German wartime air link with Japan

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thorwald77
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German wartime air link with Japan

Post by thorwald77 » 13 Oct 2007 17:18

I met a former Luftwaffe crew member about 40 years ago in Berlin who mentioned his flights to Japan and return Norway during the war. He also said this large aircraft scouted the Atlantic and he could see the lights of US
cities at night.
Are there details of this air link to Japan available?

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Spirow Ewes
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Post by Spirow Ewes » 13 Oct 2007 17:43

Well, I believe this air link was made via southern Russia - Manchuria. Seems to me that the germans were using Junkers Ju 290 for this purpose. The italians also did one single mission of this kind, using a Savoia-Marchetti SM.75.

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Spirow Ewes
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Post by Spirow Ewes » 13 Oct 2007 18:32

Thorwald,

I've found something interesting in the book "Monogram Close-up 3 - Junkers Ju 290":
The range of the Ju 290 was such that in early 1944 three Ju 290 A-9's were requisitioned from FAG 5 to participate in ultra-long-range missions. Transporting aircraft engines and other special cargoes, each Ju 290 flew nonstop from Odessa in the Ukraine to Japanese Manchuria. Return flights carried valuable strategic materials in short supply in Germany. At least three round trip flights were conducted from airfields at Odessa and Mielec to Manchuria without loss before these were discontinued.
Hope it helps! :D
Last edited by Spirow Ewes on 13 Oct 2007 22:25, edited 1 time in total.

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thorwald77
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Post by thorwald77 » 13 Oct 2007 19:03

The guy insisted his plane flew over the North Pole during the war. He also claimed to have been on long range flights to Siberia to bomb Soviet war industries. The guy insisted Germany would have won the war against the USSR if they had more long range bombers. This may have been true or just the Steinhäger doing the talking.

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Post by Gustav_SC » 18 Oct 2007 11:07

The JU-290 flights to Manchuria are hotly debated. Got to the Luftwafe forum and search and you will find thousands of posts about this.

I don't think there were any bombing missions east of the Urals.

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Deterance
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Post by Deterance » 29 Oct 2007 22:29

Discovery Channel in the United States ran an episode on the project. They mentioned that the Japanese built / modified an ultra long range aircraft for the trip as well but cancelled the program after the prototype was lost due to accident and that they feared crossing soviet Air Space would lead to Soviet attacks against Japanese forces in Manchuria.

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Michael Emrys
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Post by Michael Emrys » 30 Oct 2007 04:13

This page
http://uboat.net/technical/ju290.htm
states:
And three Ju 290A-5s were retracted from FAGr.5 after delivery. All their armament was removed, and additional fuel tanks installed. They made a non-stop trip to Manchuria, and a similar flight back, to exchange documents and strategic materials with the Japanese. After the loss of the Atlantic coast, the Ju 290s were all used as transports. Some went to the famous KG200, that seems to have used the bombers to drop agents and supplies behind the Allied lines.
This doesn't tell us anything about what course the flights took though. If they departed from Odessa, they would not have taken a polar course, but would have if they had taken off from Norway.

Seems like I read something about these flights and the Italian one a few years ago, but it was brief and no details have stuck in my memory.

Michael

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 30 Oct 2007 04:36

Deterance wrote:Discovery Channel in the United States ran an episode on the project. They mentioned that the Japanese built / modified an ultra long range aircraft for the trip as well but cancelled the program after the prototype was lost due to accident and that they feared crossing soviet Air Space would lead to Soviet attacks against Japanese forces in Manchuria.
See here:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=103107

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 30 Oct 2007 04:42

Gustav_SC wrote:The JU-290 flights to Manchuria are hotly debated. Got to the Luftwafe forum and search and you will find thousands of posts about this.

I don't think there were any bombing missions east of the Urals.
Agree,see here as well:

http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviati ... -5656.html


Junkers Ju-290 to Manchuria 1944
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=28085

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Re: German wartime air link with Japan

Post by Simon Gunson » 26 Feb 2008 04:27

Thorwald77 it would be helpful please if you could to record the name of that former serviceman so that future historians could do follow up research ?

Re the countless debates and disagreements, useful information emerges and ideas get tested in debate. Gradually the truth will be established by such debates and that is their value.

In terms of the Ju-290 flights to Manchuria the actual destination is what we would today refer to as Inner Mongolia near the city today known as Ningxia. I am currently making enquiries with Chinese museums and the university of Ningxia about these flights.

Confusion abounds not just because of intentional secrecy about such flights, but also because my research suggests there were two different phases in air contact with the far East.

Phase #1 Prior to the loss of T9+WK when flights were made in Luftwaffe aircraft.

Phase#2 Following loss of T9+WK when flights were made by Deutsch Luft Hansa aircraft.

In the early war years there was Kommando Rowehl which performed photograph overflights of Britain before the invasion of Poland, over Russia from Romania prior to Barbarossa and later from Vichy Syria. That unit became Aufklarungsgruppe 100 and then was associated with Zirkus Rosarius otherwise known as Versuchsverband ObdL.

Rowehl took operational orders from the Abwher. Later in the war KG200 performing a similar role took it's orders from the Nazi RSHA. Not from the Luftwaffe chain of command.

Major Gartenfeld of Zirkus Rosarius had three Ju-290 transferred from Atlantic missions:

Werke nr J900183, Ju290-A7 withdrawn as KR+LP which became T9+WK
Werke nr J900182, Ju290-A9, withdrawn as KR+LM which became T9+UK
Werke nr J900185, Ju290-A7 withdrawn as KR+LN which became T9+VK

In terms of chronology, only these aircraft could have flown missions from Odessa prior to the fall of Stalingrad. Possibly these aircraft continued flights from Milec poland too in 1943-44 ?

