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Dietrich Peltz
File:Dietrich Peltz.jpg
Dietrich Peltz
Born (1914-06-09)9 June 1914
Died 10 August 2001(2001-08-10) (aged 87)
Place of birth Gera
Place of death Munich
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer (1934–1935)
Luftwaffe (1935–1945)
Years of service 1934–1945
Rank Generalmajor
Unit StG 2, KG 77
Commands held IX. Fliegerkorps

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Generalmajor Dietrich Peltz (born 9 June 1914 in Gera – died 10 August 2001 in Munich) was a German World War II Luftwaffe bomber pilot. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.


Peltz joined the army in 1934, switched over to the airforce and underwent pilot training in 1935. After training, he flew in the Polish and French campaigns with Sturzkampfgeschwader 76 (StG 76—76th ground assault wing), flying 102 missions on the Junkers Ju-87 Stuka before converting to the Junkers Ju-88 with II./KG 77 in the summer of 1940. He was awarded the Knight's Cross in October 1940.

In March 1941, Hauptmann Peltz was elevated to Gruppenkommandeur of II Gruppe. In the late summer of 1941, the unit was transferred to East Prussia, to fly missions against targets in the Northern sector, including the Leningrad-Moscow railway line, canals and lock gates. Here, Peltz was instrumental in developing accurate bombing techniques, allowing his group to achieve success against precision targets which previously could be achieved only with much larger bomber forces. Peltz was awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross in December 1941.

In late 1941, Major Peltz was made Commanding Officer of the Bomber Unit Commanders School at Foggia, where all operational bomber commanders were trained in the latest operational techniques. Peltz was then tasked to raise I./KG 66, a unit to develop the use of pioneering types of precision guided munitions then under development in Germany, such as the Fritz X and Henschel Hs 293, against Allied shipping. Operational by October 1942, this unit was sent to Norway against the Allied Murmansk convoys, but only three weeks later was switched to bases in Sardinia to counter the Allied 'Torch' invasion.

Oberst Peltz then became the first Commander, Bomber Force and Inspector of Combat Flight. Peltz received the Swords to the Knight's Cross on 23 July 1943 and he was commander of the IX. Fliegerkorps in August 1943.

In January 1944, Dietrich Peltz, 29 years old, was elevated to Major General, became Angriffsführer (attack leader) of England, and took command of Luftwaffe bomber forces in Operation Steinbock, the retaliatory bombing of England, referred to as the "Baby Blitz", which ended in heavy losses for German bombers. In December and early January, Peltz carefully husbanded together some 500 aircraft including Ju 88s, Ju 188s, Do 217s, Me 410s and the troublesome He 177A onto French airfields to form IX Fliegerkorps. The attacks dwindled to a halt in late May after heavy losses to the Germans, with little to show for the effort.

In the autumn of 1944, the bomber crews of IX Fliegerkorps were remustered as infantry or as fighter pilots. Peltz, (somewhat controversially, as he was a bomber expert) became the commander of the II. Jagdkorps which saw action during the Ardennes offensive.


Reference in the Wehrmachtbericht

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
26 June 1944 In der Nacht vom 24. zum 25. Juni wurden nach abschließenden Meldungen vier große feindliche Kriegsschiffe und ein Frachter durch Bombentreffer schwer beschädigt. Ein seit langem im Kampf gegen England stehendes Fliegerkorps unter Führung von Generalmajor Peltz hat sich hierbei besonders ausgezeichnet.[6] According to concluding reports four large enemy war ships and one freighter were damaged in the night of 24 to 25 June. An Air Corps, which has been fighting England for a long time, under the leadership of Generalmajor Peltz distinguished itself in these actions.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Berger 2000, p. 265.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Obermaier 1976, p. 41.
  3. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 334.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 56.
  5. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 41.
  6. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 3, p. 138.
  • Berger, Florian (1999) (in German). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges [With Oak Leaves and Swords. The Highest Decorated Soldiers of the Second World War]. Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Kaiser, Jochen (2010) (in German and English). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kampfflieger—Band 1 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Bomber Fliers—Volume 1]. Bad Zwischenahn, Germany: Luftfahrtverlag-Start. ISBN 978-3-941437-07-4. 
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1976) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe 1939–1945 Band II Stuka- und Schlachtflieger [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe 1941 – 1945 Volume II Dive Bomber and Attack Aircraft]. Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-021-3. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). 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 [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1998) (in German). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z]. Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. 
  • (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 3, 1 January 1944 to 9 May 1945]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of Angriffsführer England
March 24, 1943 – April, 1943
Succeeded by
Oberstleutnant Willy Bauss
Preceded by
General Stefan Fröhlich
Commander of IX. Fliegerkorps
September 4, 1943 – November 12, 1944
Succeeded by
Preceded by
General Alfred Bülowius
Commander of II. Jagdkorps
October 15, 1944 – January 26, 1945
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Karl-Eduard Wilke
Preceded by
Commander of IX. Fliegerkorps
January 26, 1945 – May 8, 1945
Succeeded by

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