Tuesday 31 May 2011

ZG 26 Me 410 Pulk Zerstörer

The Zerstörergeschwader 26  'Horst Wessel' was deployed in defence of the homeland against the four-engine bomber fleets....in close formation we rise to meet the enemy and soon reach the 8,000 metre mark. 

Zerstörergeschwader 26 Me 410s toting  50 mm Bordkanone BK 5 cannon ( with 21 rounds)

Excellent selection of Me 410 Zerstörer in Königsberg Neumark...

For sale at 321dankesehr's Ebay shop

Monday 30 May 2011

FW 190 F of 5./SG 1 Oberfeldwebel Ehrenfried Lagois

FW 190 F of 5./SG 1 photographed during May 1943 in Poland. Future RK-Träger Oberfeldwebel Ehrenfried Lagois climbing into his Fw 190. Note the belly rack for the carriage of SC 50 KG bombs. On 26 March 1944 Lagois was awarded the Knights Cross for 600 combat flights or Feindflügen. Less than one month later on 15.4.1944 Lagois was shot down by German anti-aircraft fire over the airfield at Chersones and crashed into the sea.

FW 190 F of 5./SG 1 seen in  June 1943 in Lublin-Zwidnik on the occasion of the 4000th  Feindflug flown by the Staffel. 5./SG 1 would later be re-designated 4./SG 2. On the right is future RK-Träger Oberwebel Ehrenfried Lagois.

A small selection of some of the very interesting images from Michael Meyer's current Ebay sales here

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Karl Witte JG 11 Berlin raid 8 March 1944 - JG 11 in defence of the Reich

Wreck of  FW 190 A coded  ' <2' flown by 8./JG 11 pilot Fw Karl Witte and crash-landed after combat on 8 March 1944 near Pollhagen (Deutsche Bucht). This was the usual aircraft flown by the Gruppenadjutant. The 8 March raid on Berlin was flown by 623 Viermots of all three Bomb Divisions covered by 891 escort fighters including 174 of the 'new' P-51s and was the second in two days on the Reichshauptstadt. Principal target was the VKF ball-bearing plant at Erkner, a Berlin suburb to the south of the city. The bomber stream crossed the coast of the mainland north of Amsterdam and headed directly for Berlin by the shortest route and thus ran up against no fewer than 20  Tagjagdgruppen and 2 Zerstörergruppen. Various nightfighter and test Gruppen were also committed. According to Prien in his history of JG1 and JG 11 there was no attempt on the German side to build a Gefechtsverband and individual Gruppen were committed piecemeal thus making any attempt to reconstruct the day's action extremely difficult. The German fighters managed to break through to the bombers in earnest at around 13h00 between Dümmer and the Steinhuder Meer (Lake Steinhude is a lake in Lower Saxony, located 30 kilometres northwest of Hanover, one of the largest inland waterways in Germany) although little is known of the actions of the three Gruppen of JG 11 committed from Rotenburg, Wunstorf and Oldenburg respectively. In total JG 11 recorded nine Ab-und Heraußschüße including the 123rd and 124th for Oblt. Zwernemann of 1./JG 11 (1 B-17, 1 P-47). Following combat the survivors broke off to land at airfields in north-west Germany to refuel and replenish munitions for the return of the bombers. At around 15h20 north of Hannover I. and III./JG 11 ran into the returning bomber wings and knocked down seven B-24s and B-17s, four of them being claimed by Hptm. Hermichen of I./JG 11.

A small selection of some of the very interesting images from Michael Meyer's current Ebay sales here

Top image sold for 680 euros, not bad for a photo already published  - see Kagero Fw 190 vol II


Tuesday 24 May 2011

Wartime colour film of captured German equipment exhibition Moscow -stills and video

Video and still selection from wartime colour film of catured German equipment exhibition Moscow. Towards the end of the 11-minute clip there are views of a Tiger, Elefant and Sturer Emil for AFV fans. A single click on the video to view here.

Interesting colours - the He 111, Do 217 (?) & Ju 88 are all finished in what looks to like a Russian representation of German fighter greys, although if these machines haven't been repainted they must be faded greens- the Ju 88 scheme above in particular looks rather fanciful..

Monday 23 May 2011

KG 66 Ju 88 , Staffelkapitän Lt. Günther Schwanecke of 4./EJGr.Ost

Some nice views of a Ju 88 S-1 of 1/KG 66 seen at Dedelstorf in early 1945

A series of views below depicting Staffelkapitän Lt. Günther Schwanecke of JGr.Ost seen during late 1944 working alongside his mechanics on a Bf 109 G-12 of 4./JGr Ost in Weidengut (Schlesien).  Staffelkapitän Schwanecke had been challenged by his 'black men' to get the machine back to airworthy status and then fly it! Schwanecke survived the war with around ten Luftsiege and features heavily in Erik Mombeek's histories of JG 5 and JG 4.

