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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Watch a B-24 Go Down

B-24 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
B-24s on a mission



This is a classic video about a B-24 which "gets it" during a bombing raid in the Pacific. Watch it for yourself and see what you think. Then, there is an explanation below of what happened.


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Cameras capture the incredible moment when a B24 Bomber plane is hit and crashing in flames. This plane was nicknamed "Brief". Serial Number 44-42058. It had taken off from Angaur Airfield, flying on a bombing mission against anti-aircraft installations on Koror, Palau Islands. Whilst over Koror, the B-24 was hit by anti-aircraft fire.

The fuselage fell in a flat spiral until it crashed.

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Many think this was friendly fire, a bomb dropped from a B-24 above this one that hit the wing and exploded with its contact fuse. The theory is that the planes were flying too close in formation and the plane above accidentally hit it. That (dropping a bomb on a bomber) actually was a method used by defending fighters against the bomber stream, but it never worked all that well for a number of reasons (such as it is very tough to do that on purpose, it is quite easy to get shot down while you are trying to maneuver into just the right position, and so on).

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A B-24 gets its tail blown off by a Me 262

It also is theorized by some that famous bandleader Glenn Miller was killed when that exact thing happened, a bomber stream returning from an unsuccessful mission unloading its bombs in the English Channel before returning to base to remove that safety hazard. So, the idea is not at all far-fetched.

However, a cleaned up version of the film has been analysed and it shows that the wing is struck from below. So it was not friendly fire, though it sure looks like it to an awful lot of viewers. The B-24 that was hit appears to have been in the process of unloading its own bombs when it was hit. There is an awful lot going on in that brief sequence, but that is how combat is.

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B-24s over Bremen, Germany, January 1945

There were 10 crew members on the B-24. Nine of them were killed in this 'flying coffin' because there was no chance for them to get out. The B-24 was notorious for having only one egress in an emergency, and that was at the back of the plane. It was difficult to get back there with a parachute, which seems kind of a dumb way to plan things, but this is the military procurement system we are talking about. This plane went down fast, and that is the nightmare of bomber crews.

Anyway, all were killed in the crash except the Navigator, 2nd Lt Wallace F. Kaufman  He somehow got out of the death trap, but was captured by the Japanese and executed. So, he wasn't so lucky after all. That was what the Japanese did routinely. But he did get on the ground alive, at least.

Brave and good men, every single one of them.

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Consolidated Aircraft B-24 - Liberator - Heavy Bomber - most produced bomber of World War II.



2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Type XXI U-Boat, Forerunner of Modern Submarines

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Type XXI Walther U-Boat on display in Bremerhaven  ("Wilhelm Bauer").

Submarines during World War I and most of World War II were essentially surface ships that could submerge for short periods of time. The secret to Allied success at defeating the U-boat menace was to locate them on the surface, then send forces to locate and sink them. That strategy worked because U-boats were unable to cruise for extended periods of time underwater. Unable, that is, until the Type XXI came along.

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The U-3017 was a Type XXI U-Boat built for the German Kriegsmarine in the late World War II. She was laid down on 2 Sep 1944 at AG Weser, Bremen as 'werk' 1176, launched on 5 Nov 1944 and went into service on 5 Jan 1945 under the command of Oblt. Rolf Lindschau. She was surrendered on 9 May 1945 at Horten, Norway then transferred to Oslo on May and arrived at Lisahally, Northern Ireland on 7 June for Operation Deadlight.

The Germans had more experience with submarines than anyone else in the world. They had very nearly won World War I with them, and had continued developing them during the interwar period despite being prohibited from doing so by the Treaty of Versailles. This was done clandestinely in other countries that Germany would later invade. However, money talks, and the Germans had ready cash to create their tools of destruction using the facilities of their future victims.

