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fulanito_chile
03-10-2004, 01:06 PM
Did S.S fighter pilots exist and were they better than the standard Luft. pilots?

fulanito_chile
03-10-2004, 01:06 PM
Did S.S fighter pilots exist and were they better than the standard Luft. pilots?

RealHondo
03-10-2004, 01:07 PM
i've never heard of something like an ss pilot, but even if so, why should he've been better?!

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BaldieJr
03-10-2004, 01:08 PM
And if someone knows the answer to that, perhaps that also know the answer to a similar question:

Were there any russian partisan air units, and if so, where might I find information about them?

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fulanito_chile
03-10-2004, 01:10 PM
i read some where that some S.S ground units were better than regular units due to better equipment and greater moral.

oFZo
03-10-2004, 01:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RealHondo:
i've never heard of something like an ss pilot, but even if so, why should he've been better?!

Auf SimHQ unterwegs als Hondo

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Not knowing anything about the subject, I'd guess they'be better being kinda the elite and all. I mean the Schutz Staffeln (SS) were Hitler's guards, I guess they'd be trained better.

-oFZo

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Capt._Tenneal
03-10-2004, 01:13 PM
Good question. I was wondering if there were SS air aces like there were tank aces. If not, was it because Goering considered the air war "his domain (and the Luftwaffe's)". AFAIK, there were never any SS-crewed U-boats either.

fulanito_chile
03-10-2004, 01:13 PM
all i could find..sorry

Narrative Summary:
The Yugoslav Partisan Air Force was never a single united organisation, but instead was made of three separate elements, equipped and trained in three different ways. The first element was made up of defectors from the Croatian Air Force, who flew enemy aircraft captured by the Partisans. The second element took the form of two Yugoslav manned fighter squadrons trained and equipped by the Royal Air Force for operations over the Balkans. The third element comprised a formation of fighter and assault aircraft trained and equipped by the Soviet AIr Force. At the end of the war all three elements were operating from secure bases within Yugoslavia, and these units formed the basis for the post-war Yugoslav Air Force.
Yugoslavia was invaded by Axis forces on 6 April 1941 and was forced to surrender on 17 April. Yugoslav territory was partitioned, with a new Croat State being established under Italian control, and the remainder occupied by Germany and Italy. However, much of Yugoslavia was ideal for guerrilla warfare, and within a few months rival Chetnik (Royalist) and Partisan (Communist) units were launching attacks on the occupying forces.
In late 1941, two attempts were made by Croatian Air Force personnel to defect to the guerrilla forces, but unfortunately both ended with fatal crashes. However, on 23 May 1942 aircrew flying a Breguet 19 and a Potez 25 successfully deserted from the Croatian Air Force and flew to the recently liberated town of Prijedor. These two aircraft were soon lost to enemy action, but the effect on local morale of the five air attacks they carried out was enormous.
Yugoslav guerrilla forces continued their attacks, but were unable to obtain any additional aircraft for more than a year. The surrender of Italy in September 1943 brought new opportunities, as partisan forces were able to capture the Italian airfield at Gorica in Slovenia, which held several aircraft. These aircraft were immediately pressed into service for reconnaissance and liaison duties. More defectors from the Croatian Air Force arrived in the following two months. Shortly afterwards the Allies formally agreed to support the Partisan army (called the NOVJ - Yugoslav National Liberation Army) instead of the Chetniks, (the Allies stopped their help to the Jugoslovenska vojska u otadzbini (JVuO)- the official name for the Chetniks - on 30th May 1944). Allied material support now allowed the operation of regular partisan air units to support ground forces. Defections of Croatian personnel continued to increase and by mid 1944 the Croatian Air Force no longer possessed any effective strength.
In October 1943 the Allied Supreme Headquarters appealed through the 'Free Yugoslavia' Radio Station for volunteers to join the Partisan Air Force. Basic flying training commenced at Bari in southern Italy in January 1944. Many of the volunteers were already experienced pilots and so in early March 1944 all personnel were transferred to North Africa. On 22 April 1944 at Benina airfield in Libya, the First Yugoslav Fighter Squadron was established (administered by the RAF as 352 Sqn). On 1 July 1944 the Second Yugoslav Fighter Squadron (351 Sqn RAF) was formed. Both units were assigned to the RAF Balkan Air Force for operations over Yugoslavia. 352 Squadron made its first operational sortie from Canne airfield in Italy on 18 August 1944. In the meantime, 351 Squadron under went special training in the use of rocket projectiles from its's Hurricanes and made it's first combat sortie on 13 October 1944.
In August 1944 the Adriatic Island of Vis was liberated by Partisan forces, and a new liaison squadron was formed there with captured aircraft. On 21 September 1944 a further new squadron was formed with captured aircraft at Zaluzani airfield near Banja Luka to support the 5th Corps of the NOVJ. The unit carried out 90 combat sorties against enemy ground forces, moving base several times, while being supplied with fuel and ammunition from partisan-held territory. This unit demonstrated that partisan aviation could work very successfully.
In October 1944, 351 & 352 Squadrons began to use Vis as an advanced base, allowing them to range deeper into Yugoslavia. In the middle of 1944 the Soviet Army arrived on the eastern borders of Yugoslavia. The 10th Assault Division and 236th Fighter Division of the Soviet Air Force were assigned to help with the liberation of Yugoslavia. In addition, the Soviets agreed to train and equip two new Yugoslav-manned units. In late November 1944 to Soviet Air Force began ground crew training for Yugoslav volunteers and on 10 December 1944 pilot training for volunteers commenced. In the middle of December three Assault and three Fighter Regiments were formed, making up 42 Assault Division and 11 Fighter Division respectively. Collectively, these two Divisions were called the Group of Air Divisions, which controlled 258 aircraft at it's formation.
The regiments deployed to existing airfields within liberated Yugoslavia, while 9 more airfields were constructed closer to the fighting in the northern and western parts of the country. In 17 January 1945 Yugoslav pilots commenced combat operations alongside Soviet aircrews, helping to stop a German-Croatian counter-offensive. By April they had gained sufficient experience to be able to operate on their own.
On 12 April 1945 the Group of Air Divisions made a significant contribution to the final offensive to liberate Zagreb. Even after Germany had surrendered, combat operations continued against Chetniks and Croatian Fascists who refused to surrender. The war finally ended on 25 May 1945 (some sources say 'shortly after ... 28 May').
In the spring of 1945 the Air Force of the NOVJ was renamed the Air Force of the Yugoslav Army (Vazduhoplovstvo Jugoslovenske Armije), and later the RV i PVO - Ratno Vazduhoplovstvo i Protivvazdusna Odbrana (Air Force and Anti-Aircraft Defence). On 15 June 1945, 351 & 352 Squadrons were formally handed over to the reformed Yugoslav Air Force by the RAF.

