Luftwaffe ground attack planes...

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
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Luftwaffe ground attack planes...

Post by PanzerKing » 16 Aug 2003 00:33

Currently I am making a WW2 game and I need some help. In the game, the Germans are able to have two deifferent single-engine fighters, I can't decide which two planes they should be, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions? Both of the planes have to be used for ground attack, and I've decided one will have bombs and the other with just use machine guns. Should I use the Bf-109 and Fw-190? I can't use the Ju-87 because I can't make the planes divebomb. Also, which version of the Bf-109 was the best for low level bombing? The Bf-109 and Fw-190 were the only planes I could think of, so if anyone knows of any others I could use let me know.


PS - The game time range is from 1941-early 1943.

Thanks again!

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Lawrence Tandy
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Location: B.C, Canada

Post by Lawrence Tandy » 16 Aug 2003 00:39

I know that the FW-190 was actually a very good fighter/bomber when used in this role.

A History of 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5

The following is a brief history of 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5, including a summary of operations, a biography of Friedrich Wilhelm Strakeljahn, and a loss list. Thanks to Kjetil Aakra for the profile of Strakeljahn's FW 190 A-3.

In 1943 and 1944, a small FW 190-equipped unit flew fighter-bomber operations from Petsamo in the far north of Finland, and achieved success disproportionate to the number of aircraft it had on strength. The unit was 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5. Flying in the far north offered unique challenges, but the results achieved indicate the pilots of the Staffel adapted quite well to the conditions experienced inside the Arctic Circle. Despite flying obsolete variants of the FW 190, 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 demonstrated the effectiveness of the FW 190 as a fighter-bomber, particularly against shipping targets.

14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 was formed in the middle of February 1943 to serve as a semi-autonomous Jabostaffel within Jagdgeschwader 5.[1] The unit was created from elements of 11./J.G.5, and experienced fighter pilot Hptm. Friedrich Wilhelm Strakeljahn was given command (see his biography below).[2] Another man assigned to the new fighter-bomber Staffel was Kurt Dobner, who had gained one aerial victory with 11./J.G.5 in 1942.[3] 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 flew only FW 190 A-2s and A-3s (mostly the latter), at a time when those variants had been superseded elsewhere by the FW 190 A-4 and A-5. However, because the unit was based in the far north of Finland, fighter opposition was minimal and the earlier FW 190 variants proved adequate. The Staffel's initial eleven FW 190 A-3s came from 11./J.G.5, and later aircraft came from other parts of J.G.5 and from the Kjeller repair facility in Norway.[4] 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 primarily flew missions against Russian ships moving along the Barents Sea coast. The Staffel proved very effective, sinking many enemy vessels.

14.(Jabo)/J.G.5's first recorded loss occurred on 18 February 1943, when an FW 190 A-3 suffered a landing accident at Alta airfield in northern Norway. On 10 March an FW 190 A-3 was slightly damaged by a bombing raid on Petsamo, and ten days later the first FW 190 was lost on operations, when Fw. Friedrich Hammesfahr was shot down and wounded near Severomorsk, 18 km north-east of Murmansk. Two pilots were killed in April by anti-aircraft fire, and two more in May. In the early summer of 1943, 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 was at the peak of its success. In a three-day period early in May 1943, two 'M'-class submarines were destroyed by Fw. Karl-Heinz Froschek and Uffz. Walter Pohl, and a 2,000-ton auxiliary and a 3,000-ton freighter were sunk by Hptm. Strakeljahn.[5] Congratulations for these feats came from the highest level of the German administration:

"From Fliegerführer Nord (Ost) 16.5.1943

To: 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 Petsamo
Following teletype for attention of all personnel:
'The Führer has expressed his recognition of the attacks on shipping carried out by the Jabos of Fliegerführer Nord (Ost), and further conveys his wishes that these operations be continued with all available means".[6]
While attacking shipping targets off Cap Pogan on 18 June, two FW 190 A-3s of 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 were lost. Flying 'Black 9 + ', Fw. Hünlein struck the mast of the vessel he was attacking, and crashed to his death. Uffz. Pohl was hit by anti-aircraft fire in 'Black 8 + ' and died when he crashed west of Cap Pogan. In early July, Hptm. Strakeljahn had to crash-land his FW 190 at Petsamo due to anti-aircraft fire. Soviet ground-fire accounted for two more FW 190s in August, but in September 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 suffered no losses. On 5 October 1943, Fw. Reichel and Uffz. Kleemann became lost after a mission, ran out of fuel, and bailed out of their FW 190 A-3s about 40 km west of Passvik. Both men were injured. Losses were slight in the winter of 1943/1944. By the end of 1943, 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 had flown over 1,000 sorties, and had sunk 39,000 BRT of shipping. Some aerial victories had also been achieved.[7] On 14 February 1944, Lt. Karl-Heinz Froschek was wounded by anti-aircraft fire, and he was the unit's last casualty. At this time, 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 became 4./S.G.5.

In February 1944, 4./S.G.5 was formed from 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 at Petsamo. The new Staffel took on two FW 190 A-2s and thirteen FW 190 A-3s.[8] 4./S.G.5 operated under Luftflotte 5 in the north until 17 May 1944 when it became 1./S.G.5.[9]

The Aircraft Used by 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5
SC 250 and SC 500 bombs were used by aircraft of 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5.[10] A reasonably simple modification was done to convert the FW 190 fighters to fighter-bombers. They were given the ETC 501 rack under the fuselage, round pieces of metal were installed inside the inner edges of the wheel walls to secure the rack, and the wheel doors were removed. Some of the Jabos were fitted with the exhaust flaps of the FW 190 A-5. All of 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5's FW 190s had the mid-wing MG FF cannon and associated underwing bulges removed.[11] There were never more than three FW 190 A-2s on strength, and a maximum of fifteen FW 190 A-3s were on strength at the start of October 1943.[12]

Camouflage and Markings
The Focke-Wulf 190s of 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 carried the standard FW 190 scheme of RLM 74/75/76, with only slight mottling on the fuselage sides. Theatre markings were not carried. Large black individual aircraft numbers with white outlines were used. The Staffel emblem was carried on most aircraft - a bomb and bow on a white circle outlined in black. It was applied to the engine cowling on both sides. There is some debate over the colours of the emblem.[13]

Some of the 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 fighter-bombers had heavily mottled fuselage sides. 'Black 5 + ' (depicted in profile below) had an overspray on its sides, probably of RLM 74, through which some blue can be seen. The aircraft suffered a direct Flak hit in the rear fuselage, which necessitated some overspraying with dark colours. 'Black 6 + ' of 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 had some overspray behind the exhaust, but not much behind the aircraft number. The unit's aircraft usually had the early type of national insignia with black edges, although 'Black 6 + ' had white edges and a black centre only. Spinners were generally RLM 70, with a third in white. Some of these FW 190s had a thin white stripe around the spinner about half-way along.[14]

Friedrich Wilhelm Strakeljahn - A Biography
Known as "Straks", Friedrich Wilhelm Strakeljahn was born on 7 September 1914 at Lübeck in northern Germany.[15] He joined the Luftwaffe in pre-war times, and was serving as the Gruppenadjutant of I.(Jagd)/L.G.2 when the Germans invaded Poland. He became Staffelkapitän of 2.(Jagd)/L.G.2 on 20 May 1940, the day after he achieved his first two aerial victories over France (both Lysanders).[16] With 2.(Jagd)/L.G.2, Strakeljahn gained at least five victories in the West (see table below). He was appointed Staffelkapitän of 12./J.G.5 on 1 July 1942, and in February 1943 he became the first Staffelkapitän of 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5.[17]

Strakeljahn received the Ritterkreuz on 19 August 1943 for his outstanding leadership, and at the time he had a total of nine aerial victories.[18] Strakeljahn became Gruppenkommandeur of II./S.G.4 on 19 May 1944.[19] On 6 July 1944 while flying an FW 190 F-8 W.Nr 931 018, Strakeljahn suffered a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire west of Macuty, near Dünaburg, and was killed.[20] He is buried at Daugavpils in Latvia.[21]

14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 had a difficult role to perform, and that it did so well is testimony to the efforts of the unit's pilots and its leader, "Straks" Strakeljahn. Flying outdated FW 190s, 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 suffered a number of losses, particularly to anti-aircraft fire, but exacted revenge by seeking out and destroying an impressive amount of Russian shipping in the Murmansk area.

