Sample from Hermann Graf's Victory List

The siderudder of Oberleutnant Hermann Graf's Bf 109 F-4 at Kharkov-Rogan on 14 May 1942. Each bar marks one aerial victory.

From Alfred Grislawski's personal photo album.

Hermann Graf officially was credited with a total of 212 confirmed victories during World War II, while Alfred Grislawski officially was credited with a total of 133 confirmed victories.

In the dual biography "Graf & Grislawski: A Pair of Aces," Christer Bergström and Vlad Antipov present the result of their painstaking research to identify the actual opponents corresponding to every single victory claimed by Graf and Grislawski--among the USAAF and the RAF, as well as among the Soviet air forces.

Bergström and Antipov are proud to have been able to identify the corresponding opponents regarding the majority of Graf's and Grislawski's victories. It has been possible to ascertain the exact identity of some of the airmen who were shot down by either Graf or Grislawski. Some of those names are the names of relatively famous pilots. In some cases, it has turned out that Graf or Grislawski filed obvious overclaims - an inevitable result of aerial combat, and of frequent occurrence regarding most top aces. However, at the same time as Graf and Grislawski apparently filed their claims in good belief, it should be stressed that surprisingly few of their claims turn out to be overclaims.

In each case when the identity of an airman who was shot down by Graf or Grislawski has been identified, this is presented in the narrative. On a number of cases, the enemy's corresponding combat report is included to illustrate the combat in question from the enemy's perspective.

In two appendices at the end of the book, Hermann Graf's and Alfred Grislawski's respective victory lists are presented in the form of tables. Below follows a brief sample from Hermann Graf's victory list.

Victory No.
10 Sept 1942, 1534 hrs
PQ 49444, Stalingrad area
287 IAD
10 Sept1942, 1535 hrs
PQ 49444, Stalingrad area
287 IAD
11 Sept 1942, 1558 hrs
PQ 40781. Stalingrad area
270 BAD
11 Sept1942, 1609 hrs
PQ 40884, Stalingrad area
731 IAP
12 Sept 1942, 1647 hrs
PQ 49412, Stalingrad area
629 IAP
12 Sept1942, 1713 hrs

PQ 49161, Stalingrad area

629 IAP

It should be pointed out that Bergström and Antipov have been able to trace the identity of the victorious enemy airmen in question on all but one occasion when Hermann Graf and Alfred Grislawski were shot down in aerial combat. All of this is described in detail in the book's narrative, and in most cases the corresponding enemy combat report is included in the narrative. Moreover, Bergström and Antipov have reached contact with two of the airmen who shot down Graf or Grislawski, and has inserted their personal account of the events in question in the book. On only one occasion has it been impossible to identify the enemy airman who shot down Grislawski, and the reason to this is that there simply were "too many" claims filed against "too few" German fighter planes.

More by Christer Bergström -

the detailed history of the air war on the Eastern Front 1941 - 1945:

Black Cross/Red Star: Air War Over the Eastern Front

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© Christer Bergström, Vlad Antipov 2001 - 2003