flyingturtle
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1946 C-53 Crash On The Gauli Glacier, Switzerland

Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:04 pm

Hello fellow a.nutters,


I've recently translated a Wikipedia article. I hope it is interesting for some of you, and it would be great if somebody could polish my English up.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1946_C-...trooper_crash_on_the_Gauli_Glacier

Curiously, there aren't many web sites about that topic.

(To the mods: Feel free to move this to Non-Av if it's inappropriate here.)



David
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HaveBlue
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RE: 1946 C-53 Crash On The Gauli Glacier, Switzerland

Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:46 pm

Nice article, thanks for sharing.
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RE: 1946 C-53 Crash On The Gauli Glacier, Switzerland

Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:46 am

Quoting flyingturtle (Thread starter):
I hope it is interesting for some of you, and it would be great if somebody could polish my English up.

I found the article very interesting, and found no issues at all with the English.

Thanks for posting the article!
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RE: 1946 C-53 Crash On The Gauli Glacier, Switzerland

Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:16 pm

Great article, thanks for posting
 
flyingturtle
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RE: 1946 C-53 Crash On The Gauli Glacier, Switzerland

Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:34 pm

Thank you all for your comments!

Now I'll try to find the names of the people involved as well as images made by the Army/USAAF, as they're in the public domain.


David
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ptrjong
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RE: 1946 C-53 Crash On The Gauli Glacier, Switzerland

Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:21 pm

Hi David,

Z68846 is not a possible US military aircraft serial number.

Also the article doesn't say it's a USAF aircraft.

Some interpunction issues such as 16'000 ft.

Why were US-Swiss relations strained?

Peter 
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flyingturtle
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RE: 1946 C-53 Crash On The Gauli Glacier, Switzerland

Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:53 pm

Hallo Peter,


I try to track down that serial number... do all U.S. military aircraft have the numbering scheme that includes the financial year, or is that a newer invention?

The USAF was formed in 1947. The C-53 is emblazoned with "EUROPEAN AIR TRANSPORT SERVICE", together with the 1943-1947 USAAF roundel. The Z68846 number can be found on the photos, like here: http://www.lw.admin.ch/internet/luft...ory/premier/alpine_flugrettung.htm - so, is this a civilian plane, just operated by USAAF personnel?

The strains between U.S. and Switzerland - I very much suspect the Marshall plan. Although Switzerland received a tiny little bit of the U.S. aid, Switzerland profited from the war (by providing things like fine mechanics, bomb timers and financial services to both Allies and Axis forces). Switzerland could have supported the Marshall plan, as there were still huge financial assets parked here.

Another idea is that Switzerland could have opened another front in the war, fighting against the Axis - at least when Patton, Patch, Simpson, Devers, Montgomery and their colleages were crossing the Rhine. Either way, the Swiss aren't seen as people that sacrifice something for a higher cause. We're rather a bunch of opportunists...

Now I'll do some proper research...

http://www.hls-dhs-dss.ch/textes/d/D3380.php explains some things. The U.S. wanted to force Switzerland to take part in economic sanctions against the Axis forces, among other stopping railway transportation for the Germans and Italians (...for example, the famous "singing coal waggons" - German troop transports across Switzerland). Then, the U.S. wanted to secure any German assets in Switzerland, something we were not willing to do.

Another aspect were the bombings of Basel, Schaffhausen and Zurich. Some sources say that the U.S. bombed these cities - although the deaths were numbered only in dozens - deliberately to punish the Swiss for their passivity in the war.



Kind regards,

David

[Edited 2012-02-13 14:55:33]
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ptrjong
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RE: 1946 C-53 Crash On The Gauli Glacier, Switzerland

Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:00 am

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 6):

Hi David,

The number on the picture is quite clearly 268846. That is short for 42-68846 which is the serial number you should be mentioning for this aircraft. 42 is the fiscal year. This is a fully military registration number.

Joe Baugher's confirms that the aircraft was 42-68846, a C-53D.
http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1942_3a.html

Quote:
42-68846 (c/n 11773) crashed in Swiss Alps Nov 19, 1946 during flight from Tulln AB (outside Vienna, Austria) via Munich to Istres, France and went badly off course. All 12 aboard survived and were rescued 2 days later after epic search and rescue operation.

I don't think the Allies had any illusions about Switzerland joining the war against Germany. I also don't believe that Switzerland was bombed as punishment for its trade with Germany. Mistakes happened.

This is personal assessment but if you aren't sure why relations were strained, you'd better just say that the rescue operation improved relations, I think.

Peter

[Edited 2012-02-13 17:17:10]
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ssteve
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RE: 1946 C-53 Crash On The Gauli Glacier, Switzerland

Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:04 am

It certainly sounds like Switzerland was at the mercy of the US in looking for economic normalization after the war. And the idea that they had lots of Nazi gold was in play. And they did not immediately join the UN. The Truman/Dulles administration didn't know immediately how to deal with neutral states. From the US perspective, though, there was little obvious "strain." From the Swiss perspective, I suppose there were some pressing existential issues.

I might call the relations "uncertain."

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