Caproni Ca.135 in Hungary

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Caproni Ca.135 in Hungary

Post by TISO » 11 Nov 2021 20:33

I wrote an article on Caproni Ca.135bis U in Hungarian service during ww2.
It is still work in progress so any corrections and additional information would be appreciated which is one of the reasons i'm posting it here. 8-)

Unit designations are same as used by source #2 (Leo Niehorster in his book).

First published on forum:
1. Part
Caproni Ca.135bis U in Hungarian service

by Marko Tisovic

Decision by Hungary to purchase Caproni Ca.135 bombers

Due to restrictions of treaty of Trianon Hungary was forbidden to have an air force. Even so Hungary was determined to organise a military aviation. This led to formation of “illegal” Air Force in 1935. Hungary was trying to buy modern military aircraft but only countries willing to sell modern aircraft were Germany by selling Ju-86K-2 trough Sweden and Italy. Caproni sold Ca.310 Libbecio light bombers and negotiated a sale of more modern heavy bomber Ca.135.

Agreement between Caproni and Kingdom of Hungary for export of 32 Ca.135 aircraft was signed on 19th of June 1937. Contract was for delivery of 32 heavy bomber aircraft Ca.135. Of the 32 aircraft ordered 30 aircraft would be powered by inline Isotta Fraschini Asso XI.RC.40, 1 aircraft by Piaggio P.XI RC.40 radials and 1 aircraft by Alfa Romeo A.R.135. Order was not followed trough at the time due to Trianon treaty restrictions and dire financial situation [#1, #6].

While treaty of Bled signed on 22nd of August 1938 lifted restrictions on Hungarian Air Force formation/legalisation, financial situation was bad so Hungarian Air Force bought aircraft it could afford. In case of bomber aircraft, that meant buying German Ju-86K-2 and Italian Caproni Ca.310 Libbecio. These two types constituted entire Hungarian bomber force and were bought even before Treaty of Bled allowed formation of Hungarian Air Force.

Junkers Ju-86K-2 was already considered obsolete, even though it was equipped with more powerful Manfred Weiss-built Gnome-Rhone 14K Mistral-Major 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engines. It carried a light defensive armament, a relatively small bomb load and was slow. Hungary bought 66 aircraft of this type.

Caproni Ca.310’s proved very unsatisfactory in service as it could carry only a small bomb load was underpowered and had host of technical issues. This aircraft was essentially developed as more modern export version of Ca.309 and was intended for “colonial” duties. Hungary bought 36 aircraft of this type of which 3 were soon lost in accidents.

In general European political situation, where all countries were preparing for possible war and modernising their own air forces finding a country that would be willing to sell modern bomber aircraft to Hungary proved difficult. So when opportunity appeared in Italy which was willing to sell a rather modern bomber aircraft and even opening a line of credit and to top all that the Caproni company was willing to take a trade in of the unsatisfactory Ca.310, Hungarians happily accepted.
On the other hand Caproni developed the Ca.135 for Italian Airforce (Regia Aeronautica) which was ultimately not interested in the type as it concentrated on 3 engined designs and bought only 14 Ca.135 aircraft. A few of these were sent to Spain for testing in combat conditions and were hence known as “tipo Spagnia”. Peru initially ordered 6 aircraft equipped with Isotta Fraschini Asso XI.RC.40 (888 hp at 13123 ft.) inline engines known as “tipo Peru” and 32 were eventually delivered. Therefore Caproni had a free production line and some already built aircraft that were intended for RA.

Decision to replace obsolete bomber aircraft with Ca.135 was taken on 10th of December 1939 on recommendation of lt.col (alezredes) Aladár Szirmay (of the general staff) and captains of technical service Dezsö Fridirik and Lóránt Dóczy who tested the Ca.135bis in Guidonia in November 1939 as members of Hungarian Commission [#1].

The agreement signed on January 17th 1940 and to be implemented by April 30th, provided for the delivery of 36 aircraft, upon return of remaining 33 examples (out of 36) of Ca.310 Libbecio already employed by Hungary. Planes were to be equipped with 2 Piaggio P.XI RC.40 engines with 1000 H.P. each and received suffix U for Ungherese (Hungarian) [#1]. Second order of 36 aircraft was made in July 1941 to be delivered by May 1942.

Delivery of Ca-135bis U to Hungary

The first batch of 32 Ca.135bisU of 36 plane order was delivered by May (of which only 10 were newly built) and rest were delivered by June 1940 and received Hungarian Aviation military registrations from B.501 to B.536. B.501 had factory serial number 4449 and the rest (B.502 – B.536) had Italian registrations from MM21565 to MM21599.
To this first batch another 36 examples were added which were ordered in July 1941: 19 delivered in 1941 and 17 in 1942 which were registered from B.537 to B.568 and had Italian registration numbers from MM21950 to MM21981
The Hungarians operated a total of 68 Ca.135bisU with some success against the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front in 1941 and 1942, once Hungary had committed its forces in war against Soviet Union.

Into the service

Unit numbering example (#2):
4. Bombázóezred - Bomber Regiment
4./I Bombázóosztáli - Bomber Group (4. Regiment, I Group inside the regiment)
4./1 Bombázószázad - Bomber Squadron (4. Regiment, 1 Squadron inside the regiment)

The Aircraft Research Establishment (RKI) and unit trials started in February 1940 with aircraft B.501 (factory No. 4449) [#1].

Organisation of bomber force before first Ca.135bisU shipments (late 1939-early 1940) [#2]:
3. Bomber Regiment:
3./I Group with sqn. 3./1, 3./2, 3./3 with total of 12+3 Ju-86K-2
3./II Group with Sqn. 3./4, 3./5, 3./6 with total of 12+3 Ju-86K-2

4. Bomber Regiment:
4./I Group with sqn. 4./1, 4./2, 4./3 with total of 12+3 Ju-86K-2
4./II Group with Sqn. 4./4, 4./5, 4./6 with total of 12+3 Ju-86K-2

First squadrons equipped with Ca.135bisU were part of 3. Bomber Regiment [#1]:
3./3 “Sárkány” squadron (Debrecen) under command of major Ferenc Czékus
3./5 “Uz Bence” squadron (Debrecen) under command of captain Béla Szándor
3./6 “Boszorkány” squadron (Pápa) under command of captain József Samorjai and
3rd independent repair squadron (Debrecen) under command of engineer captain Dezsö Fridirik

The ever-increasing tension between Romania and Hungary brought into being the 1st Air Brigade (1. Repülödandár) on June 6, 1940 and its six fighter squadrons, six light bomber squadrons, and four heavy bomber squadrons took up positions in the eastern part of Hungary due to Transylvania crisis. That included existing Caproni units which were only partially trained and equipped.

27th of August 1940 [#18, #21]
Locotenent Nicolae Polizu of Romanian 51st squadron of Grupul 5 vânãtoare (5th Fighter Group), was patrolling over Hungarian territory in area of Debrecen in his He-112 when he encountered a Caproni Ca.135bis bomber flying on a training mission. Several of his 20 mm rounds hit the bomber, which landed safely at the Hungarian Debrecen airbase – home of the Hungarian He 112s. Nicolae Polizu became the first Romanian to “shoot down” an aircraft in aerial combat. Romanians claimed that Ca.135 was in Romanian airspace which was clearly not the case. Among the Hungarian fliers, Romanian action caused a great shock which resulted in action on the next day. Captain János Gyenes, the commander of the VIII. ground support squadron (VIII. közelfelderítő század) with his observer took off with a WM 21 Sólyom plane and attacked Satu Mare (Szatmárnémeti) airfield, but the oil cooler was damaged by shrapnel from bombs he dropped from very low altitude. Due to the damaged oil cooler, the oil has leaked and the Falcon engine seized while still in Romanian airspace. Crew landed on a stubble near the Hungarian border in Trianon, set fire to the airplane and was taken prisoner. They were later exchanged for Romanian spies.

Towards the end of 1940 the Bombàzoosztàli (Bombing Group) 4./I began transitioning from Ju-86K-2 to the new aircraft and eventually all 36 Ca.135 were concentrated in this unit. Old squadron names (Sárkány, Uz Bence and Boszorkány) and insignia continued being used. Transition was completed in early 1941 at the Debrecen airfield, where it is located together with Group 4./IV which was still equipped with Ju-86K-2. Both groups constituted the 4. Bomber Regiment.

Composition of bomber force on 10th April 1941 [#2]:
3. Bomber Regiment (Topolca):
3./I Group (Topolca) with:
Squadrons: 3./1, 3./2, 3./3 with total of 27+9 Ju-86K-2 (9+3 per squadron)
3./II Group (Pápa) with:
Squadrons: 3./4, 3./5 with total of 18+6 Ju-86K-2 (9+3 per squadron)

4. Bomber Regiment (Debrecen):
4./I Group (Debrecen)
Squadrons: 4./1, 4./2, 4./3 with total of 27+9 Ca.135bisU (9+3 per squadron)
4./II Group (Debrecen):
Squadrons: 4./4, 4./5 with total of 18+6 Ju-86K-2 (9+3 per squadron)

During war against Yugoslavia all Hungarian aircraft including Ca-135bis received theatre markings in form of yellow painting of the nose and tail unit. Unlike Ju-86K-2 bombers, Caproni Ca.135bis did not fly operational sorties against Yugoslavia.

After hostilities against Yugoslavia ended Hungarian air force was reorganised. Bomber force, which was composed of 3. and 4. Bomber regiments was reorganised due to poor serviceability of aircraft with some squadrons being only equipped nominally. On 1st of June 1941 3rd Bomber regiment was dissolved and 3./I and 3./II became 4./I and 4./II respectively. 4th Bomber Regiment was stationed in Debrecen and its 4./III Group (ex 4./I) converted to Ca.135bis and 4./VI Group (ex 4./II) still operated Ju-86K-2 [#1, #2]. Even though the reorganisation was ordered it took some time and old unit designations were still used for a considerable time.

In late June 1941 at start of war against SSSR bomber force component of Hungarian Air Force [#2]:
4. Bomber Regiment (Debrecen):
4./I Group with sqn. 4./1, 4./2, 4./3 Ju-86K-2
4./II Group with Sqn. 4./4, 4./5 Ju-86K-2
4./III Group with Sqn. 4./6, 4./7, 4./8 Ca.135bisU
4./IV Group with Sqn. 4./10, 4./11 Ju-86K-2
Last edited by TISO on 11 Nov 2021 21:14, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Caproni Ca.135 in Hungary

Post by TISO » 11 Nov 2021 20:41

2. Part
Combat operations of Hungarian Ca.135bisU against Soviet Union:

Operational record is very much incomplete. I did try to fill in the blank spots as much as I could.

