AA-cruiser Niobe

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redcoat
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Post by redcoat » 08 Dec 2004 23:35

Christian W. wrote:I thought so. Only one aircraft shot down was yust impossible.
Why?
Its a well known fact that large over-claims by ships and coastal batteries(on both sides) was a common problem during WW2 (wreaks on land could be counted, those at sea couldn't)
While the Soviets might over-claim, and reduce their losses for propaganda reasons in the media, They wouldn't alter their unit losses reports to headquarters. It would cause a logistic nightmare :roll:

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 09 Dec 2004 00:16

Soviet method was to move "extra losses" to next days. There are several examples that Finns have for sure shot down a Soviet plane although Soviet archives don't know any cases at all for that date but it is listed one or a few days later. For example Finnish C.-F. Geust has told about that. I don't know how common that was. Maybe it was just a mistake or negligence?

Kotka was rather heavily protected by anti-aircraft artillery. It was one of the three Finnish towns (other were Helsinki and Viipuri [Viborg]) which were protected by Anti-Aircraft Regiment and actually had "the densiest" anti-aircraft protection in Finland compared to the protected area. AA Rgt 2 had two AA Battalions and a few separate AA batteries and three Searchlight Batteries as well as two Radio Measuring [= radar] Sections. Also Niobe had Würzburg[-Riese?] radar set. In the summer 1944 regiment had 34 heavy guns (75 mm - 88 mm), 22 medium guns (40 mm Bofors), 34 light guns (20 mm) and AAMGs.

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Christian W.
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Post by Christian W. » 09 Dec 2004 00:25

Seven shot down by a ship like Niobe sounds reasoneable. One shot down? No.

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redcoat
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Post by redcoat » 09 Dec 2004 00:55

Christian W. wrote:Seven shot down by a ship like Niobe sounds reasoneable. One shot down? No.
Slow bi-planes attack the heavily armed battleship Bismarck on 3 seperate occasions in day-light, none were shot down !
Does that sound reasonable 8)
Sometimes in real-life, 'sounds reasonable' isn't an accurate guide to the truth :wink:

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Christian W.
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Post by Christian W. » 09 Dec 2004 05:03

Dont worry. I know that some where shot down in the case of Niobe.

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Post by RoW » 09 Dec 2004 10:54

Harri wrote:Soviet method was to move "extra losses" to next days. There are several examples that Finns have for sure shot down a Soviet plane although Soviet archives don't know any cases at all for that date but it is listed one or a few days later. For example Finnish C.-F. Geust has told about that. I don't know how common that was. Maybe it was just a mistake or negligence?
Oh, yes... Have you any evidences except these empty speculations? I repeat again and again - documentary lists of losses of Soviet air units are huge, absolutely abnormal. Who need this nonsence - to transfer some losses on another day. These documents were written not for propoganda, but for analysis and long time were inaccessible in closed archives. Until now I didn't see any real arguments why Soviets can't lose less than 9 planes - only "it's impossible because it's impossible" or "I can't believe".

P.S.:This operation was the only operation of Soviet naval aviation during the war with long planning and co-ordination of so many units. I think is possible to collect names of all Soviet pilots who participated in this attack.

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Christian W.
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Post by Christian W. » 09 Dec 2004 14:19

This operation was the only operation of Soviet naval aviation during the war with long planning and co-ordination of so many units.

So it was, yet the fools thought that Niobe was Ilmarinen. :roll:

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Post by RoW » 09 Dec 2004 16:02

Christian W. wrote:This operation was the only operation of Soviet naval aviation during the war with long planning and co-ordination of so many units.

So it was, yet the fools thought that Niobe was Ilmarinen. :roll:
Firstly, not Ilmarinen, but Väinämöinen, they knew about the wreck of Ilmarinen. Secondly, they have photos of this ships still from Winter War and reconnaissance officers showed what this is absolutely another ship. But general-lieutenant M.I. Samohin, commander of Baltic naval aviation, said what it can't be anything except Väinämöinen. Anyway name of the ship couldn't change anything in planning of this attack - I think if it was Väinämöinen, result would be the same. And please, don't be rude, I think you personally have not shot down any plane and have not sunk any ship.

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 09 Dec 2004 17:58

RoW,

Thank you very much for the info and specially about the plan and the pic from the attack.
This subject has a special interest for me as my grandfather was one of the eyewittnesses of the sinking of Niobe. He served at the nearby Kymi airfield AAA and at that 160844 day he was on a leave at Kotka, and happened to be at a watchtower during the attack. He told me that the "Bostons" torpedoed Niobe. I think it was only after the Soviet archives began to open we found out about the skip-bombing.
I'm a bit busy now, but I try to comment more about the facts from the Finnish side that I have read.
Few things: You wrote (as I too have earlier understood) that the A-20G's carried one 1000kg FAB (phosphorous?) bomb each, but what does it "say" at the plan? My Russian language skills are non-existent, but is there a mention about 8 such bombs?
What were the escorts of the Il-2's ? LaGG-3's ?
Also, do you know what is the other ship at the plan between Niobe and Kotka island?

Image

Regards, Juha

P.S. Christian, in all friendship, I admire your patriotism, but...please don't let it blind you

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Christian W.
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Post by Christian W. » 09 Dec 2004 18:48

Row, Im well aware of the sinking of Ilmarinen but since they were sister ships ( and I was a bit hurry when I wrote that ), i had the name Ilmarinen mixed with Väinämöinen. For this I apologise but Im well aware that they thought it was Väinämöinen. :)

P.S. Christian, in all friendship, I admire your patriotism, but...please don't let it blind you

And what is this supposed to mean if I may ask? How am I patriotic? It was not a Finnish ship that was sunk, but an Kriegsmarine-German ship.

