Stalingrad

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Griffin brigade
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Stalingrad

Post by Griffin brigade » 14 Jun 2005 21:14

I have been researching a Luftwaffe pilot and Knights Cross winner shot down at Stalingrad,apparently he was with the Platzschutzstaffel.

Can someone tell me exactly what that was ?

Thanks in advance

Paul

Larry D.
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Post by Larry D. » 15 Jun 2005 12:57

Platzschutzstaffel Pitomnik was a Staffel-size detachment from I./JG 3 that was based at Stalingrad-Pitomnik from 28 Nov 42 to 17 Jan 43. The rest of I./JG 3 departed Pitomnik on 28 Nov 42 and transferred to Morosovskaya-West. The detachment lost all 25 of its ground personnel when Stalingrad fell on 2 February. After 28 November, the detachment was quickly whittled down to just 2 or 3 serviceable Bf 109G's. IIRC, the surviving pilots were evacuated.

Griffin brigade
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Post by Griffin brigade » 15 Jun 2005 21:21

Thanks Larry

Paul

Larry D.
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Post by Larry D. » 15 Jun 2005 22:45

Paul -

If you need additional information, you can find the complete story of the Staffel in:

Prien, Jochen and Gerhard Stemmer, Messerschmitt Bf 109 im Einsatz bei Stab und I./Jagdgeschwader 3 (Eutin, 1997).

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tigre
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by tigre » 24 Jun 2019 01:02

Hello to all :D; my best with the memories of Helmut Kronenbruck ..........................

Unteroffizier Helmut Kronenbruck, 9. / JG 3 - Stalingrad, September - November 1942.

On September 11, 1942, we arrived at Pitomnik (Питомник) in the Stalingrad area. The airfield was a large field in the steppe. Around a single tree, only in the village of Pitomnik there was a small forest. Stalingrad is about 20 km away. Up to the front line there are approximately 15. Subsequently, the front line was never more than 15 kilometers from the base. We were transferred to the airfield in a very small composition. As we did not have our own rearguard, we were attached to the logistic units of the Bomber Squadrons based on the location. Everything was confusing, but there were some pleasant moments. So it was possible to get food several times in different parts.

Upon arriving at the airfield, all the members of our 9. Squadron, as well as the 8. Squadron, were assembled and orders were given for our mission. The tasks were the following:

1) Control of airspace in the Stalingrad area.

2) Support our forces from the air during the assault in Stalingrad

3) Free hunting in areas east of Stalingrad.

On the afternoon of September 11, our fighters soared into the air, combat activity began.

In Stalingrad there are intense battles. Our forces are occupied in the center and reached the Volga. Pilots of our group fly daily to the city. Russian pilots prefer to fly in large groups. Their incursions are in waves.

On September 15, six Russian planes were shot down over Stalingrad by our squadron. There are no losses on our part. This is a good start. Since we have little staff, we work until dark.

Many planes return from flights plagued by bullets and shrapnel. We have a lot of work. We criticize the command for saving personnel and vehicles (which have an impact on the lack of resources).

Our troops attack in Stalingrad. The Russians are very close to the Volga. Everyone is sure that Stalingrad will be taken from one week to the next. The aerial battles over the city are also very fierce.

On September 16, Russian IL-2 aircrafts (16 aircrafts) attempted to attack the base. But this group was dispersed by our pilots on the approach routes to the airfield. During this day, 38 fighters of our group shot down 11 Russian aircraft (5 IL-2, 2 MIG-1, P-40, I-16, I-153 Chaika, PE-2).

Source: http://stalingradrus.narod.ru/memo02.html
https://picclick.com/WWII-photo-Oberleu ... 46092.html

Follow. Greetings. Raúl M 8).
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tigre
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by tigre » 01 Jul 2019 22:59

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

Unteroffizier Helmut Kronenbruck, 9. / JG 3 - Stalingrad, September - November 1942.

