Jump to content

Me-262 v. 6 Mustangs


Lemsip
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all

 

Does anyone have any info on this fight between Walter Hagenau and 6 P-51's @2:17? I plan on making a video about this, but Ive looked everywhere and have not found any details. Thanks.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

VBF-12_KW
1 hour ago, sevenless said:

 

That's definitely the source of that account.  I did some digging through a few other sources ("Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich" by Caldwell and "Fighter Units and Pilots of the 8th Air Force" by Miller).  The 8th AF hit Oranienburg (just north of Berlin) on April 10th, 1945 and a number of engagements with 262s occurred.  The 4th, 20th, 55th, 356th, 359th and 364th FG's all had claims for 262s damaged or destroyed in the air (along with tons of airfield strafing from all 8th AF groups).  A handful of Mustangs went down, but all were attributed to flak or mechanical issues in US loss reports, so if this actually occurred, it's likely that his rockets missed and the aircraft in question simply dove away.  German sources indicate 63 Me262 sorties that day with as many as 27 being lost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, sevenless said:

 

Thankyou, exactly what I was looking for. 

 

9 hours ago, VBF-12_KW said:

 

That's definitely the source of that account.  I did some digging through a few other sources ("Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich" by Caldwell and "Fighter Units and Pilots of the 8th Air Force" by Miller).  The 8th AF hit Oranienburg (just north of Berlin) on April 10th, 1945 and a number of engagements with 262s occurred.  The 4th, 20th, 55th, 356th, 359th and 364th FG's all had claims for 262s damaged or destroyed in the air (along with tons of airfield strafing from all 8th AF groups).  A handful of Mustangs went down, but all were attributed to flak or mechanical issues in US loss reports, so if this actually occurred, it's likely that his rockets missed and the aircraft in question simply dove away.  German sources indicate 63 Me262 sorties that day with as many as 27 being lost.

 

Thanks for the info, Ill definitely reference it in my video.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CUJO_1970

An account of the April 10 battles is given in Manfred Boehme's JG7 Unit history.

 

55 262 in the air along with a handful of D9 that day against nearly 2,200 Allied Aircraft, including over 900 fighters.

 

Hagenah was one of a few 262 pilots that scored against P-51's that day, but of course since it's not confirmed in US records it couldn't possibly have happened and the German pilots were either making it all up or mistaken.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

DD_Arthur
1 hour ago, CUJO_1970 said:

 

Hagenah was one of a few 262 pilots that scored against P-51's that day, but of course since it's not confirmed in US records it couldn't possibly have happened and the German pilots were either making it all up or mistaken.

 

They were mistaken or...they were making it up.

Theres absolutely nothing unusual or unique about all pilots from all countries over claiming.

From what we all know of human nature I venture that a few of these claims were straight fabrication whilst the vast majority were simply pilots reporting what they saw or what they thought they saw.

 

From what I understand of LW procedure these two Mustangs would never be confirmed due to lack of corroborating witnesses no?

 

 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

VBF-12_KW

And the RLM had quit confirming any claims by that point in the war (probably due to their offices having been bombed into oblivion).  
 

This guy put together a nicely researched (dry presentation though) video talking about late war 262 claims that delves into the issue:  


 

[EDIT] I rewatched the video and realized he discusses the very engagement we’re talking about at around the 49 minute mark, and comes to the same conclusion that I did.

Edited by VBF-12_KW
Link to comment
Share on other sites

MiloMorai

Beginning on page 701 of Me262, the 4 volume tome by Smith/Creek from Classic books, has the combat from April 10 1945 with many of the names of the pilots participating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DD_Arthur
1 hour ago, MiloMorai said:

Beginning on page 701 of Me262, the 4 volume tome by Smith/Creek from Classic books, has the combat from April 10 1945 with many of the names of the pilots participating.

 

Watch video....😎

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bremspropeller

Both combat reports and kill-claims are based on what people believe they saw and not on what they saw or what actually happened.

I'm cringing when watching a video where historians are trying to achieve a level of "certainty" that has a better resolution than the fidelity of their sources.

