Wolfram inherited the estate after Manfred legally adopted him. This article is about the WWI flying ace. For the first time organisational custom, which was to place Corps level units under the command of an air fleet in whatever region the Corps was deployed, was abandoned.
After another spell flying two-seaters on the Eastern Front, he met Oswald Boelcke again in August Boelcke, visiting the east in search of candidates for his newly formed fighter unit, selected Richthofen to join Jagdstaffel 2 "fighter squadron". Boelcke was killed during a midair collision with a friendly aircraft on 28 October , Richthofen witnessing the event himself. A replica of Manfred von Richthofen's red Fokker Dr.
After his first confirmed victory, Richthofen ordered a silver cup engraved with the date and the type of enemy machine from a jeweller in Berlin. He continued this until he had 60 cups, by which time the dwindling supply of silver in blockaded Germany meant that silver cups like this could no longer be supplied. Richthofen discontinued his orders at this stage, rather than accept cups made in pewter or other base metal. Instead of using risky, aggressive tactics like those of his brother, Lothar 40 victories , Manfred observed a set of maxims known as the " Dicta Boelcke " to assure success for both the squadron and its pilots.
However, he was a notable tactician and squadron leader and a fine marksman. Typically, he would dive from above to attack with the advantage of the sun behind him, and with other Jasta pilots covering his rear and flanks.
II and Hawker was flying a DH. After a long dogfight, Hawker was killed by a bullet in the head as he attempted to escape back to his own lines.
He switched to the Albatros D. III in January , scoring two victories before suffering an inflight crack in the spar of the aircraft's lower wing on 24 January. Richthofen reverted to the Albatros D. II or Halberstadt D. II for the next five weeks. He was flying his Halberstadt when, on 6 March, in combat with F. Richthofen was able on this occasion to force land without his aircraft catching fire. II on 9 March, but since his Albatros D. He returned to his Albatros D. V in late June.
I triplane, the distinctive three-winged aircraft with which he is most commonly associated, although he did not use the type exclusively until after it was reissued with strengthened wings in November. I, only 19 of his 80 kills were made in this type. Richthofen championed the development of the Fokker D. VII with suggestions to overcome the deficiencies of the then current German fighter aircraft. Several later became leaders of their own squadrons.
At the time he became a squadron commander, Richthofen took the flamboyant step of having his Albatros painted red. Thereafter he usually flew in red-painted aircraft, although not all of them were entirely red, nor was the "red" necessarily the brilliant scarlet beloved of model- and replica-builders.
Other members of Jasta 11 soon took to painting parts of their aircraft red—their "official" reason seems to have been to make their leader less conspicuous, and to avoid him being singled out in a fight. In practice, red colouration became a unit identification. Other jastas soon adopted their own "squadron colours", and decoration of fighters became general throughout the Luftstreitkräfte. In spite of obvious drawbacks from the point of view of intelligence, the German high command permitted this practice, and German propaganda made much of it—Richthofen being identified as Der Rote Kampfflieger —the "Red Battle-Flyer".
Richthofen led his new unit to unparalleled success, peaking during " Bloody April " In that month alone he downed 22 British aircraft, including four in a single day,  raising his official tally to By June he had become the commander of the first of the new larger Jagdgeschwader wing formations, leading Jagdgeschwader 1 , composed of Jastas 4, 6, 10 and These were highly mobile, combined tactical units that could move at short notice to different parts of the front as required.
In this way, JG1 became "The Flying Circus" or "Richthofen Circus", its name coming both from the unit's mobility including, where appropriate, the use of tents, trains and caravans and its brightly coloured aircraft. Richthofen was a brilliant tactician, building on Boelcke's tactics. Unlike Boelcke, he led by example and force of will rather than by inspiration. He was often described [ by whom? If you are fighting a two-seater, get the observer first; until you have silenced the gun, don't bother about the pilot".
Although he was now performing the duties of a lieutenant colonel in modern RAF terms, a wing commander , he remained a captain. The system in the British army would have been for him to have held the rank appropriate to his level of command if only on a temporary basis even if he had not been formally promoted. In the German army, it was not unusual for a wartime officer to hold a lower rank than his duties implied, German officers being promoted according to a schedule and not by battlefield promotion.