First deployment to the Eastern Front in 1941:
[#1, #16, #17, #21]

The war operations carried out by the Ca.135bisU during first deployment against SSSR can be divided into two phases:
- First phase: in the period from 27th of June to early July 1941 with missions carried out from the Hungarian territory.
- Second phase: from late July to December 1941 operating from bases located in the occupied Soviet territory in support of Hungarian ground units.

First phase:
1. Air Force Field Brigade had been tasked to provide air support to "Carpathian Group" (Kárpát Csoport) under command of General (Vezérezredes) Ferenc Szombathelyi. “Carpathian Group” consisted of the VIII Corps and the Rapid Corps (Gyorshadtest). It crossed the Soviet border and reached the Dniester within a week, meeting little Soviet resistance. Since VIII. Corps was slow in face of rapid soviet retreat due to lack of mechanisation, German command dissolved “Carpathian Group” on 7th of July 1941. VIII Corps then remained as an occupation force in the conquered territory, while the Rapid Corps came under the command of the Heeresgruppe Süd, and in the next few weeks was led by Infantry General Carl Heinrich von Stülpnagel in close cooperation with the German 17th Army to participate in subsequent operations.
Composition 1. RHAF FIELD BRIGADE - Carpathian Army Group (June 41 – July 41) (#2):
4. Bomber Regiment:
- 4./III Bomber Group (Caproni Ca.135bis)
- 4./7 Bomber Squadron
- 4./8 Bomber Squadron
- 4./IV Bomber Group (Junkers Ju-86K-2)
- 4./10Bomber Squadron
- 4./11Bomber Squadron
1./I Fighter Group (Fiat Cr.32):
- 1./1 Fighter Squadron
- 1./2 Fighter Squadron
2./II Fighter Group (Fiat Cr.42):
- 2./3 Fighter Squadron
- 2./4 Fighter Squadron
1. Long Range Recon. Group (Heinkel He-70K):
- 1./1 Long Range Recon. Squadron
- 1./2 Long Range Recon. Squadron
X. Short Range Recon. Squadron (WM-21 Solym)
XI. Short Range Recon. Squadron (WM-21 Solym)

June 1941
27th of June 1941 (#16, #21)
The day of Hungarian declaration of war with air raid in retaliation for bombing of Kassa (now Košice in Slovakia) Caproni bombers had their baptism of fire.
In preraration for revenge attack on 4:30 Ju-86K-2 from 4./3 (4./I from Topolca) and 4./4 (4./II from Veszprém) were transferred to Debrecen (home of Ca.135bis of 4./III).
At dawn 24 Junkers Ju-86K-2 of 4./3 and 4./4 bombázószázad (bomber squadrons) and 7 Caproni Ca.135bisU of 3./5 “Uz Bence” bombázószázad took off on a large-scale bombing mission against Stanislav (Ivano-Frankovsk). At 07:15 at altitude of 2500m they met their escort of 9 FIAT Cr.42 of 2./3 "Ricsi" vadaszszázad (fighter squadron)
At 7:45 a.m., a strike was made to Stanislav military targets (fuel tanks, barracks, truck assemblies, airport). Airport was significantly damaged. 6 Soviet I-153 intercepted the raid, but one was shot down by Ju-86K-2 (B.334)

29th of June 1941 (#16, #21)
In the morning 25 Ju-86K-2 and Ca.135bis bombers escorted by Cr.42 fighters targeted Striy despite bad weather conditions. At 6:30 above Munkács they met their fighter escort from 2./3 fighter squadron. They had to attack city from under the 2,000-meter cloud base. The majority of the Hungarian bombers carried out the attack from a very low height of 1400-1500 meters, achieving accurate hits at the airport and the railway station, where a train was set on fire.
Although the air defence artillery fire was strong and well-aimed, no Hungarian bomber was damaged.

At 15:30 bombers were deployed again from Debrecen. This time the planes took off one by one and had to attack targets of opportunity they had discovered, they were only forbidden to attack the bridges because they would be needed by their own forces to advance. Despite the order, 1st Lt (föhadnagy) Istvan Szakonyi bombed and destroyed one of the bridges over Prut, because he noticed a strong Soviet troop concentration against it. Despite acting directly against the order, crew was eventually praised for the action taken and not reprimanded.

July 1941
1st of July 1941 (#16, #21)
07:00 i morning, the attack on the Carpathian group began, so at dawn two bombing squadrons each with 3 flights (3 planes each) for total of 18 bombers attacked targets in the Jablonka Valley, mostly in the Dora and Dyelatyin district.
In the evening, 18 Ju-86K-2 and 9 Ca.135bis escorted by two squadrons of Cr.42 bombed Dyelatyin railway station and Soviet troops concentrations.

2nd of July 1941 (#16, #21)
9 Ju-86K-2 of 4./4 bombazaszad reinforced by 8 Ca.135Bis of 3./5 “Uz Bence” performed bombing missions over Stanislav, Zaleschiky and Snyatyn. One Ca.135bis made a forced landing near Satu Mare after the bombing, probably due to lack of fuel or a minor technical fault, but it flew back to Debrecen that afternoon.

3rd of July 1941 (#16, #21)
Long range recce. aircraft observed very lively road and rail traffic between the Dniester and Prut in the north, but when planning the deployment, the bombers considered that most of the retreating units were heading east and issued orders on this base:
First, in the early afternoon 4./3 bomber squadron under Captain Lóránd Telbisz dropped 9 tons of bombs between Szeret and Zbrucs, found most of the retreating enemy columns in the Kamenets Podolsky area as reported at 4 p.m. when they returned.
At around 18:00 although it was quite late, 4./4 Ju-86Ks - close to the limit of their range - and the Ca.135bis of 3./5 bomber squadron were deployed against soviet columns. They dropped 17 tons of bombs Hotini and Kamenets-Podolsky highways, destroying several enemy armor and vehicles, and successfully attacked the Kamenets and the city’s train station, where several rail cars were completely burned.
A Ca.135bis (B.534) was damaged by FLAK (hit in fuel tank) and forced to land between Snyatin and Hodorenka. It was quickly repaired and resumed action. A Ju-86K-2 (B.322) was slightly damaged (15%) and force landed near Delyatin due to fuel starvation, while a WM-21 (coded F.223) was 90% destroyed after having overturned while landing.

4th of July 1941 (#21)
Carpathian group ground forces reached Stanislaus and approached Kolomea. Kolomea Airport had already been selected by the Hungarian Air Force at that time, as the front lines were too far removed from Hungarian domestic bases and the bombers could not land at the small, partly wet camp airports closer to the border, only in the more distant Hajdúböszörmény and Debrecen.
Due to the long distances and the fast-moving enemy mechanized columns, the bombers started flying armed reconnaissance from then on, trying to bomb enemy mechanized columns moving around the target areas immediately after detection.

6th of July 6 1941 (#21)
On that day, the Ca 135s carried out another deployment. Ca.135bis flown by Sergeant Ernő Döbrössi's crew set a record by spending 185 minutes in the air due to the very distant targets.

According to a summary report: between June 27 and July 7, the 4th Bombing Regiment and 4./III group.
The Capronis of 4./III performed 145 sorties, consumed 187,865 liters of fuel and dropped 113,165 kg of bombs.
The Ju-86K-2s of 4. Bomber regiment flew 106 sorties, eight reconnaissance, five transport deployments, dropping 66,800 kg of bombs.

Second Phase
7th of July 1941(#21)
Lt Col Béla Orosz the former commander of 4. Bomber regiment became the commander of the 1. Air Force Field Brigade supporting the Rapid Corps and his assistant officer became Captain András Inokai who commanded 4./4 bomber squadron.
On this day Lieutenant Colonel Béla Orosz also received the order to go with his units to Kolomea to take command of the aircraft departing to the territory of SSSR.
On this day, the Rapid Corps withdrew from the subordination of the “Carpathian Group” and crossed the Dniester at Mihalce. Since VIII. Corps was slow due to lack of mechanisation “Carpathian Group” was thus dissolved by German command and VIII Corps then remained as an occupation force in the conquered territory, while the “Rapid Corps” came under the command of the Heeresgruppe Süd, and in the next few weeks was led by Infantry General Carl Heinrich von Stülpnagel in close cooperation with the German 17th Army to participate in subsequent operations. 1. Air Force Field Brigade continued to support “Rapid Corps” operations.

By this time, the Hungarian bombers had stopped offensive operations, partly due to the rapidly increasing already great distances from home bases and partly due to the strong request of the Germans, who feared that their troops advancing from southern Poland to the SE would be hit by Hungarian air strikes by mistake. Tactical operations by fighters, close support aircraft (He-46 and WM-21) that were stationed close to the frontline continued. The relocation of Hungarian aircraft for support of “Rapid Corps” ground troops across the Carpathians also increased pace.

Composition of 1. RHAF FIELD BRIGADE - Mobile Corps (July 1941 – November 1941) (#2):
1./3 Fighter Squadron (Fiat CR.42)
1./4 Fighter Squadron (Fiat Cr.42)
2./1 Fighter Group Detachment (Re.2000 detachment)
4./Ö Mixed Bomber Group
- 4./III Group Detachment (Ca.135bisU)
- 4./IV Group Detachment (Ju-86K-2)
I. Short Range Recon. Squadron (He-46)
III. Short Range Recon. Squadron (WM-21)
1. Transport Squadron (Ca.101)

13th of July 1941 (#16, #21)
1st Air Force Field Brigade’s units began to move across the Carpathian Mountains to airfields in Galicia.

24th of July of 1941 (#16)
A mixed independent squadron or 4./Ö Önálló Bombázószázad with 9 Ju-86K-2s of 4./IV Group and 6 Ca.135bis from 4./III Group (Uz Bence squadron) was attached as a bomber unit to the Hungarian 1. Air Force Field Brigade commanded by Lt Col (alezredes) Béla Orosz.

25th of July 1941 (#21)
The bombers probably arrived that day: nine Ju 86s landed in Proszkurov. Each carried as many bombs as they could carry with them because their ground units were lagging behind, so they were not yet able to be deployed.

