Nazi Pilots, aerial victories explained?

Discussion in 'General' started by Joshua_11a, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Joshua_11a

    Joshua_11a New Member

    Hello, maybe this subject has been done to death already, but i was looking into ww2 pilots, and i couldn't help but notice the massive difference in "aerial victories" between nazi germanys aces pilots, and the rest of the world?

    i.e -
    Erich Hartmann - 352. germany
    (118 aces between these two men, all german.)
    Ilmari Juutilainen - 94. finnish
    (295 aces between these two men, mixed)
    James Edgar "Johnnie" Johnson - 38. united kingdom

    I'm just wondering what factors lead to this difference, there are so many more german ace's that scored higher i have to wonder if we were lucky to win the battle of britain?

    on a side note, i know Erich was on the east front, and that he shot down plenty of undertrained pilots with his techniques, but the difference between the first UK pilot and the top german is 413 pilots apart, with 314 "victories" seperating them.

    Kind regards
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    LUFTWAFFE ACES: List of Pilots with 100+ 'Kills' + Notes.

    There are a number of reasons why Germany's highest-scoring pilots shot down many more aircraft than the most successful Allied pilots. During the first years of the war, German day fighter pilots tended to enjoy favourable tactical circumstances; for instance, during the Battle of Britain British pilots generally tried to attack the German bombers rather than the fighters protecting them. German combat tactics during this period also tended to be superior to those of the Allies, with formation leaders in particular often having a higher chance of success.[5]

    Formal and informal Luftwaffe practices also contributed to the high numbers of victories achieved by some pilots. The normal practice in fighter units was for the highest-scoring pilot to lead formations, regardless of their rank, which placed them in the best position to shoot down Allied aircraft. The German pilots also typically conducted much more combat flying than their Allied equivalents: while the western Allied air forces frequently rested their fighter pilots, German pilots were required to fly until they became casualties
    Accuracy of claims[edit]
    Main article: Confirmation and overclaiming of aerial victories
    In the 1990s, the German archives made available microfilm rolls of wartime records, not seen since January 1945, available to the public.[7] These showed that while in theory the Luftwaffe did not accept a kill without a witness, which was considered only a probable, in practice some units habitually submitted unwitnessed claims and these sometimes made it through the verification process, particularly if they were made by pilots with already established records.[7] In theory the Luftwaffe did not accept shared claims, but it happened. In theory each separate claim should have referred to a particular aircraft, but in practice some victories were awarded to other pilots who had claimed the destruction of the same aircraft.[7] In 1943 the daily OKW communiques (Wehrmachtbericht) of this period habitually overstated American bomber losses by a factor of two or more. Defenders of German fighter pilots have always maintained that these were reduced during the confirmation process. But the microfilms prove this not to be the case.[7] Some 80 – 90 percent of the claims submitted were confirmed or found to be "in order" for confirmation up to the time the system broke down altogether in 1945
    List of World War II aces from Germany - Wikipedia
  3. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Didn't German victories in the air and those of enemy tanks give higher returns against the Russians particular in the early stages of Barbarossa?
    Owen likes this.
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Germany had better planes, better pilots and lots of Russian aircraft (piloted badly) to shoot down - simples


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  5. HA96

    HA96 Member

    What about Eckkard Tichy, very successful in Russia, but later in the war was ordered to the western front and following the loss of one eye, was killed in action in 1944.Before that involved, I belive involved in at least participating in 2 US Air Force losses.
  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    As I see it the Luftwaffe air operations against Poland and Russia were akin to a turkey shoot.You might say that the same assessment is correct with the inferior aircraft the the RAF had available during the Battle of France engaged in daylight operations.

    Stefan.I think the Luftwaffe kills were harder to achieve in the west than on the eastern front in its opening stages.By 1944,long range fighters were able to daylight escort USAAF bombers to Berlin and had ample opportunity to catch the Luftwaffe in the air and importantly on the ground.Both Allied air forces ensured that the ME 262 presence was neutralised by catching them on the ground and at their most vulnerable state of readiness,ie,take off and landing.

    Attacks on Bomber Command aircraft during were a different matter...then we come on to the Kammhuber Line and its air defence system...a credible interception system which increased the tally of kills against the bomber force.

    Is there a record of kills on Allied bombers during the various bombing offensives?
  7. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Luftwaffe night fighter pilots seem to have reported far fewer "over claims" than day fighter pilots. The top 21 German night fighter pilots had victory totals ranging between 50 and 121.
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Maybe thats because they ate all the carrots
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