 

Being under stress in combat, having to constantly look around to not get surprised and fixiating on a target before shooting are bad circumstances for making accurate and possibly "objective" observations - particularily concerning the big picture.

 

 

 

 

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

sevenless
12 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

Both combat reports and kill-claims are based on what people believe they saw and not on what they saw or what actually happened.

 

True. However. If these numbers here (US digest 1945) are to be trusted, the US lost most of its planes (bombers and fighters) in 1945 to FLAK anyways. (AFD-090608-039.pdf).

image.png.bb8d58e4326fcd9696121526f0d0b09d.png

 

Quote from here: (WW2 Flak guns vs Fighters - which hurt the USAAF and RAF bombers more? - QuoraThe Luftwaffe was effectively destroyed by mid-1944 so heavy bombers had mostly to worry about heavy flak: 624 bombers were lost to flak from January to May 1945 versus 199 to German fighters.

 

I guess the truth lies somewhere in between...

 

 

Edited by sevenless
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[F.Circus]MoerasGrizzly
On 7/25/2021 at 3:44 PM, DD_Arthur said:

 

From what I understand of LW procedure these two Mustangs would never be confirmed due to lack of corroborating witnesses no?

All airforces through both world wars required you to back-up your kill claims with witnesses. In late WW2 those procedures didn't really matter anymore to the luftwaffe. The point of confirming kill claims normally is to check the pilot's observation (and eagerness to get a high score!) against others so that the intelligence officers have a decent idea of how many airplanes the enemy has lost (even then, over-reporting was a fact in every airforce). By the end of the luftwaffe, the point of kill claims was to be able to claim to the homefront that kills had in fact been made and that there was still a chance to win this whole thing. The intelligence aspect mattered less.

 

On 7/25/2021 at 1:36 PM, CUJO_1970 said:

Hagenah was one of a few 262 pilots that scored against P-51's that day, but of course since it's not confirmed in US records it couldn't possibly have happened and the German pilots were either making it all up or mistaken.


Yes.

 

Because the difference here is not between the US airforce and the Luftwaffe persé, it's between a pilot amidst the fog of war and the squadron clerk back home who simply has to check if everybody's still there at the end of the day. An airforce reporting its own losses is, as such, a far more reliable source then an airforce claiming kills.

Edited by [F.Circus]MoerasGrizzly
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

CUJO_1970
2 hours ago, [F.Circus]MoerasGrizzly said:

An airforce reporting its own losses is, as such, a far more reliable source then an airforce claiming kills.

 

This is true when claims exceed losses. That was not the case on April 10th, 1945. Twice as many aircraft were lost than JG/7 actually submitted claims for.

 

For that reason, Boehme in his book concludes that the claims are realistic.

4 hours ago, [F.Circus]MoerasGrizzly said:

All airforces through both world wars required you to back-up your kill claims with witnesses. In late WW2 those procedures didn't really matter anymore to the luftwaffe.

 

Luftwaffe pilots had the same requirements as they always had  - to submit a claim at the geschwader level, even if they would no longer be submitted to the RLM. For this reason, many Luftwaffe pilots didn't even bother to report their claims near the end of the war, in direct contrast to what you claim.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/26/2021 at 12:13 AM, VBF-12_KW said:

And the RLM had quit confirming any claims by that point in the war (probably due to their offices having been bombed into oblivion).  
 

This guy put together a nicely researched (dry presentation though) video talking about late war 262 claims that delves into the issue:  


 

[EDIT] I rewatched the video and realized he discusses the very engagement we’re talking about at around the 49 minute mark, and comes to the same conclusion that I did.

 

So after reviewing the information, I am somewhat discouraged to make a video in case the event never even happened. It makes a for an exciting engagement, but if I am to make it I suppose I should make it clear that the account is disputed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sevenless
1 hour ago, Lemsip said:

 

So after reviewing the information, I am somewhat discouraged to make a video in case the event never even happened. It makes a for an exciting engagement, but if I am to make it I suppose I should make it clear that the account is disputed.

