Lot 1: THE SURRENDER OF LUFTWAFFE FORCES IN NORTHERN GERMANY, HOLLAND AND DENMARK

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

April 17, 2018
Chesapeake City, MD, US

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Description: THE SURRENDER OF LUFTWAFFE FORCES IN NORTHERN GERMANY, HOLLAND AND DENMARK
Historically important set of documents effecting the surrender, grounding and disarmament of all German military and civilian-owned aircraft of Luftflotte Reich, including Me-262 jet aircraft and the V-1 and V-2 "terror weapons". The grouping consists of three critical documents. The first is an "ausweis", or official identification issued and signed by HANS JURGEN STUMPFF (1889–1968), German general and one of the signatories to Germany''s unconditional surrender, then commander of Luftflotte Reich. In that capacity, Stumpff signs a 1p. oblong 8vo. document emanating from "Headquarters" on May 5, 1945 and advising: "By order of the Armed Forces High Command, Generalmajor Uebe, by proxy of Air Fleet Command Reich, is authorized to conduct surrender negotiations for the Luftwaffe units in the Northern Command Area ...". The second document, 6pp. legal folio in two parts, contains the actual orders to be followed by Luftflotte Reich set forth in the surrender terms agreed to the previous day at Luneberg Heath. The typed document, bearing two holograph additions, was negotiated between R.A.F. Air Vice Marshal VICTOR GROOM and German Generalmajor KLAUS UEBE. The terms dictate the complete disarming and grounding of every flying vehicle, reading in part: "...All German and German controlled aircraft...will be grounded immediately...Their guns will be unloaded and bombs removed...one of the essential aeo-foil surfaces e.g. rudder or elevators, will be removed...The propeller will be removed...[also] gun sights, bomb sights, bomb racks, gun turrets and wireless...[and] segregated from aircraft...All flying bombs [V-1 and V-2] will be immobilised...anti-aircraft guns...will be neutralised immediately...Under no circumstances will guns or equipment be damaged...All small arms including pistols, rifles and carbines, machine guns and knives will be withdrawn...fuses will be detached...all balloons will be hauled down and deflated...all marine craft..will remain in harbor...immediate and total disarmament of all Air Forces..." The document also calls for disclosure within 48 hours of much critical information, including location and strength of all forces; types, numbers and locations of aircraft; details on flak defenses, airfields, landing grounds, sea plane bases, etc., rations on hand, radio and radar capabilities; fuel stocks; all rocket locations, as well as research sites, and so on. The third and final document, 1p. 4to., is the actual agreement to the terms signed at RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force Headquarters, May 5, 1945. Headed: "ORDERS TO THE GERMAN AIR FORCE COMMANDER" and signed by Air Vice Marshal VICTOR GROOM (1898-1990), it reads: "The following Orders are issued on behalf of the Supreme Allied Commander by the Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Second Tactical Air Force, Royal Air Force, to the Commander of the German Air Force in those territories which are included in the unconditional surrender of the German Forces in the Northern Zone". Beneath, Generalmajor KLAUS UEBE (1900-19068), a Knights Cross recipient acting on the aforementioned authority of Gen. Hans Jurgen Stumpff, writes in holograph: "With full awareness of the proceedings. Uebe Generalmajor 5.5.45.". Groom was head of the RAF Air Staff planning for Operation Overlord. As part of his duties there, he accompanied Air Chief Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory to North Africa to study operations and on 8 September 1943 he was promoted to acting air vice marshal. On 8 September 1944 he was promoted to air commodore while acting as air vice marshal. With Uebe''s acceptance of these orders, a full five days before the formal German surrender, the Luftwaffe in north-west Germany, Holland, Denmark, Heligoland and outlying islands was taken completely out of action, permanently, with the stroke of a pen. That same day, RAF fighter squadrons of No. 83 Group escorted several German aircraft to a British air base. One aircraft, refusing to comply, was "splashed" into the North Sea. This historic set of war-ending documents is in overall fine condition.
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