digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Erhard Milch
Milch in 1944
Born (1892-03-30)30 March 1892
Wilhelmshaven, German Empire
Died 25 January 1972(1972-01-25) (aged 79)
Düsseldorf, West Germany
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Years of service 1910–22; 1933–45
Rank Generalfeldmarschall
Unit Luftwaffe
Commands held Battle of Britain
Norwegian campaign
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Relations Werner Milch (brother)
Joachim Schlichting (son in law)
Other work Retirement spent in Landsberg prison on account of his conviction for war crimes

Erhard Milch (30 March 1892 – 25 January 1972) was a German field marshal who oversaw the development of the Luftwaffe as part of the re-armament of Germany following World War I, and served as founding Director of Deutsche Luft Hansa.

Early life[edit]

Milch was born in Wilhelmshaven, the son of Anton Milch, alleged to be a Jewish pharmacist,[1][2] in the Kaiserliche Marine, the Imperial German Navy, and Clara Milch, née Rosenau. Since his mother was not Jewish, he was not a Jew according to Jewish law. But he was a Jewish Mischling of the first degree ("mixed-race" person) under the Nuremberg Laws introduced by the Nazi regime in 1935 (he was later reclassified as Aryan by Adolf Hitler). He was one of the few officers in the German high command of alleged Jewish ancestry.

World War I[edit]

Milch enlisted in the German Army in 1910, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant in the artillery. He later transferred to the Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial Air Force) and trained as an aerial observer. Although not a pilot, he was appointed to command a fighter wing, Jagdgruppe 6, as a captain in the waning days of the war.[3]


Milch resigned from the military in 1920 to pursue a career in civil aviation, and with squadron colleague Gotthard Sachsenberg, formed a small airline in Danzig under the banner of Lloyd Luftdienst, Norddeutscher Lloyd '​s union of regional German airlines. The airline, which linked Danzig to the Baltic States was simply called Lloyd Ostflug. In 1923, he became managing director of its successor company, Danziger Luftpost when Lloyd Luftdienst merged with its rival firm Aero Union to form Deutsche Aero Lloyd. From there, Milch and Sachsenberg went to work for rival Junkers Luftverkehr, where Sachsenberg had been appointed managing director. Sachsenberg only held the position until 1925, when Milch took over from him. It was in this position that Milch oversaw the merger of Junkers Luftverkehr with his previous firm of Deutscher Aero Lloyd in 1926, making him the first managing director of Deutsche Luft Hansa.[4]


In 1933, Milch took up a position as State Secretary of the newly formed Reichsluftfahrtministerium ("Reich Aviation Ministry" – RLM), answering directly to Hermann Göring. In this capacity, he was instrumental in establishing the Luftwaffe. Milch was responsible for armament production, though Ernst Udet was soon making many of the decisions concerning contracts for military aircraft. Milch quickly used his position to settle personal scores with other aviation industry personalities, including Hugo Junkers and Willy Messerschmitt. Specifically, Milch banned Messerchmitt from submitting a design in the competition for a new fighter aircraft for the Luftwaffe. Messerschmitt proved Milch's better in and managed to circumvent this ban to successfully submit a design. The Messerschmitt-designed Bayerische Flugzeugwerke corporate entry, the Bf 109, proved to be the winner. Messerschmitt maintained its leading position within the German aircraft industry until the failure of the Me 210 aircraft. Even after that it was not necessarily Milch as the leader who did not depose of him, but, put him in an inferior position.[5] The score against Messerschmitt is one of the likely reasons that Willy Messerschmitt was not allowed to personally acquire the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke [BFW] until July 1938, resulting in the continued use of the 'Bf' prefix throughout the war for Messerschmitt aircraft designed before Messerschmitt's acquisition of the company, hence the "Bf-" prefix being used for the Messerschmitt Bf 109, as one example, in all official German documents throughout World War II, dealing with all pre-July 1938 origin Messerschmitt aircraft designs.

