Note he is displaying the ribbon of the Romanian Order of Michael the Brave, 3rd Class through his buttonhole. The top of the upraised wings of the Romanian Air Force Pilot’s Badge can be seen next to his German Cross in Gold. Note the “diving eagle” of his Luftwaffe Parachutist’s Badge.

NAME: Generalmajor Dipl. Ing. Gerhard Bassenge (Luftwaffe)

PW NO:          18809
RANK:            Generalmajor
CAPTURED:   Metheline (Africa)
DATE:             9 May 1943

DATE OF BIRTH:      18 November 1897
PLACE OF BIRTH:    Ettlingen
DATE OF DEATH:    13 March 1977
NATIONALITY:       German
RELIGION: Evangelist
OCCUPATION:        Regular Air Force Officer
HEIGHT: 5' 7.5"
WEIGHT: 162lb

NEXT OF KIN: Lotte Bassenge, Holstein (British Zone)


  • Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier: 4 October 1914
  • Fähnrich: 27 January 1915
  • Leutnant (without Patent): 27 January 1915
  • Leutnant: 28 June 1917 (Patent 18 June 1915)
  • Oberleutnant: 1 April 1925
  • Hauptmann: 1 February 1932
  • Major: 1 February 1935
  • Oberstleutnant: 1 April 1937
  • Oberst: 1 May 1939
  • Generalmajor: 1 January 1943 (3)

Commands & Assignments:

  • 4 October 1914-31 March 1916: Fahnenjunker, Company Officer and Platoon Leader in Infanterie-Regiment von Horn (3. Rheinisches) Nr.29.
  • 1 April 1916-30 April 1919: Pilot training and Pilot in Kampfstaffel [Combat Squadron] 39 and Jagdstaffel [Fighter Squadron] 2 “Boelcke.”
  • 6 November 1917-July 1918: Wounded/in hospital/convalescence.
  • 1 May 1919-16 July 1920: Assigned to the Döberitz Military Airfield.
  • 1 July 1920-30 September 1920: Platoon Leader in the 3rd Light Motorized Company.
  • 1 October 1920-30 September 1922: Company Officer in the 3rd (Prussian) Infantry Regiment.
  • 1 October 1922-31 March 1927: Studied at the Hannover Technical College.
  • 1 April 1927: Granted the title of Academically Certified Engineer (Dipl. Ing.).
  • 1 April 1927-31 March 1928: Transferred to the Reich Defense Ministry.
  • 1 April 1928-1 October 1928: On the staff of the Commandant of Münster.
  • 1 October 1928-31 January 1932: On the staff of the 6th (Prussian) Infantry Regiment.
  • 1 February 1932-31 December 1933: Company Chief in the 6th (Prussian) Infantry Regiment.
  • 1 January 1934: Transferred from the Army to the Luftwaffe.
  • 1 January 1934-28 February 1937: Group Leader and Consultant in the Reich Air Ministry.
  • 1 March 1937-31 May 1938: Commander of the Flying School and Parachute School I, Stendal and, at the same time, Commandant of the Parachute Field at Stendal.
  • 1 June 1938-30 September 1938: Officer for Special Employment of the Reich Air Ministry and the Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe.
  • 1 October 1938-31 May 1939: In the Luftwaffe General Staff/Reich Air Ministry.
  • 1 June 1939-29 January 1940: Chief of Staff of Luftgau [Air Zone] Command XVII, Wien.
  • 30 January 1940-31 July 1940: Chief of Staff of Luftflotte [Air Fleet] 2. [Commanded by Generaloberst Albert Keßelring, Luftflotte 2 supported the advance of Generaloberst Fedor von Bock’s Army Group B through the Netherlands and Belgium during the first phase of the Western Campaign in May 1940. In addition to powerful bomber, fighter, dive-bomber and antiaircraft artillery assets, Keßelring’s air fleet included Generalleutnant Kurt Student’s parachute and air landing forces.[1] Following the surrender of Belgium, Luftflotte 2 was assigned the task of destroying the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) encircled at Dunkirk. However, an all-out effort by the Royal Air Force and bad weather helped ensure the bulk of the BEF escaped to fight another day. During the second phase of the campaign in June, Luftflotte 2 continued to support the advance of Army Group B as it crossed the Somme River, captured Paris and fanned out across Normandy and Brittany. Following the surrender of France, Luftflotte 2 occupied new airfields north of the Seine River and in Belgium, the Netherlands and northern Germany for operations against Great Britain.[2]]
  • 1 August 1940-4 October 1940: Chief of Staff of Luftflotte 5 in Norway. [Headquartered at Oslo with operational units in Norway and Denmark, Generaloberst Hans-Jürgen Stumpff’s Luftflotte 5 took part in the Battle of Britain beginning on 15 August 1940. With two groups each from Kampfgeschwader [Bomber Wing] 26 and 30 equipped with Heinkel He 111 and Junkers Ju 88 bombers respectively and one group of twin-engine Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighter destroyers from Zerstörergeschwader 76, Stumpff’s air fleet was tasked to strike targets in northeast England between the Humber and the Scottish border.[3] After suffering heavy losses (20 aircraft) in a daylight raid on the first day of the air fleet’s participation in the battle, Stumpff conducted all further large scale operations at night.]
  • 5 October 1940-23 June 1941: Chief of Staff of the German Luftwaffe Mission in Romania.
  • 24 June 1941-30 September 1942: Airfield Area Commandant Africa.
  • 1 October 1942-31 January 1943: Commander of the 19th Luftwaffe Field Division.
  • 1 February 1943-10 May 1943: Commandant of Fortress Area Tunis-Bizerta in Tunisia.
  • 9 May 1943-1947: Prisoner of war in British captivity.
    • 16 May 1943 transferred to Camp 11 Trent Park.
    • 23 July 1946 transferred to Island Farm Special Camp 11 from Camp 300
    • 1 October 1947 transferred to Camp 186
    • 2 October 1947 repatriated
Aerial Victories:

Bassenge scored seven confirmed aerial victories as a fighter pilot in Jagdstaffel 2 “Boelcke” during World War I.


Enemy Loss


20 October 1917

British Camel

S of St. Quentin

6 November 1917

British Camel


25 July 1918

British Camel


27September 1918

British SE.5a


28 September 1918

British Camel


4 October 1918

British SE.5a


5 October 1918

British Camel


Decorations & Awards:

NOTE: In October 2003, Hermann Historica München auctioned the decorations of Generalmajor Dipl. Ing. Gerhard Bassenge. Included with the lot was a note: “Decorations of Generalmajor Bassenge. He gave them to me at POW Camp 11 Bridgend on 27th July 1947. Fred Bieri.” The decorations lot comprised a seven medal ribbon bar; German Cross in Gold; Prussian Iron Cross, 1st Class; 1939 Bar to the Iron Cross, 1st Class; Pilot’s Badge and Parachutist’s Badge. Initially priced at 1,800 euros, the lot ultimately fetched 2,800 euros. Additionally, the auction house offered another lot attributed to Bassenge consisting of uniform insignia.


  • Claasen, Adam R.A. Hitler’s Northern War: The Luftwaffe’s Ill-Fated Campaign, 1940-1945. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence Kansas, 2001.
  • Franks, Norman L. R.; Bailey, Frank W.; Guest, Russell. Above The Lines: A Complete Listing of the Fighter Aces of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914-1918. Grub Street, London, United Kingdom, 1993 (1998 edition).
  • Hildebrand, Karl-Friedrich. Die Generale der Deutschen Luftwaffe, 1935-1945, Band 1 (Abernetty-v. Gyldenfeldt), 1935-1945. Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück, Germany, 1990.
  • Hough, Richard & Richards, Denis. The Battle of Britain – The Greatest Air Battle of World War II. W.W. Norton & Company, New York, New York, 1990.
  • McKee, Alexander. Strike from the Sky: The Story of the Battle of Britain. Little, Brown and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1960.

[1] Achieving the rank of Generaloberst, Kurt Student was held for a time at Island Farm Special Camp 11 after the war.

[2] On 10 July 1940, Keßelring’s air fleet launched 24 Dornier Do 17 bombers of Kampfgeschwader 2, commanded by Oberst Dipl. Ing. Johannes Fink, against a British coastal convoy in the English Channel. Despite a heavy fighter escort, including the Bf 110s of Oberstleutnant Joachim-Friedrich Huth’s Zerstörergeschwader 26 “Horst Wesel,” the German bombers were interdicted by the Royal Air Force and managed to sink only a single vessel. This action marked the official beginning of the Battle of Britain. Fink and Huth later achieved the ranks of General der Flieger and Generalleutnant respectively and were both held at Island Farm Special Camp 11 after the war.       

[3] The two groups of Kampfgeschwader (KG) 26 and the single group of Zerstörergeschwader 76 were based at Stavanger-Sola in Norway. The two groups of KG 30 were based in Denmark at Aalborg.