27th of July 1941 (#21)
First operation of bombers from SSSR territory. A flight of Caproni Ca 135s (which also arrived to SSSR) dropped 6 tons bombs in front of the 2nd Car Brigade on a retreating soviet armored vehicles in a forest gorge east of Bersad from a height of only 600 m causing them significant losses.
On this day ground units of 4./1 and 4./3 Ju-86K bomber squadrons and 4./3 a group of air defense machine cannon battery were loaded on trains at Kőrösmező and left the territory of Hungary.

28th of July (#16, #21)
A flight (3 ship formation) of Ca.135bis protected by 6 Cr-42 fighters attacked Bersad.

29th of July (#16, #21)
A group of Ju-86K-2 and Ca-135bis took off from Sutyuska airfield for bombing mission but failed to meet their escort. They continued to the target alone. At around 18:00 one Ju-86 was shot down in vicinity of Gayvoron by German Bf-109s of III./JG77 in case of mistaken identity.

August 1941
At the beginning of August, a committee headed by Colonel Sándor András arrived at Caproni base at Sutyuska Airport to evaluate the usability of the Ca-135bisU type in combat operations. The other members of the committee were Captains Dénes Eszenyi, István Heinrich Jenő Marosszéky and captain of technical service Imre Mérey.

On 4th of August (#17, #21)
In the afternoon 3 Ca.135bis took off from airfield Sutyska and escorted by 4 Cr.42 fighters bombed targets near Olvipol south (south-west of Pervomaysk). They hit Soviet barracks camp, car rallies and air defence batteries. For the first time they used captured Soviet bombs.

They were already so far from home bases that shipment of equipment and materiel was an extremely big problem. Fortunately, they received help on the most serious issues: the Germans helped with fuel, and the Ju-86s, which used German-made bombs, were supplied with unlimited quantities of bombs by them.
Capronis, which used Italian made bombs were helped by the Soviets against their will: in early August, Hungarians discovered that the large quantities of captured soviet 50kg and 100kg bombs could be used in Caproni's bomb bays without any modifications.

5th of August 1941 (#17)
3 Ca.135bis dropped 3600kg of bombs on targets south-east of Pervomaysk.

6th of August 1941 (#17)
Bombers received orders to redeploy. Ju-86Ks were to transfer to Anapol and Ca.135bis to Vinnitsa. Due to the weather conditions redeployment had to be delayed for few days and Ca.135bis had to stay at Sutyska a while longer due to low serviceability of the aircraft.

9th of August 1941 (#21)
From this day the Hungarian Rapid Corps and its air forces were temporarily subordinated to the 1st Armoured Group of Ewald von Kleist.

On 10th of August (#16, #21, #22)
A Caproni Ca 135bis started from Kolomea back to Hungary with crew, which brought Colonel Béla Tanos (HM 3/c. head of department to the area of operations) a few days earlier. Colonel Béla Tanos was Ministerial Commissioner for the Car Supply of the Hungarian First Rapid Corps and was sent to determine the needs of Corps motor vehicles and the possibilities of covering them.
Due to the very bad weather over the Carpathians - overcast, low clouds - the plane's experienced blind flying pilot 2nd Lt Károly Telepy, wanted to postpone the take-off, but Colonel Tanos ordered the start at his own risk. The plane, which had difficulty to ascending - perhaps struggling with an engine failure - stormed during the flight through the Carpathians and probably collided with the peak of Aspinets mountain east of Kőrösmező at around 12 o'clock due to icing and then exploded.

The entire crew of the plane was killed in the plane: observer 2nd Lt (hadnagy) Béla Borsos, pilot 2nd Lt (hadnagy) Károly Telepy, snr cpl (szakaszvezető) Ferenc Viszked and snr cpl (szakaszvezető) István Zeltner, as well as the two passengers: colonel (ezredes) Béla Tanos and Staff Sgt (törzsőrmester) Béla Miklovicz. The plane also carried a captured soviet 100 kg FAB-100 bomb that was to be repatriated to HTI after it became apparent that the captured Soviet bombs could be used on the Ca-135 without modification. Colonel Tanos also carried a significant portion of the Rapid Corps records (until 5th of August): situation maps, commands, reports, large number of photos - irreplaceable materials that have now been destroyed along with the machine.

11th of August 1941 (#1, #17, #21)
6 (2 flights) Ca.135bis loaded with captured soviet 100kg bombs (12 or 8 FAB-100), commanded by 1st lieutenant (föhadnagy) Istvan Szakonyi, took off to bomb a 2 km (6,560 ft.) bridge across the Bug River in the city of Nikolayev, on the Black sea with ancillary targets being the city’s railway station and station building, as well as large barracks buildings in the north-east of the town and a road. Due to the expected strong fighter defence, only six of the faster Caproni bombers were assigned to the attack, the slower Ju-86s remained on the ground this time. Approach altitude was to be 2500m and bombing altitude was to be 1800m. Two planes were to attack the bridge, two the train station and two more an important road fork.
The bombers took off at 5:45, but at the start the third machine of the 2nd flight remained on the ground due to an engine failure, while one of the machines of the first flight got stuck in the mud, so only four machines took off to the attack. Therefore, the targets of the operation were quickly reassigned: the road was omitted and only the bridge and the train station were to be attacked. Lieutenant Szakonyi, who was flying with the first flight, chose the railway station as his target, emphasizing its importance, so the task of the second flight was to destroy the road bridge over Bug River.
Escort consisted of 6 Fiat Cr.42 of 1./3 vadaszszazad and 5 Reggiane Re.2000 of 2./1 vadaszszazad, which they met at 06:30 over Pervomaysk and then continued eastwards.
To achieve surprise they flew out over the Black sea east of Odessa before making a wide circle to surprise city’s defences by coming over the target from south-east.
Lead Ca.135bis of the second flight that hit the bridge was crewed by: observer 3rd Lt Gyór Boór, Pilot 2nd Lt Walter Lékay, radio operator Sgt László Farádi and mechanic Gyula Tóth and a passenger Captain Dénes Eszenyi from the Caproni Committee. They managed to hit the bridge with several bombs. Bridge collapsed into the river. After the bombing, the plane was attacked by three Soviet fighters, one of which was shot down by a radio operator Sgt Farádi.

During the action lead plane B.517 piloted by 1st Lt Izstván Szakonyi had as a passenger colonel Sándor András (leader of the Caproni commission). Plane was hit by FLAK just before the target and lost one engine and plane started to lag behind the formation. Szakonyi bombed the Nikolayev train station from 3000m.
B.517 lost contact with formation and its fighter escort and was repeatedly attacked by I-16 fighters. Radio operator Sgt János Bánkuti reported shooting down 2 and mechanic snr Cpl János Mester shooting down 1. One of the Polikarpovs positioned himself in bombers blind spot but was promptly jumped and shot down by an escorting Fiat Cr-42. In thirteen minutes of combat, the aircraft was riddled with gunfire (42 bullet holes were counted after landing) but the surviving Piaggio P.XI which was often accused of unreliability, this time worked very well, bringing them to the auxiliary airfield of Pervomaysk.

B.515 of 2nd lieutenant (hadnagy) Sandor Bodó was attacked by 3 I-16 while leaving the target area. Radio operator reported 1 I-16 shot down. Plane managed to escape into a cloud. Another bomber was attacked by Polikarpovs but was rescued by escort fighters.
On return leg of a flight remaining bombers were attacked again by 9 I-16 and escort fighters intervened.
In all Ca.135bis crews reported 4 victories, Fiat Cr-42 pilots reported 5 victories and Reggiane pilots reported 3 victories for loss of 1 aircraft (Re.2000 V.420 of 1st Lt Gyula Lasztóczi was shot down by FLAK over the target).
Bridge itself was of considerable importance on a tactical level and its destruction caused isolation of about 60 thousand Soviet soldiers. After the German 11th Army captured Nikolayev, on 16 August, the commander of Luftflotte 4, Col Gen Lohr, decorated the successful Hungarian crews at Sutyska.

13th of August (#17, #21)
At 17:00 5 Ca.135bis bombers escorted by 3 Fiat Cr-42’s performed recce/bombing mission over Novaya Odessa - Nikolayev - Ingul valley area. Despite heavy FLAK all returned without loss or damage.

14th of August (#17, #21)
In the morning 3 Ca.135bis flight escorted by same number of Fiat Cr.42’s attacked targets of opportunity around Novaya Odessa (Sukhoya Yelanya - Nikolayev area). Only one aircraft found a target worthy of its bombs. Capronis should have been escorted by Re.2000’s but they appeared over their airfield much later than planned (at 08:45) after Reggianes already had to land due to lack of fuel. 3 Cr.42 took off and escorted them instead.

15th of August 1941 (#21)
During heavy fighting for Ingulka village and intense air operations of Hungarian air force lighter units (fighters, close cooperation) trough entire day in support of Hungarian ground units there, the last attack against this target were made by two bombers ordered to start by the Rapid corps air force commander.
At 18:50 two bombers (I don’t know if Ca.135bis or Ju-86K-2) took off to attack Soviet batteries on Ingulka south. In the darkening weather, they descended to 600m and carried out the bombing from this height.

16th of August (#17, #21)
3 Ca.135bis raj escorted by similar number of Fiat Cr-42’s attacked Ingulka village.
Early in the evening flight of bombers (I don’t know if Ca.135bis or Ju-86K-2) set to attack the village of Laryevka, in front of which the cavalry brigade got stuck. After the bombing fighters performed strafing attacks against the burning village in very strong air defence fire

According to a summary report, on 15th and 16th, two reconnaissance aircraft and a bomber were significantly damaged during air defence hits and forced landings, but each aircraft was not damaged to the extent that could not be repaired by the moving workshop.

17th of August 1941 (#21)
3 Ca.135bis under protection of 4 Re.2000 attacked soviet troops marching on a road to Snigirevka.

25th of August 1941 (#21)
Lieutenant Colonel Sándor Gyiresy who arrived on this day took over the position of commander of the aviation of the fast corps from Lieutenant Colonel Orosz. Lieutenant Colonel Orosz became the commander of the Aviation Academy (Repülőakadémia) in Košice.

September 1941
2nd of September 1941 (#17)
Hungarian Ju-86K of 4./I and Ca.135bis of 4/Ö bombers redeployed to Krivoy Rog.

