Operation "Bodenplatte" Question 2

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Andy H
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Operation "Bodenplatte" Question 2

Post by Andy H » 24 Jul 2002 20:54

The original concept for Bodenplatte was that it would tie in with the Germans Ardennes offensive launched on December 16th'1944, but due to the conditions that kept the allied planes grounded the Luftwaffe couldn't proceed as planned.

So why after the failure of the Ardennes offensive did the Luftwaffe still launch Bodenplatte in Jan'45. Would they have not been wiser to keep the planes and more importantly the pilots back to fight future battles?

:D Andy from the Shire

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Scott Smith
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Re: Operation "Bodenplatte" Question 2

Post by Scott Smith » 24 Jul 2002 22:09

Cheshire Yeomanry wrote:The original concept for Bodenplatte was that it would tie in with the Germans Ardennes offensive launched on December 16th, 1944, but due to the conditions that kept the allied planes grounded the Luftwaffe couldn't proceed as planned.

So why after the failure of the Ardennes offensive did the Luftwaffe still launch Bodenplatte in Jan'45. Would they have not been wiser to keep the planes and more importantly the pilots back to fight future battles?

Certainly, but since the Allied successes were being attributed (not without justifiable cause) to the overwhelming Allied air superiority, it was believed that a heavy stroke of German airpower would restore the Ardennes situation.

Of course, we know that the situation was beyond hope and the Luftwaffe had lost its edge in ground-support skill anyway. Plus, the losses from Bodenplatte could not be made up by the Germans and had little lasting effect on the Allies. Bodenplatte was only a desperate measure, but at least they tried.

In retrospect, however, the Luftwaffe assets should have been husbanded for use against the strategic bomber offensive instead of the menacing Tieflieger bases. That would not win the war either, but every fat-car that was shot down was a blessed victory for Germany.
:)

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 24 Jul 2002 22:53

This stupid ploy and waste of young resources was planned for the 1st of January thinking of the ol' addage that the US pilots/crews would be drunker than skunks and could not get anyhting air-borne in essence for resistance. The Luftwaffe pilots woke up to a rude awakening......

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re

Post by tonyh » 25 Jul 2002 10:42

Who finally had the say whether Bodenplatte went ahead or not. Galland had completely removed himself from it before it was launched and he originally wanted a "gross schlag" against the bombers anyway, not allied fighter basses. Also, I've heard that even Göring wasn't that enthusiastic about it. So where did the final order come from? Anyone know?

Tony

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Re: re

Post by Scott Smith » 25 Jul 2002 11:34

tonyh wrote:Who finally had the say whether Bodenplatte went ahead or not. Galland had completely removed himself from it before it was launched and he originally wanted a "gross schlag" against the bombers anyway, not allied fighter basses. Also, I've heard that even Göring wasn't that enthusiastic about it. So where did the final order come from? Anyone know?

Tony, I thought it was at Hitler's insistence, but I may be mistaken.
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Post by Andy H » 25 Jul 2002 17:41

Thanks for the replies so far, and it seems to me that the lack of creditable German Intel let the Germans down badly again into thinking that even at this stage of the wasr that such an op would have any meaningful affect-and I afree it would have been better goung after the heavier units if they were a viable target, rather than the fighters.

:D Andy from the Shire

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Erich
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Bodenplatte return....

Post by Erich » 25 Jul 2002 19:12

Well to be truthful several Luftwaffe notables were involved from the very onset. Galland, Hajo Hermann, "Fatty", Adolf himself and several others at a sooner date than was executed. The time and place was a correct one. The weather agreed to a point but the leaders of the staffeln were not familiar with Belgium, Holland and the general area, and with the inclusion of heavy snowfall on the ground, there were no fixed points for the turns. It is quite fitting that a night fighter unit, flying during daylight hours was able to get most of the day fighter geschwaderen anywhere even close to the airfields. And as I mentioned 1/2 of the day fighter units got lost and attacked other less used airbases to delte their ammo. This was an order, basically to fire all of it off onto US and RAF targets, even if they were not a/c. As in some interviews after the day sorite, Allied personell have mentioned that the German a/c pilots seemed quite in-experienced and not very aggressive. The German high command was hoping that the Allied members would have heavy hang-overs and that all bombers/fighters would be grounded during celebration but the Luftwaffe unfortunately did run into several packs of Spitfires, on their way back to base, and many Luftwaffe a/c in return were shot down. Probably the most damage done on this January 1st was by JG 3 who seemed to have caught the base they were attacking completely by surprise.

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Post by Andy H » 29 Jul 2002 20:06

I/KG(J)51 operated some 20+ Me 262 jets on the raid against Eindhoven and the ground gunners at the A/F claimed to have shot one down and damaged a second.

Can you confirm this?

:D Andy from the Shire

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Post by Fredrik » 29 Jul 2002 20:58

Was it a tactical or numerical loss or both?

Did they manage to destroy more planes than they (the Germans) lost?

/Fredrik

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Erich
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return.....

Post by Erich » 29 Jul 2002 21:48

Andy :

I have claims for 2 jets of the KG 51, a Leutnant Josef Hettlich from ? staffel and Ofw. Erich Kaiser from 2./KG (J) 51 / both KIA.

As to numbers Fredrik I can not even count, as I only really have one somewhat dull reference. We must wait for the two Dutch gents book....
The numbers scored by the Germans was not quite correct, and the Allies I think lost more that what they admitted to. It is also a problem that air to air victories and air to ground victories have not been fully documented or covered in previous books, and this is where the two authors I mentioned are doing their very best to get maximum coverage correct.

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Post by tonyh » 30 Jul 2002 10:51

Whats the name of the book by the Dutch men Erich? Also do you know if there's any plans for it to be printed in English? Theres not a lot of books around dealing with Bodenplatte.

Tony

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book....

Post by Erich » 30 Jul 2002 17:20

Tony :

The book(s) will be in English and I do believe they will be published through Hinoki publications.
Don't have the title just yet.

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Post by tonyh » 31 Jul 2002 10:46

Cheers Erich.

Tony

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book.....

Post by Erich » 31 Jul 2002 15:59

Tony :

Go ahead and put in Bodenplatte on your search engine and the site should come up run by Ron Putz. Write him a note and he should be good to write you back with expected date for the book.....

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Post by tonyh » 31 Jul 2002 17:07

Ok will do.

Cheers.

Tony

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