Military Terms used in Air Combat Over Europe in World War Two


AA Antiaircraft. (Flak)
Abschittsführer Section leader. a/c Aircraft. AGLT Automatic Gun Laying Turret. AN- Beam-radio range navigation/homing method.
ARS Air Reporting Service. "Benito" Fighter direction based on trackingby ground radars, first introduced in 1941. Unlike the "Egon" system, it did not require the fighters to transmit a signal. Used by night fighters and bombers (with FuG-17Z) as well. "Bernhardine" Radar system based on ground transmissions and receivers onboard night fighters (especially Ju 88Gs). BF Bayerische Flugaeugwerke (later Messerschmitt). Black Widow The Northrop P-61, the standard USAAF night fighter in the European Theater of Operations in 1944—45, replacing the Beaufighter. CinC GAF Goering. CinC Sigs Comm Martini CO Commanding Officer. Commentary The Reichsj4gerwelle (lit., Reich Fighter Pilots’ Waveband)—a running commentary on the tactical situation in the Defense of the Reich. Rather than vectoring specific formations, it allowed formations to navigate towards the enemy and be warned of major threats. Other formations, notably I. Jagdfliegerkorps, had their own commentary as well. Dark nightfighting Night-fighter tactics carried out independently from searchlights. Deckungsschwarm Cover flight. D/F Direction-finder/finding. E/A Enemy aircraft E( N)JG Reserve/Replacement (Night) Fighter Geschwader. "Egon" A navigation system, similar to the British "Oboe" system.
Elfe Radar blind-firing device for cannon. Not used operationally.
"Epsilon"
Codename for Y-Gerat (q.v.) ground and air stations. Erganzung Reserve/replacement unit.  
"Ersding"
Codename for FuG 25—an 1FF transponder.
Erpobung Test or evaluation. f.i . for instance
Fighter Command Jagdkorp.r,the Luftwaffe fighter force.
"Fishpond" Codename for RAF "Monica" bomber tail warning radar. Flensburg" Codename for Telefunken FuG 227 passive sensor intended to detect RAE "Monica" tail warning radars.
Fliegerfuhrer The air officer commanding a specific operation—usually also a commander of one of the units involved. Fliegerdivision Air division. A"Jagd"prefix indicates one mainly of fighter unts.
Fliegerkorps Air corps. An operational formation composed of an unspecified number of units, but usually multiple Geschwader, several hundred aircraft strong. Could be under a Lufiflottecommand or, as in the case of von Kammhuber’s I. Flie&erkorpsXll,independent.
Freya German radar and radio beacon, with a range of about 120 km.
FuG 16ZY Standard German VHF fighter radio system, 39—47 MHz. Used
for R/T, W/T, it provided "Y control". In addition to standard air—air and air—ground frequencies, it would also receive theReichsj4genvelle.FuG-16=radio alone.
FuG 25 1FF equipment, codenamed "Zwilling"(Twin) and using a characteristic ioop antenna.
FuG 125 Lorenz VHF signal beacon receiver, codenamed "Hermine." Fuhrungsstab Operations staff of the OKL (q.v.).
FW Focke-Wuif G 1 A mechanical turbo supercharger. GAF German Air Force (i.e., theLuftwaffi).
General der Jagdflieger Inspector of Fighters, aWaffingeneral(q.v.);not a rank. Had responsibitity for readiness, training, and tactics rather than an operational command. This was Galland’s post from November 1941 to January 1945.
General Staff Officer A member of the German General Staff, a small body whose members received extensive training and provided almost all the Army’s general officers. Generalfeidmarshall A German rank equivalent to General of the Army (US) or Marshal of the Royal Air Force(British). Generalleutnant A German rank equivalent to Major General (US) or Air Vice Marshal (British).
Generalmajor A German rank equivalent to Brigadier General (US) or Air Commodore (British).
Generaloberst A German rank equivalent to General (US) or Air Chief Marshal (British).
Gen. Kdo. Generalkommando.The general officer commanding, orheadquarters, followed by the formation. Thus, "Gen. Kdo. I Fighter Corps" was Schmid or his headquarters.
