Air units in the KM

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Jeremy Chan
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Air units in the KM

Post by Jeremy Chan » 28 Feb 2004 12:26

Were there any aircraft units (fighter, bomber. fighter-bomber, recce) attached to or in the Kreigsmarine? Where were they based and did they wear KM ranks (part of the KM per se?)? What were the extent of their operations?

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 28 Feb 2004 17:12

No, as I recall all such units were attached to the Luftwaffe.

/Marcus

daveh
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Post by daveh » 28 Feb 2004 18:02

Arado Ar 196 aircraft on German naval units:

Bismarck 4 aircraft
Tirpitz 4 aircraft
Scharnhorst 3 aircraft (replacing Heinkel He114 in 1939)
Gneisenau 3 aircraft (replacing Heinkel He114, Arado Ar96 and Focke-Wulf Fw62 in 1939)
Admiral Hipper 3 aircraft
Blücher 3 aircraft
Prinz Eugen 3 aircraft
Deutschland 2 aircraft (replacing Heinkel He60 in 1939)
Admiral Scheer 2 aircraft (replacing Heinkel He60 in 1939)
Admiral Graf Spee 2 aircraft (replacing Heinkel He60 in 1939)
Hilfskreuzer 1 aircraft on some of them

Only the 30 ship based float planes were under operational command of the Kriegsmarine.


http://www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/ ... index.html

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Jeremy Chan
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Post by Jeremy Chan » 29 Feb 2004 06:19

So those pilots wore KM uniforms? When a floatplane landed, how was it lifted back onto a ship's floatplane catapult?

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 29 Feb 2004 12:46

These planes posted by Dave all belonged to the "Bordfliegergruppen", which were Luftwaffe units.

The best article I guess can be found on Feldgrau, but a search on the codes used on these plane will allways take you to a Luftwaffe unit!

http://www.feldgrau.com/articles.php?ID=37

Erik E

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Alter Mann
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Post by Alter Mann » 07 Apr 2004 20:39

From the pictures I've seen, they were usually lifted back onto the catapult by a special crane-like device near the catapults. They had the lifting rings either built in or easily attached by the crew the crew after the plane was taken in tow by the ship.

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Post by varjag » 08 Apr 2004 12:06

The closest the KM came to 'their own airforce' was in the 'Bordflieger Staffeln', that is the aircraft that were based ON battleships, cruisers and not least, the Hilfskreuzer. The pilots were LW but I believe there was also a few KM officers with flight training that served in them. The commander/observer in the a/c was always KM. I do not know about the technicians but suspect they were LW. The recovery was by crane. Battleships and modern cruisers had two for either side recovery, older cruisers only one. They do not seemed to have used a landing-mat though they knew about them. Most common procedure was for the ship to lay 'eine Ententeppe' (a ducks tail...) by steady turn with the a/c touching water on the 'ducks tail' on the inside turn. This method was inferior to the American/Japanese methods - and put tighter restrictions on 'operational weather' than seems to have been the case elsewhere. The most commony used aircraft in WW 2, the Arado 196 was also deemed 'not very seaworthy' and was often damaged in landings. As for operations they did better in fair weather of course. The Graf Spee and Scheer did make good use of theirs. Several of the Hilfskreuzer did even better. Even though they lacked catapults and had to lower the a/c to the water under a normal steamers derrick - and revert the operation under the same derrick powered by a steam-winch. And seamanship. And - may I add, the Ententeppe behind a 15-knot Hilfskreuzer - is a very short rug indeed.

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Post by Dieter Zinke » 08 Apr 2004 13:04

Hi,
on 14.12.1940 Oberleutnant zur See and pilot in the 3. / Küstenflieger-Group 506 receives the Kight' s Cross (proposal coming from the Luftwaffe).
And
on 30.12.1942 Oberleutnant zur See and Staffelkapitän in the 2. / I. / Kampfgeschwader 4 "General Wever" won the Knight's Cross.
In German:
"Gemäß Erlaß des Oberbefehlshabers der Kriegsmarine vom 17.03.1943 MPA 13549 mit dem 31.03.1943 aus dem Befehlsbereich des Oberbefehlshabers der Kriegsmarine ausgeschieden; mit dem 01.04.1943 in den Befehlsbereich des Reichsministers der Luftfahrt und Oberbefehlshabers der Luftwaffe übergetreten."
Sources:
Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine, Vol. I & II. Biblio-Verlag

Happy Easter
Oberstab

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Post by Jon G. » 08 Apr 2004 13:31

Dönitz had a Lufwaffe bomber group under operational command. At least at surface value :) cooperation was fairly smooth; the idea of course being that the Condors should direct U-boats to the convoys. Sometimes, ships were sunk in a joint effort between U-boats and planes.

