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Halberstadt CL.IV
Role Ground Attack Aircraft
Manufacturer Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke
Designer Karl Thies
Introduction 1918
Primary user Luftstreitkräfte

The Halberstadt CL.IV was a German ground attack aircraft of World War I.

Design and development

Karl Thies, chief designer of the Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke, G.m.b.H., designed the CL.IV as a replacement for the CL.II. As the CL.II had proven to be particularly effective in the ground support role, the focus of an improved version was to create a specific ground attack aircraft.

The new CL.IV featured a shorter, strengthened fuselage and a horizontal stabilizer of greater span and higher aspect ratio than that of the CL.II. These changes, along with a one-piece, horn-balanced elevator, gave the CL.IV much greater maneuverability than its predecessor. After tests were completed of the prototype in April 1918, at least 450 were ordered from Halberstadt, and an additional 250 aircraft from a subcontractor, LFG (Roland).

Operational history

The Halberstadt CL.IV was one of the most effective ground attack aircraft of World War I, relying on its good maneuverability to avoid ground fire. It appeared on the Western Front towards the end of the German offensives in 1918. Flights of four to six aircraft flew close support missions, at an altitude of less than one hundred feet, suppressing enemy infantry and artillery fire just ahead of the advancing German troops. After these late German offensives stalled, Halberstadt CL.IVs were used to disrupt advancing Allied offensives by striking at enemy troop assembly points and night sorties were also made against Allied airfields.

Towards the end of the war, on bright, moonlit nights, CL.IV squadrons attempted to intercept and destroy Allied bombers as they returned from their missions.


 German Empire


Data from German Aircraft of the First World War[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: two
  • Length: 6.54 m (21 ft 512 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.74 m (35 ft 278 in)
  • Height: 2.67 m (8 ft 918 in)
  • Wing area: 27 m2 (297 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 728 kg (1,605 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 1,068 kg (2,354 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Mercedes D.III 6-cylinder inline engine, 120 kW (160 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 165 km/h (103 mph)
  • Climb to 5,000 m (16,400 ft): 32 min
  • Endurance: 3.25 hours


  • 1 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) LMG 08/15 "Spandau" machine gun, synchronized
  • 1 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) Parabellum MG14 machine gun, on ring mount for observer
  • Grenades
  • Up to 5 × 10 kg (20 lb) bombs
  • References

    1. Gerdessen 1982, p.76
    2. Gray and Thetford 1962, p. 142.
    • Gerdessen, F. "Estonian Air Power 1918 - 1945". Air Enthusiast No 18, April - July 1982. Pages 61–76. ISSN 0143-5450.
    • Gray, Peter and Thetford, Owen. German Aircraft of the First World War. London: Putnam, 1962.

    External links

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