Category Last Days of the Luftwaffe

Focke-Wulf TL Fighter with HeS Oil Flitzer

After numerous diverse project studies in 1943, the Focke-Wulf design bureau at Bad Eilsen concentrated on variants of their jet-fighter projects. Special importance was placed on a powerful twin-boom machine in the summer of 1944. The planned single-seater Flitzer was to be powered initially by a BMW 003 (as an intermediate solution), later by the HeS Oil, the standard engine with greater thrust. A turbo-prop (PTL 021) was also investigated. The aircraft would be capable of 900 km/hr (560 mph) and – depending on the powerplant – operate at up to 15,000 metres (49,000 ft). Endurance hoped for was at least one hour. Three different but easily produced weapons variants were to be offered: either an MK 103 and two MG 151/15s, or two MK 108s and two MG 151/20s, or four MK 213s in the fuselage and wings. The EZ 46

Подпись: Focke-Wulf hoped to enter the jet age with their Flitzer, of which a number of variants existed before the war ended.
reflex gyro-stabilised gunsight was planned. Electronics were the FuG 15 ZY and an FuG 25a as an IFF unit for German flak. By the beginning of 1945 the design work was almost completed, as was the future equipment for the first series-produced aircraft, but the promised HeS Oil turbine never came, and substitutes had to be considered instead. The Allies captured the Focke-Wulf planning offices in April 1945, and came into possession of numerous plans, reports and drawings of the Flitzer, which would surely have been a very useful fighter aircraft.

Final Operations of the Bomber Geschwader

Подпись: The light fighter-bomber EF 126 was in the planning stage in 1944. The first experimental aircraft were completed after the war for the Soviet forces.

The deployment of the much faster twin-jet Ar 234 В-2 which became operational in reasonable numbers from the end of 1944 was seen as an important step forward. The first unit to be equipped with the Arado bomber,

Final Operations of the Bomber Geschwader

KG 76 was the only Luftwaffe bomber formation to receive the twin-jet Ar 234 B-2 bomber, using it in action from late December 1944.

III./KG 76, received its first Ar 234 B-2 on 28 August 1944. Led by Knights Cross holder Hauptmann Diether Lukesch, conversion training took place at Burg near Magdeburg, and the first operation was flown on 23 December by the operational flight Kommando Lukesch. Once 9. Staffel at Miinster-Handorf began working as the operational test unit, operational preparations began for 7. and 8. Staffeln. III./KG 76 had 21 bombers in December 1944. Its first attack was made on Verviers town centre when six aircraft came in at low level and dropped SC 500 bombs to commence Ar 234 operations in the West. On 24 January III./KG 76 was placed at the disposal of IL/Jagdkorps, while other elements of the Geschwader were transferred to Achmer. Over the airfield the German jet bombers were attacked by aircraft of 401 Squadron RAF, two Ar 234s being shot down. As other machines landed they were attacked by low – flying aircraft, a third bomber exploding and a fourth being seriously damaged by machine-gun fire. Not until 8 February did III./KG 76 begin operations from Achmer on a large scale. The original plan was to attack the Brussels marshalling yard with SC 500 bombs but the unfavourable weather forced the bombers to go for the alternative railway installations at Charleroi and two other stations. Because of Allied low-level attacks and bad weather, flying was much restricted until 14 February, when the targets were near Eindhoven and Kleve.

On 21 February Knight’s Cross holder Oberstleutnant Robert Kowaleski, KG 76 Kommodore, was tasked with setting up a Gefechtsverband joining together Stabsstaffel/KG 76 (Ar 234), 6., 8. and 9. Staffeln (Ar 234) plus I. and

II./KG 51 (Me 262) into a powerful high-performance jet-bomber unit for the first time. That day Major Hansgeorg Batcher led a raid dropping SD 500 bombs on Allied positions in north-western Germany: 21 Ar 234 В-2s launched heavy attacks against troop formations between Eindhoven and Kleve. Around 24 hours later, nine Ar 234s bombed American ground forces south and north-east of Aachen. Attacks on Allied positions and airfields continued throughout February.

In early March the Allied advance in the West picked up. On the early morning of 7 March the first Sherman tank of US 9th Armored Division reached the Rhine and, since the defenders had failed to demolish the Ludendorff bridge at Remagen, it soon fell into American hands. KG 76 received orders to destroy the structure immediately at whatever cost, but bad weather kept aircraft grounded until 8 March, allowing the Americans to establish their bridgehead and reinforce it with heavy AA batteries.

Подпись: III./KG 76 flew bomber missions against advancing Allied troops until the last days of the conflict.
Ar 234 B-2 jets attacked the Ludendorff bridge for the first time on 9 March. Oberfeldwebel Friedrich Bruchlos (Wks No. 140589 F14AS) drew the entire concentration of light AA fire on himself in a low-level pass at 400 metres. A



Подпись: In the closing weeks of the war KG 76 came into possession of a few four-engined Ar 234 C-3 bombers. The photograph shows the sixth machine of a series run.
turbine caught fire and began trailing smoke, and his aircraft was soon overtaken by Allied fighters and shot down 15 kilometres from the bridge at Fockenbachtal north of Neuwied. The other two pilots were also unsuccessfiil.

The next attacks followed on 11 March when two Ar 234 B-2s were unsuccessful, and on 12 March at midday two machines of the Geschwaderstab and two from 6. Staffel headed for the now very heavily defended bridge. Hauptmann Hirschberger and Fahnenjunker-Feldwebel Riemensperger, leading the first operation by 6./KG 76, approached the target with auto-pilot engaged at 8,000 metres in level flight. Short of Remagen Riemensperger took over manual control and dropped his bomb. Then he noticed the Staffelkapitan sitting motionless in his cabin, his bomb still slung beneath the fuselage. The ensign bore away for base at Achmer. When the fuel in Hirschberger’s Ar 234 ran out, he crashed near Lyons. Another attack on the bridge by 14 Ar 234s followed a little later. Using the accurate Egon equipment, SC 1000 bombs were dropped from 5,000 metres altitude but without success. On 13 March seven Ar 234 B-2s of 6./KG 76 each carried a one-tonne bomb to the target. One flight released its SC 1000 bombs in a gliding approach, the others using Egon from 5,000 metres. III./KG 76 also attacked Remagen with 12 bombers, and six 6./KG 76 pilots tried a little later, but the bridge held.

The Allies now took counter-measures. Fighters attacked the jet bombers at Achmer on take-off and pursued them to Remagen where the AA took its toll.

