Intended FJ role in Sealion

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Peter89
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Peter89 » 24 Jul 2022 15:56

Knouterer wrote:
24 Jul 2022 11:41
Peter89 wrote:
22 Jul 2022 07:36
*Now I spent a few weeks in the archives and I found direct evidence that a lot of the Ju 52s could never be stripped from liasion duties. It was forbidden to carry government or party officials above a certain rank in 1 and 2 engine aircrafts. Even though aircraft travel was not necessary for everyone in everyday operations, they had to stand by by the dozens, scattered around the Reich.
Really? Field Marshal Kesselring flew around a whole lot in his Siebel Fh 104 I believe. Why would the life of government or party officials be more precious than his?
I believe military was allowed to fly with whatever they pleased, especially those with front commands. Many senior generals flew in Storch especially at the Eastern front.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Knouterer
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 24 Jul 2022 17:08

Richard Anderson wrote:
23 Jul 2022 17:33
Knouterer wrote:
21 Jul 2022 19:59
The towing Ju 52s would indeed carry a full load of paras as well. This doesn't seem to have been a problem, it was done during the attack on Crete next year where the distance to be covered was rather longer. The Ju 52 could even tow three gliders at the same time, but this was more of a circus trick and was never tried on operations AFAIK.
I've read through D.W. Pissin's, The Battle of Crete and can find no evidence of this? There were only 53 troop and 10 cargo operational DFS 230 employed at Crete out of 72 available and they were towed by I./LLG 1. No mention of them carrying paratroops as well, which would be very unusual given the fuel load required, 2,000 liters - 1,473 kilograms - which in the paratroop lift allowed for just 12 fully-equipped men. Adding the weight of a DFS 230 and 10 more men and equipment would be an extraordinary load - I cannot imagine how they would manage the 600+ kilometer round trip with such a load? What made it possible in SEELÖWE was the short distances involved - around one-quarter of that for MERKUR.
Upon checking my little library, accounts disagree on this. Golla (p. 395, German edition) calculates that 503 Ju 52 took off on the morning of 20 May, and that 72 of these were reine Schleppflugzeuge or "pure tow planes" with no paras or cargo on board, towing the same number of DFS 230 gliders.

On the other hand, there are first-hand accounts of participants which quite definitely state that (some) tow planes had paras on board as well. A history of II./KGzbV 1 (Schlaug, Georg (ed.): Geschichte einer Transportflieger-Gruppe im II. Weltkrieg, Grutter Verlag, Ronnenberg/Hannover, 1989) mentions (p. 78) that the 7th and 8th Staffel towed 18 gliders of LLG 1, in addition to carrying paras. One of the pilots, lt. Lankenau, noted in his diary for 20 May(quoted p. 83, my translation):
"Wakeup 3:30, start 5:30. The Ju 52 carries 12 Fallschirmjäger, and we are also towing a glider with ten soldiers on board."

A history of the glider units (Schlaug, Georg: Die deutschen Lastensegler-Verbände 1937-1945, Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart, 1985) states there were 69 gliders, including five transporting the advance HQ of the 7. Fliegerdivision. Feldwebel Busse, one of the glider pilots, described the start (p. 44, my translation):

" Now we are taking off, thank God, Oberleutnant Kruppe too manages to get off the ground. We gain altitude only slowly, because the Jus are carrying a full load of paras as well."

Busse was worried about Oblt. Kruppe because the latter was carrying general Süssmann and some of his staff officers, who had overloaded the glider with heavy suitcases.
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 24 Jul 2022 20:16

Knouterer wrote:
24 Jul 2022 17:08
Upon checking my little library, accounts disagree on this. Golla (p. 395, German edition) calculates that 503 Ju 52 took off on the morning of 20 May, and that 72 of these were reine Schleppflugzeuge or "pure tow planes" with no paras or cargo on board, towing the same number of DFS 230 gliders.
I still cannot see how a Ju 52 carrying 12 combat-equipped paratroopers could also tow a fully-laden glider a manage a range of over 600 kilometers? I suspect that Schlaug possibly accepted reminiscences of participants without double-checking the veracity of the stories. Something, of course, which no good historian has ever done. :D

The matter of the number of gliders is also subject to Chinese whispers. Pissin on pages 42 and 42a gives the number employed by Koch's I./LLSR and references it to "Headquarters, XI Air Corps, Operations Branch, File No. 5642/41, Classified, dated 15 May 1941, "Air Transport Orders for Crete"; see Appendix 6." On page 43 he does remark that the 53 transport gliders were the "remainder of an original force of seventy-nine assigned to Attica", i.e. minus the gliders lost or non-operational after the assault on the Corinth Canal. Jason Long's normally reliable Sturmvogel OOB page listed 72 gliders for Crete, apparently taking it from Christopher Shores' Air War For Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete 1940-41.

