and I didn‘t dare go over a thousand.“
After the Major‘s words, there was cheering
and applause, and someone promptly opened a bottle of champagne.
„Major, Lieutenant Woidich and Haunebu
Two are about to arrive!“
„Then I‘ll be glad to see that,“ Späte replied,
toasting the mechanics.
With a few pilots he walked across the hall
where mechanics were untangling the twin-engine flying wing from the arresting belts.
The staff opened an armoured door in the
wall leading to the next hangar. It was already
bustling with activity.
Surprisingly, the safety device was not erected, the gate was already up and snow was
„This is Woidich, I have visual contact with the
LSO,“ came from the speakers
„Sir, but the LSO reports he can‘t see you!“
Woidich laughed loudly into the radio. The
personnel on the platform looked for him in
vain in the valley.
„Of course they can‘t see me, because I‘m
Surprised, the LSO looked up with the other
men and the signal flags fell from his hands.
A few dozen meters higher, a huge grey-blue
flying saucer slowly emerged from behind
a rock massif. It could have been twenty meters in diameter. It made a dark, metallic resonating sound, and there was an ozone smell
all around. No roar of piston or jet engines.
You could see where the disc had a cabin
with a downward view. The machine slowly
descended under the pilot‘s experienced
steering, while turning 180 degrees on a vertical axis so Woidich could see into the hangar.
It was slowly moving inward only about two
meters above the surface. When the hulking
machine was in the middle of the hall, the
LSO backing in front of it signalled with flags
to reach a parking position. The landing gear
legs slid out of the bizarre machine and the
disc landed lightly on them. Then the resonating sound of the anti-gravity drive faded
away and the machine loaded its full weight
on the landing gear with a heavy metallic
From the bottom of the flying saucer, a ramp
on the side swung down, and Lieutenant
Woidich, two technicians and several scientists climbed out.
„Major, I report successful completion of another test. We reached a speed of one thousand eighty kilometres per hour in level flight,
but we did not break the sound barrier. That
cabin up there needs a more aerodynamic
shape and then it might be good.“
Späte shook his head appreciatively.
„During today‘s flight we reached a flight level of fifty kilometres without any problems,
it was something incredible to see.“ Then
Woidich added: „It‘s definitely a world record.“
„That gives our JG 400 something to celebrate. Weissenberger and his Geschwader
‚Nowotny‘ will be envious,“ Späte replied, and
Woidich enthusiastically added: „We will be
happy to celebrate! And tomorrow we have
„All right, Woidich, I‘ll join you later, I‘m still going to the meeting at Raumfahrt-Hauptquartier. I wonder if they‘ve got the big ship up in
the air yet.“
The next day, Cäsar III
Four Tempests of New Zealand‘s 486th
Squadron with rockets took off from the aircraft carrier. The formation flew over the valley at an altitude of 3,000 metres, searching
INFO Eduard - January 2022
for enemy activity on snow and ice and for suspicious structures in the rocks. It was led by
Squadron Leader Sheddan with Clostermann
as wingman. Behind them flew Luukkanen
and Kleinkönnig as altitude protection. Their
machines wore individual letters S, C, L and K
and the traditional stylized rabbit skulls. Kleinkönnig‘s machine also had the inscription
BUNNY LADY on the nose with a painting of
a pin-up rabbit model.
„Rabbit 1, I see Sand Cake down at 11 o‘clock,
distance 5000 meters. My pair is attacking,
you cover us.“
The first two Tempests headed down to the
suspected bunkers. Luukkanen and Kleinkönnig, with the experience of the previous
encounters, split up, now flying about 300
meters apart and carefully observing the area
above and below them.
„Rabbit 1, missiles launched, target must have
High geysers of snow, earth and rocks rose
into the air. No explosion of stored ammunition or anything like that. Instead, 20 and 37
millimeter flak came down the valley side. After a while, unguided 40 mm rockets joined
„Rabbit 1, get out of here, Rabbit 2 follow me.
Rabbit 3 and 4 stay up, watch out for rockets!“
Kleinkönnig suddenly saw a shadow in the
shape of an arrow-winged plane silhouette
behind the leading pair. It was approaching
fast. Now he could see the plane too. It was
obviously painted white, but the sun‘s rays
were reflected off the cockpit overlay.
„Rabbit 4 to Rabbit 1, you‘ve got Jerry behind
you on your six. About five hundred yards behind you.
„Rabbit 3, attacking, Rabbit 4 cover me. We‘re
going after him. Saatana!“
Two Tempests, with sporadic flak salutes, raced low over the terrain through the valley towards the coast. A sleek Messerschmitt P.1101
was approaching from behind, while the two
other Tempests were coming at full power
The planes were already above the frozen
sea surface and Luukkanen got the Messerschmitt in his sights and shouted, „Break!“
Several things happened at that moment.
Luukkanen damaged the enemy´s wing
with his fire, but not seriously. Sheddan dodged sharply to the left, Clostermann to the
right. The Messerschmitt turned behind Clostermann and hit him several times in the engine area and in the wing. The Tempest lost
a little altitude, wobbled, but kept flying.
„Rabbit 2, how are you?“ came over the radio
from Sheddan, who was making a right turn
low over the terrain towards his wingman.
„I‘ve been worse. He‘s after you, I‘ll try to
Luukkanen, who had gained height with Kleinkönnig for the second attack, was unexpectedly hit on the wing. A 30 mm grenade tore
a large part of the covering on the right wing
and the machine started to roll to the right.
He thought he had been hit by flak, but then
he heard a surprised Kleinkönnig: „Rabbit 4
to Rabbit 3, we‘ve been attacked by Haunebu
from the sun! He‘s already below us, but he‘s
Down in the valley, the P.1101 pilot took a steep climbing turn and got into a good position
to shoot at Sheddan.
„Rabbit 1 to Rabbit 3 and 4, get out of here
and try to lure that Foo Fighter away! We‘ll
sort it out down here.“
Clostermann was just trying to get his damaged Tempest behind the intruding Messerschmitt. He was going to hit it with deflection shot in right turn. But the German
accelerated, tightened the turn and got away
from him on a slight climb.
„Rabbit 4 to Rabbit 3, how are you doing with
the wing damage?“
„Perkele, saatana, jumalauta!“
„Rabbit 1 to Rabbit 2 and 3. Return to the carrier. Rabbit 4 will join me.“
Clostermann‘s engine began to leave a thickening smoke trail.
The Messerschmitt pilot had the upper hand
over the allied aircraft and he turned them
into practice targets for the Haunebu’s pilot
with his 30-mm cannons.
The fighting planes were now over the ice
Shots from Eduard Kleinkönnig‘s Tempest gun
camera during a battle with torpedo carrying
Haunebu flying saucers in October 1946.
Photo: IWM, retouched by Kateřina Borecká