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Luftwaffe losses on the Eastern Front

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.

Re: Was Soviet Union preparing to attack the Germany?

Postby 1st Cavalry on 22 Feb 2013 12:03

Meyer wrote:
1st Cavalry wrote:
you where provided with a source ,so how about reading it before posting your opinions .

Yeah thanks for the source, even if I already knew it. But I think you should take your own advice, see below.
eto + mto means germany and her european allies


I don't think you know what ETO and MTO means, google it.

12,791 means losses in theaters against germany (also ETO + MTO )

it does not include losses against japan which are listed separately, combined losses in all theaters against japan and germany were higher than 18,000.


Wrong and wrong (as you said, read before posting): 12,291 (not 12,791) is the number of USAAF heavy bombers totally lost for all theaters overseas (table 99 of AFD-090608-042.pdf). Curiously, table 102 of the same document gives 12,007 heavy bombers lost overseas.

For the combined overseas+continental US the number of heavy bombers lost is given as 14,280 (table 99).

The +18,000 number is nowhere to be seen.


What exactly i am suppose to goggle ? (table 158) makes it clear that theaters against Germany means eto + mto .
more than 18,000 was a approximation , not far off thou:
heavy bombers aircraft assigned to AAF until august 45 -27,867 ( table 79)
heavy bombers aircraft at had with AAF in august 45- 11,065 ( table 83)
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Re: Was Soviet Union preparing to attack the Germany?

Postby Juha Tompuri on 22 Feb 2013 19:34

Urmel wrote:
Juha Tompuri wrote:Sorry, but no.
Exactly that part of your post I found most misleading.


I believe you meant 'that was the part I didn't get', since it was certainly not my intent to mislead, your insinuation notwithstanding.
Yes, I didn't get the fictionary opinion statement.
And yes, reasoning without understanding reality can be misleading. Intentional or unintentional (as I believe it was at your case).

Urmel wrote:While Larry's post is most illuminating, I would be grateful if you could point me to where it tells me anything about the actual capacity of the LW ground staff at unit level? ...
...
...
As earlier:
Most of the A.I.12 studies are available at the U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama, and complete runs are available at both the U.S. National Archives in WashDC and the U.K. National Archives on London.
viewtopic.php?f=49&t=96541&p=859747&hilit#p859747

Regards, Juha
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Re: Was Soviet Union preparing to attack the Germany?

Postby Urmel on 23 Feb 2013 06:18

Juha Tompuri wrote:
Urmel wrote:While Larry's post is most illuminating, I would be grateful if you could point me to where it tells me anything about the actual capacity of the LW ground staff at unit level? ...
...
...
As earlier:
Most of the A.I.12 studies are available at the U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama, and complete runs are available at both the U.S. National Archives in WashDC and the U.K. National Archives on London.
viewtopic.php?f=49&t=96541&p=859747&hilit#p859747

Regards, Juha


I'll take that as 'it doesn't tell us anything about the capacity in relation to demand, or indeed capacity at all, but it tells us where people who can get to the archives in either London or at Maxwell AFB need to go in order to get the information.' So I assume you have nothing more than a fictional opinion either on the question of how LW maintenance coped with demand beyond their capacity.
The excellence of [German] forward repair and recovery organisation gives us a salutary lesson in this respect. 7 Armoured Division report, Sept. 1941

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Re: Was Soviet Union preparing to attack the Germany?

Postby Gaberra on 23 Feb 2013 19:01

Suggestion to everyone - try writing posts without using the words "you" or "I". It would keep the discussion focused on history, which is what people come here to learn about.
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Re: Was Soviet Union preparing to attack the Germany?

Postby Juha Tompuri on 23 Feb 2013 20:33

Urmel wrote:
Juha Tompuri wrote:
Urmel wrote:While Larry's post is most illuminating, I would be grateful if you could point me to where it tells me anything about the actual capacity of the LW ground staff at unit level? ...
...
...
As earlier:
Most of the A.I.12 studies are available at the U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama, and complete runs are available at both the U.S. National Archives in WashDC and the U.K. National Archives on London.
viewtopic.php?f=49&t=96541&p=859747&hilit#p859747

Regards, Juha


I'll take that as 'it doesn't tell us anything about the capacity in relation to demand, or indeed capacity at all, but it tells us where people who can get to the archives in either London or at Maxwell AFB need to go in order to get the information.'
As mentioned earlier, understanding Luftwaffe plane repair procedure and also damage classification seemed to have been a problem, and hopefully that thread helped to understand how the work was done in real life.