Final Operations of the Bomber Geschwader

A number of German aircraft were hit by fire from the principal bridge and pontoon crossings over the Rhine and crashed. After the bridge was unexpectedly demolished on 17 March, Gefechtsverband Kowaleski operational staff removed all its machines to well-developed aerodromes in southern Germany on 19 March from where they could attack Alsace and Rhine-Hesse, the starting points for the American advance on Mainz. Part of KG 76 operated from Miinster – Osnabriick. The KG 76 airfields in this region now received the attentions of USAF bombers, 12 B-24s being sent to destroy Achmer airfield and 13 others to Hesepe.

On 28 March large Allied armoured formations began their attempt to force a route to the Westphalian plain. The following evening Ar 234 bombers of III./KG 76 attacked targets in the west. Four pilots dropped their bombs on American armoured positions along the River Nahe between Sobernheim and Bad Kreuznach. As the threat to the KG 76 airfields near Osnabriick from low flying Allied fighters and bombers became more severe, a move northward by the squadron remnants became unavoidable. On 1 April 6./KG 76 from Hesepe landed at Reinsehlen on Liineburg Heath after a refuelling stop.

Meanwhile the number of available jet bombers had fallen to ten. Despite the situation, on 2 April six pilots of III. Gruppe made gliding attacks on rewarding columns of lorries 10 kilometres south-east of Rheine, their earlier airfield, without loss to themselves. The rapidity of the Allied advance forced the Stab and three Staffeln to transfer to Kaltenkirchen north of Hamburg on 5 April, from where further sorties were flown against the Munster area. On 9 April, despite the grave fuel situation, the number of machines at KG 76 had risen to 17. Some Ar 234 B-2s arrived unexpectedly by road. Next day a number of bombers from Kaltenkirchen attacked convoys of Allied lorries on the Autobahn between Bad Oeynhausen and Hannover. Attacks were flown from a long stretch of Autobahn at Blankensee near Liibeck against the bridgehead at Essel, north of Nienburg, and to demolish bridges at Celle, particularly the Autobahn over the River Aller.

On the morning of 15 April, pilots of KG 76 attacked an Allied armoured column on the Autobahn between Brunswick and Hannover with visible success. Allied air superiority was now evidendy greater than it had been just a few weeks previously. More and more fighters operated over the ever-shrinking area which remained under German control. Losses therefore rose. The daily numbers of available jet bombers declined rapidly. An operational Gruppe for these was set up at Blankensee. Once the Red Army had begun its encirclement of Berlin, this unit concentrated on bombing raids around the capital. The Kommodore alone flew eight missions against Soviet tanks; previously he had flown seven sorties with other pilots against forces besieging the Ruhr.

On 19 April after a bombing mission to the south of Berlin, Major Polletin was killed. The following day Baruth, Zossen and Jiiterbog were bombed, and on the 25th 9./KG 76 attacked a bridge close to the centre of Berlin. After releasing his SD 500, one pilot headed for Oranienburg east of Berlin to reconnoitre where he saw large Red Army formations. On 26 April two Ar 234 В-2 bombers of the Geschwaderstab took off from Kaltenkirchen and attacked Soviet tanks at the Halleschen Tor, the very centre of the ruined Reich capital. Oberfeldwebel Breme looked down on a Berlin where many great fires raged, the city already partially occupied by the enemy. There was so much smoke from these fires, particularly around the Halleschen Tor, that it was impossible to make out Soviet tanks or other useful targets.

On 27 April the last serviceable Ar 234 B-2s were flown to Leek, from where, despite the dwindling tactical opportunities, orders from Hitler stipulated that Berlin was the target. On the 29th, the Geschwaderstab hit an armoured column

Final Operations of the Bomber Geschwader

The production of the Ar 234 B-2 and C-3 was disrupted increasingly by Allied air attacks. In an attack on Wesendorf this bomber was written off while under construction.

Final Operations of the Bomber Geschwader

The Ar 234 could be fitted with rocket boosters like the Walter (HWK) 109-501 under the fuselage or wings to assist take off.

in the Berlin battle zone. At midday on the 30th KG 76 pilots flew direcdy over the burning city centre with orders to lend support to the defenders in the government district and on the streets near the Reich Chancellery. Since this was not a promising project, attention was focused next on strongpoints closer to the home airfield. On 2 May a 9./KG 76 pilot dropped an SC 500 amidst a British armoured column approaching Liibeck on the Autobahn. On his return he was intercepted by several RAF Tempests and then came under heavy AA fire, but his superior speed enabled him to make good his escape.

Besides III. Gruppe, only II./KG 76 was close to being operational but had to complete the remainder of training. On 10 April USAF bombers attacked the unit’s airfields at Brandenburg-Briest, Burg and Zerbst with 372 B-17s; 147 of this formation wiped out Burg aerodrome. This put an end to II. Gruppe conversion training. The runway was out of commission for some considerable time. At the beginning of April, Alt-Lonnewitz came under threat from the Red Army. II. Gruppe and the Geschwaderstab transferred on 2 May from Liibeck to Schleswig, where there was sufficient fuel and provisions despite the danger of low-level attack, and from there to Rendsburg, where they eventually gave in.

The training of IV. Gruppe, intended to become III./EKG 1, a jet bomber operational training unit, was also broken off short. Between 1 and 20 February a number of III./EKG 1 crews under training carried out bombing missions against Schwedt on the Oder and at Stettin in the attempt to weaken the Soviet
advance. They flew fifteen He 111 H-20s loaned by other units. Whatever they achieved was a mere pinprick in the side of the Red Army.

Midget Aircraft. And Local Fighters


ocally based fighters stationed to protect sensitive areas and able to reach operational heights swiftly by rocket power were seen at the beginning of 1944 as one way forward against day-bomber formations. The first such machine introduced by the Luftwaffe was the Me 163 Komet. The first fighter unit to be so equipped was JGr 400 at Wittmundhafen. The initial contact with enemy four-engined bombers occurred on 14 May 1944 over northern Germany when Me 163 В V-41 approached a bomber at 960 km/hr (595 mph) but turned away with a technical problem. When l./JGr 400 had 16 Me 163 Bs, though only a few were operational, 2./JGr 400 was formed.

The first successful clash with the Eighth Air Force occurred in July 1944 when Leutnant Hartmut Ryll damaged a B-17. On 5 August 1944 he claimed a bomber shot down. Numerous attacks by Me 163s ensued over central Germany in subsequent weeks when massed bomber formations arrived intent upon destroying the fuel industry at Leuna. Successes and losses were proportional. On 7 October 1944 JGr 400 had a total of 30 machines. This number showed a marked increase at the end of the year when mass production of the Me 163 В began at Junkers and licensees. Only a major shortage of reliable rocket engines kept the output down.