mman1066
03-10-2004, 01:35 PM
I feel very certain in saying that there were no SS air units. The SS was divided into seperate sections, the "Allgemine" (sp?) and the "Waffen". I believe ( don't speak German) that they roughly translate into "General" & "Armed". THe death camp guards (Totenkopfverband or something) were Allgemine. The Waffen-SS was composed of mechanized units starting with the 1st SS Pzr Adolph Hitler Leibstandard (sp?) which I think means body guard, which is the actual parent organization of the 1st SS. These are the fun loving boys that executed POW's in France 1940 & Malmedy 1944. THe rest of the Waffen-SS units have similar records for ruthlessness, though it can also be said that they were feared and respected by their advesaries. Of course this only applies to the first 12-15 SS pzr units. Later units were made up of Russian POW's, Muslims and anyone else willing to fight under the Nazi flag. A google search should provide lots more info, this is all from memory.

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p1ngu666
03-10-2004, 01:41 PM
some SS units where elite for sure, often performed miricles. standard whermatch (spellin:\) did too
SS was hitlers personal army to a certain extent

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p1ngu666
03-10-2004, 01:45 PM
oh didnt luftwaffe get taken over by SS at end of war?

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BP_caocao
03-10-2004, 01:45 PM
IIRC I've seen a photo with a caption refering to SS flying (or slated to fly) He-162's.

BlitzPig_Ritter
03-10-2004, 01:54 PM
http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/LRG/images/lrg0103.jpg
Bacham Ba 349 Natter

These were to have been operated by both the SS and the Luftwaffe. It is the only aircraft I know of with such a distinction.

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BP_caocao
03-10-2004, 02:04 PM
I looked around a bit and while I couldnt find a reference to SS flying the He-162 (SS were planning on flying the Ba-349 as Ritt said) Plans were made however for Hitler Youth to man the 162.

Indianer.
03-10-2004, 02:05 PM
Totenkopf flew JU88s

"Wer auf die preussische Fahne schwort, hat nichts mehr, was ihm selber gehort"

cuski
03-10-2004, 02:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by fulanito_chile:
i read some where that some S.S ground units were better than regular units due to better equipment and greater moral.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not true. Most of the new equipment went to the Wehrmacht units, way before even reaching any SS-units.

fulanito_chile
03-10-2004, 02:14 PM
I stand corrected. thank you

Rajvosa
03-11-2004, 01:38 AM
Fulanito!

Great find on Yugoslav Partizan airforce! What is your source?

Being of Yugoslav heritage, or rather Bosnian, I always enjoy reading of Yugoslav partizan exploits in WWII.

Besides, Bosnia was the center of resistance and that's where the hardest battles were fought. I've been at that historic spot where the first partizan squadron was formed near Prijedor, that you've mentioned. It's called Medeno Polje, "Honey Field", litterary translated. They've had a C-47 displayed at the field, but this was before the war in the '90s, so I have no idea if that aircraft still exists, or was destroyed or picked up by the Serbs and taken to Serbia.

You also mention "chetniks", a group of serbian nationalists. I must tell you, I still feel very uncomfortable when I hear that name. These guys were not fighting against Germans. In the very beginning, maybe. But very soon they joined Germans and went after partizans in Bosnia. Only, these savages were a million times worse than Germans and Italians were. On many instances these two were actually friendly towards the population. But chetniks pilaged and burned villages in Bosnia, particularily if these were populated by muslims. For instance, my grandmother was born in 1933. When she was 10, in 1943, everyone in her village was taken out to a field. Men (including her two brothers and father) were beaten up and shot. Women and children were taken to the largest building, a barn. The barn was locked from the outside and set on fire.

