Friedrich Obleser

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Friedrich Obleser
GenLt Friedrich Obleser.jpg
Generalleutnant Friedrich Obleser
Born (1923-02-21)21 February 1923
Pottenstein, Austria
Died 5 June 2004(2004-06-05) (aged 81)
Neunkirchen, Austria
Years of service 1940–45, 1956–83
Unit JG 52
Commands held
Battles/wars World War II

Friedrich-Erich Obleser (21 February 1923 – 5 June 2004) was a German fighter ace in the Luftwaffe during World War II, who claimed 127 aerial victories achieved in 500 combat missions. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, awarded by Nazi Germany to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. For his post-war service in the German Air Force, he received the Grand Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.


Obleser at one point questioned the aerial claims made by Erich Hartmann. Hartmann asked Günther Rall to have Obleser transferred to be Hartmann's wingman for a while. Obleser became a witness on some of Hartmann's claims and no longer questioned Hartmann's claims.[1] In August 1944, Obleser was credited with his 100th aerial victory. He was the 87th Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark.[2]

Later life[edit]

After Obleser was released from US captivity, he worked as a commissioner of a recycling company, which predominantly had to dismantle and dispose of four-engine bombers. He then became head of an industrial application department in the private industry, where he played a decisive role in changing production to new materials and manufacturing processes. In 1956, Obleser continued his military career, joining the German Air Force of West Germany. Following multiple assignments to various fighter units, Obleser was appointed Geschwaderkommodore (wing commander) of Jagdgeschwader 72 in Leck, later known as Jagdbombergeschwader 43, and then Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdbombergeschwader 31 "Boelcke".[3]

From 1 October 1978 until his retirement on 31 March 1983, he held the position of Inspector of the Air Force in the Bundeswehr, achieving the rank of Generalleutnant.

In June 1981, the Federal Minister of Defence Hans Apel threatened Obleser with early retirement following Obleser's report to the Defense Committee of the German Bundestag (Verteidigungsausschuss des Deutschen Bundestages). Obleser had stated that, due to the latest defense budget cut, the German Air Force could only partially fulfill its obligations. Apel had viewed Obleser's statement as lack of loyalty towards his superiors. Earlier in March 1981, although skeptical of the proposal, Obleser had approved two budget cuts suggested by Inspector General of the Bundeswehr Jürgen Brandt.[4]



  1. ^ According to Scherzer on 26 March 1944.[8]




  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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 1939 – 1945] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • "Ablösung für Obleser" [Replacement for Obleser]. Der Spiegel (in German). 24. 1981. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  • "Generalleutnant Friedrich Obleser" [Lieutenant General Friedrich Obleser]. Bundeswehr (in German). Retrieved 1 February 2017. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Oberstleutnant Erich Hohagen
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 72
1 November 1961 – 19 December 1963
Succeeded by
Oberstleutnant Benno Schmieder
Preceded by
Oberstleutnant Wilhelm Meyn
Commander of Jagdbombergeschwader 31 Boelcke
December 1963 – November 1966
Succeeded by
Oberst Paul Monreal
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Gerhard Limberg
Inspector of the Air Force
1 October 1978 – 31 March 1983
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Eberhard Eimler