3rd of September 1941 (#21)
16:45 bombing (I don’t know if Ca.135bis or Ju-86K-2) of soviet artillery positions at village of Kamenka

10th and 11th of September 1941 (#21)
Bombers (I don’t know if Ca.135bis or Ju-86K-2) were deployed and attacked the island as well as Zaporozhye and the air defence artillery there. The bombers repeated the attack on the island of Zaporozhye the next day (11th of September)

On this day Rapid Corps - and thus its Air Force Group - withdrew from the German 1. Armoured Group (von Kleist

13th of September 1941 (#21)
In the early afternoon, 3 Ca.135bis protected by 2 pairs of Cr.42 bombed Soviet air defence batteries in Zaporozhye, and the railway line north of Krasnoyarmeysk town.

25th of September 1941 (#21)
The main news on this day was that the Germans stopped supplying petrol to the Hungarian Air Force, but at the Hungarian request that this could only be solved by rail from home due to the lack of transport and it would take a long time the problem was finally solved. By the way, the Hungarians also asked the Germans for the transfer of 5 Ju-52s to alleviate the transport problems. The German response was that they could not hand over transport planes, but Luftflotte 4 was instructed to "meet Hungarian transport needs as far as possible".

30th of September 1941 (#21)
In afternoon 2 flights of bombers (I don’t know if Ca.135bis or Ju-86K-2) with escort of Cr.42 first flight attacked Soviet batteries about 30km to the north of Zaporozhye, the second flight attacked railway targets east and south of Zaporozhye: the bombers cut off the railway in two places and a train in progress was hit.

October 1941
3rd of October (#17, #21)
At 15h, the bombers (I don’t know if Ca.135bis or Ju-86K-2) carried out an effective air strike against the village of Petrovskoye.
B.519 (ex MM21582) of “Uz Bence” squadron piloted by Felföldy Béla crashed and was destroyed at Jászalsószentgyörgy in central Hungray. Entire crew survived by jumping with parachutes.

4th of October 1941
At 15:30 p.m., the bombers (I don’t know if Ca.135bis or Ju-86K-2) attacked an enemy group in Yancseko, a mixed column marching on the road to the south, and then a car column spotted in Mikhailovka.

26th of October 1941 (#21),
Bombers in Dneprodzerzhinsk were given a mission, but since the airport was not suitable for a night landings and would have returned in the dark, the attack was cancelled.

28th of October 1941 (#21)
An airborne part of the 4./Ö mixed bombing squadron was transferred to Dneprodzerzhinsk Airport on this day. Now Dneprodzerzhinsk airport has become the terminus of the ever-longer courier service, but due to the unreliability of the Ca.135bis assigned here, 3 of the Ju-86K-2 bombers had to be temporarily assigned for this purpose in early November due to frequent tasks.

30th of November 1941 (#21)
Three flying squadrons still in the SSSR:
III. Close reconnaissance squadron (WM-21),
4./Ö mixed bomber squadron (Caproni Ca.135bis and Junkers Ju-86K-2) and
1/3. Fighter squadron (Fiat Cr.42)
With exception of a flight of 1/3. stuck in the mud of Lozovaya and a moving aircraft repair shop all these units were brought together to Dneprodzerzhinsk airport. Here the frontline was 220 km away which was at the extreme edge of Cr.42 range. Partly due to the mud and partly due to the cold, the aircraft were not used much at this time, and even starting the engines in the cold was a problem.

November 1941
8th of November 1941 (#21)
Captain Tomor flew with a courier aircraft to Corps Command, where he was informed that the aircraft would return home to Hungary later in November. This was a natural consequence of the fact that the aircraft are of mixed construction and are increasingly sensitive to the weather, otherwise the air section was almost completely unusable at the time due to lack of any winter equipment for the aircraft.
13th to 18th of November 1941 (#21)
Russian winter arrived in the morning temperature was -15ºC. At noon, an order came from the corps for the fighters to protect the frontline units. The oil in the engines completely froze and so they could not start the planes. Without engine heaters, units became completely incapacitated and had to improvise engine and oil heaters themselves. In any case, fighters and this certainly also applied to the other planes — no longer received any combat orders, and the next few days were spent packing, assembling, and preparing for return home. The flight crews officially received the order on 15th of November to put all materials in order for the repatriation. As per order III. Reconnaissance squadron would have left for home on the 17th and the fighters on the 18th, but due to the bad weather on the 17th, the reconnaissance squadron also returned with the fighters on the next day.
At reorganisation at the end of 1941 major (örnagy) Izstván Mocsáry was appointed as commander of unified squadrons under 4. Independent Bomber Regiment.

The accuracy of the bombing was improved with installation of “Jodza” bomb sight. This mirror system was capable of target distance measurement and continuing heading correction. With maximum bomb load of 1600kg, wide variety of bomb release sequences any bomb (including captured soviet bombs) from 2kg to 500kg could be used witch proved crucial when supply of delivered Italian bombs ran out.

One of the squadrons, the 4./III, (originally equipped with eight aircraft), soon lost one on landing. It was reinforced by another four aircraft. This squadron, up to October 1941, carried out 265 attacks, flew 1,040 sorties, and dropped around 1,450 tonnes (1,600 tons) of bombs, evidently helped by the short range to the targets (200–300 km/120-190 mi) that allowed them to use the aircraft's maximum bomb load of 1600kg. Two aircraft were shot down, another two were lost in accidents and 11 crewmen were killed. The daily average, over these four months, was over 8 sorties flown and 13 tonnes (14 tons) of bombs dropped.

Overall performance of the Ca.135bisU was deemed satisfactory under the circumstances and aircraft showed good resistance to enemy fire and carried a good bomb load. On the other hand reliability of the engines and maintenance problems (spare parts) were considered problematic.

The after action report was very critically about the Caproni Ca.135bis. It literally includes:
"The Ca.135 aircraft, even in their improved form, were only hardly able to meet the reduced requirements placed on them."

According to the authors of the report, it is desirable to withdraw this type from the first line service of war machines as soon as possible, as they have all the disadvantages of mixed construction, extremely unreliable engines, and so on. In the following, only the systematization of metal-structured aircraft was considered desirable in the case of combat aircraft. Another experience is that the use of armour, rubberized fuel tanks and armour glass is desirable for the combat aircraft to be systematized going forward, as these devices are also used for the Germans and the Soviets to increase the survival of aircraft in combat conditions.

Incidentally, the opinion of the Capronis was already overwhelming at the very beginning of the introduction of the type, even before the Soviet campaign.
From an aeronautical point of view, the longitudinal and transverse stability of the aircraft was unsatisfactory compared to the Ju-86.
There were also constant technical problems: the Piaggio engines of the type had criminal reliability, the machine could not be stored outdoors due to its mixed construction, its up-to-dateness, etc. Bomb release and machine gun problems also occurred on the type.
According to Lieutenant General Kenese Waldemár, Commander of the Air Force, dated 16th of May 1941:
"I do not recommend the purchase of additional Ca 135bis aircraft due to the abnormalities."

Yet another series of the type was ordered from the Italians, because Germans at the time were still refraining from supplying their modern aircraft and Hungarian Air Force was in dire need of any bomber aircraft.

Although the aging Ju-86s were slow, it was a mature, stable type and the machines performed well, but due to their obsolescence, the type was withdrawn from the front line from the end of 1941 and could only be considered as transport and training machines.
Last edited by TISO on 11 Nov 2021 21:29, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Caproni Ca.135 in Hungary

Post by TISO » 11 Nov 2021 20:44

3. Part

Second deployment to the Eastern Front in 1942:
[#1, #3, #21]

The two Bomber Squadrons of Ca.135bis, the 4./6 and 4./7 of the 4./III Bomber Group participated in formation of 1. Air Force Group (1. repülőcsoport) in the late spring of 1942. It was tasked to provide tactical support and reconnaissance sorties to Hungarian 2nd Army. The sole bomber unit in the 1. Air Force Group was a detachment of 4. Bomber Regiment, which was initially equipped with 17 Ca.135bis. During second deployment Ju-86K-2’s were relegated exclusively to transport and liason duties.
1. Air Force Group (1. repülőcsoport) was renamed to 2. Air Force Field Brigade (2. repülődandár) in October of 1942.

June 1942
24th of June 1942
HQ staff of 4. Bomber regiment under command of major (örnagy) Izstván Mocsáry started from Debrecen with “Boszorkány” (Witch) Squadron which was created with combining this squadron with “Uz Bence” Squadron. First 7 Ca.135’s under command of lieutenant (föhadnagy) Andrázs Inokai took off to the front and few days later further 4 arrived of which 1 was damaged on landing. 9 Caproni Ca.135 bombers that arrived earlier lost one of their number when undercarriage broke on landing and the aircraft became unusable [#4]. Bombers were based at Konotop and after arrival began to attack fortifications in Tim region. After the fall of Tim road toward Don was opened. The land forces reaching the Don faced new ordeals as the period of the “Don bridgehead battles” began. The air force supported Hungarian ground forces during these battles. [#3]

30th of June 1942 (#21)
Bombers received their first combat order. The target was the eastern edge of the village of Kuskino, southeast of the city of Tim, where two Soviet batteries hindered the advance of Hungarian troops. The attack was carried out in squadrons with 9 Ca.135bis at 4:15 p.m.
For the next bombing raid 4 Ca.135bis of the 4/1. lead by 1st Lieutenant Tihamér Ghyczy (commander of the squadron) took off: Soviet forces gathered in a ravine near Dubrovo were attacked. Ghyczy had to turn back after taking off, because he could not retract the landing gear of his plane. Of the 3 planes carrying out the attack, Sergeant (őrmester) Tibor Sárszeghi's plane landed on the edge of the airport where one of its propellers broke, causing the machine to spin and was completely smashed. The crew was unhurt.

July 1942
1st of July 1942 (#21)
Early on the morning 1st Lieutenant Tihamér Ghyczy's bomber attacked enemy troops dug in at elevation 267.7 south of Tim.
In the early afternoon, 4 Ca.135bis led by Captain Inokai attacked Soviet troops marching on the Jastrebovka-Alexandrovka route and gathering near Alexandrovka.
Late in the afternoon, 4 Ca.135bis under the command of 1st Lieutenant Ghyczy, attacked the assembling Soviet forces in a hook on Kamenka.

