Rosarius Circus

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by ralphwiggum, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. ralphwiggum

    ralphwiggum Member

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    What exactly did this outfit do? I know that they had lots orf captured enemy a/c but they weren't a KG 200 unit were they?:blueflowerface:
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The 'Zirkus Rosarius' tested and evaluated captured allied aircraft. One of their main tasks was to visit Luftwaffe units, including flak units, to familiarise them with enemy aircraft types, performance etc.
     
  3. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Very very interesting. Were they involved in infiltrating bomber steams at all, using captured allied aircraft? In the book "Wild Blue", by Stephen E. Ambrose, he describes an incident over the Reich where a B-24 unit was infiltrated by a B-24 clearly being flown by Luftwaffe crew. Apparenty they were relaying speed and height information to flak defences below...
     
  4. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Ambrose did not do his research too well ...........

    Zirkus was used as Airframes stated primarily to show the LW pilots- fighters and T/E's what they were up against and in the case of 4-eng's how to attack the bombers from the best angle and find the blanks spots of firing the .50cals.

    even the myths surrounding KG 200 was not this case either they were a secret formation carrying out subversive missions. I have friend still living a pilot in this KG though he flew a Bf 109G-6
     
  5. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Some have said that Zirkus Rosarius was one of the things that led to Top Gun. Many allied aircraft were used to fly missions to see the performance characteristics of the aircraft to be able to fight them.
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty interesting.
     
  7. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The Luftwaffe maintained several captured bombers,particularly B-17s.
    In a bizarre twist of fate one crew left Lavenham in the UK in a nice shiney B-17G (43-39126) to bomb Parchim and its Me262s. The date was a fateful one 7 April 1945. They were rammed by a Bf109 flown by Klaus Hahn. They made a forced landing at an airfield which turned out to be Werneshohe and expected to become PoWs. They were greeted by fellow americans and found another,old,camouflaged B-17 parked under trees at the airfield edge. It seemed serviceable and despite some Balkenkreuz and Swastikas they commandeered it,started it up and flew it home to Lavenham! They removed the Bf109s wing tip from their original aircraft and took it home with them as a souvenir.

    [​IMG]

    Incredible but true.
    Hahn did survive though badly injured, he had dislocated both hips and his left arm was later amputated.
    Steve
     
  8. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Fascinating!
     
  9. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    That's amazing!
     
  10. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    And Hollywood hasn't picked up on this?
    Or if they have, please share the name of the movie.
     
  11. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #11 stona, Dec 28, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
    Here's a fuller account by W.Budd Wentz,the man who was flying the aircraft on that day. He survived the war and became,I think,a medical doctor.

    "On the morning of my wife, Bette’s, birthday Saturday, April 7, 1945, we set out on a mission to bomb a ME-262 jet airfield at Parchim, Germany. We took off from Lavenham, England (station 137) flying the B-17G-105-BO (#43-39126) we were assigned in March in position #4 under the Group Leader’s plane. The 838th Squadron was leading that day. The weather was excellent with only a few puffy clouds at about 20,000 feet. At approximately 13:10 hrs, I took the controls from the co-pilot while continuing to monitor the Group radio channel. The talk was relatively quiet with no calls announcing any German fighters or flak at that time. [NOTE - The 486th Bomb Group Association indicates that the 486th BG (H) dropped incendiaries on the Me-262 jet base over Parchim, GR at 1357 LST, 7 April 1945.]
    Suddenly, while on route to the IP, we received a terrific jolt and bang. I tightened up on the wheel to prevent it from swerving. The waist gunner reported over the intercom that our plane had been hit in the tail by an ME-109 diving down from 4 o’clock high.
    The tail gunner, Sgt. Jewell, was shoved forward 4-5 feet, but was only banged around. The plane was functioning okay so I held position for a few moments. The crew reported pieces of the tail and rudder were coming off. The engineer in the top turret reported that the vertical stabilizer was severely damaged. From the left side of the plane the crew observed that an ME-109 had severely damaged its right wing and was spinning down out of control. No parachute was seen while the crew had the ME-109 in view.
    Not wanting to damage any other planes, I increased speed and planned to dive forward out of the formation. Unfortunately the plane didn’t dive when I pushed the wheel forward. I flew ahead of the formation and then cut the throttles back and let down in a flat aspect. After leaving the formation, I found that kicking the rudder didn’t turn the plane either. We couldn’t climb, dive or turn; it was apparent that I had no rudder or elevator control. Keeping the airplane level, I let down and turned by cutting the throttle on the outboard engine on that side and skidded around.
    To prepare for emergency landing we dropped our bomb load in an open area then headed in a westerly direction while making a large circle to keep a flat attitude. The crew continued to report pieces falling off. I felt I had better get the plane on the ground. The navigator and bombardier found an airfield to the north with a single light gray runway. It could be worn asphalt or concrete. Low trees and cut grass surrounded the area. I approached in a northern direction and touched down. It had been only about 20 minutes since we were hit. It was odd that we hadn’t see any other fighters near our plane on our descent. We didn’t know if any other B-17s were hit.
    On the right side of the runway, in the southeast quadrant, there was one or two small 1-story low buildings. Several new looking ME-262s were lined up under the trees. It was definitely a small facility in a very rural location without much fanfare. In 2005, I learned it was Wernershohe.
    We were in Germany and expected to be in a Stalagluft as POWs in short order. At least we were on the ground unharmed. I came to a stop and taxied toward a building. To my surprise American soldiers came running out to the plane. “What the hell are you doing? You aren’t supposed to land here.”, shouted an American Army Major standing in his jeep. We learned that the Americans had just occupied the airfield only 2-3 hours earlier that day.
    Upon examining the plane we saw the movable rudder was completely gone and the vertical stabilizer was damaged. The right horizontal stabilizer was reduced to less than one third its size while the left and right elevators were completely gone. The tail of the fuselage was crushed including the tail turret. The tip of a ME-109 wing was embedded in the fuselage. We pulled the tip of the ME-109 out and kept it as a souvenir. [NOTE-A piece of the ME-109 wing section is on display at the Eighth Air Force Museum in Savannah, Georgia.]
    Under some trees at the edge of the runway was another B-17. It was an old camouflaged plane with no markings and no chin turret, probably a B17-E or F. It was in rough shape, but no FLAK holes. The plane was pretty beat up, but after inspecting it we ran up the engines from a jeep generator then we took off and flew back to our air base in England. We flew at 3 - 4,000 feet keeping watch for airfields along the way just in case we needed to land again quickly.
    We landed at our home airbase in Lavenham several hours after the group had returned. By now it was late in the day and starting to get dark. Somewhat reminiscent of our earlier landing that day an American officer came racing out to our plane, “What the hell happened to my new 17? You were supposed to be here hours ago.” I told the Major that we left his new plane back in Germany and traded it for this one instead.
    We were driven to the mess hall but were never officially debriefed or interrogated. Later that evening I was taken to the Squadron Commander, Capt. “Pete” Riegal, and gave him a short version of our events that day. He told me that we would not have to fly any further combat missions in this war, but he would not ground us. We had crash landed 2 times in 28 missions as well as returned 5 times on two engines."

