Category Last Days of the Luftwaffe

From the Fw 190 AS to D-15

Besides the various versions of Bf 109 G-6, G-10, G-14 and K-4, and the late Fw 190 variants A-8 to A-10, the Fw 190 D-9 fighter and Та 152 were seen to be the most significant piston aircraft for Reich defence. After the Fw 190 A-8 run was finally completed in January 1945 at Fieseler Kassel, Ago at Ochsersleben and in the Norddeutsche Werke at Wismar, the A-9, which had been in production since September 1944, grew in importance. By February it had taken over from the A-8 series in the Focke-Wulf works at Cottbus and Aslau and at Dornier Wismar. The better armoured machine had an engine which differed little from its forerunner. Because Fw 190 ‘Dora’ fitted with a Jumo 213 was tactically superior, production of the Fw 190 A-9 with a BMW 801 engine gave way to it in February 1945. All succeeding Fw fighters were to be converted as soon as possible to the more powerful Jumo 213 E-l and F-l.

From the Fw 190 AS to D-15

As many of the larger aerodromes were destroyed, operational units resorted to makeshift bases. This photo shows an Fw 190 D-9.

From mid-1944 the Fw 190 D-9 had been an outstandingly reliable fighter which was now replacing the Fw 190 A-8 and A-9 in the fighter units on a large scale. The planned series production of the A-10 and D-10 was cancelled in favour of improved versions of the D-9.

Подпись: The Fw 190 D-12 and D-13 were amongst the last high-performance piston-engined fighters, equipped with Jumo 213 F-series motors and correspondingly fast.

Fw 190 D-9 to D-13 variants fitted with the Jumo 213 A to F engines were amongst the best German fighter aircraft at the war s end. Shortly beforehand the first D-ll appeared, an outstandingly efficient fighter with Jumo 213 E-l/F-1 engine and turbocharger. The first prototypes were manufactured at the end of September 1944 at Adelheide (Delmenhorst), and by April 1945 20 machines, some fitted with the new EZ 42 gunsight, had been completed.

In the previous October Roluf Lucht had demanded an immediate production run of engines with two-stage chargers for all modern piston-engined fighters. As the first major production run, the Fw 190 D-12 was to be equipped from the outset with the Jumo 213 F-l and MW 50 high pressure installation. This involved a slight modification of the Jumo 213 E-l engine. The aircraft were to have an MK 108 and only two MG 151s in the wing roots. In the spring of 1945 series production of this version fell by the wayside with the preference for the D-13 and the loss of the MK 108 manufacturing plant at Posen to the Soviets.

Five prototypes of the Fw 190 D-13 with Jumo 213 F were built. Series production was scheduled for March 1945 but was abandoned due to the war

From the Fw 190 AS to D-15

This Fw 190 D-12/R5 attached to a training unit for future Staffel-leaders was abandoned near Bad Worishofen.

From the Fw 190 AS to D-15

These Fw 190 D-9s and D-lls of the‘Parrot Staffer took over the immediate protection of Galland’s Jagdverband 44.

situation. The difference from the D-12 was its MG 151 cannon. A number of D-13 variants had two MK 108s as additional weapons in the wings. In March 1945 three machines were ready for the front and presumably at the beginning of April a few others became available with variations in the fixed weaponry.

Focke-Wulf built probably only two, possibly three Fw 190 D-14 prototypes up to April 1945. The last variant evaluated by the Chief-TLR in January 1945 was the D-15. As with the D-14, this machine would have had a DB 603 E or LA engine instead of the Jumo 213 A, E or F. By the wars end the only captured D-15 prototype (Works Number 500645) was fitted with only a DB 603 G engine but had a larger tailplane as did the Та 152.

Amongst the last operations flown with the Fw 190 D was the protection of the jet units transferring to southern Germany, mainly the remnants of JG 7, KG 51 and KG(J) 54 together with the legendary fighter unit JV 44, which withdrew to Innsbruck via Munich and Salzburg. Some Та 152 pilots landed on airfields in Schleswig-Holstein, where their machines were captured by British forces.

