Main Mission of Luftwaffe in Denmark?

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Darren J. Whiteside
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Main Mission of Luftwaffe in Denmark?

Post by Darren J. Whiteside » 20 Sep 2003 18:09

Hi everyone,

Can anyone explain to me what was the main mission of the Luftwaffe in Denmark? Because it was an occupied country, I suspect that the main role would have been the defense of the country from allied invasion. How prevalent was aerial combat for the Luftwaffe crews? My guess is that this would depend on the types of mission flown by the allies within the Danish borders. I have a feeling that the main focus would have been to attack allied shipping which was convoying supplies to the Russian Front. Am I correct in my assumptions? All thoughts and comments would be highly welcomed.

regards,

Darren

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 20 Sep 2003 18:28

Hi Darren

I have no concrete evidence for what I'm writing here other than a general feeling.

The Luftwaffe based in Denmark would play a role if the Allies ever intended to invade, but there main role would be as part of the home defence, later to become Luftflotte Reich, to counter Allied bomber streams over northern Germany. Elements of the 2nd Fighter Division were based at Aalborg flying Me109's & FW190's in March'44.

I would assume that earlier in the war there was a strong Recce element and Coastal shipping role to be performed from Denmark, but I would doubt that it had much of a role to play in countering Allied convoys to Russia given it's geographic posistion and the fact the Luftflotte 5 bases based in Norway/Finland were tasked with this (Denmark came under LFlotte 5 for some years).

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Andy H

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Darren J. Whiteside
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Post by Darren J. Whiteside » 21 Sep 2003 14:40

Thanks Andy, that's pretty much what I was looking for. After thinking about it, you make perfect sense. The geographical location would make it more susceptible to over flights by Allied aircrews headed to and from Germany. Do you know if there were any allied bomber raids targeting German factories/airfields in Denmark?

regards,

Darren

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 21 Sep 2003 18:37

Digging around I've found a German Night Fighter listing for Absch.Fuhrer Danemark (Section CO Denmark) for November 1944, which came under 2nd Jagddivision command.

Commanded by Oberst Vieck based at Grove in Denmark
IV/NJG2 based at Grove
II/NJG3 based at Grove
Kdo III/NJG3 based at Haderslev

I haven't found any details of bombing raids against Danish targets, maybe send Christian a PM?

Andy H

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 21 Sep 2003 18:49

On August 31st the following Night Fighter units were based in Denmark

10 Staffel/NJG3 based at Aalborg West
7 Staffel/NJG3 based at Kastrup
IV/NJG3 based at Grove
plus a flight from 10 Staffel also at Grove

Deployment as of April'44 for Night Fighter units

10./NJG3 Based at East Grove?
NJG Kdo 190

Regards

Andy H

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 21 Sep 2003 19:11

There were several allied bombing missions against airfields in Denmark.

I have no numbers, but the book "Bomber command Losses" mentiones several planes lost during attacks on Aalborg airfield on different dates.

The airport at Grove was the largest German airfield in northern Europe, so I guess this was also targeted frequently.

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Post by Andy H » 21 Sep 2003 20:22

The British flew many "Gardening" (Mine-Laying) missions in the waters around Denmark, especially in the narrow channels that link the Baltic to the North Sea. Many crews mentioned that German night fighters would use the bright lights from nearby Swedish towns to outline the bombers in the night sky.

Andy H

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 21 Sep 2003 21:18

Andy you have hit it on the head for the year 1945. in fact I./NJG 3 was most effective against Caostal command's Hali's and Lancasters. Anything flying from England near Norway and northern Denmark to Ost Preussia would try and be intercepted. A wonderful Danish/English book is in the works by author Carsten Peterson covering the RAF and I./NJG 3 during 1945..........can't wait !

NJG 2 was based in 1945 as most of the NJG's in this final year of conflict as areas of operations were being condensed and more so squashed into a small area from which to defend at this time so all sorts of NJG's with various equipped a/c were found especially at wars end.

~E

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Darren J. Whiteside
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Post by Darren J. Whiteside » 22 Sep 2003 02:19

Thank you Gentlemen for your excellent responses. I guess that it would be a good idea to track down a book or two on both the British and American bomber offensive. Can anyone tell me a good title that would give a list of the Allied targets (including missions to Scandanavia) during the WWII? Erik, the book you mention 'Bomber Command Losses', who was the author, and did it give details of these raids on Aalborg? I assume a large percentage of the books out there would contain facts about missions to targets within Germany. Also, did the day fighters ever have a large bomber force to contend with, or were the day bomber formations smaller in nature when compared to the night attacks?

regards,

Darren

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 22 Sep 2003 03:12

just for missions it would have to be one of the many books by author Roger Freeman. Suggest looking at the information found at this site concerning 8th AF US heavy bombers

http://www.armyairforces.com

~E

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 22 Sep 2003 15:37

The book I mentioned is from a large series made by different authors... The one I have covers all losses of Bomber command 1939-1940. It is written by "W.R. Chorley". It only gives details about the plane, and where it was lost, and sometimes what kind of mission they had.

Ex:
22April 1940 51Sqn Whitley IV K9043 MG-H OP: Aalborg

T/O 21:50 DEishfort with orders to bomb the aerodrome at Aalborg, Denmark. Lost without trace. The Runnymede memorial perpetuates the memory of this crew:
F/O J.R.Birch
Sgt. L.A.Compton
Sgt. H Jackson
Cpl. J.C.McIntyre
Ac1. N.A.Young


And it goes on like this for hundreds of planes all over Europe!

I would recommend you to read a book called "Norwegian patrol" by Gron Edwards. This is a really great story about a Coastal command Hudson crew which flew several missions against Norway, Denmark and Germany in the early months of 1940.

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Erich
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books

Post by Erich » 22 Sep 2003 15:49

RAF Bomber Command Losses is a multi-volume work and covers all losses suffered during the war as well as Martin Middlebrook's classic Bomber command war diaries. They compliment each other quite well. Both works are essential reading.........

~E

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Darren J. Whiteside
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Post by Darren J. Whiteside » 22 Sep 2003 23:15

Thank you Erich (that's both of you!) for the additional information. I will look for the books you mentioned.

regards,

Darren

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Erich
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books and a site

Post by Erich » 23 Sep 2003 01:08

Darren you may have to a book search as both titles I mentioned and the Chorley one which is about 6 volumes, maybe out of print.

again good luck

also if you are interested in German night fighter ops you may want to punch in German night forum on your earch engine and you should find Greg Kopchuck's forum dedicated to the German NJG's in English. Quite a few posts surround the ops in northern Germany and in the area of Norway and Denmark. Take a slow roll through the postings and you will see what I mean.

Grüß

~E

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Darren J. Whiteside
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Post by Darren J. Whiteside » 23 Sep 2003 02:32

I appreciate all the help Erich. I will definitely check out that website you mentioned, and try to find those books you mentioned. I am sorry for thinking that both you and Erik had the same spelling for your names. For that I apologize. Thanks again to the both of you as well as Andy, you all got me going in the right direction!

regards,

Darren

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