Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum  

Go Back   Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum > Discussion > Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 17th November 2010, 02:18
RodM RodM is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Deep South of New Zealand
Posts: 448
RodM is on a distinguished road
Interpretation of Luftwaffe Loss Statistics

Hello One and All,

I have a question which I hope may be clarified by the learned members of this board.

In Luftwaffe loss statistics it is often difficult or impossible to distinguish losses due to enemy action where the aircraft concerned took off with the intention of performing an operational flight, as opposed to non-operational flights where the aircraft concerned was shot down by the enemy and thus classed as an operational loss.

In some sets of OKL statistics losses due to enemy action are classified as either with enemy contact (Feindberührung) or without enemy contact (Ohne Feindberührung).

Can anyone clarify the meaning of these classifications? Obviously, losses due to the enemy did involve contact with the enemy, so I'm confused as to the context of the German classifications.

Cheers

Rod
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 17th November 2010, 15:23
jim norton jim norton is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 342
jim norton
Re: Interpretation of Luftwaffe Loss Statistics

...could it be contct to enemy in the air?! they could have been lost by aa-fire, so from the ground, haven´t had contact with an enemy in the air.

all the best
jim
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 17th November 2010, 17:55
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 2,766
Laurent Rizzotti is on a distinguished road
Re: Interpretation of Luftwaffe Loss Statistics

No idea how an aircraft can be lost through enemy action without enemy contact, but I wonder if that can be compared to the statistics showing aircraft destroyed or damaged by enemy aircraft, and dividing them between those observed by enemy and not.

For example:
_ an aircraft shot down during a battle will be observed by the enemy
_ an aircraft taking one bullet in the engine, that seized 15 minutes and 100 km later and ending in a ditching/failed force-landed in/near friendly land will be an aircraft destroyed by enemy aircraft without being observed by the enemy
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 17th November 2010, 19:09
Horst Weber Horst Weber is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 595
Horst Weber
Re: Interpretation of Luftwaffe Loss Statistics

Rod, Jim & Laurent

Me as a German native would explain it as follow:

An operational fighting-unit(Jäger, Bomber, Schlachtflieger) is flying an operational mission. This is called Feindflug, Feindeinsatz.

While flying this mission, they have contact with enemy a/c and losses due to this enemy a/c, the losses are described as "mit Feindberührung".

All losses like mechanical failures without an appearance of the enemy during a "Feindflug" are described as "ohne Feindberührung"

A good question is, if anti-aircraft fire, which caused a loss during a Feindflug, would have been described as "mit Feindberührung", too.
On my opinion, I would rather say, that "mit Feindberührung" was a loss to any enemy action while on a Feindflug.

Best regards !

Horst Weber
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 17th November 2010, 20:17
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Hungary
Posts: 1,807
Dénes Bernád is on a distinguished road
Re: Interpretation of Luftwaffe Loss Statistics

Thanks, Horst, for the detailed explanation.

What was the difference between a Feindflug and a Frontflug?
__________________
Dénes
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 17th November 2010, 21:12
Nick Beale's Avatar
Nick Beale Nick Beale is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Exeter, England
Posts: 5,117
Nick Beale will become famous soon enough
Re: Interpretation of Luftwaffe Loss Statistics

In some sets of OKL statistics losses due to enemy action are classified as either with enemy contact (Feindberührung) or without enemy contact (ohne Feindberührung).

Does it say Feindberührung in full? I only ask because the monthly stats talk about losses mit or ohne Feindeinwirkung. So enemy action rather than enemy contact. That means you could lose a plane to enemy action without leaving the ground (e.g. in an air raid, or even from artillery fire).

I'd have thought that a loss to enemy action on a non-operational flight would still show up in the Qen. Qu. loss returns as "(H)" rather than "(F)" = Feindflug, whereas in the monthly loss/arrival figures it would show as a loss mit Feindeinwirkung.
__________________
Nick Beale
http://www.ghostbombers.com
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 18th November 2010, 02:32
thenelm thenelm is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 333
thenelm is on a distinguished road
Re: Interpretation of Luftwaffe Loss Statistics

Then again the Schulen losses show numerous losses due to being hit by enemy fire (Bordwaffenbeschusse or whatever). The actual Schulen combat losses have a different designation for sorties against the enemy - 'E' - presumably meaning Einsatz. These are few and far between - so the poor schmucks that got wasted by enemy fighters or fire are not given any particular designation except as a reason for the loss. And what I've seen as to the Gen.Qu. would confirm Nick's statement. The 'ohne Feindberührung' I've always assumed as 'they never saw what hit'em' - ??
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 19th November 2010, 08:27
RodM RodM is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Deep South of New Zealand
Posts: 448
RodM is on a distinguished road
Re: Interpretation of Luftwaffe Loss Statistics

Hello One & All,

thanks for the replies, and for the explanation of Feindeinwirkung. With regards to whether a loss was observed by the enemy or not, this appears a lot in translation in HW 5 ULTRA.

