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  #31  
Old 25th May 2016, 21:30
HGabor HGabor is offline
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Re: Erich Hartmann: verifiable claims

But then how could they verify most claims of certain, really honest pilots and 'select' and then change the losses linked to eg. Hartmann? I don't think they knew all the time where Hartmann was. Selective approval/change of the loss reports for some opponent pilots just doesn't seem to be realistic to me.
Gabor
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  #32  
Old 25th May 2016, 21:52
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Re: Erich Hartmann: verifiable claims

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Maybe, maybe, but this leads too far and I am not in a position to make justice here. I can only use what is written. But then how could they verify most claims of certain, really honest pilots and 'select' and then change the losses linked to eg. Hartmann? I don't think they knew all the time where Hartmann was. Selective approval/change of the loss reports for some opponent pilots just doesn't seem to be realistic to me. Gabor
I appreciate all of that, and agree. And this is why I think we need a team working on this, a working group of experts who can address all of these tangential issues.

It's pretty clear there is more to the Hartmann story, perhaps 10-percent of it has been told.

Is there a possibility that Hartmann's over claims were part of a Luftwaffe propaganda effort?

Bronc
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  #33  
Old 25th May 2016, 22:28
mars mars is offline
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Re: Erich Hartmann: verifiable claims

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Was Hartmann's appearance, presence and success known to the Soviet's? I seem to remember reading that the Russians placed a reward (bounty) on Hartmann's life, and his aircraft. Can this be confirmed in Soviet records? Also, was Hartmann's uniquely painted aircraft known to the Soviets? Can this be confirmed by Soviet or German sources?

If a bounty on Hartmann's life was a fact, and if the Soviets knew what Hartmann's aircraft looked like, this would suggest that Hartmann was the subject of, "special attention." That special attention may have involved specifically denying him credit in Soviet loss reports. We all know the power and the role that political officers and the NKVD played in the Soviet war effort, and that role included EXACTLY the kind of morale and counter propaganda campaign that would supersede the need to file accurate loss reports.

Given Hartmann's profile in Germany and the Eastern Front, Hartmann was almost certainly given "special attention" by somebody on the Soviet side.

On the other hand, Hartmann may have been ordered to over-claim as a part of a German/Luftwaffe propaganda effort. This is a distinct possibility as well.

One thing is certain:

Hartmann walked into Soviet captivity rather knowingly and more voluntarily than anyone else. He was given several opportunities to go to JV-44. He also disobeyed General Seidemann who ordered Hartmann and Graf to fly to the British sector to avoid capture by Soviet forces. Hartmann refused on multiple occasions to abandon his men who were not given the option to go west. (Not being critical, but others went West when given the same opportunity.)

Bronc
Usually anything relate to a "bounty" specially put on some ace's head is nothing but myth, and remember the air war of WWII was so large on scale that the achivement of individual aces, not matter how talent they were, would attract few attention from otherside, for example RAF pilots who fought in North Africa had no knowledge of Hans-Joachim Marseille in the war time, and RAF bomber command crews did not know anything about Helmut Lent or Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer
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  #34  
Old 25th May 2016, 22:31
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Re: Erich Hartmann: verifiable claims

While Soviets had a good radio intelligence service, and they knew lot on enemy aces and might well have picked up many of the Hartmann’s wingman’s confirmation messages, but does anyone believe that the commissars in 1940s believed that in one day Western researchers or as Soviets termed them in late 60s anf 70s "bourgeois history falsifiers" will be able to visit their archives? And that Soviets had interest to shift through their combat and loss records just in case to blacken Hartmann’s reputation 60-70 years later, but not that of e.g. Lipfert’s. One must remember that Hartmann was only 6th LW ace to achieve his 200th kill in early 1944, before that he probably wasn’t so special to Soviets before that. And Egorov’s article shows that Hartmann wasn’t especially accurate claimer even before his 200th kill.


Juha
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  #35  
Old 25th May 2016, 23:20
HGabor HGabor is offline
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Re: Erich Hartmann: verifiable claims

Yes, there could be a still unknown Luftwaffe propaganda-effort to keep up the fighting moral, by creating a 'Superhero', like: "Gott (und Hartmann) mit Uns" :-))) to which Hartmann has willingly/unwillingly assisted. If so, there is still a lot to discover. (I do not know this, I am just guessing...!) But it is very unlikely that the war propaganda machine has worked with full speed only on the soviet side and hasn't on the German side.