Urmel wrote:So I assume you have nothing more than a fictional opinion either on the question of how LW maintenance coped with demand beyond their capacity.
As above.

Regards, Juha
Last edited by Juha Tompuri on 23 Feb 2013 20:50, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: adding info
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Re: Was Soviet Union preparing to attack the Germany?

Postby Juha Tompuri on 23 Feb 2013 20:51

Meyer wrote:
Juha Tompuri wrote:
Meyer wrote:Classification of damage for the Lw:
0-10%: Minor damage that can be repaired by the aircraft's ground crew.
10-24%: Medium damage that can be repaired through small repair works at the unit.
25-39%: Damage that requires a major overhaul at the unit.
40-44%: Damage that requires whole replacements of landing gears or other systems, such as hydraulic systems.
45-59%: Severely damaged aircraft where large parts of the aircraft need to be replaced.
60-80%: Write-off category. Certain parts could be used as spare parts for other aircraft.
81-99%: Totally destroyed, crashed on German-controlled area.
100%: Totally lost, crashed or disappeared over enemy-controlled area or over sea.

So "destroyed" for the Lw means 60% and beyond.

It is costume when talking about aircraft losses to refer of total losses, otherwise when comparing numbers between different AFs there's the danger of comparing apple to oranges.
Thank you for bringing here facts (source(s)?) instead of just opinions



This is taken from Christer Bergström's "Barbarossa: The Air Battle July-December 1941".
Nearly forgot, thank you.

Regards, Juha
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Re: Luftwaffe losses on the Eastern Front

Postby Urmel on 28 Feb 2013 22:55

So Juha, are you actually capable of contributing something, or is your role to prevent a discussion that may bring some information forward?

The working hypothesis here is that in some cases damaged planes may have become losses for either of the two reasons below:
i) That the LW maintenance staff may at certain times have been overburdened with the amount of required repairs, and consequently had to devise a prioritisation system; and that in periods of prolonged overburdening of the system, planes with damage levels >10% and >25% were at risk of being permanently de-prioritised, and consequently became effective losses without ever (or at least not during the period of reporting) being considered losses.
ii) That the LW did not always manage to get spares to the places where they were needed when they were needed there, and that consequently planes with damage levels >25% were at risk of becoming permanent losses, because they might receive further damage while awaiting the spares, or because the airfield might be lost before they were repaired, and that this might happen outside the reporting period when they were considered damaged (e.g. plane is damaged in November 41, and no spares are received, and in January 42 the airfield is overrun by the Red Army).

Now, let's look if this is a reasonable hypotheses?

Is it testable - well yes it is, someone somewhere must know about this sort of thing, it's just that we don't have easy access to the files.
Is it parsimonious - well yes it is, it would be a simple explanation for a supposed phenomenon
Does it have an appropriate scope – well yes it does, it would explain the supposed phenomenon across all fronts
Is it fruitful – well yes it would be, it would explain the same thing going on in other theatres or other air forces
Is it conservative – well yes it is, since prioritisation in reaction to lack of capacity is a well known phenomenon (my team does it all the time, for example, even though we don't repair airplanes)

Do I care what the answer is? Not really, either 'yes, that's right, that's exactly how it happened', or 'no, you are totally off your trolley on this one, it never happened' are perfectly fine by me.

NONE of your links has helped in answering this question I'm afraid. So before you post the next link that won't help with some snide remark, think.

Thanks.

This looks like it would be relevant:

http://ammtiac.alionscience.com/ammt/ia ... o?AM016510

This is a general overview of ABDR approaches in the 90s:

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a278635.pdf

I also think this whole discussion should be moved to the Luftwaffe section, since it has little if any bearing on the question initially raised in this thread.
The excellence of [German] forward repair and recovery organisation gives us a salutary lesson in this respect. 7 Armoured Division report, Sept. 1941

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle in the Desert 1941/42
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Re: Luftwaffe losses on the Eastern Front

Postby Marcus Wendel on 01 Mar 2013 19:18

The above posts were split off into a new thread.

Everyone, drop the personal remarks and get back to discussing the facts.

