Intended FJ role in Sealion

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Freikorps, Reichswehr, Austrian Bundesheer, Heer, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Fallschirmjäger and the other Luftwaffe ground forces. Hosted by Christoph Awender.
User avatar
sitalkes
Member
Posts: 471
Joined: 18 Feb 2013 00:23

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by sitalkes » 17 Jul 2022 12:39

Great stuff! So, no 75mm recoiless guns?

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4997
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 17 Jul 2022 18:24

Knouterer wrote:
17 Jul 2022 10:17
This raises an interesting question: did Putzier and his staff really believe that the Luftwaffe would be able to assemble 635 serviceable Junkers on S-Tag? Or did they sign off on these somewhat implausible numbers because they were (almost) certain that the sealion was already a dead duck and the Luftwaffe would never be asked to deliver?
Looking at the documents, it appears the assumption was that most of the aircraft committed to the 1st and 2d waves would be available and would be used again for the 3d and 4th waves.

1st wave 136 aircraft including 2 reserve
2d wave 499 aircraft (plus if I read correctly, 3 Störche :lol: )
3d wave 324 aircraft
4th wave 163 aircraft

What is problematic is that there were only 343 operational Ju 52 in the Luftwaffe as of 21 September, when the plan required as a minimum 635 operational aircraft. The only way to do do was to again strip aircraft from the training schools, as had been done in April and May. That generated 723 operational aircraft on 13 April, but after the losses incurred I suspect 635 was pie in the sky and was counting on hand aircraft and the assumption that all would be operational and crews would be available for all of them.
The same question applies of course to the FJ units listed. As noted before, it is highly doubtful that by September there were enough trained paras available to bring all of these units up to strength.
IIRC, III./FJR 2. was not organized until January 1941, FJR 3. had just been created in June from II./FJR 1. (which also had to be reformed), and the FJR Pionier Btl. 7. consisted of just a reinforced company, but who are we to quibble? :lol:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Knouterer
Member
Posts: 1618
Joined: 15 Mar 2012 17:19

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 18 Jul 2022 07:26

sitalkes wrote:
17 Jul 2022 12:39
Great stuff! So, no 75mm recoiless guns?
Apparently the 75 mm LG 40 was not yet in service at that time. A while ago I found an interesting account by a young Fallschirmjäger on the internet, but most of it seems to have disappeared:
(http://www.erinnerungswerkstatt-norders ... php?page=2 )
This young man volunteered for the FJ in April, straight out of school (final exams were early in 1940 because of the war) and after basic training joined FJR1 in June and was assigned to the newly formed 13th (heavy weapons) company, which soon after was equipped with nine 105 mm “Nebelwerfer” heavy mortars (in three platoons). This company was preparing to move to France in Sept. and would have been part of the first wave as detailed above, but the move was canceled.

The 105 mm Nebelwerfer 35 does not seem an ideal weapon for paras, it was very heavy at 110 kg (in three loads) and did not appreciably outrange the 81 mm mortar (3000 vs 2400 meters). Taking more of the latter would seem a better idea IMHO.
For the attack on Crete the following year, the 13th company of the LSSR was transported in Ju 52s each carrying ten men, a 105 mm Nebelwefer and just 25 rounds, not very much for a protracted battle (Golla, p. 395).
"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

User avatar
sitalkes
Member
Posts: 471
Joined: 18 Feb 2013 00:23

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by sitalkes » 18 Jul 2022 08:53

Interesting article. They were jumping from as low as 120m!!! That would have meant they didn't spread out much, and could have landed fairly accurately, despite the problems with their parachutes.

User avatar
fredleander
Financial supporter
Posts: 2175
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 20:49
Location: Stockholm

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by fredleander » 18 Jul 2022 10:29

sitalkes wrote:
18 Jul 2022 08:53
Interesting article. They were jumping from as low as 120m!!! That would have meant they didn't spread out much, and could have landed fairly accurately, despite the problems with their parachutes.
The whole story can be found here: https://ewnor.de/es/826_es.php

Use the chapter list on the right side of the page to switch chapters.

