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and lh,e: Main L,ine of ,Am,erb~an Liquid Rocketry Thomas A" Reppenheimer'



Joel S. A., Hayward



Fr,O'm the Editor Duo,k Reviews B,Qo,ks Received ~io:minIUp Histury Mystery

Letters, No,tices" NewstaDd Reuni!ODS, In, M:emodam

I 164 71 '74 '76 77 ,8~

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'.Olfiln1lli1l A SGIlhI Wi); Dum, 'IIi1ldllt .~I bcilrIQ lW~":by ~Sww.


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1:0 Miilfoh HM2~ ,Joll~p;h, Stalin rejectediihe and Thirll"·eigbth Armies) wDuJd, drive ilUi,i1; 'of the sound advi,C!! of .Mar~al B!;Iris SbaposhnikQ,"" Ma Vo]onanJllikwrea" north, of Kbarko,v, The two pm= anny chtef' of staff, who, W'gIilIed that the Red, ce:~ would strike westwud and me~,t 'behind Anny :Illhould ,adopt II tempor.ary :strategic IcLeIen· Kharkov. thereby I'eooveringthe! ,c1'1;1 I!Indtl"ap· siVle pl).St\IJre :for the ~Plf!rig and ,ear~y summer; ping the bulk '0'£1 Gen~mJ del' Patuertr'U:ppe :tnstead,tbe Soviet leader, st-WU -ri1ai.rning tha:t <:on~ Frieru:.~ch PIlIILdu.s' Sixtb Army.

stant attack 'WillS the beiSt str,a:tegy. suppo,rted ,SQ'u'th Wl£!scern li'roont.j:s poW'e;rfu~ :force of Mm:shill S~YQn It TiJmo,i:Jhenko"s, plan. to~Bun~htwent;y·throe ririf1e diyl~ions., two Cal.'I'alry and. two i:ndiviil.1J:U~1. pil't'!e:m.pUV'El' offeniSlVi.!<B nea:r Leni.n,gl'~dltaf.i:k, OOtJlS eas:i:[y' out.Jl,1!ImlU~ip3d Ute German f~ in the Demya:nsk ~giQri!~~n.libe Smo~ensk: and .mati.onsthe:y dI~l"edly ,' infa:l'ltry Lgov,.:i{ulI'sksectol'S •. m. t'be Khadrov_e·Il,li1ind in and t.wo,ta.nk divisioDs ",fPaulus,! 5mh ~y and t.h~ Crimea, Tba Crimean campai,gn-IOea11y oruy an, inEMtry' dimolll of Arrne,'JU! (lon Kleist. S a M:r:ies, 'of .ettelil!PU! bYlilJrmies trapped Oft the The lIest; o:r~his IGrupp~~tuaUy fb:rn:ied ff"lll)D1 l{!erchP'eninsull! WI b:r~ak mto the CrimeaJnrruI,bl· S!Wiell~eentb.Army and F'Usit P'anzer Anfi_y-fa,eed land-ended :mi!;ler,ab,l.y. As, 'Will be shown, the the ,wdtarueted SoU'Lbeil'D Front. Beca1mE!! thlS fl'ont Khaikov eamp8ign of May 194:2 ended not ,o:oly in had not ye't.l:eooveroo. f:ro:mreoontbatterlll!l'Su oUit.r:ightfailure, hut w~, in. ,Iii disaster: ,of~'lrllge .pro. Ti,1t'lI'lSbenko planned ·kD use it dwing I'ds o:men~ pocrtiOills. - ,siva 'only to pro'beet ,the vulnemble :smuth. £0.'00 of . The BaUll!1i ,of Kharkov f-ea'tul'Iea p'M!l:!i.nentb in 'th.e l~m ,salLent.

hisboI.~ic9i] works onU);e ~asOOi:n ,camp'ai~S-.:l!:1,d HMDJlll!il 'fo:N!e6 intbei' Kh;~:i'~ovir,~ocn .W',~~(i) d~s;en'edly so. Opw:ation Friderreus (F1",edwick), 'Uiletn$€i~ves plI"~pal'i[lg~Q launch an ,ofFensive, the, eklUrul!ly-ell!et:uted 'Ge1'mflilloo'lImter..:offensive. 'cod~"[l;aimed ~ricw;. ~tbe~dd]e of May. not aRty thwarted T~m.(i~h.enk!i)':s, p:luR"but grew Genertdfeldmarsc1wU .FedlQli: ViQI!, Bock~ C(lmman· m.ta, 1942~sfjrst large-aeale batUii!i of ncbclement odeii' of IUm¥ Oroup Soutb, intended th~s offensive and anwhihlt.,iQU.W't- ahio placed impo!l'ta:nt areas ,to eliminate the dange!J'OlUi Izyum salient;. destroy of the DonBts Ba;sin in Ge'cmtln hands, thereby 'the Sovl'et forees 'tr,lI.ppedwithwn, ,ana, estahWisb givin,g k'tis :fQ~OOS ,an ~,~nent !Staging area 1'00: ,Se&l11ie positions on the I'e'ft bank of 'the 'Dorthern Operation B'Lem. th.ecoming summer campwgn. Denees Rfuver. 'These p05iti.onsWQwdse:rv,e as the Howe'IJ,e:r, the role of the Lu,$waffitF-'whi.c.h pel'· ,stllging IilirCilII fQr 'the main summer campaign .. The .formed =m.,pe:~bJy 'U1].de~ diffi,c=nlt, cixelUllstal:lCl;!,5j as pbul was :l·,eh .. tive!y i&:imp],e; Sixth An:n~ 'would lit :prv'ii'jjd~d 'th~ atm:J w~e.b a h.igh nw,el 'miif ta~~'t~~&J] tlu-usc .• to tbe btt~go&om thEi. north, whUe Army

~r' . 'port-hIlS been JUlOidy cov'~"i'ed by histod· G~CiUp VOD. Kleist, would d.o So fr·omthe south.

an these events) who'OO worlts, focus FinnlrBy TheY' w.e,U:Jd meet .~n front, ofrz.ymn. hat'l'ing cut 0,0:

en Mm.'Y' Qpera:t~on.5, and. the p'Ul'port:edsup.e,ri,of" f!j large P8!It of IiIlll enemy f!root. However" before ~ty of German do(:trinea.nd, ti'lictics, ovel" those of von Bock eould im.plem.ellt lJtoidericu.s, the So,v:iet~ the Soviets. Dlescrlbing~nd 'e:ltptaining .Lu{tw(!'ffe ~b"U!ck flrBt.

'operations ,durin.g the B,a;t.tle or Khatko:Vj 'tW!\I, At dawn 'Oil May 12j Tim!J$hen.ko lautlithed hir= orC.ic]e ,attempts ,~o eerreet that hubalanoe.migh'Ly ,offensive. Striking wi,th 8'tun:n~ng :speed '\V'u:hout '~be .Lltfiwa/fe's 81lbstan.tial conlribulicm • I3,rnd fel~C)ci'~y andg;rea:Hy outnum.bering thieir 'to the b~ttlet I be:UeveJ 'the 'GetDiliUl army w,ould opposition., hie rotm8!UO~ ~mubed 'through probably nut hlliVoElm!lVoided encb:cJ.,!!'m.ent ,at Sh;,th A:tmyJ~ deferu;es baH1- D.ort.b and south. o( Ifiarlt\QoYj,[~t al~ne, hav'E!twned the tab[e-s en t~'Kh9.:I'kov,the' U:kr,adni,~.f.i. ,c8p~'ta.l and ,~ouW'th Soviets., [!\lIJ'gest 80,vi!et mtll:wbm[ ,crmlie:r.4, By nddday~ lOr·

In ,wera:n oommand of both. the So,u.thw,eatern. WWl'd. units had adv~d to witMn 1I;.went,Y twQ.

WId Sou~hern FrQ:nt~, TImI(l:shenliiohnd 640:10:00 ~!teri> 'Qif the' ci.ty" held by the 'Germans si~ee its troops" 1,:200 tanks.13,IJOO .g)Uns andm,ortal'S" and. 'capture in late' October 1941., Within!!. day 0,[' two 9,216 comb9:t ait"cra_ft !:It hi~ dil3:'po~l.I His phillnat the most" 'Timo'Shen..ko ela'~!f!1ed:, KharkD:V wou1d ,called fOf S(l'llthweskrn F'roIi:f. to 11l1!l/.Dcb tWQ' C(l1!!. in Soviet handa,

'ver;gent aUacb. The main :force, ,oompr,Lsi:ug :Lt.· Paulus, 'whose at'my bOIl!! the 'brunt of the savGen.. A. M. :Q,orodn:yImS1ili~Si SixtbAmly ,and! M~.~ 'l'IIgEl ,attack, immooia:belyappeal,ecl '&0 von Bock for Gen. L. V. Hcibltin:'s Group:," 'WQ'u~d sb'ik\e .r~i.rrooll:'c.ements. The ]a;tte.r~ :n~w lbeUeving thaDt fro:mthe B~e:nkl@,vo, area~ oou,t,h of Klu;rrk'O,v.2 A FridericU8 coUld notpr,~ed ~ pla/rined ,gaw :slightqweuer fOl"cej ,~p:ri:e!l.jl'l\g 'fw,en~·ehf:hrUi. him the 2.8,rd Pa;Il2i~:r bii:visionJ wh.ieh.w8J$ 'to' have Army and to:rmatioM w:aVl'Il, fi.'(I'm. Twenty·met b~i! used as .one (If the ofFensiw"s !Spearhead

~ ... , .""""...,,"', "".t::. C""orU' I CT Rr,o,"""'1I> """"" ~'i"E'Un.DlrJi, 17;n,~,~' -s !;Ili~~ ,,I,gii'-lR'

ur.dw,~ This, angereil. Generolober,ii'tF-ranz ~:aJ,der.! th~ G.ennan atroys ahi~ af~taff~ During' ill h~tecl telephQlilIe convel"s~,[lthutdt~r.nco:!'il~ :R!l!Jeter wld-lI'on. Bock that he must notwasli!!,tbetl'oO'ps

e~.a~ikoo fo.r J:Hder-icM Q~. r¢p.a; roillQ(f "'!es," This ooFnml!l'ut ,stungth!:l al~m:1gro,up i:O:~!Ml3inder. 3:_ppaUed by his i~o.l'anoo aftlle ;5]tuli!lt.ioD.~:tth.e rr,eillt."l!t~ n.ot '~questiO'Il or patching up leeal b]em;~sheSg:'he .angrilyr,ep5ed,. '1t'~ neck:o:-r ll.ot:hing!."G

D\e',$pit~ fhel.t d:i6ag;r~l2tmil;l~tJvo.~ BI~cknn"aruly

malulJg>ed to convince ~]detl!.hat, tihe s:ltu8itl,onat

H~TLER ••• .Kharkiov:,as 'eil~r~meJYhCl\it';kult d ~'~I Ifll.t:r

~CT~SU' Allll v ::~~ed~!dl~:e~i~~v:l~W' ;;A::::e~o~:~.n;

,.." •.•. , .... - !,,",~: HenHaltD Oorlng, t'hi! L~ftwcr,ffe':ieommand~r-,in·

ANA!R'MY chief~ Hi:Mel·immedi;l.l:wl!y ol'CIl:n~edt'he t;nmsfer to

M'AN WH,Q • • .' the Klurrkov'soorolr of ev,E!'ZY all- UDit, in the EO,uth. L.A.CKE D ,ern. ZCI11!eMtailreaily :i:nvolved :i.n crltica~ cmnloat

EV11'=I ER liEN' c- c d!utiel'ai.

