Intended FJ role in Sealion

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by fredleander » 30 Jul 2011 13:42

Zuylen wrote:Fredleander, you are very unpatient. No need to make statements like you don't get a response from me. Today is my first opportunity to hit the keyboard again.
Thank you, sorry about that. That it could not have been 7.500 men I fully agree with you. I think I might know his problem - he has probably misread Sturmabteilung Koch's losses as the total even if Kühn states their losses were 140.

Since you are at it - do you know the losses of the 22nd. ID?

Fred
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Zuylen » 30 Jul 2011 13:59

fredleander wrote: Thank you, sorry about that. That it could not have been 7.500 men I fully agree with you.

Since you are at it - do you know the losses of the 22nd. ID?
Fred
No point, Fred. I usually respond soonest. Otherwise you can always send me mail!

The (22.ID) numbers KIA were 300 men, with the heaviest losses at Ypenburg AFB. The number of POWs taken away to the UK are uncertain, but must have been a little over 500 men, mostly of IR.65. The number of wounded was around 1,250 men. Possibly Markus has the accurate WIA figures for 22.ID. I only have lists of the largest hospitals. I have no complete list of (non-fatal) casualties of 22.ID and since the two large POW shipments to the UK were (besides officers) not registered by the Dutch (e.g.: the registry was destroyed), we still do not know who arrived in the UK and of which outfits they were. We only know from personal reports and officer listings the names of commissioned men shipped to the UK, and that their number was somewhere between 1,100 and 1,300, almost entirely Luftwaffe, airborne and airlanding men.

The IR.72 [46.ID, aux. airl.] losses only occured around the Rotterdam - Dordrecht area. They lost 15 men KIA, of which 11 in Dordrecht. Number of wounded was around 50.

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Zuylen » 30 Jul 2011 14:24

Fred, the thing in 'losses' as an argument of stats always brings about the definition of things. Some say that losses are KIA and MIA, others say WIA, KIA as well as the MIA that indeed remained MIA. Others calculate strictly according to the German listings (Quartermaster inventories), which were often much contaminated though. It does create differences between researchers' produced data that certain stats lack a firm definition. One sees the same when one tries to compare for example weapons or - for that matter - AP achievements of antitank weapons. Without the proper envelop of definitions (e.g. mass and nature of round, V0, angle of armour, armour quality, etc.) comparisons can go all the way.

Kühn/Kurowski is terrible as a source. In past times there were no reliable German/English written books on the April-June 1940 campaigns in the West. All what was written contained the myths, that were carefully constructed in time. It is only during the last few years that new research is hitting us, finally busting one myth after the other. On the German behalf the Karl-Heinz Golla account on the airborne operations 1939-1941 is excellent work. Particularly his second edition (which I know to be in prep for the American market) is going to rock the US readers. I worked very closely with Karl-Heinz Golla on his Holland chapters. His first edition was already of good quality, although Golla too had still some of his toes in the old bath of myhtical tales of WWII. After years of cooperation and exchange of (primary) sources, we have made excellent progress. Golla obviously elaborates also on Norway and Crete in his book, whereas my specialism is only the Westfeldzug May-June 1940.

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by fredleander » 30 Jul 2011 14:36

Zuylen wrote:Kühn/Kurowski is terrible as a source. In past times there were no reliable German/English written books on the April-June 1940 campaigns in the West. All what was written contained the myths, that were carefully constructed in time. It is only during the last few years that new research is hitting us, finally busting one myth after the other. On the German behalf the Karl-Heinz Golla account on the airborne operations 1939-1941 is excellent work. Particularly his second edition (which I know to be in prep for the American market) is going to rock the US readers. I worked very closely with Karl-Heinz Golla on his Holland chapters. His first edition was already of good quality, although Golla too had still some of his toes in the old bath of myhtical tales of WWII. After years of cooperation and exchange of (primary) sources, we have made excellent progress. Golla obviously elaborates also on Norway and Crete in his book, whereas my specialism is only the Westfeldzug May-June 1940.
Thank you, I have experienced much the same with descriptions of the Norwegian campaign. As a matter of fact I believe I am in the process of shattering the myth about the overwhelming Royal Navy in September 1940. It is not popular! So much passion.....

