Joachim Brendel

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Joachim Brendel
Joachim Brendel.jpg
Joachim Brendel
Born(1921-04-27)27 April 1921
Ulrichshalben near Weimar
Died7 July 1974(1974-07-07) (aged 53)
Cologne
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Service/branchBalkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
Years of service1939–45
RankHauptmann (captain)
UnitJG 51
Commands held1./JG 51, III./JG 51
Battles/wars
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Joachim Brendel (27 April 1921 – 7 July 1974) was a Luftwaffe flying ace of World War II. Brendel was credited with 189 aerial victories—that is, 189 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft. All but six of his victories were claimed over the Soviet Air Forces on the Eastern Front in more than 950 combat missions, including 162 ground support missions.[1][2]

Born in Ulrichshalben, Brendel joined the military service in the Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany in 1939. Following flight training, he was posted to 2. Staffel (squadron) of Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51—51st Fighter Wing). He flew his first combat missions in Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, and claimed his first aerial victory on 29 June 1941. There, after 101 aerial victories, he was presented with the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 22 November 1943. In July 1944, he was appointed Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of the III. Gruppe (3rd group) of JG 51 "Mölders". Following his 153rd aerial victory, Brendel was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves on 14 January 1945. He continued flying operationally until the end of World War II. He died on 7 July 1974 in Cologne, West Germany.

Early life and career[edit]

Brendel, the son of a police Hauptmann (captain), was born on 27 April 1921 in Ulrichshalben, present-day a borough of Ilmtal-Weinstraße, at the time in Thuringia of the Weimar Republic. After attending a Gymnasium, a secondary school, and graduating with his Abitur (diploma), he joined the military service of the Luftwaffe as a Fahnenjunker (cadet) on 15 November 1939. Following fighter pilot training,[Note 1] he was posted to 2. Staffel (squadron) of Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51—51st Fighter Wing) in early 1941.[4]

World War II[edit]

World War II in Europe had begun on Friday 1 September 1939 when German forces invaded Poland. JG 51, under the command of Oberst Werner Mölders, was preparing for Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union which was launched on 22 June 1941. On 29 June, Brendel claimed his first aerial victory.[1] On 1 July, he was promoted to Leutnant (second lieutenant) and two days later he was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class (Eisernes Kreuz zweiter Klasse).[4]

Brendel then flew a number of ground support missions, was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class (Eisernes Kreuz erster Klasse) on 21 April 1942. On 8 December, he claimed his 10th victory on his 225th combat mission.[1] He claimed his 20th victory on 24 February 1943 and received the Honor Goblet of the Luftwaffe (Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe) on 15 March 1943.[4] On 25 May, Brendel was appointed Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of JG 51s 1. Staffel (1st squadron), replacing Oberleuntant (First Lieutenant) Hans Boos who had been killed in a mid-air collision on 21 April.[5] His number of aerial victories claimed increased to 30 on 5 May, and on 17 May he was awarded the German Cross in Gold (Deutsches Kreuz in Gold). On 10 June, Brendel claimed his 40th opponent shot down and was promoted to Oberleuntant on 1 July.[4]

On the first day of the Battle of Kursk, 5 July 1943, Brendel claimed two Ilyushin Il-2 ground-attack aircraft shot down on the northern flank of the attack. His wingman, Unteroffizier Oskar Romm was credited with the destruction of a third Il-2.[6] The next day, Brendel led his 1. Staffel in an attack against 15 Douglas A-20 Havoc bombers from the 221 Bomber Aviation Division. Brendel claimed one bomber destroyed but the fighter escort from 282 Fighter Aviation Division successfully engaged the German fighters.[7]

Brendel became an "ace-in-a-day" for the first time on 12 July 1943, claiming aerial victories 53 to 57.[4] On 28 July, Brendel was shot down and wounded in his Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 (Werknummer' 470002—factory number) by Soviet anti artillery behind enemy lines.[8] He managed to return to German heled territory. On 1 October 1943, he was promoted to Hauptman with a rank age dated to 1 April 1944. On 22 November, Brendel claimed six aircraft shot down on his 551st combat mission, taking his total to 101 aerial victories. For this achievement he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) that day.[4] He was the 60th Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark.[9]