Fred
River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book about Operation Sealion:
https://www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - an eight-book series on the Pacific War:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D3 ... rw_dp_labf

User avatar
fredleander
Financial supporter
Posts: 2175
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 20:49
Location: Stockholm

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by fredleander » 18 Jul 2022 10:39

sitalkes wrote:
18 Jul 2022 08:53
Interesting article. They were jumping from as low as 120m!!! That would have meant they didn't spread out much, and could have landed fairly accurately, despite the problems with their parachutes.
That, I believe, was the general idea... :D ..

Fred
River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book about Operation Sealion:
https://www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - an eight-book series on the Pacific War:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D3 ... rw_dp_labf

User avatar
fredleander
Financial supporter
Posts: 2175
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 20:49
Location: Stockholm

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by fredleander » 18 Jul 2022 12:08

Knouterer wrote:
17 Jul 2022 10:17
As discussed above, there has been little definite info on the role of the FJ. Recently, relevant documents from the 7th FD itself have been published on germandocsinrussia.com (Findbuch 12488, Akte 563, pages 48 and following). One of these documents, dated 26 Sept. and signed by major general Putzier,
Did the general say anything about the actual drop zones? Or better, do you have the actual link to that page? The pages are somewhat unwieldy to search, I find.
This raises an interesting question: did Putzier and his staff really believe that the Luftwaffe would be able to assemble 635 serviceable Junkers on S-Tag? Or did they sign off on these somewhat implausible numbers because they were (almost) certain that the sealion was already a dead duck and the Luftwaffe would never be asked to deliver?
My general impression is that nobody was certain about anything in that period - and a German staff officer would certainly not act on unreliable rumours but stick to his job. That said, exactly how many transports the Germans had available, or needed, for Operation Sealion, is of less importance, too, with the short flight time between German departure points and eventual drop zones.
The same question applies of course to the FJ units listed. As noted before, it is highly doubtful that by September there were enough trained paras available to bring all of these units up to strength.
I would say that what is "highly doubtful" is rather that concrete plans were made on resources not available. Also, what is a "trained para"? The parachute is a means of transport, what takes more time and effort is to train a soldier properly in infantry tactics. Germany had an abundance of trained infantry. Also, see the example of German mountaineers trained to be dropped over Narvik.

Fred
Last edited by fredleander on 18 Jul 2022 14:33, edited 1 time in total.
River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book about Operation Sealion:
https://www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - an eight-book series on the Pacific War:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D3 ... rw_dp_labf

User avatar
fredleander
Financial supporter
Posts: 2175
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 20:49
Location: Stockholm

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by fredleander » 18 Jul 2022 12:41

Ok, for anybody interested - here is the link to the various documents covering WW2 in the German-Russian Digital Project:

https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/de/ ... -fond-500/

Here is link to the documents covering Operation Sealion:

https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/de/ ... on-seel-we

Fred
River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book about Operation Sealion:
https://www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - an eight-book series on the Pacific War:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D3 ... rw_dp_labf

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4997
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Jul 2022 16:49

fredleander wrote:
18 Jul 2022 12:08
Did the general say anything about the actual drop zones? Or better, do you have the actual link to that page? The pages are somewhat unwieldy to search, I find.
The drop zone map is on page 68. I find the pages are very easy to search, given knouterer did the grunt work and gave us the exact Findbuch and Akte.
My general impression is that nobody was certain about anything in that period - and a German staff officer would certainly not act on unreliable rumours but stick to his job. That said, exactly how many transports the Germans had available, or needed, for Operation Sealion, is of less importance, too, with the short flight time between German departure points and eventual drop zones.
Um, no, "exactly how many transports the Germans had available" and "exactly how many transports the Germans...needed" was highly important to them. If they "needed" 499 to fly in the 2d wave as planned, but only had 343 operational on Der Tag, then they had a major problem. The problem gets worse considering they needed 199 to fly in the first wave and obviously judged it impossible to use the same aircraft in both missions, despite the "short flight time between German departure points and eventual drop zones".

