Günther Lützow

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Günther Lützow as lieutenant colonel in 1942

Günther Lützow (born September 4, 1912 in Kiel , † April 24, 1945 missing near Donauwörth ) was a highly decorated fighter pilot in the German Air Force in World War II . As a flying ace with more than 300 combat missions u. a. During the Spanish Civil War , on the Western Front 1944/1945 and the Eastern Front , Lützow achieved 108 kills.


Günther Lützow grew up in Kiel on Reventlouallee on the fjord, where his father Friedrich Lützow first completed his training as a lieutenant commander to become an admiralty officer. Günther Lützow passed his Abitur at the Stiftisches State School for Pforta on March 3, 1931, began his training at the Pilot School Schleißheim on April 7, 1931, together with subsequent air force officers as Wolfgang Falck , a pioneer of German night-fighter or Bernd von Brauchitsch , son of General of the Artillery Walther von Brauchitsch and later Chief Adjutant of the Commander in Chief of the Air Force, Hermann Göring . The course, which also included social events such as a dance course, ended on February 19, 1932 with the acquisition of the "simple permit land B1" and the aerobatic license K1.

After this first step in their training, those flight students who were to become fighter pilots were commanded to Lipetsk on Voronezh - among them Günther Lützow. There, in the Secret Aviation School and test site of the Reichswehr and outside of the Versailles Treaty , the German Air Force trained its young fighter pilots after an agreement based on the Treaty of Rapallo had been concluded on April 15, 1925 . On September 8, 1932, this part of the training was also completed and the flight students were hired as army officer candidates because they were not allowed to actively fly in the Reichswehr . Günther Lützow was employed in the Prussian Infantry Regiment No. 5. From April 20 to June 30, 1933, the trained pilots were allowed to brush up on their skills in Schleissheim, and on March 13, 1934, they passed their ensign exams at the officers' school in Dresden. On September 20, the officer candidates around Günther Lützow received their officer patents and were assigned to the various camouflaged aviation associations in the Reich. When the Luftwaffe was exposed on March 8, 1935, Günther Lützow became a lieutenant in the air force of the German Reich .

In May 1936 Lützow was a squadron officer of the 4th squadron of JG 132 "Richthofen" in Jüterbog-Damm , his last assignment before his deployment in the Condor Legion .

Condor Legion and pre-war

From July 26, 1936, the German Reich supported Franco - Spain primarily with parts of the air force, and Günther Lützow was also commanded to Spain on November 4, 1936. On March 9, 1937, Lützow took over the 2./J88 from Siegfried Lehmann , which was to be the first task force to convert to the Bf 109 . Since only a small number of new Messerschmitts were initially available, Lützow subsequently developed a new tactic with the new aircraft, which switched from flying in a chain (i.e. three aircraft) to the group or swarm (two or . four aircraft), and thus revolutionized fighter pilot tactics. Its foundations were later completed by Werner Mölders ; The two are thus the fathers of the principles of fighter pilot tactics that are still valid today. Günther Lützow returned to Germany on September 15, 1937.

After a job in the Reich Aviation Ministry and his promotion to captain on November 1, 1937, Lützow became a course director at the Werneuchen fighter pilot school on November 1, 1938 . There he met Gisela von Priesdorff at a carnival ball in 1938. The engagement took place on July 19, 1938, the wedding on March 11, 1939 in Berlin.

Second World War

In October 1939 Günther Lützow became group commander of I. / JG 3 , which was relocated from Brandis near Leipzig to Zerbst near Magdeburg. On January 10, 1940, the squadron was relocated to Peppenhoven near Rheinbach . On July 25, 1940, the western campaign came to an end, during which Günther Lützow scored nine aerial victories in 64 operational flights. For the start of the Battle of Britain , JG 3 moved on August 1st to Boulogne on the Pas de Calais, where Lützow was promoted to squadron commodore and major on August 25th . After his 15th victory in the air on September 15th, Lützow was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross . After the end of the air battle, the squadron received frequent visits from higher commanders; on Christmas Eve 1940, Adolf Hitler visited Lützow's squadron.

In the spring of 1941, the squadron relocated to Germany to refresh before it was relocated to Operation Barbarossa on the German eastern border after a further period on the English Channel . Lützow's squadron operated there together with Army Group Center and the Commodore was awarded the Knight's Cross Oak Leaves on July 21, 1941. After Ernst Udet's suicide on November 17, Hermann Göring ordered JG 3 to be given the traditional name “Udet” on December 1, 1941. Günther Lützow achieved his 100th victory in the air on October 24th and was then awarded the Knight's Cross.

Adolf Galland and Günther Lützow in Italy, 1943

Günther Lützow handed over Jagdgeschwader 3 to Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke on August 11, 1942 and changed, meanwhile lieutenant colonel , as day hunt stage manager to general of the fighter pilots, Adolf Galland . In the meantime, Lützow led the air force units in Sicily as fighter section leader Italy against the increasing number of American bombing attacks. In June 1943 he was promoted to colonel .

From November 20, 1943, Günther Lützow was division commander of the 1st hunting division under the command of Major General Josef Schmid. Due to personal differences with Schmid, he was relieved of his command on March 16, 1944 and was only given a new command on August 1; he became commander of the 4th Aviation School.

