German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Discussions on the fortifications, artillery, & rockets used by the Axis forces.
niemandsland
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German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by niemandsland » 04 May 2022 22:23

Hello,

When evaluating German war diaries (coastal defense) I found out that probably only 59* devices were in February 1945 active in use.
I have proven the use of 6 devices on Helgoland. Information about the deployment can be found, for example, in the book "Helgoland High Sea Fortress, Part II". Apparently 4 devices were delivered new from the factory and two "Foehn" devices were delivered from Emden to Helgoland. The KTBs mention the 7.3 cm Flak rocket launcher 44 ("Foehn"). I was in contact with one of the two authors of the book "Heligoland High Sea Fortress". However, the author of the book could not answer any further questions I had.

I learned about the further developments of the "Foehn" device from the German magazine series "Waffen Revue". In volumes #44 and #114, the "Foehn" device is discussed, among other things.

I know from the war diary of the "Admiral in the Netherlands" that, for example, the 7.3 cm rocket launcher "Foehn" was used to protect the locks and harbors.

From: "Kriegstagebuch Admiral in den Niederlanden vom 16. bis 31.Juli 1944"
in : Schlussbericht für den Monat Juli 1944 unter Punkt: (in german, the original!)

Code: Select all

f) Zum Schutz der Schleusen und S-Bootsbunker in Ymuiden sind dem Admiral Niederlande 6 Stück
Schießkarren-Mehrfachwerfer (35 fach) zugewiesen worden. Die Erkundung der Aufstellungsorte
wurde gemeinsam mit den Kommandeuren der Flakschule 8 und Luftsperrschule Brunsbüttel vorge-
nommen. Da Personal für die Bedienung dieser Mehrfachwerfer nicht besonders zur Verfügung ge-
stellt werden kann, mussten die Einsatzorte an vorhandene Stellunge festgelegt werden. Es ist
hierbei notwendig, dass die zum Einsatz landeinwärts vorgesehenen Werfer Zeitzündermunition
erhalten, da Aufschlagmunition aus diesen Stellungen nicht verfeuert werden kann.
In the war diary of the Bordflakbrigade Nord I found the information that the first active deployment of the department on the "MS Tonga" resulted in burns to those shooting. Body hair and clothing were burned.

Code: Select all

Kriegstagebuch Marinebordflakbrigade Nord
Brigade Kommandeur: Vizeadmiral Lamprecht

Anlage 1

Angefangen...: 01.11.1944
Abgeschlossen: 15.11.1944

2.) Erster Einsatz eines Raketenmehrfachwerfers "Föhn" auf M.S. "Tanga" bringt folgende Erfahrung:
Abfeuern einer Salve auf 4 in 2000 m Entfernung anscheinend zum Sturzflug auf das Schiff
ansetzende Flugzeuge. Sperrwand liegt direkt vor den Flugzeugen, die sofort Bomben lösen.
Bomben fallen in 4 - 500 m Entfernung vom Schiff. Große moralische Wirkung, obwohl keine
Treffer erzielt wurden.
Nach ersten Feuerschlag ließ der Schütze den Abzug los. Daher wurde die erste Salve von
20 Raketen gefeuert, die 2. Salve mit 15 Raketen blieb im Gerät.
Der Feuerstrahl wurde durch den Splitterschutz des Standes wieder zurückgeworfen und
versenkte teilweise die Bedienung an Körperhaaren und Bekleidung. Rückschlagflamme muss daher
frei nach rückwärts schlagen können.

11.11.1944
I also know that the "Foehn" device was also used in the battles in/around Remagen (also Remagen Bridge too). And as the author writes in the WR, both versions of the 7.3 cm rocket launcher "Foehn" ("Foehn" and "Foehn 500").

To my questions:
Does anyone know of other places where "Foehn" devices were set up and where they might have been used actively in the war?

Evidence with documents and/or at least signatures from relevant archives would be great.

Thanks.

Greetings from Hanover/Germany,
Guido Janthor

Sources

NARA, T-1022 R-3644 PG-38015 ("KTB Marine-Bordflak-Brigade Nord")
Book: * Koch 1965, p. 352-356

KTB KiA Emden -> P. 117 (175) 1945:

[DE] Nachtrag für den 12.1.1945:
2 - 7,3 cm Flak-Raketenwerfer 44 (35fach) aus Stellung 65 (Ostmole) und 207 (Vorhafen) für Helgoland abgegeben.

