The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Discussions on all aspects of the Spanish Civil War including the Condor Legion, the Germans fighting for Franco in the Spanish Civil War.
durb
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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby durb » 27 Nov 2014 17:44

Answering to (my own) questions in previous post. I managed to dig out these German He 51 air combat losses in SCW (based on Laureau 2000 and on Forsyth 2011 + Håkans Aviation page). The data is incomplete and may contain errors - thus additional info and corrections are welcome:

30.8.1936: He 51 (Trautloft) shot down by enemy Dewoitine 372 (Puparelli)
13.11.1936: He 51 (Eberhardt) lost over Madrid in mid-air-collision with enemy I-16 (Tarkhov)
8.12.1936: He 51 (Mratzek - 4.J/88) shot down at Northern Front (?) by enemy I-15
6.1.1937: He 51 (Gallera - 3.J/88) shot down over Madrid by enemy I-16
6.1.1937: He 51 (Kneiding - 3.J/88) shot down over Madrid by enemy I-16
12.2.1937: He 51 (Hepe - 1.J/88) shot down over Jarama by enemy I-16
12.2.1937: He 51 (Palm - 1.J/88) shot down over Jarama by enemy I-16
18.1.1938: He 51 (Klein - 4.J/88) shot down over Teruel by enemy fighters
4.5.1938: He 51 (Hester - 4.J/88) shot down over Albocacer by enemy fighters.

Although He 51 was heavily critized by LC pilots, the actual air combat losses (9?) do not seem to be any heavier than those suffered by Bf 109 pilots! But the list above is probably not the complete one and needs corrections. Due to ground attacking role big majority of Heinkel 51 losses of LC were due to enemy flak. Valuating He 51 overall performance in air combat one should also take in account the planes piloted by Spanish units.

I have not checked yeat all the claims made by LC´s He 51 pilots vs. I-15/I-16. IIRC, the "official" LC records give very victorious kill/loss -ratio against Polikarpov fighters for their He 51 pilots. However, optimism with imagination and propaganda may have played part in those records (as well as in Republican air victory records).

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tigre
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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby tigre » 29 Nov 2014 19:32

Thanks for sharing that info here :thumbsup:. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby durb » 16 Dec 2014 00:02

Here most (?) of the air victory claims of J/88 pilots made with the good old Heinkel 51 against I-15 and I-16. As I had figured out, the "official" Legion Condor claim/loss -ratio was somewhat favouring the skills of German pilots despite the technical handicap of He 51. But this is "confirmed" only by Legion Condor. In italics the Republican information when it has been available.

The famous 13.11.1936 over Madrid: 5 (!) x I-15 shot down confirmed + the "taran" of Eberhardt with enemy fighter (I-15 or I-16). Rep: two I-15 lost

8.12.1936: 2 x I-16 shot down confirmed. Rep: No I-16 losses!

4.1.1936: 2 x I-16 and I-15 shot down confirmed - Rep: at least the loss of one I-15 confirmed

12.2.1937: I-16 shot down confirmed

4.9.1937: I-15 shot down confirmed (although no eyewitnesses) Rep: no losses!.

And IIRC, there was at least one I-15/I-16 "confirmed kill" achieved by Legion Condor He 51 pilot as late as in 1938

If someone knows about the combat record of He 51´s in Spanish Nationalist flying units, it would be interesting to know some details - but this is perhaps better to discuss under the thread of Aviazione Legionaria y Aviación Nacional: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=208232.

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Ironmachine
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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby Ironmachine » 16 Dec 2014 08:34

I have some notes from an article in a French magazine about the Spanish He-51. It mentions 4 I-15s (plus 1 SB-2) shot down on 16 and 17 April 1937 (and 1 Potez 540 on 27 December 1936), but these are of course just National claims. The article also mentions a few more air combats with enemy aircraft shot down, but these were times in which the He-51s were making escort service for bombers together with CR.32s, and there is no mention of how many (if any) of them were shot down by the He-51s.
Later, when assigned to the "Cadenas", usually they would have had their own fighter escort so I don't expect to see a significant number of air victories by He-51s in the later part of the war.

