Tuesday, 24 January 2023

More Aufklärungsgruppe Junkers Ju 88s - Ju 88 H with Aufkl.Gr. 123

 


The Junkers Ju 88 H was a development of the Ju 88 D intended for long range reconnaissance missions over the Atlantic in support of the U-boats. Powered by BMW 801 engines the design incorporated two additional sections in a fuselage 'stretched' to 17m - 99 cm was added forward of the leading edges and another 230 cm section was incorporated aft of the trailing edge root point to house an extra fuel tank. The wings were taken from the G-1. Three Robot Rb 70/30 and 50/30 cameras were mounted in the rear fuselage. The variant was also notable for the absence of a cupola under the forward fuselage. Prototype machine, the Ju 88 V89 (W. Nr 430820, RG+RP) was fitted with a FuG 200 Hohentweil search radar, two MG 81s in a WT 81Z ventral pod, and one MG 81 in the windshield and rear posts. It was first flown on November 2, 1943.

The Ju 88 H-1 was the reconnaissance version with BMW 801 Ds (1700 hp) and FuG 200. Maximum range was 5130 km. Ten were built. The H-2 was a more heavily armed Zerstörer sub-type not fitted with radar or cameras. Wing span was 20.08 m and engines were BMW 801 D-2s. Armament – two MG 151/20 cannon in the closed nose and four in a ventral pod. Five were built. (Smith and Kay)

Below; ECPA-D images possibly depicting an H-1 (note FuG 200 just visible) operational with 3.(F)/Aufkl.Gr.123 in France.  AufklGr. author Harald Rabeder comments;

".. The photos were taken early 1944 during a visit of General Ulrich Keller at 3.(F)/123 to inspect the Ju 88 H. Beside General Keller is Staffelkapitän Hptm. Höfer and an unknown officer -most-likely the adjudant aide-de-camp of General Keller or Technical officer of 3.(F)/123. The "German mastif" is the Staffelhund of 3.(F)/123 - unfortunately I do not know it's name .."

 

Ju 88 D of 1.(F) / Aufkl. Gr. 122 based in Greece in early 1944. Note the unit spinner marking. More on this blog at the links below 

Also on this blog;

Monday, 23 January 2023

Ju 52 Transporter at the Kent Battle of Britain museum, Hawkinge, 21 January 2023



..barely two months ago the RAF Museum's CASA 352 (basically a Spanish-built Junkers Ju 52/3M) was looking immaculate in its hangar at Cosford in its pre-WW II British Airways livery, painted to represent G-AFAP of British Airways Ltd circa. 1939. Now transported half-way across the country it is literally in pieces in the car park at the Hawkinge Battle of Britain museum awaiting a re-spray in a 'spurious' Battle of Britain 'scheme'. Although no transport Gruppen had undergone preparation for the 'planned' Operation Sea Lion, KGzbV1 and KGzbV2 were apparently primed to move to France, should the invasion become a possibility. The team at Hawkinge have around ten weeks to strip the machine down and repaint it prior to the opening of the museum for the summer season.  Not to mention lay some concrete for an outside 'dispersal'. Note the shot of the fuel tanks in the wing - volunteers on duty on Saturday mentioned that these had to be drained prior to the move from Cosford as there was still fuel in the tanks following the tri-motor's flight into Cosford some 30-odd years ago! Smaller parts including cowls, BMW radials, ailerons etc are already in the hangar at the Hawkinge museum where it was planned to apply the first coat of paint on Saturday.

Sunday, 22 January 2023

Hptm. Herbert Treppe 13.(Zerstörer)/JG 5

 



Born in Sprottau (now a town in western Poland) on January 30, 1914, Herbert Treppe studied at Breslau university, joining the Marineschule Mürvik in April 1935 where he learned to fly. He studied at the Luftkriegsschule Gatow 1935-36 (note two 's') and received his A/B licences at Celle in September 1936. His 'Lehrlingszeit' concluded with five months blind-flying at the Blindflugschule Wesendorf and subsequently he became an instructor in Brandis. Determined to join a front unit he was posted to KG 26 late in 1940 and according to one source flew in the 'Luftschlacht um England' (Battle of Britain). He flew both day-and-night sorties against land and shipping targets in England and Scotland. On one occasion he succesfully belly-landed his badly shot-up Heinkel He 111 with four wounded crew members in Beauvais after surviving a night-fighter attack.  On February 21, 1941 he was forced to ditch in the North Sea/Skagerrack and spent five hours in a dinghy in temperatures well below freezing before being found. He did not return to flying duties until October that year. After a spell as Ic to the Fliegerführer Nord he flew combat against England, Murmansk and in support of the German army in the Far North. He was appointed Staffelkapitän of 13.(Zerstörer)/JG 5 on June 1, 1943. He wrote an account of one of his first sorties leading the Staffel that summer, claiming two Bostons downed for a 'Doublette' -  as he put it, ".. not bad for a new boy". There are apparently no corresponding Boston losses in Soviet records.


