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Old 27th June 2020, 13:46
HGabor HGabor is offline
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Barkhorn: claims vs. victories

Hi Folks,
Here is a short list of Maj. Gerhard Barkhorn (1919-1983, Stab II./JG 52) Bf 109 ace’s victory-analysis for the end of 1944. Officially he was credited with 301 aerial victories during WWII and as such, he was credited with the 2nd most aerial victories in military history. But regardless of this, as we will see, in reality probably he was and he will ever be the top scorer No.1 fighter pilot of all times:

274: 26.10.1944 - Yak-3 – OVERCLAIM - Stab II./JG 52, PQ 18284 (Újfehértó, Nyíregyháza-S), 14:25

5 VA, 13 GvIAD, 151 GvIAP, Yak-9 (S/N was not reported as it stayed in service) This day between 12:00-12:30 and 14:10-14:40 local time, groups of 4-6 Yak-9 of 151 GvIAP covered soviet ground forces (the ‘Pliev combat-group’) in the Nyíregyháza area, where 2 Bf 109 attacked them. One Yak-9 was hit, but still could reach the Kisszénás airfield, where landed safely. Pilot, Gv.Lt. Vladimir Ivanovich Muratov (1923-) was unhurt. Plane was later repaired. Barkhorn scored his Yak fighter right in the middle of the 2nd mission of the 5 VA, 151 GvIAP this day!

(The 5 VA reported 1 IL-2, 1 -511 ORAP- Pe-2R and 4 Yak losses on October 26, 1944.)

275: 14.11.1944 - Yak-9 - POTENTIAL VICTORY - Stab II./JG 52, PQ 98661 - 11:45
276: 14.11.1944 - Yak-9 - POTENTIAL VICTORY - Stab II./JG 52, PQ 98635 - 12:00


5 VA, 13 GvIAD, 151 GvIAP, Yak-1B (S/N: 18199) lost in a dogfight in the given Jászberény-S area. Pilot, Gv.Ml.Lt. Nikolai Vasilevich Rogatin (1923-) returned OK.

5 VA, 13 GvIAD, 151 GvIAP, Yak-9T (S/N: 1715339) lost in a dogfight in the given Jászberény-S area. Pilot, Gv.Ml.Lt. Lev Ivanovich Toropov (1924-) returned OK.

(The 5 VA reported 5 IL-2, 6 La-5 and 3 Yak losses this day, -2 IL-2 to flak.)

277: 16.11.1944 - Il-2 ~ POTENTIAL VICTORY - Stab II./JG 52 -
278: 16.11.1944 - Il-2 ~ POTENTIAL VICTORY - Stab II./JG 52 -
279: 16.11.1944 - Il-2 ~ POTENTIAL VICTORY - Stab II./JG 52 -
280: 16.11.1944 - Yak-3 - POTENTIAL VICTORY - Stab II./JG 52, PQ 98478, 13:40
281: 16.11.1944 - La-5 - POTENTIAL VICTORY???? - Stab II./JG 52, PQ 98452 (Hatvan-SE), 13:45



5 VA, 13 GvIAD, 150 GvIAP, Yak-3 (S/N: 3429214, No.’34’). Lost at Isaszeg, Budapest-E, Gv.Lt. Alexandr Nikolaevich Agdantsev went missing. At 13:42 local, between 2000-3500 m 8 Yaks covered their own troops and met 4 Bf 109. Agdantsev while protecting the first group of four was hit and bailed out with parachute. Downed by Maj. Gerhard Barkhorn (Stab.II/JG.52) at ‘13.40’ - confirmed.

5 VA, 279 IAD, 192 IAP, La-5F (S/N: 39214932, No.'32') Lost at Nagykáta at 14:00 local. 4 La-5, covering 9 IL-2 of 5 VA, 12 GvShAD, 188 GvShAP in the Hatvan-Hort-Atkár-Csány area. Combat with 6 ‘Fw 190’ at Nagykáta-NE, 2-3 km at 2400 m. Ml.Lt. Vladimir Mihailovich Olnev was hit, injured, bailed out at 2000 m. On November 20, 1944 he returned to his unit without his plane.