    If they made that into a movie noone would believe it!

    You can see the man himself here.

    http://topics.cleveland.com/tag/Budd Wentz/videos.html

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  12. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Now that would make a great movie! No one would believe it, even though it's true, but it would be good to see the story on the big screen.
     
  14. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    I can imagine how Hollywood would bastardize the story.
    There would have to be a love interest injected into the story somehow.
    Probably some sort of shootout at the airfield - about to be retaken by the Germans.
    And the B-17 would return to England dangerously overloaded with war refugees who would have been killed, or worse, when the Germans retook the field.
    What did I leave out?
     
  15. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    War refugees would have to be orphans, and that means you need to throw in a nun or two. They'll need milk so you'll need a goat too.
     
  16. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I wonder if the tail number of the plane they flew home was documented. I have several B-17s documented as being captured.
     
  17. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #17 GregP, Dec 29, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
    You forgot the nurses who would have to be rescued, and the German Major who would have to kill one of the stars to prove himself a loyal Nazi, thus being naturally diabolical. He'd have to somehow die for a "moral victory."

    There has to be a "scrounger" who would find a replacement propeller from a German fighter, probably with a liquid-cooled engine, that somehow, magically fitted the American radial prop shaft.

    I suppose there might also have to be a "coward" to leak this to the Germans who would almost capture the Allied crew just before they lifted off for home, in a blaze of shooting where nobody got hit except for a likeable guy who was everyone's friend.

    There would HAVE to be a German fighter pilot who found them and then let them go out of a sense of chivalry after the shot down his wingman.

    Hollywood would probably use a fake jet sound for the engines, and the comic relief would be the flight engineer who would make all this run with prayers, booze, and bits of bailing wire and Aluminum foil. The engines would have to stop in flight once and be brought back to life by using booze in the fuel line.

    Jay Leno would have to be the tower voice saying, "C'mon guys, this can't be a real B-17, scramble and shoot the idiot down!"

    There would have to be a padre who wiould thank God for the event because "nodody will ever believe this!"

    Finally, a nurse would have to accidentally get pregnant in-flight without any of the rest of the crew knowing about it, and she would marry the lucky gunner and live happily ever after in a 2-bedroom track home with a dog and a baby sister for the little tike. They'd win a lottery and make lots of children ... and write the memoir that caused the story to be made into a movie.
     
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Very good Greg,have you seen my screenplay? :)

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  19. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    A very cute orphan goat...with only three legs. Hollywood could market action figures of those involved,and fluffy toys of the three legged goat...
     
  20. riacrato

    riacrato Member

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    You got it all wrong: They would need to capture the enigma or a german a-bomb in between somewhere. If they get the enigma, they should decipher it in flight while numerous German Me 262a or MiGs or something are shooting at them. The cast would be Will Smith and Russel Crowe. Michael Bay needs to direct or else the explosions will suck. Maybe you could add Adam Sandler as a cook who just "was at the wrong place at the wrong time" in there somewhere.
     
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