Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
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Erich
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Post by Erich » 10 Sep 2004 05:44

mars I am quite distrustful of the Germanic Luftwaffe series of titles, although as I posted their elite series seems to be faring well. I find their camo paintings a little loud in colouration and on several occassions their photo captions are incorrect.

Mikko H.
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Post by Mikko H. » 10 Sep 2004 07:55

Mr Stenman and Keskinen are well known aviation historians in Finland. I have been reading their books since the early eighties. For example, they have written the complete history of the Finnish air force, down to the operational history of every individual aircraft it possessed.


In their LeR-series Stenman and Keskinen have used Mr. Geust's research in the Russian archives to compare the Finnish claims with the Soviet records of losses. The results are rather interesting.

Funny thing was when I read the Börje Sjögren autobiograpfy of Hans Wind. The official score of Wind is 75 and Illu Juutilainen only 74 !


This is one thing I've always wondered -- where the h*** did Sjögren get that number 74 for Illu??? Finnish records have always given him the score of 94.

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Rauli
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Post by Rauli » 10 Sep 2004 14:39

Hello Mikko!

Have you read Hannu Valtonen´s book "Luftwaffen pohjoinen sivusta" (The Northern Flank of Luftwaffe)? In the book was an extract from Luftwaffe battle report sometime 1944. Well, to cut it short: Theodor Weissenberger (JG 5) claimed eight victories during one day but when Rune Rautio went through Soviet archives he could only find two losses that fit with the timetable and overall it seems that the pilots of JG 5 were overclaiming 50% during 1944.

And to Erich. If you don´t have this:Hannu Valtonen: Luftwaffe-kuvasto/pictorial. Text in Finnish/English. Hardback 208 p.

I highly recommend. It covers most of the Luftwaffe units in Northern Finland.
Full of pictures.

mars
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Post by mars » 10 Sep 2004 15:13

Mikko H, would you nice enough to tell us about the result of Stenman and Keskinen's compare the Finnish claims with the Soviet records of losses? Thanks in advance.

Rauli, it is not a secret for me that JG 5 was one of the most overclaim Luftwaffe units in WWII, and I am very interesting about the two books you mentioned, could you tell me whether I can order them online, you know, sadly, I do not read Finnish, so it must be published in English, thanks !

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Rauli
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Post by Rauli » 10 Sep 2004 15:54

Mars, check this:http://www.burningbooks.net/miil1.htm Go bottom of the page.

I don´t know how much they will charge from the shipping :) but Luftwaffe-kuvasto/pictorial has double titles bought Finnish and English. And it´s hardback printed with good quality paper - 29,5 euro doesn´t sound bad but perhaps you can get it cheaper somewhere else? This is the only one of his books with English text.

Hannu Valtonen is former fighter pilot (peacetime) from FAF and after his pilot career he went work as a director of Aeronautics museum. Most of his books would pass as a PhD thesis. So far I haven´t found a single mistake in them but there had to be some... :P

mars
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Post by mars » 10 Sep 2004 16:10

Thank you, Rauli, well, I assume I could always eat nothing but bread and water for a while. I found there is one of Hannu Valtonen's book " Luftwaffe Suomessa- In Finland 1941-1944 " on abebooks.com, do you have any comments on this book ? is it published in English or Finnish?

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Rauli
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Post by Rauli » 10 Sep 2004 19:23

mars wrote:Thank you, Rauli, well, I assume I could always eat nothing but bread and water for a while. I found there is one of Hannu Valtonen's book " Luftwaffe Suomessa- In Finland 1941-1944 " on abebooks.com, do you have any comments on this book ? is it published in English or Finnish?


Hmmm, IIRC there were a series of books both Finnish and English text but if this book belongs to that serie then 35$ is wayyyy too much. I have to checked it out. I would like to hear opinions of other Finnish members from this site.

Best regards,

Rauli

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 10 Sep 2004 19:50

gents, I notice the doubtfullness of JG 5 claims. Can the Soviet claims/losses be trusted and are they complete ?

