Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

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TuomoKoo
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Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by TuomoKoo » 15 Jan 2020 17:44

What kind of aircraft models and camera models were used by Luftwaffe for air reconnaissance photography in 1944?
Attached pls. find a sample aerial photo taken by Luftwaffe in North Finland in September 1944.
Br, TuomoKoo
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AllenM
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Re: Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by AllenM » 28 Jan 2020 02:54

Difficult to say which aircraft types. Among the available cameras, the Rb 50/30 or Rb 75/30 may have been used.

TuomoKoo
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Re: Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by TuomoKoo » 31 Jan 2020 05:42

Thanks for info AllenM!

Br, TuomoKoo

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Karte
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Re: Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by Karte » 19 Feb 2020 14:24

This photo seems to have been taken during the so called "Lapland War" that kicked off mid-September 1944. The recon unit that very likely took this photo would have been F-Kette Lappland, 1.(F)/Aufkl.Gr.124 Luftwaffe which was based at Kaamanen from 8.44 - 10.44. I assume the plane was a Ju-88D-1, the primary recon aircraft then with them. I have data on the camera models but will have to dig it up. I assume this is one of the GX prints that are held at NARA, yes? I have a buck of the these photos over Finland as well. Also for detailed aircraft info: https://www.ww2.dk/oob/bestand/aufkl/b1ag124.html

Kittos!

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Re: Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by Larry D. » 19 Feb 2020 15:28

Here is a good book for the cameras used by the Luftwaffen-Aufklärungsflieger:

Wadman, David, John Bradley and Barry Ketley. Aufklärer: Luftwaffe Reconnaissance Aircraft & Units 1935-1945. Aldershot (Hants): Hikoki Publications, 1997. ISBN: 0 9519899 8 7. Hb (oversize). Dj. 272p. Pictorial with accompanying text. Dwgs. (incl. color profiles). Map(s). Tables. Charts. Glossary. Bibliography.

L.

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Karte
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Re: Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by Karte » 19 Feb 2020 16:55

Beat me to the punch, Larry! Also, Col Roy M. Stanley's book "World War II Photo Intelligence" ISBN 10: 028398824X ISBN 13: 9780283988240 has some discussion as well on this.

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Re: Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by Larry D. » 19 Feb 2020 17:14

Agreed. It's amazing how many of the Luftwaffe aerial photos survived the war and are available at NARA College Park and a U.K. facility in Scotland. I used to think it was around 350,000, but I recently found out that it's a couple of million, most of it uncatalogued.

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Karte
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Re: Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by Karte » 20 Feb 2020 02:54

NARA has over 1.1 million prints of GX photos not including aerials included in the microfilms. The folks in Scotland have many of the same as well but after the war the UK didn’t copy most of the German air photos over the UK oddly. Sadly the US destroyed almost all of the originals later after the war. Also the 8th Air Force which had the richest collection of air photos of the war burned nearly all of them as they didn’t want to ship them back to the US at the end of the war.

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Re: Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by Larry D. » 20 Feb 2020 14:31

Thanks for that, Karte. There was some fresh information there that was new to me, especially the fate of the 8th AAF's wartime holdings. I spent the last 3 or 4 years working with Luftwaffe aerials taken over Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, Bessarabia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania using (mainly) the John Calvin website and then hiring a fee-for-service researcher who specializes in NARA's Photographic and Cartographic Branch. There were about 800 targets (all airfields) that I wanted good quality aerial coverage of and I found most of them, so I consider myself fortunate!

L.

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Karte
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Re: Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by Karte » 24 Feb 2020 13:51

Larry- Yes there were tons of airfields I have come across in the GX collection, John C and I have scanned in many of them and glad you got one of the guys to get you the rest.