FW 190 A-3 W.Nr 0135 508 'Black 5 + ' of Hptm. Friedrich Wilhelm Strakeljahn, 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5, 7 July 1943

Appendix I: Loss List
Date Pilot & Fate Type W.Nr Markings Remarks Location % F/H
18.02.43 ? FW 190 A-3 0132 274 ? Landing accident Fl.Pl. Alta 30 H
10.03.43 - FW 190 A-3 0132 255 ? Bombing raid Fl.Pl. Petsamo 10 F
20.03.43 Fw. Friedrich Hammesfahr W FW 190 A-3 0132 268 ? Shot down, later returned to unit Severomorsk 100 F
27.03.43 ? FW 190 A-2 0125 495 ? Belly-landing due to engine trouble S. Fl.Pl. Alta 15 H
29.03.43 ? FW 190 A-3 0132 254 ? Pilot error while landing Fl.Pl. Petsamo 60 F
05.04.43 Uffz. Kurt Dobner + FW 190 A-3 0130 323 'Black 14 + ' Anti-aircraft fire W. Hormasi 100 F
13.04.43 Uffz. Kurt Wendler + FW 190 A-3 0132 215 'Black 1 + ' Anti-aircraft fire, pilot FSA N. Fl.Pl. Petsamo 100 F
11.05.43 Lt. Günther Busse + FW 190 A-3 0130 524 'Black 7 + ' Anti-aircraft fire Rybaci 100 F
22.05.43 Lt. Klaus Biwer + FW 190 A-3 0132 102 'Black 3 + ' Anti-aircraft fire Cap Cypnavolsk 100 F
17.06.43 Oblt. Karl-Friedrich Koch FW 190 A-3 0130 471 ? Engine trouble, pilot FSA Fl.Pl. Petsamo 60 H
18.06.43 Uffz. Walter Pohl + FW 190 A-3 0135 528 'Black 8 + ' Anti-aircraft fire 2 km W. Cap Pogan 100 F
18.06.43 Fw. Walter Hünlein + FW 190 A-3 0135 488 'Black 9 + ' Hit the mast of vessel N. Cap Pogan 100 F
07.07.43 Hptm. Friedrich Wilhelm Strakeljahn FW 190 A-3 0135 508 'Black 5 + ' Crash-landing due to anti-aircraft fire Fl.Pl. Petsamo 30 F
01.08.43 Ofw. Böttger FW 190 A-3 0132 255 ? Hit by anti-aircraft fire Pummanki 100 F
01.08.43 ? FW 190 A-3 0135 446 ? Pilot error Fl.Pl. Petsamo 20 F
18.08.43 ? FW 190 A-3 0132 167 ? Anti-aircraft fire Eina Bight 10 F
05.10.43 Fw. Berthold Reichel W FW 190 A-3 0130 523 'Black 15 + ' Became lost, ran out of fuel, pilot FSA 40 km W. Passvik 100 F
05.10.43 Uffz. Hans-Günther Kleemann W FW 190 A-3 0132 219 'Black 3 + ' Became lost, ran out of fuel, pilot FSA 40 km W. Passvik 100 F
28.10.43 ? FW 190 A-3 0137 012 ? Landing accident Fl.Pl. Petsamo 10 F
25.11.43 - FW 190 A-3 0130 399 ? Bombing raid Fl.Pl. Petsamo 20 F
29.12.43 Fw. Helmut Kuhlemann + FW 190 A-3 0132 167 ? Anti-aircraft fire Rybaci 100 F
14.02.44 Lt. Karl-Heinz Froschek W FW 190 A-3 0132 179 'Black 2 + ' Crashed after being hit by anti-aircraft fire E. Kiestinki-Louhi 100 F

Appendix II: Victory List for Pilots of 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5
Date Pilot: Tally Unit Type Location: Altitude Time
19.05.40 Lt. Friedrich Wilhelm Strakeljahn:1 Stab I.(Jagd)/L.G.2 Lysander Lille: - 14:25
19.05.40 Lt. Friedrich Wilhelm Strakeljahn: 2 Stab I.(Jagd)/L.G.2 Lysander Le Cateau: - 14:28
14.02.41 Oblt. Friedrich Wilhelm Strakeljahn: 5 2.(Jagd)/L.G.2 Spitfire - -
27.09.42 Gefr. Kurt Dobner: 1 11./J.G.5 Spitfire Pl.Qu. 25 West/51742 (?): 1,000 m 11:29

Appendix III: Order of Battle Material
Date Higher HQ C/O Base Type/s Strength Serviceable
17.05.43 Luftflotte 5 Hptm. Strakeljahn Petsamo FW 190 A-2/3 11 7

[1] J. Weal, Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Aces of the Eastern Front, Osprey Publishing, Botley, 1996, p.30
[2] K. Aakra, JG 5 in 1943 Part I,, 1996; M. Holm, Jagdgeschwader 5,
[3] Film C. 2035/II
[4] Aakra, JG 5 in 1943 Part I
[5] Weal, op.cit., p.31; Aakra, JG 5 in 1943 Part I
[6] Weal, op.cit., p.31
[7] Loc.cit.
[8] Holm, Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5,
[9] Holm, Schlachtgeschwader 5,
[10] Weal, op.cit., p.31
[11] Aakra, JG 5 in 1943 Part I
[12] Holm, F & B 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5
[13] Aakra, JG 5 in 1943 Part II,, 1996
[14] ibid.
[16] A. Brekken, Hauptmann Friedrich Wilhelm Strakeljahn, Staffelkapitän, NEED URL; Film C. 2031/I
[17] Brekken, Strakeljahn; Aakra, JG 5 in 1943 Part I
[18] Weal, op.cit., p.31
[19] Brekken, Strakeljahn; Holm, Schlachtgeschwader 4,
[20] Brekken, Strakeljahn

K. Aakra, JG 5 in 1943 Part I,, 1996

K. Aakra, JG 5 in 1943 Part II,, 1996

A. Brekken, Hauptmann Friedrich Wilhelm Strakeljahn, Staffelkapitän, NEED URL

O. Dybvig, Losses with Fw 190 A in Norway,

M. Holm,

J. Weal, Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Aces of the Eastern Front, Osprey Publishing, Botley, 1996

Eric Mombeek's series on Jagdgeschwader 5 is in the process of being published. The first volume to be released was one dedicated to 14.(Jabo)/J.G.5 and the Zerstörerstaffeln of J.G.5. Unfortunately I have not seen this book. However, knowing the standard of Eric's research, it could be highly recommended.


