Yes. Unless he includes strikes against the illustrious before she made it to Valetta - but then his loss figure would be off.phylo_roadking wrote:Which then by that logic leaves
E/ 85 unaccounted-for sorties in his monthly total - and a recorded VERY low activity rate for the remaining week and a half of January, including specifically NO daytime bombing and VERY light night bombing.
Note that the 4% loss rate which I arrived at, above, for the three-day Illustrious blitz would be too high if we presume that more than 200 strike sorties were flown on the 16th, 18th and 19th -- not to mention Zerstörer sorties, which were also flown over Malta on those dates.
It's just source interdependence at work. If Hooton relies solely on Shores, as he seems to do on the 200-sorties-against-Illustrious-for-eight-losses, he can fairly be dismissed if his figures don't match those of Shores.That's a bit of a tort - that we can accept/believe one source because another historian uses him...c) However, Hooton also lists eight Luftwaffe losses. That figure, as we know, covers all three dates - 16th, 18th and 19th - if we can believe Shores. I think we can in this context, for Hooton sources his figures to none other than Shores.
Shores isn't infallible, of course, and he certainly doesn't claim to be. But his research is very meticulous, usually right down to giving the names of airmen in downed aircraft, along with their planes' identification letters. For the same reason, his book is a very boring cover-to-cover read; it is on the other hand a great reference - there's definitely a good handful of historians who seem to agree on that.
It would of course be more preferable if we could consult RA, Luftwaffe, RAF and FAA archives and hold their figures against one another. This appears to be what Shores has done, via the many helpers he gives credit to in his book. But in the absence of direct archival access - which would not necessarily give us the full picture either, as you say - we have to trust Shores.
Well, the chronology doesn't fit, because you have advanced to the next monthbf109emil wrote:so if i total right this is between 82 to 92 depending on the number between 20 or 30 mixed fighters, so this must be the other 85 sorties flown for the month, should it not?On 26th February, thirty Ju87s, twelve Ju88s escorted by twenty to thirty mixed fighters, together with ten Do.215s and ten He.111s attacked Luqa. The anti-aircraft defences threw up a barrage for the airfield and eight Hurricanes took off. The guns destroyed five divebombers, confirmed - the fighters, two; there were eleven probables.
Just to clarify, here is the Hooton quote again, from pp 78-79 of Eagle in Flames
'...Illustrious crept into Valetta harbour for emergency repairs and, despite some 200 strike sorties by Geisler with the loss of eight aircraft, she escaped to Alexandria on 23 January, although a year's repairs in the United States awaited the carrier... he sources this to Shores, Malta: the Hurricane Years, pp 109-111, 114-115 and 119-136.
Hooton has a table at the bottom of p 79 where he provides a breakdown of Fliegerkorps X sorties against Malta for January thru May 1941. The numbers for January are 285 strike sorties (this number's relation to the '200 strike sorties' is discussed above), 122 fighter escort sorties, 30 sweeps and 14 recon, for a total of 451 sorties for 21 losses, or a c. 4.65% loss rate for all of January over Malta.
Just to keep things complicated, Hooton does not source his sortie figures to Shores. Rather, he sources to a German book which I have never seen or read, Tätigkeit des X. Fliegerkorps in Italien in der Zeit von 10. Januar bis zum 22. Mai 1941 und erzielte Resultate via Karl Gundelach's 2-volume book Die deutsche Luftwaffe im Mittelmeer 1940-1945 which I haven't seen, either.