LAND UNITS IN FINLAND AND NORTHERN NORWAY 1941 - 1944
flying units German Luftwaffe had also a wide
variety of land troops in Finland including staff troops,
airfield troops, combat troops (infantry, but not any LW
Felddivisionen), AA troops, signals troops (including
radar and air surveillance units) and supply troops. The
strength of LW in Finland and Northern Norway was
more than ten thousand men in over 20 major bases or
LW land units in Finland
were at first under the command of Luftgau Norwegen,
since January 1942 of Luftgau z.b.V 1 (later
Luftgau Finnland) and since 24.11.1943 of Kommandierender
General der Deutschen Luftwaffe in Finnland. They
all were initially subordinated to Luftflotte 5. Komm.Gen.d.Dt.Lw.i.Finnland
was subordinated to Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (OKL)
since 7.10.1944 until was suspended on 10.12.1944
afterLuftwaffe had withdrawn from Finland. Closer details
on these changes in German commands in Finland can be
seen on the page Luftwaffe Command Structure in
Finland 1941 - 1944.
German Airbases in Finland
During the war the operating area of Luftflotte 5 was divided into nine regional airfield commands. Kommando Flughafenbereich 27/III Rovaniemi was responsible of most airfields in Finland. It was located at Rovaniemi. Kommando Flughafenbereich 26/III Kirkenes was in Northern Norway at Kirkenes. It had four airfield commandments and one command for maritime aircraft base both in northernmost Finland and in Norway under its command. They were as follows:
An airfield company, Flughafenbereitschaft - or part of it - was placed on every airfield currently in action for general supply, maintenance and guarding duties. Additionally flying units had their own supply and technical personnel for maintaining their aircraft.
On 22 June 1941 Luftwaffe airfields [Fliegerhorst] in Finland were at Rovaniemi, Petsamo and Kemijärvi. Important airfield in the north was Kirkenes [Kirkkoniemi] in Northern Norway. During the war completely new airfields were constructed in Kaamanen, Alakurtti, Kiestinki, Pontsalenjoki and Pudasjärvi and the former Finnish airfields at Kemi, Nautsi and Salmijärvi were enlarged. Sodankylä, Ivalo and Vuotso were small temporarily used so called "work airfields".
German planes visited also on many Finnish airfields during their way to north or Soviet Union. The most commonly used ones were Pori (since late 1941 completely under German command), Vaasa, Luonetjärvi, Rissala, Kauhava, Turku, Malmi at Helsinki, Utti, Immola, Mensuvaara (Mensunkangas), Petäjärvi, Tiiksjärvi and Nurmoila. German anti-aircraft units visited occasionally also at Finnish airbases to give extra protection if needed. For example at Tiiksjärvi German AA units stayed almost during the whole war.
used by Luftwaffe in the north are seen in the map on
page Luftwaffe Airfields in Finland and
Northern Norway 1941 - 1944.
Feldluftpark 3/XI Pori
Feldluftpark Pori (FLP Pori) was formed on 17 July 1941 at Pori airbase. Unit was enlarged and re-named after 28.11.1941 when the major elements of Feldluftpark 3/XI arrived from Stettin. It was a field depot for larger aircraft overhauls and spare part service in Finland commanded during the whole war by Oberstleutnant / Oberst (1.6.43) Heinrich Piecq. On 15 July 1942 unit was re-named as Feld-Luftzeuggruppe Finnland but on 27 January 1944 it became Feldluftpark 3/XI again. Also Flak-Instandsetzungswerkstatt 3/XI located at Pori as well was subordinated to FLP Pori.
Feldluftpark 3/XI was moved to Rovaniemi in July 1944 and to Northern Norway in November 1944 but was disbanded in January 1945. FLP Pori (as it was usually called) was subordinated to Luftgau Finnland and since autumn 1944 to Kommandierender General der Deutschen Luftwaffe in Finnland.
January 1944 Germans had a smaller airfield detachment
called Koflug 28/III at Pori. It left
Finland on 14 September 1944.
Finnland was formed in 1942 in Finland. It
was an infantry battalion with four infantry companies.
In October 1943 unit was re-named as Landesschützen-Bataillon
der Luftwaffe 1. Battalion operated in Northern
Finland and Norway.
In June 1941 motorized I./Flak-Rgt.5
was ordered to protect Germans' attack against Murmansk.
Its Untergruppe Nord which
consisted of Stab/I.Flak-Abt., two heavy and one
light AA batteries as well as searchlight sections were
tactically subordinated to Gebirgs-Armeekorps
Norwegen. Another group, Untergruppe Süd,
which consisted of one heavy and one light AA battery was
subordinated tactically to XXXVI Armee Korps.
These units were attached to a new Flak-Brigade XIII
II./Flak-Regiment 46 (mot.)
Motorized II./Flak-Rgt.46 (mot.) arrived in Rovaniemi, Finland on 16.12.1941.
