Sunday, 8 October 2017

Dornier Do 217 J Nachtjäger Paul Zorner - "Nächte im Bomberstrom" (296 Verlag)


Leading Nachtjagd ace Paul Zorner in his memoir " Nights in the Bomber Stream " (296 Verlag)  has some choice words for the Dornier Do 217 he flew in NJG 3 -  "ein Klotz" being one of the more polite terms he employs ( a 'brick' ). As he points out his loaded and tanked up Do 217 'fighter' weighed a "large truck heavier" than a fully loaded Junkers Ju 88 and climbed at all of 6 metres/second (IIRC) - at least half the rate of the Ju 88. 




 " Nächte im Bomberstrom " from 296 Verlag - 'Nights in the Bomber Stream'- is an excellent read.  Zorner writes engagingly and very frankly. One of his best 'reports' is his account of his third victory as a night fighter achieved on 19 February 1943 at the controls of a Do 217 - a "tired old cow" that took for ever to climb to altitude and was, as Zorner puts it, "exactly ten times heavier than a He 51 fighter". Zorner never liked the Do 217 - the idea that it could be used as a night fighter he found preposterous. Climbing out over the North Sea that night he was vectored towards a Wellington some twelve km north of the island of Norderney. Approaching the Wellington head on, the two aircraft banked into a 'turning fight' that lasted some twenty minutes as Zorner vainly sought to draw a bead on the British twin, hauling back with all his might on the stick in the turn, even getting the navigator to help him maintain his effort on the control column. In an attempt to achieve an outcome Zorner had to resort to desperate measures - giving the order to dump some 800 kg of fuel in order to lighten the Dornier. Putting in a superhuman effort on the stick he managed to loose off a brief burst which sent the Wellington down. There were no witnesses in the air - the downing was later confirmed by a flak battery. Zorner and crew then had to nurse their 'fighter' home on just one engine some 100m above the waves - a single round the size of a €1 coin had punctured an oil line.

  "...When we landed I went and saw the Kommandeur Lippe-Weissenfeld and told him exactly what I thought of the Do 217..."

Zorner never flew the aircraft again at night.

The penultimate chapter of Zorner's memoir covers the period from October 44 to May 45 as Kommandeur II./NJG 100, one of his last log entries being the flight into Novy Dvor on 15 October 44 at the controls of Ju 88 G-6 C9+HD. His Gruppe was in Hungary from October 44 before falling back to Wiener Neustadt in mid-March 1945.. Zorner states that

 '..what was left of the Gruppe II./NJG 100 had fallen back as far as they could go and most of our equipment and aircraft had been left behind..'

He describes his final successful sortie flown on the night of 5/6 March with four Ju 88s. With the Americans just kilometres from the field on 4 May 1945, orders came through for the Gruppe to fly to Prag-Gbell. Because of thick fog shrouding the field Zorner describes briefing his pilots on various plans of action - none of the twelve remaining pilots would be forced to make a Blindstart . In the end eleven aircraft managed to get airborne - including Zorner's W7+AC - reaching Prague on their last drops of fuel. Prague of course fell to the Russians. Zorner describes how on news of the capitulation on 9 May he and his men drove westwards to meet the Americans. As commanding officer the Americans would allow Zorner safe passage further westwards but not his men ..he therefore chose to stay with them, herded with thousands of German servicemen into an improvised field camp with no rations for a number of days. However at this point the US forces moved back allowing the Russians to take over the camp - the Russians then marched the officers back into eastern Germany and captivity...

All posts covering Luftwaffe memoirs on this blog -  which include in some instances rare translated accounts  - can be found at this link

https://falkeeins.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Luftwaffe%20memoirs

The leading publisher of Luftwaffe memoirs is 296 Verlag established by former Microsoft Germany honcho Kurt Braatz. See all my 296 Verlag blog posts at the following link

http://falkeeins.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/296%20Verlag

Friday, 6 October 2017

new profile book from Claes Sundin - book no. 7 Luftwaffe bombers



..the latest book from Claes Sundin is now available to order from the artist's web site. Profile book no. 7 covers the history of the Luftwaffe Kampfgeschwader in profile and text. The artist has been aided with some expert commentary on colour schemes and markings from David E. Brown.