For instance, Erwin Rommel commanded an infantry battalion as a captain in and It was also the custom for a son not to hold a higher rank than his father, and Richthofen's father was a reserve major.
V after forced landing near Wervicq. On 6 July , during combat with a formation of F. There is even a theory linking this injury with his eventual death. During his convalescent leave, Richthofen completed an autobiographic sketch, Der rote Kampfflieger Written on the instructions of the "Press and Intelligence" i. Richthofen was respected and admired by Allied pliots. British flying ace Thomas J.
Martyn stated about how he and fellow pliots respected and admired the famous German flying ace:. Von Richthofen was very well thought of by the British aviators as a clean fighter and a man who did not know what fear was.
As an example of Richthofen's fine sportsmanship, Major Patrick told me that he once had a fight with Richthofen and that his ammunition ran out. Richthofen, being in a faster machine, had Patrick at his mercy, but when he knew that Patrick was unable to fire he flew close to him, waved his hand and turned back to his own lines.
By , Richthofen had become such a legend that it was feared that his death would be a blow to the morale of the German people. German propaganda circulated various false rumours, including that the British had raised squadrons specially to hunt down Richthofen, and had offered large rewards and an automatic Victoria Cross to any Allied pilot who shot him down. Richthofen was fatally wounded just after It was almost certainly during this final stage in his pursuit of May that Richthofen was hit by a single.
In mid-August, the Luftwaffe was ready to begin the main assault over the British mainland. The entire day met with repeated German failures, in communication, intelligence, and coordination. The objective of the raids, Fighter Command's airfields, remained unscathed. Cloudy skies were largely responsible for the failure of the raids. Damage was done to buildings and workshops, but for a loss of nine Ju 87s and three severely damaged. On 18 August, a large group of air battles led the day to be called " The Hardest Day ".
On that day, Richthofen sent his units against airfields in southern England. Faulty intelligence meant all those hit by his units were unimportant. In the process, the Geschwader took heavy losses. Richthofen was not so much shocked by total Ju 87 losses, which were running at a bearable 15 per cent, assuming the raids were getting results and the battle short, but he was alarmed at the near destruction of an entire Gruppe , a loss rate which ran at 50 per cent.
It required a rethink of the types to be used in the campaign. Richthofen's force flew sorties in October, compared to the per day in July In December , Fliegerkorps VIII ended its Ju 87s operations and entered intensive winter training to be ready for the resumption of operations in the spring.
Operation Marita was expanded to involve the invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia. Richthofen moved his units into Bulgaria via Romania.
He found the country primitive, and resolved to improve the infrastructure, particularly communications, for the invasion of Yugoslavia. He intended to operate aircraft from Bulgarian airfields and moved them into place on 1 March. While preparations were taking place he indulged in hunting and horse riding expeditions as a guest of the Bulgarian Royal Family.
The victory in Yugoslavia was complete with the bombing of Belgrade , which facilitated a rapid victory by destroying command and control centres. Richthofen's force did not participate in the bombing of Belgrade, but were engaged in attacking Yugoslav reinforcements, concentrated on the Austrian and Hungarian borders in the north, that were streaming south to block the break through. Mass columns of Yugoslav forces were caught in the open and decimated.
Yugoslavia surrendered on 17 April. Operations shifted to Greece. The Axis success in the Battle of the Metaxas Line allowed them to outflank the main Greek Army position and encircle the most effective Greek force. Richthofen's units supported the attack against the Line, without much interference from Allied air forces. By 15 April, the RAF had withdrawn.
Unlike the gross over claiming against British shipping in the English Channel in , the claims of , tons of shipping 60 vessels destroyed up until 30 April were approximately correct.
Allied forces withdrew down the east coast of Greece, where the Royal Navy and Greek Navy began evacuating them from ports around southern Greece, including the capital, Athens. Ju 87 units from Richthofen's Corps inflicted high losses on shipping, eliminating the small Greek Navy and causing damage to British shipping. Total Allied shipping losses amounted to , tons. The end of the campaign on the mainland meant the sole remaining objective was the island of Crete , which lay off Greece's southern coastline.