On this very intense day of November 16, 1944 the soviet 5th Air Army reported the following 3 IL-2 losses: 1 IL-2 lost to enemy fighters, 2 went missing. Others were seriously damaged, but repaired afterwards. Since the 3 IL-2 claims in Barkhorn’s list are listed before his 13:40 Yak-3 claim, I assume he claimed them still in the morning hours, just before lunch. This matches the report of the 92 GvShAP IL-2 flight, which was hit really hard this day around 11:45 local time in the Hatvan area, knocking out the following planes out of their flight of five by 6 Bf 109s. (Five 92 GvShAP IL-2, escorted by four 122 IAP Yak, vs. 6 Bf 109 in the Hatvan area):

5 VA, 4 GvShAD, 92 GvShAP IL-2m3, S/N: 10294, fuselage No.’71’, (Kovalev-Pichugin crew) – lost to fighter
5 VA, 4 GvShAD, 92 GvShAP IL-2m3, S/N: 11360, fuselage No.’99’, (Bocharov-Mihailov crew) – lost to fighter
5 VA, 4 GvShAD, 92 GvShAP IL-2m3, S/N: 303933, fuselage No.’74’, (Bizhko-Ermachenko crew) – lost to fighter
5 VA, 4 GvShAD, 92 GvShAP IL-2m3, S/N: 303925, fuselage No.’75’, (Sadokhin-Lapshin crew) – damaged, force landed on another soviet airfield, later flew back to their own base.

In 188 GvShAP IL-2m3 (S/N: 1878963) suffered combat damages in the same area, plus IL-2m3 (S/N: 11091, Alexandrov-Patrin crew) was destroyed on the Kecskemét airfield in an air raid.)


282: 17.11.1944 – La-5 - VICTORY - Stab II./JG 52, PQ 98615 (Tápiószecső area) at 1.500 m, 10:23
283: 17.11.1944 - Yak-3 - VICTORY - Stab II./JG 52, PQ 98622 at 3.500 m, 15:00


5 VA, 14 GvIAD, 178 GvIAP, La-5FN (S/N: 39212821, No.’21’). Flight of 10 La-5s at 10:25 local, Lt. Myakinin failed to return. While returning from the mission, at about 10-15 km north of Szolnok he separated from his group and went missing. Perhaps he, or his plane was wounded/damaged in the dogfight with Barkhorn and lost consciousness/control en route home and crashed/crashlanded.

5 VA, 13 GvIAD, 149 GvIAP, 2nd Sq., Yak-1B (S/N: 37191, No.’<37’). At 15:00 local, flight of 8 Yaks, Ml.Lt. Vladimir Petrovich Isupov (assigned from 19 ZhAP) bailed out with parachute in the Kóka-E area after severe dogfight with 2 Bf 109 and ‘4 Fw 190’, - returned without his plane on November 19, 1944, OK.

285: 24.11.1944 - Pe-2 – OVERCLAIM/VICTORY ??? - Stab II./JG 52 – (Perhaps 24.12.1944???????)

The 5 VA had no aircraft losses on November 24, 1944, only an A-20G and a Po-2 recce. sortie - without losses. The 511 ORAP, as the only Pe-2 equipped 5 VA recce. unit has only a Po-2 support-biplane loss on November 21, 1944 (S/N: 640732, St.Lt. Panchenko), which was not combat related. No Pe-2R loss in the entire month of November, 1944, only one write-off, due to wear and tear by November 9, 1944. (S/N: 16/153) However, VVS HQ, 48 GvORAP has lost a Pe-2 recce. plane (S/N: 19/296) on December 24, 1944 to fighter (Not 24.11.1944, but 24.12.1944!). If this was just a typo in Barkhorn’s biography and/or claim list -that I cannot verify-, then it was an authentic aerial victory. Plane with Lt. Ukrainskii’s crew onboard crashlanded at Martonos, Hungary-S (now in Serbia).

