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

flying inside.

„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

above you!“

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

weapons tests.“

„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

base area

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

been deceptive.“

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

from above.

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

pepper him!“

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

climbing again!“

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!“

„I see...“

„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