Operation Götz von Berlichingen

(16th century German knight)

This was a German component of ‘Eisstoss’ for additional attacks by General Helmuth Förster’s I Fliegerkorps of Generaloberst Alfred Keller’s Luftflotte I on Vitse Admiral Vladimir F. Tributs’s Baltic Fleet and its bases at Kronshtadt and Leningrad at the head of the Gulf of Finland (20/30 April 1942).

Following ‘Froschlaich’, ‘Götz von Berlichingen’ comprised further German air attacks on 20, 23, 24, 25, 27 and 30 April reinforced by the shelling of German army batteries against the minelayer Marti and destroyers Silnyi, Strashnyi and Serdityi on 20 April, the destroyer Storozhevoi on 23 April, the cruisers Kirov and Maksim Gorkiy, minelayer Marti, destroyers Grozyashchiy, Silnyi and Storozhevoi, submarine K-51, and 10 other vessels on 24 April, the submarine rescue ship Kommuna, tanker N. Ostrovsky and hulk of the old cruiser Admiral Butakov on 25 April, and the submarine M-90 on 30 April. On 27 April the 11,000-ton training ship Svir was also destroyed by air attack.

In total, the I Fliegerkorps flew 596 missions against Leningrad during April, and in the same month Luftflotte I flew 9,047 missions in support of Generalfeldmarschall Georg von Küchler’s Heeresgruppe ‘Nord’, in the process losing 29 aircraft.