By John Weal
Jagdgeschwader 3 won't have an analogous speedy resonance as a few of the extra well-known Luftwaffe fighter devices, such Jagdgeschwader 2 'Richthofen', however it is arguably the archetypal German fighter formation of worldwide warfare 2. not just did it perform each crusade fought via the Luftwaffe (with the exceptions of Poland and Norway), it flew each significant version of the 2 mythical German wartime warring parties, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Focke-Wulf Fw one hundred ninety - beginning with the Bf 109E in 1939 and finishing with the Fw 190D-9 'Long-nose' in 1945. And, through the process the hostilities, it numbered between its ranks greater than 70 Knight's go winners (a overall surpassed by means of just one different Jagdgeschwader). The wealth and diversity of element afforded through any such heritage - together with the old battles of england, Stalingrad, Kursk, Normandy, the Ardennes and Berlin - presents a great framework upon which to painting the multitude of reports, exploits and supreme fates of...
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Additional resources for Aces of Jagdgeschwader 3 'Udet'
Although their bravery in the air was indisputable, some of these younger officers lacked the necessary maturity to command a large body of men on the ground. But JG 3 was more than fortunate in this respect. Upon the departure of Oberstleutnant Carl Vieck on 21 August, the man who took his place at the head of the Geschwader was Hauptmann (later Major) Günther Lützow, the long-serving Kommandeur of I. Gruppe. Günther Lützow has been described by an eminent German aviation historian as ‘one of the outstanding personalities of the Luftwaffe’s fighter arm – the model of a dedicated officer, admired and respected by all’.
Among them, in addition to the wounding of Wilhelm Balthasar and the forced-landing of Franz von Werra already mentioned, were several more of the Geschwader’s newly minted aces. /JG 3 failed to return from a mission to the London area. One of them was Leutnant Heinz Schnabel of 1. Staffel. At almost the same instant as Oberleutnant von Werra was belly-landing at Marden (British records give the time of both incidents as 1010 hrs), but some 30 kilometres to the east at Aldington on the edge of Romney Marsh, ‘Hannibal’ Schnabel came screaming in for a high speed, wheels-up landing of his own.
Yet even against this background of more than 1200 claims in just four months (sometimes as many as 20 or 30 in a single day), certain names began to stand out above the others – those referred to in Luftwaffe circles as the true Experten. It was to be the Geschwader’s most successful period of the entire war, both in terms of the number of enemy aircraft destroyed and in the number of decorations conferred upon its pilots. Between 9 July and 4 November 1941 no fewer than 19 Knight’s Crosses and higher would be awarded to JG 3.