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Old 10th April 2005, 22:17
Ota Jirovec Ota Jirovec is offline
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Location: Prague, Czech Republic
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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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