Military Review

Rosary's Wandering Circus

35
In any war, the howling parties capture various trophies. It was the same with various aircraft during the Second World War. The enemy technique, found or captured, was carefully and meticulously studied, subjected to various tests. Howling parties tried to find each other's strengths and weaknesses, the most vulnerable places in the aircraft. The captured aircraft was a particularly valuable trophy - after all, they could be used to train pilots and to conduct all sorts of sabotage operations.


One of the German achievements of the Second World War was the creation of the so-called “Rosary's wandering circus”. Under such a rather strange name, a squadron was hidden, in which all the captured Allied fighter planes that the Germans managed to find whole or slightly damaged were gathered. This "circus" moved from one military unit to another along the entire Eastern and Western Front in order to acquaint the German pilots with allied equipment. Leading pilots could independently fly on captured enemy aircraft, evaluate their combat and flight qualities. Thanks to this, the “traveling rosary circus” brought great benefit to Germany.

It so happened that all captured Allied fighters were transferred to the Rosary circus. Officially, this unit was called the 2 Squadron of the experimental center of the Luftwaffe High Command, commanded by an experienced test pilot, captain T. Rosarius, it was his name that was assigned to the unit. Originally, the circus was stationed in Göttingen. The main task of the Rosarius unit was to fly over the captured fighters, thoroughly study their shortcomings and merits, and develop the best tactics to combat them. All planes that got into the squadron were repainted. The fighters usually depicted a full set of Luftwaffe designations, including swastikas located on the vertical tail.

Rosary's Wandering Circus
Captured LA-5FN

The "Rosarius Mobile Circus" flew its planes to combat units, conducted their demonstration on the ground and in the air, and organized training battles. Experienced German pilots were carefully instructed and made it possible to fly on enemy fighters themselves. Interestingly, the Germans gave American fighters the opportunity to meet their allies - the Hungarians. In April 1945, when American troops approached Göttingen, the circus relocated away - to the Schwangau airfield. Towards the end of World War II in the collection aviation There were 4 Mustang fighters, 3 Spitfire fighters (all different), 3 Thunderbolts, two Tempest, Typhoon and Mosquito, as well as a training Harvard and 3 Soviet fighters. among which were LaGG-3, Yak-3 and Yak-9.

The idea of ​​forming special units that would be armed with trophy aviation equipment or equipment of a potential enemy, is not something new, emerged during the Second World War. It is clear that any aircraft (gun, tank, ship), turned out to be on the other side of the front, first of all becomes the object of close attention of the designers and scientists of the enemy. However, the fate of the captured trophy depends on its combat characteristics. For example, during the First World War, the Germans managed to copy and start mass production of the successful French fighter Newport-11, and the German reconnaissance Albatros in turn in the Russian Empire became the Swan.

Having defeated the French army in blitzkrieg 1940 of the year, the same Germans successfully solved the problem of combat training aircraft, confiscating for this purpose the equipment of the defeated enemy. Later, during the Second World War, the aircraft of all the warring states began to fall into the hands of the Luftwaffe testers in more or less significant quantities. Over time, a decent collection of British, Soviet and American aircraft accumulated in Germany. So, for example, the heavy allied four-engined bombers of the Allies (mainly the remarkable American B-17 Flying Fort and B-24 Liberator) were Germanized into a special squadron, which was designated Kampfgeschwader-200. The command of the 200 squadron was carried out by an experienced master of airborne special operations, Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Rovel. This squadron performed a variety of tasks, including long-distance reconnaissance and agent delivery to North Africa and the British Isles.

Captured English Spitfire

With fighters in Germany did a little differently. After conducting meticulous tests and removing all flight performance, fighter jets flying to 1943 were handed over to the test special unit of Versuchsverband der OKL, which received great fame as the Rozarius Wandering Circus. This unit was engaged in the demonstration of Allied fighters to German pilots. At various times, all the most dangerous air "predators" of the Allied forces were present in the "circus". It had a complete "zoo" of Anglo-American fighters, and at the end of the war it was supplemented by Soviet Yak-3 and La-5FN. Wandering around the airfields, the circus performers allowed the Luftwaffe pilots to train in aerial combat in field conditions. Something like a duel on real, albeit blunted blades.

