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Fokker M.16

Fokker M.16

Fokker M.16

Fokker M.16 var en av en serie av tvåplan som designades av Anthony Fokker i ett försök att hitta en ersättare för hans framgångsrika monoplaner. En version av flygplanet beställdes av österrikisk-ungrare, men beställningen avbröts efter en krasch i testet.

M.16 byggdes i två versioner. Båda drivs av vattenkylda Mercedes-motorer och använde samma grundkonfiguration. Detta innehöll två vingar av mycket lika storlekar. Vingarna fästes på toppen och botten av flygkroppen, vilket innebär att cockpiterna var i nivå med den övre vingen. Pilotens huvud och axlar stack ut över vingen, vilket gav honom god nivå och sikt uppåt men dåligt nedåt och framåt, blockerat av vingarna och av motorn.

M.16E var den första versionen som slutfördes och började testa vintern 1915-1916. Det var en enkelsitsad tvåbilsplan, som drivs av en 100 hk Mercedes D.I-motor. Den innehöll ett kommaformat roder- och svansplan, en enkel V-formad vagn och vridning av vingar. Den var beväpnad med en LMG 08/15. I tester visade det sig vara underdriven och accepterades inte av den tyska armén.

M.16Z var en tvåsitsig tvåbåtsplan, som drivs av en 160 hk Mercedes D.III-motor. Den hade därmed längre vingar än M.16E. Det kommaformade rodret ersattes av en rektangulär modell. Återigen visade det sig vara underdriven och intresserade inte den tyska armén.

Österrikisk-ungrarna var mer intresserade. De försåg Fokker med en Austro-Daimler vattenkyld 160 hk motor och beställde en prototyp. En provisorisk order gjordes för produktionsflygplan, men detta avbröts efter att en andra prototyp, byggd lokalt av Aviatik, kraschade under tester. Istället beställde österrikaren ett antal Fokker M.17E, under beteckningen B.II.

Böcker om första världskriget | Ämnesindex: första världskriget


Fokker M.16

De Fokker M.16 var en full-gap (den hade en djup flygkropp som helt fyllde mellanplanets gap) enmotorig, tvåsitsig jakt-/spaningsflygplan som utvecklades 1915. Den hade en enda 149 kW (200 hk) Austro-Daimler vattenkyld inline motor. Den var beväpnad med två 7,92 mm (.312 tum) maskingevär.

Fokker M.16
Roll Kämpe
Tillverkare Fokker
Introduktion 1915

M.16E var prototypen för M.16Z, som hade antingen Austro-Daimler eller en 119 kW (160 hk) Mercedes-motor.

M.16E tjänstgjorde i den österrikisk-ungerska armén som Fokker B.III.

Denna artikel om ett flygplan från 1910 -talet är en stubbe. Du kan hjälpa Wikipedia genom att utöka den.


Konstruktion [redigera | redigera källa]

Fuselage består helt enkelt av två träbjälkar med tvärbalkar som piloten sitter på och på vilken en Argus fyrcylindrig vattenkyld motor är monterad fram. Radiatorerna placeras på sidan av flygkroppen. Vingarna och svansen består av två stålrör med bamburibbor. Landningsstället är också konstruerat av stålrör. Hela strukturen hålls ihop med ståltråd. Senare versioner har en mer strömlinjeformad flygkropp.


Födelsedagar i historien

    Anton Melik, slovensk geograf (d. 1966) Mosa Pijade, Jugoslavien, MP (kommunist) Henny Porten, tyst skärmstjärna (Bedrägeri), född i Magdeburg, Tyskland Sandor Rado, ungersk/amerikansk psykoanalytiker Karel Čapek, tjeckisk författare, dramatiker och kritiker (RUR) myntade ordet & quotrobot & quot, född i Malé Svatoňovice, Ungern (d. 1938) Kurt Tucholsky, tysk journalist/författare (Panther Tiger & amp Co) Grigory Landsberg, sovjetisk fysiker, född i Vologda, Ryssland (d. 1957) Oswald de Andrade, brasiliansk författare (en av den modernistiska gruppen med fem), född i São Paulo, Brasilien (d. 1954) Mordecai Wyatt Johnson, pastor och pedagog, född i Paris, Tennessee (d. 1976) Jüri Uluots, estnisk premiärminister (d. 1945) Fred M. Vinson, amerikansk demokratisk politiker, amerikansk finansminister (1945-46) och 13: e överdomaren i USA: s högsta domstol (1946-53), född i Louisa, Kentucky (d. 1953) Robert Stroud, Amerikansk dömd, & quot Birdman of Alcatraz & quot, född i Seattle Washington (d. 1963) Adolf Bach, tyska ångest/sociolog (Deutsche Namenkunde) Jean J M de Lattre de Tassigny, fransk gen (Indo-Kina) Claro Mayo Recto, filippinsk nationalist/motståndare till USA: s kolonialism Jacobus JP Oud, nederländsk arkitekt/medgrundare (Stijl)

Boris Pasternak

10 februari Boris Pasternak, rysk författare och poet (doktor Zhivago, Nobel 1958), född i Moskva, Ryssland (död 1960)

    Fanny Kaplan, misslyckad mördare för Vladimir Lenin (d. 1918) Jan de Vries, holländsk forskare i germansk lingvistik och germansk mytologi, född i Amsterdam (d. 1964) David Drummond, australiensisk politiker (d. 1965) Nina Hamnett, walisisk konstnär och amp författare, född i Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales (d. 1956) Robert Ley, nazistpolitiker. Begick självmord 1945. Lauri SA Haarla, finsk (scen) författare (Juudas, Sukeltaja) Jan Duiker, nederländsk arkitekt (Zonnestral) Norman Bethune, kanadensisk läkare, kommunist och humanitär (spanska inbördeskriget, andra kinesisk-japanska kriget), född i Gravenhurst , Ontario (d. 1939) Fernand Ansseau, belgisk operatör/teori (Orfeo) Oswald von Nell-Breuning, tysk teolog och filosof, född i Trier, Tyskland (d. 1991)

Vyacheslav Molotov

9 mar Vyacheslav Molotov [Skryabin], rysk politiker (Sovjetiska utrikesministern, 1939-49, 1953-6), född i Kukarka, ryska imperiet (d. 1986)

    Vannevar Bush, utvecklade första elektroniska analoga datorn A Evert Taube, svensk författare/trubadur William Dudley Pelley, amerikansk ledare för Silverlegionen (d. 1965) Gerardus van der Leeuw, nederländsk religionshistoriker/utbildningsminister John Rock, amerikansk obstetrikare och gynekolog som samutvecklade det första p-piller, född i Marlborough, Massachusetts (d. 1984) Marten Baersma [MH Bottema], Friesanförfattare (De lichte kimen) Jozef Arras, flamländsk författare, född i Lier (d. 1919) Harold Spencer Jones, engelsk astronom och tionde astronom kung i England vars arbete ledde till en mer exakt bestämning av avståndet mellan jorden och solen, född i London (d. 1960) William Lawrence Bragg, engelsk fysiker, nobelpristagare (d. 1971) Andre L Danjon, fransk astronom Anthony Fokker, nederländsk flygpionjär och flygplanstillverkare (Eindecker monoplanes, Fokker Triplane) Marjory Stoneman Douglas, miljöaktivist (1st Lady of Everglades) Donna Rachele Mussolini, fru av den italienska diktatorn Benito Mussolini, född i Predappio, Romagna, Italien (d. 1979) Frank Murphy, amerikansk politiker och 56: e generaladvokat i USA, född i Harbour Beach, Michigan (d. 1949) Lou Bandy [Lodewijk Ferdinand Dieben], nederländsk revykonstnär (Look for the Sun), född i Haag, Nederländerna (d. 1959) Maurice Duplessis, 16: e Premier i Quebec, född i Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Kanada (d. 1959) EE Smith, amerikansk matingenjör och sci-fi-författare (Triplanetary), född i Sheboygan, Wisconsin (d. 1965) B. Traven, (tysk?) Författare (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) vars verkliga identitet bestrids (möjligt datum) Christopher Morley, amerikansk författare (Kitty Foil), född i Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (d. 1957)

