Operation Freiheit

freedom

This was a German air operation, based on the use of ‘Mistel’ composite aircraft, to destroy bridges over the Oder river and thus slow the westward advances of the Soviet forces into eastern Germany (April 1945).

All the 'Mistel' composite aircraft were allocated to Oberst Joachim Helbig’s Kampfgeschwader 200, and on 12 April 1945 this unit used Junkers Ju 88 bombers, each revised with an 8,377-lb (3800-kg) shaped-charge warhead in place of the standard forward fuselage, to attack the bridges being built across the confluence of the Oder and Warta rivers at Küstrin, but the damage caused was negligible and delayed the Soviet forces for only a day or two. Subsequent 'Mistel' attacks against other bridges being thrown across the Oder river were similarly ineffective.