3. Flieger-Division

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AJK
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3. Flieger-Division

Post by AJK » 26 May 2021 03:40

Apparently 3. Flieger-Division was initially formed in August 1938, before being redesignated 22. Flieger-Division in November 1938, and then being re-formed/redesignated as 3. Flieger-Division on 1 February 1939. Richard Putzier was promoted to Generalmajor on 1 Feb 1939 and according to "Die Generale der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1935 - 1945" by K. F. Hildebrand, took command of 3. Flieger-Division on the day of his promotion to Generalmajor.

I have been unable to find a commander of 3. Flieger-Division and 22. Flieger-Division prior to Putzier in February 1939, although some online sources have him in command already in August 1938 as an Oberst. Is that likely? If indeed Putzier did not hold Divisional command as an Oberst, then who commanded both the 3. and 22. Flieger-Division prior to 1 February 1939?

Thank you,

AJK

Larry D.
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Re: 3. Flieger-Division

Post by Larry D. » 26 May 2021 14:17

There was no Fliegerdivision 22. This is an error in the published literature for Fliegerführer 220. Putzier went directly from 3. Fliegerdivision to Fliegerführer 220 (a.k.a. General der Luftwaffe z.b.V./Luftflotte 2) on 11 October 1939.


3. Fliegerdivision (lst Formation)
(FpN: L 21082)

Kommandeur:
Gen.Maj. Kurt Student (1 Aug 38 - 1 Feb 39)
Gen.Maj. Richard Putzier (1 Feb 39 - 11 Oct 39)

Formation. (Aug 38)
Formed 1 August 1938 in Münster (ex-Höhere Fliegerkommandeur 4) and assigned to Luftwaffengruppenkdo. 2 and then Luftflotte 2.

Northwest Germany. (Aug 38 - Oct 39)
1 Sep 39: Stab in Münster under Luftflotte 2. Defense in the West during the initial month of the Phony War.
11 Oct 39: re-designated General der Luftwaffe z.b.V./Luftflotte 2 effective this date (also see Fliegerführer 220).

© H.L. deZeng IV, 2004




Fliegerführer 220
(FpN: L 21082?)

Fliegerführer:
Gen.Maj. Richard Putzier (Oct 39 - 31 Jan 40?)

Formation and History. (Oct 39 - Jan 40)
Formed o/a 11 October 1939 to command an air support force for the planned seizure of the Albert Canal bridges west of Maastricht/Holland by paratroops reinforced by elements of 22. Infanterie-Div. (Luftlande). The small staff was at the same time the staff of General der Luftwaffe z.b.V./Luftflotte 2 (formerly Stab/Fliegerdivision 3). The Fliegerführer 220 Stab is believed to have been disbanded after planning documents fell into Allied hands as a result of a plane crash on 10 January 1940.

L.

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Re: 3. Flieger-Division

Post by AJK » 26 May 2021 18:02

Hi Larry,

Thank you for your detailed and informative reply. I presume that Student commanded 3. Flieger-Division concurrently with his appointment as Kommandeur der Fallschirmjäger und Luftlandetruppen?

Thank you for your explanation regarding 22. Flieger-Division. I have the following information regarding other supposed short-lived Divisions - please could you confirm if this information is correct:

- 2. Flieger-Division renamed 12. Flieger-Division between 1 Nov 1938 - 1 Feb 1939
- 4. Flieger-Division renamed 21. Flieger-Division between 1 Nov 1938 - 1 Feb 1939
- 5. Flieger-Division renamed 31. Flieger-Division between 1 Nov 1938 - 1 Feb 1939

Thanks, and best wishes,

AJK

Larry D.
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Re: 3. Flieger-Division

Post by Larry D. » 26 May 2021 23:53

Student seemed to have had a number of concurrent appointments, but there doesn't seem to be sufficient definitive information to answer your question. This has also led to confusion in the published literature.

STUDENT, Kurt Arthur Benno.
01.04.38 promo to Gen.Maj. and appt Kdr. 3. Fl.Div. 04.07.38 appt Kdr. d. Fsch.Jg. u. Luftlandetruppen. 01.09.38 appt Kdr. 7. Fl.Div.(Fsch.Jg.) 01.02.39 concurrently appt Inspekteur der Fallschirm u. Luftlandetruppen/L In 11/OKL.


=================================================
I have been researching and writing books and data bases about the Luftwaffe for 57 years now and I have never seen mention of any Flieger divisions with the numbers 12., 21. or 31.


2. Fliegerdivision (lst Formation)
(FpN: L 04932)

Kommandeur:
Gen.Lt. Wilhelm Wimmer (1 Aug 38 - 1 Feb 39)
Gen.Maj. Bruno Loerzer (1 Feb 39 - 4 Oct 39)

Formation. (Aug 38)
Formed 1 August 1938 at Dresden (ex-Höhere Fliegerkommandeur 3) and subordinated to Luftwaffengruppenkdo. 1 and then Luftflottenkdo. 1 prior to the war.

Germany, Campaign in Poland, Phony War – West. (Aug 38 - Oct 39)
26 Aug 39: departed Dresden for the East in preparation for the attack on Poland.
1 Sep 39: Stab at Neisse/Silesia under Luftflotte 4 - supported AOK 10 during the campaign in Poland.
22 Sep 39: Stab transferred West to Frankfurt/M. and reassigned to Luftflotte 3.
4 Oct 39: Stab renamed Gen.Kdo. Fliegerkorps II and expanded.


