Better Analysis of German Claims

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GregP, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,905
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    I took another shot at putting Tony Woods WWII East and West German Victory Claims into Excel and doing an analysis by pilot as well as by victim and date claimed. Thought it might give some food for thought. Check out the second and third tabs for some basic analysis.

    You can go look at Tony's files, download them ,and give it a try yourself, but the task is not simple or quick.

    If anyone does, I'd love to see a comparison with this file.

    Meanwhile, Happy Holidays to those who are celebrating them.

    - Greg
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 3
  2. Andrew Arthy

    Andrew Arthy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    Home Page:
    Hi Greg,

    Here are some of the Barkhorn claims you are missing. This is based on the work of researcher Russell Guest.

    16.05.42, Ltn. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, Mig-1, -, 06:18, 11th
    18.05.42, Ltn. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, R-5, -, 05:30, 12th
    25.05.42, Ltn. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, Il-2, -, 09:24, 13th
    26.05.42, Ltn. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, 3km E. Protoyopowka, 05:28, 14th
    26.05.42, Ltn. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, Il-2, -, 11:30, 15th
    27.05.42, Ltn. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, Mig-1, -, 08:30, 16th
    05.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, MiG 1, 04:45, 18th
    09.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, 14:52, 19th
    11.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, 09:45, 20th
    14.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, 13:55, 21st
    22.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, Kupjansk, 05:52, 22nd
    22.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, Kupjansk, 05:55, 23rd
    22.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, Kupjansk, 05:57, 24th
    22.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, Kupjansk, 06:25, 25th
    22.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, -, 11:45, 26th
    23.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, Jak-1, -, 12:55, 27th
    24.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, -, 07:48, 28th
    24.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, -, 07:52, 29th
    25.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, -, 18:05, 30th
    26.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, -, 13:05, 31st
    30.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, -, 18:05, 32nd
    30.06.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, -, 18:09, 33rd
    01.07.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, LaGG-3, -, 06:05, 34th
    01.07.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, Il-2, -, 10:07, 35th
    01.07.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, Boston III, -, 10:11, 36th
    01.07.42, Oblt. Gerhard Barkhorn, 4./JG 52, Hurricane, -, 19:04, 37th

    And some additions from Erich Rudorffer's Feindflugbuch:

    18.03.45, Major Erich Rudorffer, Stab I./JG 7, B-17, Berlin area, 10:50, 213th
    18.03.45, Major Erich Rudorffer, Stab I./JG 7, B-17, Berlin area, 11:00, 214th
    24.03.45, Major Erich Rudorffer, Stab I./JG 7, Tempest, Wesel, 09:28, 215th
    25.03.45, Major Erich Rudorffer, Stab I./JG 7, B-17, Osnabrück, 14:10, 216th
    30.03.45, Major Erich Rudorffer, Stab I./JG 7, B-17, Bremen, 15:29, 217th
    07.04.45, Major Erich Rudorffer, Stab I./JG 7, B-17, 13:51, 218th

    And a couple from 1945:

    01.03.45, N.N., I./J.G. 2, Thunderbolt, Heidelberg area, 10:07-11:30, NA AIR 20/7891
    01.03.45, N.N., I./J.G. 2, Thunderbolt, Heidelberg area, 10:07-11:30, NA AIR 20/7891
    06.03.45, N.N., IV.(Erg.)/J.G. 1, Pe-2, Pl.Qu. 52757, 07:23, NARA T-321, R-17
    06.03.45, N.N., IV.(Erg.)/J.G. 1, Airacobra, Pl.Qu. 52852, 15:35, NARA T-321, R-17
    06.03.45, N.N., III./S.G. 1, Jak-3, Pl.Qu. 4466 15:57, NARA T-321, R-17
    08.03.45, Ofw. Mischke: 43, III./S.G. 1, Jak-9, Pl.Qu. 44625, 12:50, NARA T-321, R-17
    08.03.45, Ofw. Mischke: 44, III./S.G. 1, Jak-3, Pl.Qu. 44625, 12:51, NARA T-321, R-17


    Cheers,
    Andrew A.
     
  3. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,905
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    Thanks you very much. The claims file I have is from Tony Woods' website, so I'll add these to my data base and I thank you for them. I have all the victories for Hartmann in another file, but was taking Tony's file as the known claims.

    Funny, you can find a list for Hartmann and Barkhorn, but Rall's individual victory list seems to be hard to find!

    Again, my thanks.
     