Pissin very specifically addresses the gliders in Koch's I./LLSR, so it is likely the difference between 63 and 69/72 were indeed those non-operational or in reserve. I will see if Pissin gives specifics on the lift of the divisional HQ. Elsewhere, Pissin confirms there were 53 gliders used by I./LLSR, 29 with Gruppe West (Stab I. and 3. and 4. Kompanie) and 24 with Gruppe Mitte (9 with 1. Kompanie and 15 with 2. Kompanies). That does not account for the 10 "cargo" gliders, which were 1 used for division HQ (Sussman's) and 9 for the Stab/LLSR (Major Braun), all of which were damaged beyond repair.

BTW, Sussman's glider was towed by an He 111, which is the most likely reason for his demise. The faster aircraft overtook the slower Ju 52 and encountered their turbulence, which tore off the gliders wings. (Page 126 quoting the XI Air Corps, Report on Crete, Part II, page 12.

KG z.b.V. 3 (Gruppe Buchholz) was comprised of KGr z.b.V. 40. and 105., and I./LLG 1, at Tanagra except that "half" of I./LLG 1 was at Eleusis.

Golla's figure is actually the one given by Pisser on page 50 "As of 14 May 1941, 502 Ju-52's were ready for action, out of an authorized aircraft strength of 539." On page 50a he notes though that the "study by Lt. Col. Hornung (based on General Conrad's diary) states that there were only 439 transport aircraft ready for action as of 14 May." The figure of 502 and the on hand strength is taken from the "records of the XI Air Corps."
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 25 Jul 2022 11:22

The accounts as published by Schlaug are (partly) based on diary entries rather than later reminiscences, so I'm inclined to see them as reliable primary sources.
Busse's account is very detailed. He piloted one of the five gliders carrying the staff of the 7. Fliegerdivision, all towed by Ju 52. In flight, he could see that Kruppe was struggling to trim his overloaded glider. Two He 111, returning from a bombing mission, passed too close and Kruppe's glider whipped violently up and down in the slipstream. Then the wings came off, the tow rope broke, and the glider went down like a bomb. It crashed on the island of Aegina and all aboard were killed.
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 25 Jul 2022 12:24

You really have to wonder, by the way, how serious the commanders of the Luftwaffe were about the preparations for Sealion. Goering repeatedly told his staff that he didn't believe it would ever happen, and even issued an order that any preparations should not be allowed to interfere with the Luftwaffe's ongoing operations.

Kesselring, who as commander of Luftflotte 2 would have been one of the main players, after the war wrote in his memoirs that "Air Fleet Chiefs were completely excluded from such planning and preparation of Sealion as there was."

And here we have Col. Morzik, commander of KGzbV 1, whose 200+ aircraft would have been in the thick of it, and who according to the distribution list (Verteiler) did receive a copy of those fairly detailed orders of 26 Sept.

Yet years after the war, Major General (ret.) Morzik, in a book about the Transportflieger, wrote "No detailed information regarding the contemplated accomplishment of this operation is available. Presumably the mission of the air transport forces would have been similar to the one they carried out in Norway and Holland, with the additional factor of increased utilization of freight gliders."

Collective amnesia? Or were the Luftwaffe commanders so convinced that Sealion would never happen that they just didn't bother to study or discuss the operation, and soon forgot all about it?
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 25 Jul 2022 18:26

Knouterer wrote:
25 Jul 2022 11:22
The accounts as published by Schlaug are (partly) based on diary entries rather than later reminiscences, so I'm inclined to see them as reliable primary sources.
Sure, but primary sources can get it wrong too, or sometimes scramble accounts, as for example, does Pissin. :lol:
Busse's account is very detailed. He piloted one of the five gliders carrying the staff of the 7. Fliegerdivision, all towed by Ju 52. In flight, he could see that Kruppe was struggling to trim his overloaded glider. Two He 111, returning from a bombing mission, passed too close and Kruppe's glider whipped violently up and down in the slipstream. Then the wings came off, the tow rope broke, and the glider went down like a bomb. It crashed on the island of Aegina and all aboard were killed.
As in this case. Pissin had it that Sussman's glider was towed by an He 111, but it was towed by Ju 52 and overtaken by He 111, which caused the fatal turbulence.

It also accounts for four more gliders than Pissin counted in the LLSR. :lol: Either the 10 cargo gliders were split 50:50 between the Stab/LLSR and the Stab/7. Fliegerdivision or there were at least four more available.

