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Nov 22, 2004
Before the beginning of 1944 the Luftwaffe had reduced its fighter strenght in the east to help bolster the Defence of the Reich.

I have not had the time to put my papers together here; i will do this by memory, hoping mistakes and unaccuracies are minimum.

For Reichsverteidigung the Luftwaffe had the following units deployed right after the Kursk salient battle of the summer 1943:

I and II/JG 1,
JG 3 (arriving from the USSR),
JG 11,
II/JG 300,
II/JG 27,
JG 51 (arriving from the USSR),
III/JG 54,
ZG 26,
ZG 76, and
a few months later II/ JG 53 ,JG 77 and JG 4 would join the defence of the reich.

JG 2 and JG 26 were still in France, but if i recall correctly one gruppen of the latter was involved in Defence of the Reich duties.

JG 5 was in Norway.

JG 50 was officially disbanded by october 1943.

Add the nachtjagdgruppen to the list.

This could be the period (late 1943-1944) when the Defence of the Reich concept could be conceived at its purest and original form. When western and eastern fronts were clearly separated and detected.

January 1945 to the end, the operating areas of VVS and the western air forces are now overlapping.

I do believe telling that from February (1945) to war´s end Jagdgeschwadern "were sent east" to deal with the soviet advance -now inside Germany itself- is somewhat exaggerated if you will, since the enemy targets -soviets in this case- were easily within the range of virtually any of the Reichsverteidigung Geschwadern "trapped" inside Germany.

With this i mean that by 1945, German fighter units could meet with both USAAF and VVS formations during the same day, so it is not possible to determine in due accuracy which units were deployed east and which ones were deployed west.
"...German fighter units could meet with both USAAF and VVS formations during the same day..."

Don't forget the RAF.
interesting but not all together correct.

II./JG 300 was a night fighter Wilde Sau unit till June of 1944.

Only part of JG 51 was sent back to Germany for defence duties.

JG 1 and 11 were in the northern part of Germany and Holland and took the brunt of Allied bombers during 1943 including JG 26 and JG 2. In fact JG 11 was an offshoot of JG 1 and formaulating rocket attacks in II./JG 11 with the Bf 109G, heinz Knoke being the instigator of the single engine rocket attack.

ZG 26 and ZG 76 did not come into play with their heavy Bf 110G=2's cannon and Rocket launcehrs till the late summer of 43 into September of that year.

JG 4 was based in Rumania and took on the B-24's in the famous Ploesti scandals.

and yes you know from my previous postings what units were sent east in 45 and what units stayed behind in Germany....

gotta get back to work...

more on this later as this is my specialty :)

Don't worry Lanc, there's nothing on my specialities either.
Anyway back on topic:
I think the main problem that the Luftwaffe had was simply a lack of numbers- they were making serious dents in the B-17s and B-24s that came over once they were unescorted but more might have stopped operations alltogether
caswe in point for the Reichsvert. confusion as many units were developed for a very short period of time. NJG's flew day time missions and day fighter schule personell were also used in combat during fall of 43.

Oct. 14, 1943 the US 8th AF gets butt kicked over Schweinfurt.

German losses are 20 KIA, 15 wounded, 40 German a/c shot down and 23 damaged with 10 - 60%

I.-III./JG 1
I.-III./JG 2
STab and I./JG 3
II.-III./JG 11
JG 25
I.-II./JG 26
I.-II./JG 27
JG 50
II./JG 51
III./JG 54
JG 104
JG 106
Ind. Schwarm
II.-III./ZG 26
I.-II./ZG 76
I.-II./ZG 101

