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 » 13 Sep 2004 16:20

I would appreciate seeing the information Rauli as well as others I am hopeful

E ♪

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Rauli
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Post by Rauli » 23 Sep 2004 14:08

Dammit! My scanning went sour, so I´ll just type it. This is from the book of Valtonen: Northern Flank of Luftwaffe part of the pages 242-243. My translation:

Time Type Pilot Number* Rune Rautio´s notes
21.07 Pe-2 Lt. Weissenberger 98. 107. 363. Pe-3 118 RAP
21.53 Il-2 Lt. Weissenberger 99. 108. 364.
21.54 Il-2 Lt. Weissenberger 100. 109. 365.
21.55 Il-2 Lt. Weissenberger 101. 110. 366. Il-2 46 ShAP
21.55 Il-2 Ofw. Beulich 111. 367. Il-2 46 ShAP
21.56 Il-2 Uffz. Beth 4. 112. 368.
21.57 Hampden Ofw. Beulich 113. 369. Hampd. 9 gv.MTAP
21.59 Hampden Lt. Weissenberger 102. 114. 370. Hampd. 9 gv.MTAP
22.00 Pe-2 Ofw. Beulich 115. 371.
22.01 Hampden Uffz. Beth 5. 116. 372.
22.04 Hampden Lt. Weissenberger 103. 117. 373.
22.06 Hampden Lt. Weissenberger 104. 118. 374.
22.08 Hampden Ofw. Beulich 119. 375.
22.09 Boston Ofw. Dörr 120. 376. Il-4 9. gv.MTAP
22.09 Pe-2 Fw. Drössler 121. 378.
22.12 Hampden Lt. Eichhorn 122. 379.


*number of victory
1st column: pilot
2st column: 7./JG 5
3 rd column III/JG 5

Sorry for typos

16 victory claims - 6 confirmed from Soviet recods. Date was 4.7.1943 :lol:

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Rauli
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Post by Rauli » 27 Sep 2004 19:39

And here is another example from JG 5 victory claims:

18.8. 1943

11 Airacobra
4 Hurricane
3 Tomahawk (P-40)
Kittyhawk
La-5
I-153

Total: 21 victories

Rune Rautio´s notes from Soviet records: 3 Hurricane and Jak-1. In reality 4 victories.
Pilots of JG 5 overclaimed over 80%.

Source: Northern Flank of Luftwaffe, p.244

Best regards,

Rauli

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Unsere_Freiheit
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Post by Unsere_Freiheit » 03 Oct 2004 12:38

I always think that would it be possible that they,the pilots,cooperate among themselves and tell lies to their superiors about the number of victories...yet you can cooperate with your wingman and or even the whole staffel....?

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Topspeed
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Post by Topspeed » 03 Oct 2004 13:54

Rauli wrote: In reality 4 victories.
Pilots of JG 5 overclaimed over 80%.


How can you tell soviet sources are 100 % correct ?

rgds,

Juke

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Rauli
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Post by Rauli » 03 Oct 2004 16:20

Topspeed wrote:How can you tell soviet sources are 100 % correct ?


IMHO, Valtonen´s book is very reliable source. I´m certain you will find it also from the library of Oulu. Read it through, it is an enjoy to read. Book covers all the Luftwaffe units stationed in the Northern Finland and Norway.

Another extract from p. 354

Claims made by III/JG 5

17.6 1944
Dörr and Norz - both claimed 12 a piece. (Rune Rautio: 0)

4.7.1944
26 victory claims. (Rune Rautio: 2)

17.7
37 victory claims, Schuck and Glöckner - 7 a piece. (Rune Rautio: 5)

17.8 1944
40 victory claims. (Rune Rautio: 4 by fighters, 7 by flak, 1 reason unknown)

23.8.1944
29 victory claims. (Rune Rautio: 2)

When we consider total plane numbers of the Soviet 7 VA opposing the Luftflotte 5, it is clear that numbers presented above are absolutly impossible.

Overclaiming is nothing new and RAF and 8. AF were much worse than pilots of the Luftwaffe. It goes with nature of aerial combat.

Best regards,

Rauli

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Unsere_Freiheit
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Post by Unsere_Freiheit » 03 Oct 2004 16:51

Is overclaiming considered to be dishonesty and if being caught will that person face court-martial?

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Topspeed
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Post by Topspeed » 03 Oct 2004 17:01

Rauli wrote:
Topspeed wrote:How can you tell soviet sources are 100 % correct ?


IMHO, Valtonen´s book is very reliable source. I´m certain you will find it also from the library of Oulu.


Is it reliable just because you say so ? Valtonen makes mistakes too.

rgds,

Juke

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Rauli
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Post by Rauli » 03 Oct 2004 19:25

Topspeed wrote:Is it reliable just because you say so ? Valtonen makes mistakes too


Yep, that is right. Don´t take anything for granted, sceptical attidude helps a long way :D

Same book (Northern Flank of Luftwaffe), same page 354.

Soviet ace Boris Safonov, http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/safonov/safonov.htm was given 20 victories but when Juri Rybkin went trough archives: in reality 7 or 8 vics.

