LUFTWAFFE GROUND KILLS

Discussion in 'Aircraft Requests' started by fubar57, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Did the Luftwaffe include ground kills as part of a pilot's score? I thought this was only an Eighth Air Force thing. I found a photo of Walter Oesaus's 109E, Werknr.1559 that show 39 kill markings on the rudder, 14 pointing downwards. The caption says that the downward pointing ones indicated ground kills. Thoughts?

    Geo
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I've seen various explanations for the downward pointing victory bars, but the 'ground kill' has been the most popular one.
     
  3. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    That's the common one alright.
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Any stories of this from German pilots or ground crew?
     
  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Could it have indicated a visual grounding or impact of the enemy aircraft?
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The normal alternative explanation revolves around abschuss - 'shoot out' - were an aircraft has been separated from the formation and at least damaged. Seems to be roughly equivalent to the Allied 'damaged' or 'probable', or somewhere in between.
    But virtually all sources I've seen appear to agree that it's an aircraft destroyed on the ground, and the 'arrow' is often a different colour to those used for aerial victories.
     
  7. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Here's the markings in question.

    Capture.JPG

    Geo
     
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  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    As it's a Bf109E, it's very possible that those presumed 'ground' kills were in the early part of the war, that is, from September 1939 to maybe May or June 1940. This would certainly have allowed opportunities to destroy, or claim destroyed, Polish, French, Belgian, Dutch and RAF aircraft on the ground. At a guess, I'd say the victory markings were an unofficial, personal tally.
    I think I might have some more info somewhere, and possibly some clearer pics showing dates and national markings on the abschuss zeichen, not necessarily of this aircraft, which might add something - if I can find which book(s) they're in.
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Confusion here with 'herrausschuss' or separation, one of the categories used in the points system which evolved on the western front in the face of the US bomber offensive.

    A pilot got point credits for an 'abschuss' or shooting down/destruction depending on the type. 3 for a four engine bomber, 2 for a twin and 1 for a single engine type. For a 'herrausshuss' the scores were 2,1 and 0. For 'EntgĆ¼ltige Vernichtung', or final destruction the points were 1, 1/2 and 0.

    Downward pointing arrows usually represent a ground kill.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    You're right Steve - lack of sleep caused me to type Abschuss, rather than Herrausschuss.
     
  11. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I know the feeling :)

    BTW the fact that many more points were awarded for separating an aircraft from its formation than for its final destruction demonstrates the effectiveness of the US defensive formations in the eyes of the Luftwaffe. The final destruction of an isolated (and often damaged) bomber was rated a relatively simple task.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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