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List of World War II aces from Germany

This is a list of fighter aces in World War II from Germany. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat.[1] German day and night fighter pilots claimed roughly 70,000 aerial victories during World War II, 25,000 over British or American and 45,000 over Russian flown aircraft. 103 German fighter pilots shot down more than 100 enemy aircraft for a total of roughly 15,400 aerial victories. Roughly a further 360 pilots claimed between 40 and 100 aerial victories for round about 21,000 victories. Another 500 fighter pilots claimed between 20 and 40 victories for a total of 15,000 victories. It is relatively certain that 2,500 German fighter pilots attained ace status, having achieved at least 5 aerial victories.[2] These achievements were honored with 453 German day and destroyer (destroyer) pilots having received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. 85 night fighter pilots, including 14 crew members, were awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.[3]

German losses on the other hand were very high as well. Roughly 12,000 German day fighter pilots were killed or are still missing in action with a further 6,000 being wounded. The destroyer (destroyer) pilots suffered about 2,800 casualties, either killed or missing in action, plus another 900 wounded in action. German night fighter losses were in the magnitude of 3,800 pilots or crew members killed or missing and 1,400 wounded.[4]

Luftwaffe rules of confirmation [edit | edit source]

The Luftwaffe had a very stringent approval process for the confirmation of aerial victories.[5]

  • Without a witness, a Luftwaffe fighter pilot had no chance to have his victory claim confirmed. Such a claim, even if filed, would not pass beyond group level.[5]
  • The final destruction or explosion of an enemy aircraft in the air, or bail-out of the pilot, had to be observed either on gun-camera film or by at least one other human witness. The witness could be the German pilot's wingman, squadron mate, or a ground observer of the encounter.[5]
  • There was no possibility, as with some RAF and USAAF pilots, of having a victory credited because the claiming officer was a gentleman and a man of his word. The German rule was simply "no witness - no kill."[5]
  • The German system was impartial, inflexible, and far less error-prone than either the British or American procedures. German fighter pilots had to wait several months, a year, or sometimes even longer for a kill confirmation to reach them from the German High Command.[5]

Over claiming [edit | edit source]

In the 1990s, the German archives made available microfilm rolls of wartime records, not seen since January 1945, available to the public.[6] These showed that while in theory the Luftwaffe did not accept a kill without a witness, which was considered only a probable, in practice some units habitually submitted unwitnessed claims and these sometimes made it through the verification process, particularly if they were made by pilots with already established records.[6] In theory the Luftwaffe did not accept shared claims, but it happened. In theory each separate claim should have referred to a particular aircraft, but in practice some victories were awarded to other pilots who had claimed the destruction of the same aircraft.[6] In 1943 the daily OKW communiques of this period habitually overstated American bomber losses by a factor of two or more. Defenders of German fighter pilots have always maintained that these were reduced during the confirmation process. But the microfilms prove this not to be the case.[6] Some 80 - 90 percent of the claims submitted were confirmed or found to be "in order" for confirmation up to the time the system broke down altogether in 1945.[6]

This along with the * (asterisk), indicates that the pilot was either killed in action (KIA), missing in action (MIA), died of wounds (DOW) or killed in a flying accident (KIFA).

A [edit | edit source]

B [edit | edit source]