  4. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    I have found Tony's work to be very useful in trying to match a US loss in a particular area to a LW Claim. What I have found is that there are far more awards citing combat film references as the credit source far above actual losses. Then there are the supplemental lists from squadron sources, logbooks etc, to lay on another layer of claims.

    Every nation grappled with the victory credit process, but from my perspective the Germans were in a far better position to get the credit side of the ledger much closer by simply 'go look' for the crash site of claimed Allied a/c. So the 2X overclaim/credit through what many claim was the most rigorous process continues to amaze me.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  5. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,905
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    I know what you mean, Bill. It sort of amazes me, too, how the victory claims can be so far off. Then I think that if I were a combat pilot, and I saw a burning plane that I had shot at and made burn disappear over a ridge going away, I'd probably put in a claim, too, since burning planes don't usually travel very far before being overtaken by calamity. But it's still possible for the pilot to have landed or bailed out and the plane might be substantially recoverable.

    I have struggled with the concept for years since, to me anyway, if you shot a plane out of the fight and it somehow lived to fight again, you still DID shoot it out of the fight, and that should count as a victory of SOME sort. If not, then the individual fighter pilots would be sorely tempted to leave their assignments and pursue a definite kill. Everyone has their opinion on this, as we all have seen in here, but it is easy for me to see how the individual could be claiming in good faith and have it questioned by others at a later date using a strict definition of "victory" that differs from "shot it out the fight."

    The fact that these records are so hard to find and verify is just plain stupid, and it is through efforts of people like you that we eventually may arrive at a decent list of what actually happened and can show. Probably the biggest obstacle is loss of recorded information from combat damage, but records in the U.K. might be just as difficult to find even though the records may still exist. Records in the former Soviet Union may exist, but the liklihood of finding them and making sense of them gets increasingly doubtful to me. Japanese records are almost hopeless from what I read but I have never even tried to look though them as I don't read Japanese.

    This subject is a big can or worms ... but at least there are a few of us trying to make some sense of it. If we ever arrive at a single big list, it will probably be claims only since I know of no nation other than the U.S.A. that funded a study or studies of aerial victories after WWII. That doesn't preclude one or more from having done so, but it does seem that if it had been done, the results would have been known by now and made somewhat available to at least someone.

    What is funny to me is that I have files of claims from other nations but have never even seen a claims file for the U.S.A. ... only the "official victory lists" from the post-war studies. I'm sure a claims file is out there. And tghe "official victory lists" seem to not agree with one another in some cases.

    Another source of frustration for me is the concerted effort by friends of Joe Foss to have Greg Boyington's records scrutinized so hard while nobody much looked at any others including Joe Foss's claims. So effectively, they elevated Joe Foss' position while not looking at anyone else's claims. To me that is just wrong. If you aren't going to look at them all, at LEAST the ones of BOTH guys in question, then don't throw stones at a particular target.

    Until we look at a heck of a lot more than just Greg Boyington's claims, I'll keep him at 28, with a note about victories while flying in U.S. service. His AVG victories were technically not in U.S. service, but they were still victories, however many they were. I full realize that many out there don't see it that way. But if the attention was directed at a friend of theirs who they considered reliable, and nobody else ... they might change their minds rapidly.

    I'll look for your email and would be happy to acquire your book "Our Might Always" through you. I'm also looking forward to someday getting the rest of my aircraft books out of boxes and onto shelves for easy access once again.
     
  6. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    #6 drgondog, Dec 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
    Greg - the AAF did have a clear standard for an aircraft to be confirmed destroyed. Theoretically "deemed as destroyed if it were a heavier than air aircraft, manned and which one might expect to be armed, that as a result of air to air action, crashed into the ground or water, disintegrated in the air or was abandoned by the enemy pilot. Credit also was given for intentionally ramming of an enemy aircraft or maneuvering in such a way as to cause it to crash."

    IMO - the 8th AF had the most consistent process based on my own research into to combination of squadron histories, the Group Intelligence process including reducing claims at the Group level prior to passing on to the Victory Credits Board - which always included a.) the encounter report with the Claim, b.)the witness Statement Or the combat film Or both. No Witness no Film? No Claim for further review. The 9th AF had much the same process, but unfortunately when the clock struck 12 on VE Day the convening VCB disbanded and a lot of April Claims were never processed or lost.

    In ALL the other theatres VCs were sometimes recorded at squadron level, sometimes at Wing level and almost always found in the General Orders of the Command authority

    The worst, from my research was PTO and CBI, where many of the credits had no originating review and somehow were processed collectively - much the same for USN/USMC.

