The myth of the "fake" aces of the Luftwaffe from the Eastern Front

There is an opinion that the aces of the Luftwaffe, who fought on the Eastern Front, were “unreal” - it appeared in the years of the “cold war” and from time to time it appears in modern times. It fits very well into the “black myth” about the “backwardness” of the Russians. According to this myth, “Russian plywood” with “poorly trained” Stalin falcons was much easier to shoot down than Anglo-Saxon pilots on the “Spitfires” and “Mustangs”. When the Ases from the Eastern Front were transferred to the Western Front, they quickly died.



Hans Philip

The basis for such fabrications was the statistics on a number of pilots: for example, Hans Philip, an ace pilot from the 54 th fighter squadron "Green Hearts", scored around 200 air victories, 178 of them on the Eastern front and 29 on the Western front. 1 April 1943, he was appointed commander of the 1 th Fighter Squadron in Germany, October 8 1943, he shot down a bomber and was shot down, killed. Over the 6 months he was able to shoot down only the 3 of the enemy plane. There are other similar examples: the first ace of the Reich E. Hartmann shot down the entire 7 (according to other 8 data) US Air Force fighters P-51 Mustang over Romania and in the skies over Germany (total 352 victory). Herman Graf - 212 wins (202 in the East, 10 in the West). Walter Novotny shot down 258 aircraft, of which in the East - 255. True, Novotny most of the time in the West mastered the new jet Me-262, struggling with its shortcomings, practicing the tactics of its use.

The myth of the "fake" aces of the Luftwaffe from the Eastern Front

Adolf Hitler presents Hauptman Walter Novotna Diamonds to the Knight's Cross, 19.10.44

FW-190 Walter Novotny

But there are other examples where the German aces quite successfully fought on both fronts, for example, Walter Dahl - only 128 victories (77 - Eastern Front, 51 - Western Front), and in the West he shot down 36 four-engined bomber. The uniform distribution of victories in the West and the East is characteristic of the Aces of the Luftwaffe. He won a total of 192 victories, of which 61 won in North Africa and on the Western front, including the 34 bomber B-17 and B-24. Al Erich Rudorfer shot down an 222 aircraft, including 136 on the Eastern Front, 26 aircraft in the North Africa and 60 on the Western Front. Ace Herbert Ilefeld shot down an 132 aircraft: 9 in Spain, 67 on the Eastern Front and 56 on the Western Front, including X-NUMX B-15 bombers.


Erich Rudorffer

Some German aces successfully fought on all fronts and on all types of aircraft, so Heinz Baer won 220 air victories: 96 victories on the Eastern Front, North Africa scored 62 victories, Baer shot down about 75 English and American aircraft in Europe, of which 16, piloting the jet Me 262.

There were pilots who scored more victories in the West than in the East. But to say that it was easier to shoot down the Anglo-Saxons than the Russians was just as silly as the reverse. Herbert Rollweig from 102 downed aircraft, only 11 shot down on the Eastern Front. Hans "Assi" Khan won 108 victories, of which in battles in the East - 40. He was one of the leading pilots in the Battle of Britain in the 2 Fighter Squadron; fought in the East since the fall of 1942 of the year, 21 of February of 1943 of the year due to engine failure (perhaps after an attack by Senior Lieutenant PA Grazhdaninov from the 169 th Fighter Aviation Regiment) made an emergency landing, after that 7 spent years in Soviet captivity.

