Ta 152 Question ... Curious

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GregP, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I went a bit off-topic in another thread and would like to pose the following question:

    I am seriously wondering about the Ta 152H service. It is verifiable that they went into service in late January 1945 (27th, if I recall, but close anyway). The first victory wasn't until 3 March 1945. There was not another victory until 14 April 1945 and all of the rest of the victories and losses in the air came in April 1945. The Third Reich was being bombed daily by hundreds if not 1,000 or more Allied bombers. So my question was and is, "What were the Ta 152's DOING for all of February and March, except for the 3rd, if not flying ops?" It's not like there weren't any targets, but they went missing for 10 weeks tehre ... VERY curious.

    My own conclusion is one of five or more possibilities:

    1) They were cowards and avoided combat. I reject that since the Ta 152's were assigned to experienced combat pilots. The Ta 152's were not assigned to green pilots or should not have been and the Luftwaffe wasn't noted for avoiding combat or being shy of engaging anything and anyone. Ergo, not plausible.

    2) They were assigned specific duties that kept them from aerial combat with other fighters. Lends credence to the Me 262 top cover story but, again, I can't say from personal research. I wouldn't know where to start looking for the documents and don't read German anyway. Erich says they didn't fly top cover for the Me 262's, despite what has been written. Maybe they were flying some other mission(s) we don't know about?

    3) They were working up to operational status. Could be but experienced combat pilots don't need a month to transition into what is essentially the same aircraft with new wings. Josef Keil got a victory on 3 March 1945 in a Ta 152. What happened to February and the REST of March and the first two weeks of April? I don't know.

    4) Maybe the weather was awful on the ground where the Ta 152's were based? Could be at that time of the year in Germany. If so, disassanble them and truck them to a new base where the bombs were falling and that could be used. Wouldn't take more than a week to remove the wings, go somewhere and make them flyable again.

    5) They were very unlucky and simply didn't see any Allied planes? Hardly seems likely, but possible, After several days of it, I would have moved close to where the bombs were falling to fly ops.

    6) or what?

    It's like they disappeared for 10 weeks when the war was in the last critical stages ... it is not logical in the slightest.

    Anybody know why the Ta 152's were absent without leave for February, March and the first two seeks of April except for one recorded kill by Keil? Why wait until mid-April? I just don't get it.

    I have no reasonable explanation other than maybe lack of fuel or parts. But the real fuel shortages started happening in March ... and the Ta 152's were active in April. Again, curious in the extreme, at least to me.

    Any ideas? Anybody? Here we have what is purported to be the best German piston fighter and it goes missing for 10 weeks in 1945 ... unbelievable.
     
  2. silence

    silence Active Member

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    You tricked me and started a new thread while I was responding.

    I actually wouldn't be surprised if its simply a case of nothing was confirmed, especially considering the chaos in military leadership at this time. They may have been - probably were - flying, but simply no one got around to processing their claims in this period before May 8.
     
  3. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Could be. I have always thought that 7 victories against either 2 or 4 losses was a pretty dismal showing for what was supposed to be the best German piston fighter of the war. The 7 Ta 152 victories I have seen were purportedly checked against Allied losses and the Ta 152 losses were supposedly done that way, too.

    But I have personally never seen a real, live Luftwaffe loss list, or victory list for that matter. I DO have a file of supposed German claims. It is about 68,000 lines long. I almost wrote Greman there, but we've already had that discussion, haven't we? ... we ran off a newcomer by making fun of that one. I was embarrassed since I'm not a bad speller, but am a bad typist ...

    Meanwhile, back to the absent Ta 152's. Your explanation is likely but, again, I'd like to find something that confirms it. Otherwise, it's a guess and that is what history doesn't need.

    Maybe we'll someday find out what the real record is ...

    I actually have an American History book published in 1828. It's account of the early days is quite different from what modern history books say. I believe the early book since the author was there at the time and his accounts are WAY more reliable (to me) than the accounts of later research. So I'll go on record as saying thaht any accounts from the time are more relaible to me than any modern accounts.

    Of course, modern accounts based on things written at the time are somewhat different. But quoting an earlier work without doing your homewrok is just silly. If it was already written, stop plagarizing and do some original research on your own. When you have something new, then write it, with references.
     
  4. pattle

    pattle Member

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    #4 pattle, Aug 8, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
    I am not sure where I read this or if its even true but my belief is that they were rushed into combat way before they were ready and had to be temporarily withdrawn from combat when some kind of fatal flaw was discovered. There were only a few anyway, so maybe it could have been that they just didn't get lucky or unlucky in this time. I do remember reading of a dogfight between RAF Tempests and Ta152's, I can't remember how it turned out but it was from a reliable source
     
  5. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    That is quite plausible, too. The Ta 152H-0's were "preproduction" machines. That mean prototypes issued to the front line. The first "production" ta 152 was supposedly the Ta 152H-1, of which we have no reliable production numbers. I have uncovered two Ta 152C's built. There may be more but, so far, I haven't got any reasonable proof of it.

    So far, this sounds like the most plausible explanation ... however the fly in the ointment here is that the Ta 152 had essentially the same fuselage as the Fw 190D series with a new wing and a few minor changes. Since about 2,525 Fw 190D models were built, that also seems a bit doubtful ... but could well be the real explanation. The connection between the things in the wing and the things in the fuselage isn't always simple and isn't always correct the first time.

    We have certainly found that out, even if nothing else, with our restorations at the Planes of Fame.
     
  6. silence

    silence Active Member

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    The fuselage was also stretched again vs. the Doras with the cockpit moved yet further back.
     
