Captured Seaplanes

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
maxpower
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Captured Seaplanes

Post by maxpower » 12 Apr 2006 20:23

Did the Luftwaffe ever use Any captured allied seaplanes? What did they use them for?

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Alter Mann
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Did The Germans Use Captured Allied Seaplanes?

Post by Alter Mann » 12 Apr 2006 23:17

I've never heard of it, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. I think that, in general, using captured aircraft caused a lot more problems than using captured land vehicles. One thing we don't think about very often is how much maintenance aircraft need. That means spare parts, which would be hard to get.

You might try running a truck around with mismatched wheels and tires, but that can cause problems with aircraft. naturally I picked wheels and tires when talking about seaplanes. Substitute spark plugs and carburettors for that.

I think that the Germans would have been happy to have more sea planes for convoy spotting, but we can't forget the Goering factor either. He probably would have said "We don't need any," and, since the KM never had the power to demand its own air arm, that probably would have been the end of it.

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flying dutchman
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Post by flying dutchman » 13 Apr 2006 01:25

Not quite,

I know that a number of dutch seaplanes (amongst others some of german produce) continued their life with a swastika on them...
If memory serves me well at least a number of Dornier 24's. I don't really think that the germans were that arrogant to not use captured equipment, be it tanks, rifles, planes, trucks or whatever.
Furthermore the germans even ordered a german CAS aircraft to be built using only captured french engines(Hs-129). Factories in occupied territory usually continued building their current parts for a while before switching to german models.

mhuxt
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Post by mhuxt » 13 Apr 2006 04:25

A number of very large French flying-boats were also captured. In particular, the SE200, Potez-CAMS 161 and Late 631s were taken over by the Luftwaffe. A number of google sites deal with these aircraft.

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Kurt_Steiner
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Post by Kurt_Steiner » 13 Apr 2006 08:59

The German captured and used 20 Dutch Fokker T.VIII-W. Later on, Fokker finished another 5 Fokker T.VIII-W/C for the Luftwaffe. I think they were used in SAR missions.

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Alter Mann
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HS-129 Engine

Post by Alter Mann » 13 Apr 2006 13:43

I thought that the HS-129 was originally supposed to use a German engine, but the French one provided better performance. ?

maxpower
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Post by maxpower » 13 Apr 2006 13:58

Everybody!! Thank you so very much! All you guys are Great!
Thanx again
John

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Alter Mann
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Naval Aerial Reconnaisance

Post by Alter Mann » 13 Apr 2006 15:29

I'm almost at the end of Mike Spick's alternate history book 'Luftwaffe Victorious'. For some reason I expected the Germans to win, but . . .

He has some very interesting opinions about the use of long range reconnaisance/attack planes by the Germans. Someone above mentioned the FW-200. Aside from its structural deficiencies, the FW-200 wasn't a flying boat. If one fell in the ocean, it was gone. Now I haven't ever heard of a flying boat being rescued by a ship during that war, or any other. But I think that the possibility did exist. I also haven't heard much about flying boats attacking ships, although I'm sure it did happen.

Wouldn't it have been interesting if the Germans had been able to use seaplane tenders in the North Atlantic to re-fuel reconnaisance planes?

Actually, I seem to be answering my own questions as fast as I aske them. Even with seaplane tenders in the right place, the planes would still have lost track of convoys at night sine there was no effective air to surface radar during the early part of the war.

So, trying to get back on thread at least a little, how much use did Germany make of Italian built seaplanes? From what I have seen, the Italians had some nice ones, but I don't have any idea what production numbers were like.

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flying dutchman
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Post by flying dutchman » 17 Apr 2006 00:54

I think there are a few reasons why the germans didn't use flyingboats/waterplanes in the Atlantic much and prefered to use them for search and rescue (mostly in the North Sea and Eastsea).
- weather can be pretty crappy making it impossible to land
- british long range aircraft (beaufighter for example) can make it a hazardous for a low-flying slow flyingboat. Flyingboats are usually a lot slower, have a less high ceiling and less well armed than bombers etc.
- becoming dependant upon ships which could be sunk when refueling is needed.
- the germans had an adequate long range reconnaissance-aircraft with an enormous loitertime (could fly from france around the uk across the atlantic to norway), this was the slightly faster and higher flying Fw-200 (when compared to something like a Catalina). Having to refuel/rearm on land isn't that big a deal then.

There were other countries, like the usa and japan that did use waterplanes/flying boats for recon and ASW.

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Bronsky
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Re: HS-129 Engine

Post by Bronsky » 19 Apr 2006 09:59

Alter Mann wrote:I thought that the HS-129 was originally supposed to use a German engine, but the French one provided better performance. ?
This is correct, but the specification was that the Hs-129 should not use "important" engines, i.e. high-power engines for which demand outstripped supply like those powering German fighters and frontline bombers. So the Germans initially assigned it a third-rate engine, and switched to the French GR14 when production lines became available for free.

This doesn't mean that the French engines used were better than other German engines, or even fully satisfactory. The Hs-129 remained underpowered and reliability was poor.

Now I'm sure that the Germans being what they were, they didn't use that golden opportunity to sympathize with the plight of their 1939-40 opponents who had had to fly combat aircraft powered with the very same engines ;-)

Later on, there were plans to shift to an Italian engine, still in the "generally unsatisfactory but better than what we're currently using" category, though as far as I know there was no time to translate that into practice.

