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Old 28th September 2005, 21:26
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Concrete flak towers around airfields: myth or reality ?

- We know the enormous concrete flak towers in Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna:

- We know the light wooden flak towers in wooden area:

- We know the European Water towers could be used as an observation post:

and there is a well known guncam film showing a P-47 shooting on one.

- But did Germans really built some concrete flak towers around airfields as some Americans pilots thought ?

Here a 357FG pilot:
"Strafing airfields was particularly dangerous due to the numerous antiaircraft guns. German flak-towers lined the fields and were usually the first guns attacked by strafing aircraft. A flak tower consisted of a concrete pillar sixteen to twenty feet high with a circular platform mounted on top. the platform averaged six feet in diameter and had a five foot wall. Usually, these towers had a twenty millimeter or forty millimeter gun mounted on top.
Because of the placement of these flak-towers, no two strafing attacks were the same. Ideally, Eighth fighter pilots would fly high over the field as if they had o interest in the target below. The would pick out landmarks to help them line up their attack run and then dive to tree top level. Racing along at 400 miles per hour, they would pop up over the trees, line up on gun emplacements or aircraft, and open fire,. The first wave usually caught Luftwaffe ground personnel and antiaircraft gunners by surprise, while the succeeding waves of strafing aircraft flew through a hail storm of antiaircraft fire. Several leading Eighth Air Force pilots would become prisoners of war as a result of ground fire. "

And here a 386BG pilot:
"There are sixteen to twenty light type flak positions covering the perimeter of the target airfield. There are two flak towers with automatic firing located one and one-quarter miles southwest and one and three-quarter miles south of your target. They will be on the inside of your right turn off the bomb run, so do not cut that turn too soon."
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