One of the chetniks wanted to brag about how they treated "partizans" and he called the local German commander to view the "spectacle". Jerry went mad and sent his soldiers to break the barn doors and get the girls out. Amazing, isn't it?

This and similar atrocties were unfortunately repeated 50 years later. These modern barbarians still called them selves chetniks. Still wore very long beards. Still prefered to use knives as their weapons of choice. And the still occupy 49 % of Bosnia.

Sorry. I just had to let off some steam.

Regards,

Jasko

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Mitlov47
03-11-2004, 01:51 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mman1066:
I feel very certain in saying that there were no SS air units. The SS was divided into seperate sections, the "Allgemine" (sp?) and the "Waffen". I believe ( don't speak German) that they roughly translate into "General" & "Armed". THe death camp guards (Totenkopfverband or something) were Allgemine. The Waffen-SS was composed of mechanized units starting with the 1st SS Pzr Adolph Hitler Leibstandard (sp?) which I think means body guard, which is the actual parent organization of the 1st SS. These are the fun loving boys that executed POW's in France 1940 & Malmedy 1944. THe rest of the Waffen-SS units have similar records for ruthlessness, though it can also be said that they were feared and respected by their advesaries. Of course this only applies to the first 12-15 SS pzr units. Later units were made up of Russian POW's, Muslims and anyone else willing to fight under the Nazi flag. A google search should provide lots more info, this is all from memory.

BlitzPig_MM<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just to clarify--the Waffen SS was involved in the Holocaust as well as the other type of SS. It was Waffen SS soldiers who laid siege to the Warsaw Ghetto. The Waffen SS was frequently involved with rounding up Jews to send to the death camps, even if they didn't man the gun towers at the death camps themselves.

I've never heard of SS air units, but I could be wrong.

---------------------------

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Gershy
03-11-2004, 02:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Indianer.:
Totenkopf flew JU88s

"Wer auf die preussische Fahne schwort, hat nichts mehr, was ihm selber gehort"


<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No they did not. As far as I know the SS was meant for groundfighting only. The "Totenkopf" (Skull) on the bombers are a squad sign of a KG and has nothing to do with the SS.

So long.
We wish you well.
You told us how you weren't afraid to die.
Well then, so long.
Don't cry.
Or feel too down.
Not all martyrs see divinity.
But at least you tried.

csThor
03-11-2004, 02:44 AM
No. The only sector where SS and Luftwaffe "collided" was the question of the "V-Waffen" (V1 and V2). As G├┬Âring said "Everything that flies is mine" so he insisted on the V1 to be the priority while the SS lobbied for the V2.

The only member of the SS to fly combat sorties was Reinhard Heydrich with JG 1 and then JG 77 in 1941. But he was shot down behind soviet lines and Hitler harshly called him back to Germany.

EMitton - the SS unit fighting against the Warsaw uprising was the so-called "Bew├┬Ąhrungsbrigade Dirrlewanger" which can be equaled with a penal unit. Most of its members were murderers, rapists, thiefs and other criminal lowlifes. Even "normal" Waffen-SS units did not want anything to do with them.

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Wannabe-Pilot
03-11-2004, 06:11 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cuski:

Not true. Most of the new equipment went to the Wehrmacht units, way before even reaching any SS-units.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You are very wrong my friend the Waffen SS got everything first and in the highest numbers. One of the reasons why they were so successful was because these divisions were one of the few that were time and time again brought up to full strenght (and beyond) after suffering losses.

Here's a link



http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/avenue/vy75/toe.htm



On this site you can see how a SS Panzergrenadier divison (basically a motorized division) had over 200 tanks including 56 Tigers. The SS Panzer and Panzergrenadier divisions were the best of both worlds: they had a panzer regiment (in Wehrmacht only panzer divisions had panzer abteilungs, panzergrenadier divisions were virtually tankless aside from a few command tanks) with more tanks than Wehrmacht Panzer divisions (193 Waffen SS - 172 Wehrmacht) and other components of a standard panzer division as well as the manpower of a panzergrenadier division. In addition, an integral part of a Waffen SS PD or PGD was a heavy tanks battallion equiped with Tiger tanks. No regular panzer division ever got Tigers, they formed special Schwere Panzer Abteilung (heavy tank detachment) under the direct command of higher formations (corps or army level) and were used as a fire brigade when and where neccesary. SS Waffen motorized divisions (I use the term to denote both panzer and panzergrenadier divisions of the Waffen SS) fielded more AAA than either panzer or panzergrenadier Wehrmacht divisions, they included a selfpropelled artillery component with Wespe and Hummel SPA (which were only included in panzer divisions not panzergrenadier) with more individual vehicles than regular panzer divisions and a special detachment of Nebelwerfer launchers mounted on halftracks, a unique feature.
Also, Waffen SS divisons had 6 infantry battallions like a regular panzergrenadier division (panzer divisions had only 4) but mounted on halftracks. Infantry in panzergrenadier divisions never received halftracks although they were supposed to because of shortage of equipment, and rode trucks into combat... socalled gummi-grenadiers (rubber grenadiers). Panzer divisions had about 330 halftracks, panzergrenadier 110 and Waffen SS as many as 450. More support weapons, mortars and guns, more AT guns were also supplied. Like a standard panzergrenadier division, Waffen SS got SturmArtillerie Abtielung with 35 StuG IIIs, and a detachment of tank destroyers. This also set it aside a conventional Werhmacht panzer division.

