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Author Topic: German Rescue in the Channel
Member # 2176

posted 01-24-2000 10:09 AM     Profile for Irie2   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
I was wondering how often downed german airmen were rescued in the Channel during the battle of britian? I could see the possibillity of German U-boats being deployed for that purpose, but I would imagine that would be very Hazardous duty. Anyone outhere know any info on this? S!
Posts: 71 | From: Berkeley, CA, USA | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Member # 1076

posted 01-24-2000 10:40 AM     Profile for JG5_Jerry   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Downed German airmen were mostly picked up by seaplanes. These were initially white with red crosses early in the BoB, but Churchill suspected them of being used for reconaissance, and ordered that any encountered to be shot down. After that, they were painted with standard camo schemes. I think the Germans also used ships to rescue pilots too.

C/O, Jagdgeschwader 5 'Eismeer'

Posts: 702 | From: Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 1127

posted 01-24-2000 11:40 AM     Profile for Gavin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Believe it or not, the Germans also deployed 'rescue bouys', little floating islands about the size of a camping trailer stocked with water, food, and maybe even a rescue radio!

They also did boat rescue, I believe in E-boats and special rescue boats, but only close to their coastline.

Also, pilots were issued life rafts, and their pants had a green dye pack on it that would release on contact with the water.

Compared to the Germans, the British were in big trouble when it came to sea rescue. Even in summer, you would lose consciousness after 1/2 an hour in the Channel, and you had to hope a passing fishing boat saw you or the few rescue boats on duty were close enough to reach you in time.

The Germans rescued many RAF pilots, too, though I doubt they dropped them off with a wave on the North side of the channel!

Still, to a sinking RAF pilot, a German rescue plane must have been a welcome sight!

"Only the spirit of attack, born in a brave heart, will bring success to any fighter aircraft, no matter how highly
developed it may be." - Adolf Galland.

Posts: 370 | From: Victoria, BC, Canada. | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 116

posted 01-24-2000 05:06 PM     Profile for JWC     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Yes, it was one of the ironies of the early war period that the RAF did a really lousy job of saving pilots in the water while the Germans did the exact OPPOSITE! The British, situated on an island with water separating Britain from the rest of Europe, had virtually NO dedicated rescue efforts for pilots, and equipped its pilots relatively poorly for surviving in the water. At the same time, the Germans spent considerable effort to save ditched pilots. The Germans, some would argue, had a deathly fear of the English Channel itself, and perhaps as a result established a very effective (for the time) rescue service. German pilots generally had better life-saving devices than their British counterparts (for instance, the Germans had inflatable life vests while RAF pilots were stuck with bulky, non-inflatable kapok-filled versions; captured Luftwaffe life vests were a prized commodity among early-war British pilots!) and of course, had Air-Sea Rescue seaplanes and fast boats that could get to pilots quickly, sometimes fairly close to Britain. For British pilots, rescue was a haphazard thing at best: it often depended entirely on luck! In some respects this was a by-product of pre-war unpreparedness: by the time the situation became desperate enough to have RAF pilots battling a foreign enemy over British home waters, the RAF was too busy fighting for survival to worry about establishing the Air-Sea Service. This was much the same reason why it took them so long to abandon the 3-airplane "vic" and adopt 4-ship formations. Of course, the British eventually developed an effective Air-Sea rescue, but it took some time.

[This message has been edited by JWC (edited 01-24-2000).]

Posts: 1633 | From: College Station, Texas, USA | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 2046

posted 01-25-2000 11:46 AM     Profile for Irie1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Wow! Thanks for all the excellent info Gents! Now I feel just that much safer flying over the channel in my 109! ITs interesting the the Germans put forth so much effort to rescue downed pilots and may be quite rightly assigned to their fear of the channel. Once again thanks for the enlightenment!
Posts: 37 | From: Berkeley, CA, US | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Member # 1076

posted 01-26-2000 01:29 AM     Profile for JG5_Jerry   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Also, the early model Bf110 had an inflatable dingy stored in it's tail section.

C/O, Jagdgeschwader 5 'Eismeer'

Posts: 702 | From: Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 1550

posted 01-28-2000 04:13 AM     Profile for no609_OzZiggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
didnt one polish pilot in the bob survive 5 days in the channel on one of those german islands ..eventually he was picked by luck when an air sea rescue boat came to check out the floating trailer

the foot just aint enough

Posts: 92 | From: at the moment germany munich (but im an aussie) | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged

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