The Junkers JU-52/3m was to the Luftwaffe what the Douglas C-47 was to the American military during World War II. Stemming from Junkers’ World War I all-metal designs, the JU-52 first appeared in 1931 as a large, single engine transport, the last of which was produced during 1935. Only a few were built, but the trimotor JU-52/3m first flew in 1932, and it was an immediate success, being sold to Bolivia and Colombia as well as other European governments. Lufthansa began operating the type in 1932. Powered by a variety of engines, including a Diesel, the type quickly became a standard airliner during the middle thirties, and when the clandestine Luftwaffe was created after Hitler’s rise to power, the JU-52 was adapted as a bomber, seeing service in Germany and during the Spanish Civil War. It was World War II, however, that proved the versatility and usefulness of the type, and it was said that it was used for every military role possible except as a fighter. The airplane was noisy, slow, and had antiquated systems, but it was reliable, and would carry anything that would fit inside it, not to mention towing gliders and other tasks.