War in the Air
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Originally designed in 1935 to perform the roles of casualty evacuation, army co-operation and liaison, the Storch (Stork) was noted for its remarkable STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) performance.
Slots on the leading edge of the wing, and flaps extending along the full length of the trailing edge, enabled the Storch to fly at speeds as low as 51kph (32mph). The Luftwaffe operated the Storch in many theatres including the Arctic, the Western Desert, the Eastern Front and in Europe.
Notable flights which made use of the Storch's ability to operate from very small, unprepared airstrips include the rescue of Mussolini from detention in a hotel in the Italian mountains and a flight into the centre of Berlin made in the last days of the war carrying General von Greim to a meeting with Hitler.
A total of 2,549 examples were built during the war in Germany, France and Czechoslovakia.