In Action 1003
Luftwaffe Bombers in Action
Dornier Do 17Z-2 Kampfgeschwader 3
A Do 17Z-2 of the Wing Staff Flight of KG3 drones past the camera aircraft another Do 17Z of the same flight.
A trio of Do 17Z's in loose combat formation. This type of formation did not provide the type of mutual protection from enemy air attackers that the 'box' formations used by the Allied forces provided. In any event, the three rifle-caliber machine guns used for defensive armament in each Do 17 was considered to be woefully inadequate.
Еще один противник "Спитфайра" - Do 17Z
'Wir fliegen gegen England!' A Staffel of Do 17Z's roars over the French countryside on their way to England during the Battle of Britain, October, 1940.
Сброс 100-кг бомб. Лето 1940 г. Бомбардировщики He 111 и Do 17 сыграли основную роль в разгроме польских аэродромов в Западной Украине
'Bombs Away!' A Staffel leader's aircraft drops its load of bombs on a British coastal target around the time the Battle of Britain started in earnest, September, 1940.
Another common duty for enlisted flight crew members. The enlisted flight personnel (some pilots included) of this Staffel are reminded of some of the less pleasant aspects of military life in the rear areas of a combat zone.
Looking into the rear of a Do 17Z's greenhouse. Although there were two MG 15 machine guns for defensive armament, there was only a single gunner to man them both. This situation did not always work to advantage when the aircraft was attacked from different directions by more than one enemy.
Staying on the dorsal longeron so he won't buckle the thin skin of the aircraft, this ground crewman cautiously walks toward the greenhouse to fasten the rear canopy shut.
The flight crew of a Do 17Z arrives at their aircraft to perform the pre-flight walkaround inspection while the ground crew chief waits patiently in front of the port engine.
Ground crew and flight crew confront each other just prior to a flight during the Battle of Britain. The ground crew members were as intensely proud of keeping their airplane in flying condition as the flight crew members were in flying it.
The greenhouse of a Do 17 looking forward. The pilot is on the left and the crewman on the right has his hand on the forward-firing MG 15.
This photo shows to good advantage the forward and downward view afford the pilot and bomb-aimer of a Do 17Z.
The Do 17's greenhouse looking toward the rear. The gunner is in his seat manning the dorsal machine gun. Later variants of the Do 17 featured increased rear and side-firing armament because of experience gained during the Spanish Civil War.
The gunner has left his seat to man the ventral machine gun. Note how the backrest of the gunner's chair has been swung down to its stowage position.
Manning one of the three MG 15's in the rear of the Do 17's greenhouse. This photo is quite unique, in that it shows the gunner wearing a steel helmet. Although it seems a logical practice, there was no widespread use of steel helmets by Luftwaffe flight crews during the Second World War.
A shot of a He 111P showing the characteristic exhaust stains produced by the twin Jumo 211D engines. The stains on this aircraft extend all the way back to the undersides of the horizontal stabilizers.
A He 111P-2 in flight over France in 1941. The He 111 was characterized by its bulbous glassed-in nose and the rather graceful sweep of its wings; a Heinkel trademark. The fairing of the Lofte bombsight may be seen protruding through the bottom of the greenhouse under the nose.
1H+FH, a He 111 of KG 26 carries a single SC1000 bomb toward its target.
Another aircraft of KG 26, 1H+DN, roars toward its target carrying an SC500 bomb on its external mounts.
A1+BT, a He 111H-3 of KG 53 during the Battle of Britain. The wide bars on the upper surface of the wing show it is the III Gruppe commander's airplane.
Heavily camouflaged He 111P-2's of KG 55 over the French countryside en route to England during the Battle of Britain, autumn, 1940.
V4+AU, a He 111P of KG 1 drops a bomb during the Polish campaign. KG 1, Bomb Group 1, was named for Field Marshal Hindenburg.
'Bomben los!' A Staffel of He 111's salvoes their bombs in unison over England during the Battle of Britain.
The tail of a Delmenhorst-based He 111 in 1939. The personal marking and tail drawing are somewhat unusual, but a close look just below the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer will reveal the telephone number of the airfield. Try to call them on your next visit to Germany!
A closer look at A1+KL reveals that it is one of a number of He 111H-6's fitted with a rear remote firing MG 15 'stinger' machine gun.
