Heinkel 70 "Rayo" in SCW?

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durb
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Heinkel 70 "Rayo" in SCW?

Post by durb » 07 Oct 2015 11:55

Heinkel 70 was initially a fast passenger plane but it was converted to military purposes as He 70 F (there were also some slightly different He 70 E´s.). The plane was used in reconaissance and bombing missions by the reconaissance squadron (Aufklärungsgruppe) A/88 of Legion Condor.

I wonder if someone knows more about following losses of Legion Condor regarding He 70:
- 15.6.1937 A/88 lost a plane over Miravalles, three-men crew Lt. Gottanka, Lt. Lindemann, Uo. Heerschag all KIA, was it a He 70?, cause?
- 10.7.1937 over Cuatro Vientos He 70 shot down by Republican fighter, Lt. von Posser and Og. Reinhold KIA, corresponding Republican claim?
- 20.8.1937 over El Musel/Gijón He 70 shot down by flak or enemy fighter? crew parachuted

Republican (Soviet) claims vs. He 70:
- He 70 shot down on 13.12.1936 by Sergey Cherknyh (I-15), is there a confirmation by the loss records of Legion Condor (or could it have belonged to Spanish unit at that time)?
- He 70 (mistaken as Bf 109!) shot down on 7.1.1937 by Sergey Cherknyh (I-16), is there a confirmation by the loss records of Legion Condor (or could it have belonged to Spanish unit at that time)?

The remaining Heinkel 70´s were passed to Spanish Aviación Nacional on November 1937 and they served in the Grupo 7-G-14. Does anyone know details of the service history of He 70 in the Aviación Nacional and in the Grupo 7-G-14 during the Spanish Civil War? Were the Heinkel 70´s of Aviación Nacional just leftovers of Legión Condor or did they get some examples imported directly from Germany?

There seems to be a booklet on He 70/170 in Spanish by Rafael A Permuy Lopez et al. (Quiron Ediciones 2007) but I have not seen any reviews on it - and I wonder if it has answers to the questions above...

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Ironmachine
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Re: Heinkel 70 "Rayo" in SCW?

Post by Ironmachine » 07 Oct 2015 13:37

- He 70 shot down on 13.12.1936 by Sergey Cherknyh (I-15), is there a confirmation by the loss records of Legion Condor (or could it have belonged to Spanish unit at that time)?
Couldn't be a Spanish He-70 because no He-70 was given to the Aviación until mid-1937.
The remaining Heinkel 70´s were passed to Spanish Aviación Nacional on November 1937 and they served in the Grupo 7-G-14. Does anyone know details of the service history of He 70 in the Aviación Nacional and in the Grupo 7-G-14 during the Spanish Civil War? Were the Heinkel 70´s of Aviación Nacional just leftovers of Legión Condor or did they get some examples imported directly from Germany?
All the Spanish He-70s came from the Legión Cóndor. Initially, the Legión Cóndor gave in the middle of 1937 three He-70 (14-36, 14-45 and 14-56) to the Spaniards. When the rest of the Legión Cóndor's He-70s were given to the Spanish Aviación, not only Grupo 7-G-14 was formed, but also two independent "escuadrillas", 3E14 and 4E14 (attached respectively to the Ejército del Centro and the Ejército del Sur). 7G14 took part in the battles of Teruel and Aragón, the Battle of the Ebro, in Extremadura and in the offensive in Catalonia, with good results. At the end of the SCW there were still eleven in service, and the last one remained in service until 7 September 1956.

I have the book you mention at home, I will have a look at it as soon as possible to see if I can find any data about your other questions.
Regards.

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Ironmachine
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Re: Heinkel 70 "Rayo" in SCW?

Post by Ironmachine » 07 Oct 2015 17:27

As promised, here is the information quoted from the mentioned book:
15.6.1937 A/88 lost a plane over Miravalles, three-men crew Lt. Gottanka, Lt. Lindemann, Uo. Heerschag all KIA, was it a He 70?, cause?
"El día siguiente, 15, los "Rayos" sufrieron su primera baja definitiva, registrada en acción de guerra. En esta jornada los cañones del Grupo Mixto Antiaéreo republicano del Norte alcanzaron de lleno a un Heinkel He 70, tripulado por los tenientes Siegfried Gottanka y Helmut Hildemann y el suboficial Fritz Heerschlag, que fue abatido en Miravalles (Bilbao), falleciendo los tres aviadores en el siniestro."
- 10.7.1937 over Cuatro Vientos He 70 shot down by Republican fighter, Lt. von Posser and Og. Reinhold KIA, corresponding Republican claim?
"Laureau y Fernández, en su libro "La Legión Cóndor", identifican como Heinkel 70 las bajas de los días 10.7.37, 23.8.37 y 4.9.37, siendo, en realidad, dos Dornier Do 17 y un He 45."
- 20.8.1937 over El Musel/Gijón He 70 shot down by flak or enemy fighter? crew parachuted
"En cuanto al "Rayo" supuestamente derribado sobre Gijón el 21 de agosto, no aparece en el parte de la "Legión Cóndor", puesto que la mencionada unidad no operó sobre Asturias en la fecha que nos ocupa."
- He 70 shot down on 13.12.1936 by Sergey Cherknyh (I-15), is there a confirmation by the loss records of Legion Condor (or could it have belonged to Spanish unit at that time)?
"A pesar de la velocidad de los He 70, el piloto soviético Pavel Richagov, jefe de la escuadrilla de "Chatos", el día 13 de diciembre se anotó el derribo -sobre la laguna de Santillana- del avión llamado "Paloma Blanca", que se suponía pilotado por Ramón Franco. Tal aparato no debía ser otro que un He 70 de la A/88, ya que los aviones de esta unidad llegaron a España con la librea de la Luftwaffe, es decir, con el color gris beige claro que, visto el avión en vuelo, le hacía parecer casi blanco. De ahí el sobrenombre aplicado por los republicanos. Pero parece que el avión no fue abatido en realidad."
- He 70 (mistaken as Bf 109!) shot down on 7.1.1937 by Sergey Cherknyh (I-16), is there a confirmation by the loss records of Legion Condor (or could it have belonged to Spanish unit at that time)?
The book says nothing about this incident, but it states what follows: "El día 1 de febrero tenemos la primera referencia oficial sobre el derribo en combate de un Heinkel He 70 alemán. Según indica el parte de operaciones de la Jefatura del Aire un avión de este tipo salió de Sevilla para realizar un reconocimiento en el frente de Málaga [...] Al regresar, el "Rayo" fue atacado por uno de los "Chatos" de la escuadrilla del soviético "Casimiro" y el avión germano se vio obligado a realizar un aterrizaje forzoso, cerca de Estepona, resultando herido por disparo de bala uno de los tripulantes, otro contusionado y el tercero ileso."

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Ironmachine
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Re: Heinkel 70 "Rayo" in SCW?

Post by Ironmachine » 08 Oct 2015 06:45

By the way, I suppose you don't have any problem with the quotes being in Spanish, but I can translate them if you need some help.

durb
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Re: Heinkel 70 "Rayo" in SCW?

Post by durb » 08 Oct 2015 11:09

No problem, I can read Spanish. Thanks for info. The biggest problem that I see is that the literary sources give contradictory info and disagree when it comes to details.

There seems to be mistakes and inaccuracies in many books despite the professionalism of authors - for example I used to consider Laureau´s book on Legion Condor quite good as a introduction to LC history but with time I have found its many mistakes (and poor editing) more and more annoying.

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