 

At least, to my understanding, it is disputed that Hagenah shot down more than one single P-51. See his list of victories here:

 

Aces of the Luftwaffe - Walter Hagenah

image.png.6aafc3096acf382e1206644807df2630.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bremspropeller
9 hours ago, [F.Circus]MoerasGrizzly said:

An airforce reporting its own losses is, as such, a far more reliable source then an airforce claiming kills.

 

That is true, but it still has it's imperfections - mostly in terms of causes of losses.

Supposed losses by flak sometimes turn out to be losses by fighter and vice-versa. But how is an intelligence-officer going to find out? Unless you do have access to the wreckage, there's no way of positively determining the cause. That's going to be hard for a bomber/ fighter lost over Germany. Mind that the Germans were usually quick to make use of the raw material dropped onto them for free.

 

Then again, flak and fighters often claimed kills of the same aircraft each. They each had fired shots and they each had seen an aircraft go down. Naturally it wasn't somebody else's kill, but a result of their own doing. Remember, no shared kills! Finding out who, in the end, was the actual victor takes time and resscources. Two assets, Germany didn't really have in 1945, when they were busy finding people able to fight at the front-lines, recruiting mechanics and even pilots for infantry-duty.

 

What happens, when you mix a bunch of highly competitive people into squadrons (or tanks or flak units), is you're creating a highly competitive environment.

Fighter pilots are some of the most competitive types of persona you'll find. As kill-numbers and the connected fame were incentivised, this was the main metric of how to gain respect in fighter squadrons. Hence some people were willing to hand in kill-claims that were...premature. Some even downright fabricated claims, but those usually were quickly called out on their behaviour. Fighter-pilots also usually don't take BS.

 

The whole kill-claim and accuracy debate really is a very interesting subject. Unfortunately, on many boards (like 12 oclock high or facebook groups), this usually leads to accusations of pilots being liars or dishonest. While that may be true in some cases (they're just your normal sample of people), I'm quite sure most overklaims were made in good-faith.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[F.Circus]MoerasGrizzly
6 hours ago, CUJO_1970 said:

This is true when claims exceed losses. That was not the case on April 10th, 1945. Twice as many aircraft were lost than JG/7 actually submitted claims for.

 

For that reason, Boehme in his book concludes that the claims are realistic.

But all the airplanes that were lost that day were lost on low-altitude missions, which disputes JG/7's accounts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

JV69badatflyski

Jumping into the topic because maybe someone could help and related to the above statement:
Where could we find the equivalent of the RAF Orbs but for the USAaF?

Ps: the RAF has a greater overclain for the 41- mid43 than the LW (even accounting the JG2 notorious overclaims into it :biggrin:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

357th_Dog

It's worth noting that the MACR's were classified and not for public release, so there was no value in falsifying them and on the contrary were vital to the war effort to help determine where replacement crews and aircraft should go and follow loss trends. 

Just keep that in mind if anyone is tempted to say "well they had an interest in making themselves look good"

 

9 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

 

That is true, but it still has it's imperfections - mostly in terms of causes of losses.

Supposed losses by flak sometimes turn out to be losses by fighter and vice-versa. But how is an intelligence-officer going to find out? Unless you do have access to the wreckage, there's no way of positively determining the cause. That's going to be hard for a bomber/ fighter lost over Germany. Mind that the Germans were usually quick to make use of the raw material dropped onto them for free.

 

Then again, flak and fighters often claimed kills of the same aircraft each. They each had fired shots and they each had seen an aircraft go down. Naturally it wasn't somebody else's kill, but a result of their own doing. Remember, no shared kills! Finding out who, in the end, was the actual victor takes time and resscources. Two assets, Germany didn't really have in 1945, when they were busy finding people able to fight at the front-lines, recruiting mechanics and even pilots for infantry-duty.

 

What happens, when you mix a bunch of highly competitive people into squadrons (or tanks or flak units), is you're creating a highly competitive environment.

Fighter pilots are some of the most competitive types of persona you'll find. As kill-numbers and the connected fame were incentivised, this was the main metric of how to gain respect in fighter squadrons. Hence some people were willing to hand in kill-claims that were...premature. Some even downright fabricated claims, but those usually were quickly called out on their behaviour. Fighter-pilots also usually don't take BS.

