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  #301  
Old 24th August 2014, 19:19
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Re: Trying to ID the correct location for AF where I./ZG2 was based during early August, 1940: "St Aubin-Thiberville, France"

Larry, et. al.

Gerhard has looked at this post and has responded:

"The entries in my list are resulting from Flugbuchs. Furthermore there is an accident recorded for I./ZG 2 at St.Aubin dated 12.08.40 which is in contrast to the entry in the surviving records of 8.Abt./Genst.d.Lw. that the unit was on 13.08.40 still at Caen-Carpiquet."

This points out the problem of incomplete or inaccurate records regarding I./ZG2 during this period. I also note that Balke records that the Gr Kdr of I./ZG2 on 13 August was Hptm. (Eberhard) Heinlein, but we now believe that that is not entirely accurate. My information is that after losing the Gr Kdr (Ott) on 11.08, and the Acting Gr Kdr (Kubel) on 12.08, that the new Acting Kdr was Hpt. Dr. Rudolf Christians, who served in that capacity for some unknown period (probably not more than a few days at most) until Hptm Eberhard Heinlein took command sometime later in August. He was Gr Kdr until the until was disolved around 25.09.40. He was killed in a flying accident on 28.09.04 during a ferry flight from the unit's last base at Toussus-le-Noble, France, to Augsberg, Germany, when the unit's assets were being transferred into the night fighter forces.

The deZeng-Stankey LOCS data base says that Heinlein was appointed Gr Kdr effective 13.08.40, but Christians apparently served as Acting Kdr for some unknown period until Heinlein, who was the Sta Kap of 6./ZG2, could arrive and take charge. It's a small point, but any further clarification of this would be helpful.

Regarding the base problem, my suspicion is that I./ZG2 was in the process of moving from Caen-Carpiquet to St Aubin-Thiberville during this period leading up to mid-August, and the issue is when they officially closed out the Gruppe command post at the former and officially became fully operational from the latter. I don't know if that can ever be completely resolved, but clearly there would have been some transitional period involved between the two places, which there would always be when a unit moved from one base to another.

This really get into the info on another post that I have active here on this unit, as I think we've identified which St Aubin Airfield we're talking about, although its precise location in the vicinity of that village is still in some doubt in my mind. That should still be able to be rather precisely determined.

Who has anything further to add here?
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  #302  
Old 24th August 2014, 19:30
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Re: Trying to ID Photo location for Bf110 of Gr Kdr of I./ZG2 taken sometime in late June 1940 to 11 August 1940

Hello,

It now would appear that the most likely place for these photos to have been taken was Caen-Carpiquet Airfield, although Toussus le Noble remains a possibility. Does anyone have any good photography of the control tower and hangars at Caen-Carpiquet during the period from June-August 1940, that would help us nail this down?
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  #303  
Old 24th August 2014, 20:16
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Trying to ID the correct location for AF where I./ZG2 was based during early August, 1940: "St Aubin-Thiberville, France"

I have no problem with Gerhard's reply. He covers all the bases and his thoughts and facts are accurate and make complete sense.

But the issue concerning Saint-Aubin - Thiberville is still open. During offensive operations, the Luftwaffe as well as other air forces could be "based" at one airfield while operating temporarily from an advanced landing ground (Absprunghafen) where all or elements of the Gruppe flew to tank up before staging their mission against the designated target. The aircraft at the Absprunghafen could be there for a few days or they could return to their base airfield on completion of the mission. An Absprunghafen could be just a fairly flat pasture or meadow that was temporarily stocked-up with fuel and/or ammunition sufficient for one or more missions. Only the Wartungs (servicing) echelon of the Staffel/Gruppe would accompany the aircraft to the Absprunghafen while the maintenance (Werft-) echelon would remain at the base airfield.

The sum of the aggrigate information that we have in this thread on Saint-Aubin - Thiberville points increasingly toward it being an Absprunghafen rather than a base airfield (Fliegerhorst), that is, if it was actually used at all. The absence of any listing for it in the A.I.2.(b) Gazetteer of 1 September 1943 largely substantiates this hypothesis.

L.
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  #304  
Old 25th August 2014, 02:00
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Re: Trying to ID the correct location for AF where I./ZG2 was based during early August, 1940: "St Aubin-Thiberville, France"

Larry,

Very helpful. However, when you look at the two places on a map, St Aubin doesn't really appear that much closer to the battle front over England than Carpiquet-Caen. If bomber escort missions are being flown anywhere from the Weymouth area to Brighton, including Portsmouth, then Caen would be closer that St. Aubin-Thiberville, which would seem to indicate there would be no advantage to "tanking up" at the latter AF. For operations east of Brighton and into the Channel narrows from Hastings to Margate, including Dover, then there would be some advantage to "tanking up" at SA-T. It seems like we really need more information on where the unit was actually operating to make sense of what was really happening.

While we're resolving this, the conventional LW reference sources, including on the internet, indicate that I/ZG2 was based at "Amiens-Glissy" during most of the Battle of Britain:. This includes on P.76 of the Vasco/Cornwell book "Zerstörer," which lists that base as the location where I./ZG2 was situated for the launch of the campaign against Britain.