/Marcus
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Re: Luftwaffe losses on the Eastern Front

Postby Urmel on 01 Mar 2013 19:43

Thanks Marcus.
The excellence of [German] forward repair and recovery organisation gives us a salutary lesson in this respect. 7 Armoured Division report, Sept. 1941

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle in the Desert 1941/42
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Re: Luftwaffe losses on the Eastern Front

Postby Juha Tompuri on 06 Mar 2013 21:44

Urmel wrote:So Juha, are you actually capable of contributing something, or is your role to prevent a discussion that may bring some information forward?
More like believing that posting facts the discussion would turn from fiction, opinion statements and hypotheses towards realism and facts.

Urmel wrote:NONE of your links has helped in answering this question I'm afraid. So before you post the next link that won't help with some snide remark, think.
Actually there has been only one link, posted twice.
And... it was posted to help the discussion before them to turn back to fact based realism:
Juha earlier wrote:understanding Luftwaffe plane repair procedure...
...and hopefully that thread helped to understand how the work was done in real life.
...not as answers to questions and hypotheses posted after it.



Urmel wrote:Thanks Marcus.
Marcus Wendel wrote:back to discussing the facts
Thank you from here too.

Regards, Juha
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Re: Luftwaffe losses on the Eastern Front

Postby Urmel on 07 Mar 2013 08:02

Juha Tompuri wrote:
Urmel wrote:So Juha, are you actually capable of contributing something, or is your role to prevent a discussion that may bring some information forward?
More like believing that posting facts the discussion would turn from fiction, opinion statements and hypotheses towards realism and facts.


Nobody is stopping you from posting facts about the matter. I'd welcome it in fact. But if the question is not being asked, how will the answers ever come? I do not believe your attitude is in line with the forum motto that information shared is not lost. If nobody asks, nobody will share.

There's a thread on 12 O'Clock High about a Me 109 E-7 being under repair at Kalamaki in Greece in December 1941. Where did it come from, since none of the fighter units in theatre used E-series 109s in December 41 to my knowledge. 2./(H)14 did, and that didn't seem to be the origin? Werknummer 2063.
The excellence of [German] forward repair and recovery organisation gives us a salutary lesson in this respect. 7 Armoured Division report, Sept. 1941

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle in the Desert 1941/42
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Re: Luftwaffe losses on the Eastern Front

Postby Urmel on 07 Mar 2013 11:20

So here are a few questions:

- what was the average repair time of LW aircraft with 10%/25%/40%/45% damage (in days)?
- what was the situation with the availability of spares throughout the war (e.g. wings, engines, tyres)?
- how quickly could major spare parts be delivered to frontline units (e.g. engines, wings)
- were major spare parts held closer to the front line in logistics centres for quicker delivery? If so, from when was this practice introduced (e.g. start of the war? mid-war?)?
The excellence of [German] forward repair and recovery organisation gives us a salutary lesson in this respect. 7 Armoured Division report, Sept. 1941

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle in the Desert 1941/42
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Re: Luftwaffe losses on the Eastern Front

Postby Juha Tompuri on 07 Mar 2013 21:35

Urmel wrote:Nobody is stopping you from posting facts about the matter.
Yes, that is known, and being acted accordingly.
Urmel wrote: I'd welcome it in fact.
As above.

Urmel wrote:But if the question is not being asked, how will the answers ever come?
Urmel wrote: If nobody asks, nobody will share.
Has there been somewhere here any acts/work to prevent anyone asking questions?

Urmel wrote: If nobody asks, nobody will share.
People do also share without asking.

Urmel wrote:I do not believe your attitude is in line with the forum motto that information shared is not lost.
That claim seems not to be in line what Marcus quite recently advised here about the personal issues, so it is perhaps best to leave it unanswered.

Perhaps the key point where the speculation went off-tangent was:
Just to give you an example, what would be prioritised, if there aren't enough repair personnel? If you have to make the choice, would you order five minor repairs to be carried out that will get the five planes in question flying again within a short time, or one big repair to get a more heavily damaged plane back in the air. If there is a constant capacity shortage, then the more difficult repairs, while feasible, will never get done, since they are always deprioritised.
... as the minor and more demanding repairs did not "compete" that much with each other, as they were organized to be done under different organizations.

