The 1st Royal Bavarian Aviation Battalion was an association of the Bavarian Army , which was stationed in Oberschleißheim . The Bavarian air force emerged from him and formed part of the German air force during the First World War .
Formation of a Bavarian air force
In January 1912, General Karl Ritter von Brug (1855–1923) formed the first Bavarian Air Corps Command at the Bavarian truck driver and airship department founded in Munich-Oberwiesenfeld in 1890 . It was under Rittmeister Luitpold Graf Wolffskeel von Reichenberg zu Uettingen (1879–1964), soon known as the “Rittmeister of the Skies”.
On April 1, 1912, an aviation company was formed from this in the Oberschleißheim military aviation station. The company consisted of four officers, eight non-commissioned officers and 50 men. On October 1, 1912, the unit was expanded to form the 1st Royal Bavarian Motorist and Aviator Battalion with a pilot company and pilot school .
First World War
Outbreak of war
On August 1, 1914, was in Oberschleißheim aviators spare Division 1 b (b = Bavarian) set up. Subdivisions were:
- Royal Bavarian Military Aviation School I (Schleissheim) with Aviator Observer School 1 and Radio School
- Royal Bavarian Military Aviation School II ( Lachen-Speyerdorf )
- Royal Bavarian Military Aviation School III (Fürth-Unterfarrnbach) with pre -flight school , from August 1917 as a replacement aviation department 2 b
- Royal Bavarian Military Aviation School IV (Lagerlechfeld) with Aviator Observation School 2 and Aviation Rifle School
- Royal Bavarian Military Aviation School V (Gersthofen)
- Royal Bavarian War Aviation School VI (Bamberg)
- Royal Bavarian Military Aviation School VII ( Germersheim )
In addition, the Royal passed Bayerische exercise flyer department in Sonthofen , the Royal Bavarian artillery pilot school in Grafenwöhr and Bavarian stages plane Park 6 b (later Army flight Park ) in the army division C .
At the beginning of the First World War in 1914, three field aviation divisions (2b, 5b and 6b) in Oberschleißheim, two field aviation divisions (1b and 3b) in Fürth, and the Bavarian fortress in Germersheim -Fliegerabteilung 1b (later converted to Field Fliegerabteilung 4b) set up. The units were deployed on the Western Front and initially mainly used for reconnaissance.
Three more field flight detachments (7b to 9b) were set up in Oberschleissheim in January 1915.
Use in the Alps
After Italy entered the war on May 23, 1915, the Feld-Fliegerabteilung 9b was relocated to Tyrol with the German Alpine Corps to support Austria-Hungary , but withdrew to the Western Front in August 1915. The Italian declaration of war on the German Reich did not take place until August 28, 1916.
Use on the Eastern Front
From June 1916, the Bavarian field pilot division 4 b was under Captain Georg Haberl (1882-1952)  together with the field pilot division 62 at Kovel (Ukraine), among other things, to the 11th Royal Bavarian Infantry Division in the defense of the Brusilov offensive in Volhynia to support. She was subordinated to Army Group Linsingen . In June 1916 Feldfliegerabteilung 4b had an Ago CI , several LVG CI and C.II and some Roland C.II "Walfisch" aircraft.  In August 1916, a long-distance flight of Feldfliegerabteilung 4 found b from Kovel to Kaunas/ Kovno (Lithuania). On November 3, 1916, King Ludwig III visited. (1845–1921) the Bavarian field aviation department in Kowel. After the armistice in the east, the Bavarian Field Aviation Department was on 26./27. December 1917 moved to Champagne .
