Arved Crüger

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Arved Crüger
Arved Crüger.jpg
Arved Crüger
Born (1911-06-25)25 June 1911
Pillau, East Prussia
Died 22 March 1942(1942-03-22) (aged 30)
near Malta
Allegiance  Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1931–42
Rank Major
Commands held 5./Kampfgeschwader 30
Schnellkampfgeschwader 210
Kampfgeschwader 77
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Spouse(s) Carola Höhn

Arved Crüger (25 June 1911 – 22 March 1942) was a Luftwaffe wing commander during World War II and Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipient. He married the German movie actress Carola Höhn in 1941. He was appointed Geschwaderkommodore (Wing Commander) of Kampfgeschwader 77 (KG 77—77th Bomber Wing) in 1942. Crüger was posted as missing in action on 22 March 1942.

Military career[edit]

Gustav-Arved Crüger was born on 25 June 1911 in Pillau, district of Samland in East Prussia. He joined the military service as a Fahnenjunker (Officer Cadet) in the 2nd Infantry Regiment (Infanterie-Regiment 2) on 1 April 1931. He the attended the infantry school in Dresden from 1 October 1932 until 1 June 1933. With graduation he was promoted to Fähnrich and transferred to the 6th Communications-Department (Nachrichtenabteilung 6). He then attended the Artillery School in Jüterbog before transferring to the Luftwaffe in 1934.[1]

Hauptmann Arved Crüger received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) on 19 June 1940 in recognition of his leadership as Staffelkapitän of the 5th Staffel (Squadron) of Kampfgeschwader 30 (KG 30—30th Bomber Wing) during the anti-shipping campaign against the British Home Fleet and during the Battle of France.[1]

On 29 March 1941 Crüger and led his group in an attack against a British task force southwest of Crete. The group claimed three hits on the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable earning him a reference on 30 March 1941 in the Wehrmachtbericht (armed forces report), an information bulletin issued by the headquarters of the Wehrmacht.[2] To be singled out individually in this way was an honour and was entered in the Orders and Decorations' section of a soldier's Service Record Book.

Crüger married the German actress Carola Höhn in April 1941. The marriage produced a posthumous son, Arved-Michael, who was born in June 1942.[3]

After his wedding vacation Crüger took command as Geschwaderkommodore of the Schnellkampfgeschwader 210 on 30 September 1941 at the Eastern Front. He then became Geschwaderkommodore of Kampfgeschwader 77 on 13 March 1942. Fighting in the Mediterranean theater of operations Crüger went missing in action on 22 March 1942. Flying the Junkers Ju 88 A-4 3Z+AA (Werknummer 8627—factory number) he failed to return from a combat mission against the British forces on Malta.[3] Crüger and his crew appear to have been shot down by Royal Navy AA fire while attacking shipping en route to Malta.[4]

Awards[edit]

Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Sunday, 30 March 1941 Kampfflugzeuge unter Führung des Majors Krüger griffen in den Nachmittagsstunden des 29. März im Seegebiet westlich Kreta einen starken englischen Flottenverband erfolgreich an. Sie erzielten trotz heftiger Flak- und Jagdabwehr auf einem Flugzeugträger drei Bombenvolltreffer. Bei den Luftkämpfen während des Angriffs schossen Kampfflugzeuge ein britisches Jagdflugzeug vom Muster Hurricane ab. Alle eigenen Flugzeuge kehrten zu ihren Stützpunkten zurück.[8] Bombers under the command of Major Krüger attacked a strong British naval task force in the sea area west of Crete in the afternoon hours of 29 March. They scored three direct bomb hits on an aircraft carrier despite the heavy anti aircraft fire and fighter cover. One British aircraft of the type Hurricane was shot down by the bombers during the aerial battles. All of our aircraft returned to their bases.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to Scherzer as Staffelkapitän of the 3./Kampfgeschwader 30.[7]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ a b Schumann 2007, p. 46.
  2. ^ Kaiser 2010, p. 127.
  3. ^ a b Schumann 2007, p. 47.
  4. ^ Cull & Shores 1991, p. 140.
  5. ^ a b Kaiser 2010, p. 126.
  6. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 155.
  7. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 263.
  8. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 459.
Bibliography
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Kaiser, Jochen (2010). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kampfflieger—Band 1 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Bomber Fliers—Volume 1] (in German and English). Bad Zwischenahn, Germany: Luftfahrtverlag-Start. ISBN 978-3-941437-07-4. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Schumann, Ralf (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 des LG 1 (in German). Zweibrücken, Germany: VDM Heinz Nickel. ISBN 978-3-86619-013-9.
  • Shores, Christopher and Brian Cull with Nicola Malizia (1991). Malta: The Spitfire Year. London: Grub Street. ISBN 0-948817-16-X.
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 1, 1 September 1939 to 31 December 1941] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Major Walter Storp
Commander of Schnellkampfgeschwader 210
30 September 1941 – 4 January 1942
Succeeded by
redesignated Stab/Zerstörergeschwader 1
Preceded by
created from Stab/Schnellkampfgeschwader 210
Commander of Zerstörergeschwader 1
4 January 1942 – 2 March 1942
Succeeded by
Major Ulrich Diesing
Preceded by
Oberstleutnant Johann Raithel
Commander of Kampfgeschwader 77
13 March 1942 – 22 March 1942
Succeeded by
Major Wilhelm Stremmler