Arado Ar 234
Alt Lönnewitz was the location of a Luftwaffe airfield factory where the Ar 234 B-0s were built in quantity during WW2. Original WW2 hangars and other buildings can still be found at or near the airport.
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony. It is situated on the River Elbe. The city has undergone significant reconstruction in recent decades.
The Red Baron
Großenhain airfield is one of the oldest operating airfields in Germany and a symbol of the aeronautical tradition of the town. During WW1, Manfred von Richthofen was trained as an observer at the Flying School at Grossenhain.
During WW2 Colditz Castle became a prisoner of war camp for Allied officers. It was claimed that the castle was escape-proof. However, prisoners succeeded in making their escape over 30 occassions.
View of the former inner German border near Teistungen. It is part of the Eichsfeld Borderland Museum, that stands on the site of the former border crossing of Duderstadt-Worbis.
From Paderborn-Lippstadt to Falkenberg, Lönnewitz airport
In the weekend of 26/27 September 2015, Veleda and René made a trip to Dresden. As there was no plane available from nearby Lelystad or Hilversum, we first had to drive to Paderborn-Lippstadt airport where the Cessna Skylane was available that we had also used the month before to fly to Spain and Portugal. Already on Friday evening we drove to the airport, where we stayed at the airport hotel. At the end of the next morning, after waiting for the fog to clear, we took-off from runway 06, and we set course to the east. We flew along the south side of the Harz mountains, and later north of Halle and Leipzig, before arriving at Falkenberg, Lönnewitz airport.
Fueling the Cessna Skylane
Arrived at Falkenberg, Lönnewitz airport
Lönnewitz is an airport near Falkenberg with some interesting history. The site was already used in the 1920s as a civilian airfield, but in the mid-1930s it became a military airfield of the Luftwaffe. From 1936 and during the 2nd World War the airfield was used for training pilots on, among others, the Heinkel 111 and the Junkers 88. Three large aircraft hangars, three medium-sized aircraft hangars and a large repair hangar, that all still exist, were built on the north side of the airfield.
Alt Lönnewitz, Falkenberg; inset 24 August 1944
In 1944, the Air Ministry ordered 200 Ar 234 Bs and Arado built them at a new Luftwaffe airfield factory at Alt Lönnewitz. The Arado Ar 234 B Blitz (Lightning) was the world's first operational jet bomber and reconnaissance aircraft.
Arado 234 B-2
The first Ar 234 combat mission, a reconnaissance flight over the Allied beachhead in Normandy, took place August 2, 1944. The Blitz easily out-ran Allied piston-engine fighters. The relatively few Ar 234s that reached Luftwaffe units before the end of the German surrender provided excellent service, particularly as reconnaissance aircraft.
On April 24, 1945 the Red Army occupied the terrain largely intact, only the runway had been rendered useless by the retreating German troops. The reconstruction activities were carried out involving German companies. The existing hangars were still used, partly until 1992. In June 1993 the Soviet administration handed over the airfield to the German authorities.
From Falkenberg to Dresden
After visiting Falkenberg, we continued to Dresden. From Dresden airport we took the train to Dresden central station, and then we walked to our hotel before sight-seeing the city.
View of Alt Lönnewitz airport
To land on runway 22 Dresden airport
René at Dresden airport
Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor. The city was all but wiped off the map by the controversial British and American bombings in 1945. After the war restoration work has helped to reconstruct parts of the historic inner city.
The Frauenkirche has literally risen from the city's ashes. Built in the 18th century, the church was destroyed in the bombing of Dresden, and was rebuilt between 1994 and 2005. The completion of the reconstructed Frauenkirche marked the first step in rebuilding the surrounding Neumarkt, the central square of the Dresden inner city with its many valuable baroque buildings.
Veleda in Dresden
Neumarkt with the Frauenkriche
The Zwinger is a palace that was built between 1710 and 1728 on the orders of Augustus the Strong, who having returned from seeing Louis XIV's palace at Versailles, wanted something similar for himself. The location was formerly part of the Dresden fortress of which the outer wall is conserved. The name Zwinger goes back to the common medieval German term for that part of a fortification between the outer and inner defensive walls, or "outer ward".
