Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Junkers Ju 88 C Nachtjäger of I./NJG 2 and a view of the Nachtabschüsse Tafel (victories board) of 3./ NJG 2. Gilze Rijen during the winter of 1940-41. Some of these images are previously published in the "Die Deutsche Luftwaffe - Zerstörer- und Nachtjagdverbände" series reviewed on this blog here
on offer here
More I./ NJG 2 on this blog here
Hptm Karl Hülshoff is the first name on the Abschusstafel above. Hülshoff was Staffelkapitän of 3./ NJG 2 to late November 1940 prior to being appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./NJG 2. A view of his 'R4+AA' below.
Monday, 25 April 2016
Bf 109 F Chevron I+ with Bf 109 F 1+ seen in the background with the yellow theatre fuselage band ahead of the Balkenkreuz. Taken in the USSR. Appears to be a Bf 109 F-2 (external strengthening strips on the tail section). Staffelabzeichen on the cowl is the Wolfskopf of III./ Jagdgeschwader 77
Thanks to Goran at the Luftwaffe Research Group for the find.
And from Jochen Prien ..." an early F-4 from the 7000 WerkNr. range since III./JG 77 was equipped with this sub-type when they converted to the Bf 109 F immediately prior to the German attack on the USSR. "White 1" in the background should be Oblt. Huy's mount again, seen in quite a lot of images from the early days of the war in the east..."
Recovery of a belly-landed Fw 190 of Sturmstaffel 1 in early 1944. The aircraft used by Sturmstaffel 1 at this time were Focke Wulf Fw 190 A-6s, which lacked the 30 mm Mk 108 cannon but were equipped with an armoured cockpit. This comprised four externally mounted steel plates, Panzerplattern, designed to protect the pilot during the long moments when the attacking aircraft was exposed to the bombers defensive fire. An armoured windscreen and armoured glass canopy panels were also fitted. The rifle calibre MG 17 fuselage guns were removed. Here the engine upper cowl lies on the wing and the position of the cowl latches shows the MG 17 fit with the 'narrow' gun troughs. On MG 131-equipped machines with the bulged cowl the latches are located on the side cowls. Note the fuselage bands have a small white outline. There is no cowl emblem, both indications that this is not a later JG 4 machine.
The Sturmstaffel was based at Dortmund alongside JG 1. The first officially confirmed victory of the unit was attributed to Major Erwin Bacsila, a B-17 shot down on 30 January 1944. An Austrian, Bacsila flew with the unit until April 1944 when he was wounded in the arm and subsequently declared unfit for action. A respected officer with several command appointments he had previously flown as Joachim Müncheberg's Rottenflieger with JG 77 in North Africa. His diary for the period makes for fascinating reading.
Sturmstaffel 1 was deactivated on 21 April 1944 and renamed as 11 Staffel of IV./JG 3 as part of a general expansion of units using these methods and integrated into IV./JG 3 under new Gruppenkommandeur Hptm Willi Moritz. Maj. von Kornatzki and Maj. Erwin Bacsila the ranking officers of Sturmstaffel 1 were transferred out of the unit with the Staffelkapitän Major von Kornatzki subsequently charged with establishing a new Sturmgruppe, II./ JG 4 from the remnants of I./ZG 1. Five experienced pilots of Sturmstaffel 1 provided a core for Major von Kornatzki’s newly formed command: Leutnant Ulrich Blaese, Feldwebel Gerhard Marburg, Leutnant Rudolf Metz, Leutnant Werner Peinemann and Oberleutnant Othmar Zehart.
Saturday, 23 April 2016
According to seller Heiko Fuchs the following images depict Nahaufklärer FW 189 Uhu of Aufklärungsstaffel 4.(H) 11 somewhere in the East. They are from the album of one of the unit's former pilots Heinz Haßler who was a recce pilot - Aufklärungsflieger - with Nahaufklärungsstaffel 4./H./11 and who also flew Bf 109s with 2.Tannenberg-Staffel (on this blog here) before being KIA in Italy.
More from this 2.Tannenberg-Staffel sequence on this blog here
Below; the Staffel celebrates 1000 sorties. On offer here
Thursday, 21 April 2016
Batailles Aériennes 76 - " Non-Stop Offensive" - the Luftwaffe on the defensive, June-July 1941 by Jean-Louis Roba
"...This issue of Batailles Aériennes, dedicated to the first period of what we then called the "Non-stop Offensive" offers a surprising parallel with the news, especially with the continuing air strikes on Syria. Admittedly, the comparison stops there but we can not help thinking about the ineffectiveness of air strikes in the absence of planned ground operations to destroy an opponent. This is what is happening in Syria, where French and her allies can have no intention of dispatching an expeditionary force; similarly, Britain, 75 years ago, was incapable of mounting a ground campaign to drive the Germans out of France. The RAF therefore undertook its "Non-stop Offensive" which took a large toll of men and machines for meagre returns; the Luftwaffe needed only to maintain two fighter wings on French territory to oppose the large formations of British fighters. Despite the fact that the German fighter force in the West was hopelessly outnumbered, the two fighter Geschwader managed to resist effectively..."
