Johannes Steinhoff - After World War II

After World War II

After the war he married Ursula, and they had one daughter, also named Ursula - later the wife of retired Colorado State Senator Michael Bird.

Steinhoff meanwhile recognised the situation of postwar Germany, and was invited by West Germany's new interim government to rebuild the Luftwaffe within NATO, eventually rising to the rank of full general. Steinhoff served as Chief of Staff and acting Commander Allied Air Forces Central Europe (1965–1966), Chief of Staff of the Luftwaffe (1966–1970) and later as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (1971–1974). He retired in 1974.

He wrote a book called The Final Hours (ISBN 1-57488-863-3) detailing a late-war plot against Hermann Göring. He also wrote a vivid account of his time in Italy; "Messerschmitts over Sicily: Diary of a Luftwaffe Fighter Commander" (Stackpole Military History Series Paperback)

Steinhoff received numerous honours for his work on the structure of the post war Luftwaffe and the integration of the German Federal Armed Forces into NATO, including: The Order of Merit with Star, the American Legion of Merit and the French Légion d'honneur.

One of Steinhoff's contributions was dealing with the high accident rate the Luftwaffe was having with its F-104 Starfighters. Upon researching the issue, Steinhoff, who had always been a good teacher, deduced that the problem was not the aircraft but poor training for pilots on that particular aircraft. He addressed the problem with an intensive training regime and the accident rate dropped dramatically.

Read more about this topic:  Johannes Steinhoff

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