MARCH 2012








ILLUSTRATION 1:  Mirage Halberstadt CL.II Box Art



This 1:48 scale model of the Halberstadt CL.II is produced by Mirage Hobby of Poland.  It is multi-media kit primarily of injection-molded plastic and includes a large photo-etched sheet of 61 detailed components and a large decal sheet to personalize three aircraft.  The kit DOES NOT include decal sheets for German 5-color printed camouflage fabric which all of the flying surfaces are covered.  However, Mirage offers the decal set separately or it is included in a higher-priced kit.  Additionally, Mirage produces a decal set of two sheets intended to represent the painted surface of the plywood-skinned fuselage.  One version emphasizes the mid-to-late-1917 two-color camouflage scheme of dark green and mauve.  The other represents the late-1917/1918 painted fuselage in which the colors of the printed camouflage fabric were applied in large irregular patches of sky blue, mauve, yellow-ochre, dark green, and pink (at least that's what the sheet looks like to me).  In addition, each sheet shows the "scumble" of randomly sprayed or splattered dots which were an apparent attempt to achieve a blending or diffusion of the underlying patches of paint. These two fuselage schemes have to be applied since few if any Halberstadt CL.II aircraft are seen without some form of painted fuselage camouflage.  Of course, I will hand-paint the fuselage.

There are many alternative parts included in this kit including alternate propellers, engine cowl covers, and armament.  This points out the fact that photographs of the aircraft you are to build have to be found and studied.  The decal markings in the kit are based on photos appearing in Windsock Datafile 27 - Halberstadt CL.II, Schlacht-Flieger!, or the kit's instruction booklet.  Of course, I will do my model based on another aircraft not featured in the kit.  Some of that later. 

The instruction booklet is first class, somewhat small in size, but packed with color step-by-step instructions supplemented by good drawings and photos.  One novel feature is the appearance of a coloring chart for each major step.  Three-digit numbers refer to the Vallejo acrylic line of hobby paints, my favorite.  You will need a cross-reference to know the Vallejo paint names.  Try their website at

Not supplied in the kit and augmented or replaced are following after-market accessories:

    Eduard EU9194 World War I Instruments (PE color)
    Eduard EU4406 Wire Stretchers (turnbuckles) and Control Horns (PE)
    Griffon Models Brass Tube products
    K & S Engineering Brass Rod products
    .005 monofilament thread for rigging wires

ILLUSTRATION 2:  Halberstadt CL.II Three-View Drawing

This three-view drawing was prepared by L. E. Bradford and appeared in Gray & Thetford's German Aircraft of the First World War.1



The CL-Type classification, as in Halberstadt CL.II, was created as a nimble two-seat escort aircraft that would accompany another C-Type two-seater from a Flieger-Abteilung (FA) or Artillerie-Flieger-Abteilung FA(A) on an army cooperation mission deemed likely to be intercepted by Allied fighters.  The escorting CL-Type hovered near the mission aircraft as it performed artillery spotting, photography, or general reconnaissance.  If Allied fighters appeared, the escort aircraft would engage always trying to stay between the enemy and the aircraft it was protecting.  In the event that Allied fighters pressed home their attack, the escort would join up with the mission aircraft and they would attempt to exit the battle area to get across their lines.  If the enemy fighters persisted, the escort would become the decoy, fly off with the Allied fighters in pursuit, but this ploy had to work; otherwise, the escort and mission aircraft would stay together as their best defense. 

On 1 January 1917, the Schutzstaffel, or escort flight, was created.  It consisted of six aircraft and was usually assigned to a specific FA or FA(A) unit under the orders of that unit's commanding officer.  The Schusta, as they were called, were all from an existing aviation unit and contained the same aircraft and crews as before except the name change.  Well into the second half of 1917, most of the aircraft inventory in a Schusta was made up of existing C-Types.  After just a few weeks of operation, most of the Schustas would assume a motley mix of aircraft, so much so that all six aircraft could be different.  Further, each aircraft might be sporting a different camouflage scheme depending on when it was built and by whom.  So, the early Schustas were a mixed bunch and, early on, devised tactical markings unique to each Schusta.  These would usually take the form of a simple, single-digit aircraft number, usually 1 to 6.  Most Schustas had devised more than that and could be seen with markings unique to the Staffel such as a chevron, a diamond, colored fins, striped horizontal tail surfaces, and so on.