 

The whole kill-claim and accuracy debate really is a very interesting subject. Unfortunately, on many boards (like 12 oclock high or facebook groups), this usually leads to accusations of pilots being liars or dishonest. While that may be true in some cases (they're just your normal sample of people), I'm quite sure most overklaims were made in good-faith.



I'm sure most overclaims were done in good faith, actually.  If a MACR were to list a P-51 being lost due to flak damage, the aircraft was already going down, the pilot reported it as going down, but a Jg/7 pilot shot the falling Mustang up, is it a dishonest kill claim? Probably not, the 262 pilot likely thought he did actually do all the damage.  You simply can't take either a MACR as gospel truth or the unit kill claims, only by crossing them together will you find the likely truth, which is usually in the middle

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

CUJO_1970
11 hours ago, [F.Circus]MoerasGrizzly said:

But all the airplanes that were lost that day were lost on low-altitude missions, which disputes JG/7's accounts.

 

Sorry, no.

 

JG/7 was in combat from the deck all the way up to 9,000m where the bombers were on April 10th. All of them had to fight their way back on the deck to their airfields.

 

The 8th specifically targeted the jet airfields on this day.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/27/2021 at 1:02 AM, [F.Circus]MoerasGrizzly said:

An airforce reporting its own losses is, as such, a far more reliable source then an airforce claiming kills.

 

Agreed, but while an airforce should be able to account for it's losses, reporting how they were lost is a different matter, the cause not always being witnessed. Procedures for reporting aircraft failing to return due to unknown causes varied for airforces during the war. My impression of the USAAF is that some 'guesstimation' was involved and assigning a cause based on the known circumstances at the time the loss occurred, eg. engaged in combat with enemy aircraft, flak, adverse weather etc. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

DD_Arthur
14 hours ago, Stig said:

My impression of the USAAF is that some 'guesstimation' was involved

 

If you think about it 8th Airforce bomber losses are probably the most accurate figures available.

They flew in tight formation and each aircraft contained nine pairs of eyes covering all the angles.

Thats a lot of witnesses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ZachariasX
6 hours ago, DD_Arthur said:

Thats a lot of witnesses.

Witnesses that shot each other rather frequently as well…

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hajo_Garlic

I don’t think it would be unreasonable to attribute fighters brought down by rockets to flak or thinking your rockets hit fighters that were really hit by flak. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, DD_Arthur said:

 

If you think about it 8th Airforce bomber losses are probably the most accurate figures available.

They flew in tight formation and each aircraft contained nine pairs of eyes covering all the angles.

Thats a lot of witnesses.

 

What about the bombers forced out of formation, by flak or fighter attack, becoming stragglers? Anyway, it would also be a different story for fighter combat, keeping tabs on what happens to your buddies while busy engaging the enemy was probably not easy.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

JV69badatflyski
On 7/27/2021 at 11:48 AM, [F.Circus]MoerasGrizzly said:

But all the airplanes that were lost that day were lost on low-altitude missions, which disputes JG/7's accounts.


could someone point me in the right direction to where those Reports/ORB's could be found (for the USAaF)please.
thanks

On the subject: Is there any mov available showing  the r4m in action on an aerial targets?
Devil's advocate here:
I assume the effect of one rocket would be the same as a direct hit from a 88 (or the 10,5 or the 12,8) meaning a immediate and complete destruction of a fighter airframe and if nobody else saw the rocket(s) but just the airframe explosion, and not knowing there were R4m equipped fighter in the fight, the logical conclusion would be the fighter was hit by flak and reported this way... but actually it wasn't, but was hit by a rocket... 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

DD_Arthur
1 hour ago, JV69badatflyski said:

Devil's advocate here:

 

Why bother?  It’s a great story but the balance of probabilities is that none of the aircraft encountered by this guy on this day were shot down by anything.

 

Hans Joachim Marseille seems to have shot down lots of invisible aircraft.

 

On what is considered the decisive day of the Battle of Britain we now know the RAF actually shot down around a third of what was credited to them at the time.

