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  #11  
Old 10th June 2005, 22:08
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Me's vs Spits over North Africa: Who were those guys?

In principle I agree, but perhaps it reached its extreme at this time with Marseille. The point I wished to make was not to distinguish JG 27 from the rest of the Jagdwaffe, but to point out that this level of competence did not run very deep in the ranks.
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  #12  
Old 10th June 2005, 22:26
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Re: Me's vs Spits over North Africa: Who were those guys?

Hi, guys....

Just as I thought... an allied airman (a western allied one that is) would not get shot down by any other pilot than the Star of Africa....

You have to do Your homework, guys.... the comments in this thread would indicate that the Jagdwaffe in late 42 only had a few battle-worn aircraft at their disposal.

If You check the records of the GenQu 6 Abt at BA/MA, and look at the amount of aircraft delivered to the Jagdwaffe (parts of JG 27, JG 53 and JG 77) in the North African theatre, You will find that they received Bf 109G's in the hundreds during the autumn 1942.

For example:

I./JG 77 got 41 brand new G-2/trop when they were transferring to Africa in Sept/Oct 1942.

During the last two months of 42 they lost about 33 aircraft in total, and got 21, ending up with a strength of 25 G-2 trop at the end of the year (and then they got 17 new G-2 trops in January '43 also)

The picture is similar for III. Gruppe JG 77.

Another fighter unit in the NA was II./JG 53. In the period October 1942 through February 1943 they received 125!!! brand new Bf 109G-4/trop

I./JG 27 received 32 G2's and 29 G4's from October 42 to February 43.

II./JG 27 was the worst off, they had to take over F-4's from other reequipping Gruppen, but nonetheless received a total of about 60 aircraft during the same period, undoubtedly of mixed condition, but good enough to fly.

III./JG 27 was also at the bottom of the ladder it seems.

However, the established strength of these units comprised until VERY late in 1942 (I am then talking turn of the year), was usually above 25 aircraft per Gruppe.

But I guess Marseille flew most of them...... the other pilots down there were mostly novices, fresh from school... NOT!

Another aspect Graham Boak brings into discussion, is that the Luftwaffe in the area were totally dependant on a handful of aces, and did not have the moral nor (probably in his opinion) the pilot capability to down allied fighters when these heavy hitters were not available. To be frank, this is a generalization and in all respects totally wrong. To base such a conclusion on what it seem from his message, a single report from a few desillusioned Luftwaffe prisoners? taken in 1942 is quite spectacular.

I would urge You guys to make a quick read of the claims reports posted by Tony Wood on his site for this period (latter half of 1942). From that list I think I could name about 40-50 pilots that were experienced combat veterans by late 1942, which skill I would say were adequate both in piloting and mastering the difficulties of a combat situation.

I guess that the handful of capable pilots Mr. Boak is referring to does not include many of the following, at the time members of JG 27 with scores ranging from a handful to between fifty and a hundred claims up to the period we are discussing:

Sawallisch, Sinner, Rödel, Krenz, Steis, Schöfböck, Stigler, Steis, Homuth, Monska, Besch, Kientsch, Bendert, Rosenberg, Franzisket, Gläser, Scheib, Hoffmann, Gruber, Krainik, Düllberg, Schneider, Jürgens, Werfft, Unterberger, Stahlschmidt, Körner, Schroer, Steinhauser, Lieres und Wilkau, Kügelbauer, Schulze, Heidel, Boerngen, Kaiser, Vögl, Heinecke, Clade, Kabisch. And of course it could not be the less known (at the time) Brandl, Hanbeck, Döring, Dietz, Jansen or Stückler.

You have of course to take about 4 from this list, to make up for Boak's handful, I still see a couple of names which I would guess could handle a Bf 109 pretty well, even if they were mere Uffz of Fw.

I have just completed the excellent book on Bodenplatte by Pütz and Manrho, where several of the according to Graham Boak desillusioned pilots that had by then survived (some of them all, other a large part) BoB, Barbarossa, the Balkans and North Africa and the western front through 1944 were still flying.... others were butchered during 1944, but that was a totally different war!

I guess this will be a bit like poking a stick into an anthill, but what the hell! You only get what fun You make Yourself!!

