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> USAAF overclaiming and Pierre Costerman
Florin
Posted: January 20, 2005 02:02 pm
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The French pilot Pierre Closterman, who served as fighter pilot in Royal Air Force (British), wrote in 1948 a book titled "The Great Circus". That was the name of his own fighter plane, a Tempest.

He mentioned that unlike the Royal Air Force, the American crews had the habit to exaggerate the number of their "kills". Then the American mass media offered a grossly inflated number of German planes shot down.

For 2 main reasons, in accordance to the author:

1. The American bombers had no recording devices in the cockpit of their gunners (which I think it was the case for any standard bomber involved in WWII). The author gives an example, to make it clear: If a Me-109 comes close to a formation of 4 bombers B-24, all the machine guns of the 4 bombers start to shoot at it. Then the Me-109 goes down in flames, from the close proximity of the 4 bombers.
Each of the 4 bombers reports a "kill", and their claims are recorded accordingly, as 4 of Me-109 shot down.

2. In accordance to Pierre Closterman, the other main reason was political. People in America were deeply concerned with the high number of casualties among the crews of the American bombers, so the official reports started to feed mass-media with inflated reports regarding the German casualties.

The result was that Allied newspapers, and the Allied generals, started to claim by the end of 1943 that the European Axis has no operational aviation any more. The harsh reality was however very well known by the Allied pilots themselves.

This last paragraph I have it confirmed from at least another source: "Crusade in Europe" by Dwight Eisenhower. He mentioned there that after the landing in Italy (sometimes at the end of 1943), an American general declared to the newspapers that the German aviation is so badly damaged, that he will consider any serious action on the behalf of Luftwaffe as an personal insult. The answer was next night, when Luftwaffe sunk in an Italian harbor 16 American vessels. The worse of it, according to Eisenhower, was one ship carrying poisonous combat gas, kept just in case the Germans are going to use first poisonous gas. That toxic gas started to spill along the sea, near harbor.

This post has been edited by Florin on January 20, 2005 02:03 pm
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MorrainePlt
Posted: January 20, 2005 03:00 pm
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QUOTE (Florin @ Jan 20 2005, 02:02 PM)
The French pilot Pierre Closterman, who served as fighter pilot in Royal Air Force (British), wrote in 1948 a book titled "The Great Circus". That was the name of his own fighter plane, a Tempest.

He mentioned that unlike the Royal Air Force, the American crews had the habit to exaggerate the number of their "kills". Then the American mass media offered a grossly inflated number of German planes shot down.

For 2 main reasons, in accordance to the author:

1. The American bombers had no recording devices in the cockpit of their gunners (which I think it was the case for any standard bomber involved in WWII). The author gives an example, to make it clear: If a Me-109 comes close to a formation of 4 bombers B-24, all the machine guns of the 4 bombers start to shoot at it. Then the Me-109 goes down in flames, from the close proximity of the 4 bombers.
Each of the 4 bombers reports a "kill", and their claims are recorded accordingly, as 4 of Me-109 shot down.

2. In accordance to Pierre Closterman, the other main reason was political. People in America were deeply concerned with the high number of casualties among the crews of the American bombers, so the official reports started to feed mass-media with inflated reports regarding the German casualties.

The result was that Allied newspapers, and the Allied generals, started to claim by the end of 1943 that the European Axis has no operational aviation any more. The harsh reality was however very well known by the Allied pilots themselves.

This last paragraph I have it confirmed from at least another source: "Crusade in Europe" by Dwight Eisenhower. He mentioned there that after the landing in Italy (sometimes at the end of 1943), an American general declared to the newspapers that the German aviation is so badly damaged, that he will consider any serious action on the behalf of Luftwaffe as an personal insult. The answer was next night, when Luftwaffe sunk in an Italian harbor 16 American vessels. The worse of it, according to Eisenhower, was one ship carrying poisonous combat gas, kept just in case the Germans are going to use first poisonous gas. That toxic gas started to spill along the sea, near harbor.

Florin , I think you missred Closterman report on the gunners air kills reports ......it was a common error between the air gunners of the 8th air force on the early bombing missions to report german fighter brought down because they saw extensive smoke comming out of the exhaust pipes of the Germans during the dive....in fact was just the air/ fuel mixture induced by the pilot in dive ......your comment that all gunners would claim all and the same air kill is exagerated and was never published the way you described by Closterman...I have its report , please re read it again.....but I agree regarding the moral needed by the americans due to the day light bombing loses

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Jaquè Lombardi
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KarayaLegende
Posted: January 20, 2005 03:15 pm
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QUOTE (Florin @ Jan 20 2005, 02:02 PM)


Florin, can you post the report of Clostermann ? I think you publish words which were never said by him , also I wonder if you know the name of the ship sunken by the Luftwaffe which contained poisn chemicals and the spealling you described? can you prove all these stataments ? I am a military historian and I heard little of what you say

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Florin
Posted: January 20, 2005 03:31 pm
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I read the book "The Great Circus" 19 years ago. Sorry, I do not have it on hand.
However, I dare to say I did not write gross errors here. Forgetting the matter that the exhaust smoke of Me-109 made the Allied crews to think the Me-109 are damaged does not affect the basic idea, thus it is not a gross error.

But did you read "Crusade in Europe", by Eisenhower? The episode with the 16 American vessels sunk in a harbor in Italy is there. I read that book about 20 years ago, but I saw the matter again, in a documentary, last year. In the TV documentary, if I remember right, the number of sunk ships was not mentioned, otherwise is like Eisenhower wrote.

This post has been edited by Florin on January 20, 2005 03:47 pm
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