Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Hermann, Hans-Joachim (Hajo) (1918–)

German air force officer. Born in Kiel on 1 August 1918, Hans-Joachim Hermann grew up with an interest in sailing but was unable to secure a naval commission. He then turned to the army and began training as an infantry officer before transferring to the newly formed Luftwaffe in 1935. His first combat experience was with the Kondor Legion in Spain flying JU-52s. He returned from Spain in 1937 and joined Kampfgeschwader (bomber wing) 4 (KG4). During the 1940 Battle of Britain, Hermann was promoted to captain and took command of Staffel (squadron) 7 KG4 (7.KG4). He was then promoted to major and took command of III Gruppe (group) KG30 (III/KG30).

By the summer of 1943, RAF Bomber Command had discovered how to jam German radar, and as a consequence it gained the upper hand in the night skies over Germany. Hermann suggested that the Germans counter this by allowing single-engine fighters, without benefit of radar, to attack the bombers over the cities where searchlights would illuminate the bombers. Hermann called his unit the Wilde Saus (Wild Boars) for its slashing, aggressive attacks. These proved so successful that Marshal Hermann Göring authorized the formation of three Jagdgeschwaders (fighter wings) of Wilde Saus. This change in tactics could not turn the tide of the air war, however.

Hermann ended the war in command of Rammkommando Elbe, an experimental organization intended to ram bomber formations. Taken prisoner by the Russians at the end of the war, he was held by them until 1955. He earned a law degree in 1965, and is a prominent lawyer in Dusseldorf.

M. R. Pierce


Further Reading
Spick, Mike. Luftwaffe Fighter Aces: The Jagdflieger and Their Combat Tactics and Techniques. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1996.; Toliver, Raymond F., and Trevor J. Constable. Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe. Fallbrook, CA: Aero, 1977.
 

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