Regards,
Andreas
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  #13  
Old 10th June 2005, 22:59
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Me's vs Spits over North Africa: Who were those guys?

I totally agree that it was a generalisation; however it is described in almost every book on the Jagdwaffe, and particularly those covering the desert campaign. Is it not true that Marseille's companions - including several of the aces you name - would stand outside the combat to watch the great man in action? Was his gruppe not withdrawn from action after his death on the grounds of fallen morale? Which no doubt had deeper roots in the operational tiredness of a hard-worked unit, but proverbs about camels seem appropriate here.

I don't recall any comments about a few battle-worn aircraft. However, all the dates you quote for massive reinforcements for JG53 and JG77 are after Alamein - after the incident reported, and hence totally irrelevant. How many of the pilots you name were operational in this area and at this time?

You criticise me for requiring a "star" - no sir, I merely point out that actions described would fit such, that the entire Jagdwaffe was not populated by superbeings, and that at least one such action involving a star can be found that fits the description. Whereas no other has been suggested, as yet.

You in turn would appear to think that the lowest German pilot would obviously outclass the best Allied one - if you think that a misrepresentation, I can only recommend you study your own postings in the same light.
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  #14  
Old 11th June 2005, 07:11
NickM NickM is offline
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Re: Me's vs Spits over North Africa: Who were those guys?

Let's not also forget that regardless of how many planes the JG's had on hand, the German effort still had to deal with issues of fuel, spares, servicibility & the fact that the Allies were either bombing the crap out their landing grounds or attacking their lines of supply almost at will; regardless of how many planes the JGs had on hand, the question is how many could they put in the air...And another note RE: the encounter 92 Sqd had: Nomis was clear in his recollections that Marseilles had already died by the time of their dogfight--as had Steinhausen & Stahlschmidt & Lieres-Wilkau being wounded---so I am guessing the encounter took place some time in Mid October 1942;
So...does anyone have Norman Franks' book on Fighter Command losses handy?

NickM
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  #15  
Old 11th June 2005, 08:39
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Re: Me's vs Spits over North Africa: Who were those guys?

Franks RAF losses deals with ETO (UK and 2 TAF) only, same goes for Foreman's RAF FC books. So two strikes and only one more to go...
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  #16  
Old 11th June 2005, 11:22
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Me's vs Spits over North Africa: Who were those guys?

Is there any more information in the book that might help?

However, looking in Fighters Over The Desert at the dates between Marseille's death and the opening of the battle of El Alamein, there are no clashes between the Jagdwaffe and 92 Sq. that make even a reasonable match. 92 lost two out of four on a ground strafe on the 10th, but that clearly isn't it. Other combats are either many-on-many or high altitude clashes where 92 came out on top. Or, allowing for some overclaiming, at least without more than single losses, if any.

So, on the current evidence, the best match is still that I described above, which is apparently too early.

The German fighter units available in this period were II and III/JG27, and III/JG53, at times operating together to mass as many as thirty fighters. Most of the operations appear to be in single staffel strength. Perhaps the German unit histories can provide more than this rather elderly source.
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  #17  
Old 11th June 2005, 20:14
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Re: Me's vs Spits over North Africa: Who were those guys?

Couldn't part of this question - the date - be resolved by reference to No. 92 Squadron's Operations Record Book in the UK National Archive, or doesn't it survive for this period?

Once you have a date, time and location, things get much easier.

Until someone (not me for a a few months, I'm sorry to say!) has the chance to look at this primary source, this otherwise very interesting discussion seems doomed never to identify the pilots concerned.
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  #18  
Old 12th June 2005, 19:31
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Re: Me's vs Spits over North Africa: Who were those guys?

Hi.

One should probably then go to the existing primary sources, and try to use them, especially concerning the timelines here.

The only target information given by the original poster was 'around the battles of El Alamein' --- according to my information, the second battle of El Alamein STARTED with an allied barrage on October 23 1942. I thus find it quite interesting that the above mentioned information by me is totally disregarded, that it has no relevance. If You at all had bothered to check existing sources mr. Boak, You would have seen that the picture mentioned by me regarding the influx of aircraft to the JG 27 units show a uniform picture from March 42 through October 1942 (when they were at a low point, but still over 25 aircraft per Gruppe, and received a heavy complement of brand new Bf 109G-2/trop), and that the pilots I mentined in the above post for a large part scored heavily (according to their claims listings) from early in 1942 and up until the date I mention in my earlier post.