World War II[edit]

Milch (centre) meets Minister of Armaments Albert Speer (left) and aircraft designer Willy Messerschmitt (right)

At the outbreak of World War II Milch, now with the rank of general, commanded Luftflotte 5 during the Norwegian campaign. Following the defeat of France, Milch was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall (field marshal) during the 1940 Field Marshal Ceremony and given the title Air Inspector General. As such, Milch was in charge of aircraft production. The lack of a long-term strategy and a divisive military command structure led to many mistakes in the operational and technical ability of the Luftwaffe in the war and were key to the continued loss of German air superiority as the war progressed.[6]

The frequent and often conflicting changes in operational requirements led to numerous changes in aircraft specification and designs such that manufacturers like Messerschmitt were unable to focus outright on few aircraft types and most importantly output. The Germans failed to put their production on a war footing, continuing to run factories only for eight hours a day and failing to include women in the workforce. German aircraft production did not rise as steeply as the Allied and especially the Soviet ones, who outproduced the Germans in 1942 and 1943.

By the summer of 1943 Germany's lack of a truly "four-engined" heavy bomber to retaliate against Great Britain was finally addressed by Milch in his 10 August 1943 endorsement for Arado Flugzeugwerke to be the subcontractor for the Heinkel He 177B separately engined heavy bomber design, which only saw three flyable prototypes completed by early 1944.[7] In 1944 Milch sided with Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister and Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsführer SS, in attempting to convince Adolf Hitler to remove Göring from command of the Luftwaffe following the failed invasion of the Soviet Union. When Hitler refused, Göring retaliated by forcing Milch out of his position. For the rest of the war, he worked under Albert Speer.

Following Hitler’s suicide, Milch attempted to flee Germany, but was captured by Allied forces on the Baltic coast on 4 May 1945. On surrendering, he presented his baton to the Commando Brigadier Derek Mills-Roberts, who was so disgusted by what he had seen when liberating the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp that he broke the baton over Milch's head.[8]

Trial and conviction at Nuremberg[edit]

Main article: Milch Trial

In 1947, Milch was tried as a war criminal by a United States Military Tribunal in Nuremberg. He was convicted on two counts:

  1. War crimes, by participating in the ill-treatment and use of the forced labour of prisoners of war (POWs) and the deportation of civilians to the same ends.
  2. Crimes against humanity, by participating in the murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment, torture, and the use of slave labour of civilians who came under German control, German nationals and prisoners of war.

Milch was sentenced to life imprisonment at Landsberg prison. His sentence was commuted to 15 years imprisonment in 1951, but he was released in June 1954. He lived out the remainder of his life in Düsseldorf, where he died in 1972.

Dates of rank[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rigg (2004)
  2. ^ "Half-shadows of the Reich". Anita Bunyan (Times Higher Education). 
  3. ^ Franks, Norman L. R.; Bailey, Frank W.; Guest, Russell (1993). Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914–1918. London: Grub Street. p. 32. ISBN 0948817739. 
  4. ^ http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkx8SJENJP9oAIEilzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTByamR1NnFoBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNgRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkAw
  5. ^ Tooze, A. (2007). The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy. New York: Viking. ISBN 0670038261. 
  6. ^ http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/erhard_milch.htm
  7. ^ Griehl, Manfred; Dressel, Joachim (1998). Heinkel He 177-277-274. Shrewsbury, UK: Airlife Publishing. p. 162. ISBN 1-85310-364-0. 
  8. ^ Neillands, Robin; Normann, Roderick de (1993). D-Day 1944 – voices from Normandy. New York: Cold Spring Press. ISBN 1593600127. 



Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of Luftflotte 5
12 April 1940 – 10 May 1940
Succeeded by
Generaloberst Hans-Jürgen Stumpff

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erhard_Milch — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
155 videos foundNext > 

Nazi-Kollaborateure Juden auf Seiten Hitlers

Die Nürnberger Rassengesetze von 1935 schufen eine juristische Grundlage zur Verfolgung und Diskriminierung deutscher Juden. Systematisch wurde festgelegt, w...

Nuremberg Case #2 Milch (Enhanced)

Excerpts from the Nuremberg trial of NMT Case No. 2, United States v. Erhard Milch, former Air Field Marshall of the Nazi German Air Force: (1) January 2, 19...


GERMAN GENERALS AND COMMANDERS GERMAN GENERALS AND COMMANDERS in ww2 german generals uniforms designed by Hugo boss colored video Field Marshal Wilhelm Keite...