From early 1941 the skies of northern France were criss-crossed with contrails on an almost daily basis, the result of the aerial clashes between the RAF and the two Luftwaffe Geschwader remaining in France in what has been dubbed " the year of the Circus". Taking the war to the Luftwaffe, the RAF's tactic was to lure the fighters - principally of JG 2 and JG 26 - into the air to write them down using a handful of bombers as 'bait' escorted by sometimes as many as nine squadrons of fighters. The latest issue of Batailles Aériennes is out now and continues the chronology started in Batailles Aériennes no 35 "Le RAF contre-attaque" (now sold out). This latest Roba work covers barely two months of air combat action from June 1941 to mid-July 1941 and will be followed by two further issues. Jean-Louis Roba describes the clashes between the Bf 109s of JG 2 and JG 26 with the Hurricanes and Spitfires of 242, 609, 303 and other RAF fighter squadrons illustrated with many period photographs of the machines and aces that fought through this period of dog-fighting over northern France. Most of the images have been obtained from German sources so will be new to many. The text (French language) describes the action day-by-day and is completed with a full list of losses for the period and is superbly illustrated with a large selection of Thierry Dekker artworks. Superb. Recommended at 12,50 euros
Lela Presse web page text translation by this blog author
Go here to order (English spoken) and see a pdf excerpt
Lt. Robert Menge's 3./JG 26 Bf 109 E-7. Menge was KIA on 14 June 1941 during a clash with 92 Sqd Spitfires. The emblem of 3./JG 26 under the cockpit was a representation of a diving eagle clutching a bomb
Monday, 18 April 2016
Original Konvolut von 20 x Fotos, KG 1 Hindenburg
".. Kommodore Horst v. Riesen mit Stab in der Fliegerkaserne in Brandis, viele Offiziere und RK+DKIG Träger dabei..."
Below; Major von Cossart (also third left above) in discussion with Oblt Sickert. Hptm Manfred von Cossart was Kdr. of IV./KG 1 from late 1942 until February 1944. With promotion to the rank of Major, von Cossart assumed command of I./ KG 1. On the dissolution of KG 1 this officer was posted to IV./ JG 301, prior to a posting to Erg.JGr. Ost and a transfer to JG 7. (via the de Zeng/Stankey officer career summaries here)
Hptm. Otto von Ballasko
von Riesen departs Brandis
on offer here
According to Flugbuch entries listed in Ransom's brief history of Flugplatz Brandis "Zwischen Leipzig und der Mulde" the first He 177 arrivals for I. Gruppe KG 1 flew into Brandis, some 18 km east of Leipzig, during February 1944; He 177 A-1 WNr. 15184 arrived in Brandis on 18 February 1944. By April I./KG 1 still had only sixteen He 177 bombers on strength and it was not until March 1944 that the newer A-3 model arrived. II./ KG 1 in Burg and IV./ KG 1 in Neuburg also had claim on some of these newer machines. Of I./KG 1's 22 He 177 A-3s on strength on 25 April 1944 only six were einsatzbereit (combat-ready) the Gruppe having already lost three He 177s in crashes. By 10 June 1944 the Gruppe had lost a further 16 machines ! ( cf. Ransom p.46) At least one He 177 was lost in the 28 May 1944 US 8th AF air raid on Brandis. Heinkel He 177 A-3 V4+HK departed Brandis for Neuruppin on 14 July 1944 as the He 177s were moved to various bases in central Germany. Gruppen of KG 1 had taken part in raids on targets in Russia and been deployed against Soviet tank columns that had broken through German defensive positions before fuel shortages grounded KG 1's He 177 bomber fleet in late July 1944.