Alfred Jodl

10 maj Alfred Jodl, tysk general under andra världskriget (chef för det tyska överkommandot, undertecknad ovillkorlig nazistisk kapitulation), född i Würzburg, tyska imperiet (d. 1946)

Ho Chi Minh

19 maj Ho Chi Minh [Nguyễn Sinh Cung], vetnamese kommunistrevolutionär och president i Nordvietnam (1946-69), född i provinsen Nghệ An, franska Indokina (d. 1969)

    Virginia Eames, Ft Davis TX, underhållare Kurt Edzard, tysk skulptör (nakenbilder/porträtt), född i Bremen, Tyskland (d. 1972) Dorothy Heyward, amerikansk dramatiker (Porgy), född i NYC, New York (d. 1961) Paul JM Lindemans, flamländsk jordbruksingenjör/författare Egon Schiele, österrikisk målare och grafiker, född i Tulln an der Donau, österrikisk-ungerska riket (d. 1918) Georg Wüst, Posen, tysk oceanograf som gav den första fullständiga förståelsen av temperaturen, salthalt och djupgående struktur i Atlanten Frank Sherman Land, grundare av Order of DeMolay, född i Kansas City, Missouri (d. 1959) Hans Marchwitza, tysk författare och kommunist, född i Scharley, Övre Schlesien (d. 1965) ) Earl Roy Curry, religiös tänkare och Kirtland tempelövervakare, född i Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1980) Frederick Lewis Allen, amerikansk socialhistoriker och redaktör för Harper's Magazine, född i Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1954) Walter Hasenvlever, tysk författare , född i Aachen (d. 1 940) Arthur W Tedder av Glenguin, brittisk luftmarskalk (andra världskriget) Georg Annenkov, rysk/fransk målare Ossip Zadkine [Zadkin], russ/fransk skulptör (Destroyed City) Charles Erwin Wilson, amerikansk ingenjör (VD och koncernchef för General Motors) och politiker (USA: s försvarsminister 1953-57), född i Minerva, Ohio (d. 1961) Frank Forde, Australiens 15: e premiärminister (den kortast fungerande premiärministern i Australiens historia-8 dagar), född i Mitchell, Queensland, Australien (d. 1983) George II, Greklands kung (1922-1924 och 1935 -1947), född i Tatoi, Grekland (d. 1947)

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

22 juli Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, amerikansk matriark, mor till JFK, RFK & amp; Ted, född i Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1995)

    Daniel J. Callaghan, amerikansk amiral (hedersmedalj), född i San Francisco, Kalifornien (d. 1942) Erich Weinert, tysk kommunistisk författare, född i Magdeburg (d. 1953) Naum Gabo [Pevsner], rysk/amerikansk skulptör ( Stillife Flower) Eino Kaila, finsk psykolog och filosof, född i Alajärvi, Finland (d. 1958) Angus L. MacDonald, kanadensisk politiker (d. 1954) Erich Wichman, nederländsk fascistmålare/skulptör [Lavinia] Marian Fleming Poe, afroamerikansk advokat i Virginia, född i Warwick, County, Virginia (d. 1974) Elizabeth Bolden, amerikansk supercentenarian (äldsta verifierade person i världen vid hennes död), född i Somerville, Tennessee (d. 2006) Elvin M. Jellinek , Amerikansk fysiolog och pionjär inom studier av alkoholism, född i NYC, New York Harry Hopkins, amerikansk politiker, handelssekreterare under FDR (Loan & amp Lease law), född i Sioux City, Iowa (d. 1946) Stefan Bastyr, polsk flygare (d. 1920) Walther Funk, tysk ekonom och nazistpolitiker, född i Danzkehmen, K Preussen, tyska riket (d. 1960) Yves Alix, fransk målare och grafiker HP Lovecraft, amerikansk skräckförfattare (At the Mountains of Madness, Weird Tales), född i Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1937) Floyd Henri Allport, amerikansk psykolog och sociolog, född i Milwaukee , Wisconsin (d. 1979) Jean Rhys [Ella Gwendolyn Rees Williams], brittisk författare (Voyage in the Dark), född i Roseau, Dominica (d. 1979) Man Ray, amerikansk konstnär och fotograf (Dada), född i Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1976)

Överste Sanders

9 september Överste Harland Sanders, amerikansk grundare av Kentucky Fried Chicken, född i Henryville, Indiana (d. 1980)


7. The Bulge Battle (1965)

Tillverkad 1965, Slaget vid Bulgen är en Warner Bros -tolkning av den berömda WWII -striden 1945 som den är uppkallad efter. Bortsett från uppenbara felaktigheter om stridsvagnar och utrustning som används på båda sidor (den särpräglade amerikanska M47 Patton användes för att representera de tyska King Tiger -stridsvagnarna) är filmens skildring av strider också mycket felaktig.

Ett avgörande inslag i den första framgången med Ardennerattacken var det stormiga och slöa vädret, som negativt påverkade de allierade styrkornas luftöverlägsenhet och gjorde att tyskarna kunde operera. Ändå skildras många av striderna i Slaget om Bulge är helt snöfri. Dessutom äger de rum i plan och plan terräng - till skillnad från Ardenneskogen där strider faktiskt inträffade.

Filmen ger också intryck av att tankar offrades av amerikanerna för att köra de tyngre Tiger -tankarna utan bränsle. Faktum är att de tyska stridsvagnarna skulle ha varit uttömda även utan ansträngningar från USA. Slutligen var alla amerikanska jeepar i filmen i själva verket modeller utformade efter kriget.


Händelser i historien 1941

    Andra världskriget: Tysk bombning skadar Llandaff -katedralen i Cardiff, Wales, andra världskriget allvarligt: ​​USA: s regering tillkännager sitt Liberty -skeppsprogram för att bygga fraktfartyg till stöd för krigsinsatsen. Kanada och USA förvärvar flygbaser i Newfoundland (99 års hyresavtal) Italiensk motoffensiv i Albanien American National Collegiate Football Rules Committee tillkännager en ny regel som tillåter gratis byte av spelare Motståndskämpar mot d'Estienne d'Orves/Jan Doornik, 1: a möte British Australian trupper erövrar Bardia, Libyen

Roosevelts fyra friheter

6 jan USA: s president Franklin Roosevelt håller sitt "Four Freedoms & quot speech" (yttrandefrihet och tillbedjan fri från brist och rädsla) under sitt tal i USA: s tillstånd av staten.

Händelse av Intressera

7 januari Kinesiska Kuomintang-styrkor under order från Chiang Kai-shek öppen eld på den omgivna kommunistiska nya fjärde armén vid Maolin, Anhui-provinsen, dödande eller fångar 7000 trupper

    6 000 judar mördade i en pogrom i Bukarest, Rumänien Maiden flight av Kanadas brittiska byggda Avro Lancaster militära plan Joseph Kesselrings & quotArsenic & amp; Old Lace & quot premiärer i NYC Seyss-Inquart börjar registrering av judar andra världskriget: Den grekiska armén fångar Kleisoura.