Finally, Waffen SS divisions were considerably larger in terms of manpower than regular divisions. In the eve of Overlord 1st SS Panzer had 21 000 men, 12th SS Hitlerjugend Panzer had 17800. Regular Wehrmacht panzer division had about 11-12 000, and panzergrenadier 13 000 men. US Army tank division han only 9 000.

So as you can see, Waffen SS divisions were a mix of tank and panzergrenadier components, significantlly stronger than either and with none of the weaknesses. Add to that a priority in receiving equipment, superb training, and fanatical resistence and you have yourself a very tough nut to crack. Alas, so many young men, boys, younger than me have died...did you know that the 12th SS Hitlerjugend division was deemed 'too young', average age being 18, to receive cigarettes as all soldiers do, and instead were given extra rations of chocolate!? Too young to smoke but old enough to die so perverse... And for what? So that Hitler could delay the end and have a few more days to live... http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

[This message was edited by Wannabe-Pilot on Thu March 11 2004 at 05:24 AM.]

[This message was edited by Wannabe-Pilot on Thu March 11 2004 at 05:25 AM.]

Pimpo
03-11-2004, 06:31 AM
its all a question of what year your refering to. in the beginning when they werent battle proofed the wehrmacht managed to get the better equipment. in the last years like 43 44 45, the SS was better equipped due to their elite status and usage as frontline "firemen". this only applies for the panzerdivisonen and to some extend to the panzergrenadiersdivisionen like the division viking (that as example later became a full panzerdivision). as said before you can call about the first 12 to 15 divisions elite, the rest were more like militias for occupations duties and partisan fighting. i dont want to defend the ideology but the elite ss troops were mostly honorable oponents. but like allmost any troops in the field they committed war crimes. only division that was "special" in this perspective was the division totenkopf which members were rotated with the totenkopflagerwachen in the concentration camps. afaik this was part of their ideologic education.
makes me allmost puke http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

there might be some mistakes due to generalization but all i tried was to summ things up a bit http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

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Pimpo
03-11-2004, 06:36 AM
the panzerdivison hitlerjugend might be the sadest chapter in the whole history of german armies http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif if i remember correctly 3 of 4 died in the fist weeks of combat at caen

├╝berzeugte luftwaffle

Wannabe-Pilot
03-11-2004, 07:03 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pimpo:
the panzerdivison hitlerjugend might be the sadest chapter in the whole history of german armies http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif if i remember correctly 3 of 4 died in the fist weeks of combat at caen

├╝berzeugte luftwaffle<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

When they were pulled of the front lines, only about 2000 remained. Many were also left behind as a last ditch rearguard. Unfortunatelly, they all fought virtually until the last with very few survivors and POW.

They were 'given' to Hitler by Baldur vor Schirac as a birthday gift in April 1944 (imagine that, a birthday gift of teens who were soon to be dead-as if you can give away human beings like slaves). They were walking dead, like zombies, they just didn't know it yet.

Wannabe-Pilot
03-11-2004, 07:21 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pimpo:
its all a question of what year your refering to. in the beginning when they werent battle proofed the wehrmacht managed to get the better equipment. in the last years like 43 44 45, the SS was better equipped due to their elite status and usage as frontline "firemen". this only applies for the panzerdivisonen and to some extend to the panzergrenadiersdivisionen like the division viking (that as example later became a full panzerdivision). as said before you can call about the first 12 to 15 divisions elite, the rest were more like militias for occupations duties and partisan fighting. i dont want to defend the ideology but the elite ss troops were mostly honorable oponents. but like allmost any troops in the field they committed war crimes. only division that was "special" in this perspective was the division totenkopf which members were rotated with the totenkopflagerwachen in the concentration camps. afaik this was part of their ideologic education.
makes me allmost puke http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

there might be some mistakes due to generalization but all i tried was to summ things up a bit http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

├╝berzeugte luftwaffle<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd, 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 17th divisions were of the aforementioned type (panzer or Panzergrenadier division with extra manpower, equipment and priority in replacements). Also, 6th, 7th and the 8th, although not motorized but cavalry or mountain type divisions, also fought with great distinction.

You are right though, until 1941 mostly regiments of Waffen SS were formed (like LSSAH, Das Reich, Nord etc.). In 1942 they were expanded into divisions, first motorized but by late 1942/early 1943 fully fledged panzer/panzergrenadier divisions of the type i described. Von Manstein conducted his famous 'Manstein's miracle' in early 1943 by recapturing Khrakov with such divisions, the first of the type.
With time their strenght and numbers grew.

LEXX_Luthor
03-11-2004, 07:38 AM
Very interesting read. Thanks fellas. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Chefzilla
03-11-2004, 07:59 AM
The only thing I can add to the above was the absolute jealousy HEER Higher Command had for the SS because they got the best and the brightest.

The only real exceptions would be PanzerLehr and of course GrossDeutschland.

GD being the only HEER that had organic Tiger and Panther battalions.

