Johannes Steinhoff

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Johannes Steinhoff
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1997-041-03, Johannes Steinhoff.jpg
Johannes Steinhoff in 1966.
Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
In office
1971–1974
Preceded bySir Nigel Henderson
Succeeded bySir Peter Hill-Norton
Inspector of the Air Force
In office
1966–1970
Preceded byWerner Panitzki
Succeeded byGünther Rall
Personal details
Born(1913-09-15)15 September 1913
Bottendorf, Province of Saxony, Prussia, Germany
Died21 February 1994(1994-02-21) (aged 80)
Wachtberg-Pech, Northrhine-Westphalia, Germany
Resting placeCemetery in Villip, Wachtberg
Spouse(s)Ursula Steinhoff
RelationsLudwig Hahn (brother-in-law)
Michael Bird (son-in-law)
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
American Legion of Merit
French Legion of Honour
Military service
Nickname(s)Macky
Allegiance Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Branch/serviceBalkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
Bundeswehrkreuz (Iron Cross) German Air Force
Years of service1934–45
1955–74
RankOberst (Wehrmacht)
General (Bundeswehr)
UnitJG 26, JG 52, JG 77, Kommando Nowotny, JG 7 and JV 44
CommandsII./JG 52, JG 77 and JG 7
Battles/wars

Johannes "Macky" Steinhoff (15 September 1913 – 21 February 1994) was a Luftwaffe fighter ace during World War II, German general, and NATO official. He was one of very few Luftwaffe pilots who survived to fly operationally through the whole of the war period 1939–45. Steinhoff was also one of the highest-scoring pilots with 176 victories, and one of the first to fly the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter in combat as a member of the Jagdverband 44 squadron led by Adolf Galland. Steinhoff was decorated with the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, and later received the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and several foreign awards including the American Legion of Merit and the French Legion of Honour. He played a role in the so-called Fighter Pilots' Revolt late in the war, when several senior air force officers confronted Hermann Göring.

Steinhoff joined the West German government's Rearmament Office as a consultant on military aviation in 1952 and became one of the principal officials tasked with rebuilding the German Air Force through the Cold War. In retirement, Steinhoff became a widely read author of books on German military aviation during the Second World War and the experiences of the German people at that time.

Early years[edit]

Johannes Steinhoff was born on 15 September 1913 in Bottendorf, Thuringia, the son of an agricultural mill-worker and his traditional housewife. He had two brothers, Bernd and Wolf, and two sisters, Greta and Charlotte.[1] His sister Charlotte married Ludwig Hahn, the chief of the Sicherheitspolizei (Security Police) and Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service) in occupied Warsaw, who participated in the evacuation and destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto.[2]

Hahn (right), with his wife Charlotte and Steinhoff (centre).

Steinhoff graduated from the Klosterschule Roßleben convent school after having "studied the classics and languages such as French, English, Latin and Greek,"[3] and from 1932–1934 he read philology at the University of Jena,[4] where he was a member of the Landsmannschaft Suevia academic fencing society and male fraternity.[5] Forced to abandon his university studies for lack of funds, Steinhoff enlisted in the Kriegsmarine, where he served for one year alongside his friend Dietrich Hrabak as a naval flying cadet before transferring to the newly reformed Luftwaffe in 1936.[3]

Steinhoff was promoted to Leutnant (second lieutenant) on 1 April 1936.[6] He married his wife Ursula on 29 April 1939 and they had a son, Wolf and a daughter, Ursula. Ursula married economics professor and (now-retired) Colorado State Senator Michael Bird.[1] On 1 January 1939, Steinhoff was promoted to Oberleutnant (first lieutenant).[6]

In the early summer of 1939, the Luftwaffe began experimenting with night fighter procedures for single engine aircraft. Due to a lack of experienced flyers, operations were restricted to evening and early morning hours. On 1 August, Steinhoff was appointed Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of 11. (Nachtjagd) Staffel (squadron) of Lehrgeschwader 2 (JG 2—2nd Demonstration Wing) which was based at Greifswald. Initially, the squadron was equipped with the Arado Ar 68 fighter before it was reequipped with the Messerschmitt Bf 109 D-1. The unit was subordinated to the Stab (headquarters unit) of Kampfgeschwader 2 (JG 2—2nd Bomber Wing).[7]