Лучшие летчики эскадры KG 53. Июнь 1944 г.
The officer crew members of this He 111 pose for their photo. All three men wear the Knight's cross to the Iron Cross around their necks. Similarly camouflaged He 111's may be discerned on the Russian landscape in the background.
In this view, a crew receives a pre-flight briefing. Their flight uniforms are typical for bomber crews of the Luftwaffe during the early years of the War.
The dorsal position of a He 111H-6 showing the fully enclosed turret. The dorsal gun has been removed in this photo.
The dorsal gun position of an early He 111H. The early versions did not have a fully enclosed dorsal gunner's position, but later variants of the H series featured a protective glass cover and heavier armament than the MG 15 machine gun.
This photo shows the ventral gondola of a He 111H-1. The early H variants carried a single MG 15 in the ventral gondola for rearward and belly defense, but later variants had the armament increased to either a twin MG 81Z mount or a 13mm MG 131.
A very good shot of the bombardier of this He 111 as he operates the 'Lofte' bombsight. The standard 'Lofte' bombsight used for horizontal bombing was not as efficient as the 'Norden' bombsight that was used by the U.S. Army Air Force.
Another shot of the glassed-in nose of a He 111H-1. The view afforded the pilot in this aircraft was unsurpassed. Here, an armorer is adjusting the standard ring-and-bead sight of the forward firing MG 15 machine gun.
The nose position of a He 111H-11 and its 20mm MG FF cannon armament, the result of a bitter lesson learned during the Battle of Britain.
The nose of a He 111H-1, the first production type of the He 111H series. The forward-firing MG 15 machine gun did not provide very much protection.
A large supply container is swung into position under the external mounts on this He 111. These supply containers carried anything from emergency drinking water to mortar ammunition.
Another view of the supply container being swung into hookup position. Much use was made of He 111's in aerial resupply missions all along the Eastern Front during the Second World War.
Armorers carry an SC50 bomb toward the bomb bay of this He 111P bomber during the Polish campaign in September, 1939. The SC50 bomb was the smallest of the more commonly used Luftwaffe aerial bombs during World War Two.
Manhandling SC50 (110 lb.) bombs. The armorers are wearing white coveralls, a style that was supplanted by black one-piece suits later in the War.
Here the two armorers straight up to hanging lugs within the bomb bay.
Straining and groaning the two men hook the bomb firmly into its vertical stowage position
Armorers position a bomb under the open bomb bay doors of this He 111. Later versions of the He 111 dispensed with the internal bomb racks and carried their loads externally, as other photos in this section will show.
In this fine shot five SC250 bombs are shown hooked to the external bomb shackles of this He 111. Note the MG 81Z machine gun mount with its two weapons in the ventral gondola.
A single SC500 bomb is asymmetrically mounted on this He 111. The aircraft on the right features the same type of bomb installation.
The belly of this He 111H-11 shows the external bomb racks and the five externally mounted bombs. The bomb racks were attached to strong points under the fuselage and wing sections and could be removed and replaced with bomb racks designed especially for handling larger-sized bombs.
2000 Kg bombs about to be loaded onto the external bomb racks of a black-camouflaged He 111H-6 in the background.
Battle casualty. This He 111H-6 of KG 53, A1+KL, has crash-landed on a grassy meadow that doubles as an airfield. Recovery measures have included jacking the airplane up under each wing prior to getting a sled under the fuselage.
He 177A-3/R2 Fligzeugfuhrerschule (B) 16
'Susi' an He 177A-3/R2 bomber of Bombing Wing 100 (Kampfgeschwader 100), coded 6N+SK at Orly airfield near Paris, early 1944. To gain operational experience, many of KG 100's aircraft and crews flew missions under the control of KG 40 until they were experienced enough to fly as a unit of their own.
He 177A-3 из состава KG100
Another view of 'Susi', showing the flat black undersurface camouflage that extends more than halfway up the fuselage sides.
Armorers manhandle the bomb dolly into place under the He 177's bomb bay. Most interesting are the wheels of the bomb dolly which incorporate their own springs!
'Helga', another aircraft of KG 100 receives an SC100 bomb. The release mechanism has already been installed on to the side of the bomb as it rests on the dolly.
He 177A-3 - участник налетов на Англию в черной, "ночной" окраске, весна 1944г.
