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Luftwaffe Disciplinary Units

Soldiers within the Luftwaffe who proved to be a detrimental to the morale and cohesiveness of their unit were sent on a temporary assignment to Disciplinary Units. Their assignment time would be anywhere from three to six months. During this time, they were place on probation. If the soldier was not fit to be returned to a regular Luftwaffe unit, he was turned over to the authorities for disposition. There were three types of Disciplinary units for the Luftwaffe.

1. Special Detachment:

This unit was established on 07Aug1936, following the regulations of manual D73, "Regulations for the Special Detachments". This unit was disbanded by the onset of hostilities.

2. Probation Camp:

This unit was established by order BLB40 number 146 on 30Jan40. The purpose of this unit was to provide three months of "severe military special training". This unit was eventually disbanded, although no date is known(yet)

3. Special Companies:

This final unit was brought on line to replace the Probation Camp. The Special Companies at special purpose 1, 2, and 3 (Sonderkompainien z.b.V 1, 2, and 3) were established by order LV43 Number 1667 on 06Aug43. All members were demoted to the rank of private and were assigned dangerous work on the front line without weapons for 3-6 months.

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Uniform and Insignia

All men wore the basic Luftwaffe uniforms and accessories.

Insignia for Cadre Members:

Enlisted men of the permanent cadre wore the waffenfarbe of the unit the Disciplinary Unit was attached to. Example, a cadre member of a Disciplinary Unit attached to a Flak unit would wear the Flak(red) waffenfarbe. Officers and non permanent cadre members retained the waffenfarbe of their previous unit.

Insignia for Detained Members:

The uniforms of the detainees would bear no waffenfarbe.

a. Collar tabs would be made from a blue grey cloth adorned with aluminum wings, according to their rank*.

b. Shoulder straps were unpiped and had a machine embroidered Roman numeral of the Luftgau where the unit was based, in bright red embroidery. Angolia states that there exists a specimen of an unpiped strap with the roman numeral 9-"IX" embroidered in pink.

c. On 17Jun38, a portapee for enlisted was approved. It was of standard shape and design, but was made entirely in the blue gray color.

*as of 06Aug1943, all detained members were ordered stripped of rank upon entry.

Below is a set of insignia for a detainee from Luftgau XI (11).

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As usual, I am looking for anything pertinent to the Luftwaffe Disciplinary Units. This can be uniforms, insignia, documents, or photos. Anything relevant!!

The above data comes mostly from Uniforms and Traditions of the Luftwaffe, Vol 1(By Angolia).

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Most likely the closest I will ever get to seeing a completed uniform...

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Here is some information on that particular Luftgau(From Lexikon).

Luftgau-Kommando XI Hannover

1. 1st use and imputation:

Aufgestellt am 12. Oktober 1937 in Hannover, im M?rz 1940 nach Hamburg verlegt. Zu dem Gebiet des Luftgau-Kommandos geh?rte seit dem Fr?hjahr 1940 auch D?nemark.

2. Commanders:

1. September 1939 General der Flieger Ludwig Wolff

3. Fliegerhorste and E-harbors added:

Fliegerhorste: Rechlin, Perleberg, Wittstock, Ludwigslust, Hagenow, ?tersen, Neum?nster, Standal, Gardelegen, Hoya, Fa?berg, Celle, Wunstdorf, Vechta, Hage, Oldenburg, Varel, Tutow, Barth, Anklam, Westerland, Schleswig, Norderney, Bremerhaven, List, Holtenau, P?tnitz, Parow, Bug auf R?gen, Rotenburg, Diepholz, Dedelsdorf, Borkum, Wilhelmshaven, T?nning, Tarnewitz

E-H?fen: Nordholz, Vechta, Hage, Marx, Brockzetel, Varel, Zwischenahn, Gro?e Breite, Wittensee, Selenter See, Kohlebissen, Hustedt, Bissel

