Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
Andrew Arthy
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Re: Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Post by Andrew Arthy » 19 Feb 2014 02:02

Hi,

The Luftwaffe victory claims (and many Western Allied victory claims and losses) can be found here, thanks to the efforts of Tony Wood: http://lesliesawyer.com/claims/tonywood.htm

Cheers,
Andrew A.
Air War Publications - www.airwarpublications.com

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tramonte
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Re: Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Post by tramonte » 30 Jan 2020 12:00

Whether it was USAAF, RAF, Luftwaffe, Soviet VVS, Finnish AF or what ever, the basic rule have been - with only some very special cases and periods(bomber campaign 1941-43, Jagdwaffe cumulative death spiral in 1944, Soviet aviation catastrophe in 1941...) - the most likely average combat loss rate was somewhere around 1% +/- 0.3% per combat missions. Majority, even great majority of air craft losses happened outside combat mission.

It's more likely that official figures of Soviet combat losses (46,100, 1941-45) were much nearer the truth than claims of Jagdwaffe, Romanian, Finnish, Hungarian pilots and flak together. Besides about 10-15% of combat losses was normally caused by accident, bad weather, bad airfield, technical issues, disaster, friendly fire than enemy fighter or flak. Over claim was reality not only for fighter pilots but AA-units too. Then air war was very intensive the over claim rate was easily something like 1:3, 1:4 or even 1:5 meaning that just about 20-35% of claims were true. Air victory really is build with "air" and "victory".
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tramonte
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Re: Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Post by tramonte » 30 Jan 2020 12:12

Claims (and losses) of Finnish Fighter units can be found here: (fighter squadrons 24,26,28,32.34)

https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luettelo_ ... tappioista
https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luettelo_ ... tappioista
https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luettelo_ ... tappioista
https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luettelo_ ... tappioista
https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luettelo_ ... tappioista

List of claims of Fighter Squadron 30 are missing... they had 39 claims and 9 aircraft lost in combat.

Claims during Winter War (30 Nov 39 to 13March 40) were actually well in balance with actual Soviet air combat losses. But when it comes to Continuation War (1941-44) the over claiming according most Finnish and Russian researches are estimated to be between 1:2.2 to 1:3. Which means that about 30-45% of claims were true victories. As so often when air combat happened deep inside above area controlled by Finnish forces claims were much better in balance with true Soviet losses. When it was above front line or in Soviet controlled area 1:3 over claim was almost a norm.
"Military history is nothing but a tissue of fictions and legends, only a form of literary invention; reality counts for very little in such affair."

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von thoma
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Re: Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Post by von thoma » 31 Jan 2020 22:59

'The German Miracle', as was called by the Allies, has a simple explanation ;

When 5 Germans fight against 25 enemies planes, Allies only can shoot down 5 planes, while the Germans hopefully can exceed that figure,
this consecutively always creates more victories on the German side......because Germans planes were many years at a disadvantage.
" The right to believe is the right of those who don't know "

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tramonte
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Re:

Post by tramonte » 09 Sep 2020 19:45

Rauli wrote:
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.

Heck not only 50% in in 1944. JG 5 in Norway and Finnish Lapland had notorious reputation of huge over claim behaviour. There are tens of examples where just 10-20% of their claims could be confirmed by Soviet sources of 7.Air Army especially during summer 1944. What's interesting here is that Soviet 7.Air Army has very reliable data of their own losses. Actually on Navy Fleet Pe-2 cases are still mostly unknown.
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tramonte
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Re: Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Post by tramonte » 09 Sep 2020 19:54

Update. According new book of C-F. Geust Finnish AA-units had about 1:3 over claim during Winter War while pilots 2:3. When it comes to Hannu Valtonen he claimed at least in late 1990's that during summer of 1944 likely just about 1/3 of claims of Finnish pilots can be confirmed by Soviet sources. However i don't know has C-F.Geust found since late 1990's more confirmed air victories for both Finnish pilots and German II./JG 54 unit.

Archives of VVS 13th Air Army of Leningrad Front are suggesting their losses during 9 - 30 June 1944: 160 aircraft, while Finnish pilots had 311 claims and German II./JG 54 (in Finland) 92. Besides there were some 275 claims of Finnish AA-units. I really don't know are there now more new information available what were real losses of Soviet air force units (13th Air Army, 2nd Guards Fighter Corps, Baltic Navy units) in Karelian Isthmus during June-July 44.
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Re: Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Post by igorr » 10 Sep 2020 03:46