Group commander[edit]

On 2 July 1944, Brendel was appointed Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of III. Gruppe of JG 51.[4] On 29 July 1944, Brendel claimed a Yakovlev Yak-9 fighter shot down in the vicinity of Białystok. His opponent may have been Kapitan Vladimir Shchegolev from 162 IAP (162nd Fighter Aviation Regiment), a fighter ace credited with 14 individual and three shared victories who was killed in action that day.[10]

Flying with III. Gruppe on 16 October 1944, Brendel achieved his 150th victory on his 792nd combat mission. Following his 153rd victory, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub) on 14 January 1945, the 697th officer or soldier of the Wehrmacht so honored. He continued flying on the Eastern Front, claiming his 174th and 175th victory on 4 March 1945. End of March, he was ordered to Berlin where the presentation of the Oak Leaves was made at the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM— Ministry of Aviation) in Berlin by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring.[4]

On 18 February 1945, III. Gruppe claimed six aerial victories during the battle of the Courland Pocket, including four by Brendel.[11] He claimed his last victory came on the 25 April 1945, finishing the war with 189 victories and emerged as JG 51 highest claiming fighter pilot on the Eastern Front, including over 90 heavily armored Ilyushin Il-2 ground-attack aircraft.[12]

Later life[edit]

He died on 7 July 1974 in Cologne, West Germany and was buried in Salzburg, Austria.[13]

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 178 aerial victory claims, plus 13 further unconfirmed claims. This number includes one claim over a United States Army Air Forces flown B-17 Flying Fortress, and 177 Soviet Air Forces piloted aircraft on the Eastern Front.[14]

Victory claims were logged to a map-reference (PQ = Planquadrat), for example "PQ 07813". 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.[15]

Awards[edit]

Notes[edit]

  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.[3]
  2. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed on 2 July 1942.[16]
  3. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed at 12:32.[30]
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab The "m.H." refers to a Ilyushin Il-2 with rear gunner (mit Heckschütze).
  5. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed at 10:36.[30]
  6. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed as a Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Gudkov LaGG-3.[24]
  7. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed as a Ilyushin Il-2.[24]
  8. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed at 05:45.[24]
  9. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed at 11:43.[24]
  10. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed at 19:08.[24]
  11. ^ This claim is listed by Matthews and Foreman,[24] but not by Prien, Stemmer, Rodeike and Bock.[29]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Obermaier 1989, p. 71.
  2. ^ Spick 1996, p. 228.
  3. ^ Bergström, Antipov & Sundin 2003, p. 17.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Stockert 2011, p. 266.
  5. ^ Prien et al. 2012, pp. 486, 502.
  6. ^ Bergström 2007, p. 39.
  7. ^ Bergström 2007, p. 44.
  8. ^ Prien et al. 2012, p. 504.
  9. ^ Obermaier 1989, p. 243.
  10. ^ Bergström 2008, p. 79.
  11. ^ Bergström 2008, p. 103.
  12. ^ Weal 2001, p. 45.
  13. ^ Stockert 2011, p. 267.
  14. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, pp. 589–593.
  15. ^ Planquadrat.
  16. ^ a b c Matthews & Foreman 2014, p. 147.
  17. ^ Prien et al. 2003, p. 334.
  18. ^ a b c Prien et al. 2005, p. 72.
  19. ^ a b Matthews & Foreman 2014, pp. 147–148.
  20. ^ a b c Prien et al. 2006, p. 269.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g Prien et al. 2006, p. 273.
  22. ^ a b Prien et al. 2006, p. 270.
  23. ^ a b Prien et al. 2006, p. 272.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g Matthews & Foreman 2014, p. 148.
  25. ^ a b c Prien et al. 2012, p. 489.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h Prien et al. 2012, p. 490.
  27. ^ a b c d e f Prien et al. 2012, p. 491.
  28. ^ a b c d e f Prien et al. 2012, p. 492.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Prien et al. 2012, p. 495.
  30. ^ a b Matthews & Foreman 2014, p. 149.
  31. ^ Prien et al. 2012, p. 499.
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Prien et al. 2012, p. 493.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Prien et al. 2012, p. 500.
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Prien et al. 2012, p. 494.
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Prien et al. 2012, p. 501.
  36. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, pp. 149–150.
  37. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2014, pp. 150–151.
  38. ^ a b Thomas 1997, p. 81.
  39. ^ Patzwall 2008, p. 58.
  40. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 59.
  41. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 242.
  42. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 144.
  43. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 94.