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p1ngu666
03-11-2004, 08:01 AM
i think the tiger tank was a prezzie for hitler too.
http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif @ stuff in yogoslavia and that area

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lil_labbit
03-11-2004, 08:30 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by csThor:
No. The only sector where SS and Luftwaffe "collided" was the question of the "V-Waffen" (V1 and V2). As G├┬Âring said "Everything that flies is mine" so he insisted on the V1 to be the priority while the SS lobbied for the V2.

The only member of the SS to fly combat sorties was Reinhard Heydrich with JG 1 and then JG 77 in 1941. But he was shot down behind soviet lines and Hitler harshly called him back to Germany.

EMitton - the SS unit fighting against the Warsaw uprising was the so-called "Bew├┬Ąhrungsbrigade Dirrlewanger" which can be equaled with a penal unit. Most of its members were murderers, rapists, thiefs and other criminal lowlifes. Even "normal" Waffen-SS units did not want anything to do with them.

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An interesting site is http://www.kheichhorn.de/html/sonderwaffen.html http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif although I would not take it too serious http://members.home.nl/lil.labbit/smiley/rofl2.gif

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Night is better than Day

BerkshireHunt
03-11-2004, 08:31 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Capt._Tenneal:
Good question. I was wondering if there were SS air aces like there were tank aces. If not, was it because Goering considered the air war "his domain (and the Luftwaffe's
--------------------

Goering would never have allowed SS penetration of the Luftwaffe for the reason you suggest. In the early years of the Nazi party he had been Hitler's foremost confidante- Himmler was just a minor official.
By the time of the 'Night of the Long Knives', however, (which achieved the unification of the Nazi party by the murder of Hitler's leadership rivals), Himmler's position in the party had risen in importance to the point where it was he and Goering who drew up the death list and arranged the execution of recalcitrant SA members (brownshirts). It seems that from this time Goering began to regard Himmler as a serious rival and set out to undermine his small SS powerbase by establishing his own security organisation which he named the 'Gestapo' (Secret State Police). For the first year of its existence (1933), the Gestapo reported directly to Goering whilst Himmler and his deputy, Heydrich, set about the expansion of the SS and SD (the SS intelligence service). Ultimately, it was Himmler who proved more adept at powerplays like this because he ended up absorbing the Gestapo as part of his brief- Goering's stock never recovered after the failure of the Battle of Britain and declined further with the bombing of Germany. Himmler became ever more important, especially after the invasion of Russia and the advent of the 'final solution'.
Himmler however, was never part of Hitler's inner circle- he was never invited to tea parties at Berchtesgarten, for instance, and Hitler referred to him simply as 'a policeman' (in fact, he was far more important to Hitler than that because he had been entrusted with the liquidation of the Jews- but because of the deeply criminal nature of those activities Hitler preferred not to be seen socialising with him).
Goering retained influence over Luftwaffe policy until the end- though he was effectively replaced by his subordinate Milch who was far better at administering a large organisation. In fact, I doubt whether Himmler would ever have been interested in taking over the Luftwaffe- it's hard to see where racial awareness and 'idealism' could play a part in flying an aircraft.

SS penetration of the Wehrmacht was an entirely different story and goes to the heart of Nazi party history. Right from the early days when the party consisted of a small cadre of leaders backed up by thousands of brown- shirted bully boys (SA 'Stormtroopers'), it was intended, not least by Hitler, that the SA should ultimately be merged with the regular army and assume a leadership role. Naturally, the Generals, as career soldiers, objected to this, and Hitler was forced to compromise with them- he would force the SA leaders to back down in return for loyalty from the Generals. Hence the assassination of the SA leadership in 1934, orchestrated by Himmler and Goering. The Generals thought they had won the battle to preserve their autonomy- but they reckoned without Himmler.
With the SA out of the way Himmler took his chance to vastly expand the ranks of his black- uniformed SS organisation (still quite small at that time). It was largely his vision (not Hitler's) that the SS should pervade every facet of life in Germany starting with the police and the army (because if you are never going to submit yourself to democratic election you need to have good intelligence on your political enemies and be able to terrorise them). He and Goebbels developed the idea of the 'political soldier' who would be racially pure and highly committed to the Nazi cause (swearing loyalty to the party not the country). To ensure good performance in the field so- called 'fighting' SS regiments were well trained (militarily and in 'racial awareness') and well equipped. It was hoped that they would serve as an inspiration to ordinary Wehrmacht units because of their idealism and zeal. In fact, it seems to have led to resentment that they received special favour- there are recorded instances of regular units stealing equipment from Waffen SS units on the Eastern Front. Certainly, the Wehrmacht Generals resented the influence the SS now had in military matters- but by 1941 the die had been cast. Apart from their soldiering activities the Waffen SS was required by its leadership (ultimately, Himmler) to actively assist another department of the SS (the Gestapo) in rounding up jews from Russian villages- they would often be called upon to surround a village whilst the Gestapo went to work. Even the regular Wehrmacht was called upon to lend support by making vehicles available to SS Einsatzgruppen (death squads) operating behind the front line- later denied at Nuremburg but a matter of record.
So you can see that once the SS was involved it was a slippery slope into barbarity. Luckily for the Luftwaffe 'Fat Hermann' got in the way- though merely to protect his own powerbase within the party not to preserve chivalrous ideals.