All soviet losses in Far North now is well known - not only 7 VA but VVS SF and 122 IAD PVO.
I have made lists for german claims 1943 from Luftwaffe's documents and soviet losses from documents, which gave 888 claims and around 372 real victories. Even my research was not fully correct, i think 1:3 ratio was firmly held by JG 5 pilots. Weissenberger made 74 claims and around 29 was confirmed. Erler has 50 and 17/

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tramonte
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Re: Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Post by tramonte » 15 Sep 2020 08:35

igorr wrote:
10 Sep 2020 03:46
All soviet losses in Far North now is well known - not only 7 VA but VVS SF and 122 IAD PVO.
I have made lists for german claims 1943 from Luftwaffe's documents and soviet losses from documents, which gave 888 claims and around 372 real victories. Even my research was not fully correct, i think 1:3 ratio was firmly held by JG 5 pilots. Weissenberger made 74 claims and around 29 was confirmed. Erler has 50 and 17/
Are those 372 Soviet losses set out with enemy aircraft, enemy AA, accidents and "not return"?

Igor, do you have information of 7 VA losses between 21 June - 8 August 1944 from Karelian Front during Svir-Petrozavodsk Offensive?
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igorr
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Re: Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Post by igorr » 15 Sep 2020 10:52

327 losses includes only losses in aerial battles against german a/c. In total losses are 521 from all causes. And i must say that i incorporate not only totally destroyed planes, but also damaged and maked emergency landing or crushed during landing on own airfield. This is some try to equal german %-system.
I never researched any battles in Karelia, but i have docs of 7 VA for 06-08.44. For example, 21.6.44 7 VA losses in Karelia was two missed planes (1 IL-2 and 1 LAGG-3).
If one get through this docs, one can get losses. Dunno have precise it would be, but there many references on lower unit such as BAD, SHAD and IAD. Now their docs also available for researchers on Pamyat naroda. Also second way is to figure out loss lists from PN or OBD Memorial, but this give you only KIA- and MIA-losses.

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tramonte
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Re: Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Post by tramonte » 27 Mar 2021 18:40

I tried to track daily losses of 7 VA from period of 21 June to 9 August 1944 but i'm not do these following figures consist also losses in Far North ( Lappland and Petsamo-Kirkenes).

21.6……..1 Il-2, 1 LaGG-3…………………………………………5
22.6……..3 Il-2………………………………………………………….3
23.6……..2 Il-2………………………………………………………….2
25.6……..1 Airacobra, 2 Il-2, 1 Jak-9……………………..4
26.6……..2 Il-2, 1 LaGG-1, 2 Jak-9………………………….5
27.6……..6 Il-2………………………………………………………..6
28.6……..2 Il-2, 2 LaGG-3……………………………………...4
29.6……..1 S-3, 6 Il-2, 1 Airacobra………………………..8
30.6…….. no mention

21-30 June………………………………………............…..37

01.07……..5 Il-2, 2 Kittyhawk …….....................7
02.07……1 Il-2, Jak-9 (no return)………………………….2
03.07……1 Il-2 ……....…………………………………………...1
04.07……..1 Il-2 (not returned )…………………………...1
05.07………6 Il-2……………………………………………………...6

06.07…….. --
07.07…….. Il-2 (not return) ……………………..……............….1
08.07……..3 Il-2 …………………………………………..…............….3
09.07……..3 Il-2, 1 La-5 …………………………………..........……..4
10.07……..1 Airacobra, 1 Jak-9, 5 Il-2……………..........…....7
11.07……..2 Il-2 (1 GIAD)…… ……………………………...........….2
12.07…….. 1 LaGG-3 (AA), 3 Il-2 (AA), 1 La-5 …............. 5
13.07……..1 B-3 + 1Pe-2 (261BAP), 1 Il-2 ( 204 OKRAP).…..3
14.07……..Pe-2,(119 ORAE) 1 Jak-9 (324 )………………………..2
15.07……..2 Il-2 (It), 2 Il-2 + 1 LaGG-3 ....., …………………..5
16.07……..1 La-5 (air combat, unit 324.)………………………...1
17.07…….. -
18.07…….. -
19.07…….. 1 Il-2 (AA), 1 KittyHawk, 1 Il-2 (not return)……………....3
20.07…….. 1 Il-2 (AA, unit 257), I Il-2 (not return)……………………....2
21.07……..1 Il-2 (not return,1 GSAP)………………………………….………….1
22.07……..1 Il-2 (not return, 257 SekaD)……………………………………….1
23.07……..1 Il-2 (not return, 668 ), 1 Pe-2 (not return, 103 РАЗ)….2
24.07……..
25.07……..
26.07……..4 Il-2 …………………………………………………………………………..................................4
27.07……..2 Il-2, 1 Airacobra (773/257D)…………………..............................................3
28.07……..1 Il-2 (17/1.Guards)………………………………………………………………..............…………...1
29.07……..1 Airacobra (773/257th)……………………………………………………………................……..1
30.07……..3 Il-2 (1. 668/1st Guards, 2 257th), 1 La-5(760/324th), 1 Airacobra (773 IAP)…..5
31.07……..2 Il-2, 1 La-5……………………………………………………………………………………..................3

