Georg Seelmann

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Georg Seelmann
Born 4 February 1917
Bamberg
Died 18 September 1989(1989-09-18) (aged 72)
Lichtenfels
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service ?-1945
Rank Oberleutnant
Unit JG 77
JG 51
JG 103
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Georg Seelmann (4 February 1917 – 18 September 1989) was a German Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership - for the fighter pilots, it was a quantifiable measure of skill and success.

Military career[edit]

At the start of the war Unteroffizier Seelmann was posted with Jagdgeschwader 51 (Fighter Wing 51), however was soon transferred, in October, to 2./JG 77 based near the Polish border.[1] His first victory came in the campaign against France, when he shot down a Morane 406 near Charleroi. Against the RAF, he doubled his score shooting down a Spitfire on 7 September. Following the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe fighter units were consolidated, and on 21 November 1940 I./JG 77 was renamed IV./JG 51 and Seelman's 2./JG 77 became 11./JG 51. In March 1941 Leutnant Seelmann was appointed a Staffelführer (flight leader) of 11./JG 51, then full Staffelkapitän when Hptm Franz Hahn was injured in September 1941.

His unit was then sent, along with most of the Luftwaffe, to the Eastern Front and JG51 was tasked to support Army Group Centre on its drive on Moscow. In these initial weeks, Seelmann was particularly successful over the poorly trained and led Russian pilots. He quickly reached his 20th victory on 16 July and then his 30th on 9 August. But it wasn't all one-way, and on 30 August a Russian bomber rammed Seelmann's Bf109F2 (W.Nr 9647)[2] forcing him to bale out 16 km behind enemy lines.[3] He successfully evaded capture and made his way back to his unit. For his success (37 victories), Seelmann was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 6 October, joining the rapidly growing list of honoured pilots in the new Gruppe.

As winter set in and flying conditions deteriorated, he was posted to Ergänzungsgruppe JG51 - the Geschwader's training squadron - as an instructor. These individual training squadrons were merged in January 1942 as the new Ergänzungruppe-Jagdgruppe Ost.[4] He finally returned to front-line duty on 1 August 1942, back as the Staffelkapitän (Squadron Leader) for 11./JG 51, still based in front of Moscow. Conditions had changed though and the Russian pilot quality had markedly improved. Just 2 days later, on 3 August, he was shot down by return fire from Russian bombers. Baling out badly wounded from his burning Bf109F2 (W.Nr 12652, 'White 5')[5] he spent a month in hospital before returning to his unit. However just a month later he was posted as Staffelkapitän of 4./JG 51 on 8 October 1942.

With the Allied landings in North Africa in November (Operation Torch), II./JG 51 was one of the units sent to augment the over-extended Mediterranean Front, based initially in Sicily, then Tunisia. However at the end of March 1943 his wounds still troubled him, and as the Tunisian battles reached their peak, he had to resign his role as an active StaKa.[6][7] After further recuperation, in summer 1943 he was instead transferred to a non-combat role as the Staffelkapitän for the training squadron 1./JG 103, where he ended his successful combat career.

In just three years of combat, Georg Seelmann flew 550 missions and was credited with 39 victories. He died on 18 September 1989, aged 72.

Victories[edit]

