Liaison aircraft was indispensable for maintaining direct contact between the headquarters of armies and front-line units. Without them, it would have been impossible for senior commanders to meet with subordinates at short notice to discuss the situation or make snap visits to the front. Since command posts and headquarters were often well-camouflaged in wooded areas, small villages or other inaccessible locations, there was normally no regular runway for aircraft to land on. For this reason, the Fieseler Storch, with its short takeoff and landing capabilities, was favored by senior staff officers. The Storch could even land on rough ground, as might be found in a cow pasture, for example.
A commander departs with two staff officers. The situation maps and papers suggest that they have just attended a situation conference. The Fieseler Fi 156 C "Storch", manufacturer's code GK+M?, wears the yellow fuselage band for aircraft operating on the Eastern Front. The photograph was taken in Russia in the summer of 1941 or 1942.
An officer boards a Fieseler Fi 156 C "Storch", code ?F+YF. The aircraft's engine is already running in preparation for takeoff across the horse pasture. The configuration of the cockpit glazing (with MG 15 in an armored lens-type mount) identifies the aircraft as a C-series Storch.
Magazine "Luftwaffe im Focus", Spezial No.1 - 2003