The LuftRAFfe: British and German airmen fly together for first time since WWII

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Not so long ago, the Royal Air Force and the Luftwaffe were bitter enemies, bombing each other's countries (which the Germans started) and battling each other in the skies over Britain in 1940, the last battle to have taken place in Britain.

And there remains a degree of animosity that is shown towards each other's air forces by many Britons and Germans.

But now the two countries are to put the War behind them (or at least try to) by vowing to work together.

It has been revealed that an RAF pilot and an aviator from the Luftwaffe have flown together on a combat mission for the first time since the War.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed that an RAF flight lieutenant has piloted a British Tornado GR4 supersonic jet with a German navigator behind him in the cockpit.

It was the Germans who asked the British if their pilot could fly with the RAF.

Needless to say, there was a bit of banter amongst RAF personnel when this arrangement was revealed.

German air crew in Afghanistan receive 100 more per day than their RAF counterparts, despite the RAF being involved in many more operations (after all, the Germans need their beer money whilst having all that time playing table football at their base).

The Luftwaffe has 115 Tornado GR4 aircraft. The RAF, the EU's largest airforce, operates 138.

The LuftRAFfe: British pilot and German navigator share Tornado in first-ever join combat flights

By Christopher Leake
04th April 2010
Daily Mail

An RAF pilot and an aviator from the Luftwaffe have flown together on a combat mission for the first time since Britain and Germany were bitter Second World War enemies.

The two airmen joined forces in the skies above Afghanistan in the war against the Taliban.

Last night, the Ministry of Defence confirmed that an RAF flight lieutenant had piloted a Tornado GR4 supersonic jet with a German navigator behind him in the cockpit.

Afghan allies: A tornado GR4, like the one piloted by two airmen from Britain and Germany

The Luftwaffe major - the equivalent of a squadron leader in the RAF - speaks perfect English and is said to have fitted in well with his British counterparts at Kandahar air base.

The pair provided 'top cover' --alerting British and US ground troops on Taliban positions. It is understood that although their Tornado was loaded with bombs, they were not deployed.

Until now, RAF and Luftwaffe pilots and navigators have flown together only on slow-moving C-130 Hercules transport aircraft in Afghanistan as part of a reciprocal scheme under which air crew are seconded to other Nato countries.

The new era of co-operation, however, has not prevented wags in the RAF's 31 Squadron, based at Marham, Norfolk, from cracking the odd joke about the German navigator.

An RAF source said: 'There was a bit of banter when it was discovered that an RAF pilot was to fly with a Luftwaffe navigator. But he proved to be an outstanding professional and made a valuable contribution to protecting troops on the ground.

'When you are in the air, there is only one issue: are you able to do your job to the required standard? In this navigator's case, he proved himself more than up to the job.'

The German navigator is not only of a more senior rank than his British counterpart, he is also paid more.

You're not having Britain that easily: The Battle of Britain, seen here raging in the sky viewed from London's St Paul's Cathedral, was fought between the British and the Germans in 1940, and was the last battle to be fought in Britain

The source added: 'Squadron personnel understand that German air crew received about 100 a day more than their British counterparts while in Afghanistan.

'This caused a fair amount of grumbling among the British air crew, but there was nothing they could do about it. Let's face it, the Government isn't likely to raise their pay.'

Another squadron source said: 'The Second World War was a long time ago and we are more than happy to work closely with our German allies against a common enemy.'

The Tornado flown by the Anglo-German crew on 18 missions between December and January was armed with 500lb laser-guided Paveway IV bombs and Brimstone air-to-ground missiles.

The Luftwaffe navigator --who, like the RAF pilot, cannot be identified for security reasons - was posted to Afghanistan at the request of the German government, which wanted him to work with 31 Squadron, considered one of the RAF's best.

The Luftwaffe operates a fleet of 115 Tornado fighter-bombers. The RAF operates 138.
Last edited by Blackleaf; Apr 4th, 2010 at 10:55 AM..
lone wolf
Ahh... There will always be a soldier paid more than British pay scale....

Nice story!
The Old Medic
Britain has always underpaid, and overworked their military. That was a HUGE complaint during WWII, because an American Private, earning $21.00 per month, earned more than a British Sergeant did.

The Brits actually requested that the US cut the pay of their soldiers, because they were afraid it would destroy morale among their own enlisted personnel.
British officers on the other hand, were paid about the same as their American counterparts, plus they had enlisted servants to do most of their laundry, errands, etc., etc.

In addition, the American Red Cross would provide free coffee and doughnuts to the GI's. The Brits did were very upset about that policy, because they charged their personnel for anything from the Red Cross. The Brits prevailed on that issue, and the American Red Cross began charging a nickle for a cup of coffee and a doughnut.

To this day, a lot of GI veterans from WWII complain about the Red Cross doing that, when everything was donated to them.
They simply do not understand that this was required by the British Government, or they would have shut down all of the American Red Cross operations in Britain.

The British Navy treated their officers like kings, and their enlisted personnel like serfs. The British Merchant Marine stopped the pay of a sailor, the moment their ship was sunk by the Germans. If they were injured, burned, etc., those sailors (or their families) had to pay for hospital care. With US Merchant ships, the sailors were paid, regardless of their ship being sunk, and if they were injured, all medical costs were covered by their employer.

I could go on and on about the ways that Great Britain screwed over their enlisted personnel, and their Merchant Marine employees, by why bother? Suffice it to say
Quote: Originally Posted by The Old MedicView Post

I could go on and on about the ways that Great Britain screwed over their enlisted personnel, and their Merchant Marine employees, by why bother? Suffice it to say

Yeah you could except that we too are guilty so why point fingers at another country when we have our own problems to solve.
The Germans lost and that was the end of it. Took several years out of the lives of
Canadians to quell Mr Hitler's temper. Yes both sides did some terrible things and
I wouldn't argue with that. My father told me a few things that happened that were
by today's standards most evil. We have to look at the situation for what it was.
The German Propaganda Minister declared it to be a Total War which meant the
first rule was there were no rules and from there it got very ugly on all sides. Any
person who believes it was nasty vs nice is dreaming.
The war's been over for 3/4s of a century, when will they tell us who won.
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