KTB KiA Helgoland -> P. 19 (152) 1945

[DE] 26.1.1945 12.00 Uhr: 7.3 cm Flakraketenwerfer "Ostmole" einsatzklar.

and

KTB KiA Helgoland -> P. 20 (153) 1945

[DE] 29.1.1945 10.00 Uhr: 7.3 cm Flak-Raketenwerfer "Südmole" eingeschossen und einsatzklar.

Also: Quote from the book "Hochseefestung Helgoland, Eine militärische Entdeckungsreise" Part II, der Autors Fröhle, C. and Kühn, H.J. it says:

-- Quote from Page 62 (above)

[DE] Die sechs Raketenwerfer wurden am 12.1.1945 durch den Admiral Deutsche Bucht zur Verstärkung der Abwehr zugewiesen. Der Grund war der mehrfache Versuch der Alliierten, den U-Bootbunker durch Bomber zu zerstören.

BTW: I'm looking for the war diary of Admiral Deutsche Bucht from January 1945 to the end of the war. Maybe someone can help?

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Grzesio
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Re: German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by Grzesio » 05 May 2022 12:14

I strongly doubt, the Foehn 500 was ever used in combat, I don't think it could be developed and put into service before the end of the war. There's absolutely no evidence of the presence of Foehn 500 launchers on the battlefield, all photos of combat launchers I've ever seen show the original 35-shot Foehn only (land 7,3 cm R-Werfer 44 or naval 7,3 cm RAg).
According to 1970's books, Foehns were used for defence of river crossings in Unkel, Satzvoy and Hahn; Unkel most probably refers to Remagen, but the remaining two sound quite doubtful for me.
RFoehns3PS.png
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Re: German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by jopaerya » 05 May 2022 19:20

Hello Guido

Only could find two 7.5(3) cm Flak RAG W. in the 1./122 Stabsbatterie and no other on the other islands.

Regards Jos

P.S.
KTB Adm Deutsche Bucht 1- 31 Oct 1944: PG 35333-336, Roll 2148
1- 15 Nov 1944: No information available
16 Nov. 1944-15 Jan 1945: PG 3'5336- 339. Roll 2148
16 Jan- 9 May 1945: PC 20451-452, not filmed and available only at the BA·MA
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Re: German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by Grzesio » 06 May 2022 08:48

I've just noticed, there's one interesting point in the "Kriegstagebuch Admiral in den Niederlanden vom 16. bis 31.Juli 1944"...
6 Stück Schießkarren-Mehrfachwerfer (35 fach)
The Schiesskarren is generally believed to be 28-shot (4x7), so either there was a 35-shot variant (5x7), maybe a naval one (one has to remember, naval 7,3 cm RAg Foehn launchers were different from the land 7,3 cm R-Werfer 44), either the document deals with regular 35-shot Foehn launchers, just the designation is mistaken.

By the way, there are at least two naval Foehn launchers preserved today - in Tøjhusmuseum in Copenhagen and in Armémuseum in Stockholm - I wonder, where they come from...

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Re: German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by ThatZenoGuy » 06 May 2022 15:10

I think I saw a reference to something called the "Sea Fohn" one time, any clue on what that is? From what I understand it was some project for use as an AA weapon on ships.

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Re: German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by Hans1906 » 06 May 2022 19:58

There was no so-called "Föhn" AA weapon at all.

If anything, it was the Henschel Hs 297 "Gerät". (E: "Device")

Henschel Hs 297 https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henschel_Hs_297
The device was intended as a so-called Volks-Fla-R-Werfer for mass use in the Volkssturm. By February 1945, 50 devices intended for troop testing had been delivered. 24 of these launcher frames (4 platoons of 6 launchers each, used in 2 half-platoons each) went into position with the 3./ FlakLehruVersAbt 900 (stationary) in the Remagen area and were used there for the first time on March 2, 1945 against Allied fighter-bombers. A few days later, after the Ludendorff Bridge near Remagen was taken, some of the classified launchers fell undamaged into the hands of the Americans.[5] As early as January 1945, six launcher frames were erected in the port area of the island of Heligoland, but nothing is known about their use.[6]
Source: Above

Videos: https://www.google.com/search?q=Hensche ... =759&dpr=1


Hans
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Grzesio
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Re: German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by Grzesio » 06 May 2022 20:39

Hans1906 wrote:
06 May 2022 19:58
There was no so-called "Föhn" AA weapon at all.

