Halberstadt CL.II

The Halberstadt CL.II was the first German attack aircraft, which was developed and used for the new aircraft class. Specifically designed for escort and ground target attack, these aircraft were introduced in 1917 to support infantry and bombers and were designed to shape military aviation for the future.


Development and construction:

During the Battle of the Somme from July 1 to November 18, 1916, the military leadership in the German Reich became aware of the importance of communication on the battlefield between the officers, the battle lines and the artillery. Since during the battle, however, the connections were often not possible, accordingly, neither the soldiers nor the artillery could be properly used. One way to overview was through the use of aircraft flying over the battlefield at low altitude and passed on the situation.

However, since the reconnaissance aircraft used were poorly armored, these were an easy target for enemy machine guns and aircraft. This circumstance led to the fact that the German army introduced the new airplane class CL in August 1916. First, the aircraft of this type should accompany only the weak reconnaissance and cover against enemy fire. However, some pilots used their aircraft to directly attack ground targets, either with the machine gun or by dropping bombs. This meant that the tasks of the new aircraft class was not limited only to the escort, but this resulted in the opportunity to attack the enemy troops directly.

The designation of these aircraft ranges from earthquake aircraft, ground fighter aircraft to infantry aircraft, which ultimately prevailed the Battle flier. The main focus of the aircraft should be reinforced armor, which withstood the fire from the ground.

At the end of 1916, Halberstadt aircraft works began to develop an aircraft that specifically meets the new requirements. Already in the spring of 1917, the prototype Halberstadt CL.II was presented to the military leadership.

Unlike other aircraft, the pilot and the observer sat in a common cockpit and no longer in separate. This should greatly facilitate the communication between the two persons. By merging the cockpit and the fuselage could be reduced so that the aircraft had a small overall size and thus was harder to hit. In return, could not be taken so much equipment and ammunition, from the outset, the aircraft were designed for rather short flights.

The armament was the first series only with a machine gun for the observer. Only on pressure of pilots was mounted in the later series a synchronized 7.92-mm LMG 08/15 machine gun for the pilot.

The aircraft was equipped with a 160hp Mercedes D III engine. At the end of the war, some 185hp BMW IIIa engines were installed on the C.IIa version.


Halberstadt CL.II




Use in the First World War:

From mid-1917, the first aircraft were brought to the Western Front. There, they proved themselves both in air combat and in the fight against ground targets.

Some machines were also successfully used as night fighter.

From June 1918 followed the successor model Halberstadt CL.IV, with both types of aircraft were in use until the end of the war.




Technical specifications:

Designation: Halberstadt CL.II
Country: German Empire
Typ: Attack aircraft
Length: 7,75 meters
Span: 10,77 meters
Height: 2,75 meters
Mass: 730kg empty
Crew: Max. 2
Engine: Water cooled inline engine Mercedes D III 160hp
Maximum speed: 175 km/h
Reach: 500 kilometre
Armament: 1 x machine gun 7,92 mm Parabellum, 1 x synchronized 7,92 mm LMG 08/15 machine gun and up to 100Kg bombs and mines






You can find the right literature here:


Fokker Dr I Aces of World War 1 (Aircraft of the Aces)

Fokker Dr I Aces of World War 1 (Aircraft of the Aces) Paperback – Bargain Price, August 25, 2001

Undoubtedly the most famous fighter type to see service on either side during World War 1, the Fokker Dr I was a revelation when it entered service on the western front in 1917. Manfred von Richthofen’s JG 1 ‘circus’ was the first Jasta to completely re-equip with the new fighter, and in the skilled hands of its numerous aces the Dr I proved a formidable opponent. The Dr I remained in service on the Western Front until replaced by the superior Fokker D VII in May 1918. Just weeks prior to that, however, Germany’s leading ace, the great ‘Red Baron’, had been killed at the controls of a Dr I.

Click here!



Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI: A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes (Great War Aviation) (Volume 21)

Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI: A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes (Great War Aviation) (Volume 21) Paperback – February 16, 2016

This book describes and illustrates the development of Friedrichshafen aircraft of WWI with text, 540 photos, 18 in color, 37 color profiles, production quantities and serial numbers of aircraft, and aircraft dimensions and performance specifications. In addition, there are 26 official SVK drawings and 11 aircraft are illustrated in scale drawings to 1/48 (4) or 1/72 (7) scales. The book has 312 pages and is of interest to aviation historians, enthusiasts, and modelers alike.

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German and Austro-Hungarian Aircraft Manufacturers 1908-1918

German and Austro-Hungarian Aircraft Manufacturers 1908-1918 Paperback – December 15, 2010

Much has been written about the British aircraft of the First World War, but little has surfaced about the aircraft of the Axis powers, Germany and Austria. Here, Terry C. Treadwell tells the story of the aircraft from companies such as Fokker, builder of the famous triplane, as fl own by Baron von Richthofen's Flying Circus, AEG, Albatros, Junkers and Hansa. From reconnaissance aircraft to state-of-the-art bombers that could reach London, this is the definitive guide to aircraft of the Axis powers during the First World War. The aircraft are explained in detail and a history of each company is provided, making this an excellent source book for aircraft enthusiasts, model makers and those interested in the air war over the trenches of France and Belgium, as well as further afield in the Italian campaign.

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The Zeppelin in Combat: A History of the German Naval Airship Division

The Zeppelin in Combat: A History of the German Naval Airship Division Hardcover – January 9, 1997

The standard reference now revised and expanded. Dr. Robinson has opened up his vast photo archives to enhance this new edition of his classic work. Much of the new photographic material is published here for the first time.

Click here!






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