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Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the German Luftwaffe and the Air Forces of its Allies.

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  #1  
Old 21st August 2012, 05:44
Broncazonk Broncazonk is offline
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In General, What is Everyone Doing?

I'm trying to understand why such ultra-specific, super-detailed questions about Luftwaffe pilots, crash events and individual aircraft details are nearly all that is asked on this forum. (This is an honest question, please don't flame me.)

As for me, I'm working on a screenplay (for a major motion picture production company) circa late 1943 about the struggle for air superiority over Europe from primarily the German/Luftwaffe perspective. So details are wonderful, but some of the questions (and the amount of incredibly specific information that everyone seems to have in reply) is almost off the hook crazy. Wow.

Are people writing super detailed unit/pilot/aircraft histories? What's going on here?

Bronc
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  #2  
Old 21st August 2012, 08:29
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ouidjat ouidjat is offline
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Re: In General, What is Everyone Doing?

Hi Bronc,

First of all you need to start with Members List; and check ages if indicated.
Most of us did start during the sixties when 12 or 14; reading "true stories" wrote by Galland, Rudel and consors. We did start, too, being modellers waiting/(hoping) to be pilot...

In the mean time Books started to be written but, with time, it appears that they weren't that accurate ...
So, a lot of members did start looking for archivs, to meet pilots etc... To search for new pictures and so on...
To make lists, to compile datas, to correct old stories, to rewrite what they wrote, to add details, to make profiles for themself and for other modellers and so on ...

Last week, an enthomologist did discover a new insect photographied in Borneo Island (or kind of) and made contact with the photographer. Through Flickr! he was able to confirm it was a new, non described, specie.

We do the same through eBay, through veteran sites, personnal blogs
through family album put in line by ex luftwaffe sons & grandsons.
Some are looking for familiars history...

Let's say many here are historians, writters, designer and or just amateurs. We are archeologists and, at least, one is a true archeologist.
Some are divers looking for wrecks. Others are researching wrecks in fields...

What else?

Yes, it's a world wide community!

You're question matches with thoughts I had couple of days ago. What happens here deserve to have a reportage on TV!!!

This is my little contribution to your question. I'm sure many are able to do better than I did.

Helpful? Cheers, Franck.

PS: And it's a friendly community!.. Well... normally .
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  #3  
Old 21st August 2012, 11:01
Steve Coates Steve Coates is online now
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Re: In General, What is Everyone Doing?

I think it's a fair question. The site is skewed towards operational issues, overly so in my view. In some ways this is an extension of the interest most of us developed in our earlier days. These days very little seems to appear which is related to type history which from my perspective is a shame as there is still a lot to be nailed down about various machines and productive avenues still to be followed. Perhaps most disappointingly, there is very little focus on aircraft production as the production failures of the pre-war and early war period pretty much sealed Germany's fate. We do lack a more rounded debate but it may well be that there are just too few folk interested in this aspect.
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Old 21st August 2012, 12:36
Brian Bines Brian Bines is offline
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Re: In General, What is Everyone Doing?

Apart from what Steve and Franck have said I think to some case it is down to the old saying from little acorns large trees grow. In my case being 'older' nearly all of my school mates had dads who served in the war, this then extended to some school teachers, and on starting work a lot of the older guys also served. The wealth of wartime books also wetted the appetite for more info. which for a while was withheld from the public as secret. I was mainly interested in the Battle of Britain for which there was a wealth of information so I started to look into the Steinbock attacks for which there was very little. As wartime records became available to the public suddenly you could research details about raids and the crash your relatives told you about. In one case the Dornier Flying Pencil shot down at Bishops Court Chelmsford proved to be a He 111 and a crewman survived contrary to stories told by my mates dad. The advent of the home computer suddenly made so much info. available and put you in contact with others that it was possible to extend your interest a lot further. In my case it is the raids and the men that interest, the technical details and production figures of aircraft are secondary to this so TOCH suits me, there are other sites which appear to cater for those with a more technical interest. One thing I have noticed is that answers on TOCH lack a sometimes aggresive reply that I have seen on other forums,

Just My Thoughts

Regards

Brian Bines

Last edited by Brian Bines; 21st August 2012 at 14:52.
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Old 21st August 2012, 13:20
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Andreas Brekken Andreas Brekken is offline
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Re: In General, What is Everyone Doing?

Hi, all!

The answer by Franck is more or less all covering, and although I did not start in the sixties (born late in the sixties...) my interest stems from the fact that both my grandfathers were involved in the fight against the German occupation of Norway, one of them later went on to spend the rest of his life as an aviation technician.

My ancestors on my father side came from a small community near the Lesjaskog lake, where several Gloster Gladiator fighters were destroyed, and close to the crash location of several German bombers. As children these remnants of the past and the stories told naturally spurred an interest.

Currently I am working on the following:

Two book projects - directed towards the operational units of Luftflotte 5 mainly.

Several articles - mainly these will be covering organizational issues - the one closest to completion will describe to my current knowledge the system for loss registration, recovery, repair and supply of aircraft

In addition I am collecting information on aircraft production - the collection is already vast but not entirely catalogued - aiming towards publishing (most probably online) information on this field.

