More likely ground personnel. Flak


[Bau Battalion.](https://www.reddit.com/r/Militariacollecting/comments/qfq80m/johann_bachhuber_was_a_obergefreiter_in_the/hi3i0rf/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf&context=3) Ground personnel, yes.


The Raid on Tatsinskaya was a Soviet armoured raid deep into the German rear conducted by 24th Tank Corps under the command of Major General Vasily Mikhaylovich Badanov in late December 1942. It took place during Operation Little Saturn, on the heels of the successful encirclement of the Wehrmacht's 6th Army in the Battle of Stalingrad. The raid was designed to force the Germans to divert forces attempting to relieve the 6th Army. The Soviet force captured its objective, the Luftwaffe's airlift hub at the Tatsinskaya Airfield. The Soviet forces destroyed over 72 aircraft on the ground, but was left cut off and without supplies. An eyewitness account by a Soviet officer describes the scene: “Our tank detachments unexpectedly broke into Tatsinski military airport. First to penetrate enemy's territory was captain Nechaev's battalion. A tough fight between tanks and enemy artillery began. Germans were shooting grenades at the Russian tanks and managed to blow up several of them. However the Soviet tank crews broke the Nazi defense. After they destroyed patrol forces, Russian soldiers started shooting German pilots that rushed to their planes desperately hoping to save their lives.” On Christmas Eve, 24 December 1942, Soviet captured the town and the airfield. This is the same day that Johann was killed.


Johann Bachuber was an Obergefreiter, or Private, First Class, and therefore was an enlisted man. He wouldn't have been a pilot.


Thanks for the info!


Obergefreiter at that time was equivalent to a Corporal. Gefreiter was a Lance Corporal and Soldat was a Private.


>The Soviet forces destroyed over 72 aircraft on the ground, but was left cut off and without supplies. So what happened to them? Were they themselves rescued by other Soviet units? Were they captured?


They made their way out of encirclement and returned.