Although the conventional sources have the unit during most of the Battle of Britain at "Amiens-Glissy". Gerhard Stemmer says "I have no reference that I./ZG 2 was at Amiens at any time..."

Gerhard lists the unit bases during the BoB as:

1) Caen-Carpiquet from 21.07.40 - 06.08.40
2) St Aubin-Thiberville from 06.08.40 - 28.08.40
3) Berck-sur-Mer from 08-28.40 - 17.09.40
4) Toussus le Noble from 17.08.40 -25.98.40.

At this point the unit moved to Vaerlöse, near Copenhagen, Denmark, and were adsorbed into EZGr to convert to night fighters.

As noted earlier, Gerhard is using FB and unit loss locations for his information. I have no idea where the "Amiens-Glissy" info is coming from. Can you or anyone else shed light on this discrepancy?

If you plot the above bases out on a map, Berck-sur-Mer moved the unit considerably NE up the Channel coast where it would be in an excellent position to conduct escort missions to the London area. This could certainly be an "Absprunghafen" for the unit. The move in mid-September to Toussus le Noble, which is just WSW of Paris, withdraws the unit from the immediate Channel coast, indicating that the unit was no longer conducting operations in support of the Battle of Britain after mid-September, and it was soon headed towards disbandment and rebirth as a night fighter unit just a little over a week later. Is that how you interpret the information? The Vasco/Cornwell book: "Zerstörer" P. 196 states: "7th September witnessed the swansong of Vollbracht's ZG2, whose survivors were all too soon adsorbed into the growing Nachtjagd..."

Who can add to this discussion? I really need to pin down where I./ZG2 was based during the Western Campaign and the Battle of Britain. Were some of the places recorded by Gerhard "Absprunghafen,' and not the unit's primary bases?
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Last edited by Larry Hickey; 25th August 2014 at 21:33.
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  #305  
Old 25th August 2014, 02:16
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Re: Posting to the Allied Discussion form on British forces present at the Battle of The Heligoland Bay: 18 December 1939

Bob,

Nice artwork, although, I suspect, more than a little fanciful. Thanx for posting this.
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  #306  
Old 25th August 2014, 03:52
Rob Romero Rob Romero is offline
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Re: Posting to the Allied Discussion form on British forces present at the Battle of The Heligoland Bay: 18 December 1939

Larry,

It probably does give us some sense of the battle:

Whenever I hear of the Wellingtons and Me 110s at Heligoland Bight, my mind's eye envisions a night mission, not a brilliant sun-swept cloudless December sky. As I suspect the painting was officially commissioned during the lull of the "phony war" (before the great air battles to come that would make this seem like a skirmish in comparison) to commemorate this "great Nazi victory over interlopers daring to drop bombs on the homeland" and therefore based on reports and perhaps even some interviews, this painting probably gives us some sense of the conditions, the British formation, 6 O'clock High (not TOCH lol!) attack pattern chewing up the tail of the formation and the feel of the intensity of the fight at the height of the action, as well conveying to posterity a sense of the importance with which this event was viewed by most Germans and the Nazi Party in early 1940 (as suggested by the fact that this may well be one of the first "combat aviation art posters" ever printed). I think the formal yet casual/relaxed feeling 'celebratory' news conference photo I posted earlier up this page (post #25) also conveys some sense of the way this victory was viewed in official circles -I can not think of a similar photo pertaining to the Jagdwaffe in the entire war.

To me this may well an example of "hidden history" that one should always been on the lookout for, much in the way Heinrich Schliemann used Homer's Iliad to literally uncover the historical basis for the legend of the Trojan War -though I am open to being shown that my intuition in this matter is completely off base.

Last edited by Rob Romero; 25th August 2014 at 18:23.
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  #307  
Old 25th August 2014, 10:07
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Seeking photos of Bf110C, 3M+AB, of Hptm Johannes Gentzen, the Gr Kdr of I./ZG2

Hello,

Hptm Horst Gentzen, the highest LW scorer during the Polish Campaign had run up a score of 18 victories by the time he died in the crash of Bf110C 3M+BB during a scramble to intercept an incoming raid at Neufchâteau AF, France, on 26 May 1940. The plane he was aboard was that of the Gr Adjutant, Lt Hartwig-Borris Domeier, who was also killed in the crash. I have two photos of this crash confirming that a/c code. At the time, the Bf110C had been operational with I./ZG2 for only about two months. Although Domeier had at least three victories to his credit from the PC, the port-side fin and rudder of this Bf110C carried no victory tabs. Since Gentzen was not killed in his own a/c, presumably 3M+AB, this a/c would have continued to be flown by someone else in the unit, even possibly by his successor, Maj. Ernst Ott. However, to my knowledge no photos have ever surfaced showing this a/c, which should have carried 18 victory tabs, either while Gentzen was flying it or after it was passed to someone else. Ott's aircraft was fairly heavily oversprayed on the sides of the fuselage and tail surfaces, so 18 victory tabs could have been originally applied then painted over and Ott's 2 victories painted in its place.

