DEFE 3/6

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DEFE3 6 covers the decryption period between 22nd November 1943 and 25th November 1943 – however, some information relates to dates outside this period.


Note the date of the event refers to a date in the message not necessarily the date of the message.

Flifue = FliegerFührer

The link to DEFE 3/6 at the national archives is here.

To download the notes as a pdf document click here


Note –


  1. Number of pages refer to “GAF sightings” - these are for the most part not included in the summaries below as they do not refer to specific aircraft types or units.
  2. Flivos of Divisions are also not included below
  3. Code “Yoke” appears to refer to “Y” service.
  4. Times are direct from the message i.e. Zulu time.




Page Report Date of event Notes
569 VL251 20/11/43 GAF station Grosseto reported on 20/11/43

(Able) presence of a “Gruppe” of LLG 1 with 10 aircraft and 9 Gliders at Siena.

(Baker) Occupation unchanged except for arrival of “Three”./LLG 1. (Comment – firstly not clear whether para Baker refers to Grosseto or Siena but suggest latter more likely, nor whether 3. Staffel or III. Gruppe is meant.

Secondly, JP9472 gave elements of LLG 1 at Siena on 10/11/43.

555 VL257 22/11/43 14 hits on landing area Heraklion, 3 on runway in attack by 11 aircraft at about 01.30 hrs Z on 22/11/43. 100 HE including DA dropped. Airfield unserviceable.

Secondly, 5 lorries burnt out, 7 damaged by 4 Spitfires at 09.15 on 21/11/43 on road Durazzo – Tirana.

537 - 541 VL264 20/11/43 Included in Western Mediterranean effort (Able) on 20/11/43

1 of (F)./122 sea reconnaissance approximate route 4107, 1245 E – 3937, 1445E – 3907, 1015E – 4152, 1115E – 3837, 1345E. This aircraft at 4042, 1325E at 06.45 hrs Z.

1 Ju 88 of Fliegerdivision 2 security reconnaissance 10.30 – 15.00 hrs Z on approximate route 4307, 0445E – 4007, 0315E – 4007, 0445E – 4107, 0445E – 4107, 0615E – 4007, 0615E – 4037, 0745E – 4.(F)/122, 0845E – 4207, 0815E.

Unspecified number (plural) of 1(F)./33 down 15.00 hrs Z.

(Baker) on 21/11/43, 1 of (F)./122 sea reconnaissance 11.30 – 21.15 hrs Z on route 4227, 0945E – 4107, 1015E – 4112, 1135E.

1 Ju 88 security reconnaissance west of 5º E to African coast 03.45 – 10.00 hrs Z.

One unspecified aircraft off-shore Pescara – Bari, 09.45 – 11.15 hrs Z. 1 Ju 88 between 3º and 8º E as far as 40º N, 11.45 – 15.45 Hrs Z.

2 Ar 196 security reconnaissance inshore Marseilles – Nice, 13.30 – 16.00 hrs Z.

Unspecified aircraft offshore east Italian coast including Bari – Barletta, 09.15 – 11.45 hrs Z.

By Fliegerführer Luftflotte, no ground attack sorties owing restoration of serviceability.

2 fighter thrusts against artillery spotting aircraft, 2 scrambles against bombers north of Rome.

8 reconnaissance sorties of which 3 ops before LXXVI Pz. K., one reconnaissance XIV Pz. K.

517 VL274 18/11/43 Transfer of aircraft IV./JG 27 from Albania to Kalamaki (comment see JP9260) completed on 18/11/43.
499 VL282 21/11/43 Fliegerführer Albania intentions evening 21/11/43 for 22/11/43 included photo reconnaissance Bari, Brindisi, Taranto, Goia del Colle, Manduria and Plevlje.

Secondly, Valona airfield blown up (Comment compare JP9459) by evening21/11/43.

Thirdly, orders evening 21/11/43 for 22/11/43 to NAGr 2 Mostar were photo reconnaissance Termoli and coastal strip northwest thereof, as ordered for 21/11/43.

489 VL286 22/11/43 Appreciated by Luftwaffenkommando Süd-Ost on 22/11/43 that Allied interest in Aegean subsided. Air reconnaissance obtaining data for submarines which have appeared increasingly in last few days.