World War II[edit]

World War II in Europe began on Friday 1 September 1939, when German forces invaded Poland. That day, Steinhoff was transferred to Jagdgeschwader 26 "Schlageter" (JG 26—26th Fighter Wing), which had been named after Albert Leo Schlageter on 1 May 1939.[8] He was appointed Staffelkapitän of a newly created night fighter unit named 10. (Nacht) Staffel of JG 26 which was based at Bonn-Hangelar, near Sankt Augustin, and equipped with the Bf 109 D.[9] On 12 November, the unit was moved to Jever Airfield.[10] On 18 December, Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber Command launched an attack on German warships assumed to be at Wilhelmshaven in what became known as the Battle of the Heligoland Bight. The RAF attack force was intercepted and Steinhoff was credited with the destruction of two Vickers Wellington bombers from 57th Squadron and Number 3 Group which he claimed to have shot down 25–35 kilometers (16–22 miles) south-southwest of Heligoland.[11]

On 3 February 1940, a new night fighter unit was created by consolidating three independent single engine fighter squadrons at Jever Airfield. This unit was labelled IV. (Nacht) Gruppe (4th night group) of Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen" (JG 2—2nd Fighter Wing) and placed under the leadership of Hauptmann Albert Blumensaat. In consequence, 10. (Nacht) Staffel of JG 26 became the 11. (Nacht) Staffel of JG 2 which was headed by Steinhoff and was based at Hage. On 23 April, 11. (Nacht) and 12. (Nacht) Staffeln of JG 2 were ordered to Aalborg Airfield in support of Operation Weserübung, the German assault on Denmark and Norway. The two squadrons returned to Germany on 9 May in preparation for the Battle of France.[12] At the start of the campaign on 10 May, 11. (Nacht) Staffel was based at Cologne Butzweilerhof Airfield where it supported Army Group B in the Battle of the Netherlands.[13] That day, Steinhof claimed a Bristol Blenheim bomber near The Hague and a second near Düsseldorf.[14]

In August 1940, he was transferred to 4. Staffel of Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52—52nd Fighter Wing) where he replaced Oberleutnant Heinz Schumann as Staffelkapitän. The Staffel was subordinated to II. Gruppe of JG 52 which was headed by Hauptmann Wilhelm Ensslen.[15] At the time, the Gruppe was based at Peuplingues near the English Channel and were fighting the RAF during the Battle of Britain.[16] Steinhoff claimed his fifth aerial victory on 30 September. He was credited with the destruction of a Supermarine Spitfire fighter over Dorking.[17] II. Gruppe was withdrawn from the Channel Front on 2 November and moved to München Gladbach, present-day Mönchengladbach, on 5 November for a period of rest and replenishment.[18] The Gruppe had also lost its commanding officer, Ensslen, who was killed in action on 2 November. Ensslen was replaced by Hauptmann Erich Woitke.[15] On 22 December, II. Gruppe was ordered to Leeuwarden Airfield where they were tasked with flying fighter patrols along the Dutch North Sea coast. On 15 January 1941, the Gruppe moved to Ypenburg Airfield where they stayed until 10 February.[19] The Gruppe then moved to Berck-sur-Mer on 14 February, where Steinhoff claimed to have shot down another Spitfire in aerial combat, near Dungeness.[20] On 17 May, II. Gruppe reached Raversijde, its last airfield near the English Channel. Two days later, Steinhoff claimed to have shot down a further two Spitfires on a mission to Canterbury. On 9 June, the air elements of II. Gruppe began relocating east.[21]

Operation Barbarossa[edit]

A map of Eastern Europe depicting the movement of military units and formations.
Map indicating Operation Barbarossa's attack plan

