Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Junkers Ju 88 C Nachtjäger of I./NJG 2 and a view of the Nachtabschüsse Tafel (victories board) of 3./ NJG 2. Gilze Rijen during the winter of 1940-41. Some of these images are previously published in the "Die Deutsche Luftwaffe - Zerstörer- und Nachtjagdverbände" series reviewed on this blog here
on offer here
More I./ NJG 2 on this blog here
Hptm Karl Hülshoff is the first name on the Abschusstafel above. Hülshoff was Staffelkapitän of 3./ NJG 2 to late November 1940 prior to being appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./NJG 2. A view of his 'R4+AA' below.
Monday, 25 April 2016
Bf 109 F Chevron I+ with Bf 109 F 1+ seen in the background with the yellow theatre fuselage band ahead of the Balkenkreuz. Taken in the USSR. Appears to be a Bf 109 F-2 (external strengthening strips on the tail section). Staffelabzeichen on the cowl is the Wolfskopf of III./ Jagdgeschwader 77
Thanks to Goran at the Luftwaffe Research Group for the find.
And from Jochen Prien ..." an early F-4 from the 7000 WerkNr. range since III./JG 77 was equipped with this sub-type when they converted to the Bf 109 F immediately prior to the German attack on the USSR. "White 1" in the background should be Oblt. Huy's mount again, seen in quite a lot of images from the early days of the war in the east..."
Recovery of a belly-landed Fw 190 of Sturmstaffel 1 in early 1944. The aircraft used by Sturmstaffel 1 at this time were Focke Wulf Fw 190 A-6s, which lacked the 30 mm Mk 108 cannon but were equipped with an armoured cockpit. This comprised four externally mounted steel plates, Panzerplattern, designed to protect the pilot during the long moments when the attacking aircraft was exposed to the bombers defensive fire. An armoured windscreen and armoured glass canopy panels were also fitted. The rifle calibre MG 17 fuselage guns were removed. Here the engine upper cowl lies on the wing and the position of the cowl latches shows the MG 17 fit with the 'narrow' gun troughs. On MG 131-equipped machines with the bulged cowl the latches are located on the side cowls. Note the fuselage bands have a small white outline. There is no cowl emblem, both indications that this is not a later JG 4 machine.
The Sturmstaffel was based at Dortmund alongside JG 1. The first officially confirmed victory of the unit was attributed to Major Erwin Bacsila, a B-17 shot down on 30 January 1944. An Austrian, Bacsila flew with the unit until April 1944 when he was wounded in the arm and subsequently declared unfit for action. A respected officer with several command appointments he had previously flown as Joachim Müncheberg's Rottenflieger with JG 77 in North Africa. His diary for the period makes for fascinating reading.
Sturmstaffel 1 was deactivated on 21 April 1944 and renamed as 11 Staffel of IV./JG 3 as part of a general expansion of units using these methods and integrated into IV./JG 3 under new Gruppenkommandeur Hptm Willi Moritz. Maj. von Kornatzki and Maj. Erwin Bacsila the ranking officers of Sturmstaffel 1 were transferred out of the unit with the Staffelkapitän Major von Kornatzki subsequently charged with establishing a new Sturmgruppe, II./ JG 4 from the remnants of I./ZG 1. Five experienced pilots of Sturmstaffel 1 provided a core for Major von Kornatzki’s newly formed command: Leutnant Ulrich Blaese, Feldwebel Gerhard Marburg, Leutnant Rudolf Metz, Leutnant Werner Peinemann and Oberleutnant Othmar Zehart.
Saturday, 23 April 2016
According to seller Heiko Fuchs the following images depict Nahaufklärer FW 189 Uhu of Aufklärungsstaffel 4.(H) 11 somewhere in the East. They are from the album of one of the unit's former pilots Heinz Haßler who was a recce pilot - Aufklärungsflieger - with Nahaufklärungsstaffel 4./H./11 and who also flew Bf 109s with 2.Tannenberg-Staffel (on this blog here) before being KIA in Italy.