No recognisable reaction to Samos affair.

481 VL290 22/11/43 Photo reconnaissance Algiers not possible owing weather on 22/11/43. V/R appreciations, 12.40 hrs Z in

position 3707, 0245 E: 4 cargo ships about 2,000 t, two destroyers course west, medium speed. 13.00 hrs

harbour (position 3647, 0305 E) 2 Battleships, six Cruisers, 12 Destroyers, about 60 landing craft and 30 small naval craft, about 35 cargo ships of about 200,000 t and two floating docks. Outer Harbour (presumably Algiers) 1 large comvoy

of 60 cargo ships of which one third troop transports (400,000 t) and a large number of small harbour craft. 13.00 hrs Z hours in position 3707, 0345 E, 1 Cruiser, 1 destroyer, course south west, high speed.

477 VL292 22/11/43 Intentions Fliegerführer Luftflotte evening 22/11/43 for 23/11/43: Battle reconnaissance with main effort in front of left wing of LXXVI Korps.

And fighter ops as for 22/11/43.

475 VL293 22/11/43 Reconnaissance intentions Fliegerdivision 2 at 21.30 hrs Z 22/11/43 for 23/11/43.

Continuous convoy reconnaissance African coast between Oran and Algiers.

473 VL294 22/11/43 Reconnaissance intentions evening 22/11/43 of Fl.K. II. For night 22-23/11/43 offshore screening of both coasts.

For 23/11/43, sea area around Corsica and Sardinia including Straits of Bonifacio. Photo reconnaissance of all airfields and harbours with special emphasis on Maddalena and Bastia. Sea reconnaissance Tyrrhenian.

447 VL304 21/11/43 Freya at Fieri damaged by 4 Spitfires 09.30 hrs Z 21/11/43.
409-411 VL320 23/11/43 According to arrangements 02.00 hrs Z 23/11/43, 3 Ar 196 of KFG 126 were to take over escort from time of leaving port. At first light 2 Ar 196 were to transfer from Scaramanga as reinforcement. Aircraft from Suda Staffel located Suda on 31/10/43 (See JP8928) could also be called upon as reinforcements if required. Scaramanga aircraft to return there when opportunity arose.
355-357 VL342 22/11/43 No operations night 21/11/43 – 22/11/43 by Luftwaffenkommando Süd-Ost. On 22/11/43 total of 44 sorties with 2 losses.(one Ju 88 of 1.(F)/122 lost from Cyprus reconnaissance, one Ju 52 crashed after leaving Maleme.)

Reconnaissance - 1 Ju 88 probing reconnaissance toward Cyprus and Alexandria from 07.45 to 10.00 hrs Z, one same lost (see above). 1 Ju 88 Turkish reconnaissance sometime before 13.00 hrs Z. 1 Ju 88 Met reconnaissance Aegean, southwest Crete and Greece. 1 Ju 88 offshore Spartivento and Otranto 10.20 – 13.20 hrs Z. 2 Me 109 photo reconnaissance Taranto- Mandura.

2 Arados anti-submarine patrol off Suda Bay.

No bomber ops in Croatia owing to weather (Comment – add to VL286 - appreciated that medium bombers from Apulia were prevented by weather from operating)

Escort – 6 Arados with two convoys, 4 with air transports.

Transport – 25 Junkers in area Greece, Crete, Rhodes, Vienna. No transport Croatia and Albania owing weather.

351 VL344 23/11/43 Ops orders for 23/11/43 as for 21/11/43 from Fliegerführer Croatia (Comment – photo reconnaissance Termoli harbour and coast to northwest, see VL151).

Intentions Fliegerführer Albania for 23/11/43 included photo reconnaissance Bari, Brindisi, Taranto, Goia del Colle, Manduria, guerrilla airfield Plevlje.

349 VL345 22/11/43 2.NAGr 2 was informed on 22/11/43 that following airfields were suitable for Me 109: (Able) Dalmation Coast : Zara – Zemonico, Zara – Nadin, Gruda subject to reservations., Podgorica.