 

Douglas Bader was most likely shot down by his own wingman.

 

 I could go on....

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

JV69badatflyski
1 hour ago, DD_Arthur said:

 

Why bother?  It’s a great story but the balance of probabilities is that none of the aircraft encountered by this guy on this day were shot down by anything.

 

 

Why bother to read the composition of the C19 jabs? Simply follow the sheeps...just like here follow the other people's conclusions?
eh wel nope, it's better to make your own view of the case, being curious and not trusting the mass.
Just like the point the 262 couldn't go supersonic even in a dive, some guys in vienna tech univ proved the contrary and i have more faith in modern aerodynamics 
and structural simulations than in what has been beaten to death since the fifties in the so called aviation history books.

 "stay curious, doubt everything and make up you own mind."
 

So, where can we find the USAaF orbs and combat reports?;)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DD_Arthur
7 minutes ago, JV69badatflyski said:

 

Why bother to read the composition of the C19 jabs? Simply follow the sheeps...just like here follow the other people's conclusions?
eh wel nope, it's better to make your own view of the case, being curious and not trusting the mass.
Just like the point the 262 couldn't go supersonic even in a dive, some guys in vienna tech univ proved the contrary and i have more faith in modern aerodynamics 
and structural simulations than in what has been beaten to death since the fifties in the so called aviation history books.

 "stay curious, doubt everything and make up you own mind.

 

Yawn...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

VBF-12_KW
On 7/30/2021 at 12:32 AM, JV69badatflyski said:

.....


It’s clear that almost no one commenting in this thread bothered to watch the video link I posted, or even read the description, as the answers to your question are there.

 

Another question worth asking is, when was Hagenau’s account recorded?  Is the account we’re reading even a direct quote?  Was it even made in the same decade in which the combat occurred?  Isn’t it interesting that at least one of the sources above lists him as having claimed only one P-51?  
 

How many even read his complete account from the book posted at the beginning?  He reports that he shot these Mustangs down at 4000 meters, shortly after he and his wingman attacked some B-17s and his wingman was shot down.  Then he picked up a beacon signal and flew back to an airfield, contacted the tower on the way, and learned the airfield was under attack.  He states he reached the airfield and the Mustangs there left, so he made a quick approach and landed, only to see them returning and commenting that the flak deterred them.  And people are trying to claim he shot them down while they were strafing?  The mental gymnastics on display in this thread deserve to be in the Olympics.

 

 

Edited by SYN_Haashashin
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

MiloMorai

In Me262, Hagenah says he didn't attack the bombers. After shooting down the P-51s, he headed for Köthen. The P-51s could have been from the 353rd FG.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sevenless

The big question is. Wherefrom did Robert Forsyth got Hagenah´s quote?

 

Compare the two quotes below from two of Forsyths books:

 

1.) From Forsyth, Robert. Me 262 vs P-51 Mustang (Duel)

Quote

 

