K/88 of Legion Condor

Discussions on all aspects of the Spanish Civil War including the Condor Legion, the Germans fighting for Franco in the Spanish Civil War.
durb
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K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby durb » 17 Sep 2014 15:15

I think that is time to open a thread about K/88 - I feel that this unit is somewhat overshadowed by J/88 - the Bf 109 fighters are more "cool" than LC bombers for many of us.

However, K/88 was at least as important as J/88. I claim that the main task of J/88 was to serve K/88 - the air superiority opened to way to smooth bombing which in turn supported the advance of Nationalist ground troops. Of course the He 51 units of J/88 had the same role to support directly ground troops.

I will open the discussion with the equipment of K/88. To my knowledge the first of its bombers were Ju 52 converted from passenger/transport planes - one reason might been that it was easy to fly these planes as civilian and non-combat planes to Spain and make the conversion in Spain (maintaining the fiction that Germany was not involved with the Spanish Civil War).

However, there was already a bomber version available before the Spanish Civil War. When were the first Ju 52 bomber versions sent to Spain? My guess is that they were sent in crates to Spain camouflaged as some civilian stuff - like "agricultural machinery"?

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tigre
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Re: K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby tigre » 25 Oct 2014 18:52

Hello to all :D; my little complement.....................

The K/88 in the Legion Condor.

On November 07, 1936, the Legion Condor was established and soon was already with parts of it - loaded in Szczecin aboard the steamer "Fulda" - on the way to Spain. The first 697 German legionaries marched already on November 16, 1936 by Sevilla. Another 16 ships brought the rest of the approximately 5,000 men with their equipment to Spain.

Amidst the structure of the Legion Condor was 1 bomber group (K/88) with three squadrons of Ju 52, plus another squadron of Ju 52 under command of Oberleutnant Frhr. von Moreau.

The Ju 52 3mg3e / 3mg4e.

Still in 1936 were used by the Luftwaffe as bombers. A large number of such aircrafts were delivered to Spain. For acting as transport troops (Tetouan-Spain) were removed its bombs containers. Up to 40 men could be transported by this plane. As pure bomber was less formidable as it was very slow and its defensive armament was weak.

The He-111B.

The Luftwaffe received its first He 111B in late autumn 1936, the first combat deployment of the design took place from March 1937, when under the Legion Condor 30 He 111B-1 were deployed against the Spanish Republic. Based on the experience gained in Spain the Luftwaffe renounced to set heavy Defensive armament aboard their He 111 since this airplane was faster than most of the available fighter flown by the opponent.

Leaders of the K/88 as March 1939.

K/88 (Kampfgruppe)
Gruppenkommandeur = Major Nielsen
1. K/88 = Hauptmann Püttmann (1936: Hptm. v. Moreau)
2. K/88 = Hauptmann v. Buttlar und Brandenfels (1936: Oblt. Fuchs)
3. K/88 = Hauptmann Winkler (1936: Hptm. Krafft v. Dellmensingen)
Stuka K/88 = Oberleutnant Bohne - "Teufel", Hs 123

Carrier of the Spanish Cross in Gold with Diamonds. Ceremony Date: 6 June 1939.

K/88:
Graf Hoyos, Max / Oblt.
Mehnert, Karl / Oberstlt.
Frhr. v. Moreau, Rudolf / Hptm.
Neudörffer, Wolfgang / Hptm.
Stärcke, Bernhard / Oblt.

