Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Kagero Monographs Book Review

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Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A, S, F, G

Series: Kagero Monographs Special Edition Book 12

By Krzysztof Janowicz, translated by Neil Page, drawings by Maciej Noszczak, profiles by Janusz Światłoń and Arkadiusz Wróbel

Hardcover, 272 pages, heavily illustrated, 26 color profiles, line drawings

Published by Kagero, February 2020

Language: English

ISBN-10: 83-66148-72-6

ISBN-13: 978-83-66148-72-7

Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.0 x 11.75 inches

Dozens of books on the Focke Wulf Fw 190 have been written.  Most modelers with even a passing interest in the Luftwaffe will likely have a few on their shelves.  In my case more than a few, and a new volume is published almost every year.  So the question arises, do we need another book on the Fw 190?  Need is probably not the best word, but there are a number of things to recommend this book.

The text begins with the technical history of the type, beginning with the evolution of the “A” series fighter variants.  “F” and “G” fighter-bombers follow and the differences between the mission optimization is addressed well as these were not all intended to have the same roles, the “F” series being what we might call close support while the “G” were optimized for longer-range strike missions.

The narrative then shifts to descriptions of the Fw 190 in service.  This is arranged by theater rather by unit and includes detailed descriptions of individual actions along with first-hand anecdotes from the participants.  These flow logically and are easy to follow.

The text is augmented by a huge number of photographs.  There are literally pictures on every page.  These are reproduced well and are nicely captioned.   Many of these are factory photographs of details and sub-assemblies which will be of particular interest to modelers.  The bulk are of the Fw 190 in service at the fronts, some of which are familiar, others not.

The major strength of this volume lies in the drawings.  This section opens with a selection of Focke Wulf technical illustrations showing the various internal systems.  This is followed by several pages of 1/48 scale line drawings of all the developments of the series, with supplementary details in 1/24 scale where useful.  Next is a series of 1/72 scale drawings, but this time attention is drawn to the changes between variants by shading the modified areas.  As if all this weren’t enough, these are three additional sheets of drawings included as loose inserts, one set in 1/48 scale and two in 1/32.  Rounding out the artwork are twenty-six full color side profiles, several of which are supplemented with color plan views.

All in all this makes a vey nice package for the Luftwaffe enthusiast.  The narrative is nicely written and there is a lot of visual interest in the selection of the photographs.  The drawings are very useful for identifying the plethora of modifications and will certainly help sort out the confusion in identifying sup-types.  The pricing of this book makes it very attractive and I can recommend it without reservation.

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Eduard Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8/R8 Sturmbock of Karl Rusack in 1/72 Scale

Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8/R8 Sturmbock of Karl Rusack, 5./JG 300, Löbnitz Germany, January 1945, built from the Eduard kit.

Fw 190A-8/R8 Sturmbock of Karl Rusack, 5./JG 300, Löbnitz Germany, January 1945.  Rusack was credited with five victories.  He was shot down in April 1945 and survived the war.  The aircraft is finished in a standard 74 / 75 / 76 scheme, oversprayed with dark green veins to provide better concealment on the ground from prowling Allied fighters. This aircraft is profiled in Claes Sundin’s Luftwaffe Fighter Aircraft in Profile No 1 and Kagero’s Fw 190s over Europe Part 2, which also provided the decals.

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Eduard Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8/R8 of Willi Unger in 1/72 Scale

Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8/R8 of Unteroffizer Willi Unger, 12./JG 3, Barth Germany, 20 May 1944.  Built from the Eduard kit.

Fw 190A-8/R8 of Unteroffizer Willi Unger, 12./JG 3, Barth Germany, 20 May 1944.  Ungar achieved 24 victories, 21 of them heavy bombers.  He survived the war.  This aircraft is fitted with the unusual Krebs Gerät (crab device), a 21cm mortar which was designed to fire backwards as the fighter passed through an Allied bomber formation.  It was quickly withdrawn from service as being impractical to aim accurately.  Markings are from EagleCals #8.

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Eduard Fw 190A-8/R8 of Friedrich-Karl Frank in 1/72 Scale

Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8/R8 of Fw. Friedrich-Karl Frank, II. (Sturm)/JG 4, Welzow Germany, September 1944.  Eduard kit.

