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Luftwaffe Experten, Fact or Fiction

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by Ali Morshead, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    All throughout conflict, the claims of damage caused to the enemy has been far in excess of the actual damage incurred. Partly to keep morale high, but often in the honest opinion that the damage had been inflicted upon the enemy.

    This discrepancy has been highlighted in the 20th Century where the claims made by U-Boat & Submarine Commanders, Pilots and Air Gunners became of great importance to the various propaganda units and the inflated claims passed on to history.

    Ludovic Kennedy, in his book “Pursuit” which covers the chase for the Bismark and its destruction refers to the attack by Admiral Vian & his Destroyers;(I have paraphrased this) “Claims were submitted by the Destroyers for 3, possibly 4 hits on Bismark. However no hits were made, equally Bismark claimed to have sunk a Destroyer and damage caused to others. All claims were made in good faith, the crews after hours at action stations EXPECTED to make hits, and they saw what they assumed they would see, so any unusual explosions were assumed to have been hits and were claimed as such.” Similarly for the Fighter Pilots, I have fired at the enemy, I believe I had hit him, that ‘plane going down in smoke must be mine.

    After WW2, the claims by USN Submarine commanders were officially reviewed and a substantial number of claimed sinkings disallowed, and in a few cases, increased. The claims made by RAF & USAAF fighter pilots were discounted (and often ridiculed) after access was allowed into the records of the Luftwaffe and Japanese Air Forces.

    However, despite the awarded victories soaring above 350, the victory claims of Luftwaffe pilots were considered above reproach, that the Luftwaffe had a system that was meticulous and carefully researched and checked.

    The Decoration system of the Luftwaffe was also closely tied to the Victories awarded, Aircraft types had points allocated to them and a certain number of points resulted in the award being posted. Added to this, was the Political situation which could have easily been used to “coerce” other pilots to confirm claims. Some Pilots, Marseille for one, seemed to have their claims confirmed much faster than the system implies, and whose careers were closely monitored by the Armed Services Press.

    Recently however, the information has surfaced which allows us to compare the “kills” awarded to Luftwaffe Pilots against the losses incurred by the RAF on a day by day basis. Startling discrepancies appear between those numbers which were awarded as kills and the actual losses suffered by the RAF.

    The period up to the end of the Battle of Britain, November 1 1940 provides a capsule in time where claims and losses can be compared and where a good base of data appears. Specific USAAF 8th Air Force & Bomber Command Raids can also be compared, though while Allied information shows the total losses, they often do not distinguish Flak, & “Other” losses from those where the Aircraft was Shot Down. It is therefore not unlikely that Allied losses can be greater than the claims made for their destruction.

    In this article I will try to compare come of these Days, comparing the claims approved by the OKL Administration which tally up to the claims made by the Luftwaffe experten, you can see each of the Victories awarded to Galland, Marseille, Steinhof, Munchenberg etc, against the losses suffered by the RAF. Some days, usually when the numbers involved were highest, the discrepancies where high. On the quieter days the numbers were closer.

    I do not attempt to denigrate the efforts and skills of the Luftwaffe Experten, they fought a much harder war than the RAF and their chances to accumulate Victories much higher. Neville Duke, one of the high scoring RAF pilots with 28 “kills”entered the action in April 1941,was sent on 2 , 6 month rest periods and left combat about 6 months before wars end, therefore being in action for about 36 months flying about 490 sorties, added to this was the rarity in which Luftwaffe aircraft were sighted after late 1943. The Luftwaffe wore their Pilots into the ground, though the number of Allied Aircraft in the skies made finding their foe much easier. Hartmann did not get posted to JG52 until August 1942, was consistantly flying up to 4 missions each day flying over 1400 missions through some of the worst flying weather on earth. I am unable to compare any figures for the war in the East, I am unsure that even the Red Air Force knew the actual size of their losses, and leave this field for someone else to investigate.

    18 DECEMBER 1939 HELIGOLAND BIGHT

    On 18 December 1939, the RAF decided to mount a raid on the German fleet at Wilhelmshaven and orders were drafted for 24 Wellington Medium bombers to carry out the raid. 9 aircraft from 149 Squadron, 9 from 9 Squadron and 6 from 37 Squadron were selected to “Attack enemy warships in the Schillig Roads or Wilhelmshaven. Great care is to be taken to ensure that no bombs fall on shore”

    While 24 Wellington’s took off, 2 from 149 Sqn returned to base early leaving 22 to carry on. The bombers managed to succesfully fly over the German Fleet, but their Orders about bombing German soil caused the abortion of the raid as the leader decided the ships, tied up in Port where too close to shore to be bombed. It was only after they turned for home did the German Fighters attack.