Sources: http://forum.panzer-archiv.de/viewtopic ... or&start=0
http://www.fliegerhorst-oldenburg.de/pdf/He%20111.pdf

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Ponury
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Re: K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby Ponury » 25 Oct 2014 21:01

It's the plane, whose pilots already in Spain committed war crimes?

durb
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Re: K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby durb » 26 Oct 2014 01:24

If you mean the He 111 E above, it was not involved with the bombings of Northern front (Guernica, Ochondiano and others) - there is not even today agreement if these bombings were deliberate attacks against civil population or collateral damage of military operations. The accuracy of carpet bombing was not always so great. There are also questions about the bombings of Madrid and Barcelona to be discussed - the bombing of these two cities had quite the same nature as the bombing of Warsaw in 1939, although the scale was much smaller. However this is maybe not a right place to discuss the war crimes of Spanish Civil War as there is a better section devoted to them in viewforum.php?f=6 Not to say that it would not be interesting to discuss the problem of "collateral damage" caused to civilian population - it has very much to do with the operational history of bomber air force in war.

Nice to see that this thread has started to have some life!

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tigre
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Re: K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby tigre » 08 Nov 2014 22:20

Hello to all :D; something more.....................

The K/88 in the Legion Condor.

Aircraft in use.

Ju 52 3mg3e / 3mg4e still used as a bomber by the Luftwaffe in 1936.

He 111 B as the successor of the Ju 52 delivered to Spain from Febr 1937 onwards, flown by the VB / 88 (Versuchs-Bomberstaffel - Experimental bombing Squadron). It flew in the K / 88 until the end of 1938.

He 111 E the E-1 and E-3 types flew in the K / 88 from March 1939. Even national Spanish crews were instructed in it. Double bomb load and improvements in their driving performance compared with the He 111 B.

Do 17 E (Dornier) in early 1937 came the first machines for the VB / 88 (Versuchs-Bomberstaffel - Experimental bombing Squadron). Delivered to the A / 88 when the K / 88 was full equipped wit the He-111.

Sources: http://forum.panzer-archiv.de/viewtopic ... or&start=0
http://www.aviationcorner.net/gallery_e ... ype_id=952

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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durb
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Re: K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby durb » 10 Nov 2014 21:26

Thanks for info and nice photos.

The K/88 had also He 70´s to be used by Staff flight (STAB K/88) adding some more variety to plane selection of K/88. There were also couple of Ju W34 used for weather reconaissence.

Here some estimations of the bombing strength of K/88 - the full strength of one Staffel ("squadron") was 9 planes, but another question how many of the planes were in airworthy condition, so the real strength may well have been lower.

March 1937: 1.-2. Staffel à 9 Ju 52 + 3. Staffel with 8 Ju 52 - in total 27 Ju 52/3m bombers.

To this force to be added was the experimental bomber unit VB/88 with four He 111B, four Do 17E and four Ju 86D - in theory 12 bombers more to be added to the the theoretical strength of 27 planes of K/88.

The VB/88 was transformed into 4.K/88 in July 1937 and equipped with He 111. It should be added that also recce unit A/88 made many bombing sorties.

The modernization process of K/88 was the conversion to He 111 and handing the remaining Ju 52´s to Spaniards. Later some older He 111B´s were replaced by newer He 111E´s. First Spanish crews to fly He 111B were trained during spring/summer of 1938.

By the October 1937 already 3 Staffeln were equipped with He 111 and by the end of 1937 the very last Ju 52 bombers were passed to Spanish Aviación Nacional. He 111 became and remained the standard equipment of K/88 for the rest of SCW. The average combat strength of K/88 varied during the war, but the combined combat strength was less than 40 bombers and thus biggest combined attacks involved approx. 25 - 35 planes (according to maintenance situation).

Sources: Laureau 2000 (Condor), Alcofar Nassaes 1975 (Aviación Legionaria en la guerra española).

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Ironmachine
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Re: K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby Ironmachine » 11 Nov 2014 08:32

durb wrote:I will open the discussion with the equipment of K/88. To my knowledge the first of its bombers were Ju 52 converted from passenger/transport planes - one reason might been that it was easy to fly these planes as civilian and non-combat planes to Spain and make the conversion in Spain (maintaining the fiction that Germany was not involved with the Spanish Civil War).
However, there was already a bomber version available before the Spanish Civil War. When were the first Ju 52 bomber versions sent to Spain? My guess is that they were sent in crates to Spain camouflaged as some civilian stuff - like "agricultural machinery"?