By November 1944, despite all obstacles, over 70 Me 163s were concentrated at JG 400,63 at I./JG 400 and 8 at II./JG 400. In January 1945 several airfields were opened specially for Me 163s near the most important hydro-electric plants. The Luftwaffe was also planning numerous aerodromes in western Germany for the Me 163 and to establish a large reserve of rocket fuel. These ideas came to nought in March 1945. On the 20th of the month JG 400 received the order to re-equip with the Volksjager, but since these were only available in small numbers, Me 163 operations continued, fuel permitting. On 19 April 1945 OKL ordered the Geschwaderstab, I. Gruppe at Brandis and II. Gruppe at Husum to disband, and at the beginning of May 1945 the remnants of II./JG 400 with 13 Me 163 Bs surrendered to British forces. The operations of the rocket fighter ended because of over-diversification into other machines. Despite the huge budget to

Midget Aircraft. And Local Fighters

The Me 163 B-l and B-2 rocket fighters had two major disadvantages in that they were tied to local defence and had no retractable undercarriage.

develop the Me 163 B, the Me 163 C and D projects and the more powerful Ju 248, to which we will come later, the operation was not the success it could have been.

Mistel Over. The Eastern Front

The search for the ultimate aircraft to destroy pin-point targets such as large road and rail bridges, power plants of all kinds and war factories resulted in numerous projects between 1943 and 1945. OKL wanted such aircraft initially to resist the Normandy landings, but later to destroy bridges of major importance and so protect the Reich borders. For all the long and intensive planning, however, they failed. A few hits were achieved but there was no possibility of turning the tide of events.

The idea of the Mistel originated with Flugkapitan Siegfried Holzbaur, who had an important role in flight testing for Junkers at Dessau. The idea of using

the Ju 88 A-4 as an unmanned large bomb was first considered seriously in the early summer of 1943.The arrangement involved a control aircraft, a Bf 109 F-4, riding on the upper central section of the bomber’s fuselage. Close to the target the Ju 88, armed with a 3.5-tonne bomb in the nose, would be detached and glide to the target under guidance. DFS flight-tested the first S-2 versions from the beginning of 1944. The first reliable data from July 1944 onwards showed that the wire-guided ‘Beethoven machine’ had enormous destructive power with a direct hit, but the relatively expensive construction and frequent problems in flight made the Mistel less ideal than at first thought.

Three versions were built and used by the war’s end:


Ju 88 A-4


Bf 109 F-4


Ju 88 G-l


Fw 190 A-8 or F-8


Ju 88 A-4


Fw 190 A-8


Ju 88 G-l


Fw 190 A-8


Ju 88 G-10


Fw 190 F-8

Several other pairings were under consideration from 1944. Та 154a/Fw 190 A-8 was relatively well advanced and there were plans for He 177 А-5/Fw 190 A-9 or F-8, but only the Ju 88 combinations ever came to fruition. The high expenditure in costly material militated against the use of the 3.5-tonne special hollow charge – Luftwaffe arsenals had already begun extracting explosives from older bomb stocks to fill modern casings.

In January 1945 Mistel M 3B was in an advanced stage of research. The expendable bomber would have 1.5 tonnes of explosives in the nose. By 1 February 100 conversions, and by 10 February another 50, were in

hand. The production of the M 3B was held up for lack of Ju 88 G-ls, and only three complete pairs, and ten pathfinders equipped with remote control, left the Junkers works. Orders were in place for 150 special hollow-charge SHL 3500B bombs by 25 January at Riesa and another 100 by 10 February. The M 3B was in production during early February and the first pairs were due for delivery to KG 200 at the beginning of March. On 3 February Speer deferred the M 3C, which had a longer range than the M 3B, on the grounds of the shortage of Ju 88 G-lOs. On 14 February the Riistungsstab ordered the production of 50 Mistel able to fly 2,500 kilometres, and the resumption of the M 3C as soon as possible.

By 17 February 60 of 130 SHL 3500D bombs were ready and ten followed each day. The hollow charge had a mine and shrapnel effect. The first practical tests on 2 March were successful. As Allied jamming of remote guidance systems was expected, DFS had devised the Beethoven wire guidance system. On a test flight in which the Mistel pair did not separate, the command system worked flawlessly. A test with separation was scheduled for March, special importance being attached to the accuracy of the Beethoven system guiding the Ju 88 bomb.

Подпись: The first operational pairings consisted of a converted Ju 88 A-4 with a Bf 109 F as the control or parent aircraft. The idea was first tried out in Western Europe in the summer of 1944 against Allied shipping targets
Serious doubts about the Mistel manifested themselves from 15 March after attacks on bridges along the Eastern Front were not as successful as OKL had hoped. Numerous technical defects, the appearance of substantial numbers of Soviet fighters and heavy fire from the well-disciplined anti-aircraft batteries caused the premature abandonment of the majority of operations. Mistel development continued, however. From the beginning of March increasing numbers of Ju 88 G-lOs (Work Numbers Block 460) were test flown at Junkers particularly by Flugkapitane Harder and Dautzenberg. This aircraft was a lengthened Ju 88 G-6. The flight characteristics of the long version, as the Ju 88 H-l had shown, were not satisfactory, and the risks in flying a Ju 88 G-10/fighter combination were obviously greater than the Ju 88 G-l/ Fw 190 F-8. The last known movements recorded in surviving flight logs are for 30 March 1945. There were some Mistel pairs on the airfield at Barth at that time.

By mid-April doubts about the Mistel had increased, but the military situation was so desperate that all straws were being clutched at. Thus by the end of the
month all viable Mistel were on the Eastern Front, even if not too much was being expected of them.

High-Performance Night Fighters

To the very end, OKL believed that the introduction of faster fighters would give the night-fighter arm its old sparkle. From 1944, the possibilities open to the German aviation industry were increasingly limited. The Luftwaffe had held back and relied too long on the old machines, particularly the Ju 88 G-6 or He 219 A. From the outbreak of war, too little emphasis, or rejection on ideological grounds, had impeded the development of superchargers for altitude

work and other futuristic ideas. What remained ultimately was tinkering with existing aircraft in the hope of improving them. The development of night – fighter versions such as the Ju 388 J-l to J-3 did not receive the necessary support from the Jagerstab and later the Rustungsstab.