(Baker) Italy: Pescara, Jesi. Comment – Contrast orders of 11/10/43 in JP6985 that Nadin to be made unserviceable.

345 VL347 22/11/43 Operations by Fliegerführer Luftflotte on 22/11/43 included: 10 Fw 190 from 14.00 – 14.50 hrs Z, having failed to locate shipping in Gulf of Gaeta attacked alternative target, railway station and M/T traffic at M9490.

100 fighter sorties on escort and scrambles.

343 VL348 22/11/43 Western Mediterranean effort on 22/11/43 included: 1 of 1.(F)/33 due up 03.00 hrs Z, another due up 03.30 hrs Z. 1 Ju 88 from 04.00 – 09.15 hrs Z sea reconnaissance convoy route African coast.

1 Ju 88 sea reconnaissance convoy route Alboran area from 03.15 – 11.00 hrs Z. 1 Ju 88 from 10.15 – 12.30 hrs Z in area 4237, 1415 E; 4.(F)/122, 1745 E; 4.(F)/122, 1845 E; 4252, 1645E.

339 VL350 21/11/43 Eleusis airfield on 21/11/43, runway useable, remainder still unserviceable. Comment – see VL157.
333 VL353 23/11/43 Flying personnel losses of II./SG3 Maritza in operations agains Leros, from 26/09/43 – 11/11/43 – 1 Officer, 2 NCOs dead; 3 officers, 4 Ncos , 2 men missing; 2 NCOs wounded.

From 12/11/43 -+ 16/11/43 – 1 Officer and 1 NCO dead; 1 Officer wounded.

329 VL355 23/11/43 Reconnaissance intentions for 24/11/43 of 2. Fliegerkorps at 17.45 hrs Z 23/11/43. Sea area Corsica, Sardinia, Tyrrhenian and offshore reconnaissance east. Further reconnaissance depending on development of weather.
313 VL363 23/11/43 Intentions Fliegerführer Luftflotte evening 23/11/43 for 24/11/43 unchanged as for 23/11/43.
311 VL364 22/11/43 Prohibited flying zone to cover Turin and Pinerolo laid down by 22/11/43.

Boundary includes Carmagnola, Revello, Monteviso, Monte Rahiere, Fenestrelle, Lanzo, Rivarolo and slight indications Montanara. Flying in lanes along railways Chivasso – Turin and Asti – Turin, thence to Airasca airfield.

305 VL367 22/11/43 Add to VL347. Total of 6 reconnaissance sorties. 2 reconnaissance in front of XIV Pz. K., 1 broken off for technical reasons. 1 reconnaissance in front of LXXVI K. abandoned owing fighter opposition. This gives total sorties Fliegerführer.
299 VL370 23/11/43 2. Fliegerdivision intentions evening 23/11/43 for 24/11/43.

One aircraft in the morningto pick up again east bound convoy off African coast. One aircraft in the evening between 3º and 8º East to 40º North. (Fair indications one aircraft)

Afternoon security reconnaissance and anti-submarine patrol as far as Nice.

287 VL375 22/11/43 Two Junkers arriving Gadurra evening 23/11/43 to load ground personnel of Stuka 3 on return journey according Fliegerkorps X 22/11/43.

Comment – II./St.G. 3 Maritea renamed II./SG 3 on 01/11/43, see JP 8847

269 VL382 23/11/43 According Luftflotte 2 on 23/11/43 entry on captured map from Mosquito shot down (strong indications night 19-20/11/43) in Marino Bay, revealed that operation was carried out from Naples as harassing flight into north Italy in Venice – Padua area. Aircraft belonged to “23 staffel of a Malta night fighter Geschwader”. Presense of 6 Mosquitos recognised for first time on Naples Pomigliano on 05/11/43 was additional confirmation of transfer of this staffel. Increasing night fighter activity and intruder patrols to northern Italy were thereby explained.
257 VL387-9 23/11/43 Effort Luftwaffenkommando Süd-Ost 23/11/43, total 39.

Recce 4; bomber nil; fighters nil, escort 8; transport 19 and miscellaneous 8. No losses.