total July……………………....................76

01.08.44……….3 Il-2, 2La-5.................5
03.08.44……….1 ?.............................1
05.08.44 ……….1 Il-2.........................1
06.08.44………..2 Il-2.........................1
07.88.44 ………..2 LaGG-3....................1
08.08.44………...1 Il-2, 1 Jak-9..............2
09.08.44………...1 La-5.......................1

1 - 9 August..................................12


Total 21 June - 9 August ..................127


11.08.44………...1 Po-2
15.08.44………...1 Jak-9
20.08.44 ………..1 R-5


Now please correct those figures and especially if some of those losses are from Lappland/Petsamo-Kirkenes

Their is also month report of 7 VA with total losses of July 1944 giving figures:

95 aircraft losses + 38 written off. Most of losses (61) were Il-2 while 7 were bombers, 22 bombers and 5 other aircraft. Perhaps these including losses in Karelia and Far North. I don't even know which units did not take part in Karelia offensive. 257, 260,261 and 1 Guards "Mixed Division and 324 IAD

Table of units 1 July, 1944

https://cdnc.pamyat-naroda.ru/pamyat/%D ... 000060.jpg

https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view ... 71c5cb50v6

And here are units of 7 VA, 5 August 1944:

https://cdnc.pamyat-naroda.ru/pamyat/%D ... 000021.jpg

https://cdnc.pamyat-naroda.ru/pamyat/%D ... 000022.jpg
"Military history is nothing but a tissue of fictions and legends, only a form of literary invention; reality counts for very little in such affair."

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danebrog
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Re: Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Post by danebrog » 29 Mar 2021 16:48

Overclaiming is the rule rather than the exception in aerial combat
I know a good example from my immediate neighbourhood:
On 14 April 1945, 12 Fw 190-D of JG27 clashed with 8 Tempest of No 33 Sqn over the Lüneburg Heath near Uelzen.
JG 27 claimed five victories and one probable, No 33 Sqn in turn three victories.

There are very vivid accounts of the dogfight by pilots on both sides, which left little doubt that they were genuinely convinced of its accuracy.
In reality, No 33 sqn lost two aircraft, (another was a write-off), JG 27 lost one aircraft.

That might still be considered fairly moderate for such dogfights. In the Luftwaffe, an overclaiming of 30% was internally taken for granted at that time.
Among German pilots, however, it can be observed that officers were clearly favoured over other ranks in the official recognition of aerial victories.

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Re: Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Post by Urmel » 13 Apr 2021 14:36

That's an interesting one, with old desert enemies of JG27 and No. 33 Squadron clashing in 1945. Thanks for that.
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Re: Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Post by Kekegenkai » 03 May 2021 00:37

So rewatched the Downfall, which is a movie that tells about the last days of the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler. Now, as I was watching the film I kept hearing about Hitlers condescending, and downright hateful, comments about the Luftwaffe and of Goring who he claimed turned the Luftwaffe into a joke and even corrupted it. Was there any real substance to Hitlers opinion or was he just ranting and raving?

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Re: Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Post by ljadw » 04 May 2021 15:57

1 : It is hazardous to use comments attributed to Hitler in an American film,as an argument .
2 That Hitler was searching for culprits is normal ;other politicians in his position did the same .
3 It is unfair (and that is an euphemism ) to pass the buck for the defeat of the LW to Goering,who was, till 1943, a competent commander of the LW .Some one else would not have done better .
4 The RAF/USAAF lost in 1943 in day operations against Western Europe 1100 aircraft and in the 5 first months of 1944 900 aircraft .

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Re: Are the Luftwaffe claims credible?

Post by AriX » 25 Aug 2021 20:17

According to the user GregP from WW2 aircraft forum there were 63,324 aerial victories comfirmed to the LW's fighter pilots from 9/1/1939 to 5/8/1945.

The top-10 of claimed planes :
1) Spitfire with 4,997 claimed.
2) Il-2 with 4,850 claimed.
3) B-17 with 4,296 claimed
4) LaGG-3 with 3,381 claimed
5) B-24 with 2,192 claimed.
6) Lancaster with 2,038 claims.
7) Hurricane with 2,033 claims.
8) I-16 with 1,975 claimed.
9) Pe-2 with 1,918 claimed.
10) Yak-1 with 1,892 claimed.

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