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Old 28th August 2018, 19:22
Peter Cook Peter Cook is offline
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Stuka Attacks on Portland, July 11, 1940

I am trying to establish the identities of the Stuka Geschwader that took part in the 2 attacks on Portland on July 11th, 1940. The first attack, starting at approximately 07.35, is generally recorded as comprising 10 Ju87s escorted by Bf109s of JG27. The 2nd attack, starting at approximately 11.35 was made up of approximately 30 Ju87s and 30-40 Bf110s of ZG76. The makeup of the fighter escort is not disputed, the problem is with the identification of the Stuka components.

All the major sources describe 10 Stukas making the first attack, with the count presumably based on the combat reports of Blayney and Little of 609 Squadron, who gave a figure of 9 and 10 Ju87s respectively. However, as far as I can determine, only one source (Bergstrom, Battle of Britain) identifies the Stuka unit as IV/LG1.

The 2nd attack was almost certainly made by Stukas of III/StG2, with Bergstrom providing a count of 44 Ju87s. Francis Mason (Battle Over Britain) identifies two Staffeln from III/StG2, and lists one Ju87 of III/StG2 shot down at 11.30. However he also lists one Ju87 destroyed and one damaged from 11/LG1. Ramsey/Cornwell (BOB Then and Now) also identify the destroyed and damaged 11/LG1 Stukas. Andy Saunders (Stuka Attack) describes “about fifteen Ju87s”, and has a 9/StG2 Stuka shot down at 11.35. Simon Parry (Battle of Britain Archive) lists 20 Ju87s from III/STG2 and identifies a 9/StG2 Stuka that was shot down. Brian Cull (Battle for the Channel) identifies 15 Ju87s of 11/LG1 and III/StG.2, and identifies one Stuka destroyed and one damaged, with both coming from 9/LG1.

To add further confusion, Helmut Mahlke, Gruppe Kommandeur of III/StG1 describes in his Memoirs of a Stuka Pilot, page 117, how the entire Gruppe (30-40 Ju87s) took part in a shipping attack on July 11th. However, none of the major sources identify III/StG1 as a participant in any action on this date

Can anyone help to unravel which Geschwader took part in which action?
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Old 28th August 2018, 19:33
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Chris Goss Chris Goss is offline
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Re: Stuka Attacks on Portland, July 11, 1940

44 ac from I & III./StG 2 took off at 0820 hrs
42 ac from StG 1 took off 1145 hrs
18 ac from II./StG 2 took off 1200 hrs
IV./LG 1 were operating further east
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Old 28th August 2018, 20:30
Peter Cook Peter Cook is offline
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Re: Stuka Attacks on Portland, July 11, 1940

Thanks for the information Chris, what are the sources? Also, de Zeng and Stankey's Dive bomber and Ground Attack Units has a brief description of IV/LG1 operations stating that "11 July 1940: attacked convoy and Portland Harbour". Where were the LG1 Stukas lost on this day?
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Old 29th August 2018, 12:34
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Re: Stuka Attacks on Portland, July 11, 1940

Luftflotte 3 Einzelmeldung. No mention of IV./LG 1 and other records state only one Ju 87 was lost that day on operations. BoBCA says that the Ju 87 from IV./LG 1 was lost off Dover but I can see no corresponding claim or attack
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Old 29th August 2018, 12:42
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Re: Stuka Attacks on Portland, July 11, 1940

No idea if this helps but on 11 July … "A GAF aircraft 7K6CC made an SOS on 3665 kc/s at 0709 approximately 20 miles SE of Start Point."

Source: TNA HW 13/28 "GNA Vol. II, December 1940 numbered 1–20" (28.12.39 – 31.12.40)
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Old 4th September 2018, 12:10
Peter Cook Peter Cook is offline
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Re: Stuka Attacks on Portland, July 11, 1940

Thanks for the LG1 information Chris. If it is not too much trouble I wonder if you could let me know what your sources are for the Geschwader takeoff times in your first reply?

Thanks for your reply Nick, I am pretty sure that the SOS off Start Point relates to a series of actions on that day involving Coastal Command aircraft. An Anson brought down an He59, which was disabled on the sea and is presumed to have sent out an SOS. Two destroyers were sent out to recover the aircraft and crew, escorted by 236 Squadron Blenheims. Two Ju 88s appeared on the scene at different times and both were believed to have been shot down. Larry Donnelly gives a detailed account of this action in The Other Few.
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Old 4th September 2018, 14:09
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Re: Stuka Attacks on Portland, July 11, 1940

Luftflotte 3 Einzelmeldung-all times German
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Old 4th September 2018, 22:59
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Re: Stuka Attacks on Portland, July 11, 1940

Not sure if this is any help but.....

According to the "Durch Luftangriff versenkte oder beschädigte Handelschiffe in der Zeit vom 1.7-31.7.40" Anlage 5 zum Lagebericht Nr 335.
the following claims on shipping in the vicinity of Portland were made on 11.7.40:-

I and III./St.G. 1 Handelschiff 3,000t versenkte(sunk) südostw. Portland
I and III./St.G. 2 Handelschiff 1,000t versenkte(sunk) südostw. Portland
I and III./St.G. 2 Handelschiff 2,500t beschädigt(damaged) südostw. Portland
II./St.G 2 Tanker 15,000t versenkte(sunk) südostw. Portland )against these
II./St.G 2 Transp. 10,000t versenkte(sunk) südostw. Portland)two 18 SC250 are recorded. Additionally, in the remarks column these two are marked "gesunken" (declined?)

All of the above units are marked, on the document, as operating under Luftflotte 3.

There is no mention of LG1 with shipping claims for 11.7.40 except for II./LG 1 (Luftflotte 3) with a claim for a 10,000t Tanker damaged in Falmouth Harbour (remarks indicate that the tanker was burning).

Further down the document IV.(St)/LG1 (operating under Luftflotte 2) claimed damage to shipping (including a destroyer) "südl. Dover" on 14.7.40.
On the same day (14th) V./LG 1 (operating under Luftflotte 3) claimed damage to a 3,000t ship 10 km "südüstl." Portland.
On 15.7.40 II./LG 1 (Luftflotte 3) claimed a 10,000t freighter sunk in Portland harbour for the expenditure of 4 SC 250.

Last edited by Andy Mitchell; 4th September 2018 at 23:03. Reason: additional info added
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Old 6th September 2018, 14:51
Peter Cook Peter Cook is offline
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Re: Stuka Attacks on Portland, July 11, 1940

Thanks for this information Andy, very useful.

Chris, how do I get my hands on a copy of Luftflotte 3 Einzelmeldung? Are there similar records for Luftflotte 2?

PS, I have just ordered Knights of the Battle of Britain -- I have most of your other great books!
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Old 6th September 2018, 15:36
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Re: Stuka Attacks on Portland, July 11, 1940

Peter
I have a full set for 1940-41 and it is available from the BA/MA at a cost but it depends what you are after as to buy for certain dates is not cost effective. PM me if you want.
Not for Luftflotte 2 I'm afraid
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