2nd of July 1942 (#21)
On the afternoon 5 Ca.135bis bombers, each with a single deployment, supported the Hungarian troops in the pursuit with their own reconnaissance and bombed Soviet counterattacks and resistance points, mainly on the Tim - Stary Oskol highway. Attacking targets close to their own ground forces was a delicate task, but their bombs did not harm Hungarian troops. The third plane took off on valuable reconnaissance mission and successfully attacked Soviet troops at Manturovo, but flew at a low altitude of 700 meters, resulting in a 37mm FLAK hit: its bomb bay doors were torn off and fuselage and wing covering was damaged, requiring several days of repairs. This was the 10th bombing operation of the type.

3rd of July 1942 (#21)
5 more Capronis were dispatched to the front from Debrecen. One of them B.557 flown by 2nd Lt. Baracskay crashed east of Rahó in Trancarpathian Hungary (now Rahiv in Carpathian Ukraine) when aircraft caught fire and crashed for unknown reasons. All five people on board the plane – 2nd lt (zászlós) László Baracskai, zászlós László Ginovszki, snr corporal (szakaszvezető) Vilmos Horváth, Sergeant (őrmester) Antal Kiss, snr corporal (szakaszvezető) István Tauber – were killed in the accident.
Request for reinforcements meant that group had less than 10 operational planes. In beginning of July bombers started on short range missions in 200-300km range. Short range of bombing missions meant that Capronis could utilise their maximum bomb loads of 1600kg.

5th of July 1942 (#21)
At dawn 7 Ca.135bis planes of 4./1 bombing squadron were ordered to attack Voronezh, with 16 FAB-100 100 kg bombs per plane. The targets to be bombed were the industrial area in the middle of the city and the southern train station. The attack was to be performed at 3:10 a.m. Direction of flight was from SE to NW. Protection over the target was provided by German Bf-109 fighters, as at the same time German IV. Fliegerkorps also launched an attack on the extremely heavily defended industrial city. Two machines were left behind the formation due to a technical fault: on one aircraft on the right engine propeller along with its gearbox were torn off while approaching the target. Plane dropped its bombs in front of Voronezh, immediately turned back and then landed with lowered the landing gear about 60 km from the airport, near Obojany. After on-site repairs the plane returned to the airport five days later. This aircraft set a record in single-engine flying on Ca.135bis: it flew 30 km over enemy territory and another 120 km over its own territory, although as Captain Inokai remarked wryly, "Caproni doesn't like to fly on one engine, but not even two"
The other missing plane was the regimental commander's Major Mocsáry's plane. After overflying the front the right engine began to pound and its speed dropped sharply due to an ignition magnet failure. He had to turn back, but he reached the airport. The remaining five planes carried out the bomb attack in an extremely strong air defence fire and each plane received minor FLAK damage.

8th of July 1942 (#21)
7 Ca.135bis would have attacked Bogucsar together with a German Ju-88A-4 Squadron of the KG 76, but due to some misunderstanding the meeting was missed, so the Hungarian formation bombed with their 28 250kg bombs Davidovka rail station. After the attack, a fire broke out at the train station.
Late in the afternoon 6 Ca.135bis accompanied by five Reggiane fighters, attacked Soviet forces crossing the Uriv-Storozhevo region.

10th of July 1942 (#21)
Hungarian Army reached Don and dug in. In this sector 3 soviet bridgeheads remained: Uriv, Kovotoyak and Szcsucsye.

On this day Capronis with fighter cover, twice attacked the Don Bridge at Uriv and vehicle assemblies at the bridgehead.
At noon that day, the 15th deployment of the bomber squadron was much more shaky. Talovaja railway station, 160 km behind the Soviet lines, was bombed with three Capronis without fighter cover from a height of just 1,800m. They dropped their bombs between 12:05 and 12:07, most of which hit a larger group of trains, where a secondary, possibly ammunition explosion was also observed. One of the heavy air defence batteries protecting the station was also hit. In the strong air defence fire, all three planes received light damage.
The bomber squadron then received a two-day technical break to maintain and repair the aircraft.

13th of July 1942 (#21)
The first bombing operation of the day, led by Ensign János Róna, was carried out by two flights (raj) each with 3 planes against the village of Troickoye. Targets were the barracks camp to the NW and three artillery batteries dug along the eastern edge of the settlement. Between 3:45 and 3:55, six Ca.135bis dropped 11 250kg and 29 100kg bombs on target. Smoke formation and strong movement were observed in the wake of a series of bombs crashing into the village.
The second deployment at the Uriv bridgehead was also flown against the Soviet armored vehicles attacking Hungarian 7th Light Division and the Uriv bridge with two flights of 6 Ca.135bis led by Captain Inokai. The planes dropped below 1000 m, dropping bombs one by one or in small series, on tanks, vehicles and the Uriv pontoon bridge due to hard-to-reach targets. The Hungarian bombers spent more than 20 minutes in the airspace of the bridgehead during the attack. As a result of that 3 - according to other data - seven Soviet armored vehicles became incapacitated and several vehicles were destroyed. However, two of the six planes deployed did not return: plane flown by 2nd Lt Sándor Veres (B.553) made a forced landing with lowered landing gear due to a cylinder head crack. This machine returned to the squadron soon after the engine was replaced, unlike the other missing machine. B.562 flown by 3rd Lt László Bánkuti's plane also landed due to an engine failure with a full bomb load, and was completely destroyed near Oboyany. The crew escaped the accident with one injury – 3rd Lt Bánkuti's broke his arm.
At 11:00 4 Ca.135bis led by 3rd Lt János Róna took off for the next deployment again in Uriv area. The four planes successfully attacked the bridgehead area and also interrupted the bridge, however, two planes did not return from this attack as well. The reason for this was that when the four planes were on return flight they were flying at low altitudes over the high-iron terrain that disturbed the compasses. They landed to the north, where they were over German troops. Unfamiliar with Ca.135bis German troops opened fierce FLAK fire on them. One of the aircraft's observers, 2nd Lt Sándor Szekeres, was shot in a hand and foot, so the pilot of the plane, Candidate Officer József Ónutz, flew the plane straight to Kursk, where the observer was taken to the hospital. The plane returned the same day. The other missing plane was unfortunately lost: 3rd Lt János Róna made a forced landing with lowered landing gear at the German front lines. In the evening Germans withdrew from the due to Soviet counterattack. At the request of the aircraft commander German artillery destroyed the Caproni to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

16th of July 1942 (#21)
Due to event on the 13th of July there are only 3 operational Ca.135bis on the strength of the bomber unit.

18th of July 1942 (#21)
On the morning 4 Ca.135bis attacked at the Uriv bridgehead, Hungarian bombers attacked Soviet troop positions in Troickoye at 4:00 a.m.

19th of July 1942 (#21)
At 10 a.m. 5 Ca.135bis with fighter cover attacked the village of Sadovsky, north of Korotoyak, and the forest parcel to the north of it. This was the unit’s 20th operation. Unit otherwise supported the German 75th Infantry Division.

20th, 21st and 22nd of July 1942 (#21)
The settlement of the army headquarters in Alexeyevka-Nikolaevka also prompted the flight group to set up its headquarters near it. On 20th of July Captain Zoltán Kiss reported that he had found an airport at Ilovskoye, less than 10 km north of Alexeievka-Nykolaevka, at the army headquarters, which was suitable for accommodating the entire air echelon. The relocation began as early as the 21st and 22nd: fighter, courier, close support and long-range scouts were also to be combined here, leaving the bombers alone in Stary Oskol.

24th of July 1942 (#21)
Lt. Gen. Béla Rákosi, the commander of the Air Force, arrived in Stary Oskol to visit the air formations on the front.

27th of July 1942 (#21)
On July 27, the bombers moved to Stary Oskol airport. The relocation was carried out in three stages: first a large part of the operational squadron was relocated with all the technical material, then the 9 machines with a full bomb load and finally the personnel to service the machines.

28th of July 1942 (#21)
Stock of italian 250kg and 100kg bombs brought from home was depleted. However, the corps did not need a bomb replenishment to be delivered from home, because then the large quantities of captured 50kg and 100 kg Soviet bombs were available.

30th of July 1942 (#21)
Ca.135bis of 1st Lt Tihamér Ghyczy attacked Soviet minesweepers Storozhevo area in a strong air defence fire.

August 1942
3rd of August 1942 (#21)
Ca.135bis piloted by Captain András Inokai's protected by 5 Reggiane fighters carried out an attack against Soviet troops gathering in a forest plot in Troickoye. Air defence fire was strong but inaccurate.

4th of August 1942 (#21)
Soviet troops crossed the Don River and battle of Uriv bridgehead began. Capronis started bombing raids against troop crossings at Uriv.

5th of August 1942 (#21)
In the early a swarm of 1st Lt Tihamér Ghyczy attacked the intersection at SrednyeIkorec, accompanied by five Reggianes.

6th of August 1942 (#21)
Attacks by Soviet troops on the front lines of the Hungarian army began in several places, with the aim of connecting bridgeheads: the most important of these were the actions launched at bridgeheads Uriv, Korotoya and Szcsucsye. This prompted frantic air activity on both sides in which operations of Ca.135bis were but a small part.
Just before eight o'clock, 3 Ca.135bis with fighter cover attacked Soviet troops in Staraya Sevrostan, where they dropped 24 100kg and 24 50kg bombs. They hit several tanks and vehicles. In the woods of Migenyevo gathering enemy tanks were also attacked.

7th of August 1942 (#21)
On the morning Hungarian 1st Armored Division redeployed to the Korotoya area, launched a counterattack, so aircraft had to be directed into its area as well.
During the day, the Hungarian bombers flew three raids: three flights of 3 planes each attacked at the mouth of the Potudany, the village of Spasinsky, a unit and troop concentrations, and a bridge under construction. On the return flight on plane flown by 3rd Lt János Róna one of the propellers flew away. The plane made a forced landing with the extended landing gear and flew back to Stary Oskol after an engine change.

8th of August 1942 (#21)
3 Ca.135bis flight without fighter cover were to attack Soviet troops in Petropavlovskoye. 2 planes led by 3rd Lt János Róna proceded to the target, the third plane could not take off due to a technical error. Simultaneously with the two lone Hungarian bombers, 6 Soviet bombers, accompanied by 3 fighters, bombed Korotoyak, but the Soviet fighters remained passive and did not attack the 2 lone Capronis.

