22. Flak-Brigade - 22. Flak-Brigade

The 22nd Flak Brigade , also known as the Flaklocke von Messina , was a brigade-strength combat unit of the Luftwaffe during World War II . The brigade staff was set up in the summer of 1943 on the Italian theater of war.

Mission history

Initially set up under the name Flak Brigade XXII , the brigade staff took over the operational management of all flak units set up in Sicily . However, it was only subdivided into the newly established Flak Regiment 135 , which had been broken up as part of the German operation in Tunisia .

After the Allied landing in Sicily , which began on July 10, 1943, the supply role of the Strait of Messina for the German units from mainland Italy increased. In order to be able to ensure the shipping traffic and the supply lines, the 22nd Flak Brigade receivedthe task of shielding their airspace. The brigade was to take on the same task in the later evacuation of the island. By the beginning of August 1943, 65 heavy flak batteries could be deployed on the coast of the Strait of Messina. Including a few Italian ones. Up until the complete evacuation of Sicily by German troops and their transfer to the mainland, the batteries were able to record 169 aircraft kills. The brigade was named for these services in the Wehrmacht report on August 17, 1943.

Arrived on the mainland Italian theater of war, the brigade was placed under the command of the General of Flak Cartillery South with Flak Regiments 57 and 135. In November 1943, however, the brigade only had 35 heavy and 15 light and medium batteries. In January and February 1944, after the Battle of Anzio , the brigade was responsible for the flak forces on the southern Cassino front. Here the brigade staff was responsible for that

  • Flak-Regiment 57
  • Flak-Regiment 105
  • Flak Regiment 121 and that
  • Flak-Regiment 135

Deployed as part of the army units, the subordinate regiments were subject to constant fluctuation until the end of the war. New ones were added, others were given up. On March 21, 1945, only the Flak Regiment 57 remained under her control . At this point in time, the Flak Regiment 78 , Flak Regiment 135 and Flak Regiment 149 were added . In April 1945 the two regiments defended the access to the Alpine valleys in northern Italy and on May 2, 1945 they were captured by the Americans. On May 2, 1945, the brigade staff only had anti-aircraft regiments 57 and 149 with a total of 17 batteries. A single heaviness of it. [1]

Commanders

Rank Name date
Major general Pure steel Summer 1943 to July 1943
Oberst Alexander Nieper August 1943 to August 18, 1943
Oberst Max Muller 18. August 1943 to 2. May 1945

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. 163–164.