Do a detailed google search( and you'll turn up alot. I found this by typing in FW-190 fighter-bomber and lots of stuff came up, I just picked this info at random.

Hope this helps.


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Lawrence Tandy
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Post by Lawrence Tandy » 16 Aug 2003 00:44


FW-190 Variants

By the end of World War II, hundreds of versions of the FW 190 and Ta 152 family had appeared, and within these tables I have identified over 150 different designations. It must be noted that some of these variants were very similar (e.g. installation of a different type of radio resulted in a new designation for an FW 190).


FW 190 A, B, C, D and E Variant Entered
Service Role/Remarks
FW 190 A-0 Pre-Production Fighter
FW 190 A-1 08.41 Fighter
FW 190 A-1/U1 New Engine - BMW 801D-2
FW 190 A-2 Fighter
FW 190 A-2/U1 Auto Pilot Equipment
FW 190 A-2/U3 Reconnaissance
FW 190 A-3 Fighter
FW 190 Aa-3 .42 Fighter for Turkey
FW 190 A-3/U1 Fighter-bomber
FW 190 A-3/U2 Underwing RZ 65 AT rockets
FW 190 A-3/U3 Jabo with ETC 501 bomb racks
FW 190 A-3/U4 01.43 Recon fighter with two Rb 12.5/7 x 9 cameras
FW 190 A-3/U7 09.42 Light-weight high-altitude fighter
FW 190 A-4 08.42 Fighter
FW 190 A-4 Trop Tropicalised fighter and fighter-bomber
FW 190 A-4/U1 Fighter-bomber with ETC 501 bomb-rack
FW 190 A-4/U3 Fighter-bomber with ETC 501 bomb-rack; later re-designated FW 190 F-1
FW 190 A-4/U4 Reconnaissance fighter with two R 12.5/7 x 9 cameras
FW 190 A-4/U8 04.43 Fighter-bomber with underwing drop tanks; later re-designated FW 190 G-1
FW 190 A-4/R1 Fighter with FuG 16ZE radio
FW 190 A-4/R6 Fighter with two WGr.21 underwing rocket launchers
FW 190 A-5 01.43 Fighter
FW 190 A-5/y 06.43
FW 190 A-5/U2 Night fighter-bomber
FW 190 A-5/U3 Fighter-bomber with ETC 501; later re-designated FW 190 F-2
FW 190 A-5/U4 Reconnaissance
FW 190 A-5/U6 Fighter-bomber
FW 190 A-5/U7 Two external MK 103 30 mm cannon or two internal MK 108 30mm cannon
FW 190 A-5/U8 03.43 Fighter-bomber with underwing racks; later re-designated FW 190 G-2
FW 190 A-5/U9 Basis for A-7
FW 190 A-5/U10 Several armament test beds produced by AGO, basis for FW 190 A-6
FW 190 A-5/U11 Bomber-destroyer with external/internal mountings of MK 103/108 30 mm cannon
FW 190A-5/U12 06.43 Two underwing WB 151 containers holding two MG 151 20 mm cannon each
FW 190A-5/U13 Fighter-bomber, served as prototype for G-series
FW 190 A-5/U14 Torpedo-bomber
FW 190 A-5/U15 Torpedo-bomber
FW 190 A-5/U16 Bomber-destroyer with wing mounted MK 103/108 30 mm cannon
FW 190 A-5/U17 Fighter-bomber with ETC 501 bomb-rack, prototype for FW 190 F-3
FW 190 A-5/R1 FuG 16ZE radio
FW 190 A-5/R6 03.44 Two WGr 21 underwing rocket launchers
FW 190 A-6 06.43 Fighter
FW 190 A-6/R1 Two underwing WB 151 containers with four MG 151 20 mm cannon
FW 190 A-6/R2 Bomber-destroyer with two outboard MK 108 30 mm cannon
FW 190 A-6/R3 Bomber-destroyer with two MK 103 30 mm cannon in underwing pods
FW 190 A-6/R4 BMW 801TS
FW 190 A-6/R6 01.44 Two WGr 21 underwing rocket launchers
FW 190 A-6/R11 Night-fighter
FW 190 A-7 12.43 Fighter
FW 190 A-7/R1 03.44 Two underwing WB 151 containers with four MG 151 20 mm cannon
FW 190 A-7/R2 03.44 Bomber-destroyer with two outboard MK 108 30 mm cannon
FW 190 A-7/R3 Bomber-destroyer with two underwing MK 103 30 mm cannon
FW 190 A-7/R4 Bomber-destroyer
FW 190 A-7/R6 01.44 Two WGr 21 underwing rocket launchers
FW 190 A-8 03.44 Fighter
FW 190 A-8/U1 Two-seat trainer and high-speed liason aircraft
FW 190 A-8/U3 Upper component of Mistel
FW 190 A-8/U11 Torpedo-bomber
FW 190 A-8/R1 Two underwing WB 151 containers with four MG 151 20 mm cannon
FW 190 A-8/R2 04.44 Bomber-destroyer with two outboard MK 108 30 mm cannon
FW 190 A-8/R3 Bomber-destroyer with two underwing MK 103 30 mm cannon
FW 190 A-8/R4 12.44 BMW 801TS and engine boosting system
FW 190 A-8/R5 Engine boosting system
FW 190 A-8/R6 04.44 Two WGr 21 underwing rocket launchers
FW 190 A-8/R7 Sturmjäger with additional internal and external armour plating
FW 190 A-8/R8 .44 Sturmjäger with additional internal and external armour plating
and outboard MK 103 30 mm cannon
FW 190 A-8/R11 Dirty weather fighter with BMW 801TU/TS
FW 190 A-8/R12 Combination of R2 and R11 with BMW 801D-2
FW 190 A-8D/NL Higher emergency power
FW 190 A-9 09.44 Fighter
FW 190 A-9/R1 Two underwing WB 151 containers with four MG 151 20 mm cannon
FW 190 A-9/R2 Bomber-destroyer with two outboard MK 108 30 mm cannon
FW 190 A-9/R3 Bomber-destroyer with two underwing MK 103 30 mm cannon
FW 190 A-9/R4 BMW 801TS and engine boosting system
FW 190 A-9/R6 09.44 Two WGr 21 underwing rocket launchers
FW 190 A-9/R11 Dirty weather fighter & BMW 801TS
FW 190 A-9/R12 Combination of R2 and R11
FW 190 A-10 No Jabo with BMW 801TS/TH
FW 190 B-0 No Proposed high-altitude fighter
FW 190 B-1 No Proposed high-altitude fighter
FW 190 C-0 No Proposed high-altitude fighter
FW 190 D-0 No Pre-production FW 190 D-9
FW 190 D-9 09.44 Fighter
FW 190 D-9/R11 Dirty weather fighter with FuG 125 radio
FW 190 D-10 No Fighter
FW 190 D-11 Fighter
FW 190 D-11/R20 PKS 12 radio
FW 190 D-11/R21 FuG 125 radio
FW 190 D-12 Fighter-bomber
FW 190 D-12/R5 Fighter-bomber
FW 190 D-12/R11 Dirty weather fighter
FW 190 D-12/R21 MW 50 injection
FW 190 D-12/R25 Jumo 213EB
FW 190 D-13 .45 Fighter
FW 190 D-13/R5 Fighter-bomber
FW 190 D-13/R11 Dirty weather fighter
FW 190 D-13/R21 MW 50 injection
FW 190 D-13/R25 Jumo 213EB
FW 190 D-14 No Fighter converted from D-9 and D-12
FW 190 D-15 No Fighter with DB 603
FW 190 E No Proposed reconnaissance aircraft

