"Horrido" by Toliver and Constable

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by renrich, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    #1 renrich, Jun 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
    Have been rereading a book I have had in my library for many years. The Bantam edition, which is what I have was published in 1979, so I think my book dates back roughly to that time. The authors are a Brit and American and the subject is the LW aces. We all know that the LW had some pilots who racked up huge totals. However, an interesting comparison is made in the book; between the American, Bob Johnson, who had 28 credits and Werner Moelders, who had 68. Johnson required 91 missions to get 28 kills. Moelders required 142 missions to get his first 28 kills. The point of this exercise was to show that the LW totals of the high scoring pilots were very credible because they flew so many missions compared to the Allied pilots. The authors go into great detail to explain the LW requirements for getting credit for a kill. I have no doubt that the LW was careful about awarding kills, but I wonder if there has ever been a careful analysis done to compare the credits given some of their high scoring pilots with the Allies' records of friendly AC actually shot down on that day. Lundstrom, in his books did a careful comparison of US and Japanese records and the results were that the credits went down substantially. An example would be, and I don't mean to denigrate the LW's pilot's skills, the day that Marseille shot down 17 British single engined fighters. Do British records reflect those shoot downs of those particular models of fighters that day in that area?

    I wonder if Hartmann's kills were actually compared with the Allies' records, assuming the Soviet records were available and accurate, thay would not almost be cut in half like Lundstrom's research in the Pacific seems to have done? Or, for that matter, do Johnson's credits square with German records for LW AC lost to enemy action that day?
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I have that book too. Its a good read.
     
  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I have that book as well - in fact the 1979 edition. I believe a few have some some slight breakdown such as missions vs kills and how many bullets expended per kill. Mike Spick I believe did some.
     
  4. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I have enjoyed the book also and it certainly gives one a different perspective about some of the actual servicemen involved in the war. The authors, because the book was written such a short time after the war, got to know personally a good many of the LW aces. Those men were fighting for an evil regime but they all seemed to be good people.

    Good people working for politicians that perhaps have shady motives is maybe not that unusual. Just finished reading a book, "The Maverick War" by a fellow named Schultz. The book is about the AVG. Not extremely well researched but he claims that the FDR administration was hatching a plan to somehow bomb Japan in the 1939-40 time frame to force them to leave China alone. The plan went into the round file because the military said that the US was no way ready for a war in the Pacific with Japan. He also indidcates that FDR was pretty sure that the embargo on oil and gasoline would force the Japanese to start a war in the Pacific which would in turn allow the US to come to the aid of Britain. An interesting, to me, point in the book was that one group of AVG pilots and ground crewman going to the Orient on a Dutch steamer were escorted as far as Singapore by the CAs Northhampton and Salt Lake City. Tex Hill mentions that fact on the History Channel. My uncle was aboard the SLC and I bet he wondered why two USN CAs would be escorting a Dutch steamer in the summer of 1941.
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I have this book as well, and I agree it would be nice if somebody compares the records from both side. I know this was doen at least partailly in the PTO by David Shores(?) I believe.
     
  6. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    at the time the book was and still is the classic read though new information with the advent of entrance into Archiv's from all over the world have debunked some of the LW scores including Herr Hartmann's unreal 300 plus. At present if the book was not fallen apart I would use it as a door stop .................. I have not picked it up in at least 20 years and do not plan to.

    Sadly one wonders if it will ever be re-written to provide more accurate details for the present reading audience, though with the increase in individual LW histories that has been the best way to go and yes spendy.
     
  7. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    #7 renrich, Jun 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
    I have read "Bloody Shambles" by Shores and he does indeed get pretty specific comparing Japanese day to day records with the Allied records. I find that the Shores' book, which is a good one, seems to agree pretty well with Lundstrom, "The First Team" and his later book about the Guadalcanal Campaign as far as the amount of overclaiming by both sides, not necessarily on purpose.

    Thanks for chiming in, Erich. It would be great if the book could be rewritten with more accuracy. As an aside, I saw once a TV program that had an interview with Galland which was partially taken while he was flying his Bonanza. He had an unlit cigar in his mouth and it may have been my overactive imagination but I was impressed with his nonchalant instrument scan and what seemed to be his casual scan of the surrounding sky, all the while answering questions. Checking six! Old habits die hard.
     
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