The principal obstacle was the shortage of high-performance engines, particularly the Jumo 222 E-l or F-l. For a time the Jumo 213 E-l was tried in the hope of turning the He 219 A-2 or Ju 88 G-6 into a superior night fighter, the equal of the RAF Mosquito. The problem was that changes to the fuselage had a limit. The first nine four-seater Ju 88 G-7s were basically a Ju 88 G-6 with two Jumo 213 E-l engines for altitude performance. The aircraft had a G-6 fuselage, a Ju 188 E-l tailplane and unmodified Ju 88 A-4 wings and under­carriage. Only a few of these machines were produced between November 1944 and March 1945. The first two (Ju 88 V-112 and V-113) remained unserviceable until 7 March 1945 because of engine problems. A single Ju 88 G-7 joined the OKL experimental unit on 29 March 1945.

Another white hope for the Luftwaffe night fighter arm was Ju 388 J-l, a hybrid of PE+IA and Ju 388 V-2 (РЕФІВ) which could have been an out­standing night fighter with an FuG 240 radar and powerful engines. The entire

Ju 388 development and the production of new aircraft were cancelled at the beginning of 1945, however. A number ofju 388 J-l aircraft were left at Mockau near Leipzig. It seems that this machine, though expensive to turn out, would have been without doubt a high-performance night fighter.

The He 219, especially the A-7 series, seemed another good prospect as a high-performance aircraft towards the end of 1944, and the Main Development Commission considered it to be the Luftwaffe’s best, but the six experimental machines equipped with Jumo 213 В engines were too few to confront RAF Mosquitos on a substantial basis. The 21 He 219 A-7s delivered between February and the beginning of April 1945 went into the OKL reserve for lack of fuel. The series was still being built at Heinkel Vienna (Heidfeld) until the end of the war, and a few definitely got through to NJG 1 for testing under operational conditions.

The Focke-WulfTa 154 could have been produced in wood. The night-fighter version appeared only in ones and twos, under-powered with Jumo 213 A-l engines. In November 1944, Gruppenstab III./NJG 3 at Stade carried out some half-hearted operational tests. Up to 16 March 1945 there were a few sorties against RAF Mosquitos but nothing came of them. Most aircraft were left at the airfield boundary for later enemy aerial target practice. High-performance engines such as the turbo-charged Jumo 213 E-l could have been made available for the Та 154 A-2 but Oberst Radusch was not interested in the machine, and tests were abandoned for lack of fuel.

High-Performance Night Fighters

One of the few Do 335 night fighters. The aircraft was finally completed by German technicians – under French supervision – postwar and flight-tested.

Подпись: The heavy air attacks against Do 335 production prevented the long planned В fighter-bomber and night-fighter versions making their appearance.
The auxiliary night-fighter versions of the Do 335 were the A-5 single seater and A-6 two-seater of which great things were expected. The first high – performance night fighter Do 335 В-6 was due to roll off the production lines at Heinkel Oranienburg and Lothar-Jordan, Braunschweig, at the beginning of 1945, but mass production was halted for lack of materials, and by the war’s end only a few were being built at Dornier Oberpfaffenhofen. On 26 January 1945, Saur advised industry that the Do 335 night fighter could only be built as an experimental aircraft for study purposes. The first, Do 335 М-10 (СРФ1Ж) was airworthy at the beginning of 1945 and tested at Diepensee and Oranienburg. It was captured by the Russians in a damaged condition at the end of April 1945.

Other, mostly Focke-Wulf designed, high-performance night fighters with piston engines and auxiliary turbines remained in the project stage and were not built even for experimental purposes.

Та 183

Compared to the Flitzer, the Та 183 appeared much more suitable for mass production. The design for aTL-Fighter with HeS Oil powerplant (Design 1, Ra-1) presented to the Riistungsstab on 10 January 1945 seemed to increase the chances of Focke-Wulf obtaining the contract for a top-rank fighter. A swept-wing jet with a squat fuselage, designed by engineer Multhopp, it would be armed with either two MK 108s or the more powerful MK 213. The DVT (German Experimental Institute for Aviation) had calculated in January 1945
that the machine would have a top speed of 875 km/hr (544 mph) near the ground and 940 km/hr at 7,000 metres (584 mph at 23,000 ft).

Design 2, Ra-4 from 1945 was to be of steel and wood construction for reasons of economy and to avoid using duraluminum and other high value materials in short supply. In the last version at the beginning of 1945, two large additional fuel tanks were envisaged to increase the range. March 1945 plans have at least two MK 108s with 100 rounds each, but though planning was well advanced nothing had come of this design by the capitulation.

Подпись: Focke-Wulf-Werke invested great hopes in their Та 183 Huckebein. The fighter was developed further in postwar Argentina.
The main effort was concentrated on the Ra-2, a flying mock-up of the future Та 183 with a Jumo 004 turbine. Basic performance calculations and the construction of the fuselage of Та 183 V-l (Ra-2) were completed in March, the second mock-up Та 183 V-2 (Ra-3) would be tested operationally with an HeS 011 powerplant. Work on improved control surfaces, turbine installation and wing fuel tanks was still in hand on 29 March. An increase in armament to four MK 108s, first thought of in Designs 2 and 3 was taken up and the possibility of adding two MK 103s studied. From a typed page dated 18 February

1945 it seems that the development team considered release gear for a 500-kg (1,100-lb) bomb-load. This resulted from the continuing interest of the OKL in machines which could do a stint as fighter-bombers.

In a concluding conference at the EHK (Main Development Commission) on 27 and 28 February 1945 there was unexpected agreement on Focke-Wulf project No. 279 as ‘an immediate solution. RLM number 183 was rejected by the Office for Aircraft Development on technical flight and tactical grounds, the Messer- schmitt ‘optimum solution for tailless construction being favoured. The overall result for the Та 183 was that two prototypes only would be produced in a short series at Detmold. Focke-Wulf wanted ten prototypes and two fuselages (Та 183 M-l to M-12) within four months. The Riistungsstab did not make clear for security reasons whether mass production was likely at the end of it all. Before anything further could be undertaken the Allies overran the factories and all the planning went to waste. On 8 April units of the US 84th Infantry Division occupied Bad Eilsen and district.

