9. Luftwaffe glossary and abbreviations

Aufkl.Gr.Ob.d.L.: Aufklärungsgruppe Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe. The Reconnaissance Wing of the Commander in Chief of the German Airforce.

Bf: Bayerische Flugzeugwerk GmbH. Manufacturers of Messerschmitt aircraft (Later renamed Messerschmitt AG) ie Bf 109, Bf 110 and Me 410.

Dead Reckoning: The basis of navigation in the Luftwaffe. With a knowledge of his aircraft's climb/cruise performance and given a forecast wind velocity and details of the track(s) to target, the navigator was able to calculate the headings to fly and time to reach his objective.

Düppel: Anti-radar metal foil. Named after the Düppel Estate near Berlin where it was first tested.

Do: Dornier-Werke GmbH. Manufacturers of Dornier aircraft ie Do 17, Do 217.

Epr.Gr.210: Erprobungs Gruppe 210. Test and Development Wing. Originally intended to introduce the Me 210 into service. Later used as a fighter-bomber unit flying Bf 110's.

Erprobungs und LehrKommando: Test and Training Unit.

(F): Fern, as in Fern Aufklärungsgruppe. Long Range Reconnaissance Wing. Abbreviated 1(F)/121 etc.

Flak: Anti-aircraft gunfire.

Fliegerdivision: Similar but of less importance then a Fliegerkorps, most of which were expanded into the latter as the war progressed.

Fliegerkorps: An operational command controlling an unspecified number of units. Subsidiary to a Luftflotte.

Geschwader: An operational unit similar to an RAF Group. Normally comprising three operational Gruppen and a Staff Flight, with a total establishment of about 100 aircraft. It also possessed a fourth training Gruppe, and later in the war a fifth Gruppe was added to some Geschwadern. Prefixed Kampf (Bomber) or Zerstörer (Long-range fighter) ie KG 55, ZG 26 etc.

Gruppe: An operational unit similar to an RAF Wing. Normally comprised three Staffeln and a Staff flight with a total establishment of 30 aircraft. Abbreviated I/KG 55 etc.

Gruppenkommandeur: Officer commanding a Gruppe.

H.E.: High Explosive bomb. Dropped in sizes from 50 to 1800 kg.

He: Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke GmbH. Manufacturers of Heinkel aircraft ie He 111 and He 177.

Höhenkampskommando der Versuchsstelle für Höhenflüege: The High Altitude Bombing Unit of the Experimental Establishment for High Altitude Flight.

I.B.: Incendiary bomb. The standard 1 kg magnesium incendiary.

Ju: Junkers Flugzeug-und Motorenwerken AG. Manufacturers of Junkers aircraft ie Ju 86R, Ju 88 and Ju 188.

Kampfgeschwader: Bomber Group. Abbreviated KG 1 etc.

Kampfgruppe: Bomber Wing. Normally a specialised independent unit. Abbreviated KGr 100 (pathfinders) KGr 606 and KGr 806 (ex-naval units).

Knickebein: A precision VHF radio beam navigation and bombing system.

Kriegsmarine: German Navy.

Kü Fl Gr: Küstenfliegergruppe. Coastal bomber-reconnaissance unit. Abbreviated Kü Fl Gr 106 etc.

Lehrgeschwader: Instructional/Operational Development Group. Became normal operational bombing units on the outbreak of war. Abbreviated LG 1 etc.

Luftflotte: Air Fleet. An operational command controlling a number of subsidiary Fliegerkorps.

Luftwaffe: The German Airforce

Me: see Bf.

Oberkommando der Wehrmacht: High Command of the Armed Forces.

Ob.d.L.: Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe. The Commander in Chief of the German Airforce.

Reichsheer: German army.

Ritterkreuz: The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. A military award.

Sonderaüfklarungsstaffel Ob.d.L: The Special Reconnaissance Squadron of the Commander in Chief of the German Airforce.

Stab Schwarm: Group HQ Staff Flight. Normally three aircraft. Abbreviated Stab/KG 55 etc.

Staffel: The smallest Luftwaffe operational unit similar to an RAF Squadron normally comprising 9 aircraft. 1,2 and 3 Staffeln were in I Gruppe; 4,5 and 6 in II Gruppe; 7,8, and 9 in III Gruppe; 10,11 and 12 in IV Gruppe; 13,14 and 15 in V Gruppe. Abbreviated 7/KG 100 etc.

Staffelkäpitan: Officer commanding a Staffel.

(W): Wachtel, after Oberst Max Wachtel commander of Flak Regiment 155.

X-Verfahren: X-System. A VHF multi-beam precision bombing system.

Y-Verfahren: Y-System. A VHF single beam/range-measuring precision bombing system.

Zerstörergeschwader: (lit. Destroyer Wing). Long-range fighter Wing. Abbreviated ZG 26 etc.