Marseille's last

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Jan, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Jan

    Jan New Member

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    Hello,
    This is my first post here and I am happy I can be here. I have listed for some time the forum and did not find what I want to ask. But maybe it is there somwhere, so I am sorry if it has already been dicussed. In this case please redirect me to the right thread if you can.
    So...My question is WHO was that brave british Spitfire pilot who fell as the last victim for Hans Joachim Marseille on 26 September 1942? When Marseille finally landed after that amazing long duel, he was near the state of collapse and expressed his feelings as "what a masterfull adversary"!
    When I thought of this, this must have been any excellent dogfighter of the similar level as Jochen. But if it was any really famous pilot I guess I would know who he was. How is than possible the pilot of his abilities was not any british hero with as much victories as Marseille? And this is even valid question in general...How is it possible that the best of Allies reached approximatelly four times less scores than the best of the Germans?
    Again sorry if this was discussed, I guess the second part of my post was discussed for sure, but I have not found any satisfactory answer yet.
    Thank you very much and best regards
    Jan.
     
  2. Chingachgook

    Chingachgook Banned

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    It was a rookie pilot. Just that the Spitfire was so amazing...

    sorry I could not resist!
     
  3. Jan

    Jan New Member

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    That day Marseille is credited for two other Sptifires and above all Bf109F(or G) in Marseilles's hands was much better combination than rookie pilot in Spitfire.
     
  4. R-2800

    R-2800 Member

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    The Allies did not have as many victories becasue after so many flight hours/missions they would rotate home. The Germans however never rotated home they flew till they died or were seriously injured
     
  5. Chingachgook

    Chingachgook Banned

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    Jan,

    I was kidding.
    I know of the fight - the Spits were not the only planes he was fighting at the time. The Spits had jumped him and his wingman. He was going slower and forced the Spits to overshoot their attack.
    I think that the spits might have been from the Polish squad (?) was it 303? (or did Polish come latter with XI?).
    There was some question about the wingmans envolvement in downing the 3Spits? Didn't the wingman get one of them?
    Marseille had just been mixing it up with Stocky Edwards' squadron of P-40s. I think the exhaustion came from the fight with the P-40s? The spits where downed in rapid succession if memory serves(?).

    I did not know that this was his last combat.
     
  6. Jan

    Jan New Member

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    Hello Chingachgook,
    First of all thank you very much for your reply.
    It seems like you talk of different battle and I guess I know which battle you mean. You perhaps mean 8 February 1942 when MArseille was jumped by seven Curtiss' just when he was landing and managed to shot down three of them before eyes of all over his own arfield? This was really another of Marseille's excellent exploits.
    But I mean different battle: 26 September 1942, Marseille was part of 33Bf109s which escorted Stukas for a raid. Than in the low altitude appeared six Spitfires and Marseille attacked in incredibly steep dive. His wingman was Schlang and he reported first Spitfire going down in 16:56 and the another in 16:59, both of them destroyed by Marseille.
    Which Squadron of they were remains enigma for me and the identification of the pilots is even more comlicated.
    Does anyone have a list of Allies casualties on 26 September 1942? This would be appreciated!
    Thanks.
     
  7. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    according to the I./JG 27 logbooks via Dr. Jochen Prien, the Star of Afrika destroyed:

    1 P-40

    6 Spitfires from 09.13 to 17.10 hrs

    26.09.42
     
  8. Jan

    Jan New Member

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    Thank you Erich,
    Strange my source says:
    Spitfire 9:10
    Hurricane: 9:13,
    Hurricane: 9:15,
    Spitfire: 16:56,
    Spitfire: 16:59
    Spitfire: 17:15??? <-- who is he :?:

    But this discrepancy is not as much important for me now. The last one is the man I would very like to know. He fell from 100 meters in falmes and died.
     
  9. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    log books can be deceiving as ID during daylight combat with all the chaos can be rough. really who cares as long as the enemy is shot down and cannot get up again to fight you or your Kameraden.

    as to Allied losses not sure, maybe a question(s) on 12 o'clock high discussion board or LEMB ?
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Another reason is the allies eventually had so high a numerical superiority, the chances of any given allied pilot of having an opportunity to mix it up with an axis pilot, became slimmer as the war progressed.

    There are several allied aces that did have a kill ratio compared to the number of times combat was entered that was comparible to many of the top Luftwaffee pilots.
     
  11. Chingachgook

    Chingachgook Banned

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    syscom3,

    Who?

    thanks,
     
  12. Chingachgook

    Chingachgook Banned

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    Jan,

    Someone was claiming spits when they were Hurries?
     