Production Gears Up

The manufacture of fuselages, wings and tailplanes began simultaneously. At the beginning of November 1944 the first frames for the He 162 V-l forward fuselage were on the belt at Languste. The first wing hurriedly completed at Franken was faulty. The tail and components were to be rushed out and delivered from Lower Austria. On 7 December assembly of He 162 V-2 started. Delays in the supplies of tailplanes and wings held back the construction of further prototypes.

On 6 December 1944 Engineer Gotthold Peter, leading test pilot at Heinkel – Siid, flew the He 162 V-l (M-l) for the first time. The second test, an exhibition flight for General Commissioner Kessler and Chief-TLR Oberst Diesing, ended in disaster. Due to defective bonding the starboard wing leading edge was

Подпись: At least twenty pilots of JG 1 lost their lives in tests and while under instruction.
ripped away. The aircraft immediately started rolling, the starboard aileron and wingtip then broke off at 735 km/hr (455 mph) damaging the tailplane and causing the machine to spin out of control and crash just beyond the perimeter of the airfield at Fischamend. The pilot was killed. An immediate enquiry was ordered. An air safety commission investigated and made its recommendations within a few days. He 162 V-3 was subjected immediately to vibration testing to ensure the integrity of the structure. Consideration was given to replacing the wood surfaces with metal.

The next completed prototype was gone over with a fine-tooth comb. As a result, in mid-December the He 162 was grounded for nine defects. Between 16 and 20 December a commission was set up by the Chief-TLR to examine the structural integrity and flight safety of the design. On 22 December director Karl Franke gave the He 162 V-2 a clean bill of health for its maiden flight, and staff engineer Paul Bader flew the aircraft at 500 km/hr (310 mph). He found the rudder and ailerons too weak and criticised the engine, but was otherwise satisfied. By 15 January, pilots Schuck and Kennitz had been trained to fly the Volksjager and made further flights. He 162 M-3 was listed for electronics testing and flew at Heinkel-Siid on 16 January. By the 22nd of the month the machine had completed 13 flights totaling 80 minutes duration. The design was revised to strengthen the wings and tailplane by the end of December, He 162 M-4 being the first of the improved machines. After the Heidfeld controllers examined the fuselage on 28 December, they discovered fifty different defects,

and the maiden flight was therefore delayed until 16 January. Ten flights totalling almost three hours were made in the month. A minor crash occurred on one landing. On 22 January He 162 M-6 and the first pre-series machine, He 162 A-01, were scheduled for pilot training. Next day Pawolka, Bader, Franke, Schuck and Wedemeyer flew the sixth prototype. It was noted that suspension was unnecessary for the nose-wheel and this was eliminated in the series production.

On 4 February He 162 M-6 crashed, killing Oberleutnant Wedemeyer. He 162 M-7 was fitted with a braking parachute as a safety measure for high­speed flights. He 162 M-3, M-4 and the first A-0 were tested in flight for stability in the vertical axis, the Dutch roll moment and the effect of various tailplane combinations.

By 30 January M-2 to M-7 and the first three pre-series aircraft were clear for testing. When this was suspended at the beginning of February because of persistent ground mist, the time was used to repair the damaged nose-wheel of M-6 and exchange the A-02 tail flaps. M-7 was ‘shaken after the braking parachute was fitted and given the all-clear for testing. By 5 March the prototypes had made 63 starts totaling 10 hours 57 minutes: 15 pilots had flown the He 162, some of them only В-2 licence holders and thus relatively inexperienced with high-performance machines.

