Günther Lützow: Wikis


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Günther Lützow
4 September 1912(1912-09-04) – 24 April 1945 (aged 32)
Günther Lützow.jpg
Günther Lützow
Nickname Franzl
Place of birth Kiel
Place of death near Donauwörth
Allegiance Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Years of service 1931 – 1945
Rank Oberst
Unit J 88, JG 3, JG 51, JV 44
Commands held 2./J 88
I./JG 3 (3.11.39 – 21.8.40)
JG 3 (21.8.40 – 11.8.42)
JG 51 (10.41 – 11.41)
Battles/wars Spanish Civil War
World War II
Awards Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords and Diamonds
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Colonel Günther Lützow (4 September 1912 – 24 April 1945) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and a leader in the "Fighter Pilots Revolt". Lützow was credited with 110 victories achieved in over 300 combat missions. He scored 5 victories during the Spanish Civil War. He recorded 20 victories over the Western Front, including at least one four-engine bomber, and 85 victories over the Eastern Front.



On 7 April 1931, Lützow began his pilot training at the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule (German Air Transport School) at Schleißheim. He and 29 other trainees attended what was called Kameradschaft 31, abbreviated "K 31". Among the members of K 31 were future Luftwaffe staff Officers like Wolfgang Falck and Hannes Trautloft. Lützow graduated from the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule 19 February 1932. From K 31 Lützow and nine others were recommended for Sonderausbildung (special training). These ten men were the privileged few and were allowed to attend fighter pilot training.[1]

Spanish Civil War

Lützow initially served as a Lieutenant in the infantry, before transferring to the Luftwaffe as a pilot with I./JG 132 "Richtofen". During the Spanish Civil War, Lützow was Staffelkapitän of 2./J 88 in the Condor Legion. From March to September 1937, Oberleutnant Lützow claimed five victories, including the first ever recorded by the Bf 109. In November 1938, Lützow became an instructor at Jagdfliegerschule 1 at Werneuchen.

In 1938 Lützow was assigned to the Reichsluftfahrtministerium, Sonderstab W. In charge was General Helmuth Wilberg. Sonderstab W. was responsible for collecting and analyzing the tactical lessons learned from the Spanish Civil War. It is here that Lützow met Gisela von Priesdorff (the oldest daughter of military historian Kurt von Priesdorff), his later wife to be. Lützow wrote up his manuscript Erfahrungsbericht Winterausbildung 1937/1938, Jüterbog-Damm, 5. Staffel documenting all his experience and ideas. This manuscript already referenced the finger-four formation as the clearly superior tactical formation for contemporary fighter aircraft. Lützow's friend and comrade Werner Mölders months later solved the problem of manoeuvring a finger-four formation by introducing what is still known today as the "crossover turn" or "tac turn".[2]

World War II

Lützow became Gruppenkommandeur I./JG 3 in November 1939. During the French campaign, he claimed a further nine victories. At the height of the Battle of Britain in August 1940, Lützow was appointed Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 3. After eight more victories over England, Lützow was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz) in September.

In spring 1941, JG 3 received the new Bf 109-F before Lützow led JG 3 east for the invasion of Russia. On 17 July 1941, he recorded his 40th claim and was awarded the Oak Leaves (Eichenlaub) for the Knight's Cross on 20 July. He was shot down by Soviet ground fire on 23 September, force-landing behind enemy lines, but he returned to his unit unhurt. In October, he claimed 29 victories, including five bombers shot down on 8 October. He was awarded the Swords (Schwerter) for the Knight's Cross on 11 October 1941 for 92 claims. He became the second Experte ( after Werner Mölders) to achieve 100 victories, on 24 October. Lützow was then grounded. In early November, he led Stab. JG 3 back to Germany to rest and re-equip. In May 1942, Lützow and JG 3 commenced operations near Kharkov, moving into the Crimea and Stalingrad. Lützow added one victory when he claimed a I-61 fighter on 21 May 1942 for his 107th kill.