1) Is anyone aware of photos of any I./ZG2 Bf110, or even a possible I./ZG2 Bf110C, carrying 18 victory tabs? I know of none.

2) The dates, locations and particulars of the first 10 Gentzen victories are known, all while he was flying the Bf109D. Does anyone have any information concerning the date, place and particulars of any of the other eight victories attributed to Gentzen, all while he was flying the Bf110, and presumably scored all or primarily during the first couple of weeks of the Western Campaign?

I badly need photos of Gentzen's Bf110C for a profile of it. Had he not been killed in the described accident, he very likely would have been one of the first fighter Knight's Cross winners in the LW.
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  #308  
Old 25th August 2014, 15:58
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Trying to ID the correct location for AF where I./ZG2 was based during early August, 1940: "St Aubin-Thiberville, France"

Larry H.,

I have no disagreement with your first paragraph except to note something not previously discussed in this threat.All of the conventional postwar literature, and even the Flugbücher that have been examined, give I./ZG 2’s location in terms of the “Gruppe”.It is entirely possible that at times I./ZG 2 issued different daily target assignments to different Staffeln and this caused them to operate from different airfields, landing grounds or Absprunghafen for short periods.So, in effect, we could have the Gruppenstab and one of two of the Staffeln at Caen-Carpiquet while another Staffel or two were operating from an Absprunghafen at Saint-Aubin - Thiberville.While this possibility along with a number of others that might cause a Staffel or two to be separated for a few days from the Gruppenstab and the rest of the Gruppe complicates things, it can’t be dismissed.In this event, we could have documents stating the Gruppe was at one airfield while the surviving Flugbuch belonging to a crew from 2. Staffel indicates another airfield on exactly the same date.

Amiens-Glisy (just one “s” in Glisy):I have it here on just one date, 10.7.40, with this coming from Dierich - Die Verbände der Luftwaffe 1935-1945, and Vasco/Cornwell - Zerstörer: The Messerschmitt 110 and Its Units in 1940.Wolfgang Dierich is at the root of this.In the mid-1970’s he was asked by Motorbuch Verlag in Stuttgart to edit the Ehrenbücher der Luftwaffe (Honor Books of the Luftwaffe) as a commemorative for the Stiftung Luftwaffenehrenmal e.V. (Luftwaffe War Memorial Foundation) in Fürstenfeldbruck.These “Honor Books” date back to late 1940’s/early 1950’s when a Luftwaffe veteran’s organization located in Celle initiated a project to record the wartime history of the units that fought in the war.These histories were mainly compiled using contributions from the veterans themselves.Dierich’s edited 703-page encyclopedia of Luftwaffe flying units was first published by Motorbuch Verlag in 1976 and reprinted in 1993.So that, I believe, is the origin of the Amiens-Glisy claim.

Your second to last paragraph is a very plausible interpretation of what appears in this thread, allowing for the absence of further hard evidence.It would be very helpful to have Flugbücher from the Gruppenstab and all 9 Staffeln that cover the June to September 1940 period.Also, why was the Geschwaderstab located at Toussus-le-Noble/21 km SW of Paris city center from July through September and II./ZG 2 at nearby Guyancourt during the same period?It almost seems like the ZG 2 airfields along the Channel coast were just being used as Absprunghafen by the Geschwader while its permanent bases were at Toussus-le-Noble and Guyancourt.Finally, in the absence of additional Flugbücher, it may be that the RAF “Y” Service intercepts could provide the additional information needed to resolve these questions.

Larry deZ.
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  #309  
Old 25th August 2014, 21:24
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Re: Trying to ID the correct location for AF where I./ZG2 was based during early August, 1940: "St Aubin-Thiberville, France"

Larry,

Lots of issues to think about here. Thanx for taking the time to share your thoughts and considerable knowledge of this. It appears likely that our whole understanding of the bases for ZG2 during the Battle of Britain needs some serious re-thinking and investigation. Without a lot of FB or perhaps communications intelligence this may be a tough one to resolve. You'd think that the main base locations for ZG2 would be easy to resolve, with the Absprunghafen only being a complicating factor. In FB entries, you'd expect that a/c to take off from the main unit base, fly to the Absprunghafen, then take off a little later for the combat mission after topping off the fuel tanks. The issue of individual Staffeln being based seperately at times away from the main Gruppe bases definitely needs to be investigated. I've noted this phenomenon with some Bf109 units covered in the Prien et.al. JFV series for the BoB.

I don't know specifically what FB that Gerhard is using, as the large EoE collection that I have assembled here in the office doesn't necessarily include all that he has or has had access to. I'll explore that with him, unless he wants to jump directly into this discussion. It's going to be important to make sure that we cover all the known FB for the components of ZG2 in order to make sure we know what can be known on this subject.
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Old 25th August 2014, 21:47
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Re: Trying to ID the correct location for AF where I./ZG2 was based during early August, 1940: "St Aubin-Thiberville, France"

Very interesting thread! Thanks larry.
...
But please Glisy instead of Glissy; and it is pronounced "Glizi" like in zoo not "s" like in suffering ... what I do.

But please, you can resume this work.

Best regards, Franck.
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