Süssmann, Wilhelm.

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Süssmann, Wilhelm.

Süssmann, Wilhelm, born 16-09-1891 in Greifswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, joined on October 25, 1909 as a Fahnenjunker in the infantry regiment “Keith” (1st Upper Silesian) No. 22 of the Prussian Army, where he was promoted to Leutnant on 16-06-1910 and to Oberleutnant on 16-11-1911 . After the beginning of the First World War, he joined the flying troupes. He became a Hauptmann from 18-06-1915 and was awarded two classes of the Iron Cross.  Promoted to Oberstleutnant on 15-07-1918

After the end of the war, the flying squad was dissolved, Süssmann joined on 25-09-1920 as a Hauptmann the security police in Sagan. He remained a police officer until 01-08-1935 and then became a Oberstleutnant in the newly founded Air Force/Luftwaffe.

There he initially served in the Reich Ministry of Aviation (RLM),  before he took part in an observer course at the Air Force School Braunschweig.  On 12-10-1935 he took over duties in the staff of the RLM and on 01-01-1936, he joined the staff of the Air Command I. On 12-03-1936, he took over the leadership of this staff combined with promotion to Oberst on 01-04-1936. Promoted  on 15-07-1918 to Generalmajor

On 01-08-1938, he moved as squadron commander , the top of the Kampfgeschwader 254 until 30-10-1938 as he was succeeded by Oberst Walter Lackner,   when the squadron was renamed in Kampfgeschwader 155. For the duration of the war, Kampfgeschwader 55 flew 54,272 combat operations, dropped 60,938 metric tons of bombs, carried 7,514 metric tons of supplies from 1 September 1939 to 1 October 1944. The Geschwader lost 710 men killed in action and 747 missing. The bombardment on Rotterdam of May 14th 1940 was carried out by approximately 90 Heinkel bombers of the squadron ‘Kampfgeschwader 54 Totenkopf’  , under the command of ‘Geschwaderkommodore’ Oberst Walter Lackner. 600 civilians lost their life. Lackner survived the war and died old age, 85 on 25-09-1976 in Berlin. On his new post Süssmann on 01-01-1939 was promotion to Generalmajor. After he was transferred to the special staff W of the RLM on 16-01-1939, he took over on 01-05-1939 the Kampfgeschwader 55, nickname  “Greif”  as Geschwaderkommodore. For the duration of the war, KG 55 flew 54,272 combat operations, dropped 60,938 metric tons of bombs, carried 7,514 metric tons of supplies from 1 September 1939 to 1 October 1944. The Geschwader lost 710 men killed in action and 747 missing After he had resigned the leadership of the squadron for 08-03-1940, he led the air charge z. b. V. 200th. After that Süssmann was Higher Aviation Training Commander 7, before he took over the 7. Fallschirmjäger-Division (7th Parachute Division  (the future 1st Paratrooper Division) on 01-10-1940 as commander. He was promoted on 01-12-1940 to Generalleutnant. The 7th Air Division prepared in the spring of 1941 with their paratroopers for the air landing on the Greek island of Crete under command of Generalmajor Alfred Sturm.   Generalmajor Alfred Sturm jumped west of Pigis-Airport in Rethymno-Crete (Retimo), and he was captured as a POW on 21-05-1941 from the Greek soldier’s of 4th Infantry Battalion, and delivered to 2/11 HQ. For ten days he was a POW in Pigi Village POWs Camp in a separate place in the camp because he did not like to be together with his soldiers. Alfred Stumm survived the war and died on 08-03-1962, aged 73, in Detmold.

Death and burial ground of Süssmann, Wilhelm.


During the Battle of Crete from 20-05-1941, Süssmann was leader of the Kampfgruppe Mitte and flew in a glider DFS 230 . When the towing vehicle, a Heinkel He 111 of II./KG 26, “Löwengeschwader” Bomber Wing 26 or “Lions’ Wing”  under command of Oberst Alexander Holle,   disengaged the glider near  the island Aegina, it came to a touch between the two, the left wing broke off and the glider plunged to the small island of Aegina. On the impact of the crash Süßmann and his staff, died. Wilhelm Süssman is buried on the Dionyssos-Rapendoza German War Cemetery in Athens. On 16-07-1978, Oberst Alexander Holle, died in Munich, age 80 and was buried with a military honor guard.


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