Soviet Airfield "Hunter's Game"

This abandoned military airfield in the German state of Mecklenburg- West Pomerania was built in the 1930s by the Luftwaffe of the Wehrmacht and operated by them until the end of World War II. It was then taken over by the Soviet Air Forces, which also subjected it to military use by units of the 16th Air Army until they withdrew from reunified Germany in 1994.

Work on the combined land and sea air base began in 1935. Among other things, a concrete runway with a length of 1325 meters and a width of 80 meters as well as several maintenance halls in the west and north-west areas were built.

Abandoned Soviet Airfield in Germany

In the western part was the sea flight station, which had five large halls, a shipyard hall and two "runways" for seaplanes, which were built directly into the bay.

In April of 1936, the "Aviation School (Sea)" was relocated to this airfield. Further units included a blind-flying school, parts of the aviation support group and a sea rescue squadron.

Parts of the airfield were used for trial operations by the airplane works on the opposite side of the bay, which acted as a repair shop for the Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke. The aircraft were transported between the factory and the airfield via the bay.

In 1939, this factory also leased two hangars on the air base in order to convert He-59 reconnaissance aircraft into sea rescue aircraft. From 1941 onwards, forced laborers, prisoners of war and concentration camp prisoners were increasingly used on the airfield and in the repair shop.

In the final days of the war, the airfield briefly became a front-line airfield. In late April of 1945, the 3rd Group of the Udet Fighter Squadron went there and flew a few missions before moving west. At the beginning of May, the 2nd group of the same squadron was the last unit to leave the site, so that the Soviet troops were able to take the air base on May 2nd without a fight.

After the end of the war there was initially no aviation activity on the field. Instead, the Soviet occupying power dismantled the two large aircraft hangars in the northwest as well as the hangar of the sea flight station and transported them to the Soviet Union as part of the reparations payments. In 1951, the Soviet administration decided to restore the site to its original purpose using the existing infrastructure.

The yard was cleared and the first expansion phase, which lasted until 1952, began, which essentially meant the construction of a second, 2250 meter long runway with new taxiways and a few aircraft shelter boxes. Then began the stationing of various units, mainly fighter regiments.

A second expansion and renovation phase began in the 1960s. From March to September 1961 the runway was extended to 2500 meters. From 1968 to 1970, as a reaction to the experiences of the Six Day War, the construction of closed aircraft covers and an ammunition bunker was carried out on all airfields of the 16th Air Army. The airfield was increasingly used as a starting point for shooting exercises that took place over the Baltic Sea and in which troops from other Warsaw Pact states also took part. So temporarily, Polish, Hungarian and East German fighter planes were also stationed on the airfield. This is why so-called target display chains were also stored here.

A final runway extension to 2,600 meters was decided in the 1970s, as was the construction of another Granite ammunition storage bunker. From the 1980s the old runway from the 1930s was only used as a preparation area for the stationed target planes until 1991. A thorough renovation of the airfield planned for the beginning of the 1990s was prevented by the political events.

After the last aircraft left for Russia in June 1994, the airfield was declared a conversion area by the German authorities after it was handed over and then closed.

(Source: Wikipedia)


Visited: January 19, 2019

Location: Undisclosed, Germany


Status: Renovation

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