for his 1258 Rudolf Hofmann claim with a claim for Reinhold Hoffmann in the same circumstances. Prein does not. Both have the next claim as being at 1601 on 9 Aug, Prein as no 13 and Matthews as number 16, the difference being the duplicate 2 Aug 43 claim left out by Prein and the two 1942 claims also not counted by Prein.

Both have exactly the same claims upto 21 Aug where Matthews lists a claim Prein has as at 16.45 for Rudolf Hofmann in both this and his Reinhold Hoffmann list, another duplication? Then at 16.25 on the 26th Matthews duplicates the Rudolf Hoffmann claim in the Reinhold Hoffmann list. He does this again on 7th September at 17.31 Then to the conclusion of 22 October 1943 when Prein lists a claim at 1214 as Reinhold Hoffmanns No 40 and Matthews as number 47, the date and times match. The seven differences are the two 1942 claims included by Matthews and the five duplications in his Reinhold Hoffmann lists with the claims in the Rudolf Hofmann list, that is on 2, 9 21 and 26th Aug and on 7th September. From 24th October to 6 Nov both Prein and Matthews have the same 11 claims for Hoffmann. No further claims in 1943.

And this is where the anomaly appears. If numbered from claim 40 as per Prein the next 11 claims would take Reinhold Hoffmann to 51 by the end of 1943. However on p 280 Prein has Hoffmanns claim at 1245 on 24th October as his 46th and his last claim for the year at 0755 on 6 Nov as claim number 56! Prein therefore has no claims 41, 42, 43, 44 and 45 for Reinhold Hoffmann in 1943!! I have no idea why there is a gap in the numbers.

If Reinhold Hoffmann had 6 eastern front claims in 1944 he would thus have a total of 62 by the time he left for the west whereas Prein by deduction has this total at 58.

The only way the Prein numbering would work is if the claims numbered as 46 to 56 were renumbered 41 to 51 and that Reinhold Hoffmann had 8 claims in 1944, that is from 51 to to 58.

A "swap " of the 5 duplications in the Matthews lists as not being Rudolf Hoffmann as listed by Matthews and Prein but rather only being claims by Reinhold Hoffmann would appear to fix the five missing numbers claim numbers in Prein ( 41, 42, 43 44 and 45) exactly, but I have my doubts!!

Given the size and complexity of the tasks I am in no way criticizing either Matthews or Prein just pointing out anomalies I have noticed, but this is the biggest one I have found.

Any clarifications comments thoughts would be of great interest!.

Regards

Russell

Last edited by Russell; 26th September 2020 at 10:11. Reason: Clarity and typos.
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