If anything, it was the Henschel Hs 297 "Gerät". (E: "Device")
I'm sorry, but you are wrong.
There was the Foehn AA weapon, this name appears in original documents of the era end refers to the multi shot launchers of 7,3 cm and later 5,5 cm calibre, equipped with an AA sight and manned by one or two layers.
The other type of the launcher was the Schiesskarren mentioned above, intended for unaimed barrage fire.
The rocket itself was designated as the 7,3 cm R-Spgr during its development and eventually as the 7,3 cm R.Sprgr after entering service (as labels on ammo boxes prove).
On the other hand, I've seen no proof so far, the weapon had anything to do with Henschel, or was designated as the Hs 297.
The 7,3 cm rocket was actually developed by Donag AG as the derivative of their earlier RZ 65 rocket (not the RZ 73, as it's frequently written - RZ 73 was a completely different, slightly bigger rocket made by Rheinmetall Borsig), while the 35-shot Foehn launcher, officially named 7,3 cm R-Werfer 44 in the land variant and probably 7,3 cm RAg in the naval version, was designed by Waffenwerke Bruenn.
Waffenwerke Bruenn, and later also VA Pibrans, were developing an improved variant of the weapon towards the end of the war, the Foehn 55 of 5,5 cm calibre, together with a new 5,5 cm rocket codenamed Orkan, more or less loosely based on the R 4/M aircraft rocket.
Last edited by Grzesio on 06 May 2022 21:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by Hans1906 » 06 May 2022 21:02

Thanks Grzesio,

excellent info, I can't do anything about that.

Was the source the german magazine "Waffen Revue" ?

Waffen Revue: https://www.dwjmedien.de/Waffen-Revue

I have all the early volumes in my collection, but do not remember anything about the "Föhn".


Hans
„Im Leben gibt’s die Bösen und die Guten. Und die dazwischen, das sind die Bagaluten.“

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Re: German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by ewest89 » 06 May 2022 21:12

The Föhn is mentioned in Waffen Revue no. 114.

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Grzesio
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Re: German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by Grzesio » 06 May 2022 21:36

Yes, Waffen Revue 114 pp. 63-82 and 115 pp. 153-160 include articles on the Foehn.

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Re: German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by Hans1906 » 06 May 2022 22:05

Thanks to both of you, the "Waffen Revue" was one of the very best german sources already in the very early 1970s.

Expensive back then, nowadays the very first 70 issues in the first print are ridiculously expensive, for good reasons.


Hans

P.S. Was rated as "crude" stuff back then, nobody wanted to put something like that on the shelves, let alone offer it.
6,- German Marks was very expensive back then, good for 3 Bratwurst with french fries, or 60 large balls of nice german ice-cream... :lol:
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Re: German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by niemandsland » 11 May 2022 17:44

Waffen-Revue (german) short history of the publisher.

Pawlas, Karl R. (* January 1st, 1926, + April 29th, 2014) was a writer and journalist.

Pawlas was born in Bielitz, in the former Austrian Silesia. Pawlas got in touch with weapons technology during World War II. The number 1 of the Waffen-Revue appeared in June 1971 at that time living in Nuremberg. A further 122 issues of the Waffen-Revue followed.
The last issue appeared in 2001. Pawlas retired at the age of 75.

Pawlas himself had built up a private collection of original documents, photos, etc. over the decades. In issue number 122 there was an offer for sale, since nobody had previously been willing to take over his collection.

In his concluding remarks, Pawlas himself writes that it took him more than 40 years to build up his private archive. Previously he had already edited the "chronica".

I didn't find out much about the last years of his life.

Except that he passed away on April 29th, 2014, at the age of 88.

Greetings,
Guido Janthor

PS: Answers will follow soon.

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Re: German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by niemandsland » 15 May 2022 09:06

jopaerya wrote:
05 May 2022 19:20
Only could find two 7.5(3) cm Flak RAG W. in the 1./122 Stabsbatterie and no other on the other islands.