Fred
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 30 Jul 2011 17:17

As a matter of fact I believe I am in the process of shattering the myth about the overwhelming Royal Navy in September 1940.
The parable of the Lonely Farmer comes to mind - out standing in his own field.
In Norway and Holland the FJ units jumped directly onto the airfields.
Which by the summer of 1940 was widely interpreted by the rest of the Wehrmacht as being a major weakness in how the FJ were used. Hence their relegation to the General Reserve and a couple of small combat engineer drops in the "wide front" version of Sealion before Student came out of hospital to plead for a larger role.
I cannot see that there is any basis for your above theory.
"Storming Eagles", James Lucas - and his interviews with Hermann Goetzel (then Captain, Ib, 7th Flieger)....
"Two minutes afer sunrise it was proposed that Major Meindl's battalion woul be dropped around Hythe while units of Colonel Brauer's regiment jumped over Paddlesworth and Etchinghill. The common objective was Sandgate. While those units were moving towards the target area, the transport machines would be flying back to France, there to reload and to bring back Major Stenzler's battalion. That wave of paratroopers would drop around the villages of Sellinge and Postling, would reinforce the first waves and together with them would begin to surround the airfield. When the Jus returned with the next wave the encirclement would be completed and the area would be consolidated. A ground and gliderborne attack would THEN (my emphasis) go in, first against the airfield and then to seize and hold the highground beyond it."
Hmm - must have been a figment of my imagination...
Please see my earlier posting quoting Farrar-Hockley's FJ loss figures. Are these wrong?
Sources: To begin with, the Namentliche Verlustmeldungen of FJR.1 and FJR.2, although much 'cleaned'. For example the Verlustliste of FJR1 (including the Ersatz Kompanie Moll) goes to 1,125 men. The sick and (recovered) MIA are deducted from that list to take out impurity.
Fred, why are you relying on British tertiary sources when German primary sources are available???
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by RichTO90 » 01 Aug 2011 16:22

phylo_roadking wrote:Fred, why are you relying on British tertiary sources when German primary sources are available???
Because they fit his preconceived assumptions? :roll:

Seriously, given that the entire 7. Flieger-Division available on 10 May consisted of FJR (- I. in Norway), I./FJR 2. II./FJR 2., and the various company-sized units (Divisionsstab, Regimentsstab FJR 1., 14./FJR 1., Geschütze-Batterie, Pak-Batterie, Aufklarüngs-Kompanie, Sanitäts-Kompanie, and le.Flak-Batterie 106.), plus Koch = 2,820-odd paratroopers if the four battalions were full strength, perhaps 300-400 more in the various Stab, the 437 in Koch, and perhaps 1,400 more non-jump trained types - about 5,000 at most is being generous. Now subtract the casualties - most of 1./FJR 1 captured by the British in Norway (albeit they were mostly freed by the end of May), the other Norway losses, around 750 in FJR 1 in Holland (does the 1,125 quoted by Zuylen possibly include the regiments Norawy losses?), virtually all of I./FJR 2 in Holland, 145 in Koch...possibly 2,000 casualties in April and May is probably half to two-thirds of the jump-trained personnel in the division, including Ersatz.

It is notable that the regiments reformed and expanded in the fall and winter of 1940. Given those losses it is difficult to see how anything else could have been achieved. Koch was expanded by two more battalions into the Luftlande-Sturm-Regiment; it's reasonable to expect they may have been ready for Seelöwe...assuming that all that was required be that they learn to climb into a glider and not vomit too much during the ride and assuming that there were sufficient DFS230, tugs, and trained tug pilots for the 40-50+ gliders per battalion required. However, training up the personnel required to fill up nine parachute battalions, three parachute regimental staffs, and three regimental Pak companies...call it 7,000 trained parachutists, from a cadre of 1,000 to 2,000 able-bodied veterans in less than three months (four months to the end of the Seelöwe "window", but they also have to deploy), after the losses of Ju-52 and pilots is asking a bit much. FJR. 3 was formed in summer 1940, but the Stab, III., and 14./FJR 2 were not formed until January 1941 IIRC.

Overall I suspect that eight parachute and three glider battalions may have been provisionally ready for operations by the end of September, with probably on the order of 4,000 to 5,000 effectives all told, plus another 1,400 airlanding capable divisional troops in the rudimentary artillery, antitank, reconnaissance, and service elements of the division.

BTW, what was the "reinforcing infantry regiment" for 22. Luflande-Division? I can only find IR 16., 47., and 65. associated with that division, and as has been pointed out, they were also hammered in Holland. Would Halder have been referring to the extempore "airborne" contribution from IR 72?

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 01 Aug 2011 21:26

and assuming that there were sufficient DFS230, tugs, and trained tug pilots for the 40-50+ gliders per battalion required.
Hi Rich, IIRC both Callum MacDonald and James Lucas note that gliders were actually in short supply after operations in Holland :wink: Hence I assume gliders only being slated for one element of the entire airfield operation, the landings inside Lympne's chainlink...this op plus the assaults on the coastal batteries would soak up the available supply.(Have to see what more I can dig up on numbers...)

