Junkers Ju 52/3m transport

Though the Japanese had no interest in the ‘Tante Ju’, the Allies thought the Japanese would be using the transport in action. This idea may have stemmed from a May 1939 flight made by a Ju 52/3m to Japan to bolster trade relations. As such, the plane was code­named Trixie.

Junkers Ju 87A ‘Stuka’ dive bomber

In 1940, a single Ju87A was sent to Japan for evaluation. By 1939, all A models had been withdrawn from frontline German service, and after flight testing and study the plane was put into the collection of the Tokorozawa museum. However, it was lost when the museum was bombed. The Allies, believing the Japanese would be using the Ju87, assigned it the codename Irene.

Junkers Ju 88A-4 bomber

The Japanese acquired a single example of the Ju88A-4 in 1940 for the purposes of test­ing and evaluating the aircraft as well as for the study of the design. The Japanese had no intentions of producing the bomber but nev­ertheless the Allies thought it likely they would and thus gave the Ju 88 the codename Janice. As an aside, one intelligence report states that the Mitsubishi office in Berlin had a number of ‘Ju 88K-5’ (the export version of the Ju88A-4) aircraft and parts shipped to Japan, perhaps in 1943, though this has never
been verified and only the single Ju 88A-4 is known to have been delivered.

Junkers Ju 290 long range heavy bomber

The Ju 290 was initially a heavy, four engine transport aircraft that was reworked into a long range maritime reconnaissance and bomber aircraft. It was felt that by October 1943, the Japanese were in possession of the complete details of the Ju 290. Even if this was the case, it would appear the Japanese did not act on the information and they may have been more interested in the Ju 390. There is no evidence to suggest that the Ju 290A-7 was ever adapted as a ‘nuclear’ bomber for the Japanese, especially in light of the fact few A-7 models were ever completed. Some sources suggest that Ju 290 flights were made into Manchuria carrying documents and other intelligence, possibly in exchange for raw materials from Japan, but information has never surfaced confirming these flights and popular opinion in the face of current evi­dence is that they did not occur.

Junkers Ju390A-l reconnaissance bomber

In 1944, the IJA was very interested in the potential of the Ju390 as a strategic bomber and sought to obtain the rights to the aircraft. In the fall of 1944, the Japanese acquired the manufacturing licence and design plans for the Ju390A-l long-range bomber reconnais­sance aircraft. By 28 February 1945, Major – General Otani of the IJA was to have collected the plans and licence from the Germans but it is unknown if this ever occurred. In any case, the Ju 390 V3, which was to be the pro­totype for the bomber reconnaissance design, was never built.

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