To be more precise, the statistics are a (presumed) literal translation of an OKL FüSt Ic/Fremde Luftwaffe West table of aircraft attrition statistics, originally prepared and submitted for the purpose of forward planning.

The table is divided as follows:

1. Missing
2. Through Enemy Action (presumably 'Feindeinwirkung')
- Sub-divided into: Destroyed - Enemy Contact (presumably 'mit Feindberührung'); Destroyed - No Enemy Contact (presumably 'Ohne Feindberührung'); <60% Damage - Enemy Contact; <60% Damage - Without Enemy Contact; Destroyed on the Ground; <60% Damage on the Ground
3. Without Enemy Action (presumably 'Ohne Feindeinwirkung')
- Sub-divided into: Destroyed - Operational; Destroyed - Non-operational; <60% Damage - Operational; <60% Damage - Non-Operational.


As can be seen the losses through enemy action on the ground are seperate from the 'Enemy Contact'/'No Enemy Contact' stats, and the losses not through enemy action are divided into operational and non-operational.

I would presume that any cases of fracticide with be included in the operational losses not through enemy action, and enemy Flak is mostly not applicable because the losses relate primarily to air defence over the Reich.

With regards to Nick's comment on non-operational losses through enemy action being shown as 'H' in the Gen.Qu. returns - for the 1945 period and for Nachtjagd losses I have found the opposite. Losses through enemy action on non-operational flights appear to have been classified as 'F' - that is, even if an aircraft took off on a non-operational flight, the flight became operational the moment the aircraft was destroyed or damaged by enemy action. As one can imagine this causes no end of trouble in trying to establish which losses in the Gen.Qu returns were on operational as opposed to non-operational flights. A fair number of Nachtjagd losses were shot down by day fighters on routine non-operational flights, but from the Gen.Qu returns this fact isn't clear.

To get back to the original question, I'm naturally assuming that the translators at the AHB weren't total muppets, so the translation of 'Enemy Contact' should refer to 'Feindberührung'/'mit Feindberührung', and thetranslation of 'Without Enemy Contact' should refer to 'Ohne Feindberührung.'

I would be surprised if the terms would refer to whether or not the crew saw the enemy aircraft or not because if there were no survivors then this could not be established, surely?

I was wondering if the terms could obliquely refer to aircraft lost/damaged through enemy action on operational and non-operational flights, but then it would seem that the term 'Feindflug' or 'Feindeinsatz' would have been used if this was the case.

Cheers

Rod

Last edited by RodM; 20th November 2010 at 03:47.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 19th November 2010, 10:19
Nick Beale's Avatar
Nick Beale Nick Beale is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Exeter, England
Posts: 5,117
Nick Beale will become famous soon enough
Re: Interpretation of Luftwaffe Loss Statistics

I'm not absolutely sure about the "enemy contact" bit (although the term is often noted in log books and operational reports). If AHB were translating "Feindb.", the original may have meant "Feindbeobachtet" = observed by the enemy. The Luftwaffe seems to have been quite interested in whether its losses were seen by the other side.

So, to complicate life even more, an accidental loss could still be observed by the enemy while a loss from combat damage may not have been.
__________________
Nick Beale
http://www.ghostbombers.com
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 19th November 2010, 11:18
RodM RodM is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Deep South of New Zealand
Posts: 448
RodM is on a distinguished road
Re: Interpretation of Luftwaffe Loss Statistics

Hi Nick,

thanks for the additional 'observation' (pardon the pun). I guess that the answer lies with the original report (where ever within the BA/MA it may be hiding).

I suspect that it wasn't the Luftwaffe per se interested in whether a loss was observed by the enemy, as much as Dr. Goebbels' lot.

In much the same way the RAF, especially BC, used the term 'missing', which did not include losses that were definitely known about, in order not to 'provide comfort to the enemy'... It just seems strange that the BC ORS should work with these 'missing' figures during their research, making their statistical analysis rather skewed.

cheers

Rod

Last edited by RodM; 20th November 2010 at 03:49.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Luftwaffe loss 25 August 1941? bill norman Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 2 16th March 2010 09:08
Luftwaffe loss over the North Sea, 24th June 1941 Hans Nauta Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 2 6th December 2009 09:43
A Luftwaffe Loss?? Nostalgair Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 2 18th January 2008 23:12
Luftwaffe GQM loss list experiences Boris Ciglic Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 18 7th October 2005 17:17
Luftwaffe loss 15.08.1942 Melvin Brownless Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 4 1st July 2005 20:17


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 12:14.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2018, 12oclockhigh.net