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Horst Hannig

Horst Hannig
Born 13 November 1921
Frankenstein, Lower Silesia
Died Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter. (aged 21)
near Rocquancourt, Normandy
Buried at German War Cemetery at St. Desir-de-Lisieux
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1939–43
Rank Oberleutnant (posthumously)
Unit JG 54, JG 2 "Richthofen"
Commands held 7./JG 54, 2./JG 2
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Horst Hannig (13 November 1921 – 15 May 1943) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and posthumous recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub) 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. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat.[1] Hannig is credited with 98 aerial victories claimed in over 350 combat missions. He was killed in action following combat with Royal Air Force (RAF) Spitfire's on 15 May 1943.


  • Career 1
  • Awards 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Born in 1921 in Frankenstein, Lower Silesia, Hannig joined the military service in the Luftwaffe as a Fahnenjunker (officer cadet) in October 1939. He was posted to the 6./Jagdgeschwader 54 "Grünherz" (JG 54—54th fighter wing) in early 1941.[2] His brother, Walter Hannig, received the German Cross in Gold (Deutsches Kreuz in Gold) on 28 April 1943 as an observer with Aufklärungsgruppe (reconnaissance group) 4.(F)/14 of the Luftwaffe.[3] Horst Hannig claimed his first aerial victory, a Tupolev SB-2, on the first day of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941.[4] He achieved his first 30 victories up to November 1941. On 9 May 1942, Leutnant (second Lieutenant) Hannig was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) having flown over 200 operations and claiming 48 victories. He and Leutnant Hans Beißwenger received the Knight's Cross from General der Flieger Helmuth Förster at Siverskaya. On 21 July 1942 he claimed his 54th victory, a Petlyakov Pe-2 reconnaissance aircraft, near Lake Ilmen. It was JG 54 2,500th aerial victory.[5]

Focke Wulf Fw 190 A-4 of I./JG 2, flown by Leutnant Hannig, early 1943

By early 1943 he had achieved 90 kills on the Eastern Front, and became Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of 2./Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen" (JG 2—2nd fighter fing) in Northern Europe. While with 2./JG 2 he achieved another 8 victories, including 1 four-engine United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) heavy bomber shot down on 16 February 1943.

Horst Hannig was killed in action on 15 May 1943 against Royal Air Force (RAF) operations that targeted Caen-Carpiquet Airdrome and Poix Airdrome. He was shot down by Squadron Leader J. Charles leading Yellow Section of No. 611 Squadron, and thus becoming the 1,000th aerial victory of the Biggin Hill Wing. He had managed to bail out but his parachute failed to open.[6] Hannig was posthumously awarded the 364th Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub) on 3 January 1944 and posthumously promoted to Oberleutnant (first Lieutenant). He was interred at the German war cemetery at St. Desir-de-Lisieux, block 3 row 15 grave 445.



  1. ^ According to Scherzer as pilot in the 5./JG 54.[9]


  1. ^ Spick 1996, pp. 3–4.
  2. ^ a b Obermaier 1989, p. 60.
  3. ^ a b Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 164.
  4. ^ Weal 2007, pp.7–8.
  5. ^ Bergström, Dikov, Antipov and Sundin 2006, p. 100.
  6. ^ Weal 2000, p. 100.
  7. ^ a b Thomas 1997, p. 242.
  8. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 213.
  9. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 365.
  10. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 76.
  • Bergström, Christer; Dikov, Andrey; Antipov, Vlad; Sundin, Claes (2006). Black Cross / Red Star Air War Over the Eastern Front, Volume 3, Everything for Stalingrad. Hamilton MT: Eagle Editions.  
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1941 – 1945] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann.  
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall.  
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). 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] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag.  
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York:  
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag.  
  • Weal, John (2000). Jagdgeschwader 2 'Richthofen'. Oxford, UK:  
  • Weal, John (2007). More Bf 109 Aces of the Russian Front. Oxford, UK:  
  • Frey, Gerhard; Herrmann, Hajo: Helden der Wehrmacht III - Unsterbliche deutsche Soldaten (in German). München, Germany: FZ-Verlag GmbH, 2007. ISBN 978-3-924309-82-4.

External links

  • "Horst Hannig". World War 2 Awards. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  • "Horst Hannig". Lexikon der Wehrmacht (in German). Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
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