Saturday 30 June 2018

'new' KG 54 photo Me 262 B3(?)+AL, on airfield - sold for €3730 euros!

As a 'blogger' of ebay photo rarities I will obviously have to say something about the following, without, hopefully, wading too far into the debate, which I have kept well out of until the photo has been carefully scrutinised. Which it now has been. And to say that if Jean-Yves Lorant indicates that the photo is 'genuine' than that is usually good enough for me. The sceptics on the various forums got in first with their arguments about manipulation, distortion, perspective etc etc. Nothing wrong with a healthy dose of scepticism but these same sceptics are not usually 'photo specialists'. Sorry guys. And neither am I. But I know somebody who is!

" It is undoubtedly a fake in my opinion..."

" It is obviously a fraud which succeeded to fetch a large amount of money. The buyer should be made aware .."

It strikes me though that any Photoshop manipulation however professional could be detected under high magnification simply from a close examination - even size comparison - of the pixels ? The 'white arrow' flash on KG 54 training machines is already well known from other sources, although not admittedly in the single-seat variant.

and a response via Jean-Yves Lorant;

" I will keep you informed if/when I have the photo in question in my own hands. I am the official responsible for the 9.5 million private and official photographs of the French Air Force held in the archives at Vincennes castle near Paris. I have been manipulating and reproducing original photos for over forty years and I will know very quickly if it is a counterfeit..."

".. I was able to examine yesterday and scan in high definition the original photo of Me262 A coded " AL.."

 ...A manipulation by photoshop, even a very successful one will always leave traces and does not stand up to close examination. And there are two parameters that seem essential to me: the argentic grain of the photo, which seems totally homogeneous on this new photo according to Jean-Yves Lorant and the fact that the paper is suitably 'aged' with manufacturer's stamp. A digital manipulation transferred on a photo paper that has not existed for decades? The close examination of the original photo that Jean-Yves has now carried out failed to detect anything suspicious.

"...The original has many small scratches and imperfections as seen on original German photos of the same period. The picture is not sharp enough to read the Werk Nummer, nor the small 'B3' code of KG 54 that should be painted in front of the fuselage cross. The argentic grain of this print on old paper is perfectly homogeneous. This is obviously a perfectly original print..."

So, yes, this is a very rare and genuine photo of Me 262 A-2 "Anton-Luise" assigned to 3./KG (J) 54 armed with two 30 mm cannon and displaying the letters A (gelb) and L (schwarz) aft of the fuselage Balkenkreuz. It is possible to make out the WNr, but not read it with 100% accuracy.

At the risk of seeming infatuated, I can safely state that there are few 'experts' in this field with as much knowledge of the subject as Jean-Yves Lorant - in his professional life he managed the French Armed Forces photo archive (SHD at Vincennes) - some several millions of images. As he wrote on on one forum, " I am not sure that there are on this forum people who can claim an expertise superior to mine in this domain ".

There are not Jean-Yves, have no fear... Even those that have seen hundreds of war-time Luftwaffe photos, well, their experience is small beer compared to your own!

To close the discussion.  A spectacular price has been paid for this one image - but as someone who has sometimes spent a lot more money on trips to Germany for much less spectacular results put it;

" ..given my age (61), I will certainly never have the opportunity to see others comparable to this one. If anyone knows who is the lucky owner of the other Me 262 photos from the same seller, please send me a message. I thank you in advance..."

Now the internet 'fakers' and 'plunderers' just have to decide what type of Hakenkreuz  - out of the six possibilities - to put on their 'copies'..

Meet Jean-Yves Lorant in my author interview here

Friday 29 June 2018

Aces magazine from Heimdal - issue no 7

Aces magazine n°7  from Heimdal, latest issue, May-July 2018

Issue no.7 of Heimdal's "Aces" magazine recently arrived - 100 beautifully printed pages on thick glossy stock jam-packed with Bf 109s, Spitfires and ...P-38s...
100-page glossy card covers

 - Richard "Bing" Bong, le héros si discret (D. Breffort)
- Les P-38 Lightning dans le Pacifique (D. Breffort)
- "Marge" le P-38J de Dick Bong (B. Pautigny)
- Les premiers Spitfire à moteur Griffon (P. Listemann)
- Jacques Andrieux, Jaco le Magnifique (M. Souffan)
- Helmut Wick, un As optimiste ? (C. Goss)
- Actualités et bibliographie (J.-Ch Stasi)
- Courrier des lecteurs d'AceS (M. Souffan)
- Nouveautés maquettes, (B. Pautigny)

 Read more about this superb new magazine on this blog here

Friday 22 June 2018

Messerschmitt Me 262 of KG(J)54

 These great images will interest many who drop in on the Luftwaffe blog. They were recently 'discovered' at and appeared on FB. Since there are many who drop in here who do not use FB we publish them here. It appears that the code in the fuselage is “B3” which could indicate KG(J)54. Note the “skull” emblem there too. The site says little about the photos aside from 'William Giannopoulos collection, April 1945'.

thanks to Fernando. And the following via David E. Brown;