The mission of escorting continued on and, as it did so, it became increasingly urgent that a maneuverable, light-weight, powerful, fast, and well-armed type be developed - something as close to a fighter as possible with both offensive and defensive capabilities.  As early as November 1916, Idflieg (Inspektion der Fliegertruppe), issued specifications for this type of aircraft called the CL-Type.  Halberstadt and Hannover would become the primary suppliers.  These first CL-Types did not make an appearance in great numbers until late 1917.



The Halberstädter Flugzeug-Werke company was, earlier in the war, known for its relatively fine-handling Halberstadt D Series fighters from mid-1916.  Its one serious limitation was a slightly under-powered engine which prevented the aircraft from carrying more than one Spandau forward-firing machine gun.  By the time Halberstadt was able to get larger engines, the now-famous Albatros D series fighter with a larger engine and two Spandaus introduced into combat in September 1916 virtually shut out all other competitors whose products, still in limited production, were all relegated to other fronts, where the Halberstadt and Roland D series aircraft were then still superior to enemy aircraft, at least for a while. The company also built a few early-war B and C series aircraft but they were out-produced by Aviatik, Albatros, DFW, and others, to name a few.2

When in mid-1916 it became apparent to the Germans that their reconnaissance units were under increasing pressure by Allied fighters during army cooperation missions, it became necessary to provide escorts so that one aircraft could perform its duties while the other protected the mission.  However, the escort, during all of 1916, was another two-seater not equipped to take on nimbler fighters and the units suffered high casualties to their specialized reconnaissance crews.  German fighter aircraft were not available as escorts; their task was to attack enemy reconnaissance and bombing aircraft.

It came about that a specialized two-seater aircraft of light weight and heavy armament could take on enemy fighters as an escort.  Speed, maneuverability, and armament would require a light-weight airframe and a large engine combined with a specialized crew.  By the end of August 1916, Idflieg (Inspecktion der Fliegertruppen) released such a specification for such an aircraft to be classified as a Type-CL, a light two-seater armed aircraft.  The standard reconnaissance two-seater was classified as Type-C and quite "clunky" for Idflieg's "protection" or escort purposes.  In November 1916, Idflieg authorized three CL-Type prototypes from Halberstadt equipped with the Mercedes D.III 160hp engine the first of which was completed in April 1917, type-tested in May 1917, and production proceeded in earnest in June 1917.  In July of that year, the first Halberstadt CL.II aircraft reached the Western Front.3

Construction of the Halberstadt CL.II was conventional for most German airframe manufacturers.  The box fuselage frame was covered in thin sheets of plywood, not fabric.  This process had inherent airframe strength.  The downside was warping which caused misalignment which riggers had to overcome by constantly adjusting the flying and landing wires.  The central theme of the CL-Type class was a combination of two combat qualities, that of the offense and that of the defense.  One characteristic of the CL-Type class in achieving this mix of qualities was its small size as defined by its single bay wing set, i.e., only one set of wing struts instead of the two-bay configuration of most C-Types.  These were also swept back to a degree and, in conjunction with large ailerons, in effect, gave this aircraft a nimble agility so it could take on Allied fighters.  One additional defensive feature was the low profile of the upper wing relative to the fuselage and the high, deep construction of the combined cockpit that allowed the gunner to fire over the top wing thus increasing substantially the field of fire.

The wings and fixed tail structures were wood frame and fabric covered.  The one exception was the welded steel tube center section of the top wing and the leading edges of the wings which were plywood covered.  Moveable flying surfaces (ailerons, elevators, and the rudder) were of welded steel tube construction covered with fabric.  All struts (wing, cabane, and landing gear) were steel tube covered in aerodynamic wood fairings.4    



Table 1: Halberstadt CL.II Specifications 5

Engine Data: 160 hp Mercedes D.III 6-Cylinder, In-line, Water-Cooled
Maximum Speed 165 km (103 mph)
Climb to 1000 meters 5 minutes
Duration 3 hours
Measurements: Wing Span Upper 10.77 meters (35.33 feet)
Wing Chord Upper 4.3 meters (5.74 feet)
Wing Area 27.5 meters2 (297 feet2)
Weights Empty 773 kg (1,701 lbs)
Fully Loaded 1133 kg (2,493 lbs)
Crew 2 Pilot and Observer