Speaking to the Luftwaffe blog, Claes stated ;

 " ..My work on this book as both an artist and a writer has without doubt been my biggest ever undertaking...I have created for the reader 124 stunning profiles of nine different types of bombers used by the Luftwaffe Kampfgeschwader. To this I have also included an abundance of other illustrations in an interesting and appealing layout. I have also written a chapter about the German Bomber Arm and its history, achievements and finally its demise..."

Looks superb Claes, and extremely reasonably priced! Go to Claes' site here for more details and ordering info.  Note the superlative jacket illustration, indicating that some of the artworks have explored the ''recently" discovered 'marine camouflage' incorporating RLM Dunkelblau 83..


Stuka! - ebay photo find #225



more neat and clear Stuka pics via Manuel Rauh's ebay sales here






Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Stuka! - ebay photo find #224



a selection of Stuka variants via Marco at koelsch333 Ebay sales here

Friday, 29 September 2017

Another huge Ebay win for a blog supporter - more Henschel Hs 123, Fw 189, Arado Ar 96 ebay photo finds #223





Move down the page for a super selection of HS 123 images currently on offer




I'm writing this as another huge ebay win is secured by a well-known archivist, historian and 'Luftwaffe blog' supporter - no, not the pic above although this too was a recent win! I am referring to the very late war  taxiing Bf 109 K-4 and which sold for something over 1200 Euros. The 'ghost' of Sudek13 strikes again! Of course people like David Weiss will doubtless post it on their sites after the usual attempts to mask the 'copyright' protection  - resulting in an ugly, heavily pixelated and mediocre copy.  Such efforts simply fail to compare with the original. Once again that which is rare is dear and that won't change tomorrow.  The winner of the photo, reporting exclusively to 'FalkeEins-the Luftwaffe blog' said;

".. I'm over the moon at this win, all the more so since the seller sent the pages from the original photographers diary which indicates to within a few days the date the image was captured and of course the unit to which the machine in question was assigned - totally unhoped for and an absolutely sensational acquisition for my archive.."

Unfortunately elsewhere on ebay there are still plenty of unscrupulous sellers copying photos offered for sale, making repros and attempting to sell them on like a certain "Mimosa61" who has recently offered the SKG 10 Fw 190 (above) sold by Michael Meyer only three weeks previously!

Some current ebay sales from reliable sellers. Courtesy Manuel and Darius....











Manuel Rauh's current offers are here

Below; Hs 123 in action during the Polish campaign courtesy Darius Werner here












Below, Bf 110 C/D displaying ZG 52 emblem







Friday, 22 September 2017

Bf 110 C/D Kommandeur I./ZG 76 II./JG 77 Emil in Norwegen - ebay photo find #222



Kommandeur I./ZG 76 until his death in combat on 30 April 1940 was Hptm. Günther Reinecke who flew Bf 110 C 'Doppelwinkel M8+AB'. Reinecke was brought down off the coast of Norway by the defensive fire of the Blenheim he was attacking (on 24 April according to Geirr Haarr). Note so-called 'Dackelbauch' belly fuel tank..presumably this airfield scene was taken at Stavanger-Sola..


Interim Kommandeur was Hptm. Werner Hansen until replaced by Hptm. Werner Restemeyer who was lost in Bf 110 D "M8+AB" over the North Sea off Newcastle on 15 August 1940.

On offer here



decals for this machine are available on John MacIllmurray's AIMS "Stab Bf 110s" sheet which is reviewed on this blog here. Go to John's site


One of Hptm. Karl Hentschel's II./JG 77 Emils in Norway also via Marco at koelsch333 Ebay sales




Thursday, 21 September 2017

Galland Emil Caffiers am Kanal 1940 Friedrich - #ebay photo find 221




Above, 22 victory markings on the Gkr. III./JG 26 Bf 109 E-1 seen in Caffiers on the Channel coast, summer 1940

Below; the machine in the background is presumably one of Galland's Friedrich 'specials' with the cowl MG 17s replaced with two 13mm MG 131 machine guns - the 'bulge' aft of the cowl gun trough  accomodated the breech of the up-gunned MGs with the cartridges being ejected sideways through improvised ejector chutes. The image presumably dates from late summer 1941, note absence of yellow cowl and/or 'Schlageter badge'. Heavily mottled finish.


on offer here


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

forthcoming AIMS Bf 110 F/G conversion set for the Dragon 1/32 kits from John McIllmurray