No Date Time Unit & Airfield Gruppe Kommandeur Location / Planquad Claimed Aircraft Source / Comments[8]
1 14 May 1940 11:40 2/JG 77 - Odendorf Hptm Johannes Janke 15 km S of Charleroi Morane 406 OKL; Prien/Bock
2 7 Sep 1940 18:30 2/JG 77 - Marquise Hptm Johannes Janke - Spitfire OKL; Prien/Bock
3 16 Apr 1941 18:35 11/JG 51 - Marquise Maj Friedrich Beckh SE of Dungeness Hurricane C.2036/I AnerkNr3
4 22 Jun 1941 7:05 11/JG 51 - Krzewicza, SE Poland Maj Friedrich Beckh - I-153 C.2036/II AnerkNr4
5 22 Jun 1941 16:14 11/JG 51 - Krzewicza Maj Friedrich Beckh - DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr7
6 24 Jun 1941 9:27 11/JG 51 - Krzewicza Maj Friedrich Beckh - SB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr9
7 24 Jun 1941 9:29 11/JG 51 - Krzewicza Maj Friedrich Beckh - SB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr10
8 29 Jun 1941 18:34 11/JG 51 - Krzewicza Maj Friedrich Beckh - ZKB-19 C.2036/II AnerkNr28
9 2 Jul 1941 19:32 11/JG 51 - Stary Bychow, Mogilev Maj Friedrich Beckh - DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr31
10 2 Jul 1941 19:35 11/JG 51 - Stary Bychow Maj Friedrich Beckh - DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr32
11 4 Jul 1941 15:00 11/JG 51 - Stary Bychow Maj Friedrich Beckh - SB-2 C.2036/II AnerkNr35
12 4 Jul 1941 15:03 11/JG 51 - Stary Bychow Maj Friedrich Beckh - SB-2 C.2036/II AnerkNr36
13 5 Jul 1941 5:58 11/JG 51 - Stary Bychow Maj Friedrich Beckh - DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr37
14 6 Jul 1941 16:30 11/JG 51 - Stary Bychow Maj Friedrich Beckh - ZKB-19 C.2036/II AnerkNr43
15 9 Jul 1941 4:32 11/JG 51 - Stary Bychow Maj Friedrich Beckh - I-16 C.2036/II AnerkNr105
16 11 Jul 1941 15:32 11/JG 51 - Stary Bychow Maj Friedrich Beckh - I-16 C.2036/II AnerkNr48
17 13 Jul 1941 12:25 11/JG 51 - Stary Bychow Maj Friedrich Beckh - Pe-2 C.2036/II AnerkNr45
18 14 Jul 1941 12:29 11/JG 51 - Stary Bychow Maj Friedrich Beckh - DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr52
19 15 Jul 1941 14:12 11/JG 51 - Stary Bychow Maj Friedrich Beckh - DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr54
20 16 Jul 1941 10:12 11/JG 51 - Stary Bychow Maj Friedrich Beckh - DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr56
21 23 Jul 1941 18:12 11/JG 51 - Smolensk Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr121
22 23 Jul 1941 18:16 11/JG 51 - Smolensk Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr57
23 24 Jul 1941 8:11 11/JG 51 - Smolensk Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - I-16 C.2036/II AnerkNr58
24 31 Jul 1941 4:37 11/JG 51 - Smolensk Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - Pe-2 C.2036/II AnerkNr60
25 3 Aug 1941 12:25 11/JG 51 - Smolensk Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - I-16 C.2036/II AnerkNr61
26 4 Aug 1941 7:25 11/JG 51 - Smolensk Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - R-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr62
27 8 Aug 1941 8:47 11/JG 51 - Schatalovka, S of Smolensk Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - Pe-2 C.2036/II AnerkNr145
28 8 Aug 1941 15:08 11/JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr146
29 8 Aug 1941 15:29 11/JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr65
30 9 Aug 1941 - 11/JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann 7 km SE of Yelnya Pe-2 Prien/Bock
31 19 Aug 1941 19:14 11/JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - I-153 C.2036/II AnerkNr73
32 25 Aug 1941 18:12 11/JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - R-10 C.2036/II AnerkNr75
33 26 Aug 1941 17:58 11/JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - R-10 C.2036/II AnerkNr76
34 30 Aug 1941 7:35 11/JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - SB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr79
35 30 Aug 1941 11:55 11/JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr80
36 30 Aug 1941 17:50 11/JG 51 - Schatalovka Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann near Schatalovka DB-3 C.2036/II AnerkNr81
37 24 Sep 1941 16:30 11/JG 51 - Konotop, N Ukraine Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - I-18 C.2036/II AnerkNr208
38 8 Oct 1941 14:55 11/JG 51 - Jermolino, SW of Moscow Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann - Pe-2 C.2036/II AnerkNr211
39 2 Aug 1942 17:50 11/JG 51 - Dugino, W of Moscow Hptm Hans Knauth [47582]: 100m Il-2 C.2025/I AnerkNr 258

Awards[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to Scherzer as Leutnant of the Reserves.[10]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries website.
  2. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  3. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  4. ^ Fighter Units of the Luftwaffe website.
  5. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  6. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  7. ^ Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries website.
  8. ^ Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  9. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 397.
  10. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 699.
Bibliography
  • Bergström, Christer; Dikov, Andrey; Antipov, Vlad (2006). Black Cross, Red Star Vol 3 Eagle Editions Ltd ISBN 0-9761034-4-3
  • 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. 
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1941 – 1945] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7. 
  • 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. 
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1. 
  • Weal, John (2006). Aviation Elite Units #22: Jagdgeschwader 51 'Mölders’ Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84603-045-5.

External links[edit]

Military Offices held[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Hptm Franz Hahn
Squadron Leader of 11./JG 51
September, 1941 – 25 December 1941
Succeeded by
Hptm Franz Hahn
Preceded by
Oblt Egon Falkensamer
Squadron Leader of 2.(Erg)/JG 51
26 December 1941 – 26 January 1942
Succeeded by
unit renamed 1./EJGr.Ost
Preceded by
new unit
Squadron Leader of 1./EJGr.Ost
27 January 1942 – 24 June 1942
Succeeded by
unknown
Preceded by
Hptm Franz Hahn
Squadron Leader of 11./JG 51
1 August 1942 – 7 October 1942
Succeeded by
Oblt Adolf Borchers
Preceded by
Oblt Harald Jung
Squadron Leader of 4./JG 51
9 October 1942 – March, 1943
Succeeded by
Oblt Karl Rammelt
Preceded by
unknown
Squadron Leader of 1./JG 103
July, 1943 – 15 March 1945
Succeeded by
none: unit disbanded