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Jagdfliegerführer (Air Commander – Fighters)

According to Karl Ries, these were first established in July 1940 "to control tactical operations of fighter Gruppen subordinated to each Luftflotte deployed in the West." But the duties of a Jafü may have changed somewhat later in the war, or according to the situation of each front or theater. Speaking of Jafü 6 (Luftflotte 6) in April 1944, Aders and Held state that his duties were limited to "briefing the Geschwader and Gruppen on enemy strength, location and air activity, seeing to the quick and efficient supply of replacement aircraft, engines and parts, and coordinating operations with Schlachtflieger units when these were assigned to fly fighter missions." In another description, using Jafü 5 at Bernay in France as an example, “the Jafü received a steady stream of weather and radar updates, signals intelligence reports and unit readiness reports which were plotted on 3 large display maps: one for weather, the central plotting map, which was the largest, and a readiness map showing the location and status of the Jagdfliegerführer’s own fighter forces.” In effect, the Jafü directed all fighter intercept operations in his sector. On 1 December 1943, all of the Jafüs under I. Jagdkorps in North Germany and Holland were disbanded and their duties taken over by the Stäbe (staffs) of the Jagddivisionen (fighter divisions). However, in the occupied territories and combat theaters outside of the Reich the Jagdfliegerführer commands remained in existence as the situation warranted, some to nearly the end of the war.[1]

© H.L. deZeng IV, 2023

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  1. K.Ries- Photo Record:106; G.Aders/W.Held-JG 51:149; AFHRA Maxwell: decimal 512.619 British AirMin P/W interrogations, ADI(K) series, microfilm rolls A5400-05, interrogation ADI(K) 322/44; J.Prien/P.Rodeike- Jagdgeschwader 1 und 11: Einsatz in der Reichverteidigung von 1939 bis 1945:556.