Waldo.Pepper
03-11-2004, 09:44 AM
When Otto Skorzeny sprung Mussolini from the Gran Sasso all his men were SS. They were Falshirmjager (Paratroops). That makes them Luftwaffe and SS.
They used gliders for the raid. The pilots were his men too. That is the only SS air unit that I can think of.

Wannabe-Pilot
03-11-2004, 10:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chefzilla:
The only thing I can add to the above was the absolute jealousy HEER Higher Command had for the SS because they got the best and the brightest.

The only real exceptions would be PanzerLehr and of course GrossDeutschland.

GD being the only HEER that had organic Tiger and Panther battalions.

http://travisasha.com/travis_sig.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Another thing the Lehr was unusual for was the fact that it was the only panzer/panzergrenadier division ever in both the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS that had all of its infantry battallions (4 total) equiped with halftracks. I theory, only the first bat. in every regiment should have received halftracks (2 regiments per division, 2 or 3 bats per regiment depending on the type of division, panzer or panzergrenadier), but often only one bat. per division received halftracks and in reality panzergrenadier divisions never received halftracks (unless they belonged to the Waffen SS). Also, additional tank destroyer and assault guns detachments were given to the Lehr. In Rommel's opinion (an absolute authority as far as mobile warfare is concerned), it made more sense to have less superbly equiped mobile divisions than more modestly equiped, the reason being the supporting services and logistics which could be rationalized and streamlined. Unfortunately the high command and Hitler in particular saw things diferently and insisted on doubling the panzer divisions number after the fall of France from 10 to 20 (which was achieved by reducing the tanks in each divison from 324 to 180 and adding some captured French tanks so as to get rid of PzkpfW.Is). Later in 1941 they formed the 21st, then 22nd, 23rd etc. Also they added the Waffen SS panzer and panzergrenadier divisions to the mix which complicated things even further, and from mid 1944 on tank brigades. All the while the number of tanks per division was reduced, to 160 in 1943, then 120-140 in 1944 until finally around 100 in late 1944.

Cold_Gambler
03-11-2004, 12:29 PM
Cool thread. It could've gone "bad" at many junctures... but didn't! Instead its a very interesting read. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-happy.gif
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no, I don't have anything of value to add http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Lave_Riedquat
03-11-2004, 06:37 PM
Waldo,

The men of Skorzeny's battalion were SS men, however, they were drawn from other units of the SS, some were veterans of the original Brandenburg special forces.
Whilst they were paratroopers, they were absolutely nothing to do with the Luftwaffe.

Jester_159th
03-11-2004, 07:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lave_Riedquat:
Waldo,

The men of Skorzeny's battalion were SS men, however, they were drawn from other units of the SS, some were veterans of the original Brandenburg special forces.
Whilst they were paratroopers, they were absolutely nothing to do with the Luftwaffe.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually both your self and Waldo are slightly wide of the mark. For this particular mission Skorzeny's SS commando unit was teamed up with a regular Fallschirmjager unit.

Both SS and Luftwaffe personnel were involved in the raid, although all wore standard Luftwaffe uniform.

http://www.159fighter-regiment.co.uk/IMAGES/SU33Jester.jpg

Oso2323
03-11-2004, 09:06 PM
Hmmm... You guys should check out Johannes Steinhoff's "The last chance : the pilots' plot against G├┬Âring, 1944-1945"

It's been a while since I read the book, but here's what I remember:

1. Background: Hitler, Goering & co didn't really understand the technical aspects of aerial warfare: Luftwaffe failures and losses were due to cowardness. Hitler and co really did want their troops to fight "to the last round" and then commit some form of self-sacrifice (although Hitler did oppose kamikaze squads - but I digress). A very romantic notion, but not exactly good military strategy.

2. By 1944-45 The bomber pilots were the closest thing to the SS within the Luftwaffe: they were strong Nazi supporters. Also, by the end of the war, when the fate of Germany became obvious, Nazi supporters became even more fanatical in their devotions to duty, racial purity & general zeal. Interestingly, quite a few of the Nazis were quite puritan. Steinhoff paints a picture of the fighter pilots as being distinctly unimpressed - perhaps even being the most non-Nazi of the armed forces. But then again, they knew how to treat a bottle of champagne.

3. Hitler/Upper management was so disgusted with the "cowardness" of the Luftwaffe fighter units and their inability to stop the bombing of Germany, that there was a not very serious attempt to have the Me-262 jets transferred to the SS (to form elite units). Of course it never would have worked because all of the expertise resided in the Luftwaffe (I think that's what stopped the idea - also Hitler's waffling). Also, non-Nazis such as Steinhoff would not have worked well under SS control.

Another facinating book that Steinhoff co-authored is "The Third Reich: an Oral History." It's basically tales of ordinary experiences within Nazi Germany. Highly Reccommended.

Waldo.Pepper
03-11-2004, 10:06 PM
Hmmm.. I believe Ground_Magnet is entirely right in this ... I checked a few books in my library... and the unit that sprung Mussolini was a composite unit of Fallshirmjager and SS troops. Too bad I thought I was on to something there.