    The ensuing massacre saw thew shooting down of 10 Wellingtons, nearly 50% of the attacking force, however the Fighters claimed to have destroyed 34 Victories, over 150% of the attackers though OKL pruned this down to 26, still more than the force started with.

    What happened to the excellent Luftwaffe system which has been held above reproach, and stand as the solid base for the amazing claims by its pilots?

    In a frantic, swirling battle, it wasn’t hard to ASSUME your shots had caused the fatal damage, especially to a Bomber which took a good amount of damage to destroy. You make your run, score solid hits, flash past at 300mph+, when you turn you see a ‘plane fall out of the sky, It MUST be yours, and your wingman confirms it as he sees the same thing.

    An excuse can be made that the action was over the sea, and destroyed aircraft could not be investigated.


    JULY 1940-OCTOBER 1940 THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN.

    The Battle of France was a wild melee, Allied Units continually falling back and the advancing Germans meant that both sides could be excused for poor paperwork.

    After the collapse of France , the Luftwaffe turned to England and afetr some sparring over Convoys, on 10 July began what is known as The Battle of Britain.

    Through out the Battle, which continued to 31 October 1940, the Luftwaffe Propaganda machine claimed to have destroyed over 3000 RAF aircraft, clearly exceeding the size of the RAF at the time. OKL officially credited its Pilots with the destruction of about 1955 Spitfires & Hurricanes (I have deducted Defiants, Blenheims and other aircraft) which compares unfavourably with the RAF losses of either 932 (“The Narrow Margin” by Wood & Dempster) or 755 Spitfires & Hurricanes (Fighter Command Losses & Casualties by Frank) Included in the RAF losses are those which were shot down by Bombers, and not included in the OKL figures but not those which “crash landed at an airfield” and were repaired. It is hard to pick out those shot down by the Bombers as many final moments are not clear and they are only listed as shot down.

    In this period, the reputation of many Luftwaffe experten were built upon, but it appears that their tallies must be inflated. Marseille, The Star of Africa, was awarded his first kill on 8 September for a Spitfire, on the same day 4 other Spitfires were claimed though the RAF only lost 1, was Marseille mistaken and he destroyed a Hurricane, OKL awarded 8 Hurricane kills but Franks details only 4 as being shot down!! Marseille went on to claim 6 other victories over the Channel, none of which are detailed in any official records but go to make up his tally of 158 “kills”.

    Other days with “interesting” results
    Date OKL Awards Narrow Margin/Franks
    10 July 27 5/1
    11 July 2 4/7
    29 July 18 3/3
    8 August 38 19/15
    11 August 55 32/26
    15 August 87 34/30
    18 August 86 27/29
    31 August 97 37/39
    6 September 58 23/20
    7 September 72 28/23
    15 September 69 26/27
    27 September 79 28/24
    30 September 54 20/14

    By the end of the Battle RAF losses were only 47.67% of OKL awards according to The Narrow Margin or 38.62% according to Franks. (Some of this difference are the Defiants, Blenheims etc. which I didn’t tally in the Franks figures.)

    Added to these figures are the accuracy of aircraft types (a problem throughout the war to all sides) OKL awarded 712 Hurricane kills and 1243 Spitfire kills , Franks tallies to 470 Hurricanes and only 285 Spitfires. This would probably be attributed to the “desire” to shoot down the better aircraft. Claims were also awarded for some odd types, a continual reference to Hawks or Hawk-75’s, a Radial engined aircraft tottaly different to any RAF fighter, some Morane’s, a Bloch MB 151, and a Bregeut Bre693(more possible as this was close to the fall of France)

    To be continued, 8th Air Force raids on Schweinfurt in 1943 are interesting, as are the victories awarded over Dieppe in August 1942

    Reference Sources
    OKL reports at www.luftboard.ndo.co.uk
    The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster
    Test Pilot by Neville Duke
    Bomber Command by Max Hastings
    Horrido by Raymond Toliver & Trevor Constable
    The Story of Air Fighting by J.E (Johnnie) Johnson
    Fighter Pilots of the RAF 1939-45 by Chas Bowyer
    & too many other to note.
     
