Bf 109 K-4 Kills? Anything Exceptional?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Maximowitz, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    Were there any examples of notable kills using this variant by Luftwaffe pilots?

    Obviously I realise that records must be scarce, but any information regardless would be educational, as I notice there seems to be quite an interest on the K-4 here at the moment.


    I'd just like to say publicly a big thank you to Wurger for providing some excellent documents on the K-4 for me. Enjoy the "Bodenplatte!" :lol:
     
  2. maverick61

    maverick61 New Member

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    the K-4 . i've read aircraft of the aces book Me 109 aces. just 4 made a score of a ace one was with 8.10 kills. the rest was around 4 /7.
    it doesnt go into how they was flown . as im intrested too. in the K4.
    as i know it was fast for short periods 450 mph.on meths.
    hope this was as use.
    tj
     
  3. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    sadly many LW kills on the Ost front where the K-4 was flown have never been recorded or if they were have been lost
     
  4. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    It is difficult to track down without the detailed unit diaries because there were few, if any 'pure' K4 units, typically 109 Geschwadern operated a mix of G-14s, G-10 and K-4s towards the end of the war. Therefore its is difficult to say what type was used when a 'kill' was made...

    Of the top of my head, I recall reading a German 'operational experience' report, which mentions some Major shooting down (or at least claiming so) 3 Thunderbolts in one dogfight with his 109K, being forced to land afterwards due to combat damage to the coolant system.
     
  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    :oops: :oops: :oops:

    You are welcome My Dear.:D :D :D
    I thank you so much for the "Bodenplatte" :lol:
     
  6. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    I'm rather pleased that such illustrious members of the forum have chosen to post in this thread. Thank you for the insight gentlemen. :D
     
  7. Chocks away!

    Chocks away! Member

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    Unfortunately I think the Bf-109 Ks armament (2 x 13mm, 1 x 30mm) isnt' the best option for multiple fighter kills, rather it was a compromise to engage bombers without extra cannon gondolas.
     
  8. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    in essence when most of the JG's moved to the Ost front to defend Berlin after the end of January 45 the armament does remain effective especially against numerous ground attack and twin engine bombers the Soviets used to hamper retreating German divisions as well as pounding numerous cities.

    also the 3cm nose mounted cannon was replaced at times with the tried and true 2cm MG 151/20
     
  9. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    How many K-4's were made?
     
  10. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    According to the Monogram book on the K-4 over 750 machines were built. I have no idea if that is accurate though. Anyone?
     
  11. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Thanks how do you get 8 kills and a tenth?
     
  12. Chocks away!

    Chocks away! Member

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    Yeah I can imagine it being a great Il-2 killer.

    I didn't know some Bf-109Ks were fitted with the Mg 151, thanks for the info.
     
  13. KrazyKraut

    KrazyKraut Banned

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    Could this be done "in the field"? I seem to recall the nose cannon variations on earlier 109s were "Umrustbausatze", which iirc were done in the factories.
     
  14. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    Do you have any specific evidence to that...? I have seen it in some books, even with Prien, but I have some serious doubts

    Its not that easy as swapping the guns, as there were some structural requirements, the "Lafetten" were different, the MK 108 had the ammo bay in the fuselage while the MG 151/20 had the ammo boxed in the left wing root etc.

    @Maximowitz,

    1593 109Ks are known to have been built up to the end of March 1945, this one is from the German delivery docs. How many in remainder of the war - unknown. 856 was produced until the end of 1944.

    Almost all by Regensburg, Erla just started production in April when US forces overrun it. The other 109 factories kept producing G-10 instead as it used the same G-aiframe they had already tooled up for. As the G-10 was largely built with 109K internals (ie. same engine, generator etc), it ensured that there would be sufficient montly production of an 'almost-a-109K' hybrid aircraft, at the same time, it provided a much simpler supply chain.
     
  15. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Chocks,

    >Unfortunately I think the Bf-109 Ks armament (2 x 13mm, 1 x 30mm) isnt' the best option for multiple fighter kills

    Hm, I actually think it's excellent for multiple fighter kills due to the high destructiveness of the shells. The total destructiveness of the 60 rounds of 30 mm ammunition carried by the Me 109 is quite high, so if a pilot rejects low-probability shots his ammunition supply is good for quite a few kills.

    The high firepower actually is a great advantage in a dogfight as it facilitates non-tracking kills, while with a lower-firepower weapon you'd likely have to "saddle up" for a tracking shot. Flying a pursuit course of course makes you more vulnerable for other opponents as your path is predictable, and if the target burns its energy in violent manoeuvres, your energy goes out of the window too if you try to follow.