On September 18, the Russians stormed the front in the Kotluban area, and Russian tanks reached a distance of 5 kilometers from the base. Anxiety at the aerodrome. They give us weapons. All occupy a position in the defense. Anti-aircraft gunners deploy anti-aircraft guns for direct fire. Everyone feels excited. The noise of the battle is good for us. Several tanks pass through the airfield and more or less an infantry company. We greet our comrades. On this day, our airfield was subjected to Russian attack by IL-2 aircrafts three times. The first incursion was around 06:00 in the morning. Twenty IL-2 marched without fighting cover at low altitude. The pilots of our group, rising in the air, crushed this group. Two IL-2 managed to penetrate the airfield, but did not cause any damage and were shot down. Two subsequent incursions were also unsuccessful. The Russian attack aircrafts were intercepted outside the airfield and shot down in the steppe. The aerial battles were clearly visible from the ground. Our pilots showed their skills. At high speed they broke into the Russian formation and after that several Russian planes fell to the ground. The will of the Russians broke down, and they tried to flee from the battle. On this day, our group shot down 27 Russian planes. At lunchtime, news arrived that the Russian advance had been eliminated, and life at the aerodrome returned to its previous course. We ran to see the shot down Russian "Yli". Everyone tried to take pictures on the destroyed planes. Subsequently, the captured Russian pilots (about 10 people) were escorted. The Russian pilots were young guys (18-19 years old). We and our pilots take pictures with the Russians, we talk and we feed them. They were surprised by this reception and they told us that they only thought about the shooting. We stayed with them until night, after which they were taken away by the gendarmerie. After that, the Russians no longer organized an attack on the airfield. From that day on, Russian aircrafts tried to avoid the airfield area.

September 20, our group suffered the first defeat. Non-commissioned officer Grosemann was seriously wounded in an aerial battle over the urban area. The next day, Feldwebel Brooch was shot down on Stalingrad and died.

September 22, 1942, Lieutenant Lemke (*) of our squadron received the Knight's Cross. At night we had a big party with a lot of vodka.

At the end of September, the activity of Russian aviation was drastically reduced. The Russian fighters were used exclusively for the protection of assault planes. The Russian aviation attacks against German units in Stalingrad began at 08:00 in the morning and continued until 13:00 hours. After that, the Russian planes were not visible in the air.

(*) Wilhelm Lemke (September 27, 1920 - December 4, 1943) was credited with 131 aerial victories. All but six of his victories were claimed over the Soviet Air Force in 617 combat missions. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on September 12, 1942. He had assumed as Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of the 9. Staffel JG 3, on August 11, 1942. Lemke was killed in action on 04 of December of 1943 to the northwest of Nijmegen in combat with fighters of the Air Forces of the Army of the United States.

Source: http://stalingradrus.narod.ru/memo02.html
http://warfact.blogspot.com/2012/03/mes ... bf109.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by tigre » 08 Jul 2019 17:20

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

Unteroffizier Helmut Kronenbruck, 9. / JG 3 - Stalingrad, September - November 1942.

In October began the night raids of Russian aircrafts U-2. We called them "sewing machines". They flew inadvertently, dropped several bombs and returned. We must admit that they caused us some inconvenience.

Since the beginning of October, the weather has worsened. There were frequent rains with strong winds. The aerodrome became an impassable swamp. We received an unexpected "replenishment" of 18 Russian volunteers (Hiwis) assigned to our group. These were former prisoners of war who expressed their desire to serve in the German army. They served as specialists in Red Army aviation. At first, we suspected them and did not allow them to get close to the planes. But then they gave us invaluable help. And we became friends with them.

We start digging dugouts. We build ours for 6-10 people. Everyone tried to make them more comfortable. When the first snow fell on October 19, we accelerated the construction of the buried positions, as it became clear that we would have to spend the winter in Russia. As there were almost no trees, we had to go to Stalingrad to obtain materials and wood for heating and a the field kitchen. We organize special teams that traveled to Stalingrad. The trips to the city were quite dangerous. In the city we arrived at the "Commander of the South" and we told the commander how much wood and tin we needed. The commander assigned us a plot where it was possible to collect construction materials and wood. These used to be broken homes. It was impossible to dismantle the house in one place. The Russian artillery observers recorded any movement, and then the artillery on the left bank of the Volga opened fire in the area. Then we had to jump into the cars and get away, meandering between houses and gardens. I had to make such trips several times.

As a result, we build all the dugouts. A casino was even built for the officers of our group and the room of the group commander. Inside, a fireplace was made, and on the wooden wall hung an image of the destroyed Stalingrad, painted by our artist. On the right and left of the image hung the emblem of our Jagdgeschwader and our group. Below the image were the words ""It can also happen to us"". Unfortunately, these words proved to be prophetic for many of our comrades.

Source: http://stalingradrus.narod.ru/memo02.html
https://reibert.info/threads/jg3-udet-j ... det.87696/

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by tigre » 15 Jul 2019 23:03

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

Unteroffizier Helmut Kronenbruck, 9. / JG 3 - Stalingrad, September - November 1942.

