Sonderkommando Elbe

Discussion in 'Stories' started by piet, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. piet

    piet Member

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    Sonderkommando Elbe
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Sonderkommando Elbe was the name of a World War II Luftwaffe task force assigned to bring down Allied bombers by ramming German aircraft into the bombers. Sonderkommando means special command, and Elbe is a river that runs through Germany to the North Sea. While the Luftwaffe had a ready supply of airplanes at this point in the war, well-trained pilots and fuel were two components in short supply. Despite the grim prospects of survival of such a mission, the unit was not a true "suicide unit" in that the pilots were expected to either attempt to bail out just before colliding with the Allied aircraft, or attempt to bail out after colliding.The Japanese loaded their planes up with explosives. Therefore they would sacrifice themselves in the impact.

    The aircraft of choice for this mission was a Bf 109 stripped of armor and armament. To accomplish this mission, pilots would typically aim for one of three sensitive areas on the bombers. The easiest part of an Allied bomber to damage was the empennage, or tail assembly, with its delicate control surfaces on the elevator and rudder. Another potential target were the engine nacelles, which connected to the highly explosive fuel system. The final target was also the most gruesome—the cockpit. One of the most famous reports of cockpit ramming was against the B-24 Liberator, the "Palace of Dallas".

    Adding to the last ditch nature of this task force, the only mission was flown on 7 April 1945 by a sortie of 120 Bf 109s. While only 15 Allied bombers were attacked in this manner, eight were successfully destroyed.[1][2]

    [edit] Known successful Sonderkommando Elbe pilots
    Rank / Name / Former Unit e/a Unit Status

    Uffz. Heinrich Rosner, (ex-III/JG.102), 2 B-24 Liberators of the 389th Bomb Group, 1st B-24 rammed was named "Palace of Dallas", 2nd B-24 unknown, Survive
    Obfw. Werner Linder, (ex-EJG.1), 1 B-17 Flying Fortress 388th Bomb Group, KIA
    Fhr. Eberhard Prock, 1 B-17 452nd Bomb Group, KIA, Shot-while descending in his parachute.
    Fw. Reinhold Hedwig, 1 B-17 452nd Bomb Group, KIA, Shot-down by 339 Fighter Group P-51.
    Uffz. Werner Zell, 1 B-17 100th Bomb Group. {B-17 J-38514 damaged see[3]}
    Uffz. Werner Zell, 1 B-17 452nd Bomb Group, WIA Shot-down by P-51.
    Ogfr. Horst Siedel, 1 B-17 452nd Bomb Group, KIA
    Lt. Hans Nagel, (ex-IV/JG.102), 1 B-17 490th Bomb Group, KIA, Shot it down by conventional armament, damaged a second B-17 by ramming.
    Fritz Marktschaftel
    Uffz. Klaus Hahn, 1 B-17 487th Bomb Group, WIA - Left arm by 4 P-51Ds fire.
    Heinrich Henkel, 1 B-24 Liberator, called "Sacktime" 467th Bomb Group, Survive.
    Unknown Bf 109 pilot, 1 B-17 100th Bomb Group, KIA
    Unknown Bf 109 pilot, 1 B-17 490th Bomb Group, KIA {B-17 380558 severely damaged}
    Luftwaffe records claim at least 22 to 24 American aircraft fell victim to the Sonderkommando Elbe unit.

    (WIA - wounded in action / KIA - killed in action)
     
  2. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    actually the 109's were fitted with the cowling mg 131's. my friend F. Marktscheffel who was part of this so called goofy unit is trying to put up a website to get the facts straight.

    it is alos of note that most reserach units covering this goof off mission say that JG 7 was to provide high cover for the 109's with their Me 262A's. In reality JG 7 attacked at their own leisure other B-17 pulks leaving the 109's of Elbe on their own and contend with their own doom
     
  3. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Was armor added to the wings? And taken off from every other unnecessary area?
     
  4. piet

    piet Member

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    got this book

    its a good read,and its cheap about 10,-euro's
     

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  5. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    no armor added H.

    Piet you need Arno Rose's book and Adrian Weir's with the two together they are the best coverage, still quite a bit of unknown material on this aid or defensive measure set up with really no idea of the consequences. it was mass stupidity even more so than Unternehmen Bodenplatte.
     
  6. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Thanks Erich!
     
  7. piet

    piet Member

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    Hi Erich,
    Do you have the isbn numbers or the publisher?
    Thanks,
    piet
     
  8. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Arno Rose : Radikaler Luftkampf

    ISBN # 3-87943-541-3, 367 pages with pics

    Adrian Weir : The Last Flight of the Luftwaffe

    ISBN # 1 85409 300 2, 192 pages with pics
     
  9. piet

    piet Member

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    i got the first one... its from motor buch verlag
    Thank for the info!
    Piet
     
  10. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    yes an old title and it is the classic, the second title well lets just say it will get in deeper on the details from both sides, together they are a nice set on a truly bizarre event.

    E `
     
  11. piet

    piet Member

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    just orderd the second one!

    Thanks again
     
  12. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    you are very welcome Piet, hopeful it provides you with good reading and information.........I think it will, note the pic of my friend of 10 years F. Marktscheffel in the fotos

    E `
     
  13. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Hello Erich,
    Herr Marktscheffel was a member of this unit???:shock:
    Wow, he got in touch with me this year because of my searching for Heinrich Weuack from I./JG300.
    I´ve never known that...the world is small...
     
  14. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Roman

    yes he was to fly and I cannot remember what happened when he was grounded at least I think he was ............. a man with an incredible memory and kindness.

    Roman did you know for a short time he was in NJG 101 earlier

    E ~
     
  15. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Yep, this I did. But Komando Elbe surprized me. Gotta ask him tomorrow.
     
  16. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Greet him for me if you would Roman

    Erich ~
     
  17. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    I will...
     
  18. Pong

    Pong Active Member

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    I heard about this in History Channel's dogfights.

    Hmm, I wonder if the Japanese would have employed the same tactic against USN fighters or USAAF bombers..
     
  19. Stuka143

    Stuka143 New Member

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    If you look at it from thier point of view. They were Desparete to save thier country what were they supposed to do give up there and then no. It was a good idea not very well executed.
     
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