Gabor
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  #36  
Old 25th May 2016, 23:30
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Re: Erich Hartmann: verifiable claims

Hartmann religiously utilized a four-part method for engaging enemy aircraft: (1) Locate, (2) Decide (whether it was safe and prudent to attack), Attack (from behind with surprise), (4) Break away. As best as I can determine, Hartmann did not believe in dogfighting anything, or anyone, at any time, anywhere.

The hit and run, boom and zoom, break away approach to aerial combat maximizes your chances at survival, but it minimizes your time and opportunity to gain and verify a victory. Maybe Hartmann and his wingmen got into the habit of breaking away after the first squirt? The opposing aircraft nearly always went directionally downward after something like that...

---> Has anyone actually read any of Hartmann's reports or claims? What was he actually saying in them??

Wish we knew more...

Bronc
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  #37  
Old 25th May 2016, 23:30
Maxim1 Maxim1 is offline
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Re: Erich Hartmann: verifiable claims

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Originally Posted by Broncazonk View Post
If a bounty on Hartmann's life was a fact
That is just a myth raised by Toliver/Constable, in fact. A piece of war propaganda, nothing more.
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  #38  
Old 25th May 2016, 23:55
Nikita Egorov Nikita Egorov is offline
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Re: Erich Hartmann: verifiable claims

Returning to Khazanov article. Lazarev lost his life in midair collision with Pe-2 on March 1, 1945. Sytov possibly, but Trenkel's claim at 10.35 seems to be preferable.
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  #39  
Old 26th May 2016, 13:48
Johannes Johannes is offline
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Re: Erich Hartmann: verifiable claims

Hi Guys

Regarding that Hartmann was well regarded in the Bundesluftwaffe. He was known to be unpopular during WW2. I would assume it was because his overclaiming was suspected/known by his comrades, though there could be other reasons. All his claims seemed to be at altitude(thus lack of the most difficult and dangerous Sowiet aircraft to shout down, the Il-2), whereas all his comrades were involved in the more dangerous low-level/ground attack combat as per routine. Perhaps his comrades were jealous. Toliver/Constable by memory stated that Fritz Obleser had a problem with Hartmann's claims, this is just not true. Also not true is that Hartmann never lost a wingman.

Those that have been sited as overclaimers have a certain pattern to there claims, which Hartmann has i.e many days of heavy/huge numbers, but a few claimers like this were actually honest. Almost all the honest pilots made few daily claims, or just a few heavy ones.....like Helmut Lipfert.

Personally I think Hartmann was a lousy officer who's rank far outreached his leadership ability....perhaps another possible reason for being unpopular.

Are we sure we have all the Russian losses before actually matching-up/or not
Hartmann's claims?. I would say that a honest claimer should have two-thirds of his claims actually crash, the rest he thought had crashed. In fact would it not be his wingmans secondary job to see the crash and record it?

Friedrich Geisshardt was unpopular, but not for his claiming.

I have noticed that the leaders of scoring at any particular time over Russia seem to be the overclaimers, it would appear they would do as much overclaiming as was necessary to he the leader I guess. Also having a usual wingman must be a must, unless the whole staffel was on the fiddle and had some kind of system. Saying this having studied many logbook pilots usually flew as a Rotte or Schwarm, rarely a whole Staffel.

Kind Regards

Johannes
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  #40  
Old 26th May 2016, 14:03
HGabor HGabor is offline
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Re: Erich Hartmann: verifiable claims

Johannes,

That is the whole key: we must have ALL confirmed soviet losses before we start the analysis. And that's exactly the case for Hungary! It is a relative small area, so perfect for the project. For certain months we could obtain ALL soviet losses from ALL soviet air units (5, 17 VA documents from TsAMO archives, Russia), fighting over Hungary (daytime) that time. This made the whole claim-scanning possible in which Hartmann failed biiiiiiiiiiig time, and Lipfert passed with A+. (Sorry to mention these two "typical" pilots all the time, but certainly there are many others with their +/- scores too on the scale.)

Gabor
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