Josef Kammhuber, born on 19-08-1896 in Tüßling, Bavaria, the son of a farmer. When World War I started he was 18 and joined a Bavarian Engineer Battalion. He experienced the Battle of Verdun in 1916, and was promoted to second lieutenant in 1917. He was allowed to remain in German's new Reichswehr. Kammhuber had continued to rise in the ranks, promoted to Major, Oberleutnant and then Oberst in 1938. After it became clear that the Royal Air Force was starting a massive aircraft building program, Adolf Hitler with Goering (see Hermann Goering) (did you know) decided to match their expansion and proposed a program worth about 60 billion Reichsmarks. The German aircraft industry was incapable of matching this sort of request, due to both construction and material shortages, and the leadership within the Luftwaffe realized it was impossible. The Chiefs of Staff, Jeschonnek (see Jeschonnek), Kammhuber and Stumpff (see Stumpff), then put forth Kammhuber's own plan for about 20 billion RM, production levels which they felt they could meet. Kammhuber, realizing what was going on, put in a request in February 1939 for active duty. Promoted to Major General, he was assigned as Chief-of-Staff of Airfleet 2, and was in this position at the start of the war in September. On 11-01-1940, he was cashiered by Hitler (see Adolf Hitler) (did you know) personally because of the Mechelen Incident.
These officers crashed with the German invasion plans, in Belgium which gave a lot of agitation. Kammhuber was transferred to the Western Front where he became Geschwaderkommodore of a KG 51, a tactical bomber unit. During the French campaign he was shot down and captured and interned in a French POW camp at the age of 44. He was released at the end of the Battle of France in July 1940, and returned to Germany. Once again an officer of the Luftwaffe's Generalstab, in July 1940 he was placed in command of coordinating flak, searchlight and radar units. At the time they were all under separate command and had no single reporting chain, so much of the experience of the different units was not being shared. The result was the XII Fliegerkorps, a new dedicated night-fighting command. At this time, Kammhuber was promoted to Lieutenant General. He organized the night fighting units into a chain known to the British as the Kammhuber Line, in which a series of radar stations with overlapping coverage were layer three deep from Denmark to the middle of France. British intelligence soon discovered the nature of the Kammhuber Line and started studying ways to defeat it. At the time RAF Bomber Command sent in their planes one at a time in order to force the defenses to be spread as far apart as possible, meaning that any one aircraft would have to deal with little concentrated flak. At the same time Kammhuber continued to press for a new dedicated night fighter design, eventually selecting the Heinkel He 219 Uhu after seeing it demonstrated in 1942. Thus in 1943 Kammhuber was transferred to Luftflotte 5 in Norway, in command of a handful of outdated planes. In 1945 he was re-appointed to command of the night fighters, at this point a largely ceremonial position considering the state of the Third Reich at that time. After the fall of the Reich in May 1945, Kammhuber was held by the United States, but he was released in April 1948 without charges being brought against him. He died on 25-01-1986, at the old age 89 in Munich and is buried on the Westfriedhof of Munich close to the graves of Hitler’s pilot Hans Baur (see Baur), the murdered SA leaders Ernst Röhm (see Röhm), Edmund Heines (see Heines), Generals Alfred Genz (see Genz) and Rudolf Trauch (see Trauch), SA leader Johannes Schweighart (see Schweighart), the founder of the NSDAP Anton Drexler (see Drexler) and SS Oberführer Otto Bradfisch (see Bradfisch).