-AiFl ==c . ~ ~.'- ~ Tilis waa not the t'Jrsc time that Hit~e:rhad

~N .IU R iUVQlv'~. hi:wRlf i~toe d~p1oymef.l.t or air foftJe~

'tACT.~CSI AND By lnclinaUoo.and ei'tperiJenoo. h,eWMI.liCwallyll.~ STIRA i1iEGY '" who, d,eQ~,wn15 sUIl~ribgrup,o:r

ce_chnicaldetaK]s) .. ~acked. ex~rience in .~. tac:jjoo and strfililregy; 7 During U~e ~~w.fil'~t ye~ ,of ~he WM be had :[,m:e:~. meddled in. .~,t wl:"Ce affa.Jm, reeingco:ntel:l:tto[e~",e moot d.e.cls~o:nl!ioo GOrin:g. apQo:r oomt.a.nde:r 1i,nlde~n".~:)lg (If his and

'Gii~~ntpnsl !~r! ,~. m;I~ar 'gf WM~,"'Ih~ lli' I~t'! ~p~Q~!n.~ III~I 1j',ut :~I!tl'!~ ~~ ,gllh~ ,tBterrn~

Er.:h!:ll;rdMl!l~h, Gi!!I'.lngs cap.lible and d.edic~ted d,~'Puty. O'VI~ thewinwt I;)f m94:1..~]!;942,. howl!ivo:r; th.e Filllrol· had eome W aPPl'Iecia:te Il,he kiey lCa~e pblyed by air s,lIl.ppgrt. In. nUi~~~piaces allorng the e!ilil!l:tern&~thehpd ooen~b~1 Lu/twfJ/fce pi;rtcl! up frontline: difficu1Ues, !iome'tim,es' even slg;nifi~ ean:~ly affec~gthe oukome of battles. Clea;r]y imp:ressed., he beg,an to j!n,terfer.ei~n .Wr m~U,ets, oaenwitb;o'llIt oonSulLm;g' Gormgj• w.hose ]?Qorpel':' For.m<liHOO hflid b~me obvious.

In. laJte Febiruary 191~2.~om1.l$trate,tJhilJipo~.nt~ Ge~taZ()ber$t Gec>l;"g von l{ijcbJerico:m:maIm"J,.de:r of Arm,y !Qrou.pN'orth.,ha.d!latd. plans (orlli ecutl.wr· attacK Olear ViOJkh,Ov it! tih.ef~r nOdc.h. On. Mm..m ,j,' U'~~cl.. . c. . 1111.. __ .:I" '.4: .... !~~''''''''''''''';CI'h!'lJfur

"'"g,!,I, pel,"OOD,!,li"""" w;ul!:,rou... ~U ... ·l!i"'''''b~. _

p:re;peretlon, ofse.~eral Q!aiya" beil!l''e tl'l!e~pening of the ~t~.e The wHllilthet WM ~,mrl'a;vo!rMle., howeve:l',~b~J;. fe!\v a:i:raJ:,aft, CGu1d tu.El w, the air; Oom;eque:i'WUyj~belf'iJ,'h~r e:qIl'!ess:l:y orcial:'ecl von .I{ijcl'l].e:~ wh~ 'wf,lsanx~~~oo get l1nde(I"Way~ W postpQlU.e the. o:ff'emive "u~m weather oonditjnn~ ~tm.[I;" tihe :t:wl dep]oyment ofth!:! AirFQW\oe." A m.O' :mtle:t]ect~r>ed him online hnpqa:·· tan~ ,of cloi!Oell:l/lr !5ill.pport. Back in January! he said, "'Thropeb wo'u1(w :nG~ hllive~een~oiilJt..~nd. wi~ it l~ey 'Ge,rmall flU:el dump~ ~~.d ~upp:~y depots" if tih.e~aup ~~~HI:m1:d,er had fulIly undl!(['oo stood. tbepotenHarn oft~is oop!jlo:rt."la, Perhaps with twa: !'.failure" in mi:nd. lUtJ.eT be~e f!:l.F IDot~ Mtivfljm~he dep10yment o:f aiJ.'uni:ts, ,a,uri:ng impcui!!:nt ,c$leraUoltS, III .Ap:rH,.Fhl' exalnpl.e~ he aJlowoo. localm-.m,y oo~m!'t'!'i!de!r!l, I~ devlsethei:r ~WQ plalulfnr ,of£'eiIIISJVeS in. Uli~. C~~:mea. '~gainst ~t),'\o:n~ Soviet fi):Me&-- whkb sUU held S~'!IastOPQ]l' UW~ So'iliet Uni~n."$ main n;av:al base in UlJ~ :Bbl!.ck .sea,,~:ndt.he $~fa;tegi<caiUy im],IDJ.'tan.t Kie-rc'b ~en:i:ru;ujJa.from,which Hitler p1:liuiLEled to ]a1.11lJch at~, against th.e' CaucM~s'-:'i:lut he, :r,ml]i!3ed 'to

. grant local ,a~ oQ!ll.mandie:rsa.n equw !3: of

fr,eedlOm. At least fOf the Kercb- he

WqltOO to o:r,g!M'lli:zeair IC!Ip~J:"a:LiOO],s h~:mJ~]f~ 1:1

'Tha:t~:s, proci:scly wh.1l:t, tr~pired. WaI:tting'tlile be'st poooihl.e close .m SUpffi}iOft fOl!':ce :for Kif3roh, 1111d.errtr~ns:fe~~d Fliegerlm,r'psVll1 (E~ghth Air Corps),l~the Iluft,w,Qjf;J:9prE!lii!"liel' ,eloiSe' support formatiolll" to the Orimea. He a).SO (lUit slloritcfJJe 1c:m.:g .. o!'!,:re:rdne leave: of the.t air ,oo!!:iPs'b:dmaut coon~ :mai!'l!d:e-,,"~ IGI~~e~lober9t Wolrram.Ftei~h.eIT v'On R,tchtbo:r~n." end ~e:nt him, 'Lo 'the Crhnea .. l~ Cmwtrmybotbe preriofulS eil)i~torn of p~aci:ng all air ooq:l$ llllcle:rthe cantrol Ill!I.f H~~~x ft~et i:ntfue te.g;iO:~1 Iiit:lew d~d not place Win mab~ho:re:n~ oorp::!i und.ettih~ auU~grity ~f IGenemlQbel'st iU.enndar LOhrr':s Lu:~#;e4 (]Fbm:tJh .Ah' Fieet), U w.hich. alr-eady passesslEld. Gel~e'f(d ,de'l"Fliegt:J' ElJil't fil!u,gheU.~ Fllegf.wluYlJ)'S .W :find Oberst Wtb!U'gaog F-li4!;ferfUler:er S'fid (Ail'Oomm~Jr]d So,u~h, ·aJ small .~m:ltippinC ooMm!ilind. 'based in

the{ll). mnS!OOlllrl;, .'. tmde[l;'

von. mmnUl~ , . woul!d

acb.:uilly toe c:huge of all a~~ 'i)JIe-r.tlilti.('JID~ during th;e Keooh a:nd &v~:Ertiopol oAlil:nslve.a,~5W,ering onl!y to, 'Goring, 1m Hitte:r w!ls1Imconcemed that this o:ffended the .hono'f of Lu~.fl;rJtli(! 4's se:ntor ,om.~


Tn~ '1l!1I m , .. k~1I1 ~\I" Muig,~11 (o,nt_r) wn ~11 o.lillWwl_~ 'Offllill'wlLb I~ Iililltlmw~~ ... ~d 1Ilf.11Mllig DiCK '10 "I1IIIIi1~ lW:itlllWlr~

oars;b.e w~n,ted, t:he job do~e right, I$(!l be tlippo:int~l th~ right!_n,.....gnd,fio;rce-fof the job.

As it turned ou.t, t.he Soviet oifenslive at Kharkov s,truc:k oewnvon Rk:htbofell'sl air corps and Ge:turrolobe'f'$tElich von ManlS'wif.l's Eleven:th Army had brO'~~t the ~ercl:! off@.llliv,E!' W, a close. &we¥lM'j HiitJ~t was liuffi,c~e:nt~ :p].elilsed~,rlth: pmgre::;s ~l't Kel'cl1-and rightly 00': bis anny,and !ril' :forc.e had Ismtlsbed seemingly.impl'l3gnable SlJ'vlet defiei!1SE!$ and W(i!fe alread_y storm:ingtne city of Kel~hlt-sellf~tbat he felt able, to puil 'l'rllmm'01i.lii6! ,8k um'lJi', all'lrayftom ,tbe Crimea, and :ilendthe:m, 500 ki).l;Imeliers nQrth 'tol ,Kh~ko,,: It W~U;l. B m ~~rer oC prioT'ities, he insiBtedto, his ,Air Staff' on, Mtly:l!2. only ,bours after l!:he Sov~et; o,mlaught began.

Hitler's ,d!!'Cijs~Qin to use 'the Lrlftwa;fk as ,9, "fire:figbting" force, which could he ,Ilastily e,ODoontta:ted at cri'tical point~, to compen!,llli.te fof' tbe arm,Y's lack. (jIt fi.l',epo,wer I)'!" otber Idlefii.denci~~ refl~l8 the pllIEiV.(!Iilingv1ew or 'tJhe~VeJum4"Ch~ ffigh i(lom:mand; that thep,ri:mary fi.ul;cUon of U1J181 Lrl,fI,wu(fe. and. parlic:u.te.rlythe ,airtleets. in 'the east, was suppo:rt ofgr,ound fa:r,oE!s. Ll1ter COMmenting on the ,ro6pQ(ll:siblliti;~ and res,trktians nsoeiated, w.i:tJb tbis dose 8~PPOrt iij)'rienktioll, vOr! Rieb.tiho~e'!:li angriIDy comp,lained t.hat the Luftwoffe hadbeco:me ''\.h.~ !;tl"my's whore."l~ I:t is ou;t8'~d~. 'the SC()P~ ofthiJiil article (;0 sou.ndness of the !German High Command's, ~mphasis, oC:)1ta.ct:lc;U nil' war:l:9:~'Iil~t the ell:peJls.e of a stJ'ong ~tli"l:I.tegjc botllb:ing C'apab!Jityi ne!jlilWrthe~ ]es~ during the battlEt under study tbe Lrift,wo/fjl. pal·,rormed so ~ll that M reasons, tc{i 'challenge t.hat o,rientation arose ,in ,t._he minds ~f ~emQ',r' dbsel"V\e:r& Ai'tertbe defeat ft.t s,btUngrad. 'bowIffiI\er'. n'i,nnel'OUIlSClUnd 'r:easot'i.S e,me:rgtt!d, p!!:'~mpting Lufl.waffo :str'a'legisl;s to, TCei'Jli:nk tAw- :rcole Mild begin ,cir,e.a,ti:ng new air po:we:r d.ootrines:,.,l'i

,Hi't!wi!:l dec:~si(ln 'to send nilrt-h the bullik of his oonmat tmi~ts ~ea.tly&us.trated '!tOn Rid]thof~R. wbo C(IImp'lain~d in. 'his diruy: ~pparenUi, KhW"'k'Ov is, R co'~oosl'.d 'meatS; t.heRlIl.Mie~(i!, broke th:mugh with te.Dks in two plac~ We

one Ggnwl':, oue di'v,e bo.mbe:r and LVlQ ban:lber graupsl"l.8 His entry for 'th~ .filllowlllg day rev'eais bis ieelingsm.or-e' c'iear1,y: '~he :m:ottel' at Khlll'kw st~nk:6l conJSide-~'ab}:)'; ~ mU$'t give up further 'bomber groups, two :ilghtet'gFoups Wli..d. 'two divi;!e bomiber gro-l,lpS. Tha't ls" practically eveT,Ythin,g! By o:rd:er of: the Ffi,hrer., Ir-e:po:ct, lbeflef:'li)l'e, Ithat tbe sucoomul cmnpI~,m.\!1 of -~el."'Ch mm'll loob" ILio~ab1I!,.,·~l'B D:e~i?itl!' the air·~ angry O$tatmne11t., 'the; ba,c~~sfer n.ortl1l. of his, ufii~oe'Vi2ir jeopilU'd.imed. the I<.eroh camprW:gn. Most. Sovietfbr~ mat;ions were alread, in fullilout. Except For a :few pocke.ts, the otbers collilllp~d ,day&.

