LW vs 9th AF over Normandy

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by kettbo, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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    Some background
    1st, 92 degrees F here today in the Tacoma area....quite warm for us. Sitting under a ceiling fan, waiting for the breezes so I can possibly be cool and get to sleep.

    LW vs 9th AF over Normandy
    I have seen the OOBs, 9th AF has a lot of P47s, some P-38s, and B26 IIRC.
    ok, so I know the LW plan was to move lots of the fighter strength to France to fight the invasion. The reality was far fewer fighter arrived then planned so the results were not enough to severely change the outcome of the battle. I read in Caldwell's JG26 that after a week or two and order went out to remove bomb racks (most were sent to bomb the invaders).

    I'm looking at this part of the greater conflict to make a miniatures game. Something above skirmish so we can get away from the debating over Who turns tighter, top mph, etc.. Concentrate on crew, plans, tactics. Looking at a German Staffel at a remote field trying to do as good as it can.
    The German player will have to juggle available planes, fuel, pilots etc....(some random events). The good news is that at low altitude, the P47s the American will commonly be flying are not at their best.

    I'll ask a few questions, please help out

    1. The Germans get Bf109G6. But not the G6 of 1943, some (not sure what percent) would have U2 GM1 or U3 MW50 or even the G6/AS and some of these planes would have U4 30mm Mk 108 in the nose. Weissenberger flew a G5/AS from what I recall 1/JG5. I know the Bf109G14 went into production around the time of the invasion so they can filter in later in the summer. So, the question, What would be a good breakdown on which Gustavs were flying? I understand some groups were 'heavy' with 20mm cannon pods

    2. Could a single Staffel support its own operations from a forward strip? Or, would a Gruppe field be more common, or something like two staffels to a small dirt patch?

    3. Pretty sure the ground crew mounted as many weapons as possible for strip AAA defense, but what about a detachment of Luftwaffe FLAK, 20s, quad 20s or 37mm. Cannot recall seeing this info anywhere.

    4. When did the Americans start moving 9th AF aircraft across the channel to Normandy?

    5. Early June, which P47D was the one standard model? Wiki says D-25s May of '44 deliveries delivery to combat units. I understand paddle blades and methanol water injection was spring of 44. So 9th AF P-47 squadrons, what were they flying on D-Day through Sept?

    whew!
     
  2. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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    BUMP
    anybody have some helping answers?
     
  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Don't know if this helps with some of your questions but in prep for an old thread I was doing, I compliled this. It might help explain some of the situation.

    6 June 1944

    The Focke-Wulfs of II./JG 1, based at Stormede, Germany received their transfer code and at 1625 hours thirty-two Fw 190s took off, led by Oblt. Georg-Peter Eder and headed for France with a planned refueling at Montdidier. After arriving at the refueling airfield, the operations were delayed and the Fw 190s were forced to stay overnight.

    At JG 26 Headquarters at Lille-Nord, Obstlt. Priller was given the command to move the I and III Gruppe to the JG 2 airfields at Creil and Cormeilles. But the Gruppe’s staff, loaded onto trucks, started heading to pre-planned airfields around Reims and Nancy, in the opposite direction. Finally reaching the trucks by radio, Obstlt. Priller ordered them to stop. Having no further orders himself, Obstlt. Priller and his wingman, Uffz. Heinz Wodarczyk climbed into their Fw 190s and took off for the beaches.
    After landing at Creil, Obstlt. Priller met with Major Bühligen, Kommodore of JG 2. After several contacts with 5th Jagddivision Headquarters, Priller ordered the II Gruppe north to Guyancourt and the I and III Gruppen of JG 26 to stay at Creil and join with I /JG 2 until III /JG 2 arrived. After landing at Creil, Obstlt. Priller met with Major Bühligen, Kommodore of JG 2. After several contacts with 5th Jagddivision Headquarters, Priller ordered the II Gruppe north to Guyancourt and the I and III Gruppen of JG 26 to stay at Creil and join with I /JG 2 until III /JG 2 arrived. The aircraft of III./JG 26 reached the JG 2 base around 0930 hours and began flying missions around noon. They achieved no victories nor sustained any damage or losses.