During the Battle of Crete Richthofen's Ju 87s also played a significant role. The operation came close to disaster on the first day. Most of the airborne forces that landed by glider or parachute lost most of their radios, which meant Richthofen had to rely on aerial reconnaissance aircraft. The German parachute troops were pinned down on the island, on the Cretan airfields they were supposed to capture. The level of effort Richthofen directed at relieving the pressure on them quite possibly saved the German units from destruction.
The Stukas were called upon to deal with the British Naval threat. Added to this force was II. The Flivos that Richthofen had championed in became a uniform facility throughout the Luftwaffe. Each Panzer and Motorised division, now had air liaison officers attached to them to allow for effective air support.
The experiments in France and the low countries had paid off. It would not be until the beginning of that the Western Allies began adopting the same methods. The response for air support did not usually exceed two hours.
The Luftwaffe lost 78 aircraft on 22 June, but destroyed 1, aircraft on the ground, though further research indicates the number exceeded 2, destroyed. Within three days, the close support units of Kesselring's Luftflotte 2, including Richthofen's Corps, were able to revert to close support and interdiction operations largely unhindered.
Richthofen threw all available aircraft at the thrust and played a vital role in its defeat. Richthofen's Corps claimed 30 tanks, and 50 motor vehicles in sorties.
The encirclement of Soviet forces at Smolensk was complete on 17 July Three weeks later, the last Soviet forces in the pocket were eliminated. Fliegerkorps VIII ' s achievements were important in defeating Soviet counterattacks and attempted breakouts.
Richthofen was awarded the Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross for an impressive performance. Richthofen's forces were credited with disrupting reinforcements and destroying 40 motor vehicles on 24 July alone. However, logistically , the Germans were starting to suffer serious problems in supplying their frontline just four weeks into the campaign. Richthofen lamented, "the Germans are good at fighting but weak at logistics". Between 19 July and 31 August, the Luftwaffe had lost aircraft. Before the operations in the Soviet Union, scant attention had been made to logistical operations in the east, primarily because of German over-confidence.
The victories had been hard won, but growing Soviet resistance and increased counterattacks brought the Smolensk-Moscow front to a stalemate. Hitler wavered, and on 30 July ordered Army Group Centre to assume the strategic defensive.
In Directive 34, he refocused the main effort of Barbarossa on Leningrad because of strong concentrations of enemy forces west of Moscow. It shifted from pursuing one objective to the next. It first wanted to advance to Moscow, then Leningrad, before shifting operations further south. In heavy combat, working with Fliegerkorps I , Richthofen's fleet flew 1, sorties on 10 August, supporting the German army's advance on Narva.
They claimed 10 tanks, more than motor vehicles and 15 artillery batteries. Owing to increased Soviet aviation activity, Richthofen directed ZG 26 against Soviet airfields, with success. Experienced crews from Richthofen's Corps, flying He s from KG 4, attacked railways near Leningrad to disrupt reinforcements. On 15 August, a major effort by StG 2 succeeded in softening up Soviet defences and destroying the main Soviet supply bridge over the Volkhov River.
The fortress of Novgorod was destroyed by Richthofen's Ju 87s, and was thus abandoned. The city fell on 16 August. Richthofen, in conjunction with Fliegerkorps I destroyed the attackers almost completely near Staraya Russa. KG 4 and KG 2 in particular were successful.
The latter wing knocked out 18 Soviet tanks in a single mission, despite the presence of strong Soviet fighter forces. Bf s from Richthofen's ZG 26 were directed to deal with Soviet aviation on the ground. On 19 August, for the cost of just three Bf s, they destroyed 40 Soviet aircraft on the ground and three in the air, easing the pressure on German air units which were meeting numerically superior numbers of the enemy.
