Wednesday, 12 January 2022

new-tool 1:72nd IBG Models Fw 190 Dora is here ! in-box review


"...I hope that the final kit will be as good as 1/72 Eduard FW-190 A and F kits ! .."

The first new-tool IBG Models Fw 190 Dora-9 has arrived. The D-15 is released as well. I assume the D-11/13 is due later. A quick look at what's in the box. 

First look in the box. The sheet of photo-etch is bagged with the decal sheet and not visible here. First thing to catch my eye  - a “cigar” drop tank is in the box, relatively common on Doras but not previously kitted before, below left. Two more drop tanks provided as well.

 Surface detail (panel/rivets) is superbly done. 

Ailerons, horizontal stabs and rudder are separate parts

Jumo 213 engine sprue. the D-15 box features a neat DB 603. There is no provision for displaying the engine, although the 'essential' fittings can be seen through the open undercarriage bay. In theory the upper cowl could be left 'unglued'... 

Engine firewall is moulded integrally with the rear wall of the undercarriage bays (below right), engine bearer arms and upper cowl MGs and magazines, Frame A.

Above, DB 603 in the D-15 box. Supersonic 26 on BM - "One of those kits that make you feel like the gap between the detail level of 1/48 and 1/72 kits is evaporating. Seriously, that looks almost as nice as the 1/48 Eduard D-9 I'm currently building!.." 

Etch sheet includes rudder pedals, belts/harness, a stencil for scribing additional surface details, torpedo fins (D-15 box) and parts for fabricating the wing MG magazines. 

This kit is notable for the meticulous research/degree of detail that IBG have put into it. Early five piece upper cowl cover in the D-9 (early) box. D-11/D-13 and D-14/D-15 refined upper cowl in the D-15 box.

IBG Models 1/72 Fw 190 D-9 - a test shot build. Painting scheme will appear in a future box..

" The Fw 190D model family from IBG Models in 1/72 scale will include various versions of the aircraft, from the D-9 to the D-15, taking into account the differences resulting from the dispersion of production and the intense involvement of subcontractors. For better orientation in the subject, we have prepared a pdf document in which the differences between the individual machines are presented..."

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Ofw. Arnold Döring's Bf 109 G-6 'red 6', 2./JG 300


some 'new' text from a 17-page letter written by Arnold Döring.

..." Ich habe einen alten Dampfer erhalten, das ich erst nach einigen Flugstunden richtig hintrimmen kann.."

"..I was assigned an old 'puffer', a really tired old ship, which I was only able to trim properly after several hours at the controls. "Red 6" had already had a long life and seen a lot!.. Etliche Bruch- und drei Bauchlandungen stehen in der Lebenslaufakte verzeichnet.. Several crash landings and three belly landings were recorded on the maintenance log. Most recently 'red 6' had been flown by the former Staffelkapitän of 2.Staffel until he crashed at night in bad weather at the controls of another aircraft - he smashed into a rock face in the Harz. And he was a former Lufthansa pilot with more than 2 million flight kms under his belt. The TO told me to go easy with 'red 6' but even so the machine would not have a much longer life. By a full moon I was finally able to complete the night takeoffs that I had not been able to make and then, by late September, I was finally 'einsatzbereit' - ready to fly my first wilde Sau sortie. I was itching to give Tommy a run for his money..."

Döring was one of the most prominent wilde Sau pilots and achieved seven kills with I./JG 300. Pictures of 'red 6' from the Lorant/Goyat history of JG 300 have been widely posted.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

Notes on the Me 262s of JV 44. Munich, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Hans Ekkehard Bob, Heinz Bär (part 1)

A view of what may or may not have been W.Nr. 170 061 "white 4" of JV 44 seen in a US film excerpt at Innsbruck-Hötting. 

A small post looking at some of the Me 262 Turbos assigned to JV 44. It is relatively well established which aircraft were assigned to Galland's outfit.  Czech writer Martin Sila, " the beginning of its existence, JV 44 received 12 Me 262 aircraft, which probably received a fuselage designator (white) from "1" to "11" while Galland's command machine (the twelfth machine) displayed a ' white double chevron'. In photos the machines look as if they are painted with a uniform color, but in reality they are finished in two shades of green. Some serial numbers from this first group of twelve aircraft are also known.."

Late on JV 44 "absorbed" a number of aircraft from other units (III./EJG 2, KG 51, trial prototype machines). Robert Forsyth's "JV44 The Galland Circus" narrative highlights just how chaotic the circumstances around the unit's formation and its subsequent operations were, with aircraft arriving from a number of units and pilots bringing their own machines with them! Even the Luftwaffe High Command didn't always know the strength of this unit!  