In fact, 1. Welle was to start at dark and the 2. Welle was to follow 65 minutes later. The 3. Welle, comprised of the same units found in the 1. and 2. Welle, was to follow "at the earliest" (frühestens) 5 hours later. The 4. Welle, also composed of the same units in the 1. and 2. Welle was to "follow the 3, Welle at the same time if possible" (wird wenn möglich gleichzeitig mit 3. Welle nachgeführt). It appears the 7. Flieger planners assumed a loss of 148 operational aircraft between the launch of the 1./2. Welle and the launch of the 3./4. Welle five or more hours later, which was about 23.3% of the total required 635 operational aircraft.
I would say that what is "highly doubtful" is rather that concrete plans were made on resources not available.
No, concrete plans were made by 7. Flieger-Division based upon what their mission requirements were. However, they were not responsible for providing the aircraft. It was up to ObdL to determine if sufficient aircraft were available. Given how infrequently the Luftwaffe was able to muster 635 operational transports - two weeks in November 1939, one week in April 1940, one week in June 1941, one week in December 1941, one week in November 1942, one week in July 1943, one week in January 1944, one week in February 1944, and finally fourteen weeks in spring-summer 1944 - the notion they were capable of doing so at a moments notice in September 1940 is pie in the sky thinking. In fact, average weekly operational strength from 1 September 1939 through the end of September 1940 was 335.2.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

User avatar
fredleander
Financial supporter
Posts: 2175
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 20:49
Location: Stockholm

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by fredleander » 18 Jul 2022 21:17

Richard Anderson. The drop zone map is on page 68. I find the pages are very easy to search, given knouterer did the grunt work and gave us the exact Findbuch and Akte.
Thank you, Richard - found it now - and I am very grateful to Knouterer for taking the trouble to find this information. I tried some regular searches on other subjects but, as I wrote, found it a little awkward. Understanding it better now.
Um, no, "exactly how many transports the Germans had available" and "exactly how many transports the Germans...needed" was highly important to them. If they "needed" 499 to fly in the 2d wave as planned, but only had 343 operational on Der Tag, then they had a major problem. The problem gets worse considering they needed 199 to fly in the first wave and obviously judged it impossible to use the same aircraft in both missions, despite the "short flight time between German departure points and eventual drop zones".
You assume there was no/little ctc between the 7. Fl.div. staff and ObdL.?
However, they were not responsible for providing the aircraft. It was up to ObdL to determine if sufficient aircraft were available. Given how infrequently the Luftwaffe was able to muster 635 operational transports - two weeks in November 1939, one week in April 1940, one week in June 1941, one week in December 1941, one week in November 1942, one week in July 1943, one week in January 1944, one week in February 1944, and finally fourteen weeks in spring-summer 1944 - the notion they were capable of doing so at a moments notice in September 1940 is pie in the sky thinking. In fact, average weekly operational strength from 1 September 1939 through the end of September 1940 was 335.2.
These numbers - are they inclusive of the K.z.b.v. transport units? General Halder in his diary specifically states that Luftwaffe confirmed just before the Seelöwe deadline that they had 1.000 transports, of which 750 were operational. With all these figures quoted here - do you not know the exact number in September 1940?
...the notion they were capable of doing so at a moments notice in September 1940 is pie in the sky thinking. In fact, average weekly operational strength from 1 September 1939 through the end of September 1940 was 335.2.
I see - average. IOW, the number could have been much hgher in September 1940? Well, the invasion planning actually started in July. Apart from that I should think that repairs and new production of transports were started immediately after the French campaign.

A remark to a previous opinion aired here - that it was doubtful that the FJ units could be up to their full complement considering their recent losses in Holland - the 7. Fl.div. order discussed here was issued September 26th 1940 which should indicate that they were set to go - even with a less than full complement. As I understand it, most of the German airborne troops (air-landed, actually) captured in Holland were members ot the 22. division - not FJs.

Finally, a question to you gentlemen. If the German air and troop complements had been less than full - what do you thnk they would have done?