Attack mot Pearl Harbor

16 januari USA: s vice admiral Bellinger varnar för ett angrepp på Pearl Harbor

    War Department bildar första Army Air Corps-skvadronen för svarta kadetter Chiang Kai-shek avvisar den kommunistiska nya fjärde armén efter New Fourth Army-incidenten i Maolin, Anhui-provinsen mellan nationalistiska och kommunistiska arméer lämnar många döda andra världskriget: En motoffensiv är startade av britterna mot italienarna i Östafrika Brittisk offensiv i Eritrea Brittiska trupper ockuperar Kassalaf, Sudans kinesiska kommunistledare omorganiserar den nya fjärde armén i strid med den nationalistiska ledaren Chiang Kai-sheks order om att den ska upplösas första anti-judiska åtgärder i Bulgarien 1: a kommersiella utvinning av magnesium från havsvatten, Freeport, Texas Australiska och brittiska trupper attackerar Tobruk, Libyen brittiska kommunistiska tidningen & quotDaily Worker & quot förbjöd första massmord på judar i Rumänien Brittiska och australiensiska trupper fångar Tobruk från italienare Banbrytande för NACA (nu NASA) Lewis Research Center WOR-AM i Newark NJ flyttar till NYC Brittiska trupper marscherar in i Abessinien

Händelse av Intressera

25 januari Påven Pius XII höjer det apostoliska vikariatet på Hawaiiöarna till ett stifts värdighet. Det blir det romersk -katolska stiftet Honolulu.


Fokker M.16 - Historia

Fokker Aircraft Legacy i West Virginia

När världen firar ett sekel med motorflyg kan West Virginia vara stolta över att ha deltagit i utvecklingen av kommersiell luftfart genom vår anslutning till Fokker Aircraft Corporation, tidigare belägen vid Glen Dale. Under de två första decennierna efter Wright Brothers prestation den 17 december 1903, en stor drivkraft för att få svepas i luften över Amerika och Europa. Sådan var framgången för en holländare, Anthony Fokker, att på 25 -årsjubileet för den första flygningen på Kitty Hawk rullade det första kommersiella flygplanet som byggdes i West Virginia ut från Fokker's Glen Dale -fabrik och seglade in i luftfartshistorien.

13 december 1928 såg himlen över Marshall County Fokkers första West Virginia-byggda flygplan på sin jungfruresa. Det styrdes av kapten Grisson E. Haynes, chefstestpilot för Fokker, åtföljd av H. G. Snyder, ingenjörsinspektör anställd av Pan American Airways, köpare av flygplanet.

Flyget har sitt ursprung på det gräsbevuxna flygfältet som ligger vid Ohio -floden intill Fokker -anläggningen. Lag av män öppnade dörrarna för dragspelsstil i den norra änden av fabriken och planet drogs in i dagsljuset. Tändningen av de tre motorerna gav ett distinkt oscillerande ljud från den kombinerade effekten på 1 275 hästkrafter. Kapten Haynes taxerade båten av egen kraft till den södra kanten av flygfältet där han utförde sina kontroller före flygningen, och vid fyra-tiden, med solen låg på den västra horisonten, sprang det nya flygplanet nerför den ojämna gräsbanan och steg upp graciöst till luften över Glen Dale. Det vackra stärkelsevita hantverket bankade lätt till vänster över floden Ohio och klättrade uppåt en spiral upp till en höjd av 4000 fot.

För dem på marken glittrade solnedgångens gula strålar gult, den vita flykten mot den tunna blå himlen. Efter att ha återlämnat planet till gräsbanan 30 minuter senare, förklarade kapten Haynes från ett fönster i sittbrunnen, ”hon hanterade perfekt.” Alla anställda var till hands och flera hundra åskådare som stod bredvid de intilliggande järnvägsspåren jublade över framgången. Fyra dagar senare den 17 december, 25 -årsjubileet för Wright Brothers flygning vid Kitty Hawk, piloterade kapten Haynes flygplanet från Glen Dale och levererade det till Pan American Airways i New York med en kort mellanlandning i Washington, DC

Utmärkt som Fokker F-10, var det ståtliga luftskeppet helt handgjort och utformat för att transportera 12 passagerare i bekvämligheten av en privat flygsalong. , Med undantag för motorer, hjul, däck och instrument, alla delar av planen gjordes i Glen Dale-anläggningen. 10 flygplan konstruerades helt av trä. Plåtar av plywood med graderad tjocklek limmades ihop och lindades runt ´spar, lutformade revben i vingens ihåliga kärna. Fackarbetare skulpterade profilen med hjälp av träbearbetningsplan för att hugga ut en dihedral vinkel, `` sluttande uppåt från mitten. '' Precisionen i detta arbete mättes till en trettio sekund av en tum.

Vingarna skruvades fast i flygkroppen, och utombordsmotorerna skruvades till lönnblocksektioner inbyggda i plywoodvingen. F-10-flygplanet använde tre Pratt och Whitney, 450hk, getingmotorer beräknade för att uppnå en marschfart på 125mph vid 4000 fot. Bränslebelastningen på 900 gallon gav en räckvidd på 600 miles på 4,75 timmar vid 60 gallon per timme per motor. I sin biografi, The Flying Dutchman, säger Anthony Fokker att han gynnade trä för vingarna eftersom det var lättare för en pilot eller mekaniker att reparera oavsett var planet kan behöva landa. En trävinge kan repareras snabbt medan en metall kan medföra många dagars försening.

Kroppen var täckt med sträckt linnetyg belagt med en speciell pigmenterad färg. På Glen Dale -fabrikens täckande monteringsavdelning skräddarsydde och sydde specialtränade team av kvinnor tyget för att passa perfekt i flygkroppen. F-10 skulle bli flygbranschens ”häst” i många år.

Det första planet som byggdes i Glen Dale skickades till Key West, Florida, för att flyga passagerare och posta den första kommersiella flygtjänsten mellan USA och Kuba. En 25-årig som hette Juan Trippe, Yale 1920, hade bildat Pan American Airways. Upptagen av pengar som lånats från stödjande klasskamrater utnyttjade Juan Trippe en marknadsnisch som skapats av Förbud och tjänade en förmögenhet genom att flyga passagerare till Kuba där de "torra" lagarna inte fanns. Trippe återinvesterade sina intäkter och uppgraderade kontinuerligt sin flotta av flygplan som sträckte flyglinjerna till hela Sydamerika längs koordinaterna som Lindbergh spanade efter. Trippe bildade en livslång vänskap med Charles Lindbergh, som när han var i Havanna efter sina turer i Mexiko och Karibien 1928 gick med på att testa flyga den nya Pan Am Fokker.

Den 7 oktober 1927 meddelade Ohio Valley -tidningar med djärva rubriker att ett flygplansprojekt för en miljon dollar skulle ge sysselsättning till 1000 i Glen Dale. I ett arrangemang som återspeglade dåvarande teori om ekonomisk utveckling, erbjöd lokala företag och politiska ledare att tillhandahålla mark och bygga byggnader om Fokker skulle bygga plan i Ohio-dalen. Inga statliga eller federala pengar var inblandade, eftersom denna satsning drevs på lokala investerares tro och kapital. I utbyte skulle Fokkers fabrik anställa 400 till 600 lokalt och skapa ett luftfartscenter med en utbildningsskola för piloter. I regi av Ohio Valley Industrial Corp. gick ett kapitalinvesteringsteam bestående av HC Ogden, DA Burt, WP Wilson och RE Nelson of Wheeling tillsammans med Evan G. Roberts, John A. Bloyd, James M. Sanders och John J. Clarke från Moundsville för det föreslagna företaget. Två separata företag bildades: ett för den fysiska anläggningen och ett för tillverkningsverksamheten.

Förväntningar höjdes med festliga skålar som Marshall och Ohio län skulle bli lika mäktiga som Detroit eller Akron. Upprätthålls av Fokker-produktens rykte och säljbarhet i världsklass, samlade Wheeling-intressen entusiastiskt $ 100 000 för att säkra alternativet. Moundsville -företagsledare kom snabbt bakom det kapitalinvesteringsprogram som Evan G. Roberts tog fram och samlade in 80 000 dollar på nio dagar. I kombination med en emission på 70 000 dollar hade investerarna 260 000 dollar för att bygga anläggningen.