FW 190 F, G, H, and S FW 190 F-1 03.44 Re-designated FW 190 A-4/U3 fighter-bombers
FW 190 F-2 10.43 Re-designated FW 190 A-5/U3 fighter-bombers with ER 4 bomb-rack
FW 190 F-3 10.43 Fighter-bomber with underwing ETC 250 bomb-racks
FW 190 F-3/R1 Simplified bomb-release gear
FW 190 F-3/R3 Two underwing MK 103 30 mm cannon
FW 190 F-4 No Cancelled fighter-bomber
FW 190 F-5 No Cancelled fighter-bomber
FW 190 F-6 No Cancelled fighter-bomber
FW 190 F-7 No Proposed fighter-bomber with fuselage MG 131 13 mm machine-guns
FW 190 F-8 04.44 Fighter-bomber based on A-8
FW 190 F-8/U1 Two-seat trainer
FW 190 F-8/U2 Torpedo-bomber
FW 190 F-8/U3 Torpedo-bomber
FW 190 F-8/U4 Torpedo-bomber
FW 190 F-8/U5 Torpedo-bomber
FW 190 F-8/U14 Torpedo-bomber
FW 190 F-8/U15 Torpedo-bomber
FW 190 F-8/R1 05.44 Four ETC 50 underwing bomb racks
FW 190 F-8/R2 Two MK 108 30 mm cannon in underwing pods
FW 190 F-8/R3 Two MK 103 30 mm cannon in underwing pods
FW 190 F-8/R5 Long-range version of F-8/R3
FW 190 F-8/R8
FW 190 F-8/R11
FW 190 F-8/R13 Night fighter-bomber
FW 190 F-8/R14 Torpedo-bomber with BMW 801TU
FW 190 F-8/R15 Torpedo-bomber with BMW 801D-2
FW 190 F-8/R16 Torpedo-bomber
FW 190 F-9 Fighter bomber, armoured version of A-9 with BMW 801TS
FW 190 F-10 No Unbuilt
FW 190 F-11 No Unbuilt
FW 190 F-12 No Unbuilt
FW 190 F-13 No Unbuilt
FW 190 F-14 No Unbuilt
FW 190 F-15 Fighter-bomber entering production in May 1945
FW 190 F-16 Fighter-bomber with more armour
FW 190 F-16/R14 Proposed torpedo-bomber with BMW 801TJ
FW 190 G-0 No Pre-production fighter-bomber
FW 190 G-1 01.44 Fighter-bomber with Junkers bomb-rack
FW 190 G-1 Trop Tropicalised fighter-bomber
FW 190 G-2 01.44 Fighter-bomber with Messerschmitt bomb-rack
FW 190 G-2 Trop Tropicalised fighter-bomber
FW 190 G-2/N Night fighter-bomber
FW 190 G-3 10.43 Fighter-bomber with Focke-Wulf bomb-rack
FW 190 G-3 Trop Tropicalised fighter-bomber
FW 190 G-3/R5 Four Fragmentation bombs carried under wings
FW 190 G-3/N Night fighter-bomber
FW 190 G-4 Fighter-bomber with 3 ETC 503 bomb-racks
FW 190 G-4 Trop Tropicalised fighter-bomber
FW 190 G-5 No Planned fighter-bomber /TD>
FW 190 G-6 No Planned fighter-bomber
FW 190 G-7 No Planned fighter-bomber
FW 190 G-8 04.44 Fighter-bomber based on A-8
FW 190 G-8/R1 05.44
FW 190 G-8/R4 Fighter-bomber with GM 1 nitrous-oxide power-boost system
FW 190 G-8/R5 03.44 Fighter-bomber with BMW 801TU
FW 190 G-9 No Planned fighter-bomber with BMW 801F
FW 190 G-10 No Planned fighter-bomber with BMW 801F
FW 190 H-1 No Proposed high-altitude fighter
FW 190 S-5 Two-seat trainer
FW 190 S-8 Two-seat trainer

Ta 152 Ta 152 A-1 No Fighter with FuG 24 radio
Ta 152 A-2 No Fighter with FuG 24 radio
Ta 152 B-1 No Proposed fighter
Ta 152 B-2 No Proposed fighter
Ta 152 B-3 No Armoured fighter-bomber
Ta 152 B-4 No Fighter
Ta 152 B-4/R1 No Two machine-gun, two cannon
Ta 152 B-4/R2 No Five cannon
Ta 152 B-5 No Ta 152 V53
Ta 152 B-5/R11 No Ta 152 V19, V20 & V21
Ta 152 C-0 Short wing-span fighter
Ta 152 C-1 Short wing-span fighter
Ta 152 C-2 Short wing-span fighter with improved radio equipment
Ta 152 C-3 Short wing-span fighter with revised armament
Ta 152 E-2 No Reconnaissance
Ta 152 H-0 Pre-production fighter
Ta 152 H-0/R11 Fighter with engine boost
Ta 152 H-0/R21 Fighter with engine boost
Ta 152 H-0/R31 Fighter with engine boost
Ta 152 H-1 .45 Fighter
Ta 152 S-1 No Two-seat trainer

The U in a designation like FW 190 A-5/U8 stands for Umrüst Bausätze
The R in a designation like FW 190 A-4/R6 stands for Rüstsätze


B. Filley, Focke Wulf 190 in Action, Squadron/Signal Publications, Carrollton,

P. Rodeike, Focke-Wulf Jagdflugzeug ... , Struve Druck, Eutin, 1998

E.B. Ryle & M. Laird, Walk Around FW 190D, Squadron/Signal Publications,

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Lawrence Tandy
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Post by Lawrence Tandy » 16 Aug 2003 00:49

More detailed


Focke-Wulf FW 190 Variants
Books on the FW 190 !
Books on the Luftwaffe !

The air superiority fighters and interceptors, FW190A series, FW190D series and the TA152H
Designer: Prof. Kurt Tank
Engineering Team Leader: Rudolf Blaser
Manufacturer: Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG
Total aircraft built (all versions): 20000+


FW 190A Series


FW 190A-1
The first FW 190 to see service with the Luftwaffe
Delivery: June 1941
Total built: 120
Radial 14 Cylinder Radial BMW 801C-1 1550 hp (1140 kW)
Weight: n/a
2 x Rheinmetall-Borsig MG FF 20mm cannon
4 x MG17 7.9mm machine gun


FW 190A-2
Heavier armament when a new synchroniser for the Mauser MG151/20E cannon became available. The vertical stabilisers were also enlarged. Installed with modified 801C-2 engine.
Delivery: n/a
Total built: 420
BMW 801C-2 1550 hp (1140 kW)
Weight: 3850 kg
2 x Rheinmetall-Borsig MG FF 20mm cannon
2 x Mauser MG151/20E 20mm cannon
2 x MG17 7.9mm machine gun


FW 190A-3
Improved more powerful BMW 801D-2 engine
Delivery: Spring 1942
Total built: 420
BMW 801D-2 1730 hp (1272 kW)
Weight: 3850 kg
2 x Rheinmetall-Borsig MG FF 20mm cannon
2 x Mauser MG151/20E 20mm cannon
2 x MG17 7.9mm machine gun