Fred
River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book about Operation Sealion:
https://www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - an eight-book series on the Pacific War:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D3 ... rw_dp_labf

User avatar
fredleander
Financial supporter
Posts: 2175
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 20:49
Location: Stockholm

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by fredleander » 18 Jul 2022 21:28

Nevertheless, I give you here the direct link to the 7. Fl.div. order of September 26th 1940:

https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/de/ ... ect/zoom/8

Arrows on the top pf the pages to move back and forth.

Again my regards to Knouterer for drawing our attention to these documents.

Fred
River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book about Operation Sealion:
https://www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - an eight-book series on the Pacific War:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D3 ... rw_dp_labf

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4997
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Jul 2022 22:06

fredleander wrote:
18 Jul 2022 21:17
You assume there was no/little ctc between the 7. Fl.div. staff and ObdL.?
No, I assume the 7. Flieger-Division staff was tasked to create an air landing plan and did so. If you notice, the planning is based upon the soll stärke of the Transport Gruppen, which makes me assume they were simply told what Gruppen would be available rather than the actual strength.
These numbers - are they inclusive of the K.z.b.v. transport units? General Halder in his diary specifically states that Luftwaffe confirmed just before the Seelöwe deadline that they had 1.000 transports, of which 750 were operational. With all these figures quoted here - do you not know the exact number in September 1940?
They are inclusive of the operational KG.z.b.V., which were KG.z.b.V. 1. and its four Gruppen, LLG 1. and its three newly organized Schleppgruppen (only one with Ju 52, the other used Do 17 and Hs 126), KGr.z.b.V. 9., KGr.z.b.V. 172., Stab/KG.z.b.V. 2., Stab/KG.z.b.V. 3., Stab/KGr.z.b.V. 101., Stab/KGr.z.b.V. 102., Stab/KGr.z.b.V. 104., Stab/KGr.z.b.V. 105., and Stab/KGr.z.b.V. 106.

Do you see the issue? In June 1940 all the aircraft drawn from the Fliegerschulen in March-April to augment the strength of the Transport Gruppen were returned to the Fliegerschulen. The units that comprised the active Transport Gruppen were six complete Gruppen, three Schleppgruppen (only three Staffeln of which appear to have been operational), and the staffs of seven other Gruppen.

To activate the Staffeln of the seven additional Gruppen required raiding the Fliegerschulen of aircraft and crews. Were there "1.000" available? Perhaps. Were 750 operational? Perhaps...and yet the Luftwaffe was never able to field such operational strength. Perhaps someone thought it might be a good idea given the losses and the low rate of output of trained crews that it might not be a good idea to disrupt the entire school system for another four months, just when they were beginning to recover?
I see - average. IOW, the number could have been much hgher in September 1940? Well, the invasion planning actually started in July. Apart from that I should think that repairs and new production of transports were started immediately after the French campaign.
Given I already told you the number for 21 September was 343 why would you imagine "the number could have been much hgher [sic] in September 1940"? On 7 September 305 were operational, on 14 September 352, on 21 September 343, on 28 September 350. Average operational strength for the month of September 1940 was 337.5. To reach the numbers required for the 7. Flieger Division plan would require at least as large and effort as in April, when 360-odd aircraft and crews were stripped from the schools.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

User avatar
fredleander
Financial supporter
Posts: 2175
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 20:49
Location: Stockholm

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by fredleander » 18 Jul 2022 23:40

="Richard Anderson" post_id=2419741 time=1658178416 user_id=69300
To activate the Staffeln of the seven additional Gruppen required raiding the Fliegerschulen of aircraft and crews. Were there "1.000" available? Perhaps. Were 750 operational? Perhaps...and yet the Luftwaffe was never able to field such operational strength. Perhaps someone thought it might be a good idea given the losses and the low rate of output of trained crews that it might not be a good idea to disrupt the entire school system for another four months, just when they were beginning to recover?

