Günther Rall

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Günther Rall
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-J1112-0206-004, Günther Rall.jpg
Rall in the early 1970s
Born(1918-03-10)10 March 1918
Gaggenau, German Empire
Died4 October 2009(2009-10-04) (aged 91)
Bad Reichenhall, Germany
  •  Nazi Germany
  •  West Germany
Service years
  • 1936–45
  • 1956–75
Commands held
WarsWorld War II
German Representative to the NATO Military Committee
In office
Preceded byPeter von Butler
Succeeded byHerbert Trebesch
Inspector of the Air Force
In office
Preceded byJohannes Steinhoff
Succeeded byGerhard Limberg

Günther Rall (10 March 1918 – 4 October 2009) was a highly decorated German military aviator, officer and General, whose military career spanned nearly forty years. Rall was the third most successful fighter pilot in aviation history, behind Gerhard Barkhorn and Erich Hartmann

Rall was born in Gaggenau, the German Empire, in March 1918. Rall grew up in the Weimar Republic. In 1933 the Nazi Party seized power and Rall, deciding upon a military career, joined the Wehrmacht (Nazi German Armed Forces) in 1936 to train as an infantry soldier (Landser). Rall transferred to the Luftwaffe soon after and he qualified as a fighter pilot in 1938.

In September 1939 World War II began with the German invasion of Poland. Rall was assigned to Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52—Fighter Wing 52) and flew combat patrols in the Phoney War period on the Western Front. Rall flew combat missions in the Battle of France and Battle of Britain, claiming one enemy aircraft destroyed in May 1940. Rall's wing sustained heavy casualties and the then-22 year old was appointed to Staffelkapitän (Squadron Leader). He then served in the Balkans Campaign in April and May 1941 without success.

In June 1941, JG 52 moved to the Eastern Front, where it remained from Operation Barbarossa until the end of the war. Rall claimed his first successes in the air defence of Romania. In November 1941, he was shot down, wounded and invalidated from flying for a year. At this time Rall had claimed 36 aerial victories. His achievements earned him a the German Cross in Gold in December 1941.

Rall returned in August 1942 and was awarded the Knight's Cross on 3 September 1942 for 65 enemy aircraft shot down. By 22 October Rall had claimed 100 and received the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves. He reached 200 in late August 1943. On 12 September 1943 he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, the second highest military award in the Third Reich at the time of the presentation. By the end of 1943 Rall had achieved over 250.

In April 1944 Rall left JG 52 and the Eastern Front. He was given command of II./Jagdgeschwader 11 and served in the Defence of the Reich where he was wounded for a third time. In November 1944 Rall was appointed as an instructor and flew captured Allied fighter aircraft in order to prepare instruction notes on their performance to German fighter pilots. Rall ended the war with an unsuccessful stint commanding Jagdgeschwader 300 near Salzburg, Austria, where he surrendered in May 1945.

During World War II Rall was credited with the destruction of 275 enemy aircraft in 621 combat missions. He was shot down five times and wounded on three occasions.[1] Rall claimed all of his victories in a Messerschmitt Bf 109, though he also flew the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 operationally. All but three of his claims were against Soviet opposition.

Rall joined the West German Air Force in 1956, served as Inspector of the Air Force from 1971 to 1974, and as the German representative to the NATO Military Committee until 1975. After his retirement Rall became a consultant. Among his post-war achievements was the presentation of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. It was awarded to him for his post-1945 service.

Early life and career[edit]

Rall was born on 10 March 1918, in Gaggenau, at the time in the Grand Duchy of Baden of the German Empire during World War I. He was the second child of merchant Rudolf Rall and his wife Minna, née Heinzelmann. His sister Lotte, was four years older than Rall.[2] In 1922, the family moved to Stuttgart.[3] In 1928, he joined the Christian Boy Scouts.[4][5] In 1934, the Gleichschaltung converted the Christian Boy Scouts into the Deutsches Jungvolk as part of the Hitler Youth.[5] Rall attended the Volksschule in Stuttgart. He received his Abitur (university entry qualification) in Backnang at the National Political Institutes of Education (Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalt—Napola), a secondary boarding school founded under the recently established Nazi state. The goal of the Napola schools was to raise a new generation for the political, military and administrative leadership of Nazi Germany. Following graduation, Rall volunteered for military service in December 1936.[6]