Six days later, on April 10, no fewer than 1,232 bombers of the Eighth Air Force struck at airfields and transport hubs, bringing nearly 900 fighters with them. The experiences of veteran ace Leutnant Walter Hagenah, flying one of a pair of Me 262s of 9./ JG 7, typify the German predicament by this stage:   We received no instructions from the ground when airborne – our task was merely to “engage bombers over Berlin.” Once above cloud at about 5,000m, I could see the bomber formation clearly at about 6,000m. I was flying at about 550km/ h in a slight climb after them. Everything seemed to be going fine – in three to four minutes we would be with the bombers. Then, as an experienced fighter pilot, I had the old “tingling at the back of the neck” feeling that perhaps enemy fighters were about. I had a good look around, and in front and above, I saw six Mustangs passing above me from almost head-on. At first I thought they had not seen me, and so I continued on. But, just to be on the safe side, I glanced back once more – and it was a good thing for me that I did, because at that moment I saw the Mustangs diving down and curving round on to the pair of us. With the speed of their dive, and the speed we had lost because of our climb, they stood a good chance of catching us. Then they opened fire and tracer began to flash disconcertingly close to our aircraft. I opened my throttle fully and put my nose down a little to increase my own speed, and resolved to outrun the enemy fighters. I did not attempt to throw off their aim – I knew the moment I turned my speed would fall, and then they would have me. I told the Feldwebel on my left to keep going, but obviously he became scared because I noticed him weaving from side to side, then he turned away to the left. It was just what the Mustang pilots wanted, and in no time they had broken off from me and were on to him. His aircraft received several hits and I saw it go down and crash – my companion was unable to bail out. I kept an eye on the enemy fighters at 4,000m and watched them reform and turn round to fly westwards for home. Feeling vengeful, I decided to have a go at them. I rapidly closed in on them from behind, but at a range of about 500m, the Mustang leader started rocking his wings and I knew I had been seen. If I continued I knew that the enemy fighters would probably split up into two and curve round from either side onto my tail, so I resolved to strike first. I loosed off all 24 of the R4M rockets under my wings straight at the enemy fighters and I was very lucky – I hit two of them and they went down out of control. This time I had plenty of speed, and had little trouble in avoiding the fire from their companions. But I had no time for self-congratulation because my own fuel was beginning to run short and I had to get down as soon as I could. I picked up a beacon on my receiver and found that it was the airfield at Köthen. I called up the airfield on the radio and I said I wanted to land there, but they called back and warned me to be careful as there were “Indiana” [enemy fighters] over the field. When I arrived, I saw that there were enemy fighters about trying to strafe the field, but the light flak defenses were giving them a hard time and I managed to slip in unnoticed. Suddenly, however, it seems I was noticed, because almost as one, the Mustangs packed up and went home – perhaps they thought my own and other jet fighters had come to tackle them. Certainly they did not know I was short of fuel. I made a tight, curving approach and hurled the Messerschmitt onto the runway, breathing a sigh of relief at having got down safely. But then the Mustangs must have realized what was going on, and in a trice they were back over the airfield and it was my turn to have a rough time. Fortunately for me, the flak defenses were still on their toes and I was not hit.

Forsyth, Robert. Me 262 vs P-51 Mustang (Duel) (Kindle-Positionen1440-1449). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle-Version. 

 

 

2.) From Forsyth, Robert. Jagdgeschwader 7 'Novotny' (Aviation Elite Units)

Quote

 

Shortly after the Parchim force had taken off, a further 30 Me 262s were scrambled out of Oranienburg, Rechlin-Lärz and Brandenburg-Briest. This force was directed to take on the bombers of the 1st Air Division that the German fighter controllers thought – wrongly – were heading for Berlin. Among an element of pilots from 9. Staffel was Walther Hagenah, who recalled;
‘The Gruppe had just moved from Parchim to Lärz, and although we had a full establishment of 30 aircraft, only about half of them were serviceable. Enemy bombers had been observed moving in to attack Berlin, and my unit was one of those ordered to engage them. But during start-up, my right engine refused to light and I had to stay behind. It took the technicians about 15 minutes to get the engine running and then, with another Me 262 flown by a young feldwebel, I took off late to engage the bombers. ‘We received no instructions from the ground when airborne – our task was merely to “engage bombers over Berlin”. Once above cloud at about 5000 metres, I could see the bomber formation clearly at about 6000 metres. I was flying at about 550 km/h in a slight climb after them. Everything seemed to be going fine. In 3-4 minutes we would be with the bombers. Then, as an experienced fighter pilot, I had the old “tingling at the back of the neck” feeling that perhaps enemy fighters were about. ‘I had a good look around, and in front and above I saw six Mustangs passing above me from almost head-on. At first I thought they had not seen me, and so I continued on. But, just to be on the safe side, I glanced back once more – and it was a good thing for me that I did, because at that moment I saw the Mustangs diving down and curving round on to the pair of us. With the speed of their dive, and the speed we had lost because of our climb, they stood a good chance of catching us. Then they opened fire and tracer began to flash disconcertingly close to our aircraft. ‘I opened my throttle fully and put my nose down a little to increase my own speed, and resolved to outrun the enemy fighters. I did not attempt to throw off their aim – I knew the moment I turned my speed would fall, and then they would have me. I told the feldwebel on my left to keep going, but obviously he became scared because I noticed him weaving from side to side, then he turned away to the left. ‘It was just what the Mustang pilots wanted, and in no time they had broken off from me and were on to him. His aircraft received several hits and I saw it go down and crash – my companion was unable to bale out. I kept an eye on the enemy fighters at 4000 metres and watched them reform and turn round to fly westwards for home.‘Feeling vengeful, I decided to have a go at them. I rapidly closed in on them from behind, but at a range of about 500 metres the Mustang leader started rocking his wings and I knew I had been seen. If I continued I knew that the enemy fighters would probably split up into two and curve round from either side onto my tail, so I resolved to strike first. I loosed off all 24 of the R4M rockets under my wings straight at the enemy fighters and I was very lucky – I hit two of them and they went down out of control. This time I had plenty of speed, and had little trouble in avoiding the fire from their companions. ‘But I had no time for self-congratulation, because my own fuel was beginning to run short and I had to get down as soon as I could. I picked up a beacon on my receiver and found that it was the airfield at Köthen. I called up the airfield on the radio and I said I wanted to land there, but they called back and warned me to be careful as there were ‘Indiana’ (enemy fighters) over the field. ‘When I arrived, I saw that there were enemy fighters about trying to strafe the field, but the light flak defences were giving them a hard time and I managed to slip in unnoticed. Suddenly, however, it seems I was noticed, because almost as one, the Mustangs packed up and went home – perhaps they thought my own and other jet fighters had come to tackle them. Certainly they did not know I was short of fuel. I made a tight, curving approach and hurled the Messerschmitt onto the runway, breathing a sigh of relief at having got down safely. But then the Mustangs must have realised what was going on and in a trice they were back over the airfield, and it was my turn to have a rough time. Fortunately for me, the flak defences were still on their toes, and I was not hit.’

