KGr.z.b.V. 900

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KGr. z.b.V. 900

Kampfgruppe z.b.V. 900

(Unit Code: X8+ ?)


Formation. (Dec 41)

Formed on or about 16 December 1941 (place of formation unknown) in response to the urgent need for increased transport resources on the central sector of the Eastern Front resulting from the disastrous set-back west of Moscow where the Soviets had launched a powerful counterattack. On 16 December Hitler personally ordered 5 transport Gruppen assembled and immediately assigned to VIII. Fliegerkorps to meet this need. Air crew comprised instructor personnel from a number of FFS C (multi-engine) and BFS (instrument) schools along with Ju 52 transports taken from various units, schools and Luftwaffe establishments. Organizationally, KGr.z.b.V. 900 had a Gruppenstab and four Staffeln (1. – 4.).[1]


Central and North Russia, Germany. (Dec 41 - Jun 42)

19 Dec 41: after forming up, the Gruppe was used to fly reinforcements, replacements, equipment and supplies forward to the Smolensk area and east thereof, and by the end of the year or early January was based at Vitebsk.

16 Jan 42: man belonging to the Gruppe reported KIA by enemy fire near Demyansk.[2]

1 Feb 42: Ju 52 shot down near Velizh/80 km NE of Vitebsk, 100%, Gruppenkommandeur Maj. Ingenhofen + 4 KIA and 1 MIA.

19 Feb 42: transferred from Vitebsk to Pskov-West to take part in the Demyansk airlift operation. This was a massive effort to fly supplies to II. Armeekorps with 6 divisions totaling 95,000 men that had become encircled on 9 February when Soviet II Guards Rifle Corps cut the last German supply road and the encirclement of the Demyansk pocket was virtually completed. The official, formal start date of the Demyansk airlift was on 12 February. With airlift headquarters at Pskov, 15 transport groups were eventually assembled for the operation, many of the Ju 52s and other aircraft coming from hastily mobilized school assets as well as the active Transportgruppen.[3]

Mar 42: the extent of the Gruppe’s losses during the Demyansk airlift operation are not known, although they were probably significant due to the severe weather conditions and enemy action in and around the pocket.

20 Mar 42: Ju 52 (DD+MF) shot down by AA fire near Lyubenets/56 km W of Novgorod, 95%, Gruppenkommandeur Maj. Bittner + 4 MIA.

Apr 42: transferred from Korovye Selo to Schaulen (Siauliai)/Lithuania during the first half of April. From Schaulen, the Gruppe was ordered on 12 April to guarantee 20 aircraft a day for supply-dropping missions over Demyansk.[4]

20 Apr 42: Ju 52 damaged undercarriage landing at Schaulen (Siauliai)/Lithuania, 10%.

21-30 Apr 42: departed Schaulen for transfer to Paderborn/N Germany for an extended rest, refit and re-equipping.[5]


South Russia. (Jun 42 - Apr 43)

Jun 42: refit completed, KGr.z.b.V. 900 was reassigned to Luftflotte 4 shortly after mid-June to support the opening phase of the summer campaign in Russia that began with a rapid drive by Pz.AOK 4 and supporting infantry from around the Kursk area toward the Don at Voronezh.

20 Jun 42: 2. Staffel Ju 52 struck an obstacle at Fp. Nikolayev/S Ukraine, 25%.

2 Jul 42: 1.St. Ju 52 crashed while taking off from Fp. Kursk, 45%.

6 Jul 42: Ju 52 damaged taxiing at Fp. Ponyri/72 km S of Orel, 60%.

29 Jul 42: Ju 52 struck by a landing Ju 88 at Kharkov, 80%.

2 Aug 42: Ju 52 damaged undercarriage while landing at Fp. Oblivskaya/SW of Stalingrad, 30%.

3 Aug 42: Ju 52 rammed by an aircraft landing at Fp. Artemovsk in the Donets Basin, 25%.

29 Aug 42: based at Artemovsk.[6]

8 Sep 42: Ju 52 struck an obstacle while taking off from Fp. Kotelnikovo/155 km SW of Stalingrad, 15%.

24 Sep 42: Ju 52 collided with another aircraft while landing at Fp. Artemovsk, 45%, 1 WIA.

Oct 42: moved forward from Artemovsk to Fp. Tatsinskaya/W of Stalingrad during the first few days of October.[7]

