Luftwaffe Organisation

 

 

The basic Luftwaffe unit was the Staffel which was normally made up of between 9 and 16 aircraft.It was led by a Staffelkapitan who normally held the rank of Hauptmann or Oberleutnant (Captain or First Lieutenant respectively).The Staffel was always identified by an Arabic number ( 6./JG 1). Apart from the aircraft and aircrew, the Staffel had a ground organisation of various vehicles and about 150 men.

Three or four Staffeln combined together formed a Gruppe. This could be automomous like a recon. unit - and it was ibentified by an Arabic number - or part of a Geschwader or WIng in which case it was ibentified by a Roman number ( NAG 6 or III./JG 1).The Gruppe also had a Stab(staff) or Headquarters flight. Commanding Officer of the unit was the Gruppe Kommandeur (usually a Major or Hauptmann) with his Stab including the Gruppe Adjutant and the Gruppe Technische Offizier(technical Officer).

As with the Staffel, three, four and occasionally five Gruppen formed a Geschwader or Wing.They were always identified by an Arabic numeral. Like the Gruppe , the Geschwader contained a Stab made of the Geschwader Kommodore (wing commander usualy an Oberst,Obertsleutnant or Major) and other personel as Adjutant,TO,Ia (operation officer), Ic (intelligence officer), Nachrichten Offizier (signals officer) and a Major Beim Stab(staf major).Erly Worl War II composition of a Geschwader was:

Geschwader Stab

I. Gruppe
II. Gruppe
III. Gruppe
I. Gruppe Stab
II. Gruppe Stab
III. Gruppe Stab
1. Staffel
4. Staffel
7. Staffel
2. Staffel
5. Staffel
8. Staffel
3. Staffel
6. Staffel
9. Staffel

During the automn of 1944 ( for JG 2 and JG 26 summer 1943) many Jagdgeschwader (day fighter wings) were expanded to include a fourth Gruppe of four Staffeln each.Thus the new form of a typical Geschwader was:

Geschwader Stab

I. Gruppe
II. Gruppe
III. Gruppe
IV. Gruppe
I. Gruppe Stab
II. Gruppe Stab
III. Gruppe Stab
IV. Gruppe Stab
1. Staffel
5. Staffel
9. Staffel
13. Staffel
2. Staffel
6. Staffel
10. Staffel
14. Staffel
3. Staffel
7. Staffel
11. Staffel
15. Staffel
4. Staffel
8. Staffel
12. Staffel
16. Staffel

Note: Staffel colors only apply to Jagdgeschwader airgraft.For rest of Luftwaffe see CODES.

Major types of Geschwader:

German
English
Written As
Jagdgeschwader
Day Fighter Wing
JG
Kampfgeschwader
Bomber Wing
KG
Kampfgeschwader(Jagd)
Bomber Wing on Fighter operations
KG(J)
Nachtjagdgeschwader
Night Fighter Wing
NJG
Schnellkampfgeschwader
Fast Bomber Wing
SKG
Schlachtgeschwader
Ground Attack Wing
SG
Sturzkampfgeschwader
Dive Bomber Wing
St.G
Transportgeschwader
Transport Wing
TG
Zerstorergeschwader
Destroyer Wing
ZG

Types of autonimous Gruppen:

German
English
Written As
Aufklarungsgruppe
Reconnaissance Group
Aufkl.Gr.
Fernaufklarungsgruppe
Long-Range Reconnaissance Group
FAG
Nahaufklarungsgruppe
Short-Range Reconnaissance Group
NAG
Nachtschlachtgruppe
Night Ground Attack Group
NSG