Fliegerhorst der Luftwaffe Zerbst

Built: 1935

Abandoned: 1992

Demolished: 2013

Visited: 2012

Zerbst, Germany

This military airfield was built between 1935 and 1937 for the Luftwaffe. In 1938 Zerbst became the home for the ‘II Gruppe des Jagdgeschwader 137’, consisting of 3 squadrons of Arado Ar-68E planes, not much later replaced with Messerschmidt Bf-109D planes. In 1943 the airfield became the ground of Jagdfliegerschule 2. During the fall of 1944 the airfield received a hardened 2000m runway and dispersals for a new type of aircraft. Early 1945 Zerbst became one of the first airbases in the world to operate jet fighters.

The United States 83rd Division took Zerbst and the airfield on 28 April 1945. A day later they encountered the Red Army only kilometers away, the U.S. troops withdrew behind the Elbe line to prevent confusion between U.S. and Soviet forces. The Soviets then took command over Zerbst airfield. The Soviets never left the airfield after World War II until the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Iron Curtain. The Russians repaired and expanded the airfield over the decades.

In 1952 they lengthened the runway to 2500m. The 126 Fighter Aviation Divisions operated MiGs from Zerbst between 1951 and 1992. In 1966 the Red Army also built a Raketenlager on this site. Around 1968, 20 aircraft shelters were built and a large hangar in 1970. Around 1975 another 20 aircraft shelters were built. Most of the west and north side of the airfield are now covered by solar panels. The other buildings are demolished.

Photos Fliegerhorst der Luftwaffe Zerbst

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