Finnish Air Force claims and losses (fighter squadrons)

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tramonte
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Re: Finnish Air Force claims and losses (fighter squadrons)

Post by tramonte » 20 May 2018 19:12

What is pretty obvious is that FAF and AA-forces had less claimed and confirmed victories (shot down aircraft) than Soviet combat losses were during Winter War. Of course it doesn't eliminate the chance of over claim because weather conditions caused surely lots of losses for VVS and VVS-KBF.

When we go further and focus Continuation War (1941-44) things are different. According to Stenman&Keskinen the over claim of FAF pilots might have been average 1:2.2 (Hannu Valtonen is suggesting something more near to 1:3). I'm also very much interesting to get claims of Finnish AA-units. Before say anything sure about 1941-44 over claim we need some basic facts like:

1) Day reports of every single Soviet VVS/PVO/VVS-KBF units
2) Strengths and written off aircraft, day, time and reason
3) List of KIA, WIA and MIA pilots operating in Karelian Isthmus, Karelian Front, north and north east coast of Baltic Sea

It doesn't help much if we have perfect day reports of some units in certain days while missing others. And reverse next days.

And for Finnish claims i'd be interesting to have list of claims of AA-units.

More than anything else i've been interested in to have total day reports of both Finnish and Soviet claims, both pilots and AA-units especially in summer of 1944 and not only in Karelian Isthmus (Operation Vyborg and Operation Kotka) but Svir (Syväri) offesive from 21 June to 10 August.
"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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Re: Finnish Air Force claims and losses (fighter squadrons)

Post by tramonte » 20 May 2018 19:59

I have focused certain interesting things of Karelian Isthmus 1944. Take a look at claims of FAF pilots from 9 June - 30 June:

JUNE Fighters: (claims and strengts of VVS/PVO)

Aircraft..............claims............13th Air Army...............PVO.............VVS KBF
Airacobra*).........57...........................36......................67....................0
Yak-9/1...............38.........................100......................91..................90
La-5....................69...........................49......................90................110
LaGG-3................2............................0..........................0..................65

Total.....................166......................185.................247................265 (some Warhaws and Hurricanes not counted)

*) I added claims of "Mustang" to group of Airacobra

Then JULY 44

Yak-9/7 ...........45 claims
La-5..................31 claims
Airacobra...........8 claims
4) LaGG-3..........5 claims

Airacobra dominating as most claimed fighter in June dropped heavily in July. As we seen on list of strengths PVO had much more Airacobras than 13th AIr Army (while VVS-KBF had not a singe one of that type). It looks like in July the share of claimed fighters were much nearer to distribution of fighters of VVS/PVO. In June Airacobra claims were 55% of all Airacobras available while only 13.5% of Yaks and 27.7% of La-5s. In July claims were much more in balance with distribution of fighters of Soviet forces near Karelian Isthmus.

With Il-2 we have simililar trend with Airacobra:

June (9-30): 79 Il-2 claims (166 fighter claims)
1-5 July: 29 Il-2 claims (31 fighter claims)
6-30 July: 10 Il-2 claims (59 fighter claims)

Il-2 versus fighter rate was

June (9-30)___________1:2.1
July (1-5)_____________1:1.05
July (6-30)____________1:5.9


Luftwaffe 4./JG 54 and 5./JG 54 had similar claim trend with Airacobras In Karelian Isthmus. 18 claims in June (of which 17 between 17-20 June) but just 4 in July. They had not a single Il-2 claim after 3 July 1944.

Airacobra units 13th Air Army and PVO had in June 1944:

- 196 IAP, Kasimovo: 36 P-39 Airacobra (13th Air Army

2 GIAK (PVO)

- 102 GIAP, Levashevo: 29 P-39 Airacobra
- 103 GIAP, Gorskaya: 30 P-39 Airacobra
- 403 IAP, Uglovo: 8 P-39 Airacobra

VVS-KBF did not have a single Airacobra unit in June 1944 (true or not?)
Last edited by tramonte on 21 May 2018 03:49, edited 1 time in total.
"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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Re: Finnish Air Force claims and losses (fighter squadrons)

Post by tramonte » 20 May 2018 20:22

Sad that we dont' have more detailed FAF Airacobra claim lists. However taking a look at list of 4./JG 54 and 5./JG 54 Airacobra claims we do see the role of it as another ground attack aircraft for VVS:

