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Johannes Wiese
Johannes Wiese
Nickname "Lion of Kuban"
Born (1915-05-07)7 May 1915
Died 16 August 1991(1991-08-16) (aged 76)
Place of birth Breslau, Schlesien
Place of death Kirchzarten
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (to 1945)
West Germany West Germany
Service/branch Heer (1934-1935)
Luftwaffe(1935-1945), (1956-1970)
Years of service 1934-1945, 1956-1970
Rank Oberst
Unit JG 52, JG 77
Commands held 2./JG 52, I./JG 52, JG 77

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
Other work Bundeswehr

Johannes Wiese (7 May 1915 – 16 August 1991) was a German World War II fighter ace who served in the Luftwaffe from 1935 until the end of World War II on 8 May 1945. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. After the war in 1956 he joined the Bundeswehr and attained the rank of Oberstleutnant. He retired on 30 November 1970.


His most successful day was 5 July 1943 when he shot down twelve enemy aircraft in one mission.[1]

Johannes Wiese was officially credited with 133 victories claimed in 480 combat missions. Additionally he had 25 more unconfirmed claims.[1] Among his claims are 70 Il-2 Stormoviks. Soviet fighter pilots therefore greatly respected Wiese, and referred to him as the "Lion of Kuban."

On December 1, 1944, Wiese became Geschwaderkommodore of the JG 77. Only three weeks later he was severely injured when, following ejection at an altitude of more than 9000 meters after combat with British Spitfires, his parachute ruptured 80 meters above ground. He spent the rest of the winter in hospital, and was replaced as commander by Erich Leie. He surrendered to U.S. forces at the end of the war but was released from captivity only weeks later. However, Wiese spent over four years in Soviet POW camps from September 1945 onward, having been denounced by German communists.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Schaulen 2005, p. 140.
  2. Obermaier 1989, p. 62.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Thomas 1998, p. 443.
  4. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 512.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 785.
  6. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 446.
  7. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 79.
  • 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. 
  • 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.; Scherzer, Veit (2001) (in German). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2]. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2005). Eichenlaubträger 1940-1940 Band III Radusch-Zwernemann (in German). Pour le Mérite. ISBN 3-932381-22-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. 
  • 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. 

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Oberstleutnant Johannes Steinhoff
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 77 Herz As
December 1, 1944-December 25, 1944
Succeeded by
Major Siegfried Freytag

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