However, the accounts may be scrambled, but I don't think the physics can be. The Ju 52 - depending on the model - was 5,720 kg empty and had a maximum take off weight of 10,499 kg, so a maximum useful load of 4,779 kg (others give c. 4,500 kg). Dfs 230 loaded weight was 2,100 kg. Three man crew in the Ju 52 call it c. 200 kg. Plus 1,473 kg fuel. Leaving c. 700-1,000 kilos for cargo/paratroopers. Given the large number of supply containers employed - as many as 2,000 per regiment - I just don't see where there is room for more than perhaps a half-dozen paratroopers?

Anyway, nowhere in Pissin's detailed account of the LLSR assault is there any mention of any men of Koch's I. Batallion coming in by parachute, although the other battalions of the regiment did. I remain skeptical of the notion such a loading was used in MERKUR. The distances were simply too great and the fuel load already too critical to make such a chancy method worthwhile.
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Urmel » 25 Jul 2022 22:11

Richard Anderson wrote:
25 Jul 2022 18:26
However, the accounts may be scrambled, but I don't think the physics can be. The Ju 52 - depending on the model - was 5,720 kg empty and had a maximum take off weight of 10,499 kg, so a maximum useful load of 4,779 kg (others give c. 4,500 kg). Dfs 230 loaded weight was 2,100 kg. Three man crew in the Ju 52 call it c. 200 kg. Plus 1,473 kg fuel. Leaving c. 700-1,000 kilos for cargo/paratroopers. Given the large number of supply containers employed - as many as 2,000 per regiment - I just don't see where there is room for more than perhaps a half-dozen paratroopers?
I suspect that from a certain towing speed the DFS230 will develop lift on its own, thus reducing the weight penalty imposed on the towing Ju 52? Given that a Me 109 could tow a DFS230, payload weight is probably less relevant than raw towing power?

This table maybe helpful:

http://www.lonesentry.com/manuals/airbo ... lider.html
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 25 Jul 2022 23:42

Urmel wrote:
25 Jul 2022 22:11
I suspect that from a certain towing speed the DFS230 will develop lift on its own, thus reducing the weight penalty imposed on the towing Ju 52? Given that a Me 109 could tow a DFS230, payload weight is probably less relevant than raw towing power?

This table maybe helpful:

http://www.lonesentry.com/manuals/airbo ... lider.html
Yes, but it still is takeoff weight limited - all that weight needs to get into the air. They also used Do 17, Ju 87, AVIA 534, AVIA 65, and Hs 126 as aircraft tugs, but not in Crete. I am still skeptical about such a practice in MERKUR.
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Urmel » 26 Jul 2022 08:27

I've been looking for the take-off speed of the DFS230, to see if it was appreciably below that of the Ju 52 (120/125km/h), i.e. if the weight penalty would change to a drag penalty prior to the Ju52 becoming airborne. No luck.
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by ROLAND1369 » 26 Jul 2022 15:07

Just a comment. The question of the loss of internal space for troops being taken up by door bundles is irrevelent. As with the C 47 the JU52 was equipped with external belly shackles for the carriage of canisters or light artillery, thus freeing up internal space at the cost of additional drag.

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 26 Jul 2022 15:30

ROLAND1369 wrote:
26 Jul 2022 15:07
Just a comment. The question of the loss of internal space for troops being taken up by door bundles is irrevelent. As with the C 47 the JU52 was equipped with external belly shackles for the carriage of canisters or light artillery, thus freeing up internal space at the cost of additional drag.
Sorry, I may not have been clear. Yes, I know, and over 5,000 canisters were delivered, but the canisters add weight and drag as well.
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Urmel » 26 Jul 2022 15:58

That's okay, just tank up more fuel to deal with the drag and... oh...
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Peter89 » 26 Jul 2022 17:25

Richard Anderson wrote:
25 Jul 2022 18:26
Knouterer wrote:
25 Jul 2022 11:22
The accounts as published by Schlaug are (partly) based on diary entries rather than later reminiscences, so I'm inclined to see them as reliable primary sources.
Sure, but primary sources can get it wrong too, or sometimes scramble accounts, as for example, does Pissin. :lol:
Busse's account is very detailed. He piloted one of the five gliders carrying the staff of the 7. Fliegerdivision, all towed by Ju 52. In flight, he could see that Kruppe was struggling to trim his overloaded glider. Two He 111, returning from a bombing mission, passed too close and Kruppe's glider whipped violently up and down in the slipstream. Then the wings came off, the tow rope broke, and the glider went down like a bomb. It crashed on the island of Aegina and all aboard were killed.
As in this case. Pissin had it that Sussman's glider was towed by an He 111, but it was towed by Ju 52 and overtaken by He 111, which caused the fatal turbulence.

It also accounts for four more gliders than Pissin counted in the LLSR. :lol: Either the 10 cargo gliders were split 50:50 between the Stab/LLSR and the Stab/7. Fliegerdivision or there were at least four more available.