  2. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The German system was no better or worse than any other. The best check is for an historian to go back and review records for both sides. One of the best checks is something you allude to: Simply checking how many aircraft participated in a particular action and how many were lose and to what causes.
    I can also say that judging from post war historical evidence and reviews that the Japanese and Russians often wildly exaggerated claims. I believe this was due to social factors more than anything else. In the Japanese case, losing meant a loss of face and prestige. So, while one's own losses might be heavy, this could be explained away by having destroyed far more enemies than actually occured.
    For the Russians it was more a self-preservation measure in a society and military that often took drastic measures (imprisonment, execution or, demotion) on those who failed to "do their duty."
    For the Germans the high claims of some experts are not completely out of line with the amount of action they saw. But, the Germans did not have access to the other side's records and had to do the best they could with what they had. Most German fighters (if any) did not carry gun cameras like the Western Allied aircraft did so verification was largely based on eyewitness accounts which could wildly vary from fact and mostly not intentionally.
    In the end, it is likely that German claims are slightly exaggerated like those of Britain and the US have been found to be.
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    This is a difficult topic and for instance I believe both sides always give higher numbers for enemy losses and lower for own losses. This is all propaganda and during war time telling the true figures would be giving military secrets away as well, I think.

    However, one way of counting kills is the 1/2 point system, that I don´t like. You could become an ace without having shot a plane down, if the number of five kills is needed to be called an ace.
     
  4. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    If correctly reported, the half kill doesnt get included in the total kills.
    Clive Caldwell of the RAAF had 27 kills and 3 half kills, this is often mis-reported as 28 and a half kills but this is wrong.

    Even worse is the claiming of those destroyed while on the ground, Pierre Clostermann seemed to think this OK>
     
  5. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    I thought I would open a hornets nest, that I was denigrating the efforts of some brave men, It seems that all accept that the Luftwaffe lied about thier claims, as the incidence is too much to say they were mistaken.
    On comparing the claims listings, UNCONFIRMED kills(many noted NIO, No Independent Observer) are considered to make up the totals of at least Marseille and Galland.

    PART II

    8th Air Force raids on Schweinfurt in 1943 are interesting, as are the victories awarded over Dieppe in August 1942

    In 1943, the USAAF flew 2 raids on the German Ball Bearing plants at Schweinfurt, on 17 August, 376 B-17 Flying Fortress’s were involved, USAAF losses were about 60 B-17’s plus many which were scrapped upon landing. This was a loss rate of around 16%.
    However, OKL awarded 94 B-17 and 4 P-47 Victories. Given the ability of the Luftwaffe to investigate the damage on the ground, how do they explain a 50% over claim.

    On 14 October, a second raid was mounted, this was an even greater disaster in that of the 291 Bombers sent out, another 60 were destroyed in Combat, nearly 20% losses. But OKL was to excel and awarded 146 B-17 Kills, half of the attacking force, and once again it was within their ability to examine wreckage.

    Both raids were intercepted outside Allied fighter cover, so the Luftwaffe Interceptors could operate without continual harassment, so how did they manage to have approved about 250 Kills as against actual losses of 120

    THE WESTERN DESERT

    An excellent work, Desert warriors by Russell Brown covers the Desert Air Force Tomahawk & Kittyhawk Squadrons.
    The Foreward is by Bobby Gibbes, a high scoring Australian pilot of the North African theatre.
    “It was not possible for a Desert Pilot to have a victory confirmed without a witness. Our aircraft were not equipped with camera-guns, so we had no photographic record of combats fought. It was so difficult to get confirmation that on 1 occasion I did not bother to submit a sortie report even though I confirmed it myself afterwards when driving from the airfield at Bir Durfan to the area. I found the wreckage of the bf109 with the body of the dead pilot still inside…..

    After the war I became a friend of Erhard Braune, ex commander of III/JG27. In a discussion with him on tactics etc, I asked why the claims of some Luftwaffe pilots appeared unrealistic as they DIDN’T ADD UP TO OUR KNOWN LOSSES.
    He told me that these high claims ‘HELPED THE MORALE OF THE GERMAN PEOPLES.