An He 177A-3 of Bomber School 16 gets bombed up for an operational bombing mission during 1944.
The bomb is jacked up into place within 'Helga's' internal bomb bay. An armorer is keeping an eye on the bomb's alignment with the bomb release bracket mountings in the aircraft. At this stage of the War, the He 177 was one of the few Luftwaffe bombers to retain an internal bomb bay; the majority having been modified for external mounting only.
Flight crew receive a last minute briefing while donning their flight clothing and equipment. The officer at the far right is wearing a parachute pack of the type worn by multi-engined aircraft crew members.
As the starboard engine of the He 177 is run up, one member of the ground crew mans a fire extinguisher while a second prepares to disconnect an auxiliary power unit.
A uniquely camouflaged He 177A-5/R6 of KG 40, based at Merignac airfield near Bordeaux, France. These big birds were capable of carrying guided bombs for anti-shipping missions.
A black-camouflaged He 177A of Bomber School 16 shows off its yellow 'Eastern Front' wing tips as it roars over the camera. The national insignia on the undersurfaces of the wings have been painted over.
The upper nose of an He 177A-5, showing the MG 81 nose machine gun and the large turret from which the upper gunner controlled remote firing guns located in a barbette further to the rear of the aircraft.
The lower nose of an He 177A-5, showing the ventral forward-firing MG 151 20mm cannon. The large airscoop to the right provided cooling air for the crew.
The dorsal gunner mans his station in the upper forward turret. He controls a gun barbette with two 13mm MG 131 cannons. The Revi optical gunsight was standard for this position.
A nice shot of the rear dorsal turret with its single MG 131 gun. Unlike the forward turret, this one was directly controlled and fired by a fifth crewman.
VD+XS, another He 177A-3 of KG 100. The aircraft has yet to receive the unit coding of 6N and still bears its factory call letters.
A close view of the MG 151 20mm tail gun on VD+XS. The tail gunner's side and rear vision was excellent.
The He 177's sixth crewman and his small kingdom. Note the cone on the sight of the 20mm MG 151 cannon and the canopy-like turret top.
Кормовая оборонительная установка с пушкой MG-152/20 на самолете He 177
The rear turret of one of KG 40's green and gray camouflaged He 177A-5's. Note the standard ring-and-bead sight on the MG 151.
This view shows the pilot with both hands on the single offset control yoke. Note the armored headrest for the pilot; a 'comfort' the other crew members did not enjoy.
The pilot of this He 177 slowly pushes the throttles forward as the big plane unlimbers its engines. Although the He 177 had only two airscrews, it was a four-engined bomber as two engines were mounted side by side turning each of the big paddle-bladed propellers.
The pilot and flight engineer at their stations. Both men, as well as the rest of the crew, wear throat microphones for communication.
Four of the six crew members of an He 177 gather for their photograph. Unique are the crossed strap harnesses of the parachute packs they wear on their backs.
С целью улучшения взлетных характеристик Ju 88A-2 был оснащен двумя ускорителями RATO, которые располагались под крылом и после взлета сбрасывались на парашютах.
A. This Ju 88A with a big bomb load is about to get a rocket-assisted take-off from a short airfield. This was not an uncommon sight on the Eastern Front where Russian airfields were very primitive, often being nothing more than a wheatfield or meadow.
B. Rocket Assist bottles were normally attached to Luftwaffe aircraft by means of small racks, similar to bomb racks, which were bolted on to the aircraft. The bottles could be used and then be jettisoned once the aircraft was airborne.
C. Many times during the campaign in the East, Luftwaffe aircraft were so heavily overloaded that rocket-assist was the only manner in which they could become airborne.
D. The rocket bottles could be ignited simultaneously for maximum thrust, or else fired off one after the other in a series of firings in order to provide sustained thrust. Each bottle had between ten and twenty seconds of fuel in it.
E. In this shot, the Ju 88, now airborne, circles back over the airfield in order to drop the expended rocket bottles by means of their own small parachutes so that they can be refilled by ground personnel and reused in the future.
Немецкий техник "загорает" на 500-килограммовых бомбах в ожидании приказа готовить бомбардировщик к очередному вылету. На заднем плане - Ju-88 из состава 1-й бомбардировочной эскадры. Аэродром Дно, март 1942г.
