X

Luftwaffe Orders of Battle September 1942

Strength and aircrafts of the Luftflotten at the beginning of the Battle for Stalingrad.

Ju88C long-range fighters of 13 Squadron KG 40 in western France to harass RAF aircraft operating over the Bay of Biscay.

The Luftwaffe Orders of Battle gives the strength of its operational units when the German Air Force was at its most powerful. After three years of war the area occupied by German forces was almost at its greatest extent.

A major part of the Luftwaffe supported the army in Russia, whose leading elements were fighting their way through the outer defences of Stalingrad. In the Mediterranean theatre the front line in North Africa was near El Alamein and the siege of Malta had reached a critical stage. In the west Luftflotte 3, and in Germany itself Luftwaffenbefehlshaber Mitte, operated strong forces of day and night fighters to counter strategic bombing attacks by the Royal Air Force and the US Army Air Forces.

On each front the Luftwaffe was now matched by the British, American and Russian air force units facing it. For the remainder of WW2 each month that passed would see the Luftwaffe becoming progressively weaker in relation, and the forces opposing it becoming progressively stronger in relation.

Luftwaffe Orders of Battle from September 20th, 1942
Air fleet Geschwader Group Aircraft Type Total Service-able
“Luftflotte Ost (East) compromised Luftflotte 1 V Fliegerkorps Luftwaffen-Komando Don on the central and northern front in Russia” Aufklärungs-gruppe 11 Fw189 7 6
“Total 2 113 aircrafts:” Ju88 8 7
50 Fw189 Recon Group 12 Fw189 7 6
63 Hs126 Hs126 8 5
67 Do17 Do17 33 32
645 Ju88 Recon Group 13 Fw189 7 3
214 He111 Hs126 21 19
202 Ju87 Recon Group 14 Ju88 6 6
489 Bf109 Recon Group 21 Hs126 and Bf109 25 17
41 Fw190 Recon Group 22 Ju88 and Bf110 30 21
82 Bf110 Recon Group 23 Hs126 6 6
12 Hs129 Recon Group 31 Fw189 21 12
26 Ar196 Hs126 9 4
22 BV138 Recon Group 32 Hs126 14 11
23 He160 Recon Group 33 Bf110 12 10
166 Ju52 Recon Group 41 Fw189 8 7
5 BV222 Recon Group 121 Ju88 6 3
6 He115 Recon Group Ju88 12 8
Recon Group Commander Luftwaffe Ju88 und Bf109 13 9
Night Recon Group Do17 and He111 31 10
Maritime Recon Group 125 Ar196 13 5
BV138 22 15
Maritime Recon Group 127 He160 and various captured aircrafts 23 13
JG3 II Group Bf109 37 32
JG51 Staff flight Bf109 5 5
I Group Fw190 41 35
II Group Bf109 33 25
III Group Bf109 35 18
IV Group Bf109 32 21
Tank destroyer squadron Hs129 12 12
15st Spanish Squadron Bf109 11 7
JG53 Staff flight Bf109 5 5
II Group Bf109 32 25
III Group Bf109 27 14
JG54 Staff flight Bf109 4 4
I Group Bf109 34 25
II Group Bf109 32 30
III Group Bf109 30 29
JG77 Staff flight Bf109 6 6
I Group Bf109 34 24
II Group Bf109 16 10
III Group Bf109 33 24
ZG1 III Group Bf109 27 18
ZG26 III Group Bf110 49 19
IV Group Ju88 and Do17 11 6
StG1 Staff flight Ju87 and Bf110 12 5
III Group Ju87 35 23
StG2 III Group Ju87 29 25
StG3 Staff flight Ju87 4 3
I Group Ju87 34 28
II Group Ju87 31 23
III Group Ju87 32 26
StG77 III Group Ju87 31 26
KG1 Staff flight Ju88 3 2
I Group Ju88 33 21
II Group Ju88 26 10
III Group Ju88 28 10
KG3 Staff flight Ju88 2 2
I Group Ju88 24 15
II Group Ju88 19 15
III Group Ju88 24 13
KG4 Staff flight He111 3 1
I Group He111 25 14
II Group He111 27 20
KG6 III Group Ju88 24 18
KG26 III Group Ju88 17 8
6 Squadron He111 10 10
KG30 Staff flight Ju88 3 2
I Group Ju88 35 29
II Group Ju88 31 30
III Group Ju88 33 26
KG53 Staff flight He111 6 5
I Group He111 30 18
II Group He111 27 18
III Group He111 29 22
Croatian 15 Squadron Do17 13 8
KG54 Staff flight Ju88 2 1
I Group Ju88 32 14
II Group Ju88 26 15
III Group Ju88 31 9
KG76 I Group Ju88 24 19
KG77 Staff flight Ju88 2 2
I Group Ju88 33 14
II Group Ju88 28 13
III Group Ju88 28 12
KG100 Staff flight He111 1 1
II Group He111 28 11
III Group He111 and Ar196 26 8
LG1 Staff flight Ju88 2 2
I Group Ju88 31 16
II Group Ju88 30 19
12 Squadron Ju88 14 5
KG zbV 1 (Transport) III Group Ju52 28 18
IV Group Ju52 27 18
Kampfgruppe zbV 400 Ju52 24 11
Kampfgruppe zbV 600 Ju52 35 20
Kampfgruppe zbV 800 Ju52 52 28
Air transport Squadron Sea BV222 5 1
Coastal flight Group 906 He115 6 5
Fighter Command 27 (originally based in Greece) Bf109 11 6
Fighter-bomber saudron Africa Bf109 27 14
“Luftflotte 2 in North Africa Italy and Greece” Recon Group 11 Bf109 and Bf110 11 9
Total 171 aircrafts: Recon Group 121 Ju88 10 5
