Which sub-model of the FW190 A8 would you pick ?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Siddley, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. Siddley

    Siddley Active Member

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    It's early 1944 and you are one of the Luftwaffe's remaining experten
    Your squadron is tasked solely with defence of the Reich missions against US daylight raids
    You are able to pick the Rustsatze you feel is best

    Which will it be ? - and don't forget to justify your choice ;)
     
  2. Koopernic

    Koopernic Active Member

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    #2 Koopernic, Sep 12, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
    I'll take a que from Oskar Boesch, an Austrian, who volunteered for a Stormboken gruppe. He wanted to destroy bombers because of what he saw them do to the population below after experiencing the Bombing of Hamlin in Germany as a civilian would. He had the outer wing guns replaced by 30mm Mk 108, steel armour on both sides, bottom of his cockpit. Bullet proof glass on the sides of the canopy and thicker bulled proof glass on the 3 wind shield panels. Armour also protected the guns ammunition. The front of the cowling of the BMW801D2 was made of 6mm steal and essentially bullet proof. The toroidal oil cooler was safely behind this and pressure fed from the cooling fan. Armour was upgraded to 10mm on the BMW801TS more due to C of G reasons.

    The usual approach was from the rear. The 13.2mm and 20mm guns would be fired first. The rear gunner position of a B-17/B24/B-26 etc was not protected from this calibre of guns and often fell silent during this part of the approach though it generally didn't matter as the twin 50 calibre guns lacked the power to stop the Fw 190 in time. Like the P-47 the Fw 190 often returned with several cylinder blown off and the Fw 190 had the additional protection of the cowling armour protecting the cylinder heads. It is of course at one level horrific: men dying, being burned, shot (one both sides) and other horrors below.

    The 30mm guns would then be then be fired, these weapons on average could being down a 4 engine bomber with only 3-4 hits. Gun cam footage of the result of this gun shows tailplanes, main undercarriage and even compete engines falling of the wing with the engine still spinning.

    For a while, upon signing up, (they were volunteers) these men were required to ram bombers should an attack fail, which was unlikely unless their 30mm guns jammed. The pilots resented this, not because they didn't want to ram a bomber but because they resented it being an order rather than something they wouldn't do naturally.

    As the aircraft flew through the formation the armour protected the pilots life and limb from cross fire.

    Had the B-29 been introduced into Europe they had better have put the 20mm guns back.

    The weight of the armour, while not exorbitant, was enough to make these modified 190s vulnerable to escorts and they received their own escorts. As USAAF air superiority grew these types of aircraft had to be abandoned.

    Otherwise they were extremely effective and I think its fair to say would have lead to prohibitive losses very quickly. Head on attacks were more likely to be conducted by unarmoured fighter variants of the Fw 190A or the Me 109.

    Oskars story is told in one of the aviation magazines.
     
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #3 stona, Sep 12, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
    The aircraft you are describing is a Fw 190 A8/R2 which was a standard production variant of the Fw 190 A-8, not an Oskar Boesch 'special'. As an Unteroffizier (Corporal) at Sturmstaffel 1, he hardly had a choice of aircraft. He finished the war with JG 3 as a Feldwebel (Sergeant)

    It carried 337.3 Kg of armour which is 191.6 Kg more than the standard fighter version of the A-8.

    These aircraft were used until the end of the war but were unable to inflict the hoped for losses on the USAAF, not least because they were so vulnerable to the US escort fighters, particularly at the altitude at which the bombers flew.

    I'd take a standard A-8 'Jager', my best chance of survival.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The variant with GM-1, to be a less of a target practice for the P-51s?
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    A good idea, but there were problems with it IIRC.

    Steve
     
  6. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Problem is in the Fw-190A-8 as a complete aircraft.
    All the changes and add-ons, like HMGs instead of LMGs, extra fuel and armor made it a far cry from lightweight performers, like the A-3 or A-5. Just in time after USAF introduced fighters that were 30-60 mph faster at 25000 ft, with a combat range that made sure that every LW airfield that mattered was within that range. Throw in the fact that LW begun to feel fuel and pilot shortages - the writing was at the wall.
     
  7. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Fw190A-8/R3 for speed and hitting power.

    The Fw190A-8/R8 (mentioned above) was too vulnerable to bomber escorts without adequate fighter protection.
     
  8. Siddley

    Siddley Active Member

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    OK, so far we have one vote for heavy armament and armour ( victory or valhalla ! ) and the rest for a compromise loadout which gives you a chance of surviving encounters with the escorts ( I want to live long enough to get the oak leaves and swords added to my Ritterkreuz ) :D
     
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