In WWII, why did the Luftwaffe posses field divisions?

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Gorque
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Re: In WWII, why did the Luftwaffe posses field divisions?

Post by Gorque » 02 Apr 2019 18:52

The Luftwaffe field troops were highly trained in finding downed planes as compared to the other services, especially in locating missing
Ho 229's due to their stealth capabilities.

Sejanus
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Re: In WWII, why did the Luftwaffe posses field divisions?

Post by Sejanus » 02 Apr 2019 21:35

I believe the Luftwaffe field divisions were formed to help make up for staggering Heer combat losses, and also as another power grab by Hermann Göring. Field divisions were of lesser quality in terms of leadership, training and equipment and generally suffered heavy losses. Eventually they were absorbed into the Heer.

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Re: In WWII, why did the Luftwaffe posses field divisions?

Post by Sejanus » 02 Apr 2019 22:42

The same questions (using the exact same wording) were asked here 2 years ago:

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/ ... ses_field/

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Gorque
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Re: In WWII, why did the Luftwaffe posses field divisions?

Post by Gorque » 03 Apr 2019 00:17

I'm always suspect of first-time posters trolling us with vague questions to which they are already well-informed.

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Re: In WWII, why did the Luftwaffe posses field divisions?

Post by barrysingh102 » 12 Jan 2020 08:30

The sorry tale of the Luftwaffe's ground units was a byproduct of the polycratic administration of the Third Reich in which multiple power blocs vied for power in the state structure. As the fuel crisis of 1941/42 started to restrict German air operations, the Luftwaffe found itself with a surplus of ground personnel amidst a general manpower shortage. The sensible thing to do would be to cycle such personnel into the Heer, but Göring balked at these proposals both as a sign of his diminishing power but also a tacit admission that the Luftwaffe was losing the air war. The result was Göring pushed for the creation of Luftwaffe ground units who were supposed to be employed as "stiffeners" for overstretched Heer units. According to Walter Warlimont, the Luftwaffe chief claimed "he could not expect his National Socialist boys to don the grey-meaning the reactionary-uniform of the army." Göring's claim that the National Socialist spirit of his men found an eager ear in Hitler, who increasingly felt that ideological fervor was one solution to the crises of 1942. The Heer was initially supportive of the field divisions, but balked at the expense of equipping them, which came from the Heer's own budget. The Luftwaffe field divisions often lacked heavy equipment, proper infantry training, and the Heer chiefs seldom desired to allocate the resources necessary to rectify these shortcomings. The combat debut of the Luftwaffe field divisions in the latter period of the Stalingrad campaign was less than auspicious and their subsequent performance in 1943 was just short of disastrous. The Luftwaffe's insistence that the field divisions be staffed by its own officers compounded the shortcomings in training and equipment. Göring's claim that their ideological fervor would make up for these deficiencies proved to be just wind and smoke. The Heer intervened in November 1943 to replace the field division's officers with qualified Heer personnel and more closely integrate it within the Heer's order of battle, but administration friction with the Luftwaffe and the fact that Soviet advances often outstripped the German capacity to deal with them meant that this reorganization was never fully implemented.

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Re: In WWII, why did the Luftwaffe posses field divisions?

Post by rareskythree » 08 Mar 2021 09:24

So basically the Luftwaffe couldn't continue flying much because of fuel shortages and so they put aspiring pilots and flight maintenance personnel into the field. I imagine moral would be pretty low as a result, not to mention poor training and equipment.

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Re: In WWII, why did the Luftwaffe posses field divisions?

Post by Peter89 » 08 Mar 2021 12:40

rareskythree wrote:
08 Mar 2021 09:24
So basically the Luftwaffe couldn't continue flying much because of fuel shortages and so they put aspiring pilots and flight maintenance personnel into the field. I imagine moral would be pretty low as a result, not to mention poor training and equipment.
Not pilots but ground personnel.

In the same time, Milch was pushing forward with an expansion program in production - and the qualified maintenance, signal, etc. personnel was soon missed terribly from airfields...
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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