First Operations with the Ar234 C-3

Although the situation was in reality hopeless, at the end of April the new four – turbine Ar 234 versions began to arrive at unit. The first pair of Ar 234 C-3s (Works Numbers 250002 and 250004) arrived at Alt-Lonnewitz in the second half of March, and were test-flown on the 27th by Unteroffizier Eheim. During these flights, Knight s Cross holder Lukesch – according to some reports – reached an altitude of about 15,000 metres (49,000 ft). Another three Ar 234 C-3s arrived at the beginning of April at III./EKG 1. These were listed for pilot training.

Подпись: At the end of the war Ju 88 G-ls and G-6s were the principal versions used as night fighters. This machine was discovered and attacked by Allied fighter-bombers despite the camouflage.
By 16 April, Russian armies had assembled between the Neisse Estuary and the Oder for the final offensive on Berlin. III./EKG 1, the operational training Gruppe at Alt-Lonnewitz, could soon hear artillery fire, and on 19 April the unit transferred to Pilsen, bringing all serviceable operational and training machines to safety. One Ar 234 C-3 crashed on landing for unknown reasons.

Lukesch flew the penultimate machine, an Me 262 B-la, with his leading ground technician as passenger. After Hauptmann Reymann followed him in an Me 262, the installations were blown up. After the second Ar 234 C-3 was destroyed in an air raid at Pilsen, at the end of April the stock of jet bombers was reduced to one Ar 234 C-3 and a few Ar 234 B-2s.

Подпись: This Ju 88 G-6 was equipped with the modern SN-2 radar and captured towards the war’s end by American forces. On 27 April III./EKG 1 transferred to Pocking am Inn on the orders of the Airfield Servicing Company (FBK) in order to avoid being cut off. Pocking is 20 kilometres south­west of Passau. Shortly before the transfer the Germans were surprised by an air raid in which all but two of the jet bombers were either damaged or wrecked. Eventually only one C-3 and one B-2 arrived at Pocking. The last serviceable C-3 was blown up shortly before the arrival of US forces. The last III./EKG 1

machine, an Ar 234 B-2, was flown by Oberfeldwebel Oepen to Horsching (Linz) and handed over to l.(F)100. On 29 April, III./EKG 1 was disbanded by Luftflotte 6.

Besides the Ar 234 C-3 which arrived on 28 April, III./KG 76 received a further four up to 3 May. One of these was the former prototype Ar 234 V-25 (RK+EO) coming from Brandenburg-Briest. It had touched down first at Warnemiinde on 15 April, from where it flew to Kaltenkirchen on 1 May. As the B-4 fuel needed for the BMW 003 turbines was almost impossible to obtain, attempts by KG 76 to test-fly the aircraft as ordered were unsuccessful at the outset. Two or three missions were flown after arrival. In one of these, British positions south of Bremervorde were attacked on 3 May. The following day terms for unconditional surrender to the Western Allies in northern Germany were accepted, and the remaining operational machines at KG 76, insofar as they were serviceable, were flown north using the last drops of fuel to be surrendered to British forces.

New Projects for Victory

On the basis of experience gained with the local-defence fighter the idea was pursued from July 1944. Although the production of special fuel for the Me 163 lagged because of heavy air raids day and night on the chemical industries, thought was given to even smaller rocket-powered local fighters. The Luftwaffe, and Waffen-SS in particular, set great store by the deployment of such aircraft in huge numbers in order to break down Allied air superiority, since industry could produce ten of these small fighters for every Bf 109 K-4 or Fw 190 D-9.

The lightweight machine would be truly mass – produced. In various modifications it became increasingly simplified, so that in the end the Chief-TLR and the Development Commission were looking at a miniature rocket-propelled fighter which was a cross between a manned flak rocket, a midget rocket aircraft and the Heimatschutzer (or ‘Protector of the Homeland’ as the Me 262 was sometimes known). One of the most promising designs was Heinkel s Julia, the rival to Bachem’s Natter. As another alternative solution, the further development of the Me 262 C design was pursued until near the war’s end.

Operations Begin

Following the missions against the Normandy invasion fleet in the summer of 1944, there was a pause in Mistel activities for several months which was only brought to an end when the necessity arose to demolish bridges and so protect Reich territory. On 30 January the Luftwaffe General Staff incorporated KG(Jagd) 30 into KG 200 as Mistel Gruppe II./KG 200, revoking earlier plans to convert the unit to the Me 262. Pilots were trained at Prague from February where losses occurred due to the unusual flight configuration and enemy fighters.

Operation Eisenhammer, the planned destruction of important targets in the USSR, had less sense behind it with every passing day. According to British aerial reconnaissance on 24 February, for example, Mistel operations were being planned against British fleet units from occupied Denmark. The Eastern Front had become catastrophic. A numerically and materially superior enemy faced assorted weak German units whose Panzers and heavy artillery often existed only on paper. Fuel was so scarce that it could only be released in the direst emergency. The Luftwaffe therefore looked for opportunities to strike at the enemy lines of supply, particularly by attacks on the Vistula bridges used by the Red Army.

Operations Begin

Operations Begin

On 1 March KG 200’s Kommodore, Oberstleutnant Baumbach, ordered the bridges at Deblin, Sandomierz and Warsaw destroyed. Six M 1 and eight M 3B

Mistel were to attack all three simultaneously if the weather was right. Three attack groups with three, five and six Mistel, each with three pathfinders, was assembled. The Mistel would start from Burg near Magdeburg and Jiiterbog Damm, heading for Warsaw with the fighter cover keeping below the clouds. Flight leader was Oberleutnant Pilz (II./KG 200). The guidance Bf 109s were to land afterwards at Stolp, Vietker-Strand or Kolberg (Kolobrzeg); the Fw 190 pilots had longer range and could make for the nearest airfields in Bohemia or Saxony. Because of bad weather, this promising attack was called off at the last moment and provisionally cancelled.

On 8 March four Mistel from II./KG 200 controlled tactically by Battle Unit Helbig (an ad hoc force commanded by Oberst Helbig and comprising various bomber and other units) attacked important Oder bridges at Goritz. The first Ju 88 bomb received a hit to rudder and ailerons and fell well wide of the target. The second struck the railway bridge dead centre and collapsed it. Ju 88 and Ju 188 escort aircraft kept the enemy anti-aircraft batteries quiet using ten AB 500 (SD1) and 22 AB 70 (SD1) bombs although a Ju 188 A-2 was hit by ground fire and crashed south-west of Fiirstenwalde after the crew baled out. JG 11 provide fighter cover to the Oder.

