action around Berck

German Luftwaffe 1935-1945.
Post Reply
bdennis
Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:48 pm
Location: Sussex

action around Berck

Post by bdennis » Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:29 pm

I am hoping someone can help me. I am researching the attempted breakout of a group of German surface ships along the French coast in 1942 and there are two episodes which involve the Luftwaffe.

The first is the loss of a Fleet Air Arm Albacore in the early evening of 12th October 1942 near the Berck buoy. Whether it was lost to a nightfighter or flak from the German convoy it was attacking has never been established. At the time the British believed the Albacore was picked up by German radar prior to it's disappearance.

The second is the involvement of Luftmeldkopf Berck in directing the fire of German coastal batteries on the night of 13/14 October. In fact I know very little about Luftmeldkopf Berck and would be most interested in hearing if any of the records survived. I have been extremely lucky with accessing the naval KTBs for most of the units involved in the convoy, but don't even know where to start for the Luftwaffe records.

Any comments would be appreciated.

Regards,

Lorenz
Patron
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2004 7:10 am

Post by Lorenz » Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:24 am

Go here and read the article to find out what happened to the Luftwaffe records. Luftmeldekopf Berck would have been an air reporting center manned by Luftnachrichten personnel and none of those records are known to have survived.

http://www.lwag.org/reference/fla001.pdf

--Lorenz

bdennis
Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:48 pm
Location: Sussex

Luftmeldekopf Berck

Post by bdennis » Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:12 am

Ouch.

Thanks for the info. I am writing a book about the action 1st - 14th October along the coast of France and the part played by this Luftwaffe post is significant. Any ideas?

Lorenz
Patron
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2004 7:10 am

Post by Lorenz » Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:54 am

The best you can hope for is some background information. Here is a book and a web site that will help:

Hoffmann, Karl Otto. Ln: Die Geschichte der Luftnachrichtentruppe, 3 Bde (Neckargemünd, 1965-73).
http://www.gyges.dk/

The book is hard to find, but the British Library in London may well have a copy of the 3 volumes.

Good luck!

bdennis
Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:48 pm
Location: Sussex

book, website

Post by bdennis » Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:14 am

Thanks Lorenz.
The website is excellent and may provide something (not yet) about Berck. Also, I will try the British Library.

The Luftmeldkopf at Berck hadn't been operational for long when the action occurred, in fact it is possible it had only been manned a week or so. My impression, gained solely from the nature of the information they were able to pass on to the artillery command posts, is that Berck may have housed a Horchdienst unit and radar/IFF: certainly they were able to distinguish which were the Allied ships attacking the German convoy even when the plots overlapped. It certainly appears that this was done by locking on to the British ships radar transmissions, but I am unfamiliar with what German equipment would have been used for this task so I would be guessing.

By the way, the KM senior staff were very grateful for the help, suggesting that the officer of the watch at Berck, a 'Lt B.', receive official recognition from his superiors for his good work. Was this interservice generousity common? Finding 'Lt B.'s name is high on my list.

Thanks,

Lorenz
Patron
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2004 7:10 am

Post by Lorenz » Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:59 am

Interesting details.

First, the owner and webmaster of that site I sent you to is a retired Danish Air Force colonel by the name of Michaël who still does special assignment work for NATO and the EU. He recently headed up an investigative team that was sent to Israel to look into the cluster bomb charges that arose from last summer's war with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. He is a super guy and a world-class authority on the Ln., although his main interest is Jägerleitstellen. But he knows the technical aspects of the various Flugmeldemeßgeräte very well. I do not think he would ignore you if you contacted him directly through his web site.

Secondly, the Hoffmann volumes have a lengthy appendix that list every officer that served in the Luftnachrichtentruppe during the war. It will be a fishing expedition, but the chances are that you may be able to identify Leutnant "B" from this list. By war's end, he was probably an Oberleutnant or Hauptmann. I believe Hoffmann's list reflects ranks as of January 1945.

--Lorenz

bdennis
Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:48 pm
Location: Sussex

Post by bdennis » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:19 pm

Lorenz, thanks again. I will post a more general question about the type of equipment in use during late 1942 in the 'Equipment' forum.

Regards,

Post Reply