Destroyer Flotilla

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Destroyer Flotilla
- ZFltl -

active April 1, 1958  to  June 27, 2006
Country Flag of Germany.svg Germany
Armed forces armed forces
Armed forces Bundeswehr Logo Marine with lettering.svg German Navy
Type Command authority
Insinuation Fü M.svg Fleet command
Seat of the staff Wilhelmshaven , Lower Saxony
last commander Hans-Jochen Witthauer
Flotilla Admiral
Flag of a flotilla admiral commander of the destroyer flotilla German Navy Flag Flotilla Admiral.svg

The Destroyer Flotilla (ZFltl) was a major unit of the German Navy . It was set up in 1958 as the destroyer command and renamed Einsatzflottille 2 in 2006 .

History and stakes

As part of the construction of the former German Navy , the destroyer command was set up in Bremerhaven on April 1, 1958 . As a type command for all destroyers and frigates, it was under the command of the naval forces at that time, which was later renamed firstly to command of the fleet , then to fleet command . This subordination remained unchanged even after it was renamed the Destroyer Flotilla in 1967.

In the first years the flotilla was led by a sea ​​captain and later by a flotilla admiral . The staff changed location several times and relocated on March 20, 1961, initially from Bremerhaven to Eckernförde , on March 1, 1966 to Kiel and on October 1, 1982 to Wilhelmshaven . In 1994 the remaining parts of the former supply flotilla were included and from 1996 onwards were combined in the baggage wing . On June 29, 2006 the destroyer flotilla was renamed Einsatzflottille 2.

Zfltl ships were involved in many missions abroad. As early as the First Gulf War in 1987, the allies had moved so many ships from the Mediterranean to the Gulf region that the German Navy had to help out with an association to balance a possible power vacuum in the Mediterranean. This association consisted of the destroyer Mölders , the frigate Lübeck and the supplier Freiburg .

In order to strengthen the presence of NATO forces in the Mediterranean during the Second Gulf War , the Navy dispatched one of two destroyers ( Schleswig-Holstein , Mölders ), frigates ( Cologne , Augsburg ) and supply ships ( Glücksburg , Eifel ) on January 21, 1991 existing association under the leadership of the KdZ in the Mediterranean. The association had a training and awareness-raising mandate, one of which was to send a signal from NATO to the North African states during the Gulf conflict.

After the first armed conflict broke out in the former Yugoslavia , NATO began surveillance operations in the Adriatic in 1992 . The first ship of the German Navy in the Adriatic was the destroyer Bayern in 1992 . On the basis of various resolutions of the United Nations , the surveillance operation became the embargo operation Operation Sharp Guard , in which one or two ZFltl ships took part until 1996.

In 1994 the frigates Cologne and Karlsruhe , supported by the utility Nienburg and the tanker Spessart , evacuated the German Somalia Support Association of the Army from Mogadishu as part of Operation Southern Cross .

Since 2002, frigates and supply ships of the ZFltl have been permanently involved in Operation Enduring Freedom in the Horn of Africa , with the KdZ temporarily serving as national and international association leader.

(For the history of the individual squadrons, see subordinate units )


Several squadrons were subordinate to the commander of the destroyer flotilla (KdZ) , the number and designation of which has changed several times over the years. In addition to the destroyers and frigates, the flotilla at times also included submarines , reconnaissance ships and, later, supply ships . The flotilla staff served to support the KdZ.

The squadron staff originally formed independent command elements on the regimental level (fleet service squadron temporarily at battalion level ). In 1994, as part of the realignment of the Navy after reunification, a major reorganization of the staff took place. The squadron staff were integrated into the flotilla staff and greatly reduced in size, except for the staff of the 1st Destroyer Squadron (1st ZGschw) that remained in Kiel . The flotilla staff took over all administrative tasks, while the squadron commanders only had a small command element that could serve as the core of a unit staff at sea. With the decommissioning of the 1st ZGschw and the establishment of the 1st frigate squadron (1st FGschw) in Wilhelmshaven at the end of 2003, a uniform organization was established.

In preparation for the renaming to Einsatzflottille 2 , the organization was changed again from the beginning of 2006. The frigates were combined into two squadrons, while the baggage wing remained unchanged. At the same time, an element of the task force was created in the flotilla staff to support the KdZ in leading units at sea. As an additional task, the squadron staff were given the management of the newly established personnel expansion , which is supposed to relieve the crews during deployment. In addition to the active ships, the squadrons were also subordinate to commissioning and decommissioning commands, so that there were temporarily squadrons without active ships but not without subordinate units.