I.-II./NJG 1
I./NJG 4
I.-II./NJG 6
II.-IV./NJG 101

14./KG 2
According to official numbers of 9th of april 1945, the Luftwaffe did still had 3331 operational planes (most at Luftflotte 6), from which 1310 have been day- and 480 nightfghters. This is quite a good number (more than anytime at BoB). However, I think the biggest problem wasn´t the number, it was moreso the lack of fuel. (reducing in the grounding of most bomber in late 1944)
However, ther was a possibility in late 1944 to stop the allied bombing raids over Germany with a single strike. Just a what if but a very reasonable one:
According to A. Galland, general of the Luftwaffe fighter arm, there have been preperations of a heavy blow to the allied daylight bombing raids in november 1944.
He trained aircrews for several thousend fighters in 1944 and storaged enough fuel for a concentrated attack late in this year.
After his plans 2000 fighter should attack a large bomber fleet in several attacks (waves). He estimated that around 500 planes could refuel and attack again. around 120 nightfighter should cut of fleeing planes, trying to reach neutral sweden and swiss airspace.
These preperations have gone quite well, the OKL did not tried to interfere his plans and at 12th of november 1944 18 Jagdgruppen with 3700 planes have been ready for this operations. Around 3000 fighter, the largest Luftwaffe airforce ever, awaiting order. It was hoped that during one day around 400-500 bomber would have been shot down for the price of 400 german planes destroyed and some 200 airman KIA. However, bad weather prevented the allies to form a 1000 bomber raid and this probably safed the day for them.
In early december Gallands assembly have been taken away for other purposes (such as operation Bodenplatte) and all plans have been canceled anyway.

As I did imply in the opening posting of the thread the information could certainly require some remarkings.

I did not mean each unit was there right after the Kursk battle in the east in July 1943.

As to the remarks you made here i am aware of most of them though.

Now, that II/JG 300 was a nightfighter "Wilde Sau" unit still makes it a unit deployed in the west to deal with the heavy bomber menace.

I am aware JG 4 was based in Romania, but in the same 1944 JG 4 had a noted sturmgruppe -one of your specialties- in the west for Rechverteidigung duties.

Also your quotes on ZG 26 and ZG 76 do not take away the fact both units were committed to Defence of the Reich as well (from late 1943 and through 1944). ZG 26 had significant numbers of Me 410s in the order of battle during 1944.

As i did mention, with some remarks the list i provided has validity: the bulk of the Luftwaffe fighter strenght went west during mid/late 1943 and remained there throughout 1944.

Yes, historians and researchers might find the orders of Jagdgeschwadern gruppen and staffeln from february-may 1945 sending their pilots to fight the soviets, but as i said, by then how could you possibly tell which air force you were going to meet in combat? The enemies were now virtually in German soil.

It is likely to be impossible for researchers to come nowhere near the actual numbers of missions flown "in the east" from february to may 1945.

The list of JG´s you provided belongs in october 1943?

Some more points of defence of the Reich units:

Stab, I, II and III/JG 1. (1944)

JG 3 had the stab and I, II and (sturm) IV gruppen by 1944.

Where did you leave the stab of JG 2?

JG 11: stab, I, II and III gruppen (1944)

JG 27 added to its strenght as defence of the Reich unit the stab and gruppen I and III.

II/JG 53 (1944) -i forgot to add these as a unit that would join defence of the Reich in 1944.-

In addition to the units i did mention in my previous posting, also JG 301 and JG 302 were in night fighter wilde sau missions by mid 1944 (one gruppe per JG).

JG 104, 106 and 108 had only one staffel, is this correct?
Udet your posting was a little bit open so I tried to fill in the blanks. Funny as the vets have said there was a battle for France as well as the Reich defence although France, austira/Hungary were still all part of the Reichsvert.

What I tired to do for the Oct. 14. 43 battle is just list what units took part and if you will note some independent staffeln as well as schule gruppen which had 2-3 stafflen apiece.

Yes I./JG 300 and II./JG 300 fought in the night time role and by June they were added to the day fighter force although 10./JG 300 was independent and took on Mossies at night till December of 44 when a new day time 10th staffel appeared.

