Luftlande Divisions

As you can appreciate below the 91st Luftlande Division was involved in the action in Normandy since the 6th June. As such it was totally destroyed in the fighting and was used as a conventional infantry division rather than an air transported one. The Wehrmacht had used air landed troops early in the war and always in areas of local or total air supremacy or superiority, for example in Norway or Crete, a Gebirgs division was transported to Crete by Ju-52. By the time of Overlord it did not have this luxury! Several of the items in my collection relate to Luftlande divisions or those units entrusted to their transport.

I have some Feldpost letters from pilots in Erganzungsgruppe (S) 1 Langendiebach

Emblem of 4./Erganzungsgruppe (S) 1 (1943)

I was able to research the unit and this is what I came up with :

 

Nucleus of all reserve group training can be traced back to January 1940 and Hauptmann Willerding in Braunschweig-Waggum.  Initially 17./KG zbv 5 with 60 men, 8 Ju 52 and 20 DFS 30.

Fliegerschule (S) 1 Langendiebach (Glider Pilot Training School)

4 Stafflen: Langendiebach            Erganzungsgruppe (S) 1 Summer 1941-Autumn 1944

Giensheim

Eschborn

Zellhausen

Eschborn Airfield – basic personnel, flying instructors and glider pilots.

Unit History and Notes

  • January 1943 units of Erganzungsgruppe (S) 1 involved in supply drops to Stalingrad Kessel.
  • Later supported actions in the Kuban Bridgehead and the Crimea.
  • Commander April 1942-14th October 1943 Oberstleutnant Ludwig Reeps.
  • As of 10th August 1943 the unit had the following aircraft: 1 FW 189, 1 HS 126, 74 DFS 230.
  • Redeployed back to Germany in April 1943 to Langendienbach.
  • Suffered heavily during bombing attacks on Reich by USAAF.
  • 15th August 1944 a day raid by 4 engine USAAF bombers on Langendienbach airfield left it destroyed and out of action.
  • This and the severe lack of fuel the Luftwaffe was suffering at the time meant that after Order Number. 12877/44 from OKL, the unit was ordered disbanded and its personnel drafted into the Fallschirmjager units
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