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How much a/c shot the German FLAK?

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by AndyW, Jun 6, 2003.

  1. AndyW

    AndyW Member

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    I'd be interested to know how many fatalities the British Bomber Command and the USAF suffered by German AAA fire?

    I know it's hard to say, I just want to know approx. how many % of a/c losses were caused by AAA compared to German fighters, accidents, both, other?

    A somewhat number?

    Any help is appreciated.

    Cheers,
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Found this:

    Fliegerabwehrkanonen ( FLAK ) Ack-Ack
    The accuracy and effectiveness of FLAK or anti-aircraft artillery fire was derided at the start of the war but it gained a healthy respect as the war dragged on. By 1942 15,000 88mm ( 3.46 in ) guns formed the bulk of heavy flak defenses for Germany. Large numbers of 37mm ( 1.47 in ) and 20mm ( 0.79 in ) guns filled the skies with shells during every air raid. Often arrayed in "belts" around a city or target 88s could fire 22 lb ( 10 kg ) shells up to 35,000 ft ( 10,600 m ) at a rate of 15 - 20 rounds per minute. The excellent 88mm ( 3.46 in ) gun proved very effective especially when radar was used to help with aiming. The shells exploding at a preset altitude sending metal splinters flying in all directions. Later groups of up to 40 heavy flak guns Grossbatterien fired rectangular patterns of shellbursts known as box barrages that proved very deadly to enemy bombers.


    In 1944 Flak accounted for 3,501 American planes destroyed, enemy fighters shot down about 600 less in the same time period. More flak guns gradually appeared, mainly the 128mm ( 5 in ) German Flak accounted for 50 of the 72 RAF bombers lost over Berlin on the night of March 24th, 1944. An incredible 56 bombers were destroyed or crippled by flak during a B-17 raid on Merseburg in November of 1944.


    http://www.reese-457th.org/FLAK.HTML

    As well I put some figures on Normandy battles on the Forums: alone some 2,000 planes were lost by the allied during that time to German flak.

    The Russian front figures might be impossible to get.

    ;)
     
  3. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Andy--this is a great question to ask Erich as he has some great records and I think has a pretty accurate list. Alos--i'm waiting to get from a friend of mine the address to a site that is about Luftwaffe Flag units and it should have something about Allied air losses there. Thing is--it will be probably several days before I get a reply from this friend as he is out of town at the moment.
     
  4. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    sorry to say I have no clue but can be pointed out that signifacnt losses of bombers were due to 88mm's in 1945.....as fighter opposition leveled off after February of 45, and only the appearance of jet attacks but chiefly JG 7 would stand in the way of day time bomber missions. Even these were only pin pricks but did show the Allies the raod of future air combat.

    What Merseburg raid in November Kai ? If this was the 2nd that is not quite correct as the sturmgruppen Fw 190A-8's destroyed at least 35 plus and I have documentation to prove this, through first hand accounts.

    the 128 mm waas developed as a single unit on a flat railraod carriage and used in the built up areas of Germany with most action along with single 105mm's in the Ruhr Gebeit. The major cities of Hamburg, Wien and Berlin were granted the useage of large flak concrete towers and 4 of the twin 128mm's were located atop these monsters so a total of 8 128mm guns would be fired from atop of these. I do not have the files in front of me just now to include how many heavy towers there were.
    it can be safely said that US and RAF crewman feared the dreaded flak as they could not fire back at them with response. At least you could see a prop driven fighter attacking and leaving your a/c. With the Me 262 that was a different matter since the mobil hydrallic turrets could not follow the jets path quick enough.

    more to come hopefully...

    ~E
     
  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Not to discredit the Berlin flak, but the 50 bombers lost to flak on the night of 24th March 1944 went down over a large area of Germany ; this was the 'night of the big winds' and relatively few bombers actually made it to the Big City....
     
  6. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    Ii actually have a diagram of Allied a'c losses including Ack-Ack if I can dig it up I will get someone to post it in this thread.
     
  7. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    although I have a good friend Otto Reichert that served at a Kiel 88mm battery, flak per se can be discounted in many cases as being overcounted. US and Luftwaffe air claims will never agree, I have seen too many reports the last 35 years to prove this. Case in point on 18 march 1945 when US records according to Roger Freeman in his multiple Mighty 8th AF books has made fact out of Flak claiming 8 B-17's when in reality these were lost to III./JG 7 R4-M missiles.
    Also many flak claims were made against RAF four engine heavies during July through September 43 when in case they were actually shot down by JG 300 Wilde Sau fighters.....

    ah well.....

    ~E
     
  8. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    I have looked through many of the usual sources ( British Official History, Verrier, Neillands, Longmate, Richards etc etc ) and there is very little ( in some cases, no ) discussion of causes of loss.

    The only historian I can find who hazards an estimate is Martin Middlebrook ( in The Berlin Raids ) who says that at that time ( winter '43/'44 ) 70 percent of Bomber Command losses were due to night fighters.