In preparation of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, II. Gruppe of JG 52, without a period of replenishment in Germany, was ordered to airfields close to the German-Soviet demarcation line. While the Gruppenstab (group headquarters unit) and 4. Staffel were based at Suwałki in northeastern Poland, 5. and 6. Staffel were transferred to a forward airfield at Sobolewo. For the invasion, II. Gruppe of JG 52 was subordinated to the Geschwaderstab (headquarters unit) of Jagdgeschwader 27 (JG 27—27th Fighter Wing). The Geschwader was part of the VIII. Fliegerkorps commanded by Generaloberst Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen which supported the northern wing of Army Group Centre.[22]

Steinhoff claimed 28 Soviet aircraft shot down in the first month, and by August, Steinhoff had attained 35 victories, for which he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes).

Eastern Front[edit]

On 24 January 1942, having been withdrawn from the Eastern Front, II. Gruppe arrived in Jesau near Königsberg, present-day Kaliningrad in Russia, for a period of recuperation and replenishment.[23] That day, the commander of the Gruppe, Woitke, was transferred. On 1 March, Steinhoff became its new Gruppenkommandeur (group commander). In consequence, command of 4. Staffel was handed to Oberleutnant Gerhard Barkhorn.[24] In Jesau, the Gruppe received many factory new Bf 109 F-4 aircraft. On 14 April, II. Gruppe received orders to move to Pilsen, present-day Plzeň in the Czech Republic, for relocation to the Eastern Front.[25]

Steinhoff claimed his 100th victory on 31 August. He was the 18th Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark.[26] For this, on 2 September, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). He was the 115th member of the German armed forces to be so honoured.[27] On 4 November, Steinhoff, together with Alfred Druschel, Ernst-Wilhelm Reinert, Günther Rall and Max Stotz received the Oak Leaves from Adolf Hitler personally.[28]

Wing commander[edit]

Steinhoff left JG 52 on 24 March 1943 and handed over II. Gruppe to Hauptmann Helmut Kühle.[29] On 1 April, he was given command of Jagdgeschwader 77 (JG 77—77th Fighter Wing) as Geschwaderkommodore (wing commander) after its former commander, Major Joachim Müncheberg, had been killed in action on 23 March.[30] Steinhoff took command JG 77 on 3 April. At the time, the Geschwader was based at an airfield north of Sfax, Tunisia and was fighting in the North African campaign.[31] The following day, Steinhoff claimed his only aerial victory in North Africa when he shot down a Spitfire fighter on a mission to El Guettar.[32] On 5 April, he was shot down by a Spitfire fighter resulting in a forced landing at La Fauconnerie which destroyed his Bf 109 G-6 (Werknummer 16492—factory number).[33]

Galland and Lützow,
Sicily 25 June 1943[34]

Before noon on 25 June, Luftwaffe radar on Monte Erice picked up a large formation of United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) four-engine bombers north of Sicily. The Luftwaffe initially assumed that the bombers were heading for Naples. In reality, the 124 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers attacked Messina, causing significant damage. The Luftwaffe aerial defences were coordinated by Generalmajor Adolf Galland, the General der Jagdflieger (General of the Fighter Force), and his Inspekteur der Jadgflieger Süd (Inspector of Fighter Pilots South), Oberst Günther Lützow, personally. Galland had intended to consolidate fighters from both JG 77 and Jagdgeschwader 53 (JG 53—53rd Fighter Wing) and to vector the fighters in a closed formation to a point of interception.[35] Because the target was mistaken, the bombers could only be intercepted on their return. Galland scrambled approximately 80 fighters from Stab, I., II. Gruppe of JG 77 and Gruppe of JG 53 at 12:55. Due to hazy weather conditions, the German formation was spread out, and failed to find the bombers quickly. Fuel was already running low when the bombers were spotted approximately 150 kilometers (93 miles) northwest of Trapani. Only a few Luftwaffe fighters reached the bombers, including Steinhoff who shot down a B-17.[36]

Steinhoff was promoted to Oberstleutnant (lieutenant colonel) on 1 April 1944.[37] On 28 July 1944, Steinhoff received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern).