By 21 March, II./KG 200 had 14 older M 1 pairs, two M 2s and 17 M 3s. A KG 200 report dated 28 March complained that Mistel operations against pontoon or other emergency bridges were uneconomic and ineffective because the crossings were narrow and thus very difficult to hit. In the opinion of Werner Baumbach sticks of bombs or guided bombs were far more likely to be successful.

Operations against bridges often failed because the Mistel tactic was not very suitable for mobile commands. It was difficult to avoid disorganisation when transferring Mistel between airfields. Because of Allied air superiority Mistel could realistically only operate by night. Most Fw 190 pilots would not be able to return to base, despite the best navigational aids, without lengthy night flying training. Often the weather forecast for the attack zone was unreliable and a long-range reconnaissance aircraft collected information for the attack and reported the local weather.

The next Mistel attack was protected by 24 fighters from JG 52 and was led by two Ju 88 S-3 and Ju 188 pathfinders. Five Mistel set off from Burg on 31 March for the huge railway bridge at Steinau/Oder (Scinawa). Two Mistel dropped out with engine trouble early on, but the other three scored a near-miss and a hit on the central section of the bridge despite the Russian anti-aircraft fire.

On 1 April the unit had only 8 Mistel M 1,2 M 2s and 12 M 3s available. Of these, only the Mistel 2s and one Mistel 3 were operational immediately. The Steinau bridge was attacked again on 1 April using the II./KG 200 force. The six Mistel were each accompanied by two Ju 88s and Ju 188s as director aircraft, and 24 Bf 109s of JG 52 as fighter escorts. The aircraft took off between 0723 and 0735 for the 90-minute flight to the target. The first Mistel Ju. 88 suffered rudder failure and fell wide, another hit the eastern side of the bridge where it caused extensive damage. The third functioned normally and was probably a hit. The other three Mistel aborted. One pilot flew clear at separation when his hydraulics failed. The Ju 88 bomb dived into the ground but failed to explode. Another Mistel had engine problems, the pilot turning back at Torgau over the Elbe, and after his engine failed at Gorlitz he parachuted down. The Ju 88s and Ju 188s accompanying the Mistel dropped two SC 1000s containing the highly explosive Trialen mixture over the western bridgehead, obtaining near misses at the foot of the bridge and near the railway station. Towards 1038 the last Fw 190 returned to base. Overall the operation could not be classified as a success.

The last Mistel was building at Merseburg on 6 April, but then cancelled. Other Mistel stood ready. On 7 April II./KG 200 had 18 Ju 88 A-4s and S-3s, and 8 Ju 188s operational, and 8 Mistel 1, 2 Mistel 2 and 14 Mistel 3. The Kommodore of KG(Jagd) 30 reported to Luftflotte 6 on 8 April that he had 24 Mistel located at Oranienburg, Parchim, Peenemiinde and Rechlin-Larz, plus two reserves for the revived operation against the Vistula bridges at Warsaw. After an air attack wiped out the Parchim Mistel, on 9 April the Kommodore redistributed the pilots for the attack on the southernmost bridge, and after a favourable weather report was received at 1849 hrs, Luftflotte 6 decided to go ahead with the operation.

At take-off there were major delays at Oranienburg since the command was informed late, and the crews were eventually stood down because of engine problems. At Peenemiinde the first Mistel would not start. Misunderstandings with the ground crew leader led to delay and a reserve aircraft was not fuelled-up because of shortage of fuel. The first to go moved off at last, crashed while taxying and burnt out. This blocked the runway and grounded the other five Mistel.

The take-off distance between each Mistel of only three minutes was too short, at least eight minutes, better ten, would have been more reasonable. Night take­offs in darkness were only possible at Oranienburg or Rechlin-Larz, but not at Peenemiinde or the Heinkel reserve airfield Rostock-Marienehe. This meant that the operation had to be rescheduled. The next start – with a full moon and hoped-for cloudless skies – would not be possible for another four days.

The day came, and five Mistel taxied out to the runway. Only one of the Fw 190s returned. The pilots of three others parachuted down, one wounded and landing near Giistrow, another coming to earth at Stade. A pilot jumped clear from the Mistel around 0200 over Miincheberg after compass failure and the next pair had to disengage when surprised by enemy fighters. Only one Mistel arrived over the Vistula at Warsaw. The long and well planned attack was ruined. The target was well illuminated by 237 LC 50s dropped by 15 He 111 H pathfinders of II./KG4, but the Ju 88 guided bomb missed. Four Bf 109s flying
escort were lost, one wounded pilot being rescued; two others were never found. The problems could all have been quickly resolved but for the lack of experienced officers at the distant bases.

A number of the now experienced fliers were seconded to the National Socialist Command Staff for Propaganda. This hampered preparations for Operation Eisenhammer, and Oberst Baumbach argued that it should be abandoned. The fronts had shrunk and further reduced the chances of Mistel operations. The poor weather conditions also played a role. On 9 April a Ju 88 S-3 of KG(Jagd) 30 flew weather reconnaissance over Graudenz-Thorn – Bromberg (Bydgoszcz)-Warsaw-Posen, often at low level, between 1840 and 2310 hrs for Operation Weichsel. At 2145 hrs the aircraft dropped eight SD 70s over Warsaw inner city. On that day the Red Army had only one railway bridge in usable condition, two others were being hastily repaired and besides fourteen road bridges, three others were being constructed by Russian sappers.

Подпись: Ju 88 G-lOs were the first choice as the bomb part for long-range Mistel operations because of their greater fuel-carrying capacity.
On 10 April the infrastructure at Larz aerodrome was damaged in an air raid, although the Mistels, which were in the open, seem to have escaped. The next operation followed on 11 April when 15 Fw 190s of III./JG 6 flew escort for six Mistel of KG 30 heading for the bridge over the Autobahn at Queisse. A direct hit was scored, another Mistel fell 50 metres short of the bridge approach, a third struck the railway viaduct nearby. The fourth was released prematurely with an engine fire and spun down out of control. The pilots had no knowledge of the other two as they were lost to sight after release. A Mistel attack the following

day on a railway bridge at Kiistrin was a failure. It was becoming ever more difficult to organise sufficient fuel for these missions.

On 17 April, Battleunit Helbig was ordered by Luftflotte 6 to destroy immediately the single track railway line re-established on the bridge at Steinau. Shortly afterwards VIII. Fliegerkorps agreed to supply at least 25 fighters as Mistel escorts for the late afternoon of 18 April. The Russian advance had to be halted without regard to German losses and so save Berlin. The majority of the German divisions had been defeated, or were resisting in their trenches with courage born of desperation. Neither reinforcements nor supplies were to be expected.