On 4 December 1936, Rall joined the 13. (Württembergisches) Infanterie-Regiment of the Army in Ludwigsburg as a Fahnenjunker (non-commissioned officer).[6][7] In 1937, he attended the Kriegsschule, a military school in Dresden.[8] In the summer of 1938, Rall requested to be transferred to the Luftwaffe. Now a Oberfähnrich, he was trained as a pilot at Unterbiberg airfield.[6][Note 1] On 1 September 1938, he was promoted to Leutnant (second lieutenant).[10] Rall then attended the Jagdfliegerschule Werneuchen (fighter pilot school) and was then posted to 4. Staffel (4th squadron) of Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52—52nd Fighter Wing), and later to 8. Staffel.[6]

World War II[edit]

World War II in Europe began on Friday 1 September 1939 when German forces invaded Poland. JG 52 did not support the invasion. It was posted to western Germany, for Defence of the Reich duties and Rall did not see combat. On 10 May 1940 Fall Gelb began, and JG 52 supported German forces in the invasion of Belgium and Battle of France. On the third day of the campaign, 12 May 1940, Rall achieved his first victory. Three French Curtiss H75-C1 fighters were attacking a German reconnaissance aircraft at a height of 26,000 feet (7,900 m). Rall attacked them and shot down one, stating: "I was lucky in my first dogfight, but it did give me a hell of a lot of self-confidence...and a scaring, because I was also hit by many bullets."[11] The victory was his only success on the Western Front.[12]

JG 52 was later moved to Peuplingues and Coquelles, on the French channel cost where it fought in the Battle of Britain.[13] Due to heavy losses, he was given command as a Staffelkapitän of 8. Staffel of JG 52[14][Note 2] on 25 July 1940 and was promoted to Oberleutnant a week later, on 1 August 1940.[15] Rall replaced Oberleutnant Lothar Ehrlich, who was killed in action with No. 610 Squadron RAF the previous day, during the convoy battles; one of three pilots killed that day.[16] Rall said of the battle, "probably no one even had time to shout a warning. Suddenly a flock of Spitfires were on us like hawks on a bunch of chickens."[17] Rall placed the blame for losses on faulty tactics; such as tieing the Bf 109s to close escort of the slow Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive-bombers.[18] On the day he was appointed, JG 52 lost another four pilots, including two men of Staffelkapitän rank. Rall's staffel lost one pilot missing in action with No. 65 Squadron RAF over Dover in the early afternoon.[19] Rall and his unit achieved little.[20] Several of the highest claiming pilots of JG 52, Gerhard Barkhorn, Alfred Grislawski, Adolf Dickfeld were not successful over England.[21]

Rall then transferred to Greece, and participated in the final phase of the Balkans Campaign in April to May 1941. Based at Athens, he flew combat missions in support of the airborne invasion and subsequent Battle of Crete in June 1941. JG 52 was transferred back to Romania to help defend their recently acquired allies' Ploiești oil fields.[15]

Eastern Front[edit]

Knight's Cross portrait, 1942

On 22 June 1941 Operation Barbarossa, the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, began the war on the Eastern Front. The majority of JG 52 were supporting Army Group South, and the invasion of the Ukrainian SSR.

Rall's contingent remained in eastern Romania. The Red Air Force (VVS) immediately began a campaign to destroy the Romanian oil fields. Major General Pavel Zhigarev, commanding the VVS ChF (Air Command Crimea), committed the 63 BAP (63rd Bomber Aviation Regiment) and 40 SBAP (40th High Speed Bommber Aviation Regiment). The attacks met with some success, although heavy losses forced the switch to night bombing from mid-July.[22] Rall scored his second, third and fourth victories in interceptions of Soviet bombers.[23] During a five-day period, III./JG 52 claimed between 45 to 50 Soviet aircraft.[24][21] Rall remarked the reasons for the success was the Soviets did not provide fighter escort for their bombers.[21]