Table 2: Halberstadt CL.II & CL.IIa Production Orders and Serial Numbers 6

Order Date Quantity Type Serial Number Range Notes (Manufacturer) *
November 1916 3 CL.II C.9902 - 9904/16 Pre-production Test Aircraft (Halb)
May 1917 100 CL.II C.5673 - 5772/17 First Production Batch (Halb)
June 1917 100 CL.II C.6300 - 6399/17 Second Production Batch (Halb)
October 1917 200 CL.II C.14200 - 14399/17 Third Production Batch (Halb)
February 1918 100 CL.II C.700 - 799/18 Fourth Production Batch (BFW)
March 1918 100 CL.II C.1165 - 1264/18 Fifth Production Batch
April 1918 100 CL.IIa C.2800 - 2899/18 Sixth Production Batch (BFW) **
Total CL.II & CL.IIa 703 - - Total CL.II & CL.IIa aircraft built

* Halb = Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke and BFW = Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke

** Equipped with the Argus As.IIIa Engine but only a few reached the front before 11 November 1918



Table 3: Front Line Inventory of CL-Types 1917-1918 7







Aug Oct Dec




Aug Oct Dec

Halberstadt CL.II




0 0 170




175 ? -

Halberstadt CL.IV




0 0 0




136 ? -

Hannover CL.II




0 0 162




31 ? -

Hannover CL.III




0 0 0




233 ? -

Hannover C.IIIa




0 0 0




29 ? -

Total of CL-Types




0 0 332




604 ? -


At the beginning of the war in 1914 and through 1915 the only aviation unit of the Fliegertruppe (Aviation Troops) was the Flieger-Abteilung (FFA), of six aircraft.  Each FFA was assigned to a Korps or Armee HQ to perform tactical military co-operation duties such as as reconnaissance, photography, and artillery spotting.  The Oberste Heeresleitung (OHL), or German Army Supreme command HQ wished to develop a large combat aviation formation that could be directed solely by OHL to engage strategic targets.  These types of missions were performed at the outset by German dirigibles and used on both fronts, East and West.  In the West, the dirigibles had been bombing England since the middle of May 1915 carrying out bombing attacks that could be characterized as strategic, at least, in intent.  These cross-Channel raids could be augmented by C-Type two-seater aircraft.  Even though their lift capacity was small, about 50 kg, swarms of these small aircraft could achieve the same effect as the dirigibles.  If the Armee could clear Belgian coast, the distance could be covered by the two-seat C-Type class, not yet able to reach England from bases in Flanders. 

OHL kicked the idea around about forming large strategic aviation units to carry out and supplement the dirigible attacks (again, the Channel Coast would have to be cleared).  Six Staffeln each of six aircraft would form a "battle group" of 36 aircraft, the swarm envisioned by OHL.  In December of 1915, the first orders to do so went out and Germany's first "bomb group" was born.  So as not to alert the Allies, the unit was given the code name Brieftauben-Abteilung Ostend (BAO) or, Pigeon Carrying Detachment / Ostend.  The cream of the crop in pilots and observers were taken from operational units.  To facilitate the movement of this strategic air unit, they were given special trains for their rapid movement from one sector or even one front to another.  They were supported by top-notch maintenance and supply structures  However, the dream had to be shelved when a combination of Belgian, French, and British forces held line in Flanders and the German Army was stopped dead along a line known as the Western Front with its northern flank on the Belgian coast and out of effective range for the two-seaters of BAO. 