More from this 2.Tannenberg-Staffel sequence on this blog here
Below; the Staffel celebrates 1000 sorties. On offer here
Thursday, 21 April 2016
Batailles Aériennes 76 - " Non-Stop Offensive" - the Luftwaffe on the defensive, June-July 1941 by Jean-Louis Roba
"...This issue of Batailles Aériennes, dedicated to the first period of what we then called the "Non-stop Offensive" offers a surprising parallel with the news, especially with the continuing air strikes on Syria. Admittedly, the comparison stops there but we can not help thinking about the ineffectiveness of air strikes in the absence of planned ground operations to destroy an opponent. This is what is happening in Syria, where French and her allies can have no intention of dispatching an expeditionary force; similarly, Britain, 75 years ago, was incapable of mounting a ground campaign to drive the Germans out of France. The RAF therefore undertook its "Non-stop Offensive" which took a large toll of men and machines for meagre returns; the Luftwaffe needed only to maintain two fighter wings on French territory to oppose the large formations of British fighters. Despite the fact that the German fighter force in the West was hopelessly outnumbered, the two fighter Geschwader managed to resist effectively..."
From early 1941 the skies of northern France were criss-crossed with contrails on an almost daily basis, the result of the aerial clashes between the RAF and the two Luftwaffe Geschwader remaining in France in what has been dubbed " the year of the Circus". Taking the war to the Luftwaffe, the RAF's tactic was to lure the fighters - principally of JG 2 and JG 26 - into the air to write them down using a handful of bombers as 'bait' escorted by sometimes as many as nine squadrons of fighters. The latest issue of Batailles Aériennes is out now and continues the chronology started in Batailles Aériennes no 35 "Le RAF contre-attaque" (now sold out). This latest Roba work covers barely two months of air combat action from June 1941 to mid-July 1941 and will be followed by two further issues. Jean-Louis Roba describes the clashes between the Bf 109s of JG 2 and JG 26 with the Hurricanes and Spitfires of 242, 609, 303 and other RAF fighter squadrons illustrated with many period photographs of the machines and aces that fought through this period of dog-fighting over northern France. Most of the images have been obtained from German sources so will be new to many. The text (French language) describes the action day-by-day and is completed with a full list of losses for the period and is superbly illustrated with a large selection of Thierry Dekker artworks. Superb. Recommended at 12,50 euros
Lela Presse web page text translation by this blog author
Go here to order (English spoken) and see a pdf excerpt
Lt. Robert Menge's 3./JG 26 Bf 109 E-7. Menge was KIA on 14 June 1941 during a clash with 92 Sqd Spitfires. The emblem of 3./JG 26 under the cockpit was a representation of a diving eagle clutching a bomb
Monday, 18 April 2016
Original Konvolut von 20 x Fotos, KG 1 Hindenburg
".. Kommodore Horst v. Riesen mit Stab in der Fliegerkaserne in Brandis, viele Offiziere und RK+DKIG Träger dabei..."
Below; Major von Cossart (also third left above) in discussion with Oblt Sickert. Hptm Manfred von Cossart was Kdr. of IV./KG 1 from late 1942 until February 1944. With promotion to the rank of Major, von Cossart assumed command of I./ KG 1. On the dissolution of KG 1 this officer was posted to IV./ JG 301, prior to a posting to Erg.JGr. Ost and a transfer to JG 7. (via the de Zeng/Stankey officer career summaries here)
Hptm. Otto von Ballasko
von Riesen departs Brandis
on offer here
According to Flugbuch entries listed in Ransom's brief history of Flugplatz Brandis "Zwischen Leipzig und der Mulde" the first He 177 arrivals for I. Gruppe KG 1 flew into Brandis, some 18 km east of Leipzig, during February 1944; He 177 A-1 WNr. 15184 arrived in Brandis on 18 February 1944. By April I./KG 1 still had only sixteen He 177 bombers on strength and it was not until March 1944 that the newer A-3 model arrived. II./ KG 1 in Burg and IV./ KG 1 in Neuburg also had claim on some of these newer machines. Of I./KG 1's 22 He 177 A-3s on strength on 25 April 1944 only six were einsatzbereit (combat-ready) the Gruppe having already lost three He 177s in crashes. By 10 June 1944 the Gruppe had lost a further 16 machines ! ( cf. Ransom p.46) At least one He 177 was lost in the 28 May 1944 US 8th AF air raid on Brandis. Heinkel He 177 A-3 V4+HK departed Brandis for Neuruppin on 14 July 1944 as the He 177s were moved to various bases in central Germany. Gruppen of KG 1 had taken part in raids on targets in Russia and been deployed against Soviet tank columns that had broken through German defensive positions before fuel shortages grounded KG 1's He 177 bomber fleet in late July 1944.
He 177 A-3 V4+AK seen in May/June 1944, Flugplatz Brandis (via ebay auction)
IV./KG 1 He 177 with black lower surfaces, summer 1944