33 Ju88 Recon Group Ju88 and Bf109 31 15
8 Ju86 Recon Group 123 Ju86 and Ju 88 15 7
106 Bf109 JG27 Staff flight Bf109 3 2
5 Bf110 I Group Bf109 28 15
19 Ju52 II Group Bf109 26 16
III Group Bf109 28 18
II Flight Corps Transport Squadron Ju52 14 10
Transport Squadron Southeast Ju52 5 5
“Luftflotte 3 in France Holland and Belgium”
Total 725 aircrafts: Recon Group 33 Ju88 and Bf 109 20 11
86 Ju88 Recon Group 123 “Ju88 Bf109 Bf110 Fw190” 34 20
74 Do217 JG2 Staff flight Fw190 8 5
3 Ju86 I Group Fw190 42 35
6 He111 II Group Fw190 40 35
5 Me210 III Group Fw190 41 33
19 He177 IV Group Fw190 and Bf109 34 22
17 Fw200 JG26 Staff flight Fw190 5 4
12 Do215 I Group Fw190 39 32
80 Bf109 II Group Fw190 44 43
141 Bf110 III Group Fw190 and Bf109 58 48
300 Fw190 IV Group Fw190 and Bf 109 30 21
5 BV138 NJG1 (night fighters) Staff flight Bf110 4 1
4 Ar196 I Group Bf110 23 16
II Group Bf110 and Do217 48 33
III Group Bf110 28 22
IV Group “Bf110 Do215 Do217 Fw190” 48 33
NJG2 Staff flight Ju88 3 2
NJG4 Staff flight Bf110 1 1
II Group Bf110 18 12
III Group Bf110 23 20
KG2 Staff flight Do217 1 1
I Group Do217 25 19
III Group Do217 37 19
KG6 Staff flight Ju88 1 1
I Group Ju88 25 12
II Group Ju88 28 20
14 Squadron Ju86 (high-altitude bombers) 3 2
15 Squadron He111 and Do217 11 3
16 Squadron Me210 5 3
KG40 (Atlantic long-range operations) I Group He177 19 13
III Group Fw200 17 11
13 Squadron Ju88 (long-range fighters) 10 6
Coastal flight Group 706 BV138 and Ar196 9 8
“Luftflotte 4 in southern Russia”
Total 886 aircrafts: Recon Group 10 Fw189 23 11
106 Fw189 Hs126 and Ju88 7 5
16 Hs126 Recon Group 11 Do17 8 4
122 Ju88 Bf110 9 5
8 Do17 Fw189 9 7
147 He111 Recon Group 12 Fw189 18 7
116 Ju87 Recon Group 13 Fw189 8 3
23 Hs123 Recon Group 14 Fw189 10 9
23 Hs129 Recon Group 21 Fw189 8 6
89 Bf110 Recon Group 31 Bf110 and Fw189 7 2
233 Bf109 Recon Group 32 Fw189 13 10
2 He114 Recon Group 41 Fw189 21 13
1 Ar196 Recon Group 121 Ju88 11 5
Recon Group 122 Ju88 8 4
7 Squadron LG2 (Recon) Bf110 6 2
Night Recon Group He111 11 7
Close Recon Group 4 Hs126 1 1
Close Recon Group 7 Hs126 1 1
Close Recon Group 9 Hs126 2 1
Close Recon Group 12 Fw189 and Hs126 2 2
Naval Recon Group 125 He114 and Ar196 3 1
JG3 Staff flight Bf109 3 2
III Group Bf109 31 10
JG4 I Group Bf109 11 7
JG52 Staff flight Bf109 6 6
I Group Bf109 26 18
II Group Bf109 41 36
III Group Bf109 48 35
Croatian 15 Squadron Bf109 13 13
JG53 I Group Bf109 34 14
ZG1 Staff flight Bf110 2 2
I Group Bf110 28 13
II Group Bf110 37 16
SG1 (close support) Staff flight Bf109 4 3
1 Squadron Bf109 16 0
II Group Hs123 and Hs129 46 28
StG1 II Group Ju87 24 11
StG2 Staff flight “Ju87 Bf110 Fw189” 10 4
I Group Ju87 25 16
II Group Ju87 28 13
StG77 I Group Ju87 35 20
KG4 III Group He111 24 14
KG26 II Group He111 15 5
KG51 Staff flight Ju88 1 1
II Group Ju88 18 10
KG55 Staff flight He111 4 3
I Group He111 6 4
II Group He111 29 15
III Group He111 31 19
KG76 Staff flight Ju88 3 3
II Group Ju88 39 18
III Group Ju88 35 18
KG100 I Group He111 27 20
“Luftflotte 5 in Norway and Finland”
Total 261 aircrafts: Recon Group 32 Fw189 and Hs126 16 14
8 Fw189 Recon Group 120 Ju88 and Fw200 14 10
8 Hs126 Recon Group 124 Ju88 and Bf110 11 8
13 Ju88 JG5 Staff flight Bf109 2 1
7 Fw200 I Group Fw190 35 28
29 He111 II Group Bf109 32 21
59 Ju87 III Group Bf109 10 10
18 Bf110 IV Group Fw190 3 3
44 Bf109 13 (heavy fighter) squadron Bf110 13 11
38 Fw190 KG26 Leader flight He111 3 3
11 He115 I Group He111 26 16
26 Bv138 StG5 I Group Ju87 59 51
Coastal flight Group 406 He115 11 6
BV138 17 14
Coatsal flight group 906 BV138 9 8
“Luftwaffen Commander Center in Germany”
Total 327 aircrafts JG 1 Staff flight Fw190 2 0
118 Fw190 I Group Bf109 67 53
85 Bf109 II Group Fw190 60 19
60 Bf110 III Group Fw190 37 31
46 Do217 IV Group Fw190 and Bf109 37 31
18 Ju88 NJG3 (night fighters) Staff flight Bf110 and Do217 5 2
I Group Bf110 and Do 217 25 20
II Group Bf110 and Do217 26 18
III Group Bf110 31 20
IV Group Do217 and Ju88 37 20
Equipment of Luftwaffe First Line Units 1942
Aircraft Type Strength on 24 September Strength on 31 December
He111 398 315
Do17 75 55
Ju88 917 845
Do215 12 (incl Do217)
Do217 120 245
Fw200 24 50
He177 19 50
Ju86 11 5
Ju87 Stuka 377 270
Hs129 35 65
Hs123 23 (incl Hs129)
Bf109F 827 90
Bf109G (incl Bf 109F) 610
Fw190 497 615
Bf110 395 405
Me210 5 15
Fw189 Recon 164 130
Hs126 Recon 87 65
“Coastal and sea planes” 131 135
TOTAL “4 117” “3 965”