The Semperoper is the opera house of Dresden and was originally built by the architect Gottfried Semper in 1841. The opera house has hosted premieres of famous works by Carl Maria von Weber, Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner. The building is considered to be a prime example of Dresden's Baroque architecture. Exactly 40 years after the bombing of Dresden, on 13 February 1985, the opera's reconstruction was completed.
Rene at the Zwinger
Veleda with the Semperoper
From Dresden to Grossenhain
On Sunday morning we had breakfast in the Dresden Neustadt on the south side of the Elbe. After a walk, we went back to the hotel, and then we travelled by train to Dresden airport. We first flew the Grossenhain airport, just north of Dresden.
Rene at Dresden airport
Regional Lufthansa landing at runway 22
The Grossenhain airport is one of the oldest operating airfields in Germany, and was training facility for the likes of none other than Manfred von Richthofen. After preparations for a flyer station at the terrain had commenced in November 1913, the first military aircraft landed in February 1914. Regular operations started in April 1914.
On July 1, 1914 the Saxon King Friedrich August III visited the pilots station. A crew flew quickly to the royal Moritzburg castle and photographed it. The photo was developed within a short time and presented to the king. After WW1, the Treaty of Versailles ended the flyer station in Grossenhain.
Aerial view of the flyer station 1914
Fliegerhorst Grossenain 1941
In 1933 the new cabinet was sworn in, and the new rulers of the Reich set the course for a renewed military use of the airfield area. In 1935 Grossenhain airfield became a new air base of the Wehrmacht. Construction of appropriate accommodation buildings and hangars as well as new aircraft maintenance facilities extended well into the 2nd World War.
During the war the airfield was especially used for training in reconnaissance planes. The airfield survived the war almost unharmed. Only one hangar was damaged by the jettison of a battered enemy bomber.
During the evacuation of the air base in April 1945, many aircraft were pushed into the already damaged hangar and then blown up together with the hangar. In the night of 23/24th April 1945 the Red Army occupied Grossenhain without a fight.
Soviet MiG 23UB Grossenhain 1993
During the 48 years stationing of Soviet forces until August 1993, the airfield was constantly expanding. The runway was extended several times to a total of more than 2000m. Numerous aircraft shelters, a command bunker and two special bunkers for nuclear weapons, secured by the KGB.
To the site of the airfield grew an entire garrison town, with homes, care facilities, children's institutions and schools, hospitals, sports and leisure facilities, workshops and service buildings (a total of approximately 200 buildings). The sometimes more than 8,000 Soviet citizens that lived behind the walls of the Soviet garrison lived there mostly isolated. The Soviet troops were withdrawn in 1993.
From Grossenhain to Göttingen
From Grossenhain we flew to Göttingen. We made a detour to see the Colditz Castle, and then we headed to the Harz mountains, where we passed Bad Frankenhausen airfield, Stolberg and the Mittelbau-Dora memorial. North of Göttingen/Heilbad-Heiligenstadt airport we overflew a small part of the former inner German border that was left as a memorial, before landing on runway 06 of the aerodrome.
Veleda at Grossenhain airport
Former inner German border
Colditz Castle (or Schloss Colditz in German) is a Renaissance castle in the town of Colditz, some 46km southeast of Leipzig. Its notoriety stems from its years as Oflag IVC, where the Germans imprisoned officers who had already escaped from less secure camps and been recaptured, including a nephew of Winston Churchill. Since the castle is situated on a rocky outcrop above the River Mulde, the Germans believed it to be an ideal site for a high security prison. Although it was considered a high security prison, it had one of the highest records of successful escape attempts. Some 300 prisoners here made further attempts to escape and 31 actually managed to flee.
The Colditz Cock was a glider built for an escape attempt. Completed in the winter of 1944-45, it was kept in a remote portion of the castle's attic. following the Great Escape from another prisoners of war camp, in which 50 escapees were executed, all further escape attempts were officially discouraged and the glider was never used. When the camp was liberated by the Americans in late April, 1945 the glider was brought down from the hidden workshop to the attic below and assembled for the prisoners to see. It was at this time that the only known photograph of the glider was taken.
Colditz Castle in April 1945
The original 'Cock' glider
From Göttingen to Paderborn-Lippstadt
We only stayed short at Göttingen aerodrome before we continued to Paderborn-Lippstadt airport. It was a nice and interesting trip.
Veleda and Rene at Göttingen airport
Wind turbines south-east of Paderborn
Approaching Paderborn-Lippstadt airport