The four-engine Allied heavy bombers, which had been consolidated by the Germans into a special Kampfgeschwader-200 air squadron, was held in the Luftwaffe under the designation DO-200. The aircraft received such a name, because their repair and the supply of components for them, as well as the replacement of small arms by more powerful Dornier company. By the middle of the 1944, the Luftwaffe already had an order of 40 fully staffed and technically sound captured by American bombers.

In essence, these were the first to stories "Ganships". Aircraft from the 200 squadron served as reconnaissance aircraft, bombers, took part in training and training of air defense forces, but most often they were used as fighters, "ganships." Very often, the emblems, markings and identification marks from the trophies were not removed, but only slightly corrected. The tactics of these planes' actions were as follows: either with sufficient cloud cover, the DO-200 aircraft carefully emerged from behind the clouds and attached to the American B-17 formation, after which, at the command of powerful rifle guns, they began to destroy them systematically; or DO-200 pretended to be shot down planes, special smoke bombs were lit on board, the 1 engine was turned off, etc., then they were taken under 4-6 B-17 bombers, which either became easy prey for Luftwaffe air defense fighters, or were also shot by DO -200.

Captured American P-47

After a series of similar incidents in the USAAF, very tough directives were given that instructed the crews of the “flying fortresses” to open fire on all that are attached B-17, if it was impossible to exclude their “German” origin. Often this led to the fact that the American pilots opened fire on their own planes, knocking them down and damaging them. A similar situation was repeated with B-24, although the Luftwaffe armed with them was much less.

If we talk about the USSR, then it can be noted that in the Soviet Union, the enemy equipment was subjected to detailed study. The first Messerschmitt-109 fighter in the USSR entered from Spain in 1938, and from there the newest at the time German bomber Heinkel-111 was delivered to our country. At the pre-war time, as well as during the war, the Air Force Flight Test Institute of the Air Force, located in Zhukovsky near Moscow, was visited by aircraft of the main types of almost all belligerent states. But the experience gained from studying them was mostly used in industry.

Of course, when enemy planes were captured at the front, they were studied by pilots on the spot, sometimes even reconnaissance flights or air battles were made, but such events were of a single character. At best, Soviet pilots received generalized instructions and recommendations on how to combat one or another enemy aircraft. In this regard, the German Rosary Wandering Circus, as well as the special 200 squadron, were truly unique units.

Information sources:
-http: //vz.ru/society/2006/11/19/57727.html
-http: //pro-samolet.ru/samolet-usa/63-istrebiteli/247-istrebitel-p-51-mustang? start = 7
-http: //mywebs.su/blog/188.html
-http: //reibert.info
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  1. Dima190579
    Dima190579 27 June 2013 08: 54 New
    +4
    That the tank that the machine gun and that the captured weapons will always find application in the war.
    1. Karlsonn
      Karlsonn 27 June 2013 16: 39 New
      +2
      Yes sir!


      By the way, during the War of Independence in 1948, Israeli pilots fought on the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-14. 25 aircraft were purchased in Czechoslovakia.
      1. laurbalaur
        laurbalaur 27 June 2013 17: 21 New
        +6
        Well, to be extremely precise, Israel used the Czech Avia S-199, with a weaker engine and, accordingly, characteristics! hi
        1. Karlsonn
          Karlsonn 27 June 2013 22: 17 New
          0
          Quote: laurbalaur
          Well, to be extremely precise, Israel used the Czech Avia S-199, with a weaker engine and, accordingly, characteristics!


          To be honest, I don’t know for that. repeat
          In the collection, the photo lay with the description for a long time, due to the rarity of color photos of those years.
          Taki sold for what he bought.
          Thank you, "+" and the addition to the rating for correcting my mistake. drinks
          1. Argon
            Argon 27 June 2013 23: 39 New
            +1
            By the way, in your photo it’s the Czech machine that laurbalaur wrote about.
        2. stoqn477
          stoqn477 28 June 2013 00: 00 New
          +1
          We have a saying in our country: If fish is not fish and cancer. As far as I know, no one initially wanted to sell airplanes to Israel. Only Czechs. A plane with a weak engine is better than not.
          1. 3 inches.
            3 inches. 28 June 2013 10: 43 New
            +1
            The saying goes like this. On bezryby-and cancer fish.
        3. berimor
          berimor 28 June 2013 21: 21 New
          0
          Well done, son!
  2. Day 11
    Day 11 27 June 2013 10: 28 New
    +3
    From Adolf Galland's recollections: “One of our achievements was the so-called“ Moving Circus of the Rosarius ”, a squadron in which we were able to find all the enemy’s flightable captured planes that we managed to find. It moved from part to part along the entire Eastern Front in order to to familiarize our pilots with enemy equipment. Leading pilots could fly on enemy aircraft themselves, and thanks to this, we found for ourselves that our equipment in flight qualities is usually superior to the enemy. The circus was of great benefit. " B-17
    1. Day 11
      Day 11 27 June 2013 10: 35 New
      +4
      3 pairs of Spitfire
      1. Fitter65
        Fitter65 27 June 2013 17: 12 New
        -1
        No, it’s either two triples, or one six, cannot pull three pairs. Although judging by the three neighbors, it’s still two triples.
        1. Black Colonel
          Black Colonel 1 July 2013 12: 40 New
          0
          The Germans flew in pairs.
    2. Karlsonn
      Karlsonn 27 June 2013 16: 36 New
      +1
      On photo:

      Captured German Fokke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 fighter-bomber in the service of the Baltic Fleet aviation in 1945. If I am not mistaken, seven of them were in service with KBF aviation.
  3. LION
    LION 27 June 2013 11: 19 New
    +2
    The picture is not P47. The "jug" is larger, the propeller has four blades, the armament in the wings, and not above the engine. This is P 40 Curtis
    1. Day 11
      Day 11 27 June 2013 11: 32 New
      +1
      The author was mistaken, of course this is P-40! And here is the P-47
      1. Chicot 1
        Chicot 1 27 June 2013 14: 12 New
        +1
        Quote: Den 11
        And here is the P-47

        Thunderbolt Projections P-47B
      2. Argon
        Argon 27 June 2013 15: 12 New
        +4
        That said, two specialists, Levé, and especially “Expert” Den11, for your information in the picture in article P-36 Hawk, most likely from the French Air Force. In general, of course, this unit was an example of the practical and useful use of trophy techniques, which in general is not surprising with the Germans' thorough approach to aerial combat, its theory and practical compilation. In the article I did not like the coverage of the use of trophies in the Red Army Air Force. The so-called “Asses school” in the Moscow region is not mentioned either theories were even r rupa battles (training of course) with German cars. In my opinion, this was more rational than the Germans did in view of certain difficulties arising from the operation of trophies, I mean the principle itself, the necessary pilots were sent to the training center, and not to drag all this (it’s true) a circus on the fronts, at the risk of falling under fire from its own. The author also didn’t remember about the Aviation Scout Regiments (namely, the OPAR (F) is not an ORAP), which usually included trophy machines. I think the allies also had similar formations, would be curious to know.
        1. viktorR
          viktorR 27 June 2013 18: 50 New
          0
          Of course P36, In the forties the engine is not air-cooled! Hurried in general all)
      3. Black_dead
        Black_dead 12 February 2014 23: 08 New
        +1
        This is not a P-40 or a P-47. Pictured is Curtiss P-36 Hawk, one of those captured in the war against France. The French bought a certain amount of these fighters from the United States, and they performed well in air battles against their main enemy Bf-109 ...
    2. Black_dead
      Black_dead 12 February 2014 23: 11 New
      0
      This is not a P-40 or a P-47. Pictured is Curtiss P-36 Hawk, one of those captured in the war against France. The French bought a certain amount of these fighters from the United States, and they performed well in air battles against their main enemy Bf-109 ...
  4. Chicot 1
    Chicot 1 27 June 2013 13: 35 New
    +3
    A very practical and justified approach to business ...
  5. Day 11
    Day 11 27 June 2013 14: 33 New
    -4
    Another P-40. Along the way, somewhere in Africa
    1. stoqn477
      stoqn477 27 June 2013 14: 36 New
      +6
      Sorry, but I'm sure it was a "Hawker Hurricane"

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawker_Hurricane
      1. Day 11
        Day 11 27 June 2013 14: 58 New
        +1
        You're right. Hurried. This is Hurricane.
  6. Day 11
    Day 11 27 June 2013 15: 11 New
    +2
    It is not known for what reasons (maybe ideological), but there was such an Amer lieutenant Monty who overtook the Italian Lockheed F-5E Lightning (reconnaissance version, built on the basis of the P-38). The pasta handed him over to the Hans.
  7. Fitter65
    Fitter65 27 June 2013 15: 23 New
    +2
    Quote: Den 11
    The author was mistaken, of course this is P-40! And here is the P-47