What about the fellas that were to fly the piloted version of the V-1's. I remember reading in "some book" that they were intended to be SS drawn because of their loyalty. I wish I could remember where I read that. I remember the book was not very creditable though so this may be bull.

cuski
03-12-2004, 12:24 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Wannabe-Pilot:
You are very wrong my friend the Waffen SS got everything first and in the highest numbers. One of the reasons why they were so successful was because these divisions were one of the few that were time and time again brought up to full strenght (and beyond) after suffering losses.

[...]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually, I'm not... this is one of the most common type of myths that's ever been circulated around... If what you say were true, then how do you explain the fact that the first account of a Tiger in action was on August 29th 1942 at Mga, southeast of Leningrad with 1st company of sPzAbt 502 (which was in its entirety a Heer unit)?

Another fact, this one concerning the Koenigstigers, is that the majority went to Heer sPzAbt. When a division was available for refitting in the overall situation it was refitted and equipped with the newest available equipment - no matter if SS or Heer.

Joachim Peiper, CO. SS Pz.Rgt.1 LSSAH wrote after the war in an unpublished paper - Sept.1971:
"The SS Divisions were NOT better equipped than the comparable HEER Divisions. They received equipment and supplies from the 'Heeresfeldzug/-Verplegungs├┬Ąmtern' and not from f.e. the SS leadership."

How about this:

1. Panther deliveries:

4,581 Panthers were delivered to the Heer, which, divided on the number of Panzer divisions in existence from the summer of 43 on (29), yields an average of 158. 1,077 Panthers were delivered to the 7 SS Panzer Divisions, for an average of 154. In other words, the deliveries are almost entirely proportionate.

2. Tiger II deliveries

A total of 477 Tiger IIs were delivered to units, of whom 121 went to SS schwere Abteilungen, and the remaining 356 to Heer schwere Abteilungen. There were 3 SS and 10 Heer schwere abteilungen. Thus the averages are 40.3 Tiger IIs for the SS, 35.6 for the Heer. Particularly when you consider that some of the Heer abteilungen was dissolved before the war's end (thus dragging the Heer average down) while none of the SS abteilungen were, it is clear that there is no significant difference between the scale of allocation to SS units and Heer units for this tank type.


It's late and I'm too lazy to type anymore... but there are fact and documents that indicate the opposite of this myth...

Here's a good place to start:
10 page equipment discussion thread (http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=43323)

TexasGunslinger
03-12-2004, 04:03 AM
Someone said earlier that the SS got the "best and brightest". I could'nt disagree more.

The SS got the most fanatical, loyal, Aryan looking, and fit. At the tactical level, they were superb. In the operational and strategic, they were, not suprisingly inept. Fanaticism and intelligence are diametrically opposed qualities. The fanatic is, by his nature, unable to consider all alternatives and options This limits his vision and provides significant vulnerability and weakness.

By all accounts and accomplishments, from the beginning until the end of the war, the SS never produced even one General who would ever be considered a master of the operational or strategic art of war.

Sepp Dietrich was by most accounts, the most competant SS general of the war. Compare his progress during the Ardennes Offensive with that of a real expert at the operational level, Hasso von Mantueffel. The Ardennes offensive was from the start a failure, since it had a very small probablity of a successfull outcome. Hitler ensured it's failure by giving command of main thrust and reserves to Dietrich.

IMHO, some of you are discounting those areas of command above the tactical level. These were the areas that the OKH was years ahead of it's time in. The Allies did'nt even have the Operational level defined for much of the war. Who got how many Panthers and Tigers is irrelevant. How those Panthers and Tigers were employed, and to what purpose is the real issue.

Erich von Manstein is considered by many, including U.S. and British Generals, to be one of, if not the greatest Operational and Strategic genius of the war. His only mistake was when he did'nt resign over his opinion that the battle of Kursk should not be fought. It was his plan, early in the war, as a relatively junior OKH staff officer, which resulted in the greatest German achievment of the war, the fall of France.

When you look up the most successfull Panzer Generals above the tactical level, who do you find? No SS. General Hermann Balck as the 48th Panzer Corps Commander (THE Fire Brigade) on the Eastern Front is considered by many to have been the best. The 48th in it's heyday included the 7th/3rd/1stSS/2ndSS Panzer Divisions. The 7th produced von Mantueffel, the 3rd Fritz Bayerlein and where did the 1st and 2nd SS Panzer Division commanders end up? Oh, let me see that must have been a Heer plot.

The entire SS organization, was a stain upon the Wermacht and the German people. To this day, on this board, you still see post after post from Westerners, who can't see that the majority of Wermacht (and Luftwaffe) were normal soldiers, who were serving their country, with honor. They only see Nazi's, despite the fact that all German serviceman were required to sign an oath of allegience to Hitler. For most, this was done begrudgingly, and out of fear. The SS were different, in that they came willingly to a racist organization, which perpetrated the supremecy of the "Aryan" race.

Why are we talking about the OKH and OKW on a board devoted in part to the OKL? Because the Luftwaffe itself suffered due to the actions of the SS. After the Malmedy massacre (100% Waffen SS operation), the sport shooting of Luftwaffe pilots dangling in parachutes, by American pilots dramatically increased. While many of the arguments supporting these atrocities tout the tactical benefit of removing the enemy pilot from the war, I believe it was an act of passion, a vengeful response to the shooting of American prisoners. It certainly was NOT a US Army Air Force policy.