FW 190A-4 (Modelled in WarBirds)
Installed with BMW 801D-2 engines with the ability to install the MW50 Methanol/Water injection system to boost engine power to 2100hp for 10 minutes (commonly referred to in flight-sim circles as WEP - War Emergency Power). However the MW50 wasn't available and was only installed in the A8 and later variants.
Delivery: July 1942
Total built: 900+
BMW 801D-2 1730 hp (1272 kW) (MW50 capable)
Weight: n/a
2 x Rheinmetall-Borsig MG FF 20mm cannon
2 x Mauser MG151/20E 20mm cannon
2 x MG17 7.9mm machine gun


FW 190A-5 (Modelled in Air Warrior)
The engine mount was extended to offset the change in centre of gravity in anticipation of heavier armament in the future.
Delivery: November 1942
Total built: n/a
BMW 801D-2 1730 hp (1272 kW)
Weight: n/a
2 x Rheinmetall-Borsig MG FF 20mm cannon
2 x Mauser MG151/20E 20mm cannon
2 x MG17 7.9mm machine gun


FW 190A-6
The MG FF 20mm cannons were replaced with MG151/20E 20 mm cannons. The wings were redesigned for the heavier cannon mount and had larger ammunition boxes.
Delivery: July 1943
Total built: 569
BMW 801D-2 1730 hp (1272 kW)
Weight: n/a
4 x Mauser MG151/20E 20mm cannon
2 x MG17 7.9mm machine gun


FW 190A-7
The MG17 7.9mm machine guns were replaced with the MG131 13mm machine guns.
Delivery: Nov 1943
Total built: 80
BMW 801D-2 1730 hp (1272 kW)
Weight: n/a
4 x Mauser MG151/20E 20mm cannon
2 x MG131 13mm machine gun


FW 190A-8 (Modelled in WarBirds)
Installed with the MW50 Methanol/Water injection system.
Delivery: n/a
Total built: 1334
BMW 801D-2 1730 hp (1272 kW) with MW50 2100 hp (1544 kW)
Weight: n/a
4 x Mauser MG151/20E 20mm cannon
2 x MG131 13mm machine gun


FW 190A-9
The last of the A series aircraft. The A9 was supposed to be powered by the more powerful 1765 kW (2400 hp) BMW 801 F engines. However these were unavailable and the 801TS was used instead. Plans to produce an A10 variant with the 801 F engines ended with the war.
Delivery: Autumn 1944
Total built: n/a
Weight: n/a
BMW 801TS 2000 hp (1470 kW) with MW50 (estimated) 2428 hp (1784 kW)
4 x Mauser MG151/20E 20mm cannon
2 x MG131 13mm machine gun


FW 190D "DORA" Series

The only D series aircraft to be produced in quantity was the D-9 or Dora 9 and was in fact the first production version. A few D-1s were built for evaluation purposes and the 2-8 designations were skipped.


FW 190D-9 "DORA 9" (Modelled in WarBirds)
The "long nose" version of the 190, to accomodate the new Junkers Jumo 213 engine. The tail was also lengthened to compensate for the change in the centre of gravity. The D series was developed out of the Luftwaffe need for a high altitude interceptor to counter the threat of high altitude American bombers including the B-29.
Delivery: August 1944
Total built: 650-700
V12 liquid cooled Junkers Jumo 213A-1
1776hp (takeoff), 1600hp (at 18K ft)
With MW50 boost (40 mins WEP total 10mins at a time)
2240 hp (sea level) 2000 hp (11,150 ft)
Weight: 7694 lbs empty 9840 normal 10670 maximum
2 x Mauser MG151/20E 20mm cannon (200 rpg)
2 x MG131 13mm machine gun (475 rpg)

357 MPH (sea level)
397 MPH (10830 ft)
426 MPH (21650 ft)
397 MPH (32800 ft)

Climb Rate
Time to 6560 ft - 2.1 mins
Time to 32801 ft - 16.8 mins


FW 190D-12
The D-12 was a fighter-bomber variant with a three-stage supercharged Jumo 213F-1 engine and more extensive armour.
Delivery: March 1945
Total built: few
Junkers Jumo 213F-1
2060hp (takeoff)
With MW50 boost (40 mins WEP total 10mins at a time)
1 x MK 108 30mm cannon
2 x MG151/20E 20mm cannon

453 mph (at 37,000 ft) with MW 50 boost


TA 152
Although not strictly part of the FW 190 series the TA152 series has sufficient ties to the 190 series to be included here. The TA152 series can be seen as further developments of the FW 190D high altitude fighter with structural and aerodynamic enhancements and new power plants. The designation change from FW to TA was to honour Prof. Kurt Tank, the designer of the extremely successful FW 190 series. Two versions were derived from modified FW 190D-9 airframes. These were the TA152B Begeleitjäger or Escort Fighter and TA 152H Hohenjäger or High-Altitude Fighter. A third version TA 152C was a complete redesign. Of these variants only the TA 152H were delivered to the Luftwaffe.


TA 152H-1
Used mainly for close support and top cover for Me262 bases during takeoff/landings. Kurt Tank himself was reportedly flying a TA 152H-1 when he was jumped by four P-51D Mustangs and escaped by opening the throttle and engaging the MW50 boost.
Delivery: January 1945
Total built: 150
V12 liquid cooled Junkers Jumo 213E-1
MW50 Methanol Water for low altitude boost
GM1 Nitrous Oxide for high altitude boost
1750hp (takeoff) 2050hp (MW50)
1320hp (32800ft) 1740hp (MW50)
Weight: 8642 lbs empty 10472 normal 11502 maximum
1 x MK108 30mm cannon (90 rpg)
2 x MG151/20E 20mm cannon (175 rpg)

332 MPH (sea level) 350 (MW50)
465 MPH (29530 ft) (MW50)
472 MPH (41010 ft) (GM1)

Climb Rate
3445 ft/min (alt n/a)


TA 152C-1
The model with the Daimler-Benz DB603 engine Kurt Tank always favoured. The war ended before any could be delivered to the Luftwaffe. It represents the pinnacle of German fighter aircraft development during WWII.
Delivery: Approved for production but never made before the war ended
Total built: n/a
Powerplant: Liquid cooled turbo supercharged Daimler-Benz 603LA
MW50 Methanol Water boost
2100hp (takeoff) 2300hp (MW50)
1750hp (29530ft)
1900hp (27560ft MW50)
Weight: 8849 lbs empty 10658 normal 11733 maximum
1 x MK108 30mm cannon (90 rpg)
2 x MG151/20E 20mm cannon (250 rpg)
2 x MG252 20mm cannon (175 rpg)

227 MPH (sea level) 356 (MW50)
436 MPH (37730 ft)
460 MPH (32810 ft MW50)

Climb Rate
3050 ft/min (alt n/a)


The Ground Attack, Close Support and Training variants
FW 190F, 190G and 190S Series
Various versions of the FW 190 were built for the attack and close support (Schlachtflugzeug) role designated FW 190F and extended range fighter-bomber, Jabo-Rei (Jagdbomber mit vergrosserter Reichweite) FW 190G. These had various combinations of bombs racks, rockets, heavier armour and main armament.
Two seat training versions (Schulflugzeug) were also built, designated FW190S.

Books on the FW 190 !
All of the information gathered here is collected from Web Sites on the Internet and at least 90% from Joe Baugher's excellent texts on each of the major variants. Please do visit these pages for an exhaustive reference on the FW 190 development history :
FW 190A, 190F, 190G, 190S FW 190D TA 152H, 152B, 152C
Return to WarBirds Page
Return to WarBird's Aircraft Page This page was created on Thursday, April 18, 1996 and last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2000

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Post by PanzerKing » 16 Aug 2003 22:22

Thanks for all of this great info, I appreciate it so much!