    The only reason I use the USAF Study 85 is that they were fairly close both in time to 1941-1945 paperwork consolidated at AFSHRC, but also the researchers devoted a great deal of time probing for supporting docs to each of the awards as well as personal history of each Ace to compile the Project Ace completed in 1960.

    The early years in PTO/CBI were particularly sparse (all services) in compiling reports detailing claims/credits. The Claim to credit ratio was IIRC about 1:1 through 1943 for all services in the West.

    By Theatre the most thorough and consistent Review processes were first the 8th, then the 9th, then the 15th, then the 9th, then the 12th/5th/10th, 13th, 7th and 14th could be lumped together as primarily recording Claim/Credits as part of the Awards review for AM, DFC, SS citations.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  7. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,905
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    #7 GregP, Jan 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
    The review process is somewhat of a mystery to me, but I confess some puzzlement at the PTO being last. The number of aircraft involved in the average conflict in the PTO was much lower, especially without a lot of radar, and it SHOULD have been MUCH more accurate than the ETO, claims-wise, by dint of fewer planes involved. But, you may be correct.

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding and you are saying that the vetting process was better in the 8th Air Force, not necessarily the claims process?

    Wording can make a BIG difference! For instance, suppose you absolutely cannot recommend a person for a job. You might say, "He cannot do the job." And ... you might say, "I cannot possibly recommend this person highly enough for the job."

    The first means one thing. The second can mean the same or the opposite depending on interpretation, making potential court cases almost useless in case of a slander lawsuit. It's like being asked whether or not you have stopped beating your wife. There IS no correct answer to a news reporter with a camera. Best to shut up, keep walking, and look neutral. Don't nod or shake your head.
     
  8. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    The Claims Process began during the after action Intelligence briefing with the pilots that completed the missing, each pilot was interviewed and asked to submit observations that related to intelligence (i.e. Saw a V-2 punching through the cloud cover at 1340 near Den Holder, or "15+ 190s seen heading east near Brunswick, on the deck but we were low on fuel so we left 'em alone" or "Cotter last seen chasing a 109 on the deck and clipping some trees at XYZ airfield - and prepare a Missing Aircrew Report") then sorted out claims by filling out Encounter Reports citing the pilot, the time and location and a paragraph or two regarding the details of the claim.

    Witnesses attested, otherwise the claim remained 'unverified unless and until the gun camera film confirmed the claim, or downgraded the Destroyed claim to Probable (in the judgment of the reviewer). Maps or sketches of airfields with a/c positioned and dialogue transpired regarding the order in which the attacks began, aircraft were damaged or seen to explode or burn, film reviewed and cross checked with the Encounter Report and map to strip duplicates or award a shared claim.

    Following the Intelligence section debriefing and collection of Encounter reports and MACRs, the Intelligence Officer prepared a Flash report for 8th Fighter Command, caused all the Intelligence ports, film, claims, maps to be packaged and delivered to 8th FC.

    The Victory Claims, along with Intelligence observations were further reviewed along with available film by the 8th Air Force Victory Credits Board for pilots victory credit award (or down grade). An upgrade from Damaged to Destroyed was rare but occasionally a report from another group citing observation matching one of the pilot encounter reports from another Group surfaced and the VC was changed. Periodically the VCB published the Victory Credits and distributed to the Fighter Group for confirmation - each containing pilot name, rank, serial number, type of aircraft, location per the Encounter Report and then the award "Destroyed, Probable, Damaged or No Award)

    That was the Process with an extraordinary amount of Vetting at each stage from multiple sources.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,905
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    Thanks, Bill.

    I see you mention Tony Woods' list. I'm SURE you know about Jan Safarik's website: Jan J. Safarik: Air Aces

    What do you think of his lists?
     
  10. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    Greg - I haven't studied Jan's ace list enough to comment.
     
  11. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,905
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    I understand, Bill. Jan's list was rather difficult to get in computer-readable format, and once I had it in text format, was rather difficult to parse into fields. It give a different result from anyone else, but Jan also has a lot of effort in it. That's why I was lamenting the relative difficulty of finding the data from supposedly available to the public.

    Your method of going through the individual combat reports probably produces the best results, but just finding all the combat reports can be a labor of years, as your two books certainly prove. Doing that for something like the Soviet air force in WWII might prove impossible even if you read Russian. Since we aren't Russian citizens, just finding the places where the data is kept could be a real task.

    My hat is off to you for your "Our Strength Always" book. Now if we can only get you interested in the rest of the fighter groups and air forces, and then with the Navy and Marines .... That would only leave the rest of the world!