Warmed by the spring sun, an armorer catches a quick nap before arming the Ju 88A-4 in the background. The bombs are SC1000's, while the aircraft belongs to KG 1.
These two armorers are preparing the external bomb racks of this Ju 88 before attaching the second of two bombs.
Here the bomb has finally been attached. The bomb on the left is an SC250, while the one on the right weighs 500 Kg. Interesting are the strange spinner markings.
Here, Luftwaffe armorers prepare to move a huge SC1800 bomb weighing almost two tons beneath a Ju 88A belonging to the operational bomb group of Training Wing 1 (Lehrgeschwader 1).
The external bomb rack has already been prepared to receive the two-ton bomb and the armorers must now very carefully position the bomb directly under the Ju 88A-5's rack so that it can be jacked straight up and attached.
The tracked prime mover pulling the bomb sled (which also serves as a storage and transport pallet) is one of many French-built Tracteurs d' Infanterie UE that were taken over and used by the German armed forces after the Fall of France in 1940.
The ground crew takes a breather while servicing this Ju 88A-4 with wierd undersurface camouflage. It is believed this photograph was taken in Italy, during the air campaign over Malta. Note the twin MG 81Z gun mount in the swinging hatch of the ventral gondola.
A view of the refueling activities on the starboard wing tank of a Ju 88A-3. Several other Ju 88's are dispersed in the background.
'Benzinmannschaft.' The refueling crew services a Ju 88A-3 on a Russian airfield. Obviously warm, the crewmen are dressed more for comfort and efficiency than for military appearance.
Заправка бензином внешнего крыльевого бензобака "Юнкерса"
F1+GM, an aircraft of KG 76, Werke number 4339. Note the rubber donut-type bumpers on the fuel hose as the crewman refuels the outer starboard wing tank.
This holland-based Ju 88 features a wave mirror camouflage coat of light gray over its dark green upper surfaces. The wave mirror camouflage pattern was applied mainly to aircraft that operated over water during daylight hours at low level. The aircraft in the background is an Me 210 belonging to Erprobungsgruppe 210.
On the way home. A heavily exhaust-stained Ju 88A with yellow wing tips and fuselage band banks away from the camera plane after a mission over the Central sector of the Eastern Front, 1942.
Roaring low over the countryside, this Ju 88 dive bomber returns from a mission over the Soviet lines with her bomb racks empty, 1941. More than 15,000 Ju 88's of all types were manufactured by the Germans during the course of the War.
A trio of Ju 88's flies above the low cloud base on the way to a target. Barely visible under the wings between the fuselages and engines are the tails of bombs with their round stabilizers.
A close-up of the optical bomb-aimer's panel of a Ju 88. The device the bomb-aimer (who was also the navigator and co-pilot) is holding appears to be a navigational aid of some sort.
The cockpit of a Ju 88, showing both the pilot and the co-pilot. The flight clothing and accessories are typical of German bomber crews. The absence of leather flight clothing as worn by Allied bomber crews is due to the fact that the majority of German bombing aircraft operated at altitudes of 20,000 feet and less.
The cockpit of a Ju 88A-3 just before flight. The rear gunner-radio operator is shown behind his two handheld MG 15 machine guns, while the pilot is tightening his seat belt.
In this photo, the rear gunner sights through the offset ring-and-bead sight of an MG 81. Note the barrel cover on the gun.
Inside the heavily armored rear section of the greenhouse of a Ju 88A-4. Earlier versions did not have the armor surrounding the gun mounts. The gunner mans the starboard rear MG 81 machine gun.
This holland-based Ju 88 features a wave mirror camouflage coat of light gray over its dark green upper surfaces. The wave mirror camouflage pattern was applied mainly to aircraft that operated over water during daylight hours at low level. The aircraft in the background is an Me 210 belonging to Erprobungsgruppe 210.
F8+CP, a commerce-raiding Do 217E-4 of II Gruppe, Bombing Wing 40 (KG 40), runs up its engines on the runway. KG 40 operated a variety of aircraft including the Focke-Wulf FW 200, the Heinkel He 177, and the Junkers Ju 88, as well as the Do 217.