Regards Jos
Hi Jos,

the Foehn devices were assigned before the heavy bombing raids (April 18/19, 1945) from Admiral German Bight ("Deutsche Bucht"). The installation of the weapon can be verified using original documents. The delivery of the two Foehn launchers from Emden to Heligoland can also be verified via the KiA Emden war diary. Source: Admiral Deutsche Bucht, 12.01.1945.

When is your list of weapons from?

Do you have an archive signature?

Greetings,
Guido

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Re: German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by niemandsland » 15 May 2022 12:08

Grzesio wrote:
05 May 2022 12:14
A) I strongly doubt, the Foehn 500 was ever used in combat, I don't think it could be developed and put into service before the end of the war.

B) There's absolutely no evidence of the presence of Foehn 500 launchers on the battlefield, all photos of combat launchers I've ever seen show the original 35-shot Foehn only (land 7,3 cm R-Werfer 44 or naval 7,3 cm RAg).

C) According to 1970's books, Foehns were used for defence of river crossings in Unkel, Satzvoy and Hahn; Unkel most probably refers to Remagen, but the remaining two sound quite doubtful for me.
Hi Grzesio,

most of the information can be found from/to the naval inspection shelling (firing) command in Unterlüß. Where the new Navy weapons were tested and approved for the Navy. Pawlas himself published some documents in Waffen Revue issue no. 114.

In Waffen-Arsenal No. 49, the author (Koppenhagen, Wilfried) gives the following figures for the immediate solution (48x launcher) Foehn 500: Production from 12/1942 at the Brünner Waffenwerke (on behalf of Rheinmetall) until April 1944: 50 pieces and until February 1945: 83 pieces. As is so often the case with the arsenal of weapons, without naming a verifiable source. [Waffen-Arsenal, No. 49, p.5]

In the Encyclopedia of German Weapons (Gander/Chamberlain) on page 330 the 7.3 cm rocket launcher "Foehn" (with 5x 7 vertical rails) can be seen in the stationary ("ortsfest") version, right next to the "7.3 cm fortress -rocket launcher" (with 4x 7 rails horizontally).
There is no indication here that the fixed ("ortsfest") variant could be moved ("fahrbar") with the help of a special trailer ("Sonderanhänger"). There is a picture of this in Waffen Arsenal No. 114 on pages 78-80. A picture of the "7.3 cm fortress rocket launcher" ("Festungs- Raketenwerfer") can also be found in Waffen-Revue No. 114 on page 82.

Several multiple rocket launchers were under development, most of these developments were not completed by the end of the war.

- 7,3 cm Raketen- Abschussgerät "Föhn" [35 Schuss]
- 7,3 cm Rateten- Abschussgerät "Föhn" V2 [35 Schuss]
- 7,3 cm "Föhn 500" ("Sofortlösung") [48 Schuss] (Described in a document as a 28 shot version. Wrong?)
- Eisenbahn-Föhn ("Föhn" Zwilling in "Hängelafette") [2x 35 Schuss]
- 7,3 cm Festungswerfer "Föhn" [28 Schuss] auf Fahranhänger (Handkarren)
- "Föhn 55" (Deckname "Orkan", 48 Schuss mit 5,5 cm Rakete Orkan)

There is not much material on the individual developments. In any case, I have only found a few original documents so far.

Most of the Foehn variants listed here did not get past the test phase until the end of the war.

I believe that the "Foehn V2" is the version we know as "Foehn". The stationary and mobile on special trailer ("Sonderanhänger") has come into use.

Well... thats enough "Foehn" for today...!

Greetings,
Guido Janthor

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Re: German "Foehn" (Föhn) Device (need more Infos)

Post by niemandsland » 15 May 2022 12:15

Hi,

here comes a short addendum...

Incidentally, Pawlas ("Waffen Revue") writes with regard to the Lüdendorff Bridge ("Bridge of Remagen") exactly that the 7.3 cm Foehn device was used there, both stationary and mobile. Another source mentions the "Foehn 500".

Incidentally, Pawlas refers to an American document (which I am not aware of), namely ETO Ordance Technical Intelligence Report No. 239, dated April 21, 1945.

Maybe you can find out more from this?

Greetings from Hanover/Germany,
Guido Janthor

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