Ju-290 Flights to Manchuria, 1944
Posted By: Gus Euripides <geuripides@yahoo.com>
Date: Monday, 6 August 2001, at 1:16 p.m.
Does anyone have a strong opinion concerning these alleged flights? Supposedly, they originated in Odessa and went to Manchuria with top-level couriers and documents. I cannot confirm whether or not they occurred. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Posted By: richard dunn <rdunn@rhsmith.umd.edu>
Date: Tuesday, 7 August 2001, at 7:32 a.m.
Gus, Larry, et al
I don't know whether this is redundant, part of the "myth" Larry refers to or not. But since W. Green is usually a pretty good source I'll quote him:
"In the early Spring of 1944, the first examples of the improved Ju 290A-5 began to supplement the [earlier models] in FAGr 5 service, and another staffel, 4./FAGr 5 was formed...shortly after the formation of 4./FAGr 5, three aircraft were recalled to Finsterwalde, they had been completely striped of armour and armament, fitted with two additional 550 Imp. Gal. fuel tanks to increase total fuel to 5,235 Imp. Gal. From Odessa and Mielec, the aircraft were flown non-stop to Manchuria with special cargoes, refueling and returning to Mielec with strategic materials..."
If this is a myth, he sure has invented a lot of detail!
Posted By: Gus Euripides <geuripides@yahoo.com>
Date: Tuesday, 7 August 2001, at 11:11 a.m.
Dear Rick,
Tally Ho! W. Green is probably one of the best respected aviation historians of all time. The mission makes perfect sense. Germany was cut off. Strategic materials were in short supply. There was still a strong possibility of victory or a negotiated peace, given the fact that the allies had not taken Normandy. I wonder what, if anything, was brought back to Germany: Chromium (which had been cut off with Turkey's withdrawal of chromium supplies) or uranium? Thanks again for your input. I really appreciate your help.
Posted By: Tony <schwalbe@usaf.com>
Date: Monday, 6 August 2001, at 3:57 p.m.
I think they did. I don’t think many happened, but I am sure some did.
Posted By: Larry <Hldeziv@aol.com>
Date: Tuesday, 7 August 2001, at 6:16 a.m.
Tony -
There is no record of these flights taking place. I've been a Luftwaffe researcher for 36 years now and I've read just about every German book and article on the subject and spent many months in the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv in Freiburg im Breisgau, the National Archives in Washington DC and the AFHRA at Maxwell AFB. No serious researcher has ever been able to come up with anything on these allegations, at least insofar as I'm aware of. A seminal work on the Junkers Ju 290 was published not long ago by several of the top German aviation historians and there is no mention of these mythical flights to Japan. See: Kössler, Karl and Günther Ott, "Die großen Dessauer: Junkers Ju 89, Ju 90, Ju 290, Ju 390 – Die Geschichte einer Flugzeugfamilie (Berlin, 1993)". There is another fellow who occasionally visits these sites who is an absolute authority on the subject of all Axis cooperation and interplay during the war, especially contact between them by air and ship. His name is Andrew Obluski, and I would take anything he says on this subject as the final word. Hopefully, he will see this discussion and join in.
Posted By: Tony <schwalbe@usaf.com>
Date: Tuesday, 7 August 2001, at 11:40 a.m.
On the history channel sometime ago they had a show on there. i forget if it was called luftwaffe46 or samri and the swazia {I know that’s not how you spell it but I don’t know German or Japanese} they talked about a Ju-290 flying from air bases in Russia. They never said what it carried. When the bases in Russia where lost they began to move cargo by sub. In middle 1945, a new German sub was to be used. It only carried one thing, Cargo and it could carry a lot { how much is unknown}. I don’t know much else. i hope some of this helps you
Posted By: Gus Euripides <geuripides@yahoo.com>
Date: Tuesday, 7 August 2001, at 7:12 a.m.
Yes sir, I have read the writings of the non-believers. It would appear, however, that some form of communication was needed between Germany and Japan. How was this accomplished? Submarines could take weeks. Couriers could not travel by train, or freighter, especially in 1944. Fax machines had not been invented. At some point, I know that someone proposed a risky long-range flight, and I would be surprised if it they did not occur. Obviously the Germans had the equipment to accomplish the mission. To accomplish their goal, it would have been done with the utmost secrecy. Maybe that's why we haven't heard much about it. For example, only in 1993 did we officially learn that the RAF was flying over the Soviet Union in Canberra’s in 1951.
Posted By: Peter Willicks <peter.willicks@stk.rlp.de>
Date: Wednesday, 8 August 2001, at 1:12 a.m.
Hello out there,
I want to confirm Larry’s statement that these flights were never made (Ed. Italics). There had been plans to do it, and some Ju 290 were modified, which is mentioned by William Green and Ott & Koessler in "Die grossen Dessauer".
But the Japanese government strongly opposed against the route over the Soviet Union. So these flights never started. Please remember that a non-aggression pact existed between Japan and Russia. And the Japanese did not allow their axis partners to create the slightest irritation in this relationship. For example in 1942 the German navy planned to attack the shipping around Wladiwostok with their Armed merchant cruisers which operated in the Pacific and used Japanese bases for repair and resupply. This plan was dropped, when the Japanese government refused to give the permission.
Greetings from Germany
Posted By: Mike Goodwin <Mike.Goodwin@iname.com>
Date: Wednesday, 8 August 2001, at 1:15 p.m.
There was a later plan for a He-177 A7 to be flown to Japan. The plane was modified, with extended wings and extra tanks. But the Japanese refused to agree to it flying over Soviet territory because of the non-aggression pact, even though the German's pointed out that there was little chance of it being intercepted. So the German's called it off, as they were not sure it had adequate range over the southern route.
