Sturzkampfgeschwader 77

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Sturzkampfgeschwader 77
Schlachtgeschwader 77.svg
Active 1939–1943
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Balkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
Type Dive bomber
Role Close air support
Size Air force wing
Insignia
Identification
symbol
Geschwaderkennung
of S2

Sturzkampfgeschwader 77 (StG 77) was a dive bomber wing in the Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany during World War II. It was formed on 1 May 1939, I. Group in Brieg, Stab and II. Group in Breslau-Schöngarten (today Copernicus Airport Wrocław). The III. Group was formed from II. Group of Kampfgeschwader 76 on 9 July 1940.

Based in the Cherbourg area, StG 77 then participated in early part of the Battle of Britain, suffering high losses in machines and experienced leaders. Commencing with a raid on shipping on 9 July 1940, StG 77 lost I Gruppe Gruppenkommandeur Hpt. Fr. Friedrich-Karl Freiherr von Dalwigk zu Lichtenfels to Spitfires of No. 609 Squadron RAF. Hpt. Waldemar Plewig was shot down and taken prisoner on 8 August, while on 18 August 1940, 10 Stukas of I./ StG 77 were lost in an attack on Thorney Island, and a further 6 were damaged.[1]

After participation in the Balkans campaigns of spring 1941, StG 77 formed part of the attack against the Soviet Union in June 1941, and supported the Army Group Centre as part of the 2nd Air Corps. Relocating into the Southern Front in November 1941, StG77 then flew supporting Army Group South. In December II. Gruppe was sent for refitting to Kraków. During 1942 StG77, as part of the 8th Air Corps, supported ground actions on the at the Sevastopol front and later, units took part in the Second Battle of Kharkov. By September 1942, III./StG 77 was subordinate to I./StG 1 on the northern front in support of Army Group North.

II./StG 77 was one of the main Stuka ground-attack units supporting the operations at Stalingrad. As the battle for the city intensified, so the unit moved ever closer to the city, reducing flight time and allowing more sorties every day.

II. Group was redesignated as III. Group, Schlachtgeschwader 10 on 18 October 1943, the remaining groups renamed to Schlachtgeschwader 77 the same day.

Commanding officers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'Stuka Squadron'; Peter C Smith, 1990