Shordy afterwards engineer Full achieved a speed of 800 km/hr (Mach 0.65) at 8,000 metres (500 mph at 26,000 ft). Following heavy vibrations the turbine stopped and Full was slightly injured while making a forced landing in snowy terrain. In order to improve stability, the fuselage was lengthened and the dihedral of the wing tip curves lessened. It was decided that an enlarged rudder and modified tailplane were needed. Once the main weaknesses of the aircraft had been identified, from 15 February all existing models underwent modification. The first, He 162 M-3, was flown by Full in mid-February at 880 km/hr (550 mph), the prototype proving fully stable. At the end of February the wing angle was raised by 2 degrees and the fiiselage/wing joint adjusted. In his last flight, Full used the ejector seat to bale out from He 162 M-3 after the turbine caught fire. At 200 metres (650 ft) he was too low for his parachute to deploy in time.

Tests continued and by 25 February Heinkel-Siid had made 166 flights totaling 40.5 hours. The fuel situation was deteriorating almost daily and this, combined with the frequent air raid warnings, held back the tempo of Volksjager development considerably. After He 162 M-25, one of the machines with lengthened fuselage, received 60 per cent damage during a flight on 2 March, works pilot Denzin also lightly damaged another machine. By 11 March the number of He 162 flights had risen to 211 (51 hours 13 minutes). Next day Feldwebel Wanke’s He 162 M-8 hit the runway too early, overturned and caught fire. The pilot survived, injured and badly burned. On 14 March the He 162 of

Unteroffizier Daus of Auffangsstaffel Heidfeld 2./JG 1 collided with barrels near the runway and was killed. He was one of at least 18 He 162 pilots to lose his life in accidents with the aircraft.

The last Heinkel-Siid weekly report is dated 26 March 1945. By then there had been 259 Volksjager flights at Heidfeld alone, totalling 65 hours. Continual modifications in the preceding months had kept most machines grounded. Once the improvements were completed, the last involving the fuel installation, the He 162 was declared operational at the beginning of April 1945.

Подпись: After improvements to the design, production of the final operational versions of the He 162 A-2 began in March 1945.
By now Soviet units were approaching Vienna. To pull back west of the city, or better still into southern Germany or the Harz seemed advisable. On 30 March director Franke went to Saur’s office to plead for a transfer to Bad Gandersheim. This was granted and on 1 April a special train set off for the Harz. After being held three whole days at Eger, the train was re-routed to Jenbach in the Tyrol, arriving there on the night of 5 April. A few hours before, Modling and the underground facility at Languste had been occupied by the Soviets: one day later Schwechat district and the Heidfeld airfield also fell into their hands. The works management had begun to remove some of the instructional documents and installations for the He 162 A-2 to Heinkel Jenbach while the staff went to Lent near Salzburg. The design office was eventually relocated from Jenbach/Tyrol to Landsberg/Lech, arriving there on 14 April,

thirteen days before American forces did so, and thus brought the Volksjager development to its end.

Air-to-Air Rockets for Aerial Combat

From the beginning of 1944 remote-controlled and spin-stabilised rockets grew in importance in aerial warfare. They were initially simply aimed by eye (Werfergranate WGr 21), but later a whole series of guided and spin-stabilised missiles was developed. Except for the R4M none was ever even partially ready

for a series run by the war’s end because of problems in obtaining materials and Allied domination of the skies over the shrinking Reich.

The Last Hope – Heimatschiitzer – The Protectors of the Homeland

As further development of midget fighters, special aircraft and manned rockets had not provided the hoped-for results, at the end of 1944 the Chief-TLR turned to more reliable machines. A significandy improved Me 163 had greater range and a retractable undercarriage to make it easier to handle, but, as its potential was seen as limited, the Me 262 Heimatschiitzer also received fresh impetus.

Ju248 – Further Development of the Me 263

The Ju 248 was the Me 263 renamed, the work having been passed to Junkers because the Me 262 had exhausted Messerschmitt’s capacity. In view of the tactical successes of the Me 163, OKL had decided on an improved version with

The Last Hope - Heimatschiitzer - The Protectors of the Homeland

The Ju 248 was a major improvement of the former Me 163. Designated originally as Me 263, it was produced in ones and twos and tested in central Germany at the beginning of 1945.