The first 20 Ju-52 that arrived in Spain did it in flight from the Junkers factory in Germany, with a stop in Italy, from July 31 until August 11, 1936. They flew individually or in pairs.
They carried neither the weapons and equipment of the military version nor the seats of the civil version; instead, they had additional fuel tanks inside the fuselage. The bomb-throwing equipment and MG15 machine-guns were carried by ship in the Usaramo, which sailed from Hamburg on August 1 and arrived at Cadiz on the night of 5 to 6 March.
At least 9 of the 20 Ju-52s were immediatly armed to form three Spanish "escuadrillas". The other 11 were employed in the air bridge for the Army of Africa, but they also carried out some bombing attacks during their time there, so it seems that they were also gradually equipped with the "bomber pack".

durb wrote:First Spanish crews to fly He 111B were trained during spring/summer of 1938.

In the spring of 1938, Spanish crews were added to the He-111 of the Condor Legion until there was a "Spanish" He-111 in each patrol. The first Spanish He-111 units were created in 1939, Grupos 10G25 and 11G25.

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tigre
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Re: K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby tigre » 22 Nov 2014 20:21

Hello to all :D; you're welcome durb and thanks for the info as well yours Ironmachine :wink:. Now something more.....................

The K/88 in the Legion Condor. K. / 88 losses in 1936.

On August 15, 1936 crashed a Ju-52 in Jerez de la Frontera, killing Unteroffizier Schulze, Helmut and Unteroffizier Zech, Herbert. Squadron?, cause accident / enemy action? someone else was flying the plane?

On November 4, 1936 perished Leutnant Kolbitz, Oskar being shot down during a aerial fight over Getafe. Squadron?, type of aircraft?, others crewmen aboard?

On December 8, 1936 four airmen were killed when a plane was shot down over Arenas de San Pedro. Oberleutnant Liegnitz, Heinz; Leutnant Hornschuh, Werner; Unteroffizier Ullmann, Josef and Obergefreiter Seitz, Johann. Squadron?, type of aircraft?

Finally also on December 8, 1936 perished Unteroffizier Harjes, Wilhelm shot down in aerial combat over Alcala de Henares. Squadron?, type of aircraft?, others crewmen aboard?

Sources: http://forum.panzer-archiv.de/viewtopic ... or&start=0
http://www.aviationcorner.net/gallery_e ... ype_id=952

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Ironmachine
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Re: K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby Ironmachine » 23 Nov 2014 08:55

AFAIK

tigre wrote:On November 4, 1936 perished Leutnant Kolbitz, Oskar being shot down during a aerial fight over Getafe. Squadron?, type of aircraft?, others crewmen aboard?

Kolbitz was a member of 4.K/88 and was shot down in a Ju-52.

tigre wrote:On December 8, 1936 four airmen were killed when a plane was shot down over Arenas de San Pedro. Oberleutnant Liegnitz, Heinz; Leutnant Hornschuh, Werner; Unteroffizier Ullmann, Josef and Obergefreiter Seitz, Johann. Squadron?, type of aircraft?

Hornschuch was shot down in a Ju-52.

tigre wrote:On December 8, 1936 four airmen were killed when a plane was shot down over Arenas de San Pedro. Oberleutnant Liegnitz, Heinz; Leutnant Hornschuh, Werner; Unteroffizier Ullmann, Josef and Obergefreiter Seitz, Johann. Squadron?, type of aircraft?

Ullmann and Seitz were members of I.K/88.

