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Werner Baumbach

Werner Baumbach was a bomber pilot in the German Luftwaffe during World War II and commander of the secret bomber wing Kampfgeschwader 200 (KG 200). He received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern) for the destruction of over of allied shipping.


Born on December 27, 1916, in Cloppenburg, Baumbach entered the Luftwaffe in 1936 and was trained as a bomber pilot. He was one of the first pilots to fly the Junkers Ju 88 bomber and flew various bombing missions with Kampfgeschwader 30 (KG 30). On 19 April 1940 he bombed and damaged the French cruiser Emile Bertin for which he was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class. In 1942, Baumbach was removed from active pilot duty and started working on new bomber designs; among others, he helped design the composite bomber system Mistel. In 1944, he was placed in command of the newly-formed KG 200 and was in charge of all Luftwaffe special missions. Baumbach was promoted to Oberstleutnant on 15 November 1944 and was tasked with leading the affairs of the General der Kampfflieger.

After the war, Baumbach spent three years as a prisoner of war before he moved to Argentina where he worked as a test pilot. He died in a plane crash on 20 October 1953 while evaluating a British Lancaster bomber. He was interred in his hometown Cloppenburg.

Baumbach released his memoirs, Zu spat: Aufstieg und Untergang der deutschen Luftwaffe , in the late 1940s. The book demonstrates that even after Germany's defeat, Baumbach still believed to a very large extent in the National Socialist ideology. The fact that Baumbach's time as commander of KG 200 is not mentioned with a single word highlights the extreme secrecy of Germany's special missions program.


Narvik Shield

Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe for Bomber Pilots in Gold with Pennant "200"

* in Silver (22 March 1941)

* in Gold (1942)

Combined Pilots-Observation Badge in Gold with Diamonds (14 July 1941)

Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe

Iron Cross (1939)

* 2nd Class (28 September 1939)

* 1st Class (4 May 1940)

Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

* Knight's Cross on 8 May 1940 as Leutnant and pilot in the 5./KG 30

* 20th Oak Leaves on 14 July 1941 as Oberleutnant and Staffelkapitan of the 1./KG 30

* 16th Swords on 17 August 1942 as Hauptmann and Gruppenkommandeur of the I./KG 30

Mentioned twice in the Wehrmachtbericht




Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die hochstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 3-9501307-0-5.

Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Trager des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945 (in German). Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.

Schaulen, Fritjof (2003). Eichenlaubtrager 1940 - 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe I Abraham - Huppertz (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Merite. ISBN 3-932381-20-3.

Schumann, Ralf (2007). Die Ritterkreuztrager 1939–1945 des LG 1 (in German). Zweibrucken, Germany: VDM Heinz Nickel. ISBN 978-3-86619-013-9.

Williamson, Gordon Williamson and Bujeiro, Ramiro (2004). ''Knight's Cross and Oak-Leaves Recipients 1939-40 — Volume 114 of Elite Series. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-641-0.

Helden der Wehrmacht - Unsterbliche deutsche Soldaten'' (in German). Munchen, Germany: FZ-Verlag GmbH, 2004. ISBN 3-924309-53-1.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Werner Baumbach

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