From 1915/16 a total of nine Bavarian field aviation detachments (1b to 9b) were in use on the western front. The designations were changed in 1916/17 to Fliegerabteilung 45b to 48b and Fliegerabteilung (Artillery) 292b to 296b, and the Bavarian Artillery Fliegerabteilung 101b to 103b became the Fliegerabteilung (artillery) 286b to 288b. In 1916 the hunting squadrons 16 b, 23 b, 32 b, 34 b, 35 b and the combat squadrons 31 b to 36 b and in 1917 the hunting squadrons 76 b to 80 b were formed. In 1917, the Fliegerabteilung 304 b, the Fliegerabteilung (artillery) 288b and 290b and the Fliegerabteilung (aerial photo) 289b were reorganized.
In 1917/18 the Bavarian Fliegerabteilung 45b, 47b and 48b, the Fliegerabteilung (aerial view) 46b and 289b as well as the Fliegerabteilung (artillery) 286b to 288b, 290b and 292b to 296b as well as operated on the western front Hunting and combat squadrons. In addition, two Bavarian combat single-seat squadrons , balloon trains (set up in the winter of 1916/17) and field airmen's divisions (1b to 10b and 56b) were in action. The combat squadrons and the originally Germersheimer Fliegerabteilung 47 b (formerly 4 b) were renamed to Schutzstaffel in 1918, and a little later to battle squadrons 22b to 27b and 31b.
Use in Palestine
On July 20, 1917, a new Bavarian Aviation Department 304 b was set up in Oberschleißheim. On August 25, 1917, it was relocated to the Palestine theater of war with 277 Bavarian soldiers and approx. 300 tons of material and assigned to the German Asia Corps of the Ottoman-Turkish Army Group Yıldırım (as part of the Pascha II Expeditionary Corps ). The head of the department was a captain Franz Josef Walz (1885–1945) The missions against the British and Arabs served primarily for aerial reconnaissance , but also to defend against enemy aircraft - especially to protect the Hejaz Railway - and to bomb military targets.
On the way to Palestine, five aircraft of the department burned on September 6, 1917 in an act of sabotage in the Haydarpaşa train station in Constantinople . The unit met in October 1917 in Beersheba and was on October 25 in the village of Iraq al-Manshiyya (in Gaza on the territory of today's Kiryat Gat stationed). After the British conquered Beersheba on October 31, 1917 and victorious at Gaza at the beginning of November, the six airworthy machines had to leave Iraq al-Manshiyya on November 9 for the north, the material was transported away in ox carts. The unit initially operated from Wadi Serrar before moving to Merchavya near Afula in late 1917(el-Fule) was near Nazareth .
The department was in retreat in Aleppo in mid-September 1918 . After the armistice between the Turkish-German armed forces and the British army on October 31, 1918, the rest of the troops returned to Germany in January 1919.
Dissolution of the Bavarian air force
On May 8, 1920, the Bavarian air force was officially dissolved as a result of the Versailles Treaty .
In front of the old Schleissheim Palace , an aviator memorial commemorates the dead and missing airmen, a memorial for fallen German pilots in World War I is also in Jenin ( Palestinian autonomous region ).
Significance for aerial archeology
The scientific evaluation of aerial camera images of the Bavarian Aviation Unit 304 b from the First World War is important today for the aerial archeology of the Middle East, as many places in Lebanon , Syria , Israel and the Palestinian Autonomous Areas have meanwhile been built over. In 1925, 100 of the aerial photographs were published by the professor for the Old Testament and head of the Institute for Biblical Studies in Greifswald Gustaf Dalman , which was later named after him, and 2,872 glass plates with city and landscape photographs are now in the Bavarian State Archives, Dept. IV Bavarian War Archives , in Munich; there is also the war diary of Department 304 from July 24, 1917 to April 3, 1919.
Significance for art history
In 1916 Paul Klee (1879–1940) was transferred to the Aviation Replacement Department in Oberschleißheim and employed as a painter for aircraft. In 1917 he came to work as a clerk at the flying school in Gersthofen. An art-historical study has been carried out to find out how impressions from aviation are reflected in the subject matter and the color design of Klee's pictures.