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tigre
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Re: K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby tigre » 23 Nov 2014 12:58

Thank you very much for that info Ironmachine :thumbsup: . Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

durb
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Re: K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby durb » 27 Nov 2014 15:06

Here should be almost all combat losses of K/88: total of the list is 27 = 9 Ju 52 + 18 He 111. Details are not in all cases complete and errors are possible. Corrections and more info on details are welcome. Locations are just more or less where the loss happened:

4.11.1936: Ju 52 (4.K/88) over Getafe - shot down by enemy fighters (I-15)
8.12.1936: Ju 52 (1.K/88) over Arenas Sand Pedro - shot down by enemy fighters (?)
4.1.1937: Ju 52 (3.K/88) over Torrijos/Bilbao - shot down by enemy fighters (?)
23.2.1937: Ju 52 over Andújar - shot down by flak (?)
25.-26.7.1937 (night): Ju 52 over Madrid shot down by enemy fighter (I-15)
26.-27.7.1937 (night): Ju 52 (3.K/88) over Madrid shot down by enemy fighter (I-15)
14.8.1937: Ju 52 at Santander front shot down by flak (?)
25.8.1937: 2 x He 111 at Santander front shot down by enemy fighters (I-16)
2.9.1937: He 111 over Gijón shot down by enemy fighter (I-15)
24.9.1937: Ju 52 at Northern front/Gijón shot down by enemy fighters
7.10.1937: Ju 52 over Gijón shot down by flak
17.12.1937: He 111 over Teruel force landed behind enemy lines and was captured, crew POW
26.1.1938: He 111 over Teruel shot down by enemy fighters
10.3.1938: He 111 over Candasnos shot down by enemy fighters (I-15)
2.4.1938: 2 x He 111 destroyed on the ground due to enemy activity (SB-2)
29.5.1938: He 111 over Candanos shot down by flak
20.8.1938: He 111 over Gandesa shot down by enemy fighters (I-16)
3.9.1938: He 111 at Ebro front - written off due to flak damage
18.9.1938: He 111 at Ebro front shot down by flak
1.10.1938: He 111 at Ebro front shot down by flak
16.10.1938: He 111 over Fatarella shot down by enemy fighter (I-16)
31.10.1938: He 111 written off due to flak damage received over Pinell
4.1.1939: He 111 (2.K/88) over Tarragona shot down by flak
25.1.1939: He 111 (2.K/88) over Barcelona shot down by flak
5.2.1939: He 111 (3.K/88) over Borjas Blancas shot down by flak

Based on Patrick Laureau (2000): Condor - The Luftwaffe in Spain, 1936-39 and http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/scw.htm

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tigre
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Re: K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby tigre » 29 Nov 2014 18:00

Hello to all :D; thanks for your info durb. Now something more.....................

The K/88 in the Legion Condor. K. / 88 losses in 1937.