    Some Cases:
    15 September 1942
    JG27 escorting Stukas intercept the attacking fighters and are awarded 19 Victories. 11 by I Gruppe, 1 by II Gruppe, 7 by III Gruppe
    However, the P-40’s intercepting this Stuka raid were put up by 239 Wing, 36 Kittyhawks from 250 Sqn , 3 RAAF, 450 RAAF, 112 Sqns . Only SIX Kittyhawks failed to return, one which was claimed to be shot down by friendly AA Fire. (2 losses from 250 Sqn, 2 from 3 Sqn, 1 each from 450 & 112 Sqns)

    12 Oct 1941
    Allied losses, 2 P-40’s were shot down, 1 crashed on landing, 1 crashed inside Allied lines.
    4 kills were awarded, 2 to Marseille, 1 to Sinner & Franzikest

    30 Oct 1941
    Allied losses of 2 P-40’s and 1 damaged
    4 kills awarded, 3 to Schulz, 1 to Schacht

    22 May 1942
    1 P-40 shot down, 1 missing and 1 crash landed at base.
    5 kills awarded.

    1 June 1942
    1 P-40 shot down, 1 damaged
    3 P-40’s claimed, 1 Hurricane claimed despite not being present.


    3 September 1942
    2 P-40’s shot down, 1 crash landed at base.
    6 kills awarded, 3 to Marseille & 3 to Stahlschmidt (including a Spitfire, not present)

    5 September 1942
    2 Spitfires shot down, 1 P-40 shot down and 1 damaged
    9 Kills awarded, 4 (All P-40) to Marseille, 2 to Stahlschmidt and 3 to Rodel

    15 September 1942
    5 P-40 shot down and 1 shot down by own LAA
    7 kills for Marseille, 4 to Krainek, 3 to Schroer (incl Spitfire)2 for von Lieres and singles to Homuth, Bornger, Grube & Stuckler.


    Russell Brown also states,

    The inability of the German Fighter force to support its ground forces effectively, contrasted sharply with the evolution of the RAF’s tactics and operational procedures as the Desert War progressed.
    The tactical use of Medium Bombers, and the highly effective Kittyhawks which were able to offer direct support to the troops with their bombing and strafing was never matched by the Luftwaffe. The fact that many of the fighter pilots ran up big personal scores was irrelevant to the prosecution of the war and the undue emphasis placed on such achievements was an indication of the failure by German Commanders at all levels to understand the principles of Air Power.

    (Of his “158 Victories, Marseille only claimed 3 Bombers, 1 Blenheim and 2 Marylands.)

    DIEPPE 19 AUGUST 1942

    One of the biggest air battles of the war, saw the RAF claim around 120 Kills against Luftwaffe losses of about 40

    On the Luftwaffe side , claims awarded were 113, against Allied losses of about 100. This appears to be close until you look at the reason for the losses.
    The RAF appears to have lost only 48 Aircraft in Air-Air Combat, with a further 14 Aircraft who failed to Return To Base (7 of these Mustang Ia on long range recce).
    27 losses were said to be due to AA Fire.
    Many Aircraft which did return to England were badly damaged and either destroyed on landing or faced lengthy rebuilds.
    Th Luftwaffe claimed 105 Spitfires, but A-A losses were 34 Spitfire Vb, 2 Spitfire Vc, 2 Spitfire VI & 5 Spitfire IX, a total of 44.
    (Not included in Luftwaffe claims was a Typhoon Ia of 266 Sqn shot down by a Spitfire!)

    THE LONG OFFENSIVE FRANCE/ENGLAND & THE CHANNEL 1941

    During 1941 the RAF began to turn the tide against the Luftwaffe, many raids were mounted over the French Ports and those Airfields within range of the RAF Fighters. These tactics saw a continual drain on RAF numbers, many experienced fighter pilots were lost for minimal return.

    A small force of Luftwaffe fighters kept the RAF busy, scoring far more effectivly than their opposite numbers. However the traditional Fighter Pilot quality of claiming victories continued.

    Records show that the kills awarded to Luftwaffe pilots numbered nearly 1500. 850 of these for Spitfires, 100 for Hurricane, 161 Blenheim, 149 Wellington and 1 Lancaster??