The Last Hope - Heimatschiitzer - The Protectors of the Homeland
longer endurance and a retractable undercarriage. The new machine, equipped with a more powerful rocket motor, was based on experience with the Me 163 В and was developed by Junkers as the Ju 248 from the late summer of 1944. The line was set up at Dessau Slid Waggonfabrik at the end of the year. The first wings were to be manufactured by 10 January 1945 at Puklitz/Zeitz, while the firms of Kronprinz and VDM were responsible for the undercarriage. Many of the other parts were duplicates from the Me 163 B. However, the fuselage would not take the Walter engine and had to be extended by 0.5 metres, thus ruining the timetable.

On 13 January OKL pressed hard for the series run even though work on the first experimental machines had come to a halt, and therefore on 29 January OKL considered abandoning the whole project: JG 400 would receive the He 162 in the short term. The decision was reversed at the beginning of February when the first prototype, Ju 248 V-l, was ready and Flugkapitan Pancherz flew it on 8 February under tow by a Bf 110 (pilot Karl Went). After a second test flight, Pancherz flew six more times on 11 and 13 February and by 19 February the aircraft had been in the air on 13 occasions.

On 7 March the Junkers engineers admitted that the Ju 248 was not so well ahead as might appear, for example the Walter motor ordered for Ju 248 V-2 had not arrived. The daily air raids on the Junkers Werke had destroyed many documents including material being prepared for the Japanese. By mid-March 1945 the undercarriage, part of the electrical system and some instruments were still awaited. In view of the fact that rocket fuels could not be produced in sufficient amounts, on 20 March OKL decided that the Me 263 would have to be cancelled, leaving the field theoretically to the He 162. Three days later Junkers Dessau advised the Chief-TLR that the Walter motor had finally been mounted in the first prototype, but important elements were still missing so that the first rocket-powered ascent was now postponed to the end of the month, and ultimately no test was possible because the front line arrived at Dessau. Most of the documents were destroyed at Ragun School to thwart their seizure by US forces. At least one of the two Me 263s had been blown up shortly before. Dessau was occupied on 24 April 1945.

Pitre Error?

In 1943 there was a crisis in rocket development. Numerous projects were in their early stages, and the design teams encountered the widest variety of problems. At that time the following missiles were under production: Enzian and Rheintochter (subsonic, later supersonic), Schmetterling (subsonic) and Wasserfall (supersonic). The rockets had different engines and needed different fuels. Although the RLM and Speer’s Armament Office could not agree on a uniform rocket fuel, it was agreed that there should be a general increase in the production of special fuels despite the lack of industrial capacity. Getting development going was the important thing.

Feuerlilie F25 and F55

In 1940, the LFA Hermann Goringhtg^n design work on a long-range, remote- controlled rocket, the F 25 Feuerlilie. At first 25 were tested by DFS and the Reichspost Research Office. The first F 25 arrived at the Leba test site on the Baltic in mid-July 1943. By mid-summer 1944 at least four had been fired. On 25 January 1943 the Ardelt company of Breslau (Wroclaw) received an official contract to build five improved experimental type F 55 rockets at RM.20,000

each. Unexpected technical difficulties resulted in the first start of F 55 A-l being delayed until 12 May 1944 when it rose 7.5 kilometres in 69 seconds. From 22 November 1944 the RLM Technical Office continued to reduce the number required as other rockets gained in favour.

The Та 152 High-Performance Fighter

Подпись: Operational units received the Та 152 H-0 and H-l in only small numbers once production was stifled by the advance of the Red Army.