JGr. Ost was disbanded during February 1945 and Schwanecke was posted to the Geschwaderstab JG 4 apparently with the rank of Hptm. He later reported;

" ..Following the disbandment of my 4./ EJG Ost at Riesa Leutewitz, I was posted to JG 4. This Geschwader wasn't entirely an unknown quantity since IV./JG 4 had been formed from one of my previous units, II./JG 5 - not unnaturally I asked to be assigned to IV. Gruppe. However there was no requirement for a Staffelkapitän in any of the unit's Gruppen so I wound up with the Geschwaderstab - Kommodore Michalski gave me a warm welcome - with over 430 combat sorties under my belt I undoubtedly made an ideal Rottenflieger for him.."  (Mombeeck JG 4 Vol II)


A small selection of some of the very interesting images from Michael Meyer's current Ebay sales here

A round-up of 1/72 Fw 190 Antons - Revell Fw 190 A-8 cowling shape (AZ models, Mastercraft, Quickboost )

(note: this article compiled ahead of the appearance of the superlative Eduard Fw 190s also featured elsewhere on this blog)

Okay I happen to like the Revell Fw 190 (1/72)...aside from the poorly engineered canopy. At the last count I had 17 of them in the display cabinet and with nearly 50 Fw 190 decal sheets in my collection, I plan on adding a few more. Apart from the canopy, Martin W at IPMS Stockholm site believes that Revell also got the cowl wrong. I have to say after carefully measuring the kit against some drawings and comparing it against some decent photographs I can't really see it. What do you think?

 ".....Revell moulded the front opening of the cowling too small. The error is quite large for the scale, being if I remember correctly around 2 mm. As a consequence, the front part of the cowling and the cowling ring tapers too much to meet the small opening. The negative effect is even more exaggerated by the model having its cowling slightly rounded in profile. All this gives the front part of the fuselage an unnaturally heavy "bulbous" look...."    

A few comparison shots, all current 1/72 Fw 190 kits. Click on the image to get in closer. First up the Revell A-8/F-8 and that 'suspect' cowling x4. Generally a lovely little kit although recent production is displaying a fair amount of flash and the clear parts are no longer very clear at all. In fact they need ditching and the canopy replaced with a vac-form item. That requires some minor surgery - removing the rear canopy 'decking' moulded integrally with the fuselage halves. Aeroclub do (did?) a replacement canopy, along with a white metal 'unbulged' upper cowl for the A5-6 variants

Hasegawa A-5 finished in J.Gr Ost markings. The re-tooled Hasegawa kits are very good of course, although the new Dual combo boxings are retailing for upwards of £30 !! Two minor complaints - the overly long landing gear and a slightly misshapen canopy, it being slightly too 'rounded' where it meets the windscreen.

Italeri A-8 cowling (above) and the Academy A-6 below. I quite like the Italeri A-8 and their Dora. The Anton has raised panel detail and no dihedral on the wings unfortunately. The cockpit is quite good though. The Fw 190 A series are easily the worst kits Academy have done in 1/72 scale. Difficult to know where to start - wings, tail plane, cowl, undercarriage - in fact just don't bother is really the best advice with both their A-6 and A-8 boxings. Their Dora on the other hand is very good and doesn't share any parts wih the 'A' variant.

Airfix A-8 finished as Priller's 'Jutta' first issued in 1977. This was the best radial engine Fw 190 kit until the Hasegawa and Revell new tool. The outline was very accurate, although the surface detail featured raised lines and some rather soft cowl details and the kit is missing the cannon breech fairings on the wing upper surfaces.

That just leaves the Tamiya A-3 in this scale, along with the AZ Models and Mastercraft kits. The AZ kits include a resin wheel well insert and metal gun barrels and are thus three times the price of a Revell kit. They do look great in the box but I haven't built any of their range yet which includes an A-0 and an A-1 to A-4. AZ also supply a resin insert for the characteristic pointed antenna post of the A-4 tail fin. Will be starting one soon. Mastercraft look to be poor quality, although feature engraved panel lines and a half-decent decal sheet. And Quickboost (Aires) do a resin replacement cowl ring if you've a mind!


All these kits superseded by the superlative Eduard renditions in 72nd scale, also featured on this blog

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 britmodeller.com here

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