KGr. z.b.V. 40
Kampfgruppe z.b.V. 40
(Unit Code: 9P+)
Formation and History. (Mar 41 - Jun 41)
Date and place of formation unknown. One not-always-reliable source (Green) claims it was formed in January 1941, another more reliable source (Tessin) in the spring of 1941 and a third often reliable source (Morzik) states that it was formed specifically for the invasion of Crete, which would suggest late April or early May 1941. However, circumstantial evidence points toward March as being the most likely date of formation with Berlin as the place of formation. The Gruppe did not take part in the Balkan Campaign that began on 6 April nor is there any mention of it prior to 25 April when Hitler issued Führer Directive 28 ordering the occupation of Crete by airborne and air-landing forces under XI. Fliegerkorps (Operation Merkur). The additional transport forces needed for the operation were then quickly assembled in Germany using aircraft and crews from the various training schools and dispatched to airfields in the Athens area. One source has the Gruppe at Plovdiv/Bulgaria from 25 April to mid-May, but on 12 May it was definitely at Wiener-Neustadt with 53(51) aircraft. In any event, by 14 May KGr. z.b.V. 40 had arrived in Greece and was based at Tanagra/42 km NNW of Athens under Stab/KG z.b.V. 3. Operation Merkur began at first light on 20 May, with the Gruppe participating as part of the force of some 500 transport aircraft headed toward the island with the initial assault wave of Fallschirmjäger (paratroops). KGr. z.b.V. 40 was nearly wiped out during the first day or two that accounted for the majority of transports destroyed during the operation. For the statistical period encompassing Merkur, 14 May to 3 June, KGr. z.b.V. 40 reported a total of 29 Ju 52s destroyed. It was officially disbanded on conclusion of the operation with surviving aircraft and crews returning to their original school units in Germany.
FpN:Gruppenstab and 1. – 4. Staffel (L 16576)
Obstlt. Ernst Deutsch (Apr 41 - 14 May 41) MIA
ALBERS, Josef, Oblt. Adjutant.
BAUSER, Ernst, Hptm. Staka 3./KGr.z.b.V. 40.
FUNK, Gerhard, Oblt. Staka 2./KGr.z.b.V. 40.
HÜTTENHAIN?, Hanjost, Oblt.
LANGANKE (LANGATE? LANGANE?), Max, Oblt. Staka 4./KGr.z.b.V. 40.
RICHTER, Günther, Lt. KIA.
SCHULZ, ? , Oblt. Staka 1./KGr.z.b.V. 40.
© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress, 2022).
(1st Draft 2022)
- G.Tessin-Tes; W.Green-Warplanes of the Third Reich:411; N.Kannapin-Feldpostübersicht; F.Morzik-German Air Force Airlift Operations:402; C.Shores et al-Air War For Yugoslavia, Greece, and Crete 1940-41:337, 354-55, 389; R.Edwards-German Airborne Troops:81; BNA HW 5/14; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs).
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