- Newi.!l, l'llilm' had 'Ol·dei.'~ the 'tranme:rto KhIilr'1~w o:fpcwel'.I)u], air r,Gimoroements iQ'!med~~te~y the mora~e oft,1;w ,antly lea:dership' ~n that critical secb~r. Baving seen th~ Lutt.waffe's decisive 'eontTibutiOl1, bluumermtEl defens:ive' battles duriilllgU:!e ,previo1J:$ wwtelj vnn Bock told Pl', his, worried! Sixth M:my wmmauderj "not to be in roo great a hurry ,and :0101. in any ci;flcum~ ,stances, toattaakwithou.t. aiir auppo:rt.N21l

.Hitl~r was certaiuly rig'bt totramsFer ahlc:raf't iUifgent]y from~bc Cdmea.Vi'bell ,div~s.i.(!llJls r:lrs't.~mashed ,tlU'Qug;lm, Ger.nn8nlbU~:1i near :Kharkov. ~Ei Llt.p;fl,atte.iJ bad very :rew aireraft te throw ,agaii:l:St- them. Most of i'm units-half ,of Fiiegerkorps ,IV and all of' Flieger/;..orps VIII' and. Fl'hgelfiUtrer Sud'-wBre ooncen:tra:ted in the CdUiLelii. Thu othethdf of 1f'U'eg,erk()rp~ IV 'l"1Jilnrun.erl in~.,b,eUkr.iiIine. b1Jlt aeoo:rding to :its afiex·MtJO!ll report of ,Jane 12 It :had."onJiy weak figh'OOtr to.rees at its disposal, beca~se~he mass o!f rJJthtef'5,i!!3 well aa .rumost, an its, 'boroh~~ and. dive-!homber u!l'JJits" had bean telinqmshed :For the e~ecutlo'n of the K,excli! oper&Uofi:OZJ

Pfiu,gbeU drQ\I\e hls~e.'!nB;ini:ng: units to peri'orm 'to the limit of their C'-apabilit.ies,. o"rdering I~,v,ery airwI:uih1plane in:w,oIllU;'Ie and fUJ.'cing pil.otsto :fly vil'tl.l,anyfro~ d.a.wo to,pii'l.~ng omy l!Qng ~n.oughwrefuel and f'eann be!f)oll"etaking 'to tbe :!;kielii again" Many 'Pilot:;! :flew 'ten m:iss[olJ;s Of' mOll'ebe€o;re finally ,cliimbing, exh£1ust.ed., from ,their ooelqlits.. Of ooUfse, slllpply, maintenance, andmrfie,]d oonuol, personnel had to makh tben: ~«o:rts. 'working' ttre]ess[yoo' keep ~ir ,air,C(,·aft loper(!.tional and the~iI: tn.rnaroundl times, .Io,w.

-P:l1ugbeil's fighters atJ;.a:eked &viet ru~~.s \vitb: their maehinl'!guns,. eannone, and .ama][ bom:illS from. lhe openiiil,g momenw, of 'the oITen;si,v12.12 but W~e una!ble rodo roOl'f! than ~iona]]y disrupt ,supp~y OOb,!ll1.'H'iS8Hdpin MI!i'J'U infa:ntt:Yformotions. Yt'et they did ntuBgil3 quickl,y to Wl'eS'tle ail' superiodty over ,the bat:tlJelieJd fllOm the,ir VV.s WbyennoVoml:~oo»,e Sky,Soviet Air Force) coun,Wli'iP~, who we~e numerically st.lroillge:rbU't poorly 't'!;am,0'd, ~d. d13p:1QYed.2<"I, This permitted German ground fol'\ooS to, :funetion m.Ul ~ptahle JQssesto the.l'Iel~ ative[y few Saclet ~'(lund-iIllttack ,aHJCf8f't and fiighrbnthat stiUmanagoo. to reaM t,he 'ba.UMield. illDduri]euhtlile:1.r Wadly(l~eeti1~. These We:[e: mlainb tbehea.vily-a:r.!llioredUyuslrin n~2 ShtumlCviks" These! ,c,xceUen:t planea proved impervious 'to s;maJij·arm:s,fir,e, Md

All 't1alll. ~~i1 ~ld~1 G'j~!I! ~1I1Il~r~ 11[1 RUHbi,.


ABU: TiO- _ '~en _f~d. we~ wh~n ~sttd .. ~ytne ~p-velo~ty

KEEP AWAY lil'~ oftbe hg,M Bod mediumGe~mlml flak bertt:en;~i1i

,- .' .'__ __ t~n_g to brmg them down. AJ'Lhough tho!:!1

M'QS,l_ qF THEfigbwrs ineludsd a numb .1" afthe; 'Il·ffectiv,e' new'

S:OVIIET mode]!';!). :::UChlliS the Yekovlev Y8]!:,... 7B and the

A~ RCR'AIFrI, Lavotc'hkinLrHS ,the vast bulk were stlll FiUl.ti·

T,HE GERiMAN qu.ated, :and mfe~kl!l" ~'l!' posing _no rea]thl'e8~t to ARMIY iMIGHrr- the Luftwaffe's IBtefit m~Cldne~ For exaRlple, the

IUI1:uE-= I., I Poliltlll'pl)v 1-153 Chaika ~Gull.)., ~the. 1-15 ChaW

li1iK"_ . ($~)" liIll!d the trunca;ted I-lti. Iiaia. (Rat) all

$Iy fIF~~ ED da:l:ed &om the Spanis_h. OivUWffi- pe .. iQd. The first

0:1111111 C,AL twe; both, we~e:nOl m~bm EOI' tbe'i:r

LOSS,ES markedly superior Ger:ms:Q 'oo,unto~'pm:tcS" and even the Iotte:r! B mOr.lQpli;lj:J...e of bettm· design. usuaDy came off worst inae:rial COlllbat. H8!d Pflu"ei1~, fighw'I'S DOt beenl:lib~.eLo'k~ep' aw-ay m051t of the Sht1iJ_l'.~oviks and ot:he'r ,soviet -alil'C:riiilt"the Gennan a:rnzy' rmgJtd; nave 5U1ff'iIlIt~criHc.a1 losses ,lmn I'O$t 'the ability to re,gl"oup effrective:~y+ Eve:n SliIj 'without bOmiberJ!l,, ,andgrounn",s'ttack a:irC1"a:fu,~bQse' slW:I.elighte,r.s, p~~,ved PQlN'er'~e--ss t.o bluillit th~ de'il'astating' SovIet ~cl attack.

By the· evewng of Miay 14~ Timas:ha:nb bad. o:pr!Md broad g.IliP~ 'both nodh and ,south! ,of Kh~drov and had c:rearedthe rigbt. 'OOlilditk,!ll$ fot introducin,g the 'bulk of hisarn'l!a.r and mobUefll1:'-ml'll,tiaru;. Duril1g the previous two da.ys he!' had dep[QY-ea his ,ftr~lored rO!r'mlations" r'()(f'~he ilrst '~im:e III the war. '9.~oommgbi;l Heinz Gucl.eci,I'i:ilJ'5 mwdmt ",not in d~ibblel$., but in. mass!'~Ens uoo (if tanks ~n c,he Oe:rtlui:n manner hlllld doubtless, con· tributed to his recent, ,SUcee5~e-S!. Even 50.. ·t;be Soviet; marshalha.d not]lid d.e]l~OJ"ed, mere tha:~ 20pe~~.t of his, ,R;vailahh~ ~O'f. He had bi'!.en :bo.~wngba,ck his, po-werful Twe:nty~:first Tank Corps in orner to use it, when be ~w- 'the righ,t moment .• '1;0 maximum ,effect. Now, aft--er ,two days of uJ:1ehtuiked progress" T:i:mo~hllllko, hed. the opportunHy to,tb~QW~h:e Corps, e.ffee&iv-e~Y' i_1:l~. tbe battle in ,order to oomp:~eb::!' the enc:i.rtlellWnJt

(If German force., ,!;l!l,':",ollli'ld Kharkov" How'6'Ve·r"bie f:sHed. to seme, ,the .omen'&' ,According tQ, the o,ffi· elal :po:S'tw~r Soviet his~oo:v; be WiiS, misled by false, ~ntelliige![le:e l'\E!:porm stcating' that von Bock WM concentra.ting a large Pan2!erfl)"rce n,e-ru:- Zmi,e~. t,we:n:~y,·five ki1om.etii!i'ssouth of IilIarkollil; ,and, .as a I"eSU~t. he d.e]ayed int~od\u,dng his mobile fo:r-· rnations. Tim.oshenko's ,failu,ni to deploy hb m~mor aD MIig" 1·4, or 15, '~.e history iCOIltinu.e13, "negatiljlle:I.Jf ,affected the deveJopmem;t of tcbe oper,a,tion.Tli:ue advafi~i.llgtroop$ ed:!austed,'strength a..ncl tb~ :paoo Df the advanee dro;pped s.harply. By this ttnle the '!!(t1.emy had sueeeeded in pulling up reserves, aed in lOrg;ani~ing tbereararea derenses:~

No,t orily hsd von Book regrouped his l:l;rollln.d fOleS's by May 16'1 but 'by then In_.Q:g,t ,of the ,air urdta cliive:rtd from t-be .crimea 'had Rl'rh~,edL These included 'three Stub groups ,of the 71th Dive.-B!()mlt:iw: Wing, which 'had dist..ingu:iahed stseU' in al.m.ost ,eViery maj'o'r opera:bon $lnoothe war stoa:rted-. One grCJ'~P mTived a:t, Kharbnr on May 13,.t'be; ot'he:m tw-OJ aay5. ~awr. ~ T.hE1lywefie Joh1ied by 'two H,einke~ 111 ,glIou:ps of the 21tb Bomber Wing, wMch. al:so reached Kho:rkoiV on May I,S. thlree Junkers Sa. glIoops of the' 51st, "Edetweies" Bomber Wing. which. ,(lame between .M:a,y U, and ]51 and thre~8...ein:kJ3] 1 m 1. gJ."OlIlp8 ,of the 55,tih Bam.bel· Wing. w'nic'h c'ame on May 1.4 .. 'The last urut tont~e ~ts WHY nort.h. 8 Junker-s 88 ,g1"OU.p of the 'i6ith Btlmibe:r Wing,lnT~ved ]a:te on May 15. PflliUlg,be:il bairnl,wed unita Do,t only from. von R~Chthme]] tD 'the Cri:mea., out a~so from. ,Gell:eml du FU'eger Robert"!; fi:ittervon <Greim,; whose :recently-Cormed Lufl; O!ft (Air FbllOO CommanA East) operated in the eenhal W"myzeml;!; befQl'e' MOSQ)w. Von Ol'\eim. sent Pfl1!llgbiel a St-uka group. which f)1E!W5OUth, on MIllY 14, and II. bomber gmurp, made thejioW'n~ five de,ys 1a.'OO(l'. Acting en ,tbeirown. init:i;a,tive

AI~JtI'~ 'blttllltJl'I '~~I'IIIIf1ii~WI1111 Ruutl.

bo,thVQD :RiclIthoten and von Greim als.o OOD't him as much aviation fuel as they could .sp~, SiS, weU as tr,IIl!·t air"Cl'aftand num~rl1i.!l trucks to carry it,. and ,e;ven .t.eams of their O'i'.~Jl gJO'und pe(["~ sonnel to he~p l.JJ,ilofld 'the mel and slilip:pHe$" j;I.nd. to ,assist In miI.:y other ways t!'ley (i(lu[d.

