Mosquito FBVI v. Fw190 dogfight

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Mick, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. Mick

    Mick New Member

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    I'm doing some research for a screenplay I'm writing and have a found a description of a real dogfight between a Mosquito FBVI and an Fw190. I can't quite grasp the sequence of events, but essentially, the Mosquito climbs away from the 190 and, somehow, manages to turn the tables on its German pursuer. I would normally have contacted the author in the first instance, but seeing he passed away some years ago I was was wondering if someone might be able to suggest how a climbing Mossie could manage to outwit his 190 opponent.

    Could he somehow slow the rate of climb sufficiently so that the Fw190 shot past him? I've heard of deliberately stalling aircraft but, quite clearly, I am out of my depth here (obviously!). I would, therefore, be most grateful for any suggestions. If anyone has any other thoughts – it doesn't have to follow this particular scenario – then I am open to ideas.

    In anticipation,
    Mick
     
  2. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to guess this happened at night. The Mosquito could easily pull away, lose itself in the night, then using it's radar it could shoot down the Fw190. That is something the Mosquito's were quite adept at doing.
     
  3. Mick

    Mick New Member

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    Hi Thorlifter
    Thanks for the response. Sorry, I didn't make that clear. Actually, our Mosquito and the rest of its squadron were attacked by a Fw190 Staffel on the way back from a low-level daylight raid over France.
     
  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    If it would be at night it had to be quite easy to avoid the Fw190 attack. But Fw190 operating at nights wasn't something common. So it must have been a dogfight at the daylight.
    Also I don't think the Mossie slowed the rate of climbing because the maximal speed of the "The Wooden Wonder" was the main "weapon" against German fighters.
     
  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Oops.... we have crisse-crossed our posts.
     
  6. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    For what its worth it was a standard practice if Mossies were being intercepted by fighters for the rear section to turn and go head on with the chasing fighters, distrupt the attack and keep going for home while the rest of the formation carried on to the target. But a climbing dogfight I find difficult to go with.
    However it should be remembered that the Luftwaffe had a lot of inexperienced pilots for the later stages of the war and this may well have been a factor. Its more difficult than most people realise to see an aircraft in the air from another aircraft, and if the 190 pilot didn't see him or lost sight of him, then enything is possible.
     
  7. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps Erich would know. Mick, do you have a date and the Staffel #?
     
  8. Kryten

    Kryten Member

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    I have heard of Mosquito crews being briefed, when engaged by a single engined fighter to go to WEP and run with the S/E on the tail untill the fighter turns back due to fuel, crews were then told to use discretion whether they then turned to engage!
    basically they had the option to run down the fighter who had no fuel to fight!
    this was over the channel however, no clues as to whether this was advised anywhere else?
     
  9. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    #9 mhuxt, Oct 17, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
    More details would help, as posted above, got a date? I'm aware of a number of Mossie/190 encounters, though what you're describing doesn't ring a bell. Could imagine a scenario in which the Mossie climbed to avoid a diving attack on its beam - if the 190 kept turning after passing the Mossie, it might have allowed the British aircraft to cut inside its turning circle, though that's a rookie mistake.

    Another possibility is a climb to avoid a diving attack from astern - if the 190's speed carried it past the Mossie, it might have come under fire.

    Again, more details would help. Mossie FBs in squadron strength over France sounds like 2nd TAF, possibly Coastal Command if the raid was on coastal / naval facilities - I think CC attacked some naval oil storage dumps. From memory, the only 2nd TAF / 190 dogfights were Bob Braham's daylight ranger sorties. I believe CC had some dogfights with single-engine fighters in around July '44.

    Again, more info please.
     
  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I thought it might have been the struggle of the Coastal Command 333 Squadron against Fw190As of 12./Jg5
     
  11. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    Yes, wondered that myself, however 333 flew against Norway, not France, and tended to do so singly as recce craft or as pairs when flying as outriders to strike wing attacks.
     
  12. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Yep... also true.
     
  13. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    In RAF tactical trials, it was found that the early FW 190s - A3 and (underperfoming) A4 tested - were very slightly slower than the Mosquito Mk VI at sea level, but much superior in terms of rate of climb, around 700 ft/minute at sea level and increasingly superior as the aircraft got higher. Later Mk VI aircraft, with more powerful Merlin 25s, were much better in terms of speed and rate of climb, but its opponents weren't standing still either in terms of development.

    The RAF assessment of the Mosquito as a fighter against other single-seat types indicates that it was not very satisfactory, having very heavy controls in turns in excess of 3G and an general inability to get on the offensive against opponents.

    Therefore, I'd suspect that climbing away from a FW 190 was either an escape tactic of last resort or a very aggressive and opportunistic offensive move on the part of the Mosquito pilot.

    Much depends on the relative energy states of the two aircraft.

    If the Mosquito was traveling significantly faster than the FW 190, it could have used a zoom climb to trade speed for altitude and a superior position, allowing it to dive back on the opposing aircraft. Look up the air combat maneuvers known as the 'high yo-yo', 'displacement roll' and 'lag roll' for an indication on how the combat could have occurred.
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    All sorts of "impossible" things happen in a conflict as large as WWII. For instance Hans Rudel mentions Ju-87s mixing it up with fighter aircraft and prevailing.

