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claims vs actuals

combat claims aces submarines u-boats

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#1 curmudgeon

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 06:04 AM

OK, I've tried this before, but let's have another go.

 

The Admiralty tested claims for U-boat kills very thoroughly ... including using Enigma decrypts to identify boats attacked and to sort damaged from sunk. This was important for working out good methods to hit U-boats, and to make awards.

 

In the Beaufighter thread it is noted that Braham claimed a 'damaged', there was only one other claim that night, and the Luftwaffe lost two aircraft ...

 

In his first book R.V. Jones, recounting his life as Science Advisor to the Air Ministry tells of challenging an intelligence officer debriefing combat pilots. Jones knew there was a large discrepancy between RAF claims and PR reports and actual Luftwaffe losses. The IO reported that these men have been risking their lives, I'm not going to downgrade their claims.

 

So to the point: has post-war analysis using Luftwaffe records been used to substantiate fighter pilot claims, or has it all been too 'messy'?

My particular interest is in the Big Wing claims, which even during the BoB were regarded as outlandish by those with access to Ultra, and during the 'rhubarbs' over France in 1941/2, where it is known RAF claims were pleasingly high on days the Luftwaffe lost nothing, and where blue-on-blue combats were not uncommon (Bader may have been shot down by his own side).

 

So any analysis of 'ace' clams? Any adjustment of tallies? Any 'aces' with suspicious profiles (e.g. Pierre Clostermann claiming a fierce combat when the dope patches were still intact)?



#2 flying kiwi

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 09:45 AM

 

 

So any analysis of 'ace' clams? Any adjustment of tallies? Any 'aces' with suspicious profiles (e.g. Pierre Clostermann claiming a fierce combat when the dope patches were still intact)?

 

 

I've never heard that about Clostermann before. Do you have a source?
I do know that it became fashionable to downgrade Clostermann after he praised the bravery of Argentinian pilots in the Malvinas/Falklands war. At one stage he even wrote a letter to Scale Aircraft Modelling, clarifying his comments.



#3 curmudgeon

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 05:45 AM

I've never heard that about Clostermann before. Do you have a source?
I do know that it became fashionable to downgrade Clostermann after he praised the bravery of Argentinian pilots in the Malvinas/Falklands war. At one stage he even wrote a letter to Scale Aircraft Modelling, clarifying his comments.

I think it may have been on an earlier thread here ... but I'll look



#4 GregP

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 06:02 PM

As far as I know, Only the U.S.A. put money into a post-war aerial claims analysis study. The USAAF did Report 85 and the Navy did their own analysis for overall claims for Navy/Marines, but no list by pilot name as far as I can tell.

 

WWII cost a LOT of money for all involved, and I have not uncovered any comprehensive study by any other nation. Yes, there have been minor studies of a particular battle but no comprehensive study of the war other than the US studies.

 

Therefore, I tend use the claims files when comparing wartime items since it would seem unfair to use the US post-war studies (looked at with some scrutiny) versus wartime claims for comparisons.






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