4.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 10 "Tannenberg"
(Unit Code: T1+)
Formation and Organization. (Oct 40 - May 41)
Formed on or about October 1940, possibly at Lille in northeastern France, using assets taken from 1.(H)/10 and equipped with Hs 126s. At least one source claims the Staffel received some Fw 189s in early 1941, but it seems more likely that this did not occur until early 1942.
Central Russia. (Jun 41 - Apr 42)
Assigned to Koluft/AOK 9 with Heeresgruppe Mitte for the attack on the Soviet Union that commenced on 22 June 1941, the Staffel moved forward with AOK 9 from the Suwalki-Białystok area in NE Poland along a line of advance through Belorussia via Vitebsk to the vicinity of Smolensk. Aside from a single entry in the loss reports stating that the Staffelkapitän, Oblt. aus dem Bruch, was wounded in action on 22 June while flying on a mission, no additional information has been found concerning the Staffel's activities during 1941. Some accounts have it at Klin/85 km NW of Moscow in November and possible at Sloboda/72 km SW of Minsk in December, but these locations are highly speculative. Sometime during December it returned to the Reich. It’s strength return for 1 March 1942 showed only 3 x Fw 189A-1s assigned.
South Russia. (May 42 - Mar 43)
Following an extended period of rest and refit in Germany, reassigned to the southern sector of the Eastern Front for operations under NAGr.7, arriving at Kharkov I on 4 May 1942. On 20 June the Staffel reported a mixed complement of 11(4) Fw 189s and Hs 126s on strength, and then moved forward from Kharkov to Belgorod by 24 June for the opening of the massive summer offensive toward Voronezh and then Stalingrad. On 14 July a Fw 189A-l crashed after taking off from Rovenki airfield to the east of Kharkov, this being the Staffel's first total write-off appearing in the loss reports. Two weeks later, on 28 July, a Fw 189 was hit by AA-fire over Serafinovich while flying a recce sortie along the Don northwest of Stalingrad, and by 6 August 4.(H)/10 had moved forward to Bokovskaya and then to Oskinski by 1 September, the latter airstrip being located 93 km WNW of Stalingrad. On 1 October 4.(H)/10 reported 6 x Fw 189A-1/A-2 and 3 x Hs 126B-1s assigned.
A period of relative quiet set in along the front, at least for air operations, and it was not until the Soviet winter counteroffensive began on 19 November 1942 that action once again became intense for the Luftwaffe. Staffelkapitän Hptm. aus dem Bruch was killed in action in Stalingrad on 7 December and a number of other personnel were lost in the following weeks. There is some circumstantial evidence that the Staffel may have been based at Tatsinskaya at the time, but with few if any aircraft. The personnel casualties, including Hptm. Erwin Müglich, 3 Oberleutnante, 1 Leutnant, 2 Oberfeldwebeln and others, are all listed as killed or missing in action in Stalingrad which suggests that they were fighting there as infantry during the final days of the bitter fighting in the surrounded city. Such was the fate of many Luftwaffe personnel who were hastily assembled into ground combat groups to help defend airfields against the on-rushing Soviet spearheads. At the end of January the Staffel only had 2 x Fw 189As remaining. The survivors of 4.(H)/10 were gathered together in February 1943 and ordered to Jesau in East Prussia where they were used to form 1./Nahaufklärungsgruppe 2 in March 1943.
FpN: (L 40055)
Hptm. Günter aus dem Bruch ( ? - 7 Dec 42) 6/41?
© H.L. deZeng IV, 2021
- W.Dierich-VdL; G.Tessin-Verbände und Truppen der Deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS 1939-1945. Teil 14: Die Luftstreitkräfte; N.Kannapin-Feldpostübersicht; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); PRO London: AIR 40 Air Ministry intelligence reports and lists based on ULTRA, “Y” Service intercepts, captured documents and PoW interrogations; M.Holm-website ww2.dk.