" ..Hello everyone, I am pleased to let you know progress on my AIMS Bf 110 F/G conversion set for the Dragon 1/32 kits. Gun pack and spinner have been 3D designed and await printing, rudder and upper engine cowl and upper and lower nose finished, rear canopy and exhausts under way, MG 81Z already done, cockpit ammo boxes still to do and revised exhaust stubs done. Still have to do straight late exhaust damper. All going very well. Just got all the decals finished and they will go off to printers any day now. Hope you like the selection. I am doing two boxings - 200 units each and both will be available at the same time - perhaps as soon as Christmas depending on how long it takes to get decals printed. One boxing is the F-4/G-2 day fighter / bomber and includes 2x F-4 options and 2x G-2 options plus 1x national insignia and full stencil set plus and everything needed to make what can be seen in the profiles. Other boxing is for the G-4 night fighter and includes 5 options plus 1x set of insignia and stencils and all what is needed to do the options As I do everything by email naturally I can tailor make orders so if you are using E-2 Trop kit and have some of the parts or if you are set on doing the F and do not need the G parts in the day fighter boxing I will remove them and lower the cost. £ TBC. Lower cowls will be split so they can hang open - still have to do the interior detail. Likewise the nose gun bay will be open. Hope you like the profiles......"

John's AIMS site is here


more Eastern Front Junkers Ju 52s - Wintertarnung - ebay photo find #220

Junkers Ju 52 possibly of KGrzbV 9 (4V+ ?U) seen unloading supplies possibly in the Demyansk pocket, Russia during early 1942. However the emblem on the nose closely resembles that of 4./KGrzbV 172. Click to view in close-up and large


on offer here



Superb new Ju 52 reference photo book - " Le Junkers Ju 52, de la Lufthansa à la Luftwaffe" by Grégory Alméras and published by  LeLa Presse - book review here

Approaching 1,000 posts and 3.5 million page views for the Luftwaffe blog



Back in March 2013 this blog passed one million page views in 420 posts, after three years of existence. See this post at this link. Today this Google blog "FalkeEins -The Luftwaffe Blog" is fast approaching 1,000 posts. Page views are now well over 3 million with daily views anywhere between 2,000 and 5,000. Below, a little screen-shot of my stats in the run up to Christmas 2016. As Nick would say, 'it's not a job, I do this for fun'. I think of it primarily as a vehicle to support the projects that warrant it, whether that be books, kits, decals, ebay shops etc etc. Thanks as ever to all supporters and correspondents, including Jean-Yves, Jean-Louis, Michel, Laurent, Erik, Robert, Jochen, Kurt, Claes, David, Simon, Paul, Alex, John, Nick, Markus, Many, Eddie, Andy, Tara, Sylvie and many others including the ebay sellers who enable us to repost their images here with links to their sales, Marco, Michael, Oliver, Darius and Manuel.


The 'strange' death of Staffelkapitän 11./JG 7 Lt. Erwin Stahlberg, April 1945 - Avions magazine "Hors Série" 'special' published by Lela Presse, "Les pertes des Messerschmitt 262"






The new Avions magazine "Hors Série" 'special' published by Lela Presse, "Les pertes des Messerschmitt 262" by Philippe Saintes (Me 262 losses) is a neat 100-page monograph packed with pics and profiles. Good value for money at only 17 euros, 'Avions' subscribers get a generous discount and economic postage rates (3 euros in Europe) make this a 'must-buy'. See a pdf extract and order here.

A carefully compiled compilation from published works, the main sources used in "Me 262 losses" are most notably the usual Foreman, Smith, Creek and Jurleit. However Philippe has also included one or two errors that can also be seen in these previous tomes. The most blatant example is the reported destruction in combat of the Messerschmitt 262 flown by Oberleutnant Erwin Stahlberg, Staffelkapitän of 11./JG 7 on 14 April 1945, attributed by the author -as in numerous previous works - to a Mustang pilot, Captain Clayton K. Gross of the 354th FG.


This story of the death of Lt. Erwin Stahlberg is unfortunately a total invention, endlessly repeated and misrepresented. At least two Ospreys ('Aces of JG 3' -extract below - and 'JG 7 Nowotny') repeat this 'account'- Stahlberg crashed to his death at the controls of his jet, shot down by the P-51 of Clayton Gross..


Colin Heaton in his 'Me 262 Stormbird' refers to him as Lt. Erich Stahlberg of 9./JG 7, shot down in combat of course.

