Author Topic: Supermarine Mauersegler  (Read 122 times)

Offline The Rat

  • 66 years old, never been pregnant. Or so he claims...
  • Maybe I should take up the bagpipes.
Supermarine Mauersegler
« on: January 09, 2022, 09:25:24 AM »
This model is of unkown origin, as the story will relate. It is rather beaten and worn, having been on display for many decades, and no doubt often moved for house cleaning and handled for closer inspection. The only restoration I have done is to clean years of accumulated dust, grime, and pipe smoke.

by Dave Bailey, on Flickr

In the course of doing research on the Farley Fruitbat, a promising lead exposed me to an interesting find that indicates the possible existence of a hitherto unknown aspect of the Cold War: a strong Deutsche Marine that had probably equipped with at least one aircraft carrier.

Inquiries at the British MoD were met with rather casual interest, as if the history of the Fruitbat was of little concern to them. But a young intern in the records department turned out to have a mutual interest with me; he was an avid birder. Over a drink during an afternoon of chasing avian species that this Canadian had never seen before, he went a little quiet, and I knew something was up. “There is a man, a former archivist with the government, who may be able to help you”, he confided. “He may have more inside information on the Fruitbat than we have, at least, that we are willing to reveal. The Official Secrets Act still keeps many things about the war under wraps, and only discloses them at their whim and convenience. If you are willing to keep his name out of this you may find him… helpful…” His voice trailed off.

by Dave Bailey, on Flickr

A short drive into a small village west of London, a knock on a door, and a cautious welcome from a very elderly gentleman, opened up a new world. His information on the Fruitbat, while limited, was still helpful, but his collection of other items was eye-opening. The first thing that caught my eye was a desk model of a Supermarine Swift, probably a sales tool, but in German Navy markings! To his knowledge, NATO had determined that a revitalized German Navy could be a thorn in the side of the Warsaw Pact, with an ability to control the Baltic Sea with ease.

by Dave Bailey, on Flickr

I immediately surmised that at least one aircraft carrier would aid in that role, but he denied any knowledge of such a thing. He may have been honest in that, but the model told another story. The Swift could have easily been operated by the Luftwaffe from land bases, the only reason for a naval purchase would have been for carrier operations. It had already proven itself as a capable attack platform with the Royal Navy, and it looked as if this one had gone a step further. A slightly larger nose indicated a more powerful radar suite, and the 2-seat arrangement hinted at a second crewman to operate it. A powerful weapons system indeed!
“You may take it,” he said, “I noticed your keen interest, and I need to start clearing up this stuff anyway.” He seemed to know that his time was coming, and that allowing me to be privy to such information, and hard evidence, would now be my concern, not his. 

by Dave Bailey, on Flickr

I never saw him again, which I greatly regret. How many other precious nuggets of information were stashed away in his home? I only know that after his death, a few weeks after our meeting, government vans were being loaded with the contents of his house, if curious neighbours are to be believed.

I have decided, as I am a birder, that the German name for this aircraft would have been Mauersegler, their name for Apus apus, the common swift.

by Dave Bailey, on Flickr
"Man, if you gotta ask, you ain't never gonna know!" - Louis Armstrong, when asked "What is jazz?"

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Supermarine Mauersegler
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2022, 12:44:27 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Supermarine Mauersegler
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2022, 09:49:06 AM »
Nice! Great backstory and I love the name Mauersegler  :smiley:  Just rolls off the tongue. Ist es nicht?  ;D
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