10 Oct 42: Ju 52 damaged taxiing at Fp. Tatsinskaya, 10%.

9 Nov 42: at Tatsinskaya - reported 41(12) Ju 52s on strength.[8]

Dec 42: Stalingrad airlift under VIII. Fliegerkorps - between 1 and 22 December KGr.z.b.V. 900 reported the loss of only 2 Ju 52s plus another damaged in operations between Tatsinskaya and Stalingrad-Pitomnik with 1 KIA and 4 MIA.[9]

19 Dec 42: still based at Tatsinskaya.[10]

1 Jan 43: a further 3 Ju 52s were destroyed and another 7 damaged (15% - 95%) in flights from and to Tatsinskaya, Pitomnik and Salsk/165 km ESE of Rostov between 23 December and 1 January, with 5 KIA, 4 MIA and 3 WIA.

8 Jan 43: Ju 52 (KF+UB) failed to return from a flight to Stalingrad, 100%, 5 MIA.

17 Jan 43: Ju 52 bombed on the ground at Fp. Sverevo/85 km SE of Voroshilovgrad in the Donets Basin, 95%, 3 WIA.

19 Jan 43: Ju 52 shot up by enemy tank fire at Fp. Bataisk/S of Rostov, 30%.

20 Jan 43: unserviceable Ju 52 destroyed at Fp. Basargino/22 km WSW of Stalingrad to prevent capture, 100%.

23 Jan 43: Ju 52 crashed north of Fp. Sverevo, 100%, 1 WIA.

31 Jan 43: Ju 52 (GR+EH) failed to return from a flight to Stalingrad, 100%, 4 MIA.

Feb 43: ordered to transfer without aircraft from South Russia to Münster-Handorf to rest, refit and re-quip.

Mar 43: the Gruppe’s personnel were then ordered to either Leipheim/S Germany or Regensburg-Obertraubling to begin conversion training on the Me 323 6-engine transport, and in late March or early April KGr.z.b.V. 900 was briefly renamed III./KG z.b.V. 323, which in turn was renamed III./TG 5 on 1 May 1943.[11]



FpN:Gruppenstab with 1. – 4. Staffel (L 44132)


Kommandeur:

Maj. Peter Ingenhoven (R) (c. 16 Dec 41 - 1 Feb 42) KIA

Maj. Hans-Joachim Bittner (a.k.a. BITTMAR) (DKG) (c. 1 Feb 42 - 20 Mar 42) MIA

Maj. Franz Stipschitsch (c. 20 Mar 42 - ? 42)

Maj. Alfred Grundmann ( ? 42 - Aug 42?)

Oberst Alfred Wübben (Aug 42? - Mar 43)



Also see:

BARTEL, Fritz. Maj. Pilot.

BAUER, Hermann, Lt. KIA.

BAUR, Hermann, Lt. Pilot.

BITTMAR, Hans-Joachim, Maj. MIA.

BÖSMÜLLER, Ernst, Lt./Oblt. Pilot.

DAVIGNON, Hans Werner, Oblt.

EBEL, Walter, Lt. MIA.

FILLNER, Peter (Bruno?), Oblt. KIA.

KEMPEN, Ernst, Hptm. Staka 3./KGr.z.b.V. 900.

MERKER, Werner, Lt.

PETERMANN, Heinz, Lt.(Kr.O.).

RODEN, Horst, Hptm. Staka 2./KGr.z.b.V. 900?

SCHULTZ, ? , Lt. KIA.

WROCKLAGE, Walter, Hptm. Staka. KIA.

ZANDER, Heinrich, Lt. MIA.



© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress, 2022).

(1st Draft 2022)


References

  1. G.Tessin-Tes; WFSt Abt. L. (I Op.) Nr. 442182, 16.12.41 in NARA WashDC RG 242/T-77 OKW 2018 file.
  2. BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs).
  3. F.Morzik-German Air Force Airlift Operations:137-175.
  4. PRO London: AIR 40/1982.
  5. PRO London: AIR 40 Air Ministry intelligence documents based on ULTRA and “Y” Service intercepts.
  6. AIR 40/1965.
  7. AIR 40/1983.
  8. J.S.A.Hayward-Stopped at Stalingrad: The Luftwaffe and Hitler’s Defeat in the East 1942-1943:247.
  9. F.Morzik-op cit:183; G.Tessin-op cit.
  10. AIR 40/1983.
  11. G.Tessin-op cit., F.Morzik-op cit:404; W.Green-Warplanes:653.


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