Kampfgeschwader 40

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Kampfgeschwader 40
Active 1939–1945
Country Germany
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Branch Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png Luftwaffe
Type Bomber wing
Role Anti Shipping.
Size Air Force Wing
Engagements World War II
Battle of the Atlantic
Operation Steinbock
of F8

Kampfgeschwader 40 (KG 40) was a Luftwaffe medium and heavy bomber wing of World War II, and the primary maritime patrol unit of any size within the World War II Luftwaffe.

Service history[edit]

A Focke-Wulf Fw 200C of KG 40 sinking in the Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland, after being shot down by a Lockheed Hudson Mk V of No. 233 Squadron RAF.

Formed in July 1940 in Bordeaux-Merignac. The Geschwader was under the control of Fliegerführer Atlantik. The unit flew reconnaissance missions in the North Atlantic searching for enemy convoys and reported them of the Kriegsmarine. Later, they also attacked ships directly. On 9 February 1941, five Focke-Wulf Fw 200 of I./KG 40 in cooperation with the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and U-37 attacked the British convoy HG 53. The convoy lost five ships to aerial attacks. Later in the war, one or two Gruppen of KG 40 became one of several Luftwaffe bomber groups to use the Heinkel He 177A heavy bomber. In October 1944 KG 40 transferred to Germany, and was intended for conversion to the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter. This never happened and the unit was disbanded on 2 February 1945.


  • Obstleutnant Hans Geisse, July 1940 – 7 September 1940
  • Major Edgar Petersen, April 1941 – September 1941 (later with rank of Oberst, commander of all Erprobungstellen test facilities)
  • Obstleutnant Dr. Georg Pasewaldt, September 1941 – 31 December 1941
  • Oberst Karl Mehnert, January 1942 – 1942
  • Oberst Martin Vetter, 1942 – 1 September 1943
  • Oberst Rupprecht Heyn, 2 September 1943 – November 1944
  • Oberst Hanns Heise, November 1944 – February 1945


  • Dierich, olfgang (1995). Die Verbände der Luftwaffe 1935–1945 (in German). Verlag Heinz Nickel. ISBN 3879434379.
  • Balke, Ulf Balke (1996). Der Luftkrieg in Europa 1941–1945 (in German). Bechtermünz Verlag. ISBN 3860470787.

External links[edit]

Media related to Kampfgeschwader 40 at Wikimedia Commons