Gefechtsverbafld Combat formation. The standard tactical formation could range from a few fighters to multiple Gruppen formations of about 100 aircraft. Formations grew larger to meet large daylight bomber raids.
Geschwader A Luftwaffeunit equivalent to awing, and usually composed of three or moreGruppen. Geschwader Z.b.V. Wing-sized force of miscellaneous units.
GM Nitrous oxide. Gruppe A Luftwaffeunit which, in the fighter force, was composed of between 40 and 80 aircraft; three or more made up aGeschwader(q.v.). Identified by a roman numeral and the designation of its parentGeschwader(e.g., I./NJG 6), or, if independent by Arabic numerals.
GruppenkOmman CO of aGruppe. Hauptmafln German rank equivalent to a Captain (US) or a Flight Lieutenant (British).
Helle Nachtjagd Light nightfighting (q.v.)
"Hermiile" Codename for FuG 125 VHF beacon receiver (q.v.).
"Himmelblatt" The original system of ground controlled interception by night fighters directed by ground-mounted radars and fighter-specific voice commands R/T, Four-Poster Bed).
HptmHauptmaflfl(q.v.)
HQ headquarters H2S British bomber radar used for navigation and bombing through overcast. Known as"Rntterdam Geral'to the Germans, from the location of first one recovered. H2X US-built version of H2S.
i.G . On General Staff duties(im Generalsstabdien4
Industry fighters Independent flights of fighters kept at aircraft factories in the early stages of the bomber offensive. Manned by test pilots during air attacks.
Jafu Jagdfurhrer.Area fighter leader. Jagddivisioflen Fighter division. Jagdfliegerfurhrer Fighter leader. JagdkorpS Fighter corps. Jagdwaffe LuftwaffeFighter Force.
Jagdstab Staff of theGeneral der Jagdflieger.
JG Jagdgeschwader.Fighter wing. JK Jagdkorps(q.v.)
JLO Jagerleitoffizzer.Fighter Control Officer.
j.p . jet powered.
Kette Three-plane tactical formation, usually flown in a"V." Kommando Independent detachment, often named for its commander or base.
Kommodore ( Kdre ) Commanding Officer of a Geschwader. Kommandeur Commanding Officer of a Gruppe. Kompanie Company or squadron. Lehr Instructional. L.Fl.K LziftflotteHQ. Lichtenstein B/C Telefunken-designed FuG 202, the first German AT radar. Four large nose-mounted antennas. Used by the Nachtjagd.
Lichtenstein C Teleftinken-designed FuG 212. Simplified version of FuG 202.
"Light" Night-Fighting Night-fighting tactics carried out in cooperation with searchlights. See the chapters by Kammhuber and Schmid for details.
Luftflotte A formation of Fliegerkorps or multiple Geschwader of different types. Roughly equivalent to a USAAF numbered air force.
MG 131 13mm machine gun. MG 151 15mm (later 20mm) cannon. "Mickey" Codename for the USAAF H2X radar, a version of the RAF’s H2S. Used for radar-aimed bombing and navigation.
Much Generaeldmarschall ErhardMilch, Director General of Equipment for theLuftwaffefrom November 1941 to May 1944. Sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for war crimes involving use of slave labor.
Molders Oberst Werner Molders, an ace with 115 victories and a keen tactician. Served as General der Jagdflieger. Killed in a crash in November 1941. Mosquito De Havilland Mosquito, an RAF twin-engine light bomber, fighter, and reconnaissance aircraft. Used for Pathfinder and diversionary attacks over Germany.
MW5O Methanol-water injection.
Luftgau Air zone. Used as an administrative and support command echelon pre-war.
LW Luftwaffe,i.e., the German Air Force.
Nachrichten Signals (including radar).
Nafu Signals unit.
"Naxos" Codename for Telefunken FuG 350 passive sensor intended to detect RAF H25 bombing and navigation radars.
NJG Nachtjagdgeschwader.Night-Fighter Wing. NVG Martini , signal and radar chief, OKL (q.v.).