286: 25.12.1944 - Yak-9 - POTENTIAL VICTORY - Stab II./JG 52 –
287: 25.12.1944 - Yak-9 - POTENTIAL VICTORY - Stab II./JG 52 –


Details of these Yak claims are unknown, but throughout the day heavy dogfights took place between German Bf 109s and soviet Yaks of the 17 VA, 288 IAD in the Zámoly and in the city of Székesfehérvár (Stuhlweissenburg)-N area with severe soviet losses as follows:

17 VA, 288 IAD, 611 IAP, Yak-1B (S/N: 14177) – Lt. Nikolai Nikolaevich Kutsenko???
17 VA, 288 IAD, 611 IAP, Yak-1B (S/N: 15150) – Lt. Nikolai Nikolaevich Kutsenko???
17 VA, 288 IAD, 611 IAP, Yak-1B (S/N: 44172) – Capt. Konstantin Leontievich Chernogor (KIA) near Zámoly
17 VA, 288 IAD, 611 IAP, Yak-9T (S/N: 1115364) – Ml.Lt. Dmitrii Gavrilovich Kirichenko (KIA), Maj. Churilin’s wingman near Zámoly
17 VA, 288 IAD, 611 IAP, Yak-9M (S/N: 2715374) – Ml.Lt. Aleshkin, or Ml.Lt. Fadeev (both OK)
17 VA, 288 IAD, 611 IAP, Yak-9M (S/N: 2715372) – Ml.Lt. Aleshkin, or Ml.Lt. Fadeev (both OK)
17 VA, 288 IAD, 611 IAP, Yak-9M (S/N: 2715376) – Ml.Lt. Georgii Artemovich Alaverdov (right leg injury, crashlanded at Székesfehérvár airfield-N after a dogfight)
17 VA, 288 IAD, 659 IAP, Yak-9D (S/N: 16166065) – Ml.Lt. Pavel Alexeevich Gorlach near Vértesszőlős (Tatabánya)

Since Hptm. Helmut Lipfert (II./JG 52) also had 2 Yak-9 aerial victories in these battles (1 at Székesfehérvár and 1 at Mór (Zámoly-NW), I think it is reasonable to think that these claims were also Barkhorn’s legitimate aerial victories, as somebody had to shoot down all of these soviet planes and II./JG 52 was definitely involved in the events.

288: 29.12.1944 - Il-2 – OVERCLAIM - Stab II./JG 52 –

Neither the 5th, nor the 17th Air Army had IL-2 combat loss this day, except a 17 VA, 210 ShAP IL-2m3 (S/N: 12058, No.’22’), which has lost orientation, missed their airfield and finally crashlanded in a remote field near Pusztaszentimre. (Balakin-Bogatirev crew was OK. Not combat related loss.)

289: 29.12.1944 – Boston – OVERCLAIM - Stab II./JG 52 – No details, but:

17 VA, 244 BAD, 260 BAP, A-20 Boston (S/N: unknown, as it was not lost) Gunner, St.Sgt. Georgii Andreevich Vlasov was killed. The 17 VA, 244 BAD, 449 BAP flew bomb/recce. mission to Budapest. The 5 VA, 218 BAD regiments had no Boston loss this day.

Barkhorn also had a few more claims between January 2-5, 1945, but as far as I know, other than the types of his claims nothing else is known. The daily soviet losses (both for the 5th and 17th Air Armies) are known in details, but due to the lack of information on his side, they cannot be compared to them.

Most of Maj. Barkhorn’s 15 claims in late 1944 can be verified from the soviet loss records for a good 73-80% (!!!), which is very significant and even the ones that he ‘just’ damaged, but did not completely destroy are recorded in soviet combat reports.

It is clear, that in reality nobody (like NOBODY!!!) reached 300 aerial victories in human/military history - and nobody will ever reach, thank’s be to God -, but if this was Barkhorn’s average score during his WWII fighter career, than most likely Maj. Gerhard Barkhorn was (and will ever be) the most successful fighter pilot of all times with about ~220-241 real aerial victories.

Gabor
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Old 27th June 2020, 19:50
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Boris Ciglic Boris Ciglic is offline
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Re: Barkhorn: claims vs. victories

According to data published in "Drei Falken der III./JG 52 auf der Krim im Luftkampf um die Kertch-Halbinsel", from November 1943 till April 1944 Barkhorn definitely shot down 28 Soviet planes, he could have brought down 13 more (it is unclear if these fell to his guns or some other pilots or flak) and overclaimed 31 times (either no corresponding loss at all or minor damage to his opponents). Pretty impressive, still, from so far published researches based on Soviet archival data, it seems that Otto Kittel has been the actually most successful Luftwaffe pilot.


