5 landing(transport flotillas were formed by the Luftwaffe during World War 2, and used mainly Siebel ferries and Infanterie-Transporter, both designs by the Luftwaffe. They were mainly used for transport duties, especially between Sicily and Tunisia.
The Infanterie-Transporter were self-propelled barges mainly built in Holland and Belgium. They could carry about 7 tons or 40 combat troops, and were armed with light MGs. Variants incl. hospital and repair barges.
The Siebel ferry were built at many small yards in Germany, Holland, Belgium and France. They could carry about 60-80 tons, and were armed with light MGs and later a 37mm gun. Many variants were built: AA/Artillery ferries with 88mm guns, hospital ferries and repair ferries.
Luftwaffen-Fährenflotillen I - V, were also called Luftwaffen-Fährenflotillen 1 - 5.
Most operated under two HQ's: EFO (existed 5.42 - 11.42) and EFS (existed 9.42 - 5.43) (see below).
Formed 2.42 in Constanza from parts of Flak-Abteilung 505, Fähren-Ausbildungs- und Ergänzungs-Abteilung and Sonderkommando Siebel, with 12 Siebel ferries and 5 or 6 Infanterie-Transporter (I-boote), and was subordinated to Luftwaffen-Nachschubstab Rumänien.
In Spring 1942 moved to Otschakow and later to Nikolayev. From 15.6.42 transported by rail from Nikolayev to Kertsch (Asow Meer). Main duites included transport of supplies over the Kertsch strait.
In 5.43 disbanded, and was absorbed by the Navy's 3rd Landungs-Flotille (as the 4th Group).
The following ships are known to have served with Luftwaffen-Fährenflotille I:
Siebel ferries: SF111, SF114 - 123, SF145
I-Transporter: I-O-80, I-O-81, I-O-84, I-O-106, and 2 others
3 losses are known:
One mined off Jeisk 11.7.42
One mined off Jeisk 10.8.42
One lost off Mariupol 16.8.42
Two off these losses were SF119 and SF123.
Luftwaffen-Fährenflotille II and III
Formed 5.42 in Antwerpen under Einsatzstab Fähre Ost (EFO) for duties on the Ladoga See. Arrived 13.6.42 - 15.8.42 at Lahdenpohja with 2323 combat troops. Was divided into two battle groups with support stations at Sortanlahti (from 4.9.42 Taivallahti) and Käkisalmi.
Consisted of 23 Siebel ferries (1 HQ, 1 Hospital, 2 Repair, 6 Transport, 6 light combat and 7 heavy combat ferries), 9 I-Transporter (1 HQ, 1 Hospital, 3 Transport and 4 Minesweeper) and one HQ boat (a heavy Sturmboot).
All were withdrawn 11.42, and EFO was disbanded. The two flotillas were transferred to the Mediterranean area.
The following ships are known to have served with Luftwaffen-Fährenflotille II and III:
Siebel ferries: SF2, SF62-65(?), and many others
I-Transporter: I-O-1, and others
3 Siebel ferries were lost 22.10.42, and 2 were transferred to the Finnish Navy.
Luftwaffen-Fährenflotille IV and V
Formed 9.42 in Palermo under Einsatzstab Fähre Süd (EFS) for transport duties between Sicily and North Africa, and later Sicily-Tunisia. Was joined by Luftwaffen-Fährenflotilla II and III from 11.42. EFS was commanded by ObLt Schiller-Köln.
Consisted of about 97 Siebel ferries and about 30 I-Transporter.
In 5.43 EFS was disbanded and the four flotillas were absorbed by the Navy's 4th and 10th Landungs-Flotillen.
The following ships are known to have served with EFS:
Siebel ferries: SF53, SF56, SF86-88, SF94, SF98-99, SF101, SF104-105, SF108-110, SF152-193, SF195-235
I-Transporter: I-O-16, I-O-21, I-O-27, I-O-30 to 32, I-O-41, I-O-64, I-O-78 and others
SF54: bombed 1.3.43 in Palermo
SF87: bombed 23.2.43 off Cape Bon
SF98: beached in a storm, Tunisia, 8.2.43
SF99: beached in a storm, Tunisia, 20.2.43
SF104: lost in a storm, between Sicily and Tunisia, 3.4.43
SF152: lost in a storm, between Sicily and Africa, 16.2.43
SF153: bombed, between Sicily and Tunisia, 16.3.43
SF154: bombed, between Sicily and Tunisia, 16.3.43
SF166: bombed, between Marsala and Tunis, 26.4.43
SF167: bombed, between Marsala and Tunis, 26.4.43
SF168: bombed in Marsala, 6.5.43
SF189: bombed in Bizerta, 3.43
SF195: bombed in Marsala, 6.5.43
SF196: lost in a storm, between Sicily and Tunisia, 3.4.43
SF201: bombed in Marsala, 6.5.43
SF202: bombed in Marsala, 6.5.43
SF203: lost in a storm, between Sicily and Tunisia, 3.4.43
SF205: bombed 10.2.43 northeast off Cape Bon
SF206: bombed 10.2.43 northeast off Cape Bon
SF207: mined 6.2.43 between Sicily and Tunisia
SF208: beached in a storm, Tunisia, 8.2.43
SF209: beached in a storm, Cape Bon, 20.2.43
SF210: bombed 23.2.43 northeast off Cape Bon
SF211: beached in a storm, near Cape Bon, 21.2.43
SF213: bombed in Marsala, 6.5.43
SF214: bombed 24.4.43 between Marsala and Tunis
SF215: lost in a storm, between Sicily and Tunisia, 20.2.43
SF216: lost in a storm, between Sicily and Tunisia, 20.2.43
SF217: bombed 24.4.43 between Sicily and Tunisia
SF219: Mined 4.3.43 between Sicily and Tunisia
SF220: Mined 1.3.43 between Sicily and Tunisia
SF222: bombed in Marsala, 6.5.43
SF223: lost in a storm, between Sicily and Tunisia, 3.4.43
SF225: Bombed 11.5.43 at Pantelleria
SF226: bombed in Marsala, 6.5.43
SF235: lost in a storm off Messina, 16.11.42
I-O-16: beached 6.2.43 in North Africa
I-O-21: bombed 21.3.43 between Marsala and Tunis
I-O-30: beached 6.2.43 in North Africa
I-O-31: beached 6.2.43 in North Africa
I-O-32: bombed 6.5.43 at Marsala
I-O-41: Bombed 11.5.43 at Pantelleria
Total losses 6.2.43 - 11.5.43:
14 Siebel ferries lost in bad weather
19 Siebel ferries lost by air attack
3 Siebel ferries lost by mines
10 I-Transporter lost, mostly by bad weather