4. Fliegerdivision (lst Formation)
(FpN: L 17378)

Kommandeur:
Gen.Maj. Hellmuth Bieneck (1 Aug 38 - 1 Feb 39)
Gen.d.Flieger Alfred Keller (1 Feb 39 - 4 Oct 39)

Formation. (Aug 38)
Formed 1 August 1938 in Munich or Braunschweig (ex-Höhere Fliegerkommandeur 5) and assigned to Luftwaffengruppenkdo. 2 and then Luftflotte 2.

North Germany. (Aug 38 - Oct 39)
1 Sep 39: Stab in Braunschweig under Luftflotte 2 - defense in the West during the first month of the Phony War.
4 Oct 39: re-designated Gen.Kdo. Fliegerkorps IV this date.


5. Fliegerdivision (lst Formation)
(FpN: L 29160)

Kommandeur:
Gen.Maj. Robert Ritter von Greim (6 Feb 39 - 4 Oct 39)

Formation. (Feb 39)
Formed February 1939 in Munich and assigned to Luftflotte 3.

South Germany. (Feb 39 - Oct 39)
1 Sep 39: Stab at Gersthofen near Augsburg under Luftflotte 3 - defense in the West during the first month of the Phony War.
4 Oct 39: re-designated Gen.Kdo. Fliegerkorps V this date.

Hope this helps!

L.

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Re: 3. Flieger-Division

Post by AJK » 27 May 2021 03:43

Hi Larry,

Thank you for your reply. Georg Tessin, in his book "Deutsche Verbaende und Truppen 1918-1939" (page 284) cites the creation of Flieger-Divisions 11, 12, 21, 22 and 31 between 1 Nov 1938 - 1 Feb 1939. I wonder about the basis of his information...

Regards,

AJK

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Re: 3. Flieger-Division

Post by Larry D. » 27 May 2021 23:37

AJK -

I double-checked all 5 of those listed below. Tessin is the only one who mentions the 1 November 1938 order for the creation of 11, 12, 21, 22 and 31. My guess is that an order was issued to this effect but then rescinded before it was put into effect, or it became effective briefly before the order was given for the Divisions to revert back to their original designations on 1 February 1939 along with the creation of 6. Flieger-Division in Frankfurt/M. on the same date. (Tessin, p.284) That might explain why the other historians ignore the 1 November 1938 order. Both of these orders are almost certainly on file at BA-MA Freiburg in the Ob.d.L./RLM records.

Do you have other theories?

The best studies on the prewar development of the Luftwaffe:
Boog, Horst, Die deutsche Luftwaffenführung 1935-1945: Führungsprobleme, Spitzengliederung, Generalstabsausbildung. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1982. ISBN 3-421-0195-3. 724p. 2,912 footnotes.
Tessin, Georg, Deutsche Verbände und Truppen 1918-1939: Altes Heer, Freiwilligenverbände, Reichswehr, Heer, Luftwaffe, Landespolizei. (Osnabrück, 1974).
Völker, Karl-Heinz, Die deutsche Luftwaffe 1933-1939: Aufbau, Führung und Rüstung der Luftwaffe sowie Entwicklung der deutschen Luftkriegstheorie. (Stuttgart, 1967).

A few English language attempts to cover the 1935-39 early development of the Luftwaffe:
Hooten, E.R. Phoenix Triumphant: The Rise and Rise of the Luftwaffe. London: Arms & Armour Press, 1994. ISBN: 1 85409 181 6. Hb. Dj. 320p. Illus. Tables. Glossary and Abbreviations. Appendices. Bibliography. Index.
Ries, Karl. Luftwaffen-Story 1935-1939. Mainz: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann, 1974. ISBN: 3-87341-017-6. Hb. Dj. 264p. Dual German-English text. Heavily illus. Bibliography.

Larry deZ.

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Re: 3. Flieger-Division

Post by AJK » 28 May 2021 02:58

Hi Larry,

You are correct - Tessin is the only primary source that I have found that lists the creation of these Divisions. The various websites that also show these units (e.g. http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... derung.htm) seem to have based themselves on Tessin's book. I have combed other books in my collection, including K. F. Hildebrand's "Die Generale der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1935 - 1945", and have not found any other mention of these units. Tessin is a credible historian, therefore his inclusion of these Divisions in his book has to have had some basis (he didn't simply invent them), so your theory that the creation of these Divisions was planned but that the order was rescinded before being put into effect seems very plausible.

Thank you for your patience regarding this question.

Regards,

AJK

Larry D.
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Re: 3. Flieger-Division

Post by Larry D. » 28 May 2021 15:42

A very distinguished, respected, modest and beloved scholar, especially by his archivist colleagues at the Bundesarchiv in Koblenz where he last worked.

TESSIN, (Dr., phil.) Georg. (DOB: 16.06.99 in Rostock). 1923-39 archivist, mainly in Hamburg and Schwerin. 08.39 reported for military service in the Flugmeldedienst in the rank of Lt. 01.09.43 promo to Hptm.(Kr.O.). 01.02.45 Hptm. and Zugführer in 11.(schw.Flugm.Leit-Kp.)/Ln.-Rgt. 232, a radar site in Ramelsloh/25 km S of Hamburg. He held the Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse and the Kriegsverdienstkreuz m. Schw. 2. Klasse. 05.45 captured by the British, released summer 1945, went home to Schwerin, arrested by Russians and spent 3 years in concentration camps in Neubrandenburg and Frankfurt/O. 1949-64 archivist, mainly with the Bundesarchiv. Author of many historical works including the magisterial Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945, 16+ volumes, Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag, 1965-c.1990. †18.10.85 in Koblenz.

Source:
Meyer, Dr. Brün. "Georg Tessin †", a 3-page 0bituary that appeared in Der Archivar, Jahrgang 39, 1986, Heft 3, s. 404-06.

Larry deZ.

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