 

Forsyth, Robert. Jagdgeschwader 7 'Novotny' (Aviation Elite Units) . Osprey Publishing. Kindle-Version. 

 

UNPUBLISHED SOURCES Interview transcript, Walter Hagenah, June 1976 (via Boyne)

 

 

Now the big question is. Who is Boyne and where is that alleged Hagenah transcript published?

Edited by sevenless
Link to comment
Share on other sites

MiloMorai

Could be Walter J. Boyne (February 2, 1929 – January 9, 2020) was a United States Air Force officer, Command Pilot, combat veteran, aviation historian, and author of more than 50 books and over 1,000 magazine articles. He was a director of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution and a Chairman of the National Aeronautic Association.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sevenless
8 minutes ago, MiloMorai said:

Could be Walter J. Boyne (February 2, 1929 – January 9, 2020) was a United States Air Force officer, Command Pilot, combat veteran, aviation historian, and author of more than 50 books and over 1,000 magazine articles. He was a director of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution and a Chairman of the National Aeronautic Association.

 

Thanks Milo. Do you happen to know if he published something on Me 262s? I admit, I haven´t heard of him before.

 

In your Smith and Creek Me 262 part 4 book. Is there a source given for Hagenah´s usage of the R4M rockets?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, VBF-12_KW said:


It’s clear that almost no one commenting in this thread bothered to watch the video link I posted, or even read the description, as the answers to your question are there.

 

Another question worth asking is, when was Hagenau’s account recorded?  Is the account we’re reading even a direct quote?  Was it even made in the same decade in which the combat occurred?  Isn’t it interesting that at least one of the sources above lists him as having claimed only one P-51?  
 

How many even read his complete account from the book posted at the beginning?  He reports that he shot these Mustangs down at 4000 meters, shortly after he and his wingman attacked some B-17s and his wingman was shot down.  Then he picked up a beacon signal and flew back to an airfield, contacted the tower on the way, and learned the airfield was under attack.  He states he reached the airfield and the Mustangs there left, so he made a quick approach and landed, only to see them returning and commenting that the flak deterred them.  And people are trying to claim he shot them down while they were strafing?  The mental gymnastics on display in this thread deserve to be in the Olympics.