    Stationed at Cormeilles-en-Vexin sixty kilometers from the coast, I./JG 2 was nearest to the Allied beachheads. ..Major Bühligen had only I Gruppe available for missions. The planes of III Gruppe were enroute from Brittany and the II Gruppe was in Germany rebuilding. Around noon, the Focke-Wulfs of I./JG 2 with Major Bühligen leading, flew a few missions over the Orne Estuary. Soon afterwards the first important clashes with Allied aircraft took place. Major Bühligen claimed a P-47 near the Orne estuary, JG 2’s first Normandy victory, in this area. By the end of the day Major Bühligen’s JG 2 claimed three P-47s, five P-51s and nine Typhoons for the loss of nine Fw 190s. Among the P-51s lost by the Allies was an entire flight of Mustangs from USAAF 4th FG that were bounced by the Focke-Wulfs while attacking ground targets in the Rouen area.

    Around 1500 hours I./JG 26 and I./JG 2 began flying missions over the Normandy beachhead. A major battle took place when ground-attack Typhoons were encountered near Caen. Four of them fell in a few minutes fight. Two more Typhoons were brought down by evening. Uffz. Hans-Werner Winter of 3./JG 26 was shot down and killed by German Flak near Abbeville. Two Fw 190s, Fhr. Gerhard Schulwitz and Uffz. Friedrich Schneider of 2./JG 26 were shot down by flak from the Allied naval armada and crash landed but managed to return the next day. Later, fighters from 4./JG 26 were loaded with 21cm rockets and led by Lt. Kemethmuller, launched an attack on land targets.


    The crews of II./JG 26 led by Hptm. Neumann, started the day badly. Taking off from Biarritz to Vrox, Lt. Bleich was caught in Lt. Glunz’s propwash and crashed, suffering slight injuries. After reaching Vrox they flew in two formations to Guyancourt. One formation arrived at 1115 hours and sat the rest of the day out, waiting for ground crew. The second formation, containing eight Fw 190s led by Lt. Glunz, headed for Cormeilles. Enroute they bounced a flight of USAAF P-51s attacking grounds targets near Rouen. The Mustangs turned into the attack and two boxed in Uffz. Erich Linder and shot him down. He parachuted and landed with slight injuries. Both sides soon broke apart with no further losses and at 1700 hours Lt. Glunz’s formation reached Guyancourt after servicing at Cormeilles.


    After 1200 hours Gruppenkommandeur Major Herbert Huppertz and his III./JG 2 arrived and began flying missions with Major Bühligen and I Gruppe. Major Kurt Bühligen and Major Huppertz participated together when twenty-nine Fw 190s attacked at least twenty-four Thunderbolts of US 365 FG and Typhoons of RAF No.183 Sqd. The Germans claimed to have shot down six Allied fighters - including two Typhoons in less than two minutes by Huppertz - against a single loss. During another mission late on 6 June, Huppertz engaged the numerically superior formations of Allied aircraft which by that time swarmed the whole sky in the area. During this single mission, Huppertz was entangled in combat with several Allied fighter units, involving both Mustangs and Thunderbolts, but in spite of all odds he claimed a Mustang and a Thunderbolt. Thus, Huppertz had scored five victories in a single day.


    It was already dark when the JG 2 pilots landed at 21.30 hours. The last sortie of the day had brought ten kills for no loss. Overall, the unit shot down eighteen Allied aircraft (the entire Luftwaffe claiming twenty-four on that day), JG 2's most successful day in the entire campaign in Normandy.
     
  4. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    7 June 1944
    Under the German code name Drohende Gefahr West ("Imminent Danger West"), the Luftwaffe started to move a large percentage of its fighter forces forward to airfields closer to the Normandy beaches. The movement had been delayed one day due to the widespread belief that the Normandy invasion was a feint. The Germans expected the real invasion to take place at the Pas de Calais. Less than two weeks later, those same units--bloody and largely decimated--returned to Germany to shore up the defense of the Reich.