    Oh yeah, and we need that next week! :)
     
  12. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    Thank you Greg. Just the 8th AF is a monumental task, and the 8th AF was light years ahead of all the other US combat orgs with respect to record keeping. The RAF was pretty good and so was the LW up to the point they destroyed much of their official records in 1945.

    What differentiated the 8th was the luxury of locating to accommodations and not having to move as our forces advanced (or retreated) - unlike PTO or MTO
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. LisaM

    LisaM New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2016
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    On average, fighter to fighter claims to actually kills were about 3:1. US bomber claims/kills were at least 20:1.

    It varied though, night fighters (on both sides) were probably much more accurate (say 1.1 -1.2 to 1?).

    Some German 'experten' were notorious (throat ache) for over claiming ...not mentioning Galland...not at all.

    Marseille was probably in the 1.2-1.5 region mainly because no one else was allowed to attack and his claims were well verified by his, circling around uselessly wasting fuel, team mates.

    Bader was in the 3:1 region easily, his big wing nonsense was notorious for over claiming. In reality they lost a heck of a lot more more planes than they shot down. In the whole 'leaning towards the enemy' period under Douglas and Mallory the RAF lost at about 4:1, a much worse ratio than the Germans did in the BoB.

    Tuck was probably in the same region as Marseille as he was a superb shot, without all the drama.
    The RAF Polish Squadrons were in the same region of accuracy as well, because they were not believed at first and were checked on.

    On the other hand some, like Milan, and some non 'experten' Luftwaffe pilots were almost certainly under counted, the quiet achievers...and the 'experten' taking those claims from their wing men.


    Then there was others like Yeager whose claims, like Bader and Galland, were ridiculous.
     
  14. msxyz

    msxyz Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I may be nitpicking, but isn't a plane that is forced to land abruptly, as it's no longer able to function, for all intent and purposes a destroyed plane? I'm not talking about a plane that is able to limp back to the nearest friendly airfield but one that is brought down immediately after receiving a damage and that, for various reasons, cannot be abandoned to its fate by its pilot/crew.

    Nowadays, with jets, crash landing a plane may be riskier than ejecting but if you have a machine that can glide at a car speed I think many pilots would rather try their fortune bringing their machines down on smooth terrain or where they think they can be rescued by friendly forces with ease rather than risking a dangerous jump off the cockpit that may end too soon against the rudder.
     
  15. Timppa

    Timppa Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Finland
    Well, it depends.
    Finnish aviation historian Hannu Valtonen has said cynically (but IMO realistically) that aerial victories are composed of two components: "air" and "victory".

    For example, after accessing the Russian archives (Valtonen, Rune Rautio) it seems that in 1944, 90% of the JG5 victories were just air.
    At the same time, 1944 Soviet summer offensive against Finland it seems "only" about two thirds of FAF victories were air.

    Sources:
    Hannu Valtonen: POHJOINEN ILMASOTA
    Suomen Ilmavoimat 1944
     
  16. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,515
    Likes Received:
    944
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Neither of these are cases of fraudulent claiming, the pilots concerned really believed that they individually had shot down the aircraft they claimed. Their combat reports are raw intelligence and it was in the analysis of this intelligence that serious errors were made. The most worrying aspect of this is why this was allowed to happen.
    The 'Big Wing' claiming was not believed at the time by other senior officers in Fighter Command, not that it did them much good. Wishful thinking by others not qualified to interpret the claiming ensured that.
    Fighter Command actually shot down somewhere slightly over 100 Luftwaffe fighters as it leaned into France, but claimed 7 times that number! This makes the claimed victory:loss ratio of about 1.75:1 look even worse as it was in fact 1:4.
    Sadly in both these cases this seeming ineptitude in claims analysis has a more sinister element to it as the ridiculous level of claiming was used to serve political ends. The over inflated figures were used to support arguments for tactics or strategy which were deeply flawed. In the long run such poor or willfully negligent analysis of raw intelligence can be extremely dangerous. It was fatal for many young Fighter Command pilots in 1941.

    There is a systematic difference in Luftwaffe over claiming. It generally benefited the pilots concerned, not their seniors, and as such the system was much more likely to be abused. The Luftwaffe was aware of this which may explain the rigorous system of verification which was supposed to be followed. It required some sort of connivance or conspiracy to defraud the system and this did happen. I believe that fraudulent claiming (of which there are proven cases) whilst rare was more prevalent in the Luftwaffe than the RAF. Erroneous claiming was endemic in both air forces.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
Loading...

Share This Page