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Type XXI U-Boats at the end of the World War II

The World War II U-boat campaign, or the "Second Battle of the Atlantic" as it is often grandly called, peaked in 1942. The backbone of the U-boat fleet was the Type VII, a solid, dependable performer which had extended range using its noisy diesel engines. The diesels could not operate underwater, so it relied upon battery power there.

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Here she is in all her glory. Type XII introduced streamlining in U-Boat design, resulting in a quantum leap in underwater performance. All submarines before this one were basically designed to submerge and stay under the surface in one place (sans minor pedestrian manoeuvres using electric power). Type XXI could easily steam in circles around any Allied convoy - all under water.

The Type VII batteries were sufficient for brief periods underwater, but those U-boats could move neither quickly nor for extended periods unless they were on the surface. If they submerged, they basically were going to remain in the same area until they could surface. The Allies knew this, and they figured out that they merely had to spot where the U-boat submerged, mark the spot with dye, and then drop a depth charge pattern to sink the submerged craft. This strategy worked like a charm once you knew where the U-boat had submerged.

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Type XXI U-Boat, U-3008, under way off Portsmouth Navy Yard, August 1946

After the U-boats experienced one last fling of torrid success at the beginning of 1943 due to diversion of Allied naval units to the invasion of North Africa, the Allies completely shut the Type VII U-boats down in March/April 1943. The British became expert at locating the U-boats in the Bay of Biscay as they were cruising to their stations in the Atlantic from occupied French ports. Trying to enter the Mediterranean became a suicide mission, with constant British patrols at the Straits of Gibraltar. Once they located a U-boat, the British could keep them it surveillance with flying boats until they submerged, vectoring in surface vessels to sink them. Coastal Command also could drop depth charges that would sink the U-boats if they submerged, knowing that the U-boats could not go very far underwater. Admiral Doenitz, desperate for a solution, ordered the U-boats to fight it out on the surface with the deck guns, but that strategy was a complete failure. The U-boats now weren't even safe at night, due to radar and powerful Leigh search lights.

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A captured Type XXI

The key problem obviously was that U-boats could not cruise underwater, and they were easily detectable above water with radar and Allied aircraft patrols. Thus, confronting an enemy that completely (oppressively, from the German viewpoint) dominated the surface and air, and facing radar surveillance that completely covered all the major U-boat routes such as across the Bay of Bengal, the German U-boat fleet became practically useless. In addition, even when a U-boat could make it out to its station on the convoy routes, it then would have to surface to get into attack position.

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U-Boot Typ XXI U-2540 ("Wilhelm Bauer")

With the sea crawling with convoy escorts, surfacing quickly revealed the U-boat's position and brought attacks by depth charge if it submerged and gunfire if it remained on the surface. It was a completely hopeless proposition that would only result in the loss of U-boats to no purpose. The only solution was to make U-boats that were able to cruise to and from their stations completely submerged, thereby avoiding detection. That problem was solved definitively with the Type XXI.

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Type XXI

The main innovation of the Type XXI was two-fold: a dramatically streamlined hull; and greatly increased battery capacity. However, the advances in the Type XXI went way beyond these essential improvements. The hull was streamlined in a teardrop fashion that subsequently has been proven to be the most aerodynamic shape, and now is favored by modern car manufacturers. Extensive use of electrical systems led to the boats being called "Elektroboote" (German: "electric boats"). Propulsion was supplied by:

Diesel/Electric
2× MAN M6V40/46KBB supercharged 6-cylinder diesel engines, 4,000 shp (3,000 kW)
2× SSW GU365/30 double-acting electric motors, 5,000 PS (3.7 MW)[1]
2 × SSW GV232/28 silent running electric motors, 226 shp (169 kW)

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German Type XXI U-boat

The key to all this was a development that had been years in the making: the use of hydrogen peroxide ('perhydrol') as a fuel. This was an innovation from rocketry research carried out by Hellmuth Walter, and the same principle was used in the Me 163 Komet. The hydrogen peroxide was reduced chemically to gasses, and these gasses spun a turbine at 20,000 revolutions per minute. The reaction gasses spun the U-boat's propeller fast enough to propel the submarine. The power generated by the chemical reaction was combined with intermittent use of the conventional diesel engines to charge the ship's batteries, which powered the hydrogen peroxide reaction. The batteries became the U-boat's primary power source, and the diesels were used only occasionally (it took three hours) to charge the batteries. This completely flipped the paradigm of previous U-boats and made the U-boats true submarines.

