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Old 25th May 2010, 10:33
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Question Gruppe & Staffel Colours (Confusion Between Published Sources)

Hi guys

Whilst discussing the codes/staffel colours with Peter and Goran over on LEMB we have found some differences in the published sources available. On Luftarchiv.de there is a chart that sets out the individual fuselage code letters. It is located in the Luftfahrtindustrie: Kennzeichen: Motorflugzeuge: 1939-1945 section of the site. But below I have reproduced the chart as a direct link is not possible:

Attachment 4450

The chart differs somewhat from the list in "Luftwaffe Codes, Markings and Units 1939-45" by B.Rosch [Schiffer, 1995]". The differences are the usage of the code letter E for the I.V Gruppe, Stab and F for the V Gruppe, Stab in the Luftarchiv.de chart. Whereas in the B.Rosch list the code letter E is listed at the bottom for the 19th Staffel thus shifting the code letter F for I.V Gruppe, Stab and G for V.Gruppe, Stab. Making the chart look like this:

Attachment 4451

So do we have any evidence ie photos etc of a V.Gruppe, Stab aircraft sporting the G as the Staffel identification part of the fuselage code? Also in the B.Rosch list it mentions at the bottom the use of:

Q - 16 Staffel - White
J - 17 Staffel - Red
O - 18 Staffel - Yellow
E - 19 Staffel - White
I - 20 Staffel - Red


What Gruppe were these Staffels assigned to as the Gruppe is not listed and besides that where would they fit in the existing Gruppes before the late war Geschwader expansion? To make the matter a little bit more confusing according to 'Luftwaffe Camouflage and Markings 1933-1945 Vol 2, K.A. Merrick, Classic, 2005' (page 238) the letters 'I' and 'O' were never used as Staffel identification letters which would then also change the second part of the B.Rosch list explaining the shuffle of codes and colours to reflect late war expansion of the Geschwader's from four to five Gruppen and increased size of each Gruppen from three to four Staffeln. Below is a chart reflecting this expansion but including the letters 'I' and 'O' as per B.Rosch's list:

Attachment 4452

So guys what evidence do we have available to prove what system and sources are correct with regards to this pretty important subject.

Thanks for your time.

Clint

Last edited by Clint Mitchell; 14th July 2015 at 08:58.
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Old 26th May 2010, 20:53
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Re: Gruppe & Staffel Colours (Confusion Between Published Sources)

Hi, Clint...

The Rosch publication's chart is one I haven't looked at, despite having the book for many years! I cannot say it is inaccurate, but in my own experience, I have never read of a VI.Gruppe in any Geschwader, which is what 16., 17. and 18.Staffel would represent to me in a standard unit, or indeed a VII.Gruppe, which would be inferred by 19. and 20.Staffel. Also, the last chart you provide as an example shows the letters alphabetically disjointed against the additional higher-numbered Staffeln. Doesn't make for a tidy arrangement, I don't think.

Also in that book, the substitution of 'G' as V.Gruppe indicator over 'E' is unusual to me. I am aware that Transportgeschwadern had letters allocated to different Staffeln when compared to other units (the Jagdwaffe excepted, as they tended to use numbers & symbols), but that was due to them, almost always to my knowledge, regularly having four Staffeln per Gruppe as opposed to the more standard three Staffeln.

It's also no secret that there were anomalies in the codes at times, but generally speaking, I would have to say I don't presently agree with the Rosch chart, and even if it is accurate in any way, I think the Luftarchiv example is much more readily accepted as being the 'standard' chart.

Regards,
Paul
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Old 26th May 2010, 23:20
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Re: Gruppe & Staffel Colours (Confusion Between Published Sources)

I'm trying - and failing - to remember who had a V. Gruppe apart from KG 2. If it was uncommon to have five Gruppen, is it possible that each unit made up its own system?
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Old 26th May 2010, 23:37
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Re: Gruppe & Staffel Colours (Confusion Between Published Sources)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Beale View Post
I'm trying - and failing - to remember who had a V. Gruppe apart from KG 2.
It might be this one: V./KG 40, which is well documented by Chris Goss in "Bloody Biscay."

Leon Venter
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Old 27th May 2010, 10:02
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Re: Gruppe & Staffel Colours (Confusion Between Published Sources)

Thanks gents, it does appear to be quite a puzzling situation. Would any of you happen to know what colour was generally accepted as the Gruppe colour for IV Gruppe & V Gruppe (Missing from the Luftarchiv.de chart)?

Thanks for your time.

Clint
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Old 28th May 2010, 19:04
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Re: Gruppe & Staffel Colours (Confusion Between Published Sources)

Clint,

As far as I know, they repeated themselves, just like the Staffel I/D colours did. So I think IV.Gruppe's I/D colour would have been white and V.Gruppe's, red.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 28th May 2010, 20:02
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Re: Gruppe & Staffel Colours (Confusion Between Published Sources)

Quote:
Originally Posted by leonventer View Post
It might be this one: V./KG 40, which is well documented by Chris Goss in "Bloody Biscay."

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Old 28th May 2010, 22:27
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Re: Gruppe & Staffel Colours (Confusion Between Published Sources)

Also in late 44-45 several Jagdgeschwader had 4 Gruppen with 4 Staffeln each - which of course means a 16.Sta. JG 3, JG 4, JG 27, JG 53 & JG 300 being a few examples.
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Old 29th May 2010, 18:06
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Re: Gruppe & Staffel Colours (Confusion Between Published Sources)

Thanks for your replies.
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Old 29th May 2010, 18:33
Horst Weber Horst Weber is offline
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Re: Gruppe & Staffel Colours (Confusion Between Published Sources)

Good evening folks !

An information to the German forces (WW2 up to now) traditional colour (only markings) system in Staffel/Kompanie level:

1st = white or black
2nd = red
3rd = yellow
4th = blue eventually a
5th = green

In my Bundeswehr time, I served in the 3rd Company of a Tank battallion. All our Tanks had and yellow mark. The 2nd Companie's tanks had a red mark.

Inside the Companies, the 1st platoons equipment had white marks, the seconds had red marks and the third had yellow marks.

The whole system was very seldom topped by a 5th unit, which had the green colour as marking.

All the best !

Horst Weber
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