Flak Divisions

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eiserne kreuz
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Flak Divisions

Post by eiserne kreuz » 03 Sep 2005 16:54

Were there ever any plans to form more than 30 Flak Divisions in the war, or did it simply end before any more could be created? were there any plans on paper to turn Flak Brigades into Divisions? Any help would be welcome.

Larry D.
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Post by Larry D. » 03 Sep 2005 17:55

31. Flakdivision was formed in April 1945 in the Osnabrück (or Magdeburg?) area by reorganizing and expanding Stab/2. Flakbrigade and attaching units. The appointed Komm.Gen. was Gen.Maj. Herbert Giese. It was still in the process of forming when the war ended. No evidence has come to light that any more were planned after this.

A number of Flakbrigaden were upgraded to Flakdivisionen during the course of the war.

--Larry

eiserne kreuz
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Flak Divisions

Post by eiserne kreuz » 03 Sep 2005 18:15

Thanks very much for that juicy morsel. I now recall seeing a 31.Flak-Division in an oob for Armee Blumentritt or something similar,why did Tessin not mention it? I suppose because it did not occur before the end of the war?

Larry D.
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Re: Flak Divisions

Post by Larry D. » 03 Sep 2005 18:56

eiserne kreuz wrote:Thanks very much for that juicy morsel. I now recall seeing a 31.Flak-Division in an oob for Armee Blumentritt or something similar,why did Tessin not mention it? I suppose because it did not occur before the end of the war?
It's not in Horst-Adalbert Koch, either.
It's in MEHNER, Kurt and Reinhard Teuber, Die Deutsche Luftwaffe 1939-1945: Führung und Truppe (Norderstedt: Militair-Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, 1993), p.123. I have also seen it in the big postwar A.I.15 study on the Luftwaffe's Flakartillerie, so I know that it existed. It's the details of any operational activity that seem to be lacking.

According to Mehner, it was ordered formed on 1 January 1945 under Giese. This is confirmed in Giese's career biography (see Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research web site). Giese was captured on 20 April and the 31. Flak-Div. was taken over by Oberst Herbert Röhler, who had commanded the 1. Flak-Brig. up to 18 April. Mehner also provides the names of the Division Ia (Hptm. Horst-Hubert Weise), the Ib (Obstlt. Julius Zobel), and the IIa (Obstlt. Willi Hübener). Although I cannot confirm it, the Division is said to have ended the war in the Härz Mountains area.

If you find any operational and/or OB details for it, please let me know!

--Larry

Stephen Hart
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Re: Flak Divisions

Post by Stephen Hart » 09 Apr 2009 17:28

Larry

I would be most interested to here if you have found out any more infm on how 31 Flak Div (which I have not come across before) was employed. Was its sub-units employed in a ground role to bolster the thin defensive screens then being used to slow the Anglo-American advance east through the Osnabruck-Magdeburg area, or impressed into supporting 12th Armee (Wenck)?

Stephen

Larry D.
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Re: Flak Divisions

Post by Larry D. » 09 Apr 2009 18:14

Stephen Hart wrote:Larry
I would be most interested to here if you have found out any more infm on how 31 Flak Div (which I have not come across before) was employed. Was its sub-units employed in a ground role to bolster the thin defensive screens then being used to slow the Anglo-American advance east through the Osnabruck-Magdeburg area, or impressed into supporting 12th Armee (Wenck)?
Stephen
Yes, Stephen, I did manage to stumble over a tiny morsel of additional information during the 3½ years since my first post:

31. Flakdivision

Formed at the beginning of April 1945 by reorganizing and reinforcing the 2. Flakbrigade. The former Kommander of 2. Flakbrigade, Oberst Menge, had a nervous breakdown and was replaced at the end of March by Oberst Giese. Its initial task was the protection of the most important transportation junctions and intersections in the eastern part of the Luftgau VI area, but a short time later was reassigned to mobile warfare in support of the ground fighting. With its 24 heavy, medium and light batteries, the Division was heavily engaged along the Lippe between Soest and Lippspringe, in the Teutoburgerwald, along the Weser, and in support of AOK 11 between the Weser and Harz. It was instrumental in blocking the entrances to the Harz mountains and defending strong points there, thus causing delay to the enemy.

[Source: NASM WashDC: Captured German/Japanese Air Technical Documents, T-2/USSBS, roll 7009/14786-87.]

Not much, to be sure, but it does answer your question, more or less. IIRC, one of the Foreign Military Studies, probably in the B- or D-series, that was written after the war by either Oberst Menge or Oberst Giese, covers the Division's activities from formation to the end of the war. It speaks of setting up ambushes at road junctions, bends in various narrow mountain roads in the Harz Range, in the approaches to villages, etc., all with the intent of shooting up a few tanks and trucks and delaying the Allied advance, then immediately falling back a kilometer or two and repeating the process. There's not much beyond that in the study as it was written from memory in 1947 or 1948.

That's all I have.

Regards,

Larry D.

Stephen Hart
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Re: Flak Divisions

Post by Stephen Hart » 20 Apr 2009 14:25

Larry

Thank you very much for this interesting snippet of additional information. I'll look up the FMS Report, I have the complete list anyway.

Stephen

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