(Unit Code X9+)
Formation and Background. (April 1942)
Ordered formed on or about 19 April 1942, probably at Soltsy airfield/36 km north of Dno on the northern sector of the Eastern Front. Initially and informally established in January 1942, the Stab was provisionally designated Nahaufklärungsgruppe Heeresgruppe Nord and assigned to control tactical reconnaissance for Army Group North deployed along a front running from the Leningrad area south to the Demyansk sector. On 19 April 1942 it was ordered formalized under the above designation as part of the general reorganization of the reconnaissance branch of the Luftwaffe. The Stabskompanie was assembled from elements of the former 1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 14 and NAGr. 11 was ordered to support AOK 16 (16th Army) between Lake Ilmen and Demyansk.
Staffeln (Aufklärungsstaffeln known to have been subordinated to NAGr. 11 with the approximate dates): 4.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 12 (11/43); 1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 13 (9/42 to 11/42); NASt. 11./13 (11/42 to 10/43); 2.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 14 (11/43); 1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 31 (5/42 to c.9/43); 1./NAGr. 11; 2./NAGr. 11; 3./NAGr. 11.
[Note: unless otherwise stated, the aircraft losses noted below are those of the independently designated Aufklärungsstaffeln that were subordinated to NAGr. 11 at the time of the loss.]
North Russia. (April 1942 - December 1943)
May 1942: AOK 16’s main effort to February 1943 was centered on the front around Demyansk, 80-100 km south-east of Lake Ilmen, and then from February to early October 1943 it centered on Staraya Russa at the south end of Lake Ilmen. The fighting was mostly defensive, positional (i.e., bunkers and trenches) and vicious. NAGr. 11 was responsible for flying close, tactical reconnaissance over the battle area and report new enemy positions, sectors strengthened with reinforcements, supply and other vehicle traffic and observe targeting opportunities for bombers and dive-bombers. It also worked with AOK 16’s artillery to correct fire and take damage assessment photos.
31 May 1942: Stab at Soltsy with 1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 31. It only had this one Staffel assigned until September 1942 when 1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 13 joined it.
9 August 1942: a man from the Stabskp. WIA during enemy bombing at Demyansk.
21 August 1942: Stab at Soltsy with a total of 10 aircraft on strength (these of course belonging to 1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 31).
31 August 1942: a man from Ln.-Betr.Kp./NAGr. 11 WIA in bombing at Demyansk.
31 October 1942: a man from Stab/NAGr. 11 WIA in bombing at Soltsy.
31 October 1942: photographed the Demyansk area.
12-13 November 1942: 3 men from Ln.-Betr.Kp./NAGr. 11 KIA during enemy bombings at Soltsy.
11 December 1942: Stab at Soltsy.
30 December 1942: photographed the Demyansk area.
26 January 1943: Soltsy in support of 16th Army with 1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 31 and NASt. 11./13.
29 March 1943: Fi 156 belonging to the Stab crash landed at Deetaichi (misspelled) in bad weather, 35%.
May 1943: the Stab received a single Fw 189 in May and retained it until November when it was traded in for 2 Bf 109 G-6s.
19 May 1943: Fi 156 from the Stab crashed - no details, 30%.
26 May 1943: Soltsy in support of 16th Army with 1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 31 and NASt. 11./13.
11 June 1943: a man from the Stab KIA in a Partisan ambush at Nechayeva.
10 July 1943: NAGr. 11 reported a total of 19(16) Fw 189s and Hs 126s on strength.
11 July 1943: Fi 156 from the Stab crashed at Solonitsko/23 km east of Dno due to engine failure, 60%, pilot injured.
28 July 1943: Fw 189 shot down by a fighter north of Staraya Russa, 100%, 3 KIA.
30 July 1943: photographed the Kholm area.
4 August 1943: Fw 189 shot down by a fighter south-west of Staraya Russa, 100%, Oblt. Ernst Hahn (observer) WIA.
24 August 1943: photographed the Kholm area.
1 September 1943: NAGr. 11 still in support of 16th Army.
29 September 1943: Stab/NAGr. 11 ordered to transfer to Bologna/Italy - it took a month or so for NAGr. 11 to disengage itself from North Russia and losses in North Russia were still being charged to the Gruppe as late as November, although it is not known what Staffel these aircraft actually belonged to except that it was not 1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 31 or NASt. 11./13.
6 October 1943: AOK 16’s main effort changed to the Nevel area (c.220 km south-south-east of Pskov) when Soviet 3d Shock Army staged a surprise attack on Nevel near the dividing line between Army Group North and Army Group Center, broke through weak German positions and took the key town the same day, thereby opening a line of advance through undefended territory to the Latvian border just 110 km to the west. NAGr. 11 immediately transferred to Idritsa airfield/76 km north-west of Nevel to support the crisis there.
