Lothar Wieland

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Lothar Wieland
Lt. d. R. Wieland 1917 bei der LFS Hage.jpg
Lt. d. R. Wieland 1917 at the Landflugstation (LFS) Hage
Birth date 3 February 1888 (1888-02-03)
Place of birth Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Death date 4 January 1947 (1947-01-05) (aged 58)
Place of death Friedberg, Bavaria, Allied-occupied Germany
Allegiance  German Empire
Service/branch  Kaiserliche Marine
Rank Leutnant der Reserve
Awards Iron Cross
Other work Entrepreneur at aircraft factories

Lothar Wieland (3 February 1888 – 4 January 1947) was a German aviator and a reserves officer of the Imperial German Navy in WWI. The flight pioneers who, before the outbreak of the First World War on 1 August 1914, had passed the pilot's test in accordance with the regulations of the German Aviation Association (Deutscher Luftfahrer-Verband) in Germany founded in 1902, were honorably called "Alte Adler" ("old eagles"). Wieland belonged to this elite.


Lothar Wieland in "Flugsport", 22 December 1913
Lt. d. R. Wieland, Lt. d. R. Brockhoff and Hauptmann Götze, July 1916
Albatros Flugzeugwerke GmbH[1]
Lothar Wieland jr. (youngest son of the aviator), 2nd from right, in 1951 as member of the TTC Friedberg

After his Abitur and studies, Wieland decided to complete his compulsory military service with the Kaiserliche Marine and joined on 1 April 1910 as a one-year volunteer (Einjährig-Freiwilliger) with the Matrosenartillerie (MA). The sailor artillery battalions were land-based coastal defense units. They operated the shore batteries and were responsible for the port surveillance service using torpedo batteries, mines and cable, net and beam locks. He finished his service in March 1911 and was promoted to Vize Steuermann d. R. on 25 May 1911, now belonging to the reserves.[2] It is probable, that he returned to university, but not known.

At some time in 1913, living in Charlottenburg, he began working for the Albatros-Werke GmbH under Dr. phil. Enno Walther Huth at the Johannisthal Air Field. At this time, the famous Ernst Heinkel was chief designer. At the same time, he took flying leasons, and on 4 December 1913, he passed the flight test with a single-decker Albatros Taube. He then worked as a flight instructor at the flight school and became the director's assistant.

In summer 1914, the German aircraft manufacturer Albatros-Flugzeugwerke GmbH of Berlin-Johannisthal, sent the military aviator Lothar Wieland on a tour to several countries in northern Europe to display their type B.IIa. This aircraft was one of the best basic trainers of its times. On 25 July 1914, the Albatros landed at Malmen, Sweden. Next day, the journey continued to Stockholm. But Wieland made a misjudgement and landed in a muddy field. During the landing, the aircraft rolled over and was damaged. Before repairs managed to be accomplished, WWI broke out. Lothar Wieland was sent home to Germany, but the aircraft was illegally confiscated by the Swedish authorities. The Albatros was copied and built by FVM and three other Swedish aircraft manufacturers. A total of 42 Albatros B.II were built for the Army Aviation Company in different variations.[3][4]


At the beginning of the war, Wieland was drafted into the Volunteer Naval Air Corps (F.M.F.) in Johannisthal. The F.M.F. (Freiwilliges Marine-Flieger-Korps) was set up at the beginning of the war at the suggestion of the Reichstag by the Reich Navy Office (Reichsmarineamt) as a "detachment" of the Navy Aviation Department (MFA). By cabinet order of 29 August 1914, it became an independent department under the commander of the naval aviation departments B.d.L. (Befehlshaber der Marine-Luftfahr-Abteilungen). From the beginning, the F.M.F. had the task of training and providing pilots, observers and mechanics for land and seaplanes. The training on landplanes took place at the Johannisthal airfield and on seaplanes on the Müggelsee in Berlin. From October 1914, sea pilot training was relocated to Putzig.[5] At the end of August 1914, Wieland was assigned to the newly founded Landflugstation (LFS) in Kiel.