9th of August 1942 (#21)
On this day, Ca.135bis bombers flew three bomb raids:
The first in the area of Shchucsye and Kolibeyka against watercraft crossing the Don - this was the only bomb attack at the Shchucsye bridgehead during the summer.
The second was bombing raid against the Uriv bridge, during which they also destroyed an ammunition depot.
And the third was at 6 P.M. when 3 Ca.135bis flight attacked the crossing around Ottichiha and Storozhevo

10th of August 1942 (#21)
The morning bomb raid against Storozhevo did not take place because of the ground fog which obscured the target. Therefore, 5 Ca.135bis dropped six tons of bombs in the Davidovka area.
In the early afternoon 3 Ca.135bis flight attacked Soviet units on the east bank of the Don against Kostyelnik.

11th of August 1942 (#21)
10:11 3 Ca.135bis flight with Reggiane fighter protection started on a bomb raid against artillery batteries dug in in Petropavlovskoye which supported the Soviet bridgehead in Korotoyak. Each plane was armed with 16 100kg captured soviet bombs. Bombers were protected by Reggiane fighters. 2 aircraft proceded to target and successfully bombed it. They also destroyed a transport column on north side of the Don. B.551 crewed by pilot Sgt (őrmester) Ónutz József, observer Sgt Götz Antal, mechanic senior corporal (szákaszvezetö) Talabér Ferenc, Radio operator senior corporal Operhall Gyula and passenger Capt. (százados) Harsányi Gábor, couldn’t retract the landing gear so crew decided that they will bomb Korotoya on south side of the Don thereby staying in own airspace for most of the time. 3 Lagg-3 fighters that were scrambled stumbled on B.551 over Korotoya. One LaGG attacked from behind but was shot down (and crashed) by accurate fire by mechanic Talabér. No parachute was seen. 2 other LaGG retreated.
In the afternoon, 3 Ca.135bis flight bombed the north eastern part of Korotoya in a strong air defence fire.

12th of August 1942 (#21)
3 flights of 3 Ca.135bis each attacked Mosztiscs, crossings at Potudany and the north-eastern part of Korotoya. At Korotoya, good results were achieved against troop concentrations in the square next to the two churches and at the train station, as well as on ammunition column north of the city.

13th of August 1942 (#21)
Ca.135bis bombers again successfully attacked the Korotoya area, hitting and destroying the bridge, destroying several Soviet trucks in the area of the two churches and detecting 4-5 strong after-explosions in the north-western part of Korotoya, apparently in a hidden area.

14th of August 1942 (#21)
On August 14, Group 1 suffered a heavy loss in the airspace of the bridgehead. A 4/1. bombing squadron was ordered to destroy the Uriv Bridge. At 2 p.m., the target was attacked from an altitude of 2,500 meters. During the third flight, the unit command plane (B.549) was hit by shell of Soviet anti-aircraft artillery at the base of the right wing, as a result of which the Caproni immediately caught fire and fell into a left corkscrew. The plane crashed to the ground in Uriv, its fuel supply and the bombs still on board exploded, setting fire to several houses.

On board of B.549 a popular regimental commander major (örnagy) István Mocsáry as well as sergeant (örmester) Zoltán Nagy and senior corporal (szákaszvezetö) Imre Piri were killed. Air Force Staff Lieutenant Colonel (alezredes) János Németh (Chief of Staff of the 2. Air Force Field Brigade) and 1st lieutenant (föhadnagy) György Orbán, managed to jump out of the burning plane. Lt Col János Németh survived with a broken leg while 1st Lt György Orbán survived unharmed. They had to be rescued from no-man's land. The rescue of officers from no-man’s land developed into a short but fierce fight, eventually Hungarian 14/III. battalion assault patrols were able to bring them to Hungarian positions
The command of the bomber detachment was taken over by Major József “Moni” Schiller.

15th of August 1942 (#21)
Assumption Day, a large-scale attack was launched against Korotoya. At dawn, 3 Ca.135bis flight attacked the northern part of Korotoya. This was followed by an operation against Uriv, after which the forest plot and Seljavnoye on the northern edge of Petropavlovskoye was bombed by the Hungarian Capronis.

17th of August 1942 (#21)
Ca.135bis bombers attacked Selyavnoye and Petropavlovskoye, and bombed the gathering enemy troops in the forest on the banks of the Don near Kologyesnoye. A squad of four fighters scattered the attacking Soviet fighter squadron over Korotoya and forced them to return.

18th of August 1942 (#21)
6 Ca.135bis bombers attacked the part of Korotoya that was in Soviet hands. The well-fortified church hill was bombed and the bridge was collapsed.

20th of August 1942 (#21)
On this day, the bombers attacked the bridges in Scsucye, and in the airspace of this bridgehead, the activity of the Hungarian aircraft was otherwise minimal.

21st of August 1942 (#19)
B.542 piloted by 3rd Lt (zaslos) Czelvikker Ferenc was damaged by FLAK. Plane emergency landed at village Istovnoye (Kiev oblast), it was repaired on the spot and returned to service. It was one of 5 Ca.135 that returned to Hungary in fall of that year.

23rd of August 1942 (#21)
On the morning of August 23, in Petropavlovskoye, the bombers attacked a forest plot with fighter cover. In the strong air defence fire, aircraft of 3rd Lt. János Róna was hit in the left engine. Luckily, the projectile did not explode, but the engine became inoperable and as the intake manifold pressure of the right engine dropped, the plane was forced to land next to Repyevka with lowered landing gear. Aircraft flew back to base in the evening.
In the afternoon, Captain András Inokai's flight attacked a forest area in the same area, which was reportedly a Soviet division headquarters (certainly the command of Colonel Karapetyan's Soviet 174th Rifle Division). Major Schiller’s flight had the same target but this flight spotted a vehicle column on the move during the flight and dropped its bombs on it, reaching full hits.

30th of August 1942 (#21)
two flights of bombers (6 Ca.135bis) attacked the village of Szcsucsye.

September 1942
3rd of September 1942 (#21)
Hungarian fighters supported the battles of the 336th German infantry division in sixteen deployments from 05:25 to 18:00, the Caproni bombers attacked the forest plot of the village of Petropavlovskoye twice with 3 plane flights, also to support the battle of the 336th German infantry division.

4th oh September 1942 (#21)
Fighters flew eight defensive deployments over the German 336th Infantry Division, while the Caproni bombers attacked Petropavlovskoye with a 3 plane flight in morning and a 3 plane flight in afternoon. On this day, the Korotoya bridgehead was virtually liquidated, and between August 31 and September 4, the Hungarian Air Force directly supported the battles of the German troops with 18 bomber, 68 Fighter and 21 close reconnaissance operations.

6th of September 1942 (#21)
A flight of Capronis attacked the bridgehead of the Uriv-Storozhevo. During the night from 6th to 7th of September Hungarian bomber base at Stary Oskol airport received a fierce soviet bomb attack. There was no damage to the bombers and human life, but two of the unit’s three Bü-131 couriers were severely damaged.

8th of September 1942 (#21)
1st Lt László Pajtás, 2nd Lt Tihamér Ghyczy's observer, were sent as liason officers to the ground forces attacking the Uriv bridgehead the next day. The bomber detachment reported 9 operational Ca.135bis that evening.

9th of September 1942 (#21)
The last large-scale Hungarian-German action to eliminate the Urivi bridgehead began. On this day, the Hungarian bombers flew most of their one-day deployments during 1942: they flew a total of seven missions, in which they attacked Uriv, Storozevo, the Otichiha Forest, elevations 187.7 and 195,6 with a total of 30 aircraft sorties dropping a total of 480 bombs in total weight of 36 tons.

10th of September 1942 (#21)
On this day Hungarian Capronis flew 20 sorties.
In the morning 6 planes attacked the elevation points 185.6 and 187.7.
At noon a 3 plane flight bombed a forest plot next to the village of Donitsze and another 3 plane flight bombed Uriv.
Early in the afternoon, 8 planes bombed the south-eastern part of the Uriv village. When they attacked the part of the village directly on the banks of Don, they had the impression that they were bombing an empty area because no movement was triggered by their attack.

11th of September 1942 (#21)
Caproni bombers performed 7 attacks of 28 aircraft sorties against the bridgehead area of Uriv-Storozhevo, mainly the area between Uriv and Selyavnoye, and Uriv SE from an altitude of 1600-2000 meters mostly in medium and heavy machine gun AA fire.

12th of September 1942 (#21)
On this day, the Hungarian Caproni bombers flew 3 attacks in all 10 aircraft sorties, over the Uriv-Storozevo bridge, attacking Uriv SE, among others. On this day, 1st Lt László Pajtás, who was on the front line as a liaison officer, also returned to the squadron.

13th of September 1942 (#21)
A flight (3 aircraft) of Capronis attacked Petropavlovskoye.

14th of September 1942 (#21)
A flight (3 aircraft) of Capronis attacked the same targets of the previous day. On this day 4/1. Squadron carried out 70th operation and at the same time 250th sortie.

16th of September 1942 (#21)
The last bridgehead battle of Uriv ended on this day. Hungarian and German forces despite the heavy losses they had suffered failed to squeeze Soviet forces out of the area and beyond the river Don. The bridgehead of Uriv and Szcsucsje also remained on the front line of the Hungarian 2nd Army, and in January 1943 this will have very serious consequences.

17th of September (#21)
Ca.135bis bombers last attack against the forest of Otichiha.

19th of September (#21)
During the third battle of Uriv-Storoshevo, some subunits of II./JG 77 (Commander Anton Mader) based at Castornoye (55 km NE of Stary Oskol) several times a day relocated to and operated from Stary Oskol with their Bf-109F-4 and G-2. They permanently relocated to the airport of the Hungarian bombers with their planes thus strengthening the fighter's defence of the area. They remained there until they were sent to North Africa on 7th of November 1942.

21st of September 1942 (#21)
A flight of bombers was ordered to attack enemy troops gathering at Spasinsky.

25th of September 1942 (#21)
A flight of Capronis attacked Davidovka railway station, where a 22 carriage train was being unloaded. 2nd Lt Andor Bajsa's plane hit the train. Some bombs were also dropped at Davidovka Airfield.

28th of September 1942 (#21)
8 Ca.135bis bombers successfully attacked Soviet troop concentrations in Selyavnoye despite strong air defence fire. During the flight, the squadron commander, Captain András Inokai, was wounded in the left eye by a small lens-sized aluminium splinter, which was snapped off the cabin framing by an exploding air defence projectile nearby. The pilot's left eye was flooded with blood, his right eye was filled with tears, so he could not fly the plane, which was taken back and landed at the airport by his non-pilot observer, 2nd Lt Dezső Tóth, without damaging it. Captain Inokai's eyes were not severely injured and he underwent quick surgery after removing the splinter.