Bibliography[edit]

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  • Bergström, Christer. "Bergström Black Cross/Red Star website". Identifying a Luftwaffe Planquadrat. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  • Bergström, Christer (2007). Kursk—The Air Battle: July 1943. Hersham, Surrey: Classic Publications. ISBN 978-1-903223-88-8.
  • Bergström, Christer (2008). Bagration to Berlin—The Final Air Battles in the East: 1944–1945. Burgess Hill: Classic Publications. ISBN 978-1-903223-91-8.
  • Bergström, Christer; Antipov, Vlad; Sundin, Claes (2003). Graf & Grislawski – A Pair of Aces. Hamilton MT: Eagle Editions. ISBN 978-0-9721060-4-7.
  • 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.
  • Matthews, Andrew Johannes; Foreman, John (2014). Luftwaffe Aces — Biographies and Victory Claims — Volume 1 A–F. Walton on Thames: Red Kite. ISBN 978-1-906592-18-9.
  • 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.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. (2008). Der Ehrenpokal für besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg [The Honor Goblet for Outstanding Achievement in the Air War] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-08-3.
  • Prien, Jochen; Stemmer, Gerhard; Rodeike, Peter; Bock, Winfried (2003). Die Jagdfliegerverbände der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945—Teil 6/I—Unternehmen "BARBAROSSA"—Einsatz im Osten—22.6. bis 5.12.1941 [The Fighter Units of the German Air Force 1934 to 1945—Part 6/I—Operation "BARBAROSSA"—Action in the East—22 June to 5 December 1941] (in German). Eutin, Germany: Struve-Druck. ISBN 978-3-923457-69-4.
  • Prien, Jochen; Stemmer, Gerhard; Rodeike, Peter; Bock, Winfried (2005). Die Jagdfliegerverbände der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945—Teil 9/I—Winterkampf im Osten—6.12.1941 bis 30.4.1942 [The Fighter Units of the German Air Force 1934 to 1945—Part 9/I—Winter War in the East—6 December 1941 to 30 April 1942] (in German). Eutin, Germany: Struve-Druck. ISBN 978-3-923457-76-2.
  • Prien, Jochen; Stemmer, Gerhard; Rodeike, Peter; Bock, Winfried (2006). Die Jagdfliegerverbände der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945—Teil 9/II—Vom Sommerfeldzug 1942 bis zur Niederlage von Stalingrad—1.5.1942 bis 3.2.1943 [The Fighter Units of the German Air Force 1934 to 1945—Part 9/II—From the 1942 Summer Campaign to the Defeat at Stalingrad—1 May 1942 to 3 February 1943] (in German). Eutin, Germany: Struve-Druck. ISBN 978-3-923457-77-9.
  • Prien, Jochen; Stemmer, Gerhard; Rodeike, Peter; Bock, Winfried (2012). Die Jagdfliegerverbände der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945—Teil 12/I—Einsatz im Osten—4.2. bis 31.12.1943 [The Fighter Units of the German Air Force 1934 to 1945—Part 12/I—Action in the East—4 February to 31 December 1943] (in German). Eutin, Germany: Buchverlag Rogge. ISBN 978-3-942943-02-4.
  • 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.
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  • Weal, John (2001). Bf 109 Aces of the Russian Front. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-084-1.