Sonstige Flugpl?tze: Zwischenhan, Wangerooge, Rerik

Leithorste: Blankensee, Delmenhorst, Greifswald, G?strow, Husum-Schwesing, Jever, Parchim, Langenhagen, L?neburg, Salzwedel, Schwerin, Stade

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Would these penal battalions etc be selected to participate in suicide missions or missions of low survival rate, such as piloting the 'Mistel' against bridges or other targets of opportunity? TIA and all the best, Jon

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Would these penal battalions etc be selected to participate in suicide missions or missions of low survival rate, such as piloting the 'Mistel' against bridges or other targets of opportunity? TIA and all the best, Jon

I would not know. Maybe someone could answer Jon's question?

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Hello:

I have some Germasn language reference material on penal and probationary units of the German Armed Forces. No mention was made of any employment as pilots but as was already mentioned loss rates were high. Employment in missions of extreme danger were commonplace. Also some units were utterly destroyed in combat.

Bernhard H. Holst

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Thanks for your input Bernhard! I would love to see this documentation! Where can I find a copy? Is it specific to the Luftwaffe? Does it get into any more detail on insignia(or the lack of)? Any first hand accounts?

Please post ANYTHING here relating to the LW disciplinary units!!

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Thanks for your input Bernhard! I would love to see this documentation! Where can I find a copy? Is it specific to the Luftwaffe? Does it get into any more detail on insignia(or the lack of)? Any first hand accounts?

Please post ANYTHING here relating to the LW disciplinary units!!

Hello Paul.

I can easily provide this reference:

Fritz Wuellner " Die NS-Militaerjustiz und das Elend der Geschichtsschreibung.

Ein grundlegender Forschungsbericht"

Baden-Baden Nomos Verlag 1991

ISBN 3-7890-1833-3

This book contains one chapter dealing with penalty systems, (penitentiary, Feldsonderbataillon,

Straflager).

Probation system:

Probationary formations, differences between 999 formations and 500 Bewaehrungstruppe.;

Feldstrafgefangenen-Abteilungen;

A series written by a former officer serving in 500 z.b.V. appeared in the Soldatenjahrbuch over a period of several years. I will make an effort to locate the pertinent issues..

Bernhard H. Holst

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Bernhard,

Were you able to find anything?

Paul

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Hello Paul.

I have found the issue numbers in the index but have not had an opportunity to pull the books from a huge accumulation of books. I am presently a few thousand miles away from home but will give it a try when back home later this month.

BTW: the articles appeared over a period of four years I recall and treated the "Bewaehrungstruppe" overall with L.W. units described as the war went on.

Bernhard H. Holst

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Hello Bernhard,

Thank you again! I will look forward to seeing these, as your time permits.

Regards

Paul

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Hello Bernhard,

Thank you again! I will look forward to seeing these, as your time permits.

Regards

Paul

Hello Paul.

I finally have had an opportunity to look through the several volumes of the "Soldatenjahrbuecher". While the forming in its different configurations and their deployment over the course of WW II is extensively described I could find no information on uniforms, insignia etc. This series concetrates very much on the Heer units (author served as an officer in Heer B-units), the Waffen-SS B-units and the L.W. and to some extent on KM units, the emphasis is as described above.

Bernhard H. Holst

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Thanks for your research, Bernhard! I really appreciate the time you placed into it.

Were there any other facts or details on the organizations what someone might find interesting?

Paul

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Thanks for your research, Bernhard! I really appreciate the time you placed into it.

Were there any other facts or details on the organizations what someone might find interesting?

Hello Paul.

The author has certainly been very detailed in his series for example the developement of these units, attachment to different formations, ops participated in (sometimes diverting to the rise of LW Feld units which as you know did not turn out very well with the majority of initially formed divisions). It seems to me that you are quite proficient in the German language, if interested I could copy the most important segments and snail mail to you if you trust me with your or some postal address to send the material to.

Bernhard H. Holst

Paul

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WOW!! That would be great! Of course I trust you. The unibomber has been caught already! lol :lol:

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