The German Eighteenth Army and the Sixteenth Army successfully conquered the remaining parts of Estonia , seizing Chudovo, north of Novgorod, which severed one of the two main supply lines from Leningrad to Moscow. In support of these operations, Richthofen's Corps dropped 3, tons of bombs in 5, attacks from 10 to 20 August Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb , the commander-in-chief of Army Group North, was shocked by the ferocity of Richtofen's bombing operations, describing him as "merciless".
The Leningrad Front attempted to relieve them, and Richthofen was ordered to blunt the attack. The Soviets were supported by strong air units, and large air battles broke out. The Germans succeeded in maintaining their lines, and could now turn to capturing Leningrad. Before a main assault could be launched, Leningrad needed to be completely cut off from the Soviet hinterland which led to the Siege of Leningrad. Richthofen's bombers participated in great efforts to destroy Leningrad from the air, some crews flying two missions per night.
On 8 September, 6, incendiaries alone were dropped causing fires. The German Army advanced into the breaches created by the Luftwaffe. However, by committing their last resources and reinforcing their 54th Army later renamed the 48th Army , the Soviets stalled the German advance on 25 September.
With the offensive stopped, Hitler returned Richthofen to Luftflotte 2. Frustrated in the north, Hitler turned to Moscow. On 2 October he enacted Operation Typhoon , an offensive aimed at capturing Moscow via a pincer movement. It achieved early success in enveloping considerable Soviet forces at Vyazma and Bryansk by 10 October. However, the initial success gave way to a grinding battle of attrition.
By 11 November the situation in the air was also changing from a position of initial parity. Kesselring's Luftflotte 2 and the headquarters of Fliegerkorps I were moved to the Mediterranean Theatre. The Soviet opposition was growing in number and quality. By 10 November, 1, aircraft serviceable including fighters serviceable were defending Moscow. The weather slowed down operations until 15 November, when the mud and rain water froze and mobile operations became possible.
Richthofen threw all available aircraft into the Battle for Moscow whenever conditions permitted. One last attempt to capture Moscow was made on 2 December, but lack of fuel and ammunition and increasingly stiff resistance prevented its success. By this time, the Soviet air forces had gained air superiority. By 5 December, when the counteroffensive drove Army Group Centre back, they could muster 1, aircraft against just German.
The Germans possessed just fighters serviceable on the entire Eastern Front. There were Soviet fighters serviceable on the Moscow front. When the Soviet offensive began it quickly gained ground. German morale sank and Army Group Centre, overstretched and exhausted, was threatened with collapse. Richthofen's forces, despite enemy air superiority, did all they could to blunt the attack.
The effectiveness and determination of German air units improved the morale of the army. Concentrating aviation against Soviet ground forces, the Luftwaffe delivered a series of attacks that took the wind out of the Soviet offensive within two weeks. Hitler had forbidden a retreat, and Richthofen endorsed this view.
His refusal to give ground and his tenacity saw him become one of Hitler's favourites. Hitler gave him a further five transport groups to keep his Corps effective. In the winter, —, the stalemate on the north and central sectors was not mirrored in the south. Army Group South had overrun the Ukraine , were outside Rostov , considered the gate to the Caucasus and its rich oil fields, and had occupied most of the Crimea.
However, in December the Soviets made an amphibious landing at the Kerch Peninsula , on the extreme east coast of the Crimea. The landing threatened to cut off the German Eleventh Army commanded by Erich von Manstein , which were engaged in the siege of Sevastopol.
Hitler supported Manstein and called for the greatest possible concentration of air power to support the operation. Richthofen had arrived in Luneberg on 12 April, ready for a four-week period of leave. He commented in his diary, "By order of the Führer, I must immediately leave again, to work at Kerch.
Get there quickly and get everything started! Formal orders still to come". Richthofen was arrogant, aggressive and harsh, but he was a driven, pro-active, successful and influential tactical air commander. Richthofen's Corps had been resting in Germany, rebuilding after the winter battles.
This was still in progress when Richthofen landed at Luftflotte 4's headquarters at Nikolayev on 21 April. The discussion that Richthofen had with Löhr, the air fleet's commander, was unique in Luftwaffe history. For the first time organisational custom, which was to place Corps level units under the command of an air fleet in whatever region the Corps was deployed, was abandoned.
