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Old 04-29-2003, 04:14 PM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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Default The existence or non-existence of Luftwaffe records in Iraq

Larry deZeng and I have had a friendly bit of jabbing at each other regarding the existence or non-existence of Luftwaffe records in Iraq. The following our from our emails on the subject:


Dear Larry,

...

One interesting thought. Now that Iraq is liberated, think there's any Luftwaffe archive stuff there?

Warmest regards,
Richard

---------------

Dear Richard -

...

No, there aren't any Luftwaffe records in Iraq.

...

L.

---------------

Dear Larry,

But haven't I seen Iraqi Fw 190 photos somewhere? If so, and if the records survived, wouldn't there be something available about these?

Warmest regards,
Richard

---------------

Let's see.......Iraq in WW II.

Iraq was under British control from April 1941 to the end of the war. The only Luftwaffe presence in the country was in June 1941 when a small detachment tried to set up an air base at Mosul. They were driven out, never to return, within a week.

What in the world makes you think there might be Luftwaffe records there? No way Jose!!!

L.

---------------

Dear Larry,

Maybe the Iraqi's purchased the Fw 190's. Somehow in my mind I have a picture of a Fw 190 in Iraqi markings. Or, maybe they somehow got some after the war. The Israeli's got Bf 109's, so why not?

Warmest regards,
Richard

---------------

An after-the-war purchase is the most likely explanation. Turkey received some FW 190s during the war I believe (although I could be wrong on this). Perhaps the Turks then seconded them to the Iraqis in 1947-48 or so.

L.

---------------

Dear Larry,

Just ran across the following thread on TOCH!:

Alex Smart
Bf110's in Iraq May 1941
Mon Mar 24 21:40:07 2003
195.92.168.177

Has anyone the unit and aircraft side codes and Wk Nr's for the 14 Bf110's that were used in Iraq in May of 1941?

Aircraft were 12 from ZG76 and 2 from ZG26

I have seen them published somewhere, But as is the case, cannot recall where it was.

Please help

Alex

--------

Magnus
110s in Iraq
Mon Mar 24 21:59:25 2003
213.101.49.223


I have a profile of a 110 D3 from 4/ZG 76 code M8+GM.
You can´t see the codes because they are overpainted in a crude manner but there are small letters GM in white just in front of the stabilisator.

AC is desert yellow,white nose and spinners and is featured in Flying Colours by W.Green and G.Swanborough.

Regards/Magnus

---------

Paulo Dario
Martin Drewes was there...
Tue Mar 25 02:20:35 2003
211.72.203.65

...check this website
http://www.pilotenbunker.de/Nachtjae...tin/drewes.htm

HTH
Dario

---------

Ah, vindication is sweet! Now, where are the records in Iraq, if any?

Warmest regards,
Richard

---------------

Richard -

Before you choke while gloating, please go back and re-read my e-mail to you on this subject of a week or two ago. I clearly stated that the Luftwaffe did run a small detachment into northern Iraq in May 1941, and I even gave a few details on what it was all about. The handful of aircraft and personnel were only there for about two weeks before they were forced to pull out for the following reasons: (1) lack of avgas (or all things in Iraq!!); (2) inability to supply the detachment adequately with munitions, fuel, spare parts, rations, etc., from its supply hub in Athens; (3) the interdiction of the Luftwaffe's air transport route from Athens through Syria by the RAF, Syria being under the control of Vichy France at the time; and, (4) the rapid advance of British and Commonwealth forces (mostly Indian troops) northward from Basra that caused an even more rapid collapse of the Iraqi pro-fascist rebels that the Germans were trying to support. The rebels had been stirred into rebellion by the German Sicherheitsdienst a few weeks before and then the SS dumped the task of supporting them into the lap of the reluctant Luftwaffe who knew the mission would fail before it ever got started.

The name of this Luftwaffe detachment or special mission group was Fliegerführer Irak, also known as Sonderkommando Junck. It consisted of 4./KG 4 with He 111s, 4./ZG 76 with Bf 110s and a few aircraft, including Ju 52s, from several other units. It was formed at Athens on 6 May 1941 under the command of Oberst Werner Junck, began moving from Athens to Mosul on 13-14 May, lost 21 aircraft to enemy action (mostly strafing by RAF planes), lack of spare parts, lack of gas, crashes, etc., and then returned to Athens, with tail between the legs, on 31 May 1941 where it was disbanded several days later.

This story has been covered, told and re-told 10,000 times since the end of the war and is very, very well known to anyone interested in the history of the Luftwaffe. The best account is provided by Karl Gundelach in his unit history of KG 4 and in his 1,200-page magnum opus on Luftwaffe operations in the Mediterranean theater. It is also covered on a day-to-day basis in the KTB/OKW, articles in Jet & Prop and Flugzeug, and the list goes on and on.

...

Once again, Richard, there are no repeat no Luftwaffe records in Iraq. If you doubt my word, then get yourself a plane ticket, fly to Baghdad and start looking for them. Everyone else over there is pawing through documents, so why not you? However, on arrival at Baghdad International you'd better ask one of the nice boys from the 3d Infantry or 101st Airborne if you could borrow an M-16 and a 9 mm Baretta for the duration of your stay. I think you'll need 'em.......

Best,

Larry

---------------

And that is where it stands at the moment.

Regards,
Richard
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