13.(Z)/JG 5 re-equipped with the Bf 110 G early in 1943. Treppe flew Messerschmitt Bf 110 G-2  "1B+AX" (W. Nr. 120 037) out of Kirkenes during autumn 1943 as illustrated here by Kjetil Åkra in Eduard-Info 2015. 



The Zerstörer Staffel was re-named 10./ZG 26 in July 1944. Later in the year Treppe was named as Gruppenkommandeur of IV./ZG 26 (formed during the summer of 1944) and claimed an RAF Coastal Command Liberator on 28 September 1944 timed at 1245 hrs at only 5 metres altitude (over the sea). 

IV./ZG 26 became the new II./JG 5 in February 1945 with Treppe as Kommandeur. As related by Jan Bobek in Eduard-Info 2015-10 the newly reformed II. Gruppe was built up from elements of 9., 12., and 16./JG 5, and partly from the Stab IV./ZG 26 and 10./ZG 26. Interestingly the Messerschmitt Bf 110 Gs from the defunct Zerstörerstaffel were divided amongst the three Gruppen of JG 5 with single-engined fighters and were flown up to the end of the war. 

While the 'Luftwaffe Officer career summaries' page indicates that Treppe passed away in 1984, Jägerblatt published a 75th birthday profile in the December 1989 issue. At this time Treppe was 'Vorsitzender' of the 'Traditionsverband JG 5'.

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

out now, Aérojournal issue 91 - " Focke Wulf 190 Long Nez - Doras au combat"

 


Recent issues of Yannis Khadari's bi-monthly magazine under the direction of Yann Mahé continue to evoke the spirit of CJE with plenty of good Luftwaffe content as ever; the Richthofen over Dieppe, I./NJG 2 over Britain (by J-L Roba), little-known Luftwaffe aces in the Battle of Britain (by Philippe Saintes). 

Just published in the latest Aérojournal (issue 91) ..twenty pages of rare accounts and images compiled by this blog writer devoted to the Fw 190 D-9/11 and Ta 152 in combat, including newly translated diary/logbook entries from JG 51, JG 301 and JG 6. I've also managed to incorporate some of Werner Molge's lengthy contributions in Jägerblatt during the 1980s which don't appear in D.Caldwell's various JG 26 texts.  French text.



"....If the Focke Wulf 190 A (Anton) was – to coin a phrase – the ugly duckling, then the Fw 190 D (Dora) was the graceful swan. The re-designed nose – to accommodate a Jumo in-line engine – and the lengthened rear fuselage gave the Dora an elegance that was far removed from the pugnacious, snub-nosed Anton. Built in large numbers from late August 1944 the Dora was one of the best fighters of the war – on paper. The fact that the type accounted for less than one hundred Allied aircraft shot down in its entire career is indicative of the overwhelming aerial supremacy of the Allies by late 1944. It also highlights the evolving role of what was initially conceived as a stop-gap high altitude fighter to combat the Allied bomber fleets but was increasingly deployed as a fast ground strafing light bomber – another ‘miracle’ weapon that contributed little more than the virtually obsolescent Messerschmitts and Focke Wulfs it was designed to supercede..."

The superlative cover artwork is by Antonis Karidis and depicts Fw. Wolfgang Polster at the controls of his 11./JG 26 'yellow 10' (WNr. 500603) being caught landing at Plantlünne on 24 February 1945 by Fl. Lt. David Fairbanks in his 274 Sqd Tempest V coded JJ-F. Polster was Fairbanks 11th victim but survived this downing and the war. 



" On or around April 20, 1945 the Dora-9s of II./JG 6 flew into Kummer am See in northern Bohemia, Czechoslovakia – part of the so-called and hastily thrown-together ‘Gefechtsverband Rudel’. Rudel, the ‘famous’ Stuka ace recalled his return to a front command and a sortie in the new Dora following his leg amputation...."