Richthofen was allowed to operate independently alongside Luftflotte 4. Fliegerkorps VIII was under his command at all times and would provide the lion's share of close support operations. All offensive air operations were the responsibility of Richthofen, and he was only answerable to Hermann Göring. Richthofen met with Manstein on 28 April, and largely got on with Manstein.
Despite being conceited personalities, they both genuinely respected each other. Though on one occasion Richthofen claimed in his diary to have taken great delight in beating Manstein in a debate over tactical differences.
Manstein and Richthofen determined that the limited land forces available made cooperation between land and air forces critical. The main points of effort were discussed and each man's staff was ordered to deal directly with each other to facilitate rapid cooperation.
He flew in his Storch around the front, often coming under enemy fire and on occasion force-landing. He urged his Corps to speed up preparations and openly criticised his superiors, including Löhr of Luftflotte 4 , over what he considered to be "inferior" preparations.
The difficulty in getting units out of Germany quickly, where they were refitting, prompted Richthofen, in consultation with Jeschonnek and Manstein, to ask for a postponement of the offensive for two days until they could be brought in. His request was granted, and the offensive was moved to the 7 May When the reinforcements arrived, he had 11 bomber, three dive-bomber and seven fighter Gruppen at his disposal. Richthofen's forces quickly established air superiority in the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula , destroying 82 enemy fighters within the first day.
Richthofen arrived at his command post as the bombs first fell. He was impressed with the 2, sorties flown on 7 May. Inter service communication was facilitated by Fliegerverbindungsoffizier air liaison officers or Flivos , specially trained air force officers attached to ground units. They advised the air Corps on the situation and intentions of the ground forces and also advised the army of the best use of air power. This operational style was effective against fixed targets in slow-moving operations, but was more difficult in fast-moving operations such as Bustard Hunt.
The advance meant Richthofen had to keep moving forward. He complained bitterly about the inability of his signals teams to set up new telephone and radio communications quickly enough. The Corps flew 1, missions on 9 May, destroying 42 enemy aircraft for two losses.
On 10 and 11 May, bad weather prevented large-scale operations, but on 12 May they flew 1, sorties. On this day, the Soviet line in the Crimea collapsed.
Enjoying air supremacy , the Wehrmacht made large gains. Near the Sea of Azov , Soviet infantry, massed and unprotected, suffered heavy losses to Richthofen's units which were using Cluster bombs.
Richthofen was delighted at the "wonderful scene"; "we are inflicting the highest losses of blood and material". Corpse-strewn fields from earlier attacks I have seen nothing like it so far in this war".
He was so shocked, he felt compelled to show the Luftwaffe's signals officer, Wolfgang Martini , the carnage. However, that same evening, Richhofen received bad news. He was ordered to send one fighter, one dive-bomber and two bomber Gruppen to help contain a Soviet breakthrough in the north, and the developing Second Battle of Kharkov.
Richthofen complained in his diary, claiming success was now in question at Kerch. The statement was likely hyperbole. By this time the Soviets had collapsed in the Crimea, and were streaming back to the port of Kerch. Kerch fell on 15 May. Richthofen then complained he did not have the adequate forces to stop the Soviets evacuating by sea, but Axis aviation did inflict considerable attrition on Soviet units on the beaches and sank a number of vessels. German artillery and air attack brought the Dunkirk-style evacuation to an end on 17 May.
Manstein praised Richthofen's support, describing his air operations as decisive in the Kerch victory. The Corps had flown between 1, and 2, missions per day before the Kharkov withdrawal, and to afterwards. It effectively decimated Soviet air power in the region, reducing it to barely 60 aircraft from over in 10 days.
On 20 May, Richthofen met Manstein again to discuss preparations for overcoming the fortress port of Sevastopol. It was emphasised that the same level of air support offered at Kerch was needed. On 22 May, Richthofen had the chance to meet with Hitler, who once again flattered the Luftwaffe commander and his abilities, referring to him as "his specialist". The aim of the discussion as far as Richthofen was concerned, was to impress upon Hitler the importance of not diverting forces away from the front as had been done at Kerch.
