March 3rd 1945 - Was This The Last Gasp Of The LW Nightfighters?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by syscom3, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Anyone know the details for this? And was this the last big victory they had?
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    14/15 March 1945. Lutzenkendorf oil refinery.
    18 RAF aircraft lost.

    15/16 March 1945. Hagen.
    10 RAF aircraft lost.

    16/17 March 1945. Nurenberg.
    24 RAF aircraft lost.
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    #3 syscom3, Mar 6, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
    Thanks Dave!
     
  4. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    all through March was a hell hole for the luftwaffe and B.Command sys. the date for Unternehmen Gisela was March 3/4 45 an intruder raid on the UK covering the landing bombers and shooting up anything they can find. I have a ton of info on this raid. . . . minumum of 16 bombers lost possibly up to 30, many damaged. Here is a brief exerpt and I have not listed all the missions and defensive tactics-claims/kills mentioned for March of 1945.

    March 5/6, 45: 16 bombers lost

    March 7/8, 45: 37 Bombers lost probably more.

    March 12/13, 45: 3 Bombers lost

    March 14/15, 45 another op I have much info on. 16 Bombers lost minimum.

    March 15/16, 45: 13 Bombers lost

    March 16/17, 45 another op with much in my data files. This was a two-pronged attack. 38 Bombers lost minimum.

    March 20/21, 45 13 Bombers minimum lost.

    from this time period till the end of March 1945 Kurt Welters merry band of 262's was quite active against BC Mossies both of the LSNF and the Mossie NF units
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Too late to matter. Germany should have been conducting these raids on a regular basis from mid 1943 onward using the Me-410A in the intruder role.
     
  6. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    II./KG 51 used the Me 410 on several occassions at night over England. Under the small fry Hitlers orders NJG 2 was removed from it's successful sorties over England in 1941 using the Ju 88C variants as Fernenachtjagd. the Ju 88 G-6 would of been better suited and the continuation of this type of nightly raids really would of brought havoc to England albeit there own initiation of personal defense with more Beau and Mossie NF's in defensive mode.
     
  7. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    What happened on March 7/8?

    37 losses is amazing.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I'm under the impression the Me-410 was designed for this type mission, before it was diverted to daytime bomber interception.
     
  9. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    41 losses actually.

    From the RAF Bomber Command war diaries (used to be available online):

    7/8 March 1945:

    526 Lancasters and 5 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3, 6 and 8 Groups raided Dessau. 18 Lancasters lost, 3.4 per cent of the force. This was another devastating raid on a new target in Eastern Germany with the usual town centre, residential, industrial and railway areas all being hit.

    256 Halifaxes and 25 Lancasters of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups attempted to attack the Deutsche Erdoel refinery at Hemmingstedt, near Heide, with little success. 4 Halifaxes and 1 Lancaster lost.

    234 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitos of No 5 Group carried out an accurate attack on the oil refinery at Harburg. 14 Lancasters lost. No 189 Squadron, from Fulbeck, lost 4 of its 16 Lancasters on the raid. One local report states that a rubber factory was seriously damaged as well as the oil targets.

    80 Mosquitos to Berlin, 10 to Frankfurt, 9 to Münster and 5 to Hannover, 56 RCM sorties, 43 Mosquito patrols, 15 Halifaxes and 5 Lancasters minelaying off Eckemforde and Flensburg. 4 aircraft were lost - 2 Halifaxes and 1 Fortress of No 100 Group and 1 Mosquito from the Berlin raid.

    Total effort for the night: 1,276 sorties, 41 aircraft (3.2 per cent) lost.

    Looks like an all out effort with unusually heavy losses. German night fighters had several successful nights in March, as previously noted by Eric.

    I count 15 raids with 1,000 + bombers. Smallest loss on these nights was 9 aircraft from 1,409 sorties, on the Dresden raid.
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Jabberwocky; thanks for the info.

    Could you post the info for the other raids in March where their were heavy losses?
     
  11. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    one of the probs facing LW claims/kills is the shooting down of the bomber and the LW night fighter where the bomber was never claimed to have been hit by the radio'd crew. having the exact ratio of claims to actual kills was a rariety in day as well as night operations.

    E ~
     
  12. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Erich, at this stage in the war, I would suspect that most of the LW radar net was not working efficently due to the loss in ground stations throughout Germany.

    Is this true? Any comments?
     
  13. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    What I find interesting in this period is that the RAF daylight raids into Germany had fewer losses than the night raids.

    Over a three day period 11/12/13th March on raids to Essen, Dortmund and Wuppertal 2,541 sorties were launched and the losses were 5 aircraft. 0.2%
     
  14. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Glider: you only had about 5 different LW day fighter Jagedgeschwaders, while the bulk were fighting on the Ost front. truly the only real JG scoring in the spring of 45 was JG 7 with the 262. Day fighter JG 300 and JG 301 doing work on both sides of the front were getting slaughtered daily.

    Sys: Döberitz bei Berlin was one of the stations still functioning along with those in Denmark and north Germany so the interior infrastructure was still on some sort of normalicy. prob as with the day fighters was lack of fuels and the ever present Allied fighter bomber attacks on airfields.
    As to radars still be ing developed within the LW arsenal yes they were working and getting hammered by the foil strips of window. more Mossie NF's to hamper the existing and flyable LW nf's did not help. So yes the area of coverage in all respects was being diminished almost on a daily basis
     
  15. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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  16. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I should have been more clear. I found it interesting that the RAF were still doing night raids where they were sometimes taking heavy casualties, when they knew that they could operate almost with impunity during the day.

    Its only my opinion but I feel that one of the major failings of the RAF during WW2 was a reluctance to change tactics as the war progressed. It wasn't always truye of course in GA, shipping strikes and precision raids they were at least as good as anyone sometimes better than the rest. But in the deployment of the Heavy Bombers and basic fighter tactics they tended to be slow to adapt to changing situations.
    The continuation of night raids when the evidence was so clear, is but one of those examples.
     
  17. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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  18. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    #18 Glider, Mar 9, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
    An excellent site, well worth spending some time on.

    These boys must have been low

    F/Lt C. Higgins was hit by flak, the crew dove down to deck height. The flak followed the Halifax down where they were fired upon by rifles and machine guns. The crew fired back and landed safely at base.

    Some people have no gratitude
    W/O2 L. McDonald RCAF and crew from 419 Squadron, flying Lancaster X KB-724 coded VR-K, had both stbd engines go u/s just after takeoff. They struggled along at zero feet and crashed landed in a farmers field without injury to the crew. The farmer came out and tore a strip of them for destroying his garden and ruining the crops!

    And some people just don't look where they are going
    P/O A. Brown from 408 Squadron bombed an alternate as there were too many aircraft in the target area.
    10 crews commented on the US flying fortresses that flew through the gaggle, breaking it up.
     
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