Th~$e tEatillSle:rs ex:ha:uiilted. the ai:rcrew$~ who had ,retl~ivedliii) .rest fl'lom con __ ,stant, oom:bat in their oiWU seetq-['s berlbrem..W!tingtihe long-and arduo'Us flights :In the Kba.l'knv region. 'lJ!'heyalso ~u.l'1t.he:r ta»efl! the energy' and :!i'~U!~ces, of f.flu:gbeil'is ~I:'-' v:i:ee: and OO.a.inttfJl;liU'ICtI pemoMl:'I!el. wbo 'worked oooswesSly ruche.otic ,CQlnditii.OI.ns and a,hos~]e envii_jlonm,e~t to o,~ganize arnd ,~quip' airfie:lds and p'l'eparoar:1" ,ai'I'crm for 'their' n.ewl1li~!lns. T.he creatiorn ,of sever~ nsw :lIirJ1il!ll~~ded to OO;Pe W:it·b the (I,vm-now of ~:jlitts _riving from elsewnere-ere'ated 1::uwd~biips (br the' Luftwaffe's '[atOll" bOlittalioI1s,'TJhekhmmine: wUlPrimitive, ~n.~ rusting' ·of w~netl3lble, uOOr.I.ti d'ties'L,oo, q1llo~e:(;i, :pmase ft!,und. 't1n'ougbo~t vO"~ Ri.clIt..ho:Fen,'sdi8imy-MId th.eU-i1lml1,tati.on, were,ru.clIMQI~nbry. ManybutHiy'-.€iOO:'lllecl airfield~])e'aUy crilly ,~arge stf'etc' ()if flat grllioo--eveu~acked .running W,8!t.eJ':. Bemuse several. ,olf tbe airstrips, w~renot nei1Ur Gef'!'!la~ railll!e'a.ds and. established npply reutes, and $.Om,e~~.e:d deoont 1'"QMS, LuftUJQ:{fe oons,tnliGtiml. iliUp!pll1,and m.~ln.lien,lU'ft.oe pelt~o:nn'el 'had to tno,v'e tbeh' 'equipment .farnam by ain SuPil~Y st~ggled. '00 ,can:,r out these mis$i!l'lIJl'S. pushin,g thems;il\r,es ,alnd 'th.e ,Julll~eil'S ,Ju ,52 wl)1'k~h~es ·to 'tbe limits of their !i!'nduran.ctl: to satia,fy PfIruf;libeil is 'oo,nstant dem,and!> rur the highest ,pO'5!5'ible O'perati.onal fuveI.

D@spite theiSew:¢i'i.~ dift1culties, thetrMsfer 'iJt air uni~. fu~J.!llind ,~t:I.U~pmeliilt ,fi:o:ro t:he Crhnea. and, from ~e Moscow ,iSec~olf gaw 'beleaguered!. Ger:m l!iWl ground. fo:l"ioo~ ;at lthar.ko'v wbA't histari.~ ana Earl F. Ziemke ,afidM~a E.Bauer lateI" caUed, !'on ~t.l"Blonl!iin9J"ny pawedid eoncent"raUQP

of ai.r 8u'pport.'>e'l'Inchlding these add:[t.i,ons. .Fl~egerkorp~ COD'[U11Il1tfided, I1Jl fewer than ten oomber~ six figh~e;l'~ and. fuur Stuka.woup~ as \ireD. .~ a elese support gr-ou.p and. atactica1 reoo.n:~ n;;!~iSSa!lOO squadron.28 Tblsg;ave PUugbeH [ru: 'more un~ts thiLn von Rlchthofen ~.ati!!r d.e'pla;y,ed duri~g hIs famoue assault on Sevastopol, considered, by many ,to be ,tbe Luftwaffe's most, impres,... s,ive exa-.m.ple. of 'tamicWi ,air suppcrt.Howeve:r" b:eea!use of dfutJ~noo8 in oper,ati.onalr'l3adin'e~ 54,,5 per-cent o:riP:Il~giheil'$ ,Illl:er~ft; wer-,el c:om:bl:ltt'r,ndl' on, MillY ~20~ whe:r,eiltl.s 64.5 pe],c~fit o.f von Rich.wim's ,"""ere on Jun.e OO~he sit'eG ,o:f ,tites@ h.ufJe' suike forces wet>~ alm.'O@t !d'mti.,cal.

Pfl:ugbeii.l·s, ~!ti'o:ngUy~reiltfOiI7OOd Flwge,rkorps ,IV' imro.edill/Jtely lnad.e i:t!j, presenea :~wt. Although the' SovIets looDitlnued adv,ancmg south of ,Kbar:k'DVj 'taking,ad and Tal"anovka en May US" Gennaa .farces :manl1!!ge!:1 to slow theirprogtess, and co:ntam,th.eir a.dVRl'IOOll.m:th a£tbe city:

Pl:lugbe:U's air ,clCI-rpiil,oon.trib'uwd ,!l.uJbstflntia'Dy to 'these aobiev13m.ents. Operating from airn'eM.s docnplously elOISe b)t-h,,~ fro:oJ, it· .. p,ro"V:1u_ea O!!itmSin.gronnd :fo:r-oos, witn. ,~ecti~ su.PP(1lil't by' ~aJllnclllng um:-endt.ti.n.g- and d'I\l{V8s,tati!l,f] ,attacks, On SO¥ie'ttl~'IJO.PS, Y~:h.i,cle8,a.nd annor IlU'id pounding m.o.hiliz,ll,tiO'n poinl;$. and logistics systems in army Ral" ar~. ,It attaclted the Soviiet-5 not only wiUi ah'CTi1Ift" but ,e.J~owith Us sa-mm flak gi!lns~ USed as d[!:'eOt,..fite ,an,ti.:ta,n_k guns,the-s~, highvelocity wea.ponl; delltro,)'ioo ,SCONS of Timoshenko's 8Bth~y ,ro~jed westward. The corps' ou;tstanding work was recognized by aU obsenera .. Even Haldeil"--wbonuely pmd attention ,to .air 8;CU virties-wrote in his diary on M~ Ui that "th(l fm'tle ,of ~be' ,att~ck aPFl~arn toha,ve been. broken byth~' efforts of our Lllfiw(l.He.f~Q

The Lu/twaf/il1. $O:Ud pe.r£onna:n,oo was no,t 8''Ved wi.tboutc~stto German gt"Olllldf'orce5, however •. ~ In ro.o5,tpNi'vio~ camp~jgn:s on the

---~--~----~- -- -


llII'O- '111&1- E' m=!1Cl" :~I. - IIYll I


- - -II


eastern front, se'lIe.ral "friendly fire'" incid,rgn.ts occulTed. G,erman units bad 'been instructed to mull:: their positioWll olem lly in order to prevellttn.esetypei'l of .h1cidrents. They' ,wppa~d to lay ou£ white ideQtilleati,o~ p1an.els and, ifnecessary,to usen~,and ~.ob pots. At this stf)l~ .in. lthe, \!of_, gl:IU>'Pi$ wI.del not yet ~iS'tabUl;lb dh'ect radio contact wit.h <iiHc:r,eft, ~'V'e.~.' head. In'tersemce com.mun'ic.a:ti!on d,e/pend,ed, h:,u:ge]y on 'the working reladoHship 'o:f mr and. gro!lu:ld 'cotnmanders'\lmd p.nug'be:iJ oertainly worked hard to flO'ster goodf!~t~ons and diem(lo:ID_m:u_nicat:iO:M witb. his army counterpm'lts,and on the effectiveness of;o{fiZier (air H~n ,ofilOE!inij, Oil' Fliws)., s;pecially.trained air foJ'"Ci!: officers attached to :forwa~d ground, units. In ~O:lill6ta1ntrawo oQm;muIdcs.WliII. w~th thew.air oorps, Fli.oos awrall1ied. t.he '00ll'-8, ,!i),ftb~ $M~uatiQ~ ,MId theinte~ll'.tio:u.!li, oithe' ,w:o,1!UI:di. unit!!, ,advised IH"my 'lIQ:r.r.nnanMfB 00 the :nwsitp:raet~c&I rule of ail' power and paued CD their requ.ests fiO'r air ti$~5bU:lc-e. This SYllbem 'Worked well when Luftwaffe UD.lts 'We~e attSlclting clear)y~d~fined enemv po.sU'401l$ du:ring l!itatic (ir slow-movin,g operations, but not satisfactorily d1llllnC operatiODllI mw this one :a& Khal'kniV, where the situation on the grw__ndW1'I5' alw~s clmottc and far mere nu.i:dand opposing'foJrlces were f.requen:t].y bal"dto di,fiit.ilillJ~h. BtHl"the:!!e unfortunate "mencl~y fu:~'{I' indde;rl,ts. pflile' when oowp.~"IiI w the v,e;ry effect~ve tomhatr.eswtl:s 'thlit the Lu/twaff'e ac:LusJJy achieved.

Van Bock was ,gl'\@atty rene-vw tha,t the So\1et atta.d!: was losing speed and. strength, but ,~]so i!It u.ns:Ul'e of 'wha;t to dionwc:t. Althou,gb ,'Fridericw was due f,o start in D. few days; powerful enemy f(ltlce$ ~tm pinned down andthr-eallen.ed te destroy the bulk ·of P'a,ulus' S, Arm'Y; mSll!o,rtlbte--l'1l pinCW'. By M,ay 14, it hadai]r~j;i.dy lost; ~tee:n baJ,t,;tal:lons:3t With 01119' piflcer misslngj, the fie'M, marBiba.l mali.zed tlliat IF'rldel!'icu;s eeuld .. no ]o:llger be ,ewrried o-,ut liiiS- (:I~ig,inW1y pl.aL'u'lIed. Should he' cancel Mle offe:ruri~e. ,the.refC-~~lI ,.d :mer:,ely 'car,ry '@!J!IIt a '~ocal oo-U!nter~~ck in order ,to sUlb~ 'the .front, or should he ~I.'ttempt 'to amduct the ,off'en5ive with only gne pmcet? He preferred 'the furnl,er op,tion;:

Hitler;' who p:ronl~sedto send even mOl'le air~aft from othm- oon1ibat zones. ,ordered 'the, la:tter,32 Eflict]y on May 17' .• A1"ln-€e .aruppe tlo.n Kleist' would sb:'ike at the- weak and. u.nau~,pe~g S(l ... li~ N iuth ~ wmch w-as ii3~iPposedly defund!ing the s-outtl.· 'eI::D. sho~].der' of the lzyum. sdie:nt. T.he, G'rupf)1J would al$()a:ri¥!! (YOlD BSJ""II'enKQW to, Bal:aJde-ya, 'the-rebyplnch:i:n!J: off the entire w~~t ~dtra,p· ping TIm'osl'l'eil'iko,'s-

With five Rumardan: divisions, protecting their left .flank, "~n Kleist's strike for-ce of eigibtiDfuJtry d!!mi)fi~ two' Panzer diivisi()~, and a mQoorbed iuffmtry div:islopa~oked IllS, ptawned on May' 17. M Tb~ ~eeeived. si;rlO.Dg :sopporl from several fl:g;b:te:r g!.'oups, some flying the latest ~~~cl-ID~1it;!; Bf l091~ whlcll s'Wept the skies Qf' thew Soviet (!(n;Jj~tel.'Paris and. .shdiiid e'x-posed tr.OOp.ill :and ~ply ,a.nd,re:info:rcaRllen.t OO\D:V(I;Ys,

'Because these oony;o~ pcsseaaed few antl!-w~c!,'a:__ft ,gIn)!; and b{ld 110' 'kavel unproteetoo more thaD 100 ki.torneWFs :fmm their railheadslJo their fm-ward units" tht!!.Y wet:-e ~it.tJe more than rrlttfugd~~.

