The Hs-129B2 came into ARR service in 1943. It equipped the 8th Assault Group, which
previously had been a fighter unit (8th Fighter Group with IAR-80Bs).
The first mission was flown on 15 August. The first loss came on 19 August, when adj.
stg. Petre Sarbu's airplane, which had been hit by Soviet AAA, crashed close to the
airfield. The HS-129B2's presence quickly began to be felt by the Soviet troops in the area
where it was deployed. This low-flying, heavily armored and armed machine was a regular
butcher in the hands of trained pilot. They often flew at least 4 missions a day in support
of the ground troops. But the powerful Soviet light AAA took its toll. Many times the pilots
somehow managed to get back home in their Henschels, which looked more like Swiss-cheese
than airplanes. They also claimed a few kills against the Il-2s.
In 1944, a new assault group (the 11th) started training, but it wasn't ready when
Romania changed sides in August, so its elements were used to fill the ranks of the
existing assault group. Because of losses and lack of spare parts, the number of
available Hs-129B2s decreased. In October 1944 he group was reduced to the 41st Squadron,
which was joined with the 74th Squadron (Ju-87D3) and formed the 8th Assault-Dive Bomber
The Hs-129 remained in the front line also after Romania joined the allies and
contributed a lot to the war effort against Germany. It flew one of the last missions of
the war in Europe against elements of the Vlasov Army, which refused to surrender after
9 May 1945, and "convinced" them to give up fighting.
This is the airplane which probably saved more Romanian ground troops from certain
death than any other in ARR service throughout the entire war.
Picture from "Aviatia de asalt - G8" by Valeriu Avram, MODELISM,
|Maximum speed at 4000 m
|Maximum operational ceiling
||Gnôme-Rhône 14 Mars 850 HP
||1x250 kg; 6x50 kg