Brandis after American capture


Brandis airfield (also known as Polenz) was captured by American troops on the 16th of April 1945. As is described in Stephen Ransom's book Zwischen Leipzig und der Mulde - Flugplatz Brandis 1935-1945, Task Force Collins entered Polenz village in the late afternoon, and found an airfield that wasn't shown on their maps. It was defended, and a small battle ensued. Later that evening the base was captured. Long before the battle, most Luftwaffe personel had been evacuated, and almost all aircraft present were blown up or torched. Some 200 men were left to defend the airbase.

After the capture, the airbase was occupied by the 60th Armored Infantry Battalion of the 9th US Armored Division and subsequently the 69th Infantry Divisionís 273rd Infantry Regiment. In the following weeks units of the 69th Infantry located there seem to have taken quite a few photos of the airbase and its remaining aircraft. The airbase was also inspected by intelligence, and they reported among others two Ju 287's, fourteen He 177, thirty-three Me 163's, twenty-two Me 110's and many more aircraft, all demolished or burnt out.

The photos on this page give an impression of the Komets left at Brandis. They show various highly interesting details. The color photos are especially interesting; these are stills of a film, of which small pieces are included in some Discovery Channel documentaries.

The first set was kindly sent by Gary Webster; he found them in Airfoil magazine, Winter 1983 issue.

Jaap Woortman found the photo below in a book about the 104 (US) Division.



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