Reconnaissance: 1 Ju 88 , 04.00 – 06.00 hrs Z weather SW and SE of Crete and probing reconnaissance Alexandria.

1 Ju 88, 07.00 – 09.00 hrs Z probing Alexandria and reconnaissance Turkey.

1 Ju 88, 10.00 – 12.00 hrs Z probing Cyprus and reconnaissance Turkey.

1 Ju 88 , 11.00 – 14.30 hrs Z offshore Otranto to Spartivento and Ionian Sea.

Escort: 2 Ar for one convoy, 6 Ar for airtransports.

Transpots: 16 Ju 52, 2 Ar, 1 He 111 glider towing in areas Greece – Crete – Leros – Cos, Greece – Crete – Leros – Cos, Rhodes.

Miscellaneous: 3 Ar sea rescue search south of Crete without result on basis of wireless intercept of 22/11/43. 5 Ju 88 leaflet dropping Greece at request of Army.

No night ops 22-23/11/43.

253 VL389 24/11/43 Appreciated by Luftwaffenkommando Süd-Ost that allied reconnaissance aircraft appeared for first time shortly after

dawn in Aegean target area. This presupposed night take off from Africa, a method of operation not previously observed.

239 VL396 22/11/43 Decided on 22/11/43 to establish radar position on Corfu in 393040, 195145 W. To be set up in about eight week's time when path completed.

Comment - compare JP8538 (October 28 suggested position on summit Mount Matthias)

237 VL397 21/11/43 Strength on 21/11/43 (Comment – compare VL282) units of Fliegerführer Albania.

NAGr 12, Devoli Stab 3 and 2, 5 and 5. 1st Staffel 8 and 1, 14 and 3. 2nd Staffel 8 and 5, 17 and 14.

13./SG 151 Podgorica, 10 and 6, 12 and 8.

IV./JG 27 Podgorica, number unknown (comment – compare VL274) and 0, 2 and 0.

2 KG Ju 88, 1 and 1, 3 and 2.

231 VL399 23/11/43 Western Mediterranean effort 23/11/43 included (Able) Fliegerführer Luftflotte. No operations up to 18.00 hrs Z owing weather and sott airfields.

(Baker) Other aircraft Luftflotte 2 area.

Unspecified aircraft of Aufklgr. 122 sea and offshore reconnaissance Cap Circeo – Cap Palinuro including area 39º – 40º N by 14º – 15º E and 40º- 41º N by 13º – 14º E; 10.00 – 11.45 hrs Z.

One aircraft on approximate route Perugia; 3852, 0945 E – 3852, 0815 E – 3922, 0615 E – 3937, 0615 E – 3937, 0815 E – 4007, 0945 E – Perugia.

1 Me 410 of Aufklgr. 122 (2.(F)/122) sea reconnaissance Corsica including Bonifacio Straits, over Bastia at 08.30 hrs Z.

(Charlie) Fliegerdivision 2 – 2 Ar 196 on unspecified close escort, 06.00 – 08.00 hrs Z. 1 of 1.(F)/33 due up at 06.00 hrs Z, unspecified task.

229 VL400 23/11/43 At 20.00 hrs Z 23/11/43 orders to Fliegerführer Albania for battle ops on 24/11/43 were ground attack operations according to Army orders.
217 VL406 23/11/43 Arrangements on 23/11/43.

Stab. And 2./NAGr 2 to transfer to area of Luftflotte 4.

Flying elements in Mostar to transfer when weather suitable.

Ground elements at or in transfer to Mostar (comment – compare JP9650) to be sent by rail from Belgrade.

209 VL409 30/11/43 Unspcified number of SM 95 (comment – compare JP4291) and SM 90 held by (strong indications IV./TG 3 – Comment: at Gallarate) on 30/11/43 to receive technical modifications.
205 VL412 23/11/43 Serviceability II./JG 77 on 23/11/43, 15 out of 23 aircraft, 46 pilots ready out of 60.
199 VL415 23/11/43 III./JG 53 at Reggio Emilia on 22/11/43 (comment see also JP9668) arranged to provide daily a guard platoon of 30 men for the station.

