Military Wiki
Gotthard Handrick
Born (1908-10-25)25 October 1908
Died 30 May 1978(1978-05-30) (aged 69)
Place of birth Zeitz
Place of death Ahrensburg
Allegiance Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1929–1945
Rank Oberst
Unit JGr 88, JG 26, JG 52, JG 77, JG 5
Commands held III./JG 52, JG 26, JG 77, JG 5
Battles/wars Spanish Civil War
World War II
Awards Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords
German Cross in Gold
Gotthard Handrick
Gotthard Handrick at the 1936 Olympic Games
Gotthard Handrick at the 1936 Olympic Games

Karl Hermann Gotthard Handrick (25 October 1908 – 30 May 1978) was a German Olympic athlete and German fighter pilot during the Spanish Civil War and World War II.


Gotthard Handrick received his Abitur (diploma) in 1929 and the joined the military service of the Reichswehr.

Medal presentation at the 1936 Berlin Olympic games, Sivano Abba-Italy (3rd place) Gotthard Handrick-Germany (1st place) Charles Leonard-USA (2nd place)

He won the gold medal in the modern pentathlon at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.[1][2] As a fighter pilot, he participated in Spanish Civil War and claimed 5 aerial victories while flying for the Legion Condor( including a I-15 on 9 September 1937 and an I-16 on 18 May 1938).

In July 1937 Handrick was appointed to command Jagdgruppe 88 (18 July 1937 – 10 September 1938) and assumed command of I./JG 26 (1 May 1939 – 23 June 1940) after his return from Spain in 1938.[3] On 24 June 1940 command of Jagdgeschwader 26 was handed over to Major Handrick, who passed command of I./JG 26 to Hpt. Kurt Fischer.[4] On 22 August 1940 Major Adolf Galland of III./JG 26 replaced Handrick as Geschwaderkommodore of JG 26. He then became Kommodore of Ergänzungsjagdgruppe 2 briefly before a posting in October to I./JG 28. In June 1941 Handrick was posted to command JG 77. While serving on the Eastern Front he claimed a MiG-3 on 29 September and a Pe-2 on 22 October 1941.

During World War II he claimed another 10 victories[5] while serving in the German military, earning him the German Cross in Gold on 17 October 1943.[6]

In May 1942 Oberstlt. Handrick transferred to command JG 5 in Norway and Northern Russia. From June 1943 to June 1944 he was Jagdfliegerführer Ostmark, then as an Oberst. become commanding officer of 8. Jagddivision in Austria until the end of the war.

After the war he worked in Hamburg as a representative of Daimler-Benz.[7]



  1. "Olympics Statistics: Gotthard Handrick". Retrieved 2012-07-01. 
  2. "Gotthard Handrick Olympic Results". Retrieved 2012-07-01. 
  3. Caldwell 1991. p. 4.
  4. Caldwell 1991. p. 8.
  5. Toliver & Constable, page 397
  6. 6.0 6.1 Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 163.
  7. Mandell 1987, online Preface xiii
  • Caldwell, Donald L. (1991). JG 26 Top Guns of the Luftwaffe. Ivy Books. ISBN 0-8041-1050-6.
  • Forsyth, Robert (2011). Aces of the Legion Condor. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84908-347-8.
  • Mandell, Richard D. (1987). The Nazi Olympics. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-01325-5.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 - 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
  • Toliver, Raymond F. and Constable, Trevor J. (1998). Das waren die Deutschen Jagdflieger-Asse 1939-1945 (in German). Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-87943-193-0.
Military offices
Preceded by
Major Hans Hugo Witt
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 26 Schlageter
24 June 1940 – 21 August 1940
Succeeded by
Oberstleutnant Adolf Galland
Preceded by
Oberstleutnant Richard Kraut
Commander of Ergänzungs-Jagdgruppe Merseburg
26 August 1940 – 6 October 1940
Succeeded by
Major Albert Blumensaat
Preceded by
Major Bernhard Woldenga
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 77 Herz As
23 June 1941 – May 1942
Succeeded by
Major Gordon M. Gollob
Preceded by
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 5 Eismeer
May 1942 – June 1943
Succeeded by
Oberstleutnant Günther Scholz
Preceded by
Commander of Jagdfliegerführer Ostmark
15 June 1943 – 15 June 1944
Succeeded by
8. Jagd-Division
Preceded by
Jagdfliegerführer Ostmark
Commander of 8. Jagd-Division
15 June 1944 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by

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