Sunday, 22 May 2011

Wilhelm Moritz Fw 190 A-8/R2 Schongau August 1944 - 1/48 Sturmbock

Most Luftwaffe enthusiasts are familiar with Wilhelm Moritz's late IV./JG 3 Sturmbock  but superlative builds of his Fw 190 A-8/ R2 are perhaps not so common. This is UK modeller Rowan Gough's very nice Fw 190 Sturmbock as flown by the Kommandeur of  IV.(Sturm) /JG 3 during the summer of 1944.

Note the full "Sturmjägerausrüstung" - assault fighter equipment/armament package - featured on this machine, consisting of an armoured glass windscreen, triangular glass panels and side panels (otherwise known as "Scheuklappen", or 'blinkers') and Zusatzscheibe cockpit armour plates. This additional armour package had no Rüstsatz-number at the time, although it is sometimes designated "R7". In order to save weight, the MG cowl machine guns were removed and faired over on these aircraft. The heavy MK 108 cannon in the outer wing position are the principal feature of the R2 Rüstsatz, although Fieseler-manufactured Sturmjäger usually featured -as here - the broad Holzluftschraube wooden prop blades, and a BMW 801 D-2 engine incorporating the erhoehte Notleistung emergency power boost as indicated by the small yellow ring to rear of the upper cowl .

During August 1944 IV.(Sturm) /JG 3 was expanded to four Staffeln but the unit's pilot losses during that month were particularly severe - and not always due to enemy action!

The Staffelkapitän of 13./JG 3 Ekkehard Tichy - who had lost an eye during combat in March 1944 - was killed when he collided with a B-17 on 16 August. Posthumously promoted to Oberleutnant and awarded the Ritterkreuz, Ekkehard Tichy had some 25 victories including eleven four-engined bombers. Worse was to come on the morning of 20 August 1944 when 7. Jagddivision ordered IV.(Sturm)/JG 3 to readiness in anticipation of a 15th AF raid coming up from Italy. The pilots of 14.(Sturm)/JG 3 were collected from their quarters off the base for the short journey to Schongau. My correspondent former Sturmstaffel 1 and IV./JG 3 pilot Günter Ehrlich recalled what happened next in a letter written in 2001;

“..On 20 August 1944, readiness had been ordered and our bike and sidecar driver set out to get us four pilots of 14. Staffel to Schongau as quickly as possible. At a bend our totally overloaded motorcycle smashed straight into an oncoming truck. The injuries of those on the cycle were in part so severe that the 14. Sturmstaffel had to do without Unteroffiziere Oskar Bösch, Günter Ehrlich, Erich Pusch and Werner Schanz for a lengthy time. Since I was jammed into the sidecar, my left leg suffered a compound fracture. My convalescence extended well into 1945 and by the time I finally rejoined my comrades in Prenzlau in February they were flying combat sorties against the Russians..”

Rowans' complete build log is featured on here

Click on the label links below for more on this blog on the Sturmgruppen and the Fw 190 A-8/R2