 

 

You've watched a Youtube video and now you're an expert? To be fair, I consider your conclusion to be quite plausible, whether or not the excerpt from the video proves it, and Hagenah's spectacular account would be far from the only one that is difficult to reconcile with enemy losses when it comes to WWII air combat.

 

However, my contribution to this thread was of a general nature, not specifically the Hagenah incident and in response to 'trusting own reported losses more than the enemy's claims' with which I still agree, while doubting that they always knew how they were lost. The AAF Statistical Digest linked by Sevenless tabelling 'Losses of aircraft on combat missions' list losses due to enemy aircraft, AAA, and other causes, but not MIA or FTR. Hence my hunch that the USAAF assigned a cause of loss based on what was believed to have happened, when the fate of a non-returning aircraft was not witnessed.

 

I also wrote that an airforce should know how many aircraft it lost, the italics being for a reason. The above mentioned Statistical Digest gives for 1943 in the ETO heavy bomber losses on combat missions as 1036 and fighter losses as 178. Donald Caldwell in Day fighters in defence of the Reich ch. 10, has heavy bomber losses at 1152 and fighter losses at 172; so better than 10% more for losses of the bombers and slightly less for fighters.

 

I have an non-expert explanation for the differences, but hey, maybe you can find a Youtube video that explains it even better.🙂

 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

VBF-12_KW
11 hours ago, Stig said:

You've watched a Youtube video and now you're an expert? To be fair, I consider your conclusion to be quite plausible, whether or not the excerpt from the video proves it, and Hagenah's spectacular account would be far from the only one that is difficult to reconcile with enemy losses when it comes to WWII air combat.

 

However, my contribution to this thread was of a general nature, not specifically the Hagenah incident and in response to 'trusting own reported losses more than the enemy's claims' with which I still agree, while doubting that they always knew how they were lost. The AAF Statistical Digest linked by Sevenless tabelling 'Losses of aircraft on combat missions' list losses due to enemy aircraft, AAA, and other causes, but not MIA or FTR. Hence my hunch that the USAAF assigned a cause of loss based on what was believed to have happened, when the fate of a non-returning aircraft was not witnessed.

 

I also wrote that an airforce should know how many aircraft it lost, the italics being for a reason. The above mentioned Statistical Digest gives for 1943 in the ETO heavy bomber losses on combat missions as 1036 and fighter losses as 178. Donald Caldwell in Day fighters in defence of the Reich ch. 10, has heavy bomber losses at 1152 and fighter losses at 172; so better than 10% more for losses of the bombers and slightly less for fighters.

 

I have an non-expert explanation for the differences, but hey, maybe you can find a Youtube video that explains it even better.🙂

 

 

So what you're saying is, you haven't read through the 130+ pages of the US mission summary that's available online.  And you haven't read the Missing Aircrew Reports of 8 of the 9 Mustangs lost that day, that are available online.  And you haven't read through the 6 AARs from Mustang pilots that are available online.  And you didn't watch the video I linked.  On top of that I've dug through 5 different unit histories and 3 war diaries (including Caldwell's work you quote above) in regards to what happened that day.

 

I keep pointing people to the video I posted, because the author looked through most of these same sources, and very deliberately describes his methodology and sources, and provides links so you can look at them too.  So you could just spend 70 minutes watching it and save yourself a lot of time, if digging through the rest of that stuff is too much work.

 

Is it possible that a Mustang was lost to an Me-262 while strafing that day?  Sure.  But that's not even remotely what the original story describes, and so if that occurred, it wasn't Hagenah that scored that kill.  There's a huge pile of information available about the battle that day, and it aligns quite well with Hagenah's account - except for the part where 2 Mustangs got shot down at altitude.  So a reasonable conclusion is that Hagenah was simply mistaken, like countless other WWII airman, about the fate of his intended victims.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, as I wrote above, that you are right in your conclusion about Hagenah and as I also wrote that my comments have not been directed specifically at this particular incident. I did find your comment about 'mental gymnastics' arrogant and disdainful, toward other posters, which prompted my response. 

 

Btw, I did actually watch the part of the video that contained the April 10 mission., and once again, I have no dispute with the conclusion made.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...