Sometime in June 1942, most likely in Grakowo, Lützow was visited by two men from the SS. They were of lower rank and arrived by car. Lützow kindly asked them how he can be of assistance to them. They responded by requesting as many men as possible to form up execution squads to liquidate Jews, Soviet Political Officers and other "scum". Lützow was furious and ordered the entire Geschwader in full dress uniform to assemble. Before the entire Jagdgeschwader Lützow explained what the SS had requested and that he considered this act to be barbaric and criminal in nature. He threatened his soldiers to resign from command and take off his uniform if even a single soldier volunteered. This act got Lützow in trouble with the SS and the NSDAP.[3]

In August 1942, Lützow was posted to the staff of the General der Jagdflieger where he became Inspector of Day Fighters, Eastern Front. Arguably Adolf Galland's decision to appoint Lützow was motivated to get him out of the "line of fire".

Adolf Galland and Günther Lützow in Italy

In July 1943, Oberst Lützow became Inspector of Day Fighters, Italian Front, based in Naples. He then commanded 1. Jagd-Division based at Döberitz from September 1943 to March 1944, where he assumed command for day and night fighter operations in north western Germany, Holland and Belgium. 1. Jagd-Division was under control of 1. Jagd-Korps commanded by Generalmajor Joseph Schmid. Lützow was relieved of this command on 16 March 1944 because of personal differences with Schmid.

In Fall of 1943 Günther Lützow received news that his older brother, Korvettenkapitän Werner Lützow, commander of 4. Schnellbootflottille, was killed in action.[4]

Lützow became known as a prime mover behind the Fighter Pilots' Mutiny in late 1944. This was an attempt to reinstate Adolf Galland, who had been sacked as General der Jagdflieger for his outspokenness to the Luftwaffe high command. The behavior of Lützow and the other leading pilots was regarded as "mutiny" by Göring, who relieved him of his command and had Lützow posted to Italy to take over Jagdfliegerführer Oberitalien.

He later joined Adolf Galland’s JV 44 jet unit. Lützow recorded two victories flying the Me 262 jet fighter, but was posted missing on 24 April 1945 near Donauwörth while attempting to intercept a USAAF B-26 Marauder raid. A B-26 was shot down by Lützow. His body was never recovered and his aircraft was never found. Two members of his flight were Klaus Neumann and Walter Krupinski.


Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Saturday 25 October 1941 Hauptmann Gollob errang am 20 Oktober seinen 30., Major Lützow am 24 Oktober seinen 101. Luftsieg.[6] Hauptmann Gollob achieved on 20 October his 30th, Major Lützow on 24 October his 101st aerial victory.

See also


  1. ^ Braatz 2005, pp. 28-51.
  2. ^ Braatz 2005, pp. 174-182.
  3. ^ Braatz 2005, pp. 265-267.
  4. ^ Braatz 2005, p. 305.
  5. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 519.
  6. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 1, p. 708.


  • Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 3-9501307-0-5.
  • Bergström, Christer & Mikhailov, Andrey (2000), Black Cross / Red Star Air War Over the Eastern Front, Volume I, Operation Barbarossa 1941, California: Pacifica Military History. ISBN 0-935553-48-7.
  • Braatz, Kurt (2005). Gott oder ein Flugzeug - Leben und Sterben des Jagdfliegers Günther Lützow. NeunundzwanzigSechs Verlag. ISBN 3-9807935-6-7.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 - 1945 (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 3-87341-065-6.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Williamson, Gordon Williamson and Bujeiro, Ramiro (2004). Knight's Cross and Oak-Leaves Recipients 1939-40 — Volume 114 of Elite Series. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-641-0.
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.
  • Helden der Wehrmacht - Unsterbliche deutsche Soldaten (in German). München, Germany: FZ-Verlag GmbH, 2004. ISBN 3-924309-53-1.

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Obstlt Friedrich Beckh
Acting Commander of Jagdgeschwader 51 Mölders
September 1, 1941 – November 8, 1941
Succeeded by
Obstlt Karl-Gottfried Nordmann
Preceded by
Oberstleutnant Carl Vieck
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 3 Udet
August 21, 1940 – August 11, 1942
Succeeded by
Oberst Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke
Preceded by
Commander of Jagdabschnittsführer Italien
July, 1943 – September, 1943
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Kurt-Bertram von Döring
Commander of 1. Jagd-Division
September 15, 1943 – March 23, 1944
Succeeded by
Oberst Hajo Herrmann
Preceded by
Commander of 4. Fliegerschul-Division
November 1, 1944 – November 10, 1944
Succeeded by
Oberst Hannes Trautloft

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