Rall claimed his fifth victory on 4 August thus becoming an "ace".[25] While providing escort for Sturzkampfgeschwader 77 (StG 77—77th Dive Bomber Wing) on 13 August 1941, with Jagdgeschwader 3 (JG 3—3rd Fighter Wing), Rall claimed a Polikarpov I-16 as did JG 3's Günther Lützow. The Soviet pilots were from the 88 IAP and identified as Lieutenants Yakov Kozlov and Ivan Novikov.[26] III./JG 52 supported the enciclement Battle at Kiev in August.[26]

Rall claimed 12 victories in October 1941 as III./JG 52 fought for air superiority during the First Battle of Kharkov. On 14 October there was heavy air fighting. Rall claimed an Ilyushin Il-2 over his group's Poltava airfield after being scrambled in the midst of a Soviet air attack.[27] The Germans had failed in the race for the Ukrainian industrial heartland. After the capture of Kharkov and Stalino the Germans found 54 medium and 223 large factories; and all empty. Some 1.5 million wagonloads had been evacuated.[27]

On 23 October III./JG 52 moved to Chaplinka in the Crimea. With II./JG 3 and JG 77 it was ordered to clear the skies. The Crimean Campaign lasted into the following year. The German fighter units claimed 140 aircraft from 18 to 24 October over Perekop.[27] Rall had reached 28 victories by this date.[23]

In November the Red Army regrouped and conducted a well-orchestrated recapture of Rostov.[28] The victory denied the Germans access to the Caucasus. On 28 November 1941, Rall claimed his 36th victory near the contested city, but as he watched the burning I-16 fall in the fading light Rall relaxed his vigilance and was shot down.[1] He tried to fly back to German lines with a damaged engine, but crash landed and was knocked unconscious. A German tank crew rescued him from the wreck.[29] His Bf 109 F-4 (Werknummer 7308—factory number) came down in the vicinity of Rostov.[30]

Rall was not missed. Third group claimed 90 of the 135 aircraft claimed shot down by Luftflotte 4 in December. This was achieved without loss; making it the most successful of the German fighter groups. The VVS Southern Front admitted the loss of 44 aircraft from 1 to 22 December. The losses for the remaining mine days are not stated.[31]

X-rays revealed he had broken his back in three places. Doctors told him he was finished as a pilot, and transferred him to a hospital in Vienna in December 1941. Despite the prognosis, Rall defied odds and returned to combat a year later. During his treatment, he met Hertha Schön, whom he married in 1943.[29][Note 3]

Rall came back to 8./JG 52 in August 1942.[34] From 2 to 30 August Rall claimed victory 37 through to 62; a run of 26 aerial victories in a four week period.[35] On 6 August Rall claimed four in one day. At this time Rall's unit were operating in support of the Battle of the Caucasus, deep in southern Russia. His 61st claim was for a victory achieved in the vicinity of Grozny.[36] On 3 September, Rall was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes).[37] The pilots of JG 52 opposed the Soviet 4th Air Army (4 VA) effectively; and with pilots such as Rall, Dickfeld and Grislawski, they dominated the air space whenever they appeared in strength. The 4 VA reported the loss of 149 aircraft in September 1942.[38] On 30 September 1942 Rall claimed his 90th aerial victim, bringing his total for the month to 28.[39]

On 22 October, Rall was credited with his 100th aerial victory. He was the 28th Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark.[40] On 2 November 1942, Rall was required to meet Adolf Hitler and was personally awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub).[41] Rall took the opportunity to ask Hitler when the war would be over. To Rall's surprise Hitler replied that he did not know.[42] After the ceremony Rall was granted leave.[43] Rall travelled by train to Vienna on 11 November and married Hertha.[42] Upon completion of his leave, Rall returned to the front as III./JG 52 was ordered to cover the retreat after the Battle of Stalingrad in which several Axis field armies were destroyed.[44]