Deras företag chartrades som Industrial Land & Building Company, med 300 000 dollar i kapital. '' Inkorporatörerna var P. Wilson, Lee C. Paull och Thomas Carnahan, alla från Wheeling, och John A. Bloyd och James A. Sigafoose, framstående Moundsville -affärsmän. '' Ett andra företag organiserades för att passa anläggningen med tillverkningsutrustning och material. En halv miljon dollar samlades in genom ett aktieutbud, och den 7 december 1927 rapporterade mäklarfirman Hazlett och Burt att hela aktien i det nya Fokker Aircraft Company såldes.

Det bör noteras att i september 1927 meddelade Wheeling -företagsledare att de sponsrade aviatrix Ruth Elder i sitt försök att kopiera Lindberghs transatlantiska flygning. Äldste och hennes navigatör, George Haldeman, lämnade Roosevelt Field i New York den 12 oktober i ett Stinson -monoplan som kallades American Girl, The City of Wheeling. Dåligt väder drev paret ur kurs och bränsle tog slut och tvingade äventyrarna att släppa sitt plan i havet nära Azorerna. De räddades, och även om de misslyckades i ett mål, ansåg deras Wheeling -stödare att uppdraget var en framgång genom att uppmärksamma världen över på Ohio -dalen. Dessa modiga Wheeling -investerare förlorade $ 35 000 när Elders oförsäkrade plan sjönk i havet, men deras vilja att riskera sina egna förmögenheter för flygets framsteg har sannolikt varit uppkomsten av Fokkers intresse för att placera en flygplansfabrik nära Steel City

Marken bröts för den nya anläggningen i januari 1928: i början av våren hälldes betonggolvet, tegelväggarna var nästan färdiga och entreprenören installerade de stora fabriksfönstren under vilka monteringslag snart skulle börja arbeta. Anthony Fokker besökte ofta byggarbetsplatsen för att övervaka arbetet. I april 1928 flög Fokker ett nytt Super Universal F-10-flygplan till Moundsville och landade det på Langin Field, som ligger en mil nedför floden från den nästan färdiga fabriken. Detta flygplan med 12 passagerare byggdes vid Fokker's Teterboro, NJ-anläggningen och dess ankomst möttes av ett enormt valdeltagande. Aktieägare och deras familjer fick korta gratisflygningar i sällskap om tio. Rapporter tyder på att planet startade och landade 15 gånger den dagen.

En av de lyckliga flygresenärerna den dagen var Alice Sigafoose Littell, 95, som nu bor i Helfer -paviljongen i Moundsville. När hon blev ombedd att kommentera händelsen, påminner fru Littell: ”Flygturen gick så snabbt att jag inte kommer ihåg många detaljer, förutom att det var första gången, och som tonåring var det både skrämmande och spännande.” Littell tillade: ”Min mamma var sjuk på ett sjukhus och hon insisterade på att min far, James Sigafoose, och jag inte skulle flyga samtidigt. Vi skulle åka separat vid en olycka .

I slutet av hösten 1928, ungefär samtidigt som det första planet kom från löpande band, förhandlade General Motors Corporation i hemlighet om kontroll över Fokker Aircraft. Ingen på lokal nivå visste om detta förrän nyheten offentliggjordes den 17 maj 1929, en dag efter att pappersarbetet var klart. I transaktionen fick Anthony Fokker 6,5 miljoner dollar i kontanter, ”ett stort antal patent” och kontroll över McCook Field i Dayton, Ohio. General Motors förvärv av ”ett av världens ledande tillverkare av flygplan” gav biljätten omedelbar paritet med Ford Motor Company i flygbranschen.

I sin tidskrift från 1931 säger Anthony Fokker att han sålde ett 40% kontrollande innehav i sitt amerikanska företag till General Motors med förväntan att General Motors skulle lägga all sin enorma vikt bakom Fokker -planet. Dagen efter att fusionen tillkännagavs sålde Fokker Aircraft-aktien för $ 68, men inom 10 dagar justerade vinsttagandet priset till $ 47.

Sammanslagningen med GM hade ingen omedelbar effekt på Glen Dale -verksamheten. Under 1929 producerade fabriken ett flygplan var 12: e dag i genomsnitt. Enligt konton i lokalpressen var beställningarna på nya flygplan stabila. Vid varje given tidpunkt fanns det inte mindre än tio plan på back-order med förväntad försäljning på hundra F-10: or per år. General Motors tjänstemän såg ingen risk för att order skulle upphöra under de kommande fem åren . De främsta kunderna var Universal Aviation, Pan American Airways, Western Air Express och Transcontinental Air Transport, de två sistnämnda slogs samman till TWA. Många flygplan för den amerikanska armén tillverkades också på Glen Dale, som representerade en mängd olika konstruktioner, inklusive dubbel- och trippelmotoriserade jaktplan.

En rad spektakulära framgångar 1927 och 1928 bidrog väsentligt till lokala investerares förtroende. Befälhavare Richard Byrd lotsade Fokker-trimotorn, ”Josephine Ford,” på en 1 360 mil lång vandring över nordpolen, vilket bevisar designens tillförlitlighet. Byrds transatlantiska flygning 1927 i Fokker Amerika, tillför bilden av hastighet och säkerhet. År 1928 erövrade Stilla havet i en Fokker C-2 från Army som flyger mellan Oakland och Oahu, en Seattle-pilot vid namn Kingsford-Smith inledde en flygning runt om i världen i Fokker 'Southern Cross' och Amelia Earhart blev den första kvinnan att flyga Atlanten i hennes Fokker trimotor, 'Vänskap'

Anthony Fokker var en smart affärsman, men han hade ett litet intresse av att hantera fabriksgolvet. Hans passion för flyg var att konstruera och skapa bättre flygplan. I takt med att konsumenternas förtroende för flygsäkerheten ökade lade Fokkers största kund, Western Air Express, en order på det största flygplanet i Amerika. F-32 tillverkades vid Fokkers fabrik i New Jersey och transporterade 32 passagerare och innehöll fyra rum, två toaletter, radio, både sändande och mottagande, skafferi, mjuka mattor, handmålning på väggar och sovplatser. 17 maj 1930 indikerar att detta fyrmotoriska flytande palats, med ett vingspann på 99 fot och en höjd av 16 fot, landade på Fokker Field i Glen Dale efter en flygning från Detroit. Den 225 fot breda med 3000 fot långa landningsbanan rymde knappt det gigantiska skeppet.

I takt med att Fokker -ryktet för tillförlitlighet växte sig starkare tvingades andra konkurrenter som Boeing, Douglas, Curtis och Ford genom konkurrens att avancera flygområdet ytterligare. Fokkers inflytande var som en blixt. Han uppmärksammade potentialen för kommersiella passagerarflygplan genom utvecklingen av F-32.

Med ett stadigt utbud av order uttryckte tjänstemän vid anläggningen i Glen Dale planer på en expansion. Flygfältet genomgick också vissa förändringar när marken som separerade Fokker Field och Langin Field rensades för att skapa en mil lång landningsbana. De anställda organiserade för att bilda Fokker Eagles baseboll- och fotbollslag när de spände sina företagsmuskler mot ´Fostorias´ och andra lokala sandlot -rivaler. Tyvärr var halcyon-dagarna 1929 kortlivade. (Det första tecknet på att problem väntade kom när priset på vete sjönk till under en dollar per skäppa. Isolerade bankfel följde i bondesamhällen, vilket ledde till större kramper på Wall Street.) Den beklagliga nedgången av hela tillverkningssektorn i amerikansk industri i 1930 -talet nippade Fokkers drömmar i knoppen. I den slutliga analysen producerades 58 passagerarflygplan plus många arméflygplan vid anläggningen i Glen Dale, vilket gav aptit åt en framväxande industri som kämpar för att utveckla ny teknik.