It's as well to recall the glider countermeasures the British had carried out; the staking of open spaces within a radius of five miles of important objectives, all straight roadways of a certain breadth, etc.; as well as this - the flightline at Lympne would likely have been ploughed up.

MacDonald also notes that another major training gap was the attrition of trained FJ despatchers - two per Ju52 - that the Ju52 losses in Holland and Norway entailed.
Overall I suspect that eight parachute and three glider battalions may have been provisionally ready for operations by the end of September, with probably on the order of 4,000 to 5,000 effectives all told, plus another 1,400 airlanding capable divisional troops in the rudimentary artillery, antitank, reconnaissance, and service elements of the division.
Again, both MacDonald and Lucas note that while blank files were made up by volunteer replacements - time was needed to train and exercise these new arrivals into the sort of cohesive, high-performing light troops 7th Flieger had been....especially to fight for x-hours (or days!) without support behind enemy lines.

It's interesting to note how late in the Sealion preparations Goetzel and others were even tasked to identify airfields for the FJ in Belgium and Northern France - the 7th/8th of September! Goeztel was ordered to prepare the identified 8 bases some days after that...and a concentration plan was drawn up to timetable travelling/mustering etc. so that the FJ arrived at the eight locations from their depots in Germany within two days. Maybe it's just me - but that brings all the FJ's preparations perilously close to the mid-September Go/No-go decision point for invasion! I wonder if that's a reflection of just how long it took to get 7th Flieger into some sort of fighting order...
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Zuylen » 02 Aug 2011 10:20

Rich,

'My' 1,125 came from the German source (quartermaster inventory on losses FJR.1: 10-20 Mai 1940) and did not include 1./FJR.1, for that was being reformed and remanned in Norway at that very moment. It were purely the 'Dutch' losses, including 15./FJR.1 (e.g. Ersatzkompanie Moll) and including 1./FlaBt.106. But as I said before, the brused pinky was also added to the list (after all, even a grown-in toe-nail from a bully enemy who stood on ones foot could lead to a Verwundetenabzeichen). That is why I have brought back the real casualty numbers to a mere 750. Of these 145 were KIA (FJR.1 - 1./ + Ersatz + 7.FD staff) and a mere 40 pow's shipped to the UK. FJR.2, only comprising a seven company strength and beside two battalion staffs no other staff or support units, lost 122 KIA. The number of pow's of FJR.2 shipped to the UK is uncertain, but may have been around 100. Mostly however, pow's were wounded in action and those were not included in the evacuations to the UK. Of 6./FJR.2 (Valkenburg) and 5./ and 7./ landed at Waalhaven no pows were made and 5./ and 7./FJR.2 had no casualties whatsoever, being held in the rear all the time. I./FJR.1 was virtually taken out entirely though.

Of FJR.2, the second battalion (except 6./) was not jump-trained and basically still recruit when flown in onto Waalhaven AFB on the 10th of May 1940. It was only assigned guarding duties. Of 8./FJR.2 one platoon had joint the Koch raiding party. Whether the balance of 8./ (without mortars) was divided over 5./ and 7./ or non-existant is unclear. Certain is that II./FJR.2 (minus 6./) had only a two company strength. That is clearly stated in airborne reports on that battalion (Pietzonka).

The entire jumpschool was milked dry from recruits who had made at least on jump. They were squeezed in Ersatz units of which some went to Norway and another of about 120 men (Olt Moll) was dropped in Holland on 11 May 1940. This company was virtually annihilated, and only one platoon size remained unharmed. About 60 men were either killed or wounded, about two dozen taken prisoner.

Given the above facts, I cannot believe that the Germans would have been able to have much more than around 3,500 fully trained airbornes ready for action in September 1940. Any other figure (that is higher) would receive my strong disbelieve. The possibilities to train more men in so short a period, and without proper training facilities beyond Stendal, simply lacked. Getting back on the level of pre April 1940 would already mean at least around 600 men full replacements and about 1,000 recovered from (light and medium) injuries.

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Zuylen » 02 Aug 2011 10:52

Phylo. Not a single (!) glider was used in Holland. Only a handful were attached to the Koch outfit (Belgium).

The FJ/LL component in the Sealion op was much obstructed by the huge loss of Ju-52 material. In Holland alone around 400 had been lost, of which more than half were full write offs, the balance only restored by Jan 1941.