    The thirty-two Fw 190s of II./JG 1 took off in the morning but found that their intended airfield had been bombed and instead flew to LeMans and landed on the famous racetrack. During the flight the fighters of 7./JG 51 were attacked by P-51 Mustangs and lost Lt. Johann Brunnler near Chateaudun. The makeshift airfield at LeMans was chaos as planes from I./JG 1 and II./JG 53 were also flying in. Altogether about 100 Fw 190s and Bf 109s were on the airfield. While at LeMans, II Gruppe flew three sorties during the day but made no enemy contact. Four aircraft of the Gruppe were lost due to landing accidents.


    At around 1000 hours about ten Bf 109s of III./JG 1, commanded by Hptm. Karl-Heinz Weber, were en route to the frontlines. But northeast of Paris they were attacked from above by thirty Allied fighters and Hptm. Weber, the new Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 1, crashed to his death at Pontoise, north of Paris. Apart from Weber, one more III./JG 1 Bf 109 was shot down in this combat. Hptm Alfred Grislawski was named acting Gruppenkommandeur.


    The three Gruppen and Priller’s Geschwaderstab of JG 26 flew strafing attacks on infantry footholds or freie jagden from dawn until dusk. In the morning Hptm. Staiger and I Gruppe bounced a flight of P-47 Thunderbolts from USAAF 362 FG 379 FS near Falaise and shot down four of the Allied warplanes. But the Gruppe lost two pilots when Uffz. Hans-Georg Becker and Uffz. Helmut Huttig, both of 1st Staffel, dropped into cloud cover over the Normandy beachhead and disappeared. They never returned to Cormeilles. Pilots from I./JG 26 claimed two more Mustangs during the day. At 1350 hours Obstlt. Priller shot down a Mustang north of Caen and at 1900 hours he downed a P-47 near Evreux bringing his total to ninety-eight victories.


    The aircraft and pilots of II Gruppe of JG 26 were still grounded at Guyancourt waiting for their aircrews to arrive although one pilot of the Gruppe did claim a Mustang for the day, Fw. Zimmermann of 8 Staffel downing a RAF No 129 Squadron Mustang on a morning reconnaissance mission near Argentan.. But the ground staff of II Gruppe were also busy. The ground personnel were in a truck convoy fighting its way to the airfield through army traffic and Allied fighter bomber attacks when Ogfr. Erwin Mayer, a gunner with the II Gruppe’s Flakkompanie, was credited with the destruction of a Mustang while on the road.


    The fighters of III Gruppe of JG 26 flew a morning mission that cost the Gruppe two Messerschmitts shot down without injury to the pilots. The Gruppe continued to Paris and landed at Villacoublay-Nord airfield.
     
  5. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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    Nice answer, thanks for posting! Great info on Day 1. Am sure 'mass confusion' is an understatement

    I had bought a paperback on P47 ground attack squadron operations a few years back, left it on the plane back to WA State.
    Trying to think of the title, sure most of what I seek re P47 and continental bases is in that book
     
  6. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Sorry, I'm a complete idiot when it comes to USAAF/RAF stuff but a little sharper on the LW stuff. :)
     
  7. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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    Have been looking for a picture, found it in Osprey P-47 THUNDERBOLT VS Bf109G/K, p42. (Osprey is usually the LAST place to go IMHO). Anyway, shows a fwd ftr strip, groundcrew wearing helmets. P-47D-16 per the caption 378thFS/362nd FG
    that pic sets the image of what I want in the game

    earlier missed where you posted June 7th.
     
  8. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    NJACO, how did the LW claims compare to the allied losses as documented?
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Germany had the best light flak during WWII and they had plenty of it. Hordes of Allied aircraft ensured German flak gunners received plenty of practise. You can count on almost every German airfield and army division having 2cm and 3.7cm light flak plus radar.

    1944 German light flak production.
    Production Stats on German Tube-fired Weapons 1939-1945
    5,041 x Heer 2cm Flak 38. (single barrel)
    42,688 x Luftwaffe 2cm Flak 38.
    573 x Heer 2cm Flakvierling (quad barrel).
    361 x Heer 2cm Flak Scotti and Breda (Italian made).
    3,141 x Heer 2cm MG151/20 Drilling (triple barrel).
    559 x Heer 3.7cm Flak 36.
    776 x Heer 3.7cm Flak 43.
    142 x Heer 3.7cm Flakzwilling 43 (twin barrel).
    3,620 x Luftwaffe 3.7cm Flak 36.
    4,684 x Luftwaffe 3.7cm Flak 43.
     