Your latest post on “Messerschmitt Me 262 of KG(J)54” shows images of the machine “B3+HL”, WNr.110943 of 3./I./KG (J) 54. From Dan O’Connell’s “Messerschmitt Me 262 The Production Log" -  Me 262 A-1a. Lt. Bernhard Becker of 3./KG(J) 54 took off from Giebelstadt but was injured on 9 March 1945 in an emergency landing during a strafing attack on Kitzingen. The aircraft suffered 65% damage. A different account states that Becker made a practice flight from Giebelstadt on 9 March, taking off at 09:55 and landed at Kitzingen at 11:05. It was then flown later that day by an unknown pilot of 2./KG(J) 54 who crashed landed it at Kitzingen with 65% damage. The remains were found and photographed by US troops at Kitzingen on 10 April. ‘Yellow H’. 'B3+HL'. "

Wednesday 20 June 2018

" die Fw 189 Uhu der 1.(H).Aufkl.Gr.21 NAG 9, 1/21, zurück vom 2000sten Feindflug" - ebay photo find #253

Focke Wulf Fw 189 "Uhu" of 1.(H).Aufkl.Gr.21 on successful return from 2000th combat flight of Nahaufklärungsgruppe 9 seen on the airfield at Kertsch, Krim, 1943.

"Besatzung Oblt. Lüders, Fw. Has, Fw. Eickel, 1./21"

Saturday 16 June 2018

EagleCals sheet 171 Bf 109 G-6, “Red 7” & "Red 11" 2./JG 302, Jüterbog, Feb 1944 - Defence of the Reich fuselage bands

" convincing research has confirmed this was more likely Red 11 "

Since it is so difficult to be dogmatic about colour interpretations from black and white photos it would be interesting to know exactly what this 'research' is - unless of course it is the loss returns of 2./JG 302 during this period, which do indeed indicate red Kennziffer. And not black. Black was the colour of 4./JG 302. But since when has JG 302 used a yellow Rumpfband?**** So JG 300 'borrowed' machines in the early wilde Sau period that featured on occasion a yellow band (and in at least one instance a blue fuselage band). As Aufsitzer  - ie they did not have aircraft of their own - they used the machines of their host Geschwader most notably JG 11. But the photos on which these EagleCals illustrations were presumably based date from mid-1944 and the 'Defence of the Reich' day fighter period. During late August 1944 machines of I./JG 302 were based in Vienna-Götzendorf ( 8.JD ) countering 15th AF raids coming up from Italy - on 21 August 102 B-24s escorted by 46 P-51s hit Hungarian airfields and on the 22nd a much larger force of over 600 bombers hit fuel hydrogenation plants (Blechhammer and Odertal) in the south-east of the Reich, I./JG 302 losing most notably their Gruppenkommandeur Hptm. Lewens in combat with P-51 Mustangs (..incorrectly given as the 20th in Reschke's account) Four images of 2./JG 302 Gustavs are published in the Prien/Stemmer/Bock account of these dates in JfV 13/II 'Reichsverteidigung 1944' - captions read as follows;

".. mechanics working on a Bf 109 G-6 of 2./JG 302 seen on an airfield in the Reich during 1944. Note the Staffel badge which features on both sides of the nose on the engine cowl. Three further images show 'black 11' and 'black 7' - details of note are the wide white propeller spiral and the red Rumpfband visible around the rear fuselage. Both aircraft sport the Staffel emblem of 2./JG 302.  Note the absence of flame damping shield over the exhaust on the starboard stack as normally seen during the night fighting period.."

Elsewhere there are a number of II./JG 302 photos published that show a yellow Gruppe bar on what is quite clearly a red band. And while a number of Geschwader used coloured bands in the defence of the Reich, that colour was predominantly red; ie JG 1, JG 53 (as well as black), JG 300 (from late December 1944 blue/white/blue) ..and JG 302.


" ..1./JG302 was based at Malmi/Helsinki during the period 13 February 1944 to 15 May 1944, as Einsatzkommando Helsinki (Jafü Ostland). Finnish air observation company (Ilmavalvontakomppania 7) has recorded "red 7" as one of the planes. Einsatzkommando Helsinki planes did have yellow east front fuselage band according to the photos. That might be the explanation for the "Red 7" band. It would be nice to see EagleCals sources, especially if a photo. I did contact them when the sheet was published offering Finnish data for the numeral colours, but no reply..."

 Kari Lumppio

Thursday 14 June 2018

Airfix Hs 123 'classic plastic', Hptm. Wilhelm Johnen Bf 110 G-4 7./NJG 6 - Luftwaffe models

 ....some great looking models seen recently both on the net and at a local club/show meet

Sebastian Piton's brilliant treatment of an old Airfix 'classic' - fantastic modelling and photography from Seb. His build blog can be viewed at

new Special hobby Bv 155 built by Martin Pfeiffer seen on the Special Hobby blog here

Hptm. Wilhelm Johnen G-4 7./NJG 6.    Model by Duncan Black ..