In October, part of the pilots and technicians were transferred to Elista to cover the offensive of the 16. Motorized Infantry Division. Then it was the usual tactic. Every army offensive was supported by elements of the Luftwaffe. They were transferred to the point of the offensive, and then returned. Therefore, our Jagdgeschwader 3 "Udet" became the "fire department" for the entire Southeast Front.

With the beginning of the cold weather, we had difficulties with the maintenance of the aircrafts. We did not have heating equipment. Repairing the aircrafts in the open area with icy wind and snow became impossible. We built several primitive hangars, but this did not help much. Due to the cold weather, we were only able to maintain a plane ready for combat throughout the squadron. The Russian volunteers helped us a lot during this period. They had experience in maintaining equipment in the cold. They taught us to dilute the engine oil with gasoline, to start the engines, everything seemed very primitive, but the engines started. We had to remove the batteries from the planes and take them to the shelters during the night. In the morning put the batteries in their place. Finally, after many requirements, we brought heating equipment with personnel on transport planes. After that, the situation improved dramatically.

In the second half of October 1942, our group shot down 40 Soviet aircrafts. Own losses amounted to 3 pilots.

On October 25, Unteroffizier Loos was shot down by anti-aircraft fire on Kotlubanya. He jumped, but failed to reach the lines of the German troops.

On October 26, Feldwebel Metzdorf, in a free-hunting patrol, met aerial combat with Russian fighters above Beketovka. Listed as missing.

On October 29, Unteroffizier Weiss in air combat over Krasnaya Sloboda was hit by a Russian LaGG-3 plane. Both airplanes exploded.

Source: http://stalingradrus.narod.ru/memo02.html
https://picclick.de/foto-luftwaffe-JG-3 ... 54047.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Re: Stalingrad

Post by tigre » 22 Jul 2019 20:21

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

Unteroffizier Helmut Kronenbruck, 9. / JG 3 - Stalingrad, September - November 1942.

At the beginning of November, bad weather strongly restricted air activity on both sides. Heavy snow and frost caused many difficulties. Since November 6, 1942, Luftwaffe air assets were shrinking in the Eastern Front areas. With the men that were being released, the Luftwaffe Field Divisions were beginning to be organized. Heavy snowfall completely paralyzed aerial activity and aerial reconnaissance.

On November 19, a powerful Russian offensive against the 3rd Romanian Army began. The next day the offensive began in the south of Stalingrad. All combat units located in the Stalingrad area were ordered to begin hostilities against the advancing Russian troops. Part of the dive bombers that were at the aerodrome received the same order. But due to snowstorms, no plane could fly.

The Command of the VIII. Air Corps ordered the group to move to the Oblivskaya airfield. On the afternoon of November 20, 9 Ju-52 arrived, which took most of our staff and materials. On the morning of November 21, the fighters of our group flew to the Oblivskaya airfield. Several vehicles from the 9th Squadron remained at the airfield.

I had to accompany our trucks to Oblivskaya. On November 22, I left with two trucks (Opel Blitz) from our squadron. We arrived at Karpovka, but the Karpovka airfield had already been evacuated. Our little column marched to Kalach on Don.

On the way, we noticed many groups of Romanian soldiers roaming the snowfields. Everywhere there was confusion. At the entrance to Kalach, we were stopped by a gendarmerie patrol. They told us that fighting was already unfolding in Kalach. Next to the post, an infantry sergeant with a team was preparing positions for two anti-tank guns. We still did not believe that Kalach was occupied by the Russians. The gendarmerie soldier shrugged his shoulders and said it was our business. We drove a few more kilometers and finally saw the Don and Kalach himself. In this town there were shots. The bridge over the Don was intact and the Russian tanks crossed it. Our vehicles were noticed by the Russian tanks and opened fire on us. Our drivers demonstrated prodigies of skill, turned the trucks and dodged the grenades at full speed. Fortunately, we do not suffer damage. We arrived at the gendarmerie station. They advised us to try to cross the river Chir. But even there, when we approached the river, we heard the rumor of a battle ahead. Then we saw the German soldiers hastily occupying the defenses. All roads from Stalingrad were cut. A young lieutenant, an infantryman with a bandaged head and eyes like crazy, ran towards us. They started shouting that we should turn around and come back if we did not want to be crushed by Russian tanks. We started to turn around, the lieutenant ran back to us and asked us to remove 12 wounded from his group. We loaded the wounded and returned to Pitomnik. I must say that then we did not feel a great threat. We were all sure that these were temporary difficulties and soon everything would be fine. That was a big mistake.

Source: http://stalingradrus.narod.ru/memo02.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by tigre » 06 Aug 2019 22:59

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

Unteroffizier Helmut Kronenbruck, 9. / JG 3 - Stalingrad, September - November 1942.

