• JG52
  • 9./JG52
  • 3 Gruppe

The Real JG52

Jagdgeschwader 52 or JG52 was a fighter group of the Luftwaffe during WWII. It served in both the Western Front and the Eastern Front and proved to be the most successful fighter wing of all time and was home to the three top fighter aces of the war; Erich Hartmann, Gerhard Barkhorn and Günther Rall. JG52 was initially formed in 1939 and it served through until the end of the war. JG52 only operated the Messerschmitt Bf 109, maintaining use of said aircraft for the duration of its service history.

JG52 comprised three Gruppe, each the equivalent of a RAF Wing. Gruppen within a Jagdgeschwader were designated with Roman numerals; I.JG52, II.JG52, and III.JG52 respectively. Each Gruppe in JG52 was an autonomous unit led by a Gruppenkommandeur with his own staff, administration and support officers. Each Gruppe usually consisted of three Staffeln (Squadrons) and a Stabschwarm of three aircraft. 9./JG52 was a Staffel in III Gruppe.

JG52 was initially formed in 1939 and assigned to Luftwaffe units fighting over France and then Britain during the Battle of Britain. After a prolonged campaign JG52 was reassigned to the Eastern Front where it suffered numerous casualties during the campaign for air superiority. Nontheless,JG52 enjoyed great success on the Eastern Front, shooting down many Soviet pilots flying outdated aircraft. Further equipped with ever improving models of the famed Bf 109, JG52 was assigned to many roles, most notably, supporting the ground assault in the Battle of Stalingrad and Second Battle of Kharkov.

JG52 was then allocated to support German troops during the Battle of Kursk, but with other Geschwadern being removed for service elsewhere and Soviet aircraft finally getting an edge on design, JG52 began to take serious losses after operating for months on makeshift airfields. The Geschwader was further moved around the front, with some sections being diverted to other units as replacements. By 1944 JG52 had earned over 10,000 confirmed aerial kills. When the men of JG52 were captured by US forces in 1945, controversially, over half were handed over by their captors to be imprisoned by the Soviet Union

More information on JG52, its Gruppen, Staffeln and Aces can be found at http://www.jg52.net/