Both Kommandos operated on the 26th:
During the afternoon Luftwaffenkommando West was assured that the films from this last sortie would be delivered by Fieseler Storch. The Brussels–Aachen task was to be attempted again on the 27th but take-off proved impossible. Nevertheless Sperling’s Fw. Bürger notified an unidentified recipient that “data will arrive by 16.00 hrs. at the latest.” Neither Kommando was able to fly next day.
In the early hours of 29 November, Lw.Kdo West declared that
(a) Previous recce orders are invalid and are to be destroyed.
(b) Instructions on recce tasks which have been issued orally remain essentially in force.
(c) Orders for 29/11. Recce of Maas crossings from Liège to Givet. In case this cannot be carried out at high level because of the weather, recce is to be forced through at lower level. Send films from flights ((GAF Command West)) without delay.
(d) Alternative objectives for Sperling and Hecht: A/f’s in the area of Brussels – Charleroi – Liège – Hasselt, south bank of Waal from Tiel to Estuary – and roads Besançon – Belfort – Mulhouse.
Order indicates priority.
With the benefit of hindsight the orders now being issued to the jet reconnaissance units began to offer pointers to the impending German counter-offensive in the Ardennes. As summarised by British Intelligence:
On the 3rd, T9+GH was on a sortie from 08.54–10.16 hrs. but because of the weather it had only partial success in covering the Scheldt, Antwerp and Nijmegen. Although the pilots of Kdo. Sperling were generally consistent in flying particular aircraft, on this occasion GH was taken up by Ziese rather than Götz. At 09.06 hrs., T9+KH was up to photograph the Maas crossings, returning at 10.55.
The weather grounded the Kommando on the morning of 4 December but Götz reported (according to BP’s interpretation of a pro forma return) “total stocks” of 13 aircraft and two off strength to other units; he also reported a Fi 156 C-3 on strength. This return clearly cannot have referred to Kdo. Sperling alone but perhaps covered the whole of the Versuchsverband’s 1. Staffel.
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