Aviation of Word War II
Armament. One synchronous 7.9-mm MG-17 machine gun and one MG-15 on a mobile installation in the rear of the cockpit, up to 300 kg of bombs.
On March 1, 1934. the Ministry of Defense had only 24 He.45. By the end of the year, their number had increased to 150. Basically, it was the He.45c model, produced by Gothaer Vagonabrik and Focke-Wulf. At the end of the year, the He.45d from Bayerische Flyugzeugwerke also began to arrive. These models differed only in the composition of the equipment and were the first large-scale modifications. The elevator was slightly different, the tail crutch was strengthened, the rigid connection of the ailerons was replaced with a cable one. Instead of VMW-VI-6.0, BMW-VI-7.3 with a takeoff power of 750hp began to be installed.
By the beginning of 1936. The He.45 was the most numerous aircraft of the German Air Force. It was used in long-range reconnaissance squadrons, for advanced flight training, for training observers. On it since 1934. tested engine "Daimler-Benz" DV-600 - 12-cylinder water cooling. In total, the DB-600 received several He.45s, including D-ITIN, D-ITZA, D-IVAZ and D-IZEO. All four aircraft received a larger propeller diameter, the landing gear for the D-ITZA and D-IZEO were with wheel fairings. Three aircraft carried a radiator under the nose of the fuselage, and the D-IVAZ carried between the landing gear struts. He.45 with registration D-IDAQ was used to test an experimental liquid-cooled engine BMW-116 with a capacity of 600hp.
When in the summer of 1936. production of He.45 was completed, Bayerische Flyugzeugwerke delivered 156 aircraft, Gothaer Wagon Factories - 68, Focke-Wulf - 219. The total production of He.45 was 512 aircraft.
Combat use. With the formation in November 1936 of the reconnaissance squadron A / 88 as part of the Condor legion, in addition to the He.70f-2, it included six He.45s biplanes, of which the so-called "He.45-Quette". These aircraft were used until they were replaced by six Hs.126a in the fall of 1938. More intensively He.45s used "grupo 6-G-15", which after being trained in the Condor legion from March 1937. based in Vitoria. This unit immediately entered the battle, performing ground attacks, bombing and reconnaissance flights in the northern sector of the front. Despite the obvious obsolescence of the He.45, they have achieved noticeable success. The Spanish crews called them among themselves "Pavo" (Turkey). The aircraft performed well in the battles over Biscaia, Santander and Asturias in October 1937; then used in battles on Brunet. The Heinkel biplanes took part in operations on the Alfambra River, against Teruel and the Levant. In total, the Spanish nationalists received 40 He.45s. By the time the fighting ended, 6-G-15 had 27 aircraft at the Logrono base. Six more vehicles were transferred from the Condor Legion after receiving the Hs.126a.
The Luftwaffe build-up program provided for the creation of six long-range air groups and six short-range reconnaissance air groups. Five long-range reconnaissance groups - Aufkl.Gr. (F) / 121, 123, 124, 125 and 224 - were to include three squadrons with nine He.45s and one with nine He.70f each. The sixth group was supposed to receive 36 Do.17 from the very beginning. Six short-range reconnaissance groups - Aufkl.Gr. (H) / 111, 112, 113, 114, 115 and 212 - were to include three squadrons of nine He.46s each and one with nine He.45s. In subsequent years, the He.45 was gradually removed from service and transferred to training units. By August 31, 1939. they remained in service with several close reconnaissance squadrons, and only one of them - 4. (H) / 21 was fully armed with He.45, and the other four - 4. (H) / 12, 5. (H) / 13, 4. (H) / 23, 4. (H) / 31 - had three He.45.
With the beginning of World War II, it seemed that He.45s had already finished his career, but in the fall of 1942. the lack of aircraft capable of performing night flights along the line of the Eastern Front forced various training and obsolete machines to be put into operation for the "harassing" squadrons. The first such unit was formed in Rossosh-on-Don using He.45 from flight schools. Crews were recruited there. The armament consisted of a synchronous MG-17 and one MG-15 at the observer. Bomb load - 10 kg bombs per compartment. Usually they were dropped from an altitude of 250-1000 m. These bombs turned out to be unreliable - there were several cases of their explosion in an aircraft compartment. As a result, He.45 received special containers for 50 and 70 kg bombs. By the spring of 1943. the "harassing" squadrons were reorganized into auxiliary squadrons of night bombers and grouped into "night attack aircraft" groups. Most of the He.45 had been written off by this time.
Armament. One 7.9-mm MG-15 machine gun at the observer, up to twenty 10-kg bombs in the compartment.
Combat use. Shortly after the outbreak of the war in Spain, the rebels requested twenty He.46c delivered in September 1936. The Spanish didn't like the vibration of the plane very much. However, they were formed into a 3-G-11 "grupo" at bases in Avila and Leon in three squadrons. The Spaniards called He.46c "Turkey" (Pava). This "grupo" originally operated in the Saragossa area, participated in the Battle of Brunete and the Ebro, but in August 1938. the planes were transferred to the air observer school in Malaga.
In 1937. He.46s were in service with 18 of 24 close reconnaissance squadrons. There were 162 aircraft in combat units, the rest in flight schools. Each of the groups Aufkl.Gr. (H) / 111, 112, 113, 114, 115 and 212 had three squadrons with He.46c. With the start of deliveries of Hs.126a-1, Heinkel's scouts began to be removed from service. By the beginning of the war, the He.46s were in five squadrons: 4. (H) / 12 in the 2nd Air Fleet, 2. and 4. (H) / 23 in the 3rd Air Fleet, 2. and 4. (H ) / 31 in the 4th air fleet. The last two squadrons took part in a fleeting campaign against Poland. A small number of He.46s were also scattered over several squadrons. By the beginning of the invasion of France, the Hs.126 had almost completely replaced the He.46c in combat units, although eight aircraft were still in the Oberost reconnaissance squadron.
All German close reconnaissance squadrons that participated in the attack on the Soviet Union were armed with Hs.126. The Hungarian corps in the southern sector of the front had one squadron with the He. 46, but they did not participate in the battle due to the frequent change of airfields when moving to the east. In the summer of 1942. the 312th close reconnaissance squadron with 12 He.46eUn was sent to the Soviet Union. They quickly switched to bombing. In March 1943. 312 Squadron was replaced by 311 Squadron from Fw.189. Losses by this time amounted to only one aircraft with supposedly three shot down Soviet fighters.
Soon after the withdrawal of the Hungarian "Heinkels" from the battles, He.46c reappeared at the front - already in the "harassing" squadrons. They operated at night and used obsolete and training aircraft. A special school for night bombers was founded in Stubendorf, Silesia, where they taught night flights without instruments, using only visual observation. He.46c was used together with He.45, Go.145 and Ar.66. Gradually, other machines appeared among them, until the number of groups of "night attack aircraft" (converted from "harassing" squadrons) did not reach 14. They operated mainly from small airstrips close to the front. Takeoff took place even before sunset, and returned just with the onset of complete darkness. Although the "night stormtroopers" suffered heavy casualties, their success was undeniable. He.46c was used for such tasks until the last group of "night attack aircraft" was disbanded.