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Mark McShane
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Post by Mark McShane » 16 May 2006 17:48

flying dutchman wrote:I think there are a few reasons why the germans didn't use flyingboats/waterplanes in the Atlantic much and prefered to use them for search and rescue (mostly in the North Sea and Eastsea).
- weather can be pretty crappy making it impossible to land
- british long range aircraft (beaufighter for example) can make it a hazardous for a low-flying slow flyingboat. Flyingboats are usually a lot slower, have a less high ceiling and less well armed than bombers etc.
- becoming dependant upon ships which could be sunk when refueling is needed.
- the germans had an adequate long range reconnaissance-aircraft with an enormous loitertime (could fly from france around the uk across the atlantic to norway), this was the slightly faster and higher flying Fw-200 (when compared to something like a Catalina). Having to refuel/rearm on land isn't that big a deal then.

There were other countries, like the usa and japan that did use waterplanes/flying boats for recon and ASW.
Sorry for joining the discussion so late after the last post, but I've been out of the loop for a while.

I think the reason why there were no German seaplanes on patrol in the Atlantic is pretty straight forward. Due to the situation at the begining of the war with there being a Naval Air Arm independant to the Luftwaffe, Goering had set out to both restrict their ability to grow as a force and finally to totally absorb the Naval Air Arm into the Luftwaffe.

By February 1941 the situation was that reconnaissance over the Atlantic was the responsiblity of the Luftlotte 3, which was directed to use Fliegerführer Atlantik for the role of recon over the Atlantic and anti submarine patrols from Cherbourg to Spain.

The Naval Air Arm was directed to recon the North sea between 52N & 58N, over the Skagerrak and the Baltic.

The Luftwaffe therefore used there land based aircraft, being more efficient than the seaplanes available at the time, for the long range recon of the Atlantic.

Regards,

Mark

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Post by Simon Orchard » 16 May 2006 19:23

In the arctic regions seaplanes were the primary recon machines used by the Germans. Just about every seaplane type in the Germans inventory saw service up here. The main recon types were the Do18 early on, subsequently being replaced by the Bv138. The He115 was used as a torpedo bomber, some being involved in the PQ17 attacks.
The ar196 was used for coastal patrol duties. Ju-52\See, Bv222, W-34 as transports, Do24 and earlier on the He59 as SAR, even obsolete aircraft like the He42 and He60 were in use.

As has been mentioned on another thread, on several occasions Bv138 accompanied U-boats (which ran on diesel and could thus easily be refuelled) on long range patrols up by the ice cap.

There are also cases of ships\U-boats saving or towing damaged seaplanes.


As for captured seaplanes. The RAF actually made use of ex-Norwegian He115 for a while until they decided it was too risky.

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Post by Avis 1 » 16 May 2006 22:21

Hi All

Just a small point.
The Allied flying boat most frequently used by the Luftwaffe was the French Breguet 521 Bizerte. At least 17 were used by various Seenotstaffeln

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Stig Jarlevik

natascha
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Seaplane from Holland Fokker

Post by natascha » 05 Jun 2006 09:20

YOu can see such a Seaplane and there Cockpit on the follws Link..

http://www.cockpitinstrumente.de/Flugze ... gtypen.htm

go to "Wasserflugzeuge"

regards

Natascha
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Desdichado
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Post by Desdichado » 11 Jun 2006 20:36

mhuxt wrote:A number of very large French flying-boats were also captured. In particular, the SE200, Potez-CAMS 161 and Late 631s were taken over by the Luftwaffe. A number of google sites deal with these aircraft.
I've had a quick look at my copy of "The Narrow Margin" by Wood & Dempster and I find no reference to the Luftwaffe using captured flying-boats during the Battle of Britain. The Luftwaffe Order of Battle in the west between June 1940 and October 1940 shows that the He 59 was used for air-sea rescue operations. However, I'm not sure if captured machines would appear the Order of Battle which lists only German aircraft.

As an aside, the Luftwaffe divided its air-sea rescue He 59 seaplanes between the eastern and western parts of the French coast. Units operating in the west were camouflaged and were easily identified as Luftwaffe machines. They sported Luftwaffe unit codes and call signs. On the eastern part of the coast, the aircraft were painted in red cross markings and they used civil aviation registrations. Despite this, the Luftwaffe used red cross planes in the combat area which provoked the British goverment to the point where RAF pilots were instructed to shoot down any such plane. The British argued that the red cross planes were legitimate targets as they were used solely for picking up downed Luftwaffe airmen.

All in all, the German air-sea rescue units were better equipped and the aircrews better trained than their British counterparts. Luftwaffe combat aircrafe were equipped with dinghies that released a highly-visible dye into the water for easy recognition. In July 1940, the British had only a bare-bones air-sea rescue service. RAF fighter pilots flew sorties over the Channel without having a rubber dinghie on board. Many shot down pilots drowned for lack of this vital piece of equipment. Considering the lack of trained fighter pilots in Fighter Command at that time, one wonders how many experienced pilots were lost because of what can only be classed as gross negligence on the part of the Air Staff.

According to Wood and Dempster, a conference took place in February 1939 which placed air-sea rescue services under the umbrella of Coastal Command rather than Fighter Command. The conference was attended by (then) Air-Vice Marshal Sholto-Douglas. Apparently the rescue of downed pilots was not deemed to be a serious enough subject for there was no further discussion about it. It impoved some as the battle progressed with the RAF employing high-speed launches. We could have done with a few of those captured French seaplanes ourselves.

Regards - D

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