Emil Bitsch

Emil Bitsch

Emil Bitsch (14 June 191615 March 1944) was a Luftwaffe flying ace of World War II. He was one of the most successful pilots in the Eastern Front. Emil Bitsch was credited with 108 aerial victories. He claimed 104 victories over the Eastern front and 4 victories over the Western front (all four-engine bombers).

In the War

On July 1941, Bitsch first served with III./JG 3 based on the Eastern front. Lieutenant Bitsch claimed his first victory on 2 July by shot down a Il-2. He had total five victories by 1941. He claimed two Russian Yak-4 twin-engine fighters which shot down on 24 June 1942 to claim his ninth and 10th victories. In July, he claimed 15 victories, including his 20th victory shot down on 13 July. Bitsch recorded 18 victories in August, including his 30th victory shot down on 16 August and he achieved 40th victory on 28 August.

On 4 September 1942, Oberleutnant Bitch was shot down over northwest of Stalingrad. He baled out of his Bf 109 F-4 and landed safely but had suffered light injuries in the incident. He returned to combat duty again and proved himself effective again. Bitsch recorded his 50th victory shot down on 19 March 1943 over 3km South of Stary. On 1 June 1943, Bitsch was appointed Staffelkapitän of 8./JG 3. In July, Oberleutnant Bitsch claimed 29 victories, including six enemy aircraft shot down on 5 July. He recorded his 100th victory on 21 July. Bitsch was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 29 August for 104 victories.

In August 1943, III./JG 3 was transferred to Germany to serve on Reichsverteidigung duties (Defense of the Reich). Bitsch shot down four USAAF four-engine bombers during this period. On 15 March 1944, Bitsch was shot down and killed in Bf 109 G-6 in aerial combat with USAAF P-47 fighters over Schijndel. Bitsch is burried at the German warcemetary at Ysselsteyn (The Netherlands).



  • Aces of the Luftwaffe. Emil Bitsch. Retrieved on 14 February., 2008.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas, 2000. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit. Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 - 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, 2001. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
  • Spick, Mike. Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. Ivy Books, 1996. ISBN 0-8041-1696-2.

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