The planned major attack by three Mistel groups on bridges over the Vistula on 24 April proceeded partially. Only those aircraft starting from Peenemiinde, seven Mistel and three Ju 188 escort groups, got up: the other two groups broke off for pre-flight problems. Only two Mistel pilots returned.

On 30 April the last four Mistel at Peenemiinde were manned by KG 200 pilots for an attack on the Oder bridge at Tantow. The first combination turned back with technical problems soon after take-off. The other three reached the bridge at 0900 hrs. The attack was not a success. The second Mistel Ju 88 was shot down by fighters. The Fw 190 pilot flew his aircraft back to Peenemiinde. The third Fw 190 and pilot were never found. Only the fourth hit the bridge.

These desperate operations ordered by the Luftwaffe leadership showed how easily the hope for a positive outcome with these ‘solutions’could be disappointed. Numerous pilots paid with their lives for a few hits. Yet at the beginning of 1945, even very experienced Luftwaffe pilots were ready, in the face of the hopeless situation, to plunge with their machines into a bridge. In the rarest cases they may have been ordered to do so.

The First Jet Night Fighters

For the foregoing reasons, none of the new design – Та 154, He 219, Ju 88 and all other twin-engined night fighters – produced a really outstanding
performance in flight. Experiments with under-fuselage turbines proved too costly. The only reasonable solution was to use jet fighters and on 12 December 1944 OKL ordered the setting up of two ‘Jet Night Fighter Commandos’: Kommando Welter led by Leutnant Kurt Welter with three Me 262s, and Kommando Bisping, led by Hauptmann Josef Bisping with three Ar 234s.

OKL’s demand for the medium term was a night fighter with two heavy HeS Oil turbines and a crew of two or three. The efficient Bremen 0 radar and offensive armament of four 30mm MGs and rockets made these aircraft the ultimate weapon for night-fighter operations. To gather practical experience a number of ‘auxiliary night fighters’ converted from available operational Me 262 A-las were ordered from Arado and Messerschmitt, but work advanced slowly. Deutsche Lufthansa only completed the first Me 262 B-la/Ul ‘auxiliary night fighter’at its Berlin-Staaken hangar in February 1945.

On 18 October 1944, Leutnant Welter, a Knight’s Cross holder with 33 victories, was given the opportunity to test the Me 262 as a night fighter, and took over his small command on 2 November 1944. In close cooperation with 1. Flakdivision (Berlin), he flew his first night sortie on 27 November using a loaned, slighdy modified Me 262 A-la. He shot down an RAF Mosquito, his fourth victory with the Me 262 that month. As his unit did not have Me 262s initially, his pilots were given Bf 109 G-lOAs and G-14As. Welter, promoted to Oberleutnant in December, continued operational training at night with the day fighter. The instrument panel had a second turn indicator and better illumination. During flights with this experimental aircraft Welter trained himself for his further air victories in the coming weeks. His grasp of night flying a jet aircraft quickly revolutionised the art. Welter trained the first of his pilots on a two-seat Me 262 B-la (ЕЗФ04) at Rechlin-Larz under conditions no more favourable than for day-fighter trainees. As a rule the men flew five or six short instruction flights before becoming operational.

Because of the desperate need for jet fighters with the day units, especially JG 7 and KG(J) 54, it was extremely difficult for Welter to obtain Me 262s. On 3 January 1945 his command received its first new Me 262 A-l; two others followed during the month. Despite the lack of aircraft, by 24 January the Kommando had accounted for two four-engined bombers and three Mosquitos. Four more jets arrived in February, but not the agreed Me 262 B-la/Ul. The first of these was probably wrecked near the Rechlin test centre during a test flight in February. Operational training and missions with the single seaters were continued from Burg aerodrome near Magdeburg. On the night of 10 February an Me 262 of 2. Jagddivision engaged a Mosquito in searchlight beams near a protected installation. On 15 February two Me 262 A-las operated in a single night. On 22 Februarv during an anti-Mosquito flight over 2. Jagddivision territory three Mosquitos were destroyed. From then on, mission followed mission.

On 28 February Kommando Welter became 10./NJG 11, part of Oberst Heinrich Wittmers 1. Jagddivision. Two weeks later six more Me 262 A-la’s arrived at Burg, and with these aircraft 10. Staffel pilots flew more than 40 sorties. At the end of March the unit received another single seater and a two-seater conversion. According to the delivery note the latter machine was not a B-la/U-1 but the В-2 series conversion. Those Me 262 A-la series aircraft converted into two-seaters at Stade were given alternative armament, mostly two MK 108s or two MG 151/20s.

After mid-March many 10./NJG 11 pilots had enough Me 262 tactical experience to increase their tally of victims. The total was 19 including five alone on 22 March. Next day the unit possessed nine Me 262 fighters, mostly single- seaters. On 7 April the next two-seater arrived at Burg. The two-seaters were not completely serviceable, however, because of serious problems with the two jettisonable 300-litre fuel tanks. Despite all difficulties, the number of enemy bombers destroyed by 10./NJG 11 rose quickly to 33, but, by 10 April, 10 of the 19 Me 262s had been lost, most to crew error or technical defects. In a heavy raid that day on Oranienburg aerodrome near Berlin, four Me 262s of 10./JG 7 and a rare converted Me 262 two-seater previously with Kommando Welter were lost. The aircraft had been stationed there for comparison flights against other high-speed night fighters, including the Ar 234 auxiliary night fighter and the Do 335 M-10. In a simultaneous raid on Burg airfield, 10./NJG 11 lost four of its Me 262s.

On 12 April the number of operational machines was four. Eight days later these flew from Burg to Blankensee/Lubeck. After 10./NJG 11 was bombed there the following day, the machines flew to Reinfeld to use the Autobahn as their operations base, the first operational 10./NJG 11 flights from the road beginning on 21 April. Because of the lack of infrastructure only sporadic flights were possible, and on 30 April Welter transferred to Schleswig. The last operations were flown on 2 May after a few Me 262s arrived at Blankensee. On 7 May the pilots and some of the ground staff moved from Liibeck to Schleswig – Jagel and surrendered there to British forces, who thus came into possession of four operational Me 262 A-las and two grounded but undamaged two-seaters parked on the airfield boundary.

