Markus Lenz

Aviation - Aerial Photography - Airborne Imagery

Aerial Reconnaissance and Imagery Intelligence as well as Research of historical aerial photographs and aerial views

Entering Germany 1945: The Trolley Mission

This movie tells the story of an extraordinary sightseeing tour of Germany at the end of the European War. Thousands of men, who had in countless ways played a part in the aerial attack on Germany, received their first opportunity to see the fruits of their labors while participating in the so-called “Trolley Missions”. These “Trolley Missions” were low-level flights over Germany in May 1945. Sometimes these missions are also called “Low Level Missions”, “Low Level Tours” or “Cook’s Tours”. During these flights across Europe and Germany, aerial photographs were taken showing the destruction of German cities. While the European air war, General James Harold Doolittle, who held the command of the Eighth Air Force from January 1944 to September 1945, gave the order to provide all ground personnel with an opportunity of seeing the results of their contribution in the strategic air war against Germany.

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Apart from the crew members, passengers were soldiers, who had not fought at the front, but worked as cooks, as aircraft mechanics or as secretaries in the offices. This ground personnel also participated - indirectly - in the victory over Nazi Germany. During these low level flights aerial photographs were taken. Today these aerial pictures and photographs represent an extraordinary historical value for the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. Therefore, Markus Lenz, a German aviation historian, has collected over 400 aerial photographs from war veterans in the United States, and he identified unknown places. He wrote a book and several research reports about this military operation, which include an aeronautical historical interpretation, and a flight navigational analysis. Finally, this video is a visual collection of reconnaissance photo aerial views and images, documenting the Second World War.

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