In January 1941 IIRC the tally of sunken ships was 20-21 in the KM's favour. But this was the high mark of Luftwaffe anti-shipping operations in the Atlantic.

The Luftwaffe crews' navigation skills were often too poor to pinpoint a convoy's position accurately enough, and the CAM hurricats were a useful deterrent from mid-1941 on.

Also, the Lufwaffe used their own maps for positioning, and the gridding on those maps did not correspond with the Kriegsmarine's maps.

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Post by varjag » 10 Apr 2004 12:50

Oberstab - I assume that the two officers you refer to, were KM officers 'attached' to the Luftwaffe. The KC coming to an officer in the Küstenfliegergruppe 506 carries definite 'naval' connection. How an Oberleutnant zur See AND Staffelkapitän in KG 4 did achieve the same distinction is more obscure. Do you have details?? This to me smells of KM officers guiding the LW in anti-shipping duties...?Dangerous work - and they didn't get the RK for nothing.....

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Post by varjag » 10 Apr 2004 13:03

Shrek - you are reffering to the famous KG 40 based down at Bordeaux. But it was NOT under KM command but most certainly LW. And yes - the cooperation was fairly smooth. When there was enough Condors and fuel to operate them. And they did sterling work both attacking convoys but more so in discovering them. As the war went on most of their discoveries were well within air-range of Britain - where the U-boats found it ever harder to breathe. As for the CAM-ships there was a useful thread on the forum a few months ago which surprised even me. The number of (operational) CAM-launches were something - was it four or seven. Have forgotten - but the entire CAM-effort seems to have downed a maximum of two Condors.

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Post by Jon G. » 10 Apr 2004 16:02

I read that the I/KG40 was put at Dönitz' 'disposal', which I interpreted as overall operational command being with the KM. But the bomber group would still be a Luftwaffe unit.

Were there any Condors flying out of Norway too? I don't think the I/KG40 stopped its operations after D-Day - but where did it relocate?

Yes, the CAMs were just a deterrent to keep the Condors from getting too close to convoys. A Condor - not even built to military specs as far as I know - would probably stand less than a snowball's chance against a Hurricane.

Later on, the escort carriers entered the picture - though their main function probably was to force the U-boats to stay submerged. Perhaps harking to another thread, bashing together an improvised escort carrier apparently was not that much of a problem for the RN... it would have been interesting if the Italians had been capable of something similar :wink:

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Dieter Zinke
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Post by Dieter Zinke » 10 Apr 2004 17:08

varjag wrote:Oberstab - I assume that the two officers you refer to, were KM officers 'attached' to the Luftwaffe. The KC coming to an officer in the Küstenfliegergruppe 506 carries definite 'naval' connection. How an Oberleutnant zur See AND Staffelkapitän in KG 4 did achieve the same distinction is more obscure. Do you have details?? This to me smells of KM officers guiding the LW in anti-shipping duties...?Dangerous work - and they didn't get the RK for nothing.....


Hi varjag.
Please write to the author:

Manfred Dörr,
Hallenweg 12
D 64689 Grasellenbach.
He has the complete bios and also pics of both (in the uniform of the Kriegsmarine and also in the uniform of the Luftwaffe after their going over).

Happy Easter
Oberstab

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Air units in the KM

Post by Simon Gunson » 11 Apr 2004 11:28

Shrek

I can't comment on KG40 Condors after Normandy, but on 7 April 1944 the Ju-290s of Fernaufklarungsgruppe FAG.5 responsible for much of the Atlantic long range recconaisance was absorbed into I/KG200.

I know some Condors were taken into KG200 service about that time.

Aufklarungsgruppe 222 operating the Blohm und Voss BV222 pre Normandy from Biscarosse were redeployed to Norway.

As a general rule pilots were needed increasingly to fly fighters and older bomber types were grounded. Perhaps someone knows about Condors ?

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Post by varjag » 11 Apr 2004 11:50

Thanks Oberstab for that name and address - author obviously has untangled the web between KM and LW. For Shrek - I understand that Fw 200's of KG 40 occasionally did fly a loop from Bordeaux to Stavanger in Norway thus covering the Biscay, Western Approaches and the Iceland/Shetland gap - and a similar pattern on the return. But their main targets were to be found NW, W and SW of Ireland.

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