30th of September 1942 (#21)
6 Ca.135bis bombers with fighter escort attacked Bobrov railway station and the adjacent intersection. The bomb doors of two planes were damaged by air defence fire.

Until the end of September, a statistic of the Caproni bombers was:
From 1 July to 30 September, 79 operations were performed, of which 75 were tactical and 4 were strategic. Of the four strategic operations, three were directed against railway stations and one against an important industrial hub.
During the 79 operations, 276 aircraft sorties were flown. The total time flown over the enemy was 431 hours 30 minutes. 320 tons of bombs were dropped during this time: 1685 of 50 kg, 2118 of 100 kg and 101 of 250 kg.
The altitude of attack was 3 time below 1000m, 25 times between 1100m-2100m, 49 times between 2100m-3100m, 2 times 3100m.
Enemy air defence received them with very strong fire in 10 cases, medium fire in 21 cases, and weaker fire in 15 cases. Team air defence was strong three times, moderate six times, and weak 11 times. Of the 79 operations, 30 were carried out with fighter cover and 49 without any fighter escorts. They received a single fighter attack — on August 11 — when Caproni B.551 shot down one of his attackers (LaGG-3).
Five planes made forced landings due to a cylinder head rupture, three of which at their own airports thanks to the experience of the pilots. Another plane landed on a lowered landing gear while the fifth landed on its belly. Due to a propeller rupture, two planes made forced landings, both landed on their landing gear. One of them happened 60 km behind enemy lines (loss of propeller). There was also a smooth forced landing at one’s own airport or outside another airport due to other engine failures. The enemy anti-aircraft artillery hit 3 planes so far. Of this, one landed smoothly on own territory and was easily repaired, another landed just behind the front lines, but was destroyed on the ground (by friendly artillery). The third was shot down (B.549). At own airport, a plane crashed due to a tire explosion.
10 planes received lighter air defence damage. In the end, only 5 machines have been permanently lost so far.
From July 1 to September 30, they had 125 air alarms due to Soviet attacks, of which 50 were bomb attacks, with several drops of 150-160 (small calibre) bombs. All losses were two minor injuries received by ground crew members, with no damage to Capronis.

October 1942
1st of October 1942 (#21)
6 Ca.135bis attacked Soviet vehicles gathering in the Otticich forest, from 4,000m due to a strong air defence fire.

2nd of October 1942 (#21)
2 Ca.135bis suffered minor damage during a Soviet night air raid.

3rd of October 1942 (#21)
Major Schiller led a bombing raid against Selyavnoye.

7th of October 1942 (#21)
On October 7, Captain András Inokai a commander of one of Ca.135bis bomber squadrons was sent to Poltava to the German IV./KG 27 (Commander Captain Gerhard) for the retraining on Heinkel He-111. 1st Lt Tihamér Ghyczy took over command of the squadron. He-111H-6 retraining was completed in a matter of days, with experienced crews flying the type day and night a few days later.

15th of October 1942 (#21)
1st Air Force Group was renamed 2nd Air Brigade, its new commander became Lt Col Tibor Fráter, and its Chief of Staff became Lt Col Kálmán Csukás.

19th to 24th of October 1942 (#21)
Bomber detachment relocated to Urazovo Airport, which had hangars, in order to spare the mixed-construction Capronis.

31st of October 1942 (#1, #21)
October 31st was a sad day for the bombers: they lost one of their planes (B.560) and its entire crew. 1st Lt Tihamér Ghyczy recalled the tragic operation:
“By October 31, our last deployment order will run (although it should have been missed)., It is also a tactical operation. Near Swoboda on the north bank of the Don there are enemy battery positions and the bombing of an ammunition depot. We have six operational machines in “Móni” Schiller’s (Major József “Móni” Schiller) unit. He also comes to the deployment, so he leads the first start, i.e. Bandi's group, and I follow them 500 meters with the flight as the second wave.

We have already overflown the Don when the plane of the right-hander Mády 'Csöpi' (warior sergeant, pilot, boy of almost two meters) started to pull to the right upwards from the formation, releasing a slight strip of smoke, and then the next moment it exploded into a 70-meter fireball. All I can see is the empty position of the machine and a few crumbling larger pieces falling down. They could get an air defence hit and their fuel tanks exploded. They didn’t have time to jump out, but they didn’t have to suffer, this explosion ended them right away. ”

The entire crew of B.560 Pilot Sergeant Zoltán Mády, observer 3rd Lt Ferenc Asztalos, Radio operator senior corporal András Csiszár and mechanic senior corporal László Jandrasits was killed.

Aircraft fell in area of village Kopaniše of Liskinski raion (Voronezh Oblast). Remains of this aircraft were found in 2012 by Hungarian search team and parts of aircraft and crew were recovered in 2013 by Russian search team and returned to Hungary.

November 1942
2nd of November 1942 (#21)
The last operation by Hungarian Capronis on the Eastern Front. Taking off from Urazovo to bomb enemy positions on Don.

13th of November 1942 (#21)
6 Ca.135bis took off from Urazovo for a return flight to Hungary, but due to bad weather they were soon forced to land in Poltava, where they had to wait for three days. They then returned home to Debrecen on the 17th of November with an intermediate landing in Kirovograd. The last two planes flew home from Kirovograd at the end of November, but on 2nd Lt Andor Bajsa's plane both engines seized due to lack of oil and plane landed at Kunhegyes undamaged.

Ca.135 suffered from a host of technical problems and spare parts were difficult to obtain which limited serviceability of the aircraft. It soon became apparent that serviceability severely limited combat employment. In comparison a German Ju-88 units could manage 5-6 sorties per day while Hungarian Ca.135 unit could only manage 1-2 sorties per day. At one point only 3 aircraft were operational due technical problems necessitating reinforcements from Hungary (3rd of July).

Decision was taken that Caproni bombers were to be sent back to Hungary and crews retrained on He-111, Ju-87 and Ju-88. 4./6 and 4./7 Squadrons were sent to Hungary in September.
Negotiations were also continuing with the Germans about how many Hungarian pilots would be retrained on site to fly the more modern Me-109, He-111, Ju-87, and Ju-88 airplanes. As a result, on 7th of October part of a 4./1 bomber squadron (1st flight) under command of Captain András Inokai was sent to Poltava airfield and received 5 used He-111’s and began training. At some point Germans decided that they will train 4./1 on Ju-88 instead and took the planes away. Unit was later trained on Ju-88 at Istres (France) during winter 1942-43.
Rest of the bomber crews was to be transferred home to start training on Ju-87B-2 and Ju-88A-4. The 4./1 bomber squadron’s happiness in landing in Debrecen on 15th of November was tainted by the tragedy that occurred during their sortie on 31th of October, when Ca.135bis B.560 was hit and exploded, killing everybody on board.
During the four months the bomber squadron spent at the operational area, they performed 265 bombing runs during 1,062 flights (operational, training and relocation), dropped 1,700 tons of bombs, and lost 2 aircraft shot down (B.549 and B.560), 1 lost due mechanical failure and 11 people killed.
Last edited by TISO on 11 Nov 2021 20:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Caproni Ca.135 in Hungary

Post by TISO » 11 Nov 2021 20:48

4. Part
Life after combat deployment in SSSR:

After return of the Capronis from Eastern front in September-November of 1942 remaining Ca.135bis were withdrawn from first line unit service and posted to training and secondary duties units [#1]:
• 1. Bombázó kiképzés osztáli, 1. Bomber Training Group (1.squadron) based at Veszprém. Known aircraft (#19): B.514, B.518, B.525, B.537, B.539, B.545,
• 2. squadron of mission training Group (Börgönd),
• target towing aircraft squadron (Miskolc) and
• Radio operator training squadron (Debrecen). Known aircraft B.522,

Caproni bombers were used in anti-partisan operations. One of these caused a bit of friction between German and Hungarian allies [#3].
On 2nd of August 1943, three Ca.135bis bombers from the 4th Hungarian Bomber Air Group dropped 4.8 tons of bombs on the Kovpak partisan detachment positions between Kolomyia and Delyatin. One of the planes was hit and crashed during a forced landing on a rocky spit in the valley of the Tisza river. Its crew, led by first lieutenant (föhadnagy) Gusztav Halmay, survived.

The next day (3rd of August), the Capronis were joined by WM-21 single-engine light biplane bombers from the 4th short-range reconnaissance group. One of them, for some unknown reason, did not return to the airfield.

The piquancy of the situation lies in the fact that on 3rd of August, the Hungarian aviation did not bomb the partisans, but positions of the German separate 26. Gebirgs Jaeger Regiment on Mount Sinichka. German 26. Gebirgs Jaeger Regiment occupied the positions left by the partisans during the previous night (from 2nd to 3rd of August) but due to lack of communication, Hungarian Air Force was not informed. As a result, the regiment, which had been transferred from Norway to the Carpathians just ten days earlier, completely lost its combat capability due to the effective Hungarian bombing. The scandal that had begun between the allies was hushed up at the highest level through the efforts of SS Reichsfuehrer Heinrich Himmler personally, who personally oversaw the conduct of this anti-partisan operation from Krakow.

Last “mission” of Debrecen based Ca.135’s was participation with full squadron in making of a movie “Magyar Sasok” in 1943-44. Last documents concerning Ca.135 speak of moving the remaining approx. 20 aircraft from Debrecen to Nádudvar in protection against allied air attacks. As far it is known last aircraft of this type were destroyed here by their crews to prevent capture by soviet troops [#1].

The Hungarians did not particularly love the Ca.135Bis, but it was all they had, and so they had to make best out of it. Overall combat use of the aircraft was considered satisfactory. Aircraft demonstrated sufficient resistance to enemy fire and good defensive characteristics from Soviet fighter attacks. The Ca.135 on the Eastern front had frequent malfunctions and scarcity of parts set high demands on the mechanics maintaining it. A 50 per cent operational readiness of the Capronis was seen as a great achievement.

