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jeremym

German air force in Palestine

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jeremym

During a recent visit to Jenin, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank of Palestine, my wife came across a war memorial to killed and missing German airmen. Eleven rather crudely carved names, with rank and squadron, are listed, with dates ranging from 13 October 1917 to 1 October 1918. The text on the memorial itself is in German, while the plaque identifying the memorial is in Arabic, German and English. The dates seem to cover the Battle of Gaza, the fall of Jerusalem to Allenby and the Battle of Megiddo. But how did the Luftsreitkrafte come to be operating in Palestine? Were the planes transported from Germany by rail? There was a rail link all the way via Constantinople, Aleppo and the Hedjaz railway. Or were the planes part of the Turkish air force, flown by German pilots? Unfortunately, the photographs my wife took are too big to attach to this post, but if anyone is especially interested, I could email them.

jeremym

(Jeremy Mitchell)

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egbert

Jeremy, you can read the answer in my old thread titled "Royal Bavarian Airfield Oberschleissheim" in post #10and ff

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michaeldr

In the link provided by Egbert above, please also see my post No.20

There you will find ref to Benjamin Z. Kedar's book 'The Changing Land Between the Jordan and the Sea' published 1999 [iSBN: 965-05-0975-5]

There are five refs to Jenin in the book, including reproductions of two water-colours of the German airfield there

See if your local library can get hold the book for you

regards

Michael

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jeremym
Jeremy, you can read the answer in my old thread titled "Royal Bavarian Airfield Oberschleissheim" in post #10and ff

Egbert

Thank you very much for pointing me to this old thread of yours, with its fascinating material. Do you know the war memorial in Jenin and the names of the German aviators who were killed or missing in the last year of the war? Unfortunately, the three photographs that my wife took take up too much space to attach to this post. I don't know if there is any way for me send them to you as email attachments. Otherwise, I could list the inscriptions on the monument in a post to you. Of course, you may have this information already. Incidentally, T E Lawrence, in Seven Pillars of Wisdom. mentions an airfield at Deraa, with '...old Albatross machines in the sheds'.

jeremym

(Jeremy Mitchell)

In the link provided by Egbert above, please also see my post No.20

There you will find ref to Benjamin Z. Kedar's book 'The Changing Land Between the Jordan and the Sea' published 1999 [iSBN: 965-05-0975-5]

There are five refs to Jenin in the book, including reproductions of two water-colours of the German airfield there

See if your local library can get hold the book for you

regards

Michael

Michael

Thank you very much for this. I shall try to get hold of the book.

jeremym

(Jeremy Mitchell)

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Kurt1959

If I may I would like to contribute to this discussion...

As one of the first units of the new Army Group "F" four new fighterplane squadrons were deployed to Palestine by Germany - the Prussian fighter squadrons 301, 303 and 303 as well as the Bavarian squadron 304b under the command of Major von Heermskerck. The Bavarian squadron 304b had 24 officers and civilians, nine of them pilots and seven observers. In addition 215 soldiers as mechanics, metereoligics, drivers, medics etc. The squadron was put together in Schleissheim at Munich. The planes were at the beginning C. IV (AEG) and Albatros-D. II or D. V. The first Tranport left Schleissheim on the 25 August 1917 and arrived 1 September 1917 Istanbul. On the 1 October they arrived Aleppo and continued the travel via Rayak, Der'a and Afula up to the train staion of Wâdi Sarâr.

Find attached a picture of the train on its way through the Taurus mountains.

post-22005-1228495413.jpg

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Kurt1959

and here a picture of the airfield in Jenin...

post-22005-1228495778.jpg

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Kurt1959

An interesting picture from the Bavarian squadron might be the following, which shows some POWs, which were handed over to the F.A. 304b on the 25 March 1918. The pilots could be the Australian Captain Everet and captain Austin - the officer with the officers cap 1st Lt Matthew Lee. The prisoners were sent from Merchavia by the Turks to a POW camp in Smyrna (today: Izmir)

Information and pictures from Dr. Norbert Schwake, Israel. He recently published a book about German war graves in Palestine.

