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Author Topic: Discussions & Info on the Luftwaffe  (Read 4776 times)


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« on: 8 February 2009, 13:43:29 »


Oberkommando der Luftwaffe
strategic level

The top levels of control for the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) resided with the German Air Ministry (Reichsluftfahrtministerium, or RLM) and the German Air Force High Command (Oberkommando der Luftwaffe, or OKL). These institutions were responsible for the direction of research, production, and overall maintenance of aircraft. They were directly answerable to the German Armed Forces High Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, or OKW). The OKL was at the same organizational level as the German Army High Command (Oberkommando des Heeres, or OKH) and the German Navy High Command (Oberkommando der Marine, or OKM).

The OKL was headed by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring for most of the war. He was responsible for the overall war effort and for the amount of resources sent to a particular region. In 1945, Göring was dismissed by German dictator Adolf Hitler and Robert Ritter von Greim was placed in command of the German Air Force.

Luftflotte and Fliegerkorps
operational level

On the operational level the Luftwaffe was divided into Luftflotten ("air fleets"). These air fleets were self-contained units that were equipped with all types of aircraft, supply elements, maintenance staff, administration and legal departments to operate on their own. Each air fleet was responsible for a particular geographic region.

At the start of the war the Luftwaffe had four Luftflotten, each responsible for roughly a quarter of Germany. As the war progressed more air fleets were created as the areas under German rule expanded. Luftflotte 5 was created in 1940 to direct operations in Norway and Denmark, and other Luftflotten were created as necessary.

Each Luftflotte would contain several Fliegerkorps with specialized tasks. Each Fliegerkorps would have attached to it a number of units, usually several Geschwader, but also independent Staffeln and Kampfgruppen

Stab (Staff) was used in the German Luftwaffe (air force) to designate a headquarters unit. This applied to subordinate units in each Gruppe or Geschwader — the equivalent units to wings and groups in other air forces.
These command units used the green colour of their aircraft and individual identification letters to distinguish their aircraft from the rest of air units in same sections. These units were divided in the following form:

    * Geschwader Stab = A
    * Stab I Gruppen ("Staff Unit, I Group") = B
    * Stab II Gruppen = C
    * Stab III Gruppen = D
    * Stab IV Gruppen = E
    * Stab V Gruppen = F

On some occasions they also used letters G, Q, I, J, W and others, or numbers, but these were used less commonly. These units used the red-blue or blue-white-blue Reich Defense (German Reich metropolitan defense) sign. Under the cockpit, the rank of the air commander might have been indicated via a rank sign, with or without additional letters as mentioned above.
For example:
    * An airplane codified "A", green in colour, with D/St.III/St.G.77, indicated it was a member of Stab III of Stukageschwader (Dive Bomber Wing) No. 77.
    * An airplane codified "G", green in colour, with a little white tank (Panzer) painting near the cockpit, and S.G. 1, indicated it was a member of Stab of Schlachtgeschwader (Ground Attack Wing) no. 1.

Geschwader, Gruppe and Staffel
tactical level


Each Fliegerkorps had a number of Geschwader. Each Geschwader was roughly equal to a USAAF wing or an RAF group, with about 100 to 120 aircraft under its command, although these numbers tended to fluctuate greatly. Each Geschwader had a particular task (such as fighter, bomber, or transport) and were mostly equipped with aircraft appropriate for that task, although other types of aircraft were often attached.

A Geschwader was commanded by a Geschwaderkommodore, with the rank of either Major, Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) or Oberst (Colonel). Other "staff" officers within the unit with administrative duties included the adjutant, technical officer, and operations officer, who were usually (though not always) experienced aircrew or pilots still flying on operations. Other specialist staff were navigation, signals and intelligence personnel. A Stabschwarm (headquarters flight) was attached to each Geschwader.


Each Geschwader was divided into several Gruppen, usually three, and from late 1944, a fourth was added to the Jagdgeschwadern. These Gruppen were roughly equivalent to USAAF groups, or RAF wings. A Gruppe would be designated with a Roman numeral. For example, the first Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 52 would be I/JG 52. Each Gruppe was commanded by a Gruppenkommandeur, usually a Hauptmann (captain), who flew with a Stabsschwarm ("headquarters flight").

In practice the Gruppe became the usual autonomous operational tactical combat unit within the Luftwaffe. As with the Geschwader, the Gruppe included staff officers tasked with additional administrative duties, usually an adjutant, a technical officer, a medical officer and operations officer. These officers were usually (though not always) experienced aircrew or pilots appointed from the operational cadre within the unit. Each Gruppe comprised three Staffeln, although by late 1944 a fourth Staffel was usually added to fighter units, making the established strength of the unit approximately 65 to 70 aircraft, although during the war years operational strength tended to fluctuate greatly. Personnel strength varied between 35 to 150 aircrew, and 300 to 500 ground personnel.