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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby durb » 16 Dec 2014 17:17

Thanks for more info about He 51 score vs. I-15/I-16. I wonder if there is more detailed info on these Heinkel 51 losses:

17.4.1937: He 51 (Palmero - 2-E-2), destroyed near Teruel (?) due to mid-air-collision with I-15

17.4.1937: He 51 (Allende - 2-E-2), damaged in air combat near Teruel (?) against I-15 (Comas) - force-landed behind own lines, was it written off?

26.8.1937: He 51 (Blasco - 2-E-2), shot down near Osera (air combat or flak?)

2.9.1937: He 51 (Ruiz de Alda - 1-E-2), shot down? cause? location?

15.1.1938: He 51 (Palacios Vega - 1-G-2), shot down near Teruel (air combat or flak?)

January 1938: He 51 (Amoedo - 1-G-2), shot down near Alfambra, air combat or flak? exact date?`pilot Portuguese volunteer?

22.2.1938: He 51 (Carreras García - 1-G-2), shot down near Teruel (air combat or flak?)

20.3.1938: He 51 (Jiménez Guerra - 1-G-2), shot down near Caspe (air combat or flak?)

26.3.1938: He 51 (Aragon Muñoz - 1-G-2), shot down near Teruel (air combat or flak?)

12.5.1938: He 51 (Cuadra - 1-G-2), location? shot down in air combat or flak?


My guess is that most Spanish He 51 combat losses were caused by flak (like it was with German He 51).

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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby Ironmachine » 16 Dec 2014 21:45

January 1938: He 51 (Amoedo - 1-G-2), shot down near Alfambra, air combat or flak? exact date?`pilot Portuguese volunteer?

Alférez Luis Martínez Amoedo, shot down (and killed) on 7 February 1938 during the Battle of the Alfambra. He was Spanish.

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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby durb » 17 Dec 2014 12:58

Thanks for info. Is there info about the causes of combat losses of He 51 of the Spanish Nationalist air forces - which caused by air combat, which caused by flak?

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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby tigre » 07 Jan 2015 03:37

Hello to all :D; talking about the He-51A......................................

The first squadron (He-51A)

The first squadron of German fighter had six He-51A aircrafts and six pilots: Leutnant Herdwig Knüppel, Leutnant Frh. von Houwald, Leutnant Ekkehard Hefter, Oberleutnant Hannes Trautloft, Leutnant Klein and Oberleutnant Eberhard. The squadron was deployed at the aerodrome of Tablada, near Seville where the aircrafts were assembled and received the codes 2o1 to 2o6 and were ready as of August 12, 1936. The aircrafts will be flown by Spanish pilots in training: Luis Rambaud, Joaquín García-Morato, Miguel García Pardo, Julio Salvador and Ramiro Pascual. On August 18 took place the first victories, García-Morato shot down a Hispanic Nieuport 52 C-1 and later damaged a Potez 540. Meanwhile Julio Salvador scored another victory around Mérida.

On August 25, 1936, this small unit took off under the leadership of Oberleutnant Eberhard for their first job (with German pilots). Trautloft and Eberhard shot down a Breguet XIX each. The next day Knüppel was victorious, knocking down an Breguet XIX. At the end of August, the unit totaled nine kills (?) against a missing plane.

Sources: http://dikigoros.150m.com/schwarzesonne.htm.
Les chasseurs de la Legion Condor. Juan Arráez Cerdá
http://forum.panzer-archiv.de/viewtopic ... 4d50af1d27

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Ironmachine
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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby Ironmachine » 07 Jan 2015 07:56

A pair of points that should be noted:
tigre wrote:The aircrafts will be flown by Spanish pilots in training: Luis Rambaud, Joaquín García-Morata

He was not García-Morata, but García-Morato.

tigre wrote:On August 25, 1936, [...] The next day Knüppel was victorious, knocking down an I-15.

Surely not, because the first I-15s arrived in Spain in October 1936. :wink: IIRC, the plane Knüppel shot down on 26 August 1936 was another Breguet XIX.

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tigre
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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby tigre » 07 Jan 2015 12:54

Taken, thanks :wink:. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby durb » 07 Jan 2015 18:17

Couple of funny notes:

- the first air victories with He 51 were achieved by Spanish pilots - Mike Spick in his book Luftwaffe Aces presents Spanish pilots as the ones who were not able to accomplish anything with He 51 and just broke the planes which "forced" Germans to fly Heinkels themselves. In my opinion quite stereotypical history writing in which Legion Condor makes all the serious aircombat for Franco´s side while the Spaniards and Italians are just decorating the sky.

