323 Desert Camo ?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Nynjazen, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Nynjazen

    Nynjazen New Member

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    I,
    Does anyone know if there were some 323 with desert camo colors in North Africa ?
    Thanks,
    Nynajzen
     
  2. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    #2 A4K, Feb 4, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
    I have seen colour profiles of a Mediterranean scheme, but don't know if there was a 'desert scheme' as such... while trying to find the links to the scheme I mentioned (no luck yet), did find pics of a computer sim 'Me 323E-2' in desert scheme with some sort of upper nose turret - if based on an actual aircraft, then the scheme and nose turret are both news to me!
     
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    20 E-2s werknummern 1279-1298 were built. The last of these,W.Nr. 1298,SL+HT,was equipped as a Me 323 WT,but this was not a standard E-2.
    The Me 323 WT (Waffentrager) of which 5 were built though probably only 2 completed,was a very heavily armed variant. It carried no cargo but a crew of 18-20,including 11 air gunners,2 weapon specialists and a "Kamfkommandant" (battle commander) as well as two mechanics and the flight crew. In the cargo bay was a generator to provide power to the various weapons stands and the electrical systems for the MG 151s. They were supposed to escort their more lightly armed,cargo carrying,brethren.

    As for the original question,I've not seen a picture which would definitely show a tropical camouflage scheme. That doesn't mean it didn't happen,but it would require a huge effort in theatre and all the photos at Regensburg/Obertraubling look to be standard 70/71.
    You never know,someone might turn up a nice "tropical" photo and prove me wrong :)

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  4. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    This isn't the best of shots to determine the coloring, but it shows this Me323 has what almost looks to be the standard RLM colors.

    This photo is showing a Me323 offloading a tracked vehicle in Tunesia

    Me323_Entladen_Tunesia[650x418].jpg
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I do not believe there would have been a tropical scheme as I do not believe they were actually based in North Africa. THe only ones I can find are the official RLM and a winter one (white on tail and upper surfaces).
     
  6. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Cheers Steve! So a version of the E-2 with nose turret may actually have existed then, as the -WT. Interesting...

    Nynjazen, sorting through my stuff here, but not yet found reference to a desert scheme as such. Let ya know if anything crops up.
     
  7. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #7 stona, Feb 5, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
    Yes,some E-2s were converted. One used for testing the weapons system was W.Nr.330005,RL+UE,originally built as an E-1 but converted to an E-2/WT.
    Standard armament was nine MG 151/20s and three MG 131s.
    Erwin Walter flew as an engine mechanic on RL+UE,his position was in the wing between engines two and three,another mechanic was positioned in the other (starboard) wing between engines four and five.
    He described the armament thus:

    "The Kamfkommandant on my aircraft was Oberleutnant Romer. During the flight he sat in the cockpit next to the radioman and from here,directed the air gunners over the intercom.Armament consisted of two HDL 151 weapon stands equipped with MG 151/20s on each wing,with a rotateable fifth stand in the fuselage nose.On the sides near the nose were two MG 131s and the forward third of the fuselage was a MG 151 ball turret on each side.At the fuselage centre was a MG 151 lateral stand on each side,plus a further MG 131 in a C-Stand in the fuselage that fired downwards. In all this meant nine 20mm and three 13mm guns."

    Walter spent some weeks with this aircraft at Tarnewitz,the Luftwaffe E-Stelle for weapons testing.

    "When the wing gunners were commanded to open fire the whole aircraft trembled. The noise from the rounds fired from the four MG 151s even drowned out the drone of the engines."

    Sounds like fun!

    The "Waffentrager" was not used in the Mediterranean and the few pictures show a standard 70/71/65 camouflage.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  8. mike siggins

    mike siggins Member

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    love to see a pic of that gun ship
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I've got one of RL+UE somewhere,parked on an airfield. I don't think it shows much other than the nose and front fuselage armament. It's taken from the ground so the upper wings are certainly not visible. If I can remember which book it's in I'll post it.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  10. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Cheers for that info Steve!
     
  11. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    There are a number of great pics of it in Schiffer's Messerschmitt Me 321/323: The Luftwaffe's "Giants" in World War II
     
  12. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Some more pics from Africa here and none with a desert scheme...

    Neue Seite 26
     
  13. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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  14. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    HOLY [email protected]! Thats a hellava website!
     
  15. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    You said it Chris! Eyeballs just about fell out me head!!! :)
     
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