Herbert Bachnick

Herbert Bachnick
Born 9 February 1920
Mannheim, Germany
Died 7 August 1944 (1944-08-08) (aged 24)
Myslowitz. Oberschlesien, Germany
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Luftwaffe
Rank Leutnant
Unit JG 52, JGr Ost

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Herbert Bachnick was a World War II Flying ace in the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) credited with 80 aerial victories—that is, 80 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft, all but one over the Eastern Front. 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.


Bachnick was born on 9 February 1920 in Mannheim, and was posted to 9 staffel Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52–52nd Fighter Wing) in December 1942 serving on the Eastern Front. He claimed his first three aerial victories on 5 July 1943 and had by August claimed 14 victories. By late September his victory total was 31, and by the end of had 47 victories credited. On 7 January 1944 he claimed five Il-2 Sturmovik aircraft shot down. He claimed 27 victories in March.

In April 1944, Unteroffizier Bachnick was transferred to 2./JGr Ost as an instructor. He was promoted to Leutnant in May. Bachnick was wounded in combat with United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) bombers and fighters on 7 July force landing his Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 near Moran. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 27 July for 79 victories.

Bachnick returned to 9./JG 52 following three months as an instructor. On 7 August 1944 he engaged a USAAF formation and shot down a P-51 Mustang. However, his Bf 109 G-6 "Yellow 4" was damaged in the encounter. Bachnick attempted a forced landing but crashed and was killed near Myslowitz.

Herbert Bachnick was credited with 80 victories, with 79 victories over the Eastern Front, including 41 Il-2 Sturmoviks.




  1. 1 2 3 MacLean 2007, p. 40.
  2. Obermaier 1989, p. 83.
  3. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 21.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 120.
  5. Scherzer 2007, p. 198.


  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1989). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939 – 1945 [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force 1939 – 1945] (in German). Mainz, Germany: Verlag Dieter Hoffmann. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7. 
  • MacLean, French L (2007). Luftwaffe Efficiency & Promotion Reports: For the Knight's Cross Winners. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Military History. ISBN 978-0-7643-2657-8. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • 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 [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Weal, John (2004). Jagdgeschwader 52: The Experten (Aviation Elite Units). London, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-786-4. 
  • Weal, John (2007). More Bf 109 Aces of the Russian Front. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-177-9. 
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