Regards

Klaus

post-22005-1228496647.jpg

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jeremym

El Shahin

Thank you for the marvellous photographs. I don't know why I seem unable to upload my wife's photographs of the names of the German fliers on the war memorial in Jenin, but I am happy to make out a list if anyone would be interested. The war memorial is situated in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian West Bank, so it is not easy for outsiders to get to.

jeremym

(Jeremy Mitchell)

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Bill Woerlee

Many thanks to the pix provided by Jeremy and Janet for sharing their photographs. And thanks to Michael for pointing to the link. Much appreciated.

Also thanks to Klaus for making available his pix.

This area has been of keen interest to me and so have put online a chapter from the self published work by Ole Nikolajsen called Ottoman Aviation 1911 - 1919. The commentary in this thread is derived specifically from Chapter 8 of that work called: Pasha and Yildirim, the Palestine Front, 1915 to 1918.

The German Ottoman Air Force in the Sinai and Palestine

http://alh-research.tripod.com/Light_Horse...oman-air-force/

This page is a listing of the various sections of this chapter with links to those specific sections. Each section is a discrete history requiring its own page to maintain its integrity.

The questions asked by Jeremy are readily answered through the provided text.

I hope this detail adds to the general understanding of this era in aviation and also part of the action in Sinai and Palestine.

Cheers

Bill

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egbert

Rare, excellent pictures and thanx for the link

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michaeldr

Very many thanks Bill

A great read and useful resource

Michael

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michaeldr

Quote: An interesting picture from the Bavarian squadron might be the following, which shows some POWs, which were handed over to the F.A. 304b on the 25 March 1918. The pilots could be the Australian Captain Everet and captain Austin - the officer with the officers cap 1st Lt Matthew Lee. The prisoners were sent from Merchavia by the Turks to a POW camp in Smyrna (today: Izmir)

Information and pictures from Dr. Norbert Schwake, Israel. He recently published a book about German war graves in Palestine

Klaus,

regarding your post No.7 above and Dr. Norbert Schwake's photograph of the three PoWs

The architecture of the buildings in the background matches an example that I have seen of Merhavya

['The Changing Land Between the Jordan and the Sea' by Benjamin Z. Kedar,

the photograph, bottom left, page 178, which is credited to the Bayerisches Haupstaatsarchiv, Munich, Abt.IV: Kriegsarchiv]

However, I feel that in all probability, the officer named as Everet, is in fact Evans:

see the Australian history's account of the capture of these three officers [here http://www.awm.gov.au/cms_images/histories/9/chapters/09.pdf]

quote:

A raid of four Martinsydes (three of them from No. I

Squadron) visited El Kutrani on March 19th. Heavy clouds

obscured the town, and the main event of the raid, the dropping

by Haig of a 230-lb. bomb on the station, could not be clearly

observed. The formation met with bad luck on the way

home. Major A J. Evans, in the Martinsyde from No. 142

Squadron, had to land with engine-trouble near Kerak. Austin

and Lee in an escorting Bristol Fighter, went down to pick

him up, but in landing broke a wheel. The three officers had

no alternative but to burn their machines and give themselves

up to Arabs, who quickly came up and subsequently handed

them over to the Turks. ... ...… …

Note.-Turkish documents captured in September disclosed the

following scale of rewards offered by the enemy:-

For every Arab or Indian prisoner, 40 piastres.

British private, T£I (coin).

Colonial or Indian officer, T£2.

British officer, T£5.

Documents containing strengths or movement orders, T£I.

Official orders of units, 20 piastres.

Letter or map, 5 piastres.

(Captured order of 158th Regiment, dated 15/12/17.)

Rewards for bringing down a British aeroplane were:-

To an airman, T£40.

To a company of infantry, T£30.

