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Günther Freiherr von Maltzahn

Günther Freiherr von Maltzahn German flying ace

German flying ace
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German flying ace
A.K.A. Günther Freiherr von Maltzahn
Was Aviator Pilot Aircraft pilot Cartographer
From Germany
Type Arts Military Science
Gender male
Birth 20 October 1910, Germany
Death 24 June 1953, Düsseldorf, Germany (aged 42 years)
Star sign LibraLibra
Günther Freiherr von Maltzahn
The details
Biography

Günther Freiherr von Maltzahn (20 October 1910 – 24 June 1953) was a German military aviator and wing commander in the Luftwaffe during World War II. As a fighter ace, he was credited with 68 enemy aircraft shot down in more than 500 combat missions. He claimed 34 aerial victories over the Eastern Front and 34 aerial victories over the Western Front, including one four-engine bomber. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, which was Germany's highest military decoration at the time of its presentation to Maltzahn.

Early life and career

Maltzahn was born on 20 October 1910 in Wodarg, present-day a borough of Werder in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, at the time a Province of Pomerania as part of the German Empire. On 1 April 1931, he was accepted for military in the Reichswehr. However, Maltzahn did not join the cavalry regiment in Pasewalk, for one year, he trained as a pilot disguised as a civilian.

On 1 March 1934, Maltzahn was promoted to Leutnant (second lieutenant) and began his service with the 4. and 2. Schwadron of 6. (Preußisch) Reiter-Regiment (4th and 2nd squadron of the 6th Prussian Cavalry Regiment) based in Pasewalk. On 1 October, he was transferred to the cavalry regiment in Schwedt, which was later renamed Kavallerie-Regiment 6 and was subordinated to the 1st Cavalry Division. Maltzahn transferred to the newly formed Luftwaffe on 1 April 1935. There, he was promoted to Oberleutnant (first lieutenant) on 1 October and until 1 April 1936 received further flight training at the flight schools at Kitzingen and Würzburg. On 15 March 1937, Maltzahn was posted to the II. Gruppe (2nd group) of Jagdgeschwader 334, this unit was later designated II. Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 133 and finally became known as II. Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 53 (JG 53—53rd Fighter Wing).

World War II

von Maltzahn in Italy, July 1943

World War II in Europe began on Friday, 1 September 1939, when German forces invaded Poland. During the Battle of Britain on 8 August 1940, Maltzahn claimed his third aerial victory over a Supermarine Spitfire. On 8 October, he was appointed Geschwaderkommodore (wing commander) of JG 53. Maltzahn reached 68 victories before leaving JG 53 in October 1943, assuming various staff positions. In February 1945 he was detached to 9 Fliegerdivision, until the end of the war. Maltzahn flew 497 missions and claimed 68 victories, 67 of them in the west.

Later life

After the war Maltzahn worked in agriculture and later in the "Amt Blank", a forerunner of the Ministry of Defence, on the reconstruction of the German Air Force. He was a candidate for the position of Inspector of the Air Force. He died of Hodgkin's lymphoma on 24 June 1953 in Düsseldorf at the age of 42. The street "Günther-von-Maltzahn-Straße" in Fürstenfeldbruck was named after him.

Summary of career

Aerial victory claims

Matthews and Foreman, authors of Luftwaffe Aces — Biographies and Victory Claims, researched the German Federal Archives and found records for 67 confirmed aerial victory claims, plus three further unconfirmed claims. This figure of confirmed claims includes 33 aerial victories on the Eastern Front and 34 on the Western Front, including one four-engined bomber.

Chronicle of aerial victories

  This and the – (dash) indicates unconfirmed aerial victory claims for which Maltzahn did not receive credit.
  This and the ? (question mark) indicates information discrepancies listed by Prien, Stemmer, Rodeike, Bock, Matthews and Foreman.

