Aviation of World War II

Aviation of World War II

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Aces Against Aces. Counting Luftwaffe Victories

The Luftwaffe's system of counting aerial victories assumed one aircraft shot down, accurately identified by a camera gun or by one or two other witnesses.

At the same time, the aircraft was recorded on a personal account only if it was recorded destroyed in the air, engulfed in flames, abandoned by its pilot in the air, or its fall to the ground and destruction was recorded.

To complete the victory, the Luftwaffe pilot filled out an application consisting of 21 points.

It stated:

1. Time (date, hour, minute) and place of the plane crash.

2. Names of the crew members who applied.

3. Type of destroyed aircraft.

4. The nationality of the enemy.

5. The essence of the damage caused:

a) flames and black smoke;

b) whether the enemy aircraft fell apart (name parts) or exploded;

c) whether he made an emergency landing (indicate place at the front line and whether it was a normal or emergency landing);

d) if it landed behind the front line, did it catch fire on the ground.

6. The nature of the fall (only if it could be observed):

a) in what place of the front;

b) was the fall vertical or did the plane burst into flames;

c) if it was not observed, then for what reason.

7. The fate of the enemy crew (killed, jumped out with a parachute, etc.).

8. The personal report of the pilot must be attached.

9. Witnesses:

a) in the air;

b) on the ground.

10. The number of attacks that the enemy aircraft was subjected to.

11. The direction from which each attack was made.

12. The distance from which effective fire was fired.

13. Tactical attack position.

14. Were enemy shooters disabled.

15. Type of weapons used.

16. Ammunition consumption.

17. The type and number of machine guns used to destroy the enemy aircraft.

18. Own aircraft type.

19. Anything else that has tactical and technical value.

20. Damage to own machine as a result of enemy actions.

21. Other units that participated in the battle (including anti-aircraft artillery).

The squadron commander signed the questionnaire. The main items were 9 (witnesses) and 21 (other divisions).

The application was accompanied by a personal report of the pilot, in which he first indicated the date and time of takeoff, the eve and start of the battle, and then only announced the victories and listed them from the time the attack began, including altitude and range.

Then he pointed out the essence of the destruction, the nature of the fall, his observation and the recorded time.

A report on the battle, written by a witness or an eyewitness, was attached to the report about the downed aircraft. All this made it possible to double-check the pilot's messages about the victory. The commander of a group or squadron after receiving reports from other pilots, data from ground observation posts, decoding films of a photo-movie gun, etc. wrote his conclusion on the form, which, in turn, served as the basis for official confirmation or not confirmation of victory.

As an official recognition of his victory, the Luftwaffe pilot received a special certificate, which indicated the date, time and place of the battle, as well as the type of aircraft he shot down.

According to German sources, the Germans did not share victories. "One pilot - one victory," their law read. For example, Allied pilots divided victories like this: if two pilots fired at one aircraft and it was shot down, each of them wrote down half.