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U-2540, completed 24 February 1945, scuttled 4 May 1945, no patrols.

A modern example of this principle is the Chevy Volt, which uses its vestigial internal combustion engine only to charge the batteries that actually run the vehicle and are usually plugged in to outlets to charge. However, the Volt is open to the air, so it can use a standard internal combustion engine that burns gasoline to power the batteries. The Type XXI had the additional hurdle of not being open to the air and thus having to run on chemical reactions that did not produce carbon monoxide. Thus, the Type XXI was more advanced than the Volt, whose propulsive system is considered (regardless of the car's other qualities) to be the supreme automotive feat of the 21st Century.

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The U-3008 was a Type XXI U-boat of German Kriegsmarine during World War II and served in the U.S. Navy for several years after World War II. Her keel was laid down on 2 July 1944 by AG Weser of Bremen, and she was commissioned on 19 October 1944 with Kapitänleutnant Fokko Schlömer in command. In March 1945 Schlömer was relieved by Kapitänleutnant Helmut Manseck, who commanded the boat until the German surrender on 8 May.

To say that the Type XXI's propulsion system was ahead of its time is a vast understatement, and in fact it was a bit too far ahead of its time for the Germans as well. They never did completely figure out the hydrogen peroxide mechanism and implement it in practical terms, so the battery banks were greatly increased and the diesels used to charge the batteries more often, which were used to power the engines directly rather than relying upon the middle-man of the hydrogen peroxide reaction. This also worked sufficiently to put the Type XXI into service. Combined with the streamlined hull, the engines gave the Type XXI the ability to cruise underwater at 17.2 knots (31.9 km/hr (roughly 20 miles an hour) for short periods and to cruise for two or three days straight at 5 knots (9.3 km/hour or 5.8 mph). This was a huge improvement over the Type VII. With Schnorkel technology, theoretically the Type XXI would never have to surface while on patrol.

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U-boat Production: Three Type XXI submarines on a building slip at Hamburg right after the end of the war. Note the British troops on the left foreground. The XXI was a revolutionary design, the first sub that was truly an "electric boat" capable of great underwater range without the need to surface or cruise at snorkel depth for extended periods of time.

The Type XXI incorporated all sorts of other advances that distinguished it from previous U-boats or Allied submarines. It embodied a form of stealth technology, with its streamlined shape greatly reducing its radar signature when surfaced. In this sense, it was similar to the Horten brothers' revolutionary flying wing that also was being built during the closing days of the war and had a reduced radar signature.

Type XXI U-boat worldwartwo.filminspector.com
U-boot U 2450 moored in the old port of Bremerhaven, Germany as a permanent maritime museum. Built at the end of WW2, U 2540 was commissioned on Feb 25, 1945. On May 4, 1945 she was scuttled off the Flensburg Fjord near Kiel. In 1957 she was raised, underwent a complete refit at the HDW shipyards in Kiel, and was baptized Wilhelm Bauer. She was commissioned into the new German Navy in 1958 as an experimental sub. She was finally decommissioned in Nov 1980.

A novel hydraulic torpedo system featured quick reloading of all six forward torpedo tubes faster than the Type VII could reload one tube. Advanced sonar helped to guide the submarine into attack position. The craft also was more comfortable for the crew, including for the first time freezers for perishable food. The deck gun was removed to improve streamlining (there were so many convoy escorts that surface attacks had become obsolete), and there were anti-aircraft weapons built into the sail.

