View Single Post
Old 20th April 2019, 21:27
INM@RLM INM@RLM is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 70
INM@RLM is on a distinguished road
Re: Der Einsatz deutscher Sturzkampfgruppen gegen Polen,Frankreich und England 1939 und 1940

This title is now in my hands. A most impressive piece of work clearly based largely on contemporary documentary sources. If you want to see exactly how many aircraft each Staffel of I./St.G. 76 put up on many of the Gruppe missions during the Battle of France and who were their crews then it's in here.

The 'normal' proportions of photos and maps are reversed. Lots of detailed schematic maps showing precisely which ground formations were being attacked by this Gruppe with where and when.

In passing, it demonstrates conclusively that the St.G. 76/3 aspects in each the statements below from the de Zeng+ Stankey volume "Dive-Bomber and Ground-Attack Units of the Luftwaffe, 1933-1945: A Reference Source, Vol. 1 (2009) are unfortunately, just plain wrong:

  1. page 100 (I./St.G. 3) "Formation (July 1940) Formed on 9 July 1940 at Barly (17 km south-west of Arras in north-east France) with Ju 87 Bs using elements of I./St.G. 76."
  2. page 124 (StG 76) "9 July: Gruppe disbanded at Barly, with the main element going to form III./St.G. 77 and the lesser element going to form I./St.G. 3."
  3. page 139 (III.St.G. 77) "Formation (July 1940) Formed on 9 July 1940 at either Barly/ 17 km south-west of Arras in north-east France or at Caen in Normandy from elements of I./St.G. 76. Elements of II./K.G. 76, which had been ordered to commence conversion to the Ju 87 on 1 February 1940, are also believed to have been incorporated into the new Gruppe. On the other hand, some respected post-war authorities using archival evidence believe the majority of aircrew came from II.(St.)/K.G. 76, while only a few experienced crews and perhaps some ground personnel came from I./St.G. 76."

[One might also ask, why would the Luftwaffe break up a perfectly good operational Stukagruppe just as it was about to embark on a major and exclusively aerial campaign?]

Now confirmed as reality (but as remarked on at the time by others in the thread here at 13068), I./St.G. 76 was redesignated as I./St.G. 3 on 9th July 1940 ("Am 9. Juli 1940 wurde die I./StG 76 in I. Gruppe Sturzkampfgeschwader 3 (I./StG 3) umbennant und im Rahmen eines Aufstellungsappells in Ouilly le Tesson in Normandie offiziell feierlich in Dienst gestellt." p.168 = On the 9th July 1940 I./StG 76 was redesignated as I./StG 3, a change marked solemnly by a Formation parade at Ouilly le Tesson in Normandy.")

In fact, I./St.G. 76 / I./St.G. 3 was based at Ouilly le Tesson continuously from 30-June to 23-Sep-40. Barly only became the Gruppe's base after that date following the transfer of FK VIII northwards from Normandy and Luftflotte 3 to the Pas de Calais and Luftflotte 2 in September 1940. (The deployment of all Stuka units through the BoB is given in detail across pages 170/1.)

This is the first in a three volume history of St.G. 3 and takes the story in detail up to 3rd Jan 41. However, to whet the appetite, a final chapter across pages 205-220 gives a potted history of the Gruppe through the rest of the war. This confirms that the reason why I./St.G. 1, II./St.G. 2 and I./St.G. 3 each ended up in North Africa is that these were the only Stukagruppen to ever be wholly equipped with Ju 87 R versions. I/St.G. 3 was the last of these, not becoming a fully Ju 87 R-2 Gruppe until 23-April-41 (p.206), at the very tail end of the Greek campaign.

For anyone that has been left with the urge to know more about Stuka operations in 1939/40 this is an excellent account and a superb example of what it is actually possible to achieve in this area. Hopefully a quality English translation will followr.

Last edited by INM@RLM; 20th April 2019 at 21:31. Reason: spelling typo
Reply With Quote