Ob.d.L . OKL (q.v.)
Oberleutnant German rank equivalent to First Lieutenant (US) or Flying Officer (British).
Oberst German rank equivalent to Colonel (US) or Group Captain (British). OKL Oberkommando der Luftwaffe. Air Force High Command. 0KW Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. Armed Force High Command.
Ops Operations
"Pip Squeak" RAFradio system used in 1940 to track airborne fighters in areas not covered by radar. Ground stations triangulated short transmissions.
Planspiel Map wargame to test out alternative plans. P/W Prisoner of war. QMG Quartermaster General. Much broader staff function than US Quartermaster. RAF Royal Air Force.
Reich Greater Germany, including both the post-Versailles borders and territory annexed from neighboring countries, but not areas only under military occupation. Rotte Two-plane tactical formation, usually flown by a leader and wingman. Rotterdam Gerät German codename for H2S radar (q.v.). RP rocket projectile
R/T Radio (voice) Telephone
RTU Replacement Training Unit
RU rendezvous.
"Saw Mill" Allied codename for SN-2 (q.v.). Also SM-2.
Scanner AT radar. Schwarm Four-plane tactical formation, usually flown as a "finger four." SE single-engine(d).
Seeburg Tisch Seeburg Table. Plotting board showing radar plots of both friendly and enemy aircraft. See Karnmhuber’s chapters for details. SN 2 FuG 220 . Improved Telefunken Lichtenstelfl radar.
"Spanner"
AEG-designed experimental IR detector.
Sperrle
General Hugo Sperrle, commander of Luftwaffe Reich , 1944—45. Spoof Service Allied designation for German camouflage and diversionary efforts. Included both the construction of dummy targets on the ground and the use of misleading and jamming transmissions. Stab - Prefix of a unit or formation size, indicating the staff of a unit or a subunit of aircraft flown by that staff. Stab Staff (of a unit).
Staffel Unit of about 9—16 aircraft. Three or more usually made up a Gruppe (q.v.).
Staka Staffel kapitan. Commanding officer of a Staffel.
SturmgrUPPe Fighter group dedicated to the anti-bomber mission, comprising fighters with additional armament, usually external.
Sturmjäger Single-engine, anti-bomber fighter unit, usually equipped with up-armed and up-armored FW 190s.
TAF Tactical Air Force. "Tame Boar" Night-fighter operations with ground control but without the precise GCI of the "Hinimelblatt" (q.v.). TE twin-engine(d) T/O table of organization TOE Table of Organization and Equipment. A unit’s war establishment, indicating the personnel, equipment, and subordinate unitsit is supposed to have under its command. USAAF US Army Air Forces. Became US Air Force (USAF) in 1947. Verteidigungszone Air defense zone. Waffengeneral A position such as General der Jagdfke,ger (and its counterparts for the nightfighter, bomber and ground attack forces), concerned with a  specific force rather than a particular operational unit. Could be held by a  colonel. Water-methanol injection See MW5O. "Wild Boar" Night-fighter operations without ground control.
Wilde Sau
"Wild Boar" (q.v.). "Window" Original wartime name for chaff—strips of metal dropped from aircraft to create spurious radar reflections. W/L Wireless. W/T Wireless telegraphy (Morse). Wurzburg Short-range ground radar, used for fire control. "Y" Standard method of fighter guidance by VHF radio, using direction- finding from the ground on signals transmitted by an aircraft (the aircraft would receive  signals transmitted from the ground). Capable of providing both range and bearing. Y-Gerät Equipment for using "Y" guidance on German aircraft. "Y" Service Allied designation for the monitoring of enemy radio transmissions. Zahme Sau "Tame Boar" (q.v.) z.b.V. zur besonderen Venvendung (for special duties). Zerstörer Twin-engine day fighter. ZG Zerstorergeschwader (twin-engine day-fighter wing). Ia Operations officer or section on a German staff, equivalent to a USAAF A-3 or S-3. Ic Intelligence officer or section on a German staff, equivalent to a USAAF A-2 or S-2.