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Type XXI view from deck

Admiral Karl Doeniz relied upon the Type XXI U-boats to reinvigorate his campaign against the Allied fleets, which was struggling along at about 100,000 tons sunk a month - hardly anything worth mentioning compared to Allied ship construction of the period. Blohm & Voss of Hamburg, AG Weser of Bremen, and F. Schichau of Danzig were chosen to build the new craft beginning in 1943.

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The type XXI U-boat U-3503 being raised by the Swedish Navy in 1946. John Adolfsson, Hono Fishing Museum, Sweden.

Armaments Minister Albert Speer, facing problems everywhere with a collapsing economy and knowing that the new submarines were needed as soon as possible, made the fateful decision to have non-shipyard manufacturers make prefabricated pieces of the U-boats that would be assembled at the shipyards. This successfully dispersed the effort from oppressive Allied bombing raids, but led to severe quality control problems where the pieces could be not fitted together without extensive re-working at the yard. As with so many other German decisions forced upon them by wartime exigencies, the decision was absolutely logical in the abstract and conceptually, while completely unworkable in practice - in other words, logical to a fault.

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Elektroboote Type XXI U boat

In all, 118 of the Type XXI U-boats were built. It was a staggering achievement based upon slave labor and prisoners of war being forced to participate, and plans were for the yards to crank out three a week. However, the Allies were closing in, and bombing raids destroyed the main submarine pens at Farge, near Bremen, in March 1945. The Type XXI was extremely close to entering action - but not quite close enough.

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Elektroboote Type XXI U boat

Only four of the Type XXI U-boats were completed before the end of the war, and only two (U-2511 and U-3008) actually went out on patrol. For all that effort, the Type XXI sank not a single Allied vessel, though the U-2511 was in position to sink a British cruiser when the war ended. That is not to say that it had no effect on the war, however: one can easily imagine Adolf Hitler sitting in his bunker receiving daily reports on the Type XXI and thus ordering his troops to fight for time after the war had become completely hopeless. The appointment of old U-boat chief Karl Doenitz as Hitler's successor undoubtedly flowed from this enticing promise of the Type XXI.

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Admiral Karl Doenitz reviewing a Type VII U-boat at St. Lazaire (Lothar Gunther Federal Archive)

The consequences were a little more meaningful and permanent for others. Hitler obstinately kept hundreds of thousands of men in the east defending the Courland pocket, men who easily could have been shipped home for the defense of Berlin. He justified this by claiming that "Admiral Doenitz says that giving it up would be ruinous for the Navy." Since the only part of the Navy that still stood any chance of making a difference in the war was the Type XXI U-boat, protecting that program as a top priority undoubtedly was a major part of Hitler's thinking. This condemned the overwhelming majority of those soldiers to death in Soviet captivity and, indeed, may have shortened the war.

Type XXI U-boat worldwartwo.filminspector.com
U-2513 was a Type XXI U-boat of the German Kriegsmarine, that was operated by the United States Navy for several years after World War II. On 21 November 1946 President Harry S. Truman became the first American President to travel on a submarine when he visited U-2513. The sub went 440 feet (130 m) below the surface with the President on board, and a demonstration was made to him of the German schnorchel.

The German Heer could not hold off the Allies forever, though, and the Allies headed straight for the Kriegsmarine harbors. The British and Soviets occupied the German Baltic ports where the Type XXI craft were located in April 1945, and the Allies shared them amongst themselves according to the Potsdam Agreement (some were sunk pursuant in Operation Deadlight, the purposeful sinking of the German U-boats in the Atlantic). The remaining operational Type XXIs remained in service in France until 1967, in the Soviet Union for testing purposes until 1973, in the United Kingdom until 1949, and in the United States (U-2513 and U-3008) until 1956. Harry S. Truman became the first United States President aboard a submarine when he travelled in U-2513 in November 1946 and submerged to a depth of 130 meters (440 feet). The Type XXI greatly influenced all post-war submarine development by the major powers, such as the Soviet “Whiskey” class and (based on Soviet designs) a flotilla of Chinese submarines. Some designs which are direct descendants remain in use today.