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Lawrence Tandy
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Post by Lawrence Tandy » 16 Aug 2003 22:53

No problem. If you need it I can find similar stuff on the '109.


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Post by Lawrence Tandy » 16 Aug 2003 22:56

Last edited by Lawrence Tandy on 16 Aug 2003 23:04, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Lawrence Tandy » 16 Aug 2003 22:58


Messerschmitt Bf 109
Germany's Memorable Fighter of WWII
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Unwanted at its inception, the Bf 109 became the most widely produced, the most respected, and the most varied Luftwaffe fighter. Over 30,000 of the nine major variants of Willy Messerschmitt's versatile aircraft were built. From its introduction in the Spanish Civil War, until the last Bf 109 model retired from the Spanish (!) Air Force in 1967, the 109 served for thirty years.

From the late 1920's, Dr. Willy Messerchmitt antagonized Erhard Milch, eventually Hitler's Secretary of State for Aviation, and thus Messerchmitt's company, Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFW), could not get much support from the German government. At one point, the Gestapo even called on Messerchmitt to question him about his contracts with the Romanian government. In 1933, his luck changed, when the Luftwaffe invited BFW to design a sports plane for an upcoming international air race. Messerschmitt, under tight deadlines, based his new aircraft on the work he had done for the Romanian sports plane.
The resulting Bf 108, the forerunner to the 109, flew in February, 1934, with a top speed over 200 MPH. Its performance at the races showed real promise, but due to Milch's influence, the Luftwaffe's request that year for a fighter was given to Focke-Wulf, Arado, and Heinkel, but not to BFW. By 1935, though, Messerchmitt was granted a development contract, something of a gamble. As a development-only contract, it represented a gamble. Milch made it clear that no production contract would follow. Messerchmitt relied on the superior qualities of his design, the Bf 109, to overcome Milch's opposition.

The prototype Bf 109V-1 was ready in August, 1935, Like its predecessor, the Bf 108, it was a low wing, all metal construction monoplane, with flush rivets, leading edge slats, and retractable landing gear. Its single-seat cockpit had a fully enclosed canopy. While none of the developments were revolutionary in 1935, Messerschmitt first put them all together in the Bf 109. Powered by a 695 HP twelve cylinder Rolls-Royce Kestrel engine, the Bf 109V-1 first flew in September of that year.

At first, the Luftwaffe pilots, from Ernst Udet on down, distrusted the aircraft. It seemed frail; its enclosed canopy was disconcerting; it had a very high wing loading; and its narrow track landing gear was prone to failure. (On this last point, their concerns were well founded. Landing gear troubles plagued the 109its entire career.)

But its speed and agility impressed the Luftwaffe skeptics; even Udet came around to support the plane. Even before the results of the competition were known, Messerschmitt pushed on with the second and third models. The Bf 109V-2 was powered by a 610 HP Junkers Jumo 210A but was otherwise similar to the V-1.

The V-3, the third prototype, was the first Bf 109 to be armed, carrying two 7.9mm MG17 machine guns and 1000 rounds of ammunition, as called for in the RLM spec. Otherwise similar to the first two examples, its first flight was delayed until May 1936, due to teething problems with the Jumo 210A engine.

Meanwhile, the Arado and Focke-Wulfe entries had foundered on poor performance and mechanical problems, and Heinkel’s He 112 could not match Messerschmitt’s entrant. Reports of the technologically advanced British Spitfire development added to the Bf 109's favor. Throughout the 1936 trials, the BFW fighter looked better and better, prompting the RLM to order ten Bf 109s. Udet's stunning performance in a Bf 109 at the Rechlin air show confirmed the decision. In front of Generalfeldmarschall Goering and other Luftwaffe brass, Udet intercepted four He 51s in a mock air battle, "destroyed" them, and then turned on a force of bombers and "destroyed" them as well.

In November 1936, the Bf 109V-4 flew. It mounted a third machine gun in the nose and otherwise resembled the V-3.

With production now guaranteed, BFW finished the prototyping with two more airplanes: the Bf 109V-5 and the Bf 109V-6, both equipped with an improved Jumo 210B engine.

With Nazi Germany committed to the Fascist forces in the Spanish Civil War, the Germans rushed these last three pre-production aircraft to Seville in December, 1936. Essentially, the final field-testing of the Bf 109 took place in actual combat, as the German “volunteers” of the Condor Legion immediately began flying missions.

Bf 109B – Bertha
The RLM had ordered 30 production aircraft, designated the Bf 109B. Carrying the latest 680 HP Jumo 210D engine, a wooden two-bladed prop, and only two cowling-mounted guns (the engine-mounted gun had caused overheating), the 109B began to be delivered in February 1937. These too were promptly shipped to Spain. At low altitudes, the maneuverable Russian Polikarpov I-15s and I-16s danced around the 109s; the Condor Legion pilots quickly learned to stay at high altitudes.

Back in Germany, both production and development of the design moved ahead. To augment BFW’s factories, the Fieseler company began license-production at the end of 1937. An improved, metal, variable pitch propeller, licensed by Hamilton Standard, was used in the later Bertha’s, as the Bf 109B was nicknamed. 700 HP Jumo 210G and 210Ga engines with fuel injection and two stage superchargers, powered the next development prototypes, the Bf 109V-7 and Bf 109V-8, respectively. Significantly, the V-8 carried four 7.9mm machine guns. While still equipped with the relatively light rifle-caliber weapons, at this point the Bf 109 began to resemble the heavily armed fighters of WW2. A V-9 variant carried 20mm cannons in the wings, but they proved unreliable.

The Daimler Benz powerhouse engine, the DB 600, powered four later developmental models: the V-10, V-11, V-12, and V-13. The V-13 (equipped with the DB601) set the world speed record in November 1937, at 379.38 MPH.

Bf 109C - Clara
From March 1938, as soon as the first Claras rolled off the Augsburg assembly lines, they were rushed to Spain. Capable of 290 MPH at altitude, the Bf 109C overmatched its Soviet adversaries in Spain. The C-1 added a pair of wing-mounted 7.9mm guns, included an FuG 7 radio, and visibly increased the radiator intake. Three more experimental models the C-2, C-3, and C-4 tested other, heavier gun configurations.
Bf 109 or Me 109 ?
What is right: Bf 109, Bf-109, BF-109, Bf109, Me 109, Me-109, ME 109, or ME109?

In 1938, during the production of the C version, Messerschmitt's global reputation has grown to the point where the Air Ministry suggested changing his company's name from Bayerische Flugzeugwerke to Messerchmitt A.G.. Subsequent aircraft would be identified with the "Me" prefix; those already in production, the 109, would retain the "Bf" designator. Nonetheless, many people began referring to the "Me 109," including the USAAF; contemporary air combat reports are filled with references to the "Me 109."

In German usage at the time, "Bf 109" was correct. No dash, lower case "f," not "Me 109," and including a space between "Bf" and "109." But confusion persists to this day. Try a web search on "Messerschmitt Me 109." You'll get almost as many hits as with the proper abbreviation.

Bf 109D - Dora
Daimler Benz’ state-of-the-art DB 600 series promised to be the ideal engine for the Bf 109. Not only was it powerful, but its fuel injection would not stall out during sharp aerial maneuvers, as carburetor systems could. With other programs, notably the He 111 also demanding the 600 series engines, the Bf 109D, “Dora,” was an interim solution, equipped with the Jumo 210 powerplant.

