A semi-abandoned Su-22M and two MiG-21U two-seaters next to an airfield

Three old fighters from communist Germany in a former secret base of nazi Germany

Sömmerda-Dermsdorf Airfield, in Thuringia (Germany), was built in 1934 to serve the newly formed Luftwaffe.

An aeronautical museum in Germany that exhibits an old Spanish military airplane
An abandoned museum in Germany with tanks, helicopters and fighter planes

When World War II arrived, this military base was classified as secret and used for the repair and maintenance of planes, mainly bombers. The base went unnoticed by the Allies for various reasons. Being in a swampy area, it used to be surrounded by mist which helped hide it. In addition, the Germans created two diversionary operations. The first of these was to create a fake illuminated airfield to mislead the Allies about the location of the real base. The second was even more curious: when the airfield's grass runway was not used, the Germans would graze sheep to camouflage the site.

Slave laborers from various occupied countries were used in this secret base. Finally, in July 1944 the diversionary operations ended up failing and the airfield was located and bombed by the Allies. In April 1945 the US troops arrived at the place and converted it into an American airfield, using it in logistics and casualty evacuation missions. After the end of the war, the airfield was handed over to the Soviets in July 1945, as it was located in the German occupation zone assigned to the USSR. The Red Army did not show the slightest interest in that base and closed it. Later, the armed forces of communist Germany used Sömmerda-Dermsdorf as a secondary airfield, closing it in 1980.

Ten years later, in 1990, the current Sömmerda-Dermsdorf aerodrome was installed in what was the northern area of the former military base, becoming a place dedicated mainly to sports aviation. Today there are three semi-abandoned former East German Air Force fighters at the site, all three Soviet-built: two two-seater Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21U-400 Fishbed and one Sukhoi Su-22M-4 Fitter single seater. The channel LostintimeNL has posted a video showing these planes:

You can see below some captures of the video. Below these lines we see one of the MiG-21U, with the serial number 251 painted on the side. This aircraft has the construction number 661016. After German unification, a total of 700 MiG- 21 that had belonged to East Germany were turned over to the Luftwaffe. All aircraft were sold to Allied air forces, scrapped or retired. Today it is common to see them in German aeronautical museums.

The other MiG-21U bears the number 289. This aircraft has the construction number 664620. The emblem of the East German Air Force has been repainted, but the rest of the fuselage shows the typical signs of having been out in the open for many years.

The Su-22M sports the numeral 682 on the nose. The construction number of this aircraft is 26204. The aircraft bears the emblem of Jagdbombenfliegergeschwader (Fighter-Bomber Squadron) 77 (JBG-77) "Gebhardt Leberecht von Blücher" on its drift, which was located at Laage Air Base in northern East Germany.

The port wing and the fuselage of the Su-22, with the signs of dirt caused by years of neglect in the open.

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