Upon returning to the airfield, we found our group's HQ there and we were pleased that we had not lost contact with our unit. Pitomnik has already changed. At the airfield there were some HQs, field hospitals, shelters and casemates. Pitomnik began to resemble a great anthill. Almost all the shelters in our group were already occupied by the injured and the hospitals. We barely found a place to locate ourselves. At night we learned that during flights to Oblivskaya, our planes were shot down by anti-aircraft shots.

As the fighters of our group remained in Pitomnik, we began their maintenance. Our pilots began to make flights escorting transport planes. We could contact our pilots and find out all the news of the group. On November 28, my squadron moved to the Morozovskaya airfield. I found myself far from my squadron. A field kitchen was mounted on one of our trucks. The second vehicle was loaded with things now useless. Tools, engine oil and more. It is true that this oil was very useful.

As we did not have a rearguard service, we delivered our truck with a field kitchen, drivers and two Russian volunteers to the infirmary stationed in our accommodation. It gave us a lot of joy. Problems with nutrition arose from the early days of the encirclement. Only once a day did they give hot soup, which of course was not enough. We had two bags of potatoes in the second vehicle, and we were able to cook additional meals for us at night. Here we take advantage of the engine oil we had on hand, in it we fry the potatoes. The potatoes cooked in this oil were red and had a strange taste. But it was food. We call this dish "Red Rings." We met with our pilots every day and were aware of the events behind the ring of the fence. The news was not good. Our pilots tried to support us. They couldn't give us extra food, since the escort fighters were also loaded with bread and canned food. Although many pilots gave us their emergency flight rations.

The weather became disgusting. Severe frost, wind, snow. There were days when the airfield did not receive a single plane due to the weather. In mid-December, the front approached the base. All Luftwaffe ground personnel were divided into combat groups. We dig trenches in the snow around the perimeter of the airfield and place anti-aircraft and artillery cannons. At night, we move into these positions as regular infantry. And we take position in the frozen trenches waiting for possible Russian attacks. There were few flights, so we deployed in the trenches at night, and during the day we warmed and slept in the shelters.

Source: http://stalingradrus.narod.ru/memo02.html

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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Re: Stalingrad

Post by tigre » 25 Aug 2019 17:27

Hello to all :D; more: Unteroffizier Helmut Kronenbruck, 9. / JG 3 - Stalingrad, September - November 1942.

In mid-December, the captain of the HQ of our group met us (7 people) in secret and said that we should try to fly out of the encirclement with the wounded who were evacuated. And the faster we do it, the better. He made it clear that there would be no problem for us if we left the bag, since there was an order to withdraw the entire Stalingrad group. His words inspired us.

On December 20, 1942, after a night in the frozen trenches, we sat down and watched the loading of the wounded on a plane. As always, the action was under the control of the field gendarmerie and administrative officers. Suddenly, one of these officers approached us and said that two additional planes would fly next day to evacuate Luftwaffe personnel. And we must be prepared if we want to fly away from here. The next day, in the morning, we were already turning in front of the loading bay. We already knew that a Ju 52 and two He 111 would fly. We wanted to enter the Ju 52, because we knew about the big losses among the He 111. But many senior officers of the Luftwaffe were shipped there. The Heinkel loaded the wounded. We started to despair when appeared the same officer of yesterday and, giving us a signal, shouted "I need 10 volunteers to accompany." We immediately rushed towards him and offered ourself for the task. The field gendarmerie let us pass and we went to the plane. As we were 7 people in the group, we took with us two Russian volunteers and a slightly injured sapper (compatriot).

After splitting in the airplanes, we helped load the wounded and climbed into the machines. Our Heinkel was the old type and arrived from the flight school. The crew was composed of cadets. It does not carry weapons. We did not want to fly unarmed. A damaged Heinkel was nearby, and we removed two machine guns, loaded ammunition and began preparing for takeoff. The old bomber, having accelerated strongly, took off from the ground and began to gain height slowly. First, we made several circles over the airfield, climbed to 2,500 meters and headed west. It was a common practice to protect against Russian anti-aircraft guns.

Our plane arrived safely at the Morozovskaya-Vostok air base. In the place, we learned that our squadron was at the Morozovskaya - West airfield. We headed to our unit. Our comrades were delighted to see our arrival. They began to congratulate us and in the evening a banquet was organized in our honor. Stalingrad's epic for me and my comrades was over.

Source: http://stalingradrus.narod.ru/memo02.html
https://zhiznteatr.mirtesen.ru/blog/439 ... st-3.?nr=1

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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