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When Israel Flew Nazi Fighters

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by GRW, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    I suppose it was a case of "needs must".

    "Just how did the post-war Israeli air force end up equipping its first fighter squadrons with the famous Nazi warplane the Me-109s?
    After approval of the Partition Plan of Palestine in November 1947, the UK, who had been the governing power continued to supply weapons and ammunition to Egypt and Trans-Jordan.
    However, the entire world imposed an immediate embargo on sale and shipment of military equipment to Israel. The only exception was post war Czechoslovakia, which agreed to sell a substantial amount of German-designed rifles, machine guns, ammunition, and even fighter planes to the Jewish state.
    The problem for the infant state of Israel, was transporting the vast quantities of weapons over 1800 miles. The main obstacle they faced, was Czechoslovakia being a land-locked nation, surrounded by countries that would not allow transhipment of arms in violation of the embargo. The buying agents for Israel overcame this by chartering a C-54 transport plane and seven C-46s, originally purchased as war surplus in California. The pilots and crews from the newly formed Israeli Air Force Air Transport Command then began an airlift that would astound the world.
    As part of the deal, the Israeli agents negotiated the purchase of Avia S-199s which was a copy of the famous ME109, the backbone of the Nazi Luftwaffe. The Avia S1-99s was constructed with parts and plans left over from Luftwaffe aircraft production that had taken place under the country’s German occupation of Czechoslovakia during the war.
    One of the main aircraft they produced was a copy of the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6s under the Avia S-99 name, however, they soon ran into problems when they ran out of the ME-109′s Daimler-Benz DB 605 engine. This resulted in an inferior alternative engine been used. It was decided that as a replacement for the original engine, the aircraft would use the same engine (Junkers Jumo 211 F) and propeller of the Heinkel He 111 bomber."
    http://www.heritagedaily.com/2013/09/when-israel-flew-nazi-planes/99090?
     
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Interesting article, although the headlines annoy me (as if Jewish pilots would have flown anything "Nazi")
    They never flew "Nazi fighters".

    1)Avia's were allied 1947 repros (so post war aircrafts)
    2)Had these been war time aircraft , they would have been repainted ( "denazified")
    3)An aircraft has no political opinion so it can't be "Nazi". It could have been flown by an "anti Nazi"

    Of course saying "postwar alied airplanes that were similar to those used by the Nazi Regime" wouldn't have been a catching headline.
     
    gtblackwell, strmn, GRW and 1 other person like this.
  3. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    I couldn't agree more, Skipper. Your point #3 was the first thing that came to my mind. Airplanes don't have ideologies. It is very much about the eye-catching headline. However, I am increasingly finding it difficult to rule out a little latent antisemitism when it comes to some journalistic and editorial decisions.
     
  4. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Over the years there's been some excellent articles on this aircraft and its serivce in the embryonic IAF in Flypast and Aeroplane magazines here in the UK.

    Basically - the Avia was a complete turkey!!! The Jumo didn't suit the 109G airframe at all, and there was very little attempt to deal with all the balance factor and stress factor differences it threw up. As a result it was even more prone to groundlooping than the 109 and vibrated badly...and handled like a pig OFF the ground too! The Czechs sold a total of 28 out of 129 manufactured to the Israelis in 1948..

    And it didn't help that they flew into combat with the IAF a few guns short in each aircraft! The arms embargo didn't stop the aircraft reaching Israel...but it DID impact on their armaments!

    It's also a very DISTINCTIVE looking aircraft...nicknamed the "mickeymouse" for obvious reasons! There's no mistaking that VS 11 prop!!!

    [​IMG]




    As Gordon says - needs must - the Egyptians were flying Spitfires!!!
     
  5. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Didnt the Israelis fly spitfires? 48-49 war? Spit vs Spit...?
     
  6. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    They did get Spitfires third-hand from the Italian Air Force....but five years later! A batch of 130 in store in Italy had been handed over to the Italians at the end of the war.

    The agreement to supply them to the Israelis was made in 1952, and deliveries started in 1953. They got 35 Spitfires, 20 engines and a small stockpile of spare parts...

    One of the main problems was that the Italians had retired them because they were extremely "war weary"!!! There had been a series of structural failures...including several FATAL ones...in 1948-49! So they had been retired in 1950...

    They only "survived" a year in Israeli hands - a year later they agreed to sell the remaining thirty to the BURMESE!
     
  7. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    They also flew their 109s againt Egyptian Spitfires. Bit of a role reversal. :)

    Edit:

    I see you pointed out that it was in the 48-49 war so I guess I was stating the obvious that it would have been Egyptian Spits.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  9. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Who promptly buried them in a "secret" location!
     
  10. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    My guess is they're still there. Go find 'em, Gordon.

    I agree with Skipper. The headlines would not be so eye-catching if they used anything but Nazi. Obviously, the planes did not know who flew them.
     
  11. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Indeed...the first pilots of the Luftwaffe railed against the addition of the swastika...it wasnt traditional or "them". I few tranfers changed ideas...
     
  12. denny

    denny Member

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    "After approval of the Partition Plan of Palestine in November 1947"....THAT is the much more interesting topic of the article.
     
  13. strmn

    strmn recruit

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    Absolutely! This is another example of dumming down of the world. Everything was Nazi? Hardly. Perhaps it was German. Wow, that's a thought. Propoganda was used for a reason. Now people don't differentiate because the they don't know there is a difference. Nazi = political party, German= Nation

    Scott
     
  14. denny

    denny Member

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    The article says these were Nazi "designed" guns...ammo...aircraft...etc.
    People are looking at it through eyes jaded by 70 years of time.
    How many people...just in the USA...were persecuted because their last name was "Japanese" or "German".?
    In 1947...how many people in the USA do you think would have eaten a meal off a plate that was Made In Japan...made by "Japs".
    Would it bother them in 2013.?
    I think the article is just pointing out a fact...regardless of where the plane was made..a 109 flew because it was a "Nazi Plane".....No Nazis...no 109...and that is what people react to...the irony of it..
    best
     
  15. rprice

    rprice Member

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    Nancy Spielberg (Steven's sister) is producing a movie titled Above and Beyond: The Birth of the Israeli Air Force.

    Trailer: http://vimeo.com/54400569
    Info: http://www.katahdin.org/films/iaf/intro.html
     
  16. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    If memory serves, the cause for the delicately put "shortage of Daimler-Benz DB 605 engine" was a tragic warehouse fire. The replacement engines were horribly underpowered and the Israelis were extremely disappointed with the lack of performance thereof.
     
  17. TheFonz

    TheFonz recruit

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    Not to get too far off topic, but the Israelis did use war-era German Mauser rifles that were rounded up by the Allies after the war.
     
  18. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Yes. I seem a few of these Israeli 98s at gun shows over the years that had been rebarreled for 7.62 NATO
     
  19. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    "Airplanes don't have ideologies."

    Yes, an inanimate object does not have an ideology. :cycle: . Peace and love brothers...

    ha...there are some good new emoticons available.
     
  20. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Would be hard to find one modern army that never used the ubiquitous Mauser rifle in one of it' variants as either standard issue or captured weapons. AFAIK in 1948-49 Israel used any weapon it could get it's hands on and the results are probably one of the clearest examples that people count more than weapons.

    IIRC British (Mk XVIII) . Egyptian (Mk.IX) and IDF (Mk.V and Mk IX, ?? ) Spitfires fired on each other n 1948-49 and I think there was even a Spitfire v Spitfire episode in 1956.
     

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