The Halberstadt CL IV was developed to replace the earlier CL II model as a principal ground attack aircraft for the German army. First introduced to combat in early 1918 in time for the last great German offensive of the First World War, the CL IV proved to be very successful in attacking Allied positions ahead of the advancing German troops.
Equipped with both fixed and flexible machine guns as well as hand dropped grenades and small bombs, CL IV was very effective in this role, but it lacked armor which became necessary as British, French, and later American ground fire became increasingly effective against low-flying aircraft.
The CL IV was one of the most sought after targets of Allied pursuit squadrons, but it was able to give a very good account of itself in a dogfight. A versatile machine, the CL IV also did yeoman duty as an interceptor against Allied night bombing raids and served as a night bomber against troop concentrations and airfields near the front lines.