Load of the ammunition kit of the German attack aircraft Henschel Hs 129

Henschel Hs 129


The loading of the German attack aircraft Henschel Hs 129 at the German Luftwaffe airfield.

Henschel Hs 129 is a German single-seat twin-engined special attack aircraft from the Second World War. The chief designer of the aircraft is Friedrich Nikolaus. In the Luftwaffe, the Henschel Hs 129 had the nickname The can opener (Büchsenöffner). Hs 129 was used mainly on the Eastern Front from 1942 to 1945. A total of 865 aircraft were produced.

Henschel Hs 129, History of creation:

After the attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, it became clear that the Hs 129 is an important aircraft. In Europe, a small Hs 123 demonstrated what the General Staff refused to believe: this aircraft could play a decisive role in the outcome of ground operations. Therefore, the Henschel Hs 129B was immediately put into mass production.

The first pre-production Hs 129B-0 was manufactured at the end of 1941, but the Henschel company faced many serious problems and delays that delayed the creation of the planned assault squadrons for an indefinite period. The continuous elimination of malfunctions delayed the promised production of 40 aircraft per month, which became possible only in mid-1943. The most important problem of the Henschel Hs 129 was the engine, which turned out to be very sensitive to dirt and sand. Its reliability was extremely low, and it took six months to somehow rectify the situation. Later, a more powerful 20-mm MG 151 gun was installed. Possibilities for re-equipping the aircraft in the field were created.

The first squadron is 4./Sch.G. 1 in mid-1942 acquired a sad experience in the battles for the Caucasus, and at the end of the same year in North Africa in another unit, 4./Sch.G. 2, a number of disasters occurred, as a result of which they withdrew from there without aircraft. During 1943, production difficulties and a high percentage of losses made the formation of assault aviation units unrealistic, although the combat effectiveness of Henschel Hs 129 due to upgrades has increased significantly. Basically, because of the installation of a powerful gun of the MK 101 caliber of 30 mm with ammunition of 30 rounds, which perfectly hit any moving armored vehicles, except for the main tanks.

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