Thursday, August 6, 2015

General Hans Geisler in an Award Ceremony for Luftwaffe Members

General der Flieger Hans Geisler (Kommandierender General X. Fliegerkorps) in an award ceremony for luftwaffe member whom served in anti-shipping operation in Mediterranean Sea. The Corps was stationed in north Germany in February 1940 when some of its aircraft were involved in a disastrous friendly fire incident that terminated the Kriegsmarine's Operation Wikinger. In early 1941, X. Fliegerkorps was transferred from Norway to Sicily to support the build-up of the Afrika Korps in Libya. On 12 January 1941, it had 80 Ju 88A-4 bombers of LG 1 and 12 Ju 88D-5 reconnaissance planes at Catania, 80 Ju 87R-1 ("Stuka") dive-bombers of StG 1 and StG 2 at Trapani, 27 He 111H-6 torpedo bombers of KG 26 at Comiso and 34 Bf 110C-4 fighters of ZG 26 at Palermo. It was prominent in the axis effort to suppress Royal Navy interference with the supply routes from Italy by reducing Malta's effectiveness as a forward base. On 10 and 11 January 1941 X. Fliegerkorps planes sank HMS Southampton and heavily damaged HMS Illustrious during Operation Excess. Bf 109E-7 fighters of JG 26 and JG 27 joined the offensive on Malta during February and March 1941. The Corps was moved out of Sicily in April 1941 for the Invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece. Maritime float planes replaced fighters and dive bombers while the Corps was stationed in Greece. Strength on 10 May 1942 was 74 Ju 88 at Eleusis and Heraklion, 25 He 111 at Kalamaki, and 53 Ar 196A-3, He 60c, Fokker T.VIII and Bv 138C-1 at Skaramagas and Kavalla. The Corps was crucial in securing air superiority and German victory during the 1943 Dodecanese Campaign. The Corps was renamed to Kommandierender General der Deutschen Luftwaffe in Griechenland (commanding general of the German Luftwaffe in Greece) in March 1944 and disbanded on 5 September 1944 with the withdrawal of German forces from the country. Geisler himself receives Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes (4 May 1940) and Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (20 October 1942) for his brilliant role as a Commander of X. Fliegerkorps. This picture was first published in a heavily illustrated book "Fliegende Front" (Flying Front) as written by Hauptmann W.E. Freiherr von Medem and published by Verlag Die Wehrmacht in Berlin, Germany in 1942.

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