Meddelandet om att Glen Dale -anläggningen skulle stänga kom den 30 september 1931 efter ett tappert försök att hålla sig lösningsmedel. Orsakerna till nedgången är tvåfaldiga, men börskraschen i oktober 1929 var den främsta faktorn i förlusten av West Virginia första flygbolag. (Enligt historikerna George Tindall och David Shi, som skrev i sin bok America A Narrative History, uppstod bankkrisen som ett resultat av Harding, Coolidge och Hoover -administrationen. Med råd från Coolidges finansminister Andrew Mellon, dessa på varandra följande förvaltningar demonterade de reglerande kontroller som infördes av de progressiva förvaltningarna i Teddy Roosevelt och Woodrow Wilson. Mellon förespråkade det Hamiltonianska temat som "rikedom koncentrerad i fåns händer skulle främja den allmänna välfärden genom ökade kapitalinvesteringar." För detta ändamål , reglerna för stora företag lossades, importtullarna höjdes och inkomstskatten på de högsta inkomsttagarna sänktes från 65% till 20%. 1928 var en tredjedel av den nationella förmögenheten i händerna på 5% av befolkning. Harding, Coolidge och Hoover höll fast vid en laissez-faire filosofi med avseende på handel och litade på att marknaden skulle rätta sig. Men när börsen kraschade , det gjorde det till följd av för mycket penningmängd, en utplattning av konsumenternas efterfrågan, överkapacitet i tillverkningssektorn och girighet som representeras av investerare som köper spekulativa aktier på marginal.) Fokker -aktien, liksom alla andra branscher, tumlade och föll. Fokkers värde sjönk från $ 54 före kraschen till $ 22 vid årets slut.

En orderstock efterlevde Glen Dale -verksamheten under hela 1930, men '' tillfälliga uppsägningar '' 1931 ledde till avstängning av verksamheten efter att General Aviation Corporation köpte Fokker Aircraft och flyttade tillverkningsutrustning och skickliga arbetare från Glen Dale till Baltimore. Löftet om ett flygcentrum, lönesumman för miljoner dollar och många investerares förhoppningar förmörkades av den spridande pesten av ekonomisk kollaps. Hela landet krossade sig ”full” av den plötsliga arbetslösheten hos miljoner människor. Biljettförsäljningen för flygresor torkade upp, medan en rad flygkrascher på västkusten ytterligare försvagade konsumenternas förtroende.

The tragic death on March 31, 1931 of Notre Dame s renowned football coach, Knute Rockne, while riding in a Fokker F-10 may have signaled the end of an era of wood-winged aircraft. Certainly, the crash that killed Rockne also was the last straw for Glen Dale s airplane factory. The airplane in which he was riding, though it had been in service for only 18 months, was a product of the Glen Dale plant.

In that accident, the main wing separated from the fuselage of the aircraft. Later analysis found that the pilot attempted to raise the nose of the aircraft too quickly when he encountered the poorly understood phenomenon of wind sheer. In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, however, Fokker s competitors, including Henry Ford, seized upon the national feeling of shock and dismay to erode Fokker s reputation and lay blame on his construction techniques. Even before investigators had determined the cause of the accident, Ford testified in hearings on Capitol Hill against composite construction airplanes. An advocate of all-metal aircraft, he argued that the time had come for the government to focus its support on all-metal airplanes, such as those made by his company.

The lasting legacy of Fokker s Glen Dale operation has both national and statewide significance. Anthony Fokker s airplanes regularly left his West Virginia facility for delivery to Cleveland, St. Louis, Chicago, Texas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D. C., New York and Florida. The aircraft Fokker supplied to Pan Am opened South America to air travel, linking the two continents of the western hemisphere in a more immediate way than had ever been achieved. Larger aircraft opened the doors to cargo transport with airmail paving the way.

West Virginia s contribution to the development of aviation resides in the fact that all of the objectives of advancing the field of commercial aviation were met through the faith of local investors, the labor of local workers and the confidence of national companies.

These photos were submitted by James R. Wells, whose father, Robert H. Wells, worked at Fokker after graduating from Moundsville High School in 1928. Robert was a member of the Fokker basketball team in 1930.


Fokker M.16 - History

By Bob Cashner

Norway had been able to avoid the massive bloodletting of World War I entirely and fervently hoped to steer clear of World War II as well through a policy of strict neutrality. Having seen the fate of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, by 1940 many of Europe’s smaller and traditionally neutral nations were struggling to strengthen and modernize their military defenses. Norway had waited until almost the last minute before beginning a rearmament program and was ill prepared militarily to even enforce its own neutrality in Norwegian waters.

Tonnage wise, in 1940 the Royal Norwegian Navy was roughly only one quarter of the size it had been in 1914. It had only two capital ships, the armored coastal defense ships Norge and Eidsvold, whose keels had been laid before the turn of the century. The handful of new vessels available were mostly small patrol boats better suited to fisheries protection and enforcement than naval warfare, and there had been no money in the defense budget for the fleet to actually put to sea and conduct maneuvers since 1918.

In theory, with a full-scale mobilization and call up of the reserves, Norway could field an army of six divisions, but in peacetime each division had only a single active-duty battalion. The country did have a long tradition of universal conscription young men coming of age had to serve a stint in the military. The basic training period, however, was the shortest of any nation in Europe, only 72 days. Some older reservists who had met their military obligation during the 1920s had received only 48 days of training. Even if there were time available to mobilize all the reserves, weapons and equipment were often both old and in short supply. The Royal Norwegian Army of 1940 did not have a single tank, antitank gun, or even hand grenades there were not even enough steel helmets or rifle bayonets to go around in the case of full mobilization.

The Army Air Corps had a grand total of 62 aircraft, of which fewer than 20 could charitably be considered modern the backbone of its fighter strength consisted of a dozen British-made Gloster Gladiator biplanes stationed near Oslo, and the most numerous attack plane was the 1924-vintage Fokker C.V.E., a wood-framed, fabric-covered biplane right out of World War I. The Royal Norwegian Navy had an additional 40 or so aircraft, but they were all of makes, models, and vintages that made the Army Air Corps seem state of the art. Norway had recently purchased some brand new L/60 40mm Bofors guns from neighboring Sweden, a grand total of eight of them. The vast majority of the country’s quite limited antiaircraft defenses consisted of aging World War I-vintage 75mm guns in fixed positions and of dubious value against modern, high-speed aircraft. The dozen 75mm luftvernkanon m/16 guns still in use in 1940, for instance, were a 1916 design originally designated as “antiballoon guns.”

So, when Allied and Axis nations alike looked at Norway’s 1,000-plus miles of strategic coastline and her vital rail link to the Swedish iron ore mines at the port of Narvik, neither were too concerned about the military repercussions of violating the country’s neutrality. The proposed joint British and French expeditionary force supposedly intended to go to the aid of Finland during the 1939-1940 Winter War was little more than a thinly veiled scheme to occupy Narvik and the Swedish iron mines. The Germans had torpedoed ships in Norwegian territorial waters. The British responded by chasing down and boarding the German merchantman Altmark right in front of a Norwegian patrol boat.

The Nazi German invasion of Norway was in fact hastened along by German Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s fears that the British were going to land troops there. German preparations for the invasion and occupation of Denmark and Norway were already being developed under the codename of Operation Weserübung.

Even though the Norwegian military was not well prepared, the Germans knew they had to strike hard and fast to achieve an early knockout blow. Hitler was already planning to invade France and the Low Countries, so the Germans could not afford to have men and material tied up in a lengthy campaign in Norway. If Norway determined to fight and was able to fully mobilize, the country’s rough, mountainous terrain offered a great many natural defensive positions, and given time the Norwegian military would be joined by British and French reinforcements. Thus, a major part of Operation Weserübung called for special detachments of troops to capture the Norwegian king, the prime minister and his cabinet, and leading members of the Storting (Parliament) within the first few hours of the invasion. It was hoped that the captured leaders, surprised and disheartened, would quickly capitulate and the Nazi conquest of Norway would become a fait accompli before the British and French could even respond.

