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Hansa-Brandenburg GW

Printed From: Cross & Cockade
Category: General Discussion
Forum Name: General
Forum Discription: General Discussion
Printed Date: 09 Aug 2020 at 14:11
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Topic: Hansa-Brandenburg GW
Posted By: Adrian Roberts
Subject: Hansa-Brandenburg GW
Date Posted: 31 Jan 2011 at 01:07

The article by Paul Leaman on Hansa-Brandenburg seaplanes in the latest C&C mentions a twin-engined torpedo-carrying seaplane, the GW.

Does anyone know if the GW was ever used in action and if they ever sunk or attempted to sink any ships?
I had always thought that the only ships sunk by airlaunched torpedo in WW1 were the Turkish vessels attacked by RNAS Short 184s in the Aegean in August 1915 (as described in the very interesting next article in this issue "A German Copenhagen"). But it seems about 25 Hansa-Brandenburg GWs were built, mostly stationed in the Baltic but a few in the North Sea. Russian ships would have been their principle targets. On the face of it the GW with its twin engines would seem to be a more viable torpedo carrier than the 184 or possibly even the Cuckoo. Maybe the records of any such actions in the chaotic Baltic theatre around 1917 have been lost.

Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 31 Jan 2011 at 08:15
The Schiffer book "Luftwaffe Aerial Torpedo Aircraft and Operations in World War Two" contains a summary of German actvities pre-WW2. Paul Leaman is aware of this source, but possibly now before the last article was submitted to the Journal.

Posted By: Adrian Roberts
Date Posted: 21 Feb 2011 at 01:29
I posted this question on the Great War Forum, whose erudite members were able to come up with answers.
It seems that three British merchantmen were sunk by German air-launched torpedos in 1917, but the aeroplanes involved were the Gotha WD14, not the Hansa-Brandenburg GW. -

Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 22 Feb 2011 at 13:57
A Russian destroyer, escorting the battleship Slava, was badly damaged/ sunk on 12 September 1916 by a torpedo aircraft from Angersee aiming for Slava.
The steamer Storm of Garncy was torpedoesd as part of an attack by three German floatplanes from Zeebrugge on 9 September 1916.
On 1 May 1917 two Zeebrugge seaplanes torpedoed the steamer Gena.
On 15 June 1917 the steamer Kankaree was torpedoed and sunk.
Operational German torpedo seaplanes were :
Friedrichshafen FF41A, from 1916, 9 built
Gotha WD11, in Baltic from 1916, 17 built
Gotha WD14, from 1916 until 1918, 65-70 built
Hansa-Brandenburg GW, in North Sea & Baltic 1916-1917, 21 built
Albatros W5, 1917, operational but 'unsatisfactory'
Friedrichshafen FF53, 1918, prototype possibly delivered to Austro-Hungarian Navy.
Albatros VT (W3) prototype
Friedrichshafen FF35 unsatisfactory prototype
Hansa-Brandenburg GDW prototype
Ref : Luftwaffe Aerial Torpedo Aircraft and Operations in WW2, Harold Thiel, Hikoki, 2004

Posted By: Adrian Roberts
Date Posted: 28 Feb 2011 at 00:53
"The steamer Storm of Garncy was torpedoesd as part of an attack by three German floatplanes from Zeebrugge on 9 September 1916".
Comparing this with the information from the Great War Forum, I think it should read "Storm of Guernsey", and the date 9th September 1917 not '16
They missed the information about the Russian destroyer. Is it ok if I post this information on the GWF, quoting yourself and the source?

Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2011 at 07:53
Hi Adrian
Fine with me to pass on the information, it may generate further discussion. I'm not that surprised about the difference in the naming of the ships, often an issue with WW2-focused books covering WW1 as an intro.

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