These Zirkus Rosarius aircraft also appear to have been converted to A-7 standard with BMW801G engines for sale to Japan as strategic bombers, but the Japanese lost interest in purchasing Ju-290 A7 bombers.

In 2004 Junkers historian Horst Zoller alerted me to a 1950s newspaper article from Germany which claimed that aircraft flying to Japan were flown wearing Deutsch Luft Hansa civil codes owing to Japanese sensitivity to sparking an attack by Russia. That sensitivity arose because of the loss of T9+WK. I cannot with my resources pinpoint the aircraft's loss, but events suggests 1944.

The event which upset the Russians was when Ju-290 werke nr.J900183 coded T9+WK was ambushed whilst making a spy drop by landing in Kazakhstan. The Germans referred to the mission as "Operation Panther"
A Russian NKVD Captain Kaydrov was responsible for the ambush.

From this time Zirkus Rosarius was disbanded and reformed into KG200. Gartenfeldt commanded Ju-290 missions of I/KG200, from February 1944.

In August 1944 three Ju-290 A5 were transferred to I/KG200, but were modified at Finsterwalde to hold 23,800 litres of fuel. These aircraft appear to have been:

Ju290 A-5 W.Nr.900174 stkz KR+LE operational code 9V+EH and with DLH coded as D-AITP 'Sachsen'

Ju290 A-5 W.Nr.900176 stkz KR+LG operational code 9V+GH and with DLH coded as D-AITQ 'Preussen'

Ju290 A-5 W.Nr.900178 stkz KR+LI operational code 9V+EK and with Deutsch Luft Hansa as D-AITR 'Bayern' then becoming Spanish Air Force's 74+23

Horst Zoller's Hugo Junkers Homepage records three Ju-290 transferred to Lufthansa. In my past I have claimed incorrectly airframes w.nr 10182, 10183, 10184, from another source which I read. On the basis of better information, I now think the airframes were werke nr.900174, 900176 and 900178

These aircraft in DLH livery appear to have continued flights to Ningxia in late 1944.

Finally there were also some flights in the last days of 1945 by Ju-390 and Bv222.

Horst Zoller alerted me in 2004 that there was at least one flight to Sakhalin Island with a Bv222 flying boat. Assuming as I do that this was also a Bv222 in DLH disguise, then the likely airframe was Blohm und Voss Bv222 V1, Werke. Nr.000365 stkz CC+EQ KG200 operational code X4+AH and DLH civil registration D-ANTE.

The cargo for this aircraft is suggested by U-234's radio operator the late Wolfgang Hirschfeldt in his book "Atlantik Farewell: Das Letzte U-boot," where he mentions the intention to fly some of U-234's cargo directly to Japan by Fw200. The Fw200 appears to have been abandoned but not the mission.

U-234 suffered an underwater collision with another U-boat in the Kettegat in March 1945. U-234 needed repairs at Christiansand. Owing to a 70 ton (tonnes?) discrepancy between cargo loaded at Keil and the cargo unloaded at Portsmouth new Hampshire USA, some urgent cargo does indeed seem to have been unloaded in Norway.

The unloaded cargo appears to have included two Me 262 bound for Japan.

Dr Wilhelm Voss from Kammlerstab Prague in an interview with British journalist Tom Agoston claimed Kammler's Ju-390 flew to Tokyo from Bodo, Norway on 28 March 1945.

At the time Ju-390 V1 had been flown to dessau and stripped of propellers. It remaiined derelict there until it was burned in April 1945. Thus the Ju-390 which flew to Japan had to have been the Ju-390 V2.

The Ju-390 V1 airframe was converted from Ju-90 A6 werke nr. J4918 (D-AOKD Jul. 40 to Apr.41 LUFTWAFFE, KH+XC, Apr. 41 to Apr.42) and it was shorter than the Ju-390 V2.

The Ju-390V2 was based on the Ju290 A1 airframe werke nr. J900155. The aircraft was flown to Argentina in May 1945 in Sweedish Air force markings. Then it was flown to a German owned ranch at Paysandu, Uruguay, where it was witnessed being disassembled.

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Spirow Ewes
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Re: German wartime air link with Japan

Post by Spirow Ewes » 05 Mar 2008 15:04

Kiwikid wrote:The Ju-390V2 was based on the Ju290 A1 airframe werke nr. J900155. The aircraft was flown to Argentina in May 1945 in Sweedish Air force markings. Then it was flown to a German owned ranch at Paysandu, Uruguay, where it was witnessed being disassembled.
Well, everything you've said is extremely interesting, but this final paragraph is outstanding. Please tell me the sources you have to confirm this. What else an you add to this event?

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Davide Pastore
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Re: German wartime air link with Japan

Post by Davide Pastore » 05 Mar 2008 15:13

Spirow Ewes wrote:What else an you add to this event?
It can be added that Ju 390V2 never existed, and its picture is a very badly made hoax.

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Peter H
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Re: German wartime air link with Japan

Post by Peter H » 10 May 2008 07:20

Here's a pre-war link,1938,Japanese article:

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Peter H
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Re: German wartime air link with Japan

Post by Peter H » 10 May 2008 07:24

More..

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Peter H
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Re: German wartime air link with Japan

Post by Peter H » 10 May 2008 07:29

Crew..

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