The core of the Fallschirmjäger (FJR.1 and Koch) was excellent soldiering material. They were of the highest of standards. They lost about half their strength during the Scandinavian/Dutch/Belgian battles. As such the well trained and seasoned core of the FJ weapon was no more than around 1,500 men by 1 June 1940. No way that could have been expanded to multitudes of that number by the end of the Summer 1940. The Germans could have had around 2,000-2,500 well trained and largely baptised airbornes and some 1,000 freshly trained replacements. No more, so I believe (and said before).

As to 22.ID, the only airlanding trained outfit (by 9 May 1940) was IR.16. The other two, IR.47 and IR.65, had not passed the level of theoretical training yet. IR.16 had suffered heavily in Rotterdam, where particularly III./IR.16 had been decimated. IR.47 and IR.65 had lost many men too, particularly the latter, that was the main 'supplier' of UK shipped pow's. These units had to get replacements much beyond the sizes of their Ersatz units.

The auxilary airlanding unit was IR.72 (of 46.ID). It had only been ordered to have itself be trained as such come spring 1940 and as such, when I./IR.72 was landed on the seized AFB Waalhaven on 11 and 12 May 1940, it lacked any training. It had not even been organised as an airlanding outfit, demanding a clear cut between 'air-lifted' and 'ground' components as well as smaller fighting units. I am not sure whether IR.72 remained an auxilary air-landing formation after the Westfeldzug. As much as I am concerned, the contempory airlanding role demanded little more than quick on- and offload from air-planes and a focus on unsupported small arms and urban combat.

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by fredleander » 02 Aug 2011 11:34

This is very interesting. What does Student say about this in his memoirs?

Fred
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 02 Aug 2011 13:41

Phylo. Not a single (!) glider was used in Holland. Only a handful were attached to the Koch outfit (Belgium).
Quite right, am used to conflating the Dutch and Eben Emael/Albert Canal operations when counting materiel losses going into the summer's preparations....such as -
The FJ/LL component in the Sealion op was much obstructed by the huge loss of Ju-52 material. In Holland alone around 400 had been lost, of which more than half were full write offs, the balance only restored by Jan 1941.
..having to ALSO figure in the 180 total losses in Norway from the first week of April to the first week of June.
Only a handful were attached to the Koch outfit (Belgium).
While only eleven were used at Eben Emael...42 were used in the entire operation, including the Albert Canal Bridges at Veldwezelt, Vroenhoven and Canne.
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by RichTO90 » 02 Aug 2011 15:18

Zuylen wrote:Given the above facts, I cannot believe that the Germans would have been able to have much more than around 3,500 fully trained airbornes ready for action in September 1940. Any other figure (that is higher) would receive my strong disbelieve. The possibilities to train more men in so short a period, and without proper training facilities beyond Stendal, simply lacked. Getting back on the level of pre April 1940 would already mean at least around 600 men full replacements and about 1,000 recovered from (light and medium) injuries.
Hi Zuylen,

Thanks for the additional details. Yes, the roll of wounded in such a list would have included those lightly wounded and not evacuated - in American parlance they were "carded for record only" - which was a fancy way to say they weren't badly hurt but according to regulations they were eligible for a Purple Heart. :wink:

Nevertheless I was trying to give the benefit of the doubt and was looking at the best case for the Germans. You are looking at perhaps a more average case, but then there is also the worst case, which the OP always refuses to acknowledge (well, he goes for best German case versus worst British case when he can be bothered to get his facts straight :lol: ).

The problem regarding Ju 52 and DFS 230 is a more substantial one in some ways. Production of the Ju 52 in 1940 was just 401 having dropped from the 593 produced in 1939. Short term losses of about 580 in the Norwegian and Western campaigns were a very real problem and the long term loss of about 300 was catastrophic. By January 1941 monthly production was still only 37. Realistically, the long term loss was a nine month replacement proposition, while the short term loss was worse.

Perhaps only a few dozen DFS were expended by Koch in Holland and Denmark, but only 483 had been produced by the end of 1940, 455 of them in that year. A three-battalion lift of the Luftlande-Sturm-Regiment would likely have required 150 or more. Given that 61 were produced in January 1941 it is hard to imagine that more than about 350 could have been produced through September 1940. A two-to-one margin of on hand to requirement may sound adequate, but given expenditure rates of powered aircraft in training I doubt that is actually the case.

