Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

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Counter
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Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by Counter » 28 Jan 2022 07:26

HI!

I would like to read something from you about this question:

Apparently, in mid-November 1941, the important 2 Luftflotte was sent from Central Front in Russia (then engaged in the decissive "Typhoon" battle) to the Mediterranean. Reinforcing Axis supplies in North Africa was vital, as due to the british interception of Axis maritime convoys Rommel was defeated in the "Crusader battle" (December 1941). German aircrafts and submarines changed completely the situation in the Mediterranean at the end of 1941.

But then, as Axis forces were saved by the aerial and submarine german intervention to support supplies in North Africa, the Russians won in Moscow, rejecting the german offensive -Typhoon-

How important was the 2 Luftflotte´s absence in front of Moscow in December 1941?

Did maybe the british success on interception of the Mediterranean Axis convoys in septembre october 1941 allow the soviet victory in Moscow?

Thank you for your help :D

Counter
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Re: Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by Counter » 10 Feb 2022 14:43

No reply. May be later :D

Just adding kind of timeline:

End of May 1941: X Fliegerkorps moved from southern Italy. British dominance in central Mediterranean ensued

In concert with Royal Navy submarines, the RAF and FAA sank 108 Axis ships (300,000 grt) between June and September. In September, 33% of the 96,000 tons of supplies dispatched were lost to British submarine and air attack. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_ ... nforcement

17 September - Hitler orders six U-Boot into the Mediterranean

9 October, Otto Dietrich of the German Ministry of Propaganda, quoting Hitler himself, forecast in a press conference the imminent destruction of the armies defending Moscow

15 October, Stalin ordered the evacuation of the Communist Party, the General Staff and various civil government offices from Moscow to Kuybishev-Samara

10 November, Hitler orders 2 Luftflotte moves from Central Russia to Sicily

8 December, Hitler had signed his directive No.39, ordering the Wehrmacht to assume a defensive stance on the whole front. German troops were unable to organize a solid defense at their initial locations and were forced to pull back to consolidate their lines.

?????????????????

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Re: Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by Konig_pilsner » 10 Feb 2022 18:19

Hey Counter,

After Vyazma AGC was done and could only advance at a high cost, or where they faced limited opposition. AGN's failure to turn the corner at Tikhivin and Guderian's failed pincer had more to do with stalling the advance than lack of air support, which by this time needed to be refit anyway. Had Luftflotte 2 remained it might have helped stabilize the front during the counter attacks to some extent, however poor weather and months of attrition would limit its effectiveness to change the overall picture.

KP

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Re: Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by klzlueylx » 05 Apr 2022 20:09

On that question I might have an answer, though not so direct but maybe help a little.




When Barbarossa starts, LuftFlotte 2 had following units:
(Fighters & Bombers only, Recon & Transporter not included.)
(From Barbarossa to 2.42)
  • JG53 (exit ostfront from 8.41 to 10.41)

II FliegerKorps
  • KG3 (Rebased to Kursk region, only III./KG3 left in Vyazma)
  • KG53 (Kursk)
  • StG77 (Orel-Stalino)
  • SKG210 (a Gruppen left at 10.41 to 12.41, Others joined the Moscow Offensive)
  • JG51 (spreaded along the front, about half joined Typhoon)
VIII FliegerKorps
  • KG2 (exit Ostfront from 9.41 to11.41)
  • StG1
  • StG2 (went south, Kursk then back to Poland)
  • ZG26 (exit Ostfront from 10.41)
  • JG27 (exit Ostfront at 10.41)

The only noticeable Air Reinforcement to Ostfront in this time period was KG4, deployed to the North.

Thus, When LF2 was ordered to cover Italy, it only took 2/3 of it's original SingleEngined fighters, all TwinEngined Fighters (they soon were retasked to Ground Attack & Nightfight) while most bombers were kept in Russia.

