Bordfliegerverbände Unit Histories

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Bordfliegerverbände (Shipborne Formations)


General Background

The first of two pre-war Staffeln of shipborne floatplanes was formed on 1 April 1936 to provide the catapult-launched aircraft for the German Navy’s (then) 8 pocket (or light) battleships and light cruisers. The He 60, and later He 114 and Ar 196, floatplanes were used for scouting, gunnery observation, anti-submarine patrols, rescue, ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship courier work, etc. The Staffeln belonged to Bordfliegergruppe 196, which was considerably expanded during the war, but remained the only Gruppe set up for this purpose. As the war progressed, additional ships came into service that required a complement of aircraft and new responsibilities were assigned to Bo.Fl.Gr. 196, including harbor defense and more extensive reconnaissance and anti-submarine duties.[1]

Tables of Organization

Few of the Kriegsstärkenachweisungen (KStNs) tables of organization and equipment are believed to have survived the mass destruction of Luftwaffe records during the last year of the war, but what is known of the numerical designation for the main ones for the Bordfliegerverbände is listed below:

1534 (L)Stab einer Bordfliegergruppe (Staff of a Shipborne Gruppe).

1535 (L)Bordfliegerstaffel (Shipborne Staffel).

1536 (L)Sonder-Bordfliegerstaffel (Special Shipborne Staffel).

For non-tactical, general administrative matters concerning doctrine, tactics, staffing, promotion and awards recommendations, inspections, etc., the Bordfliegerverbände were managed by a branch of the Luftwaffe general staff in Berlin that was reorganized, re-designated and/or changed several times during the war:

Inspekteur der Marineflieger (1 Feb 39 – c. Apr 40)
Inspekteur des Seeflugwesens (c. Apr 40 – Apr 42)
(?) General der Luftwaffe beim Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine (May 42 – 29 Aug 44)
(?) General des Seewesens der Luftwaffe (29 Aug 44 – 8 May 45)

Unit Histories

This page provides links to all of the Bordfliegerverbände Unit Histories held on this wiki. There will be an "Index" page in the left-hand column and links to individual unit histories in the right-hand column.

Index Page Unit/History
Bordfl.Gr. 196 Stab./Bordfl.Gr. 196
1./Bordfl.Gr. 196
2./Bordfl.Gr. 196
3./Bordfl.Gr. 196
5./Bordfl.Gr. 196
6./Bordfl.Gr. 196

© H.L. deZeng IV, 2024


  1. Ries, Karl-Luftwaffen Story 1935-1939:157-59; J-P.Défieux-Répertoire des Unités Aériennes de la Luftwaffe 1935-1945: Reconnaissance Aéronavale; F.Kurowski-Seekrieg aus der Luft: Die deutsche Seeluftwaffe im Zweiten Weltkrieg; AFHRA Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama: decimal 512, A.I.12 (Post Hostilities section) study Y/29 “G.A.F. Establishment Schedule Numbers”.