Airpower in the colonies

Discussions on all aspects of the German Colonies and Overseas Expeditions. Hosted by Chris Dale.
Utrecht
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Airpower in the colonies

Postby Utrecht » 08 Mar 2007 13:08

In what extent was airpower used in the fighting in the colonies during WWI?

I remember I've read about Portugese aircraft in Africa.
And the Königsberg was spotted with a (South African?) plane.
Four British Short seaplanes were operating from an air base near Albertville.

But, there must be more!

Did the Germans have air planes (or perhaps balloons or zeppelins) in their colonies?

In what extent did the air forces contribute in the fighting in the colonies?

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Seesoldat
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Postby Seesoldat » 08 Mar 2007 15:50

As far as the German side concerns, there were only very few airplanes in the oversea territories. Very famous was Captain Günther Plüschow. He flew a Rumpler Taube, which was hit by the Japanese several times and got damages during its take on. He rebuilt the plane with support of an austria-hungarian pilot. Their task was observing the Japanese advance and their situation.

Further on there had been a Zeppelin operation of Captain Bockholt with LZ 104 / L 59. It started in Jambol on Nov 21st in 1917 and returned after more than 6.500 km and 95 hours on Nov 25th 1917. The most southerly point was close to Khartoum in Sudan. Its task was to bring ammunition, medicine, uniforms ... to support Lettow-Vorbeck in East Africa.

Markus

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Nadir Shah
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German aircraft in colonies

Postby Nadir Shah » 08 Mar 2007 17:21

Hi,
1) Some information about german planes in DSWA you can find on http://rapidttp.com/milhist/vol053sm.html

and about South African Aviation Corps http://www.saairforce.co.za/history.htm

2) Tsingtao
Pilot's Escape from Tsingtao
Lt. Gunther Plüschow, known locally as "the Dragon Pilot" due to a tattoo of a dragon on his left arm, was the only German airman on active duty based in Tsingtao in 1914. During the siege he ran spotting missions in a Rumpler Taube over the Japanese and British fleets and was unofficially credited with the first aerial "kill" of the war. When the garrison surrendered and went into captivity he escaped and made his way back to Germany via China, Japan, America and Gibraltar where he was briefly captured by the British and taken to England, only to escape once more and make his way back to Germany via Holland. On his return he was ironically arrested as a spy at first, but was eventually recognised and awarded the Iron Cross First Class. He was the only German prisoner to escape from a British mainland POW camp during either World War. He later wrote several books including one on his experiences in China and his journey back to Germany called "Escape from England" (see Book Reviews page).
http://www.sacktrick.com/igu/germancolo ... gfacts.htm



3. Cameroons

Two aeroplanes had been shipped to Cameroon for use by the Schutztruppe in early 1914. However their pilots were still in Germany when the war broke out and so the planes never flew. One of the pilots allocated to Cameroon was Hauptmann Eugen Kirch. He had served with the Schutztruppe in Cameroon in 1912, then returned to Germany for pilot training in 1913. His nickname was the Fliegender Kameruner thereafter.
http://www.sacktrick.com/igu/germancolo ... gfacts.htm


4. As far as I remember Lettow in his book "My Reminiscences of East Africa" mentions
a plane which was delivered to East Africa for exibition. The plane made some flights but eventually crashed.

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Postby Utrecht » 08 Mar 2007 17:27

Seesoldat wrote:Further on there had been a Zeppelin operation of Captain Bockholt with LZ 104 / L 59. It started in Jambol on Nov 21st in 1917 and returned after more than 6.500 km and 95 hours on Nov 25th 1917. The most southerly point was close to Khartoum in Sudan. Its task was to bring ammunition, medicine, uniforms ... to support Lettow-Vorbeck in East Africa.

Markus


Thank you.

I know the story: the Zeppelin returned after a false British message. But, this one was operating from Europe (Bulgaria). Have the Germans ever operated ZEPs in their Schutzgebiete?