No. Rank Surname Beginning of the command End of command Remarks
21st Captain of the Sea (KptzS) /
Flotilla Admiral  (FltlAdm)
Hans-Jochen Witthauer 2004 2006 then commander of the flotilla 2
20th KptzS / FltlAdm Rolf Schmitz 2003 2004
19th FltlAdm Gottfried Hoch 2001 2003
18th FltlAdm Christoph Diehl 1998 2001
17th FltlAdm Frank Ropers 1996 1998 later German military representative at the NATO military committee
16 KptzS / FltlAdm Lutz Feldt 1995 1996 later inspector of the Navy
15th FltlAdm Dieter Hülsemann 1992 1995
14th FltlAdm Klaus-Dieter laudes 1990 1992
13 KptzS / FltlAdm Hans-Rudolf Boehmer 1988 1990 later inspector of the Navy
12 KptzS / FltlAdm Konrad Ehrensberger 1985 1988
11 FltlAdm Dieter Franz Braun 1983 1985 later commander of the fleet
10 FltlAdm Hans-Joachim Mann 1981 1983 later inspector of the Navy
9 FltlAdm Hein-Peter Weyher 1978 1981 later inspector of the Navy
8th FltlAdm Klaus-Jürgen Thäter 1975 1978
7th KptzS / FltlAdm Joachim von Holleuffer 1972 1975
6th KptzS / FltlAdm Erwin Rau 1970 1972
5 KptzS / FltlAdm Paul Hartwig 1968 1970 later commander of the fleet
4th KptzS Theodor von Mutius 1964 1968 January 1, 1967 Renamed the Destroyer Flotilla
3 KptzS Günter Kuhnke 1962 1964 later head of the Naval Office
2 KptzS Hans Dominik 1960 1962
1 KptzS Heinz Peters 1958 1960

Subordinate associations

Destroyer squadron

1st destroyer squadron
Destroyer Lütjens , class 103B

The 1st destroyer squadron (1st ZGschw) was set up in Kiel on September 1, 1958. He was subordinate to three destroyers of the Fletcher class (German designation: Class 119) made available on loan from the USA , which had been built during the Second World War . These ships, together with their sister ships in the 3rd ZGschw, formed the basis for the construction of the new destroyer weapon of the German Navy.

1964–1965 the squadron was temporarily subordinate to the new destroyers Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein , which were being tested , before the 2nd ZGschw was set up. In 1967 the destroyer 1 was temporarily taken out of service. On March 31, 1968, the 1st ZGschw was decommissioned, Destroyer 2 was handed over to the 3rd ZGschw and Destroyer 3 to the Fleet Service Squadron.

On April 1, 1969, the 1st ZGschw was rebuilt to accommodate the new class 103 destroyers (Lütjens class). These three Charles F. Adams-class ships, built in the USA for German account , ran between 1969 and 1971. They remained in the 1st ZGschw until they were decommissioned ( Rommel 1998, Mölders and Lütjens 2003). In the course of time, they were modernized twice on a larger scale and then carried the designations Class 103A and 103B .

In 1981, after the dissolution of the 3rd ZGschw, the squadron was subject to destroyer 2 and destroyer 5 for a short time , which were then handed over to the Greek Navy . The 1st ZGschwader was disbanded in December 2003, the tradition was taken over by the 1st frigate squadron .

2nd destroyer squadron
Destroyer Schleswig-Holstein , class 101A

The 2nd ZGschw was set up on April 1, 1965 in Wilhelmshaven to accommodate the class 101 destroyers (Hamburg class). At the time of installation, the two ships Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein , which were already in service, were taken over by the 1st ZGschw. Bavaria joined in 1965, Hesse late in 1968.

Between 1974 and 1977 the ships were converted to Class 101A and received anti-ship missiles and more modern electronics. Hessen was decommissioned in 1990, the other ships followed between 1993 and 1994. The 2nd ZGschw was disbanded on September 27, 1994, and the tradition was taken over by the 6th frigate squadron .

3rd destroyer squadron
US Fletcher-class destroyer, similar to Z1-Z6

The 3rd ZGschw was set up on April 1, 1960 in Flensburg to accommodate the second group of three Fletcher-class destroyers ( Z 4 , Z 5 , Z 6 ) provided by the USA. Destroyer 6 was decommissioned in 1967 after a technical accident. On January 1, 1968 the 3rd ZGschw moved to Kiel and after the dissolution of the 1st ZGschw consisted of destroyers 2, 4 and 5. In August 1968, destroyer 1 was added after being put back into service, and on October 1, 1971 destroyer 3 from the fleet service squadron .