Hitler listened closely and agreed. Göring wanted Bruno Loerzer , his friend and commander of Fliegerkorps II to take the job, but Hitler wanted a hands-on commander. Jeschonnek agreed that the higher command of the air force was lousy, and needed a competent combat leader. On 25 May he flew the six-hour flight back to Simferopol. During the planning phase he ordered anti-shipping operations to cease in the Black Sea and ordered Admiral Schwarzes Meer Admiral Black Sea to stay in port.
Richthofen feared that the coming operations would mean friendly fire incidents against Axis shipping near Sevastopol.
Admiral Götting and Fliegerführer Süd Flying Leader South Wolfgang von Wild, responsible for all naval aviation in the region, ignored the request as they saw it as absurd. It was only necessary to abandon operations in the Crimean shipping lanes, not the whole expanse of the Black Sea. This gave the Luftwaffe some aircraft to support Manstein. Richthofen scraped up all the forces he could for the assault, getting three dive-bomber, six medium bomber and three fighter Gruppen for the operation.
He was not overly concerned with his fighter strength, as his fighters outnumbered the odd aircraft of the Soviet air defence. He could begin close support operations immediately and did not have to wait to conduct time-wasting battles for air superiority. So confident was Richthofen that the VVS posed no threat, he lent his Flak forces to the army, though he retained operational control. The stages of the air campaign were managed into three; attacking Soviet reserves beyond German artillery; raids against harbour facilities, airfields, fortresses and shipping; cooperating with German artillery to cancel out Soviet mortar and gun batteries.
Richthofen acknowledged that not all of these components could be conducted simultaneously. He chose shattering the fortifications through relentless air bombardment as most important. However, he did not take into account the systemic technical problems with German U-Boat and aerial torpedoes which were unreliable, and blamed von Wild and the air units instead for failing to achieve much success.
When the operation, Sturgeon Catch , began on 2 June , Richthofen watched it all unfold. He watched the first waves of bombers hit Sevastopol from his own Storch, in company with his chief of staff. Richthofen's forces flew sorties and dropped tons of bombs. Between 3 and 6 June, 2, missions showered 1, tons of bombs and 23, incendiaries. On 7 June 1, tons of bombers were dropped in 1, air attacks and were followed on 8 June by another 1, sorties. On 9 June 1, sorties and tons of bombs were dropped, followed by sorties and tons the next day.
Richthofen's logistics were stretched after a week of action. On 11 June another effort dropped 1, tons of bombs in 1, sorties. Richthofen noted that he now had only enough supplies for 36 hours of operations. He ordered only important and fewer targets attacked, ordering aircraft to attack in columns to reduce the wastage of bombs and keep the pressure up on the fortifications.
It failed to solve the "bomb calamity", Richthofen noted on 14 June and three days later he could only drop of the planned 1, tons. Richthofen's participation on the operation came to an abrupt end on 23 June Having been informed by Jeschonnek and Hitler that he was to assume command of Luftlfotte 4 after the fall of Sevastopol earlier, they decided not to wait.
They ordered him to Kursk in order to take up his command, leaving his Corps behind, and Sevastopol air operations under the command of von Wild. He felt it was ridiculous to move him mid-operation, and he had wanted to be there when the fortress fell. He wrote, "It is a pity that one can never finish what one starts in the east. After a while, it takes away all the pleasure".
The Corps flew 23, sorties and dropped 20, tons of bombs, losing just 31 aircraft. From then on, it would be dispersed over the Eastern Front. On 28 June the Axis began their major summer offensive, Case Blue.
Army Group South 's objective was to advance towards the Stalingrad and Caucasus regions. Now commanding Luftflotte 4 , Generaloberst Richthofen had one of the largest commands supporting the effort. The Luftwaffe concentrated its largest single force since Barbarossa. Of the 2, aircraft supporting Case Blue, 52 per cent 1, were under the command of Richthofen.