Yet, those who stayed in Russia were mostly reverted their operation to south, and by the early stage of Typhoon only a very Limited original-LF2 unit was able to help the offensive. It's not hard to understand the reason why, ObdL made this change of strategy, as with time comes to late autumn and winter, central russia are having a increased bad weather percentage, making the supply and navigation harder, while daytime got a decrase causing difficulties to spot ground targets, especially from height onto a foresty ground. By any possible reason, Southern Russia or Urkraine offers better condition for aerial warfare and asked a higher need than central, due to the much more preserved VVS units and quicker advance of the Heer.
and when the Typhoon comes to a devastating situation, der Luftwaffe found itself, too, in a desperate status. Icey winter caused frontline airfields unable to get supply, thus maintenance of aircraft became impossible. Soon there was no enough aircraft operationable, and they were forced to face a revived enemy, which they thought, and did, smashed in July. VVS returned with thousands of newly equipped Yak and Migs and IL2, replacing the elder I16 and I153. Even before the Winter, Luftwaffe had suffered a unsustainable loss ratio, now with heavily reduced strength and a stronger enemy, even pilots were used out. by December 41, luftwaffe managed to get a 56.5% of fully operational crew, with the cost of using pilots still in train. and by July the number was at 75%. Though, it's kind of 'balanced' since aircraft in-commision rate dropped to 45%, comparing with the July's 68%. Also, 1941's latter half also is the only period during whole war, that Germany's SingleEngine Aircrafts production reduced.
(data comes from Williamson Murray's <Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933-1945>)

Returning to the question, Yes, what LF2 took away from Centralline of Russia is essential to the aerial operation , though not foreseeable. No, if it did not leave, they will still face the obstacles of logistics, an impossible match to the enemy. The Absence of LF2 did not result in the grand failure of Typhoon, but a reliefed burden given the circumstances of broken logistics. Luftwaffe cannot win a campaign alone, especially after Dunkerque, and the truth is Typhoon has always been AGC's typhoon, with or without LF2 or the Luftwaffe.

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Re: Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by historygeek2021 » 06 Apr 2022 19:03

klzlueylx wrote:
05 Apr 2022 20:09
No, if it did not leave, they will still face the obstacles of logistics, an impossible match to the enemy. The Absence of LF2 did not result in the grand failure of Typhoon, but a reliefed burden given the circumstances of broken logistics. Luftwaffe cannot win a campaign alone, especially after Dunkerque, and the truth is Typhoon has always been AGC's typhoon, with or without LF2 or the Luftwaffe.
Good point. Germany could not get enough trains through to supply the army in December. If Goering had his henchmen kidnap the few trains left in order to supply Luftflotte 2, Army Group Center might have completely collapsed.

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Re: Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by Urmel » 24 Aug 2022 16:31

Counter wrote:
10 Feb 2022 14:43
No reply. May be later :D

Just adding kind of timeline:

End of May 1941: X Fliegerkorps moved from southern Italy. British dominance in central Mediterranean ensued

In concert with Royal Navy submarines, the RAF and FAA sank 108 Axis ships (300,000 grt) between June and September. In September, 33% of the 96,000 tons of supplies dispatched were lost to British submarine and air attack. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_ ... nforcement

17 September - Hitler orders six U-Boot into the Mediterranean

9 October, Otto Dietrich of the German Ministry of Propaganda, quoting Hitler himself, forecast in a press conference the imminent destruction of the armies defending Moscow

15 October, Stalin ordered the evacuation of the Communist Party, the General Staff and various civil government offices from Moscow to Kuybishev-Samara

10 November, Hitler orders 2 Luftflotte moves from Central Russia to Sicily

8 December, Hitler had signed his directive No.39, ordering the Wehrmacht to assume a defensive stance on the whole front. German troops were unable to organize a solid defense at their initial locations and were forced to pull back to consolidate their lines.

?????????????????
Couple of points.

1) Discussion by Hitler on sending German submarines were ordered into the Med started on 22 August 1941 and Mussolini communicated agreement by 1 September.

2) The revival of Axis fortunes in the Mediterranean at the end of 1941 was not due to Luftflotte 2 arriving, in fact it had practically nothing to do with it. Instead it was the succession of heavy losses during the Operation CRUSADER period, coupled with withdrawals to support the Far East theatre that led to the ascendancy. German planes did not sink a single Royal Navy ship in this vessel. German submarines sank a number, including Barham and Ark Royal, but the Italians sank Neptune and heavily damaged Aurora on a mine barrier off Tripoli, and disabled the two remaining battleships Queen Elizabeth and Valiant in a special forces attack. Rommel's decision to counterattack on 21 January took Cyrenaica off the Allies, which made interdiction dependent on Malta, and that is where Luftflotte 2 came in from late December January really. But all of these things needed to come together.