Destroyer 1 was finally decommissioned in 1972 and sunk on May 16, 1979 by the German submarine U 29 in the Mediterranean as a target ship with a torpedo . Z 3 was handed over to the Greek Navy in 1980, Z 2 and Z 5 followed in 1981 and 1982. On June 30, 1981, the 3rd ZGschw was dissolved.

Escort and frigate squadrons

1st escort squadron

The 1st escort squadron (1st GGschw) was the oldest squadron in the flotilla. It had already been set up in Wilhelmshaven in November 1956 and consisted of five escort boats of class 319 , later also referred to as school ships . These were former deep-sea mine search boats type 35 of the Kriegsmarine , which in the meantime had been in the service of the French Navy . The squadron was spun off from the command of the destroyers on October 1, 1959, placed under the command of naval training and supplemented by the school boats Eider and Trave . It moved to Kiel in 1960, renamed the school squadron, and was decommissioned in 1963, including all escort boats.

2nd escort squadron
Frigate Cologne , class 120

The 2nd escort squadron (2nd GGschwader) was set up on February 1, 1959 in Cuxhaven to accommodate the six new escort boats Type 55 , which were later designated as the Cologne class (class 120). In 1968 the squadron transferred the frigates Emden and Karlsruhe to the fleet service squadron in Wilhelmshaven. 1973 and 1974 both ships returned to the squadron. In 1982 and 1983 Cologne , Karlsruhe and Emden were decommissioned, and Augsburg followed in 1988 .

On September 30, 1988, the 2nd GGschw was decommissioned. The remaining ships were placed under the 2nd frigate squadron until they were decommissioned (1988/89) , which also took over the tradition of the 2nd GGschw.

1st frigate squadron
Frigate Hamburg , class 124

The 1st FGschw was set up in Wilhelmshaven from 2000 to accommodate the three new frigates of the Sachsen class (class 124). These ships ran to the squadron between 2004 and 2006. Squadron commander was initially its commander until the 1st ZGschw was disbanded in December 2003. With the reclassification of the squadrons in January 2006, the 1st FGschwat was disbanded and the ships were handed over to the 2nd FGschw.

2nd frigate squadron

The 2nd FGschw was set up on October 1st, 1988 in Wilhelmshaven and took over the tradition of the 2nd GGschw. From this squadron it also took over the frigates Lübeck and Braunschweig for a short time until they were handed over to the Turkish Navy in 1988 and 1989. At the same time, the 2nd FGschw took over the frigates Cologne and Karlsruhe of class 122 from the 4th FGschw. In 1989 and 1990 the two replica frigates of the Bremen class Augsburg and Lübeck ran to the 2nd FGschw .

When the squadrons were reclassified at the beginning of 2006, the 2nd FGschw gave the four class 122 frigates to the 4th FGschw and took over four frigates class 123 from the 6th FGschw and three frigates class 124 from the 1st FGschw. These seven frigates are among the Eingreifkräften the Bundeswehr .

4th frigate squadron
Frigate Bremen , class 122

The 4th Frigate Squadron (4th FGschw) was set up on November 16, 1981 in Wilhelmshaven to accommodate the first six new frigates of the Bremen class (class 122). These ships ran to the squadron between 1982 and 1984. When the 2nd FGschw was set up, the two youngest units, Cologne and Karlsruhe , were transferred there. Since the reclassification of the flotilla in January 2006, all class 122 frigates have been subordinate to the 4th FGschw. You belong to the stabilization forces of the Bundeswehr. With the Rüstringer Friesen in the coat of arms, the 4th FGschwader is the Wilhelmshaven house squadron, but without an official sponsorship with the city.

6th frigate squadron
Frigate Schleswig-Holstein , class 123

The 6th FGschw was set up on September 28, 1994 and took over the staff and tradition of the 2nd ZGschw. Between 1994 and 1996 it took on four new frigates of the Brandenburg class (class 123). With the regrouping of the squadrons in January 2006, the 6th FGschw was disbanded and the ships were handed over to the 2nd FGschw.