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Unfinished German U-boats, Bremen, Germany, 1945

U-2540, which was scuttled in order to avoid capture, was raised, renamed Wilhem Bauer, and operated until 1982 by the German Navy, the Bundesmarine. It remains on display at the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum (German Maritime Museum) in Bremerhaven, Germany.

Type XXIII



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U-2326 (colorized).

The Germans also used or planned to use the advanced propulsion concept in a variety of different types. The U-2326 was a Type XXIII submarine of the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. Type XXIII submarines were the first so-called elektroboats to become operational. They were small coastal submarines designed to operate in the shallow waters of the North Sea, Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, where larger Type XXI Elektro boats were at risk in World War II.

Photos of the Wilhelm Bauer



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Photos of U-2511, Sunk off Ireland in Operation Deadlight



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German Type XXI U boat U 2511 wreckage off the coast of N. Ireland. 

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Three Type XXI U-boats That Survive for Future Historians


Things were quite chaotic at the end of World War II. When the British occupied Hamburg after a fierce two-week battle against the 1st Parachute Army on 3 May 1945, they did not have time for extensive examination of every particular in the devastated port city. German weapons had to be crossed off the list as having been rendered harmless as the British rolled onward toward the last seat of the Third Reich government at Flensburg.

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So, instead of sending scientists down to study the odd U-boats that they had discovered or readying them for Operation Deadlight, the British simply blew up their fortified bunker. This was a mistake, as these particular U-boats merited close study as forerunners of US and British version, but there was a war on. However, as the British and the French were to learn a few months later in Berlin when they tried to blow up the gigantic Flak Towers (they are still there, but also buried), sometimes it is not so easy to get rid of massive structures. The roof of the U-boat bunker partially collapsed, trapping the three U-boats, but did not destroy them. Since the boats weren't going anywhere anytime soon, the British promptly moved on and forgot all about them.

Some Germans did not forget. Someone made an attempt to scrap them in the ’40s-’50s, but with the roof ready to collapse at any time, it was considered too dangerous and everybody forgot about them again. The boats were virtually missing until 1985 when the boats were discovered through research by Jak P Mallmann-Showell, Wolfgang Hirschfeld and Walter Cloots in the mostly demolished Elbe II U-boat bunker in Hamburg. However, at this point the boats had lost their notoriety and had become mere curiosities, so nothing was done about them at this point. This time, though, they were not forgotten.

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The bow of U-3004 inside the Elbe II bunker. – Photo by Carl

Thus, the three boats stayed somewhat intact until the 1990s. At that point, the German government - somewhat like the British in 1945 - crossed them off its list of worries in the easiest manner possible. During that state in German culture, anything related to World War II was a major embarrassment, no matter how interesting to war buffs. This time, they got rid of this nuisance by filling the massive U-boat bunker with gravel and concrete. They simply buried the boats, and then turned the area into a parking lot. So, the boats remain completely intact but for whatever salvaging was done to them right after the war, but entombed and inaccessible.

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Hatch 5 of U-3506 inside the Elbe II bunker. – Photo by Carl

The Elbe II bunker is located on the southern bank of the Elbe river at the Vulkanhafen. This area is within the Freeport of Hamburg and to access it you should have to present your passport. The advanced Type XXI U-boats remain there, buried, awaiting future excavation in perhaps hundreds of years when someone is in for a real shock when they excavate that area for an office building or dock.



2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mistel Piggyback German Bombers

Germany's Last Attempt at a Strategic Bomber


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Mistel - Ju88 & fighter.

The Mistel bomber was one of the more exotic projects of the Luftwaffe during World War II. The Mistel was a large unmanned German bomber flown to a target by a parasite fighter and then released to act as a very large bomb. Unlike a lot other advance weapons systems, this one worked as advertised, though it did not see enough use to make a difference in the war.

