Eiserne Annie auf dünnem Eis

The title means Iron Annie on thin Ice, I hope! German speaking Mudspikers are welcome to edit :wink:

I hinted at a story about the Ju-52 that I saw at the RNoAF Aircraft Collection this weekend.
What’s so special about it, besides being a Junkers 52 cargo aircraft?

Let’s go back to April 1940. Before the Battle of Britain there was the Battle of Narvik.
Nazi Germany invaded Denmark and Norway on the 9th of April in an operation called Unternehmen Weserübung. The two small Scandinavian countries was no match for the formidable German war machine, although they lost the Cruiser Blücher in the Oslo Fjord (another interesting story) and the Norwegian Army Airforce took to the skies in their outdated Gloster Gladiators and managed to score some kills.
Germany also moved in on Narvik, in the north of Norway, trying to secure the strategically important harbour and thus started the Battle of Narvik, or Hitlers first defeat as Norwegians like to call it.
The Narvik campaign met fierce resistance and reinforcements was needed.
On the 12th of April, the commander of KGr.z.b.V 102 (Kampfgruppe zur besonderen Verwendung) was ordered to transport the 2. Mountain Artillery unit (Gebirgsbatterie 2) with personell, equipment and ammo, to Narvik. The day after 13 Ju-52 left Berlin Tempelhof for Fornebu, in occupied Norway. One aircraft had to return with technical problems but the rest landed, refueled and left just about an hour later, for the direct flight to Narvik.
At Fornebu, the flight was joined by another Ju-52 and in the evening of the 13th, they arrived in Narvik. Two aircraft landed on the ice at Gullesfjord and the rest landed at Lake Hartvikvann, NW of Narvik. The lake was covered in deep snow and 5 aircraft nosed in, while 6 managed to land safely. Desperate times calls for desperate measures!
The Tante Ju at the RNoAF collection is one of these aircraft.

But the story doesn’t end here…
The equipment was offloaded and two aircraft were prepared for takeoff four days later, on the 17th of April. It was an unusually warm April and the snow on the ice covered lake turned into slush. PoW:s were put to work preparing a runway for the two departing Junkers. The first one barely managed to get airborne, which caused the crew of the second aircraft to cancel their takeoff attempt. So, out of the 12 aircraft that left Germany, only one was still flying…
This was Ju-52/3m g4e, Werk # 6664, marked as SE#KC.
Due to navigational difficulties the aircraft flew in over Sweden and as the fuel situation got critical, the lost crew had to make an outfield landing at Vallsta, in county Hälsingland, just a few miles from my dads childhood home.
Dad was 14 years old at the time and a German military aircraft landing in the vincinity naturally had a huge impact on the local community.
Dad and friends hopped on their bikes and rode to satisfy their curiosity. The Luftwaffe crew was arrested by the local Home Guards unit.
“Neutral” Sweden wasn’t too keen on picking a fight with the Nazis and repatriated crew and aircraft in the fall.


I think in German the common nickname is Tante Ju. Hard to translate Iron Annie into something a native speaker would come up with.

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You’re right! It should be Eisernes Annie.

Edit. Hm? It’s Eisernes Annie according to a book about the history of the Ju-52, but online it’s mostly Eisen Annie…?

Eisernes is neutral, but a female name calls for a female ending, so Eiserne Annie would be grammatically correct.

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I was thinking…
You often see both
Eisenkreutz and Eisernes Kreutz
What’s the difference here?
Also, does this apply to Eisen vs. Eiserne Annie…?

Das Kreuz - neutrum, therefore Eisernes Kreuz.

Die Annie - femininum, therefore Eiserne Annie.

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Ok, but what about:

What’s the difference here?

Both could be grammatically correct, meaning a cross made from iron.

The difference is only that “Eisernes Kreuz” is the name of a specific shape and also the name of the medal that looks like it, while Eisenkreuz could mean any cross made of iron.

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You’re burying the lead with the German grammar discussion! That’s a great story! Incredible that your dad got to see it and was old enough to vividly remember the experience. I didn’t even know about Germany’s invasion of Norway before reading about it in Churchill’s magnum opus about the war. (Sadly, count me among an ignorant cohort of Americans who grew up thinking the war started in December 1941.)


“overpaid, overfed, oversexed and over here”

— Tommy Trinder



World War II actually began with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919 as it set up Europe for a devastating resurgence of Germany that should have been, but was not, seen at the time.


At least the lesson was learned after round 2.

If you want full on grammar nazi, you shall have it. Eisern is the adjektive form of the noun Eisen, eisernes being the neutral ending. It can mean being made from iron, but can also mean being cold or of strong conviction when applied to a person.

Eisenkreuz is a compound word of two nouns. There is no adjektivisation of Eisen going on in that case.


I’d never call you that, but thanks for the clarification! :wink:

Some day I will learn what a grammar communist is.


I did so you don’t have to. Common courtesy. :wink:

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Very much seen at the time. Brittish and French delegates felt the treaty was too lenient. Had a harsher treaty been imposed on the lines of that which Germany intended to impose on the allies in March 1918, or that imposed on Russia at Brest-Litovsk by Germany, then WW2 would probably not have happened


If you are talking about reconstruction rather than punitive reparations, I would agree.

If you are talking about Nation states resorting to violence in order to settle disputes or to get what they want, I think we have a long, long way to go still.


I believe it was Foch who said at the signing that this would delay resumption of the conflict 20 years. He was right and definitely not alone. Germany claimed to be a victim but their treatment at Versailles was no worse than the agreement they forced on the Russians a year earlier at Brest-Litovsk. There was enough bad to go around for everyone.


As for “grammar communist”, try to read the Instagram feed on your teenager’s phone. That is what happens when the grammar communists take over!