On 7 November, Steinhoff left JG 77 and was replaced by Major Johannes Wiese. In total, Steinhoff had flown 100 combat missions and had claimed eleven aerial victories while serving with JG 77.[38] On 11 November, Reichsmarschall (Marshal of the Realm) Hermann Göring, in his role as commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe, organised a meeting of high-ranking Luftwaffe officers, including General der Jagdflieger Galland and Steinhoff. The meeting, also referred to as the "Areopag", was held at the Luftkriegsakademie (air war academy) at Berlin-Gatow. This Luftwaffe version of the Greek Areopagus—a court of justice—aimed at finding solutions to the deteriorating air war situation over Germany.[39] At this meeting, Galland asked Steinhoff if he would be interested in commanding the first jet fighter unit.[40]

Flying the Messerschmitt Me 262[edit]

Jagdgeschwader 7 "Nowotny" (JG 7—7th Fighter Wing) "Nowotny" was the first operational jet fighter wing in the world and was named after Walter Nowotny, who was killed in action on 8 November 1944. Nowotny had been assessing the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet aircraft under operational conditions.[41] JG 7 was equipped with the Me 262, an aircraft which was heavily armed and faster than any Allied fighter. Galland hoped that the Me 262 would compensate for the Allies' numerical superiority. On 12 November 1944, the Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (OKL—Air Force High Command) ordered JG 7 to be equipped with the Me 262. Following the exchange with Steinhoff at the "Areopag", Galland appointed Steinhoff as its first Geschwaderkommodore.[42]

Steinhoff was allowed to hand-pick several Staffelkapitäne, including Heinz Bär and Gerhard Barkhorn. After the heavy losses suffered during Operation Bodenplatte (Unternehmen Bodenplatte), Steinhoff and other fighter leaders fell into disfavour following the so-called 'Fighter Pilots' Revolt' against what was perceived as the incompetence of Luftwaffe high command and Göring in particular. Along with several others, Steinhoff was relieved of his command for challenging Göring's leadership. He was replaced by Major Theodor Weissenberger.[43]

After a brief period spent in internal exile, Steinhoff transferred to the Jet Experten unit Jagdverband 44 (JV 44—44th Fighter Detachment) being formed by his close friend and confidant Adolf Galland in early 1945. Steinhoff initially acted as a de facto recruiting officer, persuading a number of veteran Luftwaffe aces to join the unit, some coming out of the Fighter Pilots' Rest Home at Bad Wiessee to do so. Steinhoff scored six confirmed kills with the unit.[Note 1] Steinhoff survived nearly 1,000 combat missions, only to see his flying career come to an end on the ground.

As a member of JV 44, Steinhoff was permanently disfigured after receiving major burns across most of his body after crashing his Me 262 after a failed take-off. On 18 April 1945, Steinhoff's Me 262 crashed on take-off from München-Riem airfield. His flight leader's left wheel blew out and caused him to make a sharp left turn, careening into Steinhoff and causing him to run off the runway and rupturing the fuel tanks located in front, under, and behind him. Steinhoff and the men he was going up with that day were armed with an experimental under-wing rocket which, along with the cannon ammunition Steinhoff was carrying, made escape more difficult due to the amount of ordnance exploding around him. According to ace fighter pilot and member of JV 44, Franz Stigler, "In a matter of seconds, Steinhoff had turned into a human torch". His chances of survival were slim although he pulled through, but with severe burns leaving him terribly scarred. Steinhoff spent two years in hospital, and years of reconstructive surgery, with his eyelids being rebuilt by a British surgeon after the war.

His wartime record was 176 aircraft claimed destroyed, of which 152 were on the Eastern Front, 12 on the Western Front and 12 in the Mediterranean. He also flew 993 operational sorties. Steinhoff was shot down 12 times but bailed out only once. Explaining his preference to remain with his damaged aircraft, Steinhoff admitted, "I bailed out only once. I never trusted the parachutes. I always landed my damaged planes, hoping not to get bounced on the way down when I lost power".[3]

Cold War[edit]

Johannes Steinhoff at NATO

Steinhoff was invited by West Germany's new interim government to rebuild the Luftwaffe within NATO, eventually rising to the rank of full general. Steinhoff became the German Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee in 1960, served as Acting Commander Allied Air Forces Central Europe in NATO 1965–1966, as Inspector of the Air Force 1966–1970 and as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee 1971–1974.