This is the Fw 190A-8/R8 of Feldwebel Friedrich-Karl Frank, II.(Sturm)/JG 4, Welzow Germany, September 1944.  Frank scored one victory, but was wounded and bailed out from this aircraft on 09NOV44 over Kovarska, Czechoslovakia.  He was later killed in a take-off collision with another Fw 190.

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Eduard Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8 of II./JG 300 in 1/72 Scale

Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8 II./JG 300, Bayreuth-Bindlach Germany, Spring 1945.  Eduard kit.

Fw 190A-8 II./JG 300, Bayreuth-Bindlach Germany, Spring 1945.  Unknown pilot, but interesting markings.  The snake marking indicates this aircraft was assigned to JGr. 10, a unit tasked with developing weapons and tactics to combat American heavy bombers.  Later this aircraft was reassigned to JG 300 as evidenced by the Reichsverteidigung (Reich Defense) fuselage band.

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Eduard Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8 of Hans Dortenmann in 1/72 Scale

Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8 of Lt. Hans Dortenmann, 2./JG 54, Villacoublay France, June 1944.

Leutnant Hans Dortenmann was shot down in this aircraft near Paris on 26JUN44 but survived by bailing out.  Dortenmann claimed 38 victories, 16 in the East and 22 in the West. He scored 18 of these with the Fw 190 D-9, making him the most successful fighter pilot in the Dora.  He survived the war.

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Eduard Focke Wulf Fw 190A-7 of Rolf Hermichen in 1/72 Scale

This is the Focke Wulf Fw 190A-7 of Hptm Rolf Hermichen Stab I./JG 11, Rothenburg Germany, 8 March 1944, built using the Eduard kit.

Rolf Hermichen survived the war, claiming 64 victories including 26 four engined bombers.  JG 11 experimented with RLM 76 overspray on the fuselage sides to make their aircraft less conspicuous in the air.  This aircraft is profiled in Claes Sundin’s More Luftwaffe Fighter Aircraft in Profile and Kagero’s Fw 190s over Europe Part 1, which also provided the decals.  The A-7 variant was less common than the A-8, the easiest way to recognize one is the pitot tube is located just outboard of the cannon on the starboard wing on the A-7 instead of the wingtip as on the A-8.

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Eduard Focke Wulf Fw 190A-7 Neptune of Klaus Bretschneider in 1/72 Scale

This is the Focke Wulf Fw 190A-7 Neptune of Klaus Bretschneider, 6./JG 300, Rheine Germany, March 1944, built from the Eduard kit.

Klaus Bretschneider shot down 34 enemy aircraft; 14 RAF bombers at night, and 20 day-victories including 17 USAAF four engine bombers.  He was shot down and killed in December 1944.

The Neptune radar aerials on this model were made from insect mounting pins.  Markings are from EagleCals #89.

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Captured Focke-Wulf Fw 190s of the 79th Fighter Group

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Not to be out done by their sister squadrons, the 79th Fighter Group / 85th Fighter Squadron “Flying Skulls” restored at least three Fw 190s to flying condition.  Here are two which they discovered at Gerbini, Sicily in August 1943.
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One of the aircraft was this Fw 190A-5 of II Gruppe of Schnellkampfgeschwader 10 (II./SKG 10), Werk Nummer 181550.  Mechanics of the 85th FS have already begun painting out the Luftwaffe markings.
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“B” wore the standard Luftwaffe camouflage of RLM 74/75/76 when captured.  The US insignia is applied over a yellow band and the Hakenkreutz on the tail has been painted out.  The rectangular patch just aft of the “B” within the yellow band on the radio access panel was retained even after the aircraft was repainted.
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A nice view of the starboard side showing details of the original Luftwaffe camouflage.  The Wk.Nr is visible on the tail.

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A color photograph after repainting showing the fuselage was repainted with a dark camouflage color.  Wings and horizontal tail planes are yellow with red tips, the forward cowing and spinner are also red.  The Flying Skulls unit insignia appears on both sides of the fuselage and there is evidence of an inscription below the cockpit which has been painted out.