The Kuban bridgehead was the main area of operations for Rall in early 1943. Hitler wished to maintain a foothold in the Caucasus to defend the Crimea and retain the captured facilities at Maykop, which had just been repaired. Hitler harboured a forlorn hope he could use the region as a staging area for a renewed offensive against the Soviet oilfields.[45] The Luftwaffe was rushed to the Kuban to support the German 17th Army's defences. StG 2, StG 77, SG 1, and the fighter wings JG 3, JG 52 were sent to the region as powerful close support just as the Soviet Front began its offensive. The fighter units were able to inflict heavy losses to Soviet aviation.[46] Rall, who was not impressed by the latest Bell P-39 Airacobra, now in use by Soviet pilots, observed that Soviet fighter aviation displayed a new aggressive posture in late 1942 and early 1943.[47]

Rall achieved his first successes over the Kuban on 21 March 1943 and by 30 April had claimed 126.[48] In April 1943, he was promoted to Hauptmann and on the 20th of that month scored the Geschwader's 5,000th victory.[49] In the first week of May Rall claimed a Soviet-flown Supermarine Spitfire.[44] After filling out and submitting the combat report Rall was told by his superiors to keep the encounter to himself lest it lower morale.[44] Three weeks later he was credited with a 145th victory.[48] Rall noted the improvement of Soviet pilot training and regarded the Kuban as the first serious test of the German fighter force on the Eastern Front.[50]

The German defences held in the Kuban in 1943, until the autumn. JG 52 moved north in preparation for Operation Citadel and the Battle of Kursk. Rall, who had already served as acting Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of III. Gruppe in February and March 1943, officially replaced Major Hubertus von Bonin in this position on 5 July 1943.[51] On 8 July a two-man patrol with Erich Hartmann resulted in two claims, and a third for Rall. A Soviet after-battle analysis mentioned this specific engagement;

"Eight Yak-1s in the Provorot region observed two Me 109s off their flight path. Paying no attention to the enemy aircraft our fighters continued. Seizing a convenient moment, the German fighters attacked our aircraft and shot down three Yak-1s."[52]

On 9 July, following combat with Soviet fighters, Rall made a forced landing in his Bf 109 G-6 (Werknummer 20019) near Petrovka, north of Belgorod. Four days later, a mid-air collision with a Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Gudkov LaGG-3 fighter resulted in another forced landing at Ugrim airfield.[53] On 1 November 1943, Rall was promoted to the rank of Major, a rank he retained until the end of the war.[54]

Defence of the Reich[edit]

Rall after his 250th aerial victory

On 19 April 1944, Rall was transferred to Jagdgeschwader 11 (JG 11—11th Fighter Wing), where he took up the position of Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 11, flying on operations in Defence of the Reich (Reichsverteidigung). Rall led his unit against the bomber fleets of Eighth Air Force. On 12 May, Rall was leading a Staffel of Bf 109s and bounced a flight of three P-47 Thunderbolts led by Colonel Hubert Zemke, with Rall shooting down two Thunderbolts. His squadron were then bounced by other P-47s and was shot down by pilots of the 56th Fighter Group. Rall's left thumb was shot off and was hospitalized for many months because of the onset of infections.

Rall credited the wound with saving his life as the Eighth Air Force established air superiority over Germany. In the autumn, 1944, Rall moved to Bad Wörishofen and became in instructor for student pilots. Part of this training involved flying captured Allied aircraft and prepare notes for student pilots on their capabilities and deficiencies. Rall flew in mock-combat with Bf 109s. He flew the Supermarine Spitfire, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, P-47 Thunderbolt, and the P-51 Mustang.[55]

His last posting was with Jagdgeschwader 300 (JG 300), operating from airfields in southern Germany during the last months of the war. Lack of supplies kept most aircraft unserviceable and the fast progress of the Allies forced his squadron to move several times; it is unlikely that he saw much combat action during this period.[citation needed]

"In my experience, the Royal Air Force pilot was the most aggressive and capable fighter pilot during the Second World War. This is nothing against the Americans, because they came in late and in such large numbers that we don't have an accurate comparison. We were totally outnumbered when the Americans engaged, whereas at the time of the Battle of Britain the fight was more even and you could compare. The British were extremely good."[37]

