JG 26 Schlageter Vol. 1 (Air Miniatures 2)
By Krzysztof Janowwicz
Publisher: Kagero 2002 80 Pages
PDF 42 MB
It can be said that the history ofJagdge-schwader 26 (JG 26) started in 1936 when _ Germany remilitarized Rhineland. On March 7th the commander of III./JG 134, Hptm. Oskar Dinort received an order to take part in a great mystification to convince Western Allies about the military power of the Third Reich. At noon, on the next day, two Staffel from his unit started circling around the cathedral in Koln, while He 51 biplanes landed at the local civilian airport. They were the only airforce units involved in the entire operation of remilitarizing Rhine-land. For JG 26, it was the beginning of its formation.
After the outbreak of the Civil War in Spain, and creation of Legion Condor supporting nationalist troops of General Francisco Franco, many members of II./JG 134 joined in and went to Spain to gain combat experience. In early 1937, JG 234 was formed with II./JG 234 as part of it at the airbase at Diisseldorf. II./JG 234 was commanded by Maj. Fduard Ritter von Schleich, well-known WWI ace, nicknamed „Schwarze Ritter" („The Black Knight"), who was awarded the highest Prussian decoration of Pour le Merite.
At the same time, III./JG 134 stationed at Koln was redesignated as I./JG 234 and received a new commander Hptm. Walter Grabmann. Both units had three Staffel with appropriate numbers: 1./JG 234 - 1, 2 and 3 Staffel (He 51 biplane fighters), and II./JG 234 - 4, 5 and 6 Staffel (Ar 68 biplanes). In mid 1937, I./JG 234 was moved to the new air-base at Koln-Ostheim.
In November of 1937, the second unit in the entire Luftwaffe, JG 234, started training on monoplane Fighters - Messerschmitt Bf 109B. Exactly one year later, the unit received a new designation -JG 132. Its first commander was Obst. Fduard Ritter von Schleich, who until then commanded II./JG 132, of which command took over veteran of combat in Spain, Hptm. Werner Palm.