Steinhoff received numerous honours for his work on the structure of the post war German Air Force and the integration of the German Federal Armed Forces into NATO, including: The Order of Merit with Star, the American Legion of Merit and the French Légion d'honneur.

A former Luftwaffe F-104 Starfighter at Le Bourget.

One of Steinhoff's contributions was dealing with the high accident rate the air force was having with its F-104 Starfighters. Upon researching the issue, Steinhoff, who had always been a good teacher, deduced that the problem was not the aircraft but poor training for pilots on that particular aircraft. He addressed the problem with an intensive training regime and the accident rate dropped dramatically.

After retiring from his NATO command in 1974, Steinhoff became a widely read author of books on German military aviation during the war and the experiences of the German people at that time. He wrote The Final Hours, which detailed a late-war plot against Hermann Göring, and also published a vivid account of his time in Italy: Messerschmitts over Sicily: Diary of a Luftwaffe Fighter Commander. Steinhoff also became a water-colourist, and chairman of Germany's Dornier Aviation.[1]

Bitburg cemetery controversy[edit]

In May 1985, Steinhoff met Ronald Reagan, then President of the United States, during a visit to the WWII Kolmeshöhe Military Cemetery near Bitburg. The event was planned to be an act of reconciliation on the 40th anniversary of V-E Day. Reagan and West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl were to pay their respects at the German military cemetery.[44] However, the US President faced national and political pressure to cancel the visit from American Jewish groups and World War II American veterans after it was discovered that 22 Waffen-SS men were buried among the 2,000 military graves. The presence of Nazi soldiers led to the controversy because the entire SS had been adjudged to be a criminal organisation at the Nuremberg trials. Although not part of the original itinerary, as part of their own reconciliatory gesture, Reagan and Kohl made an impromptu visit to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp before visiting Bitburg. Thus reducing the time Reagan had to spend at Kolmeshöhe Military Cemetery to only eight minutes. He was joined by Steinhoff, Kohl and 90-year-old US Army General Matthew Ridgway who had commanded the 82nd Airborne in World War II. After Reagan placed a wreath at the cemetery memorial, they all stood to attention while a short trumpet salute was played. At the end, Steinhoff suddenly turned and, in an unscripted act, shook hands with a Ridgway. A surprised Kohl later thanked Steinhoff for his actions, who later said that it just seemed to be the right thing to do.[45][46][47]

Death[edit]

Graves of Ursula and Johannes Steinhoff in Villip, Wachtberg.

On February 21, 1994, Steinhoff died in a Bonn hospital from complications arising from a heart attack he suffered the previous December. He was 80, and had lived in nearby Bad Godesberg.[1]

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 168 aerial victory claims, plus nine further unconfirmed claims. This figure of confirmed claims includes 149 aerial victories on the Eastern Front and 19 on the Western Front, including three four-engine bombers and six victories with the Me 262 jet fighter.[48]

Victory claims were logged to a map-reference (PQ = Planquadrat), for example "PQ 95371". 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.[49]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 1990, the former Royal Air Force Gatow in Berlin Gatow, was named General Steinhoff Kaserne on being taken over by the German Federal Armed Forces. And on September 18, 1997, the Jagdgeschwader 73 (fighter wing 73) of the German Air Force was named "Steinhoff" in honour of the general. Steinhoff is one of only a handful of pilots honoured in this way, along with Manfred von Richthofen and Max Immelmann.