    At the preferred kill ranges for WW2 fighters (below 250 m), the low muzzle velocity of the MK 108 is not much of a disadvantage - and having a centreline mounted weapon that hits close to the aim point regardless of the orientation of the wings is a useful advantage.

    >rather it was a compromise to engage bombers without extra cannon gondolas.

    It is commonly thought that the MK 108 was a dedicated anti-bomber weapon, but it was actually developed before enemy bombers became a problem, and as far as I know the design goal was simply a superior air-to-air cannon. At least, I have never seen any evidence for the anti-bomber story.

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  16. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Hohun, at that stage of the war, were they concerned about dogfighting or just getting to the bombers? While I agree with what you say I think the dynamics of what Germany was trying to do were a little different than, say, 1940. Could this be so?

    After thinking it over, I guess what I'm asking is was the K-4 developed as a dogfighter or anti-bomber role?
     
  17. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    I know the odds were 60/1 against the Luftwaffe when the K-4 was in service. A good battle to study is the defensive line at the Oder and Seelow Heights. At this juncture in the war the Germans were trying to preserve aircraft and lives more the obtaining kills.
     
  18. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello HoHun
    I have a bit difficulty with this.
    Quote:” At the preferred kill ranges for WW2 fighters (below 250 m), the low muzzle velocity of the MK 108 is not much of a disadvantage - and having a centreline mounted weapon that hits close to the aim point regardless of the orientation of the wings is a useful advantage.”

    IMHO the problem was that pilots usually underestimated the range often grossly. Ie when they thought they were firing from 250m they often were firing in reality from 350-400m or even farther away.

    IMHO gravity drop was same where-ever weapon was put and any kind of bank bought in a side component to firing solution because of that.

    Juha
     
  19. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Njaco,

    >Hohun, at that stage of the war, were they concerned about dogfighting or just getting to the bombers?

    The development of the MK 108 commenced pretty early, so if you mean that stage - they were just concerned about effective air-to-air weaponry and probably had no idea what the sky above Germany would look like in 1944.

    >After thinking it over, I guess what I'm asking is was the K-4 developed as a dogfighter or anti-bomber role?

    The Me 109K-4 simply was an evolution of the general-purpose fighter Me 109G-6 with a stronger engine and some aerodynamic improvements.

    A specialized anti-bomber version of the Me 109K was projected under different sub-version numbers, and it would have included MK 108 wing guns mounted internally (in a similar way as the Hispano wing guns were later mounted in the Spanish Messerschmitts).

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  20. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Juha,

    >IMHO the problem was that pilots usually underestimated the range often grossly. Ie when they thought they were firing from 250m they often were firing in reality from 350-400m or even farther away.

    Nevertheless, the typical kill ranges were below "true" 250 m, not "perceived" 250 m.

    >IMHO gravity drop was same where-ever weapon was put and any kind of bank bought in a side component to firing solution because of that.

    At ranges out to 250 m, gravity drop hardly matters anyway.

    The advantage of a centreline weapon is that it has no lateral offset from the aiming point, so that regardless of the relative angle between target flight vector and shooter, the fire is concentrated in a single point. If you fire at 100 m range, with guns harmonized to 250 m and 2.5 m out from the centreline (the setup of the P-47), you hit zones are 1.5 m out on each side of the aim point. A typical fighter fuselage fits conveniently between these hit zones, causing it to be missed if its oriented vertically in the gunsight.

    This has quite an impact tactically. The pilot of a wing-gun aircraft has to achieve not only a "technical" firing solutions, but also control the relative roll position of his aircraft to maximize firepower, something the pilot of a centreline-gun aircraft doesn't need to care about. The centreline guns really give higher-probability shooting opportunities in a dogfight.

    Mölders reportedly stated "One cannon in the nose is better than two in the wings". (When Galland later was asked by Hitler what his opinion in this issue was, he replied "I'd rather have all three". Enter the Me 109 with wing gondolae ...) Now Mölders' statement certainly is a simplification as much depends on the tactical situation, but it's interesting to note that his statement was based on combat experience in dogfighting the maneuvrable Hurricanes and Spitfires of the RAF, and not on anti-bomber combat.

    (I believe Tony Williams once posted a RAF report which expressed the opinion that the cannon setup of the Me 109F was considered superior to that of the Spitfire by RAF pilots ... but maybe we should better dig up that report before we draw conclusions from it as my memory is not always perfectly reliable.)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
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