Nuremberg Day 78 Robert H. Jackson / Milch

On Day 78, Erhard Milch, the former Field Marshal, was the second witness for the Goering defense. Justice Jackson cross examined him on March 11-12, 1946. J...

Göring visita pilotos de caça

Presenças de Hermann Göring, Hermann Graf (00:31), Adolf Galland, Günther Korten (esq) e Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke (00:42), Erhard Milch (00:53) entre outros (194...

Nuremberg Case #2 Milch

Excerpts from the Nuremberg trial of NMT Case No. 2, United States v. Erhard Milch, former Air Field Marshal of the Nazi German Air Force: (1) January 2, 194...

Karl Hoeffkes - Einweihung Flugschule Dessau 1938 (M1064)

Der privat gedrehte 16-mm-Film hält die Einweihung der "Flugtechnischen Vorschule Dessau" und der "Ausbildungsstätten der Junkers Werke" am 15. Juni 1938 fes...


Presenças dos generais: Otto Hoffmann von Waldau (00:05), Hugo Sperrle (00:14), Erhard Milch (00:17), Hans Jeschonnek (esq), Alexander Löhr (centro) e Albert...

Crypto-Judaism, Hitler & The Bankers

Crypto Judaism, Hitler & The Bankers. David Pidlock with Daryl Bradford Smith, February 16, 2006. On Lurianic Kabbalah, Sabbateanism, Sabbatean-Frankists, Th...

Henry King Remembers Case #2 Part 1

Henry T. King, Jr. recalls the Subsequent Proceedings at Nuremberg including the trial against Erhard Milch, commonly known as Case #2. King was a principal ...

155 videos foundNext > 

75 news items

Nürnberg - Presse- und Informationsamt (Pressemitteilung)
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 03:03:45 -0800

Mit „Militär und Polizei vor Gericht: Die Angeklagten Dönitz, Raeder, Jodl, Keitel und Kaltenbrunner im Nürnberger Prozess“ setzt das Memorium Nürnberger Prozesse eine Reihe von Ausstellungsführungen fort, die sich mit einzelnen Angeklagten im ...

Zing News

Zing News
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:42:04 -0800

Ông cùng với các chiến lược gia quân sự Ernst Udet và Erhard Milch thuyết phục Thống chế Hermann Göring, Tư lệnh Không quân Đức, rằng, máy bay ném bom chiến lược quá tốn kém và không hiệu quả. Kesselring lập luận rằng, các máy bay chiến thuật ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:48:26 -0700

Those tired old labels do not work anymore. The world sees right through them. James Meyers user 5pts. @Jeff Rothman America does not have concentration camps, Israel does. Why do you support genocide against the Palestinians? Erhard Milch must be ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Mon, 11 Aug 2014 06:09:04 -0700

Americans identify with John Wayne and Israel identifies with Erhard Milch. The parting of ways is inevitable. Acco Hengst subscriber 5pts. Hamas has won by surviving as an entity. The gap has to be no more Hamas. Make them an export item to ISIS.

The Atlantic

The Atlantic
Mon, 13 Jan 2014 06:29:44 -0800

When Hermann Goring needed to justify the service of "The Jew Nazi" Erhard Milch he asserted, "I decide who is a Jew and who is Aryan." Goring was echoing the words of Austrian anti-Semite Karl Lueger who'd denounced Budapest as "Judapest," then ...
Yahoo Philippines News
Sun, 26 Jan 2014 05:27:09 -0800

From left to right; Hitler, Minister Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Admiral Karl Doenitz, Himmler and Field Marshal General Erhard Milch. German newspaper Welt am Sonntag has published a trove of letters believed to be written by Himmler. On seven full ...
The Globe and Mail
Mon, 27 Jan 2014 07:38:04 -0800

This 1935 photo provided by German newspaper Die Welt shows a family photo of Heinrich Himmler in Valepp, Bavaria. The picture shows Himmler with his wife Marga, back right, his daughter Gudrun, front centrer, his son Gerhard, front right, and a friend ...
PR Web (press release)
Mon, 28 Apr 2014 02:22:30 -0700

The Luftwaffe's second in command, Field Marshal Erhard Milch, was a half-Jew. The Mitzvah Project (the play and lecture) has begun a tour that will bring it to theaters, colleges, Holocaust Resource Centers, Jewish Studies programs, Holocaust Studies ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight