Werner Baumbach

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Werner Baumbach
Werner Baumbach.jpg
Werner Baumbach
Born (1916-12-27)27 December 1916
Cloppenburg, Lower Saxony
Died 20 October 1953(1953-10-20) (aged 36)
La Plata, Argentina
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1936–45
Rank Oberst
Unit KG 30, KG 200
Commands held 5./KG 30, I./KG 30, KG 200
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Other work Test pilot

Werner Baumbach (27 December 1916 – 20 October 1953) was a bomber pilot in the German Luftwaffe during World War II and commander of the secret bomber wing Kampfgeschwader 200 (KG 200). He received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern) for the destruction of over 300,000 gross register tons (GRT) of allied shipping.[1]

Career[edit]

Born on 27 December 1916 in Cloppenburg, Baumbach entered the Luftwaffe in 1936 and after first training at the 2nd Air Warfare School (Luftkriegsschule 2) at Gatow, on the south-western outskirts of Berlin, was trained as a bomber pilot. He was one of the first pilots to fly the Junkers Ju 88 bomber and flew various bombing missions with Kampfgeschwader 30 (KG 30). On 19 April 1940 he bombed and damaged the French cruiser Émile Bertin for which he was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class.[1] In 1942, Baumbach was removed from active pilot duty and started working on new bomber designs; among others, he helped design the composite bomber system Mistel. In 1944, he was placed in command of the newly formed Kampfgeschwader 200 (KG 200) and was in charge of all Luftwaffe special missions. Baumbach was promoted to Oberstleutnant on 15 November 1944 and was tasked with leading the affairs of the General der Kampfflieger.

After the war, Baumbach spent three years as a prisoner of war before he moved to Argentina where he worked as a test pilot. He died in a plane crash on 20 October 1953 while evaluating a British Lancaster bomber. He was interred in his hometown Cloppenburg.[2]

Baumbach released his memoirs, Zu spät: Aufstieg und Untergang der deutschen Luftwaffe (English title: "Broken Swastika"), in the late 1940s. The book demonstrates that even after Germany's defeat, Baumbach still believed to a very large extent in the National Socialist ideology. The fact that Baumbach's time as commander of KG 200 is not mentioned with a single word highlights the extreme secrecy of Germany's special missions program.

Awards[edit]

Wehrmachtbericht references[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Friday, 14 February 1941 Bei dem erfolgreichen Angriff im Seegebiet ostwärts Harwich zeichnete sich die Besatzung des Kampfflugzeuges Kommandant und Flugzeugführer Oberleutnant Baumbach, Bombenschütze Unteroffizier Menz, Funker Feldwebel Thieß und Bordschütze Unteroffizier Greifmühlen besonders aus.[6] In the successful attack in the sea area east of Harwich, the crew of the combat aircraft commander and pilot Lieutenant Baumbach, bombardier Corporal Menz, radio operator Sergeant Thiess and aerial gunner Corporal Greifmühlen especially distinguished themselves.
Friday, 28 February 1941 Die Besatzung eines Kampfflugzeuges, Oberleutnant Baumbach, Feldwebel Erkens und Unteroffizier Stahl, vernichteten bis zum 27, Februar insgesamt 240 000 Tonnen feindlichen Schiffraums.[7] The crew of a combat aircraft, Lieutenant Baumbach, Sergeant Erkens and Corporal Stahl, destroyed a total of 240 000 tons of enemy shipping until 27 February.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to Scherzer on 16 August 1942[4]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ a b Berger 2000, p. 26.
  2. ^ Schumann 2007, p. 19.
  3. ^ a b c d e Schumann 2007, p. 20.
  4. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 206.
  5. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 40.
  6. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 423.
  7. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 434.
Bibliography
  • Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges [With Oak Leaves and Swords. The Highest Decorated Soldiers of the Second World War] (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6. 
  • 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. 
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2003). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe I Abraham – Huppertz [Oak Leaves Bearers 1940 – 1945 Contemporary History in Color I Abraham – Huppertz] (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 978-3-932381-20-1. 
  • 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.
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. 
  • Williamson, Gordon Williamson and Bujeiro, Ramiro (2004). Knight's Cross and Oak-Leaves Recipients 1939-40 — Volume 114 of Elite Series. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-641-0.
  • 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. 
  • Frey, Gerhard; Herrmann, Hajo: Helden der Wehrmacht - Unsterbliche deutsche Soldaten (in German). München, Germany: FZ-Verlag GmbH, 2004. ISBN 3-924309-53-1.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Oberst Heinz Heigl
Commander of Kampfgeschwader 200
15 November 1944 – 6 March 1945
Succeeded by
Major Adolf von Hernier