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View Full Version : GRAF SPEE's AR196s 1939


Brian
29th May 2007, 20:53
Hi guys

The Graf Spee carried two Ar196s. Any ideas of codes? Crews? Fates?

On 30 September 1939, one of the Ar196s machine-gunned the cargo/liner Clement, which was stopped and captured. Any idea which aircraft and which crew?

Cheers
Brian

Miguel
29th May 2007, 23:53
Hello Brian:

In Kriegsmarine Colors Vol.1 (AJ Press) :

Graf Spee in 1939: 2 x Ar196 A-1 (L2 + X40 and L2 + X41).

Sorry, I have not found any more information.

Saludos

Miguel

Brian
30th May 2007, 00:32
Thats a great start Miguel - many thanks indeed.

Cheers
Brian

Brian
30th May 2007, 01:14
Hi guys

As you will note, Miguel has come up with the codes of Graf Spee's Ar196s - L2+X40 and L2+X41. Why the X?

Cheers
Brian

Seaplanes
30th May 2007, 10:45
On its sortie to the South Atlantic in the autumn of 1939, the "Admiral Graf Spee" carried only one aircraft which also was the normal equipment for this cruiser. This was Ar 196A-1 W.Nr. 0014 (code not known) of Bordfliegerstaffel 1./196. The aircraft was destroyed during the battle with British naval forces off Montevideo on 13.12.1939. During this action, the pilot, Uffz. Bongards, was killed. The "Admiral Graf Spee" was scutlled in the River Plate estuary on 17.12.1939, and the remaining crew interned. The observer of W.Nr. 0014, Oblt.z.See Detlef Spiering, was interned in Argentina but returned to Germany on 05.06.1940.
The unit code of 1./196 was T3+-H.

The code L2+X-- was used by the 10.(See)/Lehrgeschwader 2 which was a kind of test unit equipped with a variety of seaplanes.

Brian
30th May 2007, 12:28
Many thanks indeed, Seaplanes, I was hoping that you would see this request!!

Excellent
Cheers
Brian

hihotte
30th May 2007, 13:18
Holá companeros,
I can't say much regarding the code unless I dig out my Graf Spee book with lots of details. What I posted here is a detail photo of the remains of the plane after the battle when Graf Spee took shelter in Montevideo.
The other post is a cut-out of Graf Spee profile with ar196 in place. Enjoy

Horst Schmidt

Miguel
30th May 2007, 17:57
Hi all,

As I said in my post, I took the data from Kriegsmarine Colors.
The "X" is as well surprising to me, but I did not feel allowed to modify the information appearing in the book.

In the Warship Profile nr. 4 (or 5?) there is a lot of text on the Graf Spee´s Ar 196, citing that one (at least) was one of the prototypes, but without any reference to serial number or crew.

Actually, it is very funny reading, above all, the many engine troubles and the ingenious ways to fix them. Recommendable.

Thanks to all

Saludos

Seaplanes
30th May 2007, 18:45
Acutally, this Ar 196 was out of service from 11.12.1939. When landing after a recce sortie, the engine broke down and it was not possible to make a repair. This was also the spare engine, the first one had already been expended. The aircraft was taken on board and the engine and other equipment removed. The aircraft code was T3+AH as can be seen in the book "Bordflieger im Einsatz 1939-1945" by Franz Kurowski, Kurt Vowinckel Verlag, 1984, ISBN 3921 655 374. The photo also show that something looking like RAF roundels were painted on the undersides of the wings. However, the Balkenkreuz seems to appear on the fuselage sides together with the unit code.

Stig Jarlevik
30th May 2007, 21:55
Hi All

The L2+X41 was in fact onboard the Graf Spee for awhile in 1939 but returned to Germany before she ventured on her famous cruise and ultimately her doom. L2+X41 had by then been transferred onboard Gneisenau from about mid-june 1939. No WNr is known but it has been reported as both an A-0 and an A-1

As always I am a bit puzzled by the German WNr. The 10 A-0 has been reported as following the V-5 (WNr 0090) as WNr 0091-0100.
The V-6 is stated to be WNr 0191. How all this reflects on the main production which "seems" to be in between WNr 0001 - 0437 and 1001-1017 is beyond me... :)

As always Seaplanes seems to have access to what we others only wish we had :)

Cheers
Stig

Stig Jarlevik
30th May 2007, 22:00
Oh oh

Forgot to mention that in Avions it is claimed that the roundel underneath T3+AH was a French one! They also claim another Ar 196A-2 onboard HSK Widder (this time from 5./Bordfl.Gr.196) was also painted in French colours.

Cheers
Stig

Seaplanes
31st May 2007, 12:54
The Avions magazine may be right and also I may be right. From the photo I have seen it is impossible to tell if the "Graf Spee" Arado carried French or RAF roundels. The quality of the photo is not that good. It is correct that the Arado on "Widder" had French navy roundels with the anchor. The "Graf Spee" Arado roundels did not have the anchor.
And to Stig, all my info has been obtained by numerous visits to Bundesarchiv in Freiburg and the National Archives (PRO) in London over many years. I believe the same is the case for many of us contributing with information on this forum. Book your flight and go there, I can assure you it is great fun.

Stig Jarlevik
31st May 2007, 21:36
Thanks Seaplanes

Wish I was a language genius and had both the money and time to spend researching historic documents in a true fashion. Unfortunately this is not so, and I have to remain an enthusiast. This however does not dampen my admiration for those who do!!

Jealous? I guess a little... :)

Cheers
Stig

Brian
31st May 2007, 23:29
Thanks Seaplanes and Stig - I'm grateful to both of you and to all who have enlightened me.

I have not seen the photo showing roundels on the undersides of the wings of Graf Spee's Ar196, and was not aware of this attempt to deceive. I know all's fair in love and war, but was this not breaking some international rule of war?

Cheers
Brian

jambock220
28th November 2011, 15:36
There was a second pilot, Fl. U'oofz. Werner Grotzky, as seen on the arriving list in Argentina.
I have found five Luftwaffe crew on board: two air and three ground crew.
Good winds.

Brian
28th November 2011, 17:06
Hi Jambock

Thanks for the additional gen. Too late for Volume I of Flying Sailors at War, but I will add to the Addendum for Volume 2.

Cheers
Brian

jambock220
28th November 2011, 23:25
Hi Brian,
Could you confirm the main pilot's name: he is said as Heinrich Bongards, but I have also found as Bongarts.
Good winds.

jambock220
30th November 2011, 01:35
Dear Brian,
I have sent you a private message.
Cheers,
Jambock