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Kracker Luftwaffe Archive: Effectively Searching The Database
When using the Archive, be mindful of umlauts etc. It may be necessary to include special German characters in your Search, otherwise you may not necessarily find what you are looking for. Better to be safe than miss something!

Search on this database can be very powerful and useful. With a few simple techniques you will be able to extract from over 20 years of scholarship information that you never thought you could find.

Creative researchers are likely to find golden threads to research through an imaginative use of the power and flexibility now offered. The data has always been there of course, but seeing the connections has hitherto been problematical: sometimes the needle gets hidden in the haystack. This facility changes that.

To get started, put a name in the Search box, for example Fischer. (you don't have to capitalize names so fischer will work the same way as Fischer). The result is all the Fischers in the database. From this first Search you can become familiar with the layout of the database which will enable you to conduct more complex Searches.

You can perform a Search for almost anything (3 characters or more) in any column. So now replace Fischer with KIA and now you see all those Killed In Action in the database. You will normally read the Notes column to find the results of this particular search. Now put Fischer AND KIA in the Search box. This will find all records of Fischers who were KIA. (The AND is known as a Boolean operator, and tells our Search Engine you want to find entries that meet both specified criteria. (You don't have to capitalize AND incidentally: Fischer and KIA will work just as well, as will fischer and kia). Other than in the case of capitalization, however, spelling IS important. A search on Frankfurt an der Oder will NOT find Frankfurt-an-der-Oder for example.

You can have up to FIVE dependencies in a single search! For example Fischer AND Bf 109 AND Hamburg AND Holland would find all Fischers who flew BF 109 and had some connection to Hamburg and Holland.

If you are familiar with other Boolean operators, try those.

Fischer and Bf 109 = all entries that contain BOTH Fischer and Bf 109. It will ignore any entry that only has Fischer, ditto one that only has Bf 109. The entry must have both. You can have up to 5 dependencies. Thus Fischer and Bf 109 and Hamburg and KIA and JG-300 will only find entries that have ALL 5. Clever use of these dependencies can find fascinating discoveries, such as 'pilots in JG-300 KIA over Holland'

Fischer or Bf 109 = all entries that contain EITHER Fischer OR Bf 109. This will be a longer list than above because you've got all the Fischers whatever they flew, and all the Bf 109s whoever flew them.

(Fischer or Schmidt) and Bf 109 = entries that have Fischers who flew Bf 109 plus entries that have Schmists who flew the Bf 109. The placement of brackets is important. Thus Fischer or (Schmidt and Bf 109) will find all Fischer entries plus all entries that contain BOTH Schmidt and Bf 109. Can you see the difference? The first one finds Fischers who flew Bf 109 PLUS Schmidts who flew Bf 109, whereas the second finds Schmidts who flew Bf 109 PLUS Fischers who flew anything.

There are some limitations.

You can't search for any single letter or number. You can't search for 7 for example, or B

You can't search for 2 letter or 2 number combos. You can't search for JG for example, or 54. You CAN search for 3 letters or numbers, thus KIA and 300 both work. Currently a search on JG-54 doesn't work, whereas a search on JG-300 does work (we are looking into the reasons for this. It seems our search code is currently focusing on the digit part of this sequence and since JG-54 only has 2 digits, it won't find those entries. If we can fix this, we will).

SEARCHING ON PLANE Be careful in your spelling. The Archive adopts a standard way for designating a plane type, thus: Bf 109, Fw 190, Ju 88A-4. Note the space between the Bf and 109. This space is important. Be aware a Search on Bf109 will not find any entries in the database where the plane is identified by Bf 109. You must get the spelling right if you want to find the right entries and spaces, slashes, hyphens and brackets are all significant. Remember also the data was compiled over a 20 year period and it would be surprising if complete consistency could be guaranteed in consequence. You may need to experiment with various spelling options to find what you need. Note that a search on 109 will find all the Bf 109s (because there are 3 digits in 109), but a search on Ju 88 or 88 will NOT find this plane because there are only 2 digits (ie 88). Ju 88A-4 however WILL find all incidences of that plane.

Note that German special characters may be important. You may prefer to search using the appropriate German characters, and whilst normally this will find both Gotz and Götz, for example, you might want to check with and without the specials just to be sure.

We would like to hear from researchers who find interesting connections through our Search Engine. Caring is Sharing! Perhaps you would like to contribute a story based on your research? We'll be happy to publish you.

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