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 +



14.03.2017

6. Abteilung des Generalstabes der Luftwaffe (Generalquartiermeister) - part IV b

I just realized that I wrote the part a of this post in 2013 - time really flies! But finally I am back on track an continuing my paper trail journey into the archives of the 6. Abteilung des Generalstabes der Luftwaffe (Generalquartiermeister).

Last post presented the records as they were presented after evaluation and preparation - both as detailed loss records and as statistical information. I stated that I would split the part IV into two blog posts - after further consideration - and more records showing up - there might be more than two!

An intriguing question would be - how did these records get to the Generalquartiermeister 6. Abteilung? 

The answer is rather simple - under ordinary circumstances when the lines where open - these were transferred from the commanding units - the units at Luftflotte level - to the address O.K.L. Gen.Qu.6.Abt. (Kurfürst) using Fernschreibern - teletypewriters.

Kurfürst was the code name for the Reichsluftfahrtministerium - the building complex housing the RLM and presented in detail in part I of this blog series.

So - what did such a message look like and contain? I have been fortunate enough to locate a few from the Luftflotte 6 quite late in the war, and below you see an example of the first part of the message as it was prepared to be transferred


All the information necessary for the preparation of the loss records are contained in the documents - but the messages received at the Generalquartiermeister took another form. The document above was the one delivered to the people operating the Fernschreibern, the teletypewriters or TTYs as they are called in english. One of the examples of a TTY device was the infamous Enigma machine - which in addition to transferring the information also encoded it.

At the receiving end - after decoding - a message would look like this - and even if I have not been able to locate a genuine 6. Abteilung loss record - this is how the message would look - with the teletypewriter paper strips glued to a backing paper.


Entry 2., 3. and 4. of the above mentioned document ended up in the loss record of February 7th 1945, with lfd.Nr. 29, 59 and 28 respectively. And the records as they have been transcribed from the Gen.Qu.6.Abt. loss record into my database is shown below. Note that some abbreviations has been made with regards to the information - and that the aircraft codes have been omitted since none of these aircraft were considered as missing.

Entry #2 Loss record for 5.(F)/122 on January 18th 1945

Entry #3 Loss record for 2./N.S.G.4 on January 18th 1945

Entry #4 Loss record for 3.(F)/22 on January 20th 1945


For some reason record 1. is not present in the Gen.Qu.6.Abt. loss list - something I will have to investigate further.

Stay tuned for more instalments in this series - I promise that the waiting time for the next one will not be 4 years!