He 177 A-3 V4+AK seen in May/June 1944, Flugplatz Brandis (via ebay auction)
IV./KG 1 He 177 with black lower surfaces, summer 1944
Friday, 15 April 2016
The re-tooled Eduard Bf 109 G-6 is out and reviewed here by Brett Green. I think he covers most areas of the kit, is lavish in his praise (again!) but makes no mention of one of my big bug-bears with the original kit - the undercarriage. The gear legs were overly long and plugged straight in and pointed down. The 'sit' is so important for the Bf 109 and the Fw 190 (all variants). I had to work hard on the old kit to get anything like a 'proper' stance on mine. (below)
So I still haven't made up my mind to purchase one or several of the 're-tooled' new tools yet - as I have 3 or 4 of the old 'new-tool' - which, as I've said, does make up into a very nice kit. I notice too that the price of the new kit seems to have gone up quite a bit (+£3) from the first 'edition'..and I will probably wait for something a bit cheaper than 27 quid, although 'overtrees' are available throughout April only for rather less than half this price along with a discount if you can come up with the required proof of purchase from the 'old' kit. Rather annoyingly it seems that Eduard have a policy of charging UK customers a bit more for the kit than modellers in other European countries.
Below; very nice Mark Chisholm build of the 're-tooled' Eduard G-6 in the markings of Kommodore Graf, Stab./JG 11
A selection of photos of this machine is published in the Prien/Stemmer/Rodeike/Bock tome Jagdfliegerverbände 10/II Reichsverteidigung 1943 where it has to be said it is labelled as a G-5 - the pressurised cabin for high-altitude flights is quite apparent..
By all accounts then the new kit looks very nice at first glance! Some of the non-mottle painting/marking options will appeal to people too. Up shortly will be a G-5 boxing which will also feature some interesting decal options, below;
above and below - from the chevron Winkel and Abschussbalken on the rudder this Bf 109 G-5 was probably assigned to Kommandeur Dahl - this is Bf-109 G-5, W.Nr.27 112 of the Stab III./JG 3 apparently photographed during December 1943, probably at Bad Wörishofen.
Saturday, 9 April 2016
Beautiful replica in 1:32 scale of Ju-88 C-2 WNr.0880133 '4D+FH' entitled 'In pieces' built by Jeroen Peters over at the Large Scale Modeller forum. Here's a little preview, courtesy of Jeroen, pulling together the 'best bits' of his WIP. Some great images too for Junkers Ju 88 detail fanatics..
".. the model is the Revell Ju 88 A-1. I got hold of the CMK conversion for the nose and bought an Eduard interior set and found some window masks (inside and outside), and got some HGW seat belts...."
"... I wanted to build this kit in an unconventional way. With separate wings and engine nacelle. The fuselage is displayed dis-assembled on transport jigs on a long wooden base. I drew up the transport jigs in my 3D program and had them 3D printed..."
".. And here's a photo I received per email by fellow LSM member HJKR. It shows a row of power eggs to the right in the metal maintenance jig AND it shows a row of power eggs to the left in the wooden jigs . On the back you see the factory stenciling with the Opel brand and serial number. Just had to figure out a way to replicate this...."
".. I needed to scratch the engine bearers and the frame on the jig they're connected to. Only the rear of the engine bearers is visible. The prop shaft is taken from an old Aires DB605 engine. I tore the Aires DB 605 engine from an older Bf 109 build and moved the turbocharger to the other side (as per Jumo211). Then I changed a few other bits and bobs to make it look more like a Jumo211. After all: in the end you will only see a glimpse of it. Added the wires as seen in the previous posted drawings. Halfway down the block I cut out a big trench in the resin to accommodate my home made engine bearers..."
" ...Missing in the CMK conversion set was the interior installation of the MG 17 (3x) and MG 151 cannon and ammo boxes. These came from the AIMS internal weapons set...."
"... I used the 1:32 Kagero drawings for the scratch wing root detail. The head scratcher was the round knuckle joints that connect the wings to the fuselage. 4 on each side. I eventually came across a 4mm diameter thick tube. Sawed off thin pieces and put them in my Dremel. Sanded out the right contour. Also found a rod with exactly the right diameter that runs through the entire fuselage and sits back 1mm in each knuckle joint..."
".. I also bought the CMK exterior set with the fuel filler caps and life raft compartment. I've added the fuel filler caps to various locations on the spine. A certain amount of sanding of the CMK resin nose to smoothly mate with the fuselage was required before rescribing some lost details / panel lines...."
"...The metal piece on the base is from the actual 4D+FH that crashed in Norway and is now on display at the museum in Gardermoen. I prepared some artwork from the actual Ju 88 maintenance manual and found a company that could print it directly onto my wooden base. They printed my wooden base on a huge machine and the result is... stunning! This opens possibilities. How about a wooden base with a color printed WW2 aerial map? Or FW 190 factory drawings? Etc etc..."
Awesome work Jeroen! Hopefully you can find a way to produce some of those bases for us Luft modellers - I think you potentially have a great product there! cheers....Jeroen's full WIP is here