22.08.2017

Research notes - Unit strength reports part III

As I have described the weekly and later on in the war strength reports from the Generalquartiermeister 6 Abt I thought I should present how these looked at Luftflotte level.

I have been fortunate to locate some examples of such strength reports from Luftflotte 5 - the center of my research interest - in the attachments to the war diary of said unit for October 1943.

These were collected daily and as you see they contained not only the number of aircraft and crews - but also the location of the unit.

Details on detachments were also included as shown in the below examples for II. and III. Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 5, which both had a detachment (Kommando - abbreviated Kdo.) in Alta and at Pontsalenjoki respectively.

I am always interested in the columns of such reports - what do they represent -  and what can we thus expect to find in more cryptic versions of these documents? By cryptic I refer to the teleprinted versions of these reports which would be sent to higher commands in abbreviated and shortened form - often as numbers with the letter x as divider.





For these reports we have the following columns:


  • Verband
  • Ort
  • Flugzeuge
    • Muster
    • Soll
    • Ist
    • Dazu zugewiesen, nicht übernommen
    • Klar
      • Einsatzhafen
      • Ausserhalb
  • Besatzungen
    • Ist
    • Einsatzbereit
      • voll
      • eingeschränkt
  • Einsatzfähig
  • Vortag
Translated this would read:

  • Unit
  • Location of the unit - airfield, landing ground or station
  • Aircraft
    • Aircraft model and subtype
    • Established strength (number of aircraft)
    • Current strength (number of aircraft)
    • Additional number of aircraft allotted but not yet taken on strength
    • Number of aircraft ready for operations
      • At the reported airfield, landing ground or station
      • In other locations
  • Aircrew
    • Current strength (number of complete crews)
    • Number of aircrew ready for operations
      • Fully ready
      • Limited readiness state
  • Summary - count of aircraft and crew to use for the tactical operational state of the unit on this date
  • Summary - count of aircraft and crew to use for the tactical operational state of the unit  on the previous day

And as always I check the Verteiler - the list of units which this document was distributed to in copy. As you can see here this copy is the one that was distributed to the Ia - the head of operations. In addition copies of this document was distributed to:
  • Chef der Generalstab
  • Two copies to different offices of the Oberquartiermeister
  • One to the Gefechtsstab located in Kemi, Finland
  • One copy to the chief engineer, Chef - Ing. 
  • The last copy to the Luftgaukommando Norwegen.
In following the paper trail one can expect to find copies of these in all the above mentioned archives or war diaries - and although most of the Luftwaffe archives was destroyed you can get lucky!

Enjoy and have a nice day!    

22.03.2017

Daily eBay scan - He 59 attached to the KGr.z.b.V.108 in Bergen most likely early April 1940

Another interesting photograph currently on offer to the highest bidder, a very nice photograph of an Heinkel He 59 in a Norwegian Fjord.



The aircraft obviously originated from the Küstenfliegerstaffel 3./106 - as revealed by the code M2 + YL.

But there is another identifying feature in this photograph - the vertical bar with a superimposed number (seen in the photo as a ligth reflecting white spot on the vertical bar). This identifies the aircraft as belonging to Kampfgeschwader z.b.V. 108, one of the units composed for transport to Norway during the Operation Weserübung - the invasion of Denmark and Norway on April 9th 1940.

According to the war diary Quartermaster General (Generalquartiermeister) of the General der Luftwaffe beim Oberkommando der Marine, the 3./106 was one of several units that were to allocate aircraft for "Weserübung". On March 2nd 1940 the number of aircraft that were possible to allot to this "training exercise" were:

1) He 59 D
3/106 11
1/906 9
3/906 10
Schule Pütnitz 2
Schule Parow 2
Schule Bug 4
Nachschub:
LP Holtenau 7
Za Tr'de 1
2) He 59 E
Schule Warnemünde 11
Schule Pütnitz 7 ) Zusatztank und Rumpf_MG eingebaut bzw. einbaubereit
Schule Parow 1 )
Schule Bug 2 )
Schule Dievenow 8
Ergänzungs Gruppe 3

In addition, four He 59 D was at the Bachmann company, and two at the wharf at Pillau. These were counted as being ready for operations by April 1st, while two He 59 E from the Blindflugschule See at the wharf in Schleswig was not going to be ready for operations by the above given date.

