Walter Sigel

Walter Sigel

Walter Sigel
Born 12 January 1906
Died 8 May 1944(1944-05-08) (aged 38)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer (1934–35)
Luftwaffe (1935–44)
Years of service 1934–44
Rank Oberst
Unit Sturzkampfgeschwader 3
Commands held Sturzkampfgeschwader 3

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Walter Sigel (12 January 1906 – 8 May 1944) was a highly decorated Oberst in the Luftwaffe during World War II, and one of only 882 recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Walter Sigel died on 8 May 1944 after crashing his Fieseler Storch into the Trondheimfjord.

Sigel was the commanding officer of Sturzkampfgeschwader 76 during the Junkers Ju 87 dive bombing demonstration at Neuhammer, present-day Świętoszów, Poland, on 15 August 1939. Observing the demonstration were the senior Luftwaffe commanders, including Generals Hugo Sperrle, Bruno Loerzer, and Wolfram von Richthofen. The lower cloud layer, which was believed to be at 900 metres (3,000 ft), was only 100 metres (330 ft). While Sigel managed to just barely pull out in time, 13 other Ju 87 crews crashed to their death. The event became known as the "Neuhammer Stuka Disaster" (Neuhammer Stuka-Unglück).

Awards and decorations

Wehrmachtbericht reference

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Sunday, 21 June 1942 In der See- und Luftschlacht im Mittelmeer zeichneten sich bei der Zerschlagung der britischen Geleitzüge ein Sturzkampfgeschwader unter Führung des Majors Sigel, die Jagdstaffel des Hauptmanns Belser sowie die Besatzungen von zwei Kampfflugzeugen mit den Kommandanten, Gruppenkommandeur Major Linke, und Oberstleutnant Schulte besonders aus.[5] In the sea and air battle in the Mediterranean a dive bomber wing under the leadership of Major Sigel, the fighter squadron of Captain Belser and the crews of two bombers, with their commanders, group commander Major Linke, and Lieutenant Colonel Schulte distinguished themselves from the rest, in the destruction of British convoys.


  1. ^ According to Scherzer as Gruppenkommandeur of the I./Sturzkampfgeschwader 76.[3]


  1. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 323.
  2. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 401.
  3. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 706.
  4. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 61.
  5. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 170.

External links

  • World War 2
  • Lexikon der Wehrmacht
Military offices
Preceded by
Oberstleutnant Karl Christ
Commander of Sturzkampfgeschwader 3
1 September 1941 – 1 April 1943
Succeeded by
Oberst Kurt Kuhlmey