Staffel (Squadron):
The number of flying personnel in a Staffel naturally depended on the type of aircraft it operated; between 10 (in the case of single-seat fighters) and more than 40 (in the case of multi-engined bombers). The number of ground personnel in a Staffel varied from 150 (in the case of single-engined fighters) to 80 (in the case of multi-engined bombers); the latter’s ground staff was smaller because much of its servicing and administration was done for it by attached units provided by the local Luftgau command.
A Staffel had a strength of 9 to 12 aircraft in 1939, but gradually rose during the war to a maximum of 16, with corresponding rises in the number of aircrew and ground personnel.

Gruppe (Group):
The Gruppe was the basic flying unit for operational and administrative purposes. Initially the Gruppe comprised three Staffeln, and a Stab (headquarters flight) with three aircraft more, making a total of 30 aircraft in all. By the mid-war period many fighter groups operated a fourth Staffel, however, and this, with the 16-aircraft Staffel establishment, brought the strength of some Gruppen to 67 aircraft.
The total personnel strength of a Gruppe varied between 35 and 150 aircrew, and 300 and 515 ground crew.

Geschwader (no English equivalent):
The Geschwader was the largest German flying unit. Initially it comprised three Gruppen, with 90 aircraft, and a Stab (staff) flight with four, making a total of 94 aircraft.