Luftwaffe aces

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

Post by tigre » 06 Jul 2014 06:15

Hello to all :D; something more...................

The Western Campaign May-June 1940.

The invasion of Holland, Belgium and France on May 10, 1940, announced the meteoric rise of the victories of most of the German fighter pilots , while the Luftwaffe supported the Heer advance across Northwestern Europe. On the fifth day of the campaign, the Allies put on the air all their bombers in a (vain by the way) attempt to contain the panzers and avoid the crossing of the Meuse at Sedan. The Allied bombers suffered a fierce punishment, which was to be known in the folklore of the Luftwaffe as the "Day of the fighters." At dusk the remnants of 89 Allied aircrafts were scattered through the valley of the Meuse. Five of them had been shot down by only one man, Oberleutnant Hans-Karl Mayer the successor of Mölders as Staffelkapitän of the 1. / JG 53.

Mölders claimed only one victim on May 14 (one Hurricane) but for the next night had brought his personal vintage up to 20 victories being the first to be awarded the Knight's Cross, the seal of the "Experten". After bringing down his victims numbers 24 and 25 on the morning of June 5, 1940, Mölders himself was shot down by a French Dewoitine D 520 that afternoon and after parachuting spent the rest of the campaign as a POW. It was then that Hauptmann Wilhelm Balthasar, Staffelkapitän of the 7. / JG 27, emerged as the top scorer of that campaign with 26 victories under his belt (plus 13 aircrafts destroyed on the ground); Balthasar received his Knight's Cross on June 14, 1940.

Sources: Osprey - Aviation Elite Units 025 - Jagdgeschwader 53 'Pik As'
Luftwaffe Eagles. Fly Past Special. February 1997.
Los Ases de la Blitzkrieg (Me Bf 109 D/E)

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Luftwaffe aces

Post by tigre » 25 Jul 2014 19:08

Hello to all :D; something more: The Battle of Britain (1st part).

After being released from captivity, Werner Mölders was promoted to Major and went on to command the JG 51 (since July 27) during the early stages of what was called the "Battle of Britain"; but now there was a new competitor in the number of victories in the person of Adolf Galland, commander of the neighboring JG 26 (actually he was in command of the III. Gruppe and took over command in mid-August) deployed in the Pas de Calais. Between both them was spread a friendly but intense rivalry.

However Mölders was the first to achieve his victory No. 40, for which he received the Oak Leaves for his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on September 21, 1940. He beat Galland in winning the "Cauliflower" (as it was irreverently called) only for four days.

Sources: Osprey - Aviation Elite Units 025 - Jagdgeschwader 53 'Pik As'
Luftwaffe Eagles. Fly Past Special. February 1997.
Los Ases de la Blitzkrieg (Me Bf 109 D/E)
Der Adler Nº 21 – Oct 15, 1940.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Luftwaffe aces

Post by tigre » 29 Jul 2014 23:03

Hello to all ; something more: The Battle of Britain (2nd and last part).

But as the campaign drew to a close, both (Mölders and Galland) were briefly overshadowed by another young "Turk" promoted by Göring from Schwarmführer (section leader) to Geschwaderkommodore of the JG 2 in just one year; it was Helmut Wick who between the end of August and early October of 1940, had doubled his achievements from 20 to 40 kills.

Early in the afternoon of November 28, 1940 after knocking down his victim Nº 55 over the Isle of Wight, he was above Mölders and Galland with 54 and 52 victories respectively. But his supremacy was brief because soon afterwards, that very evening took off again in a free hunting mission (freie Jagd) and managed to knock down his victim No. 56, the Spitfire of Plt Off Paul Baillon of Squadron 609, however moments later his own Bf 109 E-4 Wk No. 5344 received a deadly blast at the hands of Flt Lt John Dundas (16 kills) the Ace of the Squadron 609 and the last thing that was seen of Helmut Wick, was a parachute descending into the Canal waters southwest of Needles.

Immediately Wick’s numeral, Kudi Pflanz, who had stuck on Dundas, opened fire. A few seconds later, the Spitfire of Dundas fell with a sharp buzz and no one knew anything more of this English Ace.

In the end the most successful pilot ended up being Adolf Galland of JG 26 with 57 victories (the last one achieved on December 5, 1940).

Sources: Osprey - Aviation Elite Units 025 - Jagdgeschwader 53 'Pik As'
Luftwaffe Eagles. Fly Past Special. February 1997.
Los Ases de la Blitzkrieg (Me Bf 109 D/E)
Der Adler Nº 21 – Oct 15, 1940.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Luftwaffe aces

Post by tigre » 02 Aug 2014 19:35

Hello to all :D; something more: The Campaign in the Balkans - April and May 1941.

There were others laurels still for reaping and in the the spring of 1941 eight jagdgruppen were shifted toward the southeast in the Balkans. Like the Campaign ofNorway a year before, the invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece, which culminated in the conquest of Crete, provided a high number of victims to the Luftwaffe's Bf-109 pilots without any of them stand out in particular. The Pilots who led in terms of number of kills during Operation No. 25 (Punishment) and Operation Marita were Oberleutnant Gustav Rödel, Staffelkapitän of the 4. / JG 27 and Leutnant Fritz Geisshardt of the I (J). / LG 2 who claimed six victories each.

Both managed to stand out later though; the first ended the war with 98 kills and the second had 102 victories before being shot down while attacking some USAF heavy bombers over Belgium on April 5, 1943.