".. Eduard 1/72 Bf110 G-4 Profipack edition. Completed as an aircraft found by the Allies at Neubiberg in the Spring of 1945. I found several photographs of the wreck which showed that the rudders had roughly been painted in white although the Eduard instructions did not show this feature. Built OOB with only the addition of an EZLine aerial and painted using mostly Mr Color acrylics. A great kit to build however the main supports for the radar proved to be problematic as they were supposed to be a butt joint. I had to drill and pin them after they parted company several times so they could be better..."

Mike Grant model ..." Eduard 1/72 Bf 110E. It's the Profipack version so lots of coloured PE for the cockpit, and I also added the Brassin gun-nose and wheels. The fit of the engine nacelles to wing is well documented but it just takes a bit of filing to get a decent join. I liked this kit so much I've just ordered the G-4 version..."

DML Fw 190 A-5 "special" built by Andy 'Crimea River' using Kagero Decals, Tamiya Prop, Brassin wheels to represent FW190 A-5 "Minke Pinke" flown by Maj. Hans Philipp, Kommodore of JG 1 based at Jever in the summer of 1943.

Hats off to Mike ('Mikewint') for completing the Trumpeter 48th scale Condor C-4

Mike's build thread is here

and from Jose Pedro .." Here are the photos of my latest work. It`s the ICM kit,which despite having received a lot of "flak" builds up into a beautiful model. It has several issues, mainly with the cockpit, but, after the glass work was installed, this modeller can live very well with it. Paints utilised: Vallejo Model Air e acrílicos Mig. Detailing sets: Eduard interior and exterior set..
If you have interest, you can find in my blog around 90 fotos with all the building and painting process.
This model was part of Airfix Model World mag, December 2017 issue

Model and text by Stefan

 The "SG 113 (Sondergeraet 113)" was a projected German weapon system for antitank defense in WW II. A gun system developed by Rheinmetall-Borsig in the 75 mm caliber with a barrel length of 1,600 mm was tested as a weapon system. However, this was not arranged in the aircraft longitudinal direction firing forward, but mounted in the wings directed downward. The advantage of this shooting direction is that armored vehicles on the top have the least armor, which also smaller caliber can penetrate the vehicle armor. The cannons should be triggered by an electrostatic or electromagnetic sensor ("Foerstersonde") when flying over the target. In September 1944, two Focke-Wulf Fw 190 F-8 with SG 113 in the wings sent into the testing. It also examined the flying capability of the converted machine and the general impact of two guns in the wings. End of 1944, the machine was released in the troop testing. Any successes can no longer be determined. For this project I took the older Dragon kit of a Fw 190 A-8 and turned it into an F-8. For the special armament I used the SG 113-Set from Airmodel. Maybe the Dragon-190 is not a youngster but it was surprisingly easy to build. Yes, a little bit of putty and sanding was needed but that wasn't a problem. Colors from Gunze an Revell. The Figures are from ICM and they are really awesome. Easy to build, good was fun!!! Painted with Revell Aqua-Colors and weathered with diluted oil paint and various pastel chalks. Horrido..... Stefan

Liesendahl JG 2 Jabo from Pierre Giustiniani

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Messerschmitt Bf 110 C/D coded 'A5+..' of the Stabstaffel./St.G.1 - ebay photo find #252

Messerschmitt Bf 110 C/D coded 'A5+..' of the Stabstaffel./St.G.1

If in doubt whether an aircraft is a C or a D, look at its fuselage and tail. D aircraft had a longer tail with a dinghy inside (and many times it is possible to see a thin release cable channel running along the fuselage up to it on the port side.

If you can't see the tail or the fuselage, then take a look under its wings. If there is a drop tank or connections for one, again it is D. Both details can be spotted in the decorated aircraft, so it is most probably a D.

Note that the aircraft has a letter G on its nose ? I do not know how many Bf110 Staffeln operated with St. G. 1 but this would make it A5 + GB ... ( ? )

Note what appears to be a rearward-firing MG in the lower image beneath the Balkenkreuz.   

thanks to Fernando and Stephen for additional text commentary

on offer here

Below; 'A5+BB' via EV and FE posting on FB

Sunday 10 June 2018

Dornier Do 217 Nachtjäger Jagdgeschwader Wappen Hirschgeweih - ebay photo find #251

Dornier Do 217 Nachtjäger

Leading Nachtjagd ace Paul Zorner in his memoir " Nights in the Bomber Stream " (296 Verlag) has some choice words for the Dornier Do 217 he flew in NJG 3 - "ein Klotz" being one of the more polite terms he employs ( a 'brick' ). As he points out his loaded and tanked up Do 217 'fighter' weighed a "large truck heavier" than a fully loaded Junkers Ju 88 and climbed at all of 6 metres/second (IIRC) - at least half the rate of the Ju 88. A "tired old cow" that took for ever to climb to altitude and was, as Zorner puts it, "exactly ten times heavier than a He 51 fighter". Zorner never liked the Do 217 - the idea that it could be used as a night fighter he found preposterous.

On offer here