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The Mistel, meaning mistletoe in German, was first introduced in the later years of World War II. The crew compartment in the nose of the unmanned bomber was filled with explosives. A fighter aircraft was attached to the roof and the fighter pilot would fly both planes to the target. The bomber was released and the fighter plane hopefully flew safely home

First, a word on nomenclature, as this is probably the German weapons system whose real name is mangled more than any other. The Mistel was the bomber underneath the fighter. It was packed with explosives, and usually had a long proboscis to detonate the explosives.

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The whole deal, fighter and bomber, is referred to as the Huckepack ("Pick-a-back" in British English, "piggyback" in American English). Other (informal) names were Beethoven-Gerät ("Beethoven Device," named for the attachment equipment between the two aircraft) and Vati und Sohn ("Daddy and Son").

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FW 190 / JU 88 'Mistel'

In essence, a manned fighter was joined to an unmanned bomber (preferably obsolete and thus surplus). The fighter flew the bomber to a target and then released it, piloting the pilotless bomber the last way to the target by radio control. Once the bomber exploded on target, the fighter flew back to base.

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Page scan of the Short Mayo Combo from Modern Mechanix magazine, March 1938.

The Luftwaffe did not come up with the idea of a parasite aircraft piloting a larger aircraft and then releasing it. That honor goes to the British. The Short Brothers came up with the Short Mayo Composite in the 1930s. This was a piggyback seaplane/flying boat combination designed to provide service across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Short S.21 Maia (G-ADHK) Empire flying boats were used to take Short S.20 Mercury(G-ADHJ) long-range seaplane aloft via a pylon on top of the larger aircraft. Test flights were carried out in 1938 from Ireland to Canada. The smaller aircraft successfully disengaged from the Empire flying boat and completed the journey to Canada while the larger aircraft returned to Ireland. Only one example was built, and it was used to establish various distance records before being destroyed in a Luftwaffe raid on Poole Harbour on 11 May 1941. The idea worked, but it really wasn't commercially feasible due to evolving technologies which made the concept unnecessary.

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Fritz Stamer testing the Bf-109 E-4 and glider DFS 230 A-1.

The Germans evidently noticed, however. They decided to reverse the concept by making the lower, larger aircraft the payload carrier which would not return to base. A first test was made in 1942 using a Messerschmitt Bf 109E and an unmanned DFS 230 troop glider. DFS developed the tripod strut supports to mate the two machines. These hooked into plates on the fighters’ wing roots while a single pole supported the fighters’ tails and kept the fuselage axes parallel. In some combinations the fighter sat at a 15 degree nose-down angle. The set of struts was known as the "Beethoven device" and mounted a single seater fighter plane atop, usually a Me 109 or a Focke Wulf 190. The idea was to give the glider a longer range than if it were simply towed.

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Mistel combination with Me Bf 109 parent aircraft and explosives-laden Ju-88 conversion. Note the proboscis to trigger the explosives in the nose.

Someone, however, came up with the idea of using an actual powered bomber for the lower half rather than an engine-less glider. A specialized 1,800 kg (3,960 lb.) warhead was fitted into the nose of the bomber which would use its own engines to help get the combination to the target. The bomber used was usually the Junkers Ju 88, the most produced two-engine aircraft in the Third Reich. Since that bomber was becoming obsolete or at least dangerously vulnerable to fight attacks toward the end of the war - standards rose extremely rapidly from 1939-45 - it was considered expendable.

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The fighter-bomber conversion combo was first test-flown in July 1943. Flight testing was finished by October 1943, at which point the warhead was finalized. After further testing and crew training, in early 1944 a bomber unit was tasked with using this deadly combination - II/KG201.

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A member of the 439th Troop Carrier looks over a captured German Junkers Piggy Back Plane [Junkers Ju 88 And Focke-Wulf Fw 190] at an air base somewhere in France. 4 May 1945.