Having used the service a number of times now I can confirm that back issues of Aérojournal are speedily and professionally shipped via http://caraktere.com    (cost 8 euros). Stocked in the UK by the Aviation and Military book Centre 

Monday, 5 December 2022

‘What Is Man Against It?’: Combat Motivation, Experience, and Morale across the Luftwaffe during the Second World War

 


Victoria Taylor talk at the RAF Museum Cosford on morale and combat motiviation in the Luftwaffe  - PhD candidate and now Dr. Taylor's main focus of study is British and German aviation in the inter-war and Second World War period. She wrote her thesis on the "Luftwaffe and National Socialism in the Third Reich"


Talk Outline



‘I'm lying here in a village outside Leningrad. The bullets and grenades fly back and forth. What is man against it?’ This fraught letter from the mid-throes of Operation BARBAROSSA came not from a soldier with the German Heer (army), as one might expect, but instead from a low-ranking Luftwaffe serviceman with the Luftnachrichten-Regiment 11 (Air Signals Regiment 11) on 21 September 1941. In a topic that is dominated by the post-war memoirs of the famous German fighter aces, the Luftwaffe’s historians have often neglected the lived-in combat experiences of its men across the organisation’s ranks and roles during the Second World War.



That air signals units, anti-aircraft personnel, and even bomber crews sometimes became embroiled in brutal close-range fighting on the ground, or that the medical personnel tasked with patching up casualties in the flying arms were haunted by the broken airmen they attended to, rarely factors into our general understanding of the Luftwaffe’s wartime history. When a wider swathe of letters from both its flying and non-flying personnel are considered, a more complex and contradictory image of the Luftwaffe begins to appear – especially when considering its various sources of combat motivation, from their families to the Führer.

Drawing upon original letters sent home to their loved ones in the Third Reich and other contemporary sources, such as the Allied interrogations of captured Luftwaffe personnel, this lecture considers how combat motivation, experience, and morale could differ across the Luftwaffe and the theatres it fought within, although opinions of the war’s direction among its multiple branches could also vary considerably even when they were serving on the same front. In turn, this allows a more thorough perception of its operational culture, esprit de corps (or, in some cases, lack thereof), and eventual collapse to be more thoroughly developed beyond the gunsights of the Luftwaffe’s fighter pilots.


Saturday, 3 December 2022

German Fighters in the West from Poland to the Defence of the Reich - new JaPo Luftwaffe fighters volume is on sale now!

 

 


From the archives of Michael Meyer and Paul Stipdonk this new hardback photo book from JaPo comprises 508 pages and features over 1,000 images. Detailed photo captions in German/English, 41 profile artworks by Anders Hjortsberg - on sale now!

Dual language text. The extensive English-language photo captions have been translated/edited by this blog writer and in total add up to some 75 pages of text. Having been involved in the compilation of this volume (a 'one off' stand-alone) this blogger can confirm that a good majority of the images are previously unpublished. Certainly in this quality. The notion that the 'average Luftwaffe enthusiast' will have seen more than 50% of these images is nonsense!  (There are ten 'new' images on the page views below alone..) Obviously if you have all the JfV volumes published (around 30 so far), then there will be fewer 'surprises'. An essential purchase  that, along with the detailed captions, tells the story of the Jagdwaffe in the West, some 10 years in the making! 



See the publisher's website for more info here


"....A comprehensive pictorial volume on the day fighters of the Luftwaffe units deployed in the West and the later Defence of the Reich. This volume is organised chronologically beginning with the establishment of those fighter formations set up in the period from 1935 to 1939 and the first offensive campaign over Poland. At first glance, it may not seem logical to also deal with the war in Poland. But that is where the Second World War began. At the end of hostilities, many of the units deployed over Poland moved to the West as a result of the declaration of war by England and France on Germany on 3rd September 1939. This was followed by the offensive against Germany’s western neighbours, by operations against the UK through 1940–41 and then the need to organise defences against the Allied units operating from the UK over the Continent, so-called Reichsverteidigung (Defence of the Reich). Over the years we have received many requests for photos from people interested in the Luftwaffe. We are fortunate in that our archives feature a good number of striking and significant images of German fighters. Although there are already a number of good publications devoted to Luftwaffe fighter pilots, we decided to put together a volume featuring some of the best of our pictures. Put simply that is how this book came about. There are many new images here – but we have not entirely dispensed with previously published images, as to do so would leave large gaps in coverage. For this reason, the reader is also shown a number of known pictures, but hopefully in much better quality than before. The photos are complemented by a number of excellent profile artworks, which may just spark some new ideas for model builders and potentially serve as an incentive for the decal manufacturers to create something new...."

