Luftwaffe Orders of Battle September 2, 1939

Ju 87B dive-bomber

No aircraft better typified the Luftwaffe at the beginning of WW2 than the Ju 87B dive-bomber – the infamous Stuka .

Strength and aircrafts of the Luftflotten on the day after Germany invaded Poland

The Luftwaffe Orders of Battle gives the strength of the German air force operational units on the day after Germany invaded Poland, and the day before Great Britain and France declared war on Germany. The majority of the short range fighter, dive-bomber and reconnaissance units were subordinated to Luftflotte 1 and 4 for the attack on Poland. Long range aircraft from the other Luftflotten were also involved in this campaign, however. The Lehrdivision (combat training units), comprising LG1 and LG2, operated independently of the Luftflotten, but several of its units took part in the Polish campaign.


Air fleet Geschwader Group Plane type total serviceable
Luftflotte 1 (northeast Germany) Recon group 10 Hs126 23 22
total 1,109 planes: Do17 12 12
99 Hs126 Recon group 11 Hs126 9 9
281 Do17 He46 3 1
5 He46 Do17 33 32
5 He45 Recon group 21 Hs126 35 31
286 Bf109 He45 9 8
32 Bf110 Recon group 41 Hs126 32 26
185 He111 He46 2 0
18 Ju88 Recon group 120 Do17 13 12
154 Ju87 Recon group 121 Do17 44 33
40 Hs123 JG1 I. Group Bf109 54 54
JG2 II Group Bf109 42 39
10. Nachtjagd-Squadron Bf109 9 9
JG3 Staff flight Bf109 3 3
I. Group Bf109 48 42
JG20 I. Group Bf109 21 20
JG21 I. Group Bf109 29 28
ZG1 I. Group Bf110 32 24
II. Group Bf109D 36 36
ZG2 I. Group Bf109D 44 40
KG1 Staff flight He111 7 1
I. Group He111 38 32
KG2 Staff flight Do17 11 10
I. Group Do17 37 29
II. Group Do17 35 33
KG3 Staff flight Do17 9 7
II. Group Do17 36 25
III. Group Do17 39 38
KG4 Staff flight He111 6 5
I. Group He111 31 28
II. Group He111 32 27
III. Group He111 33 21
KG25 I. Group Ju88 18 15
KG152 I. Group He111 38 32
StG1 I. Group Ju87 38 31
Do17 3 3
StG2 I. Group Ju87 38 32
Do17 3 3
II. Group Ju87 38 36
Do17 3 3
III. Group Ju87 40 37
Do17 3 3
LG2 II. Ground-attack Group Hs123 40 37
Luftflotte 4 (southeast Germany) Recon group 14 Hs126 30 27
totla 636 planes: He46 6 1
39 Hs126 Do17 11 9
23 He46 Recon group 31 Hs126 9 9
231 Do17 He46 17 17
3 He45 He45 3 2
189 Bf109 Do17 12 12
31 Bf110 Recon group 124 Do17 11 9
120 Ju87 JG76 I. Group Bf109 49 45
JG77 I. Group Bf109 50 43
II. Group Bf109 50 36
ZG76 I. Group Bf110 31 29
II. Group Bf109D 40 39
KG76 Staff flight Do17 9 9
I. Group Do17 36 33
III. Group Do17 39 35
KG77 Staff flight Do17 6 6
I. Group Do17 32 29
II. Group Do17 32 32
III. Group Do17 34 24
StG76 I. Group Ju87 39 32
Do17 3 3
StG77 Staff flight Ju87 3 3
I. Group Ju87 39 32
Do17 3 3
II. Group Ju87 39 34
Do17 3 3
Luftlotte 2 (northwest Germany) Recon group 12 Hs126 33 30
total 524 planes: He46 10 8
33 Hs126 He45 3 0
10 He46 Recon group 122 Do17 30 27
3 He45 JG26 I. Group Bf109 48 48
30 Do17 II. Group Bf109 48 44
244 Bf109 ZG26 I. Group Bf109D 52 46
204 He111 II. Group Bf109D 48 47
III. Group Bf109D 48 44
KG26 Staff flight He111 8 8
I. Group He111 32 32
II. Group He111 35 27
KG27 Staff flight He111 6 3
I. Group He111 34 28
II. Group He111 26 18
III. Group He111 28 20
KG28 II. Group He111 35 35
Luftflotte 3 (southwest Germany) Recon group 13 Hs126 53 49
total 841 planes: He46 3 1
77 Hs126 He45 3 2
24 He64 Recon group 22 Hs126 12 12
6 He45 Do17 35 35
78 Do17 Recon group 23 Hs126 12 8
287 Bf109 He46 21 18
28 Ar68 He45 3 1
301 He111 Recon group 123 Do17 37 36
40 Ju87 JG51 I. Group Bf109 47 39
JG52 I. Group Bf109 39 34
JG53 I. Group Bf109 51 39
II. Group Bf109 43 41
JG70 I. Group Bf109 24 24
JG71 I. Group Bf109 39 18
JG72 III. Group Ar68 28 24
ZG52 I. Group Bf109D 44 43
KG51 Staff flight He111 6 3
Do17 3 3
I. Group He111 36 36
III. Group He111 36 34
KG53 Staff flight He111 6 6
I. Group He111 32 29
II. Group He111 32 32
III. Group He111 35 34
KG54 Staff flight He111 9 8
I. Group He111 36 36
KG55 Staff flight He111 9 6
I. Group He111 33 27
II. Group He111 31 22
StG51 III. Group Ju87 40 34
Do17 3 3
Lehrdivision (Combat training units) LG1 Staff flight He111 10 4
I.(Z) Group Bf110 32 29
II.(K) Group He111 41 35
III.(K) Group He111 40 34
IV.(St) Group Ju87 39 36
Do17 3 3
LG2 Staff flight Bf109 3 3
I.(J) Group Bf109 36 34
III. Group Do17 24 18
He46 2 2
Hs126 9 9
10. Squadron He111 9 8
JG26 10. Squadron Bf109 12 9
assigned to Navy various groups He59 31 30
He60 81 66
He115 8 8
Do18 63 54
Carrier group 186, 4 Squadron Ju87 12 12
Carrier group 186, 5 and 6 Squadron Bf109 24 24
Kampfgruppe 806 (torpedo planes) He111 21 20
Transport various groups Ju52 547 535
FW200 2 2
Ju90 2 2
Ju38 1 1
Equipment of Luftwaffe First Line Units on September 1, 1939
Aircraft type strength
He 111 bombers 780
Do 17 bombers 470
Do17 recon 280
Ju 88 bombers 20
Ju 87 dive-bombers 335
Me 109 D fighters 235
Me 109 E fighters 850
Me 110 heavy fighters 195
Ar66 fighters 5
Ar68 fighters 35
Hs126 tactical recon 195
He46 tactical recon 100
Coastal aircrafts 205
Miscellaneous 65
Total 3,960

Squadron (Squadron):
The number of flying personnel in a Squadron 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 Squadron varied from 150 (in the case of 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 Squadron 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.

Group (Group):
The Group was the basic flying unit for operational and administrative purposes. Initially the Group comprised three Staffeln, and a Staff flight (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 Squadron, however, and this, with the 16-aircraft Squadron establishment, brought the strength of some Gruppen to 67 aircraft.
The total personnel strength of a Group 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 Staff flight (staff) flight with four, making a total of 94 aircraft.


 

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