  7. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    remember Gents the OKL was not accepting any LW downed claims from November 1944 till wars end. we can only go by supposed official group histories and not all are written and by surviving flugbuch which may or may not help. Will Reschke told me some years ago he had pretty much the JG 301 losses but nowhere close to the victores by the JG complete.

    by January 45 's end you had over 35 Ta's just in III. gruppe which also had heavy Sturm like A-8's and A-9's. and also later some Dora 9's. what a mixed up batch. what is weird so far is the remarks about markings in the Stab of green of course but also red, yellow and black all staffel colours of III. gruppe, when some of the TA's were moved over to the Geschwader-stab. my feelings is that III gruppe still had Ta's on hand and not all were junked used for spares or sent back to Stolle's/JG 11 unit.

    side note am releasing new info in my books about the Ta/Tempest confrontation in front of JG 301 eye-witneses in the air and on the ground.
     
  8. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

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    " On 18 February the Stabstaffel shifted to Sachau, west of Berlin in order to exploit the possibilities for combat over the Hauptstadt and on 21 February encountered US bombers for the first time. During the ensuing combats, Oberfeldwebel Josef Keil flying "Green 3" claimed a B-17 shot down at 16:30 over Berlin. On 1 March Keil flew a sortie in the Kommodore's "Green 1" and claimed a P-51 over the same sector.."

    From a piece I compiled here

    FalkeEins - The Luftwaffe blog : Towards perfection ? the Focke Wulf (Tank) Ta 152 (Reschke, Cescotti, Keil)

    the other point to consider is that basically Luftwaffe fighters gave up opposing US bomber fleets in early March 1945 - for example IIRC the 02 March raid was the last time JG 300 claimed a bomber. From there on in all efforts were directed against the Soviets - ground-strafing etc - who were no longer the "Eastern Front" ..but had been only some 50 miles or so from Berlin since February
     
  9. silence

    silence Active Member

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    Any timeline for publishing and hitting the stores?
     
  10. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    the Keil op against P-51's/B-17's is well ............ yes trying to cross reference sometimes is impossible. again we go by flugbuchs in this case, Jg 301 as you mentioned Neil went on jabo missions in February of 45 but also on freijagd with Doras.
     
  11. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Ta 152's delivered to JG301 on 27 February, so the Kiel victory on 21 February was before he got his Ta 152. It HAD to be in another machine.

    Hey Erich, please let us know when you decide to publish or release anything. I'm NOT the only interested party in here ...
     
  12. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    Definitely doubtful. Where does this 2525 number come from?
     
  13. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    It comes from my own datbase. The Fw 190 total I have is slown below:

    Fw190_Total.jpg

    Been collecting data for 30+ years and it is pretty decent data from many sources ... not a single "favorite."
     
  14. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    III./JG 301, the main operational unit using the Ta 152 during this time was not only working up on the Ta 152, but were also carrying out what normally should have been factory tests while being expected to solve some of the teething troubles. According to the 4+ Publication Focke-Wulf Ta 152 (Malcolm Lowe http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/ta-152-malcolm-lowe-4-publications-35973.html Ta 152 Book Review by Mark Davies(4+ Publications)), serviceabilty was reduced to 30% at times. In addition to this none of the H-0s were delivered with MW 50 or GM 1 so Junkers spent much of February field modifying the engines and systems to increase the power ratings. Few new Ta 152s were delivered after February 1945, and the unit never reached its allocated 35 fighters.

    III./JG 301 was declared operational at the start of March. An attack on escorted American bombers on 2 March turned into a debacle because before they could get into position the Ta 152s were attacked by Bf 109s of IV./JG301, but were able to escape from them with ease. From mid-March the Ta 152s, which were transferred to Stab/JG 301 and continued to have low serviceability rates, were ordered to carry out ground attack missions (? great mission for a high altitude fighter) and were used as top cover protecting II./JG 301 as that unit took off or landed at Stendal. Note that they were never used to protect Me 262s. The Ta 152 pilots were finally given permission to engage Allied fighters in early April, albeit mostly at medium-low altitudes. Harmann's book on the Ta 152 says pretty much the same things.
     
  15. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jeff. I'll do some more reading on it.
     
  16. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    one of the problems with author's research is the 2 March 45 mission IV./JG 301 was slaughtered over their airfield by the 78th fighter group no way they could have intercepted Ta's on this date. this was also the last dae JG 301 performed anti-bomber missions as the as mentioned earlier did up jabo missions with anti-personell bomblets on the Soviets and US ground forces plus taking on the 9th AF P-47's like JG 300 Keils kill was nota P-51 but a P-47 and in my opinion did not shoot down an8th AF heavy.

    according to Reschkes findings III. gruppe had 35 Ta 152H-0's on hand not all completed, few tools low fuels and oil. Tests were admitted primarily for field testing of new and older pilots and high altitude observances whcih have been duly recorded in about every book on the planet about the Tank.
     
  17. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    So, Erich, what in your opinion are the best currently-available books on the Fw 190 / Ta 152 aicraft?
     
  18. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    This was a contributing factor to many of the LWs units remaining on the ground throughout the early months of 1945.
     
  19. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Most particularly in April. The USAAF destroyed more airvraft on the ground in April than they had in the entire rest of the war.
     
  20. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    So the numbers come from secondary sources not primary sources.

    What is this 675 Fw190D number?

    A Ta152H-1 was lost on Feb 1 1945, WNr 150037 of 12./JG301, in a flying accident. Uffz Hermann D???.
     
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