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Old 30th May 2019, 13:06
INM@RLM INM@RLM is offline
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Re: Fi 156 "P"? Counter insurgency version of Storch?

Whilst it is definitely true that there was a Fi 156 F sub-type there were only ever a handful of these conversions. (My estimate is less than 20 examples.)

There was clearly no production series for this sub-type, so we can conclude that all were individual conversions performed in Lw workshops on an as-required basis. We can also conclude that the great majority of the Fi 156s used in anti-partisan operations were standard C-3 & C-3/trop examples.

Good evidence on both points was provided in the fascinating and superb article on Fliegergeschwader z.b.V. 7 that Seaplanes contributed to the Luftwaffe Verband Journal, Issue No. 39 of July 2004. In this there were mentions of a couple of F-0s (W.Nrn. 738 & 5280) along with just a handful of F-1s (W.Nrn. 1417, 5033, 5082, 5168, 5276, 5443, & 5742). (There are also a few other Fs where the Stammkz. is known but not the W.Nr., some of which could of course also be one of those with a known W.Nr.) Most of the Fi 156s listed with the unit though are of the C-3, C-3/trop variants plus the odd C-2 & C-7.

Greece and Crete are conspicuously not parts of the areas covered by Fliegergeschwader z.b.V. 7 but the Fi 156 was definitely also used for anti-partisan operations in the former and probably also the latter. There is an excellent account of the shoot-down of a Fi 156 operating against Greek partisans in Chapter 13 of 'Rogue Male' by Roger Field. [Rogue Male: Sabotage and seduction behind German lines with Geoffrey Gordon-Creed, DSO, MC - it a far better book than the title makes out.] This took place in the autumn of 1943 and the 100% loss of W.Nr. 8083 with two crew from Flugbereitschaft/FK X on 21-Oct-43 looks to be a good candidate. I believe the loss was reported as a Fi 156 trop and the reconstructed build list for the Fi 156 shows this W.Nr. to be part of a batch of C-3/Trops. So the probablity is this was not an F, just a local improvisation.

If Seaplanes will confirm he is happy for me to post a scan of this Lw Verb Jnl article - or he will do that himself - it would be a very useful addition to this thread.

Also, somewhat earlier, Barry Rosch had devoted the whole of the October 1999 (Issue 20) of the Luftwaffe Verband Journal to a reconstructed build list for the Fi 156. In his introduction Barry wrote "I have personally put well over 150 hours of work into developing this Fi 156 presentation and would like to thank Dénes Bernád, Don Caldwell, Steve Coates, Peter Evans, Jim Jean-Claude Mermet, Perry, Peter Petrick, Hans Heiri Stapfer, Tom Willis, and especially Karl Kössler for the information they have sent in." Searching this listing there are just ten mentions of Fi 156 F examples.

I'm not sure how best to handle this one. Possibly Barry and Karl would be the most appropriate individuals to approach for permission to post this build list here or somewhere else accessible to readers of this thread. Or to agree for me to do this. (Since I purchased an electronic subscription along with the print version, including all back issues, I received a copy of this issue in Word and could post it on their behalf.)

To explain: the arrangements around reproducing material appearing in the Lw Verband Jnl were "This journal is published by the Luftwaffe Verband for use by its members. The material in the journal does not have a copyright and members are free to use the information. However, we do ask that you request permission from the author to reprint any article, and credit both the author and the LV Journal for any material so used." Whilst the Journal is now defunct it contained much excellent content of permanent worth.

Plus, since at least the first of these files will exceed the 195.3 KB limit for PDFs we'd have to find a way of sharing it that was effective for readers of this discussion group.
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