Kampfgeschwader 200 (or KG 200) was a highly secretive Luftwaffe special operations wing. It was known for carrying out particularly dangerous missions, as well as for operating captured Allied aircraft.
KG 200 originated from Special Squadron Rowehl, a group of airmen put together by Theodor Rowehl in 1934 after the Abwehr was impressed by his reconnaissance work over Poland. The unit was separated in 1942 and renamed the 2nd Test Formation. On 20 February 1944, it was combined with the 1st Test Formation to create Kampfgeschwader 200.
Known Sub units
- Olga: Commanded by Peter Stahl and based in Frankfurt, Detachment Olga was tasked with servicing secret agents throughout Western Europe. For these missions the detachment was equipped with six Junkers Ju 188s and a pair of captured and renovated B-17s. Due to the lack of space for agents and their equipment in the Ju 188s, these aircraft were equipped with a sealed plywood tube almost three metres long and one metre in diameter, known as the PAG.[N 1] Containing enough space for three agents and their equipment, and fitted with three parachutes, this had the advantage of ensuring the agents and their equipment landed close together, instead of being scattered around the countryside. However, the PAG was not popular with the agents themselves, who were most likely not introduced to it until they were due to embark.[N 2]
- 1./KG 200: Operated from Wackersleben during 1944/45.
- 5./KG 200: Intended to operate the Fi 103R piloted bomb.
- II./KG 200: Formed November 10 1944 by redesignation of III./KG 66. Initially comprised three Staffeln;
- Arado Ar 232 - One Ar 232B-0 assigned to 1./KG 200 late March 1944, with four additional B-0s, and the second prototype, among aircraft transferred from 14./TG4 in late March 1945. One example, c/n 110017, was used on 6 September 1944 for Operation Zeppelin. All bar one Ar 232B-0 were destroyed on 8 May 1945.
- Dornier Do 24 - Unknown number assigned to 2./KG 200 and 3./KG 200 after the German invasion of Holland in 1940.
- Junkers Ju 88 - Ju 88S model used by 5.(Bel)/KG 200
- Junkers Ju 188 - Ju 188A and Ju 188E models used by 5.(Bel)/KG 200
- Mistel - used by 6./KG 200 and 7.(Erg)/KG 200 for special missions, such as Unternehmen Eisenhammer
- Messerschmitt Bf 109 - used by II./KG 200 for escort work
- Focke Wulf Fw 190 - used by II./KG 200 for escort work
Captured Allied types
- Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress - Out of fourteen captured examples, at least three - a B-17F and two B-17Gs - were operated by 1./KG 200. Fitted with German barometric and radio altimeters, and stripped of guns, armour and the ventral ball turret, these captured B-17s were operated under the cover designation Dornier Do 200.
- Consolidated B-24 Liberator - One example, 41-28779 of the 389th BG, 564th BS, was operated in the east as KO+XA, before being burnt by the crew in 1945, following failure of the nose gear.
- ↑ Personenabwurfge = Personnel Drop Device
- ↑ Another factor was the fact that use of the PAG meant that reluctant passengers were prevented from refusing to jump.
- ↑ The three Staffeln also had a number of Bf 109 and Fw 190 fighters for escort duty.
- ↑ http://www.historynet.com/luftwaffes-secret-kg-200-in-world-war-ii.htm
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Take Off magazine. Aerospace Publishing Ltd. 1994-1996. Issue 34 Page 933.
- ↑ Take Off Magazine Issue 34 Page 934.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Take Off Magazine Issue 34 Pages 936-937.
- ↑ Wood, Tony and Bill Gunston. Hitler's Luftwaffe. Salamander Books. 1997. ISBN 0 86101 935 0 Page 155
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Kay, Anthony and J R Smith. German Aircraft of the Second World War. Putnam. 2002. Page 278.
- ↑ Kay, Antony L and J R Smith. Page 30
- ↑ Kay, Antony L and J R Smith. Page 70
- ↑ Green, William. Famous Bombers of the Second World War. Purnell Book Services. 1975. Page 58
- ↑ http://cgibin.rcn.com/jeremy.k/cgi-bin/gzUsafSearch.pl?target=&content=KG200