TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



1. General

Air Force training is the responsibility of the Air Ministry Training Inspectorate headed by the Air Officer for Training (General der Fliegerausbildung). Air Training Divisions control the assignment of recruits to training schools and assignment of trained pilots to operational units upon orders from the Air Ministry. At the individual flying schools all training is under the control of a Director of Instruction Courses (Lehrgangsleiter), who is also responsible for the maintenance of the training aircraft.

2. Recruit Training

All prospective Air Force personnel are sent to German Air Force Initial Training Regiments (Fliegerausbildungsregimenter), where for six weeks to three months they receive military or basic infantry training. Upon completion of Initial Training, pilot candidates enter Elementary Flying Training Schools. Personnel to be trained for the air crew positions of flight engineer, gunner, wireless operator, or observer are enrolled in their respective individual schools.

3. Elementary Flying Training

Pilot candidates proceed to and begin their actual flight training in the Elementary Flying Training Schools (Flugzügführerschulen A). All pupils take Course Number 1, a brief glider training course, and Course Number 2, (Motor Auswahl), a preliminary course in powered aircraft. Unsuitable trainees are eliminated, and those acceptable are assigned to bomber or fighter training upon determination of their qualifications. Students in single-engine, fighter-pilot training continue through Course Number 3 (Jagdvorschule), a branch of the Elementary Flying Training School, for preliminary instruction in fighter aircraft. This course includes aerobatics, cross-country, and formation flying.

4. Single-Engine Fighter Training

The single-engine fighter pilot progresses from Course Number 3 of Elementary Flying Training School to the specialized single-engine fighter school (Jagdschule) Geschwader where he learns to fly operational fighter types. He also receives instruction in gunnery, blind flying, and formation flying. He is next assigned to a Reserve Training Pool (Ergänzungs Jagdgeschwader) where he receives intensive combat training prior to joining an operational unit. The total time necessary to produce a single-engine fighter pilot is from 7 to 8 months, including flying time of from 107 to 112 hours.

5. Advanced Training or Conversion School

Upon completion of the Elementary Flying Training School (A) Course Number 2, the bomber, reconnaissance, ground-attack, and twin-engine fighter pilots are sent to an Advanced Training or Conversion School (Flugzeugführerschule B). Here they are instructed in the handling of multi-engine aircraft, in blind flying, link trainer, instrument flying, and the use of direction-finder apparatus. Two or three months are spent in this phase of training.

6. Specialized School Geschwadern

a. BOMBER TRAINING. From the Advanced Training or Conversion School the bomber pilot is sent to a Specialized Bomber School (Kampfschule) Geschwader, where pilots and members of their crews are assembled as units. This course includes formation flying and leading, torpedo and tactical bombing, high level and precision bombing, minelaying, and bomb ballistics. The total training period of a bomber pilot comprises about 9 months.

b. TWIN-ENGINE FIGHTER TRAINING. From the Advanced Training School, prospective twin-engine fighter pilots proceed to a Specialized Twin-Engine School Geschwader, either day (Zerstörerschule) or night (Nachtjagdschule). Here they are instructed in gunnery, blind flying, bad weather flying, mock attacks, and operational day and night flying. A twin-engine pilot spends from 6 to 7 months in training.

c. GROUND-ATTACK TRAINING. Upon completion of the Advanced Training School course, ground-attack students advance to a Specialized Ground-Attack School (Schlachtschule) Geschwader. Here the instruction includes dive bombing, strafing, aerobatics, rocket firing, and navigation. The total time required to produce a ground-attack pilot is about 5 months.

d. RECONNAISSANCE TRAINING. Proceeding from the Advanced Training School to a Specialized Reconnaissance School (Fernaufklärerschule) Geschwader, students training for reconnaissance pilots are instructed in aerial photography, visual reconnaissance, and navigation.

7. Reserve Training Units

After completion of instruction in their individual specialized school, Geschwadern—bomber, twin-engine, ground-attack, and reconnaissance—together with their assigned crews, are advanced to their respective Reserve Training Units (Ergänzungs Kampfgruppe, Erzänzungs Nachtjagd or Zerstörer Gruppe, Ergänzungs Fernaufklärer Gruppe, Ergänzungs Schlacht Gruppe). Here they are assigned to a non-operational Gruppe of a Geschwader until such time as vacancies occur in the operational Gruppen of the unit to which they are attached. Thus, training periods in this phase vary according to operational requirements. In such Geschwadern the crews receive intensive training under combat conditions in the specific tactics of the unit.

8. Air Crew Training

From the Initial Training Regiment prospective air crew members proceed to their respective specialist schools: Observer's School (Aufklärungschule); Wireless Telegraphy School (Luftnachrichtenschule); Air Gunnery School (Fliegerschützenschule); and Flight Engineer's School (Fliegertechnisheschule). Observer candidates spend 1 to 2 months learning map-making and reading, navigation, bombsights and bombing, meteorology, astro-navigation, and air gunnery. Students in wireless telegraphy undergo 1 to 2 months' intensive training in wireless transmitting and receiving, navigation, map reading, and radio direction-finding. Air gunners must complete a 1- to 2-months course, comprised of ground firing, camera-gun operation, air-to-air machine-gun firing, and elementary navigation. Students in flight engineering are given theoretical training in aircraft engines and aerodynamics. They also spend some time engaged in practical work on engines in an aircraft factory. Upon completion of their various courses, these specially trained personnel are assembled with pilots into crews for unit training in a specialized school Geschwader.


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