    German historian Hans Rumpf ( The Bombing Of Germany ) cites 'official figures' as stating that light flak had to fire 4,940 shells, heavy flak 3,343, to bring down one heavy bomber - but doesn't say how many bombers were brought down...

    Rumpf is rather dismissive of the effectiveness of flak but concedes that 25 percent of US bombers returned to base with flak damage necessitating repair.
     
  9. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    I beleive you are right Martin during 1944. And with NF gruppen attacks in 1945 they were quick and usually accounted for .5 % of the bomber forces. Flak during 1945 remained the effective deterrent though this is not the proper word to use as neither US or RAF bombers were ever turned back during the last months.

    Do believe we will never have concrete figures as most of 1944 Luftwaffe records are missing. Also concerning a Würzburg set up and a 6 gun battery of 8.8cm's. When a bomber was claimed if indeed shot down by an individual gun, all guns were given credit, so it would be easy to assume that flak victories would be terribly over-inflated...
     
  10. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    ...Middlebrook also makes the point that flak concentrations forced the bomber streams higher, and into narrow 'corridors' where the fighters had good opportunities to intercept so it is rather unfair to take different methods of defence in isolation....
     
  11. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    ah my friend this sounds like one of our many conversations of the last years. Certain flak batteries were able to fire upwards, star shells which were full of pyrotechnics to illuminate the skies for better visibilty, this in supposed conjunction with the single engine Wilde Sau boyz during summer/fall of 1943. Really didn't work out too well either above Bonn, Hamburg, Berlin or central parts of Germany as the Flak gents shot at anything German/British that flew in the air. The idea was hideous but it was simple and it was performed.......shoot as much ammo into the air and let the "enemy" fly through it.

    NJG 7 was developed from high altitude Ju 88 bomber boyz to fill in the other gap and that was running commentary of the RAF bombers and to drop phosphorous bombs, not to destroy rAF bombers but to illuminate the bombers and blind the crews. Because of the endless mileages covered by the RAF bomber streams the NJG 7 was terminated and personell used to fill in NJG 2 with a/c and flying personell. The NJG 7 H/A expereience of the crews helped NJG 2 to become one of the keenest NJG's flying during the war.
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Erich,

    Well, I´m not a pro on the bomber missions but maybe this is what the article was after:

    On November 30, 1944, 63 B-17s went down over Merseburg—many because of direct flak hits

    [​IMG]

    This B-17 was hit over a railyard in Germany.


    http://www.flightjournal.com/fj/articles/b-17/fortress_3.asp

    The Armed Forces newspaper, "Stars and Stripes," declared the November 30, 1944, Merseburg mission a "complete success" and said that 56 bombers and 30 fighters had been lost (later revised to 63 bombers and 34 fighters).

    The Germans lost the precious oil they needed to operate planes and tanks—no doubt saving untold thousands of Allied lives. The number of Allied planes stated to be lost is deceptive, however. It was revealed that 80 percent of 3rd Bombardment Division aircraft were so badly damaged that it took weeks of repairs to put them back into the air, and many were scrapped.

    "Stars and Stripes" headlined its Merseburg, November 30, 1944, story, "Biggest AA Fight Ever." It was never surpassed in numbers of downed, damaged and scrapped bombers.
     
  13. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    Pictures like that really make me shudder....imagine the minimal-to-none chance of any member of a crew taking a direct flak hit surviving....in fact don't...it's far too scary a proposition to comprehend... :eek:
     
  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Panzerknacker,

    Indeed! The only thing that would scare me more would be : to be in a plane a bit above others as you could see the other Lancs drop one by one in a ball of fire as German Nachtjagd with Schräge Musik would attack the planes...waiting for your turn to come...

    :eek: :eek:
     
  15. Greg A

    Greg A Member

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    I agree Panzerknacker. Pictures like that really turn my stomach thinking of maybe 18 or 19 year olds inside. We see how much madness war is.

    Greg :(
     
  16. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    Exactly Greg-recently Iv'e kinda been looking at war and just seeing the senselessness of it all. I mean death doesnt really solve anything, I mean...it doesnt determine anythign in war, and therefore it should be avoided...I know it's in man's nature, but can't ALL POSSIBLE AVENUES OF DIPLOMACY AND NEGOTIATION be explored first, rather than as Greg says...kill off 18 and 19 year old kids...just like thsi ongoing war in Iraq that apparently ended months ago...
     
  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Gentlemen!Flak:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This Liberator from the 779th BS of the 464th BG took a direct flak hit to a wing while taking part in the crew's 15th mission in support of the 8th army. Only one crew member survived.
     
  18. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  19. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Kai thanks for the clarification on the date. I'll search my database later this day for more....concerning the fighter ops and the German version, as it may be interesting to see....

    incidently the B-24 cut in half was from the destruction by JG 7 jets and not flak.

    ~E
     
  20. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    the ground weather, fog and low clouds with rain was so bad that only parts of JG 300 ascended to take on the B-17's. As they broke through the clouds the P-51 escorts jumped them.......well I'm not going to say any more as the information is included in the new JG 300 book coming

    ~E
     

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