On 7 October 1914, Wieland had a bad accident. In an unspecified crash, Wieland broke his left knee. His observer Bernhard Jagenberg did not survive the crash. For Wieland it meant a six-month recovery break. He did not return to the unit until 1 April 1915. On 18 September 1915, he was promoted to Leutnant d. R. (M.A.). In October 1915, he was commanded to the Seefliegerstation (SFS) Holtenau as crew officer. In January 1916, he was commanded to the Marine-Landflieger-Abteilung (L.F.A.) in Johannisthal and led the flight school as deputy leader (standing in for Leutnant zur See der Reserve Hans von Reppert) from 18 April to 19 June 1916. From 15 November 1916 to 15 February 1917, he was leader of the flight school of the Landfliegerabteilung.

From 15 March to 22 September 1917, he became leader of the Landflugstation (LFS) Hage (Lt. d. L. Kühling was his successor). Subsequently he was commanded to Windau in the Baltic to lead the Kampfstaffel (Kasta) Kurland (Combat Squadron Courland). After the occupation of the Baltic islands, this unit was dissolved again on 10 November 1917 and the pilots were ordered back to the LFA in Johannisthal. This was followed by the command to the Seaplane Experimental Command (Seeflugzeug-Versuchskommando; SVK) in Warnemünde on 27 December 1917 as a platoon officer.

For such an experienced land aviator, being commanded to the Commander of Aviation of the Flanders Marine Corps (Kommandeur des Luftfahrwesens des Marinekorps Flandern; K.d.L.F.) on 22 May 1918 was an understandable step. The post of K.d.L.F. was established as early as 22 December 1914. All air stations in Flanders were subordinate to this. He was on the staff for almost a month. On 27 June 1918, he was commanded to the Seefrontstaffel (Seefrosta; SFS). The founding of the Seefrosta goes back to an instruction from the K.d.L.F. dated 1 October 1917. The squadron should support long-distance reconnaissance over the North Sea with light land aircraft. While the naval field fighter squadrons were mostly used on the land front, the Seefrosta was to accompany their own seaplanes on their long-range reconnaissance flights across the Channel and protect them from enemy attacks. Furthermore, the Seefrosta should also fly reconnaissance, especially in the Channel and at the Thames Estuary. The leadership of this unit was first given to the experienced Flanders pilot Leutnant zur See Hans Rolshoven (b. 23 December 1894; 6 May 1918), he was succeeded by flying ace Leutnant zur See Reinhold Poss (1897–1933).

On 30 July 1918, Wieland was wounded in the left leg during an air battle with his Albatros D.Va against three enemy aircraft. Despite being wounded and with a badly shot-up aircraft, he still managed to land in Nieuwmunster. Wieland was taken to War Hospital III (Kriegslazarett III) in Bruges immediately after landing. After his recovery, he, like Gerhard Hubrich and others, was commanded to the Marine Field Fighter Squadron IV or Marine-Feld-Jagdstaffel IV (MFJ IV), which was subordinate to the Marine Fighter Wing or Marine-Jagdgeschwader under Gotthard Sachsenberg. After the November Revolution, he was transferred back to the Marine-Landflieger-Abteilung (L.F.A.).[6] It is possible, that in January 1919, he, like so many of his comrades, joined a flying wing of the Freikorps, the Kampfgeschwader „Sachsenberg“, but this is not documented.


After the war, he returned to civil aviation and worked for Albatros Flugzeugwerke GmbH, Focke-Wulf AG and other companies in this industry. At Albatros, he blonged to the leadership as a Kollektiv-Prokurist (collective authorized signatory) together with Oberleutnant der Reserve a. D. Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Walter Blume. As a result of the global economic crisis, government subsidies were cut for Albatros and the company became illiquid. Under pressure from the state, the Albatros Flugzeugwerke GmbH merged with Focke-Wulf-Flugzeugbau AG in September 1931. For a short time the entire company was called Focke-Wulf-Albatros.


Lothar Wieland died in Friedberg on 4 January 1947 from veronal poisoning. According to a medical certificate, it was an accident.

Awards and decorations (excerpt)