COMMAND STRUCTURE IN FINLAND 1941 - 1944
|Luftwaffe aircraft at Kauhava, Western
Finland, on 26 October 1942.
Bf 109E fighters were en route to north to supplement
separate Jagdgruppe z.b.V renamed
by spring 1942 as II./JG 5.
22.6.1941 - 23.11.1943
Initially all Luftwaffe (LW) units in Finland were under the command of Luftflotte 5 in Oslo, Norway. Between June 1941 and 15.11.1943 Luftflotte 5 had an advanced staff in Finland called both Einsatzstab or Gefechtstab. Flying combat units were usually led by an independent regional or functional (i.e. bombers, fighters etc.) sub-commanders [Fliegerführer] with the staff of the same name. They were only operationally subordinated to Einsatzstab/Gefechtstab. Flying units in Northern Norway and Finland were initially under the command of Fliegerführer Nord which was divided into three separate staffs during December 1941 and January 1942: Fliegerführer Nord(Ost), Fliegerführer Nord(West) and Fliegerführer Lofoten.
Signals troops, including air surveillance and radar troops, were subordinated to their own command staff Höherer Nachrichtenführer Luftflotte 5 in Oslo, Norway. It was the staff of signals commander of Luftflotte 5.
Airfields were maintained by the troops of the regional administrative command staff called Luftgau [Airfield District]. Luftgau was also "a staff of rear areas". Since 1942 Kommandierender General Rückwärtiges Gebiet 525 (Korück 525) was responsible on planning of movements, supply and accommodation of all German troops in rear areas. When Luftgau Finnland was suspended Kommandierender General der Deutschen Luftwaffe in Finnland became also the staff of Korück 525 which was further subordinated to (Gebirgs-)Armee-Ober-Kommando 20.
Kommandierender General der Deutschen Luftwaffe in Nordnorwegen in Bardufoss, Norway, was subordinated to Luftgau Norwegen but acted at the same time also as Fliegerführer Nordnorwegen. Komm.Gen.d.Dt.Lw.i.N.N. had another (at first advanced) staff in Kirkenes, Norway, after Einsatzstab Kirkenes was suspended later in 1941. Komm.Gen.d.Dt.Lw.i.N.N. led also builder troops of Organisation Todt which were constructing new highly important supply road called Reichstrasse 50 in Northern Norway.
1942 the staff in Bardufoss became Fliegerführer
Lofoten (16.2.42 - 18.8.44 Oberst /
Generalmajor (1.8.42) Ernst-August Roth) which
was responsible of most efforts against Allied naval
escorts in the Arctic Sea in close co-operation with Fliegerführer
Nord(Ost) and Kriegsmarine U-boats of Admiral
all Luftwaffe flying and land troops (including
the regional air combat leader and staff Fliegerführer
Nord(Ost) and its successors) on the command area of Gebirgs-Armee-Oberkommando
20 (Geb.-AOK 20) in Northern Finland and Norway were
subordinated to a new command staff called Komm.Gen.d.Dt.Lw.i.Finnland
formed from the Gefechtsstab Luftflotte 5 and Luftgau
Finnland. It was furthermore subordinated to Luftflotte
5 in Norway.
Chief of Staff
Kommandierender General der Deutschen
Luftwaffe in Finnland
Chief of Staff
24.10.43 - 2.44 Oberst Ernst Kühl
Luftflotte 5 was gradually disbanded starting on 16.9.1944. On 10.10. a new staff called Kommandierender General der Deutschen Luftwaffe in Norwegen (16.9. - 10.10.44 General der Flieger Josef Kammhuber, 10.10. - 15.11.44 Generalmajor Eduard Ritter von Schleich, 15.11.44 - 9.5.45 Generalmajor / Generalleutnant (1.1.45) Ernst-August Roth) formed from the Luftflotte 5 and Feldluftgau Norwegen (former Luftgau Norwegen renamed in January 1944) took the command in Norway. Roth's former staff Fliegerführer 5 (earlier Fliegerführer Lofoten) in Narvik, Norway, was renamed as 5. Flieger-Division (1.45- Oberst Ernst Kühl).
After 30.9.1944 Kommandierender General (und Befehlshaber) der Deutschen Luftwaffe in Finnland (23.6. - 10.12.44 General der Flieger Willi Harmjanz) was directly under the command of Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (OKL). Fliegerführer 3 was furthermore its regional air combat leader in Northern Finland. Alone this staff was a rather large one having a personnel of nearly 400!
In November all LW signals troops in Finland and Norway were subordinated to Komm.Gen.d.Dt.Lw.i.Norwegen. Staff of Komm.Gen.d.Dt.Lw.i.Finnland was gradually suspended starting on 26.11.1944 because virtually all LW troops had been moved away from Finland and it was not needed anymore. In December it became a new Luftgaukommando XVI of Luftflottenkommando Reich in Germany and ended up its work in Finland finally on 19.12.1944.
all Luftwaffe units and staffs in the north had
been subordinated to Komm.Gen.d.Dt.Lw.i. Norwegen.
Fliegerführer 3 continued under this new
command until it was too suspended on 19./20.12.1944.
© 2001 - 29.8.2003 Harri Anttonen