3.(F)/10 Tannenberg

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3.(F)/Aufkl.Gr. 10 "Tannenberg"

(Unit Code: T1+)

Formation and Organization. (Nov 38 - Aug 39)

Formed 1 November 1938 at Neuhausen/East Prussia (ex-3.(F)/11) with Do 17Fs, these being replaced with Do 17Ps during the spring and summer of 1939.[1]

Polish Campaign and Germany. (Sep 39 - Apr 40)

Departed Neuhausen for a forward airstrip at Wiesenhof/East Prussia, and began flying reconnaissance support on 1 September 1939 for 3. Armee (AOK 3) over north and northwest Poland with 12 Do 17Ps, concluding the campaign toward the end of the month with photographic coverage of the area between Białystok and Brest-Litovsk, and then probably returned to its home station at Neuhausen. The Staffel’s bases from Oct 39 to Apr 40 have not been determined.

Campaign in the West and Air Offensive Against England. (May 40 - May 41)

Assigned to II. Fliegerkorps on 10 May 1940 for the attack on France and the Low Countries, supporting Panzergruppe Kleist and AOK 12 from the Frankfurt/M. area over Luxembourg, the Ardennes and northeast France to the Channel coast between Abbeville and Dunkirk with only four known losses: a Do 17P was shot down by a RAF Hurricane over Avesnes/32 km SE of Boulogne on 18 May, another failed to return from a recce mission over North France on 20 May and two more failed to return from similar missions on 26 May. The Staffel received some Bf 110s during July and August, and commenced target spotting and range adjusting sorties over the south coast of England for long-range German artillery batteries emplaced in the Pas de Calais area. An order of battle listing for 30 August placed the Staffel near the Channel in the Calais sector directly under Koluft/AOK 16. On 4 September Bf 110 (Tl+TL) struck the ground and crashed killing Oblt. Gerd Ellerlage, Do 17P (Tl+EL) was shot up by RAF fighters near Dover on 18 September and another, (Tl+HL), was attacked and damaged by Spitfires near Manchester on the same date. On 30 October, finally, a Do 17P was hit by AA-fire over Dover wounding one of the crew. Conversion to the Ju 88D began in France at the end of 1940 and continued into early 1941, with the Staffel being non-operational during this period.

South Russia. (Jun 41 - Apr 43)

Directly under Koluft/Heeresgruppe Süd (Army Group South) on 22 June 1941 for the attack on the Soviet Union, the Staffel supported Army Group South's drive through South Ukraine toward Rostov with stations at Berdichev on 11 August 1941, Mariupol on 16 November and then at Poltava from 22 November under Gruppenfliegerstab 12. Still based at Poltava, the Staffel's first recorded loss on the Eastern Front occurred on 15 February 1942 when a Ju 88 was hit by AA-fire in the left engine while flying reconnaissance in the Kastornoye-Yelets-Novyy Oskol area causing a forced landing 40 km NE of Kursk. Two weeks later, on 1 March, 3.(F)/10 reported just 3 x Ju 88A-1/A-5s and 2 x Ju 88D-1/D-2s on strength. On 20 May, and now under FAGr. 4, Ju 88D (Tl+BL) failed to return from a sortie in the Kastornoye-Livny area to the east of Kursk, which just a month later was the objective of the opening phase of the German offensive for the summer of 1942. Ordered forward to Kharkov on 30 July for recce missions along the upper Don between Voronezh and Stalingrad, and then to Frolov near Oblivskaya in early September for operations along the Volga in the Stalingrad area. On 11 September, Ju 88D-l (Tl+PL) with Oblt. Fritz Müller-Löbnitz and crew, failed to return from a reconnaissance sortie in the Stalingrad-Kamenshin area, Ju 88D (Tl+AL) and crew was lost in the same area on 8 October, while Ju 88D-l (Tl+KL) and its crew failed to return from a long-range recce flight to Astrakhan at the north end of the Caspian Sea on 10 October.

Air operations slackened somewhat in October as the weather deteriorated and the Luftwaffe in South Russia took the opportunity to work on the aircraft and build out the base and supply infrastructure along the front. In mid-November and December 1942 the Staffel was based at Tatsinskaya when the Russians launched their massive counteroffensive at Stalingrad. On 24 December, as powerful Soviet armored and mechanized columns drove westward toward the Donets Basin, 3.(F)/10 was forced to blow up a Ju 88D-1 and a Fi 156 at Tatsinskaya to prevent their capture when the airfield was overrun by the advancing enemy. Another Ju 88D was lost the previous day at Morosovskaya, a key airfield to the northeast of Tatsinskaya, but the cause is not known. Ordered to Zaporozhye-South to rest and refit on 20 January 1943, and may have flown a few operational test flights from there with the rare and relatively new Arado Ar 240 before being transferred to Seshchinskaya on the central sector of the Eastern Front, and then from there to Gutenfeld/East Prussia where the Staffel was disbanded in April 1943. A small detachment of experienced aircrews remained behind at Sarabus/Crimea to train Romanian long-range Ju 88 reconnaissance crews. On 1 February this contingent had 6 x Ju 88A-4s on strength. Most of the other personnel were later sent from Gutenfeld to Osnabrück in June and used to form 1./Fernaufklärungsgruppe 5.

FpN: (L 07111)


Hptm. Friedrich-Franz von Nordenskjöld (29 Sep 39 - 14 Oct 40)

© H.L. deZeng IV, 2021


  1. W.Dierich-VdL; G.Tessin-Verbände und Truppen der Deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS 1939-1945. Teil 14: Die Luftstreitkräfte; N.Kannapin-Feldpostübersicht; AFHRA Maxwell: Karlsruhe Collection K113.309-3/v.1; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-312 records of AOK 16); T-312:1156/1274; PRO London: AIR 40/1975, 1980, 1982; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); M.Holm-website ww2.dk.

Additional Notes & Losses

3 Dec 1942 - 3.(F)/10 reported the loss of a Ju 88D in the area of Tazinskaja

The crew were: Oblt.Hans Jacobi (pilot), Oblt.Hugo Oechsle (observer), Ofw. Walter Schäfer (radio operator) and Ofw.Gustav Passow (gunner).[1]

Aufklärungsgruppe 10

  1. Fletcher, Andy - Posting to TOCH 4th Sept 2005