Neuhammer Stuka disaster

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Ironmachine
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Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by Ironmachine » 11 Feb 2009 13:01

I'm looking for information about the Neuhammer disaster. What I know is that on 15 August 1939, during a training attack, a practically complete Ju-84 Staffel crashed into the ground because of late recovery from the dive due to ground fog. Apparently 13 Stuka crews were lost, and among the few survivors was Hans-Karl Stepp.
Any other information (unit involved, circunstances of the accident, survivors, etc.) will be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

sveahk
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Re: Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by sveahk » 12 Feb 2009 00:11

On the 15.8.1939 two Stuka-groups (Ju 87), I./St.G.76 led by Hauptmann Sigel and I./St.G.2"Immelmann" under Hauptmann Hitschold, were to demonstrate divebomber attacks. Present on the ground at Neuhammer were Generals from Heer and Luftwaffe, von Manstein, von Richthofen, Sperrle and Loerzer.
Over Neuhammer it was 7/10 cloudy over 900 meter, underneath clear. But groundfog came on suddenly, this fact was not communicated to the Gruppe. Sigel with his I./St.G.76, started their dive through the clouds. At the last moment Sigel recognized the danger, warned the rest immediately on the radio, and just got away himself with a ground close shave.
For the rest it was too late...13 Stukas with 26 young pilots and observers crashed into the ground, no survivors.
The Immelmann Gruppe recognized the fog in time and broke off.

Regards
Hans K

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Pips
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Re: Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by Pips » 12 Feb 2009 05:19

Why didn't the Ju-87's auto pull-out function work?

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Ironmachine
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Re: Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by Ironmachine » 12 Feb 2009 08:43

Thank you for the information, sveahk.

sveahk
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Re: Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by sveahk » 12 Feb 2009 09:07

As far as I know the "auto pull-out function" started when the bombs were released. The order this day was to let go of the bombs at 300 meters, but with no ground visibility at that height and mostly inexperienced young pilots to handle this emergency situation, well, they probably didn't have a chance. A couple of the Stukas were able to flatten out, but crashed into the surrounding woods, but most of them went straight down... :(

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Hans K

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Ironmachine
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Re: Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by Ironmachine » 12 Feb 2009 17:49

sveahk wrote:The order this day was to let go of the bombs at 300 meters,
Are you sure about that?
Because I have seen a declaration by in which he clearly stated: "The normal bomb releasing altitude was close to 700 meters. Experienced pilots would also venture down to 500 meters in order to increase the bombing accuracy. This, however, was the absolute minimum pulling out radius to clear the ground in time. Below that there was no hope left [...]"

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Pips
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Re: Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by Pips » 12 Feb 2009 22:35

The auto pull-out function is triggered when the pilot drops his dive flaps prior to tipping over. Nothing to do with the bomb drop per se.

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Ironmachine
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Re: Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by Ironmachine » 13 Feb 2009 08:18

Pips, the dive brakes were actived automatically to start the dive, but the automatic recovery only started with the release of the bombs.
When the aircraft was reasonably close to the target, a light on the contact altimeter came on to indicate the bomb-release point, usually at a minimum height of 450 metres (1,500 ft). The pilot released the bomb by depressing a knob on the control column to release weapons and to initiate the automatic pull-out mechanism.[29] An elongated U-shaped crutch located under the fuselage would swing the bomb out of the way of the propeller, and the aircraft would automatically begin a 6 g pullout.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuka

bil
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Re: Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by bil » 13 Feb 2009 08:40

Were they actually going to drop bombs-real or dummy-that day,or was it a diving exhibition?That might make a differance.In Rudels book he has an early experiance similar to this,diving and coming too close to the ground.If no bombs were released,the auto mechanism would not function,correct? Thanks. ---bil

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Re: Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by sveahk » 13 Feb 2009 08:53

The 300 meter info comes from Helmut Mahlke's Stuka-book. Later in the book, by war missions in France, he talks about "the ordered release-height of 500 meter..."

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Hans K

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Re: Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by Pips » 13 Feb 2009 12:33

Aahhhh, thanks Ironmachine. That explains then why the auto pull-out didn't work?

Furyman
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Re: Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by Furyman » 20 Mar 2009 05:42

Is this the auto pull-out mechanism ?Image

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Re: Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by Furyman » 20 Mar 2009 05:52

Hmmmm ...maybe it's some weird German sewing machine ?? Looks complicated !Image

Othon
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Re: Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by Othon » 25 Apr 2009 01:04

Where did you find this junk???

By the way StG unit which took part in this catastrophe later bombed Polish city of Wielun on 1th September 1939. Some people theorize this easy bombardment was aimed at improve crews morale after Neuhammer incident.

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Re: Neuhammer Stuka disaster

Post by David Thompson » 25 Apr 2009 16:53

Othon -- Please stay on topic and avoid insulting comments.

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