Luftflotte 3

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Luftflotte 3[1] (Air Fleet 3) was one of the primary divisions of the German Luftwaffe in World War II. It was formed on 1 February 1939 from Luftwaffengruppenkommando 3 in Munich and redesignated Luftwaffenkommando West (Air Command West) on 26 September 1944. This Luftwaffe detachment was based in German-occupied areas of Northern France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Vichy France, to support the Axis power's forces in area. Its command offices were in Paris, France (on 26 June 1944).

Strategic Reconnaissance[edit]

II.Fliegerkorps (II.Air Corps) Chartres[edit]

Fliegerführer West (Flight Director in West Area/Land Air Attack)

Tactical Reconnaissance[edit]

Land Air Attack[edit]

IX. Fliegerkorps (IX.Air Corps) Beauvais-Lille[edit]

Strategic Reconnaissance[edit]


JABO (Fighter-Bombers/Incursion strike groups)[edit]

X.Fliegerkorps (X.Air Corps) Angers[edit]

Special duties/long-distance operations[edit]

Strategic/Maritime Reconnaissance (Ultra Long Range)[edit]

Bombers (Heavy) Submarine Support/Merchant Strike (Long Range)[edit]

2.Fliegerdivision (2.Air Division) Montfrin[edit]

Strategic/Tactical/Maritime Reconnaissance (Medium-Short Range)[edit]

Bombers (Medium)[edit]

II.Jagdkorps (II.Fighter Corps) Chantilly[edit]

4.Jagddivision (4°Fighter Division) Metz[edit]

Jagdabschnittführer 4 (Fighter Direction 4°) St Pol-Brias[edit]


Night Fighters[edit]

5.Jagddivision (5° Fighter Division) Jouy-en-Josas[edit]

Jagdabschnittführer 5 (Fighter Director 5) Bernay[edit]


Night Fighters[edit]

Jagdabschnittführer Bretagne (Fighter Direction in Brittany) Brest[edit]


Jagdabschnittführer Südfrankreich (Southern France Fighter Direction) Aix[edit]


Jagdlehrer-Gr Bordeaux (Instruction Wing in Bordeaux sector)[edit]

Luftwaffe Special Strike Units[edit]

  • Jet Bombers/Jet Fighter-Bombers
  • Mistel Special Section
  • Bombers with V-1 Launchers
  • Luftwaffe V-1 fixed/mobile ramps units; operated near Calais (France), and in Belgium and the Netherlands.
    • Untergruppenbezeichnung FZG (Flakzielgerät) 76 (also known as 5.Flak Division (W), later as Armeekorps zur Vergeltung)
    • I./155 Artillerie Abt (W)
    • II./155 Artillerie-Abt (W)
    • III./155 Artillerie-Abt (W)
  • Luftwaffe special transport units(1944–45); based in Muhldorf, Bavaria, and composed of Helicopters:
    • Focke-Achgelis Fa 223 Drachen
    • Flettner Fl 265
    • Flettner 282B Kolibri
  • Heer/Luftwaffe V-2 mobile ramps sections
  • Division zur Vergeltung(Div.z.V.); led by Heer and SS Commanders, working along with Luftwaffe personnel and facilities. They operated in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
  • "Div.z.V." Nordgruppe
    • 444° Artillerie-Abt
    • 485° Artillerie- Abt (also known as Artillerie Regiment z. V. 902)
    • 2°./485° Artillerie-Abt
  • "Div.z.V." Südgruppe
    • 500° Waffen SS Artillerie-Abt (also known as 500° SS Werfer Abt.)
    • 836° Artillerie-Abt (also known as Artillerie Regiment zur Vergeltung 901)
  • Heer V-4 "Rheinbote" Mobile ramps units
    • I./709 Artillerie Abt
  • Heer V-3 Artillery group
    • 705° Artillerie Abt.


Commanding officers[edit]

Flag for the Chief of a Luftflotte
  • Generalfeldmarschall Hugo Sperrle, 1 February 1939 – 23 August 1944
  • Generaloberst Otto Deßloch, 23 August 1944 – 22 September 1944
  • Generalleutnant Alexander Holle, 22 September 1944 – 26 September 1944
redesignated to Luftwaffenkommando West
  • Generalleutnant Alexander Holle, 28 September 1944 – 15 November 1944
  • Generalleutnant Josef Schmid, 16 November 1944 – 27 April 1945
  • Generalleutnant Martin Harlinghausen, 28 April 1945 – 8 May 1945

Chief of staff[edit]

redesignated to Luftwaffenkommando West
  • Oberst Hans Wolters, September 1944 – March 1945
  • Oberst Heinrich Wittmer, March 1945 – May 1945

Subordinated units[edit]

Jagdfliegerführer 3Jagdfliegerführer 2Fliegerführer AtlantikII. Jagdkorps10th Air Corps (Germany)8th Air Corps (Germany)5th Air Corps (Germany)2nd Air Corps (Germany)1st Air Corps (Germany)



  1. ^ For an explanation of the meaning of Luftwaffe unit designation see Luftwaffe Organisation