Fleet Service Squadron

Najade submarine , Thetis class

The fleet service squadron was set up on April 1, 1961 in Wilhelmshaven. It relocated to Flensburg on April 1, 1968 ( Naval Base Command Flensburg-Mürwik ) and from that point on it was sometimes called the Fleet Training Squadron . The squadron was led by a frigate captain as a boat squadron (= battalion level) . A sea captain was a squadron commander only while the destroyer and the frigates were placed under shelter.

The core of the squadron always formed the five submarines of the Thetis class (class 420), which arrived from 1961 to 1963. These boats were initially called torpedo catching boats type A and were equipped with a crane and a dinghy for torpedo towers. Later they were referred to as fleet service boats and at times carried a NATO identifier with A ... (= Auxiliary) to make their auxiliary ship function clear. Since 1974 the boats were finally designated as submarines and were given a P identification again. They were delivered to the Greek Navy from 1991 to 1992. As the sixth boat, the Hans Bürkner would have been subordinated to the FD squadron in the event of mobilization . She was initially subordinate to the marine underwater weapons school in Eckernförde as a school boat and was later used by the Wehrtechnischen Dienststelle 71 as a test boat. It was a large, type B (class 421) torpedo catch boat completed in 1963 , which was later referred to as a fleet service boat (BWB) . As a significantly larger vehicle, it should have served as a guide boat.

Combined with a reclassification, the FD squadron was assigned destroyer 3 and the frigates Emden and Karlsruhe from January 1, 1968 . The squadron now had the task of supporting the training of officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the Navy in peace and of being available for special tasks in accordance with the instructions of the fleet command. During the war, the destroyer and the frigates should return to their squadrons of origin. To this end, the FD squadron should be reinforced by the school frigates Scharnhorst and Gneisenau , which are in reserve .

However, this organization was soon changed again. Z 3 was handed over to the 3rd ZGschwing in 1971, Karlsruhe 1973 and Emden 1974 to the 2nd GGschwing. In 1972 the three reconnaissance ships, the Alster , Oker and Oste, designated as measuring boats (class 422), were assigned to the FD squadron by the miners' squadron. They were later renamed fleet service boats and replaced by three class 423 boats of the same name between 1987 and 1989.

After the submarines were surrendered to Greece, the fleet service boats were placed under Naval Telecommunications Staff 70 in 1992 and the FD squadron was disbanded on January 12, 1993.

Supply and baggage squadrons

Task force provider Berlin

After the dissolution of the supply flotilla in 1994, the two supply squadrons subordinate to it (1st VersGschw in the Baltic Sea area, 2nd VersGschw in the North Sea area) were subordinated to the ZFltl and on April 1, 1997 merged to form the Trossgeschwader. The number of existing ships was gradually reduced. At the end of 2010, the supply squadron was still subordinate to nine military or civilian auxiliary ships of the Navy: two task force supply companies , four fuel transporters and three sea ​​tugs . With the arrival of the Bonn , the number of task force providers increased to three in 2013. The squadron, like the frigate squadron, is led by a sea captain.

Sea tug Wangerooge

Reserve associations

The ZFltl was assigned three reserve units, the 122nd and 124th outpost squadrons and the 126th sea transport squadron. In the event of a defense, they would have been put together from civilian ships of the Bundeswehr and from civilian vehicles called up. The ships of the Bundeswehr were naval and BWB vehicles such as harbor tugs, icebreakers and test boats. In the course of the restructuring of the Bundeswehr mobilization organization, the Navy dissolved its reserve units in spring 2005.

Other allegations

From their formation on April 1, 1958 to the change of position under the newly established command of the amphibious armed forces on October 1, 1958, the 2nd landing squadron and the naval engineer battalion were under the command of the destroyers.

Duties and equipment

The ZFltl should not be used as a closed association. Rather, individual combat groups were to be formed, and the squadron commanders were to be their leaders. Large combat groups could also be led through the KdZ. This happened in large exercises and in several missions.

As part of the training, ships and associations of the ZFltl have made many trips abroad, including to distant regions. Since the decommissioning of the training ship Germany in 1990, they have regularly carried out training trips for officer candidates of the Navy, which also serve to represent Germany abroad. Under the motto Ambassador in Blue , they support the diplomatic missions in their representational tasks. In 2002 an association visited Japan and South Korea and served the Federal President as a reception platform.

