Hans-Joachim Marseille (1919-1942.

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Hans-Joachim Marseille (1919-1942.

Berichtdoor Tandorini » 21 okt 2009, 19:23


Then there is marksmanship. At the height of his powers, Experte Hans-Joachim Marseille is said to have needed an average of 15 rounds per victory. In Burma, Jim Lacey shot down a Hayabusa with a mere five rounds, while in Europe, Canadian Wally McLeod shot down two FW 190As with a total expenditure of 26 rounds. In terms of strike rates, Lacey's 28 victims were amassed in little over 80 encounters with the enemy, while P-47 ace Bob Johnson flew 91 sorties for a similar score. This sortie/victory ratio would have ensured them a ranking in the Jagdflieger list far above Erich Hartmann, or Adolf Galland. It has been postulated, purely on Second World War results, that Germans are naturally better fighter pilots. This can be refuted by taking a glance at the relative scores for World War One; in this conflict there was no basic difference. The only conclusion is that British, American and Commonwealth pilots in the second conflict were at least the equal of their opponents, and given identical circumstances, would have matched anything the Jagdflieger achieved. - Allied Fighter Aces by Mike Spick
The most successful Luftwaffe fighter pilot in World War II. Even the legendary fighter pilot Adolf Galland called “Jochen”Marseille “the unsurpassed virtuoso among fighter pilots.”An officer candidate before the war, his poor disciplinary record delayed his commission until 1941, despite moderate success in the Battle of Britain in 1940—he shot down seven RAF aircraft but was himself shot down four times. In early 1941, he was transferred to the 1st Group of Jagdgeschwader 27 (27th Fighter Wing) in North Africa, where an understanding commander gave him full rein to develop his talents. Marseille soon began to score regularly against the RAF and became renowned in the theater for total command of his aircraft and for his unerring aim. His skill as a deflection shooter allowed him to score as often as targets presented themselves—he could dive into the middle of a defensive circle of RAF fighters and totally destroy it. He once shot down eight RAF fighters in 10 minutes, a day in which he claimed 17 victories in three combat sorties. He was promoted to captain and given command of a staffel (squadron), whose primary mission was to fly high cover for Marseille. On 3 September 1942, he became the fourth member of the Wehrmacht to receive the Oak Leaves with Swords and Diamonds to the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross from Adolf Hitler. Less than a month later he was dead. The engine of his new fighter seized while he was returning from a mission; Marseille struck its tail while bailing out and fell to the ground with an unopened parachute. His final victory total was 154 fighters and four bombers; all of his victims were from the Royal Air Force or the South African Air Force.
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