II./ZG 26 took over the effective Me 410A in October of 43 while the other two gruppen had the Bf 110G-2 till march of 44, the smae goes for all of ZG 76. II./ZG 1 also played a role along with II./Jg 27 in the summer of 44 in austira taking on the 15th AF.
JG 4 yes developed a SturmFw II. gruppe from remnants of Sturmstaffel 1 tha had not gone over to IV.Sturm/JG 3 in May of 44. II./JG 4 trained through the month of August of 44 till their first mission on 11 Septmember 1944 where they got almost slaughtered but in effect took it to the 8th AF 100th bg and the 92nd with grievous losses.

JG 301 and lesser extent JG 302 fought at night in their Fw 190A-5's/A-6's and later Bf 109G-6's. JG 302 flying over Finland. JG 302 was later absorbed by JG 301 and revamped in Septemmber of 44 getting rid of their Bf 109G's for the newer and heavier Fw 190A-8 and later Fw 190A-9. My cousin was KIA in II./JG 301 in November of 44. And of course we as Doraites know about II./JG 301 receiving the Dora-9 in December of 44 till war's end.

JG 2 as a whole as well as JG 1 and JG 3 fought in the Reich but also piecemealed out to the Osty front when needed All of JG 27 was brought back into the Reich in the fall of 44 where it fought itself out
just to continue this is another example on 26 December 1944

I.-III./JG 1
Stab.-III./JG 2
Stab.-IV./JG 4
I.-II./JG 11
I.-III./JG 26
I.-IV./JG 27
II. and IV./JG 53
IV./JG 54 flying Fw 190A-8's
II./JG 77
II. and III./SG 4

even the SG ground attack were also called in to attack bombers, and fighters // Luftwaffe lost 34 KIA and 2 wounded along with 65 a/c

the Luftwaffe this day claimed 31 US fighters.

What do you know of JG 104, 106 and 108?

Were all these a one staffel Geschwader?
Eagle can you be more specific ? the Battle of Berlin started in mid February till wars end in the eyes of Luftwaffe units on the Ost front brought back into the reich in the spring of 45.

Udet, no they are a 3 staffel gruppe, each one. JG in the name is part of the propaganda that the units played to confuse the Allies. the deception actually worked. School kids out trying their best to stay alive and attack 4 engine heavies after their instructors made the first pass. the schools of course added as cadre for the ever decreasing numbers of pilots in 45.....U already knew this of course.....
Adler I am going to have to hunt down my Dora ops for 45.

At present I can tell u for fact that II./JG 301 foughtnboth US and Soviet attackers, with JG 301 performing shall we call it suicide bombing missions and still taking on mid range Soviet fighters. do not have a complete listing of JG 301 kills just yet but it is coming..........

2 staffeln of the old STurmFw gruppe IV./JG 3 converted over to some degree with the Dora and Oskr Rommshot down at least 6-8 Soviet a/c using his before his engine blew the grills off and frooze solid.

JG 6 and JG 2 which had quite a few Doras and part of JG 26 espcially the IVth gruppe fought agasint the RAF/US forces.

JG 51 the IVth gruppe also had some Doras and they served in fighting off Soviet interceptors, but not sure just what pilots or the kills.

JG 300 the stab of II.Sturm/JG 300 was suppose to have 5-6 and they did contend with the Soviets before being withdrawn totally for the last battles
in probability it is the units that I listed. so much of the Jagdgeschwaders histories during the Ost front the last two months is thrown together as an after-thought. The JG 301-302 book by pilot Will reschke is really his involvement with both units although he professes it is the histories of both JG' is not. the Eastern front is basically lost in the shdowing of his time in Stab/JG 301 flying the wild Ta 152, which is quite important but we do not have the full story of the other three gruppen in the closing weeks. The Doras must have made some sort of impae on the soviet fighters as the Doras could easily handle anything the soviets flew at them. the biggest culprit to the German losses though would of been ground Flak with the quick multiple AA's the Soviets had on about every flat bed truck they could muster....

the bridges over the Oder were of prime consideration as ground troops were fleeing west to the wewstern Allies so any a/c bomber, ground attack day fighter and even twin engine nf was used to bomb and strafe Soviet ground units to keep them at bay

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