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The 85th toured their prize to other Allied units in Sicily.  This and the following photographs were taken by Bob Hanning while the aircraft was visiting the 57th Fighter Group.  Three sets of red, white, and blue stripes now adorn the rudder.
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Details of the paintjob are visible in this stern view.  The fuselage color extends over the wing roots.  US insignia were applied in all six positions.  The tips of the wings and of the horizontal stabilizers are trimmed in red.  Note the backs of the propeller blades have been stripped of paint by dust, a very common occurrence.
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In addition to tail stripes, “Jones’ Flying Circus” has been added to the cowl.  The inscription which was overpainted on the fuselage sides is unknown.
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A similar view giving a good look at the 85th FS Flying Skulls insignia.  A small rectangle under the windscreen carries lettering which unfortunately cannot be made out in the photograph.
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A nice side view as the aircraft taxis.  The fuselage color could be any one of several choices, as the ground crews would have had access to Luftwaffe, Regia Aeronautica, RAF, and U.S. paint stocks.
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A fine color study of a second aircraft, a Fw 190A-5Trop, Wk.Nr. unknown.  The tropical air filters are obvious on the sides of the cowling and this aircraft has a red fuselage instead of the dark fuselage of the first aircraft.  In black-and-white photographs both aircraft appear quite similar and this has resulted in many researchers confusing the two.
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Compare the details of this photograph with the earlier color picture of W.Nr. 181550 and you will begin to notice differences.  The Flying Skull insignia is placed higher and further aft on this aircraft.  The fuselage band is narrower, and is actually a color similar to ANA 616 Sand or RAF Middlestone with yellow trim.  Also there is a lighter patch forward just under the fuselage gun cover.
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A nice perspective view confirms the yellow wings and stabilizers with red tips, just like the previous aircraft.  Note that there is not as much wear on the back side of the propeller blades.
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A nice view of the aircraft in flight.  The fuselage red extends over the wingroots but does not go as far onto the wing as Wk.Nr. 181550.
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Another aerial shot showing the port side.  This aircraft does not appear to have carried the “Jones’ Flying Circus” inscription.  The yellow fuselage band lacks the rectangle on the radio access panel.
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In this view the inscription block under the windscreen is visible.  The two aircraft appear quire similar in monochrome photographs but quite different in color.
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The third 85th Fighter Squadron Focke Wulf was this Fw190G-3, Wk.Nr. 160057, note the drop tank fairings under the wings.  This is also a schnell bomber, it is possible all three aircraft served with II./SKG 10 before capture.  This aircraft carried the red bordered and barred US insignia in four positions.  The red cowling and cockpit have been covered, but the camouflage netting is doing little to conceal the rest of the aircraft.
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The overall white finish really stands out.  The cowling and spinner are in red, as is the fuselage band.  The anti-glare panel is in black.  The tail is striped in the pre-war USAAC convention of thirteen red and white stripes with a blue vertical band.
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This aircraft was shipped back to the United States in January 1944 where it was assigned Foreign Equipment number FE-116 and evaluated by the U.S. Navy.  The Navy gave it the standard “three tone” paint scheme (which was often more than three tones).
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Wk.Nr. 160057 was first evaluated by the Technical Air Intelligence Unit at NAS Anacostia and later flown to NAS Patuxent River.

Eduard Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-6 of Günther Schack in 1/72 Scale

Focke Wulf Fw 190A-6 of Günther Schack, 8./JG 51, Orel-Slowitzki USSR, 15 July 1943

This is the Fw 190A-6 of Leutnant Günther Schack of 8./JG 51 as profiled by Claes Sundin in his book Luftwaffe Fighter Aircraft #3. Schack was on my list of missing Experten schemes for quite some time so I was very happy to find his aircraft illustrated in Sundin’s book.  Schack claimed 174 victories on the Russian front and was shot down 15 times himself.  He survived the war.  The camouflage is the standard 74 / 75 / 76 with a dense green overspray.

Eduard’s Fw 190A-8 Royal Class boxing provides everything you need to build A-6 and A-7 versions using the standard wing and unarmored fuselage parts.  Here is an A-6 “conversion” using the earlier upper cowling parts.  The pitot tube is moved from the wing tip to the middle of the wing.  The latches molded into the top of the cowling panels are filled, as is the circular panel line on the belly for the MW tank.  If the centerline rack is carried it should be moved back about 3mm.  Decals from the spares box.

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