Experten Ost Transferred West

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Bronc, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Bronc

    Bronc Banned

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    I'm looking for that famous quote from a Western Front Luftwaffe fighter commander talking about
    the fate of high-scoring Eastern Front Experten who were transferred to the West. It went
    something like, "All the Eastern Front Experten sent to me ended up dead and rather quickly."

    I can't find it. Can anyone help?

    Also, I remember reading something about how (a some point in time) the Luftwaffe transferred
    a group of Eastern Front Experten to the West trying to turn the tide. Can anyone point me
    in the right direction on this?

    Bronc
     
  2. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    In the second part of your question you're probably referring to Erg.JGr.Ost (special training fighter wing East) which was the famous "Aces pilot school" led by Graf formed in France early 1943 to develop advanced air combat tactics, it's sort of a Top Gun school kind of place. Its top instructors and Graf himself were high scoring aces taken from the Eastern front, the reasoning being to prevent experten being lost to attrition in the East instead of passing their skills on to new pilots (Graf had scored 200 victories by 1943, at the time the highest scoring ace in history and I think the Luftwaffe was still hurting over losing Mölders in an air accident near the Crimea).

    Well the problem was in 1943 the US was stepping up its daylight bombing campaign and by mid-43 had declared "Operation Point Blank" which essentially was a war of attrition, US bomber aircrews and defensive armament versus LW interceptors and the interceptors were losing.
    So Graf's aces school was reassigned interception duties, as were some zerstörer gruppen based in Germany (and these began the new doctrine of fitting specialised equipment such as ridiculously heavy armament to interceptors, irrespective of performance degradation). During the latter half of 1943 more and more fighter and destroyer wings were assigned northern and north-west defence against US heavies and a series of new Reich Defence air groups were formed (JG300, 301, etc.). JG 3 was famously transferred from the Stalingrad battle to north-western Reich defence and equipped with the latest Me109 models (G-6), frequently working in conjuction with JG 2 around Belgium/Holland.

    If we look at the previous year for comparison, two air groups of three-four wings each were the sole defence of northern and north western Europe, JG 2 and JG 26 or roughly 200 aircraft on ready strength (say 180 Fw190A and 25 Me109G). This grew to roughly 650 and the benefit of heavily armed zerstörer against bombers without fighter escorts was tremendous.

    So I think in context the "transferral of Eastern Front experten to the West" probably refers to Graf's aces school in France being reassigned Reich defence duties mid-43, the instructors of which had only transferred from the Eastern Front six months earlier and were all experten. This is the event of that nature which really stands out (later they became JG50 and identified by all-white tailplanes often with large numbers of kills painted in gold on them).
     
  3. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Good summary Vanir for 1943 transition movements from east to west.

    By the very nature of the subsequent augmentation of LuftFlotte Reich to Germany a host of Experten came with the transfer of JG3, elements of JG5, JG27, JG53, JG300, JG301 as well as assignment of NJG Zerstorer Gruppen to fight the 8th and 15th AF from Germany. A lot of aces came with the movement and the Ost front fighter arm was greatly reduced as a result
     
  4. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    It is interesting to note, as per the original post, that a lot of them ended up dead very quickly.
     
  5. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Yes - the competion in 1944 was rather higher versus RAF and USAAF in the west and the fights they had to make was in the strike zone of the Mustang, Spit, Jug and Lightning defending Allied bombers - then the Tempest on the deck in the TAC role.

    All in all not a good scenario when the average Allied wingman was quickly on par with LW experienced pilots, if not the experten, and the experten fell in increasing numbers.
     
  6. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    in 43 you had 3 defense JG's, 2, 11 and 26. JG 300 and 301 did not even exist in 43 except to intercept BC heavies, then in mid 44 they were on both day/night ops and of course got whipped in return.

    Come July 1943 a written order was initiated to bring back as much of the gruppen from the Ost and Süd in aid of the Reich proper; this was both s/e and t/e's
     
  7. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    E- It was the latter I was referring to, including the formation of JG300 and 301.

    In May 43 only JG2 and 26 were in Luftflotte 3 for Kanalfront and in Lwbh Mitte Had one to two Gruppe's of Jg1, 11, 27 plus III/JG54... that and the several NJG t/e Gruppes were all opposing the growth of the 8th AF before the really big battles at Schweinfurt etc.
     
  8. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    Noteworthy the infamous Sturmstaffel 1 with its specially armoured Fw-190A were formed in October 43 and then operated around Dortmund (becoming absorbed into JG3 mid44). I actually heard a B-17 crewmember talk about running into some of their a/c and trying to shoot it down with his .50, he said he could see the sparks of the hits but it just wasn't going down and that frightened the living daylights out of him. I think it would me too.
     
  9. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Sturmstaffel 1 started flying ops in December of 43 and on the 10th of May fully in name only into the new IV.STURM./JG 3. the Sturm machines just infants of what they were to become were not impervious to .50's, nothing was actually when a Fw comes into the range of a US heavy at 50yds range.

    the defense of the north in early 1943 was indeed the additon of JG 1 which I forgot, JG 54 did not come into play until later with hit's underwing 2cm Bf 109G-6's. Neither did JG 27. In justification of my note about July 43 and the return of the JG's the homeland was very weakly defended by the few day units, the NJG's did not start ops till the fall of 43 on daylight. Remember several NJG pilots telling me it was just plain suicidal and for what ?
     
  10. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #10 drgondog, Oct 10, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
    E ~ I don't have a reall sense of the transfer rate and timing from OSt and Sud units to LF Reich other than post July 43 was when it significantly started the movement west to the homeland.

    The Held, Trautloft/Bob "JG 54" book had III./JG 54 started in Feb 43 (move to France/Belgium) - in temporary exchange for I Gruppe/JG 26 - who only flew several months Ost before returning to France/Belgium.. is that correct?
     
  11. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Bill I am going to have to check I did think 100 % that the III./JG 54 did not come into the picture at all till winter of 43/44. will check though nad will have to dig out the official terminology of July 43 but simply put the order was for everyone to come back to the Reich not engaged in Ost defense/offense, one of the reasons the LW fighter units being so depleted never made a difference on the Eastern sphere.

    interesting you mention JGfr Süd, my cousin Siegfried flew with 2nd staffel in July of 44 on Fw 190A-8's, how many ops is anyones guess till he moved into JG 301 in the fall of 44.
     
  12. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #12 drgondog, Oct 10, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
    Erich - sorry about your cousin.

    I know that when Clay Kinnard came back from Kbely airfiels when the lured that 109 unit up - he was saddened that they lost their lives when the war was so close to being over - in April 1945. That was the respect the warriors had for each other.

    Every time I go to a 355th reunion I am reminded that these guys I admired so much were 20-24 years old (WWII, Vietnam and Current) and that my father was an 'old man' at 25-26. I am cursed and honored to be President of the 355th FGA again - for both the WWII vets as well as the current warriors in Afghanistan.

    I am reminded of the Roman Legions that fought for honor- not country. Our warriors fight for the Constitution - not the Flag.

    We lose our best and brightest 'for interesting reasons'. Sometimes I hate our politicians who treat these warriors as chips in a 7 card Hold 'em.

    My father felt a lot more kinship to the warriors of the LW than he felt for the Pentagon Purfumed Princes in the 1950s. Gunther Rall and Galland were two of his favorite people - forget the scores. Robin Olds was a complete maverick to the end. These are the guys I salute and love.
     
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