Joachim Schlichting

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Joachim Schlichting
Born(1914-02-01)1 February 1914
Kassel, Germany
Died7 July 1982(1982-07-07) (aged 68)
Basel, Switzerland
Allegiance Nazi Germany
 West Germany
Service/branchBalkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
Bundeswehrkreuz (Iron Cross) German Air Force
Years of service–1972
RankMajor (Wehrmacht)
Oberst (Bundeswehr)
UnitCondor Legion; JG 27
Battles/warsSpanish Civil War

World War II

AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross
RelationsErhard Milch (father in law)

Joachim Schlichting (1 February 1914 – 7 July 1982) was a German aviator in the Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany.


Joachim Schlichting joined the pre-war Luftwaffe, and served with the Condor Legion from 6 September 1937 to 28 May 1938 during the Spanish Civil War. He was awarded the Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords and Diamonds upon his return on 6 June 1938. Schlichting joined the Lehrgeschwader 2 in November 1938, with which he took part in the Invasion of Poland in September 1939.

On 1 November 1939 he was transferred as Geschwader Adjutant of the newly formed Jagdgeschwader 27 (JG 27—27th Fighter Wing) under Geschwaderkommodore Max Ibel. He was promoted again on 1 February 1940, to lead I./Jagdgeschwader 1 as Gruppenkommandeur. In the campaign against France he shot down a Bristol Blenheim on 12 May and a LeO 45 on 6 June. At the end of the campaign (on 5 July) the unit was redesignated III./JG 27. In the Battle of Britain he claimed his 8th victory (a Spitfire of 152 Squadron ; S/L P. Devitt returned to base, damaged) over Portland on 25 July 1940.

On 6 September 1940, Schlichting was shot down in his Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4 (Werknummer 1380—factory number) near Shoeburyness.[1] He was flying a bomber escort mission attacking Thameshaven when his aircraft experienced engine problems. Forced to turn back, he came under attack by Royal Air Force (RAF) fighters from either No. 41 or No. 222 Squadron. He baled out near the Shoeburyness artillery ranges and was taken prisoner by the British forces.[2]

The presentation of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) was made over a year later on 31 October 1941 in British captivity.[3] In late November, he was promoted to Major (major).[2]

His 8 victories came in over 100 combat missions. After World war II he joined the Bundeswehr of the Federal Republic of Germany and served as the Chief of Staff of the 5. Luftwaffendivision (5th Air Division of the Bundeswehr) in 1963.

Summary of career[edit]

Aerial victory claims[edit]

According to US historian David T. Zabecki, Schlichting was credited with eight aerial victories, five of which during the Spanish Civil War.[4]





  1. ^ Prien et al. 2002, p. 424.
  2. ^ a b Goss 2020, p. 188.
  3. ^ Weal 2003, p. 40.
  4. ^ Zabecki 2014, p. 1610.
  5. ^ a b c d e Forsyth 2011, p. 106.
  6. ^ Prien et al. 2001, p. 77.
  7. ^ Prien et al. 2001, p. 78.
  8. ^ Prien et al. 2002, p. 420.
  9. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 665.
  10. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 379.


  • 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.
  • Forsyth, Robert (2011). Aces of the Legion Condor. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84908-347-8.
  • Goss, Chris (2020). Luftwaffe Aces in the Battle of Britain. Air World. ISBN 978-1-5267-5424-0.
  • 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.
  • Prien, Jochen; Stemmer, Gerhard; Rodeike, Peter; Bock, Winfried (2001). Die Jagdfliegerverbände der deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945 Teil 3—Einsatz in Dänemark und Norwegen 9.4. bis 30.11.1940—Der Feldzug im Westen 10.5. bis 25.6.1940 [Fighter Pilot Association of the German Luftwaffe 1934 to 1945 Part 3—Assignments in Denmark and Norway 9 April to 30 November 1940—The campaign in the West 10 May to 25 June 1940] (in German). Struve-Druck. ISBN 978-3-923457-61-8.
  • Prien, Jochen; Stemmer, Gerhard; Rodeike, Peter; Bock, Winfried (2002). Die Jagdfliegerverbände der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945—Teil 4/I—Einsatz am Kanal und über England—26.6.1940 bis 21.6.1941 [The Fighter Units of the German Air Force 1934 to 1945—Part 4/I—Action at the Channel and over England—26 June 1940 to 21 June 1941] (in German). Eutin, Germany: Struve-Druck. ISBN 978-3-923457-63-2.
  • 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.
  • Weal, John (2003). Jagdgeschwader 27 'Afrika'. Aviation Elite Units #12. London, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-538-9.
  • Weal, John (1996). Bf109D/E Aces 1939-41. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-85532-487-3.
  • Zabecki, David T., ed. (2014). Germany at War: 400 Years of Military History. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-Clio. ISBN 978-1-59884-981-3.
Military offices
Preceded by
Oberleutnant Günther Lützow
Squadron Leader of 2.J/88
6 September 1937 – 28 May 1938
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Fritz Schleif
Squadron Leader of 2(le.J)/LG Greifswald
1 July 1938 – 1 November 1938
Succeeded by
renamed 2.(J)/LG 2
Preceded by
Squadron Leader of 2.(J)/LG 2
1 November 1938 – 1 November 1939
Succeeded by
Oberleutnant Friedrich von Wangerov
Preceded by
Major Bernhard Woldenga
Group Commander of I./JG 1
13 February 1940 – 5 July 1940
Succeeded by
renamed III./JG 27
Preceded by
Group Commander of III./JG 27
5 July 1940 – 6 September 1940
Succeeded by
Hptm Max Dobislav