Hu:n,dlr:eds, of PD.ugheil.1S bomber.s, and Stiuka.:s join,ed the batU~ tudoadin,g str-eams of bomh.s on t8nk and :suppJy ,oo'hJmn~ troi)pS~ fieldrt:l\l'tifie8~ '~ialts., 5,b;'O'ng pIllnts, hlllnk;el,s, ,and lo,gii'~hI9' M,t'Worm. Th.el' .flew SOl many [l.nd ,cJ:opped :80 ma:nybi)mlb~ m. this, period 'tha't they virtually fl!l:hauslied '~he considerable swcksof liaiInb~,fUel, srpare p~ and. ,othe!t eql:dp'nl.~mt 'th8lt Lahr had been ,fitookpi1mg ror Op'erat~on ,Blau. Pflu:gbeU pie:aded with von 'Ric-hthofer-n and ven Grceimoo Rend him wha,t;el\re'rthey could SpMe. Hw:d· pr--essed tbe,mlle~vea, t.h.ey', :sen:t him IlL small but. !;J~dy :stream of bOllll.'b!l, parts, and. ,eqruipme!]lt.. Hlil: .8!ppeu ·to ~___.e 1;u~ffe; High. CO,m:mEmdi, metWilb. ~,ess, SUOO~S5:. !'.he OKL ('Qber"komm:a:oo'o der Lu/t-waf(tt!.) had - vnmally no~hing 1:0 give h~ andlnlil meim~ of ~tting it to hi:nl IlllYwa,Y. and :informed him bluntlY on swe:ral occasions 'that. he should keep' ,obtaining what be needed :W!ilitD ,otl:!ier eemmands in t-be ~egio.n.

Pflugbeil's, units, also Ilimtte:red ](lad~ gfproPilganda leafiet;so\i\e,T' enemy posjtio~, call:Wg on So{Yi0tttOOilO'~tol throw do,wnthei:r arms in order to u~e' the:mI'lE!JwS! from in~vitaMe des:t;rw;;nOOl. Ill, ~ct, du.1:'ing M,ay they ra~ned down more than Slllll~mon m:aficl.6 (twlo-t.hi:rd!5,rrilIle~d lryK: Gl 55 RLoM);~5 Tneb,llJIgE! quantity scattered I3:cJ.uaJ]y mi:ses all. :impM-tan'tquestion, WhywQ.u1d an air force op&r-atir.!g undl1i!i' the 'WQl'i!!t Qr c:i:reumstancea and wi'i:ih 8ll sQrts of ,9hortages~specially of mel--'wa:soovalu.P;ble time and eIfQrt on 'these propaga:ndl.l missions? L- aflets w~re' re]a:Uvely cheap' to pl'oolJl.ce I:!,ut,beea:use of their buU{"took up much :apace on trucks, um.1l5; ~lId teran8po.l"t plane's.TlIey also' tot of space in air~ era;f\ bomb bay~, g'r13:a:t]y !i'educing' the ,~ount, of bombB that. wllhi, be, 'cIllRie-il, iSi~m1il1taf.i:eol;u::nyj!iUl!d cause-d. ~e oons,1lILmp'tio,[J, m;' fuel. needed fill' lar m(U'l8 iw,poo:tant 'oomba:t lI1IlJiissions. The answer appellJ'S 1JQbe tha:t ,the leadership acrull-lty tJilliC'v>ed 'theM :m:issions resulted in inC!l"e18.sed deser'tioD fatea and lower 'enemy mor~~e;a6 No' erldUIloo has oolne 'bo .fight de...monstrat-ing elither that tcb.€Jl hadso!1id .gtQTundisfor beHe'ving l~. or 'that ]eaflet drops proved at all etiiileotive in 5i~Clmt1y lOIWeT'in.g enemy morale. EViern 'Without 1t;~, ~ell'JJ~tU~ or hinMigbt1 Pfli!~gbeii's decisionbll co:nt~nue the: ml~'Olit~ d1!l!l'i:!l.g these critlieal day1l> is ,aSW1Uldil:lJ\g.

Ha.vffing ,said. thar,t, hiiEi bom'be-m alae und,edook support :miE>Sl-QIM of ,8 'm.Me significant natU'l'e.: t-b!;!y d~votOO much twe and 'e'ff'o~t '00' airdrop, wtu'kj dro-ppi:n,g 3:83 canisW:rs of ammunition a:nd .rations to encircled or 'espee~aUy hiilil'd· Ge:rmantroaps:. K.IG.56 condU!clied. &he of the,selIlissions, dro'PPLng supplies 0:11 ~ev-~r.8.] eeeesiens, [Q:rex;em,ple", ·ilo Ge'rmanpockets of I"es.iStSV:1:001 in the smwl ~er.fiOv.f!ya forest an_rl, r-e~ate&ybornbi:n:g' E!liiIemy f'Orces, atwmpting'w entd~c~te ~em.,a, This 'IJ.fte.nblvcl~d :f;J,yifJIg' ~:t


,A IIcMef!~t 1'~, o.T 1111 type ~U(nn IiIUI,fllii 1M bllC~bG~ 01 iIIi 1~lictll re_rtl!!HlCe lltill"


low a,Jtit:ude and resulted Jn se.Wl!',a:] ]OS500 '00 ground ;fi:re.

f'flllJgbe~r$ l;aetic~]rear:t:lnQiR1Ii1f:!Ce ;ai~~c:raftHenschel. Ha 1265 and. 'the 'm1.ceUeot .Fock:e-:WuJf :FVl 18·9s,....-aJs;eJ, played their pari;" monitaril'lig ,enem.y mo'vemern:ts, dll'ecti[Dg attack ai.l"CJ:afi, 'to fheiirter,gets" ~nd cb,eeklng and clJrl",recting the wrmyJs ,artille:ryfl!l!:'e. Von. Klleh,t actually loobsid· 'e;red theroo,Le of these obt5'elVatioill pla.n.e5-a topi.,c s,tiJl ignored by most hi5to,rjaf.l:~t.o be- ooimpof& tant 1'10 his operatioQ. 'that he la:Le'l' 8i~]ed 'them out :for ~];u~cial pr,ws!:. "'The undedy:in;g reason lor the Command'sactioru;," he Mote in a leit,ter (if 'thankabo ,F:Ueg;eri;;orps W" ~'wasthe provision 'of tiLclieal reconruUssanoo fli,!ml. Tbeu:' tireless mi. s:i.Ocn:s, wbid:!. de:mo~tr'ated their' OUrwtVL]J!ding para SOilUd oravezy; gave the Command. ,Ill. de!!,'!}: p:ictnr-e (lithe 'enemY ataU&hnes..''llIi,

'Many akc·~'€:W .61::]]'1. f[I3iW mar,a' than ten, missions per dary ill 'this c:ritJcal period; ~elil;Vjng Ithem, and their ,groundwilililils eXhau.sted. 'f1:II~ir efforts; b.e,we;ver, brought g!iil',!:B:'t :r,ewardiillij they shot dnwn. llUD!lerOUS enem.y aireraft·, knocked lOUt. scores of' '1"ehj;c'~l!'3j ·kWedbu.nd_l'Ied~, 'of hor,iile~, dler.stl'(1:yed ,countless artiHe;ty pieces, and eve.nw:lt'eeked s.ewr~ trains. After' the war, Ge:~471t:dmqfor Hens [)OOTri .FU\,...sQomd Ai'ttlY Corp,si' eb:i~f of 8'taff;lecaUed FUegerkorps M 'mJtStllndiing work In the fira:t days ·of van. 'KJlelst's off'MlB~ve';

A aeci,sipe snarre ,ofthesl.rete$i' llCh~ewd during the' first ,sUJJJie:$ of the offensi.r7e Wal oontribut'ed by F.l'leg.erkorps IV; w, units s:uPPOf'ted thil .infWi~:ry'B IiitrUCl1.tffJ' irn such. o:n e;t1!"llplary mr,Umer that •. faf' e:uun;pie, .the: stmn;g:(y..,de/eru1ed .heights $out:h o.f Bogorod'iclinoye tonth~ JJ'Onet.s Ru.u<?r, soutitem;l of lzy.~) cam.e ,!Ula:er GI,nn.i11im:JiPl8 air attack:s only 2cfJ m:inut'es ,alter requests ,(lrrllll'ld from in.wntzy ,.egiment~~,S91

,Accol'din,gto FUst P'a:nz~r Mngtls war diim:y; the ne\.'? offensive WtiiSi9/Uli.pported. !1nos,t aeti:",~dy

by'tIte Lu{tw,af{e,:140 :stl'long'~iir aU.,ac..'ks III fhm.t ,of thrir adV8l100S .be~,pedi:he Tmrd Panzer' COil"PS push flOiI·wa1:'d_ 't:.w'~n~~:four kilometers 10 Blilrve:nkovo end Sev.enwentll Ac.rn,y tW'euty~(ligbt Idlomewrs. nefidy to lzy1!llm 0,.0 the fir,at day ,Ed one. F:liege:rko:rps TV als\ol a!lsi~ood Paulus" army in the .rogion s-outhwes1f; 'of Khai1'l:ov. w:he,re fight, ing .intensified on 'May ;}[ 7. Strong Sov.i~t armered f:()rO~5 8'tte.mptOOto beesk 'tb:l'\ough to Mer·e:fa , but we.f;e s~ppeclin their tJ"l!Ick$ by a powerFul combi· ne.tlii:lIl. ,Dfa~.ti,·tank gullS and. StukaiS. Tb.eir .attacks, lEdl burned·out tanks strewn aaro~ the bl8:tU!!tfi~d. !'T.he dill'isiorts (If the' E:ighth A.r[ltl'ly Corps," Hans Doerr Wlote. "e:fIec:tiv,cly suppo:rt.ed by ~ FiiegerkQrps, ,Pluwe.n.ted til . breakthrough a~d., with ~ba:t, the ,enve]opment of Kbarkov.,"'u

Thk.en by sw·priJ!;,e, IGener,al Kharito'nov~s Ninth Army ooliap.sedunder the' wej\ght .Qf ''11''0'1'1 KJeist\ ~l:1!'!!i attack. I ts left wing b.egan 8 ftghtmg .mueu.tmwan:la the northern Donets, wtme ~·ts right wing fellba.c'k to'wards, B~nk'o,vg, IlInd filrther to tbe southwest. :retre8;1;.~ and t'he ,rap'i,d German. advance along' the northern DOl'l:ew, pla.eed Soviet {ib;rcElI!! in grel:lt. dfWger ,o:r bew:ng cut off.RJEliilb;,ing this, andtbat TiIDoshenko's n(lr~ner:n pincer had been stopped. Ilind his oouther:onow lilw,ng i11:l100 em.pty air~ M,a:rsbalAJeXl!J.fider M.. Vasille.vskii, t,he .Red A1"!JlY~ .acti~gchie.f o,r fue, General Stmr; mge!nt'iJ' ,as~d Stalin 'twice on .I!.IlIliY 18 'bi:! cancel tbe offensive iand redeploy all fo])ces in defensive eperatiOIf.1ll. 4~ Stalin fiefu:sed, poinUng 01ll·tthiiii't TimQsh.enko himself 8tm beUeved the· ,offensive shoU~d loontin~.Ll'Ite en M~ 191, boweverl he fin.al1y pe:rmitted :Elouthwe~ter.n FL"OJl'tto sw.i.tQ,h to the dmnsive!Uiler TimQsbenkoj ,apparently l'13rslizlng his, enormou:s ,e:l':t'OFj now WisistOO 'tha:tll dis~$teF ,e.ppeaJ\eQ Im:min'ent. This decisi'tlit!. came iaf'Wo' lial';e,.

