Walter Grabmann

Walter Grabmann (20 September 1905 – 20 August 1992) was a German general in the Luftwaffe during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany. Grabmann was credited with 7 aerial victories during the Spanish Civil War claimed in 137 combat missions.

Walter Grabmann
Walter Grabmann.jpg
Grabmann resting in a hammock, 1940
Born(1905-09-20)20 September 1905
Died20 August 1992(1992-08-20) (aged 86)
Allegiance Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Service/branchPolice 1924–34
Luftwaffe 1934–45
Commands heldJ/88 (Legion Condor)
ZG 76
3rd Fighter Division
Battles/warsSpanish Civil War
World War II
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross


Grabmann joined the Police force in 1924, learning to fly and serving with the Luftpolizei (Air Police), assigned to Flight Surveillance North Bavaria, Fürth. He then enlisted in the Luftwaffe in October 1934, and served as Adjutant, Jagdgeschwader 134 "Horst Wessel" from March 1936.

From September 1938 to March 1939 Major Grabmann was Commander of Jagdgruppe 88 with the German Condor Legion in Spain, equipped with Heinkel He 51 biplanes and early versions of the Messerschmitt Bf 109. He claimed a Polikarpov I-15, I-16 and an SB-2 bomber all shot down on 23 September 1938. Another SB-2 was downed on 10 October 1938, and a I-16 on 15 October. His last claim (an I-15) was on 4 January 1939.

He returned to Germany in April 1939 as commanding officer of I./Lehrgeschwader 1, equipped with the Messerschmitt Bf 110 heavy fighter.

In July 1939 he served with V.(Z)/LG 1. Whilst providing cover for the Heinkel H 111Ps of II./Kampfgeschwader 1, LG 1 encountered Polish PZL P.11s of the Brygada Pościgowa over Warsaw on the evening of 1 September 1939. Major Grabmann was wounded in this encounter when his Bf 110 was hit by fire from a Polish PZL P.11 fighter.

On 15 April 1940 Grabman became CO of Zerstörergeschwader 76. On 18 May 1940 Royal Air Force Hawker Hurricanes shot down 3 Bf 110Cs of ZG 76, including Grabmann, while flying a low-level attack on Douai airfield. He parachuted to safety (his gunner Fw. Krone was killed) and was captured by French troops. Grabmann was rescued six days later by an advancing German panzer column.[1]

He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 14 September 1940. Oberstlt. Grabmann was credited with a further 6 victories during World War II — 1 during the Battle of France and 5 in the Battle of Britain — claimed in about 110 combat missions.

In August 1941 Grabmann commanded Zerstörerschule 2 in Memmingen, and in August 1942 was appointed Fighter Leader for the Holland area (Jafü Holland). During this time Grabmann flew a Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-5, (Werknummer 410054—factory number) "X" as his personal mount. In November 1943 Grabmann became Commander, 3. Jagddivision and then 1. Jagddivision in April 1945.

General Major Grabmann was taken prisoner at the end of the war, and repatriated to Germany in May 1948. He died in Munich on 20 August 1992.



  1. ^ a b Obermaier 1989, p. 120.
  2. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 343.
  • Forsyth, Robert (2011). Aces of the Legion Condor. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84908-347-8.
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1939 – 1945] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7.
  • 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of Zerstörergeschwader 76
15 April 1940 – 31 July 1941
Succeeded by
Oberstleutnant Theodor Rossiwall
Preceded by
Commander of Jagdfliegerführer Norwegen
June 1941 – 31 July 1941
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Kurt-Bertram von Döring
Commander of 3. Jagd-Division
11 November 1943 – 4 April 1945
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Oberst Heinrich Wittmer
Commander of 1. Jagd-Division
5 April 1945 – 29 April 1945
Succeeded by
Oberst Karl-Gottfried Nordmann