However, the accounts may be scrambled, but I don't think the physics can be. The Ju 52 - depending on the model - was 5,720 kg empty and had a maximum take off weight of 10,499 kg, so a maximum useful load of 4,779 kg (others give c. 4,500 kg). Dfs 230 loaded weight was 2,100 kg. Three man crew in the Ju 52 call it c. 200 kg. Plus 1,473 kg fuel. Leaving c. 700-1,000 kilos for cargo/paratroopers. Given the large number of supply containers employed - as many as 2,000 per regiment - I just don't see where there is room for more than perhaps a half-dozen paratroopers?

Anyway, nowhere in Pissin's detailed account of the LLSR assault is there any mention of any men of Koch's I. Batallion coming in by parachute, although the other battalions of the regiment did. I remain skeptical of the notion such a loading was used in MERKUR. The distances were simply too great and the fuel load already too critical to make such a chancy method worthwhile.
The weight allocation for a fully equipped glider air assaulter was 90 kilos (roughly the same for FJs). Also the total takeoff weight of the DFS230 is with ~250 kg for cargo or extra weapons.

A regiment was to be deployed with over 200 Ju 52s, etc. It's not really what got my attention. But the theory behind this... if a glider is towed by an aircraft that drops paras, the paras will arrive to the target first, rendering the glider assault senseless.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 26 Jul 2022 22:27

Peter89 wrote:
26 Jul 2022 17:25
The weight allocation for a fully equipped glider air assaulter was 90 kilos (roughly the same for FJs). Also the total takeoff weight of the DFS230 is with ~250 kg for cargo or extra weapons.
Indeed. Pissin's recounting of the load planning for MERKUR indicates the calculation used for the paratroopers was 97 kilos each, but I don't know if that includes the weight of the weapons and supply canisters as well - 5,358 of which (I found the reference to it finally) were dropped over the course of 20-31 May. That does include supply drops after the initial paratroop drops, but is still substantial, since the loaded weight of the canisters was anywhere from 250 to 700 kilos.
A regiment was to be deployed with over 200 Ju 52s, etc. It's not really what got my attention. But the theory behind this... if a glider is towed by an aircraft that drops paras, the paras will arrive to the target first, rendering the glider assault senseless.
Which is part of the reason I questioned using such a tactic in MERKUR. It actually makes sense for SEELÖWE due to the short distances flown and matches the air plan - launch gliders then turn parallel to the coast before turning inland to approach from a different vector, timed to arrive at the LZ just after the gliders touch down. That simply could not be done in MERKUR.
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Peter89 » 27 Jul 2022 08:46

Richard Anderson wrote:
26 Jul 2022 22:27
Peter89 wrote:
26 Jul 2022 17:25
The weight allocation for a fully equipped glider air assaulter was 90 kilos (roughly the same for FJs). Also the total takeoff weight of the DFS230 is with ~250 kg for cargo or extra weapons.
Indeed. Pissin's recounting of the load planning for MERKUR indicates the calculation used for the paratroopers was 97 kilos each, but I don't know if that includes the weight of the weapons and supply canisters as well - 5,358 of which (I found the reference to it finally) were dropped over the course of 20-31 May. That does include supply drops after the initial paratroop drops, but is still substantial, since the loaded weight of the canisters was anywhere from 250 to 700 kilos.
A regiment was to be deployed with over 200 Ju 52s, etc. It's not really what got my attention. But the theory behind this... if a glider is towed by an aircraft that drops paras, the paras will arrive to the target first, rendering the glider assault senseless.
Which is part of the reason I questioned using such a tactic in MERKUR. It actually makes sense for SEELÖWE due to the short distances flown and matches the air plan - launch gliders then turn parallel to the coast before turning inland to approach from a different vector, timed to arrive at the LZ just after the gliders touch down. That simply could not be done in MERKUR.
Now, I searched through Pissin's work and that's exactly what happened (No wonder, as a towing Ju 52 was approximately 20 km/h slower than one carrying FJs.):
The invasion plan was frustrated by the necessity (determined by the lack of airfield space) of assembling the freight glider squadrons and the paratrooper squadrons at the same fields. As a result, the slower freight glider squadrons, which were supposed to land on the island as an advance force, did not arrive until after the paratroopers.
p. 223

It seems that the distribution was the following. The 53 gliders were to be towed by the I. Gruppe of Luftlandegeschwader 1, 29 went to the Combat Group West and 24 to the Combat Group Center. (Plus 9-10 gliders were freight gliders, assigned to transport communication devices and stab personnel, not participating in the air assault.)

It would be interesting to know whether the Ju 52s of I. Gruppe of Luftlandegeschwader 1 carried Fallschirmjägers on the first assault or not, because then we'll have our answer.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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