Claim Date Time Type Location Claim Date Time Type Location
Stab II. Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 53 –
1 30 September 1939 11:34 Potez 63 Saarbrücken 2 31 March 1940 15:53? M.S.406 southwest of Saargemünd
Stab II. Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 53 –
3 8 August 1940 17:05 Spitfire 15 km (9.3 mi) south of Swanage 7 6 September 1940 10:10 Hurricane
4 16 August 1940 18:10 Spitfire 8 24 September 1940 09:53 Spitfire southeast of London
5 1 September 1940 12:10 Spitfire 9 27 September 1940 10:19 Spitfire
6 5 September 1940 16:05 Spitfire 10 27 September 1940 16:25 Spitfire
Stab of Jagdgeschwader 53 –
11 12 October 1940 17:40 Hurricane 14 16 April 1941 18:40 Spitfire Dungeness
12 1 December 1940 15:15? Hurricane 15 19 April 1941 19:09 Spitfire Calais/Dover
English Channel
13 31 March 1941 11:35 Spitfire northwest of Calais
9 May 1941
Spitfire north of Calais
Stab of Jagdgeschwader 53 –
16 22 June 1941 07:17 I-153 vicinity of Kobryn 33 14 July 1941 11:15 I-16
17? 22 June 1941 16:30 SB-2 northwest of Brest-Litowsk 34 15 July 1941 06:50 I-15
18 25 June 1941 12:55 DB-3 35 15 July 1941 06:54 SB-3
19 25 June 1941 12:57 SB-3 36 16 July 1941 07:50 SB-3
20 25 June 1941 12:59 SB-3 37 18 July 1941 12:05 SB-3
21 25 June 1941 13:01 SB-3 38 18 July 1941 12:08 SB-3
22 27 June 1941 13:45 Pe-2 39 20 July 1941 17:49 I-15
23 29 June 1941 19:35 SB-3 Bobruysk 40 23 July 1941 06:50 SB-3 north of Uman
6 July 1941
DB-3 41 23 July 1941 06:59 SB-3 north of Uman
24 7 July 1941 06:14 SB-3 east of Polonnoje 42 24 July 1941 18:12 Pe-2
25 8 July 1941 18:48 V-11 (Il-2) 43 25 July 1941 18:19? Pe-2 east of Bila Tserkva
26 9 July 1941 16:11 DB-3 44 26 July 1941 11:00 V-11 (Il-2)
27 9 July 1941 16:14 DB-3 45 29 July 1941 17:00 SB-3
28 10 July 1941 09:35 I-16 46 30 July 1941 18:30? SB-3
29 10 July 1941 09:37 I-16 47 30 July 1941 18:53 Pe-2
30 10 July 1941 13:55 SB-3 48 31 July 1941 06:25 Pe-2
31 12 July 1941 18:07 DB-3 49 31 July 1941 06:35 Pe-2
34 12 July 1941 18:08 DB-3
Stab of Jagdgeschwader 53 –
50 19 December 1941 16:55 Hurricane Malta 59 15 February 1942 18:00 Beaufort
51 21 December 1941 12:00 Hurricane Malta 60 1 April 1942 14:55 Spitfire east of Ħal Far
52 26 December 1941 11:12 Hurricane vicinity of Malta 61 1 April 1942 17:28 Spitfire Malta
53 26 December 1941 16:55 Hurricane southeast of Malta 62 14 April 1942 10:40 P-40
54 25 January 1942 10:35 Hurricane 63 25 April 1942 15:28 Spitfire Malta
55 25 January 1942 10:40 Hurricane 64 14 June 1942 17:32 Hurricane vicinity of Malta
56 4 February 1942 15:53 Hurricane east of Malta 65 3 December 1942 11:38 P-38 Bizerte
57 11 February 1942 15:45 Beaufighter 66 14 December 1942 12:18 Spitfire Jefna
58 15 February 1942 16:08 Beaufort 67 18 December 1942 12:10 B-17 northwest of Majaz al Bab
Stab of Jagdgeschwader 53 –
68 1 April 1943 12:21 Curtiss P-40 5 km (3.1 mi) south of Sbeitla

Awards

  • Iron Cross (1939)
    • 2nd Class (7 October 1939)
    • 1st Class (10 May 1940)
  • German Cross in Gold on 23 December 1942 as Oberstleutnant in Jagdgeschwader 53
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
    • Knight's Cross on 30 December 1940 as Major and Gruppenkommandeur of the II./Jagdgeschwader 53
    • 29th Oak Leaves on 24 July 1941 as Major and Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 53

Promotions

1 March 1934: Leutnant (Second Lieutenant)
1 October 1935: Oberleutnant (First Lieutenant)
16 August 1939: Hauptmann (Captain)
24 October 1940: Major (Major)
18 June 1942: Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel)
1 June 1943: Oberst (Colonel)
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References
http://www.strassenkatalog.de/osm/guenther-von-maltzahn-strasse,17976783w.html
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https://www.jstor.org/action/doBasicSearch?Query=%22G%C3%BCnther+Freiherr+von+Maltzahn%22&acc=on&wc=on
http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1560670
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