So all in all 84 He 59 were supposed to be ready for operations in the airlift during the invasion of Norway by the count at beginning of March 1940.

All the He 59 was to be gathered at three locations, Wittensee, ZA Travemünde and Parow, while the crew were to be sent to Kiel were they would be briefed and then distributed to the above mentioned locations.

The available aircraft were to be distributed in 7 Staffeln of approximately 10 aircraft each - and the individual aircraft marked with coloured rings (we have seen that they ended up using vertical bars) and numbers. (Bezeichnung der Staffeln durch Farbringe und Nummern as it is written in German).

This aircraft was photographed in Bergen in western Norway. The order for the use of He 59 from the I./108 stationed at Norderney on Wesertag - April 9th 1940 - a unit consisting of 1/108 and 2/108 equipped with He 59 and 8/108 with Ju 52/See - was to transport an army infantry company consisting of 150 to 150 personnel from Norderney to Bergen.

You can in fact see a He 59 taking off - showing the same backdrop as in this photograph - in the following film on YouTube:




17.03.2017

Treasures from the archives Vol 03 - Location of further remains of the Luftwaffe on April 26 1945

Another little snippet of information from the archives - this time the location of the tattered remains of Hungarian and German air force unit as they were stationed in mostly southern Bavaria and Austria on April 26th 1945.

I have tried to color code the units a bit this time:

7 Jagddivision and subsidiaries in blue

Luftwaffenkommando 4 and subsidiaries in green

18. Fliegerdivision and subsidiaries in yellow

17. Fliegerdivision and subsidiaries in orange

8. Jagddivision and subsidiaries in red

Kommandierende general der Deutsche Luftwaffe in Ungarn in brown

Luftgaukommando XVII in purple

Kommando der Königliche Ungarische Luftwaffe in grey

Klick on the icons to get further information on units located at the site.

There is a bit of a mystery here also. According to most sources I have seen, the 8. Jagddivision - code name BUSSARD - was located at WOLFSLEITHEN.

The only Wolfsleithen I have found using my sources which are primarily the internet - is a reference to a field in a really old overview of property from Bavaria.

My guess has been that the 8. Jagddivision was located at a location which today is only a street name in Herzogenaurach called Wolfsleite. In fact there are two very similar names close to Harzogenaurach - the street mentioned above - and another street called Wolfsleithe in Cadolzburg.

It would be very interesting to see if the online community will be able to solve this mystery and come up with the exact location of the late war HQ of the 8. Jagddivision - so that all the Wolfsleithen followed by a questionmark locations given on various websites could be updated.


15.03.2017

Treasures from the archives Vol 02 - Location of the flying units of 7. Jagddivison on April 26th 1945

Using the report on the Dislozierung (location) of the units of the 7. Jagddivison reported by Major in Generalstab Ross at 2220 hours in the evening I have created the following map:


Treasures from the archives Vol 01 - The flying personnel of Jagdverband 44

Wading through the collection of documents amassed over the years one from time to time stumble upon a small interesting tidbit - a piece of information one want to share even if it has been published in altered or rewritten form earlier.

Going through parts of my collection of documents originating from captured German documents filmed at Alexandria, Virginia today, I found this message transcribed by me below.

It is the list of flying personell, ordered by rank, which was to form the I. Gruppe of Jagdverband 44 or JV 44.

It is in my opinion interesting to read these messages in unabridged and original form, and in the original language - it will ultimately lead to the ability to read condensed and translated work with a more critical eye.

This unit must have been the most top heavy unit of any airforce in times with regards to rank - the first 12! listed here would have been at least leading a Gruppe in more normal circumstances, the first 8 Geschwader or hold even higher commands.  The next 7 on the list from number 13 through number 19 would have been expected to be leading Staffel formations.