Boris
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Old 27th June 2020, 20:02
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Broncazonk Broncazonk is offline
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Re: Barkhorn: claims vs. victories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boris Ciglic View Post
...it seems that Otto Kittel has been the actually most successful Luftwaffe pilot.Boris
I would have thought it was Günther Rall.

Bronc
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Old 27th June 2020, 20:25
HGabor HGabor is offline
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Re: Barkhorn: claims vs. victories

Could be, but how many (or what %) of Rall's, or Kittel's victories were matching soviet loss records? The final, credited number of victories is irrelevant, as they still could be full of overclaims (just like Hartmann's). What really matters here is the matching and verified records. Would be nice to know..

Gabor
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Old 27th June 2020, 20:42
leonventer leonventer is offline
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Re: Barkhorn: claims vs. victories

Hi Gabor,

Thanks for sharing your research -- it's greatly appreciated.

Such efforts will help provide a more accurate account of events, and hopefully ensure that the more deserving individuals (e.g. Barkhorn, Rall, Kittel, Lipfert) get their due recognition.

Regards,
Leon Venter
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Old 28th June 2020, 02:51
Nick Hector Nick Hector is offline
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Re: Barkhorn: claims vs. victories

Quote:
Originally Posted by HGabor View Post
Could be, but how many (or what %) of Rall's, or Kittel's victories were matching soviet loss records? The final, credited number of victories is irrelevant, as they still could be full of overclaims (just like Hartmann's). What really matters here is the matching and verified records. Would be nice to know..

Gabor
Hi Gabor, for your interest:

I believe it was posted on here earlier as part of a different thread, but here is a Russian-language forum with an excellent comparison of German victory claims in the northern sector during September-October 1944. You will be able to see that many of Kittel's claims appear to be well-substantiated:

https://forum-kenig.ru/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4513

Rall remains a bit more of an unknown quantity, so I am inclined to agree with Boris Ciglic
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Old 28th June 2020, 12:07
HGabor HGabor is offline
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Re: Barkhorn: claims vs. victories

Thanks Nick, excellent material!
Gabor
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Old 28th June 2020, 12:33
Nick Hector Nick Hector is offline
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Re: Barkhorn: claims vs. victories

Cheers Gabor,
Now, as always, well done and keep up the good work!
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Old 28th June 2020, 16:43
Johannes Johannes is offline
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Re: Barkhorn: claims vs. victories

Hi Gabor

Think you are saying that Barkhorn was mistaken in about sixty of his claims, more of a case of not following claiming protocol rather than direct over-claiming.
He once uncovered a scam by a fellow pilot, in this they were themselves filing paperwork to the RLM that should have been for the general unit i.e not a single pilot. Barkhorn was horrified and put a stop to it.

Doesn't of course mean he wasn't an over-claimer, I have worked with incompetent managers who to cover their uselessness spend their time attacking others just to draw attention away from there own failings.

Unlike Hartman we have many of the abschussmeldung of Barkhorn that give exact crash-sites and witnesses. Without cross-examining against these other pilots, there are only two periods that would possibly be dodgy, and by this the constant use of the same witnesses, this being claims number 209-251 of which thirty-two have Heinz Ewald as witness, and numbers 140-160 which all had Karl-Heinz Plucker as witness. I have the abschussmeldung of numbers 65-139 and they are a total mix of witnesses, many of who are proven honest claimers.

Naturally we assume that the wingmen are competent, experienced and not lazy.

We are in agreemant with Barkhorn's 1945 claims being too vague to investigate

Have you anylized Walter Nowotn'y claims yet?

Kind Regards

johannes
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Old 29th June 2020, 09:06
Johannes Johannes is offline
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Re: Barkhorn: claims vs. victories

Hi Guys

I did compare the claims of Barkhorn to those of his wingman Karl-Heinrich Plucker, and can state that there was no collusion between them in the normal sense of baring false witness to each others claims. Regarding his earlier claims, the abschussmeldung also mention if the pilot/crew bailed-out, and any fire, from where he attacked, also the witnesses story, the bailing-out part I would think being most useful.

Keep well

Johannes
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