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Re: German aircraft in colonies

Postby Utrecht » 08 Mar 2007 17:37

Thanks for the response!

Nadir Shah wrote:unofficially credited with the first aerial "kill" of the war.


Is this never sift out? Was he the first?

Found this about it:

Plüschow, now a Lieutenant, flew his aircraft against 9 Japanese Army and Naval aircraft and was unofficially credited with shooting down a Maurice Farman aircraft

And this

Bei einem Aufklärungsflug traf er auf ein feindliches Flugzeug, das er verfolgte und, wie er meinte, mit 30 Schuss aus seiner Parabellum-Pistole sogar abschießen konnte.

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cj
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Postby cj » 09 Mar 2007 01:10

One of the German ships on lake Tanganyika was sunk by a Belgian plane. Id love to hear more about the Portuguese air power

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Seesoldat
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Postby Seesoldat » 09 Mar 2007 08:38

Dear cj,

unfortunately for them, the Belgians didn´t sink any German vessel by airpower. What they did was throwing bombs on the yard of Kigoma, which was part of the German naval base on Lake Tanganjika.

Sorry ...

As far as Zep activity concerns, the Germans didn´t operate them in their colonies. L 59 turned back to Bulgaria, because it got a message from the GERMANs that Lettow-Vorbeck surrendered - not from the British.

Markus

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Postby Utrecht » 09 Mar 2007 13:32

Seesoldat wrote:As far as Zep activity concerns, the Germans didn´t operate them in their colonies. L 59 turned back to Bulgaria, because it got a message from the GERMANs that Lettow-Vorbeck surrendered - not from the British.


Why should the Germans send a message that Lettow surrendered when he had not?

No, it was a message from the British (in German) with false information.

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Chris Dale
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Postby Chris Dale » 09 Mar 2007 23:32

From what I understand it was a message from the Germans that Lettow-Vorbeck had not surrendered, but had moved away from the proposed landing area and that the mission was now impractical.
It's already been discussed here-
viewtopic.php?t=90396

Cheers
Chris

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cj
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Postby cj » 10 Mar 2007 01:37

Seesoldat wrote:Dear cj,

unfortunately for them, the Belgians didn´t sink any German vessel by airpower. What they did was throwing bombs on the yard of Kigoma, which was part of the German naval base on Lake Tanganjika.

Sorry ...

As far as Zep activity concerns, the Germans didn´t operate them in their colonies. L 59 turned back to Bulgaria, because it got a message from the GERMANs that Lettow-Vorbeck surrendered - not from the British.

Markus


not according t osprey's Armies in East Africa 1914-1918

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Chris Dale
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Postby Chris Dale » 10 Mar 2007 02:48

HI CJ,
Which bit do you disagree with? The Belgians not sinking any Germans boats by airpower or that the L59 recieved a message from the Germans?
Cheers
Chris

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cj
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Postby cj » 10 Mar 2007 05:27

Belgian seaplane, although now Ive noticed (quite embarassed, appologies are in order) the German ship was only damaged :oops:

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Chris Dale
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Postby Chris Dale » 11 Mar 2007 15:56

See this link-
viewtopic.php?t=66931&start=60
For information and photos of the DSWA pilots, posted by Scarlett.

Cheers
Chris

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Re: German aircraft in colonies

Postby soldat_m56 » 12 May 2007 01:49

Nadir Shah wrote:4. As far as I remember Lettow in his book "My Reminiscences of East Africa" mentions
a plane which was delivered to East Africa for exibition. The plane made some flights but eventually crashed.

I saw a photo in a WWI book of a several Schutztruppen posing with a German-marked airplane in German East Africa. I believe it was some sort of large, unarmed biplane. Is this what Lettow-Vorbeck refers to?

Klaus

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cj
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Postby cj » 15 Jul 2007 21:50

Can Gunther Plüschow's kill, and the Austro-Hungarian pilot helping him be further verified??

Thanks
CJ


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