On, May 20; vOr.! Klei~'~'s, ~peaii:'h~~d:fil,tDok P:rQ~opQPovk8itt which reduced the m.outh of the p()cke,too I(l(ruy twentylitilooneter5.~ICQn.t.inua.tiQn of this ~dV'El.G0e,~" COilDliw~ed. American intelligenoo


afficersnoted in th.eir brief '1;0 the Oa'!Ii!M~;ed Ch]efs. of 8ta:ff; !~wol1ld '~h:rea:~:l] ·e"cirrcl~merJit: ,o;f all R,1::J!S$ianfitl:r~6 we:::t i~r ~b~1 DO~.1li The battle,. they adC!ed,,~luil)S' usumed lar~,pli\opO.rt~Q111Jiii8Jnd m.l1Jeh depend!!:; ®ita 'QUMO!llli.E!,"411 NQ Q~~ ~.a[~~ed this more~~1 M~e en(lb:c~ed Sgvietf:l,th~ITISielves, "Likie£iery was'l's tnt.ppedin s. 1:mtt]et' John Er1cibOil1. wrate~ !'t;he tra;pped li!n·]IJilJ&e~i;.u!."ged inwards· and $~bboo~attb~G~'fm~:m! p~tlmts .. ~' lit) d~dl!l!o .gocd~flIIi~r tlu,~e:m.Oire, dllYs ofbiUerfight" ltlg, German. tli\O:op succeooed in c~05ing the mQu;tll of the pm!l~jet. 41'i

Flit:gerrnorps IV wow~~. vlgm'iom[y in MJ,a:t pooiodto ,ans'urethat .few :S:ovie;f:; troops eacapecl. To ~tren~ his~ady~powe:r.rulbDmber fleei> for these operations, Pflulbeil bri~y borrolW!ed !Ul. '~!i.:t~a bomberpwp .f:r.o:m .Luftwaffen,.· kOln..m.a:ndC! Ost. ("g 8m. bo:mbe!l.'!> liulI.J)ik.8ov~et fo:rcoes stillfighifuJ:g 'in!!~de the rapid1y'~~ng ss wen asthooet~h~g WS~{lW th~:ring ope:n r!!)~m t~e ,outsille. TJwy dMtt'qYlfJd. large numbers o,r m.cEl. h!)il'SieSJ,tai~6, .llirMored w'hiC:le~tm:.cb~ and gun!;>. [m. ,oo:'dei!r to p~~.t. ~ne:m:yrtn:m,~iUons fi@6IlIg' U~~ou_gn. the na:rrowing pp,lliey flJloo s!;nwk thgm.ain bddgl!s act"Oss theD~l1e,ts. 47 They were .peor],v swted.totMs work~llind :l!!uQ~edw! o:n~y~n, d!es~oy.i!;;lgo~~ llirridlge ~fld dUllagin.gfive 'oth~, St~k:asr~d in IW' do tbe Jobpj~e:t')y~. de:S:lrQYilingseven bridg~s BEd d!lillillulging :four mo're and a .]:emd:W;g ~~~~, 4B

F:i~te:ts,witb. c:ompl,em airs!U1~riali'lty emd no maJor 'eO!ooe:r:ru; about enemy nG.·!becau~ m.ost fla._k ~n$ had bee~ d,Q3t..royed or left on, the bat,.. Ue'neMlby relrea:tingu{lops"'llIMackd iU;nrp1'Q,te~ted fonnations, and ooft.s.kin.1l!ed. v,ehiJd~bot:b iMMill and. ollIliBlde,Lhe p(l~1iilt,M @ mw]t~ few '~lli(ilmy ·tro~~I'liil!e~!t UWw.ougn ·the· eiiJ,p,_dthose ·that did. 5uff~~·ed :lie .. wl~olilse,s, :rl.lnttin,gbelli.d[~:mgm~naJ.

. bailstorM ,~.f IlInt:i"pe;r-oonn.el .hlg:h·~I(lslve bombs. 'Tbefie mcl:ll!ded~he de'8.dJ,y~II'l!d ,efreetiv'C SD2 frlligme~.mti,Q~. boon~, d4:!!ignJEld d.1IJringthe p:revioos y,ear apoolflC'aI~y fQtuliie i'n,~be :!fast\. Th.el'lle iIll[!wulU2':kg: bQmblS---Cihr1srlen.ed "DevH':s 'i3'.~l 'bymrorew=&agmented i~m between. 60 fmd 250' pi~s Qf~l'Jlpnel~ which ~p(f'8,yed!ou,t in 8 five~meter f~d"f!J:!3l, :P:f])~glbairl'3wr un~lts ,dro\pped Im:ge qUo' deiklnated. on imp~ .00," just .aJb;o,vetn,e " witb. d.e'\l' effects on tJa;e neei:~g S

'When the rmg ,e~o~edeCfmp~ete1y~ SDiVieifi;lmlllps 'fought like 'COJ.1'leil'ea cats.VlI:ith I:!.:ctrao:lldinm-y dietet:miIlllltioiD. and fel!DcitM, they la:u~~h~d ~.ef!L\· Sielves iIl:gai~I1ltthi':W1Uh! 'mtn'!l ,ev'ill!l",t:lgb.tIlining rlng:.Lo,w ,on foodi al1lI1:1;Ii,Ulitioll.i and fuel, but the 'eo:m:bin:a:t~o>il of,eolllrage ,and f,~n.a;tte~e~ t~a:t, ~mlin'!.", had eeme W' expelctlliliElY made die&> pe:rat;e: .and hQpe~esslli,ttmc1m, ~On.[I];I[i:~ oeeasi.oills, ·tiJ~~tof'mijd fO·IW!ElIdwilh .. !iiml1S.l:iillilied. sh,Qiutlng' «Urr~1!" Ge:riffi.llmI:mac)bme~gul:1JJn~l;'a ba:!td]y nooded.~o aiim;tnElj' jl1iSt ~pra;~d. ·thi9;Ht!es ' bWleis. rulli11lg' lnuw~d:sata ltims. Only ome b!!)wou.t ~twmiPt caI_B, ,dose,j;o S;~i$S, !(l~ May 25. two diviisiQns~ suppo:rtJed. b;Y a number of T--34sJ ma::~a(gedw 'buJ];do;lecneir wa:yto,wudls

feb'OV8koyebef;ore tbey W'e!r.ecaugM'Dy P:Ilugbeil's S~. "'In heavy iIldilvld,uwactl!oIl!s," H.a:u Doen r-.ecaUed., descxib:i1:'I,g tl1lese ,eV<e!nti6., '~F;ikger.#o.'('j)'$~s· :Gupe:rib work ea:uEleclthe anni. pj];~Ho:n 'OifUJ:e: :fo:lUlS, .~!tt\em]:lt;it!gw 1j)reoik ocut

nem" Petrowkny,e/>l9 -

By M:~y 28'1 8ov[~t 1I~~i~ta:~oe< ij~~Uy(;!et~'n:d out, 'T.helhlttle or Khm:kov-mwmch tbe 80mb trili.edro eneirde the GermaniS bu.t ware them~ .selv,es .s<lJluo1lll:decl], over:. For Sta.Hn.~t was !3!:!l! app.a.J)Ung defll3\Qt. SQm~ 15,000 ,~rhi$be~t tr,oops had. been. kill!ed and .flinof;h,ct 239,.000 .smJ;·· geredrot-!l' ca:pt~.vit.Y: Ov,e:r ill ,200' tMb,2~OOO a:wt-ill(;l:(y pieces, a~d 542 ah:,·c:rafl;. we:oode.~t~QY'oo 01' ,captlU'led, 'ill'b,Qua:ands. of h®lrses~",ital fQ1' tra~6pD'ri :~Hd ~o~e- also re]l~!!W,tQ '~!.1tUin handa:. as ,ditd~8l'ge ,s,uu:tpHe.s of RmMlmition.llind. (lth~ equipmlet!:t..liO .1' Hit~er~it Wat;; .tli. ,~andV'i.olory. He had h:umiUated S.t!l!11i:n o~l;y a w~ek e~ Iier; wben lda, :lioo::oe's '~}l,ushedthree armielS, cap~ hlll'ed :Ker'Ch, andb:lokl70~OOO pdso!flers. :Now,b, i!l~;!J!Jl!ililifug!\li;!1J;ot~er 'tbJt·e~r armiJe'$1~h~crw~lilgbacl!: a m:9jol' offensive, and brInging tb~1 pr;iS:O'Jleoc-Lote.l forl:l(lt:h l1ilfiT<E!,tbaD. 4'00,000, he, mma~edfm1:her humimj,aUolill!. Refe:r.r.iing ·to his ooming campaign. for Mll!i: i(J:aUctl~~j he b::j· 'llmphan.tly e:i:dRim~. to Goebbelsthat he was IlOW' :reru:liy''ta. IJitl1'.anlrue~he Sov.iliit system at im Ada:ml:s. a:p~h~l.ml1

Iltwl'.ls -a. class:~c b~!tUe: 'of '!!:tu::dmem:!!'Jl,tll1nd anIrlhil!il!ltio:~ and.~ ,~ Hit~etf fuJ]y rea1i~edJ 'Qne of suateg;i.~hllIPO'l'Ut:nee<. At a bQa]'ab.l~ ooiSt, hm ~roop'5 h:ad.haclr.ed offii~e mzymD!5al~ent.wMch h!ild; b~l!:! a cO:!1S~at!:tM'~!!Ne\lltto llliatklTva.ndi an 'Wl:h:a ]eHiglbh of fro·]};!, foI' th~mwguard. By ga[~.·· ~filS: important. m;;e_ in the Donet.!i B'Ali5in, they had. ~:reated ane.Nc,eUent :sblgingarea fo!l' OI,'l~FaltjOili! B.l(!:u~the pJ_lled .. SIlllmiI!1Ii,er ,campaign .. ,.hey 1:wd. ruw, $[gnifit~.·Lly w,~ken@d oprposi!tiQl!:!. in the legion an.d regainedi advan· tage, 1f l.hlliY could .~t Bla~ rom"g fn the neiiW futul'Ie'.tney ,Bhould mlllke sple:ndid,rogress.

PflufiheH'.$ .IVha.d OOrWI'D.ruy ,con~ tri:outedtc t'b~ 'Ge.rt!:ll!'l~ vit:ooitY. h leiS~tha:~. ·t~e weeks ,offil1:.iIo'ufighHn~~t hllid fIiown 15~648'!50l'· ties· and !~QP:pe:d. 7:. 'JOO ~toil1s: (If no:m[b.s, 8'iiil5t9,;300 leaJ1OO,ts an:d. 383 cal:W[~tew:s ,o:f 8<UppU~S;5Z The Ju 625 of ~~t(!ll:lWJ!a[I~l't S'i!.I,.UI.d!roiDB wo:riiliecl. bard. to ~ep writr!J.d!sBJna. al'l:llY~nj!ts suppruled., in l,54J.5tm:l1!.Q:fmlli!wriwaJllo:r fhe, loSlBoCQnliy 4:e'icir~ !~.a:tl~ and :n: :me~ .kJilJed. I;lind :98, missing;. the air OO'l~ m.~rted, kil~ ~] was ast(i~di;ng. If ~,t1 deffima ,~_ ·be. tr~~ed.llind SOvlet, samces do :e;dmity,tifYbu'Vj"i~(1l~ to diill' Lu.ft.w(J.ff~.~be Ctrrps destro"edno wwe't th~ 615 aircr!Ift~ 1Il9 of them on ·tbe :gr,o!!llndm It clR~m,ed. an impreSlSive 2127 tank;!;l de·$trQ.Yle<1 :and 14,'0 others, damaged. H(I!;'i~(kg'~~!m!belr,~, .flying at lo.waltitu:del !0Ve!l:' armo:rod 'oob.unns(ip~n. wffi,thllut n!3!k protection, were far 00 ~~ 8tdu. Yet; ev1d'~moe, fl"Qm d!!JIily after·ae~i.G[n lepods S~OWiSth:!lti 'Ibec~1il~ oft;h.ei~ .glIea!te~ ~1IiIQl:be:rM!cl .mghml~ss:iO:iIlIiI'" Uliei1 :~ewally d~:stroyWl. u :M!,UW tanM; g thi3: Sty~<