To an anti-aircraft gun crew (including T£15 for the gunner)

T£30.

(Captured order, dated 1/3/18.)

The Bedouins were not slow to perceive the possibilities of this

trade. Even friendly tribes required money payment for returning to

British Headquarters, on one occasion, two captured Australian airmen

Lieutenants Torikin and Vyner. The price was £50 each. ... ...

Also note …

The story of the capture of these three airmen will be found in The Escaping

Club, by A. J. Evans. (Major A. J. Evans, MC.; Nos. 3 and 142 Sqns.. R.F.C.

Company director; of Kent, Eng.; b. Newtown, Hants., Eng., 1st May 1889.)

best regards

Michael

ps: I have re-sized your/Dr. Norbert Schwake's photograph using 'photobucket' but alas have lost some quality in the process

EvansLeeAustin.jpg

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michaeldr

There is something here http://content-www.cricinfo.com/england/co...ayer/12523.html

on Evans' first class cricket career, plus a photograph, which alas is undated

To be frank, I am not sure whether or not this latter helps

(I'm not actually sure that I can pick him out in the photograph of the three flyers supplied by Klaus)

It is worth mentioning however that while the Australian history referred to earlier has Evans, no Everet appears in the index

regards

Michael

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michaeldr

Some more of Dr. Norbert Schwake's photograph collection relating to the German air force on the Palestine front can be seen here http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7...3579828,00.html

PS:

Note picture 'C' shown in the left margin and photograph No. 4

These are given as being the funeral of pilot Rüdiger von Kinsberg (and driver Otto Grabiat) on June 9, 1918

Looking at the photograph of the Jenin memorial [link in post No. 9] this pilot's name is second from the bottom

PPS:

Does anyone recognise the wounded Australian flyer in photograph No.5?

Edited by michaeldr

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paul_adam

In AJ Evan's book the Escaping Club he explains that when he was captured, along with Austin and Lee, he gave his name as Everard. This because he would have been known to have escaped from the German POW camps before and feared he would be more closely guarded, thus reducing opportinities to escape this time round.

I have a couple of pictures of him from his cricket career and believe it is Evans in the middle of the trio in the photograph.

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trajan
... Find attached a picture of the train on its way through the Taurus mountains.

Well, if anyone wants to do the Istanbul-Ankara-Adana train journey, that tunnel is now complered (it's no longer 'unfertige'), but the scenery is the same, and it is a great train journey, rising from sea level at Istanbul to over 2000 m. in the Taurus and down to almost sea level at Adana - and in the boondocks, lots of lovely German style train stations!

Trajan

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michaeldr

In AJ Evan's book the Escaping Club he explains that when he was captured, along with Austin and Lee, he gave his name as Everard. This because he would have been known to have escaped from the German POW camps before and feared he would be more closely guarded, thus reducing opportinities to escape this time round.

I have a couple of pictures of him from his cricket career and believe it is Evans in the middle of the trio in the photograph.

Paul,

Many thanks for that explanation re the names Evans/Everard

regards

Michael

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charlie962

Having just rread PW Long's Other Ranks of Kut, I see he mentions sabotage attempts by British soldiers working on the railways in the Taurus and Amanus Mts in late 1916 and 1917, often on the handling of goods . They tried half sawing through certain airframe sections. Whether this was detected when the aircraft were re-assembled is not known ?

 

Charlie

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egbert
On ‎23‎/‎10‎/‎2011 at 20:09, trajan said:

Well, if anyone wants to do the Istanbul-Ankara-Adana train journey, that tunnel is now complered (it's no longer 'unfertige'), but the scenery is the same, and it is a great train journey, rising from sea level at Istanbul to over 2000 m. in the Taurus and down to almost sea level at Adana - and in the boondocks, lots of lovely German style train stations!

Trajan

Great documentary in 12 parts: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Deutsche+Eisenbahn+von+Istanbul+nach+Bagdad

 

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