KGrzbV 200

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Contents

Introduction

KGrzbV 200 was a special transport unit that had been created specifically for the Stalingrad airlift. It was made up of aircraft and crews from KG 40. Following the conclusion of the Stalingrad airlift Grossadmiral Doenitz recalled KGrzbV 200 for operations over the Atlantic. However, due to the situation now being encountered in the Kuban these orders were temporarily countermanded as the unit was needed for short-term combat and supply missions for Luftflotte 4 to the Kuban.


The gruppe's mission was to use all available aircraft to deliver fuel, ammunition and food to the bridgehead. On returbn flights they were to bring out wounded personnel, special personnel (those with specialist skills required by the High Command) and copper - these were to be returned to Zaporozhe.


Operations

4 Feb 1943 - A number of specialist mechanics arrived from IV./KG 40 based at Chateaudun in France. These personnel had been assigned top priorirty for transportation to Stalino for use during the Stalingrad Airlift but had been delayed in arriving at the front due to higher priority being assigned to the transport of combat units (such as SS Div. Das Reich) to the front.

Seven Fw 200s transported supplies from Zaporozhe to Slavyanskaya, then flew two further missions between Krasnodar and Kerch IV (Kerch/Katerles). Wounded personnel, specilist personnel and copper were flown out to Zaporozhe on the return sorties.

5 Feb 1943 - Six Fw 200s moved supplies from Zaporozhe to Slavyanskaya, then flew two missions between Slavyanskaya and Kerch IV - they returned with a similar cargo to that of the previous day.

6 Feb 1943 - Seven Fw 2300s flew supplies from Zaporozhe to Krasnodar and then returned to Zaporozhe via Bagerovo (Crimea).

7 Feb 1943 - Four Fw 200s flew similar missions to those operated on 6 Feb.

8 Feb 1943 - Six Fw 200s brought up ammunition from Zaporozhe to Timashevskaya brought out soldiers and wounded personnel to Bagerovo. They then flew supplies from Bagerovo to Krasnodar and finally returned to Zaporozhe laden with copper.

9 Feb 1943 - Orders were issued for the gruppe to prepare to return to Berlin-Staaken. Three Fw 200s flew supplies from Zaporozhe to Krasnodar, flew back to Mariupol (Zhdanov) taking more supplies forward to Slavyanskaya and then returned to Zaporozhe.

10 Feb 1943 - Two Fw 200s flew similar missions to those flown on 9 Feb 1943.

11 Feb 1943 - Four Fw 200s flew similar missions to those flown on 9 Feb 1943.

12 Feb 1943 - Three Fw 200s flew similar missions to those flown on 9 Feb 1943.

13 Feb 1943 - One Fw 200 flew the units final mission from Zaporozhe to an unknown airfield within the Kuban Bridgehead. The airfields at Krasnodar and Timashevskaya had by now been evacuated.

After the completion of the supply operation to the Kuban KGrzbV 200 carried out combat operations against enemy aircraft in the Stalingrad area operating under the control of Luftflotte 4.

22 Feb 1943 - KGrzbV 200 was withdrawn to Berlin-Staaken.

Mar 1943 - unit disbanded - the remnants of 1. and 3./KG 40 were then combined to create a new 8./KG 40.

One of the deciding factors in favour of withdrawing the Fw 200s from the supply mission was their vulnerability once the Russian artillery was within range of the landing grounds.

Summary

In the operational period of the kuban operations, KGrzbV 200 the gruppe transported 116 tons of ammunition, 50.4 tons of fuel, 75.6 tons of food and an additional 12 tons of sundry equipment.

On the return legs of the sorties the aircraft brought out 830 wounded personnel, 1057 soldiers and 55.1 tons of copper.

References

German Airforce Airlift Operations - Fritz Morzik (USAF Historical Studies No 167 ARNO Press NY)

Eagle in Flames - E.R.Hooton (Brockhampton Press)

Transporter v1 - Martin Pegg.

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