17.06.44 Seevers 4./JG 54 Airacobra  81 494: at 500 m. 17.52
17.06.44 Wernicke 5./JG 54 Airacobra  01 384: at 300 m. 17.55
18.06.44 Knäbel 5./JG 54 Airacobra  91 392: at 1.500 m. 08.30
18.06.44 Tangermann Stab II./JG 54 Airacobra  91 553: at 400 m. 08.37
19.06.44 Hptm. Herbert Aloé 4./JG 54 Airacobra  91 381: at 400 m. 17.44
19.06.44 Thyben 5./JG 54 Airacobra  81 626: at 1.200 m. 20.10
19.06.44 Thyben 5./JG 54 Airacobra  81 415: at 800 m. 20.22
19.06.44 Assmann 4./JG 54 Airacobra  81 463: at 400 m. 12.40
19.06.44 Frädich 4./JG 54 Airacobra  81 491: at 800 m. 20.15
19.06.44 Grollmuß 4./JG 54 Airacobra  81 833: at 3.000 m. 20.25
19.06.44 Grollmuß 4./JG 54 Airacobra  81 462: at 500 m. 12.48
20.06.44 Quarda 4./JG 54 Airacobra  81 290: at 3.800 m. 13.10
20.06.44 Arnecke 5./JG 54 Airacobra  91 322: at 5.000 m. 15.40
20.06.44 Schlomann 4./JG 54 Airacobra  91 151: at 1.100 m. 17.35
20.06.44 Thyben 5./JG 54 Airacobra  91 323: at 500 m. 17.35
20.06.44 Koller 5./JG 54 Airacobra  91 353: at 400 m. 17.47
20.06.44 Rudorffer Stab II./JG 54 Airacobra  81 466: at 1.600 m. 15.36
29.06.44 Thyben 5./JG 54 Airacobra  91 349: at 2.500 m. 08.16

Only 7 were above 1 000 meters while total eight 500 m or lower. All the other fighters with just few exceptios were claimed above 1 000 m, majority of been 2 000 - 5 000 m. Germans had only 3 Il-2 claim on 1 000 m. These German claims are suggesting that Airacobra was at least 50% if not even more on role of ground attack aircraft like FW-190 F.

Either Airacobra units took too badly beating or then VVS/PVO just pulled them off when there was no reason/chance to support ground forces after first week of July.
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Re: Finnish Air Force claims and losses (fighter squadrons)

Post by Juha » 02 Jun 2018 21:26

Hello
interesting theory but when I went through many of the copies of the LeR 3 combat reports from June 1944 I have, in most cases ACs (P-39s) were clearly operating as fighters (escorting Il-2s or bombers, participating fighter sweeps or trying to attack FiAF bombers) and combat altitudes seems to be rather identical to those fought against Yaks or La-5s.

Juha

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Re: Finnish Air Force claims and losses (fighter squadrons)

Post by tramonte » 03 Jun 2018 10:39

Juha wrote:Hello
interesting theory but when I went through many of the copies of the LeR 3 combat reports from June 1944 I have, in most cases ACs (P-39s) were clearly operating as fighters (escorting Il-2s or bombers, participating fighter sweeps or trying to attack FiAF bombers) and combat altitudes seems to be rather identical to those fought against Yaks or La-5s.

Juha
If that's true then clearly FW-190 A's using Germans 4. and 5./JG 54 had operated more lower altitude combat than bf-109 G using Finns. And in fact Finns had relatively much more Pe-2/Il-4 claims than those LW staffelns (52 versus 6 during 17 July - 17 July). It's the only way to solve this puzzle. So far i can't find any other explanation.

These were the only LW claims (7) of non-Airacobra fighters 600 m or lower altitude:

17.06.44 Uffz. Herbert Koller 5./JG 54 Yak-9  91 382: at 500 m.
19.06.44 Ltn. Heinz Wernicke 5./JG 54 Yak-9  91 533: at 30 m.
23.06.44 Ltn. Gerhard Thyben 5./JG 54 La-5  91 122: at 600 m.
26.06.44 Ltn. Heinz Wernicke 5./JG 54 La-5  Location: 50 m.
26.06.44 Ltn. Heinz Wernicke 5./JG 54 Yak-9  4 km. ostw. Vupuri: at 400 m.
29.06.44 Ltn. Gerhard Thyben 5./JG 54 Yak-9  21 447: at 200 m. (coordinates are wrong... perhaps 81 447?)
30.06.44 Ltn. Gerhard Thyben 5./JG 54 La-5  91 345: at 600 m.
"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."

- Gaston de Pawlowski, Dans les rides du front

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Re: Finnish Air Force claims and losses (fighter squadrons)

Post by Juha » 05 Jun 2018 12:41

One way might be trying to check kills of light AA, if there are great overrepresentation of P-39s. But because according to Bykov 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th highest VVS aces claimed most of their kills while flying P-39, P-39 was clearly usually used as fighter with the VVS.


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Re: Finnish Air Force claims and losses (fighter squadrons)

Post by tramonte » 27 Jan 2020 21:11

It won't be any kind of surprise at all if just 1/3 of those claims of FAF pilots (whole Continuation War) are true. When it comes to summer 1944 it might be that just 25% of claims will meet the real VVS/PVO/VVS-KBF losses in air combat. The more hectic air battle the more over claiming.
"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."

- Gaston de Pawlowski, Dans les rides du front

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