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Post by RoW » 09 Dec 2004 21:25

He told me that the "Bostons" torpedoed Niobe. I think it was only after the Soviet archives began to open we found out about the skip-bombing.
Soviet command considered use of torpedos, but declined this way because of little depth in the harbour.?
Few things: You wrote (as I too have earlier understood) that the A-20G's carried one 1000kg FAB (phosphorous?) bomb each, but what does it "say" at the plan?
I'm sorry, it's my mistake - of course 2 FAB-1000 on each plane in this operation. Usually bomb loading was only 1 FAB-1000. FAB (fugasnaya aviatsionnaya bomba) - it's standard simple bomb.
What were the escorts of the Il-2's ? LaGG-3's ?
Firstly, I corrected data at first page about units which attacked Niobe (sorry, but Soviet air units have very disorderly and chaotic numeration, existed large number of units, which had the same names, but system of renaming is absolutely anti-logical - it's impossible to remember all). For me it's very interesting moment too. I have different data, but majority of sources writes about La-5. Usually units from one division (51st MTAP, 12th Guards BAP KBF and 21st IAP KBF were in structure of 8th MTAD) completed missions, but this mission was too wide and 1st Guards IAD KBF and 11th ShAD also took part in operation. Units of 1st Guards IAD KBF, for example 11th IAP KBF had mixed equipment - LaGG-3 and La-5. I think it's possible, what during operation squadrons were mixed. Then LaGG-3 probably were in escort of Il-2, but La-5 were first planes which appeared over Kotka for cleaning the air.
Also, do you know what is the other ship at the plan between Niobe and Kotka island?
But this is real over-claim! Pilots of second pair of A-20 claimed what they also have sunk big transport ship. But on photos of Kotka harbour during the attack and after the attack I didn't see any transport ship.

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 09 Dec 2004 23:17

RoW wrote:Oh, yes... Have you any evidences except these empty speculations? I repeat again and again - documentary lists of losses of Soviet air units are huge, absolutely abnormal. Who need this nonsence - to transfer some losses on another day. These documents were written not for propoganda, but for analysis and long time were inaccessible in closed archives. Until now I didn't see any real arguments why Soviets can't lose less than 9 planes - only "it's impossible because it's impossible" or "I can't believe".
What "empty speculation" and "nonsense"? If you question C.-F. Geust's research then I can only wonder. I understand Soviet files are huge because I can hardly handle Finnish units and there were minimal number of Finnish units and losses compared to Soviet ones.

I understand also that these were not made for propaganda reasons but since planes which were shot down in Finland (wrecks found and pilots either killed or alive) are not found from the Soviet files or are found usually one or more days later there must be some reason. I have not questoned any figures in this case, I have just told that Soviet numbers are not quite accurate in average level.
RoW wrote:P.S.:This operation was the only operation of Soviet naval aviation during the war with long planning and co-ordination of so many units. I think is possible to collect names of all Soviet pilots who participated in this attack.
I think so too. Besides I think this (if not already handled by C.-F. Geust and his co-writers?) will be for sure the subject of one of his future releases.

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Post by RoW » 10 Dec 2004 17:17

I'm sorry, Harri, I just misinterpreted you... I respect C.-F. Geust, because he don't neglect to work in Russian archives, and I am agree with you, but I think it's wrong to generalize until "...Soviet numbers are not quite accurate in average level" - every case of uncoincidence must be investigated separately. For Soviets this operation was special and I think it was correctly documented (but my opinion can cut into reality).

P.S.: It will be extremely interesting to read C.-F. Geust about Niobe! Do you already have any information about that?

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 10 Dec 2004 18:09

Christian,

What I ment, was that "just impossible", "not reasonable", "I know" are not very strong back-ups for the Finnish-German AAA claims "against" the Soviet archive information.

RoW,
http://rafiger.de/Homepage/Artgallery/Historic02.htm
that Christian earlier posted, is partially based on C.-F. Geust written "Red Stars" book

Regards, Juha

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 10 Dec 2004 18:35

RoW wrote:I'm sorry, Harri, I just misinterpreted you...
No need to apologies RoW, I too red some of your posts rather hastily... :lol:
RoW wrote:I respect C.-F. Geust, because he don't neglect to work in Russian archives, and I am agree with you, but I think it's wrong to generalize until "...Soviet numbers are not quite accurate in average level" - every case of uncoincidence must be investigated separately.
OK. But I have a rather low confidence on the accuracy of Soviet numbers. On the other hand I can't either say that German and Finnish figures would be correct for sure. All war time figures contain at least some degree of inaccuracies.
RoW wrote:For Soviets this operation was special and I think it was correctly documented (but my opinion can cut into reality).
I can't oppose because I think you know this case much better than I do.
RoW wrote:P.S.: It will be extremely interesting to read C.-F. Geust about Niobe! Do you already have any information about that?
Unfortunately I don't have any information but Winter War activities of the Soviet Air Force or operations of Air Force of Red Banner Baltic Fleet during the Continuation War would be logical after his latest Red Stars 5 book which handled Air Force of Red Banner Baltic Fleet during the Winter War. And like Juha said C.-F. Geust has already wrote about this case earlier, just don't remember in which book.

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