All uni~om1:leriil, div,eA;wm'bem" and flig;b.tlerS=-pe:rformi3d. wen ag:wnst. wpply COillVO;YiI. A'o"Cordmgoo ~hiillr repocrts, they togelb.e;r ~~ked 3,,038 motQrvehieles,llInd l,686, hOlse-drDiWil '<l,ago:m; ;Elnd dam;~ged another 462: ~and. 272 ,respec:tive~y. Railway convoy~, far-ed noDl'llttel'. PflugbeiJ!':s air;men knocked out :22 looo:moti:ves lmd. 6, emnp,lete tr,ajns, and ,damaged, another 22 traina. 'They dem.olished 24 artillery and 2 B~ b:a!iltteries, 4'9 ~e'para:oo artillery p~~~~ 1.4 munitio~ c-a:mpat. 10 supply ~1ill:p!9 and y,Ir"n.l))l!l!s othe'l" In'staU.a;ti'OOlS, ~dp~dJ;aJ!ly destmyedmany mol'>~ of each,. The~ also k]lled large :numbell1s, of' men

and "hoor-sM.. " -

Lu~ffe flrakunits, ~Joo d~stingWshedthemsalv,es dw·[n,g the Battle ,of KI:l:a:rkocv; The L FlakKofP$ (Fir,e£ Mtia.i:li\craft 00J:iP;S) claimed that betwlee:n May 12 md 28 i,t sbot down, 33 enemy aircraftiilir.ld Wl"i1lckJed ~124 'ta.J:iks~ incllll.dingT-34s, and ,the hugil! XV-is and IW:"'2ls.411 A~~ Soviet sourrces, a:ttest to ,u,.e' gef!~~:al :reliia:b:ility of '~bese .figures. Although most b8ttw·i~per-.Fo-rmed wen; oomep:roved :remllrkabJy effective. Fot' iMtlance, one battery; eomm~.ded ~ya Leutnant Belchw,~.ld rnan8ged to ~'hoot dOWn 6 ail"cr:a:1t within the ;spaoo of a feW' mlmllwSI Q~ May lSi' bring;!ng :ttl!! 'total :£01' 'the eas:te:rn campaig.nto, :27. Relcbw.aJd!is lliJ}hj.ev~!en.ts did. :not pass unaeticedj. in Ancust: b.e received. the Knigbt"s, Cr.oss.

P.fJ.ugben~s, aia:"' cm'p~ pla'Yed e crocioJ. roieb~ the batt~e, as :e:rmy eom.manders ,gi'atefully run,QI\!i"ledg,ed. "OUJl' :specla:l thatnb ~ to 'tbe air corps a:ndiits clos.e..combBt a~afI;;," VOD Kleist wrote '~O p:n,1IJgbEli~~ "'which,.:in tioo,wss, operatioD£" contributed decisively eo our victory;~' Pamus also sent hi~ tJlianlai;:

From the onset of the oottli!!,. (zghters controUied th? airS'paccE! ami shot down nume~ eneJnjl' wr~ craft. Ass:i!fJting the' st.l!1Jggle {.In the' ,gro.u.ntl. dJv.ebombers and b'Qmbern atta:ckedwiJ.'h bGombs and: othe:r ,weapons, :s~hingenem.Y as$umbly ptJints. ,o:tt~ing tan.ks; ,oatterilJ8 (Znd"colum~. TheW:

Ji'liegerktJ'f'l)$ .tJw:relzy m.~ an e$se.!:l,t~(l;l cm~tribaHon to ,the succ:e.s.s'(ul ck," ellCirclem:entand destruction of the enen!y. Iprocloim. to the ~"rps and tlw. elements: iJ controlled lny SPt1CWt,Mt'itude .for its friet'kJnless cooperfltiQn and n.eIJ~:r~ fctilsng fiUpJ)()rt.~'

LBm, b.ofld '0'1 Luftfl,(il:t€ 4 .and, Ff.I,'illgbcil'lii' bnme-' digk! supe:rw:r. proudly p~d on to the air' oorps£rolilliltibe deUighb~cl. ;;roll:!. Boc.k~ \!;ihr;i'$El amdes bad tumilld looming det~at iJ, stunning' vi:cl:ory. ~G 'V:~~ Bm:k, ~ .. ~ :fl!eet oonnti:and..e:r ![laid, '~pitOdlliims his iWecial Luftfktte4 fill' ;it'S ,Qll3cl5iV'e mtppari: of the ,9[_nuy gr.oup.;; Ta, this L5hr <l!dd.e;d, his own expr-e.ssiOOl, of tih~, fO'l'th,(3 1~Ql"P5' ''\oub'tlinding pmo:tm8ilice, and ibJ ~gain.~

demO:ns&r8lted 'Q<pef'~t:ion:m, " .~'W

In, retros.p:ec:t, 'the .Luftwa a l~e;y ptil't

in sntliishing the, mador So· offe.nsiw al'Ound Kha.rko,v. FliegerkoiJ'"ps lVall.d elements of Fl;iege'i/Wrps VIiI distinguisbed, them.__selv'.e,5 in. a. s€!r1i!eB of' l:Io,n-stop defensive miss,ions; then ,~El.t]yaid,ed. the :ar.!l'!Y as it. thr,e-wback and ,destr-oyed the, Soviet: rOfOO~. Undl!il' Kurt Pflugbe.i1's d.ebm:wned and. capable oommaDd. th.ey OV1I~\reame oll"mi n'imi~ed. tbe, impact or dliffi~ culttes Cl'ell.tedby th.eir ;r,!.lIpid 'tr,lmsfiiH" to the regio~ mIld :pet'J.lbrmed 'weU In a]J. opel"o:tionsj iIIIcl:uding tru:t.icalrecQ'DIl:aissante, iIi.r.dr-o:p and supplY, duect, bE!.ttJJefi.eld support" and .~nte:rd]ctlon nm.s.ilmS.. H,!!!, less impOl'talltly,; they also d',e.di the slties oifi:he WB, 'thus :protect~ng tb"e army\> logistiC$, i1i1eltWOl'b,ffi,tI:l'ch routes, ,oommand posts,. and :field. instaUations from ,llIittae:ks. \by Soviet bonlbets,ilDd 8[]lowing ann)" Fm-moti·ons to, carry out. I~ombat opera:Uo:n.swithou'(;. ,~nfferin,g signffimmt losses to Shm~I)'Vib :e:nd Soviet :fighteH, Pftug)bed',6 air corps. thexefu,re, certainly e'3~t"ned. the ptai__s;.e it r,e(l:ehl'e(j&O. VOiD, :Bock and !lenior ofiiee:ts, bu,t, nolt. the: l!.llck OIf 'COYe'rll!igi! jtnaa wb::ie~e:ntb ;roo~ved .from hi6t-Qrian~ 'of these events. I'l;$ performa_nce: was ;exceUeDt., its contribU't~l;!nto tbe battle d.ecishre. •

1. John ErldtBOn. 1'ke ROlJd ,to BW,U~grnd.. S~'Qlin's War with. O'~Fmany.. Vob.llm! I (UJndllii;: Weide:n:feJ(lJi 1'9193. ~rst jpublisb,ed [0. 1976], P. ,34],4.

2.. HisMty ,of t/~ o.~ PMr-iaik :ml.r of tl!13'Souie.--l U~~ion.lfJ41-1fM5. TirWJS[·atied! fr'lIlI! Russian by the uS'. IC~l'Ite'l" (or .Military IHst/ory CWilmjng:t:o:[I,DeI.:

Scnoleul'ly Resources, 1:984,), VOll. n, yp. 411, 412, a JoiOl.j• p. 412.

4. ,1:~t'agebUlM, des IOberkommamt:o.s de.,. 'Wehr:macld (Weh'l"m.achtfilhr:uIJ.gsr;,t(z.b)' l'f}'tt{}..'l94/i~, ,Po E. Schrlllimm, ~n. ~ .. , Wt:ankf:uf~ aIi!lM~: Be,maM, &; Graef~,l'!iifj.!) (h,e:nmil're:r cited as, KT'B OKW). VOl. n, p.,

35:2 ten.b:Y for MII,Y 12;, 1:942)1. -

I,. Paul!:lS iltld Sta11Ilgrod: .A. lAli] of Fidd-M'~hrd ,FriedriclJ .~arllus ,wit/Ii Noles. 100r,,wsprmiieru:.e ond DocumMtoS' f1'lQm. hils 1bpenr ll.f 'RWter G~rlitz (London; Methue!ll, 1'003).111' t'l'7'.

6. lbfd.

7. .R. Overy, "fUller i:1!lld Air Strn:tcgy," The Jourll:aJ of

,COtlte.mplfi" - Vol 15 1(198flfpp .. 4(1).'21.

8.Frtul:il . . . pta,ebud,: TO,gUak.e AiJ.freich.

l1~g;en ,des Cfw/S ,des Ge~mlstfibes ,des, Heere,s., .19.'39- 1941., M.·A. ,Ja;cCbseil" ed, (Stu'~.rt.;. W. KoJD.''~ 11365), VOI1.. m, pl. 40B.

9~ Jb£d •• p.412.

jUl. K'l'B ,oKW; Vot n, p. 3:U (Olltty :r:o:r .Apcil ]3, ]941>. 11. !oKL. Chef (Jew;l~ 1;644'142 Oh.efiacke-Nfiitiz ,tiber d~ ~,MhUI1' beim Ffi1ue.r ,!ltm 1 '1.4 .. 1" Ei~ der .Luft:fWfte 4, Nu,tioDlll .Auh ingtqn, D:C.) T9111111J975-'!:lS,1.. 12. 'lI:'hlil! largest O]lICl!"aitlOlJ~j ~(lndS1 wiithinSiir fleets wBt:@'Mte J!;lie,B~l'k()rps (iiW' CC!1'Ps). Th~e Q(j!m· manu IiI.OflUaHy flJDCtiO:ll.ed urnl:er the Siufhoiity of ,the ail' n~~L .ill, HIe r.egi:Qn. On numerous oo::a:s<iOlil5, through·

Ql!lJt thf.lW:!lTi~ however, the L'Ujtwafl'e .Hi8h. Command d:i:recjleci certain. to QlXltato'~!:J!d!e.~oo..ent4y uri under tho ,d:i:!leotim of thei]' oVi'lll OOrrlmllIl.dem,. W~Il' were w;uaLbr of G!l'Il!eroZl'!l'U'mam '(~igni8!Wd. N~. O~n!. tn USAA1F) ,01:' ,Gei!ten:d ,dluFlieger (Lt. Gm:W~ank.Mr Oce!:.5 .:se]Q:oIJI] oon:LroUed .mo:r;atJiLan one Frielf.!'rll.orps It!; a time, !i1~b(lU;gh in c:ritiMlltbcftlers fir dulDg lIlliIliio. .. !;Ir:r~$i",~, a neeillJmll&ht assume (lonilir·ol o:r ~wo. find sometim~ ~ef.!ekl!:o~~l$ 'Of at'hW, fe:redma:rli:oo]y .~I:'I ralrze a:nd oompoE>if the jmpo:rm.;n.ce wt:h.eEI.ters; ~d the I1a:tMe ,ot

e'.!lclil air OO_1lIS waG ,~lIJiid lli~O!lt(l pe:rf:Q'!'m •. b· _

oorps du:r.m:~ the .first two y·a!u;s ,ef WIU" m. the ~t :pos. 5e5:5ed bet:ween3150 .and 000 :eJirc:r!l'lt .oJ di lIl3. Dr. Wo~f~ Frkr.UOH .R'icilt-kaf~4. .~IlU"SM:all.<i.n:li£kes I~ 12;, 1,'9'42., B:u:ll.d~.n:hhl\·.Mili.1i.rar'>cbi.'!!' .al. ~ili~ Ar· chive~), f'r~ilb!J.r,g, Gierm~ Owlieaful. ci~!.la:gBN ],{A;) N6'llJ'l).