Below;  two JV 44 Turbos that may depict "White 6" and "White 3" W.Nr. 111740 and W.Nr. 111746 operational with JV 44 at München-Riem in April 1945. This image is apparently captioned "Me 262 General Galland and Lt. Willi Roth, Staffelkapitän of 4./JG 103 [sic]." Lt Roth is listed as one of the JV 44-pilots in the well known document dated 27. April 1945 but not mentioned in Forsyth. Notable JV 44 pilots from JG 103 included former instructors Ofw. Dobnig and Ofw. Rudolf Nielinger. 'White 6' is usually assigned to Steinhoff...

The aircraft in which Johannes Steinhoff was badly burnt on 18 April 1945 was "white 6" (WNr. 111740) and Galland flew his last combat sortie on 26 April 1945 in 'white 3' (WNr. 111746). This machine was not destroyed (as has been generally stated) that day, but only damaged. Another well-known member of JV 44 Franz Stigler stated that this "white" 3 "was his machine. According to Sila, "..Stigler's role in the JV 44 is overestimated. He served as Techn.Offz. As to combat flights, it is interesting that other witnesses from JV 44 do not mention him in their recollections .."

The "sister" machine to WNr. 111745 was "white 5" which Eduard Schallmoser damaged heavily on 4 April colliding with a P-38. "White 5" was one of the twelve Me 262s which Jagdverband 44 had taken over in March 1945. A number of pilots flew it in combat. Schallmoser had been assigned to JV 44 as a freshly trained fighter pilot, after completing an accelerated training programme in the Me 262. On 4 April 1945, his Rotte met a group of twelve P-38’s of the 15th USAAF in area of München-Riem, which the German pilots attacked. In the following combat Uffz. Schallmoser collided with one of the Lightnings piloted by Lt. William Randle as a result most probably of his excessive speed. While Schallmoser managed to land his damaged “White 5”, Lt. Randle bailed out of his Lightning and became a POW. 

Below;  'white 6'  in the background seen behind the tail of 'white 5' on the right. The Kennziffer '6' is partially obscured by the camouflage netting. Both machines display the typically basic JV 44 camouflage scheme consisting of RLM 82/83 on the upper surfaces. Eduard Schallmoser is on the right. 

In late April 1945 Galland's unit was ordered to depart Munich - effectively ceasing combat operations - and commencing on April 28, JV 44 began transferring to bases (or rather field strips) in Austria - Salzburg and Innsbruck. Of particular interest is the (unknown) fate of Galland's own 'white double chevron'. According to one account 'white double chevron'  was flown to Innsbruck on 29 April 1945. In Innsbruck, Major Hans Ekkehard Bob was ordered to the landing ground at nearby Hötting to prepare for the arrival of jet aircraft. The runway strip area had to be extended to 1,200 metres necessary for takeoffs and landings by Me 262 and an attempt was made by Bob to adapt the airstrip to the necessary length. However there was no J2 fuel at the base. Bob's efforts were in vain. 

There were two airstrips at Innsbruck at that time. At Innsbruck-Reichenau, a few kilometers east of Hötting, at least two Me 262s came into land, and according to one account, Me 262 A-2a "White 1 "  almost hit buildings on the run-out. The landing strip was still too short for a Me 262 to take-off from, so of the 12 Turbos that landed  in Innsbruck according to Bob's recollections,  all were stuck and subsequently abandoned. However if Galland's  'white double chevron' did go to Innsbruck it does not appear to have been documented photographically there by US personnel. From the video material available there is no sign of such a distinctively marked machine. More on this in part 2.

'White 8' (above) -Me 262 A-1 "White 8 S", WNr. 500492 - was one of possibly two Me 262s that landed at Reichenau, a few kilometers east of the temporary airfield at Hötting where the other JV 44 Me 262s landed and were dispersed. Note that the machine was previously with III./EJG 2 operating from Lechfeld, with the white `8`on the nose and narrow yellow fuselage band behind the cockpit.

  On the evening of 29 April 1945, at about 1800 hrs., Ofw. Rothert of 2./Fl.U.G. 1 transferred Me 262 A-2a WNr. 170047 'white 1' from München-Brunnthal to Innsbruck-Reichenau. The port view of this machine  (last of the four images) shows the white 'S'  ('Schule') under the horizontal stabilizer - as seen in the well-known Kommando Nowotny line-up from where it went to JV 44. 

Major Bob remained in Innsbruck until 3 May 1945, when he received an order to 'disable' his jets  and transfer to Salzburg which he did as the US Army approached. Based on this information, it is possible to state that all of the Me 262s abandoned here were unserviceable.. 

