03 April 2015

Press Conference after the Air Battle in Wilhelmshaven

Image size: 1600 x 1063 pixel. 854 KB
Date: Wednesday, 20 December 1939
Place: Berlin, Germany
Photographer: Unknown

Berlin, 20 December 1939 – a press conference organized by Dr. Otto Dietrich of Goebbels’ Propaganda Ministry on the occasion of a great victory over British bombers achieved by German fighters over the Wilhelmshaven area on 18 December 1939. The German military counted over 50 bombers, and after the fight claimed to have shot down 36. The numbers were exaggerated, but they indicate the scale of the air battle, and of course the Germans naturally wanted to exploit it! The conference was a great success, many foreign journalists arrived to ask questions or to listen to stories told by participants. Seated at the table are pilots who fought in this battle. On the extreme right is Oberleutnant Wolfgang Falck of I.Gruppe / Zerstörergeschwader 76 (ZG 76); third from the right is Oberstleutnant Carl Schumacher, Gruppenkommandeur Jagdgeschwader 1 (JG 1); between Falck and Schumacher is Dr. Otto Dietrich in SS-Gruppenführer uniform; and third from the left is Oberleutnant Johannes Steinhoff of 10.(N)Staffel / III.Gruppe / Jagdgeschwader 26 (JG 26) “Schlageter”. Both Oberleutnants (Falck and Steinhoff) claimed two victories in the battle, while the commander of the whole formation (Schumacher) claimed one.

Source :
Book "Luftwaffe at War: Luftwaffe Aces of the Western Front" by Robert Michulec

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