The commander of the 27 Fighter Squadron, Wolfgang Shellmann - 12 of victories in the sky of Spain (second in terms of effectiveness of the Condor Legion). By the beginning of the war with the Soviet Union had 25 victories, was considered an expert on maneuverable combat. 22 June 1941 of the 3.05 Messers of the 27 Fighter Squadron led by Shellman took to the air, they received orders to launch assault strikes on Soviet airfields near the city of Grodno. To this end, containers with fragmentation bombs SD-2 were hung on the Messerschmitts. When they attacked the target, they were met by the I-153 and I-16 of the 127 Fighter Aviation Regiment. Shellmann knocked down an I-16 by scoring 26 and the last victory. Then I-153 attacked Lieutenant P. A. Kuzmin, but he successfully maneuvered and avoided his attacks. Then Kuzmin unexpectedly went on a head-on ram, Shellmann barely dodged, the Soviet pilot repeated the attack several more times, the German ace dodged. Finally, on 4, our fighter crashed into the fuselage of an enemy fighter, Kuzmin died, and the German ace was able to jump with a parachute. His further fate is unknown, according to German data, he was arrested and then, apparently, shot.


Wolfgang shellmann

It is also necessary to take into account the difference in air battles in the West and East. The eastern front was stretched for hundreds of kilometers and there was a lot of “work”, the Luftwaffe fighter squadrons were thrown from battle to battle. There were days when 6 departures were the norm. Moreover, in the East, air combat usually consisted in the fact that the German fighters attacked a relatively small group of strike aircraft and their cover (if any), usually the German aces could achieve a numerical advantage over an “bombers” or attack aircraft escort.

In the West, real “air battles” were played out, so 6 March 1944 Berlin attacked 814 bombers under the cover of 943 fighters, they were in the air almost all day. Plus, they were concentrated in a relatively small space, in the end it turned out something similar to the "general battle" of the attacking side and the air defense fighters. German fighters had to attack a dense group of aircraft, on the Eastern Front such battles were rare. German fighter pilots were forced not to look for "prey" as in the East, but to play by other rules: attack "flying fortresses", at this time the Anglo-Saxon fighters could "catch" themselves. Hard battle, without the ability to maneuver, move away. Therefore, the Anglo-American air force was easier to use their numerical advantage.


Spitfire Supermarine (English Supermarine Spitfire) - English fighter since the Second World War.

Sources of:
Isaev A. Antisuvorov. Ten myths of the Second World War. M., 2006.
Zefirov M.V. Aces of the Luftwaffe: Day fighters. In 2's volumes. M., 2002.
Mukhin Y. Asy and propaganda. Luftwaffe inflated victories. M., 2006.
Speak M. Asa Luftwaffe. / Per. from English V.V. Naydenova. Smolensk:, 2001.
http://www.airwar.ru/history/aces/ace2ww/sk_germ.html
http://www.nazireich.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=576&Itemid=77
http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Список_лётчиков-асов_Второй_мировой_войны#.D0.93.D0.B5.D1.80.D0.BC.D0.B0.D0.BD.D0.B8.D1.8F
http://allaces.ru/cgi-bin/s2.cgi/ge/main.dat
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  1. mitrich
    mitrich 27 May 2011 10: 35 New
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    The article actually supplements yesterday’s “Question of the victories of the Third Reich Air Force,” so I invite everyone who wants to swear to the upper right corner of the main page of the site.
  2. datur 27 May 2011 11: 10 New
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    in principle, everything is logical.
  3. dbnfkbq
    dbnfkbq 27 May 2011 12: 49 New
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    They didn’t say anything about Hartman, and there the most exaggerated of them all. And the article does not explain how, only the best aces of the Reich, shot down (according to their personal accounts) more than the USSR lost planes for the entire war and for all reasons.
    In short, another attempt to "align and forget everything."
  4. Enemigo
    Enemigo 27 May 2011 13: 33 New
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    if sclerosis does not change, Rudorffer had a Parachutist among his own people, so often they shot him down.