Mistel attacks were made only against shipping targets, with poor results, until November 1944. Then, "Operation Eisenhammer” (Ironhammer) was proposed. This would take place against ground targets in the USSR. However, the attack aircraft were destroyed on the ground and forward airfields overrun, so these never took place.

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A Do-217E with a Me-328 mounted on it.

Another idea was to use the Mistel formation against Allied bombers. The bomber would be inserted into the Allied bomber stream and then blown up. This idea was not workable, however, and soon abandoned.

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Various plans were made to use jet bombers as the upper control craft as well, such as the Ar-234, He-162, Me-262, Ju-287 and other project jet fighter and bombers carrying a special flying bomb, but these were never realized. A Focke Wulf Ta 154 (the Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Moskito was a fast twin-engined German night fighter) paired with a Fw 190 was also used. A television guidance system was in the works when the war ended.

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Ju 88 and ME 109 combo

Some 250 Mistels were prepared. There were ambitious schemes to use them against Soviet power plants in the Urals, but the combination had a limited range and the front receded too far for this to be practical. Instead, they were used against Allied shipping off Normandy with indifferent results. Some were used as tactical weapons on the Eastern front, to destroy Soviet bridges across the Oder River, but this pretty much failed. The last Mistel attack took place on April 16, 1945, when the Soviet attack across the Oder took place.

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Mistel consisting of a Ju 88 and a FW 190

Although many were captured by the Allies, there are no known survivors of the combination. A Focke Wulf 190 that was the upper part is at the Imperial War Museum in London.

Advanced Designs

Proposed Hs-293D glide bomb with television guidance system

The Germans, as usual, were better with their designs on paper than they were with actual flyable aircraft. They were designing a glide bomb with a television guidance system when the war ended, television having been invented in New York City in the late 1920s. There were other advanced designs that existed only in theory, as shown in the sketches below.

German television guidance system

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Arado Ar E.377a Mistel (planned)

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He 162/Ar E.377a Mistel


Additional Pictures



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Werner Baumbach (27 December 1916 – 20 October 1953) was a bomber pilot in the German Luftwaffe during World War II. In 1942, he started working on new bomber designs where he helped design the composite bomber system Mistel. In 1944 he commanded the newly formed Kampfgeschwader 200 (KG 200) and was in charge of all Luftwaffe special missions. He received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords for the destruction of over 300,000 gross register tons of allied shipping.

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Lt. Bernard H. Howes of Stoughton, Massachusetts, United States 8th Air Force sights these German Mistel 2's, this variety in comprised of an FW 190 A-8 mounted to a Ju 88 G-1. There were 5 of these sighted over Belgium. This is just before he started firing. He is flying a P-51 Mustang, 3 February 1945

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Lt. Bernard H. Howes of Stoughton, Massachusetts, United States 8th Air Force fires on this Mistel 2 (Fw 190 A-8 on a Ju 88 G-1) in Belgium. He is flying a P-51 Mustang, 3 February 1945


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A German "Mistel" Ju-88 bomber & a Me-109 fighter (top).
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Ju 88 and Fw 190 A "Mistel", Alt Lönnewitz (?), December 1944.

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Captured fleet of Mistel bombers

Mistel bomber worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Focke–Wulf Fw 190 / Ju 88 combination known as the Mistel (Mistletoe) in the snow, likeley in Great Britain after the war. Both aircraft wear Royal Air Force roundels as well as a captured Ju 52 in the distance. The bottom Ju 88 bomber would normally have a cockpit area filled with explosives and a long proboscis-like nose that would detonate the warhead. Photo: RAF

Mistel bomber worldwartwo.filminspector.com
You may see this picture here and there. It is a fake, a very good diorama. The Luftwaffe never got anywhere near actually building something like this, and it would have been a perfectly pointless waste of very precious and scarce Me 262 jet engines. It made much more sense to use large, obsolete medium bombers.








2014