During the mid-war years a fourth Gruppe was introduced in many Geschwader, initially as an operational training unit for new aircrew. However, these Gruppen soon became additional front-line units, performing the same tasks as their sister formations, while new Ergänzungseinheiten, or operational training units, were formed and took up their tasks.


Under each Gruppe were several Staffeln, containing 10 to 16 aircraft each, and roughly equivalent to squadrons. Each Staffel would be designated with a number, so the third Staffel in JG 52 would be 3./JG 52. A Staffel was commanded by a Staffelkapitän (usually of Oberleutnant or Hauptmann rank). During the last two years of the war, a Staffel (particularly fighter units) was usually led in combat by the most experienced or successful pilot, and not necessarily by the Staffelkapitän.

The Staffel usually had a few vehicles allocated to it, and a mobile repair shop to carry out minor repairs. The number of ground personnel varied depending on its type, with about 150 for a fighter unit, to 80 for a bomber Staffel (less personnel were required in the bomber units as many of the servicing functions were carried out by attached units provided by the local Luftgau or "Air District", a Luftwaffe administrative, supply, and technical support organization responsible for airfields and facilities within a geographic region, and subordinate to a Luftflotte.)

Schwarm, Rotte and Kette

Each fighter Staffel was divided into several Schwarm (or flight) of four aircraft. Each Schwarm was divided into two Rotten which was a pair of aircraft. The Rotte was the basic fighting unit, with a leader and a wingman.
The basic unit of bombers was a Kette of three aircraft flying in a "V" formation.


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« Reply #1 on: 8 February 2009, 13:52:36 »


Geschwader is a generic term meaning flying unit. For different units there are different names, all of which are listed below in the table. Each time you see a "#" it stands in place of where the unit number would go.
Aufklaerunggeschwader: AufklGr #    Recon wing

Aufklärungsgruppe F # later changed to Fernaufklärungsgruppe (FAGr) were photo reconnaissance units

Aufklärungsgruppe H # were units initially attached to the army (Heer), providing tactical and photo reconnaissance, and were later redesignated Nahaufklärungsgruppe (NAGr)

Ergaenzungsgruppe: ErgGr #    Training unit

Erprobungsgruppe: EprGr #    Aircraft Testing unit

Jagddivision: JD #    Fighter Division

Jagdgeschwader: JG #    Fighter wing / typically equipped with Bf 109 or Fw 190 aircraft flying in the fighter or fighter-bomber roles

Kampfgeschwader: KG #    Bomber wing / typical aircraft being the He 111 or the Ju 88

Küstenfliegergruppe KuFlGr # a coastal reconnaissance Gruppe (literally "Coastal Fliers") These units fulfilled a similar role to the RAF's Coastal Command and were usually equipped with floatplanes such as the Heinkel He 115 and Dornier Do 18 as well as with bombers such as the Dornier Do 17. As well as providing reconnaissance these units were used to attack shipping

Lehrgeschwader: LG #  a Geschwader created to test new equipment under operational conditions and to evaluate new tactics. These could fly several types of aircraft

Luftflotten: LF #    Air Fleet

Nachtjagdgeschwader: NJG #    Night Fighter wing / typically flying radar-equipped heavy fighters such as the Bf 110 or Ju 88 against Allied bombers

Sturzkampfgeschwader: StG #  dive bomber Geschwader. Stuka Geschwader initially had this designation, but were later redesignated as Schlachtgeschwader

Schlachtgeschwader: SG #    Ground Attack wing / typically equipped with the Ju 87 Stuka, and later the Fw 190 ground-attack versions

Schnellekampfgeschwader: SKG #    Fast Bomber wing

Stukageschwader: StG #    Dive bombing wing made up of Ju-87s

Transportgeschwader TG # a transport Geschwader, with typical aircraft being the Ju 52/3m or the Me 323. The "TG" designation was a result of the reorganization of the transport branch in 1943, and these units were previously designated KG zbV (Kampfgeschwader zur besonderen Verwendung or "battle Geschwader for special purposes")

Zerstorergeschwader: ZG #    Heavy Fighter wing / usually equipped with twin-engined fighters such as the Bf 110 or Me 410


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« Reply #2 on: 8 February 2009, 14:34:31 »

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organization_of_the_Luftwaffe_during_World_War_II

click for info

Jagdgeschwader 1 Oesau

Jagdgeschwader 2 Richthofen

Jagdgeschwader 3 Udet

Jagdgeschwader 4

Jagdgeschwader 5 Eismeer

Jagdgeschwader 6 Horst Wessel (formerly ZG 26)

Jagdgeschwader 7 Nowotny

Jagdgeschwader 11

Jagdgeschwader 26 Schlageter

Jagdgeschwader 27 Afrika

Jagdgeschwader 51 Mölders

Jagdgeschwader 52

Jagdgeschwader 53 Pik As

Jagdgeschwader 54 Grünherz

Jagdgeschwader 77 Herzas

Jagdgeschwader 101

Jagdgeschwader 300 Wilde Sau
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