Surname Rank Total wartime victories Unit Notes
Sophus Baagoe *Captain14ZG 76Knight's Cross
KIA 14 May 1941
Werner BaakeCaptain41[9]NJG 1Knight's Cross
Emil BabenzSergeant Major24JG 26
Herbert Bachnick *lieutenant80JG 52Knight's Cross
KIA 7 August 1944
Johann Badum *lieutenant54JG 77Knight's Cross
KIA 12 January 1943
Jens Bahnsen *sergeant18JG 27, JG 53
Günther BahrSergeant Major37NJG 6Knight's Cross
Hans-Joachim Bahr7JG 5
Wilhelm Balthasar *major47 (+7 in Spain)JG 27, JG 3, JG 2, JG 1Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
KIA 3 July 1941
"Pritzel" Heinrich BärColonel220[10]JG 51, JG 77, JG 1, JG 3, EJG 2, JV 44Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Herbert Bareuther *lieutenant55JG 51, JG 3German Cross in gold
KIA April 30, 1945
"Gerd" Gerhard Barkhornmajor301[10]JG 2, JG 52, JG 6, JV 44Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Heinrich Bartels *Sergeant Major99[11]JG 5, JG 27Knight's Cross
KIA 23 December 1944
Franz Barten *Captain52JG 51, JG 53Knight's Cross
KIA 4 August 1944
Erich BartzSergeant30JG 51
"Willi" Wilhelm Batzmajor237[10]JG 52Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Helmut Baudach *Sergeant Major20JG 2
EKdo 262
Kdo Nowotny
JG 7
Konrad BauerFirst lieutenant57JG 51, JG 3, JG 300Knight's Cross
Viktor BauerColonel106[12]JG 3Knight's Cross
Ludwig Becker *Captain46[9]NJG 11Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
Karl-Heinz Beckersergeant7NJG 11
Martin BeckerCaptain58NJG 4, NJG 6Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
Paul Beckerlieutenant20JG 27
Friedrich Beckh *Lieutenant colonel48JG 51, JG 52Knight's Cross
KIA 21 June 1942
Franz-Josef Beerenbrocklieutenant117[13]JG 51Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
Artur BeeseFirst lieutenant22JG 26
Wilhelm BeierFirst lieutenant38NJG 2, NJG 1Knight's Cross
Heinrich Beirwirth
Hans Beißwenger *First lieutenant152[14]JG 54Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
MIA 6 March 1943
Ludwig BellofSergeant Major25Knight's Cross
Helmut Belser *Captain36JG 53Knight's Cross
KIA 19 June 1942
Karl-Heinz BendertFirst lieutenant55JG 27, JG 104Knight's Cross
Helmut BennemannLieutenant colonel93JG 52, JG 53Knight's Cross
Anton Benninglieutenant28JG 106, JG 301Knight's Cross
Sigfried Benzlieutenant6JG 26
Helmut BergmannCaptain36NJG 4, NJG 1Knight's Cross
Heinz-Edgar Berres *Captain53JG 53Knight's Cross
MIA 25 July 1943
Hans BerschwingerSergeant Major20NJG 1, NJG 2
Günther BertramFirst lieutenant35KG 4, NJG 100
Otto Bertrammajor22 (9 in Spain)J / 88, JG 2, JG 101, JG 6Knight's Cross
Arthur Beth16JG 5
Erich Beulich10JG 5
Ernst Beutelspacher *First lieutenant5SG 2Knight's Cross
KIA 22 July 1944
Gerhard Beutin *Sergeant Major60JG 54
Franz Beyer *major81JG 3Knight's Cross
KIA 11 February 1944
Georg BeyerCaptain8JG 26
