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Ju-52 'Communications Aircraft'?

dgk196

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I hope someone here can help me out with some information on this.

During the Kursk battle, 'Ju-52 Communications Aircraft' where apparently used to control and coordinate air operations during the battle. Especially those that had to do with direct ground unit support missions, as in the situation of support for the II SS Pz Korps.

So, I've been searching but can't find a specific model / version designation for this aircraft. Also if anyone has specifics as to the 'communications' equipment specific to this variant it would be very helpful. I've seen references to these types used in other situations, but can't find any specifics on the plane itself. It certainly isn't what we think of when talking about an AWACS today, but it was a start. So, how much of a start? The configuration and details about its equipment should help in understanding more about that.

My thanks to anyone who can supply more info on the plane or its use / deployment.

Dennis
 

Chaoic16

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Dennis, I am VERY interested into that kind of Ju 52 armed with special equipments used in specific battle, such as Kursk battle as an example, where that kind of Ju 52 was used big time for communication between ground and air units. I have been searching for that too but is not able to find it. These such information are very rare these day, so if any of you know any thing about what Dennis and I are looking for, they will be much appreciated.

Thanks

Chaoic out...
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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So, it would have been something like a cross between an aircraft like a military Piper J-3 Cub and an AWACS aircraft without radar?
 

Avimimus

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Or a JSTARS without radar... :D

I wonder if it served the purpose of having maps and operators to transmit information between the radio systems? Or was it just a chance for some senior officers to get in the way ;)

Anyway, a neat find.
 

iverson

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One of the Ju52s used during the abortive German intervention in Iraq was a specialized communications aircraft set up with extra radios including a long range set for communicating with Berlin and extra generating equipment. The aircraft was not meant for use as an airborne command post. It operated from the ground, like the vehicles Rommel and Montgomery used, but more mobile and longer ranging. I seem to recall that the aircraft was lost early on, a fact that contributed to the failure of the operation.

Another Ju52 is said to have carried a portable refinery capable of converting low-grade local gasoline into aviation fuel suitable for German engines.
 

dgk196

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As near as I can tell, the aircraft flew in the proximity of the ground units that where to be supported by the air units assigned. In this particular case, at a minimum, the Ju52 had the ability to communicate with the 'embedded' ground controllers in each of the three divisions being supported and the Korps hq. Also, the Ju52 was in direct communications with each of the supporting air units base and then the aircraft launched on support missions. Being directed to the target by supplying bearing and distance information to the support units. Then once the supporting ground attack aircraft arrived, they were 'handed' over to the individual ground controllers to attack the targets in their operational area.

That's the thumbnail overview that I can come up with. But like I said, I have no particulars on the specific model variant or the equipment on board. I expect it to have a lot of communications equipment. At least more so than the standard Ju52. But as to any other capabilities, radar and such, I could only guess. There is no mention of such equipment or its use by this 'communications aircraft'.

Dennis
 
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