|Born||20 September 1905|
|Died||20 August 1992(aged 86)|
|Place of birth||Bad Reichenhall|
|Place of death||Munich|
Weimar Republic (to 1933)|
J/88 (Legion Condor)
I. (Zerstörer)/LG 1
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Walter Grabmann (20 September 1905 – 20 August 1992) was a German World War II Luftwaffe Generalmajor. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Grabmann is credited with 7 aerial victories during the Spanish Civil War claimed in 137 combat missions.
Career[edit | edit source]
Grabmann joined the Police force in 1924, learnig the fly and serving with the Luftpolizei (Air Police), assigned to Flight Surveillance North Bavaria, Fürth. He then enlisted in the Luftwaffe in October 1934, and served as Adjutant, Jagdgeschwader 134 "Horst Wessel" from March 1936. From September 1938 to March 1939 Major Grabmann was Commander of Jagdgruppe 88 with the German Condor Legion in Spain, equipped with Heinkel He 51 biplanes and early versions of the Messerschmitt Bf 109. He claimed a Polikarpov I-15, I-16 and an SB-2 bomber all shot down on 23 September 1938. Another SB-2 was downed on 10 October 1938, and a I-16 on 15 October. His last claim (an I-15) was on 4 January 1939. He returned to Germany in April 1939 as commanding officer of I./Lehrgeschwader 1, equipped with the Messerschmitt Bf 110 heavy fighter.
In July 1939 he served with V.(Z)/LG 1. Whilst providing cover for the Heinkel IIIPs of II./Kampfgeschwader 1, LG 1 encountered Polish PZL P.11s of the Brygada Pościgowa over Warsaw on the evening of 1 September 1939. Major Grabmann was wounded in this encounter when his Bf 110 was hit by fire from a Polish PZL P.11 fighter.
On 15 April 1940 Grabman became CO of Zerstörergeschwader 76. On 18 May 1940 Royal Air Force Hawker Hurricanes shot down 3 Bf 110Cs of ZG 76, including Grabmann, while flying a low-level attack on Douai airfield. He parachuted to safety (his gunner Fw. Krone was killed) and was captured by French troops. Grabmann was repatriated six days later by an advancing German panzer column.
He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 14 September 1940. Oberstlt. Grabmann was credited with a further 6 victories during World War II — 1 during the Battle of France and 5 in the Battle of Britain — claimed in about 110 combat missions. In August 1941 Grabmann commanded Zerstörerschule 2 in Memmingen, and in August 1942 was appointed Fighter Leader for the Holland area (Jafü Holland). During this time Grabmann flew a Focke Wulf Fw 190A-5, (Werknummer 410054—factory number) "X" as his personal mount. In November 1943 Grabmann became Commander, 3. Jagddivision and then 1. Jagddivision in April 1945.
Taken prisoner at the end of the war, General Major Grabmann was repatriatiated to Germany in May 1948. Walter Grabmann died on 20 August 1992 in Munich.
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords
- Spanish Medalla de la Campaña
- Spanish Medalla Militar
- Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (8 July 1940)
- Iron Cross 2nd and 1st Class
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (14 September 1940) as Oberstleutnant and Geschwaderkommodore of Zerstörergeschwader 76
References[edit | edit source]
- Obermaier 1989, p. 120.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 343.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945 (in German). Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
- Forsyth, Robert (2011). Aces of the Legion Condor. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84908-347-8.
- Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 - 1945 (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 3-87341-065-6.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German).
[edit | edit source]
|Commander of Zerstörergeschwader 76
15 April 1940 – 31 July 1941
Oberstleutnant Theodor Rossiwall
|Commander of Jagdfliegerführer Norwegen
June 1941 – 31 July 1941
Generalleutnant Kurt-Bertram von Döring
|Commander of 3. Jagd-Division
11 November 1943 – 4 April 1945
Oberst Heinrich Wittmer
|Commander of 1. Jagd-Division
5 April 1945 – 29 April 1945
Oberst Karl-Gottfried Nordmann
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