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Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the German Luftwaffe and the Air Forces of its Allies.

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Old 15th February 2008, 15:18
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Luftwaffe Escape and Evasion

I believe there were over 2,000 US airmen that crossed the Pyrenees going back to Allied territory. Were there any Luftwaffe airmen that crossed them back into German occupied territory? I realize there was the French underground to help the Allied airmen and I do not think there was such a vast group available to any Luftwaffe pilot shot down over the other side but I am curious if any of them ever made it back from Allied occupied territory.

Thank you in advance,
Brian
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Old 15th February 2008, 17:14
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Re: Luftwaffe Escape and Evasion

Brian: Bit of a strange question. There was no need for Germans to evade from the Spanish whilst Allied aircrew had to evade from German and Vichy forces. Any Germans that landed in Spain were repatriated in due course
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Old 15th February 2008, 17:21
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Re: Luftwaffe Escape and Evasion

Nd that's why it's so easy for the allied crews to cross the Pyrenées, nobody obstruct the way coming from the other side.
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Old 15th February 2008, 18:26
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Re: Luftwaffe Escape and Evasion

Perhaps I should have been more clear in my question.
Does anyone have any information about Luftwaffe pilots that were shot down over Allied territories and escaped back to Axis controlled territories?
I was trying to use the Pyrenees as an example of an extreme journey that some made.

Thanks.
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Old 15th February 2008, 18:32
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Re: Luftwaffe Escape and Evasion

Franz Von Werra was the only one who escaped and made it back (before US enetered the war) although many others tried. Those shot down behind Allied lines in the desert or Normandy 1944 and who made it back are harder to ascertain. Russia was a different matter
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Old 15th February 2008, 20:12
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Re: Luftwaffe Escape and Evasion

Von Werra was quite a story wasn't it?!! That's what I was looking for, thank you!

Were Russia and the desert more difficult to research because of the closeness of the fighting and soldiers could find their comrades relatively 'easy'?
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Old 16th February 2008, 04:35
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Re: Luftwaffe Escape and Evasion

On 26 Feb 1942 Lt. Arnold Stahlschmidt had to crash-land his Bf 109F-4/Trop in the area of Bir Hacheim near a truck column of Polish troops who took him prisoner. After severely beating him, he was interrogated and during the night he was placed behind barbed wire. He escaped when the guard fell asleep and walked back to the German lines.

I had read that Erich Hartmann had been taken prisoner by Russian troops and was being transported via truck when he struck his guard and jumped out of the truck, making it back to the German lines several days later.
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Old 16th February 2008, 04:55
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Re: Luftwaffe Escape and Evasion

There is a brief, general account related to Luftwaffe aircrew shot down behind Russian lines on page 47 of Luftwaffe im Focus 11. A quote: "It is impossible to say how many German pilots and crewmen lost their lives while trying to regain their own lines, but the number is probably higher than one would think."


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Ed
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Old 16th February 2008, 04:58
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Re: Luftwaffe Escape and Evasion

And in the North, Horst Carganico made two forced landings behind Soviet lines -- In July and August 1942 -- and made it back to German lines.
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Old 16th February 2008, 08:12
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Re: Luftwaffe Escape and Evasion

The reason, Brian, is the front line was fluid as opposed to static thus making it easier to get back
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