    and so, without at all diminishing the coolness of the German aces, one still has to recall that, according to German reporting, the Red Army Air Force was destroyed three times.
    1. ALEXEY TSENTILLO 24 August 2017 16: 56 New
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      Yes, they didn’t shoot down, but he had a rule not to land a fighter, but to throw it over the airfield! And parachute .......
      The Germans are the descendants of Baron Munchausen
    2. ALEXEY TSENTILLO 24 August 2017 16: 57 New
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      And they drove them: "parachutist Bubi (baby) Punsky's bruise and TD .....
  5. Born in hte USSR
    Born in hte USSR 27 May 2011 16: 15 New
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    I read the memoirs of Barkhorn, who shot down 301 aircraft in 1104 sorties. So, they themselves were told that the training of pilots in the Red Army was very low .. In combat sorties, they immediately found young, new pilots and shot them down first, because they could not even really maneuver. Therefore, the results are so great. We had enough pilots and planes, fortunately, too, but there is no level of training.
    Although, in fact, this was not only in aviation, but everywhere. The rhetorical question: has anything changed for the better?
  6. huginn 28 May 2011 13: 09 New
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    All authors make the same mistake. The Germans are scoring victories. Victory - is the defeat of the aircraft and the subsequent exit from the battle. We have a downed plane. Everyone makes an equal sign between victory and a downed plane. A damaged plane could safely fly to the airfield. But the Germans write victory.
  7. dbnfkbq
    dbnfkbq 28 May 2011 22: 24 New
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    It’s like with tanks - the Germans considered a tank to be lost only if it remained on the territory of the enemy, and if there was even a bunch of rubbish (but on its territory), it was not a loss, but damage.
    It is better to evaluate the result - if you do not look through the propaganda haze, it is visible.
    1. captain 1 October 2017 16: 57 New
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      About the tanks. During the war years, according to the SVE, we produced about 100 thousand tanks, about 19 thousand tanks we had (serviceable) before the war. 19500 was sent to us by lend-lease. The Germans from 1936 released 65 thousand tanks. Where did we divide the tanks? If you read the bravura comments and some articles, then our tankers destroyed 30 and more tanks. In the 1945 year in the army there were 12500 tanks. Where did the tanks go? Chubais was not there then. And if it’s simpler, you don’t have to belittle the enemy, the trained, well-knit army of Germans fought against us. And we won, no one could
      . and we defeated them. No need to belittle the feat of our people, as our directors do when they show the Germans fools and cowards. No need to write unworthy exploits of our people and the death of our soldiers (including pilots) comments.
  8. dbnfkbq
    dbnfkbq 30 May 2011 06: 01 New
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    By result, if anything, I mean VICTORY.
  9. Denzel13
    Denzel13 April 26 2012 01: 04 New
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    Another author of the article, having read Toliver and Constable, or their retellers like Zefirov.

    Just like that for an example:
    24.08.1944/290/296 (you understand the state of the situation in the air at that time and who dictated the conditions to whom) - Hartman flew off in the morning to hunt and, upon his return, reported that he no longer had 5, but 11 downed planes. That his slave apparently affirmed under oath, or rather signed in a special form. Then he had lunch and flew again. This flight was monitored by radio communications and our "superhero" did not disappoint, he spoke on the radio for another 2 victories in the second flight, i.e. 1944 shot down for 52 sorties in 24.08.1944 !. He returned - flowers to him, etc. etc., however, there is such a fact - in the journal of military operations JG-39 it is stated that on August XNUMX, XNUMX, Hartman shot down one P. One! All!
    Still have questions about Hartman?
    There is something to continue.

    1. captain 1 October 2017 17: 50 New
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      Our twice hero Gritsevets in Spain for three months from the day of arrival and departure (counting the days of accommodation, familiarization with the war zone, farewell, collection of things. Arrival at the point of departure), etc. ) shot down 30 enemy aircraft. Is that a lie too? Although some doubted it. Envious people are everywhere. No one in our Air Force has shot down planes anymore. Senior Lieutenant Gorovets in one battle shot down 9 aircraft on the Kursk, what lied or what?
    2. MANITU 16 October 2018 01: 26 New
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      There is something to continue.


      There is. For example, a machine gun. Very, you know, it was widely used by the Germans. And Photoshop didn’t go to the option there.
  10. Head Physician 29 October 2017 20: 28 New
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    Science fiction