What follows comes from a brief look at two National Archives files on “German Police Decodes No. 1 Traffic”. I was hoping to find messages relating to actions against the French resistance in 1944 but didn’t have much luck. There were however several mentions of aircraft apparently assigned to “police” duties which here seem to be anti-partisan warfare in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
The text is verbatim in German, without any analysis or explanation and the constituent formations concerned are almost exclusively identified by animal names. However during a long-ago visit to the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv I saw some documents about an anti-partisan unit operating in the East and Balkans. These are now available to download and make it clear that the unit in question was Fliegergeschwader z.b.V. 7.
The activities described, unit locations and some of the aircraft Stammkennzeichen point very clearly to Fliegergeschwader z.b.V. 7. On 19 September 1944, the General der Aufklärungsflieger described the unit as follows:
… operationally subordinate to the Reichsführer-SS and Chief of the German Police, [and] to an Airfield Regional Command for pay and rations. The Geschwader’s independently deployed elements are subordinated to a Höheren SS- und Polizeiführer and for pay and rations to the Geschwader.
The Geschwader is organised into a Geschwader staff; an Ergänzungsstaffel; an Fw 189 reconnaissance Staffel and a Ju 87 bombing Staffel forming an Einsatzgruppe under a provisional Gruppe staff; and six further Staffeln.
These elements are split between 20 different locations from Oslo to Budapest.
Geschwader personnel numbered 417 on 19 September with 50% of the non-flying elements seconded from the SS and police. As for aircraft, actual strengths on 8 October 1944 were:
The unit was engaged seeking out and combatting partisans with operational orders a matter for agreement between the SS/police authorities and the Luftwaffe command in the relevant theatre of war. The Geschwader was led by Oberstleutnant Heinz Heinsius.
continued on next page …
PART ONE OF THREE
© Nick Beale 2023