Although the above graph shows that German losses during this month were very high, they appear even worse when we take the total German strength and convert the above figures into percentages. The single engined Bf109 figures represent 24% of the total fighter strength while the bombers represent a total of 19% of the bomber strength. Concern to the Luftwaffe was the high casualty rate of pilots and crew, which had to have an impact on morale of aircrew of the German Air Force.
The month previous, when
the Luftwaffe was content on attempting to draw the Royal Air Force into
combat over the English Channel, figures were far fewer than those shown
above for the month of August 1940 when more serious attempts were being
made on targets over Britain itself.
So it can be understood as to why the German Air Ministry was concerned with the number of losses that were occuring. What made things worse, when we look at the number of aircraft damaged in non-combat operations. In the May - June period of 1940, and we must appreciate that the air war was not yet at its climax, 33 Bf109 fighters were damaged due to enemy action, yet 92 were damaged due to non-enemy action, while 66 were destroyed due to non-enemy action. A figure in excess of the total losses of the RAF during the same period.
But things were not to get any better. In a later document, when looking at the total damages and losses of the Luftwaffe, we shall see that as the Battle of Britain wears on, things do not improve for the Luftwaffe, and it was not just the German fighter strength that suffered.
The figures shown above are
based on the figures published in The Luftwaffe - Strategy For Defeat by
Williamson Murray published by Chartwell Books 1986.