Publications[edit]

  • In letzter Stunde. Verschwörung der Jagdflieger. Vom Widerstand der Jagdflieger gegen Reichsmarschall Göring [In the last hour. Conspiracy of the fighter pilots. On the resistance of the fighter pilots against Reichsmarschall Göring] (in German). Flechsig. 1974. ISBN 978-3-88189-592-7.
  • Wohin treibt die NATO? Probleme der Verteidigung Westeuropas [Where is NATO going? Defence Problems of Western Europe] (in German). Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe. 1976. ISBN 978-3-455-08986-8.
  • The Last Chance - The Pilots' Plot Against Goering 1944–1945. London: Hutchinson & Co. 1977. ISBN 978-0-09-129620-9.
  • Die Straße von Messina. Tagebuch des Kommodore [The Strait of Messina. A Commodore's diary] (in German). Flechsig. 2005. ISBN 978-3-88189-593-4.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ For a list of Luftwaffe Jet aces see List of German World War II jet aces
  2. ^ a b c d According to Matthews and Foreman this claim is unconfirmed.[56]
  3. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed at 06:15.[50]
  4. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed at 14:55.[50]
  5. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed at 13:30.[50]
  6. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed at 19:55.[50]
  7. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed at 07:46.[70]
  8. ^ According to Matthews and Foreman claimed at 10:27.[70]
  9. ^ This claim is not listed by Matthews and Foreman.[48]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Saxon 1994.
  2. ^ Der Spiegel Volume 1/1973.
  3. ^ a b c Heaton 2000.
  4. ^ Toliver & Constable 1996, p. 85.
  5. ^ Petrick 2010, p. 151.
  6. ^ a b Stockert 2012, p. 43.
  7. ^ Prien et al. 2000a, p. 313.
  8. ^ Caldwell 1996, pp. 6, 10.
  9. ^ Caldwell 1996, p. 10.
  10. ^ Caldwell 1996, p. 329.
  11. ^ Caldwell 1996, pp. 14–17, 21.
  12. ^ Prien et al. 2001, p. 94.
  13. ^ Prien et al. 2000b, p. 139.
  14. ^ a b c Prien et al. 2000b, p. 140.
  15. ^ a b Prien et al. 2002, p. 151.
  16. ^ Prien et al. 2002, p. 144.
  17. ^ Barbas 2005, p. 37.
  18. ^ Barbas 2005, pp. 38–39.
  19. ^ Prien et al. 2002, p. 149.
  20. ^ Barbas 2005, p. 40.
  21. ^ Barbas 2005, pp. 41, 76.
  22. ^ Prien et al. 2003, p. 26.
  23. ^ Prien et al. 2006, p. 446.
  24. ^ Prien et al. 2006, p. 475.
  25. ^ Prien et al. 2006, p. 447.
  26. ^ Obermaier 1989, p. 244.
  27. ^ Stockert 2012, p. 45.
  28. ^ Stockert 2012, p. 98.
  29. ^ Prien et al. 2012, p. 374.
  30. ^ Prien 1995, p. 2370.
  31. ^ Prien 1994, p. 1504.
  32. ^ Prien 1994, pp. 1506–1507.
  33. ^ Prien 1994, p. 1510.
  34. ^ Prien 1994, p. 1606.
  35. ^ Prien 1994, p. 1601.
  36. ^ Prien 1994, p. 1605.
  37. ^ Stockert 2012, p. 46.
  38. ^ Prien 1995, p. 2191.
  39. ^ von Below 2010, p. 220.
  40. ^ Forsyth 2008, p. 17.
  41. ^ Forsyth 2008, pp. 6–10.
  42. ^ Forsyth 2008, p. 15.
  43. ^ Forsyth 2008, p. 27.
  44. ^ Hannaford & Hobbs 2000, p. 113.
  45. ^ Skelton, George (12 April 1985). "Reagan to Honor German War Dead on V-E Day Trip". Los Angeles Times.
  46. ^ "Ronald Reagan: Remarks at a Joint German-American Military Ceremony at Bitburg Air Base in the Federal Republic of Germany". 5 May 1985.
  47. ^ "Reagan joins Kohl in brief memorial at Bitburg graves". The New York Times. 6 May 1985.
  48. ^ a b Matthews & Foreman 2015, pp. 1257–1260.
  49. ^ Planquadrat.
  50. ^ a b c d e f g h Matthews & Foreman 2015, p. 1257.
  51. ^ a b Prien et al. 2001, p. 226.
  52. ^ a b Prien et al. 2002, p. 155.
  53. ^ a b Prien et al. 2002, p. 156.