- the first air victory with He 112 was achieved by Spanish pilot - AFAIK, no German pilot never made a air victory claim with He 112.

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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby Ironmachine » 08 Jan 2015 08:06

On the other hand:
- the Spanish pilots were the first to fly the He 51 in combat, at a time when the German pilots were not allowed to fly combat missions, so it's not surprising at all that Spanish pilots achieved the first air victories with the He 51.
-only one air victory was achieved by Spanish pilots with the He 112 during the SCW. As the Germans only flew two prototypes of that aircraft during the war, and apparently mainly in the ground attack role, while the Aviación Nacional had 15 during the war (though only during the very last months of the conflict), it's clear that the performance of the Spanish pilots of the He 112 was not much more remarkable that that of the German pilots.

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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby durb » 08 Jan 2015 13:21

When it comes to He 112, I have read that Germans did not make any claims with it during WW2 either (He 112 was not in Luftwaffe´s active arsenal). However there is false info available. The Mike Spick whom I cited earlier claims that Günther Radusch was the only pilot to claim air victory with He 112 during the SCW and also the only German pilot to score with the type. Miguel García Pardo was unknown to Spick.

I guess that the certain type of history writing which sees SCW only as a test-field of Luftwaffe makes thing too simplistic and just takes Legion Condor out of the context of whole SCW. Also simplistic claims like "Bf 109 reigned the skies of Spain" ignore the whole picture and is to suggest that few dozens of German pilots with Messerschmitts was all that it took to win the airwar in Spain (they sent 134 Bf 109 to Spain, IIRC - but the operational maximum of J/88 with Bf 109 was just 3 Staffeln). Not to say that those dozens of Bf 109 and their pilots were not important - they were - but not alone.

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tigre
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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby tigre » 11 Jan 2015 22:14

Hello to all :D; talking about the He-51......................................

The first squadron (He-51)

First question
The first squadron of German fighter had six He-51A aircrafts and six pilots
according to Arráez Cerdá but for all other sources were He-51B ....... all the He-51 in Spain were model B? ...

Second question: In mid-September 1936 the small unit was reinforced by another six / nine (according to sources) new He-51B and ten volunteer pilots: Oblt. Dietrich v. Bothmer; Oblt. Oskar Henrici; Oblt. Günther Radusch; Lt. Kurt v. Gilsa; Lt. Paul Rehahn; Lt. Hennig Strümpell and Uffz. Willi Gödecke; Kowalski; Ernst Mratzek and Erwin Sawallisch. The squadron was split in two and used on different fronts, one led by Knüppel (Arráez Cerdá) or Trautloft (Osprey) and the other by Eberhard. So it was really in that way?

Moreover, on September 28, 1936 occurred the first casualty in the Jagdstaffel Eberhard (forerunner of the Legion Condor) when Lt. Ekkehard Hefter crashed with his He-51 in one corner of the Square of Vitoria.

Sources: http://dikigoros.150m.com/schwarzesonne.htm.
Les chasseurs de la Legion Condor. Juan Arráez Cerdá
http://forum.panzer-archiv.de/viewtopic ... 4d50af1d27
Osprey - Aircraft Of The Aces 99 - Aces Of The Legion Condor
Revista Española Historia Militar - Legion Condor- septiempre 1936
Militaria321.com Subasta-TOP FOTONACHLASS LEGION CONDOR

TIA. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Ironmachine
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Re: The J./ 88 of the Legion Condor (1936-39).

Postby Ironmachine » 12 Jan 2015 09:17

tigre wrote:First question
The first squadron of German fighter had six He-51A aircrafts and six pilots

according to Arráez Cerdá but for all other sources were He-51B ....... all the He-51 in Spain were model B? ...

There are more sources stating that the first six He-51 were the A version (including for what's worth publications from the Spanish Air Force). I think it is safe to assume they were indeed He-51A.
In any case, not all the He-51 used during the SCW were B models. The He-51C-1 also served in Spain.
Regards.


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