Sources: Der Adler 1 – 14. Enero de 1941.
Der Adler 21 – 15 Octubre de 1940.
Luftwaffe Eagles. Fly Past Special. February 1997.
Los Ases de la Blitzkrieg (Me Bf 109 D/E)
El Tercer Reich. Time Life. Nº 18 Afrika Korps. Segunda Parte.
http://www.WartimePress.com
http://www.luftwaffe.cz/index.html
http://www.militaria-lexikon.de/katalog ... tonac.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Gamle Lode
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Re: Luftwaffe aces

Post by Gamle Lode » 09 Aug 2014 18:42

A good book on the subject is Mike Spick's Luftwaffe Fighter Aces (1996, 1st ed). I couldn't yet compile, or locate, the list but according to wikipedia there were eight German pilots who gained more than hundred victories against non-Soviet planes. Among these there has to be now Galland, Mölders, Marseille and Josef Priller and then a couple of night-fighter aces, namely Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer and Helmut Lent.

Josef Priller is the German pilot who appears in the 1962 film The Longest Day in two memorable scenes. :lol:

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tigre
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Re: Luftwaffe aces

Post by tigre » 16 Aug 2014 06:01

Hello to all :D; more follows: North Africa.
It would be on the distant shores of North Africa where the name of a hitherto unknown pilot would join the guild of the greatest. Hans Joachim Marseille had not convinced the former commanders of the two units which he had flown in te Canal's front, the I. (J) / LG 2 and the II. / JG 52. Although he had claimed seven Spitfires in turn he had been shot down 4 times in the process. But when the young from Berlin, aged 21, ended up in the desert in April 1941 with the I. / JG 27, his life changed remarkably. Hans had worked tirelessly to improve his natural skills for flying and shooting. This combined with his remarkable ability to detect a chance with a glance, combined with a three-dimensional vision, gave him a clear advantage over the enemy for those few vital seconds. He was soon a successful pilot in North Africa.

He flew a succession of Bf-109 F, all numbered with the 14 painted in yellow. His star finally extinguished the last day of September 1942 when his account had reached 158 kills, being the most successful pilot who has flown only against the Western Allies and although others followed in his wake during the withdrawal out of Africa across the Mediterranean and the Aegean through Sicily, Italy and Greece, none of them shone with the radiance of the "Star of Africa".

Source: Luftwaffe Eagles. Fly Past Special. February 1997.
Aces of the Blitzkrieg (Me Bf 109 D / E)
The Third Reich. Time Life. No. 18 Afrika Korps. Part.
http://www.luftwaffe.cz/index.html

Cheers. Raul M 8-).
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durb
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Re: Luftwaffe aces

Post by durb » 18 Aug 2014 12:23

Most victims of Marseille were Hurricanes and P-40 Tomahawk/Kittyhawks, which were inferior to Bf 109 F - in some respect this facilitated his work - he had a better plane and also German/Marseille combat tactics were superior to that of the Allied fighter units in North Africa. IIRC, Clive Caldwell claimed that Germans could fly at higher altitude and they had usually the initiative in combat.

IIRC, Marseille shot down also couple of Allied bombers (Martin Maryland) and at least one Spitfire confirmed.

Thinking of Marseille´s combat tactics, they worked well in the circumstances in North Africa, but over the Channel same tactics would probably have been too risky. I wonder how he would have made it against four-engined bombers.

When it comes to an ace most flexible and able to fight at different fronts and circumstances, Heinrich Bär comes to mind. He fought with success at Western Front/Channel, Eastern Front, Mediterranean, defense of the Reich and could master well also Me 262. Erich Rudorffer is a similar case. The two top Luftwaffe aces when it comes to combat ability in whatever circumstances.

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tigre
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Re: Luftwaffe aces

Post by tigre » 24 Mar 2020 00:03

Hello to all :D; more: The youngest with Oak Leaves and Swords.

As far as I know the killings achieved by Hans-Joachim Marseille were mostly Hurricanes and P-40 Tomahawk / Kittyhawksm but he also shot down four bombers, Bristol Blenheim Mk IV over the sea north of Tobruk (April 28, 1941), Martin Maryland (September 24, 1941) and 2 Martin Baltimore Mk I (May 23, 1942).

Sources: Hauptmann Hans-Joachim Marseille - Der erfolgreichste Jagdflieger des Afrikafeldzuges. Franz Kurwowski
https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Joachim_Marseille
Der Adler Aug 1942 - 01

Cheers. Raul M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Luftwaffe aces

Post by tigre » 15 Apr 2020 00:40

Hello to all :D; more: The youngest with Oak Leaves and Swords.

On June 3, 1942 Marseille achieved six shotdowns in 11 minutes, thereby obtaining the Oak Leaves for his Knight's Cross and on June 17, 1942 he achieved his 101st victory, adding the Swords to his decoration.

Sources: Falsche Glorie: das Traditionsverständnis der Bundeswehr. Jakob Knab
Der Adler Aug 1942 - 01

Cheers. Raul M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Luftwaffe aces

Post by tigre » 26 Apr 2020 02:51

Hello to all :D; more: The youngest with Oak Leaves and Swords.
Sources: https://www.catawiki.com/l/23124893-ger ... d=1&pid=13
Cheers. Raul M 8-).
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ajax
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Re:

Post by ajax » 17 May 2020 18:22

AHLF wrote:
05 Jul 2003 12:42
The best ace during the BoB was someone who is missing in action (at the time, he was the first among luftwaffe experten). Unfortunatelly, I can't recall his name, anyone?
It may have been Helmut Wick with 42 victories in the Battke of Britain.

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tigre
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Re: Luftwaffe aces

Post by tigre » 19 Nov 2020 02:36

Hello to all :D; more: Werner Mölders!
Sources: https://auction.catawiki.com/kavels/214 ... -biography
Cheers. Raul M 8-).
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