Walter Sigel

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Walter Sigel
Born 12 January 1906
Ulm
Died 8 May 1944(1944-05-08) (aged 38)
Trondheimsfjord
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer (1934–1935) Luftwaffe (1935–1944)
Years of service 1934–1944
Rank Oberst
Unit Sturzkampfgeschwader 3
Commands held Sturzkampfgeschwader 3
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Walter Sigel (12 January 1906 – 8 May 1944) was a highly decorated Oberst in the Luftwaffe during World War II, and one of only 882 recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Walter Sigel died on 8 May 1944 after crashing his Fieseler Storch into the Trondheimfjord.

Sigel was the commanding officer of Sturzkampfgeschwader 76 during the Junkers Ju 87 dive bombing demonstration at Neuhammer, present-day Świętoszów, Poland, on 15 August 1939. Observing the demonstration were the senior Luftwaffe commanders, including Generals Hugo Sperrle, Bruno Loerzer, and Wolfram von Richthofen. The lower cloud layer, which was believed to be at 900 metres (3,000 ft), was only 100 metres (330 ft). While Sigel managed to just barely pull out in time, 13 other Ju 87 crews crashed to their death. The event became known as the "Neuhammer Stuka Disaster" (Neuhammer Stuka-Unglück).

Awards and decorations[edit]

Wehrmachtbericht reference[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Sunday, 21 June 1942 In der See- und Luftschlacht im Mittelmeer zeichneten sich bei der Zerschlagung der britischen Geleitzüge ein Sturzkampfgeschwader unter Führung des Majors Sigel, die Jagdstaffel des Hauptmanns Belser sowie die Besatzungen von zwei Kampfflugzeugen mit den Kommandanten, Gruppenkommandeur Major Linke, und Oberstleutnant Schulte besonders aus.[5] In the sea and air battle in the Mediterranean a dive bomber wing under the leadership of Major Sigel, the fighter squadron of Captain Belser and the crews of two bombers, with their commanders, group commander Major Linke, and Lieutenant Colonel Schulte distinguished themselves from the rest, in the destruction of British convoys.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to Scherzer as Gruppenkommandeur of the I./Sturzkampfgeschwader 76.[3]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 323.
  2. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 401.
  3. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 706.
  4. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 61.
  5. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 170.
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. 
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1976). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe 1939–1945 Band II Stuka- und Schlachtflieger [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe 1941 – 1945 Volume II Dive Bomber and Attack Aircraft] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-021-3. 
  • 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. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. 
  • 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
Oberstleutnant Karl Christ
Commander of Sturzkampfgeschwader 3
1 September 1941 – 1 April 1943
Succeeded by
Oberst Kurt Kuhlmey