Posted By: Larry <Hldeziv@aol.com>
Date: Wednesday, 8 August 2001, at 2:57 p.m.
Peter -
Vielen Dank for your support! Sometimes people want to believe certain things and their minds are closed to someone else's well-researched and reasoned position. Yes, the "Japan Kommando" at Travemünde was being prepared with Ju 290s, but nothing ever came of it. And, as you and I know, Flugkapitän Bauer, the Führer's pilot and Kommandeur d. Fliegerstaffel der Führer, did offer in April 1945 to fly his "boss" to Manchuria. But of course Hitler preferred to take his life in the Bunker. As for Odessa in 1944, the best that can be said is that it makes for a good story!
Thanks again!
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Posted By: Gus Euripides <geuripides@yahoo.com>
Date: Thursday, 9 August 2001, at 2:52 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Ju-290 Flights to Manchuria, and other legends (Larry)
Larry, Peter, have you read, "Herde: Der Japanflug: Planung und Verwirklichung einer Flugverbindung zwischen den Achsenmaeten und Japan 1942-1945" which translates: "The Flight to Japan: planning and realization of an air link between the axis powers and Japan 1942-45"? I would be interested to know whether it's factual or just fantasy, Luft '46 and so on. Check out www.christian-schmidt.com. Maybe something new and exciting and to attract the Luftbuffs?
Posted By: Larry <Hldeziv@aol.com>
Date: Friday, 10 August 2001, at 6:19 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Ju-290 Flights to Manchuria, and other legends (Gus Euripides)
Gus and Peter -
The Herde book is probably just now being published. I can tell from the title and publisher that this is a serious work that should finally lay to rest all of the myths concerning these alleged flights between Europe and the East during the war years. As Peter stated, only the Italians succeeded, that flight being staged through Rhodes and the Persian Gulf in 1942. Thanks for the tip on the book and I'll put it on my list. I buy virtually all of my European foreign language books from Christian Schmidt and have for 20+ years.
Posted By: Larry <Hldeziv@aol.com>
Date: Thursday, 9 August 2001, at 9:53 a.m.
Gus -
The Kössler/Ott book is loaded with photos, including ones that would be of interest to you. You should have no trouble obtaining a copy if you will go down to your local library and request it through interlibrary loan. Just ask the reference librarian and they'll take care of it for you provided you give them the author and title just as I cited them a day or two ago.
Once again you are bringing up FAGr.4 for some unknown reason. I sent back to Rick Dunn's posting and he clear has 4./FAGr.5. That's 4.Staffel of FAGr.5 (4th Squadron of Fernauflärungsgruppe 5. As I mentioned earlier, I have a history of this Staffel, which I can send to you off-line. However, this Staffel never repeat never received any Ju 290s of any sort, although plans called for it to be so equipped. In other words, the William Green details cited by Rich Dunn are complete fiction. This is the point I have been trying to make for the past two days!
Posted By: Larry <Hldeziv@aol.com>
Date: Friday, 10 August 2001, at 6:35 a.m.
Peter -
The FAGr.5 history was written by me - that's my hobby: chronological unit histories of all Luftwaffe, JAAF, JNAF and Soviet VVS air units during WWII. My material is nearly all from primary archival resources. I spent nearly 25 years and several hundred thousand dollars in expenses on long stays at the archives in Freiburg, Washington and at Maxwell AFB collecting the data. But these are operational histories and therefore contain very little in the way of technical information. So I would have to answer your question with a "NO" - for your interests and purposes, you would not find anything there that adds to what is in Kössler and Ott. Nevertheless, you are still welcome to it (it's about 7 pages). Contact me off-line for details.
Posted By: Peter Willicks <peter.willicks@stk.rlp.de>
Date: Thursday, 9 August 2001, at 7:16 a.m.
Hello Gus,
No need to apologize, but sometimes I start to grumble, when I see those "legends" again and again.
As a "compensation" let me give you some information about the color schemes.
At first the Ju 290 was painted in the standard RLM 70/71 on the upper sides and RLM 65 on the undersides. This was logical, as the planes were used as a transport.
When it switched to the long-range reconnaissance role, the colors changed to:
Upper sides of wings, fuselage pp. RLM 72/73. These were the correct for planes flying over water. The FW Condor was painted in that color, and also the Do 217 E/Ks of KG 100.
The assembly instructions of the Airmodel vacu and the resin kit by planet claim, that RLM 70/71 had been retained. This may be possible, if the Junkers works couldn't get the correct colors, as there were no anti-shipping planes constructed at Junkers' factories. But I would prefer the correct colors.
The sides of the fuselage, Fins pp. were painted in very light RLM 65. I think in W. Greens books you can find photos of this color scheme. Another source for the English/US-Market may be the translation of Heinz J. Novarra's brochure on the big Junkers planes. I think, it was published by Schiffer books. I don't know if the superb book by Ott/Kössler had been translated too.
RLM 65 changed its shade during the war from a light blue gray to a sort of light gray. The cover of the mentioned Schiffer brochure gives a good impression of this color, it is a very light gray with a slight bluish tone. Humbrol Matt 147 comes very close to the shade.
Personally I don't think they used RLM 76 as a replacement of RLM 65 at that time (Summer/autumn of 1943). This happened during 1944.
When the Fernaufklärungsgruppe 5 was withdrawn from the Atlantic, the Ju 290s were transferred to KG 200. The agent-dropping missions were mostly flown at night, so the lightly colored parts were overpainted with black. Well-known pictures of this scheme are those of the captured Ju 290 A-7 with the "Alles kaputt" Nose-Art.
I would be pleased, if I haven't carried coals to Newcastle and could offer some new information to you.
Unfortunately I do not have the technical equipment to scan and send you some pictures or profile, so sorry.
Best regards
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