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Kurt-Werner Brändle
Kurt Brändle
Born (1912-01-19)19 January 1912
Died 3 November 1943(1943-11-03) (aged 31)
Place of birth Ludwigsburg
Place of death west of Amsterdam
Buried at Ysselsteyn, Netherlands
(Block CW-row 1-grave 25)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1937 – 1943
Rank Major
Unit JG 53, JG 3
Commands held II./JG 3
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves

Kurt-Werner Brändle (born 19 January 1912 in Ludwigsburg, Württemberg – Killed in action 3 November 1943 west of Amsterdam, Netherlands) was a German former Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves during World War II. 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.


In 1940 Brändle flew as an Oberleutnant with II./Jagdgeschwader 53 (JG 53—53rd Fighter Wing) and achieved 7 victories in the West and over the English Channel. His 1st victory was a Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 south of Sedan on 13 May 1940. By February 1942 Hauptmann (Captain) Brändle was Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of 5./JG 53 based in Comiso, Italy, flying fighter operations against Malta, claiming another 7 victories over the Southern Front.

In May 1942 his first known Soviet victory was a Polikarpov R-5 on 20 May 1942, and he became Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) II./Jagdgeschwader 3 (JG 3—3rd Fighter Wing) the same month, and in August took over I Gruppe. When he was awarded the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross in July 1942 having flown 470 missions and with 49 victories to his credit. In August 1942 he was awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross with his total at 100 victories.

Kurt Brändle was killed in action on 3 November 1943 west of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Brändle attacked a medium bomber formation after he had shot down two P-47 Thunderbolts. It is assumed that he was shot down in his Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 by Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) fighters under the command of Wing Commander Lloyd Chadburn. His body was later washed ashore near Zandvoort on 30 December 1943 and was buried in Amsterdam on 14 January 1944.

Brändle was officially credited with shooting down 180 enemy aircraft in more than 700 combat missions, with 164 claimed on the Eastern front.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Thomas 1997, p. 70.
  2. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 56.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 238.
  • 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. 
  • 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 (1997) (in German). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K]. Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. 

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