The strategic success of BAO as realized in the minds of OHL, led to the formation of a second Brieftauben-Abteilung, this one formed at Metz (BAM), on 17 August 1915.  Both of these strategic aviation units, each of 36 aircraft in six Staffeln, were parceled out to the Eastern and Western Fronts as OHL dictated, sometimes making a decisive impact in the local sector.  This continued through the last months of 1915 and, on 20 December 1915, the two "secret" groups, BAO and BAM, were renamed Kampfgeschwader der OHL, or Kagohl, 1 and 2 respectively, usually abbreviated "KG".  Kagohl 3 was added at this date.  To win the war, OHL decided on "the" strategic offensive that would "bleed France white", force her out of the war and cause Britain to evacuate the Continent. 
This offensive would become the bloodbath of Verdun, as much of a bloodbath for Germany as for France.  The offensive to be launched in February 1916.  An ashamedly and poorly considered strategic role was given to the Kagohl groups for the Verdun offensive.  The "strategic" idea was to use the aircraft to form an aerial blockade around Verdun sector to prevent French aircraft from penetrating into German-held areas in order to photograph and direct artillery fire.  In short, it was a failure and a waste of flight time but it took the Germans some time to understand their mistake.  Eventually, it took the Somme offensive in July 1916 to shake some sense into OHL.  In order to respond with reinforcements of ground and air units, OHL discovered that the highly mobile Kagohl formations were quite "strategic" after all and quickly stabilized the threatened front with an infusion of two-seater Kastas, as the individual Staffels within a Kagohl group were called (Kasta is short for Kampfstaffel).   By  Summer 1917, there were now seven Kagohl formations each of six Staffeln.  Kagohl 6b was a Bavarian formation but all the others were Prussian.
Another realization of OHL was the pattern of increasing FA and FA(A) two-seater losses to improved Allied aircraft.  Escorting these specialized aircraft was of necessity but it took another crew within the FA or FA(A) unit to do this.  Eventually, Kastas were tolled off to various sectors to fly protection.  It became such a recognizably smart thing to do, that as a result of the complete reorganization of the Fliegertruppe into the renamed Luftstreitkräfte, now with a general officer in command (von Hoeppner), escorting Staffels were created and named Schutzstaffel, or "shooter", meaning they would fly as  escorts and take care of any shooting that had to be done to protect the FA or FA(A) mission and crew.  The abbreviated name was "Schusta".
On 31 December 1916 there were in existence a large "strategic" number of German Kampfstaffeln (or Kasta) six of which formed a Kagohl.  There were seven of these large KG formations and each of their six Kampfstaffeln had six aircraft.  There were also three "special" independent Kampfstaffeln, bringing the total number of six-airplane Kasta units to 45 with a theoretical strength of 252 aircraft.  The next day, 1 January 1917, most of these (27) were immediately transformed into Schutzstaffeln with their existing two-seater aircraft.  The remaining 12 Kampfstaffeln were re-equipping with an increasing number of two-engine bombers. The reorganization of November 1916, called for an establishment of 27 Schustas as listed in Table 4, below.  All were Kastas including three independent ones, all with well-trained, battle-tested crews.  Schustas 22b through 27b once comprised Kagohl 6b, all Bavarian.  All of the others were administered as Prussian aviation units.
Table 4: Schustas Created 1 January 1917 8
Schusta Created From
1 Kasta 13
2 Kasta 14
3 Kasta 15
4 Kasta 16
5 Kasta 17
6 Kasta 18
7 Kasta 25
8 Kasta 26
9 Kasta 27
10 Kasta 28
11 Kasta 29
12 Kasta 30
13 Kasta 37
14 Kasta 38
15 Kasta 39
16 Kasta 40
17 Kasta 41
18 Kasta 42
19 Kampfstaffel S.2 9
20 Kampfstaffel S.1
21 Kampfstaffel S.3
22b Kasta 31b
23b Kasta 32b
24b Kasta 33b
25b Kasta 34b
26b Kasta 35b
27b Kasta 36b



In the Fall of 1917, perhaps earlier, some Schusta aircraft were deployed to assist an infantry attack.  As the year wore on, more of these missions were conducted and soon, a definite ground attack/ground support set of tactics evolved.  However, one problem persisted: army support aircraft would be left without Schusta escorts and would have to provide their own.  It made no sense to use a trained army cooperation crew in the role of escort which reduced that unit's ability to respond to artillery and photo missions.  The solution was called "Verstärkt" or, roughly translated, increased aircraft inventory.  Some 39 FA and FA(A) units which operated directly on an active frontline where authorized to increase their aircraft inventory from six to nine aircraft, at least one of which was to be a CL-Type, usually the older Hannover CL.II.  Now, these units could provide their own escorts with crews specifically trained in aerial gunnery.