I am just curious on your comments.....as I said earlier by late 1944 the Luftwaffe was not processing/officially awarding claims and by 1945 nothing was complete.

a similiar situation inveloped me 262 jet kommando Welter when they were bombed out at Burg by B-17's. Everything was pretty much obliterated and Welter usually took a blank piece of paper and singed his name in ink to authorize a pilots kill in the small staffel during the spring months of 45. there was not time to completely process anything due to the constant movement of the unit and the almost daily nusiance raids by US and RAF fighters

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 10 Sep 2004 20:48

Erich wrote:Can the Soviet claims/losses be trusted and are they complete ?


Not very accurate in 1941, according to the same vol. I of BC/RS
There is a great disparity between Soviet claims and registered Luftwaffe losses. Even if the Luftwaffe loss lists have proved to suffer from gaps, it is indisputable that the Soviet airmen, on average, made higher overclaims than their German counterparts.
[...]
Official VVS claims amount to 3,879 downed in aerial combat and 752 downed by gorund fire in 1941. As several Axis aircraft listed as "severely damaged" - most having made forced landings - could justifiably be acknowledged as "shot down", the overclaim ratio is nearly 2:1. On teh other hand, regarding results of air-base raids, Soviet airmen proved to be most optimistic; they claimed 3,257 Axis aircraft destroyed on the ground in 1941.
[...]
According to the Luftwaffe's own records, 2,093 German aircraft (758 bombers, 568 fighters, 170 dive bombers, 330 reconnaissance aircraft, and 267 miscellaneous types) were completely destroyed on the Eastern front between June 22 and December 6, 1941. Another 1,362 aircraft (including 473 bombers and 413 fighters) received battle damage of varying degrees.


The authors did not add to teh Luftwaffe losses, those of the Romanian, Finish, Hungarian, Italian and Slovak air forces, which operated on the Eastern front in 1941, but I don't think it would lower the VVS overclaim ratio below that of the Luftwaffe for that year.

mars
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Post by mars » 10 Sep 2004 21:03

Erich, I never said VVS submitted more accurate claims than Luftwaffe, I just pointed out some Luftwaffe units, JG 5 was one of them, made quite wild overclaims, and this was from multiple reliable source, such as Mr Guest and Mr Bergström

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 10 Sep 2004 21:10

mars no I was not accusing you of that, I just wanted to know if the Soviet archival records can be trusted as well are they all inclusive ? - have all Soviet losses listed.............

thank you

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Charlemagne1943
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Post by Charlemagne1943 » 11 Sep 2004 00:01

There were also at least 10 claims made by Romanian fighters that day and several made by bomber machine-gunners, which should be added to the Axis total.[/quote][quote]

The 322 claimed by the Luftwaffe include flak and bomber claims.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 11 Sep 2004 14:02

From vol. II of BC/RS, regarding the period between January-June 1942:
While the German claims of Soviet aircraft destroyed on the ground approaches tenfold exaggeration, the overclaim rate regarding the number of Soviet aircraft shot down was less than 2:1.
[…]
The Soviets claimed 3,012 German aircraft shot down in aerial combat and 1,197 by ground fire, plus 1,059 reportedly destroyed on the ground, during the period January 1 through June 22, 1942.


The Luftwaffe losses were 1,170 in that period, so that would lead to an over 4:1 Soviet overclaim
rate.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 11 Sep 2004 14:03

Charlemagne1943 wrote:The 322 claimed by the Luftwaffe include flak and bomber claims.


I was refering to Romanian bomber claims, not Luftwaffe.

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Rauli
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Post by Rauli » 13 Sep 2004 16:17

Erich, I will try to find a copy of Valtonen´s book and take scan from a page previously mentioned so that I can post it here. I think you will find it interesting put I have to ask permission from the author first.

Mars, The book you referred dates from 1976. Valtonen wrote that book with Anttonen. Don´t buy it.

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