    Actually, this is a Hawk-75, a Curtiss company, inherited from the French Air Force. He is the R-36 in the American army, and the R-40 is already Tomahawk, kittyhawk and Worthhawk, depending on the modification ...
  8. Fitter65
    Fitter65 27 June 2013 15: 28 New
    +1
    Quote: Den 11
    Another P-40. Along the way, somewhere in Africa

    Yes, dear, you are really a great connoisseur of aviation, you can say with the type of aircraft in the summer, and ride on A.I. Pokryshkin. Dear haha.
  9. RoadRunner
    RoadRunner 27 June 2013 15: 52 New
    +2
    The author is well done, a very interesting article.
  10. Fitter65
    Fitter65 27 June 2013 16: 57 New
    +1
    Quote: Karlsonn

    By the way, during the War of Independence in 1948, Israeli pilots fought on the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-14. 25 aircraft were purchased in Czechoslovakia.

    Rather, it is their fuselages with UMO engines ... For the Czechs, if I remember correctly, he called the S-199 "Mule", the history of the creation of this device is interesting. And its delivery to Israel too.
    1. Karlsonn
      Karlsonn 27 June 2013 22: 20 New
      0
      Quote: Fitter65
      Rather, it’s their fuselages with UMO engines ... For the Czechs, if I remember correctly, he called the C-199 “Mule”, the history of this device is interesting


      and to you - thanks, "+" and the addition to the rating for fixing my mistake. drinks
  11. Fitter65
    Fitter65 27 June 2013 17: 00 New
    +1
    Quote: Karlsonn
    Captured German Fokke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 fighter-bomber in the service of the Baltic Fleet aviation in 1945. If I am not mistaken, seven of them were in service with KBF aviation.

    You are mistaken. They were tested, but they didn’t stand in the "service" ... And he was just a fighter. So he could take bombs that didn’t make him a bomber. La-5/7 also carried bombs ...
    1. stoqn477
      stoqn477 27 June 2013 17: 17 New
      0
      "The Soviet Air Force captured several Fw-190 aircraft of series A and D. All aircraft were part of the Baltic Fleet and were used for training and educational purposes."
      This is written on your Wikipedia version. Indeed, the reliability of Wikipedia is not always level. If something is written somewhere on the target, I would like to read it.

      https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focke-Wulf_Fw_190_Wurger
    2. Karlsonn
      Karlsonn 27 June 2013 22: 35 New
      +1
      Quote: Fitter65
      Yes, and he was just a fighter. So that he could take bombs this did not make him a bomber. La-5 / 7 also carried bombs ...


      I agree.

      Quote: Fitter65
      You are mistaken. They were tested, but they didn’t stand at the "service" ..


      Yes, sit in a puddle twice a day in a day, in another release crying repeat This has not happened for a long time.

      It’s useful to look for where I was so blundered and that's what I found:

      - There is an opinion that this is the “Dora” from the Lyubertsy school of air combat.
      Here are the memoirs of pilot Tikhomirov Vladimir Alekseevich from the book “I Fought on a Fighter” by A. Drabkin:
      ... By the way, when we flew to Marienburg, we met a group of captured "Focke-Wulfs" at the airport there, about twenty, I guess. In this city there was a repair factory, where the Germans redid their "fokkers": they removed air-cooled engines and put water, and to maintain alignment, they inserted a section into the fuselage in front of the tail. Our stars hit the planes, and then a group of army pilots surpassed them at the Lyubertsy school of air combat. It wasn’t possible to fly them, and talking that the Fokers were in the arsenal of the KBF after the war was nonsense. I served in the Baltic then - there was a division in the Lavochkin’s: La-9 and La-11, and a division in the Yaks — there were no “Fock Wolves” in the Baltic ...

      http://iremember.ru/letchiki-istrebiteli/tikhomirov-vladimir-alekseevich/stranit
      sa-5.html

      I apologize for involuntarily misleading. hi
      1. Fitter65
        Fitter65 28 June 2013 00: 56 New
        +1
        It happens that at one time (about 20 years ago) I also heard at first, then even thought that it was so ...
  12. mithridate
    mithridate 28 June 2013 02: 13 New
    0
    interesting article
  13. Black Colonel
    Black Colonel 1 July 2013 12: 45 New
    0
    The article is interesting. +
    The Germans came up with witty combat use of captured equipment, especially the tactics are interesting.