In addition I have with a good friend of mine gone through the entire available collection of Luftwaffe loss records and entered most of them in a relational database for reference.

Regards,
Andreas B
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Old 21st August 2012, 13:43
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ouidjat ouidjat is offline
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Re: In General, What is Everyone Doing?

Hi All, Hi again Bronc,

Let me open my mouth again for a little break:
To make short
- Are people writing super detailed unit/pilot/aircraft histories? Yes (not me)
- What's going on here? Let's say Collectors' place.

And note Andreas motto: "Ahhh... but I have seen the holy grail! And it is painted RLM 76 all over with a large Mickey Mouse on the side, there is a familiar pilot in front of it and it has an Erla Haube!"
You have all in it: Passion, people history, technical aspect, colours ... The funiest one for me!

It's a good question, definitly. Let others continue.
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Old 21st August 2012, 14:40
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Nick Beale Nick Beale is offline
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Re: In General, What is Everyone Doing?

What I'm doing: trying to piece together enough scattered fragments of information to produce a coherent narrative of whichever corner of aviation history intrigues me.

Because of: the mystique attaching to what, to someone brought up in 1950s Britain, was still "the other side." The war was every adult's frame of reference in conversation (everything was before, during or since the war) and there were bombsites all over town; I used to play in my grandparents' Anderson shelter. My uncles showed me their wartime scrapbooks and bomb-splinter collections. My Dad told me about when he was a cycle messenger in the Blitz and how (via a junior office job with the Air Ministry) he got flights in a Beaufighter and saw shot-up B-17s returning from a raid on the French Atlantic ports.
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Old 21st August 2012, 15:06
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
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Re: In General, What is Everyone Doing?

Hello to all members! I guess Franck (Ouidjat) answered it and got the point....
We are all linked together (from different nationalities, ages, professions, etc..) to Military and Aeronautical History...
We do find on this Forum similars who share the same interests...on my particular case: Bomber and Coastal Command (PRU, etc...) activities....Of course..there are the Luftwaffe Specialists...the 8th AF specialists...etc...it has more to do with the field of interest you do have on WW2.
People who frequent this Forum range from "Professional Writers" (already acclaimed writers who published several books of Reference) and "sprog writers" (like me and others..who are inspired by the first ones as well as inspired by older writers....(particularly for myself...I was inspired by Martin Middlebrook, Hector Bolitho, etc...)...
Well I had to go now...but will have a go here later...
Quite a nice thread indeed....
Yours
Adriano Baumgartner
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Old 21st August 2012, 16:28
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: In General, What is Everyone Doing?

Then there are the 1%ers, the fringe element, those of us who swim against the tide, the outcasts, the non-Europeans. We are the tiny, tiny fraction of the whole who are not interested in the aircraft, their registration numbers (Werknummern) or their colors and markings. We might have been at one time back in the days of Royal Air Force Flying Review in the 50's and 60's, but after being awed by the pretty color profiles and the developmental history of the aircraft for a few years we moved on.

We, the outsiders, the outcasts, are interested in the organization and history of the Luftwaffe - not just the flying branches, but also the Flakwaffe, Luftnachrichtentruppe, Nachschubdienste and other components that comprised 95% of the Luftwaffe's manpower and 85% of its assets. We are also interested in the operations, the units, the officers, the airfields, the command and control, the strategic thinking and planning, and the air war over Europe in general.

So there are a few of us who don't fit the mold and share the mainline interests here, Bronc, but only a few.

Larry
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Old 21st August 2012, 17:18
veltro veltro is offline
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Re: In General, What is Everyone Doing?

As already underlined, it is a fair question, and the fact that several of us felt the need to reply, means that we are aware that the bulk of us "hardcore" enthusiasts are by now an older generation and that the newer ones are often completely unaware of what we are speaking of, let alone understand and share our passion.

Like many of those writing and/or debating here, I started as a boy of the mid-'50s' growing up in the post-WW2 culture, more and more passionate on aviation and of those men who fought in the air like old knights, then followed the passion for modelism and (as happened probably to many of us old modelers) started to look for more reference and data to realize personal choices as individual aircraft of some ace and so on...

Some of us began to realize that what had been written since and fed us was more than faulty and imprecise, so the research for data and info brought some of us to primary sources, wheter those being archives or veterans or both. For some, that was the turning point that lead to the choice of researching and - with some luck - being able to publish the results of the researches, in articles or/and books.

What is important, though, is to remain subtly but persistently unsatisfied and looking for more, which in research is the fuel to most achievements, if these could be considered as such...

Oh, one last thing: why the Germans and the Luftwaffe? Well, this delves somehow in psicology, but I was eased by the fact that my home country was a German ally in WW2 (much to German's dismay, I should add!), so researching about that was almost unavoidable. I however think that the allure of the "dark side" has a lot to it and the Germans certainly were masters of "bad ass design", which had a lot of fascination for the young boys in the '60s and '70s.

Sorry to have been maybe a bit too lenghty, but the topic I guess deserved that.
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Last edited by veltro; 21st August 2012 at 21:17.
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