12. Flak-Division - 12. Flak-Division

The 12th Flak Division was a major combat unit of the German Air Force in World War II .

story

The command staff of the 12th Flak Division was replaced at the beginning of September 1941 from the previous command staff of the IX. Flak brigade set up in Rambouillet ( France ). The first commander was Major General Rudolf Eibenstein on September 22, 1941 . Then the command came to Bordeaux and on September 21, 1941 to Smolensk . There it was subordinate to Luftflotte 2 and then from November 1941 to the VIII. Air Corps . No documents are available about the regiments subordinate to the time.

The 12th Flak Division and its units were involved in the Battle of Moscow from October 1941 . After the start of the Soviet counter-offensive at the end of November 1941, the Wehrmacht was forced to withdraw. The 12th Flak Division not only lost most of its guns, but also almost all of its personnel. The remains of the broken regiments were then collected in the so-called Luftwaffe battle group and deployed under the command of the 8th Air Corps as part of the 4th Army . In December 1941, Major General Gotthard Frantz became the new commander of the 12th Flak Division. At the end of March 1942, the division's command post was in Minsk. The division was refreshed with new forces until May 1942 and then consisted of three subordinate regiments:

  • Flak Regiment 21
    • Reserve-Flakabteilung 146
    • Reserve-Flakabteilung 351
  • Flak Regiment 101
  • Flak Regiment 134 (only until May 20, 1942)

On August 9, 1942, the division headquarters and the 101 flak regiment were temporarily transferred to another combat mission, where they supported the attack of two German corps together with the 6 flak regiment. After its completion in September 1942, 16 officers and 376 NCOs from the ranks of the 12th Flak Division were dead or wounded, and a further 42 anti-aircraft guns were destroyed or unusable. From mid-August 1942 to March 1943, the units of the 12th Flak Division were almost continuously involved in hard fighting, including at Bryansk and Orel .

On December 21, 1942, Major General Ernst Buffa became the new division commander. The division was then involved in the tank battle for Kursk in the Orel area. The division was mentioned in the Wehrmacht report on August 22, 1943 for its successes during this battle . In November 1943, the division's command post in Dvorets (near Leningrad ) was under the command of the II Flak Corps . It comprised the following associations:

  • Flak Regiment 21
  • Flak Regiment 34
  • Flak Regiment 101
  • Flak Regiment 134

As a result of sustained Soviet attacks, the division was deployed in the Kovel and Brest area from February 1944 . On April 25, 1944, Major General Werner Prellberg took over the division. The 12th Flak Division was involved in further heavy retreat battles from September 1944 in the Modlin ( Poland ) and Lomscha area . During this time, the associations subordinate to her were exposed to a constant fluctuation of entries and exits. By October 17, 1944, the units of the division had recorded 1,050 aircraft and 657 tank kills since the beginning of the Eastern campaign, which in turn led to a mention in the Wehrmacht report.

With the start of the Soviet winter offensive in January 1945 (see Battle of East Prussia ), the 12th Flak Division took over the leadership of the flak forces in the Bromberg area with a command post initially in Graudenz and from February 7, 1945 in Butow ( Pomerania ). She was subordinate to the II Flak Corps . At this point in time, the division still had 50 heavy, 21 medium and light batteries and 4 headlight batteries. In mid-March 1945 their command post was in Danzig-Langfuhr, where the division was subordinate to the East Prussia Air Force Command. In mid-April, the divisional staff of the 12th Flak Division was removed from the previous combat area without the units subordinate to it. Flak regiments 77 and 136 switched to the 18th Flak Division . The command staff of the 12th Flak Division was shipped to Wismar and Swinoujscie and was then to be transferred immediately to Prague to take over the leadership of the flak forces there.

There are contradicting statements about the events of the last days of the war. Some sources assume that the headquarters of the 12th Flak Division got stuck in Berlin. On the other hand, the preserved flak card from April 28, 1945 speaks of the fact that the command staff is now under the command of Luftgaukommando VIII at its last command post in Pilsenwould have. On April 21, 1945, the 12th Flak Division reportedly had 44 heavy, 8 medium and 4 light flak batteries; a vacancy list that has been preserved from April 21, 1945 supports this thesis. However, it is no longer possible to determine which regiments were subordinate to the division during those days. So far there is no information about the fate of the division and the units subordinate to it at the end of the war. [1]

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Karl-Heinz Hummel: The German flak cartillery 1935-1945. Your major formations and regiments . VDM, Zweibrücken 2010, ISBN 978-3-86619-048-1 , p. 73–76.