LUFTWAFFE

COMMAND STRUCTURE IN FINLAND 1941 - 1944

 

Luftwaffe aircraft at Kauhava, Western Finland, on 26 October 1942.

These Messerschmitt 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.

In January 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 Nordmeer.
.
.

.
.
LUFTFLOTTE 5
Oslo

Commander
(40) - 20.11.43 Generaloberst Hans-Jürgen Stumpff

Chief of Staff
Oberst / Generalmajor (1.3.43) Andreas Nielsen
.
.

.
Flying Troops:
.

.
Administration, Support and Supply Troops:

.

.
Einsatzstab z.b.V,
Einsatzstab Kirkenes,
Gefechtsstab Kirkenes

6.41 - 1.11.41 Kirkenes

Fliegerführer Kirkenes
Oberst 
Andreas Nielsen

.
Luftgau Norwegen
41 - 44 Oslo

(40) - 26.6.41 General der Flieger Karl Kitzinger
27.6.41 - 14.8.42 and 42 - 44 Generalleutnant /
General der Flieger
(1.10.42) Willi Harmjanz

Since January 1942 only for Norway.
.

..
Fliegerführer Nordnorwegen 1)
12.41 - ?.42 Kirkenes

General der Deutschen Luftwaffe in Nordnorwegen
12.41 - 31.7.42
Generalleutnant Hermann Bruch

.
Kommandierender General
der Deutschen Luftwaffe in Nordnorwegen
1)
41 - 1.42 (staff only) Bardufoss

(41) - 1.42 Generalmajor /
Generalleutnant
Hermann Bruch

Subordinated to Luftgau Norwegen,
in January 1942 renamed as
Fliegerführer Lofoten.
.

.
Einsatzstab Kemi,
Gefechtsstab Luftflotte 5

1.12.41 - 10.7.42 and 24.9.42 - 15.11.43 Kemi
11.7. - 23.9.42 Nautsi

(1.12.41- ?) ?
? - 31.3.43 Oberstleutnant Walter Lehwess-Litzmann
1.4. - 11.6.43 
Oberst Erich Schult
11.6. - 15.11.43 
Oberstleutnant Wolfgang Queissner

Advanced staff of Luftflotte 5.

Fliegerführer Nord
- 12.41 Stavanger

(3.41) - 12.41 Oberst Alexander Holle

Fliegerführer Nord(Ost)
12.41 - 10.3.44 Rovaniemi
25.3.42 - ? Kirkenes

12.41 - 1.3.43 Oberst Hermann Busch
1.3. - 24.10.43
Oberst /
Generalmajor
(1.2.43) Alexander Holle
24.10.43 - 
Oberst Ernst Kühl
.

.
Luftgau z.b.V 1
renamed in october 1942 as
Luftgau Finnland
30.8.42 - 15.11.43 Rovaniemi

(41) - 30.8.41 Generalmajor Fritz Mensch
Kommandierender General
der Deutschen Luftwaffe in Finnland
(30.8.41-)
30.8.41 - 1.(/15).11.43
Generalleutnant /
General der Flieger
(1.12.42) Julius Schulz

.
NOTE:

1) Komm.Gen.d.Dt.Lw.i.N.N had also flying units. Fl.Fü.N.N. was at first also its advanced staff,
but since early 1942 it was an independent staff under the command of Luftgau Norwegen.
.

.


.
24.11.1943 - 16.9.1944

On 24.11.1943 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.
.
.
.

LUFTFLOTTE 5
Oslo

Commander
20.11. - 22.12.43 (acting) and 23.12.43 - 16.9.10.44
General der Flieger Josef Kammhuber

Chief of Staff
(40) - 31.12.43 Generalmajor Andreas Nielsen
1.1. -
16.9.44 Oberst Ernst Kusserow

.

Kommandierender General der Deutschen Luftwaffe in Finnland
15.11.43 - ?.44
Rovaniemi
?. - ?.44 Kaamanen
?. - 10.12.44 Bardufoss ?

Commander
24.11.43 - 22.6.44
 General der Flieger Julius Schulz
23.6. - 10.12.44 
General der Flieger Willi Harmjanz

Chief of Staff
11.43 - 18.12.44 Oberst Hans-Jürgen von Cramon-Taubadel

.

Fliegerführer Nord(Ost)
on 10.3.44 renamed as
Fliegerführer Eismeer
on 20.4.44 renamed as
Fliegerführer 3
(12.41) - 3.44 Rovaniemi
3. - 8.44 Kirkenes
8 - 19./20.12.44 Bardufoss

24.10.43 - 2.44 Oberst Ernst Kühl
.2.44 - 19.10.44 Oberst Otto Weiss
.
.


.
16.9. - 8.12.1944

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.

By 8.12.1944 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.
.
.


.
.
Sources: VALHA5, VALHA6, ANTOS1, ANTOS2, JATHI, LAPAH1,
Michael Holm:
The Luftwaffe, 1933 - 1945 webpage
.
..

© 2001 - 29.8.2003 Harri Anttonen

1