The truth is that Lt. Erwin Stahlberg did not even fly a sortie on 14 April 1945 far less meet an untimely end in combat. The reality is much more mundane albeit a little bizarre...



15 April 1945 -the closing weeks of the war in Europe. III. Gruppe of JG 7 are completing preparations for one of their final moves, eastwards, via Bavaria, into the Protectorate of Bohemia, part of the one-time Czechoslovakia. This was virtually all that was left of the once-powerful jet command IX. Fliegerkorps (J). Transferring to Prag-Rusin the Gruppe had put down in Plattling the previous day, 14 April, according to one account. However on the morning of the 15th Erwin Stahlberg is still very much alive. But his Me 262 jet is unserviceable. Stahlberg elects to hitch a ride with a convoy of ground crews, jumping up into the cab of a truck with Luftwaffe mechanic Uffz. Theodor Becker and Uffz. Walter Wetzer, previously of 3./JG 300. Stahlberg's truck is towing a trailer loaded with heavy oxygen bottles. The road convoy sets out in the early afternoon on the route that links lower Bavaria with Czechoslovakia. On a section known as the Ruselberg-Strecke between Deggendorf and Regen the road is hilly, steep in places and notorious for accidents. Stahlberg's truck slows as its approaches a bend on a descent on this section. Suddenly it starts to pick up speed. The driver lets out an exclamation - " Scheiße, die Bremsen - the brakes!" By now Stahlberg's truck is speeding downhill. Turning into the bend, the driver fights with the wheel. Tyres squealing, the truck skids side on, sliding into the turn. The momentum of the heavy load pulls both truck and trailer over the edge. Stahlberg is thrown from the cab into the fast-flowing river below. He disappears under the surface. Seconds later the trailer plunges into the water. On top of him. Stahlberg never comes back up. At the crash site the bodies of the three men are retrieved and taken to the church in Deggendorf..

Stahlberg's friend and Staffel comrade Leutnant Friedrich-Wilhelm Schenk, who had followed him to III./JG 7 after the dissolution of I./JG 300 in March 1945 described the accident which cost Stahlberg his life in a letter written during 1983 ;

" ...Stahlberg was unable to make the transfer by air as his machine was not serviceable. The road convoy travelled on the route that links lower Bavaria with Czechoslovakia known as the Ruselberg-Strecke. (Deggendorf-Regen). He was travelling with ground crews in a truck hauling a trailer full of heavy oxygen bottles . The road descends steeply down into Deggendorf. At a sharp bend the brakes gave way and the truck and trailer went off the road straight into the fast-flowing river. Stahlberg was thrown from the cab into the water and the trailer plunged down on top of him. He drowned. I attended his funeral in the cemetery at Deggendorf. His body was later transferred and interred at the graveyard of Hofkirchen-Leithen an der Donau where I took this photo of the headstone.…"

This account by "Timo" Schenk is confirmed by the register of deaths that can be read at the catholic chuch in Deggendorf where the names of those who died in the crash of the truck on the Ruselberg-Strecke are listed;

Stahlberg, Erwin, Oberleutnant, Jagdgeschwader 3 (his unit prior to postings with 1./ JG 300 and 11./JG 7 ). Born 1 March 1917, died 15 April 1945 at 15:00 on the Ruselbergstraße.
Becker, Theodor, Unteroffizier, mechanic, born 25 October 1919 at Daseburg, fractured skull 15:00 15 April 1945 on the Ruselbergstraße.
Wetzer Walter, Unteroffizier with 3./JG 300 (disbanded mid-March 1945) Born 10 September 1921, hospitalised in the Res. Lazarett IA at Deggendorf, died 29 April from complications of lockjaw.

Details of the circumstances of the death of Erwin Stahlberg are related in the history of JG 300 by Lorant and Goyat 'Batailles dans le Ciel d'Allemagne' (Docavia, 2005).

Note that Robert Dorr in his "Fighting Hitler's Jets' publishes Clayton Kelly Gross's account of his jet victory on 14 April - " I sighted the jet ..sporting a large 'Red 1' on its fuselage....I subsequently met the pilot I had shot down that day  - a certain Kurt Lobgesong.."

William Hess in his "German Jets versus the USAAF" writes;

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Henschel Hs 123 LG 2 auf Feldflugplatz Polen, Frankreich




a neat selection currently on offer from dw-auction here depicting Hs 123 of LG 2 and other types on various field strips in Poland and France. Above;  " for your 4 o'clock tea-time "