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Re: Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by TuomoKoo » 29 Feb 2020 08:56

Karte wrote:
19 Feb 2020 14:24
This photo seems to have been taken during the so called "Lapland War" that kicked off mid-September 1944. The recon unit that very likely took this photo would have been F-Kette Lappland, 1.(F)/Aufkl.Gr.124 Luftwaffe which was based at Kaamanen from 8.44 - 10.44. I assume the plane was a Ju-88D-1, the primary recon aircraft then with them. I have data on the camera models but will have to dig it up. I assume this is one of the GX prints that are held at NARA, yes? I have a buck of the these photos over Finland as well. Also for detailed aircraft info: https://www.ww2.dk/oob/bestand/aufkl/b1ag124.html

Kittos!
Thanks a lot for information Karte! The attached aerial photo was taken 6 km to north from Kuusamo center, in north Finland on Sept. 21.1944. I found this photo from NARA microfilm T312-R1066. There were some other aerials too. I am very much interested in other Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photos from Kuusamo area taken during Sept. - Oct. 1944. If you can help me with this pls. check the pm. Br, TuomoKoo

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Re: Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by AllenM » 29 Feb 2020 21:28

No assumptions please. The Eastern Front aerial reconnaissance photos made by the Luftwaffe were critical to Western allied intelligence. When Reinhard Gehlen, the head of Foreign Armies East (Fremde Heere Ost), surrendered to the Americans, he gave them the collected Russian files. Here is the origin of the photos in question.

https://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ea ... p_SLASH_19

TuomoKoo
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Re: Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by TuomoKoo » 04 Mar 2020 07:33

AllenM wrote:
29 Feb 2020 21:28
No assumptions please. The Eastern Front aerial reconnaissance photos made by the Luftwaffe were critical to Western allied intelligence. When Reinhard Gehlen, the head of Foreign Armies East (Fremde Heere Ost), surrendered to the Americans, he gave them the collected Russian files. Here is the origin of the photos in question.

https://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ea ... p_SLASH_19
Thanks for message Allen! Do you know if there are any research help available anywhere for finding Luftwaffe aerial photos taken from North Finland during Sept. - Oct. 1944?
Br, TuomoKoo

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Karte
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Re: Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by Karte » 04 Mar 2020 15:27

AllenM wrote:
29 Feb 2020 21:28
No assumptions please. The Eastern Front aerial reconnaissance photos made by the Luftwaffe were critical to Western allied intelligence. When Reinhard Gehlen, the head of Foreign Armies East (Fremde Heere Ost), surrendered to the Americans, he gave them the collected Russian files. Here is the origin of the photos in question.

https://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ea ... p_SLASH_19
No assumptions here, just 16 years of researching WWII era German original maps and photos and photo intelligence document, and worked several times with Col Roy Stanley who managed and saved the US "GX" collection while he was assigned to DIA in the 1970s. Gehlen provided a portion of the information and documents, where the bulk was uncovered at a farm in Bavaria. The primary OKH and OKW air photo library was sitting on barges in March/April 1945 on the River Spree when they were bombed and strafed by allied fighter bombers, destroying it. Indeed, the remaining captured photos, especially over the USSR were the best source of info the allies had at the time, and the first several maps series the US and UK made of the USSR were based on them. They were classified until the 1970s. Additionally, the Allied Central Interpretation Unit (ACIU) at RAF Medmenham was where the air photos were taken to be initially studied, catalouged, and copied, with the US copying most of the collection and the UK copying most as well, with the exception of some over the UK and other countries. TARA holds the current UK holdings (charges a pretty penny for copies due to crown copyright) and the US at NARA, which are free public holdings (but not easy for the novice to research). Anyway a portion of the Finland collection seems to be MIA - for example the photomaps referenced here are nowhere to be found.
Finland Mosacis.pdf
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Re: Luftwaffe air reconnaissance photography

Post by Larry D. » 05 Mar 2020 14:51

Karte:

PLEASE drive safely, stay healthy and avoid the coronavirus like the plague (which it is). You are an invaluable international asset on this subject and the world can't afford to lose you!!

Quick Question: How many aerial photos were irrevocably lost when the two barges on the Spree were destroyed?

L.

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