114. Bytha end ~ft;~e\YW"'. i~E1J!lrflp~,.m M~ 1945,.the 'I~ed aU ~~ o])Gw.e/t~ ·~!.1'er·aft~!:'ItQ air :ileets.)"t:htee m.orethallt it had: out IS~. Y;@{i.t!jj ~:~iieT.; 'lI'hey ~ demgrlld.ed u{lflDuen 1. 2. 8, 4 (tbe, 6,

'( ,ami Reid~ (t~eatedl .aU! . [lg

~~$pO!'Isi!1il~.e ttl·:; bQme~r Ead:l .w/tjlotte Wmil

~imitD!!tw all :indivjd)~.a]~A'iwFtmccl! wi Lb:illl, th~ u.~~ tha:LIJs, ~t wa!liaseJf·~w.inea: fl!i.r CCID'lmgd~ iOompds· h:i!g aU t,nl!e!l af' ,comb~t anU.s(bomihe.:r.i diVle.'t!omber" g!'mliIl(l·a:ttadr, (l:gh,1leril:l'ldlr.eooiltIlJIIJ5Ei:H:l:lee) .RS, weil :fie: trs:nspOl"t, nak and! ~igna1:s unfits" Sen±m; (i'pel:ationlli. QQ!llli~:nrltll"lN181:!lIUy af 'GEl·,u.m'l:klbc1'l'lt (rlOlIl:r' .8;ta;r' .gll;n"' e:rai) (lr(km,i'ro.~fi!I:dm.arscilQil Oi'!!\e Sitar g~l:lerJ:l!~) :rPIikhe~cliedth0 'comm,a!!'ul sto.:lI !;If ,e!ldh a:itfi'~ e!lm;l'd:sing r'W.~ :siutilOrirt.y @'!fe!i suiban:lli!1lie!i~l! Fli~{}e/I'Jwrps.

!U:il. . . Eiii1loot'<l' 8e:W4$tOpcl 1942 (JuniJ8.Ab~'J"Erfal~Fl~ng€n aUs

d·enc, E.insatz .1' Lr:ft!.()fi1ffC t1f,geJ!!.- lhs.~ SAP'

Historical B!ese.em _!bUlP

(hefCalkr i:~~d9$" ,

II. R.Q, US< $traJt¢.gi1C'; Ai[l"F~ tn. ::m:'l:tl'ope (Rem), omos' Q{ thel Histw,iaJlfI • .AM' St;Q 3S<O, APO 413, US ,AEmy;, "Que!'lt.1ona:-iwe Oil 'GAl" .[IoC'~rlneE!fld P'Ol:icy: . ~we:r5 ~y 'Gen., .MItl.".o~, RoMen (P.W.) lind 'Cot

Kricsc.he fP:W.) i~O' 'Qu.esd:iiOI)S Slllibrn:i!ttted M~:[lr

E~~mm~!O~~.AFHRA 5]9$19·1 (Au~s$ :!l4, '.. -

I 7. ~.M~~l!I'.!"S :rl~e Oel"~~ AJr W'~i!'i~ Buss~~ (Batmn-alle, NdI: Na,u:I:ii~land .Avia,tio.n .Puhl:ishing Co., 1I.9g!2} provide!lihe lile!llt treatment 'iilfthe .Luftwaffe's

.nes,cl!~lfIg WBi~[m.e. .

Irorrm.~c~b\Uc/~.M~ 12., 19~2> I!~


n9. lb~d'.,. MlIIY ta, 194,2:,

20. 1'a:!4h~s ,(l~d St(J!l·i~~~. p,);:'I'7,

21. Ge\l'hv~O'mmcmdo d:e6m }]:U'qjemorp'S ilbt', Ie.: !l'btlrsiiCh~ Ql}erEij~.s~ Er{:alge and Verluah! d'er Veroande cks w. .Fiie.prkfJrps v, l~--31.5.,42~ _p. 1. N~,f;:e: tbii$ dlocum·~l]ti:s llil!lrl.l.1!tIt;ii, but W!l!! ,i!jDmgr,e.d i:n:t~ aI, Or. '('{'Is Wl!I.1' ,clliaol'J' on JU.Jle· 12, ]942i BA/MA.R.t lJ1I4,7:3llt. 22. See Pa:uhl!s' tle~e'!;ype'mleii'lla.g!il o.f fibil'lJiLks ~o' Ifl'iege:r1i'.orp.s [\fin K.orn,m~~die'nJld:e Ge't!£r.d Iv-

FI~~Ml'p.s> 8. ,J'w~i' l~ . BAI'M'A. RL

l:O/"ll,Uaj It .1\. Wlmat-x,. A. t:oil'j' ,pI ,SorJ,fel Ai;r'PQ!~er

(Nilw ¥I!)~k:r.rll!~~r", 196\2}, p. 185,

'.liS. 8ec' nQ~ ab!;nl\(l.

24. Ha]d)erj Veil. in, pp.t39, o1>W' 'CM:~yi2~, :13, ~Ild!. ~~. 1:9'42) .

. 25.fiisfory ofdl€ G~ .PatriaticWiI", V61.. n, p.4J1l3. 26.Duci~gtbe of IDli:ld;~v;, FikcerliexrpfJlV

',~; :t ud. HIJK.G.1:i H'. ~1:!C1I m:.,IK.G. f:i5~

I.tK.G. 7'S. U./K'Ct ajl.! IE.B.M, ,G 7'l!~ II. ,lSt.G. :J1~ I.,

U.lltiicll IIE.JJ.G. ai.I., U." m. and. Jl5J.JtG. 521; [ana. mJJ,i(!r. 77; I.lJ:;G. 58; tug, DJScliLG. 1i 3.0",) ::1.2]. S~;Jililrce ~:i,ted: i:nl!l.Q~ :2::(, pp, 4·9,

.2'. EM] F~ Ziem.k>eud M8!gII.f! E. Ih:!!tlJ~:!', M[,JSl'(Iw r" ,Stilflillgra4;Deci~i;o.~ ~'~ th,g !JiM~; (WMl~~t]ngWn~ :0.(:,: L .... Arm.y Cel:lt:e:r Qr MilitSl1)' HisLozy: 198,])~ p.2,15.

28. . SQ.~ c:i11~i:1'l lmte :n"IlP. 4i,.,9.

2,. Ob~iC'ltt tiber dw fl'i~~ien, ~~/.ldg '''''iii! der~I'OIU

am .2,O,.5.42~Rfidl E~ro- ~at,~ji~:cet.1d~V€l"bdnlde de." d~ut§,NHm. .L· fIe Mr' (htfro.~~..90.,6.1fN2,

APe . . ,ft

3I1l Halder, Vc~ Ill,[:n,442,

3:]1. ,Riulu:s and Bml~ngmd" p.U30. U. lbrd." p. 119.

,SS~HQ!l!S :[lQlH·I. 'Uer' :lJigdleil' Scb]a~ht Urn

C,h,fll!l'kowim 'MnJiaM ~iIJ'-'WISSll'JJ;5'thaftliche

Bl;!ndscllhl'lu4, .. 1. (.lSin. 19M),. pp,. 9· ~5).

:lIi.:JLH~~ftot;tflftlM'GreM; .Patriotic W'a-li t ~'[~ p. ·U3, 3i5. is@u~clted.m nobl21, p. :2:.

1!IJl, . cr, Th:!i Ge'lma~ Air F;orc,e tlenlU8

1 j, USAF H:istol'i~ , No. UiS (U8;Af

HisWrl¢B!l'il, Rese~. 'a:i!l!s ]m'ij~~u~o. Air

Urnw;r.sill~y! Jl965).~~, 991,

317. S01ilfCe ,d,ted in no~e 21, ,p. 2,; F. Kl;i:~ws~i I BcdkeW:ln;!ll2;ll~~ R<*r Sl:e"n,;· der Luftkr~eg 19itFl:944 {rl'i.edlberg:POOzun.~P.liLlhl.S, 1.'984), [iliec.:ien, K:r.wpfgur:ilwaaer "'&i!e'~~is~~;' TAil' Qfa, GetmaJi. Bomber Utlit, 198~194S (Land~!m [w:! AIi~!'I., 19'15).,p .• '1'0 •. 1t. Gi .'2'1 ca~lied, QlltU1:e re!lt!!a:in~ dJ!'rof&ese miS!!i:on!!C

38. Genem1kom~~' cks IV.: .FliJJgerkarps,Atti. 110:"

Gcfech.t.sslaJUi;, .

1.. Jl.!nil!J42.,;l1. .KJeiBt, llAlM#!. RLl!01473a. 39.DIle{IT. p,- 15.

40,Zic!fUoand JI1!iil/UCiI'. :p. 2.'l!8.

4·1. D~lfr;. :p. IS.

42,Zicmkllif .tmd Ellu.J:~rjpp.2il'8.2:BOi G. Zhu.lll()v, Fr-om Mo~:cow to Ber·n~l4:' Mars~a$ Zluilllll.l'S Grrotellt .BaJUes, \Var ~Dd Wanio:r:s Sel'ies (Co.Slta ~a, No~!'!tiilfl ]'I~

1991)~pp. ]210',. Jl2:1;: Brim _

48, Cornibllll!dI C]Jitlfs·'of ;Fltoilt S$tua:~on

Rie-pm't {message .ft\am.Vhtx ClffilCe I),UM.I. ~Bri.tiib

.liiI. C~9.s!>il1i:iiecl! ~MosL S~ef8.t'~, No;

9065,?', Mtliy24, 1 AFHRA. H9',:606':2"

44.Erlck:s~I:I, rn:J, Soli?: •

45. HahlJe:r, VlJl m,pp' 4146, 446 (May 21 @lid! 22,

1942.), .

46, ;&iul\C@~iledi ~o. note 21, p.. 6;. ,Ubernicht talu die (u~d€r- ()sWrn.t/.j am :20 .. 5A2, KllU'l!.30£MI VoL ,6,

47. Ail"M'illi:5'tJYWe-e~lY .lntetti~!mQe ~MmmI([l)'Na; 14,3~ Up' ,to 12Q0-;21th Mol" 19dZ, A.FH_RA fl1l2.601'l •

. 48.. ,so:u,ro11l mtOO. in :IillOre :21. ~;p. lIFe.

·419.,. f.n. -

!liD, K'l'B' OiKW~ vol.n, ~. ,s,9G. MaiY :29, .1:9~2:i

LrJ(tfl(J'tk~oornm~d@ 4,FYihru~~~. ~M!~S'!bteeli~lu,~' rilil(8,', ~ldQ:

GS'f~:i'8atll1lld,den J9,Mal' 1\942~ ~ _ .

B~, R't 1101473(1;; Ziemlw.W1id! BlJ'uer',. p. ~8:2.,

51. JR., G.~,'·· rew.'~~~b.!!lcI~~JIj;

B~nd 4, :194(')· Pi.iPH!

:19912), p; l:SQ.l. (Ma,y 30, 19420'.

6<:2:. :SaUrGEll cited i.n ~.Ore 21., !PiP. 1, 2.

cut" Z.u:S(:lm,/Jl;e"i.8$elh.jing del' fill' :ncM~ RUM1~tJ:k [,I~d ~~·se gmll~M

. ., ffJ.f' We~~r!J'!gc_4tberid:tt

.20.,5, .. c:ift..£:rericl:t. Runc(f;u:~~

.!m4 P)~~ 29,5·,.42,.AF.~KU3.30!9.8 Vat 7.

.ft. !G'eniendkolm .. mmdo rJa IV; .FI~r~Q.~,Aft}. 11:a •• iG'e(Mhii!'s&tanlli.l. Jl,m~ .l.942,.;ez. wn .me'~~, '~.m:. 10l4!·:i'3!l.

,rll~ F:ill'\St~iU:!'OOci~m note .22...

5i1. .liuit:/lclte"Rko1'N1trmd'o4. Fi'Zhr'LUl&saOteiltln,g .Ia op., G£, dena9; Mat 194-; ~csbefm:t. Ie-~ .l.llkr, BJ'JMARt lJO\f47SIlli.

:li1', Ibid.