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Old 1st March 2019, 01:43
Petrusja Petrusja is offline
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Airlift into Narvik, April 1940

Hello, I'm looking into the supply flights to the isolated German forces in Narvik by flying boats and Ju 52s during April and May 1940.

Perhaps some of these questions are easy to answer from the Luftwaffe Seaplanes books by Roba and Neulen, but I don't have them.

The flying boat unit, 9./KGzV 108, was only formed on 11 April. You'd think the this option must have been considered earlier, but the readiness of the assigned aircraft - early BV 234s, two Do 24 prototypes, and four Do 26s - was not good.

It seems that the four Do 26s, three former Lufthansa and one new, did not join the airlift until 1 May. Is it known why? And why were the Ha 139 floatplanes not used?

The usage of the three BV 138A-0 test aircraft is also interesting. They tried to take-off for Narvik from Travemünde on 12 April, but could not unstick from the calm water. The Do 24 V1 then went alone. Luftwaffe-zur-see.de has them 'joining the supply flights to Narvik' on the 13th, with the BV 138A-03 heavily damaged on the same day at Trondheim. According to better-informed sources the damage (reported on the 17th) occured on the 14th, from own flak when the aircraft diverted to Stavanger in bad weather.

Where did the Bv 138A-0s go to? Did they ever make it to Narvik?

Two new BV 138A's joined the squadron and Luftwaffe-zur-see.de has one of them flying to Trondheim on 30 April, does anyone have more? I'm aware of the German operation in the Ranfjofd in which both were lost on 16 May.

The flying boats came close to the Swedish boarder when flying into Narvik. Swedish sources say that one Do 26 and a Swedish armoured train exchanged fire on 20 May and that one Swedish soldier, Sven Oskar Sjöberg, was killed. Is this confirmed?

Then, a few questions on the famous Ju 52s which landed on Hartig Lake on 13 April. The idea was that, if everything went well, they would be followed up by three more Ju 52s carrying fuel for the return flight. According to Jan Forsgren, three Ju 52s did come the next morning but they didn't land. It seems likely that these were the fuel transports, because they would have needed a lot of extra fuel to make it back to Oslo. But according to Forsgren they dropped a field gun - which I don't believe - and food, which I understand the troops in Narvik had plenty of.

The Norwegians captured the Ju 52s and tried to repair three of them. Did they give up on this? Despite the capture, RN Skuas strafed and bombed the Ju 52s almost a month later on 14 May. Total fog of war or what?

Thanks for any answers or directions,

Peter
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1940, airlift, flying boats, hartvig lake, narvik

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