Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Book Review

Focke-Wulf Ta 154: Luftwaffe Reich Defence Day and Night Interceptor

Series:  Luftwaffe Classics #31

By Dietmar Hermann

Hardcover in dustjacket, 224 pages, bibliography, appendices, and index

Published by Crecy Publishing, October 2021

Language: English

ISBN-13: 978-1-91080-994-5

Dimensions: 9.0 x 0.9 x 12.0 inches

The Focke-Wulf Ta 154 was a twin-engine Luftwaffe fighter design.  With over half of its airframe weight being made of wood it is often compared to the Royal Air Force’s de Havilland Mosquito, to the point it is generally referred to as the “Moskito”, a name which the author points out was never mentioned in Focke-Wulf or Luftwaffe documents.  While the prototypes were impressive performers, the design had little room for development due to the decision to keep size to a minimum, and performance suffered as equipment such as armament and radar were added to the airframe.

The prototype’s first flight was in July 1943, which was unfortunate timing.  As Allied bombing raids against the Reich intensified in strength, frequency, and effectiveness, the German aircraft industry was directed to concentrate on producing single-engined fighters to combat the Allied bomber streams.  An assessment of the Ta 154s’ strengths versus limitations resulted in only slightly more than a few dozen being completed and entering service before the program was terminated.

The book is a fascinating design study of the development of the Ta 154, using original factory drawings and documentation, as well as seemingly every photo of the aircraft ever taken.  These are reproduced in large format on glossy paper so every detail can be seen, a boon for modelers.  In some places the text suffers from translation from the original German, a reflection of the difficulty in technical aeronautical engineering terms.  Aviation enthusiasts should be able to discern the intended meaning, in others instances the errors should have been caught by the editorial team, such as the misspelling in the sub-title.

The Luftwaffe Classics series are well-researched, quality publications and this volume is no exception.  The high production standards, artwork, research, and reliance on primary sources ensure that these volumes represent the definitive works on their subjects.  If you have any interest in the subject aircraft, buy the book while it is still in print.  You will not be disappointed, and these volumes reliably go for stupid money on the collectors’ market after they go out of print.  Recommended.

Dragon Focke-Wulf Ta 152 H-0 of Oberfeldwebel Walter Loos in 1/72 Scale

Walter Loos didn’t join his first operational unit until January 1944, and was one of the few late arrivals to survive the war.  He served with the Sturmgruppe IV./JG 3, whose mission was to penetrate the massed American bomber formations in heavily armored Focke-Wulf Fw 190’s and engage the bombers at close range.  While he was credited with destroying 22 heavy bombers, he was himself shot down 9 times.  He was credited with a final score of 38 aerial victories.

The model represents Loos’ Ta 152H-0 of Stab/JG 301 based at Neustadt-Glewe in Germany during April 1945.


Aoshima Tank Ta 152 H-1/R-11 of Oberfeldwebel Willie Reschke in 1/72 Scale

This is the Aoshima kit of the Tank Ta 152 H-1/R-11 of III. /JG 301 flown by Oberfeldwebel Willie Reschke.  He scored 27 victories during the war, including three while flying Green 9 and an earlier one by ramming, but was shot down eight times himself and wounded once.  He survived the war.

The kit is Aoshima’s Ta 152 with a Quickboost replacement cowling and scratchbuilt wheelwells.  Reference for this aircraft is Hitchcock’s volume 3 of the Monogram Monarch series, published by Eagle Editions.  The profile of this machine on page 160 shows Green 9 with the horizontal bar of III Gruppe, which differs from the markings in other references but is consistent with Luftwaffe marking practices .