Given I already told you the number for 21 September was 343 why would you imagine "the number could have been much hgher [sic] in September 1940"? On 7 September 305 were operational, on 14 September 352, on 21 September 343, on 28 September 350. Average operational strength for the month of September 1940 was 337.5. To reach the numbers required for the 7. Flieger Division plan would require at least as large and effort as in April, when 360-odd aircraft and crews were stripped from the schools.
OK, now we are getting somewhere. From this I draw that there were much more transports available than the "normal" sold numbers you are referring to. As you say, it was so in April.

If they did it in April why not in September - if there had been sufficient repairs and new production, that is. So the question is now whether that was what they planned - or not - with the eventual consequences that the 7. Fl.div. plan for Seelöwe could not be carried out without adjustments.

Firstly, was the invasion of the UK important enough to justify what you implies - the disruption of the entire (transport pilot) school system for four months? I do not know why it should be disrupted for four months, but let us say so. In comparison, the Kriegsmarine did exactly this regarding its U-boot-weapon. Everything non-operational was closed down to make maximum use of this weapon during the invasion, fully aware of the implications for the near future training system. This went for much of the rest of the Kriegsmarine, as well.

It should be understood, too, that Goering had a say in this, both the FJs and the transport plane pilots were his guys. If the Army had asked for such an effort purely for Army units he might not have been as willing. For the same reason he did not accept the Army leadership's intention to use the FJ's piecemeal along the Channel coast, like they did on Crete. He wanted them as close as possible to their bases just across the Dover Strait with their drop zones in the area Dover-Folkestone-Lympne and concentrated his whole Stuka force, in replenishment mode since the Kanalshclacht, for close support of his FJs.

The best indication, in my opinion, is that 7. Fl.div. invasion plan obviously was based on the "full" use of all transport facilities. I do not believe for a minute that a plan such as that would be drawn up without conferring with the ObdL staff regarding sufficient transport.

Fred
River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book about Operation Sealion:
https://www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - an eight-book series on the Pacific War:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D3 ... rw_dp_labf

Knouterer
Member
Posts: 1618
Joined: 15 Mar 2012 17:19

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 19 Jul 2022 09:00

To continue the numbers game a bit: according to Vajda & Dancey, p. 52, the total number of Ju 52/3ms delivered to the Luftwaffe (including requisitioned Lufthansa aircraft?) by the start of the war in September 1939 was 703 (out of a total of 1,568 built by that time, of which many were exported), rising to 1,023 by the end of June 1940.
If we add three more months of production, about 100 aircraft, and generously assume fifty more recovered and repaired since the fighting in April/May, and then deduct from that the known losses in the various campaigns since the Spanish Civil War, plus a reasonable percentage for general attrition, we arrive at six to seven hundred at the most, I would say.
The Lufthansa still had 78 Ju 52/3ms on charge in 1940, including those of Hitler’s personal flight, the Fliegerstaffel des Führers. Most were by that time used to transport mail and general cargo, and could presumably have been converted for FJ use without too much trouble. There were also some larger four-engined aircraft, but in very small numbers, and as far as is known they were never used to drop parachutists.
"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

Knouterer
Member
Posts: 1618
Joined: 15 Mar 2012 17:19

Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 19 Jul 2022 09:14

On the other hand, I'm beginning to think that there may have been more Ju 52s in the school system than I assumed before. There were at one point fourteen FFS/C schools (for multi-engine flying training), some of which had 25-30 Ju 52s (plus Ju 86, He 111, Do 17). There were three “Grosse Kampffliegerschulen” with i.a. 18 Ju 52 each as „Hörsaalflugzuge“ (lecture room planes or flying classrooms). In early 1941 one of these schools had 400 pupils (pilots, observers/navigators, flight mechanics, radio operators, gunners) and the course length was four months, so the output can be estimated at roughly 100 aircrew per month on average, or 300 for all three schools. Their next phase of training took place in the Ergänzungskampfgruppen, of which there were four (with 30-35 bombers each), where they spent between two and eight weeks depending on their skill level and the requirements of the frontline units. Final training took place in the Ergänzungsstaffel (later expanded to -gruppen) of the operational Geschwader.
Then there were five Blindflugschulen (instrument flying) also with some Ju 52 each.
"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

Return to “Heer, Waffen-SS & Fallschirmjäger”