It consisted of Stab, 6. - 10.Batterie
and Kolonne. By June 1942 it was moved to Kirkenes, Norway but parts of it also supported
troops of Gebirgskorps Norwegen (later XIX
Geb.-AK) since 30.6.1942. Since 28.12.1942 unit was
at Titovka and Kalastajasarento [Fischer Peninsula]
region. On 23.3.1943 it was subordinated to Flak-Rgt.
229 (Flakgruppe Eismeer) / Flak-Brigade XIII. In
1943 it also became movable non-motorized unit without
own vehicles. It was commanded by Maj. / Obstlt. Siegfrid
Hohmann followed by Hptm. Johannes Sand
around since December 1942.
Partly motorized Flak-Abt.335 which had initially three heavy batteries and two light ones arrived at Vaasa, Western Finland from Stettin on 11.10.1941. Strength of the battalion was 788 officers and men and 99 motor vehicles. By July 1942 unit had arrived to Kirkenes, Norway as s.Flak-Abt.335 with only three heavy batteries. At the beginning of 1943 was subordinated to Flak-Rgt.142 (Flakgruppe Lappland) / XIII Flak-Brigade. In the summer battalion received its light batteries back and was re-designated as gem.Flak-Abt.335 (v). In 1942 unit was led by Obstlt. Hans Bertram and since January 1943 Maj. Gottfried Matschnig.
Non-motorized Flak-Abt.467 which
had five (mixed) AA batteries and transport unit at
Rovaniemi - Kemijärvi region was to protect the flying
units of Luftflotte 5 as well as depots and
important bridges together with light Finnish AA units (two
light sections at Rovaniemi and initially one, later two
sections at Kolosjoki). Already at that stage German
heavy Flak batteries were equipped with radars at
Rovaniemi and Kolosjoki. Unit was attached to Flak-Brigade
XIII on 1.6.1942.
Feld-Flakartillerie-Schule 51 (Nord)
Feld-FAS 51 (Nord) was a field anti-aircraft
school formed in the summer 1942 at Kemijärvi. It was
suspended in September 1944.
Also known as Flak-Brigade Finnland.
1.6.42 - 7.44 Rovaniemi
In the summer 1943 brigade name was changed to 13. Flak-Brigade (mot.). Brigade had a total of 42 heavy and 25 light AA batteries. In August 1944 brigade had 85% of its guns (68x 88 mm, 44x 37 mm and 116x 20 mm) in Kolosjoki - Petsamo region. In total Flak-Regiment 142 (v) had 18 AA batteries, Flak-Regiment 181 (mot.) 44 batteries and Flak-Regiment 229 (mot.) 42 of which 14 were heavy.
Many anti-aircraft units were also subordinated from Flak-Brig.13 to the three German army corps in Finland and Northern Norway and to German divisions in the north. Only 6. SS-Gebirgs-Division "Nord" had an organic AA unit called (6.) SS-Flak-Abteilung "Nord".
Lapland War started in September 1944 the Stab/Flak-Brig.13
was at Salmijärvi. By 7.11.1944 the whole brigade had
been completely moved to Norway. It was then disbanded
and its units were attached to Flak-Brigade 14 in
December 1944 or moved to Germany.
Flak-Regiment 142 (v)
1.6.42 - 8.44 Salmijärvi
Flak-Regiment 181 (mot.)
42/43 - 9.44 Rovaniemi
Flak-Regiment 229 (mot.)
42/43 - 9.44 Kirkenes
Lots of fixed guns and radar sets of non-motorized units had to be destroyed during the withdrawal. Germans' losses during Lapland War were as follows:
At the moment only a little information is available on Ln.Rgt.56 although it is known that 33.La.Kp.(z.b.V) and 3.Fl.M.Kp. were part of it at least in 1943 - 1944. Regimental Stab was all the time probably in Oslo.
Ln.Rgt.56 is interesting because it was responsible of the most secret German air surveillance radar stations and radar sets in Northern Finland and Norway. During 1942 - 1943 radar stations were assembled or radar sets located in Kemi, Rovaniemi, Pontsalenjoki, Alakurtti and Petsamo.
In the autumn 1944 the known radar stations in Northern Finland and Norway were as follows:
33. Luftaussicht-Kompanie z.b.V
33. Luftaussicht-Kompanie z.b.V was probably established in the summer 1941 to provide air surveillance data for German land troops and Luftwaffe in Northern Finland and Norway. Company had Freya radar set already in 1941 at Kirkenes, Norway.
1943 33.La.Kp.(z.b.V) had overgrown too big as a
company with over 500 men and it was divided into air
surveillance company (33. Luftaussicht-Kompanie)
and a new radar company (3. Flugmeldemeß-Kompanie).
was a top secret LW radar unit with three regional air
surveillance centres in Petsamo, Salmijärvi and Svartnes, Norway and six radio (radar)
air surveillance platoons. Company had a total of six Freya
and two Würzburg-A radar sets and two Würzburg-Riese
twin radar stations as well as a long range Wassermann
radar station probably near Vardö, Norway.
thanks to Larry D.
© 2001 - 14.10.2004 Harri Anttonen