Operation Weserübung, as it pertained to Norway, was a particularly audacious and far-reaching plan, almost to the point of recklessness Adolf Hitler chortled that it was the “sauciest” military operation in history. It required a very tight timetable and close coordination between all three branches of the German military, the Heer (Army), Kriegsmarine (Navy), and Luftwaffe (Air Force). To achieve complete surprise, all the German landings would have to occur simultaneously over nearly 1,000 miles of coastline. Seaborne landings were slated for the Norwegian capital of Oslo and the important coastal cities of Bergen, Egersund, Kristiansand, Trondheim, and Narvik, while two airborne assaults would seize vital airfields at Stavanger and Fornebu. Wesertag (Weser Day) was finally set for April 9, 1940, and H-hour was 0500.

Bound for the Norwegian capital of Oslo was Warship Group 5, composed of German Navy vessels under overall command of Rear Admiral Oskar Kummetz, whose flagship was the brand new heavy cruiser Blücher. This group also included the Deutschland-class heavy cruiser Lützow, a 14,000-ton vessel sometimes termed a “pocket battleship,” sporting a main armament of six 11-inch (280mm) guns in two triple turrets, and the older 1920s-vintage light cruiser Emden, armed with eight 6-inch (150mm) guns. The remainder of Group 5 consisted of three torpedo boats, eight minesweepers, and two whalers. These ships carried a landing force of just over 2,000 troops from the 163rd Infantry and 3rd Mountain Divisions. An additional 23 merchant ships were standing by in German ports or at sea awaiting the word to bring in 14,000 more troops and their vehicles and heavy weapons once the Norwegian defensive installations along the Oslofjord were cleared.

The heavy cruiser Blücher was the pride of Nazi Germany’s new Kriegsmarine, one of its finest and newest ships, built in repudiation of the Treaty of Versailles and at a cost of nearly 86 million Reichsmarks. The second of five Admiral Hipper-class heavy cruisers, Blücher was commissioned into the fleet in September 1939, even as the panzers were rolling into Poland, and she had not finished her sea trials until April 5, 1940. Grossing 18,000 tons fully loaded, she was more than 675 feet long and had a beam of 72 feet. Her three Blohm & Voss 132,000 shaft horsepower steam turbines could drive her at a top speed of 32 knots, and she was crewed by 1,382 officers and men. Her main armament consisted of eight 8-inch (203mm) SK C/34 rifled guns mounted in twin turrets fore and aft. Secondary armament included a dozen 4.1-inch (105mm) guns, a dozen 37mm, eight 20mm light antiaircraft guns, and six 21-inch torpedo tubes port and starboard. For protection she carried three inches of belt armor, up to two inches of deck armor, and more than four inches of turret armor. Blücher normally carried three Arado Ar-196 float planes for reconnaissance and gunnery spotting, but on April 9 only two of the aircraft were aboard, one on the launching catapult and one in the hangar immediately aft of the funnel.

In addition to being Admiral Oskar Kummetz’ flagship, Blücher also carried Maj. Gen. Erwin Engelbrecht, commanding officer of the 163rd Infantry Division, and Maj. Gen. Wilhelm Sussmann, commander of the Luftwaffe’s ground organization for Norway. The 528 troops aboard included the special detachments designated to capture the Norwegian king and key government leaders, as well as the nation’s gold reserves. Stored topside above the main armored deck were light field guns and some 31 tons of munitions belonging to these ground troops.

The sea approach to Oslo is via the 100-kilometer-long Oslofjord, a restricted, winding, and often narrow waterway that affords ships little room to maneuver. Norwegian coastal fortifications dotted the shores and islands of Oslofjord for its entire length collectively, these defenses were known as Oslofjord festning, or Oslofjord Fortress. A natural defensive bottleneck forms in the fjord at Drøbak Sound, where the channel briefly narrows down to a little over a quarter of a mile wide, and the Drøbak narrows are the dividing line between what is known as Inner and Outer Oslofjord. Two small islands at the narrows were home to Oscarsborg Fortress, which would play a large role in the events of April 9, 1940.

Luck initially seemed to be with the vessels of Warship Group 5 as they penetrated the outer mouth of Oslofjord late on the night of April 8, 1940 a thick fog hung over the water, concealing the German ships. Rear Admiral Kummentz had issued orders for his ships to hold their fire unless otherwise ordered by the flagship and to ignore any warning shots from the Norwegian defenders.

At around 2300 hours, the Royal Norwegian Navy patrol boat Pol III, a small former whaler with a crew of 15 and armed only with a single 76mm gun, came across the wakes of Warship Group 5 and began to follow them. She was discovered by the German torpedo boat Albatross, which closed on the Pol III and ordered the crew at gunpoint not to use their radio transmitter. Captain Leif Welding-Olsen refused and became the first Norwegian military casualty of World War II. In the tense situation in the fog, the two ships collided, the smaller Pol III taking the lion’s share of damage as she fired a single warning shot and then launched one white and two red flares, the warning signal for enemy ships in Oslofjord.

Albatross backed off and took her under fire, immediately knocking out her sole gun. The crew abandoned ship. Captain Welding-Olsen had lost both his legs, and, seeing the lifeboat was already overloaded, bade his men farewell and rolled himself overboard. Coastwatchers and another small Norwegian patrol boat radioed warnings to Oslo.

Alerted by Pol III’s flares, the Norwegian battery on Rauoy Island spotted Warship Group 5 and fired a blank warning round and then five live rounds from its 150mm guns. The latter shots were fired in anger, but in the fog and darkness Rauoy’s outdated fire control and sighting systems did not prove up to the task. The shells fell so far astern of the Kriegsmarine warships that the Germans actually assumed all six shots had been blanks. Fort Bolaerne also fired a warning shot that went unheeded.

After this brief flurry of fire, Warship Group 5 disappeared into the mist. The Germans were still on schedule and had suffered no damage. At 2345, the flotilla halted briefly as landing parties were put aboard six of the minesweepers to capture Forts Rauoy and Bolaerne and the small Norwegian naval post at Horten, from the rear. The bulk of the warships then proceeded farther up the fjord.

By 0415 hours on the morning of April 9, Warship Group 5 was approaching the Drøbak narrows and Oscarsborg Fortress. By at least one account, German charts listed the old fort as a museum rather than an active coastal defense site. Originally completed in 1855 on South Kaholmen Island, the brick and mortar structure was named after the visiting Swedish-Norwegian King Oscar I. It had been modernized toward the end of the 19th century. In 1879, an underwater barrier was completed that restricted the passage of large, deep-draft ships to the eastern channel of the fjord. In 1893, the new Main Battery armament, three Krupp Model 1891 11-inch (280mm) L/11.2 coastal guns, was purchased from Germany and installed. While cranes were originally unloading the Krupp guns from their ship for installation in the fortress, one of the massive 28-ton cannons had accidentally been dropped into the fjord. After being fished out of the water, the gun had been christened “Moses” and the other two guns in the battery were then named “Aaron” and “Joshua.”

Since the battery was constructed prior to the age of air power, the Krupp guns were mounted in open-topped barbettes their concrete and earthen embankments could only protect the weapons from the flat-trajectory direct fire of enemy ships.

Just as important as the Main Battery to the events of that fateful morning was the Torpedo Battery on tiny North Kaholmen Island, which had been completed in 1901. Situated entirely underground, the interior of the battery had been carved out of the island’s granite bedrock and featured three interior elevators that launched torpedoes underwater via concrete tunnels. The above-ground concrete slits that allowed aiming of the fire control mechanisms were well camouflaged by hedges, and this battery was one of the few Norwegian installations that was completely unknown to German intelligence. The battery’s nine 17.7-inch (450mm) diameter Whitehead torpedoes had been manufactured in Fiume in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1900. They were cold-running torpedoes that used a 3-cylinder reciprocating engine that ran off compressed air with a speed of 27 knots and a contact-fused 220-pound explosive warhead. Although the weapons were tested at intervals over the years, no one was absolutely sure how well or even if they would still work if fired in anger.