    However, RAF losses in air-air combat or “Failed to Return” by Fighter Command numbered about 505, Luftwaffe claims against similar models being 965. Of the 505 lost, 92 were Hurricane I or II and 412 Spitfire I, II or V.

    Just as in the Battle of Britain, the days with few claims would bear reasonable resemblence, but many of the busier days saw excessive awarding of kills by a multiple of 3-4 times.
    4/7/41..........3 Lost, 11 Kills awarded.
    7/7/41..........2 lost, 11 awarded
    23/7/41........10 lost, 37 awarded
    12/8/41.........7 lost, 23 awarded.

    As well as these Air to air losses, the RAF suffered heavy losses to Flak and “other” operational causes. While heavy, the losses are bearable, the failure was in the inability to cause any substantial loss to the Luftwaffe or German Military installations.
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    But I´m sure if the RAF fighter pilots had fought against the Red Army pilots their kill numbers would have been 200+ as well.

    And if I´m correct many Luftwaffe pilots that fought in the west all their war did not shoot down that many planes and "kills in the west" were more respected.

    Erich would know best but unfortunately he has left the Forums.
     
  7. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    Highest scoring Luftwaffe ace in the west (incl Nth Africa) Han Joachim Marseille 158 kills

    Highest ace for destroying 4 engine Day bombers
    Lt Herbert Rollwage 102 kills with 44 4-engined

    Top 4-engined ace
    Major Heinz Schnaufer 121 kills (mostly 4 engine)

    Top Jet ace
    Major Heinz Baer 16 kills

    Of course, this is if you believe the figures!!!!
     
  8. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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  9. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    ah but have I left the forums ? hmmmmmmmmm ? still lurking in the shadow of the cyberworld

    Baer was not the highest scoring jet killer nor was Rollwage the top scoring 4-enigne killer, as only about 16 of his claims are credited.
    I see by mkennys posting for another site that nearly all the posters are using existing text to support their views. Why cannot anyone take the time of day and interview the veterans first hand or is this something that causes a mental block.
    _________________________________________________

    My posting on FFZ was an indication to all that I am not going to respond or even take care of any responsibilites anymore in the FFZ and by the negative remarks I see and the off topic responses to my post it just confirmed my feelings.........
     
  10. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Just a very small word about the 'Fighter Command Losses' books. Their accuracy has been quite seriously questioned by researchers on other sites.

    Chorley's 'Bomber Command Losses' are widely-admired with good reason ( but even these aren't always infallible ). His 6 volumes were produced as a 'labour of love' ; apparently it seems that the same may not be true of 'FCL' .
     
  11. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    Quote:

    "Why cannot anyone take the time of day and interview the veterans first hand or is this something that causes a mental block"

    Well it just isn't practical to interview someone in Germany if you live in the USA and have to work for a living. That and the fact there are fewer now and reducing. In my experience Vet. memory ON ITS OWN will lead you down as many dead ends as any printed work.
    Even the most dilligent researcher will have to rely on someone else's prior research or an old printed work for some of his 'facts'. The trick is to collect as many versions as you can and sort out the likely sequence of events. Even then there are gaps you just will never bridge and you have to guess some of it.
    In reality the vast bulk of those interested in WWII have to get their information from books and sadly not everything printed is truthful or accurate.
    Speaaking from experience I have made deductions from scraps of information that seem perfectly sensible and rational then later on a new tit-bit emerges that blasts all you carefully constructed work to peices. Not only that but you also then see how stupid your guess was in the first place. This is the pitfal of being first with the information!
    That said I always though the Fighter/Bomber Command books were reliable and would welcome a link where I can see the errors for myself.
     
  12. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Martin,
    The problem lies with the original Operational Records Books. Not a lot of care was lavished on filling these in at the time, and as far as I know there was no cross-referencing done.
    I have a couple of Air-Britain books, where the authors state on the fly sheet that they're publishing this research after X decades of work, because if they don't, they'll be so busy trying to decipher records it never WILL get published.
    Erich,
    I'd imagine these vets will belong to some kind of vets organisation. Years ago, an acquaintance of mine wrote his dissertation on CHL stations in Scotland, and because he spent time locating vets through the various RAFA branches, was able to get some superb first-hand accounts to write up. It CAN be done, with a bit of effort.