In comparison to Fw 190 D production, the Та 152 had a shadowy existence. After 3 aircraft in October, 12 in November and 19 in December 1944,23 came off the lines in January and 10 in February. At year’s end 1944 problems were encountered with the Та 152 H-0 starter motors at Cottbus Works. Three

The Та 152 High-Performance Fighter
normal Та 152 prototypes were airworthy in January with the DB 603 E engine, the more powerful DB 603 motors not being available, while the total loss of production at Posen, where Та 152 fuselages and wings were made, could not be rectified. The Erfurt firm Mimetall delivered its first two Та 152s in February. Other firms from whom the first deliveries were expected in March were Siebel of Halle and ATG Merseburg. The last machines were assembled from spare parts. Most of the 21 Та 152 H-Os were received at KdE; Luftflottenkommando Reich took seven more and another went directly to III./JG 301. Luftflotte Reich also took possession of the first Та 152 H-2 in the spring of 1945. Losses at JG 301 ensured that the number of operational machines never exceeded twelve and at the beginning of March 1945 only five Та 152 H-Os and H-2s remained.

III./JG 301 flew the operational trials instead of EK 152. As the front line edged ever closer to Berlin, EK 152’s airfield, Alteno (Luckau), was soon home to various fighter and Jabo Gruppen which was naturally unhelpful for Та 152 testing. When the major Soviet offensive began, III. Gruppe was ordered
unwittingly to an airfield behind Russian lines. Only a few of the Та 152s managed to get clear, the remainder being destroyed by explosion to prevent their falling into enemy hands. By 21 January 1945 fourteen new machines had been lost to enemy action or failures in flight. At the end of the month Oberfeldwebel Josef Keil scored the first success when his Та 152 shot down a B-17 bomber over Berlin. On 2 February, Leutnant Hagendorn of 9./JG 301, who took off with two wingmen to attack RAF Mosquitos, flew at over 12,500 metres (41,000 ft) altitude.

Once the Posen works fell into Soviet hands at the end of February 1945, the supply of new aircraft dried up. Allied attacks on hangars and parking areas together with combat losses against the Eighth Air Force accounted for other Та 152s. On 25 March 1945 only Stab/JG 301 had machines operational. That day part of III. Gruppe arrived unexpectedly at Hannover-Langenhagen which had just been attacked by Allied bombers. The runways and taxying areas were therefore full of bomb craters and a number of crash landings occurred. At the end of March 1945 a number of Fw 190 D-9s attacked enemy camps and vehicle columns with AB 250s and AB 500s. On 1 April 1945 pilots dropped numerous SD-1 anti-personnel bombs from an altitude of only 10 metres (30 ft) in a successhil attack against US supply lorries: next day several Fw 190 D-9s led by Hauptmann Posselmann made a successful attack on ground targets near Kassel. After these operations the aircraft returned to the east, landing at Hagenow, a small airfield on the road to Ludwigslust. On 10 April 1945 Oberfeldwebel Keil took off from Sachau airfield near Gardelegen. North-east of Brunswick he engaged an formation of at least 15 P-47 fighters and shot down at least one.

The same day Stab/JG 301 reported two Та 152 and 36 Fw 190s at I. and

II. Gruppen, 49 aircraft being operational in all. The staff flight had seven Та 152s, of which only three were operational and parked in the blast pens. On 24 April Feldwebel Walter Loos flying a Та 152 H-0 (Works No. 150003) shot down two Soviet Yak 9s over Berlin, and claimed another next day. On 30 April he shot down an La 9 and thus became the most successful Та 152 pilot in the Luftwaffe.

That day Stab/JG 301 at Welzow had only two aircraft, these being modern all-weather Та 152 C-1/R31 fighters. Both machines were operational and equipped with K-23 auto-pilots. To the extent that fuel supplies allowed, the Geschwader could call on more than 50 Fw 190 D-9s and Bf 109 G-14s at Alteno, Finsterwalde and Welzow. III./JG 301 at Luckau was already disbanded at this time. In the first days of May the remnants of JG 301 pulled back from Hagenow to Neustadt-Gleve from where the last missions were flown, although

III. Gruppe made for Leek in Schleswig-Holstein. An armistice was observed there as from 5 May 1945.

The Volksjager Squadron

Подпись: Hauptmann Helmut Kiinnecke, the Stafelkapitan of l./JG 1, posing before his He 162 A-l on Leek air base.