All of these Fall 1917 activities revolved around the rearming of the Schustas so that they were increasingly outfitted with the Halberstadt or Hannover CL-Types as fast as could be supplied.  They continued in some escort activity but it is clear that their employment as ground attack units was substantially increased.  In preparation for the great offensive in the early Spring of 1918 code-named "Kaiserschlacht" (the Emperor's great battle), most of the Schustas were less employed as escorts and were actually training for large-scale ground attack missions in which more than one Schusta participated.  The typical tactic of ground attack was either a line-abreast or line-in-column attack at low level with the forward firing machine gun ahead and the rear-swivel machine gun behind.  During the attack, hand-grenades were throw overboard.  The attack could be initiated as the aircraft crossed the lines, or, as often, from the rear where the aircraft crossed the lines, penetrated several miles, turned and made their attack.  

On 21 March 1918, the great battle was launched and several penetrations were made raising the hopes of German leaders that this could divide the French and British forces from each other and cause one or the other or both to give up the war.  The first few weeks were in Germany's favor but defenses stiffened.  In keeping with their role as battlefield ground attack units, the Schustas, on 27 March 1918, were all renamed to Schlachtstaffel or Schlastas.  Casualties mounted given the nature of their low-level activities which often brought them under massed small arms fire in addition to large numbers of Allied anti-aircraft weaponry and large numbers of fighters.  The basic ground attack theory proved itself and was employed by both sides right up to the end of the war in November 1918.


The model will represent Halberstadt CL.II flown by Uffz (Unteroffizier, i.e., corporal) Ludwig Thaufelder (P) and Vzfw (Vizefeldwebel i.e., sergeant) Alois Köhler of Bavarian Schutzstaffel 23, or Schusta 23b for short.  The aircraft's scheme is based on Dan-San Abbott's multi-view, full-color drawing that appears in Schlacht-Flieger!, page 198.10  Thaufelder joined Schusta 23b from 4.Armee-Flieger Park (AFP.4) on 7 October 1917.  Köhler joined the unit 4 September 1917.  The time period of this aircraft is roughly the month preceding the great Kaiserschlacht! or "Kaiser's Battle" launched on 21 March 1918, a monstrous effort not unlike the WW2 battles of Kursk and the Ardennes - last ditch onslaughts to turn the tide, so to speak.  In the case of the WW1 offensive, Germany hoped to separate the French and British armies, capture the channel ports, and force the major powers to sue for peace (reminds one of some of the Ardennes objectives).
Schusta 23b was during this four week period based in Flanders at Flugplatz Inglemunster (to 10 March 1918), moved to Bertry (in transit), and settled in at Flugplatz Quiévy as part of the newly formed Schlastagruppe D along with Schusta 12 attached to 2.Armee, one of the major formations to be involved in the upcoming offensive.  More on Schustas and Schlastas a bit later.  I chose this aircraft and the period because it represented a typical Halberstadt CL.II, the flying surfaces were covered in printed camouflage fabric, the fuselage was painted in a patchwork of colors approximating the fabric (except in larger format), it carried the Eisernes Kreuz German national insignia (Maltese cross), and was decorated with more-tan-the-usual white identification stripes on wings.  Its aircraft number was white '5' on a blue diamond, the tactical marking for Schusta 23b.



As with all aircraft I build, I maintain a "construction" page for each one in my "World War I Aircraft in 1:48 Scale" section.  Click on the link below for the Halberstadt CL.II,

Halberstadt CL.II Photo Construction Review

Index to German World War I Aircraft in 1:48 Scale
Index to All World War I Aircraft in 1:48 Scale



Factory-applied pre-printed camouflage fabric was mandatory for frontline combat aircraft.  The Halberstadt CL.II used a daylight scheme of 5-colors.  The upper surfaces of the wings and tail plane were in a "dark" pattern.  The under surfaces were covered in a "light" version of the same colors but "lightened and muted".  Halberstadt covered the fuselage and the top wing's center section in thin three-ply wood which was then covered with unbleached linen, doped, and varnished.  Over this was applied a hand-painted version of the 5-color daylight "dark" scheme except for the under surface of the center section and the fuselage which were left in a natural varnished state.  The hand-painted pattern consisted of irregular patches larger than the pre-printed pattern and the colors used closely approximated it.  A splatter of a light color was sprayed over these hand-painted surfaces to mute the colors and make them appear to blend into each other.  This "scumble" was a surprisingly effective camouflage.  The following photos taken from my construction page show how I achieved an acceptable finish.

CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 10a, 10b, and 10c
6 March 2012
The original state of the fuselage is a base coat of Vallejo VC0913 Yellow Ochre.  I painted the engine cowling with Misterkit MKAH06 Phönix Dark Green Photo which, it seems to me, is a more modern late-war color quite similar to the shade seen on the metal components of Fokker D.VII aircraft.  Then I added the rough sketching in pencil of a random and irregular pattern to be used as a guide.
started at the front of the fuselage alternating colors that I had on the palette.  These colors had to be thinned a little and replenished often during the painting process.  Incidentally, I started by following the pencil pattern at the front but noticed that the overall design seemed a bit too small.  By the time I got to the end of the engine along the fuselage side, I broadened the patches.
The last step was to apply the Tamiya TM8046 Light Sand overspray from a distance of about 15-18 inches.  I allowed the overspray to stay on the engine covers as seen on many Halberstadt CL.II aircraft.  Sometimes, in fact, the engine covers were incorporated into the five-color pattern.     

For the cockpit interior I used a number of different shades of light brown with different washes.  The pilot sat on a brass main fuel tank.  The observer sat on a spring-loaded flip-down seat (some folded up) and supported by a wood or metal leg.  For interior details I used the kit's components which included a camera, map case, ammunition drums, a wireless sending unit, a fold-down shelf for the wireless sending key, rack for flare cartridges, and maybe one or two other small items. The pilot's cockpit contained the usual main instrument panel, one or two small auxiliary panels, throttle quadrant, two bicycle-style pumps (one for fuel pressure and one for oil pressure), a Spandau fixed forward-firing machine mounted on the left side of the engine, rudder bar, control stick, and a few scratch-built items.

Table 5 below gives examples of the colors I used for the model except for the hand-painted 5-color scheme on the fuselage and top wing center section the colors of which are shown in Table 6.  These are swatches I made from the actual paint, scanned in, and formatted.  The actual shades will vary on your computer.   Eisernes Kreuz markings were decals placed on all eight of the traditional positions.  The serial number for this aircraft is not known.  Unit and individual markings were taken directly from the kit's decal sheet.  Underneath, near the tail is my small font personal marking "G. Grasse - Halberstadt CL.II - No. 6679".

Table 5: Paint Color Swatches for the Halberstadt CL.II of Schusta 23b

Misterkit MKGC10 German Clear Doped Linen

Applied as a base color on all 5-color camouflage surfaces

Misterkit MKAH06 Phönix Dark Green

Applied to the engine covers and landing gear struts

Vallejo VC0912 Sand Yellow

Applied to underside of fuselage and underside of the top wing's center section to simulate the clear varnished plywood surface

Vallejo VC0941 Burnt Umber

Thinned with water and applied as a wash to cockpit interior components

Vallejo VC0913 Yellow Ochre

Used on various wood components mainly to differentiate one from another.

Vallejo VC0824 German Camouflage Orange Ochre

Vallejo VC0981 Orange Brown


Table 6: Paint Color Swatches for the 5-Color Hand-Painted Fuselage and Wing Center Section



Vallejo VC0964 Field Blue

  Prussian Blue-Gray:  the Field Blue is close but "grayer" and "lighter".  I added just a bit of Andrea ANAC22 Prussian Blue.

Vallejo VC0960 Black Green

Dark Green: the Black Green is close but a little too dark.  I added just a bit of pale beige.

Vallejo VC0824 German Camouflage Orange Ochre

Ochre Brown:  the Vallejo Orange Ochre is lighter so I darkened it with the Burnt Umber.

Vallejo VC0857 Golden Olive

  Light or Pea Green:  Vallejo's Golden Olive is a close match but a little brighter.  I toned it down with a little Burnt Umber.

Vallejo VC0812 Violet Red

   Magenta:  I could not find a close Vallejo match.  Thinned with water and applied as a wash to cockpit interior components

Vallejo VC0803 Brown Rose

Vallejo VC0941 Burnt Umber






-------------------------------------  FINIS  --------------------------------------


1  Gray, Peter & Owen Thetford, German Aircraft of the First World War, drawing by L. E. Bradford, page 138.  The Halberstadt CL.II as with all German two-seaters were modified at Staffel level and to properly represent a model aircraft you have to study photos of the intended real-life counterpart.  For example, note the tear-shaped metal covering adjacent to the engine on the forward part of the fuselage.  If the aircraft carried a wireless transmitter (W/T), it probably had an internally mounted generator mounted to the left lower side of the engine.  If so, it bulged out a bit and this tear-shaped cover would have projected outward in a rounded shape.  If the aircraft did not carry a W/T, a simpler "flat" tear-shaped cover was installed.  Note also the rectangular object just below and slightly behind the gunner's cockpit.  In this drawing it represents a generic sheet metal holder for hand grenades.  These holders can be seen on many late-war two-seaters in both reconnaissance and ground attack aircraft.  They took on many forms and were positioned on either side of the cockpit, many times on both but did not always appear as in this drawing.

