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Old 29th March 2007, 17:57
Kapper Kapper is offline
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Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations

Alessandro, Marsayao

Sorry if I was misunderstood. I was not trying to create an argument about underclaiming or overclaiming. At the end of the day when the number of claims outway the number of losses, then over claiming or optimistic claims must have occurred.

I was simply trying to highlight the issue that if you are going to look at a pilots reliability you should look at all the facts. To say that a pilot is unreliable because you can only verify a small proportion of claims can be a wrong statement when little information is available. Personally, I would exercise caution in calling a pilot unreliable until the claims are fully analysed, which is difficult for some campaigns due to lack of information and conflicting data.

As I pointed out in my previous post, things can change as more information becomes available, suddenly a pilot considered unreliable could be considered reliable as with my reference to Marsielle.


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Old 1st March 2010, 22:06
Johannes Johannes is offline
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Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations

Hi Rob

Regarding Heinz Knoke, only fifteen of his claims were actually confirmed! I don't wish to defend him too much because he was a real nazi, probably why he got the Ritterkreuz.
Regarding Marseille six of his first seven with LG2 were unconfirmed, leaving him 152 confirmed.
With Walter Schuck 25-31 of his 206 were unconfirmed.

Marseille is an interesting one, he was very much like Josef wurmheller, they even look alike, however with Wurmheller Egon Mayer had problems, personally I think that Mayer thought that Wurmheller was on the fiddle, and he'd be correct. Marseille was surprisingly honest, however his method of attack caused confusion, I believe he thought he had shot down all 152, but was just mistaken, he was not lying!

We never here anything about JG53's great aces! however of the big three Muller,Tonne and Crinius, mullers claims seem okay, tonne's are good, but Crinius's would seem to have been on the fiddle!

You say the Erich Hartmann's are questionable, he was in fact unpopular, perhaps that's why, his claims were all at high altitude, therefore he avoided the risk of being hit by flak and groundfire. I should think the the leaders of the claims race(in the East), and therefore future Brillanten recipiants are the bad guys i.e Gollob, Graf, Nowotny and Hartmann.

There is also a set pattern to fraudsters, this would be huge daily claims i.e Hartmann, Rudorffer, Nowotny, Graf, Batz. Whereas the slower claimers i'e Hrabak, Priller, Galland, Molders, Krupinski, Rall, Barkhorn would seem to be the honest guys(Marseille the exception), Kurt Welter was a massive fraudster and indeed not well liked at all, and it is known that the reason for his unpopularity was his huge over claiming, for him ot was easy, he was flying alone at night, the nightfighters probably average out as the most accurate claimers as there were three crew members, and the bomber would fall on Axis territory, in Russia the aircraft largely fell on Soviet held territory, therefore could not be confirmed as actually crashing by groud evidence. So perhaps you had to be that way inclined, and have the opportunity!
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Old 5th March 2010, 16:41
James A Pratt III James A Pratt III is offline
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Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations

I don't know if this information is 100% accurate but I think you can put the following RAF night aces into fairly accurate claimers. This is based on my research:
J.C. Cunningham 15 (+) of 20
J. Braham 20-25 of 29
R.P. Stevens 10(+) of 14
R. Chisholm 7(+) of 9
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Old 8th March 2010, 01:59
thenelm thenelm is offline
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Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations

I've said it before and I'll say it again, did guys over/under claim? Obviously. Good Lord, these guys, from all countries, were fighting a battle in an environment where if you actually watched your 'claim' all the way into the ground, you'd more than likely end up dead yourself. Can we ascribe actual kills to specific individuals claims, sure, for some guys, assuming we know specifically who they were fighting against, and in probably more often than not these types of combat were small unit vs small unit. On the other hand we're also assuming specifically that these guys, from all sides, always knew in this ever changing environment, exactly where they were over the area they were flying over - a pretty bizarre assumption in an active 3-dimensional combat environment, especially when over anything but your home country, even with maps - again something you might not want to be spending lots of time referring to with enemy opponents all around? Can we make intelligent guesses/assumptions as to who may have shot down who? Again sure. But the only real way to accurately check true results is through claims versus losses. But trying to ascertain individual results, i.e. who got who, will always have limitations with some of the huge air battles that occurred in any theater of the war. Even gun camera films seems to seldom lead to a 100% identification of one's opponent other than aircraft type. I could go on (and on), but it just seems to me that a lot of this stuff, while useful to a point, doesn't result in any where near an accurate accounting. And, again something I've said before, trying to ascertain or ascribe motive for 'overclaiming' to guys long dead, from all sides, is kind of an exercise in futility. The attempt is nice, but the result - eh. Please note that I'm not saying all this as attempt to justify just the LW claims. Its a known fact that the RAF overclaimed by something like 3 to 1 in the BoB, but officialdom allowed those claims to stand as a matter of morale for the UK. There is also the Flying Tigers who claimed some 300 victories over the JAAF versus about 100 documented losses. The Japanese? Well, many of the claims from some of their guys just don't add up, but that's a whole field that will always be suspect do to lack of records, or maybe even more likely the language/translation barrier. These are just a couple of the more notable non-LW situations. Probably wouldn't take too long to find other examples.

Last edited by thenelm; 8th March 2010 at 02:05. Reason: edit
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Old 9th March 2010, 01:05
Rob Romero Rob Romero is offline
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Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations

James A Pratt III thanks for your postitive contribution!

Thenelm; there is A LOT of activity and number of researchers in this area you are unaware of (MY LIPS ARE SEALED). In the case of some pilots/units e.g Manfred von Richthofen's Jasta 11 there has has been some very solid research in which it has been possible to establish the victors to a high (though never of course 100%) degree of certainty; moreover in a surprisingly high percentage of combats throughout the history of aerial warfare it is has been possible to isolate likely victors by time and place. Even in the large scale brawls such as those against the massed 8th AF bombing raids, it has still been possible to cull out individual claimants & victims and even where this is not possible, one can garner a sense of reliabity by comparing overall claims to loss by cause (fighter vs. flak etc.). Morever reliablity & unreliability (especially over a period of time) is indicative if not determinative in an absolute sense.
Lets hope this thread can be kept alive.

Rob Romero

Last edited by Rob Romero; 9th March 2010 at 06:49.
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Old 9th March 2010, 02:39
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Re: Percentage of Verifiable Victories of Various Aces –Updates & Recommendations

This essay lists Manfred von Richthofen as claiming a total of 80 kills of which 74 are allegedly confirmed. While almost every book which is about or mentions von Richthofen and his 80 kills, I have one book in my possession which is Von Richthofen and the "Flying Circus" by H.J. Nowarra and Kimbrough S. Brown, published by Harborough Publications, 1959, which states that Manfred had a total of 84 claims of which 80 were confirmed by the Luftstreitkräfte. Generally, the authors who examined the 80 confirmed claims never considered the other four unconfirmed claims as to their ultimate fate or possible victim.
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