Once the first prototype had been completed, on 27 December 1944 KdE and Chief-TLR proposed setting up their own test command for He 162 tactical trials at Larz near Rechlin. The unit would be of Staffel size (maybe 12 aircraft) and begin flight training from February. On 1 January the General der Jagd – flieger asked the QM-General to increase the test command to Gruppe size. In Galland s opinion, it would then be well placed to become a supply Gruppe for new He 162 pilots after the conclusion of trials, but this idea was rejected. Next day OKL ordered that the test command should operate as near as possible to the manufacturer. On 9 January the new Gruppe, I./JG 200, was formed on paper. The unit came within the jurisdiction of Luftflotte Reich, but for training purposes was controlled by Galland. During talks it was then revealed that the purely technical trials to be carried out by Stab/JG 200 at Larz would be done elsewhere, and on 10 January the Luftwaffe QM-General set up EK 162 for the usual period of six months. On the 14th the first 27 men of the technical personnel set off for Heinkel Marienehe. Less than a fortnight later, on 25 January, after JG 200 was wound up, OKL gave instructions for the formation

of a new unit, JG 80, with Stabsschwarm, Stabskompanie and a Gruppe composed of three Staffeln, each of 12 aircraft. The Gruppenstab would have an additional four He 162s. On 5 February, personnel for I./JG 80 were ordered to Vienna-Aspern where a front-line pool was set up for the He 162. Gruppenstab together with 2. and 3. Staffeln of the planned JG 80 would be set up at Parchim, the Stabsstaffel ofJG 80 at Rechlin. On 7 February the order to form JG 80 was rescinded, and the former I./JG 1 with Stabsstaffel and three flying Staffeln was to be equipped as the first Volksjager unit of the Luftwaffe.

Werfergranate 21

This rocket was based on the 21-cm mortar bomb and development began in May 1944. The projectile was stabilised in flight by a so-called Messer-Spreitz tail unit in which the previous numerous apertures for stabilizing the spin were replaced by a large central jet. Burn time for the solid-fuel, 95-kg (209-lb) rocket was only 1.3 seconds. This gave the projectile a speed of 590 m/sec (1,935 ft/sec). The first explosive heads for the weapon were tested in the autumn of 1944 and the process concluded officially on 29 January 1945.

Подпись: During tests the tubes of the WGr 21 installation were fitted beneath the wings (as seen here) and also below the fuselage to fire to the rear.
The first thousand of a series run with a 130 BS shrapnel head were completed at the end of February 1945. A larger explosive charge was developed but this needed to be finished by hand and never reached the testing range. Two firing tubes slung below the forward fuselage of an Me 262 each holding a 21-cm calibre mortar bomb were purely a makeshift measure to disperse a bomber formation and so allow the fighters a better opportunity to attack. They were probably WGr 21 mortars similar to those carried by the Bf 109 and Bf 110. A number of Me 262 A-las at Gruppenstab III./JG 7 were

equipped with them in the spring of 1945.The tactical results did not produce the expected success, and use of the rocket was quickly discontinued.

Me 262 C-la

Me 262 C-la
The Me 262 C-la was to combine all the advantages of the Me 163 В local – defence fighter with those of the jet fighter. After work on the ‘interceptor’began

in 1943 there had been a break before Messerschmitt returned to the idea in September 1944. On 12 September the machine was lighdy damaged in an air raid. Flight testing was suspended frequently between 9 and 29 November because of problems with the rocket engine, and further delays resulted in the first take-off, with turbines and rocket motor running in tandem, being put back to 27 February. The works pilot, Lindner, expressed great satisfaction despite light damage to the undercarriage cover. In February 1945, Me 262 V-6 – designated C-la – the future ‘Protector of the Homeland Г made a single 14- minute flight. Damage to the HWK 109-509A-2(S) motor and unfavourable weather wrecked the schedule. On 19 March take-off was aborted when Lindner failed to raise enough fuel pressure because of an air-bubble in one of the fuel tubes. The only Me 262 C-la was therefore housed in an anti-splinter shelter at Lechfeld where it was damaged by Allied night fighters on 22 March. Total test flying time in March was 22 minutes. By the end of the month works pilots had flown the prototype on only seven occasions although the commander of III./JG 2 at Lechfeld, Oberstleutnant Bar, allegedly flew the machine, reaching an altitude of 9,000 metres in three minutes and shooting down a P-47. When US ground forces arrived at Lager Lechfeld the damaged Heimatschutxer I was