By the capitulation 75 missions had been flown in which 43 enemy aircraft had been destroyed at night and five by day. Besides damage from flying debris, an Me 262 was lost by collision while engaging a Mosquito. Of the aerial victories, Kurt Welter was credited with 22 Mosquitos and two Lancaster bombers using Y- or Egon direction. He claimed other successes but lacked witnesses to substantiate. It is probable that the Staffelkapitan shot down around 30 Allied machines using the Me 262. Oberfeldwebel Fritz Reichenbach obtained six successes by night and one by day, Feldwebel Karl-

The First Jet Night Fighters

The single-seat Me 262 V-056 (later V-2/2) was equipped with Siemens FuG 218 and an FuG 226 Neuling installation for experimental purposes.

Heinz Becker six by night and two by day. An experimental upwards-firing MG 131 was installed behind the cockpit of Becker’s Me 262 A-l ‘Red 7’. His first success was an American Lightning on 19 February which exploded after receiving up to 39 З-cm AP rounds. Flying wreckage damaged his left turbine. By 22 March he had shot down at least six Mosquitos. His last report is dated 25 April. Oberfeldwebel Gustav Richarts was in fourth place with four Me 262 victories by night. The short operational period proved that fast jets were suited to night operations.

The same could not be said for the Ar 234 night fighter. As with so many futuristic ideas, OKL had given too much thought to the project before placing the contract. Within a short period Arado responded with a high-performance night fighter based on the Ar 234 В-2. By the end of 1944, a total of 30 machines had been converted to night fighters at Sagan and Alt-Lonnewitz. The first experimental aircraft was Ar 234 В-2 (SM+FE) which had flown only twice on night tests by 26 November 1944 and was seriously damaged while making a night landing in mid-December.

On 12 December 1944 OKL ordered the formation of a small test unit for Ar 234 night fighters under Hauptmann Josef Bisping. By mid-January 1945 only a few flights had been made using the repaired Ar 234 B-2. Frequent technical problems interfered with the test programme, which was suspended at the beginning of February. During this period another Ar 234 B-2 was slighdy damaged during a night flight.

On 13 February Bisping and his radioman, Hauptmann Albert Vogl, were killed during a night take-off at Oranienburg as the result of crew error. On 1 March Bisping’s replacement, Hauptmann Kurt Bonow, reported that, besides the first accident, three other Ar 234 B-2s had been lost at night possibly as a result of reflections in the perspex nose. To reduce the problem the lower part of the perspex nose and the entire underside of the fuselage was given a coat of matt black paint.

On 26 March Kommando Bisping was renamed Kommando Bonow (Ar 234). At the end of the month the second experimental machine Ar 234 B-2/N and a third (Works No. 140608) were declared airworthy. In subsequent flights it was reported that the FuG 218 radar aerial assembly caused speed loss, while the high fuel consumption and relatively short endurance made the Ar 234 B-2N a poor prospect as a night fighter. In April 1945 another auxiliary converted by Deutsche Lufthansa arrived at the Bonow unit, probably one of the three Ar 234 B-2Ns previously at Werneuchen.

Подпись: Operational machines of the only jet night-fighter unit of the Luftwaffe, 10./NJG 11, were secured by British forces after the cessation of hostilities.
After all operational aircraft were grounded for a while, one became available for duty in early April. Two officers, Oberleutnante Gustav Francsi and Joachim Piitzkiikl, joined Bonow s unit, the latter newcomer taking Ar 234 B-2 (Works No. 140608) up for five training flights before failing to return from a mission over Berlin. Between 5 and 9 April Hauptmann Bonow and radioman Oberfeldwebel Beppo Marchetti flew five missions over Berlin against RAF

Mosquitos, but despite the speed advantage no kills were claimed even though the target aircraft often came within firing range.

Numerous bomb hits on Oranienburg aerodrome on 10 April practically put the airfield out of commission for jet fighter testing. Accordingly KdE ordered the commando back to Rechlin. An air attack in the early afternoon of 15 April caused further serious damage at Oranienburg. The sole remaining operational machine was flown to southern Germany by one of the Oberleutnante on Kurt Bonow s orders since the general situation even at Rechlin was extremely difficult. Oranienburg fell to the Russians shortly after 24 April.

In parallel with the operational testing, Arado was attempting to develop a high-performance night fighter. The Ar 234 B-2N was merely a quick interim solution before the Ar 234 C-3N or better still C-5N and the next variant C-7N became operational. On 9 January Ar 234 V-27 was the first experimental version of a C night fighter. Because of the heavy fuel consumption of the C-3, the Bad Weather and Night Fighter Development Special Commission cancelled the C-3 and C-5 as night fighters on 20 January and laid everything on the twin-jet Ar 234 C-7/N and Ar 234 P-1, both of which had a stepped cockpit. Neither had any chance of being series-produced. In comparison to the Me 262, the Ar 234 was less well suited for use as a night fighter. It had been built primarily as a bomber and was not so good in the turns as an Me 262 converted day fighter. All efforts at Arado to make the Ar 234 B-2 or C-3 into a useful night fighter by a number of expensive modifications led nowhere.

It is not well known that at the beginning of 1945 efforts were made to turn the Go 229 into a night fighter. This was a two-seater, all-weather machine based on the planned Go 229 A-l. The first designs were prepared in the spring of 1945. The aircraft would have had an FuG 244 Bremen 0 radar in the specially enlarged forward fuselage. ‘Flying-wing’ aircraft were already in existence as mock-ups for the night-fighter role, but did not proceed beyond March 1945.

The many designs, dating from 1944, at the Focke-Wulf project bureau at Bad Eilsen and proposing the creation of a superior night fighter with mixed propulsion remained on the drawing board. A combination of integral DB 603 N, Jumo 222 C/D or Argus As 413 J and two BMW 003 turbines below the wings was planned. The fixed armament was exchangeable: four MK 108s or two MK 103s and two MK 213s or one MK 112/412 and two MK 108s. The Bremen 0 radar would have been the best available. Similar designs were produced at Dornier, but the planning at Focke-Wulf and Dornier was thought too expensive by the Chief-TLR and the Jagerstab to have a chance of a series run, as was the Focke-Wulf design for a triple HeS 011 turbine night-fighter jet.

The only night fighter jet which had a chance of being series-produced in the first half of 1945 was the Me 262 B-2 with HeS Oil turbines and FuG 240 Berlin 0 radar. The improved night fighter, the two-seater Me 262 with

He S ОНА turbines, or the three seater version in the advanced planning stage at Oberammergau, would have been a dangerous handful for any enemy aircraft. The planned use of the two HeS 01 IB turbines and the installation of the FuG 240 radar with dish antenna would have provided the Luftwaffe with a superior night fighter, but the development lost its point after March 1945.