  13. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    The South African Marmaduke Thomas St. John Pattle is at least as good.
    He had a brief career in the difficult time of 1940 and 1941 over Libya, Greece and Crete. Despite flying Gloster Gladiators biplanes in No. 80 squadron and later Hawker Hurricane´s, he was probably the top scoring ace of the western allies during ww2. Officially credited only with 25 victories at time of his death (not included unconfirmed claims), recent analysis of claims and losses show that he finalled something between 35 and 45 (some say up to 52) kills against german and italien air forces.
    He started late with his first aerial victory on 4th of august 1940 and was killed in action half a year later on 20th april 41 by Me-110´s, which caught him by surprise in the heat of a dogfight.
     

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  14. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Robert Johnson (56th FG) would have scored in the hundreds had he stayed flying untill the end of the war (assuming there were enough LW planes flying).

    I think Johnnie Johnson also had the potential to score really high.
     
  15. Jan

    Jan New Member

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    Chingachgook,

    It's really possible that some of claimed Spits were in fact Hurricanes or vice versa. Pilots were known for not precise identification of their claims and as was mentioned here the reason is clear.
    But for sure the las combat between Marseille and Mr. 'Unknown' was duel Bf109 vs. Spitfire. In this time Marseille had plenty of time to see his adversary. That duel lasted about fifteen minutes or more and would be even longer had Marseille had enough fuel.
     
  16. Hop

    Hop Member

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    The Luftwaffe seemed to have a lot of trouble telling them apart :)

    In the Battle of Britain, the German fighters claimed 714 Hurricanes, 1,238 Spitfires. Actual RAF losses were 605 Hurricanes, 388 Spitfires (to all causes, not just fighters).

    Apart from the level of overclaiming, the Jagdwaffe ratio of Spitfire kills to Hurricane kills was 1.73/1, whereas the actual loss rate was 0.64/1

    It's been termed "Spitfire snobbery". The Luftwaffe didn't rate the Hurricane, so a victory over one wasn't considered much of an achievement.
     
  17. Chingachgook

    Chingachgook Banned

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    I was just reading some combat reports from 1942, on one particular date LW claimed 12 Spits down over France. RAF had lost zero aircraft on the date. I will try to find details again (no guarantee on my memory!). Why would these things happen - I'm sure Allied pilots did the same...

    RAAF over Dawin - big claims by Spit pilots over Zeros. Post war JP loss records showed claims were over in a big way (see Alfred Price). Fog of war can account for some, but not all of this.
     
  18. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    You will need to define a loss and a kill if You compare it that way.
    For the RAF a loss isn´t a loss.
    It depends on the degree of damage.
    For the Luftwaffe, a kill could be claimed once the enemy plane hit the ground, and eyewitnesses and / or footage confirms this. Simplicistically spoken.
    For the RAF this wasn´t considered a loss to the archive as long as the planes damage was below 80% and the plane was recoverable. As most of the dogfights did take place over england, any Spit forced landing caused by fighter vs fighter damage usually would become a kill in the Luftwaffe records while it only sometimes becomes a loss in the RAF records. Such comparisons aren´t easy as I had to learn...

    Beware, not wanting to say there were no overclaims from both sides - hell - that would be wrong!
     
  19. Hop

    Hop Member

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    The RAF had 3 damage categories at the time of the BoB. They were:

    Cat 1: minor damage, repaired by the squadron mechanics

    Cat 2: major damage, repaired at a repair depot.

    Cat 3: beyond economic repair/did not return/salvaged for parts. Cat 3 was recorded as a loss.

    That broadly conforms to the Luftwaffe loss records, where more than 60% damage was recorded as a loss, less than 60% was not a loss, even if the plane force landed.

    Regardless of the rate of overclaims, it doesn't change the fact the Jagdwaffe claimed almost twice as many Spitfires as Hurricanes, whereas the RAF actually lost almost twice as many Hurricanes as Spitfires (and there were similar proportions of Spitfires and Hurricanes involved in the battle)
     
  20. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    Are You sure for this? I ask because at BoB we have the additional problem that the claims of the LUFTWAFFE also include bomber and zerstörer claims, which because of their nature generally tend to overclaim a lot. You speak of Fighter claims, that´s something really different, and I am not aware of any claim analysis to seperate Jagdwaffe claims from the other Luftwaffe claims at BoB.
    However, I am open for everything new.

    Not really. The difference is area of fight. A forced landing of a Me-110, beeing 45% damaged into channel or worse- on england would not be recoverable and therefore be a loss anyway. A forced landing of a Hurricane beeing 45% damaged on england could be recoverable as long as the damage was <80% and wouldn´t be a kill, altough it would correctly occur in the german claim listings. Naturally during BoB, all fights except for very few were located over England or in direct proximity to english coast, giving the RAF some advanatage as they (unlike the Luftwaffe) could recover planes beeing more heavily damaged.
    Not wanting to say that is unbalanced- it just reflects the tactical advantage enjoied by the RAF at BoB (the Luftwaffe had a similar advantage during 41 and 42 in France). Back to the claim analysis, I just wanted to outline that RAF losses AND damages have to be studies in detail to allow a justified statement of the claim-loss relation.

    regards,
     
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