2 Grosz, Peter M.  Halberstadt CL.II Windsock Datafile 27, page 1.  It is recommended to review the several paragraphs by Grosz concerning the development of the Halberstadt company and its early aircraft production history.

3 The Mercedes D.III 160 hp in-line engine was the best of its type in 1916-1917 and equipped all of the Albatros D-Type fighters from mid-1916 through 1917.  It was upgraded as the D.IIIa of 180 hp and equipped the early Fokker D.VII fighters until improved with high-compression technology.

4 Gray & Thetford, pages136-138.

5 Gray & Thetford, pages138-139.

6 Grosz, Peter. M. Halberstadt CL.II Windsock Datafile 27, page 35.

7 Grosz, Peter M. Archiv: Frontbestand. This date was taken from The Journal of the Early Aeroplane "WWI Aero", issue 107, Dec 1985.

8 Duiven, Rick and Dan-San Abbott.  Schlacht-Flieger! This is the encyclopedia of Schustas and includes for each one airfields, rosters, significant combat log entries, campaigns, and photos.  Another source is the internet website Frontflieger, that displays the entire Fliegertruppe/Luftstreitkräfte in summary form:

9 Rottgardt, Dirk.  German Armies' Establishment 1914/18, The Nafziger Collection, 2007, page 75.  While researching the Kampfstaffeln, I came across three special purpose independent Kampfstaffeln and offer an explanation from the author, "In Winter 1915/16, another 3 independent special Kampfstaffeln 600 (refers to his footnote following) were organized for the protection of home industrial sites intercepting enemy bombers.  They flew a mixture of single-seaters, C and G planes.  Their larger planes were apparently used as "gun ships".  All were converted to escort duty (Schustas) in January 1917."

"600 S.1 to S.3, S meaning Sonderstaffel (special Staffel).  They were to protect industrial sites - S.1 originally the Krupp factories at Essen.  S-1 was originally raised as Sonderstaffel Köln (Cologne), later     Sonderstaffel Trier and was (eventually) renamed S.1 in January 1916.  S.2 was originally raised as Sonderstaffel Freiburg and in March 1916 became S.2.  S.3 was originally raised as Sonderstaffel T and in July 1916 became S.3." 

10 Duiven, Rick and Dan-San Abbott.  Schlacht-Flieger!, (or SF! for short) page 198.  This drawing cites Vzfw Schönmann as the gunner.  A check with the Schusta 23b roster prepared by Duiven on page 284 shows that Vzfw Schönmann left Schusta 23b on 17 October 1917 for Schusta 11.  The abbreviated combat log for Schusta 23b shows that on 30 October 1917, Thaufelder's gunner was Vzfw Alois Köhler and, again on 25 March 1918, these two were credited with shooting down a British F.2b Bristol Fighter.  So, it would appear that they were a team and the entry on the drawing, for whatever reason, is not correct.  



Duiven, Rick and Dan-San Abbott.  Schlacht-Flieger!.  Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 2006.

Gray, Peter and Owen Thetford.  German Aircraft of the First World War.  London: Putnam & Company, 1962.

Grosz, Peter M. Archiv: Frontbestand.  The Journal of the Early Aeroplane "WWI Aero", issues 107 (Dec 1985) and 108 (Feb 1986).

Grosz, Peter. M. Hannover CL.III Windsock Datafile 23.  Berkhamsted, UK: Albatros Productions, Ltd, 1999, revised second edition.

Grosz, Peter. M. Halberstadt CL.II Windsock Datafile 27.  Berkhamsted, UK: Albatros Productions, Ltd, 1999, revised second edition.

Sumner, Ian.  German Air Forces 1914-18, Osprey Elite Series No. 135.  Botley, Oxford (UK): Osprey Publishing Ltd, 2005.


    Eduard  1:48 Scale German Observer in Overcoat with Maps






© Copyright by George Grasse