15 October 1943: Fw 189 force landed near Vilnius/Lithuania, 10%.
25 October 1943: Fw 189 shot up by a fighter but returned safely to Idritsa airfield, 10%, 1 WIA.
8 November 1943: Fw 189 force landed on a flight from Riga to Pskov, 100%, Oblt.
Walter Köstle, injured.
25 November 1943: Fw 189 A-3 damaged by ground fire in Pl.Qu.0481, 15%, 1 WIA.
3 December 1943: Stab now ordered to move to Poggio Renatico/Italy. Personnel were granted home leave for the holidays while en-route to Italy.
7 December 1943: Fw 189 force landed near Bolosertsy (not located but east of the line Pskov - Idritsa) due to engine trouble, 20%.
Italy. (January 1944 - April 1945)
14 January 1944: Stab now at Marcigliana (just north of Rome), but ordered to depart on 27 January, although this order may have been cancelled. In Italy, the Gruppe was assigned to furnish tactical reconnaissance support to both AOK 10 deployed on the east side of the Italian boot, this task being assigned mainly to 1./NAGr. 11, and AOK 14 on the west side of Italy, this being assigned to 2./NAGr. 11. The front south of Rome remained relatively stable until the second half of May when the Allies began advancing up the Italian boot toward Florence and Bologna.
1 February 1944: Stab had 3 Bf 109 G-6/U3 on strength. These were turned in the following month and thereafter Stab/NAGr. 11 had no first line aircraft assigned to it.
4 May 1944: NAGr. 11 at Littorio and Marcigliana, both just north of Rome.
5 June 1944: Stab transferred from Viterbo/68 km north-west of Rome to Castiglione del Lago/95 km south-east of Firenze (Florence).
13 June 1944: Stab transferred to Florence.
July 1944: NAGr. 11 at Poggio Renatico/14 km south-west of Ferrara and Forli/67 km south-east of Bologna.
August 1944: NAGr. 11’s Staffeln suffered heavy losses during the retreat north from the front area south of Rome to northern Italy during June to August.
21 August 1944: Stab transferred from Poggio Renatico to Bologna.
25 September 1944: Stab transferred to Udine/north-east Italy and assigned to fly reconnaissance along the Adriatic coast as far south as Ancona.
14 March 1945: Stab/NAGr. 11 ordered disbanded this date by OKL.
20 March 1945: Stab at Udine under Kommandierender General der deutschen Luftwaffe in Italien.
8 April 1945: Stab disbanded this date, presumably at Udine.
FpNs:Stab/NAGr. 11 (L 00284), Stabskp./NAGr. 11 (L 33342), Ln.-Betr.Kp./NAGr. 11 (L 10425).
Maj. Ernst-Eugen von Michaelis (?) (April 1942 - ? )
Oberst Paul-Robert Matusek (?) ( ? - ? ) 1942
Obstlt. Rudolf Eberhardt ( ? - 11 May 1943) 3/43
Maj. Reinhold Tüttelmann (11 May 1943 - 19 May 1944?) 9/43
Hptm. Hans Schumann ( ? - ? ) 7/44
Hptm. Roland Eckerscham ( ? - c.8 April 1945) 3/45
© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress).
(1st Draft 2022)
- W.Dierich - Die Verbände der Luftwaffe 1935-1945: Gliederungen und Kurzchroniken – Eine Dokumentation; G.Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945, Teil 14: Die Luftstreitkräfte (Osnabrück, 1980); N.Kannapin - Die deutsche Feldpostübersicht 1939-1945, 3 Bde (I – III) (Osnabrück, 1980-82); NARA WashDC: RG 242 (Microcopy T-311 – Gruppe mentioned numerous times in the records of Heeresgruppe Nord, 1942-43); (Microcopy T-312 roll 568/314-19 document Genst.d.Heeres/Org.Abt.(II) Nr.1483/42g.Kdos., 19 Apr 1942 detailing the creation of the Nahaufklärungsgruppen); (Microcopy T-321 roll 53/003ff); NARA WashDC aerial photo data via M.Abicht; AFHRA Maxwell: decimal K113 Karlsruhe Collection; AFHRA Maxwell: decimal 512.619 British AirMin CSDIC P/W Interrogation Reports in microfilm rolls A5415-18, interrogation CSDIC AFHQ A.564; PRO London: AIR 40 Air Ministry intelligence reports and lists based on ULTRA, “Y” Service intercepts, captured documents and PoW interrogations; PRO London: DEFE 3 ULTRA signal KO277; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 4 II/32 (KTB General der Aufklärungsflieger); BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 40/Kart; K.Gundelach - Die deutsche Luftwaffe im Mittelmeer 1940-1945, 2 Bde (Frankfurt/M., 1981), pp.800, 832; N.Beale et al - Air War Italy, 1944-45: The Axis Air Forces from the Liberation of Rome to the Surrender (Shrewsbury (Shropshire), 1996), pp.47; M.Holm-website ww2.dk.