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Old 9 August 2000, 07:02 AM   #1
rammjaeger
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Recently I tried to get the numbers of the victories of Allied Flak - sorry, AAA. There came no answers concerning British or French victories.
There are tons of books about all the flying aces available but nobody (?) cares for this side of the airwar.

Are there any English, French or American books available dealing with "Archie" or is the lack of answers result of a lack of literature about AAA?

Just curious,

Hannes
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Old 9 August 2000, 07:48 AM   #2
Mark
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As you probably know, the GOGS and other "serious and modern" authors typically list whatever AAA casualty information they have pulled out of their sources.

I have never seen such information pooled to get an idea of total claims by anti-aircraft fire, but you may have come up with an interesting idea for a new book Hannes.

If there is an estimate of total planes destroyed in WWI, I would _guess_ that the follwing percentages might apply:

50% loss due to accidents unrelated to combat
35% loss due to enemy aircraft
15% loss due to enemy flak

What do you think?
 
Old 9 August 2000, 03:47 PM   #3
Scotty
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Hannes,

There is a 10 page article in Over the Front Vol 9 #1 titled " An Early Answer to Airpower: Antiaircraft Service in the A.E.F " written by Major Bryon E. Greenwald

The article advises that:
"For once in combat, the forces of the Antiaircraft Service performed admirably. In less than three months at the front, both the machine gun units and the amalgamated artillery forces proved the value of solid technical training and good organization. The antiaircraft gunners using French 75-mm guns shot down 17 aircraft with just 10,275 rounds of ammunition, an average of 605 rounds per airplane. By comparison, British antiaircraft gunners expended 10,000 rounds and the French 4,500 for every airplane they downed. The machine gunners achieved even more impressive results. With just 25,115 rounds, the two battalions downed 41 German aircraft."

Unfortunately, the article does not list specifics as to type, location, or dates of these claims. Unit names of the antiaircraft battalions are also not included.

There is a detailed bibliography of both published and unpublished sources including books and articles. Perhaps some of the books listed in the bibliography go into more detail. I can list some if needed.

I hope this helps.
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Old 10 August 2000, 09:22 AM   #4
rammjaeger
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Hi Mark,

yes, that is worth a good book too!

The Germans had a ratio of ca. 5:1 between victories by airplane and by Flak. That would turn the Flak-part down to 7-8% in your guess but I am currently not shure concerning the losses in accidents - have to look that up. I believe in Winter 1917 was an extreme period: Idflieg-Major Siegert wrote a bitter and gall order to all units because of the enormous number of airplanes lost in accidents (I computed 6 times more lost in accidents than in combat in this critical 5 or 6 weeks!).

The importance of the Flak/AAA was bigger than their victory share is indicating (forced enemy airplanes in higher altitudes or on another course, destroyed many Allied tanks ...)!

Additional the Flak (at least on the German side) was often only second winner if fighters and Flak claimed a victory for the same airplane.

VBR

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Old 10 August 2000, 09:35 AM   #5
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Scotty,

thanks for your interesting post too. Currently I am only intending to get an overview of the importance and victory numbers on the Allied side (divided by nations) in general. It would be nice if you can find a source in this list which is giving also basic info about British or even French AAA.

VBR

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