After the war[edit]

While in a prisoner of war camp, Rall was approached by the Americans who were recruiting Luftwaffe pilots who had experience with the Messerschmitt Me 262 fighter. He was transferred to Bovingdon near Hemel Hempstead, and then based at RAF Tangmere, where he met the RAF fighter pilot Robert Stanford Tuck, with whom he became close friends.[56]

After his release, Rall settled back into civilian life. In 1948 he visited England again. Rall accompanied Hertha Rall and stayed in Grosvenor Square with Dr Paul Kaspar and Jewish acquaintances, whom she had helped to escape from the Nazis.[57] Rall knew of Hertha's wartime Jewish connections and was concerned it would attract the attention of Nazi authorities. In 1943, Hertha was suspected of Jewish sympathies by the Gestapo, but no action was taken.[58]

Rall said the pilots at the front knew of concentration camps but he didn't know exactly what they were used for. When he heard of Auschwitz and the Holocaust, initially he believed it to be propaganda.[59] The criminal nature of the Nazi Party did not occur to Rall when Hitler came to power; "The fact that we did not explore the essence of the Nazi regime when it came to power is, of course, one of our great failings." [60]

By 1954 Hertha was physician at the Schule Schloss Salem, near Lake Constance. Rall became PA to the dean of Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hannover School.[57]

Cold War[edit]

Rall rejoined the newly established West German military in 1956 and became one of the first cadre of officers in the German Air Force. Around 6,000 veterans survived the war but only 160 were fit to fly through years of idleness. The Bundesluftwaffe was ten years behind the times in modern aviation experience.[61] The German military cadre knew they would have to spend years as pupils before they could stand on their own.[62]

Rall was sent to the United States of America to train on modern jets. Rall and the former Luftwaffe officers he trained with aspired to make the Bundesluftwaffe a carbon copy of the United States Air Force. The future chief of staff commented on modern USAF training methods compared to the old, highly individualistic training program of the Nazi Luftwaffe:

[T]he systematic and consistent American training methods were impressive. All in all, these methods were better, more efficient in view of the aircraft we were being trained to fly. Indeed, we were going to fly jets—for most of us this was a new era. The memories of flying the Me 262 were nostalgic for some of us but not a secure foundation you could build on.[62]

One of his tasks was to oversee modifications to the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter to comply with the requirement of the Bundeswehr, leading to the F-104G version. The accident rate of the new version was alarming when introduced in 1960. The machine was nicknamed the "window maker" after 292 crashes and 116 deaths.[61]

Officers like Erich Hartmann and Johannes Steinhoff believed the type too advanced for German pilots. Rall and Steinhoff thought it was a matter of training. They visited the United States to receive further training which reduced accidents when introduced to the German program.[61] In particular, the training sought to address the fundamental change in role from high-altitude interceptor in the United States to fighter-bomber in Germany; and the radically different climate and weather conditions experienced at low altitudes by German pilots. [63]

Following his promotion to Brigadegeneral, he was appointed commander of the 3. Luftwaffendivision (3rd Air Force Division) in Kalkar. Rall was then promoted to Generalmajor on 15 November 1967 and on 1 April 1968 was given command of the 1. Luftwaffendivision (1st Air Force Division) in Meßstetten.[64] From 1 January 1971 to 31 March 1974, he held the position of Inspector of the Air Force and from 1 April 1974 to 13 October 1975, he was a military attaché with NATO.

Rall's forced retirement in 1975 was as a result of a controversial visit to apartheid-governed South Africa. Rall received a request from a German journalist, and former Bundesluftwaffe pilot, to attend a veterans meeting there.[65] When news of the general's ill-advised visit to Cape Town broke, German weekly magazine Stern claimed Rall held high-level meetings with South African officials and emphasised the personal nature of the trip.[65]

Despite its policy of apartheid, South Africa was seen as strategically important to NATO and the South Africans exploited Rall's visit. The political embarrassment, following a concerted press campaign, encouraged Defence Minister Georg Leber to retire Rall in October 1975. Rall subsequently resigned as military attaché to NATO.[65] By the end of his career, he attained the rank of Generalleutnant.