At least 12 Me 262 Turbos were flown to Innsbruck. However a memo dated 2 May quoted in O'Connell's 'Me 262 Production Log' states that as many as 22 Me 262s of JV 44 were transferred to Hötting and that 7 of them crashed on landing. [The memo states that there was 25 cm. of snow at Hötting on 2 May.]

 JV 44 Me 262s that can be identified at Innsbruck (primarily Hötting airfield) included;

 W.Nr. 111 712 (EZ 42, no Kennziffer)
 W.Nr. 500 490 Me 262 A-1a. No markings, full-fuselage RLM 83 camo 
 W.Nr. 111 857 (original "white 5")
 W.Nr. 111 751
 W.Nr. 500 524
 W.Nr. 112 360
 W.Nr. 170 047 - "white 1"   Innsbruck-Reichenau
 W.Nr. 111 974 - "white 8"   Innsbruck-Reichenau
 W.Nr. 170 061 - "white 4"
 W.Nr. ??? ???  - "white 11"
 W.Nr. ??? ???  - "white 12" (according to David. E. Brown the 113 series aircraft ...)
 W.Nr. ??? ???  -  "red 1" ( another 113 series machine ...)

Below;  Me 262 A-1a, uncoded, JV 44, WNr.111857, Innsbruck-Hotting. Previously 'white 5', III.EJG 2. NSG 9 Stuka D-3 with exhaust flame dampers in the barn in the background.

(to be continued)

Thursday, 30 December 2021

Reviews - "Luftwaffe fighters - Combat on all Fronts " Vol I



Review in the current issue of "Avions" magazine

" ..The book-a-zine/Mook is a magazine disguised as a book. It brings together several articles on the same subject but is competitively priced (£9.99 for Luftwaffe fighters..'). By way of comparison, the format is almost the same as Lela Presse's 'Air Battles' with 130 pages and over a hundred photos. The ten articles of this Volume I written by Neil Page include general accounts (the evolution of the Bf 109, the birth of the Jagdwaffe), descriptions of campaigns (Norway 1940, Malta 1942, Courland 1945), a 20-page unit history (JG 51) as well as short or long biographies of little-known heavy or light fighter aviators (Biderbick, von Winterfeldt, Böttner, Kaschuba,... ). In other words the author has compiled a very wide overview of the history of the German day fighter arm, which is innovative and not lacking in interest. Recommended for aficionados of the history of WW II in the air..."

"Siko" on

"I’ll keep this short, this is a really interesting read with many new accounts and also lavishly illustrated with photos throughout, covering some lesser known units of the Luftwaffe and the fighter pilots who flew in them. Each account is liberally scattered with stories of combat, most of which seem new to me. Includes a very interesting piece on Reinhard Heydrich's career as a fighter pilot. Well worth picking up or as I did, free delivery through Morton's website..." 

 Alfred Monzat on TOCH

"..a great bookazine and I'm looking forward to the next volume.."

Leon Venter on TOCH

"...Morton's new "Luftwaffe fighters .." is a well-researched, high-quality publication that's a pleasure to read. Its eleven chapters are wide-ranging -- each describes a particular unit, pilot, aircraft or campaign. The narratives contain many personal accounts from lesser-known aces and ordinary Jagdflieger, with interesting insights about pilots, aircraft handling, armament, tactics, and operational conditions. At 130 pages, it's excellent value. It's profusely illustrated with excellent, well-captioned photographs, and even includes a glossary and a mini German grammar guide..."

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Hummel Hummel - Mors Mors


In Hamburg – before the advent of a mains water supply - water carriers, the so-called "bumblebees" were a common sight. They were often teased by children with the words "Hummel Hummel" - to which the reply was "Mors-Mors", an old retort known by anyone from the city of Hamburg – and still seen on car stickers today. And under the cockpit of the Fw 190 of a certain Gruppenkommandeur from Hamburg...

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

I./JG 54 Friedrich - Wintertarnung


an unpublished image from the album of Hans Girke, a Wart in I./JG 54. Girke contributed to the Lela Presse two volume history of JG 54 (Philippe Saintes) reviewed elsewhere on this blog. Reproduced large across the screen to maximise details of the winter  finish. A yellow (?) Kennziffer is just visible as is the green heart (?) under the canopy.

perhaps a different view of the same machine as it is pushed back into its 'shelter'


Tuesday, 21 December 2021

1/SG.4, Rieti airfield, March 1943


1./SG 4 Fw 190 - click on the image above for screen-wide view. 

Captioned by Denys Boudard as 1/SG.4, Rieti airfield, March 1943. Reposted larger here.

ECPA-D photos posted by Denys Boudard on FB