Max Ibel

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Max Ibel
Born (1896-01-01)1 January 1896
Died 19 March 1981(1981-03-19) (aged 85)
Buried at Munich Waldfriedhof
Field 96—W—40
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany(to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1915–45
Rank Generalmajor (Wehrmacht)
Brigadegeneral (Bundeswehr)
Commands held JG 3, JG 27
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Other work Bundeswehr

Max Ibel (1 January 1896 in Munich – 19 March 1981 in Munich) is credited as one of the creators of the Luftwaffe. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.


Max Ibel was born in 1896 in Munich and joined the Army as a cadet in July 1915, serving with the 1st Bavarian Pioneer battalion, and was commissioned as an officer in August 1916.

When the war ended he remained in the German Army, serving with the First Engineer Battalion in Munich, becoming adjutant in mid 1919. In July 1928 he left the Army for pilot training at the Lipetsk fighter-pilot school in the Soviet Union, where Luftwaffe aircrew were secretly trained. After returning to Germany, in April 1934 Ibel was promoted to Hauptmann, and served as an Instructor with the flight school (Jagdfliegerschule) in Schleissheim. In November 1935 he was promoted to Major. In May 1936 he was transferred to command Jagdgeschwader 134 in Dortmund. From December 1939 to February 1937 Ibel commanded the I gruppe, Jagdgeschwader 232 in Bernburg and in March commanded I./ Jagdgeschwader 135. In November 1938 he was commander of Jagdgeschwader 231 which was later renamed Jagdgeschwader 3. Ibel then was Kommodore of the new Jagdgeschwader 27 (JG 27), and led JG 27 successfully during the Battle of France and Battle of Britain until October 1940. He received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 22 August 1940.

In October 1940 Oberst. Ibel became Kommandeur of Jagdfliegerschule 4 (Fighter Pilot School), where he remained until June 1941, when he was promoted to Generalmajor, and appointed Jagdfliegerführer 3 (Jafü 3) in occupied France. In February 1942 Ibel acted as liaison officer with the Kriegsmarine during the Channel Dash when the Luftwaffe provided effective air cover over the battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen passage through the English Channel.

In December 1942 he became the Jagdfliegerführer West, and in October 1943 assumed command of 2. Jagd-Division, located in northern Germany. During the last two years of the War Ibel was commander of 2. Jagd-Division and at the very end of the War he became Inspector of Jet operations.

After time as a POW with the Western Allies, Ibel was released in 1948. He rejoined the German Air Force in October 1957 as a Brigadier General.




  1. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 239.


  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. 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)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<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)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Potter, John Deane (1982) [1970]. Breakout. Toronto; New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-20749-1.<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)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 3 Udet
May 1, 1939 – September 26, 1939
Succeeded by
Oberleutnant Karl Vieck
Preceded by
Commander of Jagdgeschwader 27 Afrika
October 1, 1939 – October 10, 1940
Succeeded by
Major Bernhard Woldenga
Preceded by
Oberst Werner Junck
Commander of Jagdfliegerführer 3
June 6, 1941 – December, 1941
Succeeded by
Major Karl Hentschel
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Walter Schwabedissen
Commander of 2. Jagd-Division
October 1, 1943 – February 1, 1945
Succeeded by
Oberst Gustav Rödel
Preceded by
Commander of 1. Luftwaffendivision (Bundeswehr)
1 October 1957 – 30 September 1961
Succeeded by
Brigadegeneral Herrmann Aldinger