I am not stating that the average german airman of the time would be able to outfight the best allied aces. I only stated that the JG 27 at the time had a VERY long list of aircrew that I do believe was adequate at handling a Bf 109. Also, I have not seen any evidence that the flight we are talking about here (from 92 Sqdn probably?) comprised the best allied pilots of the time? If this was the case, it would then of course be very interesting to try to identify the pilots that were able to in a Rotte formation totally dominate the best 8 or 9 aces on allied side.

Remeber also mr. Boak, that I am trying to find out what happened, and also try to answer more than Your messages only. The quote about a few battle-worn aircraft were directed at the message by NickM.

You also have to look at the time period when trying to make conclusions here. The collapse of the Luftwaffe had not started by autumn 1942, the pilots were still doing full training courses befor being posted to an operational unit.

That is my point.

And further - a discussion like this is totally fruitless unless a source is quoted. All other is just talk.

My suggestion for further work on this matter is that we try to establish the date, and we can then focus on the available sources from that time. I know for a fact that a lot of information from Fliegerführer Afrika is available in original at BA/MA, and mr Beale is also correct, this incident should have been mentioned in the Squadron ORB, which should be available at Kew. (will start to search for it in the PROCAT tomorrow).

Regards,
Andreas



Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Boak
I totally agree that it was a generalisation; however it is described in almost every book on the Jagdwaffe, and particularly those covering the desert campaign. Is it not true that Marseille's companions - including several of the aces you name - would stand outside the combat to watch the great man in action? Was his gruppe not withdrawn from action after his death on the grounds of fallen morale? Which no doubt had deeper roots in the operational tiredness of a hard-worked unit, but proverbs about camels seem appropriate here.

I don't recall any comments about a few battle-worn aircraft. However, all the dates you quote for massive reinforcements for JG53 and JG77 are after Alamein - after the incident reported, and hence totally irrelevant. How many of the pilots you name were operational in this area and at this time?

You criticise me for requiring a "star" - no sir, I merely point out that actions described would fit such, that the entire Jagdwaffe was not populated by superbeings, and that at least one such action involving a star can be found that fits the description. Whereas no other has been suggested, as yet.

You in turn would appear to think that the lowest German pilot would obviously outclass the best Allied one - if you think that a misrepresentation, I can only recommend you study your own postings in the same light.
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  #19  
Old 13th June 2005, 01:39
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Me's vs Spits over North Africa: Who were those guys?

The date is stated in a later post as just before the El Alamein breakthrough. It is then, even later, stated as being after Marseille's death. This does narrow the possible dates (and units) down somewhat.

When dealing with the death of Marseille, Shores and Ring state that September 1942 had been a very bad month for I/JG27, three of the unit's most successful pilots having been killed. (Presumably this includes Marseille himself.) That would certainly weaken the unit's experience level.

Evidence of the operations of the remaining three Jagdgruppe in this period suggests that they regularly operated in small numbers, and could only assemble any significant number by combining elements from all three units. This is entirely consistent with units at the end of a long and troubled supply line, having difficulty maintaining serviceability.

I certainly make no claim for 92 squadron being a collection of aces: most RAF units in the Desert at this time were suffering from the massive expansion of the RAF and the inevitable dilution of experience. However, 92 does seem to have a fairly creditable record against the Jagdwaffe in this period. Certainly a number of successful pilots flew with this unit, not least Neville Duke, one of DAF's top scoring pilots. Sadly, Fighters over the Desert does not have an index to aid any kind of checking.
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  #20  
Old 23rd June 2005, 07:39
NickM NickM is offline
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Re: Me's vs Spits over North Africa: Who were those guys?

So...I guess that means that no one knows, eh? Sigh! Too bad! Oh well...Until the reprint of FOTD or someone gets into 92 squadron's ORB, this matter is closed...

NickM

PS: Andreas, I didn't mean to imply that the JW had only a few wornout Fighters on hand; I was only under the impression that, during the rush for the Egyptian border, the Axis forces had not only begun to outstrip their supplies, but that offensive forces stationed in Malta were sinking a greater percentage of their supplies & that this also led to a supply pinch for the LW as well...
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