Lastly, two fortifications on the east shore of the fjord opposite Oscarsborg were under the command of Captain Vagn Enger. Situated atop a hill overlooking the fjord, Kopås Battery had three British-made Model 1899 Armstrong 6-inch (150mm) guns and two searchlights. Much lower and close to the shoreline was Husvik Battery, which had only two old 19th century Cockerill-Nordenfelt Quick-Firing 6-pounder (57mm) mine barrier protection guns intended for use against small craft attempting to sweep the minefield.

When fully manned, the combined defensive fortifications throughout Oslofjord Fortress should have had a total garrison of 1,433 enlisted men and 210 officers. On April 9, only 613 men and 83 officers were present. Of the 613 enlisted men, 450 were fresh recruits who were just beginning to undergo their training. The naval minefields had not been deployed because planting the mines was to have been part of the recruits’ training in the near future.

In command of Oscarsborg Fortress was 64-year-old Coastal Artillery Oberst (Colonel) Birger Kristian Eriksen, only six months from retirement. Present for duty under his direct command at the Main Battery were 28 officers and men, but only enough trained artillerymen to man one of the big Krupp guns, which required a crew of 11. Eriksen divided his single gun crew in two then leavened each half with the garrison’s cooks, clerks, and drivers, who had been awakened from their barracks, and a handful of reservists who had shown up on their own initiative. By doing so he was able to fully man two of the main guns, Moses and Aaron, although all three were loaded under his direct supervision.

Colonel Eriksen may not yet have known for certain the nationality of the approaching ships, but he knew they were hostile and that numerous warning shots had already been fired in Outer Oslofjord. If he fired a warning shot of his own, it was doubtful the scratch gun crews could reload the ponderous ancient weapons in time to fire another. He let the approaching ships come to within point-blank range, approximately 1,300 meters, so that there was little chance of missing. The thought that by firing his guns he might well be starting a war must have weighed heavily on his mind. When a junior officer questioned him about his order to commence firing, his famous reply was, “Either I will be decorated or I will be court martialed…. Fire!”

Moses and Aaron spoke, their massive muzzle blasts briefly lighting up the gloom and their heavy booms echoing across the fjord. Aboard Blücher, Captain Kurt Zoepffel recalled, “Suddenly, an ear-splitting roar of thunder rends the air. The glare of the guns pierces the darkness. I can see three flashes simultaneously. We are under fire from two sides the guns seem only 500 yards away. Soon bright flames are leaping from the ship.”

Both shots were hits. The first 562-pound high-explosive shell crashed into Blücher’s forward superstructure above the bridge, killing and wounding several men. Moments later, the second 280mm round struck Blücher’s seaplane hanger amidships. The Arado seaplane in the hangar and the aircraft on the catapult were fully fueled, and both were almost immediately engulfed in roaring flames as the volatile aviation fuel ignited. This in turn began to explode the army munitions stored on deck, disabling one of Blücher’s portside 4.1-inch guns.

Blücher immediately returned fire with her secondary armament of 4.1-inch guns and light 37mm and 20mm flak batteries. Not believing his improvised gun crews could manage to reload Moses and Aaron under fire, Colonel Eriksen ordered his men to simply take cover. There was no reprieve for Blücher, however. In response to the Main Battery firing, the Kopas and Husvik Batteries on the east shore of the fjord opened fire as well. Situated on the high ground, Kopas’ three 6-inch Armstrong guns delivered plunging fire onto Blucher’s decks. Most of the shells failed to penetrate Blücher’s deck armor, but the repeated strikes created chaos. The munitions stored on deck began to explode, igniting more fires a starboard 4.1-inch gun was knocked out, massive power failures flickered through the ship, and rudder control from the helm was damaged. Blücher took a total of 13 hits from the 150mm guns and 30 from the rapid-fire 6-pounders. The 57mm guns of Husvik Battery had to be abandoned by the Norwegian gun crews as Blücher passed, her flak guns firing directly into the shoreside weapons pits.

Following Blücher 600 yards astern, Lützow immediately opened fire toward the Norwegian shore batteries with her 5.9-inch secondary batteries and began to swing her forward 11-inch turret onto the target. As she did so, three 150mm shells from Kopas Battery struck her in rapid succession. One scored a direct hit on “A” turret, wounding several sailors and putting the turret out of action. Another impacted the ship’s sickbay, killing two men and wounding many others and starting a fire. Lützow also took several hits from the rapid-fire 57mm guns of Husvik Battery and was being raked by machine-gun fire from shore even as her captain and crew observed the massive explosions and sheets of flame erupting from Blücher ahead.

Captain August Thiele ordered the pocket battleship to withdraw, forcing Emden to avoid a collision. Although Lützow’s crew quickly extinguished her fires and soon had two out of the three 11-inch guns in “A” turret operating again, the fog did not allow them to impact the fate of Blücher.

When the Norwegian guns had initially opened fire, Captain Zoepffel aboard Blücher had rung up full speed and steered for the middle of the channel. This soon took the cruiser out of the line of fire from the shore batteries but unknowingly put it square in the sights of the concealed Torpedo Battery. Since the commanding officer of the torpedo battery was on sick leave, a retired senior commander who lived in nearby Drøbak had been given temporary command in March 1940. Sixty-one-year-old Kommandørkaptein (Commander Senior Grade) Andreas Anderssen was the perfect choice he had first served as a young officer on the Torpedo Battery in 1909 and later retired as its commander in 1927, so he knew the weapons and equipment inside and out. The two officers and nine seamen under his command were all longtime reservists who were also knowledgeable and well trained when it came to operating the battery.

Anderssen gave the command to fire two torpedoes, and both of the elderly fish ran straight and true. One hit Blücher forward of amidships and the other toward the stern, rocking the cruiser with two more massive explosions on the port side.

Although she had taken on a 10-degree list and lost steering as her engine rooms began to flood, Blücher was not yet mortally wounded. No longer taking any Norwegian fire, she dropped anchor to keep from drifting into the shoreline as the crew fought to extinguish her fires. The fire in the floatplane hangar, however, had grown to an inferno and spread to several decks below. On deck, the army’s small arms ammunition and grenades were continuously cooking off, scattering the firefighting crews and shredding the fire hoses with shrapnel. The fires exploded four 100-pound bombs in the floatplane hangar, and great clouds of black smoke and hissing steam were gushing from the ship’s funnel and the gaping hole amidships.

At 0530, the fires reached Blücher’s amidships ammunition magazine for 4.1-inch ammunition. The resulting explosion ripped a great hole in her side, ruptured the bulkheads between boiler rooms, and blew open her fuel bunkers, exposing the fuel oil to the raging flames. This damage sounded the proud new cruiser’s death knell. At 0600 the order to abandon ship was given. The Blücher slowly rolled over and sank 22 minutes later. At least 125 of her crew were lost along with 200 of the 528 soldiers in the landing parties.

Still unaware of the hidden underground Torpedo Battery, Captain Thiele of the Lützow believed that the Drøbak Narrows were heavily mined and it was these weapons that had sunk Blücher. He ordered Warship Group 5 back down the fjord, out of range of Oscarsborg’s ancient guns, although Lützow was able to continue firing on the forts with her modern long-range 11-inchers. Instead of being landed directly into Oslo’s harbor as planned, the remaining troops aboard the vessels of Warship Group 5 now had to be landed in the small town of Son, some 25 miles away.

With daylight came the Luftwaffe. Wave after wave of Heinkel He-111 twin-engine bombers swooped over the islands, dropping 440-pound bombs on the fortifications. Two of Norway’s eight new 40mm Bofors guns replied along with a handful of Colt M/29 7.92mm machine guns, but the limited antiaircraft defenses failed to down any German bombers. The skies cleared from noon until 1330 while Lützow returned to bombard the fortress with her 11-inch guns. Afterward, more German planes, including Junkers Ju-87 Stuka dive bombers, returned to blast the fort. Oscarsborg Fortress was subjected to aerial bombardment for almost nine hours and was hit with approximately 500 bombs.

