Breslau

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Transport operations during the Siege of Breslau.

Contents

Timeline

Breslau was situated in Lower Silesia, Germany. (It is now known as Wroclaw, Poland).

25 Jul 1944 - Hitler declared the city of Breslau to be a fortress (festung), to be defended at all costs.[1]

Karl Hanke appointed to be the city's Battle Commander (Kampfkommandant).[2]

19 Jan 1945 - Hanke ordered the evacuation of civilians from the city.[3]

2 Feb 1945 - General-Major Hans von Ahlfen was made garrison commander.[4]

7 Feb 1945 - When it became clear that the city faced encirclement orders were issued to increase the air supply operations to that area.[5]

14 Feb 1945 - 6th Army of 1st Ukranian Front encircled Breslau as part of the offensive into Silesia.[6]

15 Feb 1945 - Air supply operations to the encircled fortress commence.[7] I./KG 4 commences supply operations to Breslau.[8]

16 Feb 1945 - III./KG 4 commences supply operations to Breslau.[9]

17 Feb 1945 – Instructions were issued that if landings at Breslau could not take place, due to Soviet air attacks, then the supplies were to be airdropped.[10]

late Feb 1945 - freight gliders with a battalion of paratroops to strengthen the garrison landed on the Kaiser Strasse.[11]

2 Mar 1945 - General Hermann Niehoff replaced von Ahlfen as garrison commander.[12]

7 Mar 1945 - orders issued for the Kaiser Strasse to be widened for use as an airstrip.[13]

6/7 Apr 1945 - last landing operation by Ju 52s in the city. Three Ju 52s landed and took out 52 wounded and 2 aircrew on their return flight.[14]

27 Apr 1945 - Final supply operations to Breslau operated by He 111s of I. And III./ KG 4.[15]

1 May 1945 - Seven Ju 52s dropped supplies above the city. Two Fiesler Fi 156 Storch aircraft landed and collected glider crews.[16]

2 May 1945 - Air supply operations to Breslau cease.[17]

6 May 1945 - Breslau capitulated.[18]


Take-Off Bases[19]

Jüterbog - utilised by Ju 52 units.

Dresden-Klotsche - utilised by Ju 52 units

Königgrätz (now Hradec Králové, Czech Republic) - utilised by the He 111 units.

Landing Sites[20]

Gandau airfield - east of the city - Russian AA and searchlight batteries were concentrated in this area in an attempt to disrupt the air supply operations.

Friessenwiese - located near the Jahrhunderthalle. The field was approx. 2,600 ft long and 1,300 ft wide. However, due to issues in the approach and take-off this could only be utilised by experienced crews, it was also subject to considerable Russian AA concentrations.

Kaiser Strasse - an airsrip 2,600 ft long by 165 ft wide. Never actually used by the Transport units.

Transport Units

The units listed below were considered to be available for operations on the Eastern Front to supply various beleaguered fortresses. However, ther priority was to be Breslau.

I./TG 1 - Ju 52s, Maj. Oskar Schmidt, Tutow[21]

II./TG 2 - Ju 52s, Hptm. Kurt Harnisch, Senftenberg[22]

III./TG 2 - Ju 52s, Maj. Reimann, Dresden-Klotsche[23]

I./TG 3 - Ju 52s, Hptm. Georg-Dieter Matschulat, Senftenberg[24]

II./TG 3 - Ju 52s, Maj. Otto Baumann, Werder[25]

III./TG 3 - Ju 52s, Maj. Josef Penkert, Finsterwalde.[26]

TGr 30 - He 111s, Ob-Lt. Klamke, Klein-Welzheim, Reichenbach, Neubiberg and Salzburg.[27]

Also available were the following units:-

Grossraumtransportstaffel - Ju 352s, Maj. Günter Mauss[28], Tutow.[29]

I./KG 4 - He 111s, Hptm. Rolf Rannermann, Königgrätz.[30]

III./KG 4 - He 111s, Maj. Herbert von Kruska, Königgrätz.[31]


Losses

Nowarra indicates that 165 transport aircraft (mainly Ju 52s) together with their crews were lost in operations to supply Breslau.


Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
23 Feb 1945 I./TG3 Ju 52 641016 Breslau, 100%.Lt. Ernst Stoppe (F).Uffz. Josef Schneider (Bf), Fw. Josef Prisler (Bw) alll KIA and Uffz. Walter. Krmert (Bs) WIA.[32]
2 Mar 1945 I./TG3 Ju 52 501215 Near Breslau, 100%.

Fw. Wilhelm Timmermann (F), Uffz. Herbert Kühn (BF), Uffz. Johann Friedrich (Bw) and Uffz. Arno Müller (Ba) all MIA.[32]


References

Siege of Breslau - Wikipedia

Luftwaffe 1939-45, Michael Holm, web site

Transporter v2 - Martin Pegg, Classic

Ju 52, Aircraft and legend - Heinz J Nowarra.

German Airforce Airlift Operations - Fritz Morzick, ARNO

Die Verband der Luftwaffe - Wolfgang Dierich, Motorbuch verlag

Bomber Units of the Luftwaffe Vol 1 - de Zeng and Stankey, Classic Publications.


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Wikipedia
  5. Morzick
  6. Wikipedia
  7. Pegg
  8. De Zeng and Stankey
  9. De Zeng and Stankey
  10. Ultra T465/50
  11. Morzick
  12. Wikipedia
  13. Morzick
  14. Nowarra
  15. De Zeng/Stankey
  16. Nowarra
  17. Pegg
  18. Nowarra
  19. Morzick
  20. Morzick
  21. Morzick & Dierich
  22. Morzick & Dierich
  23. Morzick & Dierich
  24. Morzick & Dierich
  25. Morzick & Dierich
  26. Morzick & Dierich
  27. Morzick & Dierich
  28. Nowarra
  29. Pegg
  30. Pegg
  31. Pegg
  32. 32.0 32.1 Luftwaffe Quartermaster General Loss Returns 12 Mar 1945
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