Deployment concepts and weapon systems

The deployment concepts for the ZFltl and its equipment changed according to the concept of the German Navy . It was initially planned to procure twelve destroyers, six escort boats (later referred to as frigates) and six submarines to support Allied landings in the Baltic Sea. For this purpose, the artillery destroyers of class 119 ex- Fletcher class and class 101 (Hamburg class) were procured, which were supposed to provide fire support to the landing troops. Escort boats and submarines were supposed to protect the landing formations against submarine attacks. In view of the increasing strength of the Warsaw Pact air force , a larger number of anti-aircraft ships should secure the airspace over a large area. For this purpose, three class 103 destroyers were procured, further projects were not implemented because it became clear as early as the late 1960s that this approach to the Baltic Sea warfare was unrealistic.

Instead, the German Navy should participate more in securing reinforcement transports to Europe. With the frigates of the Bremen class , the ZFltl received anti-submarine ships equipped with helicopters for the first time. The Brandenburg-class frigates follow the same concept, but are larger and can accommodate a staff. After 1990, the very strong focus on anti-submarine combat was abandoned. The Sachsen-class frigates were designed in such a way that they can offer a ship formation protection against air threats.

Unrealized projects

Not all armaments projects of the ZFltl could be realized, including three larger projects that failed for various reasons.

Class 102 destroyer

Originally the construction of twelve class 101 destroyers (Hamburg class) was planned. However, it was decided to leave it with four ships of this class and instead build a series of more modern armed destroyers, which were designated as destroyers Type 59 , later class 102 . The German shipyard industry was unable to do this in the early 1960s. Instead, the class 103 destroyers (Lütjens class) were commissioned in the USA in 1964 .

Class 121 frigate

From 1962 it was planned to procure powerful platforms with missile armament against aircraft for the Baltic warfare. First, so-called large combat boats of class 130 were considered, then missile corvettes . This type of ship also turned out to be too small for the intended armament and was abandoned in 1965 in favor of a project for four frigates, which were later designated as Class 121 . It was intended to carry out this project in close cooperation with NATO partners, which is why the name NATO Frigate 70 was also used . The ships were to be armed with the Tartar weapon system and originally displaced 2500, later 3600 ts . When the belief prevailed in early 1970 that modern frigates had to carry helicopters, the class 121 project was abandoned that same year.

NATO frigate NFR 90

As a replacement for the class 101A destroyers, another class of frigates with the main task of anti-submarine hunting was to be procured. Four ships were planned, the project designation was class 124 . The project was to be implemented as part of a large NATO cooperation project called NATO Frigate Replacement for the 1990s (NFR 90) . In addition to the German navy, seven other NATO countries were involved in this project. The project organization based in Hamburg was founded in 1979. Originally 59 identical ships were to be built, later variants were developed. The project failed due to various problems, especially international cooperation. Germany left the organization in 1989. The class 123 frigates were commissioned for the now urgently needed replacement of class 101A (Hamburg class), while development with a new concept approach began for class 124 (replacement class 103B).

See also


  • Siegfried Breyer, Gerhard Koop: The ships, vehicles and planes of the German Navy from 1956 until today. Bonn 1978, ISBN 3-7637-5155-6 .
  • Karl Peter, Volker Wierig: From torpedo boats to multi-purpose frigates . In: German Marine Institute and German Marine Academy (ed.): The German Navy - Historical Self-Understanding and Location Determination . Herford and Bonn 1983, ISBN 3-8132-0157-0 , pp. 257 ff .
  • Wolfgang Harnack: The destroyer flotilla of the German Navy from 1958 until today. Köhler, Hamburg 2001, ISBN 3-7822-0816-1 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Report of the Wilhelmshavener Zeitung of March 12, 1991
  2. ^ Report of the Wilhelmshavener Zeitung from March 18, 1991
  3. ^ Egbert Thomer, Jürgen Rhades: Yearbook of the German Navy 1969. Fourth episode, Bremen 1968, p. 15f.
  4. Page no longer available , search in web archives: Official page of the Einsatzflottille 2 in the version dated January 7, 2008@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  5. ^ A b c Karl Peter, Volker Wierig: From the torpedo boat to the multi-purpose frigate. In: German Marine Institute and German Marine Academy (ed.): The German Navy - Historical Self-Understanding and Location Determination. Herford and Bonn 1983, ISBN 3-8132-0157-0 , p. 257 ff.
  6. ^ A b Siegfried Breyer, Gerhard Koop: The ships and vehicles of the German Federal Navy 1956-1976. Munich 1978, ISBN 3-7637-5155-6 .
  7. ^ Heinrich Schütz: The NATO Frigate NFR 90 Project - Only Past or Already History? In: Marineforum 1 / 2-2008 . P. 41 ff.