Подпись: Side profile of the HWK 509 C-l engine with two revolvable combustion chambers. This provided the aircraft with a longer range and endurance.
discovered under tarpaulins near the aerodrome. The engine system had been scarcely serviceable, and the series conversion of available Me 262 A-las was out of the question.


The Messerschmitt Enzian gave rise to great hopes. It was a subsonic, remote- controlled flak rocket for use against aerial targets at high altitude. Powerplant was an efficient liquid-fuel engine with four solid-fuel rocket boosters to aid take-off. The squat body was tailless, there being four large swept-back wings mid-fuselage having combined aileron/rudders.

Подпись: Preparing to test-fire a Messerschmitt E 1 Enzian at Peenemiinde (Usedom island).
After numerous early studies a full-size mock-up was begun in January 1944, the first experimental E 1 being completed at Augsburg in February 1944. After the factory was bombed that same month, production transferred to Holzbau Kissing at Sonthofen, this area being considered safer. After the first missile was delivered to Peenemiinde, it was test fired at Greifswalder Oie in mid-April 1944, the second on 29 April. On completion of the 38th test, Messerschmitt

Подпись: An unstable Enzian in flight seen through the observation telescope. A number of Enzian rockets fired at Peenemiinde exploded prematurely.
considered the basic test series complete. After watching a demonstration at Peenemiinde West on 30 October 1944, Goring spoke out expressly in favour of Enzian since the equally prioritised Schmetterling was not yet ready.

By 1 November 1944,15 Enzian had been test fired. In a surprise move the entire project was then transferred to the Bavarian Alps under Dr Wurster, and the planning office set up on a farm at Schloss Lindhof. Two other Enzian (E 2) variants made in early summer 1944 to the earlier FR-6 design were fired from Greifswalder Oie in mid-November, but a really reliable flak rocket system still seemed far off. The Walter Werke motor rocket division at Beerburg was informed at the end of 1944 that their motor fell 35 per cent below the specified values: for this reason Enzian would receive the Rheintochter engine. A more efficient engine (on paper) designed by Professor Conrad of the Technical University of Berlin was also being considered: a first test run was expected in January 1945, but the date could not be met.

A 550-kg warhead was planned for Enzian. Dynamit Nobel of Hamburg supplied the first of these. Various detonators had been examined including the
modern Dogge. The project now fell well behind the RLM timetable, for the acute shortage of high-value metals prevented series production. On 19 December 1944 the Commission for Rocketry argued with the Chief-TLR against introducing Enzian because of the woeful technical problems, but despite this objection Askania was given a contract to provide new control mechanisms. It was hoped to test these from February 1945. With effect from 17 January 1945 OKL ordered the termination of the project since other developments were more promising and 450 man-hours per unit was excessive. On 6 Februarv Himmler withdrew his permission for further work on Enzian.

As the Red Army advanced, Greifswalder Oie was abandoned, the installations being prepared for destruction. Work on documenting the test reports was cut short at Schloss Lindhof in mid-March. A total of 60 Enzian rockets were completed and at least 24 test fired at Greifswalder Oie. The failure rate of these was relatively high at 70 per cent. Another 10 served for ground testing, 15 were blown up on 25 April at Sonthofen to prevent their capture. Almost all the remainder existed only in component parts. Most of the technical data were found by the Allies in underground galleries at Oberammergau and carted away.