Secondly, same Gruppe had 52 pilots ready out of unkown number morning of 23/11/43

197 VL416 23/11/43 9 Ar 196 arrived Skaramanga from Leros 15.00 hrs 23/11/43. Compare VL320 for elements of 3./126 on Leros.
195 VL417 23/11/43 Intenrtions Fliegerführer Albania evening 23/11/43 for 24/11/43 were unchanged from 23/11/43 (comment – unkown but VL400 gave orders to Fliegerführer for 24/11/43 as ground attack operations according to Army orders.
177 VL426 23/11/43 Fliegerführer Albania under orders late 23/11/43 to transfer Stab and 2./NAGr 12 to Mostar as soon as weather favourable (Comment – compare VL406 this gave orders on 23/11/43 for move of Stab and 2./NAGr 2 from Mostar to Russia.)

Secondly, evening 23/11/43 Fliegerführer Croatia intended to transfer a ground attack gruppe (Ju 87) to Mostar in the next few days for “a fairly long operational undertaking”. He requested that Mostar be stocked up with bombs and B4, denuding Sarajevo temporarily.

171 VL429 23/11/43 For 24/11/43 orders to close reconnaissance Kette Mostar evening 23/11/43 were as for 21/11/43

(comment - photo reconnaissance Termoli harbour and coast to Northwest, see VL 151 and 344) plus watch on island of Vis and photo reconnaissance of guerilla airfield (Comment – unspecified but see VL148 for interest in Plevlje).

Secondly, orders for 24/11/43 to Fliegerführer Albania issued afternoon 23/11/43. Photo reconnaissance Bari, Brindisi and Taranto harbours and Manduria Gioia airfields if not carried out on 23/11/43.

151 VL439 23/11/43 KG 76 ordered 23/11/43 despatch of mechanics to Udine for setting up of 3./NSGr 7. Secondly 2./NSGr 7 located Banjaluka. Equipment includes Hs 126.
147 VL441 24/11/43 Intentions Fliegerführer Luftflotte for 25/11/43 same as for 24/11/43. Comment – these same as for 23/11/43, which were battle reconnaissance , main effort in front of left wing LXXVI Korps, G/A and fighter operations, see VL292
133 VL447 24/11/43 Against Sofia raid on 24/11/43, 19 Bulgarian Me 109 scrambled from Sofia in addition to 5 German Me 109 from Nish (Comment see VL431).

By 18.00 hrs Z no report to Luftwaffenkommando Süd-Ost intelligence of damage at Radomir.

Appreciated by this authority that targets were railway installations at Sofia.

Secondly – 7 reconnaissance aircraft, including 2 Lightnings over Giurgiu 10.45 hrs Z 24/11/43, appreciated by Luftwaffenkommando Süd-Ost as first appearance Lightnings this area.

127 VL450 24/11/43 II Fliegerkorps reconnaissance intentions 19.30 hrs Z 24/11/43. For night 24-25/11/43.

Screening both offshore areas and screening for operation Boredom (Comment – see VL442).

For day 25/11/43, offshore west, including weather permitting photo reconnaissance harbours and airfields Naples – Salerno area.

Offshore east including weather permitting photo reconnaissance Termoli, Bari, Barletta, Brindisi, Taranto and airfields in Foggia – Apulia area. Sea reconnaissance Tyrrhenian Sea and area round Corsica including photo reconnaissance results Maddalena and Bastia.

97 VL463 22/11/43 Albania Fliegerführer strength as on 22/11/43. First pair aircraft total and serviceable, second pair crews total and ready.

Stab./NAGr 12, Devoli – Me 109: 3 and 2, 5 and 4. Fi 156: 4 and 3, 3 and unknown.

1./NAGr 12, Devoli – Me 109: 9 and 2, 14 and 4. Fi 156: 2 and 0, 3 and 3.

2./NAGr 12 – Me 109:9 and 4, 17 and 14. Fi 156: 2 and 1, 2 and 0.

13. SG 151, Podgorica – Ju 87: 10 and 6, 12 and 8.

IV.JG27, Podgorica – 0 and 0, 2 and 0.

2./K(?) Ju 88 : 1 and 1, 3 and 2.

