|A.K.A.||Carl-August Schumacher, Carl-Alfred Schumacher|
|Birth||19 February 1896, Rheine, Germany|
|Death||22 May 1967, Bad Godesberg, Germany (aged 71 years)|
|Politics||Christian Democratic Union, Nazi Party, German Party, All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights|
Generalmajor Carl-Alfred (August) Schumacher (19 February 1896, Rheine – 22 May 1967, Bad Godesberg) was a German military officer and politician. During World War II, Schumacher served in the German Luftwaffe, commanding the Jagdgeschwader 1 (JG 1) fighter wing. After World War II, Schumacher was an active politician and elected member of the Landtag in Lower Saxony (1951–1963).
Schumacher initially fought in World War I as an artillerist before he transferred to the Kaiserliche Marine and participated in the Battle of Jutland as a Fähnrich on a battlecruiser. He learned to fly in 1930 and transferred to the newly emerging Luftwaffe in 1934, involved in the flight- and leader-training departments. On 1 August 1936 he was given a squadron command in I./JG 136, he was subsequently promoted to major, and full command of the I./JG 136 — Gruppe (subsequently renamed II./JG 333 on 1 November 1938, and again on 1 May 1939 to II./Jagdgeschwader 77) based on the northern coast, the German Bight.
Following the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, Schumacher was appointed Jagdfliegerführer Deutsche Bucht (Jafü Deutsche Bucht—Fighter-commander German Bight) in October, to control all the disparate fighter units stationed on the northern coast. In November he was then given orders to set up a brand new Geschwader. Initially (and unusually) comprising just a Stab or HQ Flight, called Stab./JG Nord, it was soon officially authorised as JG 1 on 30 November 1939, with Schumacher as its first wing commander. It inherited command of I./JG 1 which had been previously operating without an HQ, and was also based at Jever on the northwest coast.
He claimed his first aerial victory over a Vickers Wellington bomber, among the 12 shot down in the aerial battles of the Heligoland Bight on 18 December 1939. His successful co-ordination of a range of different units and aircraft was effective and forced a fundamental change in air strategy for the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the first year of the war, as they abandoned unescorted bomber missions. He claimed his only other victory, a Bristol Blenheim, over the North Sea on 27 December 1939.
He led his Geschwader in the Battle of the Netherlands, although his unit did not follow the armies in the invasion of France or the Battle of Britain, instead being kept back on the coast. For his outstanding leadership and success he was the very first fighter pilot awarded the Knight's Cross - on 21 July 1940. Because of that, and/or his lack of direct involvement in the Battle of Britain, he kept his role as a Geschwaderkommodore and was not dismissed by Hermann Göring in his purge of the senior fighter commanders a month later.
On 8 November 1941, he controversially shot down a de Havilland Dragon of the Finnish Air Force by mistake, and was relieved of command. However, he was soon re-appointed to a new post - as Jagdfliegerführer Norwegen on 5 January 1942. Again this was a role to co-ordinate a number of scattered units, this time across Norway, facing both the Russian Polar Front, the North Sea and Arctic Ocean. This subsequently also got further centralised with the formation of the new Jagdgeschwader 5 in May 1942. In late February 1943 he was sent to Romania, and in May became head of the Luftwaffe mission to oversee the training of the Romanian air-force. Finally, in the latter years of the war, now a Generalmajor, he was tasked with assignments co-ordinating the Defence of the Reich. He finished the war having flown 160 missions, with just the two victories from 1939.
- Iron Cross (1939) 2nd and 1st class
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 21 July 1940 as Oberstleutnant and Geschwaderkommodore of JG 1
Schumacher was a prisoner-of-war from 1945 to 1947. He was subsequently hired by the district President of Aurich in 1948 and was working for the Olympia-Werke AG, in the typewriter industry, starting 1951. He was elected member of the Landtag in Lower Saxony as deputy of the GB/BHE faction in 1953 and re-elected in 1955. He then joined the Deutsche Partei (DP) in 1958 and changed to the Christian Democratic Union faction in 1962. He lost his mandate in 1963 and died in 1967.