Luftwaffe use of Hs 293 and Beethoven-Gerat at Order crossings in April 1945

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Luftwaffe use of Hs 293 and Beethoven-Gerat at Order crossings in April 1945

Post by EF1943 » 22 Dec 2022 23:30

Hello everyone,

I recently came across a WW2 Unit History of Soviet 5th Corps of Air Defense featuring its actions protecting multiple crossing over Order river in April of 1945. What caught my attention is an interesting description of what appears to be German use of Beethoven-Gerat composite aircrafts and Hs 293 glide bombs against Order crossings. In the following translation I'm using original terminology as seen in the report. There appears to be some confusion on the part of the writer as to the exact nature of weapon systems Soviet 5th Corps of Air Defense was facing which is evident by the reference to V-1 and V-2 rockets or same object being described as both towed and attached in the same sentence. There is also reference of the use of "plane-projectiles" attached to FW-190 and Me-110. Yet despite all of that the following description might provide interesting details on the operational use of what most likely were Hs 293 glide bombs and Beethoven-Gerat composite aircrafts.

"The Corps received a task to cover 14 crossings over Order river...

On 12 April 1945, enemy planes began to appear in groups of up to 24 planes in the area of the Center Group of crossings. The enemy used plane-projectile and projectile-glider. It should be noted that contrary to their use against Allies on the Western front, both types of "Flying bombs" were used without launching pads.

Here V-1 and V-2 were towed by the plane. Usually plane-projectiles were attached under FW-190 and Me-110. At the distance of 2-3 km to the target plane-projectile would disconnect from the towing plane and continue flying by itself to the target at 20-25 degree angle. The accuracy of such projectiles is significantly higher than conventional bombs. The explosion creates crater 30 meters in diameter and 10 meters deep. The shock wave is so strong that it destroys hoses at the distance of 200 m from the place of the explosion. Our units got involved in fierce battles with the enemy air force trying to destroy the crossings.

Before sundown on 12 April, 4 He-111 towing plane-projectiles flew over crossings in big intervals. They were covered by Me-109. Planes (He-111) approached the crossings at the height of 2000 m. At the distance of 3-4 km they disconnected plane-projectiles and flew back after making a sharp turn. The plane-projectile continued moving to the target gliding at the 20 degree angle and then went into dive above the target. Met with strong AA fire He-111 missions were unsuccessful, all 4 V-1 rockets missed crossings.

V-2 (projectile-glider) was attached under Ju-88 and was dropped on the target from the height of 2-2.5 km at the same angle as V-1 but from a shorter distance. V-2s were traveling to their targets on a steeper trajectory.

Simultaneously the enemy started to use paired planes. Ju-88 of the old type without crew, with working engines and filled with explosives, was usually attached to the bottom of FW-190. At the distance of 4-5 km from the crossing and having aimed the Ju-88, FW-190 was releasing it and it continued flying to the target at the 10 degree angle and then going into the dive over the target.

There were 22 registered cases of the use of paired planes. Their use, however, had little effect due to high likelihood of being shoot down. Main reasons for that were lowered maneuverability since the speed of paired planes does not exceed 300 km per hour

Source: ... 410d3a8cv1

The above quote describes the use of "V-1" rockets carried by He-111 and "V-2" rockets attached to Ju-88. Is it safe to assume that both cases most likely refer to Hs 293s? Would be great to know what Luftwaffe units were participating in these attacks.


Bellow are 4 diagrams from the same Unit History:
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Re: Luftwaffe use of Hs 293 and Beethoven-Gerat at Order crossings in April 1945

Post by ShindenKai » 23 Dec 2022 06:45

I have no idea if the Hs 293 was used but I did find an excellent vid about it.

Edward L. Hsiao
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Re: Luftwaffe use of Hs 293 and Beethoven-Gerat at Order crossings in April 1945

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 14 Mar 2023 07:13

This report is very interesting!

Edward L. Hsiao

critical mass
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Re: Luftwaffe use of Hs 293 and Beethoven-Gerat at Order crossings in April 1945

Post by critical mass » 21 Mar 2023 15:57

I don´t know of any Hs-293 deployements from He-111. But over 1,600 V1 in fact were deployed from air launch by He-111H. So it´s possible the "V1" were indeed Fi-176´s.

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