About 200 Doras were built, with subvariants identified with different armaments: D-1 tried the engine-mounted 20mm cannon with no more success than earlier models. D-2 reverted to four 7.9mm guns (two in the wings, two in the cowling). D-3 substituted 20mm cannon in the wings.

The Spanish Civil War
While sources vary on the number and type, most agree that 130-140 Messerschmitt Bf 109’s served in Spain: approximately 4 prototypes, 40+ Berthas, 5 Claras, 35 Doras, and 44 Emils. By early 1939, when the 109E’s arrived, the Republican opposition had nearly collapsed; twenty of these models were left behind for Spain’s air force. Read more at The Messerschmitt Bf 109 in Spain

Bf 109 pilots like Werner Moelders and Wolfgang Schellmann distinguished themselves in Spain. Moelders is credited with developing the “finger four” formation, which became the standard fighter formation for decades. Moelders scored 14 kills in Spain, the top German ace of that conflict. Over 200 German pilots flew with the Condor Legion, gaining precious combat experience that would serve them well in WW2. See the full list at Luftwaffe Aces of the Spanish Civil War

Bf 109E - Emil
Willy Messerschmitt’s promising fighter finally achieved its potential with the Bf 109E variant, powered by the cutting edge DB 601A. The Emil progressed through numerous subvariants. The prototypes Bf 109V-13 through Bf 109V-20 were considered as “E-0” types.

The Bf 109E-1, delivered in early 1939, introduced a three-bladed, variable pitch propeller and twin underwing radiator intakes. It was very fast and arguably the best fighter in the world at that time. By later WWII standards, it was still lightly armed, with four rifle caliber machine guns, two in the cowling and two in the wings.

By September 1939, when Germany attacked Poland, the Luftwaffe had almost 1,000 Bf 109’s in service, mostly “E” models. 200 took part in the Polish campaign, a third of them lost, mainly to ground fire.

During the ensuing “Phony War” on the Western Front, a hapless Luftwaffe pilot set his 109E down on the wrong side of the lines. The Brits rushed the plane back to Britain for a complete evaluation; the aircraft was startlingly superior to the Hawker Hurricane under all conditions and superior to the Supermarine Spitfire at lower altitudes. Today this aircraft sits on display at the RAF Museum at Herndon.

With a top speed of 350 miles per hour at altitude, the Bf 109E-3 took good advantage of the latest Daimler Benz motor, the 1200 horsepower DB 601Aa. It incorporated a stronger canopy and more cockpit armor. It upgraded the E-1’s weaponry by replacing the wing machine guns with MG-FF 20 millimeter cannons. Interestingly, the E-3 weighed under 6,000 pounds, less than half the weight of an American P-47. (Note: the Bf 109E-2 never reached production.)

With an improved, softer recoil mechanism, the MG-FF/M cannon which appeared on the Bf 109E-4 distinguished the E-4 from the earlier E-3. The MG-FF/M could also fire highly effective explosive shells.

The “Me 109” outclassed its opponents in the blitzkrieg against France of May 1940. Needing a fighter-bomber, Jagdbomber or Jabo, the Luftwaffe fitted some Emils with bomb racks and they effectively struck Channel shipping and land targets. Jabo modifications to the 109 were denoted with a “/B” suffix, for example, Bf 109E-1/B and Bf 109E-3/B.

Battle of Britain
For three months, the Bf 109 engaged the Hurricanes and Spitfires of the RAF in a momentous struggle for air superiority over the Great Britain. The airplane performed as required, but the distances from bases and the need to use the Messerschmitt in a bomber escort role took their toll. Early on the Bf 109 ranged freely while the Me 110's shepherded the bombers, but when the "shepherds" were mauled as badly as their flock by the RAF wolves, the Bf 109's were called on. Downed German pilots who parachuted safely, nonetheless, were lost for the duration as POWs; British pilots who hit the silk promptly returned.

By the end of October 1940, the British had lost 1,149 airplanes, mostly fighters. The Luftwaffe lost almost 1,800 aircraft, one third of them Bf 109s. For the first time, Hitler had been checked and a few months later he turned East, with devasting consequences.

Later Bf 109E's
Several more variations of the Emil followed. The DB 601N delivered 1,200 HP at take-off and permitted a one minute burst of 1,250 HP at 15,000 feet. The Bf 109E-4/N incorporated the new engine. Two fighter-reconnaissance variants, the 109E-5 and the 109E-6, reduced their armament (and weight) and added a Rb 21/18 camera. A Jabo variant, the E-7, was the E-4/N with a center mounted bomb rack.

The Bf 109E-8 and the Bf 109E-9 appeared late in 1940. Intended as a long-range fighter, the E-8 resembled the basic E-1 with a rack added for a drop tank. The E-9, another fighter-reconaissance variant, incorporated many previous enhancements, notably the DB 601N engine. Both of these were built in small quantities, the last of 4,000 Emils.

With the Luftwaffe committed to the North African campaign, "tropicalized" versions of the Bf 109E-4, -5, and -7 were introduced, with the suffix "/Trop." These modifications for desert warfare included filters over the air intakes and a desert survival kit.

Bf 109F - Friedrich
Early in 1940, Messerschmitt designed a major improvement to the Bf 109. The "F" model was planned to include structural and aerodynamic changes and a higher performance powerplant, the 1350 horsepower DB 601E. By tucking the radiators more tightly into the wings, the designers reduced drag and improved lift. The cowling was streamlined, the spinner enlarged, the propeller blades widened and shortened, the wingtips rounded, and the tail plane bracing struts removed. The prototype models V-21, V-22, V-23, and V-24 tested early versions of the DB 601E engine, the new wings, and other changes.

Armament for the 109F standardized on two cowling mounted 7.9mm machine guns and a 20mm cannon firing through the propeller shaft. The wing guns were eliminated, based on combat reports that the concentrated firepower of the fuselage guns was more effective than the converging bullet streams from the wings. As a bonus, the airplane's handling characteristics improved.

Deliveries of the Bf 109F-1, still powered by the DB 601N due to delays in the 601E, began in November 1940. Shortly the Luftwaffe test units reported losses, following violent vibrations and loss of control. The removal of the tail bracing struts had caused the problem, remedied by fitting reinforcing plates in the tail plane. The Bf 109F-2, introduced in February 1941 differed from the F-1 only in an improved MG 151 15 millimeter cannon. When Operation Barbarossa began in June 1941, the Friedrich was the Luftwaffe's frontline fighter; it had a field day against obsolete Soviet planes like the Polikarpov I-16.

Finally in 1942, the DB 601E was installed in the Bf 109F-3 and the Bf 109F-4. While the F-3 was otherwise like the F-2, the F-4 carried a larger caliber MG 151 20mm cannon, self-sealing fuel tanks, and better pilot armor. The F-4 was the ultimate Friedrich; it weighed 6,880 pounds, made 390 MPH at altitude, with a service ceiling of 39,400 feet. Several subvariants and modifications of the F-4 were built, notably the F-4/R6 which (at the insistence of Adolph Galland, fitted an extra pair of 20mm cannon in underwing gondolas. The plane's handling was adversely affected and they were limited to bomber interceptor roles. Another notable modification was the Bf 109F-4/Trop, which Hans Joachim Marseilles used to achieve most of his 158 victories in North Africa.

About 2,200 Friedrichs were built.

