Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

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Counter
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Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by Counter » 28 Jan 2022 07:26

HI!

I would like to read something from you about this question:

Apparently, in mid-November 1941, the important 2 Luftflotte was sent from Central Front in Russia (then engaged in the decissive "Typhoon" battle) to the Mediterranean. Reinforcing Axis supplies in North Africa was vital, as due to the british interception of Axis maritime convoys Rommel was defeated in the "Crusader battle" (December 1941). German aircrafts and submarines changed completely the situation in the Mediterranean at the end of 1941.

But then, as Axis forces were saved by the aerial and submarine german intervention to support supplies in North Africa, the Russians won in Moscow, rejecting the german offensive -Typhoon-

How important was the 2 Luftflotte´s absence in front of Moscow in December 1941?

Did maybe the british success on interception of the Mediterranean Axis convoys in septembre october 1941 allow the soviet victory in Moscow?

Thank you for your help :D

Counter
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Re: Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by Counter » 10 Feb 2022 14:43

No reply. May be later :D

Just adding kind of timeline:

End of May 1941: X Fliegerkorps moved from southern Italy. British dominance in central Mediterranean ensued

In concert with Royal Navy submarines, the RAF and FAA sank 108 Axis ships (300,000 grt) between June and September. In September, 33% of the 96,000 tons of supplies dispatched were lost to British submarine and air attack. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_ ... nforcement

17 September - Hitler orders six U-Boot into the Mediterranean

9 October, Otto Dietrich of the German Ministry of Propaganda, quoting Hitler himself, forecast in a press conference the imminent destruction of the armies defending Moscow

15 October, Stalin ordered the evacuation of the Communist Party, the General Staff and various civil government offices from Moscow to Kuybishev-Samara

10 November, Hitler orders 2 Luftflotte moves from Central Russia to Sicily

8 December, Hitler had signed his directive No.39, ordering the Wehrmacht to assume a defensive stance on the whole front. German troops were unable to organize a solid defense at their initial locations and were forced to pull back to consolidate their lines.

?????????????????

Konig_pilsner
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Re: Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by Konig_pilsner » 10 Feb 2022 18:19

Hey Counter,

After Vyazma AGC was done and could only advance at a high cost, or where they faced limited opposition. AGN's failure to turn the corner at Tikhivin and Guderian's failed pincer had more to do with stalling the advance than lack of air support, which by this time needed to be refit anyway. Had Luftflotte 2 remained it might have helped stabilize the front during the counter attacks to some extent, however poor weather and months of attrition would limit its effectiveness to change the overall picture.

KP

klzlueylx
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Re: Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by klzlueylx » 05 Apr 2022 20:09

On that question I might have an answer, though not so direct but maybe help a little.




When Barbarossa starts, LuftFlotte 2 had following units:
(Fighters & Bombers only, Recon & Transporter not included.)
(From Barbarossa to 2.42)
  • JG53 (exit ostfront from 8.41 to 10.41)

II FliegerKorps
  • KG3 (Rebased to Kursk region, only III./KG3 left in Vyazma)
  • KG53 (Kursk)
  • StG77 (Orel-Stalino)
  • SKG210 (a Gruppen left at 10.41 to 12.41, Others joined the Moscow Offensive)
  • JG51 (spreaded along the front, about half joined Typhoon)
VIII FliegerKorps
  • KG2 (exit Ostfront from 9.41 to11.41)
  • StG1
  • StG2 (went south, Kursk then back to Poland)
  • ZG26 (exit Ostfront from 10.41)
  • JG27 (exit Ostfront at 10.41)

The only noticeable Air Reinforcement to Ostfront in this time period was KG4, deployed to the North.

Thus, When LF2 was ordered to cover Italy, it only took 2/3 of it's original SingleEngined fighters, all TwinEngined Fighters (they soon were retasked to Ground Attack & Nightfight) while most bombers were kept in Russia.

Yet, those who stayed in Russia were mostly reverted their operation to south, and by the early stage of Typhoon only a very Limited original-LF2 unit was able to help the offensive. It's not hard to understand the reason why, ObdL made this change of strategy, as with time comes to late autumn and winter, central russia are having a increased bad weather percentage, making the supply and navigation harder, while daytime got a decrase causing difficulties to spot ground targets, especially from height onto a foresty ground. By any possible reason, Southern Russia or Urkraine offers better condition for aerial warfare and asked a higher need than central, due to the much more preserved VVS units and quicker advance of the Heer.
and when the Typhoon comes to a devastating situation, der Luftwaffe found itself, too, in a desperate status. Icey winter caused frontline airfields unable to get supply, thus maintenance of aircraft became impossible. Soon there was no enough aircraft operationable, and they were forced to face a revived enemy, which they thought, and did, smashed in July. VVS returned with thousands of newly equipped Yak and Migs and IL2, replacing the elder I16 and I153. Even before the Winter, Luftwaffe had suffered a unsustainable loss ratio, now with heavily reduced strength and a stronger enemy, even pilots were used out. by December 41, luftwaffe managed to get a 56.5% of fully operational crew, with the cost of using pilots still in train. and by July the number was at 75%. Though, it's kind of 'balanced' since aircraft in-commision rate dropped to 45%, comparing with the July's 68%. Also, 1941's latter half also is the only period during whole war, that Germany's SingleEngine Aircrafts production reduced.
(data comes from Williamson Murray's <Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933-1945>)

Returning to the question, Yes, what LF2 took away from Centralline of Russia is essential to the aerial operation , though not foreseeable. No, if it did not leave, they will still face the obstacles of logistics, an impossible match to the enemy. The Absence of LF2 did not result in the grand failure of Typhoon, but a reliefed burden given the circumstances of broken logistics. Luftwaffe cannot win a campaign alone, especially after Dunkerque, and the truth is Typhoon has always been AGC's typhoon, with or without LF2 or the Luftwaffe.

historygeek2021
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Re: Luftflotte 2 and Typhoon

Post by historygeek2021 » 06 Apr 2022 19:03

klzlueylx wrote:
05 Apr 2022 20:09
No, if it did not leave, they will still face the obstacles of logistics, an impossible match to the enemy. The Absence of LF2 did not result in the grand failure of Typhoon, but a reliefed burden given the circumstances of broken logistics. Luftwaffe cannot win a campaign alone, especially after Dunkerque, and the truth is Typhoon has always been AGC's typhoon, with or without LF2 or the Luftwaffe.
Good point. Germany could not get enough trains through to supply the army in December. If Goering had his henchmen kidnap the few trains left in order to supply Luftflotte 2, Army Group Center might have completely collapsed.

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