Halberstadt CL.II

The first effective ground attack plane.


Ground attack

The idea of ground attack was a new one thus the initial weapons available were fairly primitive. The CL2 employed racks of up to 10 stick grenades on the side of the plane which would be dropped on enemy trenches. Later, specialised shells were dropped from racks on the bottom of the planes as one might expect from a modern plane.



The Halberstadt had a forward firing machine 08/15 machine gun and a scoped rear mounted MG14 parabellum. These enabled the Halberstadt to defend itself in the air. This gave the CL II a wide range of capabilities and arguably made it the best multi-role aircraft of the war.


A heavier plane

Despite a Mercedes D.III water cooled engine, the added weight of its weaponry made the planes weigh around 1300kg giving it a rather sluggish speed of 164km/h max.