Either way, a "best case" assumption of 7,500 airborne troops ready to execute a single lift landing into England in September 1940 is unsupportable given the facts. Instead, the likeliest is about half that in multiple lifts. One of the more interesting proposals I ran across in that vein is the notion of lifting the gliders to 11,000 feet over France then casting them off to make a 30-odd mile glide to Perfidious Albion. The idea was that the transports would be less vulnerable to fighter interception and AAA... :roll:

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 02 Aug 2011 15:43

You are looking at perhaps a more average case, but then there is also the worst case, which the OP always refuses to acknowledge (well, he goes for best German case versus worst British case when he can be bothered to get his facts straight ).
Do I???
By January 1941 monthly production was still only 37.
...and in the summer of 1940 was as low as 25-30 new builds a month due to the efforts that Junkers put into reconstructing damaged aircraft.
Perhaps only a few dozen DFS were expended by Koch in Holland and Denmark, but only 483 had been produced by the end of 1940, 455 of them in that year. A three-battalion lift of the Luftlande-Sturm-Regiment would likely have required 150 or more. Given that 61 were produced in January 1941 it is hard to imagine that more than about 350 could have been produced through September 1940. A two-to-one margin of on hand to requirement may sound adequate, but given expenditure rates of powered aircraft in training I doubt that is actually the case.
It's worth noting that Paul Witkowski's article http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... _n6124007/ hints at quite a high rate of gliders used up during training :wink: ...
As the glider training started, Koch noted two recurring problems with the gliders and their pilots. The Luftwaffe glider pilots' lack of skill was reflected in their performance by overshooting their landing targets, in order to rectify the training deficiency, Deutsche Forschungsanstalt Fuer Segelflug (DFS), the company that developed and built the DFS-230, sent two veteran glider pilots to train Koch's rookie pilots. Mrazek stated, "This eventually led to many a bewildered sport-glider champion receiving a polite invitation from the Luftwaffe to "volunteer" his services for a "delicate" mission." These "drafted" glider pilots were integrated into the Sturmabteilung Koch and flew the combat mission.

The other problem with the gliders resulted from conducting practice landings on surfaces identical to the surface on top of Eben Emael. The landing skid on the DFS-230 failed to produce enough friction to slow the gliders down in an acceptable distance. The pilots improvised by wrapping barbed wire around the landing skid, but this still did not shorten the landing distance. DFS was contacted to develop a braking system. After addressing these two issues, the glider component of the operation was ready for action.
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by RichTO90 » 02 Aug 2011 16:04

phylo_roadking wrote:Do I???
You are not the OP in this case Phylo. If I was addressing that to you I would have used your name. :wink:
...and in the summer of 1940 was as low as 25-30 new builds a month due to the efforts that Junkers put into reconstructing damaged aircraft.
Exactly. It is simply impossible for the Germans to replace their transport aircraft and pilot losses quickly enough to be prepared for a large-scale "7,500 man" airborne effort in September 1940...or much earlier than spring 1941 for that matter. :roll:
It's worth noting that Paul Witkowski's article http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... _n6124007/ hints at quite a high rate of gliders used up during training :wink: ...
Given that with military gliders it was found by the USAAF that one training flight equaled more or less one glider destroyed or damaged, then color me unsurprised... :lol:

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 02 Aug 2011 17:04

It is simply impossible for the Germans to replace their transport aircraft and pilot losses quickly enough


Here's another aspect...well, TWO actually; first of all -
As the glider training started, Koch noted two recurring problems with the gliders and their pilots. The Luftwaffe glider pilots' lack of skill was reflected in their performance by overshooting their landing targets, in order to rectify the training deficiency, Deutsche Forschungsanstalt Fuer Segelflug (DFS), the company that developed and built the DFS-230, sent two veteran glider pilots to train Koch's rookie pilots. Mrazek stated, "This eventually led to many a bewildered sport-glider champion receiving a polite invitation from the Luftwaffe to "volunteer" his services for a "delicate" mission." These "drafted" glider pilots were integrated into the Sturmabteilung Koch and flew the combat mission.
....and this after what Witkowski notes was SIX MONTHS of training for the operation! 8O

So if they couldn't produce enough good pilots for 42 gliders in six months - how many were they going to have produced in the THREE months from the Armistice with France to the middle of September???

Secondly - let's look at that again -
...the company that developed and built the DFS-230, sent two veteran glider pilots to train Koch's rookie pilots. Mrazek stated, "This eventually led to many a bewildered sport-glider champion receiving a polite invitation from the Luftwaffe to "volunteer" his services for a "delicate" mission." These "drafted" glider pilots were integrated into the Sturmabteilung Koch and flew the combat mission
1/ in several places, most recently ww2talk, Fred has extolled the virtues of the ruthlessly practical and efficient Germans at overcoming every obstacle and problem put in front of them...

2/ Every time we pick up a book or listen to a documentary on the FJ, we're told about the participation of Germany's youth in gliding and other aero sports pre-war...

...and yet it was several months into problem-ridden training for Eben Emael BEFORE the Luftwaffe thought to draft "many" of the nation's amateur glider pilots??? 8O BIG oversight right there.....
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