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German Gliders Used In Crete

Discussion in 'Axis Aviation Of WWII' started by Jim, Jan 30, 2010.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    (1) A German plane towing three troop carrying gliders, or air trailers. The rear one was attached by cable to the tail unit of the towing plane; the others to the engine nacelles. Rudder bias held the outer trailers in correct formation. Two, three and four engined planes were used, including the Ju 52. (2) Dual control. If one glider pilot was shot then the other took the controls.

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    A number of trailers in line astern (3) on a single cable demanded a long take-off and presented control difficulties. As many as 10 to one aeroplanes were observed over Crete. One trailer may lose height and so drag down the tail of the preceding one (4).

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    In line astern with fuselage attachment (5) and (6), if one glider rode high it may have fouled the tail unit of the preceding glider with its control lines. These formations were observed by an Australian correspondent in use in Crete. Gliders of varied sizes were employed, some carrying 4 men, others caring 6 men, others 12 or even 20. All were of simple construction with skylights, instead of windows.

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    An aerial view of Maleme Aerodrome after the German invasion of Crete. It is cluttered up with JU 52 transport planes, many of which had crash-landed in an attempt to get the aircraft down Quickly at no matter what cost.

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