Open discussion with Göring ("Mutiny of the fighter pilots") and disappearance in combat

Günther Lützow agreed with many old comrades, including Johannes Steinhoff , that in addition to the superior strength of the Allied air forces, Göring's leadership was increasingly failing. This was preceded by a meeting of Air Force officers in Berlin-Gatow from November 6th to 12th, 1944, which Göring had arranged in order to steer the criticism in the direction he liked, but which ended in a broken court for him personally. The fiasco of the Bodenplatte company on January 1, 1945 against Allied air bases in northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands, in which about 400 enemy aircraft were destroyed, but over 300 of their own - in contrast to the Allies, the barrel overflowed for the fighter pilots non-replaceable fighter pilots - partly by their own flak - were shot down. Other sore points were that the general of the fighter pilots Adolf Galland von Göring was deposed without appointment of a successor, the abuse of the fighting spirit of the fighter pilots by Göring, as well as the overall strategy, which among other things led to the new Me-262 jet fighter as escort for German bombers instead of the hopelessly neglected defense of Allied bomber groups. Under the leadership of Lützow, what was later referred to as the mutiny of the fighter pilots developed, and which initially even aimed at appointing another commander in chief instead of Goering, for which the SS first felt and then the commander in chief of Air Fleet 6 , Colonel General Robert Ritter von Greim turned. This referred her to the Chief of the General Staff of the Air Force, General Karl Koller and ruled out any involvement in this matter. Koller reported the matter to Göring, who on January 22, 1945 asked the Commodores who could be reached for a discussion in the Berlin House of Aviators . Göring, confronted by Lützow with the allegations, insulted the conspirators and threatened Günther Lützow with execution. Göring, who suspected that Galland had been deposed by him as the originator, but had lost a lot of support due to his obvious failures, not least with Hitler, then left it with start bans and forced transfers .

Lützow was transferred to Italy as a punishment by Göring, a procedure which Göring described as "Reich banishment" and which served to isolate Lützow from other ringleaders of the so-called mutiny of the fighter pilots. Lützow was also not allowed to have any contact with other fighter pilots outside of his command - when Steinhoff, who had also been sidelined, wanted to visit Lützow on his own in Italy, he had to turn back shortly before the goal on Göring's instructions. Lützow came to Verona and led the German air force units in Italy until mid-April 1945 he was transferred to Jagdverband 44 , headed by Adolf Galland, in Munich-Riem. On a mission with the Me 262 , Günther Lützow disappeared on the afternoon of April 24, 1945 in the area around Ingolstadt and Donauwörth. In the morning Lützow had reported an aerial victory over a Martin B-26 . In the afternoon he and other Me 262s attacked a formation of Martin B-26 bombers, but they were protected by Thunderbolt fighters. In the developing air battle Lützow went into a dive that he could no longer intercept. The machine hit the ground and exploded. Both a search of his comrades and that of the American armed forces for the crash site were unsuccessful.


The film “ Kampfgeschwader Lützow ” from 1941 was not named after him because it was little known at the time, but after Ludwig Adolf Wilhelm von Lützow from the Wars of Liberation .

See also


  • Kurt Braatz : God or an airplane - life and death of fighter pilot Günther Lützow. Twenty-nine six publishing house, 2005, ISBN 3-9807935-6-7 .

Web links

Commons : Günther Lützow  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Ernst Obermeier: The Knight's Cross bearers of the Luftwaffe fighter pilots 1939-1945. Verlag Dieter Hoffmann, Mainz 1966, ISBN 3-87341-065-6 , p. 39.
  2. Kurt Braatz : God or an airplane . Moosburg 2005, p. 16.
  3. Braatz 2005, p. 25.
  4. Braatz 2005, p. 50.
  5. Braatz 2005, p. 53.
  6. Braatz 2005, pp. 85-98.
  7. Braatz 2005, p. 102.
  8. Braatz 2005, p. 137.
  9. Braatz 2005, pp. 145–147, pp. 155 ff.
  10. Braatz 2005, p. 169.
  11. Braatz 2005, pp. 174, 182, 188.
  12. Braatz 2005, p. 213.
  13. Braatz 2005, p. 215.
  14. Braatz 2005, p. 226.
  15. Braatz 2005, p. 251.
  16. Braatz 2005, p. 258.
  17. Braatz 2005, pp. 258, 379.
  18. a b Braatz 2005, p. 379.
  19. Braatz 2005, pp. 308f., 316 ff.
  20. ^ Galland: The first and the last . 1953, p. 338.
  21. ^ Galland: The first and the last . 1953, p. 339. Also referred to as such by Göring in the discussion with Lützow. Steinhoff: In the last hour , p. 156.
  22. Braatz 2005, p. 347. Steinhoff: In the last hour p. 113ff describes the meeting in January 1945 with an SS-Obergruppenführer O. in Berlin, at which Lützow was informed, but not present. Steinhoff speaks of a Captain K. and a Major B. with him.
  23. ^ Lützow and Steinhoff presented to him in January 1945. Steinhoff: In the last hour . List 1974, p. 126.
  24. Steinhoff: In last hour , p. 152, cites a draft of the letter to Göring in Koller's diary.
  25. ^ In addition to Lützow and Steinhoff, Colonels Johannes Trautloft , Eduard Neumann , Gustav Rödel . Steinhoff: In the last hour , p. 156. David Irving: Göring , p. 667, also mentions Hermann Graf .
  26. Braatz 2005, p. 348.
  27. Braatz 2005, p. 348 ff. The discussion is reproduced in detail in Steinhoff: In the last hour . Goering's threat there p. 170.
  28. ^ Galland, p. 339. The Air Force Personnel Manager made this statement to Galland the day after the discussion in the Aviator House.
  29. ^ Galland: The first and the last . Schneekluth 1953, p. 339.
  30. Steinhoff: In the last hour . List 1974, p. 180.
  31. ^ Hugh Morgan, John Weal: German Jet Aces of World War II . Osprey Publishing, 1998, p. 75.
  32. Braatz 2005, p. 365 ff. - Augsburger Allgemeine April 28, 2015