The all-metal Ju-52 is the backbone of German airborne strength. So important is the Ju-52 that some observers have tended to believe that the Ju-52 was the basic factor in the makeup of the German system of airborne units. The German Army probably adopted the Ju-52 for air transport because there were so many of this type on hand at the beginning of the war, because so many supercharged engines were available, and because so many pilots had been trained on this type. Jigs and manufacturing facilities were already set up, and, though obsolescent, the Ju-52 had most of the following characteristics, which had been set up for a suggested new plane in this category:
(1) Ability to operate in small or temporary fields with heavy loads,
(2) Cheapness of construction,
(3) Simplicity and ruggedness of construction,
(4) Simplicity in operation,
(5) Easy field maintenance,
(6) Ability to fly with one engine out of commission.
(7) Ability to withstand crash landings with reasonable safety to occupants,
(8) Ability to tow gliders at low speed.
(10) Load-carrying capacity at sacrifice of speed.