These page views are taken from the Japanese 'Hobby Search' website and give some idea of the fabulous content in this volume - these are 'new' views of machines serving with I./JG 300 and single-engine night fighters with JG 2



Also on this blog; 

Thursday, 10 November 2022

"To Save an Army - the Stalingrad airlift " by Robert Forsyth - new Luftwaffe book review

 



 Nearly eighty years ago, on 19 November 1942, the Russians launched a counter-offensive that quickly surrounded the city of Stalingrad, the objective of Hitler's summer 1942 campaign in the East. Trapped inside the resulting 'Kessel' or pocket or were some 300,000 troops of the German 6.Armee and their Allies. Hitler was determined to hold the city and 6. Armee commander Generaloberst Friedrich Paulus waited in vain for a response to his requests for 'freedom of action'. The result was a catastrophe for the Wehrmacht. Just ten weeks later  only 91,000 German troops in the pocket were still alive of which just 6,000 men returned from Soviet captivity. The encirclement force  -'Operation Uranus' - had comprised three complete Soviet armies, the 1st Guard, the 5th Tank and 21st Army. Outnumbered and poorly equipped, the Rumanian 3. Armee which held the German 6. Armee's northern flank managed to hold on for most of that first day before being shattered. The next day a second Soviet Offensive was launched to the south of Stalingrad against the Rumanian 4. Armee. which collapsed. The tips of the two Soviet pincers quickly met at Kalach-on-Don just to the west of Stalingrad sealing the ring. Immediate German preparations for a 'break-out' to the south-west towards 4. Panzerarmee were well underway when the order 'no withdrawal' arrived. To the north-east of the pocket v. Seylich-Kurzbach (CO L1. Armeekorps) had already authorised his divsions to pull back from their well-constructed winter positions.  

While the ground troops fought to 'stabilise' the front - the Russians having been alive to German preparations for withdrawal - German commanders hastily drew up plans to mount an 'airlift'. This 'operation' is the focus of this excellent new account from Robert Forsyth for Osprey. As an 'operation' the story of the airlift has never been 'properly' told in English (Kurowski's 'Luftbrücke Stalingrad' - one of his better works - has not been translated, while both Bergstrom and Hayward focus on the 'Blau' campaign in its entirety). The absence of a 'proper' account in English may be explained by - may even be the result of - viewing the airlift very much as a ‘passive’ operation: that is to say there are no ‘guns blazing’. The much-vaunted 'achievements' of the Luftwaffe fighter aces are only 'represented' at Stalingrad through the efforts of the very small 'airfield protection' unit detached from JG 3 set up at Pitomnik.

Yet, as the author explains in his introduction the story is a 'dynamic' one - the airlift at Stalingrad was played out against a backdrop of appalling weather as the clock ticked down on the poor souls trapped in the ever-shrinking 'pocket' as the airfields at Pitomnik and Gumrak were finally lost, while German commanders vied with each other in ambition, ineptitude ..and recriminations. Wolfram v. Richthofen, the commander of VIII Fliegerkorps - whose diaries and documents form the basis for this book -is particularly dismissive of the 'Sonderstab Milch'- an episode that this reviewer was largely unfamiliar with. Secretary of State GFM Milch was dispatched to Russia in mid-January to 'energise' the airlift but succeeeded only in exasperating the senior commanders - 'too many cooks' - and getting himself seriously injured in a car crash, hit by a Russian locomotive while attempting to drive across a railway line.

The story is also founded to a significant degree on the writings and letters of Martin Fiebig, the Flak general Wolfgang Pickert, the senior Luftwaffe officer in the Kessel awarded the Ritterkreuz for his support of 6.Armee, papers from the Milch Sonderstab, plus the recollections of a senior medical officer of Luftflotte 4, as well as reports prepared by field commanders such as Förster, Kühl and Willers etc. It is a story told very much from the ‘top down’ by the decision-makers rather than from unit-level up. At times they seem almost incapable of processing the magnitude and scale of the task which Hitler had blithely assigned them. Why were combat aircrat able to take off and the transports not? Because the bigger machines had to be dug out of the snowdrifts with winds blowing at 90 km/h and temperatures at -12°C!  Paulus had to dispatch a 'special-envoy' to the 'Wolfschanze' to explain, among other things that the figures for aircraft being declared 'Kesselklar' and 'Einsatzbereit' bore little relation to the numbers of machines flying into the city. Nobody seemed to realise that the daily requirements of bread alone were forty tons!

