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Subject: What was Luftwaffe bomber force called? rss

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Michael Tan
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The Luftwaffe fighter force was called the Jagdwaffe. I haven't been able to find an equivalent term for their bomber force. A Google and Wikipedia search yields nothing. Just wondering if anyone knows...
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Eddy Sterckx
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Bomberkommando ?

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luftwaffe_%28Wehrmacht%29
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Robert Wesley
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whistle Also, from there under Operational as these were wings Geschwader, specialized squadrons Staffeln, and battle groups Kampfgruppen.
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Javier Romero
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Kampfwaffe

"The He-111 is perhaps the most famous symbol of the German bomber force (Kampfwaffe) due its distinctive leaf like wing shape and “Greenhouse” nose..."

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Henning Nagel
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Hello Michael,


the German Bomber Force was called "Kampfflieger". The Name has not exactly the same Meaning like "Jagdwaffe" for the Fighter Force. The individual Members of the German Bomber Force were also called "Kampfflieger" and the Term could be translated as ~Combat Flyers.

A Bomber was called "Kampfflugzeug" (~Combat Plane).


Greetings,
Henning
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Henning Nagel
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romerj wrote:
Kampfwaffe

"The He-111 is perhaps the most famous symbol of the German bomber force (Kampfwaffe) due its distinctive leaf like wing shape and “Greenhouse” nose..."




Hello Javier,


what Source do you quote?

The Term "Kampfwaffe" was never used in German. I assume that the Author is of foreign Origin and derived the Term from "Jagdwaffe".


Regards,
Henning
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Robert Wesley
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romerj wrote:
Kampfwaffe

"The He-111 is perhaps the most famous symbol of the German bomber force (Kampfwaffe) due its distinctive leaf like wing shape and “Greenhouse” nose..."

hn110 wrote:


Hello Javier,


what Source do you quote?

The Term "Kampfwaffe" was never used in German. I assume that the Author is of foreign Origin and derived the Term from "Jagdwaffe".


Regards,
Henning
Well, there was that "Condor Legion", so, just saying! whistle
 
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Javier Romero
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I found it here:

Bob Carruters, Voices of the Luftwaffe

https://books.google.es/books?id=JKqWBQAAQBAJ&pg=PA53&lpg=PA...
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david mackay
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I thought this to be an interesting historical question and did a bit of sleuthing.
This site may be of interest
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_German_military_te...

There does not seem to have been an equivalent to Bomber Command, presumably because bombing was perceived to be part of a ground campaign. The Luftwaffe, as with the USAF 'Air Forces' was organised into Luftflotte, comprising fighter, bomber and other units as required. As an example:
http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Luftflotte_3.
In this outfit part of the Bomber element comprised
7/KG.40 (Saint-Jean-d'Angély), I presume this means 7th. Staffel of Kamfgeschwader (Bomber Wing) 40
8./KG.40 (Cognac) etc.
9./KG.40 (Cognac) etc.
A 'Kampfgruppe' was the equivalent of an RAF Group.
A 'Kampfflieger, is I think simply a 'military airman'. I have a illustration somewhere of a WW1 postcard of a smiling German pilot sitting in his cockpit over a caption:
'Leutnant SomebodyorOther ein...Kampfflieger'

I make no claim to be an authority however.
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Henning Nagel
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romerj wrote:
I found it here:

Bob Carruters, Voices of the Luftwaffe

https://books.google.es/books?id=JKqWBQAAQBAJ&pg=PA53&lpg=PA...



Hello Javier,


thank you very much. I do not know how versed Mr. Carruters is in the German Language. But I still assume that he derived the Term from "Jagdwaffe".

If one searches the Internet for the Term "Kampfwaffe" as good as no Pictures of Planes are revealed. In this Case it is a good Indicator.


Greetings,
Henning
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Henning Nagel
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deemac wrote:
I thought this to be an interesting historical question and did a bit of sleuthing.
This site may be of interest
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_German_military_te...

There does not seem to have been an equivalent to Bomber Command, presumably because bombing was perceived to be part of a ground campaign. The Luftwaffe, as with the USAF 'Air Forces' was organised into Luftflotte, comprising fighter, bomber and other units as required. As an example:
http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Luftflotte_3.
In this outfit part of the Bomber element comprised
7/KG.40 (Saint-Jean-d'Angély), I presume this means 7th. Staffel of Kamfgeschwader (Bomber Wing) 40
8./KG.40 (Cognac) etc.
9./KG.40 (Cognac) etc.
A 'Kampfgruppe' was the equivalent of an RAF Group.
A 'Kampfflieger, is I think simply a 'military airman'. I have a illustration somewhere of a WW1 postcard of a smiling German pilot sitting in his cockpit over a caption:
'Leutnant SomebodyorOther ein...Kampfflieger'

I make no claim to be an authority however.


Hello David,

you are right, there was no central Command for the German Bomber Force, as the Luftwaffe had no Strategic Bomber Fleet.

You are also right about the Organisation of the Luftwaffe.

The Term "Kampfflieger" was used to name the individual Members of the German Bomber Force and the Bomber Force as such.