His memoir Mein Flugbuch ("My Flight Logbook") was released in 2004. Rall was interviewed in documentaries such as Thames Television's The World at War, and was a contributor to the Wings documentary television series produced by the Discovery Channel.

Rall died at his home in Bad Reichenhall on 4 October 2009, aged 91, after suffering a heart attack two days earlier.

Rall's damaged flying glove, which he wore when shot down in 1944 by American fighters, is now on display at the National Air and Space Museum.

Summary of career[edit]

Aerial victory claims[edit]

Matthews and Foreman, authors of Luftwaffe Aces — Biographies and Victory Claims, researched the German Federal Archives and found records for 274 aerial victory claims, plus one further unconfirmed claim. This number includes one victory over a French P-36, one victory over a U.S. P-38, and 272 Soviet-piloted aircraft on the Eastern Front.[66]

Victory claims were logged to a map-reference (PQ = Planquadrat), for example "PQ 44621". The Luftwaffe grid map (Jägermeldenetz) covered all of Europe, western Russia and North Africa and was composed of rectangles measuring 15 minutes of latitude by 30 minutes of longitude, an area of about 360 square miles (930 km2). These sectors were then subdivided into 36 smaller units to give a location area 3 × 4 km in size.[67]


Rall visiting the German–Canadian Airforce Museum in 2004 in the Baden-Airpark


  1. ^ Flight training in the Luftwaffe progressed through the levels A1, A2 and B1, B2, referred to as A/B flight training. A training included theoretical and practical training in aerobatics, navigation, long-distance flights and dead-stick landings. The B courses included high-altitude flights, instrument flights, night landings and training to handle the aircraft in difficult situations.[9]
  2. ^ For an explanation of Luftwaffe unit designations see Organisation of the Luftwaffe during World War II.
  3. ^ According to Rall's own account, his wife Hertha assisted a number of Jewish families escape to England following the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany on 12 March 1938. Prior to becoming a doctor, Hertha worked as a nurse and was befriended with several Jewish doctors and their families in Vienna whom she helped relocate to England. These activities did not go unnoticed by the Gestapo and Hertha left Vienna and moved to Prague to study medicine as well as to avoid further investigation and potential prosecution.[32] In early 1943, Rall himself became subject of these investigation which led nowhere.[33]
  4. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed at 13:49.[89]
  5. ^ a b The "m.H." refers to a Ilyushin Il-2 with rear gunner (mit Heckschütze).
  6. ^ According to Scherzer on 4 September 1942 as pilot in the III./Jagdgeschwader 52.[109]



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  100. ^ a b c d e f g Prien et al. 2012, p. 490.
  101. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015, p. 1008.
  102. ^ Prien & Rodeike 1996, p. 1207.
  103. ^ Prien & Rodeike 1996, p. 1208.
  104. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 181.
  105. ^ a b c d Berger 1999, p. 277.
  106. ^ Patzwall 2008, p. 166.
  107. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 365.
  108. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 349.
  109. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 612.
  110. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, pp. 62, 476.
  111. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 41.
  112. ^ 1971–1974 Günther Rall.


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External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Major Kurd Peters
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 300
20 February 1945 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by
Post abolished
Preceded by
Major Carl-Heinz Greve
Commander of Jagdbombergeschwader 34 Allgäu
1 October 1964 – 31 March 1966
Succeeded by
Oberst Hans-Ulrich Flade
Preceded by
Generalmajor Erwin Wicker
Commander of 3rd Luftwaffe Division (Bundeswehr)
1967 – 31 March 1968
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Günter Proll
Preceded by
Generalmajor Konrad Stangl
Commander of 1st Luftwaffe Division (Bundeswehr)
1 April 1968 – 15 April 1969
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Hans Asmus
New creation Commanding General of Air Force Forces Command
1 October – 15 December 1970
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Herbert Wehnelt
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Johannes Steinhoff
Inspector of the Air Force
1 January 1971 – 31 March 1974
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Gerhard Limberg