Earlier in 1942 the 'successful' resupply efforts mounted at Demyansk and Cholm had set 'dangerous precedents' (chapter 2)  and expectations for this type of 'operation'. Encircled German armies had been kept largely resupplied from the air.  But as the author describes, air transport and the resupply of far-flung armies " had become something of a blind spot in Luftwaffe operational thinking". Indeed the Luftwaffe's transport force had no autonomous command and no functional or operational infrastructure. It was an indication of how ill-prepared the Luftwaffe was for war that, in order to optimise usage, the Junkers Ju 52 served both in the air transport and bomber pilot training roles. Blitzkrieg meant short rapid offensives but as the Wehrmacht's campaigns became more drawn out and the Germans suffered their first reverses "the transport side of the system began to break down.." as the allocation of transports to the various Luftflotten became insufficient for the demands placed upon them. To some, the efforts of He 111 bomber crews in dropping containers of bread at Demyansk and Cholm had taken on the appearance of an 'humanitarian relief effort' rather than demonstrating any serious air transport capability. The fact is the Ju 52 transport force did not have enough stowage capacity and was under immense strain - elsewhere the Germans in North Africa were just a few months away from capitulation because of logistics.. Indeed production of the Ju 52 had been cut right back in favour of the development of newer types just at the wrong time- pressing Heinkel bombers into service as transports might boost the numbers of aircraft committed to an operation but not necessarily its effectiveness. Similarly the author makes the point that without their own command even the higest-ranking transport officers were merely the recipient of orders from elsewhere and rarely consulted as to the feasibility of large scale transport operations.

The same scenario was played out over Stalingrad. The aim was to keep 6. Armee functioning as a fighting force - some 500 tons of rations and ammunition were required each day as a minimum.  It was a hopeless task and the Luftwaffe failed disastrously. Even had they succeeded and ever come close to the '500 tons' the author doubts whether the outcome would have been any different. Aircraft were dug up from all sorts of commands and sent east in a completely ad-hoc fashion. In addition to the Ju 52s and He 111 bombers, random types - including training school Ju 86s - were pressed into service as makeshift 'transports'. Major Willers, CO of the adhoc Fw 200 unit detached from KG 40, wrote;

" ..working on the aircraft in snowstorms without any protection was hopeless. On several occasions we had to use the heater carts to thaw out the mechanics who had become frozen to the aircraft with their wrenches in their hands...[..].. it was an extreme process of acclimatisation to go from 20°C in Bordeaux to -30°C in Stalino and Zaporozhye.."

According to the author the Condors were relatively effective at Stalingrad. Used to ranging out over the Atlantic, their crews were skilled in flying and navigating in poor weather and even when over-loaded the competence of the crews in alighting the heavy machines on the snow reduced the potential for damage, despite the fragility of the Condor's landing gear. Ultimately though there were only eighteen of them and Stalino - 500 km from Stalingrad - had no hangars or other infrastructure to accomodate them.

While the Condors were large - the type was essentially a pre-war civil airliner - the Luftwaffe in desperation deployed even larger aircraft. The biggest machine in the Luftwaffe's inventory was the Junkers Ju 290 V1 - an untried type with a wingspan some four metres greater than that of the Fw 200 Condor, capable in theory of flying in ten tons of rations and flying out some 80 wounded men. The Ju 290 was flown into Stalino by Junkers test pilot Flugkapitän Walter Hänig on 28 December. Other 'giants' sent from Germany included some of the most unreliable, accident-prone and downright dangerous aircraft ever conceived by German engineering. Developed as a new-generation strategic bomber with coupled engines, the Heinkel He 177 had been flying - and catching fire and crashing - since 1939. At one point during 1942 there was only one prototype left flying. The first He 177 bomber Gruppe I./FKG 50 (Fernkampf Geschwader) had already declared the type unfit for operations. In Stalino, Willers decribed the type as 'a marvel of technology but it couldn't fly..'