A further Romanian, Hungarian, Italian and Slovak aircraft were also present. Opposing them were 2, aircraft in reserve including 1, fighters of the southern VVS front. To the north, the Soviets had been convinced the main attack was to come against Moscow owing to the German deception plan Operation Kremlin. The offensive opened on 28 June, and the Red Army put the German forces on the boundary of Army Groups Centre and South under severe pressure in the belief the main thrust to Moscow would emanate from that region.
On 2 August Richthofen created the Gefechtsverband Nord under the command of Alfred Bulowius Nahaufklarung , Jadg , Kampf and Stuka gruppen and combined these groups on an ad-hoc basis to support the hard-pressed Heer.
Hungarian and Italian air units also assisted. Within six weeks, Richthofen had lost aircraft and objected to Hitler's directive splitting the two armies Army Group A and B to pursue the capture of Stalingrad and the Baku oilfields at the same time, as he now had to support two lines of logistics which he could ill-afford.
Nevertheless, he committed himself to his task, and ordered Fiebig to destroy rail links around Stalingrad, where the German Sixth Army, despite having 1, aircraft supporting its drive to the city, were struggling to make rapid headway. On 3 September, the Luftwaffe began its major effort against the city by beginning several destructive raids.
The Battle of Stalingrad initiated a regression in air tactics back to the First World War, where a few flights of aircraft made pin-point attacks against enemy infantry and acted as an extension of the infantry.
The Ju 87 units usually flew four sorties per day. Wenn Sie sich die üppigen Obst- und Gemüseabteilungen vor Augen führen, die dem Handel als Marketinginstrument dienen, aber auch für hohe Abschriften stehen, dann stellt sich die Frage, wie man effizienter mit Beständen umgehen kann. Handelsunternehmen werden also auch in Zukunft nicht zu Agrarriesen? Solange sie die Risken etwa durch den Einsatz von Gentechnik nicht stark minimieren können, kann ich mir das nicht vorstellen.
Gefragt könnte der Handel zumindest als Helfer zur Selbsthilfe sein. Die Förderung von Kleinbauern gilt vielen Experten als Königsweg aus den prognostizierten Produktionsengpässen.
In dem harten Wettbewerbsumfeld, in dem wir uns befinden, ist aber für solche Investitionen wenig Spielraum. Und was halten Sie davon, sich stärker an den Rohstoffhandelsmärkten zu engagieren? Bis auf Absicherungsgeschäfte, sogenanntes Hedging, ist es der Handel nicht gewohnt, mit Geldmarktelementen umzugehen. Wo sehen Sie denn Potenziale? Die Beziehungen zu den Lieferanten müssen langfristiger werden.
Es kann nicht mehr nur um eine Selektion gehen, sondern um eine proaktive, gestaltende Aufgabe. Vor allem auf Seiten der Eigenmarkenproduzenten kann der Handel dabei auch Kooperationen fördern.
Dafür bedarf es vielerorts allerdings eines Generationswechsels im Einkauf. Müssen die Einkaufsabteilungen damit nicht auch stark ausgebaut werden, etwa indem Sie Banker und Agrarexperten mit ins Boot holen? Die vorhandenen Einkäufer sind eher gefragt, sich mit diesen Experten permanent auszutauschen und ihr Wissen so zu erweitern.
Die weiteren Herausforderungen liegen in einer klaren Sortimentsbildung und Preissegmentierung. Werden Eigenmarken der Industrie das Leben noch schwerer machen? Die Entwicklungschancen von Eigenmarken hängen einzig mit der Stärke von Markenprodukten in den jeweiligen Segmenten zusammen.
Aber trotzdem wird es infolge dessen Veränderungen geben. Wenn Schwellenpreise überschritten werden, entwickeln sich Eigenmarken stärker zu Alternativen von A-Marken. Die Bedeutung im Preiseinstieg wird dagegen sinken. In diesem Prozess haben Supermärkte Systemvorteile, da sie ihren Kunden Preisbewegungen besser vermitteln können. Der Discount dürfte dagegen Probleme bekommen, wenn der Spielraum billiger zu sein geringer wird.