Heinz BeyerSergeant Major33JG 5
Heinz Birk14JG 5
Hans-Joachim Birkner *lieutenant117[13]JG 52Knight's Cross
KIFA 14 December 1944
Emil Bitsch *Captain108[12]JG 3Knight's Cross
KIA March 15, 1944
Franz BlazytkoSergeant Major30JG 27
Joachim Blechschmidt *Lieutenant colonel17ZG 1Knight's Cross
MIA 13 July 1943
Günther Bleckmann *major33SG 1, SG 2Knight's Cross
KIA June 1, 1944
Günther Blömertzlieutenant10JG 26
Walter Blumemajor14JG 26, JG 27
Hans-Ekkehard Bobmajor60JG 54, JG 3, JG 51, EJG 2, JV 44Knight's Cross
Karl Boehm-TettelbachLieutenant colonel10ZG 26
Ernst BörngenCaptain41JG 27Knight's Cross
Oscar Boesch18JG 3
Wolfgang Böwing-Treuding *First lieutenant46JG 51Knight's Cross
KIA 11 February 1943
Paul Bohm6NJG 2
Kurt Bohnsergeant5JG 26
Helmut-Felix Bolzmajor20 (+3 in Spain)JG 2
Eckart-Wilhelm von Boninmajor39NJG 1Knight's Cross
Hubertus von Bonin *Lieutenant colonel77 (+4 in Spain)JG 26, JG 52, JG 54Knight's Cross
KIA December 15, 1943
Adolf Borchersmajor132[15]JG 51, JG 52Knight's Cross
Walter Borchers *Lieutenant colonel59ZG 76, NJG 3, NJG 5Knight's Cross
KIA March 6, 1945
Eberhard von BoremskiCaptain104JG 3, EJG 1Knight's Cross
Karl Borrismajor43JG 26Knight's Cross
Ernst Börngenmajor38JG 27Knight's Cross
Hans-Joachim BorreckSergeant5JG 26
Franz Bozicek5JG 5
Felix-Maria Brandis *First lieutenant18JG 5
Kurt Brandle *major180[7]JG 53, JG 3Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
KIA 3 November 1943
Paul Brandtlieutenant30JG 54Knight's Cross
KIA December 24, 1944
Walter BrandtFirst lieutenant57LG 2, JG 77, JG 3Knight's Cross
Peter BremerSergeant Major40JG 54
Joachim BrendelCaptain189[7]JG 51Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
Heinz Bretnütz *Captain37JG 53Knight's Cross
DOW 27 June 1941
Adolf BrevesCaptain17NJG 1
Hugo Brochlieutenant81JG 54Knight's Cross
Jürgen Brocke *lieutenant42JG 77Knight's Cross
KIA September 15, 1942
Herbert Broennle *lieutenant58JG 54Knight's Cross
KIA 4 July 1943
Wendelin Breukellieutenant14NJG 2, NJG 4
Albert Brunner *Sergeant Major53JG 5Knight's Cross
KIA 7 May 1943
Hermann Buchnerlieutenant58SG 2, JG 7Knight's Cross
Max Bucholzmajor30JG 3, JG 5, JG 101Knight's Cross
Harry von Bülow-BothkampColonel18 (+6 in World War I)JG 77, JG 2, NJG 101, NJG 105Knight's Cross
Adolf Buhl *First lieutenant7LG 2KIA 27 September 1940
"Bu-Mann" Kurt BühligenLieutenant colonel112[12]JG 2Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Johannes Bunzek *lieutenant75[16]JG 52Knight's Cross
11 December 1943
Lutz-Wilhelm BurckhardtCaptain69JG 77, JG 1Knight's Cross
Alfred BurkFirst lieutenant28JG 52, JG 27
Josef BürschgensCaptain10JG 26
Erwin BuschFirst lieutenant8JG 26
Rudolf Busch40JG 51
Heinz BusseFirst lieutenant22JG 51
Erich Büttner *Sergeant Major8EKdo 262, Kdo Nowotny, JG 7KIA March 20, 1945
Johannes Buettner16JG 51
Bruno Buzzi9JG 5