3) It's not clear to me what Luftflotte 2 would have achieved in the supply-constrained Russian operation.

4) What may have made much more of a difference is the heavy allocation of transport planes to the Mediterranean in late 1941 to support the Afrika Korps.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by Yuri » 24 Aug 2022 20:19

It is wrong to say "Luftflotte 2 has moved from Russia to Italy." It is correct to say "a part of the Luftflotte 2 staff officers headed by Field Marshal Kesselring have moved. And even that will be a lot. Since not all departments of the Luftflotte 2 headquarters moved. The number of Luftflotte 2 headquarters at the beginning of Barbarossa was very large, since this fleet was the largest of the four that participated in the attack on the USSR. In September 1941, the VIII Corps was transferred to Army Group North, and part of the II Corps was transferred to Army Group South.
As a result, a lot of officers have accumulated in the Luftflotte 2 headquarters without work. Field Marshal Kesselring was transferred to Italy because he had experience with Italian commanders, he knew Italy.
As for equipment (aircraft, anti-aircraft batteries and other equipment), it all stayed in place in Russia, moreover, continued to come to Russia from Germany to make up for the losses and increase the number of.

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Re: Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by historygeek2021 » 26 Aug 2022 19:33

Yuri wrote:
24 Aug 2022 20:19
It is wrong to say "Luftflotte 2 has moved from Russia to Italy." It is correct to say "a part of the Luftflotte 2 staff officers headed by Field Marshal Kesselring have moved. And even that will be a lot. Since not all departments of the Luftflotte 2 headquarters moved. The number of Luftflotte 2 headquarters at the beginning of Barbarossa was very large, since this fleet was the largest of the four that participated in the attack on the USSR. In September 1941, the VIII Corps was transferred to Army Group North, and part of the II Corps was transferred to Army Group South.
As a result, a lot of officers have accumulated in the Luftflotte 2 headquarters without work. Field Marshal Kesselring was transferred to Italy because he had experience with Italian commanders, he knew Italy.
As for equipment (aircraft, anti-aircraft batteries and other equipment), it all stayed in place in Russia, moreover, continued to come to Russia from Germany to make up for the losses and increase the number of.
Thank you for clearing this up.

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Re: Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by klzlueylx » 20 Sep 2022 11:08

Yuri wrote:
24 Aug 2022 20:19
As for equipment (aircraft, anti-aircraft batteries and other equipment), it all stayed in place in Russia, moreover, continued to come to Russia from Germany to make up for the losses and increase the number of.
no, as I had mentioned before, a remarkable amount of aircrafts in LF2 exit ostfront when Kesselring. the rest of them who stayed in Ostfront were mostly transferred southwards, which left AGC a rather empty air support force pool.
I've list these Geschwaders' transferring time and destination in #4 post, and you may verify each of those very easily.

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Re: Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by Urmel » 20 Sep 2022 11:39

klzlueylx wrote:
20 Sep 2022 11:08
Yuri wrote:
24 Aug 2022 20:19
As for equipment (aircraft, anti-aircraft batteries and other equipment), it all stayed in place in Russia, moreover, continued to come to Russia from Germany to make up for the losses and increase the number of.
no, as I had mentioned before, a remarkable amount of aircrafts in LF2 exit ostfront when Kesselring. the rest of them who stayed in Ostfront were mostly transferred southwards, which left AGC a rather empty air support force pool.
I've list these Geschwaders' transferring time and destination in #4 post, and you may verify each of those very easily.
Your list has substantial errors though, as you count at Geschwader level.

Ccorrection for your list.
JG53 - one Gruppe in Africa then the Med from December 1941.
JG27 - only one Gruppe in the east, two in Africa from April 1941.
ZG26 - Stab and one Gruppe in Africa and the Med through 1941
StG1 and StG2 - one Gruppe each in Africa and the Med through 1941
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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