79 VL471 24/11/43 Morning 24/11/43 Luftwaffenkommando Süd-Ost urgently required what information available concerning night fighting in Apulian area.
69 VL475-7 24/11/43 Sorties on 24/11/43 by Luftwaffenkommando Süd-Ost totalled 44 of which 6 reconnaissance, 8 bombers, 5 fighters, 14 escort, 11 transports, details

Firstly reconnaissance, 2 Ju 88 probing Alexandria and Cyprus and photo reconnaissance Turkey 07.45 to 09.00 hrs Z. 2 Arados south of Crete, 1 Ju 88 weather in direction of Tobruk and SSW of Greece, 1 Ju 88 offshore Italy, Spartivento – Otranto.

Secondly, Bombers – 8 He 46 supported army in Glina area (Comment – approximately 30 miles SSE of Agram.).

Thirdly 5 Me 109 scrambled 15.00 hrs Z from Nish against Allied formation attacking Sofia. Bad weather over airfield prevented interception.

Fourthly – Escort, 5 Arados with one convoy, 9 Arados with air transports.

Fifthly – Transports, 11 Ju 52 Greece, Vienna – Breslau.

Sixthly – according Bulgarians, 19 Me 109 scrambled 11.40 hrs Z from Sofia against Allied force attacking Sofia. 3 Liberators claimed shot down of which 1 by German instructor with Bulgarians.

Also 1 shot down by Bulgarian flak. 1 Me 109 missing, 3 Me 109 belly landings.

67 VL476 24/11/43 Evening 24/11/43 orders to close reconnaissance Kette Mostar for 25/11/43: tasks as for 24/11/43 (comment see VL429), with photo reconnaissance of Vis airfield if at all possible.
65 VL477 24/11/43 Supply train quota for Feldluftgau XXX for December, according QM Luftwaffenkommando Süd-Ost 24/11/43: 20 for Croatian area, 20 for Belgrade area, 2 Nish area, 6 Bitolje area. Proposed loadings: 5 trains with aircraft fuel in barrels, 11 with bombs, 10 flak ammunition, 6 Luftwaffe equipment, 12 works equipment and ,aterials, 2 trains of M/T, 2 of general supplies.
61 VL479 23/11/43 According to TG 4 on 23/11/43, Luftwaffenkommando Süd-Ost desired bringing up to full strength of transport units operating in southeast area.

Strengths same day: I./TG 4 36 Ju 52

II./TG 4 38 Ju 52

1. See Tr.St. - (no location known) 8 Ju 52, with no reserve.

55 VL481-3 24/11/43 Koflug 9/VI (Sarajevo) advised Flugplatzkommando C 135/XI on 24/11/43 of following communications with Split : (able) land route.

By rail from Sarajevo – Agram – Karlovac – Glina – Bob Novi, thence with infantry column via Bihac – Knin – Drnis – Split (very laborious).

(Baker) Sea route. By rail from Sarajevo – Mostar – Metkovic. Thence favourable communications by sea as there was a ship in Metkovic returning to Split in 3 to 4 days.

Secondly, move of Flugplatzkommando C 135/XI to Divlje partly carried out on 14/11/43 according information 22/11/43. (Note: VL397 please cancel reference to VL282 in para “Firstly”.)

37 VL489 24/11/43 Orders 2./NSGr 7 Banja Luka (Comment see VL439) evening 24/11/43:

(Able) Harassing bomber operation (Comment – area unknown here).

(Baker) Patrol of “enemy” railway Bugojno – Jajce – Sipovo. Traffic to be attacked.

(Easy) Harassing bomber operation west of Sipovo.

(Dog) Existence of Guerilla airfields, said to be at Bugojno, Vakuf, Donji and Jajce, to be established.

21 VL496 24/11/43 According Flugplatzkommando C 135/XI on 24/11/43. Part detachment (comment – see VL481 secondly) withdrawn from Divulje to Split by 23/11/43 as there was lively “enemy” activity and the position was not tenable.
3 VL500 23/11/43 State of airfields evening 23/11/43. Tirana, Devoli and Shijak, take and landing on runway only. Scutari and Podgorica no report as telephone line unserviceable.