C [edit | edit source]

D [edit | edit source]

Surname Rank Total wartime victories Unit Notes
Paul-Heinrich Dähne *Captain99JG 52, JG 1Knight's Cross
Walther DahlColonel128[15]JG 3, JG 300Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
Hugo DahmerCaptain57JG 26, JG 5, JG 2Knight's Cross
Helmut DahmsSergeant Major24NJG 100
Friedrich Dahn26JG 5
Hans Dammers *lieutenant113[12]JG 52Knight's Cross
DOW 17 March 1944
Emil Darjes82JG 54
Rudi Dassowlieutenant22ZG 76, JG 6Knight's Cross
Karl-Emil Demuth16JG 1
Gustav Denk *First lieutenant67JG 52Knight's Cross
KIA 13 February 1943
Adolf DickfeldColonel136[14]JG 52, JG 2, JG 11Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
Erwin DiekwischCaptain12StG 1Knight's Cross
Ulrich DiesingMajor general15ZG 1Knight's Cross
Gottfried Ditzelieutenant5JG 26
Fritz Dinger *First lieutenant67JG 53Knight's Cross
KIA 27 July 1943
Hans DippleCaptain19JG 26
Hans Dirksensergeant5JG 26
Heinrich DittlmannSergeant Major57JG 51
Anton Döbele *lieutenant94JG 54Knight's Cross
KIA 11 November 1943
Hans Dobrichsergeant65JG 5Knight's Cross
Georg Dörffel *major30LG 2, SG 1, SG 4Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
KIA 26 May 1944
Arnold Döringlieutenant23KG 53, NJG 300,
JG 3, JG 5
Knight's Cross
Franz DörrCaptain128[15]JG 5Knight's Cross
Edgar Dörresergeant9JG 26
Kurt DombacherFirst lieutenant68JG 5, JG 51Knight's Cross
Hans DortenmannFirst lieutenant38JG 26, JG 54Knight's Cross
Heinrich Dreisbach16JG 5
Martin Drewesmajor52ZG 76, NJG 1Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
Ernst-Georg DrünklerCaptain47ZG 2, NJG 1, NJG 5Knight's Cross
Rudi Düding18NJG 100
Ernst Düllbergmajor45JG 3, JG 27, JG 76, JG 7Knight's Cross
Alfred Druschel *Colonel7LG 2, SG 1, SG 4Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
MIA January 1, 1945
Peter DüttmannFirst lieutenant150[14]JG 52Knight's Cross

E [edit | edit source]

Surname Rank Total wartime victories Unit Notes
Karl EbbighausenCaptain7JG 26
Heinz EbelingFirst lieutenant18JG 26Knight's Cross
Kurt EbenerFirst lieutenant57JG 3, JG 11Knight's Cross
Kurt EbersbergerCaptain27JG 26
Helmut EberspächerCaptain7SKG 10Knight's Cross
Manfred EberweinFirst lieutenant56JG 54
Reinhold Eckardt *First lieutenant22NJG 1, NJG 3Knight's Cross
KIA 30 July 1942
Franz Eckerle *Captain59JG 54Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
MIA February 14, 1942
Georg-Peter Edermajor78JG 51, JG 26, JG 1, JG 2Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
Johannes EdmannSergeant Major5JG 26
Walter Ehle *major39NJG 1Knight's Cross
KIA 17 November 1943
Karl-Heinz Ehlenlieutenant7JG 26
Hans Ehlers *major54JG 3, JG 1Knight's Cross
KIA 27 December 1944
Rudolf Ehrenberger *Sergeant Major49JG 53Knight's Cross
KIA 8 March 1944
Heinrich Ehrler *major209[10]JG 5, JG 7Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
KIA April 4, 1945
Diethelm from Eichel-Streibermajor96JG 1, JG 26, JG 51, JG 27, JV 44Knight's Cross
Günther Eichhorn7JG 5
Heinrich EickhoffFirst lieutenant6JG 27
Heinrich Count von EinsiedelFirst lieutenant35JG 3German Cross in gold
Franz Eisenachmajor129[15]JG 54Knight's Cross
Xaver Ellenriederlieutenant12JG 26
Franz Ellessergeant5JG 27
Walter EngelCaptain10NJG 1, NJG 5Knight's Cross
Siegfried EngferFirst lieutenant58JG 3, JG 1Knight's Cross
Albert Espenlaub *Sergeant Major14JG 27
Wolf-Udo Ettel *First lieutenant124[13]JG 3, JG 27Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
KIA 17 July 1943
Heinz Ewaldlieutenant84JG 5, JG 52Knight's Cross
Wolfgang Ewaldmajor78 (+1 in Spain)JG 52, JG 3Knight's Cross

F [edit | edit source]