It is also of interest to note the units these pilots were amassed from - note especially how many experienced pilots that were now gathered in from the training units more as a last ditch effort to defend the last remnants of the failed Third Reich.

Enjoy!

And if you would like to read more on this intriguing unit I would suggest you start saving for a copy of the book by Robert Forsyth with Eddie J. Creek and Arthur Bentley - hard to come by but definitely worth the hunt!



+ KR LSMR 0183 27/4 2330 .=
AN LFL KDO 6, LOHENGRIN .=
- G E H E I M -

BETR : FERNMUENDL. RUECKSPRACHE MAJ. SCHUERMEIER - HPTM. GUTOWSKI 27.4.45. - FLUEGZEUGFUEHRER - AUFSTELLUNG J.V. 44. - 
ROEM EINS 
1.) GEN LTN. GALLAND STAB GEN D JAGDFLIEGER.-
2.) OBERST STEINHOFF J. G. 7.-
3.) OBERSTLTN. BAER E. J. G. 2.-
4.) MAJ. BARKHORN J G 6.-
5.) MAJ. HOHAGEN NACH LAZARETT-AUFENHALT.-
6.) MAJ. SCHNELL J G 102.-
7.) MAJ. HERGET REISESTAB GEN. KLEINRATH.-
8.) MAJ. BRUECKER ROEM EINS / K G (J) 51.-
9.) HPTM. KIRCHMAYR E J G 2.-
10.) HPTM. ESSER J G 106.-
11.) HPTM KRUPINSKI ROEM DREI / J G 26.-
12.) HPTM WUEBKE ROEM ZWEI / J G 101.-
13.) OBLTN BLOMERT FLG. L SCH. D LW.-
14.) OBLTN STIGLER E J G 1.-
15.) OBLTN FABER GEN D JAGDFLG.-
16.) OBLTN HONDT J G 11.-
17.) OBLTN WALTER J G 105.-
18.) OBLTN RICHTER E J G 2.-
19.) OBLTN GRINBERG J G 7.-
20.) LT STRATE ROEM EINS / K G 51.-
21.) LT FUHRMANN E J G 2.-
22.) LT BELL E J G 2.-
23.) LT HOFMANN ROEM ZWEI / E J G 2.-
24.) LT FAERMANN J G 7 ( IM GEGENSEITINGEN EINVERSTAENDNIS BEIDER DIENSTSTELLEN BEI AUFSTELLUNG J. V. 44).-
25.) LT NEUMANN J G 7.-
26.) LT ROTH ROEM DREI / J G 102.-
27.) LT SACHSENBERG ROEM ZWEI / J G 52.-
28.) LT SEUFERT E J G 2.-
29.) OFHR. WEINDL K G 51.-
30.) FJ.- OFW FROEHLICH K G 51.-
31.) FJ - OFW KAISER JAGDFL. HEIM BAD WIESSEE.-
32.) FJ - OFW SCHUHMACHER E J G 2.-
33.) OFW KLANTE E J G 2.-
34.) OFW DOBNING J G 103.-
35.) OFW HAASE 2./ J G 105.-
36.) OFW KNIER J G 101.-
37.) OFW NIELINGER J G 103.-
38.) OFW RECKERS J G 110.-
39.) OFW SCHWANEBERG J G 103.-
40.) FELDW. KAMMERDIENER FLG. L SCH D LW.-
41.) FW STEINER ROEM EINS / J G 11.-
42.) FW TRENKE ROEM EINS / K G (J) 51.-
43.) UFFZ. POEHLING 6 / K G (J) 51.-
44.) UFFZ. MUELLER 3. / FR FL SAMMELGR.-
45.) UFFZ. SCHALLMOSER E J G 2.-
AUF ANFORDERUNG J.V. 44 SIND KEINE FLUEGZEUGFUEHRER BISHER KOMMANDIERT WORDEN.-
ROEM ZWEI VON J. V. 44 WURDEN KEINE BILD - ME 262 UEBERNOMMEN.=
JAGDVERBAND 44 BRB NR 80/45 GEH GEZ. GUTOWSKI HPTM +