    Regards,

    Gordon
     
  13. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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  14. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    believe it or not gentlemen the Traditionsverband for the Luftwaffe day fightergruppen are listed on the net........

    also why not have amost complete picture as possible with interivews, books and delving deeply into the archivs. Several of you have asked for concrete evidence to back supposed claims, well the information is there and needs to be sought after instead of by the seat of our pants response. Sure I admit I have done it and who hasn't on this or any other forums ?
    The Freiburg BA/MA archivs are open to the public and so is PRO, which Martin has attended, so my suggestion is to take that necessary break from work(yes I work also), and get on a fast train, ship or plane and take a visit or pay someone to do the hounding for information for you, then we all can get a clear picture of the events instead of mere speculation at times.

    Agreed ?

    E ♠
     
  15. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Erich,
    Agreed. I've used independent researchers for the PRO/National Archives before, and I'm by no means rich.
    If you tell them your exact financial situation, they WILL come and go on pricing.

    Regards,

    Gordon
     
  16. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    Been in The Archives, done the Museums and spoke to the Veterans and still I cant get the complete picture-no one can. That is why EVERY researcher has to 'fill in gaps' based on what is most likely to have happened. For me the gems would the the small circulation Unit Histories published just after the war mainly in Germany. Full of accounts by long gone men and unable to be verified now.
    Speaking from experience I got sick of hearing about German tank Aces who knocked out 20 Shermans before breakfast. Every book repeats them and they are quoted as if they are written down and checkable. Guess what? They are not. Instead of simply taking the advice that 'German kill confirmation is very strict ' I asked to be shown the evidence and I am still waiting. What we hear is simple crew CLAIMS! Yes the claim of a knocked out tank (strange they never just damaged any)was simply accepted without any checking.
    Yet I am vilified for daring to ask for this proof. So deeply ingrained is the myth of German verification that you risk your life doubting it.
    Perhaps the Luftwaffe had a similar problem?
     
  17. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    mkenny am not sure who is chastizing you but have to ask, have you looked into checking with the Traditionsverband contact for certain Panzer formations ? I do believe that many of the W-SS formations were on-line at one time through Jason Pipes feldgrau.com and the Axis forum by Marcus Wendel ? What I am trying to simply say as we have to dig deep and books will not suffice all the time. You know as well as I that many of the titles from the 1960's and earlier need a complete revamp and unfortunately too many titles today are just a repeat of what has been poorly written and has been given as mis-guided truths.

    Now for the German Panzer claims, true it can be said that some of the noted aces added kills to their count just as Ali mentioned about a Luftwaffe commander. I personally believe that the star of Afrika never achieved 150 kills or Hans Rudels 500 plus Soviet tank claims either............wham ! I can feel the pain as someone slaps the back of my head.........

     
  18. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    Sorry I am not defending 'books' just saying that no matter how much info you collect you will always have gaps.Thats where you guess and that is where sooner or later someone will catch you out. It is the nature of things that no matter how famous an Author or researcher you are you will ALWAYS get something wrong. That is life I'm afraid.
    As no verified record of German Unit kills was kept (just a listing of the crew claims) the only way to check any specific action is to find out if the Allied side kept their records up to date. Using that simple method alone you can demolish Wittmann's claim of 25+ tanks at Villers Bocage and Will Fey's claim of 15 Shermans in an afternoon on 7th August 1944.
     
  19. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    there must be a record of German Panzer kills just as there are for Luftwaffe and Kriegmsarine, unless destroyed in the one of three 1-tons blown away as they left Berlin in 1945. It maybe no too surprising that some archivist has some concentrated records in his basement just wating to give them to his kids or archival source upond death ? It's happened in the past. I wouldn't discount anything

     
  20. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    Yes there are records of destroyed Allied vehicles. These figures were kept but it seems they are not verified in any meaningful way. They may be roughly in the right area but you have to check against Allied losses to get a true picture. I do not know what procedure was used in Normandy by Higher Command to filter out initial crew claims but from the example used in Russia it seems they simply halved the total.
    The figures we see quoted widely is the initial crew claim and not the adjusted figure used by Staff.
    So if say Will Fey had claimed 15 Shermans in Normandy by Russian Front practise he would be credited with 7/8.
    I am working on a Unit Level and am not trying to get the higher picture. My interest is in 3 specific Units and even individual Tiger kills.
    I keep it small so it can be do-able!
     

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