Bf 109G - Gustav
By 1942, the Bf 109 was getting long in the tooth; the Fw 190 would equip the Luftwaffe top fighter squadrons. But there weren't enough Fw 190's, and the Messerschmitt factories were tooled up for Bf 109 production. As a stopgap, the Gustav was designed around the latest Daimler Benz engine, in this case, the 1450 horsepower DB 605A. It also featured a pressurized cockpit for high altitude flight. The increased power and weight came at a price. The Bf 109, never easy to handle, in the "G" variant, became difficult for experts and hazardous for neophytes.

The Bf 109G-1, which first rolled off the lines in March 1942, was fitted with a pressurized cockpit, an engine-mounted 20mm Mauser MG 151 cannon, a pair of cowling-mounted 7.9mm MG 17 machine guns, and a pair of small air scoops just aft of the propeller. These directly cooled the DB605 engine, which was prone to overheating. (Overheating the DB605 caused oil to seep out and over the hot engine block, and catch fire. If in the air, the pilot had to bail out.)

With 24,000 Gustavs produced, the number of variants is truly bewildering, and complicated by Umruest-Bausatze (factory) and Ruestsaetze (field) modification kits.

Various suffixes distinguished Gustavs equipped as long-range fighters, recon fighters, and bomber destroyers. The Luftwaffe armed them with ever larger, more numerous weapons: extra 20mm or 30mm cannon in under-wing pods, 21 cm Dodel rocket launchers, and a short-barreled MK-108 30mm cannon that fired a low-velocity, but devastating, mine shell.

In the details of the Gustav variants, we can see the resource limitations of the Reich in 1944. The Bf 109G-2 differed from the G-1 only in its unpressurized cockpit. Tellingly, many more of them than the G-1 were built. Other modification kits substituted wood in the tail assembly for scarce aluminum. Such an array of pods, scoops, and bulges disfigured the Gustav that it also earned the nickname “Beule,” or “Bump.” Even the awkward efforts to cram oversize rockets and cannon into the small fighter, rather than developing an appropriate airframe for such big weapons, betrayed the desperation of German aviation late in the war.

The Bf 109G-6, the most numerous of the Gustavs, was the first to mount large caliber (13mm) machine guns, comparable to the 50 caliber Brownings found in most U.S. fighters. It also carried an engine-mounted 20mm cannon. Throughout the development of the Bf 109, Messerschmitt, unlike American designers, retained guns in the fuselage that fired through the propeller arc and were necessarily synchronized. U.S. fighter planes typically had guns in their wings, thus avoiding the extra hassle of synchronization gear. Like the G-2 and G-1, the G-6 and G-5 were nearly identical, except that the G-6 and G-2 omitted cockpit pressurization, and were built in larger numbers than their pressurized counterparts.

As further adaptations to the “G” version proliferated, the Bf 109G-10 was an attempt to standardize Gustav production and also introduce the latest DB 605D engine, a powerhouse that permitted a top speed of 429 MPH at altitude.

Bf 109K – Konrad
Based on the G-10, the Bf 109K was another attempt to bring some order to the chaos of variants, sub-variants, and modification kits which was disrupting supply and maintenance. The Konrad wielded the same weapons as its forerunner, two 13mm machine guns and a 20mm cannon, and only offered some minor changes to the canopy, tail wheel, tail plane, cowling, and spinner.

The first production models, the K-2 and K-4 (a pressurized version), arrived in October 1944. The K-6, a bomber destroyer, carried three 30mm cannon and two 13mm machine guns, a remarkably heavy armament. By this time the Reich was near collapse and very few K-6s or later Konrads were built.

Experimental Bf 109s
In its long life, the Bf 109 served as a platform for numerous experimental and radical ideas, from skis to a twin fuselage to the bizarre “Mistel” arrangement. A carrier version, the Bf 109T, actually reached production, 40 being built. After the cancellation of the German carriers, Peter Strasser and Graf Zeppelin, the Bf 109T’s were assigned to Norway and Heligoland, where their short take-off capabilities were useful. The Bf 109H was a high altitude fighter based on the Friedrich, adding a pressurized cockpit, extended wings, and a modified engine. The “H” did not progress beyond the prototype stage. A jet version, the Bf 109TL, was considered, as was a twin fuselage design, the Bf 109Z. The “Mistel” scheme mated a Bf 109 to a worn-out, pilotless Ju 88, which was packed with explosives. The Messerschmitt pilot flew the joined aircraft to the target and released the Ju 88, a primitive cruise missile. The Germans actually used this scheme in combat, against Scapa Flow and some Leningrad bridges.

* * * * * * * * *

By war’s end, only a few hundred Bf 109 G’s and K’s were left to face the massive Allied air fleets. Over 34,000 of Willy Messerschmitt’s fighter had been built and consumed in furtherance of Hitler’s destructive ambitions.


Messerschmitt Bf 109 by Robert Grinsell, Rikyu Watanabe (Illustrator) - an oversize hardback. While only 48 numbered pages, it includes many color profiles, B&W period photos, and diagrams. The text covers all the major and minor variants and sub variants. It's large color illustrations are its main attraction, especially the multi-page foldouts (really big!).

The Messerschmitt BF 109 by Greg Goebel, an excellent web article, more detailed than mine. He too relied on Grinsell's book.

The First and the Last by Adolph Galland. This book is a history of the air war over Europe from the German perspective, with a fair amount devoted to aircraft development, internal Luftwaffe problems, and such events as the Channel Dash. Even the Russian campaign and the American bombing strategy are surveyed. Relatively little on Galland's personal activities, dogfights, etc.

The Luftwaffe Fighter Force: The View from the Cockpit, by Adolf Galland (Editor), Dave C. Isby (Editor)

Also, some more good info found on one of Marcus' sites. ... tt-109.htm

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Post by Lawrence Tandy » 16 Aug 2003 22:59

Another FW-190 site with some pics.

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Post by PanzerKing » 17 Aug 2003 20:58

You're the man Lawrence! Thanks again, I'll be sure and put your name in the credits for the help too!

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Post by Lawrence Tandy » 17 Aug 2003 21:33

Thanks, it was no bother...just have alot of free time this weekend.

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Post by Erich » 18 Aug 2003 19:55

some corrections if I may add...

for the listed A-8/R-8 Fw 190 it should read Mk 108 not Mk 103 3cm weapon. The R-8 varaint became the Sturmböck standard as of November 1944 where the Mg 131 troughs were faired over and the mg's obviously deleted. The R-2 variant may include the mg 131 13mm units or just had open troughs without the aerodynamic enclosures and no mg 131's. In both cases because of the added weight of the steel plates and armor around fuel tanks, kanon and cockpit antoher 500 pounds plus of weight was added. An excelent platform for anti-bomber dutes but as a fighter vs fighter it was a suicide a/c.

Second the Fw 190A-9 many times had the outer 2cm wepaons removed and the prts faired over for intercepts against P-51's. This was a privelage taken on byt the pilot of his a/c and his crewmen. Also the A-9/R-11 may not have existed for ops. In theory it was suppose to have several helpful raido implements as well as a heated cabin. My cousin flew a supposed A-9/R-11 in 5./JG 301 but checking through staffeln records I am rather doubtful the small unit had this variant just the A-9.

There was no A-8/R-11 or A-6/R-11 as this again constituted radio developments within the cockpit but this was not a standard for these variants as well. It should read A-8/N and A-6/N, the N representing the useage of Neptun aerials/radar equipment within 1./NJGr 10 and Stab and II./JG 300......more in my books


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