Sturm Units with standard FW190s?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Alte Hase, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Hi all.

    I was just wondering, why were some FW190s serving with the Sturmgruppen completely stock standard? I was reading through the Eagle JG300 history and looking at photos in the Osprey Duels FW190 vs P-51, and there were definitely standard FW190A-8s serving right alongside their heavily armed and armoured FW190A-8 R8/ R2 Staffel mates. This doesn't make too much sense to me? If the heavy armour and 30mm cannon were there for the specific Sturm role, why did certain aircraft lack all of this?

    The two specific aircraft I've noticed were Ernst Schroder's famous Red 19 "Kolle Alaaf " and Konrad Bauer's Red 3 "Kornjark", both of 5.(Sturm) JG300.These aircraft seem to both be absolutely standard FW190A-8s, no additional cockpit plate armour, and the standard 4 x 20mm cannon in the wings, not 2 x 20mm and 2 x 30mm cannons.

    Now as far as I have read, these aircraft flew right alongside the full armoured FW190A-8 R8/R2s, in fact I believe Ernst Schroder was Klaus Bretschneider's wingman, and he flew the fully armoured and 30mm equipped Red 1 "Rauhbautz VII"...

    So why were some "Sturmbocke" not full Sturmbocke?

    Thanks in advance for your knowledgable contributions!
     
  2. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I'm sure Eric will be along with answers but there were also a/c that were protection fighters who would take on the escorts and allow the Sturm units to hit the bombers.
     
  3. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    you both have it right to a point guys.

    it was personal selection though both pilots mentioned also flew SturmFw's as well. The idea was really to engage the Mustangs on their own not really protect other staffel mates. it was proven well enough that four 2cm weapons could take care of a US heavy without closing in. all three sturmgruppen had the standard A-8 as well as A-8/R2 and later R8's. JG 301 did as well and slowly took off all armor placements on the R2's still retaining the heavy outboard 3cm weapons. E. Schroder was never Brett's wingman as far as I am aware.
     
  4. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I was questioning myself as I posted that as I seem to recall that most of the cover units flew 109s....or was it just any unit that was available?
     
  5. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    That's really interesting- thank you erich and njaco. So am I correct in thinking that the standard A-8s also took part in sturm attacks on the heavies alongside the R2s then, rather than being only 'top cover' ?

    Once again, thanks, you guys are a wealth of knowledge
     
  6. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I'm sure in the absence of escorts it was always "go for the bombers" so you will find standard fighters winging in with the Sturm units.
     
  7. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    true all Fw's attack the bombers no matter the variant. first established with a staffel from 2./JG 51 with red numbers in IV. Sturm/JG 3 which became 13th staffel and later 16th staffel of JG 3. the Fw's at the time were all SturmFw's but they provided the high cover for the other 3 Schwere staffeln so in essence they were the last to attack the bombers if no US escorts were taken on. later other 109 gruppen were involved with JG 3 and then it was apparent that JG 300 would fly nearly alongside the heavy Sturms of JG 3 the I./JG 300 and sometimes III./JG 300 would provide the high cover for both JG 3 and JG 300 SturmFw's. Of course later and later into December of 44 till March of 45 JG's with Sturm could no longer access the bombers this the case of JG 300 as JG 3 and JG 4 were fighting the Soviets in the East. JG 300's Fw's would have to go one on one with the Mustangs and suffer the consequences of air battle
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Erich is correct. If the unit attacked the bombers then they all attacked. Many units became VERY wary of attacking escorted formations (according to US assessments in 8th AF radio intercepts and intelligence documents.)
    The full blown /R2 had a massive 191.6 Kg of extra armour. Many pilots removed significant amounts of the external armour,effectively making their aircraft,at least in terms of armour,more like an /R8. The /R8 still carried an extra 110.5 Kg of armour compared to a standard A-8. (Weights from page 370 of Rodeicke's mighty Focke-Wulf tome.)
    It's a bit like a tank! You trade speed and manouvreability for protection.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  9. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    well it's like pitting an armored knight from head to toe against an lightly armed infantryman. the A-8/R8 also had armor on the leading edge of the wings and additions under the engine cowling as this was suspect for .50 cal during the first battles in July/August of 44 as the Fw's would go through the bomber pulk and turn on their side to expose the bottom of the craft. also as later war progressed the "fat" man ordered that the Zusatztank be kept in place during all attack and defense even with Us escorts, most experienced pilots still dropped the tank before the Angriff vom hinter. one of the widest removals was the scheuklappen over the canopy, besides the weight if during winter flights the ice would form between the glass layers and fog up the view; JG 4 and JG 300 pilots seemed to have removed them while SturmFw pilots of JG 3 kept them on.
    As the holding of the mg 131 cowling mgs seemed to be counterproductive the cowls were faired over and this was standard on the A-8/R8. A-8/R2's of JG 301 on the other hand held on to them to fire at the tail gunners position with the inboard 2cm weapons but as I repeated in most cases the full armor package was not installed for this unit and tactics actually changed from a long staffel line in V formation to one of a section of 4 attackers in a smaller wedge.

    HTH
     
  10. TheMustangRider

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    Interesting thread.
    I'm wondering if these sturm FW-190 units received specialized training in how to engage or evade escort fighters in case their formations were compromised and forced to maneuver by themselves.
     
  11. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    both JG 3 and JG 300 SturmFw units took part in tactical flying during May/June 1944 then their first Gefechtsverband against B-24's on 7 July 1944. JG 4 II. gruppe did what they could during August of 1944 as the cadre was made up of T/E destroyer crew personell, Their first combat was the 11th of September 1944 with their high cover 109G-6's of III. gruppe.

    let me add that JG 3 pilots and some of JG 4 came from the original Sturmstaffel 1 flying in December 1943 into January of 1944 so they did have some close-in fighting skills
     
  12. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I was gonna say the same about Sturmstffel 1! When the Sturm idea was accepted and somewhat proven by StmStf 1, it was disbanded to provide the core of the Sturm units like IV./JG 3, etc.
     
  13. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    what it did was cause the change over of IV./JG 3 to a Sturmgruppe the Sturmstaffel contingent formed 11.Sturm/JG 3. big names flying the Bf 109G-6 with underwing 2cm gondolas now had more firepower under their butts. they were already tackling US bombers already from the sides, rear and now all attacks were to be mounted from the hind quarter. by the end of July 1944 nearly all of the units Fw 190's were A-8/R2's in the IV gruppe of JG 3. JG 300 had to wait for the complete re-fit of units.
     
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