    Personally I wouldn't recommend attacking single seat fighter aircraft with light bombers or dive bombers. But sometimes you just get lucky.
     
  15. post76

    post76 Member

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    It also reminds me of that SBD pilot who fought off three Zeros.
    It would not be a typical outcome.
    I also think hind-site plays towards biased.
    It plays toward what the story teller wants to believe happened.
    Its what they don't say sometimes and may have nothing to do with wit or skill.
    It could be as simple as the FW-190 not having sufficient fuel to maintain combat or pace, particularly if it was a long chase.
    It would be an interesting topic of research if you can find the pilots record.
     
  16. Mick

    Mick New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Many thanks for all your contributions. I'm sure many of you will have heard of this operation. Known as 'Jericho', it was an attack on Amiens Jail in February 1944 to free French resistance prisoners. On the way back this incident occurred:

    'Spotting a 190 obviously eyeing his aircraft, a Mossie navigator readied the gun-sight mounted several feet above his guns and awaited the pounce he was certain was coming.
    The 190 was sitting around beyond range on the Mosquito’s left, and staying there for the moment, obviously reporting to reinforcement Luftwaffe squadrons headed towards them.
    Easing back his control column, the Luftwaffe pilot took his machine up in a gentle climb, training forward guns on the bomber, anticipating that it would dive steeply to port as soon as he attacked. Only just beneath it, he opened up, but the Mossie's cannon replied with interest. The 190's machine-gun muzzles raked the bomber's fuselage fore and aft, ripping though its body.
    Badly hurt, the aircraft twisted and pushed itself upwards at full power into the sky. Flying suit soaked with perspiration, hands wet on the sticks, sweat pouring into his eyes near blinding him, the Mossie pilot turned to counter attack.
    As the aircraft soared, the pull-out force almost made him black out. Bending his head between his knees to bring the blood back to it, he prayed nothing would ram him while he was striving to regain total consciousness. As his head cleared, the 190 became larger every second until it filled his vision and his navigator's sights. Guns firing, they almost crashed before the Mosquito plunged away vertically.
    There was a flash from the 190, and it lurched. Swooping back over it, trying for a coup de grace, the Mossie fired again. The Focke^s complete cockpit cover split away and the Mosquilo pilot and navigator dodged pieces of fuselage as the shattered aircraft disappeared beneath them.'
    (from the book: 'And the Walls Came Tumbling Down' by Jack Fishman)

    Hopefully, it will mean something to you guys. Personally, I can't make head nor tail of it! If I can't interpret, it's no great loss but it comes at a point when it would illustrate the skill and courage these pilots displayed.

    Mick
     
  17. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

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    Lets make a note on designations:
    The aircraft was a Mosquito FBVI

    FB Fighter Bomber: has 4 20mm Hispanos but no radar.
    B Bomber, is unarmed
    NF Night Fighter has 4 20mm Hispanos and a radar.
    PR Photo Reconaisance unarmed.

    I think coastal command FB did not hesitate to engage an enemy aircraft if the opportunity presented itself.

    There were 3 types of Focke Wulf FW 190 the A, F and G series.

    They had different propellors, different emergency boost systems, different levels of weight and armour and I believe ailerons tuned to different speeds.

    A was a fighter
    F was a fighter bomber for close support.
    G was a fighter bomber set up for long range stikes.


    This site gives the speed of the

    Mosquito Performance Trials
    http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/mosquito/hx809-level.jpg


    MS Gear
    Max. speed at +18 lb/sq.in boost = 353 at 5100 ft.
    Max. speed at max. full throttle boost (23.9 lb/sq.in.) = 354 mph at sea level.

    Use of +23.9 lb/sq.in. boost instead of +18 lb/sq.in. at sea level increases the speed by 22 mph.

    FS Gear
    Max. speed at +18 lb/sq.in boost = 363 at 12500 ft.
    Max. speed at +25 lb/sq.in. = 369 mph at 7200 ft.

    By my reading of the chart the FW 190A8 would seem to be a little faster however use of 100/150 fuel will increase speed by 22mph.
    FW 190 A-8 Performance
    http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/mosquito/hx809-level.jpg

    The FW 190A9, which has two boost systems: one based on German C3 fuel (96/130) and the other based on MW50.

    Note this version of the Mosquito has Merlin 25 engines and lacks the two stage Merlin 66, however this should make not difference at low altitude.
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Wikipedia Data for Operation Jericho
    Operation Jericho - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    9 Mosquito Bombers
    12 RAF fighter aircraft. Apparently Typhoons as two were lost.
    vs 2 Fw-190s.


    I have no idea how accurate the Wikipedia data is. However it appears to me a pair of Fw-190s were outnumbered 6 to 1 by RAF Typhoons. Under such circumstances I'm surprised the Fw-190s managed to shoot down any of the Mosquito light bombers.
     
  19. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Since this occured after the strike, the weight of the Mosquito would be minus bomb load, and lighter fuel load also. How fast would the Mosquito be then ?

    Also post strike they may not be a close group of aircraft with all the escorts close by also.
     
  20. Timppa

    Timppa Active Member

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    Quote from the movie "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance":

    "Ransom Stoddard: You're not going to use the story, Mr. Scott?
    Maxwell Scott: No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
     
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