Joachim Brendel

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Joachim Brendel
File:Joachim Brendel.jpg
Joachim Brendel
Born (1921-04-27)27 April 1921
Ulrichshalben near Weimar
Died 7 July 1974(1974-07-07) (aged 53)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Balkenkreuz.svg Luftwaffe
Years of service 1939–45
Rank Hauptmann
Unit JG 51
Commands held 1./JG 51, III./JG 51
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Joachim Brendel (27 April 1921 – 7 July 1974) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and recipient of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). 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. Brendel was credited with 189 aerial victories—that is, 189 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft—claimed in 950 all Eastern Front combat missions, among them 162 ground support missions.[1][2] A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat.[3]


Joachim Brendel was born on 27 April 1921 in Ulrichshalben near Weimar. Brendel began his combat career in 1941 as a Leutnant and Rottenflieger with I./Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51—51st Fighter Wing) on the Russian front. On only his fourth mission he scored his first victory, but had to wait until 31 March 1942 flying another 116 missions to score again. The beginning of 1943 saw a marked change in Brendels performance, by February he had 20 kills to his credit, on the 9 July 1943 he scored his 50th victory. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and on the 22 November 1943. That day, Brendel was credited with his 100th aerial victory. He was the 60th Luftwaffe pilot to achieve the century mark.[4]

He achieved his 150th victory which earning him the Oak Leaves to the Knight' Cross on 14 January 1945 by this time his score stood at 156 kills. By now he had been promoted to the rank of Hauptmann and was Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of III./JG 51. His final victory came on the 25 April 1945. Joachim Brendel finished the War with 189 victories and emerged as JG 51 highest scorer on the Eastern Front, including over 90 heavily armored Ilyushin Sturmoviks.[5]

He died on 7 July 1974 in Cologne.




  1. 1.0 1.1 Obermaier 1989, p. 71.
  2. Spick 1996, p. 228
  3. Spick 1996, pp. 3–4.
  4. Obermaier 1989, p. 243.
  5. Weal 2001, p. 45
  6. 6.0 6.1 Thomas 1997, p. 81.
  7. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 59.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 242.
  9. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 144.
  10. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 94.


  • Aders, Gebhard; Held, Werner (1993). Jagdgeschwader 51 'Mölders' Eine Chronik – Berichte – Erlebnisse – Dokumente (in German). Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-613-01045-1. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Spick, Mike (1996). Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. New York: Ivy Books. ISBN 978-0-8041-1696-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Weal, John (2001). Bf 109 Aces of the Russian Front. Osprey Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-84176-084-6.

External links

  • "Lexikon der Wehrmacht". Joachim Brendel. Retrieved 16 October 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>