Regards, Juha
Last edited by Juha Tompuri on 07 Mar 2013 22:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Luftwaffe losses on the Eastern Front

Postby Larry D. on 08 Mar 2013 01:47

The Luftwaffe's aircraft repair organization was immense, involving several hundred thousand military and civilian personnel. Below is a little 5 paragraph introduction that may answer a few of the questions posed in this thread, along with some bibliographical references:

Until May 1943, oversight over aircraft maintenance in the Luftwaffe was the responsibility of a number of different departments, branches and inspectorates in the Luftwaffe high command and air ministry. These were consolidated on 17 May under the newly created General der Truppentechnik (General of Technical Engineering) who now became responsible for most technical matters regarding aircraft maintenance and the inspection of all aircraft maintenance units (i.e., Flughafenbetriebskompanien, Feldwerftverbände, etc.) in the Luftwaffe. Not quite 15 months later on 29 July 1944, General der Truppentechnik was renamed Chef Ingenieur der Luftwaffe (Chief Engineer of the Air Force) with a subordinate Inspekteur für fliegertechnischen Truppendienst (Inspector for Air Force Technical Services). There were no further organizational changes of any significance before the war ended in May 1945.

The continual task of keeping aircraft repaired and operational required a very large organization that was very specialized and stratified according to the work performed. At any given time, generally 15% to 18% of the Luftwaffe’s aircraft were under going second or third echelon repairs. For example, on 31 January 1944 there were 5,330 aircraft undergoing second or third echelon repair out of the Luftwaffe’s total inventory of 34,102 aircraft. It took a lot of workshops and a lot of workers to handle this volume and to keep the flow moving.


Servicing and First Echelon Repairs (1-2 Days, Excluding Fighters and Reconnaissance Aircraft)
To February – April 1938, carried out by one or two Fliegerhorst-Stabskompanie(n). After that date by Flughafenbetriebskompanie(n) of various types and at end of the war by Flugzeugwartungskompanie(n). Fighter and reconnaissance units had their own organic servicing and maintenance personnel.


Second Echelon Repairs (3-10 Days, all Aircraft)
Pre-war and during the war in the Reich and the occupied countries, carried out by Fliegerhorstwerft(en) comprising mainly civilian mechanics and technicians, which were an organic component of each Fliegerhorstkommandantur. From 2 February 1944, the Fliegerhorstwerften became quasi-independent Werftabteilungen, Werftkompanien and Werftzüge made up of a few male military personnel, a large and rapidly increasing number of female military personnel and civilians. In the front areas, by the mobileWerftzüge provided by the Fliegerhorstwerften, and from spring 1941 by the Feldwerftverbände organization.


Third Echelon Repairs (More than 10 Days, all Aircraft)
Handled by the large industry-operated Frontreparaturbetrieb GL organization throughout the war.




Luftwaffe Aircraft Servicing and Repair Organization & Units


Sources:

Unpublished
[Air Ministry]. S.D. 431. The Organisation of the German Air Force. SECRET. London: Air Council, January 1943.
Air Ministry/USAFE – Intelligence Party (OKL): Intelligence Report A.I.12/USAFE/M.24, 5 September 1945, “Aircraft Maintenance and Repair Units.”
2. NASM WashDC: T-2/USSBS Captured German/Japanese Air Technical Documents, roll 7001, frames 08098-105.
Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv Freiburg: Signatur RL 2 III (Generalquartiermeister/OKL), various documents. Although not consulted, Signatur RL 22 (Fliegertechnische Bodendienste/technische Dienste, 1939-1945) should contain a great deal of information on the servicing and maintenance units of the Luftwaffe for those motivated to do further research.
Published
Boog, Horst. Die deutsche Luftwaffenführung 1935-1945: Führungsprobleme, Spitzengliederung, Generalstabsausbildung. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1982. pp.276-77.
Murray, Williamson. “The Role of German Battle Damage Repair in the Luftwaffe’s Conduct of the Second World War.” Unpublished manuscript, Report No. RE602P1. Logistics Management Institute: Bethesda (Maryland), February 1988. 24p.
Vogt, Harald. “Schlachtfeld Luftfahrzeug”: Der Einsatz der schwarzen Männer im II. Weltkrieg. Bodenorganisation und Arbeitsfeld der Luftfahrzeug-Techniker im zweiten Weltkrieg. Illertissen: Flugzeug Publikations, 1994. (Sadly, a rambling, heavily illustrated personal "memoir" with very little factual data).

L.
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Re: Luftwaffe losses on the Eastern Front

Postby David Thompson on 08 Mar 2013 01:51

Thanks, Larry D., for that sourced information. That's the kind of post our readers are looking for when they come here.
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