Military Wiki
Joachim Schlichting
Born (1914-02-01)1 February 1914
Died 7 July 1982(1982-07-07) (aged 68)
Place of birth Kassel, Germany
Place of death Basel, Switzerland
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (to 1945)
West Germany West Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe (Wehrmacht)
Bundeswehr Kreuz.svg Luftwaffe (Bundeswehr)
Years of service – 1972
Rank Major (Wehrmacht)
Oberst (Bundeswehr)
Unit Condor Legion
Commands held I./JG 1, III./JG 27

Spanish Civil War
World War II

Awards Spanienkreuz in Gold mit Schwertern und Brillanten
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Relations Erhard Milch (father in law)

Major Joachim Schlichting (1 February 1914 – 7 July 1982) was a German Spanish Civil War and World War II Luftwaffe Ace and a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.


Joachim Schlichting joined the pre-war Luftwaffe, and as a Oberleutnant was Staffelkapitän of 2. Staffel, Jagdgruppe 88 of the Condor Legion from 6 September 1937 to 28 May 1938, while on his tour of duty in Spain.[1] During that time he scored 5 victories (all over I-16 fighters) and was awarded the Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords and Diamonds upon his return on 6 June 1938.[2] Promoted to Hauptmann, on 1 July he was appointed Staffelkapitän of the specialist 2(leJ)/LehrGeschwader Greifswald (the single-engine fighter squadron of the air-force testing unit). Renamed 2(J)/Lehrgeschwader 2 in November 1938, he led the unit in the Polish campaign when war started in September 1939.

On 1 November 1939 he was transferred as Geschwader Adjutant of the newly formed Jagdgeschwader 27 under Geschwaderkommodore Max Ibel. He was promoted again on 1 February 1940, to lead I./Jagdgeschwader 1 as Gruppenkommandeur. In the campaign against France he shot down a Bristol Blenheim on 12 May and a LeO 45 on 6 June. At the end of the campaign (on 5 July) the unit was redesignated III./JG 27. In the Battle of Britain he claimed his 8th victory (a Spitfire of 152 Squadron ; S/L P. Devitt returned to base, damaged) over Portland on 25 July 1940.

Schlichting was shot down flying Bf 109E (Werknummer 1380 — factory number) by Flight Lieutenant Witold Urbanowicz of No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron off the coast of Shoeburyness, Essex on 6 September 1940.[Notes 1] Although badly burned, Schlichting escaped by parachute and was held as prisoner of war for the duration of the war.[4]

The presentation of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) was made over a year later on 31 October 1941 in British captivity.[5] It recognised his outstanding commitment as a leader to his duties as fighter escort to the bombers, at the expense of personal success in air combat. Schlichting was promoted from Hauptmann to Major on 1 November 1941, while in captivity in England.

His 8 victories came in over 100 combat missions. After World war II he joined the Bundeswehr of the Federal Republic of Germany and served as the Chief of Staff of the 5. Luftwaffendivision (5th Air Division of the Bundeswehr) in 1963.



No Date Time Unit & Airfield Location / Planquad Claimed Aircraft Source / Comments[7]
1 23 Sep 1937 ? 2./J 88 - ? Spain I-16 -
2 29 Nov 1937 ? 2./J 88 - ? Spain I-16 -
3 7 Feb 1938 ? 2./J 88 - ? Spain I-16 -
4 21 Feb 1938 ? 2./J 88 - ? Spain I-16 -
5 10 Mar 1938 ? 2./J 88 - ? Spain I-16 -
6 12 May 1940 10:40 I./JG 1 - Gymnich Maastricht area Blenheim OKL & Prien/Bock
7 6 Jun 1940 ? I./JG 1 - Guise Roye LeO 451 OKL & Prien/Bock
8 25 Jul 1940 12:20 III./JG 27 - Carquebut S of Portland Spitfire C.2036/II Anerk Nr10; OKL

See also

  • List of Spanish Civil War air aces


  1. Internet based sources credit Witold Urbanowicz with the aerial victory.[3]


  1. Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries website.
  2. Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  3. Witold Urbanowicz @ World War 2 Awards
  4. Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries website.
  5. Weal 2003, p. 40.
  6. Scherzer 2007, p. 665.
  7. Aces of the Luftwaffe website.
  • 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. 
  • Forsyth, Robert (2011). Aces of the Legion Condor. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84908-347-8. 
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1941 – 1945]. Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit. Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 - 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, 2001. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
  • 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. 
  • Weal, John (2003). Jagdgeschwader 27 'Afrika'. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-84176-538-4.
  • Weal, John (1996). Bf109D/E Aces 1939-41. Oxford: Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-85532-487-3.

External links

Military Offices held

Military offices
Preceded by
Oberleutnant Günther Lützow
Squadron Leader of 2.J/88
6 September 1937 – 28 May 1938
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Fritz Schleif
Squadron Leader of 2(le.J)/LG Greifswald
1 July 1938 – 1 November 1938
Succeeded by
renamed 2.(J)/LG 2
Preceded by
Squadron Leader of 2.(J)/LG 2
1 November 1938 – 1 November 1939
Succeeded by
Oberleutnant Friedrich von Wangerov
Preceded by
Major Bernhard Woldenga
Group Commander of I./JG 1
13 February 1940 – 5 July 1940
Succeeded by
renamed III./JG 27
Preceded by
Group Commander of III./JG 27
5 July 1940 – 6 September 1940
Succeeded by
Hptm Max Dobislav

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