Like I said, overclaiming is universal. For example I have hard time to believe 18 vics that Emil "Bully" Lang claimed 3.11.1943, http://www.luftwaffe.cz/lang.html or Hans-Joachim Marseille´s 17 vics 1.9 1942, http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/marse/marse.htm perhaps, perhaps not.

It comes down to how do you define a "victory". If you down an aircraft that is repaired, still in my mind that is a victory. A fine example is the BoB. Many RAF aircrafts made force landings due battle damages and wasn´t considered a total loss ...and repaired battle worthy. Same thing was done that Germans did - 70% damage was borderline for total (loss) write-off.

Best regards,

Rauli

mars
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Post by mars » 04 Oct 2004 01:03

Unsere_Freiheit wrote:Is overclaiming considered to be dishonesty and if being caught will that person face court-martial?


Thing is not that simple, you could be a hnorable man and just tell exactly what you see and believe, but still make overclaim

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Post by tonyh » 04 Oct 2004 09:30

It comes down to how do you define a "victory".


Most pilots considered that if an aircraft was shot out of the battle, regardless of the situation that occured to that aircraft later, ie landing, belly landing, repaired etc, then it was a "victory".

I think that this is fair enough. Once the plane is out of the battle due to damage sustained from enemy fire, then that aircraft is no longer a threat.

Overclaiming, of course, happened in every airforce. Its absolutely unavoidable with the speed and confusion of an air battle. The Luftwaffe as a rule had a very difficult and long drawn out method of "claim" and "claim approval". Some "claims" could take Months to be verified and awarded. Many legitimate claims were turned down. The pilot just had to accept this and get on with it. Most pilots kept a "personal" record anyway.

Tony

mars
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Post by mars » 04 Oct 2004 15:10

tonyh, here is a thing, having a very strict claim approval system does not guarrentee the accuracy of claims, do not forget the same Luftwaffe overclaimed about 3:1 in the battle of Britian, Normally claim were more accurate in defensive than in offensive, and were more accurate when fought over the land, and more accurate if the front line was stablized, and the more fighter units involved into a air combat, the higher overclaim could be submitted.Talking about the claim approval system, do you know how Soviet VVS approved a claim ? you must have a) two witness on the air and b) the wreckage of the aircraft you shot down must be found on the ground, so theorotically the enemy aicrafts you shot down over enemy territory would not be counted into you victories. And this approval process also could take months to completed, this system was at least as strict as those of Luftwaffe, but guess what, VVS pilots still managed to overclaim about 4:1!

Michate
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Post by Michate » 04 Oct 2004 15:58

There wasa discussion on another forum on BoB losses (including Christer Bergstroem):

http://www.1jma.dk/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3371

best regards,
Michael

mars
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Post by mars » 04 Oct 2004 16:23

Michate: Mr Christer neglected on fact: those RAF losses were included non-combat losses and those were DSTROYED ON THE GROUND(NOT JUST LOST IN AIR COMBAT, because I read Mason's "battle of Britian" and Wood's "Target England") and there were quite a few of RAF fighters were lost to gunners aboard Luftwaffe bombers

tonyh
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Post by tonyh » 04 Oct 2004 16:30

mars wrote:tonyh, here is a thing, having a very strict claim approval system does not guarrentee the accuracy of claims, do not forget the same Luftwaffe overclaimed about 3:1 in the battle of Britian, Normally claim were more accurate in defensive than in offensive, and were more accurate when fought over the land, and more accurate if the front line was stablized, and the more fighter units involved into a air combat, the higher overclaim could be submitted.Talking about the claim approval system, do you know how Soviet VVS approved a claim ? you must have a) two witness on the air and b) the wreckage of the aircraft you shot down must be found on the ground, so theorotically the enemy aicrafts you shot down over enemy territory would not be counted into you victories. And this approval process also could take months to completed, this system was at least as strict as those of Luftwaffe, but guess what, VVS pilots still managed to overclaim about 4:1!


True. The Luftwaffe's claim procedure was very strict, but there were hits and misses as it were.

However regarding Claims during the BoB. The Luftwaffe did indeed over claim, but were those claims actually awarded for the most part? Pilots may have come back claiming they shot down two Spitfires, but how far did it go? I don't know.

OKL did approach Hitler with wild claims of 30 aircraft destroyed in the air on the 13th August, but those numbers were rapidly revised, when interrogations of pilots began showing up claims as probable's rather than actual "kills".

As regards defensive claiming, this is subject to error too. The RAF overclaimed absurd numbers during that Battle of Britain and they were let stand, even though Fighter Command knew it was bollox. It was done for obvious morale reasons and probably did do a lot to buck up the men.

Whether those figures stood after the Battle or were revised is another story.

The Soviet procedure was only introduced in 1942 after the fronts had stabilised. A lot of the claims from the VVS pilots are ridiculous to say the least in 1941. The claims of the VVS in 1941 were actually more aircraft than the Luftwaffe possessed! Again though, how far those claims got through the system is another story.

A la the Luftwaffe, they may have been claimed, but were they actually awarded to the pilot?

Tony

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