Aschenbrenner, Heinrich, born 08-07-1895 in Eisenack, at the age of 19, was accepted into the Army Reserves and became a recruit in the II. Recruitment-Depot of the 164th Infantry-Regiment. He was an active officer throughout World War I and remained in the new 10 divisions Reichswehr between the two world wars. Only 8 Infantry and 2 Calvalry division were allowed by the Allied. Retired from Army-Service since 30-09-1931 and he was accepted in Goering’s (Did you know)
Luftwaffe and was teacher with the Flying Training Courses in Braunschweig. After several commands, Aschenbrenner was Inspector for Foreign Personnel East, from 28-06-1944 until 08-05-1945. He became the rank of Generalmajor on 01-06-1939 and Generalleutant on 01-08-1944. Aschenbrenner was awarded with the German Cross in Silver on 21-09-1942. According to a Luftwaffe General Quartermaster report as of 28-09-1939 after the invasion of Poland German forces lost 285 aircraft to all causes, while 279 aircraft were damaged at 10% or above and were written off or required major repairs. Aircrew losses were 189 dead, 126 wounded and 224 missing. For this operation Albert Kesselring
had assigned two air fleets to the campaign. The Norway and Denmark campaign had cost the Luftwaffe 260 aircraft, of which 86 were transports. Personnel casualties numbered 3. According to a Luftwaffe General Quartermaster report as of 28-09-1939 German forces lost 285 aircraft to all causes, while 279 aircraft were damaged at 10% or above and were written off or required major repairs. Aircrew losses were 189 dead, 126 wounded and 224 missing 42 killed and 448 missing. It had destroyed 96 British aircraft (43 in air-to-air combat) and sunk a cruiser, six destroyers, 21 other warships of other sorts and 21 merchant ships. Luftwaffe transport losses, while heavy, helped supply the Army with fuel and supplies in 3.018 missions over the course of the battle. The air battle for France and the low countries had cost the Luftwaffe 28% of its front line strength, some 1.428 aircraft destroyed. A further 488 were damaged, making a total of 36% of the Luftwaffe strength negatively affected. The Luftwaffe still retained a total reserve strength of 10.000 pilots, which would be needed in the battle of attrition that was to follow over the British Isles. The Battle of Britain cost the Luftwaffe 873 fighters and 1.014 bombers. The RAF lost 1.023 fighters. By October 1943 with the Soviet forces pushing the Wehrmacht back toward the Dnieper, the Luftwaffe had some 1.150 of its aircraft, 60 percent of its eastern front strength concentrated around Kiev. By December the Luftwaffe had just 425 operational fighters alone on the eastern front. Between January and May 1944 the Luftwaffe undertook Operation Steinbock, the so-called Baby Blitz, assembling 474 bombers for a campaign against London. The Germans lost 271 Bf 109 and Fw 190s destroyed or captured, and a further 65 damaged as well as 9 JU 88’s destroyed and a further 4 damaged. Pilot losses stood at 143 pilots killed, 70 as prisoners of war, and 21 wounded. The losses represented 25% of the attacking force. An estimated 3 Kommodore, 5 Kommandeure and 14 Staffelkapitäne were lost.
Death and burial ground of Aschenbrenner, Heinrich.
At the end of the war Aschenbrenner landed in Allied captivity, where his roommate was the General of the Luftwaffe, Ulrich Otto Eduard Kessler. Ulrich Kessler was captured on 15-05-1945 while on board U-234 , under command of Kapitainleutnant Johan Heinrich Fehler, by a 15-man boarding party from the destroyer USS Sutton, under command of Lieutenant Thomas William Nazro, The secret operating U-234 was carrying twelve passengers, including a German General, four German naval officers, civilian engineers and scientists and two Japanese naval officers. The German personnel included General Ulrich Kessler of the Luftwaffe, who was to take over Luftwaffe liaison duties in Tokyo; Kay Nieschling, a Naval Fleet Judge Advocate who was to rid the German diplomatic corps in Japan of the remnants of the secret agent Richard Sorge’s spy ring; Heinz Schlicke, a specialist in radar, infrared, and countermeasures and director of the Naval Test Fields in Kiel (later recruited by the US in Operation Paperclip); and August Bringewalde, who was in charge of Me 262 production at Messerschmitt. The Japanese passengers were Lieutenant Commander Hideo Tomonaga of the Imperial Japanese Navy, a naval architect and submarine designer who had come to Germany in 1943 on the Japanese submarine I-29, and Lieutenant Commander Shoji Genzo, an aircraft specialist and former naval attaché. Both Japanees officers committed suicide before taken prisenor. General Ulrich Kessler, survived the war and died 27-03-1983, aged 88, in Bad Urach, Kapitainleutnant Fehler survived aswell and died age 92 on 15-05-1993. Heinz Schlicke died old age 93 on 18-04-2006.
Heinrich was released in March 1948, he lived in the little village of Hausberge and died at the age of 65, on 11-102-1960 in Bielefeld. Aschenbrenner is buried with his wife Frieda, born Eisenack, who died age 76 on 06-07-1973, on the small hilly cemetery of Hausberge.