On 04/01/1937 Ju 52 (3.K / 88) shot down in air combat over Torrijos / Bilbao: Hermann, Adolf / Oberfeldwebel; Barowski, Herbert / Feldwebel; Ziepek, Paul / Unteroffizier; Schüll, Hans / Gefreiter.
On 01/17/1937 perishd Jentsch, Alfred / Flieger / Sierra Gredos / plane crash (accident / enemy action?).
On 01/26/1937 perished sue sickness Becker, Kurt / Gefreiter / Sevilla.
On 02/23/1937 a Ju 52 shot down by AA fire on Andújar: Kaufmann, Rudolf / Leutnant; Bowitz, Gerhard / Unteroffizier; Sieken, Heinrich / Unteroffizier.
On 03/09/1937 perished in a plane crash Dallmann, Heinrich / Unteroffizier / Bejar.
On 04/18/1937 perished shot down in air combat over Bilbao: Sobotka, Hans / Oberleutnant; Hoffmeister, Otto / Unteroffizier; Müller, Friedrich / Unteroffizier.
On 06/18/1937 perished by bombs' explosion (accident?) In Burgos: Gorski, Leo / Unteroffizier; Link, Richard / Unteroffizier; Götze, Fritz / Feldwebel.
On 07/ 25-26/1937 (night) a Ju 52 shot down in air combat over Valdemorrillo: Falk, Leo / Leutnant; Übelhack, Georg / Feldwebel; Berndt, Fritz / Unteroffizier; Brötzmann, Walter / Unteroffizier; Heyer, August / Unteroffizier.
On 09/21/1937 perished in San Miguel due to collision with a mountain Marting, Egon / Unteroffizier;
On 09/21/37 perished by collision with a mountain in Reinosa Held, Claus / Unteroffizier; Ness, Bruno / Obergefreiter; Nokler, Franz / Obergefreiter.
On 09/24/1937 perished during a dogfight (mortal wound) over Gijon Sembach, Willi / Obergefreiter.
On 09/24/1937 perished during an emergency landing at Pontejos König, Ernst / Leutnant; Meyer, Heinrich / Leutnant; Niebuhr, Franz / Unteroffizier; Brettmeier, Karl / Obergefreiter.
On 10/07/1937 perished shot down by AA fire over Gijon Stallamann, Heinrich / Leutnant; Harting, Rudolf / Unteroffizier; Uhrmeister, Karl / Unteroffizier.
On 11/13/1937 died in car accident in Burgos Plate, Siegfried / Leutnant.
On 11/16/1937 died in car accident in Santander Lehmann, Willi / Obergefreiter.
On 11/28/1937 perished in an accident with weapons in Burgo de Osma Lütgeduhme, Karl / Unteroffizier.
On 12/10/ 1937 perished shot down over Candasnos Beucke, Friedrich Karl / Leutnant; Klein, Heinrich / Leutnant; Bergmann, Anton / Feldwebel; Brühl, Fritz / Unteroffizier; Ehlen, Alois / Obergefreiter.
On 12/23/1937 perished in a plane crash in Leon Kurz, Anton / Unteroffizier.

Sources: http://forum.panzer-archiv.de/viewtopic ... or&start=0
http://www.aviationcorner.net/gallery_e ... ype_id=952

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby durb » 29 Nov 2014 20:43

Thanks for person info - it is not just lost planes, the men were more important.

On your list the first loss record should be 4th of January 1937 (Ju 52 of 3.K/88).

The 18.4.1937 loss was not of K/88, it was Dornier 17 of experimental bomber group VB/88 and shot down by ace Felipe del Río Crespo (I-15)

Otherwise OK, I think.

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Ironmachine
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Re: K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby Ironmachine » 30 Nov 2014 10:12

durb wrote:Here should be almost all combat losses of K/88: total of the list is 27 = 9 Ju 52 + 18 He 111. Details are not in all cases complete and errors are possible. Corrections and more info on details are welcome.

I have some additional combat losses for K/88:
10/12/1937: He-111 shot down over Cardiel (Huesca).
18/4/1937: Do-17 shot down by enemy fighters, Bilbao area.

And about some of the losses you posted, I have different information:
23/2/1937: it was a Ju-86 ("26-1") the plane that was shot down, by enemy fighters, over Andújar.
24/9/1937: it was a He-111 that forced landed due to flak damage.
2/4/1938: it may have been a pair of He-111 bombers that crashed in flight, one of them was lost while the other one managed to land.
5/2/1939: the He-111 ("25-65") crashed due to fog with a mountain.

Regards.

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Re: K/88 of Legion Condor

Postby durb » 30 Nov 2014 12:47

These combat losses were of VB/88 (Versuchsbombengruppe) - to my understanding it was a separate unit from K/88, although operated with it:

23.2.1937 Ju 86 "26-1" shot down over Andújar. Kaufmann, Bowitz and Siefken KIA, Loehning POW.
18.4.1937 Do-17 "27-2" (Sobotka KIA) shot down over Bilbao area.

Although off the topic (?), VB 88 lost also this in combat:

24.7.1937 Do 17 "27-5" shot down over Brunete (crew bailed out and were taken POW)

The VB/88 tested also He 111´s, but these were not lost in combat during their operational use by VB/88. The unit was disbanded by the end of August 1937 and its aircrew and remaining He 111 incorporated in K/88 to 4.K/88. The Do 17´s went to A/88. The few Ju 86 went to Spanish units.


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