On the ground in the city, rations became increasingly scanty and ammunition scarce. Meanwhile the harsh winter weather was becoming increasingly bitter with heavy snowfalls hampering any movement and many German soldiers continuing to suffer horrendously with wholly indequate equipment and clothing as Adelbert Holl relates in his memoir 'Als Infanterist in Stalingrad'. On the 'best' day of the airlift - 19 December - 147 aircraft flew in barely 230 tonnes. Sausages from horse meat were available but would soon have to be eaten raw. By 27 December a lack of fodder meant that the Futtermeister were slaughtering even the strongest horses. At night supplies were dropped in canisters, but the Russians lit the same beacons as the Germans and most fell in between the lines, always a heavy blow for troops. While news of 'relief' efforts gave new impetus, it snowed heavily thoughout the day on 24 December which those on the ground recognised would surely impede any efforts. Following the fall of Pitomnik, a rag-tag collection of aircrews and aircraft mounted sorties into the much smaller field at Gumrak, although Soviet decoy operations lured many aircraft to their doom. Of course the flights into the pocket were hazardous for the crews. More harrowing perhaps were the scenes that greeted them at the airfields. He 111s of III./KG 55 flew their first sortie into the pocket on 12 January - as the makeshift transports landed, ragged, ghostly figures appeared out of the gloom, stumbling towards the aircraft, desperate either for food or to board the aircraft. As the hatches opened men were kicked or punched away by the crews as the supplies were quickly thrown out into the snow. Shots were fired into the air in an effort to maintain order. Uffz. Michael Deiml, a flight engineer remembered his 198th sortie;

"..although our aircraft had been seriously damaged on the way in - the tail and rear fuselage had been holed by some fifty AA shells - the machine could still fly! The machine was not a transport but a bomber with bomb bays and supplementary fuel tanks in the interior and we could only fly out eight passengers.."

13 January was a disastrous day for the airlift. Soviet aircraft destroyed 29 aircraft on the ground at Pitomnik. Flugkapitän Hänig attempted to get airborne from the field on the return leg of his second supply flight but as the heavy Ju 290 climbed out of the pocket at 00:45 the aircraft reared up - the cockpit having probably taken a direct hit - and crashed back down into the snow, killing the majority of the 75 wounded aboard, along with the crew. A second Ju 290 sent to Stalingrad made its one and only return flight on the same date - the big aircraft proved to be easy prey for Soviet fighters. The experienced pilot, Maj. Hugo Wiskandt, Staffelkapitän of 1./ KG. z.b.V. 172, managed to return the aircraft to Stalino with no fewer than 123 impacts, ending the type's attempts to supply Stalingrad. (Only four Ju 290s were constructed during the first quarter of 1943). Elsewhere the He 177s made their 'inauspicious' debut in the airlift, carrying too small a load and consuming huge amounts of fuel. Of the 30 He 177s that had flown into Zaporozhye-Süd, ten quickly went unserviceable. Fiebig wrote;

" This type of aircraft does not accomplish anything. They only dropped eight 250 kg containers ..[..] consuming 4,000 litres of fuel for their mission..

Nor could they land because of the risk of being immobilised in the pocket. The Kommandeur, Maj. Kurt Schede, failed to return from his first mission, flown on 16 January. Similarly, plans to use towed gliders to fly in supplies - the Me 321 Gigant could haul 21 tons - were quickly abandoned as being impractical, especially as there were no suitable towing aircraft available.

At Stalingrad the Luftwaffe "had been assigned a gargantuan, draining, horrific,..[..].. infernal task." While most sources differ here, the Luftwaffe lost very nearly 500 aircraft attempting to keep 6. Armee supplied in Stalingrad, virtually five entire Geschwader, along with 1,000 experienced flying personnel. Towards the end of the airlift, the condition of the surviving troops in the pocket was so poor that supplies dropped were not being picked up. The average daily supply drop was always at least 200 tons below the subsistence level to keep 6.Armee functioning. From disrupted flight training back in the Reich to a virtual pause in the war against Allied shipping in the Bay of Biscay, the failure of the airlift had an impact that was felt far beyond Stalingrad. Citino wrote that the Wehrmacht had 'broken itself' at Stalingrad. The abandonment of 6.Armee had a devastating impact on national morale. And the author makes the point that no 'lessons' were learnt either. The Luftwaffe's Transporter would continue to fly resupply missions into 'fortresses', albeit small-scale - the Crimea, encircled cities in East Prussia, ports on the French Atlantic coast - until May 1945.

"To Save an Army - the Stalingrad airlift " by Robert Forsyth is published today, 10 November, by Osprey. Thanks to Elle at Osprey for an advance copy.  'Aeroplane' magazine's 'Book of the month'.





Also on this blog; 


 Adelbert Holl's memoir 'Als Infanterist in Stalingrad' is still available in translation by this blog writer from Leaping Horseman Books...


Below; rare images probably at Pitomnik airfield during the Stalingrad airlift operations, December 1942. (source, expired ebay auctions) "To save an army" features 60 rare photos and profile artworks..