In the beginning of the war, the SS played a very small part. As the 'Bohemian Corporal' took more and more control of operational matters, the SS grew in size and prominance. They were Hitler's "go to guys". They could all be counted on to stand to the last man, particularly when the Operational situation dicated a withdrawl, or delaying action. Most SS were just too blind to be open to anything beyond, "stand and die" as a form of warfare. I must say however, that Sepp Dietrich was an exception to this rule.

Lastly, while I do admire individual SS soldiers like Michael Whitmann, the German armed forces would have been much better served by distributing the resources that the SS consumed in manpower and material to the OKW. Germany would certainly have been better off without Himmler or the SS.

Heinz Guderian who started the Panzer arm, and Erwin Rommel who took it to it's greatest heights were not SS. They were honorable, brilliant, soldiers way ahead of their time...Just like Molders, Galland and so many in the Jagdwaffe.

[This message was edited by TexasGunslinger on Fri March 12 2004 at 03:12 AM.]

[This message was edited by TexasGunslinger on Fri March 12 2004 at 03:15 AM.]

csThor
03-12-2004, 04:57 AM
You're stating a few misconceptions about the Waffen-SS here Gunslinger. At first the recruitment process went as you described, but as soon as Himmler started to increase the size of the Waffen-SS the recquirements for joining were seriously loosened. From 1942 on - after the heavy losses of the EF - the Waffen-SS would transform into some kind of "foreign legion with a core of german units". They even received completely normal conscripts who were no volunteers (much to the dismay of the Wehrmacht). So by 1944 most members of the Waffen-SS were not of german origin - and definitely not fanatical "Arians".

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Menthol_moose
03-12-2004, 05:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TexasGunslinger:
Someone said earlier that the SS got the "best and brightest". I could'nt disagree more.

The SS got the most fanatical, loyal, Aryan looking, and fit. At the tactical level, they were superb. In the operational and strategic, they were, not suprisingly inept. Fanaticism and intelligence are diametrically opposed qualities. The fanatic is, by his nature, unable to consider all alternatives and options This limits his vision and provides significant vulnerability and weakness.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

From what ive read this is the case. They were so indoctrinated with racial properganda that so called "sub-human" life was murdered, raped, and destroyed with no moral regard. So fanatical of their own abilities, they became careless, blood thirsty and extremely agressive in combat which cost countless lives.

Russians so intensly hated SS men they were shot on the spot. SS tank crews ripped off their patches before fleeing knowing their fate would be instant and cruel death.

fulanito_chile
03-12-2004, 05:56 AM
i heard that all germen units were so scared of the soviets in the last days of the war that some moved towards the U.S/British lines to surrender to them.. rather than the soviets.. i also heard that some tank units wich used a skull and cross bones insigia (which were not S.S) were shot all the same by the soviets...

"The Chilean Airforce" (FACH) The 4th oldest in the World...

FWdreamer
03-12-2004, 08:43 AM
S!
Only in the first few years of the war was the SS selective about who they took in the ranks. By 1943 the SS dropped the Aryan requirements and were taking anyone who was physically fit. The training was however superb as was the morale up to the end. The nazi dogma was still preached, but few if any men paid attention to it. Most joined the SS because those units were still getting the best equipment even late in the war and felt this was still the best chance to live. To say that all Waffen SS were die hard Nazi's is often a misconception. Only the ones that were in death camps or death squads that came in after the fighting troops had secure towns and areas were the main ones who did the exterminations. There were also a few groups of waffen SS that also shot prisoners and such (battle of the bulge incident.)

Fwdreamer

cuski
03-12-2004, 11:20 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TexasGunslinger:
Someone said earlier that the SS got the "best and brightest". I could'nt disagree more.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

There is no question that they got very well fit men in the beginning (not necessarily bright though), and they also had one of the toughest training out of all units. Agreed, tactically, they were also sound.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Who got how many Panthers and Tigers is irrelevant. How those Panthers and Tigers were employed, and to what purpose is the real issue.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It is not irrelevant... the argument (in this thread and many others) is that they always had access to better and newer equipment than the Heer, and that is the reason why they performed better - which is not true, and that is my point.

cuski
03-12-2004, 11:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by fulanito_chile:
i heard that all germen units were so scared of the soviets in the last days of the war that some moved towards the U.S/British lines to surrender to them.. rather than the soviets.. i also heard that some tank units wich used a skull and cross bones insigia (which were not S.S) were shot all the same by the soviets...

"The Chilean Airforce" (FACH) The 4th oldest in the World...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

All german tank units had the skull insignia. However, their's was different from the SS.

fulanito_chile
03-12-2004, 11:42 AM
yeah but i think some one forgot to tell the soviets that point...

"The Chilean Airforce" (FACH) The 4th oldest in the World...

cuski
03-12-2004, 12:10 PM
LOL! True... but even if they did, I don't think they would've cared much....

A similar issue was with the blood group tattoo - custom initially started in the SS units where members would have their blood group tattooed on their left underarm, which was later adopted by members of the Heer and even Luftwaffe.