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I./Luftlandegeschwader 1

There had been a brief exchange of messages concerning I./LLG 1 in the days immediately before the Vercors operation. On 17 July, Luftgau VII told the aircraft park in Illesheim to send “at once” ten MG 81Z (twin defensive machine guns) to the unit's base at Strasbourg-Enzheim.

Next day there was a telephone conversation between an Oberltn. Lemke and Oberingenieur Weinberger regarding the equipment of 30 »Sturm DFS 230« (assault gliders) and another signal mentioned one or more aircraft of LLG 1 at Châteauroux.

Lemke and Weinberger's discussion was followed up on the 20th when 3. Ergänzungsgruppe (S) 1 at Strasbourg-Polygone was told that a depot at Pontfaverger-Moronvilliers near Reims could supply 24 fittings for fixed MG 17s in the DFS 230 and plexiglass for windows, as well as fabric for covering.

Also on the 20th, the Gruppe’s Do 17 “rigid towing Staffel” was advised that it could collect 20 fixed towing carriers for He 111s from Pontfaverger and that the Fliegerführer of the Parachute Army was to notified when this had been done. Next a message between officers of I./KG 66 noted that Strasbourg was occupied by I./LLG 1 and “envisaged for further transport units).”

It is (just) possible that this was all evidence of a last-minute scrabble in preparation for »Bettina«, the Vercors operation. However the decision to attack the plateau had been taken on 8 July and Dr. Peter Lieb has written that the gliders were moved by road from Nancy to Lyon-Bron and then Valence on 14 July. Therefore it is perhaps more likely is that further such missions were planned and that more tugs and gliders were being readied for action. In the event, the Allied breakout from Normandy and the landings on the Riviera soon left the Germans more concerned with quitting France than with pacifying it.

On 29 August, when the Luftwaffe was pulling out of France in haste, part of 2./LLG 1 left Mars-La-Tour (20 km west of Metz) for Altenstadt, Bavaria at first light. The move involved three officers and 70 other ranks along with 9 Do 17 tugs and 11 DFS 230 gliders.


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