Mistel

flying bombJunkers EF 101Mistel-Gespann
Mistel (German for "mistletoe") was the larger, unmanned component of a composite aircraft configuration developed in Germany during the later stages of World War II. The composite comprised a small piloted control aircraft mounted above a large explosives-carrying drone, the Mistel, and as a whole was referred to as the Huckepack ("Piggyback"), also known as the Beethoven-Gerät ("Beethoven Device") and Vati und Sohn ("Daddy and Son").wikipedia
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Junkers Ju 88

Ju 88Junkers 88Ju 88s
The most successful of these used a modified Junkers Ju 88 bomber as the Mistel, with the entire nose-located crew compartment replaced by a specially designed nose filled with a large load of explosives, formed into a shaped charge.
Like a number of other Luftwaffe bombers, it served as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter and at the end of the war, as a flying bomb.

Composite aircraft

compositea fighter sitting on topcombination
Mistel (German for "mistletoe") was the larger, unmanned component of a composite aircraft configuration developed in Germany during the later stages of World War II. The first such composite aircraft flew in July 1943 and was promising enough to begin a programme by Luftwaffe test unit KG 200, code-named "Beethoven", eventually entering operational service.
During the Second World War some composites saw operational use including the Mistel ("mistletoe"), the larger unmanned component of a composite aircraft configuration developed in Germany during the later stages of World War II, in effect a two-part manned flying bomb.

Shaped charge

hollow chargeMunroe effectshaped-charge
The most successful of these used a modified Junkers Ju 88 bomber as the Mistel, with the entire nose-located crew compartment replaced by a specially designed nose filled with a large load of explosives, formed into a shaped charge. The definitive Mistel warhead was a shaped charge weighing nearly two tonnes fitted with a copper or aluminium liner with the weight of a blockbuster bomb.
During World War II, shaped-charge munitions were developed by Germany (Panzerschreck, Panzerfaust, Panzerwurfmine, Mistel), Britain (PIAT, Beehive charge), the Soviet Union (RPG-43, RPG-6), and the U.S. (bazooka).

Kampfgeschwader 200

KG 200Kampfgeschwader'' 200captured aircraft
The first such composite aircraft flew in July 1943 and was promising enough to begin a programme by Luftwaffe test unit KG 200, code-named "Beethoven", eventually entering operational service.
Although not as effective as the Luftwaffe planners had hoped, the Mistel program continued to be developed through 1944.

HMS Nith (K215)

DomiatHMS ''Nith
Serious blast and shrapnel damage from a near-miss was suffered by HMS Nith, a River-class frigate being used as a floating headquarters, on 24 June.
On the night of 23 / 24 June 1944, HMS Nith was attacked by a Mistel, a German prototype drone aircraft packed with explosives, remotely controlled by a mother aircraft that released the drone after being previously attached to it.

Junkers Ju 287

Ju 287Junkers EF 116Junkers EF 125
The final stage of Mistel development was of specialised purpose-built jet-powered bomber components, including ones developed from the Messerschmitt Me 262, the Junkers Ju 287 and the entirely new Arado Ar 234.
The final Ju 287 variant design to be mooted was a Mistel combination-plane ground attack version, comprising an unmanned explosives-packed "drone" 287 and a manned Me 262 fighter attached to the top of the bomber by a strut assembly.

Operation Eisenhammer

Eisenhammeragainst Russian power stationsall-out attack on Soviet armaments and power plants
As part of Operation Iron Hammer in late 1943 and early 1944, Mistels were selected to carry out key raids against Soviet weapons-manufacturing facilities—specifically, electricity-generating power stations around Moscow and Gorky.
To accomplish the goal Mistel long-range bombers were to be employed.

Focke-Wulf Ta 154

Ta 154MoskitoTa 154 ''Moskito
At least three Pulkzerstörer and Mistel parasite fighter schemes were mooted for the 154.

German language

GermanGerman-languageGerman-speaking
Mistel (German for "mistletoe") was the larger, unmanned component of a composite aircraft configuration developed in Germany during the later stages of World War II.

Mistletoe

Mistletoe berriesshowy mistletoes
Mistel (German for "mistletoe") was the larger, unmanned component of a composite aircraft configuration developed in Germany during the later stages of World War II.

World War II

Second World WarwarWWII
Mistel (German for "mistletoe") was the larger, unmanned component of a composite aircraft configuration developed in Germany during the later stages of World War II.

Fighter aircraft

fighterfightersjet fighter
The upper component was a fighter aircraft, joined to the Mistel by struts.

DFS 230

DFS 203DFS-230DFS 230B
The first such experiments in Nazi Germany concerning composite aircraft of any type were performed with the DFS 230 troop glider as the "lower" component and using established, engine-powered Luftwaffe aircraft, such as the Focke-Wulf Fw 56 or the Messerschmitt Bf 109E, as the upper component in an attempt to provide the troop glider with a longer range than if it was simply towed in the conventional manner.

Focke-Wulf Fw 56

Fw 56Focke-Wulf Fw 56 StösserFocke Wulf Fw-56 „Stösser“
The first such experiments in Nazi Germany concerning composite aircraft of any type were performed with the DFS 230 troop glider as the "lower" component and using established, engine-powered Luftwaffe aircraft, such as the Focke-Wulf Fw 56 or the Messerschmitt Bf 109E, as the upper component in an attempt to provide the troop glider with a longer range than if it was simply towed in the conventional manner.

Messerschmitt Bf 109

Bf 109Messerschmitt 109Me 109
The first such experiments in Nazi Germany concerning composite aircraft of any type were performed with the DFS 230 troop glider as the "lower" component and using established, engine-powered Luftwaffe aircraft, such as the Focke-Wulf Fw 56 or the Messerschmitt Bf 109E, as the upper component in an attempt to provide the troop glider with a longer range than if it was simply towed in the conventional manner.

Warhead

warheadsCUexplosive payload
Later, the technique became more refined, and the bomber component (which was often a new aircraft rather than surplus) was fitted with a specialised 1,800 kg (3,960 lb.) warhead.

Jet engine

jetEnginesjet-powered
The final stage of Mistel development was of specialised purpose-built jet-powered bomber components, including ones developed from the Messerschmitt Me 262, the Junkers Ju 287 and the entirely new Arado Ar 234.

Tonne

ttonnesmetric ton
The definitive Mistel warhead was a shaped charge weighing nearly two tonnes fitted with a copper or aluminium liner with the weight of a blockbuster bomb.

Copper

CuCu 2+ cupric
The definitive Mistel warhead was a shaped charge weighing nearly two tonnes fitted with a copper or aluminium liner with the weight of a blockbuster bomb.

Aluminium

aluminumAlall-metal
The definitive Mistel warhead was a shaped charge weighing nearly two tonnes fitted with a copper or aluminium liner with the weight of a blockbuster bomb.

Blockbuster bomb

blockbustersCookiecookies
The definitive Mistel warhead was a shaped charge weighing nearly two tonnes fitted with a copper or aluminium liner with the weight of a blockbuster bomb.

Reinforced concrete

ferro-concreteferroconcretereinforced
The use of a shaped charge was expected to allow penetration of up to seven meters of reinforced concrete.

Operation Overlord

Battle of NormandyNormandyNormandy Campaign
They were first flown in combat against the Allied invasion fleet during the Battle of Normandy, targeting the British-held harbour at Courseulles-sur-Mer.

Courseulles-sur-Mer

CourseullesCourselles
They were first flown in combat against the Allied invasion fleet during the Battle of Normandy, targeting the British-held harbour at Courseulles-sur-Mer.