  11. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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    appreciate the info Dave. Curious how AAA is allocated, X per JG consisting of....
    pretty curious what trickles down to some of the smaller strips the Germans were forced to use in France after the invasion
    pretty sure at least a battery of 4-6 guns but looking for documented info
     
  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Army divisions have a TOE which includes light flak units. For example 12th (SS) Panzer Divsion had these flak assets during 1944:

    SS Flak Abteilung 12.
    .....3 x Heavy flak battery. 2 x towed 8.8cm plus 2 x Sd.Kfz.7/1 (flakvierling) per battery.
    .....1 x Light flak battery. 4 x towed 3.7cm flak per battery.

    Battle Group HJ04.
    .....6 x 2cm Flak38 with light truck tow vehicles.

    Battle Group HJ05.
    .....6 x Sd.Kfz.10/4 (2cm flak mounted on Sd.Kfz.10 light tractor)

    Battle Group HJ07.
    .....2 x Sd.Kfz.251/21 (MG151 triple mount on Sd.Kfz.251 APC).

    Battle Group HJ12.
    .....3 x Sd.Kfz.251/21.

    Battle Group HJ15.
    .....2 x 2cm Flak38 and light truck tow vehicles.

    In addition German tanks, APCs and quite a few other vehicles had a MG34 or MG42 LMG on a high angle mount suitable for use against aircraft.

    Air Force flak normally belongs to the air base. Not to geschwader operating from that airfield. How much they have depends on airfield importance. A temporary forward area airfield with grass / dirt runway(s) might have only 2cm flak. A permanent airfield with hangers and paved runways will have radar, searchlights, 8.8cm heavy flak plus 3.7cm and/or 2cm light flak and defensive weapons are likely to be in bunkers / flak pits.
     
  13. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The P-47D-23 and 25 was arriving in theatre in June. Extra fuel version -25 going to 8th AF first so the 56th, 78th 353rd, 356th were first priority.

    Luftwaffe claims per Tony Wood were 1,8:1 overclaim on Allied fighters.
     
  14. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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    thanks for the info drgondog

    Dave, well-versed at TO&E type stuff. Twenty years, US Cavalry

    This FLAK belonging to the LW, new territory
    In miniatures gaming, the scenario designers generally follow your outline, HVT with lots down to minor targets getting a little.
    Wondering if there is anyone with specific knowledge. Maybe a pre strafing briefing for a popular airfield exists
     
  15. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    I just did a re-check. What I stated was based on LW credits, including supplemental info provided by Prien, et al. When taking victory credits only, and including 8th AF fighters RTB and written off, the overclaim was closer to 1.5:1
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Here's some information on Luftwaffe flak in Norway.
    German flak units in Norway

    Attacking Tromso with aircraft almost looks like suicide!
    158 x 8.8cm.
    73 x 3.7cm.
    332 x 2cm.
    .....4,893 Luftwaffe flak personnel assigned to Tromso area.
    .....Norway contained 25 radar stations including those used by coast defense guns for shell spotting.
     
  17. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Some good information at this link.
     
  18. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Thanks Bill. I was checking Tony Woods lists as well when Syscom asked and ya beat me to it. :)

    Contrary to what many believe, the LW did fly several missions during the day of 6 June - mainly jabo attacks from SG 4 and SG 103 and converted jabos of the two JG, mainly JG 2 and JG 26. The total defensive effort of 5th Jagddivision amounted to 121 combat sorties, all undertaken by the fighters of JG 2 and JG 26. Fliegerkorps II reported fifty-one sorties from SG 4.
     
  19. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    IIRC SG 103 is the formation of Ju 87s that the 355th destroyed on the way to the beachead. Dad got one of them for his first kill - on his first day of combat during WWII. I seem to recall it was a double hit because the pilot/gunner force was drawn from instructors.
     
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