Black undersurfaces mark these two Do 217E-4's of of Bombing Wing 3 (Kampfgeschwader 3) based in Holland during 1942. From 1942 onwards, KG 3 aircraft flew night intruder bombing missions over England, their major targets being British airfields and radar sites.
Another Do 217E of KG 40; this one camouflaged with a wave mirror pattern of light gray-green 'spaghetti' over its dark green uppersurfaces. If viewed from above when flying low over the water, this aircraft would be virtually invisible.
This Do 217E-2 banks before diving on a target below. The Do 217 was powered by two BMW 801 radial engines, each producing 1400 horsepower.
An overall gray Do 217E of KG 40 returns from a commerce-raiding mission over the Bay of Biscay. All of the white markings have been oversprayed with black to decrease visibility.
A ground crewman tops up the fuel in the fuselage tank of this Do 217E of KG 40 in France. Note the 13mm MG 131 machine gun in the dorsal turret.
Engine mechanics work on the big BMW 801 radial engine of this green and white camouflaged Do 217E. A good engine crew could change an engine on one of these bombers, tune it up, and have it ready to fly in five hours under the most primitive of conditions.
The co-pilot of this Do 217K-1 smiles for the camera. Note the inset windows to the rear of the co-pilot's seat. These windows were used either for observation or for navigational work. A pair of inset windows on the other side of the aircraft were used to fire an MG 81 through.
The nose of a Do 217K-1, showing the forward gunner/bombardier behind his MG 81 machine gun mount, the co-pilot, and the pilot to the far right.
A newly-arrived Do 217K-1, Werke number 4452, works the 'bugs' out of its engines on a Dutch airfield before being taken over by Bombing Wing 3, August 1942. Note that the crew's entry hatch at the bottom of the fuselage under the nose is still open.
A Do 217K-2 night bomber of KG 2. This type of aircraft was especially designed to carry guided bombs, such as the 'Fritz-X'.
A platoon of sheep (some marked with a mysterious #16) police up the area around 3Z+BI, a Do 17E-1 of the 3rd Staffel of KG 153. This aircraft bears both a red and a yellow band around its nose.
Another Do 17E-1 of KG 153; this one with the cowls to its twin BMW VI in-line engines open. The bird insignia under the cockpit is that of the First Gruppe of KG 153 in either late 1938 or early 1939. The white band around the nose denotes the first squadron, or Staff el.
A Dornier Do 17E-1 bomber of KG 153 (later KG 77) parked on a grass airfield. The aircraft features gray, green and brown uppersurfaces, a red band around the nose, denoting the second squadron, and light blue undersurfaces. The swastika on the tail seems to have been overpainted - possibly a war game marking.
A Do 17P-1 reconnaisance plane. One of the two RB-50 cameras is just visible in the nose of the aircraft directly below the MG 15 machine gun in the canopy.
A crashlanded Do 17P-1, U5+OP of KG2. The diagonal thin red band around its nose shows that it was piloted by the Staffel commander.
Another view of U5+OP, showing to advantage the radial BMW 132 engines. The condition of the propeller blades indicates that the props were only slowly windmilling when the aircraft touched down.
Junkers Ju 188E-1
A Ju 188A rests on the runway as crewmen of KG 6 get ready for a flight. Note the large paddle-bladed propeller on the Jumo 213 in-line engine.
A Ju 188F-1 reconnaisance bomber powered by BMW 801D radial engines. The aircraft is armed with a 20mm MG 151 in the top turret, a 13mm MG 131 firing to the rear, and an MG 81Z twin machine gun mount firing from the ventral gondola
The Ju 188's defensive armament. In the top turret is a 20mm MG 151 and the dorsal position in the foreground is armed with a 13mm MG 131. The turret gunner sits behind a large plate of thoughtfully provided armor which has been incorporated into the gun mount.
The power turret and dorsal gun position of the Ju 188. These powerful weapons fired a mixed array of ammunition, including standard ball ammo, armor piercing, explosive, tracer and incendiary ammunition.
A look at the extensive canopy glazing and the forward-firing MG 151 cannon. A close study of the canopy will reveal a white grid work painted on the glass in front of the pilot and the 'Kuto' barrage balloon cable cutter on the tip of the nose.
A view from behind the pilot, showing the tremendous forward view afforded by the Ju 188's nose design. Interesting is the small auxiliary instrument panel on the control column, with only the basic flight instruments on it.