Sunday, 12 June 2016

Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor - new Osprey, Classic Pubs and Lela Presse titles due. First I./KG 40 Condor losses over Norway, April/May 1940 - Goss, Roba

A number of new books on the Fw 200 and Condor operations are due soon. Chris Goss has an Osprey title in preparation while Jean-Louis Roba is compiling a much larger Fw 200 title to be published by Lela Presse. And Classic Pubs are promising the definitive Condor volume next year..

Luftwaffe Feldwebel Ewald Kockmann was for a large part of the war a professional photographer attached to III. Gruppe of Kampfgeschwader 40 and responsible for a large number of high quality images of this unit's Fw 200 Condors based in Bordeaux recently offered by a number of ebay sellers.

Startklar zum Feindflug

C-4s of III./KG 40 seen at Bordeaux- Mérignac. The Germans carried out extensive works at Mérignac for their Atlantic air operations - the aerodrome was developed into arguably the most important Atlantic coast base for anti-shipping and reconnaissance operations. The Germans constructed two concrete runways -  the main runway 2 was oriented north-west/south-east and was some 2,000 metres in length and 80 metres wide. Also constructed were thirteen large metal hangars of some 6,000 sq m organised in three groups. Large numbers of taxiways and dispersal points were constructed over the 410 hectare site - which was surrounded by pines - in attempts to minimise the effects of any Allied air raids. The aerodrome was defended by the RAD-Flakabteilung 595.

Also on this blog;

Unsere Kondor, unser Pilot;  Knight's Cross winner Oberleutnant Bernhard Jope's F8+EL here

A note on some of the first I. Gruppe KG 40 Condor losses of the war

According to Ulf Larsstuvold's article ‘Condor Over Norge i 1940’ in Flyhistorie magazine Nr.19 (2011, via GoranL) three Fw 200 Cs of I./ KG 40 were lost in April and May 1940.

21.04.1940 - Loss of Fw 200 C "F8+CH", pilot Oberleutnant Karl Beckhaus. Besides a crew of six a war reporter was on board when the aircraft failed to return presumed lost over the North Sea after a mission to Narvik had to be abandoned after meeting bad weather and icing conditions at Vestfjorden.

25.05.1940 - Fw 200 C piloted by Oberleutnant Helmut Schöpke was on a mission towards Narvik by three ‘Condors’ that day when attacked by Flying Officer Francis Grant Ede of 263 Sq RAF in his Gloster Gladiator over Harstad. The Condor caught fire and made a forced landing around 11.00 a.m. at Finnøya in Hammarøy with one crew dead and the other becoming POWs. Two other wounded crew members were taken to hospital. No a/c identity given

29.05.1940. Skarsfjord power station was attacked by two ‘Condors’ around midday. F.O. Neville Banks of 46 Sq RAF in a Hurricane attacked the ‘Condor’ flown by Oberleutnant Günther Thiel which caught fire and went into the sea at Dyrøy in the Solbergsfjord at 4.p.m. and exploded during the landing with the loss of all six onboard. F.O. Banks was shot down and killed the same afternoon. In a caption to a colour side view profile the author comments that this aircraft might be Fw 200 C-1 "F8+BH"of 1./KG 40 which is resting at the bottom of the sea between Senja and the mainland.