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Werner Baumbach

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by Kai-Petri, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Oberstleutnant Werner Baumbach served with KG 30 and became one of the prime exponents of the Junkers 88 in the dive bombing role. He fought with distinction during the Battle of France, the Battle of Britain, on the Eastern Front and in the hard-fought actions carrying supplies to the USSR round the north of Norway. He was Geschwader Kommodore (commander) of the elite Kampfgeschwader 200 from October 44 to March 45 being promoted to oberst and becoming "General of the Bombers" - the highest post in German bomber Command.

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    Anyone know a book on his life, which would also include info on some exact wherabouts of his service time in the Luftwaffe? More like before 1944 because I trust there´s not much on KG 200 time.
     
  2. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Kai

    I never saw this posting until now .............

    from a much expanded wiki-reserve Euro article, it's actually pretty good for once............hope it is quite useful on this high awarded individual RK-S

    Anti-shipping specialist and Bomber General.
    Werner Baumbach was born on 27 December 1916 in Cloppenburg, Germany. While still going to college he flew gliders and was admitted as a cadet to the Luftwaffe in 1936. In 1938 he was promoted to lieutenant and became an instructor for instrument flying.
    At the beginning of the war he flew bomber missions with KG 30 over Poland and received the Iron Cross 2nd Class after a successful raid against Warsaw airport. After the Polish campaign, KG 30 became the first unit to be equipped with Ju 88 and relocated to airfields at the North Sea. In March 40 Baumbach's unit made the first dive-bombing attacks in the Ju 88 against the British Fleet in Firth of Forth and Scapa Flow, although these attacks accomplished little.
    During operation Weserübung Baumbach flew anti-shipping missions over Norway. On 19 April 40 he damaged the French cruiser 'Emile Bertin' with his Ju 88 over Andalsnes, earning him the Iron Cross 1st Class. Since High Command eventually assumed she had been sunk (which was not the case), Baumbach was awarded the Knight's Cross for the sinking.
    During the French campaign Baumbach flew anti-AA missions over Holland in preparation for German paradrops and attacked the beaches during the Dunkirk evacuation. In June 1940 he was selected for a special courier mission, flying from Berlin to Tokyo, via Moscow. He returned to KG 30 after the Battle of Britain. The unit's mission now was the blockade of Great Britain but it flew also bombing missions against London during the winter of 40/41. During one of these missions Baumbach's Ju 88 lost an engine over the British capital but he managed to crash-land it on Dutch soil, Baumbach being injured in the process. After returning to his unit in January 1941, Baumbach dropped mines in the Themse estuary but soon began to attack allied shipping in the Atlantic. By 14 July 1941 Baumbach had sunk about 240 000 tons of Allied shipping and was awarded the 20th Oak Leaves in the German armed forces. On 20 July 41, Baumbach became commander of KG 30.
    As an elite anti-shipping unit, KG 30 was sent to hot spots over the Black Sea, the Mediteranean and again over the Atlantic in early 1942. In August 42, KG 30 started to attack the Murmansk convoys from Stavanger, Norway. During that year, Baumbach had added another 60 000 tons of tonnage sunk, earning him the Swords to his Knight's Cross. Baumbach was the first German bomber pilot to receive this award. Baumbach had by now become a Major and his unit was once more transferred to the Mediteranean, tasked with attacking Allied shipping near Algers during operation 'Torch'. But the Luftwaffe organisation on the Sicily air fields was not up to such a major task, crews, planes, fuel and mechanics existed only on paper. Baumbach frankly informed Luftwaffe Headquarters about the real situation - with the result that he was transferred to a staff position in Berlin.
    In his new role, Baumbach worked with the development of new anti-shipping weapons like the Hs 239 guided bomb and the Mistel (Misteltoe) composite bomber. On 15 Nov 1944, Baumbach was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel and held the post of 'General of the Bomber Force'.
    Eventually he became also responsible for a German 'Kamikaze' unit which had been dreamed up by Hanna Reitsch and the SS under Skorzeny. The aircaft in question was a piloted version of the V-1, the Fi 103 R Reichenberg which should be flown by volunteers, 'the most fanatical of the fanatics, the fieriest of the believers'. But when Baumbach talked to these volunteers, it turned out that they did not know really to what they had been committed to. They thought they were to take part in some special operation, like the rescue of Mussolini, and would get a medal afterwards. Baumbach went to Himmler who ultimately accepted Baumbach's arguments and the suicide unit was disbanded.
    In January 45, now a Colonel, Baumbach realized that further fighting was futile. He wrote a letter to Göring declaring his point of view, the letter ended with the following: "I should be an infernal coward if I could not screw up the little moral courage required to do with my voice what thousands of my comrades have done with their blood. As I do not wish to be running around as a marionette, I hereby place my rank and the orders I have won in battle at your disposal." Göring however pretendend to never having received that letter and Baumbach remained in service.
    Together with his friend Albert Speer he now counteracted the system, especially Hitler's 'Demolition Order', from within. As Baumbach happened to be in Hamburg when the British aproaced the town, he convinced Gauleiter Kaufmann to surrender the city.
    After Hitler's suicide, Baumbach became a member of the last gouverment of the Third Reich, under Hitler's successor Dönitz. After the German capitulation, Baumbach was brought to England. He spent nearly six months in an English interrogation camp. He was told that he would be charged as a war criminal on the ground that he had fired on shipwrecked people. After unending cross-examination and investigation Baumbach was able to prove conclusively that throughout the war neither he nor any unit under his command had committed any violations of the Hague Convention.
    After his release, he worked together with Harvard historian Bruce C. Hopper on studies about the Second World War. In 1948 he emigrated with his wife and son to South America and became technical adviser to industrial firms. Baumbach's ideas about the future development of armaments and war in the air made him one of the accepted international experts on air strategy.
    In the Argentine Baumbach pursued research into the problems of remote-controlled flight. On 20 October 1953, during an experiment in a Lancaster bomber he crashed and was drowned in the Rio de la Plata. Baumbach was eventually buried in his hometown Cloppenburg.
     
  3. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    He also wrote a book - 'Broken Swastika - The Life and Death of the Luftwaffe' which was originally published in 1949.....
     
  4. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    yes indeed and still obtainable at desired book dealerships

    the man has been talked of as an ardent party member but if so he seems to have had a change in philosophy's by 1944 when as he admitted everything was lost
     
  5. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Interesting reading. I have seen many photos of the man but no details about his overall career.
     

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