History of Pardubice airfield

Flak-Ersatz-Abteilung 99

From 1940 the air defence of Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren was secured by FLAK Gruppe Böhmen. This unit was divided into:

  • FLAK Untergruppe Pilsen (Plzen and West Bohemia),
  • FLAK Untergruppe Elbe (sectors Kralupy, Kladno, Praha, Kolin, Domasin, Pardubice),
  • FLAK Untergruppe Mähren (sectors Brno a Moravska Ostrava).
Flakabteilung was basic unit of German air defence. It included 4-6 batteries. There were various kinds of Flakabteilungs. Kind of Flakabteilung depended on kind of batteries which it included.
  • heavy flak battery (German guns calibre 88, 105 a 128mm, ex-service Czech guns calibre 75mm)
  • combined flak battery (combined from heavy and light flak batteries)
  • light flak battery (light guns calibre 20mm, medium guns calibre 37-55mm)
  • searchlight battery (searchlights with diameters 150 and 200 cm, sound detecting systems- Horchgeräte)
  • balloon battery (this kind of Flakabteilung wasn’t deployed at Protektorat during WW2)
  • training battery
Flakregiment was a superior unit to Flakabteilung. Flakregiment consisted of stab unit and four Flakabteilungs. The first and the second Flakabteilungs were equipped with anti-aircraft guns, the third was equipped with searchlights and the fourth was training unit. Flakabteilungs equipped with AA guns were equipped with minor searchlights (diameter 60cm) too. The warning duty – Luftnachtrichtenabteilung – belonged to Flakregiment too.

During the war, Flak-Ersatz-Abteilung 99 was barracked in Pardubice.

It was formed in 1939 in Oggau near Eisenstadt (Luftgau XVII). In 1941 it was renamed as leichte Flak-Ersatz-Abteilung 99, after that unit left Oggau and moved to Pardubice. Unit was barracked in Hurka casern, which was named as "Richthofen Kaserne" during the time of occupation.

Richthofen - Kaserne Pardubitz

Photo of Hurka casern in 1942. German soldier keeps guard at the gateway of "Richthofen - Kaserne".
Source: My collection

On July the 7th of 1942 the unit was divided into leichte Flak-Ausbildungs-Abteilung 99 and leichte Flak-Ersatz-Abteilung 99. Shortly afterwards leichte Flak-Ausbildungs-Abteilung 99 was renamed as leichte Flak-Abteilung 691 moved to Antwerpen. Leichte Flak-Ersatz-Abteilung 99 continued at Pardubice. It was subordinated to Flak-Ersatz-Regiment 6/Luftgau XVII.

Ltn. Tschiersky Wm. Voigt Wm. Lorenz

Members of 4./lei Flak Ausb Abt.99 - Ltn. Tschiersky "Bubi", Wm. Voigt and Wm. Lorenz "Der Spiess"
Source: My and Martin Veverka’s collections.

Many ID tags with stamped ITAL. were found. I originally assumed that Italian soldiers were the considerable part of the unit. It seems that the reality was a bit different. As far as I know any ID tag marked ITAL. and assigned to soldier was not presented yet. The unit was probably prepared for the training of Italian soldiers, but due to the progress of the war it was cancelled.
If someone from the readers of this article has got stamped ID tag of this unit with ITAL. and soldier's number, I will be pleased if you will contact me. Thank you.

Source: My and Martin Veverka’s collections.

[1] The Luftwaffe, 1933-45
[2] „Mustangy nad Protektoratem“ - Jiri Rajlich; MBI,Praha 1997; ISBN 80-902238-1-8 (Czech)
[3] „Letecká válka nad Čechami 1944-1945“ - Stanislav Kokoška, Jan Němeček, Lubor Václavů; Východočeské muzeum v Pardubicích; without ISBN (Czech)