Despite the successful resistance of Colonel Eriksen and his men, Oslo was captured before the end of the day on April 9 by German infantry airlifted into Fornebu Airport, which had been captured earlier by paratroopers. After the aerial bombardment and with German troops ashore on both sides of the fjord, Colonel Eriksen decided not to subject his handful of ill-prepared troops to an infantry assault and surrendered Oscarsborg on the morning of April 10.

By sinking Blücher and forcing the remainder of the German task force to land its troops miles from the capital, the Oscarsborg garrison had bought time for the king, prime minister, cabinet, and parliament to be evacuated on a special train from Oslo to Elverum, where the Storting reconvened and vowed to fight. The country’s gold reserves were smuggled out of the capital to the town of Lillehammer.

Instead of handing the Norwegian government a fait accompli, the Germans wound up having to devote further men and resources to a lengthy campaign. With most of the major Norwegian cities in German hands, the Norwegian Army reservists were never able to fully mobilize, but those units that did fought on and were joined by British, French, and Free Polish troops.

In the final reckoning, however, British control of the sea was trumped by German control of the air. The Allies later evacuated their expeditionary forces from Norway, and the last Norwegian Army units laid down their arms on June 9, 1940. The fight for Norway had lasted for two months, longer than the Germans had expected, and the loss of the new Blücher was a severe blow to German prestige.

Author Bob Cashner resides in Philipsburg, Montana. He has previously written for Andra världskrigets historia on the Boys Anti-Tank Rifle, War Dogs, and the Japanese knee mortar.


Fokker’s Synchronizing Gear And The Birth of Fighter Planes

The first airplanes to join the First World War were not made for combat. They merely played the role of an observer, scouting enemy positions and movements. Intelligence gathering was essential for warfare, and this new technological innovation made it possible for an observer to look into enemy territory surreptitiously. Predictably, the enemy began doing the same, and soon it became necessary to prevent enemy airplanes from conducting reconnaissance and surveillance.

A British World War One era fighter aircraft. Photo: Keith Tarrier/Shutterstock.com

The first dogfights were made with pistols. The pilot held the airplane’s control stick with one hand and fired off his pistol to the sides with the other. Then a second crew member, the gunner, was added. Sitting on the backseat, his job was to operate a movable machine gun leaving the flying to the pilot. It was German aviator August Euler, who first saw the advantage of a forward-firing gun that could bring down an enemy from behind. Euler patented his design in 1910—four years before war started.

But many senior officers remained skeptical.

The idea of coupling the firing mechanism to the propeller's rotation is an affectation. The objection is the same as to any gun position which is fixed along the longitudinal axis of the aircraft: the pilot is forced to fly directly at the enemy in order to fire. Under certain circumstances this is highly undesirable”, wrote German Major Siegert.

Duel in the air. An artwork that appeared on The Illustrated London News

A British two-seater monoplane fires on a German Taube fighter. Photo: Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com

Nevertheless, airplane designers continued to file patents. In 1914, Swiss engineer Franz Schneider published a patent that could fire through the rotating blades of the propeller. A mechanical feedback system derived from the rotating cam wheel prevented the pilot from squeezing the trigger when the propeller blades were directly in front of the muzzle. The patent attracted little interest and nobody actually tried to build it.

That same year, French engineer Raymond Saulnier also filed patent for a different design. Unlike the Schneider patent design, Saulnier's device was actually built, and may be considered the first practical synchronization gear to be tested. Unfortunately, Saulnier’s design scarcely worked. The machine gun that was used for the firing assembly was found to be unsuitable for the purpose, and the experiments ceased.

The French decided that the only workable solution for now was to fire straight through the propeller and pray for the best. To protect the propeller blades and safely deflect the bullets away, they were fitted with armored plates, and later with armored wedges. The system was crude but it worked. About 75 percent of all rounds fired passed through the propeller without hitting the blades. It was estimated that each blade could take several hits before there was any danger of its failing. However, the wedges diminished the propeller's efficiency, and the considerable force of the impact of bullets on the deflector blades put undesirable stress on the engine's crankshaft.

French pilot Jules Védrines in the cockpit of a Morane-Saulnier airplane in September 1915. The wedge-shaped bullet deflectors is visible on his propeller.

Nevertheless, on 1 April 1915, French pilot Roland Garros made the first successful kill, shooting down a German airplane near Diksmuide, in Belgium. On 15 April, Garros shot down another airplane in Ypres, and an 16th his third kill near Langemark. That same day, Garros’s plane was hit by ground fire and he was forced to land behind German lines. Garros was captured and his airplane was sent for evaluation.

The Germans were impressed by the armored propeller blades and wanted these fitted on their airplanes too. With that in mind, they sent for Dutch aircraft manufacturer Anthony Fokker, whose monoplane the Eindecker, was already doing frontline activity as a scout. But Fokker found the engineering sloppy. 48 hours later, Fokker returned with a better solution—a machine gun whose firing rate was synchronized with the turn of the propeller. It is suspected that Fokker and his engineer Heinrich Lübbe were already working on the synchronization gear before the captured airplane of Roland Garros was brought to him.

Diagram of Anthony Fokker's machine gun synchronization gear.

Unlike many of the earlier designs, which attempted to interrupt the gun when the propeller blades were on the line of fire, Fokker’s system was designed to actively fire the gun. Most important of all, Fokker’s synchronization gear was built and actually fitted to many German Eindeckers. Although in terms of performance, the Eindeckers were unremarkable, they were nevertheless the first true fighter aircraft. German pilots could use the airplane itself as a weapon, aiming the entire aircraft at the target. An aggressive pilot could make long, steep dives, aiming his aircraft at the target, firing a long burst and continuing the dive until well out of range. If the target was not destroyed, the German pilot could climb up again and repeat the process. This maneuver, now common in dogfights, was invented by the German fighter ace Leutnant Max Immelmann.

The exclusive possession of a working gun synchronizer enabled the Germans to gain air superiority over the Allies, shooting down their airplanes in devastating numbers. This period, starting from mid-1915 to mid-1916, came to be known as the “Fokker Scourge” or “Fokker Scare”.

A 3D model of a Fokker Eindecker. Image credit: PNGwing

Germany’s dominance in the sky came to an end by the fall of 1916, with the arrival of technically superior Allied biplanes like the French Nieuport 11 and the British DH-2. De Nieuport was light and nimble, outclassing the Fokker Eindecker in every respect, including speed, climb rate and maneuverability. De Nieuport also carried a forward-firing gun, but it was mounted to fire over the propeller—shooting between the blades still proved to be a hard nut to crack.

The British finally got their hands upon the legendary Eindecker when in April 1916 a German pilot mistakenly landed his airplane on a British airfield. The captured aircraft was found not to have the superior performance it had been credited with. The British copied the synchronization gear and the first Allied aircraft with the ability to shoot between the blades was born.

The dominance of the air continued to swing back and forth between the Germans and the Allies until the end of the war in 1918. Towards the end of the conflict, the German briefly led a second Fokker Scourge, with their formidable Fokker D.VII, but even it could not prevent Germany's inevitable defeat. Nevertheless, the airplane was so feared by the Allies that it was the only weapon mentioned in the Treaty of Versailles, specifically requiring the Germans to surrender all D.VIIs to the Allies.

The usefulness of synchronization gears disappeared altogether when jet engines eliminated the propeller in fighter planes.


Referenser:
#  John Lienhard, Fokker’s Interrupter Mechanism, Engines of our Ingenuity
# Coronado Eagle, Volume 8, Number 36, 3 September 1997
# Joe Yoon, Fighter Guns & Synchronization Gear, Aerospace Web
# Harry Woodman, Early Aircraft Armament.
# Wikipedia