  54. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Prien et al. 2003, p. 41.
  55. ^ a b c d e f Prien et al. 2003, p. 44.
  56. ^ Matthews & Foreman 2015, pp. 1257, 1259.
  57. ^ a b c d e Prien et al. 2003, p. 45.
  58. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Prien et al. 2003, p. 46.
  59. ^ a b c d Prien et al. 2003, p. 42.
  60. ^ a b c d e f Prien et al. 2003, p. 43.
  61. ^ a b Prien et al. 2003, p. 47.
  62. ^ a b Matthews & Foreman 2015, pp. 1257–1259.
  63. ^ a b c d e f g h i Prien et al. 2006, p. 481.
  64. ^ a b c d e f g h Prien et al. 2006, p. 490.
  65. ^ a b c Prien et al. 2006, p. 491.
  66. ^ a b c d Prien et al. 2006, p. 482.
  67. ^ a b Prien et al. 2006, p. 494.
  68. ^ a b c d e f g h Prien et al. 2006, p. 495.
  69. ^ a b Prien et al. 2006, p. 483.
  70. ^ a b Matthews & Foreman 2015, p. 1259.
  71. ^ a b Prien et al. 2006, p. 484.
  72. ^ a b c d e Prien et al. 2006, p. 485.
  73. ^ a b c d e f g Prien et al. 2006, p. 496.
  74. ^ a b c d Prien et al. 2006, p. 486.
  75. ^ a b c d e f g h Prien et al. 2006, p. 487.
  76. ^ a b c d e f g Prien et al. 2006, p. 497.
  77. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Prien et al. 2006, p. 498.
  78. ^ a b c d e f Prien et al. 2006, p. 488.
  79. ^ a b c d e f g h Prien et al. 2006, p. 489.
  80. ^ a b c Prien et al. 2006, p. 499.
  81. ^ Prien et al. 2012, p. 378.
  82. ^ a b c d Prien et al. 2012, p. 379.
  83. ^ a b c Matthews & Foreman 2015, pp. 1259–1260.
  84. ^ a b c d e f g h i Prien et al. 2011, p. 302.
  85. ^ Prien 1995, p. 2433.
  86. ^ a b Prien 1995, p. 2434.
  87. ^ Prien 1995, p. 2435.
  88. ^ a b c Matthews & Foreman 2015, p. 1260.
  89. ^ Obermaier 1989, p. 37.
  90. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 721.
  91. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 410.
  92. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 61.
  93. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 44.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Barbas, Bernd (2005). Die Geschichte der II. Gruppe des Jagdgeschwaders 52 [The History of 2nd Group of Fighter Wing 52] (in German). ISBN 978-3-923457-71-7.
  • von Below, Nicolaus (2010). At Hitler's Side: The Memoirs of Hitler's Luftwaffe Adjutant. Pen and Sword Books. ISBN 978-1-84832-585-2.
  • Bergström, Christer. "Bergström Black Cross/Red Star website". Identifying a Luftwaffe Planquadrat. Archived from the original on 22 December 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
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External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Major Joachim Müncheberg
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 77 Herz As
1 April 1943 – 1 December 1944
Succeeded by
Major Johannes Wiese
Preceded by
none
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 7 Nowotny
1 December 1944 – 26 December 1944
Succeeded by
Major Theodor Weissenberger
Preceded by
Commander of 4. Luftwaffendivision (Bundeswehr)
4 December 1963 – 14 April 1965
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Herbert Wehnelt
Preceded by
Air Chief Marshal Sir Edmund Hudleston
Commander Allied Air Forces Central Europe
Acting

1965 – 1966
Formation disbanded
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Werner Panitzki
Inspector of the Air Force
2 September 1966 – 31 December 1970
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Günther Rall
Preceded by
Admiral Sir Nigel Henderson
Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
1971 – 1974
Succeeded by
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Peter Hill-Norton