Remains of one of the Ca.135bis (B.560) and its 4 member crew shot down in October 1942 were found in November 2012 in area of village Kopaniše of Liskinski raion of Voronezh Oblast of Russian Federation. Hungarian search and recovery association (Magyar Roncskutato Egyesulet) asked for help to recover parts of the aircraft and its crew remains from a lake. Work by Voronezh search association started on 21st of October 2013 and was slated to last 7 days. Remains of the crew and aircraft were returned to Hungary.

Markings of Hungarian Ca.135bisU:
National markings:
Before the war and up to April 1942 national markings were of tricolour “Arrow” type.
In April of 1942 they were changed to “Cross “ type of white cross in black square, with national tricolour (bright green, white and bright red) markings on vertical and horizontal tail surfaces.

Unit markings:
Aircraft of the first order, received unit markings on the side of the nose. Use of this markings, seem to continue with aircraft of the second order by units that inherited the names:
3./3 “Sárkány” squadron – a small red dragon
3./5 “Uz Bence” squadron – a man in traditional custom carrying an axe
3./6 “Boszorkány” squadron – a witch on a broom in red

Theatre markings:
During 1941 April war against Kingdom of Yugoslavia all Hungarian aircraft including Ca.135bisU received theatre markings in form of entire nose and entire empennage repainted in solid yellow.

Theatre markings on Ca.135bis U on Eastern Front during first employment in 1941 were yellow fuselage stripe just after the wings and in front of lower gun position and lower wing tips painted yellow. Known planes using this kind of markings B.512, B.513, B.515, B.516, B.517, B.524, B.525, B.529, B.531, B.533, B.534

During second employment on Eastern Front aircraft of the second order were marked with yellow fuselage stripe in front of empennage for newcomers and yellow stripe on same place as in 1941 for older planes that already served in SSSR during previous year’s deployment with yellow painted lower wing tips.

Camouflage colours of Hungarian Caproni Ca.135bisU:

Aircraft of the first order:
Camouflage colours used on aircraft of the first order of Hungarian Caproni Ca.135bisU delivered in 1940 (B.501-B.536) are still under the debate.
These aircraft seem to be as per photographs in standard Caproni factory camouflage of 3 upper colours and light grey lower side. Upper colours consisted of light colour base and 2 darker colours mottle in several variations of shapes and sizes.

Caproni company used following colours [#15]:
- Giallo mimetico 3 or Verde Mimetico 53192 – for upper lighter base colour
- Marrone Mimetico 2 or Marrone Mimetico 53193 or Bruno Mimetico – for upper brown mottle
- Verde Mimetico 3 – for upper green mottle
- Grigio Mimetico – lower surfaces

Aircraft of the second order:
Aircraft delivered in 1941 and 1942 (B.537-B.568) and those planes that were refurbished were painted in green upper camouflage with light blue lower surfaces.

1. Planes Resin 1/72 Caproni Ca.135bis/U - instruction sheet
2. The Royal Hungarian Army 1920-1945 Volume 1 – Organisation and History by Leo W.G. Niehorster –pages from 170 to 174: ... 0-1945.pdf
3. Establishment of the Hungarian Air Force and the Activity of the Hungarian Royal “Honvéd” Air Force in World War II Respectively by Szabó Miklós Major-General (Ret.). Correspondent Member of Hungarian Academy of Sciences
4. Hungarian eagles Magyar Királyi Honvéd Légierő 1920-1945 (Hikoki publications) by Gyula Sárhidai (Author), Viktor Kozlik (Author), Győgy Punka (Author, Illustrator)
5. Hungarian Air Force (Squadron/Signal publications) by Goerge Punka
6. - site is not functional at this time
8. ... ilizzatori
11. ... roni-ca135
15. ... WII_3a.htm camouflage colours
16. From Barbarossa to Odessa: The Luftwaffe and Axis Allies Strike South-East June - October 1941, Vol. 1: The Air Battle for Bessarabia: 22 June-31 July 1941 by Bérnárd Dénes, Dmitriy Karlenko and Jean-Louis Roba
17. From Barbarossa to Odessa: The Luftwaffe and Axis Allies Strike South-East June - October 1941, Vol. 2: The Air Battle for Odessa: August to October 1941 by Bérnárd Dénes, Dmitriy Karlenko and Jean-Louis Roba
18. ... al_service
19. A Caproni Ca 135 a magyar légierő szolgálatában 1940-1944 by Kóvacs Ferenc - 2 part article in Hungarian magazine Aero História (translated by Marko Hrelja)
20. -regarding Hungarian Air Force ranks
21. A Magyar Királyi Honvéd Légierő harci alkalmazása a második világháborúban (1939-1945) by Dr. Ormos Mária, Becze Csaba (phd desertation - page 75 onward): ... Fh9_1Zu-qY
22. Fakereszt a Gyil Bozsenin, Kaszómező felett – Domby Kálmán repülő főhadnagy tragédiája / Wooden Cross at Gyil Bozseni, over Kaszómező - the Tragedy of First Lieutenant Kálmán Domby (Acta Academiae Beregsasiensis 2017, pp. 75-84.) by Csaba B. Stenge

Internet links:
RE finding a remains of plane B.560 and its crew:

page 41: ... moqko5_fgI


Film footage:

Drawings from parts catalogue: ... Ca.135.htm

Last edited by TISO on 12 Nov 2021 15:01, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Caproni Ca.135 in Hungary

Post by TISO » 11 Nov 2021 20:52

5. Part
Caproni Ca.135bisU technical information:

General characteristics: (#1)
Wing span = 18.8 m
Length = 13.7 m
Height = 3.4 m with tail on the ground
Distance between main wheels = 5.1 m
Wing surface = 60 m2
Wing load = 158 kg/m2
Fuel tank volume = 1170 l
Oil tank volume = 105 l
Weight empty = 6000 kg
Total load = 3500 kg
Useful load = 2800 kg
Max take-off weight = 9500 kg

Weight - power ratio = 4.74 kg/H.P.
Max speed at 4300m = 428 km/h
Traveling speed = 345 km/h
Climb to 2000 m = 7 min 30 s
Climb to 4000 m = 14 min
Climb to 5000 m = 18 min 30 s
Service ceiling = 6000 m
Take off length = 360 m
Landing length = 320 m
Range with 1600 kg bomb load = 1200 km
Range with 1000 kg bomb load = 2000 km

Engines = 2 x Piaggio P.XI RC - 14-cylinder air cooled radial engines
Fuel type: 87 octane

Engine characteristics:
Take-off = 1,000 PS (735 kW) at 2,200 rpm
Military = 1,000 PS (735 kW) at 2,200 rpm at 4,000 m (13,000 ft)
Cruising = 1,000 PS (735 kW) at 1,800 rpm at 4,000 m (13,000 ft)
Specific power = 19.1 kW/l (0.49 hp/cu in)
Compression ratio = 6.0:1
Specific fuel consumption = 0.292 kg/kW/hr (0.48 lb/hp/hr)
Oil consumption = 0.0134 kg/k/w/hr (0.022 lb/hp/hr)
Power-to-weight ratio = 1.15 kW/kg (0.699 hp/lb)

Ca.135bisU Armament

Offensive Armament:
1,862 kg max bomb load (depending on bomb load configuration and range)

Bomb load configurations (#19):
2x 800 kg
2x 500 kg
4x 250 kg
16x 100 kg
16x 50 kg
16x 15 kg or 12 kg or 10 kg or 5 kg

Aircraft could also use a number of captured bombs including soviet bombs of various calibres.

Defensive Armmament: (#19)

Nose turret:
1 x 7.7mm Scotti-Isotta Fraschini machine gun. Nose turret had arc of -20o to 60o on vertical plane and 45o left to 45o right in horizontal plane. Rounds were fed from 350 round magazine located on the LH side of nose interior by flexible band to the LH side of machine gun. Spent cratridges were collected in a box under machine gun by means of flexible hose. Aiming device (bead and ring) is located on the RH side of machine gun.

Dorsal turret:
1x 12.7 mm Scotti-Isotta Fraschini machine gun in dorsal gun turret was mechanicaly powered. Turret could turn 360o in horizontal plane and had a traverse of 0 to 75o in vertical plane. Prevention of accidental fire into own tail empennage and propellers was by means of handles mounted on the turning ring. Magazine capacity 500 rounds of ammunition.

Ventral turret:
1 x 12.7 mm Scotti-Isotta Fraschini machine gun in ventral position behind bomb bay. When not in use gun was completely stored in fuselage. Before use gunner had to open doors and lower the turret from the fuselage by means of hydraulics. Gun could be traversed from 0 to -85o in vertical plane and from 60o LH to 60o RH in horizontal plane. Magazine capacity 500 rounds of ammunition.

Last edited by TISO on 12 Nov 2021 14:57, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Caproni Ca.135 in Hungary

Post by Peter89 » 12 Nov 2021 13:08

Hello TISO, at a first glance it seems to be a detailed work (although some stories feel like copypastes) it needs a proofreading because some characters and letters are sometimes problematic. If you'd like to, I can do it for you in a few weeks time.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: Caproni Ca.135 in Hungary

Post by TISO » 12 Nov 2021 14:49

Hi Peter89
Yeah as said it is work in progress and is bit of copy paste and google translate from languages i don't know (Italian and Hungarian). I had help from a friend who helped with translations (he is still working on some articles) to clear the biggest WTFs. Also english is not my first language (not an excuse really).

This article was basicly ment to for a modelling file for my model (PlanesResin 1/72 = source #1) but somehow took on a life of its own as it is a really fascinating subject. I was tired of the same 2 sentances on any query on this aircraft so i went a bit crazy which was not my original intention. I did the same with Caproni Ca.111, Ca.310 and Heinkel h.e.8 on Britmodeller (last 2 more concentrated on their history in Kingdom of Yugoslavia).

If you have time, feel free to proof read it.
Charaters and letters (mostly names, ranks, placennames etc) are taken from hungarian sources unchanged.
My biggest concern is for for the article to be factually correct.

HMMM Perhaps [Insert chosen Deity here] willing someone will issue a new model kit (preferably in 1/72 but others would be as good)

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Re: Caproni Ca.135 in Hungary

Post by TISO » 08 Nov 2022 12:39

OK i did some light editing and added a few corrections and additions to my article "Caproni Ca.135bis U in Hungarian air force" on Britmodeller forum. However it is still work in progress.

In first post i forgot to link to the article on Britmodeller forum. So here is the link: ... air-force/

Damn this articlle intended for my modelling file (at most a couple of pages), balloned to 30 printed pages.

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