- Gustaf Dalman, Hundred German Airplane Pictures from Palestine (Writings of the German Palestine Institute, Vol. 2), Gütersloh 1925
- Harald Potempa , Die Königlich-Bayerische Fliegertruppe 1914-1918 (diss. Munich 1995), Frankfurt am Main 1997, ISBN 3-631-30508-7
- Margareta Benz-Zauner (Ed.), And Ich Flog - Paul Klee in Schleissheim (catalog of the exhibition in the Flugwerft Schleissheim from May 8 to September 30, 1997), Munich 1997, ISBN 3-7654-3069-2
- Reinhard Kastner, Bavarian aviator in the high mountains. The Bavarian Field Aviator Department 9 in the Alpine War , Gröbenzell 1998
- Hermann Rumschöttel : 100 years ago: Bavaria is taking off. For the construction of the airfield in Oberschleißheim in 1912 . In: Blätter zur Geschichte der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrt 19 (2013), pp. 3–10 ( PDF from the German Aerospace Society - Lilienthal-Oberth e.V. )
- Harald Potempa: The Royal Bavarian Air Force as part of the German Air Force until 1918 . In: Blätter zur Geschichte der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrt 19 (2013), pp. 11–22 ( PDF from the German Aerospace Society - Lilienthal-Oberth e.V.)
- Klaus Held: The Bavarian balloon and airship department until 1918 . In: Blätter zur Geschichte der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrt 19 (2013), pp. 23–31 ( PDF from the German Aerospace Society - Lilienthal-Oberth eV)
- Helmut Schubert: Locations and airfields of the Royal Bavarian Air Force in the Kingdom of Bavaria . In: Blätter zur Geschichte der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrt 19 (2013), pp. 33-61 ( PDF of the German Society for Aviation and Space Travel - Lilienthal-Oberth e.V. )
- Udo Roßbach: The technical development of the aircraft used by the KBF . In: Blätter zur Geschichte der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrt 19 (2013), pp. 63–79 ( PDF of the German Society for Aviation and Space Travel - Lilienthal-Oberth e.V.)
- Sebastian Rosenboom: The commitment of the Royal Bavarian. FFA 4b and later FA 47b on the Eastern Front . In: Blätter zur Geschichte der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrt 19 (2013), pp. 81–88 ( PDF from the German Aerospace Society - Lilienthal-Oberth e.V.)
- Gerd M. Schulz: The deployment and successes of the 304b aviation division in Palestine . In: Blätter zur Geschichte der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrt 19 (2013), pp. 89–93 ( PDF of the German Aerospace Society - Lilienthal-Oberth eV)
- Werner Bischler: The history of the flying school 4 on the Lechfeld . In: Blätter zur Geschichte der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrt 19 (2013), pp. 99–113 ( PDF of the German Aerospace Society - Lilienthal-Oberth e.V.)
- Helmut Jäger : The development of military aerial photography in Bavaria . In: Blätter zur Geschichte der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrt 19 (2013), pp. 115–129 ( PDF and PDF of the German Aerospace Society - Lilienthal-Oberth e.V.)
- State Archives of Bavaria , Palestine image collection , digitized holdings
- Andreas Bönte , The Forgotten Mission. A Bavarian squadron in World War I , TV documentary from 2005, broadcast on the Phoenix TV station on March 18, 2005, January 20 and 21, 2006 and on BR television on September 12 and 14, 2005
- Andreas Bönte, The Forgotten Mission , radio feature from 2005, broadcast on Bayern2Radio on September 10, 2005
- 1928 as police major head of the state police department in Ansbach , most recently lieutenant colonel of the state police; Bavarian Main State Archives (officer personnel files 41361).
- Cf. Sebastian Rosenboom: The use of the Royal Bavarian. FFA 4b and later FA 47b on the Eastern Front . in: Die Königlich-Bayerische Fliegertruppe 1912–1920 (sheets on the history of German aerospace 19), 2013, pp. 81–88 ( PDF, 1.05 MB ).