The Meaning of the Word "Kampfflieger" changed over the Years. Fighter Pilots were also called "Kampfflieger" during the First World War. After that and until 1945 the Term was solely used for the Bomber Force and it's Members. In the Jet Age the Term refers again to all Flyers with Combat Roles, as most modern Jets are mostly multi-purpose Weapons.

Regards,
Henning

Edit: Typos.
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Brian Morris
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Proof once again that there is no such thing as just an amateur historian.

My interest in the air war over Europe has been growing over the last few years. Thanks for the interesting thread gentlemen.
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Michael Tan
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Thanks for all the responses, Henning in particular. For a bit of context, I'm trying to name chits that represent the production of air units. For the RAF, Fighter Command and Bomber Command work great. For the Luftwaffe, it would be Jagdwaffe and ???. I am using "Schnellbomber" as a placeholder but it's idiosyncratic as it is a category of aircraft versus a top level organizational group. "Kampfwaffe" seems best except I suspect it is a fictitious term. "Kampfflieger" doesn't seem to be ideal either...
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Bob Zurunkel
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"Die Verbaende Der Luftwaffe 1935 -1945" by Wolfgang Dierich agrees with Henning, the bomber units were referred to as Kampfflieger. That does not include the Nahkampfflieger - Stukas, etc.
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Thread like this are what make my day.
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If you were on the receiving end, the vocabulary was quite different.
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Henning Nagel
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m3tan wrote:
Thanks for all the responses, Henning in particular. For a bit of context, I'm trying to name chits that represent the production of air units. For the RAF, Fighter Command and Bomber Command work great. For the Luftwaffe, it would be Jagdwaffe and ???. I am using "Schnellbomber" as a placeholder but it's idiosyncratic as it is a category of aircraft versus a top level organizational group. "Kampfwaffe" seems best except I suspect it is a fictitious term. "Kampfflieger" doesn't seem to be ideal either...


Hi Michael,


only the Terms "Jagdflieger" and "Kampfflieger" come to my Mind at the Moment. Both Terms name the individual Members of the respecting Branches as well as the Branches as such. The Luftwaffe had no Organisation comparable to the RAF's Structure with an operational Distinction between the Fighter Force and the Bomber Force. The German operational Luftwaffe Headquarters led Fighter and Bomber Units.

While there was no operational Distinction between both Forces, the Luftwaffe differentiated both Branches in the administrative Structure and had a "General der Jagdflieger" (~Inspector of the Fighter Force or General of the Fighter Force) and a "General der Kampfflieger" (~Inspector of the Bomber Force or General of the Bomber Force). Both were responsible for the Readiness, Training and Tactics of their Branches.

So the Use of the Terms "Jagdflieger" and "Kampfflieger" on your Chits might be appropriate.


Regards,
Henning
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Bob Zurunkel
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Quite correct. Jagdwaffe was not an official designation, rather it was an informal one.
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Andy Daglish
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In a usage similar to that of the Army's kampfgruppe, there was a 'reversible' relationship between Luftwaffe Geschwader and independent Gruppen and their functions. In theory they had bombers, fast bombers and [slow] dive-bombers, fighters and heavy fighters, but unit designation was not always a guide to aircraft operated. Coastal recon might bomb land targets with Ju88s. Moreover pre-war production assumed a defensive 'interceptor' role for the principal single-engined fighter, the Bf-109, whereas the 110 was intended as an offensive aircraft of great power and armament, and was the second-most advanced main design operated by the Luftwaffe in 1940, after the Ju88.

The Luftwaffe tended to conduct armed reconnaissance, a single mission that combines two functions.

Thus the Luftwaffe didn't really have a 'bomber' force. Floatplanes might bomb, whereas it is hard to think of a unit type that couldn't bomb at all.

Higher Luftwaffe organisations essentially implied ground manpower, supporting a corresponding number of Gruppe and Geschwader. They were named for size in manpower, so a small Luftflotte would be a Luftdivision.

It is interesting to note that Nigel Askey, who authored the Barbarossa organisational books, feels that the typical Nazi policy of multiple overlapping functions, that colours the above, was also the main reason for their failure in the Soviet Union in 1941, whilst denying the primacy of the weather, supply problems or Glantz's theory of infantry lost at Smolensk. All-arms tactical co-operation has been given as a reason for swift defeat of the French, but Askey thinks the failure in Russia occurred at the operational level, where synergistic co-operation was not good enough to overcome the Red Army with the rapidity necessary for sudden victory.

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Rob Ryan
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Just glad to hear it wasn't Fahrvergnügen...
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Greg S
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Great thread!

Question: what would be the English equivalent of Luftflotte? Would that be squadron?
 
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Eddy Sterckx
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essayons7 wrote:

Question: what would be the English equivalent of Luftflotte? Would that be squadron?


Nope - 2 levels up from squadron - more like air fleet.
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Greg S
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
essayons7 wrote:

Question: what would be the English equivalent of Luftflotte? Would that be squadron?


Nope - 2 levels up from squadron - more like air fleet.


Thanks!
 
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